A few months ago, I met Mika, a Japanese cookbook author who had flown from Paris to work with me. Together, we were going to create the photographs for her upcoming cookbook.
I quickly understood why I had liked Mika even before meeting her. She was an energetic young woman with creative ideas and style, and for an entire week, she and I had a lot of fun in my kitchen.
And I learned.
I learned about Japanese food. I learned about new ingredients. Amongst them, Mika introduced me to Chia seeds.
“They are so good for you, and so easy to use in pretty anything you are already used to cooking,” Mika said one day while adding some to a noddle dish I styled and photographed. My curiosity was piqued instantly, and the next time I was at the store, I bought a bag of Chia seeds, imagining ways to use them creatively.
Chia seeds look like minuscule dark grey and ivory sesame seeds. They are delicate and subtle in taste, and are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, fiber and B vitamins. Ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures treasured them. I knew I would adopt them right away.
I started to add them to a chocolate muffin batter. I ate them in granola and porridge in the morning. I added them to garnish a plate of spaghetti with sauteed vegetables.
And I baked a fruit galette, hiding them inside the pie crust I prepared.
“Will you bake this galette again?” P. asked when he saw how excited I was with my apple dessert and newly discovered ingredient.
He didn’t need to ask. He knew the answer.
So I did, and shortly afterwards, I baked an apple tart tatin.
“What about Thanksgiving?” I inquired a few days later.
“Don’t you have other dessert plans already?” he asked, confused.
He was right. I had talked about many things, between my pear and chocolate clafoutis and a lemon mousse. But I could not help thinking that I’d want to honor the last seasonal apples purchased at the last farmer’s market of the 2011 season. With Chia seeds hidden inside.
I knew I would pique my guests’ curiosity too. And that they’d not mind.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
For the crust:
- 2/3 cup (6 1/2 oz; 90 g) millet flour
- 1/3 cup (1 1/4 oz; 35 g) pecan meal
- 1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz; 40 g) cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons flaxmeal
- 1 tablespoon Chia seeds
- 1.5 teaspoons xantham gum
- 1 egg
- 6.5 oz (90 g) cold butter, diced
- Pinch of sea salt
For the topping:
- 3 Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 small lemon, for juice
- 1/4 cup vanilla-flavored brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Prepare the crust: Combine the flour, pecan meal, cornstarch, flaxmeal, Chia seeds, xantham gum, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of your food processor.
- Add the butter and pulse until crumbles form.
- Add the egg and pulse, working the dough until it detaches from the bowl. Wrap in plastic film and place in the fridge to rest for 1 to 2 hours.
- Take out 10 minutes before rolling.
- Preheat the oven to 420 F and have a baking sheet covered with a piece of parchment paper ready.
- Roll the crust on a flowered working surface and cut a 12-inch circle.
- Transfer onto the baking sheet and place in the fridge.
- In the meantime, toss the slices of apple, lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl.
- Take the crust out of the fridge and arrange the apples evenly on top, leaving a 1.5-inch border.
- Fold the edge to create a galette.
- Drizzle with honey and small pieces of butter. Bake the galette for 35 minutes. Let cool before eating.
Chia seeds are certainly easy to add on pretty much anything! My fiancé and I both eat a tablespoon every day, sprinkled in our porridge or I bake them in grain-free muffins or bread. This apple galette is beautiful Bea!
Love chia and never use them … Always in granola, but should be doing what you are with them! Your photos are gorgeous – the writing a soft rythmic comfort and the spoon – charming!!!
I feel like the theme of the past six months in the food blogging ether has been creative crusts (gluten free or not) with whole grain flours and seeds. I have certainly been exploring the flours (and I guess seeds if you include buckwheat) in some of my galettes and tarts too, but this is the first crust I have seen with chia seeds. What a lovely and punchy idea. I am going to try this. Happy Thanksgiving!
I bought chia seeds once, then ended up tossing them because they got old. I need to try them again, and putting them in the crust is a great idea.
Lovely photos as always.
Ta tarte me fascine ! J’adore les farines utilisées … et ces saveurs automnales … HUM ! Ton blog est superbe et je me promets de repasser très vite 😉 Bises californiennes et j’espère a bientôt.
I love chia seeds! I normally make raw pudding with them but have to blend it because otherwise my husband will get creeped out by the gel/crunch. I never thought if baking with them and my weakness for apples definitely requires that i give this a go! Thanks for another gorgeous hunger provoking post. Hope you have a delicious thanksgiving!
I’ve never even heard of chia seeds. I’ll have to check them out as they sound so versatile and just the type of thing I like to add to my food. I love your posts and photos.
This is beautiful. I am gluten-free and insulin-resistant and this has really inspired to get cracking on a galette I can actually eat!
Your photos are simply stunning ♥
I’m lucky. I find here a wide variety of breads made with chia seeds, and chia flour. It really is a seed with many vitamins. Beautiful pie
Il est presque l’heure du dessert…et c’est merveilleux !!!!
What a great idea! It’s lovely.
Happy Thanksgiving week!
Thye look very similar to mustard seeds….! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Bea.
You may not remember (or have been here) when there was a chia pet craze–a piece of cute animal shaped pottery, soaked and coated with chia seeds, which were allowed to grow into a green fringe in the shape of the animal. I like this use of them a whole lot better!
Happy Thanksgiving, Bea, to you and your lovely family.
I love using chia seeds in baking like in this vegan pumpkin cake with coconut vanilla cream (http://bit.ly/roWtnI) or in rhubarb walnut chia seeds muffin (http://bit.ly/ppjbSw).
Mmmmm… I’ve always love chia seeds… Never seen them in a galette before though! Brilliant, I say!
I love hiding healthy little ingredients in food. Thanks for the tip, I’ll be on the lookout for these!
Jamais vu. Il faudra que j’explore…
Ton billet est vraiment intéressant. J’ai souvent vu ces graines de chia mais n’en ai encore jamais fait l’achat. Voilà une belle occasion!
love your postings!!!! so inspiring!!!! love the idea of using chia seeds!!!! thank you and happy thanksgiving!!!
OMG. I wish some shop in NYC would make these, as I have no time myself 🙁 If someone does, please let me know via Twitter @egolluscio!
Hi, do you know if the chia seeds nutritional value is destroyed on cooking? I was under the impression that the seeds should be eaten raw to receive their benefit but stand to be corrected.
Oh this looks delicious! I have never tried chia seeds…yet! All your suggestions of how to incorporate them sounds fantastic! And of course this galette sounds perfect!
Happy Thanksgiving! I’ve never cooked with Chia seeds before- can’t wait to give them a try! I always love an unexpected spice in baked goods.
I love the idea of doing a galette instead of a pie. I’ve been wrestling with the crubmliness of gluten-free pie doughs and I’ve about given up until I read this. I think I have the courage to try again. A question about almond meal–were you able to find this at your local whole food grocery store or did you grind your own?
What a great idea for a nutrient kick! I love adding wheat germ and ground flaxseed to just about anything… all the better for joints and health and happiness… As always, lovely pictures and a great post!
I love this amazing galette, it seems so crunchy and tasty!
what is flaxmeal?
Thank you so much everyone!
Julie, I am not sure whether the seeds would lose their nutrients once cooked (perhaps change) and it’s worth checking. Bu my feeling would be to say no…..
Dulcistella, flaxmeal is simply flax seeds that have been ground into a powder. You can buy flaxmeal already made.
And I actually prepare my own pecan meal (and almond) by simply grinding the nuts finely. I have a very powerful (German motor, of course) food processor, so it works like a charm.
Yum, yum. I love Chia seeds. I mix them with yogurt and fruit pieces. The flavor is very similar to sesame seeds. Tasty and healthy. You can’t beat that.
Cha-cha-cha-chia cha-cha-cha-chia food.
Looks beautiful! I’ve been thinking about baking with chia seeds since I’ve seen them around a lot lately. Apple galette sounds like a good starting point 🙂
I love chia seeds! You know, if you take the flaxmeal, and the chia seeds, add a tablespoon or two of hot water and let it sit for a few minutes, they will become thick and viscous. Then you can add them to the crust and not have to worry about the xantham gum, as the natural viscous substance will act as a binder.
It’s a great (natural) alternative to xantham and guar gums as a gluten substitute. It also acts as a great egg substitute as well, helping to bind. I know a lot of vegans/allergen friendly bakers that do that.
Great suggestion Irvin. Thank you. I am keen to try that!
My husband is celiac and can only eat gluten free foods. This is a lovely recipe i’d like to try out and put on the table for thanksgiving. Thank you for posting this recipe and Happy Thanksgiving.
They are very hard to find in Italy, unlike flax seeds, which are very common. Thank you for your tip on substituting chia with flax. I will do it and enjoying tout simple, too, the Italian (like the French) way 🙂
I agree with Valeria, I don’t really know where to find chia in Italy. I really like your receipt and you pictures too, I have a lot of apples in the fridge waiting to become a tart!
I love adding flax and chia seeds to smoothies, salads and pie crusts. Yum!
Have been trying to get my 6 year old daughter to eat Chia seeds but with no success (except when I hide them in muffins or granola). Yesterday, however, she brought home a chia mousse recipe from school!! Her class is doing “teacher for the afternoon” and one of her friends taught the class how to make Chia mousse. It’s fantastic. Add 4 tablespoons of Chia seeds to one cup of coconut milk and let rest for 10 mins (with a stor now and then). Chia seeds will absorb the liquid. Then add 1 cup of frozen raspberries and 2 tablespoons of honey and blend until smooth. I put our mixture in the freezer for a few minutes. The whole family love it!!
As Irvin mentions it in her comment and as I’ve been baking in my french kitchen for the last 2 years, chia seeds and flax meal are good egg substitutes.
Bea, have you tried to prepare your crust with all its ingredients but the egg? And if you did, was the result really different and in which way?
Have you also tried to use a little less xantham gum but finally settled for 1.5 tsp because less was not enough?
I’m asking because my family is egg intolerant and I don’t tolerate xantham too well, but your crust recipe is super tempting.
Oh, another question : have you already tried psyllium husk powder? I’ve recently come to it instead of xantham or guar gum in my GF bread and the result is great.
Joyeux Thanksgiving 🙂
P.S. Natalie’s mousse recipe seems great, thanks for sharing it here! Might try it very soon, too…
do you have a recipe for that Apple Tart Tatin? It is my husbands favorite dessert and I have never dared to try to make it yet… would love to!
I got your book has birthday’s gift for my love… it’s amazing!
As Irvin said, I also use a slurry of chia seed meal in place of xanthan gum in a lot of recipes. Works great. It can also be used in baked good instead of eggs for those who have egg allergies. Works great.
I wish I could have a slice right now… Delicious!
Chia seeds! Hmmm. Will try it!
here i thought they were only good for growing silly hair on terra cotta heads! did everybody already make that joke??
Can you tell where can i get spoons like yours? I love your photos and recipes as Always!!
Nothing like giving your dinner guests a little surprise. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Bea!
For more information about chia seeds, and some recipe ideas, check out my website: http://www.chiativity.org
I have chia seeds in a jar in my pantry and I don’t know how old they are. Is there any way I can tell if they’ve gone bad?
The pictures look delicious and i like the fact that Chia seeds are so nutritious in omega 3, fibre etc. Looking forward to trying this recipe out.
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There’s a very unique drink called Chia Fresca which is drank in Mexico. You should try it! Here’s a link to a chia limeade, from “Mexican Made Easy”: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/marcela-valladolid/chia-limeade-recipe/index.html
My husband has been on a chia kick lately (drinking for fiber), but it didn’t even occur to me to use them in baking. I love this incorporation; it’s subtle, yet people will ask what is in the crust. I’m new to your blog and am eager to look around your site some more.
Congratulations on the video and the book being published ,look forward to getting a copy.
I have come to love chia seeds although I haven’t gotten quite as creative. I put them in my morning oatmeal and as a new vegan, have learned to bake with them. Mixed with water, they become egg-like. I’ll need to try sprinkling them in my pasta as I am always thinking how I can get more omegas. Thanks for sharing!
I love how you put chia seeds in something I would never think of putting chia seeds in. A friend put a recipe online for chia chips that I love. http://www.chefmorgan.com/chia-chips-and-soybean-hummus
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Superbe Bea, toutes tes recettes, tes photos et ton inspiration…j’ai hate d’acheter ton livre en revenant en France et les farines adequates pour essayer toutes ces recettes. Merci de nous faire partager ta passion, bisous a Lulu!
Another great way is to incorporate them into our salads dressings and use on salads. Also put them in smoothies.
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Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that’s native to Mexico and Guatemala, and history suggests it was a very important food crop for the Aztecs. It’s remained in regular use in its native countries, but was largely unknown in North America until researcher Wayne Coates began studying chia as an alternative crop for farmers in northern Argentina about 29 years ago…..”,
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