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Ultra-Trendy Chia Seed Bagels to start 2013

I had to laugh when I recently read that chia seeds are going to be one of the food trends of the coming year, with both the Huffington Post and Chatelaine proclaiming Chia to be a 'superfood to watch' in 2013. For once, I'm feeling a little smug and ahead of the curve, as I made friends with this nutrient-crammed seed years ago and always have a large container of chia in my cupboard. To the uninitiated, yes, these chia seeds are indeed the very same ones you may remember growing into green fluff over random pottery when you were a kid. That "Ch-ch-ch-chia" commercial theme song is burned into my entire generation's brain for life.

I can't deny that I initially got on board with using chia because I liked the sound of the benefits, these tiny black dots are actually a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, high in fiber and a source of protein. After adding chia to my homemade breads, crackers, cookies and granola I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I loved the crunchy pop of texture they add to baking. But my favourite place for chia is inside and topping a chewy, crispy freshly-baked whole wheat bagel.

Making bagels from scratch at home takes a little effort and time (about an hour and a half), but I promise you - it is completely worth the effort. The flavour and texture of a freshly-boiled and baked bagel from your own kitchen beats the hell out of those beige and bland store-made pucks. This recipe freezes and defrosts exceptionally well if you double batch to bake for a few weeks or a month at a time. My son and his friends devour these bagels like vultures so a big batch is mandatory in our house.

I use this easy King Arthur Flour Whole Wheat Bagel recipe for my Chia Seed bagels. I omit the 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, as I don't like overly sweet bagels, but keep in the brown sugar, as it perks up the yeast and gives a nice background flavour. A tablespoon of honey is also a nice option here.

To turn ordinary whole wheat bagels into Ultra-Trendy Chia Seed Bagels, add two tablespoon of chia seeds at the same time as the flour in the regular Bagel recipe. After the bagels have boiled, brush the tops with an egg wash, then sprinkle additional chia seeds over the bagels before baking (I add a few sesame seeds here too). The baked chia seeds have the crunch of poppy seeds with a great flavour and all those superfood benefits that everyone is raving about this year.



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