How To Eat Chia Seeds (and love them!)- Easy Ways To Use Chia Seeds In Your Daily Diet
Chia seeds are a powerhouse of plant-based nutrition and one food I think every toddler should have in their diet. Learn how to eat chia seeds, chia seed recipes, and other fun ways of using chia seeds. Then, start using chia seeds daily in your diet to reap the benefits!
I'll be the first to admit that my first trial with chia seeds was completely weird. I had read about them somewhere (I think an Eat Clean Cookbook) and went out and bought chia seeds as well as bee pollen and started adding them to random things. Mistake.
However, once I figured out how to use chia seeds properly it became a game-changer. They're tasty, fun, and loaded with nutrients.
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Benefits Of Chia Seeds
In case you're wondering, chia seeds have a ton of benefits. And while they're definitely not a cure-all, they are a great addition to a healthy diet! Chia seeds:
Increase your fiber intake thus helping out your gut
Slow digestion helps keep you full longer
Improve brain health through their omega three's
Give a hefty dose of calcium which is especially important if you're dairy-free (read more tips on eliminating dairy)
has a unique blend of amino acids (protein!)
All in just two tablespoons. You'd be silly not to consider learning how to use chia seeds.
But how exactly should you incorporate it into your diet?
How To Eat Chia Seeds
There are so many chia seed recipes out there and you'll find the best ways to use chia seeds below. However, please remember that the purpose of chia seeds is to absorb liquid.
These little seeds absorb roughly ⅓ cup of liquid from just a couple of tablespoons.
The reason this is important is that they must absorb the liquid prior to entering your body. You want them to create the chia seed gel outside of your body and not in it. Mainly because it can cause issues with swallowing, digestion, etc if you randomly eat them solo.
So, the best way to eat chia seeds is to make them into something! Check out the chia seed recipe below and get starting on using them in your diet. Considering this, also remember that a little goes a long way. More often than not, you really only need 1-2 tablespoons at a time.
How To Use Chia Seeds: Chia Pudding
Probably the most common of chia seed recipes. Chia pudding is super tasty and filling! These little seeds of wonder form a gel when combined with liquid making them the perfect pudding base.
Personally, chia pudding is one of my staples when it comes to make-ahead breakfasts during the week! You can make them into a variety of different flavors (here are our four favorite chia pudding recipes) and kiddos love them. I love to top my pudding with crunchy granola making it extra decadent.
A lot of people have trouble with the chia seeds sticking to the bottom of the container when making them ahead of time. So, embrace the hack below and make perfect chia pudding every time!
Add Chia To Your Smoothies
Because chia seeds create a gel with liquid, they make a great binder. In smoothies or shakes add 1 tablespoon in and let your shake sit for a few minutes before drinking.
The seeds will help it thicken giving it a creamier texture. This is one of the steps I take when building a smoothieas it makes the smoothie creamy while also adding a healthy fat.
How To Eat Chia Seeds: Top Your Oatmeal With Them
Like I said, chia seeds are versatile. Meaning, they don't change the flavor of your meal from adding them. Throw them into your favorite oatmeal recipe and not only will they help thicken it, making the stick-to-your-gut oatmeal your grandma always talked about, but you'll be boosting the nutritional intake of your oatmeal too!
I personally add them in before cooking the oatmeal but you can stir them in afterward and let it sit for a few minutes also. We use them in our maple pecan oatmeal and they make it so creamy!
Or, whip up a batch of overnight oats! The chia seeds help the oats bind together to create an amazing, ready to go breakfast! This is another one of our staples for busy, weekday mornings.
Add Chia Seeds To Muffins
Adding chia seeds to your baked goods is an easy way to ramp up the nutrition of the snack! I use them in my toddler muffins and love that I know my kiddos are getting a dose of so much goodness.
Remember though, they do absorb liquid. So, my advice is not to throw them into random muffin recipes but to find specific recipes with them. Otherwise your muffins may come out extremely dense!
Chia Seed Jam
Who doesn't love jam?! While I am a jam fiend, I find a lot of store-bought brands are just sticky sugar. So, given my nature, I started to make my own!
Chia seed jam won't last as long in your fridge, but it's so tasty you'll eat it quickly anyway! Plus, you can use the jam to top oatmeal, yogurt or desserts (like these blueberry tarts) as an easy way to get in extra nutrients.
Combine your berries of choice, along with your sweetener (I use maple syrup), and place it on the stove reducing it from a boil. Add in your chia seeds, let it simmer a bit, and then turn it off and let it sit. The chia seeds pull the water to create a gel thus making a super quick, super healthy homemade jam!
As An Egg Replacement
This isn't one that I use often but I've heard it works well. Basically, you make a "chia egg" which is 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 2-3 tablespoons of water and let it sit. When the seeds absorb the liquid it creates a gel. You can use this gel as a replacement for eggs in many baked dishes like waffles, breads etc.
Personally, this comes back to me not wanting to just sub in a specific recipe. I prefer to just find a vegan/egg free recipe to begin with.
Chia Seed Water
This tip on how to eat chia seeds gained popularity a few years ago when chia seeds became more mainstream. In all honesty, it freaks me out. While the idea is neat, the texture is simply wrong to me haha
People were adding chia seeds to their water to use them in their daily diet. Again, it looks neat but drinking a gel-like texture isn't my favorite.
Don't forget to pin these tips on How To Eat Chia Seeds (& enjoy them!)
Chia seeds are a simple, tasty way to boost your p[ant=based nutrient intake. Likewise, these little powerhouses can be extremely tasty. Learn how to use chia seeds in your daily diet and reap the benefits that come with them.