The word chia might bring back memories of the iconic chia pet… but we’re not talking about growing these seeds, we’re talking about eating them!
Chia seeds have become very popular but it can be tricky to figure out exactly what to do with them.
Keep reading for our tips on using and loving these good-for-you seeds.
Why are chia seeds good for me?
These little seeds are big on nutrition. Chia seeds are a good source of:
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Chia seeds are one of the best sources of these fats that can help reduce inflammation and keep your heart healthy.
- Just 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of chia seeds has a much fibre as 4 cups of kale!
- You’ll find almost as much protein as one egg in 3 Tbsp (45 mL) of chia.
- Iron and Calcium
- You’ll get about 10% of your daily iron and calcium with just 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of chia seeds.
Sounds great! But how do I use them?
- Make a gel.
- When mixed with water chia seeds swell up and form a gel.
- When mixed with creamy milk and sweetener, chia seeds make a tasty pudding. If you like the texture of tapioca or boba, you’ll love chia pudding! For a tasty pudding recipe, scroll down.
- If the texture of chia pudding doesn’t tickle your fancy, try blending the chia seeds into a creamy mousse or smooth pudding.
- Add chia seeds to cooked fruit and sweetener to make a chia jam. We love chia jam paired with yogurt or spread on top of toast with nut butter for a grown up PB&J! Check out our chia jam recipe below.
- Sprinkle on top.
- Try sprinkling chia on top of your favourite meals for a nice crunch. They work well on top of:
- Cold cereal
- Toast spread with nut butter, jam or mashed avocado.
- Mix them in.
- When added to smoothies, chia seeds blend in completely. You’ll never notice them!
- Throw a tablespoon of chia seeds into your favourite oatmeal, overnight oats or baked oats recipe.
- Mix some chia seeds into your burgers, veggie burgers, meatballs or meatloaves to help them stick together. Start with ¼ cup (60 mL) seeds for a recipe that serves 4 people.
- Bake with them.
- Add a few chia seeds into your next pancake, muffin or cookie recipe.
- Chia seeds can also be used to replace eggs in baking.
- Eggs provide many different functions in baking so it’s best to look for recipes specifically tested using chia instead of eggs. Other ingredients may need to be adjusted to get the best result.
- If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try subbing a chia egg in a recipe you already love.
- Mix 1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground chia with 3 Tbsp (45 mL) of water to make one “egg”.
- Wait a few minutes until it forms a gel and add to the recipe.
Now that you know all about chia, try adding them to your diet using one of the tips above this week. Let us know down below if you discover a great new way to use chia!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Chia Pudding (serves 1)
- ¼ cup milk or non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup coconut milk, full fat, canned (or use more of your other milk)
- 3 Tbsp (45 mL) chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) peanut butter or peanut powder
- ½-1 Tbsp (7-15mL) maple syrup
- ½-1 cup (125 mL-250 mL) sliced banana
- In a small bowl, stir together the milks, chia seeds, cocoa and peanut butter
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Once chilled, stir the pudding well.
- Mix in the maple syrup. Top with banana and enjoy.
Chia Berry Jam (makes 1.5 cups)
- 3 cups (750 mL) fresh or frozen berries (any kind)
- ¼ cup (60 mL) water
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup or honey
- 2–3 tbsp chia seeds *more chia seeds will give you a thicker jam
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Add the berries, water and sweetener into a saucepan. Bring them to a boil and them lower the heat to medium.
- Cook the berry mixture, stirring occasionally until they are saucy and broken down. You can mash the berries with a fork or potato masher as well.
- Take the saucepan off of the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Let sit for 10 minutes so the chia can gel. The jam will also thicken more once it cools so don’t worry if it looks too thin.
- Transfer the jam to a container and cool in the fridge. The jam will keep for 1-2 weeks in the fridge.
- Serve with yogurt, oats, toast or on sandwiches.