We LOVE chia seeds. Not only do they have the perfect mix of protein, fiber, and healthy omega-3 fats that keep you energized and satisfied, but the tasty ways you can use them allows for more variety in your diet. If you haven’t tried chia seeds (or even if you have!), check out these fun ways to incorporate them into your daily meals/snacks.
Simple Chia Pudding: This is definitely one of our favorite uses. The great thing about chia pudding is that once you have the basic recipe, you can add all kinds of flavors and ingredients, experimenting with what you like best. You’ll find plenty of recipes around the internet. Here’s the basic recipe that we’ve found yields a perfect pudding consistency every time.
- 1/2 banana, mashed (or try 1/2 cup pumpkin puree mixed with 1 teaspoon brown sugar)
- 1 1/2 cups milk (you can use cow’s milk or a dairy alternative like almond or coconut milk)
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- Dash vanilla extract (or fresh vanilla bean if you’re feeling fancy)
- Dash cinnamon (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or brown sugar, if desired
Whisk everything together, cover and refrigerate for anywhere between 4 – 12 hours. Top with fresh or frozen fruit and nuts or seeds.
Chia Jam: This has got to be the simplest and coolest way to make jam! Here are three great recipes for chia jam from Going Home to Roost: http://www.goinghometoroost.com/2013/seasonal-recipes/chia-seed-jams/. We think the blueberry vanilla jam would be delicious atop a slice of whole grain bread smeared with almond butter.
Soup Thickener: Instead of using flour or cornstarch, chia seeds dissolved in water, broth, or milk is a great nutritious way to thicken up a soup. Add a teaspoon of chia seeds at a time until you reach your desired thickness, keeping in mind that as time passes the seeds will absorb more liquid and thicken the soup.
Vegan Egg Substitute: Replace one egg with 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds (grind in a blender or spice grinder until fine) mixed with 3 tablespoons of water. Let the mixture thicken until it’s a goopy texture, similar to raw egg. Then, use in your favorite recipes!
Smoothie Addition: Add to smoothies after blending for a crunchy texture addition, or before blending to incorporate without noticing the change. Easy enough!
Tea or Coffee Add-in: This may sound a little odd, but we know people who swear by it. Add a teaspoon of chia seeds to your coffee or tea for an extra energy boost and a neat change in texture. If you’ve sipped any of the bottled drinks that have chia seeds in them, this won’t seem so strange.
Add to Baked Goods and Hot Cereal: Adding whole chia seeds to breads, muffins, pancakes, and oatmeal is a great way to add additional protein to these mostly carb based foods.
What are your favorite ways to use chia seeds? Share with us in the comments!