These small, but mighty seeds are a menu-must!
By now, you have probably heard of chia seeds and their superfood status. But have you tried them? If you haven’t, you really should. Those little seeds are nutrition powerhouses, high in Omega-3’s, fiber and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). In fact, the word “chia” comes from the Mayan word for “strength,” since their warriors ate it to stay battle-ready.
Here are 10 cool ways to use chia seeds:
As an egg replacer. Just mix 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water for each egg in your baking recipes. Chia seeds can also be used to replace the oil in many recipes.
Sprinkled in. Add chia seeds to whatever you’re eating. We especially like them in smoothies, soups, oatmeal, cereal, and yogurt.
As a raw snack. That’s right – just pop them right in your mouth, with a little water, for a high-energy snack.
In chia pudding. When added to dairy, non-dairy milk, or water and left for a while (about 20 minutes on your countertop or in the fridge overnight), chia seeds provide a tapioca-like consistency. If you prefer a smoother texture, try creating a chia-seed powder first by processing them in a blender, food processor, or coffee bean grinder. Here is a chocolate chia seed pudding recipe you can try.
To make grain-free crackers. When combined with other seeds like flax, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower, chia seeds can help create gluten-free, egg-free crackers. Most recipes require a food dehydrator. Here is a simple chia and sesame seed cracker recipe to try.
In breakfast foods. Add some chia to your oatmeal, pancakes, cereal, smoothies or yogurt.
Instead of breadcrumbs. Chia seeds can be used in place of breadcrumbs in meatballs, meatloaf, and even as a breading for chicken breasts.
As a thickening agent. Try including ground chia seeds in soups and gravies as a thickening agent with added benefits.
To make chia sprouts. Chia sprouts make a great addition to salads. There are many ways to sprout chia seeds, so browse online for the method that looks the most doable to you.
To make your own “chia pet.” OK, there are no health benefits for this one, but it might give you a good laugh. Grab a pair of old pantyhose and check out this chia pet tutorial.
Want to learn more about the benefits of eating chia seeds? Take a look at 3 Reasons to Sing Out for Chia and Superfood Sunday: Chia Seed! You can also check out Top 5 Ultimate Super Foods.
Be sure to like our Facebook page and follow us on Pinterest for tasty recipes, clean eating tips, and healthy lifestyle resources.
Do you have a favorite chia recipe? We’d love to hear about it. Leave us a message in the comment area below.
We made a delicious blueberry chia jam without pectin and using agave nectar as the sweetener.
I bought ground chia seeds to put into smoothies. Still the same health benefits?
Dyan, Tons of healthy benefits and great in smoothies.
I like to put them in my water with a bit of juice. I like the consistency it gives the water once they are all gelled up 🙂
What's the water:chia seed ratio you typically use? I'd like to try that!
Kate, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds per cup of water.
You need to be careful, just popping chia seeds in your mouth with no water, due to the fact they swell up, so can get stuck in your throat and then make it hard to breathe. Just a cautionary note.
That's a good point, Joanne. We've added "with a little water" to the instructions.
What would the ratio of chia seeds be to breadcrumbs when using them as a replacement? Is there a cheat sheet any place for using substitutes such as Almond or Coconut Flour, and of course Chia Seeds?
Denise, Hmmmmm…it depends on the recipe. For example, but usually I’d use a 2-3 tablespoons of ground chia seeds intead of 1 cup breadcrumbs.
This example is for meatballs. You’ll need to experiment with different recipes. If it appears more chia seeds are need to hold a recipe
together, add them gradually. Coarsely ground almonds or walnuts are also a great sub for breadcrumbs.
The typical rule for using coconut flour in place of all purpose (any grain flour), is to use about 1/4-1/3 cup coconut flour for every 1 cup of regular flour. Also, use 1 egg for every 1 cup of coconut flour.
Here’s our recipe for Coconut Banana Paleo Cookies, in which I used almond flour. I made this recipe about 3 times before perfecting it. However, the cookies are amazing so it was worth every second. The texture inside is sort of like a banana bread. It’s fun to experiment, if you have the patience. 🙂
The chia & sesame seeds cracker recipe sounds great. I am going to try it out with True Elements Raw Chia Seeds.
Is there any difference it comes to using the roasted chia seeds & the raw ones?
Not really, either way is fine.