How to use chia seeds

6 Reasons Why We Love Chia Seeds

1.28.2013

Plant-Based Diet • How to • 6 Reasons Why We Love Chia SeedsAt Simple Green Smoothies 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 […]

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At Simple Green Smoothies 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 Angela Stanford, a 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!

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:

2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
Sliced pear
splash of natural sweetener (vanilla beans, honey, maple syrup)

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.

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.

COMMENTS
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  1. D says:

    Can the Vanilla Chia Delight be set overnight?
    And if I do not have vanilla soy, just plain, can I simple add vanilla or perhaps some other flavour/sweetner like honey?

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Yes you can definitely let it set overnight and have it in the morning. Just make sure it is in an airtight container.

      You can totally add in some vanilla, honey, or maple syrup to make it more sweet.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Pascale says:

    Hey, my husband and I just bought your book. We love smoothies and we are getting healthier. The only problem I have is that a lot of the smoothies are too citrus for me and I have very high acid reflux. Any recommendation on how to better use your recipes ?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Pascale,

      Is the citrus in our recipes not sitting well with you + your body? Our recipes are here to inspire you, so please don’t feel like you need to follow them to a T. Learn more about our favorite ingredient substitutes here…

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/substitution-guide

    • John Nauslar says:

      High acid reflux? Evidently you are not getting your probiotics. We take a great probiotic. We have had people who had acid reflux and corrected it with the probiotics we take. And don’t let a medical doctor tell you you have too much acid.

  3. Megan says:

    Hi, does it matter if you put the chia seeds in with the smoothie to be blended together or are the better to not be blended and just mix them in the smoothie at the end?

    Also i drink around a pint of green smoothie every morning, is there a limit to how much I should drink a day or not?

    Thanks

    Meg

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Megan,

      Thanks for reaching out! We love adding chia seeds in a variety of ways, it’s all about finding your preference. You can blend, mix, or sprinkle! Personally, I love to sprinkle chia seeds on top of my blended smoothie for a little added crunch!

      Our goal for you is to add one (16oz) green smoothie to your day in addition to your regular diet, so a pint is the perfect choice! We suggest sticking with 1 to 2 servings.

      Cheers 🙂

  4. solange says:

    Is there a different way to loose menopause weight as oppose to before menopause weight?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Solange,

      Thanks for reaching out! We’re green smoothie lovin’ rawkstars all right, but we’re not doctors or nutritionists. For that reason, we don’t think we can provide you with the best information when looking at pre and post menopause weight loss. Here are a few of our favorite tips to help you work towards your health + wellness goals…

      If you want to burn fat, you want to include plant-based smoothie ingredients that have the following weight loss effects:

      -Jump start your digestion
      -Burn excess fat
      -Reduce and expel bad cholesterol
      -Provide energy for your cardiovascular system
      -Detox and hydrate your body
      -Promote healthy bowel movement
      -Decrease your appetite for processed foods and sugars

      The Kiwi Berry Punch is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense smoothie recipe that combine the best fruits and veggies for an optimal approach to healthy weight loss.

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/green-smoothie-recipes/kiwi-berry-punch

      The best part about a green smoothie–you can use a smoothie as a low-calorie meal replacement because they are full of fiber which keeps your body feeling fuller longer.

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/green-smoothie-meal-replacement

      Hope this helps point you in the correct direction!

  5. Wolfger says:

    I just got a big bag of chia at Costco. I’m not sure why you sprinkle on top… I just toss them in the blender with the rest of the ingredients and go.

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Wolfger,

      We love Costco! I actually have not seen chia seeds there, I’ll have to keep an eye out next time I’m shopping!

      I personally love to sprinkle chia seeds on top of my green smoothie for a little added crunch. But it’s all about your personal preference, you can blend, stir in, or sprinkle on top! Any method will give you a superfood fueled green smoothie!

      Cheers 🙂

  6. MJ says:

    I know you love chia seeds but chia seeds do NOT love me! What can I substitute for them? Thanks!

  7. Dana says:

    Can i drink these green smoothies for breakfast/lunch/and dinner?? Is there a limit on how many in a day? Im just starting and I’m trying to lose a little poundage 🙂

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Dana,

      Our goal for you is to add one (16oz) green smoothie to your day in addition to your normal diet. By adding green smoothies to your diet we’re hoping to fuel your body with fresh fruits + leafy greens, but weight loss can be a happy accident. Did you know our co-founder Jadah lost over 25lbs in three months by replacing one meal with a green smoothie. Learn more about here story here…

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/meet-jadah

      You can replace up to two meals with a green smoothie. We suggest adding healthy fats + protein to ensure you’re getting a complete meal. Learn more about our favorite meal replacement booster combos here…

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/green-smoothie-meal-replacement

      Reach out with any questions!

  8. betsey says:

    Is there a benefit to whole vs ground chia seeds? The selection at the store today was huge! Any advice is appreciated 🙂

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Betsey,

      Both are great options, and have equal nutritional value! I personally love adding whole chia seeds to my green smoothie after blending, it adds a great crunch!

  9. Natasha says:

    I’m new to the green smoothie thing and was wondering if I can make a batch and keep it in the fridge in mason jars for the week? I use chia seeds, spinach, fruits, yogurt and milk since I like it creamier. Is the okay to do?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Natasha,

      Great question! Green smoothies will keep in an airtight container for up to two days. We suggest adding a small amount of lemon juice to help preserve all of your smoothie’s green goodness! And separation is totally natural (because our recipes are free of any nasty additives), so give your smoothie a quick shake before enjoying…

      Looking to make your mornings easier? Check out our prep tips here…

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/make-ahead-smoothie-prep

      Adding milk + yogurt is perfect, if that’s what works for you! We personally avoid dairy, it’s the highest undiagnosed food allergy. Looking for a creamy smoothie, try blendin’ with almond or coconut milk. Or check out these tips for a thick + creamy green smoothie…

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/creamy

  10. Amanda says:

    Hello! I am just starting on my weight loss journey and have started using chia seeds in my smoothies. Does it matter if they are blended with everything else or just sprinkled in?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Amanda,

      Great question! You really can’t go wrong. We enjoy blendin’ chia seeds, stirring them in, + sprinkling them on top. I personally love the added crunch you get by sprinkling them on top, it adds a great texture!

      Reach out with any questions! We’d love to help you along your weight loss journey!

      Cheers to health, happiness, + leafy greens!

  11. Joya says:

    I have been using chia seeds in my baked goods, smoothies etc. They’re fantastic! My personal recipe that I came up with where I use rhem most is:
    1 1/2c kale
    1/2c water
    1 1/2c frozen green grapes
    2 small apples
    2 peaches
    1 or 2 tbsp of honey
    And a tbsp of chia seeds.
    Sometimes I soak them first, and sometimes I just toss them in, usuly if I am pressed for time. 🙂

  12. Amy says:

    I went to Trader Joe’s to buy chia seeds but they were sold out. Instead I found this new “Super Seed & Ancient Grains” blend that contains sprouted buckwheat groats, chia seeds, golden flax seeds, shelled hemp seeds, sprouted millet, organic red quinoa, and organic amaranth. I have been adding about a tablespoon to my smoothies (I make them one serving at a time). Do you think this is OK and is it as beneficial as just using straight chia seeds?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Amy,

      Thanks for reaching out! We love shopping at Trader Joe’s and it looks like you found a great superfood blend of seeds + grains to add to your green smoothie! Your body will be reaping tons of nutritional benefits, in addition to those found in chia seeds! We say, blend away!

      Learn more about some of the seeds + grains included here…

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/green-smoothie-superfoods

  13. Lorrie says:

    I take 6 tbs. of chia seeds and grind them in a coffee bean grinder. Then mix with 2 cups vanilla almond milk. Stir for 2 minutes. Refrigerate. Stir one more time and put back in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning I heat about 1 cup in the microwave until hot and then add a little butter, heavy whipping cream, sugar free pancake syrup and a little Splenda to taste. Great morning start like oatmeal or cream of wheat…

  14. ursula says:

    HEllo,

    what other substitute can I replace Chia Seed with? Can I use raw sugar, what do you suggest?

    thank you for your response.

  15. Adrienne says:

    Hi,

    How long do you have to soak chia seeds prior to adding them to a smoothie? I think to try them out I want to soak them first. Thanks!

  16. Desiree says:

    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 says:

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

  17. Sarah says:

    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 says:

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

      • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

        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. 🙂

  18. vince says:

    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.

  19. Dawney says:

    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 says:

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

      • Candice L says:

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

      • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

        Yes, please consult your doctor or healthcare provider. 🙂

  20. Becca says:

    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!

  21. Bonnie says:

    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!

  22. Angel says:

    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 says:

      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!

  23. Lisa says:

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

  24. Amanda says:

    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 says:

      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!

  25. Janice says:

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

  26. Chloie says:

    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!

  27. Jenni McKay says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

      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 says:

        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.

  28. Patty Capehart says:

    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.

  29. Toni says:

    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 says:

      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!

  30. Joy says:

    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 says:

      Agree! Chia seeds are good in so many things.

      • jeff says:

        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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