Have you tried chia seeds yet?
Chia seeds have a lot in common with flax. Both have a nutty flavor and are great in baked goods, green smoothies, oatmeal, and more. Chia gets a lot of hype as a superfood – and with good reason! But what makes chia so healthy, and how can you get more chia into your diet?
Chia seeds have even more omega-3 fatty acids than flax meal, and like flax they’re rich in fiber and micronutrients. Unlike flax, though, you don’t need to grind chia seeds to get their nutritional value. Your body can digest whole chia seeds, which means that chia has a longer shelf life, since you can buy the whole seed rather than the ground meal. One ounce of chia seeds (about two tablespoons) contains over 40 percent of the RDA for fiber and 18 percent of your daily calcium needs. This low-glycemic, anti-inflammatory food is a nutritional powerhouse, and it’s delicious to boot!
Ready to work some more chia goodness into your diet? Most chia recipes focus on sweet foods, baked goods, and breakfast, but you can use chia in savory cooking, too! Here are some sweet and some savory chia recipe ideas!
photo by Becky Striepe
A serving of chia seeds is one to two tablespoons per day. Some folks say the best way to eat chia is consuming the raw seeds, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat all of your chia raw. This chia recipe list includes some raw and some cooked recipes.
1. Chia cooler – Soaked raw chia seeds plump up just like tapioca pearls do. If you dig bubble tea, try this chia citrus cooler as a healthier alternative.
2. Banana chia muffins – Start your day with a dose of chia! Get the chia muffin recipe here.
3. Chia pudding – This makes a tasty dessert! Just mix up 1 cup of your favorite vegan milk with 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a bit of your favorite sweetener (to taste). Stir well and let it soak in the fridge for a couple of hours. The result is almost like a tapioca pudding but much healthier!
4. Chia chocolate chip cookies – Treat yourself right! These cookies use chia gel instead of eggs as the binder. Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy the gel…it’s just soaked chia seeds!
5. Cornmeal and chia waffles – These hearty waffles make a great breakfast or would even work well if you wanted to do breakfast for dinner.
Chia recipes tend to call for the seeds in breakfasts and desserts, but you can definitely work chia seeds into savory dishes, too. Here are some savory chia recipe ideas.
6. Sauteed zucchini with toasted chia seeds – This hearty side dish packs a protein punch!
7. Savory chia seed pudding – Pudding is not just for dessert anymore! Check out the video recipe for how to make it:
8. Chia miso gravy – Beef up your mashed potatoes with a topping of chia gravy.
9. Spicy tomato-avocado chia salad – This makes a great side dish. Did someone say, “taco night”?
10. Chia stir fry sauce – Try chia seeds in place of sesame seeds next time you’re whipping up a stir fry. Yum!
Have you whipped up a tasty chia recipe lately? I’d love to hear what’s cooking in the comments!
Creative Commons photo by Bianca Osbourne