12 Ways to Use Chia Seeds

| Food

There are a bunch of food fads going around, but chia seeds have to be the best! They're great for weight loss and contain tons of nutrients. It's not false advertising when people tell you that chia seeds can really fill you up. The chia seeds look so tiny that it seems impossible that those seeds could fill you up, but what happens is that those little seeds expand in water, so once they hit your stomach they start to absorb water and expand to more than twice their size! You can put chia seeds in almost anything. Find how you can start adding chia seeds to your daily diet!

>> Read more: Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

chia seeds

Safe egg substitute: Avoiding eggs because you're vegan or allergic is tough. There are rarely any eggless baking recipes, and finding a decent egg substitute can be difficult. No worries though, because you can use chia seeds for an all-natural egg substitute for your next baking recipe. For every egg that your recipe requires you'll need one tablespoon of finely ground chia seeds mixed with three tablespoons of water. Now you can enjoy your egg-free treats!

Thicken soups and gravies: Chia seeds are a great thickening agent. If you can't use cornstarch or don't like to, use a couple tablespoons of chia seeds instead. It can be powdered or not, depending on your preference. Just keep adding a few tablespoons until you reach the desired thickness.

>> Read more: Super Seeds Revealed for the Optimal Wellness Routine

Energy crackers: These little seeds are great for a boost of energy. Before a long run or intense workout, have a few energy crackers. Try these Endurance crackers! You'll need chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pepita seeds, sesame seeds, water, garlic cloves, sweet onions and salt. Mix it all together and bake for a delicious snack that packs a punch!

Thicken meatballs: Trying to cut bread out of your diet, but still want to eat tasty foods? Substitute chia seeds for your breadcrumb needs. Add a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds per pound of meat to make yummy meatballs. It's great for meatloaf and batters too!

Make healthy pudding: Turning chia seeds into pudding is extremely easy! They expand and thicken in water so easily that for a healthy afternoon snack all you need to do is mix one can of coconut milk with a fourth of a cup of chia seeds and one tablespoon of honey. If you want to thicken up your pudding just add a bit of yogurt. Once all these ingredients are mix, put it into a container like a mason jar and then into your fridge. The next day it'll be all ready for you!

chia seed pudding

Sprouts for salads: You know those sprouts that come in salads at your favorite restaurant? You can grow your own at home! Take some chia seeds and add water to them. Then drain the water off and leave them in a jar for a couple of days. Every 12 hours or so rinse them with water and drain it off again. Within a day or two, you should have your own little chia sprouts!

Homemade energy gel: Gatorade and other sports drink companies have come up with a new way to get you energy, all in one little gel packet. Those things can get expensive, but you can  make your own at home with the help of the chia seed! Add a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds to a cup of coconut water and let it stand for about ten minutes. You'll have your own energy gel and even the kids will love it.

Chia seed flour: For a gluten-free flour, take your chia seeds and ground them into a powder. You can replace all-purpose flour with chia seed flour in almost any baking recipe. Use a mixture of chia seed flour and gluten-free flour if you need to make a batter or dough! 

>> Read more: The Skinny on Flour: 10 Best Healthy Flour Alternatives

Low-sugar jam: Chia seeds are great addition for a super fast jam without adding too much sweetener. While your fruit is simmering just add a bit of sugar until soupy and then add a tablespoon or two of chia seeds. Keep simmering for a few more minutes until it has thickened and you're done!

Smoothies: To pump up your smoothie, add some chia seeds for more protein and fiber. This Pomegranate Blueberry Powerhouse Smoothie is a great breakfast or pre-workout snack!

powerhouse smoothie

Salad dressing: You can have a salad that looks wonderful and healthy, but you can add so many calories by just putting too much dressing on it. Keep your salad healthy and tasty by whisking your chia seeds into a vinaigrette. The longer it stands, the thicker your dressing will get.

>> Recipe: Light Balsamic Dressing

Breading for fish and chicken: Want to keep your protein dish healthy, but still tasty? Opt to use chia seeds instead of breading. Mix the chia seeds with almond flour and garlic powder to give it a bit more flavor. It'll keep your dish healthy and still give it a great crunchy flavor.

Sources: Wellness Mama and Food and Wine