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5 Delicious Ways to Add Chia Seeds to Your Diet

July 26, 2013

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You've likely heard about the amazing health benefits of chia seeds. You may have even wondered if they are as good as they sound. Well, they aren't – they're even better!

First used by Aztecs in Central America more than 4,000 years ago, this versatile super seed is an excellent source of fiber, which helps improve digestion, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower cholesterol.

Among other seeds and grain, chia seeds are the highest source of complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids, making them a great immune system and energy booster.

Chia seeds also have the unique ability to absorb more than nine times their volume in liquids. This helps prevent dehydration and retain electrolytes, which is especially important when exercising.

With all of these amazing nutritional benefits, there’s no reason not to incorporate chia seeds into your diet!

Here are some ways you can use chia seeds:

1. Pudding. Taking only five minutes to prepare, this is the perfect healthy alternative to instant pudding. Simply add three tablespoons of chia seeds to a half cup of liquid, like unsweetened coconut milk or leftover smoothie, add a dash of your favorite natural sweetener, and put the mixture in the fridge for a few hours to set.

2. Egg substitute. So versatile, chia seeds can even replace eggs in your favorite breakfast recipe or baked sweet treat. Just mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with three tablespoons of your desired non-dairy milk and let sit for five minutes until reaching the consistency of raw eggs. Then use as a substitute in pancakes, cookies, and muffins.

3. Jam. This is an easy way to keep ripened fruit from going to waste. Combine one cup of your favorite fruit, one tablespoon of chia seeds, and one tablespoon of warm water in a food processor and blend until the mixture is chunky. Then place in the refrigerator for 60 minutes to allow the chia seeds to turn gelatinous.

4. Smoothie. Add an extra nutrient boost to your next smoothie by combining one tablespoon of chia seeds to every eight ounces of liquid before blending. The seeds will act as a thickening agent, too, so the more you add, the thicker your smoothie will be.

5. Overnight oats. Amp up this breakfast staple by adding chia seeds to the mix. Combine 2 teaspoons of chia seeds with 1/3 cup old-fashion oats, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, and 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk and place in the fridge overnight. The next morning, you’ll have yourself a no-cook, nutritionally-dense, delicious meal.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy chia seeds?