10 Ways to Add Chia Seeds to Your Diet

Chia is all the craze and for good reason: this simple seed packs a nutritional punch. One serving will help you reach your daily vitamin intake; chia seed are chockfull of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and potassium and have twice as much fiber as flaxseeds (per ounce).

But what can you do with these tiny seeds once you buy them?

Chia Pudding with raspberries

1. Rekindle your love for (chia seed) pudding

Remember snacking on tapioca and chocolate pudding as a kid? Indulge in your childhood comfort foods again without guilt by making your pudding with chia seeds. Toss on some berries and enjoy. Chia seed pudding tastes good plain, flavored with vanilla, chocolate, maple syrup, coconut, or your favorite fruits and berries. Serve it in a wine or cocktail glass for added flair. Recipe

2. Use chia seeds instead of sesame seeds to give meals a healthy crunch

Use chia seeds on salads or in dressings instead of using sesame seeds. Chia seeds will give you that great crunch with added nutritional benefits. You can also garnish your favorite fish, chicken, roasted vegetables and mashed potato dishes with chia seeds. Recipe

3. Add chia seeds to your sorbet or frozen yogurt

Who says toppings have to be unhealthy? Add chia and fresh cut fruit to your frozen desserts for that sprinkles-like crunch. We know you miss it, too. Recipe

Fresh Organic Green Smoothie With Salad, Apple, Cucumber, Pineap

4. Add chia seeds to your morning smoothie

Is it possible to make your green smoothie healthier? We think so, if you add some chia seeds into the blender, too. Try them in any flavor smoothie: berry, tropical, green/kale, strawberry banana, or coconut/almond. Recipe

 5. Make Chia Fresca

Chia Fresca is the drink equivalent of a lava lamp. The seeds add texture and a pretty pattern – just be sure to shake up your Chia Fresca bottle before serving. To make Chia Fresca, add chia and fresh or frozen fruit to water, refrigerate, and serve. You can also use a mix of water and coconut water for more flavor. Recipe

Homemade banana and chia seed muffins

6. Replace poppyseeds with chia seeds in your favorite muffin recipes

Chia seeds are a great replacement for poppyseed in traditional muffin, bread, and baked goods recipes. If you’re eating gluten-free, find a recipe that uses almond or coconut flour. The muffins will make great, nutritionally packed snacks on the go. Recipe

7. Make a PB & Chia

Yes, chia seeds are on the never-ending list of things that you can put on peanut butter sandwiches! Sprinkle chia seeds on peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwiches for a tasty change of texture. Recipe

8. Use chia seeds as a vegan substitute for eggs

Chia seeds are a great alternative for eggs if you’re making egg-free or vegan recipes. You’ll need to grind the seeds down and add some water. You can also use the chia base as a thickener to replace cornstarch and flour. Substitution guide

CC T.Tseng on Flickr
CC T.Tseng on Flickr

9. Add chia seeds to your oatmeal

Chia seeds give traditional oatmeal a nutritional boost. Add chia seeds to your stovetop oats after cooking or include chia seeds in your overnight oatmeal mix: the seeds will soften along with the oats. Top with berries for a extra healthy start. Recipe

10. Make your own granola

Bring a trail mix with you on your next hike or keep some for a healthy snack on the go. You can make your own trail mix from scratch or toss chia seeds into your favorite store bought variety. Recipe

BONUS: Make your own chia pet

Have some extra chia seeds? Use them to make your own chia pet! Yes, you’re eating the *same* chia that you planted as a kid inside of a ceramic dog. Fill a cup with dirt, water, and chia seeds, then decorate and enjoy! Instructions