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What are Chia Seeds and How Do You Use Them? How to Enjoy this Amazing Superfood!

Chia seeds are getting lots of attention lately – and they deserve it! Find out more on why chia seeds are so wonderful, along with tons of great recipes and ideas on how to include more chia seeds into you life!

Chia seeds are getting lots of attention lately – and they deserve it! Find out more on why chia seeds are so wonderful, along with tons of great recipes and ideas on how to include more chia seeds into your life!

Here at Nutiva, we’re all about finding accessible and beneficial superfoods that are filled to the brim with nutritional value. We were happy to hit the jackpot with chia seeds. Chia seeds are an ancient food  native to South America and absolutely loaded with beneficial nutrients. They are also an incredible superfood because of their versatility. If you haven’t already added chia seeds into your diet, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, we’re here to let you know! No superfood kitchen is complete without this incredible and versatile food.

What’s all the Chia Craze?

Why all the attention on this simple seed? Well, chia seeds have earned their keep as a true ancient superfood. This tiny but mighty seed is packed with omega-3, soluble and insoluble fiber, minerals (more calcium by weight than milk), antioxidants, and protein. It’s a remarkably versatile superfood because it doesn’t have much of a flavor on its own. That means that you can add chia seeds to sweet as well as savory foods and enjoy them each step of the way. Chia seeds are also unique because they swell up to 12 times their weight in liquid in just about 10 minutes!

A simple banana chia pudding with cinnamon on top is a great way to introduce yourself to the unique texture and health benefits of chia. Read on to find more great tips for using chia in sweet and savory dishes.

A simple banana chia pudding with cinnamon on top is a great way to introduce yourself to the unique texture and health benefits of chia. Read on to find more great tips for using chia in sweet and savory dishes.

Chia Seeds in Sweet Foods

If you’re already familiar with chia seeds, you’ve likely used them in sweet foods. Chia pudding is a naturally-sweetened favorite for adults and children alike. It’s incredibly simple to make, so if you haven’t already tried it, it’s time! Check out this simple recipe for an easy overnight pudding that is highly customizable. Chia seeds are also easily added to oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, shakes, and cereal. You can use them as a base for a homemade, healthy chocolate pudding too. Use them to make no-bake pumpkin pie or homemade muffins.

Chia seeds retain water remarkably well. Read on to find out some tips for using this trait in your favorite recipes!

Chia seeds retain water remarkably well. Read on to find out some tips for using this trait in your favorite recipes!

Earlier, we mentioned that chia seeds could retain a great deal of moisture. Not only is this terrific when make chia pudding, but it also means you can prepare your own chia drink at home instead of buying it at the store. Those chia drinks are sometimes loaded with extra sweeteners and not-so-natural ingredients. You can easily avoid this by making it yourself. The chia seed’s amazing water retention also makes chia seeds a shoe-in for an egg replacement in vegan baking! Chia seeds are much like flaxseeds, in that they will form a gelatinous substance that can be substituted in place of eggs in a 1:1 ratio. Chia seeds are a better choice than flaxseed, however, because they have more omega-3 acids. These Essential Fatty Acids have been tied to Alzheimer’s prevention, brain health and anti-inflammatory activity.

Chia Seeds in Savory Foods

Ready to try chia seeds in a new way? Use dry, whole chia seeds like you would poppy seeds and sprinkle them on your salads. Lightly toast some seeds in a pan and use them as a topping in savory dishes like sautéed zucchini or other vegetables. Unlike flaxseeds, chia seeds can be digested easily whole. Take advantage of that and make homemade chia seed crackers! Why not add them in with your next stir-fry? Find out more great ways to try savory chia dishes at the Nutiva Kitchen.

Does Organic Matter?

All of Nutiva’s chia seeds, whether the dark, white, or milled variety, are certified organic.  We believe that this is incredibly important because conventional chia seeds are often sprayed with pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Though there is no GMO variety of chia seeds (yet), many growers still spray their crop of chia seeds with harmful chemicals. Our seeds are grown organically and certified by the USDA. Not only is it important to go for organic chia seeds for the health of you and your family, it is also important for the health of our water systems, plants, animals and the planet as a whole. Get some great deals on Nutiva’s certified organic chia seeds by signing up for our Healthy Lifestyle Newsletter at the bottom of this post.

What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy chia seeds? Let us know in the comments section below!

Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    I like to eat them raw,sometimes i mix them with oatmeal yogurt

    • Vaughan James says:

      Hi Amy. We can eat the seeds raw? I am in a sedentary job and would love to eat these seeds like Gogie Berries, sultanas etc. that’s cool by your account. Taste doesn’t bother me.

  2. I have a few. I love to add it to oatmeal, to cookie batter and even in tomato sauces like spaghetti or pizza sauces.

  3. I like to mix plain yogurt, banana, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and pomegranate seeds for a semi-sweet snack.

  4. I use chia seeds in a glass of kombucha, it’s
    a natural energy drink! Very filling too.

  5. I suffer with painful arthritis. osteo

    • I have mild arthritis and peri osteo and how much do you eat to get relief?

      • The Nutiva Team says:

        Hi Kina,
        We’re sorry to hear about your arthritis and osteo pain. We do not dispense medical advice, as we’re a natural foods company. We recommend that you consult your practitioner about this. Best wishes.

  6. I put it in oatmeal, smoothies and homemade granola. I never thought of it as a salad topping.

  7. I add chia seeds to my salad dressings. A perfect thickener!

  8. I prefer to pulverize chia first, then use in soup, dressings, sauces, smoothies, ice cream recipes.

  9. Is this product helping to burn fat? Fat buster???

    Cheers,

    Dianna

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hello Dianna,
      We speak only of the nutritional benefits of Chia Seeds and our other products. Fat burning and other weight-loss questions are extremely difficult and dangerous to answer. The key to weight loss, is naturally, a healthy, well-balanced diet and good exercise. We’d recommend that you consult with your natural health practitioner with questions regarding what weight-loss approach would be best for your body type and history.

  10. I love chia seeds! I throw them in smoothies, I make pudding and even jam with them. They are so versatile and healthy. Great on overnight oats too.

  11. I eat them every day…sprinkle on or in most everything. I have a problem with my knees and the Omega 3 oils help my knee discomfort a great deal. It’s surprising how much they help relieve the pain. So I sprinkle them in salads, in soups, even on my peanut butter toast in the morning.

  12. Hello, do you need to soak the chia seeds before you add them to whatever you’re going to add then to?

    • Hi Alyssa – Thanks for your question. If you’re going to use chia seeds in baking, or as an egg substitute, we do recommend soaking chia seeds for about 10 minutes, before you add them to recipes. Additionally, some Nutiva fans tells us that soaking prior to use makes for better digestion. You might choose to do so before adding chia seeds to smoothies and other recipes. Thanks!

  13. I ve heard that flax seed looses its value when it gets cooked. Actually Im not even sure at what temperature the value of the flax seed depleates. Do chia seeds lose any of its value when it is under warm/hot temperatures. I hear a lot about shakes but not a lot about baking. O.K., Ive heard a little bit but what does the research say. Im not interested in buying a great product and then bringing it home and ruining it. Love this product! We get a small spoon of honey and cover it with chia seeds. It curves the sweet tooth. Dee

  14. Jesus Fonseca says:

    Do you grind the seeds before putting them in a drink?

  15. teresa salazar says:

    how much water can you drink after eating chia seeds ?

  16. Jeanette says:

    Hi – I am just doing some research on chia seeds and looking to put it in my family’s meals; however I’m unsure what amout you would add to recipes. I see one person stated that they even add it to spaghetti sauces, etc. If I want to put it in a 9 x 13 casserole how much should I put in?

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Jeanette – One serving of chia is a tablespoon. It would, of course, depend on what else you put in the dish, but we suggest between 1-3 tablespoons could be added to a casserole or sauce for the added nutrient benefits of chia.

  17. jessie cooksey says:

    where can i buy organic chi seed ?

  18. I have heard that chia is not sprayed with chemicals and pesticides.

  19. Joy Milne says:

    Hi do chia seeds loose there nutritional value when milled

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Joy, thanks for your question. Chia seeds do not lose any of their nutritional value when milled or ground.

  20. I have to attend my friend wedding in three weeks time and my outfit don’t fit me so how can I lose weight

    • Madalyn Crum says:

      Hi there! We speak only of the nutritional benefits of Chia Seeds and our other products. Weight-loss questions are extremely difficult and dangerous to answer. The key to weight loss, is naturally, a healthy, well-balanced diet and good exercise. We’d recommend that you consult with your natural health practitioner with questions regarding what weight-loss approach would be best for your body type and history.

  21. Can i eat it with cereal

  22. Sorry forgot the?

  23. Is there any danger in eating too much chia seeds

    • Madalyn Crum says:

      Hi Marcia–chia seeds are safe and very nutritious, but it’s important to consume any food in moderation. Thank you!

  24. Hi,

    I have heard that Chia seeds contain Salmonella bacteria, this is why it was withdrawn from the market in some countries.

    Why do you continue to sell it then?

    • Madalyn Crum says:

      Hi there! There is a salmonella warning out for 3 sprouted chia drinks made by Navitas Naturals, however, Nutiva is NOT part of this recall and this warning does not impact Nutiva products. Thank you!

  25. I heard from a few people that I know that since they have been consuming chia that their Dr. Has taken them off their pills for diabetes. I have just recently purchased some and I’m gonna start chia and have my mother as well then have her tested again in in a few month. I will let you all know the results

  26. My dog has GERDS & Ive read that Chia Seeds are suppost to be good do you know much about using them for my dog GERDs
    Thank-You Susan

    • Madalyn Crum says:

      Hi Susan, we’ve never heard of giving dogs chia seeds for GERDS. We suggest consulting with a vet before feeding your dog chia seeds. Thanks!

  27. Tiffany says:

    Is it best to drink the chia seed when they are soaked for 10 min in water?

    • Madalyn Crum says:

      Hi Tiffany! You can soak the chia seeds in water if you are looking for a thicker consistency, but the nutritional benefits of chia seeds are the same soaked in water or raw. Thanks!

  28. Hi iam type 2 dibetic will chia seed help me in any kind of way?

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Mimi – Chia is a great source of protein, fiber and antioxidants and a great addition to most diets. However, it’s probably best to discuss your specific dietary needs with your doctor or nutritionist. Thanks!

  29. Claudia Herrera says:

    I had gastric bypass surgery done in April…are chia seeds safe for people with smaller stomachs?

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Claudia – Chia seeds are high in fiber and can make you feel very full. Some people think this is a good thing, but if you have a very small stomach, we’d suggest that you start with smaller servings.

  30. Vaughan James says:

    Unless I’ve missed a post. I do a sedentary job and would like to eat Chia Seeds rather the usual stuff I see my colleagues buying from chocolate vending machine this is ok.

  31. Can You Put Chia Seeds In Water??

    • Madalyn Crum says:

      Hi there! You can definitely put chia seeds in water. Chia seeds swell up to 12 times their weight in water, making them great in pudding, as an egg replacement in baking recipes, and much more!

  32. Is there a specific way to “prepare” chia seeds?

  33. Hi, my friend introduced me to these because they help strengthen her metabolism. She just adds the chia seeds to her water bottle and just drinks them while in the water, is that okay to do? She says she can barely tell because of the gel coating around them. If this is okay, how would i do it so it won’t gel up like your “basic gel”?

    • Madalyn Crum says:

      Hi Meghan! Adding chia seeds to your water is a great way to incorporate chia seeds into your diet. We recommend one tablespoon of chia seeds in 8oz. of water or juice. Thanks!

  34. Calvin Chong says:

    Can chia seed be added into smoothie without soaking first? Also, once soaked how soon do I have to use it?

    • Madalyn Crum says:

      Hi Calvin, thanks for your question. If you want more of a gel-consistency with your chia seeds, then we recommend allowing them soak in water for 10 minutes. If you’re adding them to a drink, then 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in 8oz. of liquid is a good ratio. You can find more recipes using chia seeds at http://kitchen.nutiva.com/product/organic-chia-seed/.

  35. Hi! How can i use whole chia seeds? Can I soak them in water, reserve them and drink the water? Or can I spread them to my food?

  36. Hi, I have been putting whole chia seeds into some things and was wondering if you get more of the nutrients if they are grounded or does it matter? I have heard that if they are whole they just go straight through your body and you do not get all the nutrients. Thank you for your time.

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Leslie, thanks for your question. Unlike other seeds, chia seeds do not have to be milled in order to absorb the nutrients–you can continue to eat them whole!

  37. Hi,
    Can you advise if there are raw chia seeds on the market.
    Is there any nutrition quality change between cooked and raw?
    Thanks and Regards
    Chian

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Chian! Nutiva chia seeds are raw and can be used in cooking and baking recipes. The nutritional properties of chia can be altered when cooked, but they are still nutritious. Thanks!

  38. What is the best way to store Chia seeds? I want to transport it from bag to container so it’s easier for use. Just wondering is there any concern for storing temperature, light etc.? Is there expiration for it? Also if it’s been heated up (eg. In soup, baking), how much nutrition will it lose? Thanks for your help.

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Hong, we suggest storing chia seed in a cool, dry place. If you do transport the chia seed from a bag to a container, we recommend ensuring the container and clean and dry to prevent any contamination to the product. Please refer to the “Best By” date printed on the package to ensure your chia seeds are fresh. Thank you!

  39. I just started chia seeds with water and I really hope it helps with the weight lose I’m excussing every day and I’m really loving the fact that its organic!!

  40. I just started and I hope I can lose some weight soon?

  41. How many table spoons do we put in the water? ( Water bottle )

  42. rohit agarwal says:

    Can I just add the chia seed to water and stir to make a gel and drink the gel directly.

  43. jacquelynn says:

    Hi . i Have several questions regarding the usage of chia seed.
    1) should i soak chia seed in hot or cold water?
    2) what is the right proportion of chia seed that i should use if i want to soak it into a 500ml drinking water ?
    3) when is the best time to consume it so that i would get the best effect …
    4) can i replace a meal by just consuming chia seed drink?

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Jacquelynn, thanks for your questions! Chia seeds can be soaked in hot or cold water depending on your preference. We recommend adding 1-2 tablespoons of chia seed to an 8oz beverage, and many people enjoy consuming the drink in the morning as a breakfast replacement. Hope this helps!

  44. Hi, if i presoak the chia seeds, how long will it take for it to go bad? Or how long does the seeds last in their soaked state?

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Kylie! When you add chia seeds to water it usually only takes approximately 15 minutes to create a gel. We recommend using the gel within 4 hours. Thanks!

  45. I have bought organic ground chia seeds. Is that the same? can I sprinkle it raw on top of a piece of toast with almond butter? Or mix it plain in to my yogurt?

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Theresa, thanks for your question. We grind fresh, whole chia seeds to make our Ground Chia Seed. You can use them the same way you would use the whole chia seed.

  46. I bought the chia seeds today. I was told to add to a bottle of water. How many tablespoons do I add to a bottle of water and how often do I drink it a day?

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Mari! You can add more or less chia seeds to your water depending on the consistency you would like. We recommend 1-2 tablespoons of chia seed, but for a thicker, more gel-like consistency you may wish to add more. We recommend drinking them in the morning with your breakfast, or adding them to your smoothie or juice. Thanks!

  47. Hi I want to loose weight and my question is how to take chia seeds

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