Chia seeds are rightly termed as a “superfood” as they are relatively denser in nutrients than the other foods. Only 2 tablespoons of chia seeds can provide a healthy combo-dose of omega-3s, fiber and protein; think all that with just 140 calories. Not only that, it also provide all the 9 essential amino acids, which are vitally needed for gaining muscle mass.
But your body doesn’t produce essential amino acids naturally – you can get them through food only.
Read here: Why you should eat chia seeds
What’s The Best Way To Eat Chia Seeds?
In this article, you will not only find various ways to eat chia seeds – but also what to look for when buying chia seeds, from where to buy them and some good brands of chia seeds.
Dry vs. Soaking And Whole vs. Ground
While you can chew them, but the best way to access their omega-3s, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is to either grind or soak them.
We don’t advise to eat them dry because they do tend to stick in your teeth.
If you ground or soak them, it becomes much easier to digest, and your body can then easily absorb all the dense nutrients from inside the seeds.
Ground Chia Seeds
You can grind chia seeds in a coffee grinder or Vitamix. This way their hard outer shells are broken before you eat them. You can even pulverize them into chia seed flour, which then can be used in many gluten-free recipes such as pancakes, muffins, breads and even pastas.
Note: Keep in mind, if you grind any omega-3-rich seeds; make sure to keep them in an airtight, glass container in your refrigerator.
Soaked Chia Seeds
This is the most common way to eat chia seeds. They can quickly absorb considerable amount of liquid – about 9 to 12 times their volume, in as less as 10 minutes.
The Basic Chia Seed Gel
Water-soaked chia seeds are easily digestible. Moreover their nutrients are absorbed better and ingested in your body easily.
To make a plain chia gel, just add 1 tablespoon of seeds to ½ to 1 cup of water. Stir the mixture thoroughly to avoid clumping. Put it in a sealed glass container. Keep it in your refrigerator for just 10 minutes and your basic gel is ready. If you want, you can then eat the gel immediately. However, to get most of its nutrients benefits you should eat it after 1-2 hours. And for optimum results, allow it to soak overnight.
So you can make up a batch like this and store it in your fridge. It will stay good for about one week. Whenever you like, just reach out to the fridge, take out one or two tablespoons of the gel and eat.
How Long To Soak Your Chia Seeds?
This entirely depends on how much time you have? If you have enough time, you can put water and chia seeds in a sealed container, shake for about 2-3 minutes and then allow it to sit in the fridge over night. However, 2-3 hours are enough to get a really good gel consistency.
And if you’re short on time, just swish the chia seeds and water around in the sealed container for about 5 minutes and allow it to sit for another 5-10 minutes to get a good gel-like consistency.
How Much Water Is Needed?
You can use ½ to 1 cup of water for 1 tablespoon of Chia seeds. It does not have to be exact and depends on the consistency you want to have or the recipe for which you will be using the chia gel.
Tip: When you soak these magical tiny seeds and eat them, they work like an “intestinal broom”. They can sweep through your digestive track and get rid of build up of waste, which otherwise can cause many health problems.
Chia Seeds Gel Variations
Chia can absorb anything – it doesn’t necessarily have to soak in water. For example, you can soak it in things such as apple juice. This way, the strong sweetness of the apple juice is also counterbalanced by the chia and it tastes lip smacking. Other tempting common options are to blend fruits such as bananas and persimmons, then combine the chia gel into that mixture.
Although, longer you soak the seed , the more their nutrients will be absorbed and accessible to you. However you may also eat this as a meal even in 10 minutes or less after preparing it.
More Ways To Eat Chia
And, you always have the option of adding dry chia seeds, whole or ground, to your favorite smoothies, protein shakes or juices. This provides a gooey effect and actually helps aid digestion.
Sprinkling on top of a salad, mixing it with salad dressings, yogurt, puddings, oatmeal or granola as per your choice are some other great options.
And whereas these are some of the more often used ways to eat chia, considering its mild flavor and tiny size you can easily add a spoonful of it to pretty much anything— don’t afraid to experiment!
Note: We recommend that you soak the chia seeds before adding them to your recipe or smoothie.
Bonus Recipe: You can try this amazing chia pudding recipe. Just mix a quarter-cup of the chia seeds in one cup of liquid, such as almond milk or your favorite juice. Let the seeds gelled up and make sure the mixture is no longer watery. Voila! Your “pudding” is ready to eat. Although, this takes as little as 15 minutes to get ready, the chia pudding can be stored well in refrigerator for a week.
Tip: As chia seeds don’t have much of flavor of its own, we encourage you to experiment by adding spices, nuts, chopped fruit, or/and any other toppings as you desire.
Useful Tips While Buying Chia Seeds
Look for chia seeds that are either naturally speckled black or white instead uniformly brown. The reason is that the brown chia are those that haven’t had a chance to mature properly. So, brown seeds provide somewhat lesser nutritional benefits and are a bitter in taste.
You can buy chia seeds at any health food stores, whole foods market, or a well-stocked supermarket. A more convenient way is to buy them online. You can buy online here: The good quality brands include Nutiva , Viva and Kiva. (Click on the brand for checking the current price)
Generally chia seeds are naturally vegan & gluten-free. However, check the label if you like to buy non-GMO & certified organic seeds.
How to Store Chia Seeds?
Good thing about them is that they have a long shelf life, and you can store them for many years. But take care to keep them in a cool, dry place.
There are so many health benefits associated with chia seeds, so why not start eating them now rather than to wait for tomorrow.