Ten things to do with chia seeds.
1. As a Safe Egg Substitute
I recommend a lot of egg consumption and many of my recipes contain eggs. I occasionally get emails from readers who need to adapt a recipe to avoid eggs, and from my research/testing, Chia Seeds are the best option for this.
To substitute for an egg: Use 1 tablespoon finely ground chia seeds (grind them dry in a blender, food processor or coffee grinder) and 3 tablespoons of water per egg in a baked recipe (does not work in place of eggs for omelets though…
2. To Make Healthy Pudding
My kids favorite use of chia seeds is to make a homemade pudding with them. It’s easy to make and actually really healthy. Our go-to recipe is:
- 2 cups of coconut milk or other milk
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder (or to taste)(optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon or more sweetener of choice (optional)- We use honey or a few drops of stevia tincture
Put in a blender and blend until smooth. Will thicken in about 10 minutes in the fridge.
There are endless flavor variations. You can omit the cocoa powder and vanilla and add a cup of strawberries for a strawberry version, or add cinnamon and nutmeg for a Chai Chia Pudding
3. To Thicken Soup or Gravies
If you don’t use cornstarch or thickening agents, it can sometimes be a challenge to thicken different culinary creations. Just add a couple tablespoons of chia seeds (powdered or not) at a time to reach the desired thickness.
4. To Make Grain Free Crackers
I’ve made several variations of these, including just mixing them with equal parts coconut milk to thicken, adding some garlic powder and sea salt, and baking at a low temp for a couple hours. I haven’t measured out my recipe yet to post here, but here’s another one that looks great.
5. To Thicken Meatballs Instead of Breadcrumbs
I married an Italian, so meatballs get made pretty often around here. His grandmothers recipe calls for breadcrumbs, which I don’t use, so I just throw in a couple tablespoons of chia seeds (per pound of meat) in place of bread crumbs. Also works to thicken meat-loafs, batters, etc.
6. Sprouted for Salads
Ever had little sprouts on a salad at a restaurant? You can make them yourself. Just put some chia seeds in water, drain the water off and leave in a jar for a couple days. Every 12 hours or so, rinse with water and pour the water off. In a day or two, you’ll have little chia sprouts, which leads to the next use of chia seeds:
7. Homemade Chia Pet
These are the same seeds used to make the chia pets you can buy for ($20) in the store. Save about ($20) and make your own. Just fill a (porcupine) shaped pot with dirt, sprinkle some chia seeds on top of the dirt and water. Viola! Chia Pet. I also discovered when my kids spilled their chia seeds that they were eating for a snack that they grow in areas that don’t get much sun and that are often trampled (under the treehouse) and prevent mud. Now, the kids get to eat chia seeds under their treehouse often, and the ones that spill prevent mud. A win-win!
8. To Make Homemade Energy Gel
Seen the commercial for those new (corn syrup filled) Gatorade Gels and Chews? Here’s a healthier variation that kids will love: Add a couple tablespoons of chia seeds to a cup of coconut water. Let sit for about ten minutes and you’ll have an incredible energy gel! Beats the socks off of Gatorade for hydration and energy and you get to avoid the fake colors, fake flavors and GMO corn Also works for grown ups for endurance activities like running a 5K without training at all (ask me how I know that….). (and come run with me!)
9. As a “Breading” for Baking Fish and Chicken
Mixed with some almond flour and garlic powder, or even by itself, Chia Seeds make an excellent “Breading” for fish or chicken. It toasts up well and provides a nutty, crunchy flavor without the grains (another win-win!).
10. Plain Ol’ Chia Seeds
Even by themselves, they are a great source of nutrients and also leave you feeling full for a long time. I sometimes chew a couple tablespoons for a quick breakfast on the go, and they leave you feeling surprisingly full! They do stick to your teeth, but wash them down with some coffee and you’ll have energy for hours!