6 Reasons Why We Love Chia Seeds


At SimpleGreenSmoothies.com we love, love, love chia seeds. These tiny little seeds pack a powerful punch of nutrition. The light crunchy taste and extra dose of fiber make these seeds a perfect green smoothie topping. In the image above, we froze coconut water with chia seeds in ice cube trays to add to our green smoothies– so yummy! Now we invite our favorite holistic nutritionist to discuss why she loves chia seeds too!

 

Why we love chia seeds!

Written by contributor Angela Stanford, MBA, RD, RYT of Vital Nutrition & Wellness

I love chia for so many reasons! I recommend it to my clients because these simple seeds are a superfood packed full of nutritional health benefits, and I personally enjoy baking with chia as I am constantly in my kitchen adapting recipes to become allergy-free and vegan friendly.

 

1. Excellent Egg Substitute – I work with many clients who have allergies to eggs or have chosen vegan lifestyle, and they still want to eat baked goods. When mixed with water, chia seeds become an excellent binding agent that can be used in place of eggs when baking. For one egg, mix 3 tbsp water with 1 tbsp ground chia. Stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes. For a large egg, use 4 tbsp water.

2. Vegan and Allergy Friendly – Chia seeds are free from all common allergens, including gluten and offer a vegan source of omega fatty acids along with easily digestible protein.

3. Supports Digestive Tract Function – Chia is packed with soluble fiber along with vitamins and minerals that aid in normal digestive tract function. This fiber helps move food along the digestive tract and aides in the absorption of nutrients and elimination of toxins.

4. High in Antioxidants – Chia contains high levels of antioxidants. ORAC1 testing found chia higher even than flax seeds or blueberries!

5. Good Source of Calcium – Chia seeds are rich in calcium, containing more calcium by weight than whole milk. Plus, they contain the trace minerals magnesium and boron, which aid in the absorption of calcium and its’ utilization by the body.

6. Versatile – Chia seeds have a mild, nut-like flavor, are easily digested, do not have to be ground like flaxseeds in order to reap their omega-3 benefits. Sprinkle the seeds on salads, stir-fries and oatmeal, soak in nut, rice or soy milks and enjoy as beverages and puddings, or combine with water and use in baked goods in place of eggs. They are so east to use and store. Keep them in the refrigerator and grind as needed. If you buy them ground, use within 3-4 months.

 

Recipes using chia seeds

The chia seed was eaten by Aztecs for strength and was a main staple food along with corn and beans. Here are a few of my favorite chia seed recipes simple enough that kids can make and enjoy them too!

 

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Put all ingredients in a mason jar or other glass container with a secure lid and shake thoroughly. Store in refrigerator overnight. Top with chopped nuts and your choice of chopped/ sliced fruit. Sliced strawberries and sliced almonds are my favorite! Triple the recipe to share with friends and family!

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
splash of natural sweetener (vanilla beans, honey, maple syrup)

*note: If you use sweetened or vanilla flavored milk, you can cut back on the agave.

Adapted from a recipe by Jillian Bobowicz, Yoga Instructor at Bloom Retreat

 

Vanilla Chia Delight

Mix chia seeds and soymilk in a glass. Cover and pop it into the refrigerator for an hour. Remove from fridge and drink right from the glass. The chia soaks up the soymilk, so this drink reminds me of tapioca pudding. Also try stirring in a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg for an equally delicious drink!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons chia seeds
4 ounce vanilla soymilk

 

Kiwi Berry Punch

I always keep several bags of frozen berries in my freezer. Berries are natural sweet immunity boosters, low-calorie, and full of antioxidants. Berry consumption has been linked to diabetes and cancer prevention. Full Kiwi Berry Punch recipe here.

Ingredients:

2 cups spinach, fresh
2 cups water
1 cup blueberries, frozen
1 cup mixed berries, frozen
1 banana
1 kiwi
1/2 avocado
2 tablespoon chia seeds (sprinkle on top)

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible. These recipes are Vegan and Gluten-free.

Angela offers nutrition counseling, teaches workshops combining yoga and mindful eating, and helps people start edible backyard and patio gardens. To learn more about Angela, visit Vital Nutrition & Wellness.

 

Where can you buy chia seeds?

We are often asked where do you find chia seeds? I personally buy mine from Trader Joes, but you can find them at any local health food store like Whole Foods or Sprouts. You can also buy chia seeds on Amazon.

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34 Responses to “6 Reasons Why We Love Chia Seeds”

  1. Desiree 11.17.2014 at 11:26 pm #

    I never used chia seeds in cooking and I find chia seeds are very helpful to the digestive tract. I will definitely use these in my future green smoothies.

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 11.18.2014 at 4:46 am #

      Cheers, Desiree. Enjoy chia seeds blended into your smoothie or sprinkled on top. :)

  2. Sarah 6.28.2014 at 11:17 pm #

    If chia seeds are rich in calcium, does that mean that adding them to my green smoothie will inhibit the absorption of iron from the leafy greens?

    • Sarah 7.6.2014 at 3:04 am #

      Looks like my question fell through the cracks. Would love to get a response. Thanks!

      • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 7.7.2014 at 8:21 am #

        Hello Sarah! Great question. We will need to ask Angela Stanford who holds her MBA, RD, RYT of Vital Nutrition & Wellness. All the best to you. :)

  3. vince 4.14.2014 at 9:20 am #

    This is Great information ! I am consulting and working with a large Bakery Co-packer on the west coast and am marketing a Chia Cinnamon roll directed at Educational K through 12, Health Care , and “Healthier Eating” categories. The brand is ” Great Earth Products” Packed and owned by MaryAnns Bakery in Sacramento California.

  4. Dawney 4.4.2014 at 3:41 pm #

    My dad got onto the chia seed bandwagon last year and he convinced several of us to eat chia seeds regularly. However, I found that when I had the requisite 2 Tablespoons in 12 oz glass of juice, I ended up with fairly serious digestive trouble (as in, I had to RUN for the bathroom). I couldn’t believe that it was the chia seeds and ran several “studies” to be certain that they were the culprit. Do you know if this is at all a common problem? My family thinks I’m nuts.

    • SGS Rawkstar Dan 4.6.2014 at 2:09 pm #

      Hmm… We haven’t experienced it, Dawney, nor have we heard many others talk about it. Anyone else have this issue?

      • Candice L 10.3.2014 at 7:27 pm #

        My sister has IBS or UC and cannot eat anything with fiber. May warrent a chat with a doctor.

      • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 10.6.2014 at 6:15 am #

        Yes, please consult your doctor or healthcare provider. :)

  5. Becca 3.29.2014 at 6:27 am #

    I am a newbie to green smoothies and find that I’m really enjoying these! I had chia seeds before and just didn’t like the soaked texture or the seeds in my beverages. From reading these posts, my question was answered. Now I know I can add the chia seeds with my smoothie ingredients, I’ll try that, maybe enjoy them more.

    I just joined the 30 day challenge, although I’m about a week into my own adventure with smoothies. I’m excited!

    • SGS Rawkstar Dan 3.31.2014 at 8:26 am #

      Glad you found your answer! Yep, we add them dry all the time :-)

  6. Bonnie 3.28.2014 at 3:23 pm #

    Hello,
    I was wondering if you recommend buying organic chia seeds. I had heard that chia seeds are often grown without the use of pesticides since insects do not like them so it’s not necessary to go organic?
    Thanks!

  7. Angel 2.8.2014 at 8:31 am #

    Hi, I was just wondering about grinding flax seeds? I bought a fairly large bag of them and just read where I should be having ground flax seed to get all of the goodies out of them. Can I grind them in my blender or what do you recommend??

    Thanks!

    • Jadah and Jen 2.11.2014 at 12:02 pm #

      Hmm… That’s a great question, Angel! We have always bought already ground flax seed, so you may want to research that one more. We’ll be looking for an answer, too!

  8. Lisa 1.7.2014 at 9:35 am #

    Is the cocoa powder in the Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding sweetened or unsweetened?

  9. Amanda 12.30.2013 at 5:29 pm #

    I love green smoothies and I love Chia seeds but I just want to share my experience with them. I started eating about 2 tablespoons a day and got nauseous and dizzy. I actually thought I was pregnant as the symptoms were all the same. After a few days of wondering what was going on I stopped eating the Chia seeds and my symptoms all vanished. I waited 2 weeks then started introducing them again. I discovered I can not have more than a half teaspoon a day or I get sick and dizzy again. It’s very rare to have this reaction but after a bit of googling I found others with the same thing. I’m very dissapointed I can’t eat much of them :(
    Just wanted to put it out there in case anyone else has the same mysterious symptoms. Some people I read about had it for years before they figured it out and had just resigned themselves to unrelenting nausea and vertigo. So hopefully it will help someone :)

    • Jadah and Jen 12.31.2013 at 6:41 am #

      Amanda,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! It is always good to hear other perspectives, and hopefully anyone else who has this issue can find what you said useful!

  10. Janice 7.18.2013 at 6:31 pm #

    What is the difference (if any) between black and white Chia seeds? If there is a difference, please explain. Thanks!

  11. Chloie 3.21.2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Hi,
    I have serious digestive issues. For example, much of the food I eat comes through just as it went in: chewed up, and that’s all. Because of this I was afraid that my chia seeds would go through undigested. To avoid this happening, I put my chia seeds into my blender with whatever liquid I’m using and whiz them up until they’re all ground. Then I add my other ingredients. It gives the smoothie a really rich, creamy texture. Is there any downside to doing it this way? Also, I see in the recipes above you use only non-dairy milk. Is there some reason it would be bad to use milk, especially raw milk?
    Thanks!

  12. Jenni McKay 2.24.2013 at 9:06 am #

    So I just got a pack of chia seeds (they were hanging out on an end cap with all of the Spanish seasonings at Publix) and I’m not sure the best way to incorporate them. I sprinkled some in our last smoothie, but after a bit of reading, it seems like they need to be soaked first? Any tips?

    • Jen H 2.24.2013 at 1:10 pm #

      I have those same ones Jenni! You can use chia seeds either way to get the nutritional punch— sometimes I blend then straight into the smoothie without soaking and other times I soak first. If you soak them first and then add to the smoothie it will thicken it up. Just depends how thick you want your green smoothie. My kids won’t touch it when it gets that thick, just saying….

    • Emile 3.29.2013 at 1:08 pm #

      I was told to soak chia seeds because of the way they absorb water, the logic being if you consume them dry, they’ll pull water from the nearest source – your body – and dehydrate you. Not sure how true this is, as I don’t know how chia reacts in high (body) temperature liquid, but I’ve always soaked them first, just in case. :)

      • Tamara 5.6.2014 at 12:05 am #

        I’ve heard the same thing. But I have an aversion to the texture after it’s soaked. Any suggestions on what to replace them with in order to get same nutritional value.

  13. Patty Capehart 2.14.2013 at 8:35 am #

    I have been going to zumba on and off for the last year and just recently started about 2 months ago experimenting with smoothies. And I came across a similar article for chia seeds. I ordered them off Amazon and started adding them to my smoothies right away. I drink them after my workouts at night instead of a full blown meal. I’m just not hungry after an intense workout plus the smoothie really stays with me through the night. I feel a lot better since dropping 50 lbs and eating healthier. And I don’t have problems with acid reflux or IBS anymore. Go green people. It really works. Plus when you put veggies and fruit in a smoothie it doesn’t irritate your stomach. Benefits all the way around. Glad I found your website and can’t wait to try your recipes.

    • Jen H 2.18.2013 at 7:37 am #

      Thanks so much for sharing your journey Patty! Glad to have you here.

  14. Toni 1.30.2013 at 6:01 pm #

    I know I’m on the right track…this a.m. I added chia for the first time to my smoothie, and tonite I receive this email….helping me better understand the benefits of chia seeds. I’ve enjoyed the smoothie challenge and have shared with many of my family/friends. After trying the basic smoothie, my oldest brother surprised me this week with a call requesting more information on how to make smoothies–he had purchased a blender. I was so elated!! Healthy living is contagious….I said I wasn’t going to tell anyone, but I can’t keep it to myself and besides…I’m showing, glowing & feeling GRAND!!

    • Jen H 2.1.2013 at 6:23 am #

      Oh, I love stories like this! When we can get others on board with this simple green smoothie lifestyle, it just makes me do the happy dance! Glad you are enjoying the changes and inspiring others, Toni. Cheers to our health!

  15. Joy 1.28.2013 at 8:17 am #

    Thanks for sharing your excitement for chia seeds. I never knew about them before, now after trying these recipes, I can’t get enough of them! Besides our smoothies they are great in a lot of other dishes too.

    • Jen H 2.1.2013 at 6:22 am #

      Agree! Chia seeds are good in so many things.

      • jeff 7.7.2014 at 11:40 am #

        Hi! How much chia seeds (or other seeds such as hemp or pumpkin) should I put in my smoothie? I want the benefits but dont want to put too much in.

        Thanks!

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