Aware of the health benefits of chia seeds, but unsure how to use them? Here are a handful of easy ways to sneak more into your everyday diet.

You may be well-versed in the benefits of chia seeds, but let's be honest; a spoonful of these tiny beads by themselves doesn't sound too appetizing. Don't worry, I agree. Try the following suggestions to make chia seeds an appetizing addition to your daily diet.

1. Chia Icing On The Cake

Chia seeds make a great topping for oats, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, protein puddings, and salads. And yes, you can even add them on top of cake! Chia has a rather neutral taste, so it can add a bit of crunch without affecting the overall flavor of the dish.

2. The Proof Is In The Protein Pudding

For a dessert that won't blow up your physique, try making a chia pudding. Blend together 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Pour everything into a jar and stir in 3 tablespoons chia seed. Seal the jar shut, and let the mixture chill until thickened, about two hours. You can even add your favorite protein powder!

3. The Daily Chia Grind

Ground chia seeds are now available in powdered form, making them an excellent addition to your favorite protein pancakes, oatmeal, or homemade energy bars. They can even serve as an excellent breadcrumb substitution in meatballs or meatloaf!

4. Spread The Chia Love

Chia seeds are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which enables them to form a highly versatile gel when mixed with water.[1] Take advantage of this quirk to create a better-for-you jam to put on your morning whole-grain toast.

Simply heat 1-1/2 cups of your favorite berries in a saucepan over medium heat until they begin to break down, about five minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 1 tablespoon honey, and an optional 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, then heat for another two minutes.

Gently mash the mixture with a potato masher or fork, and let it cool to thicken. Spread, and enjoy!

5. Egg-Replacement Therapy

The same gelling quality that makes chia jam a possibility for your morning toast also lets you create a substitute for eggs when making baked items like muffins.[2] For each egg, add one tablespoon of chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of water in its place.

Let this mixture sit for 10 minutes, until a goopy texture has formed. Now it can be used to create a binding effect in a recipe, much like an egg would.

References
  1. Coorey, R., Tjoe, A., & Jayasena, V. (2014). Gelling properties of chia seed and flour. Journal of Food Science, 79(5), E859-E866.
  2. Borneo, R., Aguirre, A., & León, A. E. (2010). Chia (Salvia hispanica L) gel can be used as egg or oil replacer in cake formulations. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 110(6), 946-949.

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