Strawberry smoothie with chia seeds

 

Easy Step for Healthy Living Number 3

 

A Daily Portion Chia

 

In my previous article ”What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Chia Seeds?” you learned about the enormous benefits of adding chia seeds to your daily diet.

In this article, you'll find out about how to use these powerful tiny seeds.

 

Useful Tips and Tricks

 

How to Store

 

Glass jars with herbs and seeds

Dry chia seeds can be stored 4-5 years, if stored properly, without losing their nutrient value or taste. They should be stored in a dry, dark and cool place. Chia seeds can also be stored in a fridge, then their shelf life will be even longer. The most important is to keep the seeds in an airtight container.

Soaked chia (mixed with water) can be stored in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks, in a tightly closed container or a jar of glass. Mixed with other liquids (e.g. milk, or juice), it should be consumed within a couple of hours.

 

How to Eat

 

A spoon with chia seeds

  • Chia seeds have got no specific aroma, they have a very light nutty taste, which does not interfere with other ingredients, but rather enhances the taste of the respective food. Therefore chia can be used together with almost any food.
  • If you want to benefit from the full nutrient range and particularly the omega-3 fatty acids, then you must grind the seeds and consume the chia flour mixed with water or another liquid.
  • Ground seeds get rancid rather quick, therefore you should grind chia only shortly before consuming them. When you buy chia powder/meal, please check the expiring date and follow the recommendations of the Eat by Date.
  • Chia swells up in liquids and their volume increases up to tenfold. It’s very important to drink enough water while eating chia, unless, it can lead to constipation.
  • Soaking chia to form a gel or a pudding is great for easy digestion. See recipes below.

 

What About Cooking With Chia?

 

Kitchen

Chia retains the Omega 3-fatty acid during heat treatment, pasteurization, and high-pressure processing, but be aware of following:

  • Do not fry chia seeds. Frying reaches temperatures up to 400c and this damages the nutrients of the chia seeds. Vitamins and minerals can also be damaged by high and direct heat.
  • You can boil chia seeds at around 100c. If the seeds are boiled for a long time, the seeds will break and the Omega 3 oil will start to deteriorate. If you cook a soup or a porridge I recommend you to add the chia shortly before the boiling/cooking is finished.
  • It is fine to bake the chia seeds as this is only indirect heat.

 

Chia can be used in various ways – check these out:

 

Chia breakfast

 

Raw and dry – as a topping for müsli, yogurt, salad, soup, and on breadspread

 

Pestle and mortar

 

Grounded chia seeds – are a powerful addition to the morning coffee or mixed with yoghurt or in smoothies.

 

Bread

 

Chia meal – can be used in bread, for puddings, smoothies and power gels.

 

Chia dessert

 

Chia seeds soaked in liquid – makes powerful gel, smoothies and puddings.

 

Oil

 

Chia oil is a very healthy alternative  to use for salad dressings. It can also be used for cooking, but must not be heated above 130c.

 

Egg replacer

 

Chia is an excellent egg replacerSee recipe below.

Perfect for people who are vegans or for people who do not tolerate eggs.

 

 

Easy Chia Recipes:

 

Chia dessert

 Chia Gel

  • 50g /   1 ¾ oz    chia seeds
  • 300ml /  10 fl oz liquid of your choice

Just mix the two ingredients with help of a spoon.

You can mix the chia seeds with for example:
  • water,
  • coconut milk,
  • almond milk,
  • freshly squeezed orange juice

Put the chia gel in an airtight container, preferably out of glass.

Place it in the refrigerator. Let the seeds swell overnight. Stir the gel around with a spoon couple of times within the next hour.

The chia gel (mixed with water) can be stored in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks, in a tightly closed container or a jar of glass. Mixed with other liquids, it should be consumed within a couple of hours.

The chia gel can be used for smoothies, desserts, mueslis, and salads.

My tip: I mostly just add some vanilla powder, coconut blossom sugar and berries like for example blueberries, raspberries or blackberries.

Quick and easy! Tastes delicious!

 


 

Baking ingredients

Chia as an Egg Replacer

 

Substitute for one egg :
  • 1 tablespoon grounded chia seeds or chia meal
  • 3 tablespoons of water with room temperature, which speeds up the gelling process.

 

Mix chia and water very well, for example with a mixer device. Let them swell for around 10 minutes until it turns into a gel similar to a raw egg. When baking with this gel, it acts as a binder when heated.

You can use the egg substitute just like you do when cooking or baking with real eggs.

 


 

Iskiate – the Powerdrink of the Tarahumara Indians, Mexico

Iskiate – the Powerdrink of the Tarahumara Indians, Mexico

 

Inspired from the book ”Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall.

For one big glass:
  • 300ml / 10 fl oz or 350ml / 12 fl oz water (as you wish)
  • 1 ½  tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or lime juice
  • Honey (any desired)

Mix the chia seeds with the water. Let the seeds swell overnight in the refrigerator.

In the morning stir the gel around with a spoon couple of times.

Add the lemon or lime juice as well as the honey. It’s ready to drink.

My tip: Adding some freshly sliced ginger cuts makes this drink even more powerful.

Enjoy the refreshing and energizing drink!

 


Easy Steps for Healthy Living receives a small commission if you make a purchase through a link in this article. No extra costs occur for you.

Raw Organic Chia Seeds

Raw Organic Chia Seed Powder

Glass jars

Chalkboard labels

Glass jars


 


Chia Seeds Is What Your Body Needs


What about you? Do you eat chia?
How do you prefer to eat chia?
Do you feel better after adding chia to your diet?
Please, leave your opinion in the comment thread!

 

10 Thoughts on “Habit Changer: Chia Seeds”

  • I never knew that chia could be used in so many ways! I love the idea of using chia as an egg replacer. There are so many recipes I would like to use, but don’t eat eggs, and so this is a great suggestion, and so much healthier. I see that storing chia seeds in a jar keeps them fresh, and now I know that I can cook with it as well. SO glad I came across this article and have bookmarked your site!

    • Hello Amy,

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about chia. How wonderful that you have bookmarked my site!

      Chia is an excellent choice as an egg substitute. You can also use flax seeds as an egg replacer. Chia seeds are much more practical as they hardly get rancid. Flax seeds have got a very short shelf life compared to chia seeds.

      You can store chia seeds in any sort of airtight container. I prefer glass jars because the substance Bisphenol A, which is a component in plastic, gets transferred into the food, especially if the plastic container is warm or gets heated up. Bisphenol A can disrupt the hormone balance in the body and with time cause damages to the cells.

      I’m very much looking forward to hearing from you again. If you have any questions related to health topics, I’d love to help.

      Wish you a happy & healthy life!
      Pernilla

  • I knew that chia seeds were a valuable addition to a healthy diet your previous article reinforced that. I started adding them to yogurt and smoothies about a year ago. I got into them more for my daughter who is a vegan. Like another commenter, I had no idea they could be used as egg substitutes. I am going to need to experiment with this for some baked goods she has been avoiding the last 3 years. I am also going to get her to try the chia gel. I think that would make a great choice for her in the mornings before classes.

    • Hello Christina,

      Thank you so much for leaving your comment. It was very interesting to hear your experiences using chia seeds.

      Chia is an excellent way of getting protein, especially for people who are vegans, like your daughter. Chia is a very are nourishing and filling food and therefore great for breakfast. You can try the recipe of “Chia Gel” I provided in this post. Try to add more or less water, until you find the consistency you like the best.

      Yes, isn’t it great that chia can be used instead of eggs? It’s a good idea to try it out and experiment a bit. When trying something the first time it’s always a little bit tricky.

      If you have any questions or would like to share more experiences around healthy living, I’m here for you.

      Wish you a happy & healthy life.
      Pernilla

  • Pernilla, I must admit I had never heard of Chia seeds before coming across your article. And it’s amazing the number of healthy properties these seeds have – a real power food all around, if you ask me!!!
    Thank you for sharing some really interesting recipes on how to best use Chia seeds. It’s interesting that you may have mentioned using Chia seeds as a replacement for oil, egg or even flour. Due to a poor digestion, both my husband and I cannot eat bread in great quantity, but my home made bread does not cause us problems. I think I shall try replacing a small amount of flour with Chia powder to see if it makes any difference in my bread. Or I could add the seeds instead of poppy seeds I normally add to the mix. I shall definitely let you know what the outcome is going to be 🙂

    • Hello Giulia,

      I’m so delighted to receive your comment. It’s wonderful to hear that you want to try using chia flour to bake your bread. Chia is very nourishing and filling so it’s good to try it out in small amounts first so your body can get used to it step by step, especially if you have a poor digestion. It’s also an excellent idea to add the chia seeds to the bread dough. With both chia powder and the seeds, you benefit from all the nutrients and the fibers in all its extent.

      If you need some more advice on how to use chia seeds or if you have any questions about healthy living, please contact me again.

      Wish you a happy & healthy life!

      Pernilla

  • Hi, Pernilla,

    I read your previous post about health benefits of eating chia seeds. I fell in love with chia and decided to implement it in my diet. Your new post comes right on time to me! I am thrilled by all recipes and will test them all when having the time.
    I especially liked the Indian recipe, because all ingredients there are amazing. Lemon, honey, and ginger (plus chia) are all the first league, and I am impatient to try it.

    2 questions: How do you typically grind the chia seeds? And, can I use some of the recipes for my kids (turned 4).

    Thank you

    • Hello Tony,

      How wonderful that you got inspired by my chia posts! Chia is indeed a fantastic food, you can use it in so many various ways and it is easy to implement in your daily diet. Yes, the ingredients of the Indian drink Iskiate is truly all powerful.
      I use a mortar and pestle to grind the chia seeds – I grind only as much as I need for the day because when the seeds are broken the shelf life is shortened. You can also use an electrical spice grinder. It is also possible to use a blender, but then it needs a larger quantity of chia seeds to work effectively – the seeds must cover the blades.
      Children can very well eat chia too. For infants and toddlers, it may be difficult to digest the chia seeds. When the digestion process is developed a child can digest the seeds better. Start to give the seeds in very small portions (less than half a teaspoon) and preferably chia seeds soaked in fluid (water, milk, freshly pressed fruit juice). You can gradually increase the portion after a period of getting used to it. Remember to drink enough fluid when eating chia, both adults, and children.

      Enjoy the healthy chia seeds!
      Pernilla

      • Your pieces of advice appreciated, Pernilla!

        I have mortar and pestle at home so that I will use this old-school technique, as well:)

        As for the kids – thank you for the valuable tips – I will try mixing a small quantity chia seeds with milk – the kids love it!

        Tony

        • This sounds wonderful Tony! Add fruits and/or berries to the chia pudding and you all will enjoy it even more. Fruits are very healthy and a great treat for your kids.

          Pernilla

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