10 Uses for Chia Seeds

ten uses for chia seeds 10 Uses for Chia Seeds

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time and finally had the time while the kids are napping and I am (ironically) sipping a Chia Seed Energy Drink (recipe below). If you don’t already use chia seeds, you are missing out!

Not only are they gluten/grain free naturally, but one tablespoon of Chia Seeds has more calcium than a glass of milk, more Omega-3s than Salmon, and more antioxidants than blueberries. Perfect? Almost… they do get stuck in your teeth if you chew them plain (ask me how I know that!).

They also give you tons of energy but also won’t keep you awake at night and are supposed to be great for weight loss. Because they can absorb many times their size/weight in liquid, they are great for preventing dehydration during exercise or exposure to heat.

Supposedly, the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incans used chia as a staple of their diet and as an energy food. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and they were known as the “Indian Running Food” because runners and warriors would use them for sustenance  while running long distances or during battle (source).

According to Mountain Rose Herbs they contain “Essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, mucin, strontium, 30% protein, Vitamins A, B, E, and D, and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, iron, iodine, copper, zinc, sodium, magnesium, manganese, niacin, thiamine, silicon, and anti-oxidants.”

Additionally,  “They are currently being used for their nutritional and medicinal properties, endurance for athletes, for suppressing the appetite, weight loss, leveling blood sugar, and for aiding intestinal regularity. Chia seeds readily dissolve into the water, creating a substance that looks like gelatin. This gel-forming action is due to the soluble fiber in the Chia seed. Researchers believe that this same gel-forming phenomenon takes place in the stomach when Chia seed is consumed, thus creating a physical barrier between carbohydrates and digestive enzymes and slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. Slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar helps with endurance and metabolic rates, which is beneficial for athletes and others”.

“For weight loss, Chia seeds are an appetite suppressant, and Chia gel may be used to replace food within recipes. Bulking up a meal with Chia gel helps lessen the amount of food consumed, since Chia gel is primarily made up of water. Chia gel may also be used in place of fats within recipes, even within baked goods. Chia seed has hydrophilic properties, and can absorb more than 12 times its weigh in water. Because of this, Chia seeds can prolong hydration, helping retain moisture and regulate more efficiently the body’s absorption of nutrients and body fluids, including electrolyte balance.” (source)

I buy them in bulk (here) and we go through a couple pounds a month, but they are by far one of the most nutrient dense food per ounce that I use, and they help keep the kids full for hours, which is a huge benefit!

Convinced? Here are my ten favorite uses if you want to give this “Indian Running Food” a try:

1. As a Safe Egg Substitute

I recommend a lot of egg consumption and many of my recipes contain eggs. I occasionally get emails from readers who need to adapt a recipe to avoid eggs, and from my research/testing, Chia Seeds are the best option for this.

To substitute for an egg: Use 1 tablespoon finely ground chia seeds (grind them dry in a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder) and 3 tablespoons of water per egg in a baked recipe (does not work in place of eggs for omelets though…)

2. To Make Healthy Pudding

My kids favorite use of chia seeds is to make a homemade pudding with them. It’s easy to make and actually really healthy. Our go-to recipe is:

  • 2 cups of coconut milk or other milk
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds 
  • 2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder (or to taste)(optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon or more sweetener of choice (optional)- We use honey or a few drops of stevia tincture

Put in a blender and blend until smooth. Will thicken in about 10 minutes in the fridge.

There are endless flavor variations. You can omit the cocoa powder and vanilla and add a cup of strawberries for a strawberry version, or add cinnamon and nutmeg for a Chai Chia Pudding.

3. To Thicken Soup or Gravies

If you don’t use cornstarch or thickening agents, it can sometimes be a challenge to thicken different culinary creations. Just add a couple tablespoons of chia seeds (powdered or not) at a time to reach the desired thickness.

4. To Make Grain Free Crackers

I’ve made several variations of these, including just mixing them with equal parts coconut milk to thicken, adding some garlic powder and sea salt, and baking at a low temp for a couple hours. I haven’t measured out my recipe yet to post here, but here’s another one that looks great.

5. To Thicken Meatballs Instead of Breadcrumbs

I married an Italian, so meatballs get made pretty often around here. His grandmother’s recipe calls for breadcrumbs, which I don’t use, so I just throw in a couple tablespoons of chia seeds (per pound of meat) in place of gluten bombs bread crumbs. Also works to thicken meat-loafs, batters, etc.

6. Sprouted for Salads

Ever had little sprouts on a salad at a restaurant? You can make them yourself. Just put some chia seeds in water, drain the water off and leave in a jar for a couple days. Every 12 hours or so, rinse with water and pour the water off. In a day or two, you’ll have little chia sprouts, which leads to the next use of chia seeds:

7. Homemade Chia Pet

These are the same seeds used to make the chia pets you can buy for ($20) in the store. Save about ($20) and make your own. Just fill a (porcupine) shaped pot with dirt, sprinkle some chia seeds on top of the dirt and water. Viola! Chia Pet. I also discovered when my kids spilled their chia seeds that they were eating for a snack that they grow in areas that don’t get much sun and that are often trampled (under the treehouse) and prevent mud. Now, the kids get to eat chia seeds under their treehouse often, and the ones that spill prevent mud. A win-win!

8. To Make Homemade Energy Gel

Seen the commercial for those new (corn syrup filled) Gatorade Gels and Chews? Here’s a healthier variation that kids will love: Add a couple tablespoons of chia seeds to a cup of coconut water. Let sit for about ten minutes and you’ll have an incredible energy gel! Beats the socks off of Gatorade for hydration and energy and you get to avoid the fake colors, fake flavors and GMO corn  10 Uses for Chia Seeds Also works for grown ups for endurance activities like running a 5K without training at all (ask me how I know that….)(and come run with me!).

9. As a “Breading”  for Baking Fish and Chicken

Mixed with some almond flour and garlic powder, or even by itself, Chia Seeds make an excellent “Breading” for fish or chicken. It toasts up well and provides a nutty, crunchy flavor without the grains (another win-win!).

10. Plain Ol’ Chia Seeds

Even by themselves, they are a great source of nutrients and also leave you feeling full for a long time. I sometimes chew a couple tablespoons for a quick breakfast on the go, and they leave you feeling surprisingly full! They do stick to your teeth, but wash them down with some coffee and you’ll have energy for hours!

Ever tried chia seeds? Sound too weird? What is your favorite use? Share below!

Reader Comments

  1. Wendy says

    Thank you for posting this! I’ve been wanting to try chia seeds for a while, but just hadn’t gotten around to looking up recipes. I’ll definitely give these suggestions a try! 

    • Jessica Emrisko says

      Wellness mama my name is jessica I am new to this can you help me I just had a baby and I need to lose weight tell and teach me please how to do it correctly

  2. Heather says

    I love chia seeds! I add them to my smoothies all the time! I will be making meatloaf with them next week! 

  3. Steven says

    Do you typically powder them, or use them whole? For some of these recipes, it seems like whole seeds would be unpleasant.

  4. Baya says

    As a vegan, I use chia seeds a lot! I use them as an evg substitute and also in my smoothies i also use flaxseed and nutritional yeast. I like your energy drink recipe! I will give it a try!

  5. Phil says

    Just made the pudding, not quite a success.  Not due to the taste but to the texture of the pudding of the chia seeds.  The children found it too weird.  So I thought I might ground them down next time to a powder and see if that makes a difference.  If that goes how I think it might the mousse would be absolutely gorgeous….  I will let you know.  Philxxx

    • Gabriel Chavez says

       Phil, try it with bananas and honey. That is by far my favorite way to eat it.
      Good luck with the kids!

      • Dree says

        Bananas and honey sounds good! How do you incorporate them in the pudding? do you mash the bananas? i have a picky 4-year old!

    • Monica Raymundo says

      try grinding the chia before and another suggestion to get a really creamy and rich texture is to add an avocado or even half of one to the mix.

  6. Sarah Moore says

    Is it better to soak them in water and then take a tablespoon of them in the morning or just dry???

      • Joe says

        better to soak. contributes to their low glycemic index (when they become gelatinous) according to the NYT.
        soak overnight….
        per hubpages…
        “Basic Chia Gel
        To make a basic Chia Gel used for baking and other recipes, all you need is water.
        Start by mixing ¼ cup chia seeds and 1 cup of water, stir after 15 minutes or so, cover the container and place in the refrigerator. That’s it.
        The seeds will turn into a gel that is the consistency of pudding or custard.
        Let it soak overnight and it is ready to use. It doesn’t get any easier than that.”

    • Robin Wahl says

      I recently made strawberry rhubarb freezer jam with chia seeds and it worked fabulously! No cooking, no pectin. Just blend together in blender and its ready to use or freeze.

  7. says

    We sprinkle the seeds on all sorts of things to up their nutritional value :-)     When I’m dragging in the afternoon, if I remember to, I’ll just take a spoonful & swallow it down with water; not real crazy about chewing it plain ;-)  We aren’t fans of the pudding yet, but maybe someday??   I get mine from Amazon as a subscribe and save item and they are about $7 a pound with free shipping :-)

    • Kara says

       Today I made “pudding” for the first time and it was excellent. I just put 2 tablespoons of seeds in a cup, added about 1.5 cups of Vanilla Flavored Almond Milk (unsweetened), stirred in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and stuck it in the fridge. Was a thick pudding later in the day, and to me, it was exactly like tapioca pudding.  If my eyes were closed, I’d think it was tapioca.  Delicious!

      • Lisa G says

        Thanks for the suggestion! I actually added just a tsp of coconut flavor liquid to this mixture. If you like coconut, you’ll love this! It gives it an extra yummy flavor!

  8. ANdrea says

    My favorite (and only-till now) use of chia is using them in iced tea. Fresh all natural iced tea, I don’t even need the sweetener any more but if I do I put in stevia, and a teaspoon or 2 of chia seeds… They are fun! And so healthy.

    • Petra says

      Agree +1. Chia is a “sometimes” treat, not the wonder food it’s been made out to be. The phytic acid actually strips many of the minerals that you think you’re taking in, and the excess of insoluble fiber does the same. Have some as a snack every now and then, but don’t eat it every day and definitely don’t feed it to your kids on a daily basis.

  9. Karey says

    I make dairy kefir and add chia seeds and some stevia to sweeten – 1 qt kefir, 1/4C chia seeds, packet of stevia – stir occasionally so the seeds don’t settle to the bottom and they start gelling which then they remain thruout the kefir. I eat this with fruit every morning. My husband started using it as a salad dressing and now I do too! We’ve added cocoa powder to it like your pudding. Some people we’ve served it to don’t like the texture, as some of your commenters said.

  10. Alicia says

    I use ground chia seeds in place of flaxseed meal for muffins, and I have used it a lot as an egg substitute just because I didn’t have any eggs.  They work great!  

  11. Jessica McKnight says

    I’ve been using them in “Refrigerator Oats.”  1/4 c old fashioned oats, 1/4 c plain greek yogurt, 1/3 c milk, 1.5t chia seeds is the base recipe, then add sweetener/fruit as you prefer.  I like 2t maple syrup and 1/4c fresh blueberries.  Mix it all up and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  Breakfast will be waiting for you the next morning!

  12. says

    Love this article!  I just read something yesterday about blending gelled chia with fruit for a sugar-free jam replacement, too.  A recent convert to chia, we eat them every morning gelled with almond milk and berries, and I’ve noticed they help my gluten free baked goods (especially bread) stay moist a lot longer.

  13. Lin says

    Question:  for the pudding, do you grind the chia seeds first?  If so, measured ½ cup before or after grinding?  THANKS!

  14. says

    Chia seeds sound like they pack a pretty big nutritional punch! However, you mentioned that they contain linoleic acid, which is the same acid known for increasing risk of skin cancer (as noted in another blog post of yours). So, what about that?

  15. Amy says

    Made the pudding…. reaction from the kids not so great.  It was very thick, and I guess we were all expecting a more pudding-like consistency.  I like it, though!  Mixed with some cut up fresh peaches and it was really yummy!

    If I use less chia seeds, will it come out a little less thick and chunky?

  16. Viola says

    I already eat chia in my morning smoothie and as a gel drink with juice!  Your comments about them being used to sustain warriors and runners, and during “endurance activities like running a 5K without training at all” got me thinking:  does anyone use chia gel during labor?
    I’m preggo now, so its on my mind…anyone use chia gel during labor or immediately before?  Might be good especially if I end up in a place (hospital) where they don’t let you eat or drink during…

  17. Jc says

    Hi from England, I’m an old-timer who looks after himself, can’t remember how I got here, but you made me go and buy chai seeds, I’ve chucked some in a cup of cocoa, cool.

  18. says

    I add 1/4 cup of chia seeds to every 2 lb loaf of bread I make. No taste difference, adds the benefits and looks pretty too. I don’t soak or grind, just dump the seeds in the bread machine along with 1/4 cup flaxseed. Up here in Washington, we have Winco, a grocery store that carries a LOT of bulk foods, and chia seeds run about $8.50 per pound.

  19. Kim says

    I’ve been using Chia seeds for a week now and I love it!  I’m a convert!  I put in straight water and love it!  My husband thinks I’m crazy but he hasn’t tried it – too scared.  I put it in muffins, cereals, smoothies, it’s tasteless and for all these benefits, I’m forever hooked now!

  20. Ling says

    Does anybody know if you can pre-make/store the chia gel? Im a distance runner training for a marathon and I’d like to pre-make some gels to store and take on my long runs. Hoping I can make one big batch to divide and store away for the weeks to come.

  21. Sarah says

    How many carbs do they have in them? I am new to this blog and starting to follow the nutritional plan but also have been trying to stay under 80 carbs per day to lose weight.

    • says

      They are relatively low. If you incorporate a tablespoon or so of chia seeds for energy during the day it shouldn’t have any effect on your carb count but should give you an energy boost…

      • wanda harness says

        Hi Felicia, I shop at Costco. Can you tell me what section of the store I can find the Chia Seeds? It may be that all Costco stores do not carry them. Thanks in advance.

    • says

      If you don’t have a Costco near you, Walmart sales 4 16oz. packages for $32.74. I just bought some. Trying anything so I don’t have to have bariatric surgery. Hope this works.

    • wanda harness says

      I live in Memphis, TN and I see two people purchase the Chia Seeds from Costco. I searched online and could not find them. Did you actually purchase them in the store? Which section of the store can I find it.

  22. Jenn Flores says

    I use 15ml plastic centrifuge tubes to carry chia seeds on the go. They perfectly hold he amount of 1 tablespoon. I bought a pack of 10 on Amazon for $2.50.

  23. April says

    I’ve been using chia seeds in my smoothies for years. Back when I had a regular Oster blender, I had to use a coffee grinder to get them broken up. Now I have a blendtec (but a vitamix does the same) and I can just throw them in. For anyone new to them, remember that you need to add 10x water to chia seeds if you want the consistency of your beverage, etc. to stay the same. So if I add 1 tbsp of chia to my smoothie I add 10 tbsp of extra water or it will get THICK. There are also white seeds and black seeds. If you want to hide them from picky eaters, get the white ones for your lighter colored foods and dark for the dark. Even ground up the black ones look like pepper. Which is not appetizing in something sweet. I’ve only used them in raw foods bc I assumed that baking them would destroy nutritional value. Is that true? I also was told you get way more out of them if they are ground up instead of whole. True?

  24. says

    I followed the link to the grain free crackers and tried the recipe. I didn’t have enough sunflower seeds so I topped it up with flax seeds. They are delicious and a really nice snack when you want something savory or salty. The thinner you can make them the better.

  25. Mark says

    Perhaps this was already mentioned, but I normally throw a tablespoon of seeds into my morning breakfast drink (Carnation Breakfast Essentials, powdered mix) mixed with skim or 1% milk. Tastes great! But make sure to shake it up before every sip cuz most of the seeds will rise to the top.

  26. Andy says

    I rented a place that had a Buddha statue out back. I think the statue was made out of concrete, and it was about 18″ tall. It was spring in western Oregon, which means it sprinkles almost every day. Anyway, I put a chia seed mix on his head, and he grew bright green hair.

  27. says

    Thank YOU! I have one more for you .. use it in the body if you wish. A friend told me to cover chia seeds in almond milk and add walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg and stevia. Place in the the refrigerator overnight. In the morning you will have a breakfast that tastes like egg custard. I LOVE it!

  28. Brenda says

    I love chia seeds and have been using them for a while. One tip though. I take medication every morning for the ptsd I suffer from. When I started using chia seeds I took it in the morning also, but the chia seeds prevented my body from absorbing my medication and sent me into withdrawals. That was not pleasant! Now I take my medication in the morning and the chia seeds at lunch time and all is fine. Just something to be aware of :)

    • Eva says

      I take medication in the morning too, so the chia seeds may prevent my medication to be absorbed? I have to watch that, I have severe rheumatoid arthritis

      • Elle says

        I’m a pharmacist, and I’ve looked into this issue before. Not surprisingly, there is almost no information in drug or natural product databases on the effect of chia on medication absorption. There is some information, however, on the possibility that it could cause drug interactions based on the way many meds are metabolized in the liver (the CYP450 enzyme system).

        Bottom line is that if you can separate administration, I’d do that. Some meds are more finicky than others about being absorbed, so probably a lot of that possible effect will depend on the specific drugs you are taking.

        • Nancy Brand says

          To the pharmacist. I’m taking Synthroid , Metoprolol . Synthroid first thing in the morning on empty stomach. A hr later take the BP meds, Potassium. This is like 6-7 am staring medication. Is after 12 noon okay to put a tablespoon in my tea or juice lemonaide? Thanks if you can answer…

  29. Leah Frakes says

    Could I be preparing these wrong? I got mine from the loose spice bins at the grocery store. They look like the ones in your pictures. Only when I put them in water they don’t do ANYTHING, not even when left overnight. I tried just putting them straight into some juice yo drink and they were SPICY!! I’m breastfeeding so I know my taste buds are very sensitive but there’s no way I could eat these alone! I also got a headache after drinking them. I tthought maybe I didn’t drink enough with them but I drink upwards of 150oz daily.
    Thoughts?

  30. Emily says

    If I could chia seed in my oatmeal before I cook it do I still get all the benefits as I would if I added the chia in after I cooked the oatmeal?

  31. Alwin Kosmas says

    Your site is great.. I am from the U.K. and live in Cyprus in Europe.. They do not have many stores for health food and the ones that do over charge. I found the jam recipe on http://www.chiativity.org I shall give it a try as soon as the strawberries are out. My daughter makes all of your recipes…

  32. Stacy says

    Great info and tips!
    I have been making coconut flour pancakes and topping with a vanilla coconut milk chia pudding and warm strawberries. It is fantastic and super healthy. Reminds me of the Belgian waffles with whipped cream and sugar strawberries but a lot less calories and a lot more nutrients.

    I have bought the white chia seeds. I pretty much will sprinkle chia on anything. Pasta, stir fry, stew. Great in smoothies. I even sprinkle them on my omelets.

    I did read to be careful if you take blood pressure medicine because chia has been known to lower blood presure. Also if you eat the seeds dry always follow with plenty of water/ liquid. They will expand in your body.

  33. Tammyb says

    I added them to lemon soaked grain muffins when I realized I didn’t have any poppy seeds! They worked great! Tasted and felt like poppy seeds! :)

      • Mary says

        You should research what caffeine is unhealthy & harmful on many levels. First, it is addictive and causes withdrawal systems such as headaches. Excessive amounts of caffeine can cause severe brain problems, including seizures, for starters. (Neil Nedley, M.D., Proof Positive) It also increases risk of low birth weight in infants born to caffeine-consuming mothers, elevates blood pressure by 3-5mm Hg., stimulates excess stomach acid production & reflux causing severe heartburn. There is also evidence, research, that caffeine impairs the frontal lobe. There is more and more I could tell you about the dangers of caffeine consumption but since it is America’s drug of choice, most do not listen. Are there benefits to drinking caffeine? Maybe, but the dangers far outweigh any benefits.

  34. Carolyn says

    After reading the comments, I noticed that no one mentioned using Organic Chia Seeds. I was told not to buy regular Chia seeds as there could be pecticides in them. I am losing two pounds a week and am having fun trying out new Chia recipes found on the internet!!

    • Jeanine Seeger says

      All chia is grown organically. Bugs are actually not attracted to the plant so pesticides are not needed in the growing process.

      • Norabella says

        Lack of pesticides is not the only difference between organic and conventional growing. Whether or not synthetic fertilizer is used, and what the toxicity load of the soil is (like if chia is rotated with a crop that does have pesticides applied) can have a big impact on the healthfulness of a food, whether pesticides are applied directly during the growing season or not.

  35. AimezR says

    I put them in my yogurt! But I am going to try some of your ideas, especially the meatballs and breading meat!! :)

  36. heather says

    I found a recipe for chia seed jam. It’s amazing! and healthy! Just blueberries (or any fruit) chia seeds, and a little bit of organic maple syrup.

  37. Eva says

    I use chia seeds in my green smoothies, but never just as a drink or pick-me-up. I have RA and it may help with being tired a lot

  38. Eva says

    can I use regular juice and chia seeds? I have some apple and some cranberry juice that I would have to use up. So if I use one cup of juice I would have to add a tbsp of chia seeds.

  39. Sommer says

    I was wondering if you would be willing to make this list printable? I never knew all the wonderful uses. Thank you so much for this!

  40. TeddieB says

    I was looking at something called Hungry for a change, and it talked about Chia Seeds, and like someone else said, I got here. I have read the post, and just laughed. I would love to talk to you Mama I really want to take the full advantage of the Chia Seed,, going to the health food store now to get some.

    • TeddieB says

      Well I went and purchased my Chia Seeds. I put 2 teaspoons in my mouth, and swallowed with water. OH my goodness. I think you should take the Chia Seeds before eating. LOL I am stuffed and full. Yes they get in the teeth, in the holes of your mouth, and gel up. LOL Not bad really. I am so shocked of the fullness I feel. Yes I see how you can loose a lot of weight.

  41. toni says

    So do you need to drink extra water when consuming these? Won’t they absorb water once you eat them, leading to a dehydrating effect? I suppose if you soak them first in something, you don’t have to worry about this?

  42. Tim C says

    I drink chia water every day. I make a gel out of it, take tablespoon of it and put it in water, and drink! It’s so good for your heart, your brain, and your skin and hair. it lowers your cholesterol.

  43. Mcneill says

    Every time I look up something healthy, nutritious and interesting, the best results come up on your blog without fail!

  44. Gamboa says

    I love your recipes, I have learn a lot here I didn’t know that the whole family could eat chia seeds. I thought it was only for weight loss purposes. Definitely going to try your recipes for the kids. I need to keep them full in the summer lol they want to eat at all times. Thanks!

  45. Boschma says

    I soak a tablespoon of chia seed in a bottle of water and drink it over the day. Lots of great ideas for their in this article. Thanks.

  46. Angela Christine Gutierrez says

    We actually use it to make jam. puree any fruit (berries and peaches work best) add some chia seeds about 3 tbsp. for 2 cups of fruit and put in fridge for 1 hr. Should be eaten within 1 week.

    • Damodara says

      In making this jam, can you please tell me if you grounded the chia seeds before adding them to the pureed fruit? Thanks, Damodara

  47. Eliza says

    I find this inconsistent – why are chia seeds okay but not quinoa? citing the Mayans as a “supposedly, they used this for…” reference doesn’t line up with your other anti-grain stance

    • George says

      I have a coffee farm in Nicaragua. The farm next to us raises Chia so I can purchase for about $1 per pound. I am taking 15 pounds back to the US when I go this week. Thanks for the interesting info.

  48. Jodi Blue says

    I mix them with any flavour of Oikos yogurt, usually honey or Key Lime, then I add berries, flax seeds, sliced almonds and a touch of water… Pretty much the same as overnight oatmeal minus the oats! Blueberry and Key Lime is my favourite!

  49. jane says

    hi! love this post!!! i was just wondering how much chia seed you are allowed to consume per day. on mine it says: do not consume more than 15g. (btw i am from austria)
    what are the side effects and is it possible to gain weight if you dont eat less than before but just include them to your meals because of the protein&omega 3?
    thanks!!

  50. Kate says

    If you live near a wegmans i find thats the best price for them. bobs red mill chia seeds 1 lb for $8.49. One store by me was selling the same brand for over $13.

  51. trish says

    I brought Quinoa and chia seed milk- do you think using this as a substitute for other milks would be too much in chia/quinoa based recipes? :)

  52. Erinn Streeter says

    Take 1-2 Tbsp of chia and add them to a small food processor or your blender. Cover them with 3-6 Tbsp of juice (apple, pineapple, mango, whatever you’ve got) or coconut water and let them sit for 10-15 minutes. Then add several chunks of frozen banana and 1/4-1/2 tsp of powdered cinnamon. Blend – and voila, cinnamon-banana soft serve! You can also pop it into a suitable container and put this into the freezer until solid and it’s basically a sorbet. The pop-crunch of the chia seeds are so satisfying, and the cinnamon helps balance out the sugars in the banana when your body digests it.

    I also discovered that this makes a good base to cover mediocre sorbet. I bought an acai sorbet that was so boring, I didn’t want to finish it. But half of the boring sorbet and half of the chia-banana stuff mixed together fixed the blah taste and prevented waste at the same time.

    Another great addition to this? Dark chocolate sauce.

  53. Alex Romo says

    Thanks for sharing, you are funny! In Mexico my mum use to put the seeds in her homemade lemonade- I think it is a very old tradition.. Now I get to know why! It would be very expensive to get those nutrients from salmon and blueberries. Cheers!

  54. Collin Santucci says

    I make an infusion of yerba mate and hibiscus flowers, sweeten it to taste, add chia seeds, and chill in the refrigerator. The resulting drink gives me incredibly long-lasting energy with no crash after. It is also delicious and refreshing.

    I suppose you could blend it to make it a bit more smooth, but I personally like texture of the hydrated chia seeds.

  55. Wendi says

    I bought the ground chia seeds on accident can i still make smoothies and the other recipes that you posted? I’m new to using these so i need a lot of help. I was thinking about introducing ground chia to my toddler too.

  56. Jodie Renea Hatcher says

    I have been making health shakes with kale, evoo, berries, bananas, skim milk, stevia, and greek yogurt. I’ve started adding my chia seeds and LOVE it! I got my bag for 79 cents at a bargain grocery store (bobs red mill brand) though LOL I love them so much, when I started looking around to buy them elsewhere they’re much more! I’m not surprised with what they do for you though. Worth every penny, no matter how many they are!

  57. Jaci Gansen says

    If you grind up the chia seeds do you still use the same amount? For instance, if a recipe calls for 1T chia seeds will 1T of ground chia seeds work just the same? Thanks!

  58. Tennille Powell says

    I have a family member that has a sensory disorder and can not tolerate certain textures but can swallow capsules. Would I be able to put the Chia Seeds in a capsule and he still get the benefits from the seeds?

  59. susan says

    Katie, have you ever heard of special needs kids who have to avoid thin liquids (because of aspiration) using chia to thicken milk? Would love to know.

  60. Kevin Scholten says

    Aren’t chia seeds full of phytic acid? If so, how to get rid of that? I read somehwere you have to put them in water for like 20 minutes and rinse them of after and also get rid of the water itself to get rid of the phytic acid.

    But i just got into using these seeds and i just know about phytic acid since yesterday when i checked out your article about remineralizing the teeth and mouth.

    I’m a vegetarian and i think i have a vitamin D shortage and i have very sensitive teeth and a lot of cavities which i get easily. Ive been brushing non fluoride since for ever, my dentist says i need to start using fluoride, but i dont want to. I sent him the link to your website by the way. And since like half a year i have already been using coconut toothpaste, since yesterday i added the calcium magnesium plus vitamin d.
    But if i take too much of the phytic acid, my body wont even absorb the vitamins…

    .???

    • Dennis Shumaker says

      Chia seeds are very high in phytic acid.
      The marker for phytic acid is phosphorous.
      Seeds, nuts, and many grains are high in this.
      Nuts have extremely high phytic acid content.

      Phytic acid is called an “anti-nutrient”.
      It attaches to the important minerals and will prevent them from being absorbed into the body.

      Almonds: soak in a salty warm water solution for upto 24 hours.
      Almonds 8-12 hours.
      some people even replace water every 3-6 hours.
      After done there are two options:
      1) refrigerate and consume in less than 3-4 days.
      2) buy a dehydrator set at 105F and dry them out for 18-24 hours.
      this will extend shelf life of your healthier nuts and the low temp used to dry them out does not kill the valuable heat sensitive enzymes.

      The other option with almonds is to soak them until they sprout.
      The sprouting process uses us the phytic acid. Ive see sprouted almonds on sale for $15 to $20 a pound.

      Oats, quinoa, barley, over night in a slightly acid solution: 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Rinse then cook.

      Im really not sure what to do with Chia seeds. Maybe sprout them and put them in salad ?

      Soaking these seeds may be hard, especially the rising part. Might have to get a fine strainer. The gel that forms may make getting the phytic acid part out more difficult? Not sure about this one yet. Googling continues.

  61. Felecia says

    You can let them sit in water for a while & use a cotton ball to soak up some of the water & put it on your face after washing it & it makes your skin look GREAT! :)

  62. Rebecca Hanssen says

    Just made up a yummy new recipe (that’s probably been done before but I’m proud anyway!) Chia seed, almond, cranberry and chocolate ‘truffles’ :D

    100 grams Chia seed
    100 grams Almonds
    100 grams Dried cranberries
    100 grams Dark chocolate (100%)
    2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup or honey
    1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

    Serves 10 :D

    • Char says

      thanks for this recipe. sounds delicious. I cant have maple syrup or honey so I would substitute with stevia (not equal amounts of course) as stevia is so concentrated.

  63. Char says

    Chia seeds came to my rescue. I used to eat one cup of berries per day in my greek yogurt until I learned I am allergic to dairy products. Now I mix them them with chia seeds and rice milk. Make it the night before. Yum and guilt free!

    BTW – Id be interested to know if anyone has found a lactose free yogurt on the market.

  64. Mary West says

    Thank you for posting! I ordered some chia seeds, and can’t wait for them to arrive so I can try the energy drink, crackers, and pudding!

  65. K B says

    I heard that one should stop taking chia seeds after 12 weeks of use. But I was not told when you start taking it again. Any comment?

  66. Maggie says

    I love soaking the chia seeds with almond milk (or other non dairy milk) to form a gel then blending with frozen fruit. Add some honey or agave nectar if you’d like the sweeten. It makes a great smoothie that can be used as a meal replacement or for extra energy throughout the day! :) The seeds are barely noticed when drinking through a straw (almost like strawberry seeds.) So easy I make most of mine with a magic bullet!

  67. Teresa Norman says

    Hi,
    I’ve wanted to chia seeds for a long time, but textures of certain things bother me and of course the gel is WAY beyond my comfort zone! What are some options? Also, I was told by several people that you aren’t to eat the seeds without soaking them, but it sounds like you frequently do that?? Please help… :)

  68. says

    I’m a little sick today and as I was about about to drink a cup of milk I remembered that it may increase mucus, (I heard this, though not so sure), so I found this information here if chia seeds good in calcium, I read it in the store, but wanted to double check. Thanks Katie, I found more info

  69. Melissa says

    I buy my bulk organic/non-GMO chia seeds from Nuts.com for $11.63/lb. I usually buy the 5lb bag and it lasts quite a while. They have the best price for the quality that I have been able to find and their shipping is AMAZINGLY quick! I ordered on Tuesday afternoon and they were on my door step Wednesday afternoon with their standard shipping option. LOVEEEE them and their products!

  70. Brooke says

    The chia seed gel can be made and stored in the fridge in an air tight container or jar for up to 2-3 weeks. Didn’t know if that was in all this awesome info or not! :)

  71. Natacha says

    I love putting my chia seeds in my daily lemon water:
    1 freshly pressed organic lemon and 1 Tbsp of chia seeds on an 8oz glass of water.

  72. Laura L. Williams says

    I just started using chia seeds and I like to put them in all my hot cereals including oatmeal. I also top my spinach salad with them as well.

  73. Faye says

    My husband baught 4 large 8 month supply of the chia gold 100% chia seeds. I lpoked up a couple of healthy smoothie recipes to include with our workout routine. I can’t wait to try it for weight loss. Going through perimenopause sure puts a damper on wearing cute clothing from the weight gain.
    My daughter is 26 and wod love to try it for the health benefits. I am adding fruits to my grocery list.

  74. Dan says

    I like to put about 2-3 tablespoons in my yogurt cup every morning for breakfast, the more you add the thicker it becomes. Its a great way to hold you between breakfast and lunch as the seeds expand in your stomach. It makes the yogurt taste better and being that its Greek yogurt, it adds to the protein intake!!

  75. Bruce says

    For the pudding, are you making it with coconut milk or coconut water? I was about to try your recipe until I realized that with coconut milk 1 cup of pudding would contain about 700 calories and 50g of saturated fat, which seems sort of the opposite of healthy.

  76. Nicola says

    Hi – I am desperately trying to find out how to activate chia, and other small seeds like sesame, flax and poppy. I really don’t want to replace one set of toxins (legumes, grains etc) with another lot (unactivated seeds and such like)

    Thank you.

  77. Angela says

    I believe chia seeds are very high in phytic acid. With other seeds or nuts they can be soaked overnight and rinsed off in the morning which gets rid of a lot of the phytic acid.

    This isn’t possible with chia seeds as it gels when soaked so the water can’t be rinsed off.

    What is your take on this, Wellness Mama?

  78. Rachael says

    I love GT’s Kombucha Synergy with chia seeds, which I started drinking when I heard the chia gel was good for detoxing your system. I recently started making my own Kombucha (trying to save the $4 a day!) and bought chia seeds to add to it, but the gel coating on the seeds is a small fraction of the volume of the ones that come in the store bought drink. I add a few tablespoons to each bottle before I put it in the fridge (after the second fermentation) but even after a few days they just aren’t very gelled. Am I doing something wrong? Did I buy inferior seeds/is there a brand that I should look for? The brand I got is called Spectrum Essentials and was about $8 for 12 oz. Thanks!

  79. Mary says

    Katie, I have been reading that Chia Seeds aren’t so good as they contain phytic acid. The problem is that with other seeds and nuts (Almonds for example) these can be soaked overnight and rinsed off in the morning thereby reducing the phytic acid.

    This can’t be done with chia seeds as they become a gel if soaked. What is you take on this?

    I have been using every day in a smoothie but don’t know what to do now.

  80. Oxana says

    I noticed that when I eat Chia seeds they come out (you know what I’m talking about)) just the way they entered, as a little black seed. So I’m wondering if the nutrients being absorbed from them if they weren’t ground before consuming? Thank you.

  81. Priya Desai says

    Let me add a recipe for Chia Seeds.

    Chia seeds coconut jaggery sweet balls

    Ingredients
    1 cup chia seeds
    4 cups coconut water
    2 cups of grated coconut
    1 cup jaggery or less as per choice
    nut meg powder 1/4 tsp
    Nuts as per chioce – I prefer walnut pieces and almonds

    Method
    1. Soak chia seeds in coconut water and wait till fully fluffed up and all water is absorbed.. Now use a thick pan and place chia seeds, grated coconut and jaggery, nutmeg powder and nuts ( preferably grated or very small pieces for easy melting) and put on a slow flame Allow the mixture to cook, keep stirring while it cooks. it should take aout 15 minutes to form into a thickened mixture. Take it down from the stove.
    allow it to cool for a while and form into small balls while it is warm. It is a very tasty and healthy sweet ( sweetness can be adjusted by varying the quantity of jaggery) sans sugar. I have often rolled these balls in pistachio almond powder to give it dry and attractive look apart from adding to food value.

  82. Ann says

    Would the chia gel help keep “ice pops” from getting rock hard? I tried making my own coconut milk-sicles & they got ice-cube hard. Also thinking of making my own fruit bars since the commercial ones are expensive, too sugary, etc. Have issues with corn syrup, so thinking of chia gel as an ingredient. Thoughts?

  83. Carradee says

    I love chia seeds! I make chia seed pudding instead of tapioca pudding or rice pudding (rice is one of my allergies).

    I also can’t have egg yolk, and I prefer chia seed egg replacer over flax meal egg replacer. I don’t even grind the seeds—just use 1 T chia seed + 3 T water, stir & let sit for a few minutes, then mix in.

    I even managed to get my mother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe the right taste AND texture using chia seeds, raw sugar, and molassas instead of eggs and brown sugar. :D

  84. alia says

    Thank you so much for the chia seeds info
    I came on line because I am mid 40’s gaining weight like crazy on the stomach area
    realized a whey protein powder with stevia was contributing to the problem big time

    For me it is about satisfaction not just feeling full. I just made a shake/smoothie with ground flax seed milk chia seeds and a bit of vanilla pudding powder wow I am happy already
    I will be using chia seeds in my oatmeal this is too yummy.
    alia

  85. Lisa Burke says

    Love them…usually just put in flavored water….drink all day long…and people are always looking at my bottle ‘funny’ wondering what is floating….lol….
    I will use them forever…. : )

  86. Carrie says

    I just like them in my water. I’ve never liked drinking plain water and discovered chia seeds. I especially like to put my water bottle in the freezer for a little while and get it a bit icy. The seeds make a kind of crunchy gelly texture. They make drinking water fun! In the past few weeks I’ve drank way more water than usual. I do believe they make me pee more though, and that’s not just from the increase in water consumption.

  87. meg says

    great tips! i’ve been using chia for my breakfast. one recipe you could get onto:

    when cooking oatmeal (or any type of hot cereal, I use half oatmeal, half muesli mix), add a generous amount of chia, around 1 tbsp. it will thicken the cereal and gives it a lovely texture. I top it off with some yogurt and fresh fruit. yum! of course, double or quadruple the amount for more people you feed.

  88. Alexis says

    I found your blog when I searched for more ways to incorporate chia in my diet. Before I even got tothe list I was impressed! You are one of the few I have seen that cite sources and can write! It was a breath off fresh of air reading this post! And thanks for all the great suggestions!

  89. donna says

    I put them in chicken and dumplings to thicken them up and noticed a day later everyone who ate it had to RUN to the bathroom. Is it due to the fiber content?

  90. Angela says

    I believe chia seeds are very high in phytic acid. With other seeds or nuts they can be soaked overnight and rinsed off in the morning which gets rid of a lot of the phytic acid.

    This isn’t possible with chia seeds as it gels when soaked so the water can’t be rinsed off.

    What is your take on this, Wellness Mama?

  91. Jean says

    Never eat chia seeds dry. Because they can absorb a lot of liquid, they can easily obstruct the airway while in transit from mouth to gut. Plenty of people have ended up in the emergency room eating chia seeds dry. It’s a dangerous thing to do.

  92. moneca says

    i make this everyday and want to share: variation of …. 1-2 scoops chia with 2 scoops of hemp seeds added to coconut milk either alone or with a little Kefer or organic yogurt … then add frozen blueberries or whatever fruit on hand ( organic fresh strawberries ) … i take that to work and at work for a mid morning snack i add sliced organic apple and banana and some organic granola – losing weight, not tired or hungry until maybe supper time … i do the Himalayan Sole with ACV in the morning on an empty stomach too though – will try it in cooking too now!!! thanks

  93. Kat says

    Hi, I really enjoy chia seeds & would like to consume them regularly if they’re healthy. I noticed that a number of people have asked about phytic acid and ways to neutralize it, since chia seeds are hydrophilic. Do you have any suggestions or comments? I realize people have to do their own research, but there’s a lot of conflicting information out there.

    Personally, I think the whole phytic acid thing is part truth and part scaremongering – in moderation, it’s actually beneficial. But I still wonder whether some of the calcium and zinc in chia seeds are bound & not absorbed by the body, especially since I currently don’t tolerate dairy.

    Do you have any links to studies that indicate how much we actually digest?

  94. Donna Anderson says

    I too would like to know about the phytic acid if Wellness Mama could respond and enlighten those of us who may not be fully informed (or anyone else that has credible info). I notice a lot of people are rasing this concern and there is no response to this. I guess I will continue my research. It’s so hard to know what to believe…..here we think we are doing something good for our bodies and our children’s, and then we find out it could be damaging……..so overwhelming sometimes!

    • says

      From my research, the phytic acid in chia seeds is not as high as many sources and because of its structure in chia seeds, it is not as likely to affect the body. my take is to consume them in moderation and as part of a very nutrient rich diet.

  95. Lauren says

    Thank you for sharing all of these chia seed ideas! I just bought some for the first time with no idea what to do with them. I really want to make the energy drink but can’t find the recipe on this page. Where is it? Please help! Thank you.

  96. prajkta says

    Chai seeds are wonderful. I do have to caution about having dry chia seeds or powder. When ingested dry they actaully absord water/fluids in the stomach. For people with problems with dehaydration its good to ingest them gelled or even in smoothies and other forms where they are not dry.

  97. Amanda Jones says

    I like using chia seeds in my morning drink. I throw in about two tablespoons into a mixture of vinegar and water. My favorite variation so far has been to use cranberry vinegar; the chia gel soaks in a lot of the tartness :)

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