Twenty Ways to Eat Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have come a long way since being introduced in 1977 as a house botanical garden that you plant on a clay head or pet. Since then, they have been sold in many forms from the likeness of Garfield the cat to President Obama’s and just about anything in between. These fast-growing seeds have amazed many a child and created both a plant and humor. Today, they become sold as a superfood in many of the products we consume and by themselves.
I first came across chia seeds in a nutrition or snack bar, and I really did not care for the gritty texture. The good part is that I found on sale at our local supermarket a few years ago. More recently, I found them in smoothies and various other products. They are being added to a host of products because of their growing list of benefits. For more on the list of potential benefits, read my article on Ten reasons to add chia seeds to your diet (link).
Chia seeds can be used in a variety of different ways because of their mild nutty flavor that can ease added to just about any dish. If you add them ti a fruit smoothie, the flavor fo the fruit will easily cover the chia flavor. The same can be said for just about any food from spiced to salt and bitter to sweet. The best thing is that these babies are naturally low carbohydrate and nearly 100% fiber and protein, so if you are looking to shed a few pounds, chia seeds are your partner in crime.
Chia seeds can be added to your favorite foods in multiple ways. They can be added to whole seeds, ground seeds, or soaked in water before use. They tend to be gritty when added whole. You can help reduce the grittiness and clumps by blending the mixture for 30-45 seconds.
List of twenty ways to add chia seeds to your current diet:
Add chia seeds to your smoothies. I chose this one first because what is an easier first meal of the days than a breakfast smoothie and chia seeds is an excellent smoothie thickener; chia seeds will add more nutrition to your smoothie in the form on protein, fiber, and vitamins. I have added them to just a both every smoothie you can imagine and they can be added dry, or you can soak them overnight in water to create a gelatinous form if you prefer. Next time you pull out your blender to create a smoothie, throw a teaspoon of chia seeds into the mix. Adding chia seeds will improve the nutritional value of your smoothie and keep you full longer.
- Eat ground chia seeds raw or as a topping. They have a little nutty flavor you will grow to love. Avoid eating spoonfuls of raw chia seeds because they absorb a lot of water and be quite binding. Sprinkle them on top of a fruit parfait. It is an excellent addition to Greek yogurt, pudding, or oatmeal. I like to add them to a salad for a little extra crunch and nutritional value.
- Add chia seeds to pudding or better yet, make chia pudding. Adding it to your favorite sugar-free pudding mix will make it more nutritious, but you will need to add a little extra milk or water. You can make chia pudding by adding the seeds to water. By combining your favorite milk (dairy, rice, or nut milk) with chia seeds and cocoa or vanilla. Chia seed pudding is an excellent breakfast or healthier dessert. Mix in some fruit, nuts, coconut shavings, just about anything you can imagine for a quick an nutritious snack. Blending for 30 seconds will improve the texture.
- Use a chia jam. Get rid of those high sugar jams and jellies. Chia seeds can absorb many times their weight in water, which makes them an excellent substitute for pectin in a jam. In fact, by adding chia, you will reduce the bitterness of the food by removing pectin. If you want a purchased product, try the Chia Blackberry Fruit Spread by World of Chia. It only has 30 calories per serving.
Add chia seeds to your favorite soup. There is nothing like a healthy cup of soup on a cold afternoon. Recipes often add flour or other starching powder to thicken soups and stews. Male it gluten-laden by adding ground chia flour or seeds soaked in water. Pre-soak and ground chia seeds add both nutrition and thicken your soup. If the small chia balls bother you, use a blender to break them up.
- Add ground chia to meatballs. Meatballs classically have bread or cracker crumbs to thicken them. I grew up in a predominantly Italian area of West Virginia. I love to eat a good Italian meal, but I have found hat ti is not helpful for maintaining a healthy weight. Add chia flour and ground chia seeds inserted and will both thicken, add nutrition, and remove gluten. I am 100% certain you will like them anti might just help you eat less. I add a little chicken Italian sausage or red pepper to increase the flavor.
- Do-it-yourself chia water, tea, or juice. This stuff is expensive in the health food aisle. Chia Water. Chia water or juice is one the simplest ways to include chia seeds in your diet, and all you have to do is to add them to juice or water. To make it, add 1/8-1/4 cup of chia seeds to 4 cups of water. Let it sit for 30 minutes and if you want some flavor, add chopped fruit or juice. I usually squeeze a little lemon, lime, or orange into it or add them to a tea or drink mix.
- Eat a chia cereal or granola. I started adding Purely Elizabeth granola to my diet recently. I really love the Chocolate Sea Salt Probiotic granola which contains chia seeds. It has not only added variety over toast and a smoothie. You could also make your own by soaking the seeds overnight in your favorite milk or a milk substitute. I usually top it with nuts, fruit, or cinnamon. I am sure you will like it.
Make chia nut butter. I make my own nut butter such as almond and cashew I have found that adding about 1/8 chia seeds by weight is nearly noticeable and adds fiber and protein.
- Add chia seeds to your batter. This works for just about any batter or dough you decide to make. You can add ground chia to bread, cakes, cookies, pancakes, and chicken or fish batter. It will help lower your gluten consumption and increase your fiber intake. While you shouldn’t eat baked goods every day, there is a place for them in a healthy diet. I often add almond flour or another gluten-free flour with some ground chia in place bleached all-purpose flour and bake as normal. It will boost your nutrition and fiber.
- Add it to your homemade salad dressing. Dressing sold in stores are full of fat and sugar. Another way to include chia in your salad is to add chia seeds to your salad dressing. Adding chia seeds to oil, vinegar, and spices will thicken it up and make it healthier.
- Added to dips or hummus. Chia seeds are an easy and versatile addition to just about any dip or hummus recipe. I usually stir into to my homemade hummus. Your favorite guacamole can become superfood guacamole. Your favorite dips will go from being unhealthy and low in nutrition to pack one heck of a healthy punch while maintaining that smooth texture you love.
- Add chia seeds to your burgers. To make a great burger, I often add bread crumbs or cracker to keep them moist. The bread will keep the moisture in the burger and make them thicker. Ground or whole chia seeds will add the same moisture effect to the burger without gluten and fewer carbohydrates.
- Make your own chia pizza crust. Like flax seeds, chia seeds can be used to make a high-fiber, crunchy pizza crust. You can replace some of the flour with chia seeds or if you want to gluten-free, there ate chia cauliflower recipes out there. All you have to do is make a chia seed-based dough, bake, and add your toppings. To make it crispier, preface your crust.
Mixed chia seeds with grains. I found a recipe online to add it to cream corn, but you can add it to just about any recipe to reduce the carbohydrates and increase the fiber. I have added them to rice, barley quinoa, and millet. Just add a tablespoon of seeds per cup of grain as it is cooking.
- Add chia seeds to frozen desserts. Chia seeds are a healthy addition to your favorite frozen treat. Ice cream like deserts can be made from blended fruit or milk mixed with chia seeds. Just blend it and freeze it and you have a dairy-free alternative to ice cream. I especially like o add a tablespoon of coconut oil.
- Snack on chia crackers or bars. Crackers made of chia, flax, sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds are part of the fastest growing market for low gluten and gluten-free crackers and snack bars. You can find recipes online, but I recommend you just buy them at the store.
- Chia can make the perfect gravy. Like with some of the other foods chia is added like cornstarch or flour to thicken it. It can sometimes be a challenge to avoid lumps, but that is unlikely with ground chia seeds. Add a few tablespoons of ground chia seeds slowly to reach the desired thickness.
- Add chia seeds for grain free porridge. You can add it to oatmeal if you do not worry about the amount fo grain or gluten you eat. If you are going grain free, add chia seeds to a mixture of fruit and nuts to make a warm, filling, and nutritious breakfast.
- Add sprouted chia seeds to your favorite salads instead of bean sprouts. These babies grow fast. Put some seeds in a jar on the window seal with water. You will need to rinse them with water, and in a day or so, you will have chia sprouts. They are more nutritious and filling then bean sprouts.
The bottom line: This list will give you some ideas for further chia seed usage. There ate many lists like this all over the web. You will also see an explosion of choices of new products that contain chia seeds in your local grocery store.