You’ve probably seen these tiny seeds everywhere. Chia seeds are among the best superfoods on the planet and are highly nourishing with many benefits and uses.
But that’s not all! There are many reasons chia seeds are good for you: Chia seeds are a delicious, versatile superfood that offer major benefits for your joints, skin, heart, and nervous system.
Why are chia seeds good for you?
- High in quality protein – even higher than meat or eggs.
- Chia also contains more iron and potassium than leafy green vegetables.
- The high fiber content is twice that found in the same amount of wheat berries.
- More Omega-3 than Salmon -the body can’t make it so you must get it from dietary sources.
The mild, nutty flavor of chia seeds makes them the perfect accompaniment to all manner of dishes and just a little bit packs a powerful punch.
How much do you need per day? Two tablespoons, approximately one ounce, is the recommended daily dose of chia seeds.
How do you eat chia seeds?
Here are fifteen of the best ways to eat chia seeds to get you inspired in the kitchen!
Garnish Your Grains
Add fiber to your breakfast oatmeal by tossing in a couple spoonfuls of chia seeds. If you add the seeds prior to cooking, they will soften and create a creamier porridge. If you prefer a little crunch, sprinkle the seeds on top of your cooked oats for a pleasing texture. The taste perfectly complements the addition of dried cranberries or apples.
Try this yummy Apple Superfood Oatmeal recipe from GirlMakesFood.com
A scrumptious dessert can be made by combining one cup coconut milk with 3 tablespoons chia seeds and refrigerating overnight. By morning, the seeds will have combined with the milk to create a creamy and delicious pudding. Garnish with coconut, or fresh fruit. This low-calorie, high fiber treat is the perfect after-dinner indulgence.
Try this coconut chia pudding recipe from ASavoryFeast.com
Add chia seeds to homemade guacamole or mix them with tofu and use as the protein base in your tacos. You can easily make your own homemade tortillas, incorporating chia seeds into the tortilla dough.
Try this delicious Chia Seed Guacamole Recipe from EatThriveGlow.com
Mix with these Gluten-Free Chia Tortilla Wraps from MeaningfulEats.com
Whatever your go-to recipe for a delicious smoothie, incorporating a tablespoon of chia seeds will add protein, fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, and essential nutrients to your drink. It’s as simple as throwing a few seeds into the blender along with the rest of your ingredients. The mild taste does not overpower and the creaminess of the seeds will enhance the texture of your smoothie.
Try the following combination: 1 frozen banana, 1 cup almond milk, 1 Tbsp Strawberry-Chia Jam (Oh yes! Take a look at # 5), 1 handful of leafy greens, and 1 Tbsp of chia seeds. Absolutely delicious!
Or try this delicious chia seed smoothie recipe from PeanutButtered.com
Scrumptious Strawberry-Chia Jam (or any other fruit)
Want to eliminate some of the sugar in your diet? Throw out all those processed commercial jams and make your own delicious spread. To make Strawberry-Chia Jam, combine fresh mashed strawberries and chia seeds in a ratio of 1 cup fruit to 1 Tbsp seeds. Let the mixture sit overnight in the refrigerator. The chia seeds absorb the liquid and become jelly-like in consistency. Use the jam on toast, in smoothies, or as a delicious dessert topping.
This Strawberry Chia Jam from AMindFullMom.com is a perfect recipe to start with!
Don’t throw out that leftover smoothie mixture! Pour it into popsicle molds and freeze for a delicious summertime treat. For something truly unique, try mixing chia seeds with herbal tea and a little coconut milk. Suspend edible flowers petals such as rose or lavender into the mixture and freeze. Your pops will be both beautiful and delicious!!
Try this summer time treat, Chocolate, Bannana Chia Pudding Popcicles from WifeMamaFoodie.com
Chia can completely replace eggs in almost any recipe. What exactly is the purpose of eggs? They add protein, some moisture, and act as a binder. Vegans will be happy to know that they can now take any recipe incorporating eggs and remake it into a vegan dish. For every egg listed a recipe, combine 1 Tbsp of chia seeds with 5 Tbsp water and let it sit for about ten minutes. Add the seed and water mixture to your recipe in place of the eggs.
Try this simple chia seed egg replacement recipe from TiasKitchen.com
Making your own crackers is cost effective and surprisingly easy. The following recipe is both vegan and gluten-free.
A Gourmet Grind (chia coffee)
Enjoy your morning coffee in a whole new way. Blend a frozen coffee drink using chia seeds to produce a tasty beverage packed with protein, low in fat, inundated with vitamins, full of Omega-3 fatty acids, and high in fiber.
Start your day off with some rocket fuel with this Cafe Mocha Chia recipe from HealthfulPersuit.com
Power-Punching Protein Bars
Chia seeds slow the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar, meaning you are able to fuel your body for longer periods of time. Consuming an energy bar made with chia seeds prior to your workout helps you sustain your energy levels for longer periods of time. Additionally, the high protein levels in the chia build lean muscle mass, increasing overall performance.
Try this super protein-packed Quinoa Chia Seed Protein Bar recipe from WendyPolisi.com
One of the best ways to eat chia seeds is in hummus. Accompanied by raw vegetables or slices of pita bread, this hummus recipe cannot be beat for flavor and nutrition.
This Chia Muhammara Recipe from ContentednessCooking.com is a must make dish!
Soak Your Seeds
One of the things chia seeds do for you is control weight gain. The seeds swell in liquid to several times their normal size, causing you to feel full after consuming them. Be careful not to consume dry chia seeds or flour as it can cause choking.
Soaking chia seeds in water or juice before you eat them causes the seeds to develop a gelatinous coating which helps move things along in your digestive track.
Try soaking your seeds in your favorite beverage to add flavor: coffee, tea, 100% fruit juice, lemonade, or kombucha.
Here’s how to make a delicious Kombucha Chia Energy drink from home: WellnessMama.com has created an amazing guide and recipe to get you started. I highly suggest you check it out!
Craving chocolate? This is an easy vegan fudge that incorporates chia seeds for increased nutrition. No empty calories here!
In a small saucepan bring ⅔ cup full-fat coconut milk to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add 2 Tbsp coconut oil and 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips and continue stirring until melted and fully integrated into the coconut milk. Remove from heat and flavor with 1 tsp vanilla extract. Stir in 2 Tbsp chia seeds and ¼ cup walnuts. Pour into a parchment lined baking pan and refrigerate until firm.
Vegan-Friendly Dips & Sauces
Most snack dips rely on milk-based products to thicken them. Vegans will be happy to know that chia seeds can take the place of these products, producing a thick, delectable dip that clings to chips and vegetables.
This Anti-Inflammatory Salad Dressing/Sauce from GoDairyFree.org is the perfect example of a nutritious, delicious, vegan recipe that nourishes from the inside out using chia seeds, cashews and dairy-free milk.
Chia seeds add substance in the form of nutrition and texture to your marinara sauce. Try this perfect Chia Meatballs with Easy Marinara Sauce recipe from BareRootGirl.com and you’ll never look at chia seeds the same way again!
These 15 low-carb, high-fiber, vegan chia seed recipes are just the tip of the iceberg. Chia seeds can be added to almost every recipe you prepare. Let us know some of your favorite ways to eat chia seeds in the comments below!
Sources and Credits:
Image credit: Flickr.