To make Chia gel, just add liquid to chia seeds, its as simple as that, no mystery. This is because Chia seeds absorb liquid and this also makes the seed soft.
Raw, unsoaked chia seeds are hard and crunchy. They can be eaten raw, the taste being very mild and nut-like. Making a chia gel softens the seeds and makes them easier to eat and more versatile for use in recipes. An added benefit is that the soaked Chia seeds absorb the flavour of whatever liquid they are soaked in, making some interesting flavour combinations possible.
You can soak chia seeds in water, milk, nut milk, fruit juice, stock, gravies, eggs, vegetable juice, or whatever other liquid you would like to try.
Its fine to vary the thickness of the gel by adding more or less liquid as you wish..
I prefer to soak my chia seeds whenever I use them whole unless I want a crunchy texture.
To make a basic chia gel.
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
1 cup of liquid
In a bowl, add the seeds to the liquid, and whisk them in with a fork or whisk.
After a few minutes you will need to whisk the gel again to make sure seeds
don’t clump together in the bottom of your bowl. Leave to stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
This enables the seeds to absorb the liquid. Two tablespoons of chia seeds to one cup of liquid makes a very thick gel.
To make a fruity chia gel
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup of fruit juice. I like to use orange/mango. Any fruit juice will do and you can also use your own freshly made juice.
Whisk together in a bowl and leave to stand, making sure to stir to prevent clumping.
I like to use fruity chia gel as a topping over cheesecake, icecream or yoghurt.
It can be eaten on its own. Kids seem to love its fruity taste.
A good idea is to have some water based chia gel on hand in the fridge to add as an egg or butter substiute to cakes or cookies, one tablespoon of gel replaces one egg. Replace half the butter with an equal portion of gel. Prepared chia gel will keep for up to 2 weeks. To make an egg substitute I use 3 teaspoons of chia seeds to one third of a cup of water to replace one egg
does 3 tsp of chia seeds with 1/3 cup of water equal one egg substitute or 1 tablespoon of gel per 1 egg?you contradicted yourself.
Thanks for pointing that out Mel. The truth is either works for me as an egg substitute. In general, I use 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to one third of a cup of water. Taking that 1 tablespoon is around 4 teaspoons, when using a new brand of chia seeds, I will often start out with 3 teaspoons to a third of a cup of water. If the resulting gel seems a little thin, then I add another teaspoon of chia seeds. The texture of the gel should resemble that of egg white for best effect.
love your ideas. chia is something new for me.
However, There is 3 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon.
Hi Line. Thanks for this comment. I did some research, and it seems that in the US there are indeed 3 teaspoons to a tablespoon. In Australia, where I live, its officially 4 teaspoons to a tablespoon – our tablespoon is a little bigger because we follow a metric system. In parts of Asia there are two teaspoons to a tablespoon. All rather confusing! As most of my readers are from the US I will have to review my recipes to reflect this.
Is it necessary to keep chia gel in the refrigerator?
It is preferable to keep it in the refrigerator in a covered container Susy, as this way it can keep fresh for up to a week.
Thanks for the website. I’ve been using chia in my morning smoothies for over a year and have wanted to incorporate the seeds in various other meals. It’s great having this many recipes in one place.
I just made up a new recipe for my chia seeds
Chia Chicken salad
1 can of canned chicken packed in water 5 oz can
1 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 tbsp of fat free mayo or regular mayo if you like
ground black pepper.
mix up can of chicken do not drain with chia seeds, mayo and sprinkle of black papper. Let sit in fridge for 10-30 min to thicken up.
serve with crackers or make a sandwich enjoy
you could also try this with tuna in water. tastes delicous.
Thanks Maritza. My favorite sort of recipe, simple, quick and easy. I like the idea of having it in a sandwich with tomato, cucumber, onion, lettuce…. I think I’d call it a chicken chia hero sandwich.
What about sprouting CHIA? Do Chia Pets use Chia seeds?
Yes, chia seeds can be sprouted CJ, just like any seed. Chia seeds are the ones that are used in chia pets, but they are not food quality.
If you sprout Chia seeds, do they have any of the same benefits as the seed itself? Couldn’t you use the chia “grass” in salads and sandwiches?
Chia seeds can be sprouted like any other seed. The nutritional profile is different but very healthy. When a seed is sprouted it uses up some of the nutrition from the seed and generates other nutrients. Chia seed sprouts are a healthy and tasty nutritional addition to any recipe.
Greetings from Norway!
I have just recently started to include chia seeds to my daily diet.
It seems like this “superfood” are gaining some attention in the healthfood community here in Norway and also in rest of scandinavia.
I was just wondering if threre are any legitimate research on health benefits from this seed? And considering the increased energy you supposedly gain from chia seed… is it problematic to consume in the evening, in terms of sleep issues and so on?
Its lovely to hear from you in Norway Bjorn. There have been studies done and you can find out more about this from http://www.azchia.com .Chia seeds are considered to be a safe food by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Surpringly even though cia seeds give you increased energy, they also promote sound, restful sleep. This is because chia seeds are a rich source of tryptophan which is a natural aid to sleep. Have some 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed or incorporate thm into you evening meal or supper for helping you gain a restful sleep.
Can chia seed gel be used as a substitute for egg white in recipes?
It depends Keith …. If you are using chia gel in a cake or cookie mix, it can substitute for egg white or a whole egg, but if you are trying to make something that requires the egg white to be beaten into a froth or soft peaks for example, then it will not work. Chia gel can substitute for egg or egg white because of its texture and its ability to act as a binding agent.
I heard you can extend your salad dressing with the gel ,how do I do that ?
Hi Jackie. I have not used chia seeds in this way, but have heard that others do it. I would add the dressing to the chia gel until it was to your liking
i’ve started using the chia seeds… but i am also coffee lover… can i combine chia seeds with my cofee? it’s still beneficial?
Hi Jennifer. I’m also a coffee lover, which is why I invented coffee chia cream dessert I wouldn’t like to add it to a lovely hot cup of coffee, but I have wondered how a coffee flvoured smoothie with chia seeds would be as a breakfast for coffee lovers. Experiment with coffee and chia seeds and see what you can come up with?
Does anyone know if the gel can be used for any other, non digested ways? as in, can the gel be applied to face? i’ve noticed a lot of hygene products that use superfruits/foods lately, and am wondering if the gel would make a good exfoliant? the seeks would knock off dead skin in theory, would the gel absorb into skin and make it healthy?
An interesting question Henry. I know the ancient Aztecs and Incas used chia seeds on skin and external wounds to help get rid of infections. In theory the gel could make a good sking care/exfoliant, it certainly improves skin when it eaten regularly.
I tried the chia soaked in flavored water but really don’t like the consistency…don’t like drinking gel …..I love the seeds raw and in yogurt, salads, even on fish – if I drink water with the dry seed, will I get the same benefit as the gel water?
Yes you will get the same benefits Frant. Enjoy your chia seeds the way you like. Just remember to drink at least an extra cup of water or other beverage for every tablespoon of chia seeds you eat to ensure a “smooth passage”
Some places you can get Chia Bran – which is apparently what is left over after they press the seed for the oil. What remains is a nearly fat free nutty powder that also gels well in liquid – very high fibre and protein.
The chia seeds are really great with kombucha tea also they sale it Whole Foods it gives you so much energy .
Just started using chia seeds and I did make some of the gel using 1/3 cup of seeds to 2 cups water. My question is; how much gel is considered a serving? One tablespoon gel equals how much of the dry seed?
Thanks for all the information and recipes!
I consider one tablespoon of seeds a serving. You can vary the amount of liquid you add to make the seeds gel, depending on whether you want a thick or thin gel. One third of a cup of chia seeds would be around 3 tablespoons of chia seeds, so I figure you have around 3 serves with the gel you have made Dolores. Its much more pleasant if you add your seeds to a soup, stew or fruit juice rather than eat just plain gel.
Just to let you know, 2 tbsp is 1/8cup, so 4 tbsp is 1/4 cup so approx 5 tbsp would equal 1/3 cup.
Great article, thanks. Just started with chia seeds, and I think (fairly certain!) they’re having a good effect on my energy levels.
Just wondering with the gel, should you drink it or crunch on the seeds? Also any ideas if sprouting them has any health benefits over eating the seeds?
Drink the gel or crunch the seeds Bob, whatever appeals to you best. I also notice clearer thinking and a more optimistic mood as well as the energy boost. Sprouting does increase some nutrients, but you would lose some of the other properties of the seeds if you did this, such as the slow digestion (for weight loss and blood sugar regulation) and the gentle bowel regulation due to the fiber. For more information on sproutin chia seeds go to http://sproutpeople.org/chia.html
I just bought my first chiaseeds,here in denmark its actually only “allowed” to use in breadbaking, with maximum 5 % chiaseeds in!!! Well, but I´ve been thinking about using it in my daily fresh juice… is that a good idea?? What is your preffered way of using it?
Hi Magdalene. Its wonderful to hear you are starting to use chia seeds in Denmark! Its a very good idea to add the seeds to your fresh juice – many people find this is a good way to start the day. I suggest you start off slowly with perhaps one teaspoon of seeds in your juice, then build up to a tablespoon of seeds. No need to wait for it to gel. You should notice an increase in energy when you have a tablespoon of seeds. Aim for 1 to 2 tablespoons of chia seeds per day for noticeable health benefits.
My current favorite way of using chia shown in the recipe “Hearty Chia Breakfast Eggs”. I also love to make a fruit juice gel and stir this through natural, unsweetened yogurt.
After over a year of hunting for Chia (I can’t trust online sites no matter how “reliable” people say they are) I have FINALLY found Chia, and bought about 20 kilos of it. It is freaking AMAZING, and absorb water like a SPONGE. Seriously, have you SEEN some of those YouTube videos lately?!
Yes they are amazing! Wait till you notice the health benefits – especially the increase in energy!
Just saw a clip on “the Talk” about chia seeds– had to try them! Thanks for all the info!!!
Chia seeds are a wonderful addition to a healthy diet, I’m so glad you are going to try them!
How long can you keep the chia gel? Can it be made in advance?
Chia gel made with water will keep for a week in the refrigerator. If you make a gel with any other liquid (eg fruit juice) I would keep it for no more than a couple of days. I often make a chia gel in advance.
Have just started using chia seeds and we are looking forward to trying a number of your recipes. Thanks.