Just 2 tablespoons (30 grams) contain 10 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and 138 calories (1).
They're a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and some minerals essential for bone health, including calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Chia seeds are also flavorless, making them easy to add to many foods and recipes.
Here are 35 fun ways to eat chia seeds.
1. Chia Water
One of the simplest ways to include chia seeds in your diet is to add them to water.
To make chia water, soak 1/4 cup (40 grams) of chia seeds in 4 cups (1 liter) of water for 20–30 minutes.
To give your drink some flavor, you can add chopped fruit or squeeze in a lemon, lime, or orange.
2. Juice-Soaked Chia
Water isn't the only liquid you can soak these seeds in.
Add 1/4 cup (40 grams) of chia seeds to 4 cups (1 liter) of fruit juice and soak for 30 minutes to make a drink that's full of fiber and minerals.
This recipe gives you several servings of juice. Just make sure to keep your intake moderate, as fruit juice contains lots of sugar.
3. Chia Pudding
You can make chia pudding as you would chia water. For a thicker, pudding-like texture, add more seeds and let the mixture soak longer.
You can make this treat with juice or milk, including flavorings like vanilla and cocoa.
Chia pudding makes a delicious dish that can be eaten for breakfast or as a dessert. If you don't like the seeds' texture, try blending it to give it a smoother finish.
4. Chia in Smoothies
If you want to make your smoothie even more nutritious, consider adding chia seeds.
You can use chia in almost any smoothie by soaking them to make a gel before adding.
5. Raw Chia Toppings
Although many people prefer to soak chia seeds, you can eat them raw, too.
Try grinding and sprinkling them on your smoothie or oatmeal.
6. Chia Cereal
To try something a little different for breakfast, you could swap your usual cereal for chia cereal.
To make it, soak the seeds overnight in milk (or a milk substitute like almond milk) and top with nuts, fruit, or spices like cinnamon. You can also use mashed banana and vanilla extract to make a delicious morning treat.
7. Chia Truffles
If you're often in a hurry, you can use chia seeds to make a great on-the-go snack.
For a quick and easy no-bake snack, try chia truffles that combine dates, cocoa, and oats.
8. In a Stir-Fry
You can also add chia seeds to savory dishes like stir-fries. Just add a tablespoon (15 grams) of seeds and mix.
9. Added to a Salad
Chia seeds can be sprinkled on your salad to give it some texture and a healthy boost. Simply mix them in and add your favorite salad vegetables.
10. In Salad Dressing
You can also add chia seeds to your salad dressing.
Commercially prepared salad dressings are often loaded with sugar. Making your own dressing can be a much healthier alternative.
11. Baked in Bread
It's possible to add chia seeds to many recipes, including bread. For example, you can try a homemade buckwheat bread that's healthy and flavorful.
12. As a Crispy Crumb Coating for Meat or Fish
Another fun way to use chia seeds is as a coating for meat or fish.
Ground into a fine powder, the seeds can be mixed with your usual breadcrumb coating or used to substitute it altogether, depending on your preference.
13. Baked in Cakes
Cakes are usually high in fat and sugar. However, chia seeds can help improve their nutritional profiles.
Adding them to your cake mix will boost the fiber, protein, and omega-3 content.
14. Mixed With Other Grains
f you don't like the gooey texture of soaked chia seeds, you can mix them with other grains.
You don't need a fancy recipe. Simply stir 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of seeds into a cup (180 grams) of rice or quinoa.
15. In Breakfast Bars
Breakfast bars can be very high in sugar. In fact, some contain as much sugar as a candy bar.
However, making your own with chia is quite easy. Just be sure to cut back on the sugar content.
16. In Pancakes
If you like this fluffy breakfast food, you could try adding chia seeds to your pancake mix.
17. In Jam
Chia seeds can absorb 10 times their dry weight in water, which makes them a great substitute for pectin in jam.
Pectin is quite bitter, so substituting pectin with chia seeds means that your jam won't need a lot of added sugar to make it taste sweet.
Better yet, chia jam is much easier to make than traditional jam. Try adding blueberries and honey — and skipping the refined sugar.
18. Baked in Cookies
If you love cookies, chia seeds can give your cookie recipe a nutritional boost.
Both oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies are good options.
19. Chia Protein Bars
Like breakfast bars, many commercially prepared protein bars can be high in refined sugar and taste more like a candy bar than a healthy snack.
Homemade chia-based protein bars are a healthy alternative to prepackaged ones.
20. In Soup or Gravy
Chia seeds can be a great replacement for flour when thickening stews or gravies.
Simply soak the seeds to form a gel and mix it in to add thickness.
21. As an Egg Substitute
If you avoid eggs, keep in mind that chia seeds make a fantastic substitute in recipes.
To substitute for 1 egg, soak 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of chia seeds in 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of water.
22. Added to Dips
Chia seeds are a versatile ingredient and easily mixed into any dip.
You can add them into homemade dip recipes or stir them into your favorite store-bought version.
23. Baked in Homemade Muffins
Muffins are often eaten for breakfast or dessert, depending on their ingredients.
Notably, chia seeds can be added to both savory and sweet versions of this baked good.
24. In Oatmeal
Adding chia seeds to oatmeal requires very little effort.
Simply prepare your oatmeal and stir in 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of whole or ground seeds.
25. In Yogurt
Chia seeds can make a great yogurt topping.
If you like a bit of texture, sprinkle them on top whole. If you want to avoid the crunch, mix in ground seeds.
26. To Make Crackers
Adding seeds to crackers isn't a new idea. In fact, many crackers contain seeds to give them extra texture and crunch.
Adding chia seeds to your crackers is a good way to include them in your diet.
27. As a Thickener for Homemade Burgers and Meatballs
If you use eggs or breadcrumbs to bind and thicken meatballs and burgers, you could try chia seeds instead.
Use 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of seeds per pound (455 grams) of meat in your usual meatball recipe.
28. As a Homemade Energy Gel
Athletes looking for a homemade alternative to commercially produced energy gels could consider using chia.
You can buy chia gels online or make your own.
29. Added to Tea
Adding chia seeds to drinks is an easy way to include them in your diet.
Add 1 teaspoon (5 grams) into your tea and let them soak for a short time. They may float at first but should eventually sink.
30. To Make Tortillas
Soft tortillas can be eaten with a variety of fillings and are a delicious way to enjoy chia seeds.
You can make your own or purchase them pre-made.
31. In Ice Cream or Ice Cream Pops
Chia seeds can also be added to your favorite treats, such as ice cream.
You can blend and freeze chia puddings to make a smooth ice cream or freeze them on sticks for a dairy-free alternative.
32. To Make a Pizza Base
Chia seeds can be used to make a high-fiber, slightly crunchy pizza crust. Simply make a chia-based dough and add your toppings.
33. To Make Falafel
Falafel with chia can be especially enjoyable for vegans and vegetarians. You can combine them with a variety of vegetables for flavor.
34. In Homemade Granola
Making granola is simple. You can use any mixture of seeds, nuts, and oats you like.
If you don't have time to make your own, plenty of commercial granolas include chia.
35. In Homemade Lemonade
Another interesting way to consume chia seeds is in homemade lemonade.
Soak 1.5 tablespoons (20 grams) of seeds in 2 cups (480 ml) of cold water for a half hour. Then add the juice from 1 lemon and a sweetener of your choice.
You can also experiment with adding extra flavors like cucumber and watermelon.
The Bottom Line
Chia seeds are a versatile and tasty ingredient.
They can be added to numerous foods and recipes for a boost of protein, antioxidants, and fiber.
If you're interested in including these seeds in your diet, try out one of the various options above.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
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This white fungal growth is an early sign of powdery mildew on a leaf of susceptible summer squash. Matt Kasson, CC BY-ND
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