Chia seeds are not only packed with nutrition but also equipped with unique traits that make them a versatile feature in many of your meals. Learn more about chia seeds, their benefits, and their uses with the following 23 chia seed recipes.
An Introduction to Chia Seeds
Chia seeds, otherwise known as Salvia hispanica, have roots in southern Mexico and Guatamala and are part of the mint family Lamiaceae. Chia is grown for its seed, which is what is most prized by those looking for concentrated health benefits. In fact, “chia” is the Mayan word for strength.
One ounce of chia seeds contains 138 calories, 9 grams of fat, 11 milligrams of potassium, 10 grams of dietary fiber, nearly 5 grams of protein, 17 percent of the RDA of calcium, 12 percent of the RDA of iron, and 23 percent of the RDA of magnesium. Chia seeds are gluten-free and high in antioxidants.
The chia seed’s most promising feature, though, is its fat content. Each seed is between 25 percent to 40 percent oil, with 60 percent of its oil content comprising the omega-3 alpha-linoleic acid and 20 percent of the omega-6 linoleic acid. Chia seeds have been shown to effectively maintain a balanced serum lipid profile in the body. A proper balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is essential in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases that are prevalent in the U.S. Meanwhile, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have neuroprotective properties, boosting brain function and preventing neurodegenerative and neurological disorders.
Usually, chia seeds are grown organically and without GMO tampering. But still, to be safe, only purchase chia seed brands that are labeled “organic”. Because chia seeds are so concentrated in nutrition, you don’t want to offset their effects with the chemicals used in conventional farming practices.
23 Chia Seed Recipes
The following 23 chia seed recipes will entice your taste buds and infuse your body with all the essential benefits of the superfood in a delicious and fuss-free way. Enjoy!
Energize throughout the day with these chocolate paleo powerballs. They’re sweetened with honey and full of healthy fats from almond butter and chia seeds and fiber from gluten-free oats.
Who needs hard-to-digest, cow milk-based yogurt in the diet when it’s easy as 1-2-3 to whip up a plant-based alternative? This vegan yogurt recipe relies on almonds, sunflower seeds, probiotics, and the gel-like effects of chia seeds to create a creamy, animal-friendly yogurt.
This recipe had me at dark chocolate. Indulge without really indulging at all with this coconut milk-based pudding recipe that balances the tartness of raspberries with the decadent sweetness of dark chocolate.
This is a basic chia seed pudding recipe, without the bells and whistles evident in many versions you see today. Master this recipe and venture on to more exotic combinations.
This bread is based in spelt, which is an ancient superfood grain. Dried fruits, nuts, and chia seeds bulk up the mixture and make for a more satisfying (and healthier) bite.
Chia seeds aren’t relegated to sweet concoctions only. In this Middle Eastern-inspired recipe, chia seeds provide a nutty accent to the dense walnut, red pepper, and tomato-heavy Muhammara dip.
This traditional fruit is made more satisfying with addition of chia seeds. The result is a refreshing, citrusy beverage that will kick your energy levels up.
Nothing spells boosted energy quite like chia seeds do. In this recipe, dates, walnuts, pistachios, quinoa, coconut, figs, and white grape juice come together to make a chewy energy bar whose flavors are augmented by the addition of chia seeds!
In this recipe, chia builds texture so you get more satisfaction from your morning fix of greens than you normally would. This smoothie recipe features spinach, pear, avocado, coconut water, and pea protein for the ultimate fiber and protein-packed breakfast or midday snack.
These aren’t your grandma’s chocolate chip cookies. They are a no-bake vegan version of the classic, based in oats, almond butter, nuts, and coconut oil. Mix in chia seeds for an added chew.
You don’t need store-bought jam with the homemade version is so easy (and much healthier) to put together. Chia binds together the strawberries, water, lemon, and maple syrup, resulting in a few-ingredient jam that tastes just as good as any manufactured alternative, only without the sugar and excessive processing!
Chia’s rightful place is in a pudding. Without using an artificial thickening agent or dairy yogurt, you can achieve a thick, creamy texture with the swelling nature of chia seeds. In this pudding recipe, you get the comforting and grounding effects of pumpkin and almond essence, sweetened with just a touch of maple syrup.
These energy bites can be whipped up in under 5 minutes and will give you that much-needed morning dose of energy and welcome chocolate fix. Only a handful of ingredients, including dates, almonds, cocoa powder, and chia seeds, make these delicious bites possible.
Cool down and energize up with this smoothie recipe. Chia seeds add more bulk to the beverage.
What isn’t in this granola recipe? Grain-fee, sugar-free, and dairy-free, this granola is full of wholesome ingredients, including almonds, coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, pecans, sweet potato puree, and, of course, chia seeds!
Ice cream is elevated to superfood status in this “nice cream” recipe, which includes maca powder, probiotic powder, matcha powder, and chia seeds. The base is a combination of frozen banana and mango, making for the perfect lightly-sweet treat.
Follow the suggestion of this recipe and add in chia to the already superfood-heavy formula. Kale, dried cranberries, seeds, nuts, and dates come together to do the seemingly impossible: turning granola green.
Overnight oats are incredibly convenient for those among us with busy mornings. A little foresight the night before is all it takes to wake up to a breakfast that is ready for munching. This green overnight oats recipe is a simple take on overnight oats, only with the nutritional boost offered by fresh spinach and chia seeds.
These classic cookies are good enough to warrant a more prominent place in your diet; however, it’s hard to justify unless they get a healthier twist. This vegan linzer cookies recipe is fuss-free, even eliminating the need to bake. Chia seeds are essential in firming the raspberry jam filling.
This smoothie is full of substance, including nuts, chocolate, hemp, chia, maca, vanilla, maple syrup, spices, and even a little cayenne pepper. It’ll warm your senses and your soul.
What if I told you that you could have brownies every day for breakfast without threatening your hard-earned waistline? These gluten-free and egg-free black bean brownies make it possible! Black beans make for a unique base to this recipe and actually don’t offer any discernible taste. Instead, black beans offer the dense texture characteristic of brownies without the eggs or flour. Sweetened with honey or agave, these brownies also contain no white sugar! Chia seeds help to firm the batter and unsweetened cocoa powder dominates the flavor profile, and in an entirely welcome way.
Add a little tropical touch to your breakfast with this mango chia pudding recipe. Sweetened with agave, textured with chia seeds, and based in coconut milk, the dish is vegan and full of sweet, creamy flavor!
Vegan cooking is a realm characterized by loopholes of creativity. You can substitute eggs in many baked recipes with a simple mixture of chia seeds and water. Chia has a binding effect similar to eggs and makes for the perfect egg alternative. Try it out!