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How To Eat Chia Seeds: 5 Great Recipe Ideas

By Jessica Zack, HHC / February 20, 2016

Not only are Chia seeds packed with omega fatty acids, protein, minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber, but can also easily be considered one of the most versatile of all superfoods out there!

The seeds magically transform themselves in the presence of liquid, creating a nutrient-rich gel that can stand alone as a delicious pudding, or enhance many of your favorite dishes, both savory and sweet.

Here are a few creative and simple ways that you can introduce cha-cha-cha chia into your diet today!

How To Eat Chia Seeds Tip #1: Raw Chia Pudding

When chia seeds are added to almond milk, the seeds absorb the milk, creating a silky-smooth cereal reminiscent of a nutrient-dense raw rice pudding. This pudding can be enjoyed as a breakfast, a mid-day snack, or even made into a sweet and nutritious dessert.

Simply combine the chia seeds and the almond milk in a bowl and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Using a spoon, mix it every 5-10 minutes to break up any lumps. When the pudding is a desirable consistency, add in any optional sweeteners and/or toppings, and your chia pudding is ready to enjoy!

Tips: If you use very cold almond milk, you may need to allow more time for the seeds to absorb it; just be patient! You should notice the seeds continue to soften and plump up as they absorb the liquid. If you want to save time, just make the mixture in a sealed container or jar the day before and leave it in the refrigerator; when you take it out the next day just let it sit for a few minutes, mix it up, and add a touch more almond milk if it needs to be thinned at all.

How To Eat Chia Seeds Tip #2: Experience Chia-Enhanced Hydration

Add up to 1 teaspoon of chia seeds to 8 ounces of water or to your favorite electrolyte drink for promoted hydration.

How To Eat Chia Seeds Tip #3: Use Chia to Replace Egg

Chia can be used as a vegan, allergen- and cholesterol-free egg replacement in most recipes. The gel that is formed when the chia absorbs water perfectly binds ingredients together.

3 Tbsp of Water: 1 Tbsp of Chia Seeds or Powder = 1 Egg

Just combine the water and chia, and as soon as it forms a quick gel, it is ready to be used. Use this egg-replacement to replace egg in baked goods like cookies, breads, muffins, cakes, or add to waffle or pancake mix.

How To Eat Chia Seeds Tip #4: Thicken Sauces, Salad Dressings, and Smoothies

Looking to add a nutrient boost to your favorite store-bought or homemade sauces or salad dressings? Start by adding 1 Tbsp of chia seeds or powder to every 8 ounces of your liquid base. Remember, the more you add, the thicker your sauce or dressing will become.

Or how about taking your next smoothie or protein drink to the next level…

Add the chia seeds or powder while blending, or add the chia seeds in after for added thickness and texture.

How To Eat Chia Seeds Tip #5: Make Baked or Raw Chia Snacks

Baked Chia Crisps

Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for up to 1 hour or until a thick gel is formed. Stir the mixture to break up any lumps. Fold the garbanzo bean flour into the mixture until it is evenly distributed. On a non-stick baking sheet, spread the mixture as thin as possible with a spatula or the back of a spoon into a thin layer. Don’t worry if small holes form or if you can see through to the pan in some spots, that’s what you want. Bake the crackers in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes or until dry and crisp (time may vary according to thickness). Use a metal spatula to carefully detach the cracker from the pan, break it up into smaller crisps, and enjoy!

Tips: For sweet rather than savory crisps, trying replacing garbanzo bean flour with almond flour, and swap salt and garlic with ingredients like raw cacao powder, nut butter, dried fruit, etc. Water can be replaced with a fruit or vegetable juice for added flavor. If you prefer the raw version, dehydrate the crackers at 105° F until they are dry and crispy (it can take anywhere from 10 to 20 hours depending on thickness).

We hope you enjoy giving these recipes a try & will leave a comment about what you find!


  • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

    This is an amazing article, Jessica. Thanks for putting it together.


  • Jesse says:

    Hey, great recipe ideas; I can't wait to try some out. I always love adding chia seeds to my smoothies/yogurt to pack a little more punch, but I never realized they could be so versatile!

  • liza says:

    Thank you for these excellent ideas -- can't wait to try the "rice pudding" ...now I just need to find out why chia seeds are so great (nutritional values). I've heard they have great benefits! Any recommended resource/article?

    • Jessica Zack, HHC says:

      Be sure to let us know how you like the raw chia pudding! It is a staple in my diet...packed with nutrition, so easy to make, and you can store some extra in the fridge for a quick fix!

      Stay tuned...my next article to be published is just what you are looking for... a food profile article on the superfood qualities of these magical seeds! I can't wait to share it with you!

  • AkephalonMuse says:

    I absolutely adore chia seeds. I whir them into my applesauce when I need a quick snack that'll get me through an entire day of running errands (usually consists of a grocery run, carrying about 1/3 of my weight for most of the day).

    Something not mentioned--you DEFINITELY want to chase a full serving of chia seeds with plenty of liquid to avoid stomach cramping and optimize hydration.

    • Jessica Zack, HHC says:

      Thanks for the great tip! Chia is super high in fiber. High-fiber foods can come with cramping, gas, and bloating. Your body should adjust. If you are experiencing an abnormal amount of GI distress, I recommend you reduce your intake and speak with a medical professional...Although a chia seed allergy is very unlikely, you never know!

  • liza says:

    Jessica, I'm LOVING chia seed pudding. I've tried the "rice pudding" recipe, and I also experiemented by flavoring with tea.

    I made "Chai Chia Pudding" by boiling water (2 cups), adding two Chai tea bags and three tablespoons of the seeds. I let them all steep together. Then added Splenda and sprinkled ginger powder (I'm crazy for ginger!), and added a small touch of 1% milk. I took out the tea bags after 15 minutes and refrigerated it overnight.

    The Chai tea beautifully flavored the Chia; it could be a very sophisticated dessert, and even top pure vanilla ice cream.

    Next I'm trying other tea varieties (berry; vanilla apricot; green; etc.).

    Thank you, and looking forward to the next article! : )

  • Sara says:

    This is an awesome all-encompassing article on chia and it's uses! I work for Health Warrior, Inc., a natural foods business focused on chia-based products. I would love to send you samples of our chia seeds and chia bars!! Please email me back if you're interested!!

    • Jessica Zack, HHC says:

      I sent an email over to you via your website contact form. If there is a better way to reach you directly, please let me know! Thanks!!

  • Sara says:

    I have started using Chia seeds in my smoothies.... but I can't stand the texture of seeds. Can chia flour be substituted and still have the benefits? Or is it possible to gel the seeds and then add them to the smoothie so its not so seedy?

  • Adventurous Andrea says:

    I love how versatile chia seeds are! Whenever I add to my more "liquidy" smoothies, I have to drink it really quickly, though!