Chia seed recipes
By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
A unique quality of chia seeds is that they can be used as an egg replacer and a sauce thickener due to their absorbent nature.
What are chia seeds exactly? According to Healthline, chia seeds are the tiny black seeds of the Salvia Hispanica plant—otherwise known as the Chia plant. Found in Mexico and Guatemala, chia seeds were a staple in ancient Mayan culture, and in fact, the word “chia” means strength in Mayan.
These tiny treats are highly absorbent and will swell up to 10 to 12 times their weight in liquid. They also contain large quantities of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, high-quality protein, and essential antioxidants, making them good for you! Because of these qualities, chia seeds are believed to improve digestive health and to improve blood quality. Another unique quality of chia seeds is that they can be used as an egg replacer and a sauce thickener due to their absorbent nature.
So, what can you make with chia seeds? Here are a couple of recipes to inspire you:
Chia Seed Pudding
When I made chia seed pudding, I made a cold brew and orange zest flavoured one. If you’d like to try anything with zest in it, I recommend going easy on the zest part—the cold brew chia pudding was amazing, but the layers of zest were basically inedible. I don’t know if that would’ve been different had I candied the zest or something, or maybe just used far less. Either way, here are the steps to a simple chia seed pudding.
1 cup milk (almond, goat, coconut, light, or regular—they all work!) Additionally, feel free to substitute some of the milk for coffee or another liquid for a different flavour.
1/2 teaspoon of flavour, whether this be orange zest, crushed raspberries, chocolate shavings—it’s up to you.
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract (or any kind of extract you’d like)
3 tablespoons chia seeds
Recommended toppings: drizzle honey or maple syrup, sliced bananas, fresh or defrosted berries, jam, shredded coconut, toasted chopped nuts… the options are endless!
- In a small jar or bowl, combine the milk, flavouring, and extract. Taste and add more extract if you require more va-va-voom to your pudding. Be sure to always measure any extra extract or flavourings as it’s easier to add than to take away.
- Whisk in the chia seeds. Let the mixture sit for around 15 minutes, then whisk it up again to break apart any clumps (this step is important!). Cover the bowl or jar and refrigerate the mixture for at least two hours (or overnight) until the chia seeds have absorbed enough moisture to achieve a pudding-like state. And they will, oh, they will. (If you remember, give them a stir sometime along the way to break up any clumps of chia.)
- Before serving, stir once again to break up any clumps. Add toppings at this point, but not before, as they will leech into the pudding itself and change the flavour. This chia seed pudding will keep well in the refrigerator (covered) for around five days.
A super easy, super quick breakfast or lunch delight that is actually really tasty! All you need is to spoon the desired amount of yogurt (I prefer a coconut-based vanilla yogurt myself), then sprinkle in a layer of chia seeds to coat the top of the yogurt. Mix that together, then add a bit more chia seeds to the top of the yogurt-chia mixture. You want to ensure you’re getting those health benefits, don’t you? Then add in your favourite chopped up fruits! I recommend banana and/or blueberries. If you’re using plain yogurt or you like it a little sweet, feel free to drizzle some agave syrup, maple syrup, or liquid honey on top.
Chia Seed Smoothie
Basically, just follow the instructions above, but throw it all into a blender and mix it really good. Feel free to add in some spinach or kale for a health boost.