Organic Chia Cookies

  • 3 cups chia flour (ground chia seeds)
  • 1 cup apple sauce or pumpkin pureé, or a combination
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup (local honey or molasses can also be used)
  • 1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon

Instructions Choose organic ingredients whenever possible. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Put the chia flour in a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Combine with a spatula, until ingredients are well incorporated. Turn out the “dough” onto a breadboard or counter. Take small pieces, roll lightly into balls (like truffles) and place on a cookie sheet. When finished, you will have three dozen balls. The final pre-baking step is to take a fork and lightly flatten each ball, as you would if you were making old-fashioned peanut butter cookies. Place cookie sheet in a cold oven, and turn on oven to 325°F. When it reaches heat, set your timer for 30 minutes. As soon as the “buzzer” sounds, remove the cookie sheet from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool completely before storing them in a Ziploc bag or container, or packaging them for gift giving. These treats can also be prepared and served “raw”.

If you were to come and visit my home, you would find an unopened “Chia Pet” sitting on a shelf in our garage. Once upon a time, it was common to find two of these “pets” growing profuse green “coats” in my house. But who knew that something so darned cute could also be so good for you? And guess what? Chia is good for horses, too! It’s hard to believe that such a tiny seed could pack such a powerful punch, but chia is a whole food you can supplement your horse’s diet with every day.

Longtime Superfood Chia can be found on many of today’s “world’s healthiest foods” lists, but it’s nothing new. It was cultivated by the ancient Aztecs, Mayans and Incas; in fact, in the Mayan language, chia means “strength,” a perfect descriptor for this superfood. Chia is a member of the mint family (Salvia hispanica) and has a long history, going all the way back to 3500 BC. In Aztec and Mayan times, chia seeds were part of the warriors’ diets and were also used during religious ceremonies. The Aztecs also used chia seeds for relieving joint pain and skin conditions.

The seeds are a rich source of B vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein and zinc, and they’re also packed with antioxidants. They are a very valuable source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based form of Omega-3s. Chia seeds are gluten-free and a popular alternative to flax. These tiny seeds can help support healthy skin, coat and hooves. In fact, chia is often described as nourishing our horses from the inside out, because their high level of Omega-3s helps combat inflammation.

Chia seeds contain more antioxidant power than blueberries and help boost the immune system, too. They are a stress-fighting food, they promote healing, they help stabilize blood sugar levels, and are the perfect food for endurance, since they help keep the horse’s body hydrated and support electrolyte balance. If that weren’t enough, chia is also a terrific source of fiber. This very easy “one bowl” recipe is sure to please all your horses this holiday season – even those who are insulin resistant!

About the ingredients

Brown rice syrup is amber in color and about half as sweet as regular sugar. It is made by fermenting whole brown rice with special enzymes that break down the rice’s natural starch content. It is rich in protein concentrates and contains nutrients like manganese, magnesium and zinc. Brown rice syrup is a complex sugar called a polysaccharide – this means the sugar is broken down more slowly, avoiding rapid spikes in blood glucose. It’s a great alternative for insulin resistant horses.

Pumpkin is packed with carotenoids such as beta-carotene, which help neutralize free radicals. The lutein and zeaxanthin found in pumpkin promote eye health. Pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrients, including Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and phytoesterols, which can help enhance your horse’s immune response.

Apples are a very rich source of vitamin C. They also contain potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, vitamins A and E, and folate. Red delicious, northern spy, and Ida red apples contain more potent diseasefighting antioxidants than other red apples.

Cinnamon’s history can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, and ancient Chinese herbal references cite cinnamon’s use as early as 2700 BC, when it was recommended for the treatment of nausea, fever and diarrhea. Cinnamon was also added to food to prevent spoilage. Cinnamon is well recognized as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. It is a carminative and used as a digestive tonic when prepared as a tea.