Food

31 Healthy And Delicious Ways To Cook With Chia Seeds

There, in your pudding, look: It’s a poppy seed… it’s a lentil… no, it’s a SUPERFOOD!

The tiny and humble chia seed, despite being truly old-school (it was an important part of the Aztecs’ diet), has started to hit the culinary big-time in the last few years, transitioning from novelty plant beard producer to bona fide superfood. And signs point to it trending harder than ever before in 2014.

This renaissance is thanks to people catching on to chia’s many nutritional perks (it’s packed with fiber, fatty acids, protein, and minerals) and unique physical properties: It looks like a poppy seed but acts more like tapioca, swelling up and turning gelatinous when you soak it. That sounds weird, but is great for making no-cook pudding, jelling low-sugar jams, replacing eggs, and more tricks that come in especially handy in raw and vegan cooking.

If you want to know more about the nitty-gritty of chia seeds, check out this handy guide on Nutrition Stripped. But above all, know this: no other plant in history has done so much to vastly increase the amount of pudding recipes on the internet. And for that, we should all be grateful.

Here are some excellent ideas for how to start incorporating chia power in into your own eating routine.

1. Lemon Chia Seed Scones with Sweet Lemon Glaze

It’s over, poppy seeds. What did YOU ever do to up my daily fiber intake? Get the recipe.

2. Raspberry Chia Seed Jam

Soak, blend, and commence eating by the spoonful. Get the recipe.

3. Grain-Free Chia Buckwheat Pizza

Buckwheat: not actually a type of wheat (in case you were wondering). Get the recipe.

4. Vanilla-Almond Chia Breakfast Pudding

Get the recipe.

5. Kale & Farro Salad with Lemon Chia Dressing

Chia adds body and creaminess to this Caesar-esque (but vegan) dressing without adding fat. Get the recipe.

6. Banana-Peanut Butter Chia Seed Muffins

You can toss a couple tablespoons of chia seeds into lots of different baking recipes to add a little crunch and a significant nutrition boost. Get the recipe.

7. Vegan Peach, Oat & Chia Smoothie

Get the recipe.

8. Tomato Chia Jam BLT

Chia seeds are a great way to thicken jam without using pectin or a ton of sugar, which means you can make a tomato jam that’s not too sweet to be a great sandwich condiment. Get the recipe.

9. Chia Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

COOKIES? for BREAKFAST?

[faints]

Get the recipe.

10. Chocolate, Banana & Peanut Chia Pudding

With puffed rice and caramel sauce on top, if you don’t mind. Get the recipe.

11. Homemade Gluten-Free Chia Tortillas

Give these a try if you’re having trouble finding GF tortillas or wraps that actually bend instead of crumbling into sad pieces. Get the recipe.

12. Apple Superfood Oatmeal

Chia can add nutrition to any hot breakfast cereal and give it a filling, extra-creamy texture. Get the recipe.

13. Blueberry & Toasted Coconut Chia Pudding Parfait

Get the recipe.

14. Chia Flapjacks with Strawberry Salsa

Get the recipe.

15. Cornmeal & Chia Seed Crusted Tilapia

Not your mama’s fish stick. Get the recipe.

16. Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding Pops

Get the recipe.

17. Vanilla Chia & Berry Pudding

Blitzing pudding in a blender gives it a smooth, creamy texture, but you can also skip that step if you like it tapioca-style. Get the recipe.

18. Raspberry Lemonade Chia Drink

You might be a little weirded out by the gelatinous texture at first, but it’ll grow on you. Get the recipe.

19. Flourless Pumpkin Chia Seed Blondies

Quick, healthy, and everything-free (gluten, dairy, nuts, guilt). Get the recipe.

20. Cheesy Chia Seed Crackers (Gluten-Free & Low Carb)

Get the recipe.

21. Chocolate Avocado Chia Pudding

Good enough to fool almost anyone. Get the recipe.

22. Chia Meatballs with Easy Marinara Sauce

The chia makes a great binding ingredient to help these beef meatballs hold their shape — no eggs or grain necessary. Get the recipe.

23. Spicy Pineapple & Pepper Chia Seed Jam

Get the recipe.

24. Chia Seed Crispbread Crackers

The best kind of bird food. Get the recipe.

25. Chai Spiced Chia Pudding with Pomegranate Sauce

Get the recipe.

27. Raw Chia Falafel

Chia binds together a veggie mix of carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms to make this healthy, no-cook falafel. Get the recipe.

28. Raw Raspberry-Vanilla Chia Pudding

Get the recipe.

29. Chocolate & Ginger Chia Seed Cookies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Get the recipe.

30. Eggless Coconut, Walnut & Banana Bread

Soaked chia seeds are an awesome vegan egg replacer for baking. Get the recipe.

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