Not only are Chia seeds packed with omega fatty acids, protein, minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber, but can also easily be considered one of the most versatile of all superfoods out there!
The seeds magically transform themselves in the presence of liquid, creating a nutrient-rich gel that can stand alone as a delicious pudding, or enhance many of your favorite dishes, both savory and sweet.
Here are a few creative and simple ways that you can introduce cha-cha-cha chia into your diet today!
How To Eat Chia Seeds Tip #1: Raw Chia Pudding
When chia seeds are added to almond milk, the seeds absorb the milk, creating a silky-smooth cereal reminiscent of a nutrient-dense raw rice pudding. This pudding can be enjoyed as a breakfast, a mid-day snack, or even made into a sweet and nutritious dessert.
- 3-4 Tbsp Chia Seeds
- 8 ounces vanilla unsweetened almond milk
- Optional toppings or add-ins: stevia sweetener, honey, agave nectar, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut flakes, crushed graham cracker, granola, fresh or dried fruit, etc.
Simply combine the chia seeds and the almond milk in a bowl and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Using a spoon, mix it every 5-10 minutes to break up any lumps. When the pudding is a desirable consistency, add in any optional sweeteners and/or toppings, and your chia pudding is ready to enjoy!
Tips: If you use very cold almond milk, you may need to allow more time for the seeds to absorb it; just be patient! You should notice the seeds continue to soften and plump up as they absorb the liquid. If you want to save time, just make the mixture in a sealed container or jar the day before and leave it in the refrigerator; when you take it out the next day just let it sit for a few minutes, mix it up, and add a touch more almond milk if it needs to be thinned at all.
How To Eat Chia Seeds Tip #2: Experience Chia-Enhanced Hydration
Add up to 1 teaspoon of chia seeds to 8 ounces of water or to your favorite electrolyte drink for promoted hydration.
How To Eat Chia Seeds Tip #3: Use Chia to Replace Egg
Chia can be used as a vegan, allergen- and cholesterol-free egg replacement in most recipes. The gel that is formed when the chia absorbs water perfectly binds ingredients together.
3 Tbsp of Water: 1 Tbsp of Chia Seeds or Powder = 1 Egg
Just combine the water and chia, and as soon as it forms a quick gel, it is ready to be used. Use this egg-replacement to replace egg in baked goods like cookies, breads, muffins, cakes, or add to waffle or pancake mix.
How To Eat Chia Seeds Tip #4: Thicken Sauces, Salad Dressings, and Smoothies
Looking to add a nutrient boost to your favorite store-bought or homemade sauces or salad dressings? Start by adding 1 Tbsp of chia seeds or powder to every 8 ounces of your liquid base. Remember, the more you add, the thicker your sauce or dressing will become.
Or how about taking your next smoothie or protein drink to the next level…
Add the chia seeds or powder while blending, or add the chia seeds in after for added thickness and texture.
How To Eat Chia Seeds Tip #5: Make Baked or Raw Chia Snacks
Baked Chia Crisps
- 8 Tbsp Chia Seeds
- 2 cups Water
- ¼ Tsp Sea Salt
- ¼ Tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup of garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for up to 1 hour or until a thick gel is formed. Stir the mixture to break up any lumps. Fold the garbanzo bean flour into the mixture until it is evenly distributed. On a non-stick baking sheet, spread the mixture as thin as possible with a spatula or the back of a spoon into a thin layer. Don’t worry if small holes form or if you can see through to the pan in some spots, that’s what you want. Bake the crackers in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes or until dry and crisp (time may vary according to thickness). Use a metal spatula to carefully detach the cracker from the pan, break it up into smaller crisps, and enjoy!
Tips: For sweet rather than savory crisps, trying replacing garbanzo bean flour with almond flour, and swap salt and garlic with ingredients like raw cacao powder, nut butter, dried fruit, etc. Water can be replaced with a fruit or vegetable juice for added flavor. If you prefer the raw version, dehydrate the crackers at 105° F until they are dry and crispy (it can take anywhere from 10 to 20 hours depending on thickness).