How To Use Chia Seeds? That is the question many people are asking. Chia seeds are popping up all over the place. So why would you want to incorporate them into your eating?
Chia Seeds Explained
Chia seeds are these little tiny seeds that are a member of the mint family, and just happen to be one of the super foods you may be hearing about lately. We know them from chia pets which were popular in the 80’s. Yes, those same seeds have some really great nutritional value that you might not know about. Chia seeds were a staple of the Aztec and Mayan diets that increased their strength and stamina for long journeys.
Another great quality of the chia seed is that it can absorb around 12 times its weight in water, so when digested it will expand in your stomach and make you feel full which can help with weight loss. You can soak chia seeds in water to make a gel, and then use it to make puddings, jams, and many other recipes. To get the most benefit you want to eat them whole, or grind them as they retain all their nutritional value whether whole or ground.
Chia seeds have many great benefits. Here are a few:
1. Chia seeds are a complete protein, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form, much like quinoa, which is one of my favorite foods 🙂
2. They have more omega-3 fatty acids than flax seeds or salmon. Omega-3’s help with mental function, lowering inflammation, cardiovascular health, and it helps the immune system.
3. They are rich in antioxidants, higher than blueberries.
4. Chia seeds contain minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
5. They are also a great source of fiber. One tablespoon = ¼ of your daily fiber
6. Lowers blood pressure, and cholesterol
7. Regulates blood sugar
How To Use Chia Seeds – What Exactly Do I Do With Them?
There are actually quite a lot of ways you can incorporate them into your diet.
- Sprinkle them over salads, cereals, or use as a crunchy topping. They have a nut like flavor that is very mild, so they’re easy to incorporate because they don’t have a bold overpowering flavor.
- Add them to a smoothie.
- Make Chia pudding – see recipe below.
- Add them to homemade protein bars or balls – grind them if you don’t like them whole (sometimes I find they get stuck in my teeth :)! )
- Use them in your overnight oats!
How To Use Chia Seeds To Make Your Smoothie Go Farther.
To make chia gel, use 1/3 cup chia seeds and two cups of water. Pour the chia seeds into the water and mix around. You can mix it up in a water bottle or a glass jar. This can stay in your frig for up to a week.
The chia gel slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates into the body. Since carbohydrates convert into sugar, this slows the release of the sugar into the body, which means your smoothie will keep you feeling full longer. This also means no spikes or dips in your sugar level. The chia seeds also add more protein and fiber to your smoothie. You can add the chia gel to not only smoothies, but baked goods too, like muffins, cookies, and cakes as an egg substitute.
Chia seeds and gel are ideal for making puddings. Here is a great banana chia pudding recipe from Melissa Costello, Tony Horton’s chef and one of my favorite chef’s too.
This recipe is simple to make and has only 6 ingredients and all you need is a high-powered blender, such as a Vita Mix or Blend-tec. You won’t miss the dairy in this awesome recipe, and you don’t need to use tofu either, as most vegan puddings do these days
Ingredients: makes 1 serving
- 3 large bananas
- 2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 4 tbsp water for 10 mins until gelatinous
- 1 and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk(or your favorite alternative)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup pitted dates
- 3 tbsp raw cashew butter
What to do:
- Place all ingredients in high power blender and blend until thick and creamy. Pour into bowls and refrigerate to firm up for 2 hours. Serve with fresh berries.
OR you can make a chocolate chia pudding!
Ingredients: makes 1 serving
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk(or your favorite alternative)
- 2 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. Himalayan or sea salt
- 1 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
What to do:
- Mix all ingredients or place in a blender and mix. I like to let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. Store in a glass jar or container in your fridge. Top with fresh fruit!
If this has been helpful and you know that someone else could use this information please SHARE IT and PIN IT! And don’t forget to leave me a comment below!!! I LOVE to hear from you AND I’d love to hear WHAT I could help you with in the future!!
Clean Eating Hugs!
Need a little treat? Check out my 4 Ingredient Chocolate!