Chia Gel

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.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of chia seeds
1 cup of liquid

Method

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

Ingredients

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.

Method

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.

Ideas

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




121 Responses to “Chia Gel”

  1. Trish says:

    I am 65 years old and want to start using Chai Seeds. i am on high blood pressure med. well it be ok to start using them. ??????????????

    • admin says:

      Hi Trish. Chia seeds can help high blood pressure with regular use. I managed to stop my high blood pressure medication with a combination of diet, exercise and meditation and I am a bit older than you. I was on medication for over 20 years. Get a blood pressure check regularly and you may find your doctor can reduce your meds over time.

  2. Ola says:

    I love chia seeds so much. I mix with almost everything. My favourite is putting 2 spoons in my favourite juice (red grape – not from concentrate), sometimes I add a dash of lemon. And that’s it…I’m taking a sip of that the whole day and believe you me…I have no hunger pangs..at all! My only problem is…I wait too late to order a new batch and now I have to go the next few days without my precious chia seeds while I await delivery…sad face

    • admin says:

      Your chia red grape juice drink sounds wonderful Ola, I must try it. My local health food store now has a couple of good brands of chia seeds so luckily, I don’t run out these days.

  3. cherrie says:

    argh, I had a glass drinking bottle (an old mama chia one actually, haha), and I put some juice in it, and maybe a little over a tablespoon of seeds. I’ve been shaking it a lot, and while the seeds aren’t really clumped together, they all just keep going down to the bottom. some of them are floating in the liquid, but a lot are just going to the bottom. is there something wrong with my seeds? Or do you think mama chia puts something else in there to make them float? I was waiting for the seeds to do their thing so I could put this in the fridge for later consuming. :p But now I feel like I can only just sit and watch it and keep shaking it whenever possible. the chia seeds are black if that makes any difference. Thanks!

    • admin says:

      Hi Cherrie. I find that the seeds do settle out whether you use black or white seeds. Its just a matter of giving the bottle a good shake when you want a drink. I make up a large bottle of coconut water with chia seeds in hot weather — very refreshing! But, I still have to shake the bottle whenever I want a drink. I don’t know how Mama Chia manages to get a consistent suspension, maybe they do add something to make this happen.

      • Laura says:

        Hiya! I was just perusing the site for ideas when I noticed this comment and had to say something. I just started using chia seeds yesterday and experimentally mixed about 2 Tbsp chia to 8 oz of water with a packet of Emergen-C. By some happy accident I realized that it wasn’t clumping at all and was perfectly dispersed throughout the entire drink. I hope this helps!

        • admin says:

          Thanks for the tip Laura, very interesting!

          • Ian Fischer says:

            I decided to make some chia bread so soaked A SMALL CUP of the seeds thinking that would be enough …….. Just kept adding water as it got too gluggy. Sure was enough, now I have about five gallons of chia gel!

          • admin says:

            That’s why I use tablespoons of chia seeds in my recipes rather than cups Ian. A little chia goes a long way! I hope your bread turned out well.

      • Cherrie,
        A really good way to avoid clumping is to use a wisk.

  4. Kevin W says:

    Here is some more great info on chia

    open-source-energy.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=741

  5. Sharon Ray says:

    I ment to say twenty bags black chia seeds and twenty bags of white chia seed I eat and drink them four times a day I cook with them,and I drink them in a drink and its about ten table spoons a day is that too much I also cook them in my food each day, am I eating too many a day. Please tell me .

    • admin says:

      That seems too much to me Sharon. Although the American FDA had approved chia seeds as a food, not a supplement, and they have set no limits on how much you can eat in a day, its important to have a balanced diet. I recommed 1 -2 tablespoons of chia seeds per day for health and 3-4 tablespoons a day for weight loss. Some athletes have reported having 6 or 7 tablespoons of chia seeds per day, but even that seems a bit excessive to me. Enjoy your chia seeds in moderation Sharon, more is not necessarily better.

  6. Sharon Ray says:

    I have bought 40 bags of chia seeds and 40 bags of white chia seeds they are three pound bags each how long will the seeds last before they go bad.how many months or years will they last ,I use the seeds in every way you can put them in .

    • admin says:

      Wow, what a lot of chia seeds Sharon. The good news is that chia seeds have a long shelf life of at least 2 years just stored in your kitchen cupboard. They will most likely last longer than that. I did a rough calculation and it looks like you will finish them within the 2 years if you are eating a few tablespoons per day.

  7. Ola says:

    So I tried my very first chia seeds gel today. Made it with apple juice. It was an absolute treat. So thick I was able to eat it with a fork! Did’t need to add anything else…so yummy! Can’t wait to try it with other stuff. I was just wondering…can it be added to warm milk? Has anyone tried this?

    • admin says:

      Hi Ola. In answer to your question, one of my favorite winter breakfasts is a hot pudding with chia seed and hot milk with added fruit. Its great with whole seeds, but sometimes I use ground chia seeds (you can buy them already milled). Its a great comfort food in cold weather and warms you from the inside out. 🙂

      • Ola says:

        Thanks. I’m gonna go try it out now. Is it possible to have too much Chia seeds in a day?

        • admin says:

          The American FDA has classed chia seeds as a food and put no limits on how much anyone should eat in a day. However, it’s a matter of commonsense not to overdo any one food in a day. I like to have 1 to 2 tablespoons a day when I use chia seeds, but if trying to lose weight, you can have 3 to 4 tablespoons per day. I have heard of people having more, especially runners or people dieting but it seems a bit excessive to me. I hope you enjoyed your pudding 🙂

          • Gail says:

            Do these same amounts apply to chia gel and raw seeds equally?

          • admin says:

            Chia gel and raw chia seeds are not the same Gail. once you add the seeds to liquid, they will grow bigger as the absorb the liquid. You can make a gel by adding one tablespoon of chia seeds to 4 tablespoons of liquid. One tablespoon of this is much less chia than one tablespoon of raw chia seeds. All my recipes use raw cha seeds as a starting base. I hope this answers your question.

  8. pam says:

    i’ve been using chia seeds for a little while now, but i’m confused as to the best way to eat them. i eat mine in a vegetable smoothy every day. my question is, which is better, adding them in the pre-made stage (already soaked in water) or raw? like is a tablespoon the same in either form?

    • admin says:

      I prefer to add chia seeds to juices raw, then blend if I’m having a smoothie Pam, but either way is good. ! tablespoon of raw chia seed gives more chia seeds than a tablespoon of chia gel. If you prefer the chia seeds in your vegetable smoothie to be soft, then make a gel by adding the seeds to some vegable juice and store in the fridge overnight. Add the whole lot to your breakfast smoothie the next morning. However, what you are doing is fine.

  9. teresa says:

    also, how long does the energy last before another dose is required?

    • admin says:

      The energy from chia seeds is not like a caffeine buzz and there is no let-down afterwards. Its a slow but sustained increase in energy you will notice. I have 1 to 2 tablespoons of chia seeds most days. I do not notice any difference if I miss a day or two. However if I am away for a few weeks without my chia seeds, I start to feel less energetic.

  10. teresa says:

    If I eat chia seeds dry and drink water(like taking a pill) how long does it take the seeds to swell and move through my digestive track? I would love to take off a few pounds and have more energy at the same time!

    • admin says:

      I really don’t know the answer to your question Teresa. I would suspect everyone is different. Its difficult to chew through a tablespoon of chia seeds and you would need to drink plety of water. Much better to add the seeds to water (or water with a little fruit juice to add some flavor) stir vigorously and drink it straight down if you don’t like the idea of letting it gel first. Alternatively, you could try a chia seed pudding.

  11. Jessica says:

    Why are my chia seeds not gelling? I folled the recipe and have been in juice for almost an hour?

    • admin says:

      I have occasionally had other people make the same comment Jessica. I can only put this down to immature or poor quality seeds. If your chia seeds are brown instead of black or white, then they arer immature. Try another brand of chia. Chia seeds start to gel almost immediately once they are placed in liquid and should be finished within 20 minutes.

      • zunaj says:

        I have been adding about a tablespoon full of chia seeds to about 8oz.of vegatable juice (breakfast) and have noticed a decrease in my appatite. I am no loger hungry at lunch (about f9ve hours later) but I have not really lost a significant amount of weight. I am calorie conscience….should I add more seeds to my diet?

        • admin says:

          Hi Zunaj. Most people do best on around 3 tablespoons of chia seeds per day for weight loss. This should be taken over the course of the day, before or with a meal. I’m glad you have noticed a decrease in your appetite with just a tablespoon for breakfast.

      • jen says:

        I had the same problem!! I cant remember what kind of seeds we have (im having a duh moment, sorry) it turns out i didn’t whisk the seeds and the water together enough! i tried a new batch and mixed the you know what out of it and it worked!

    • Rowena says:

      Hi Jessica,

      Both my sister and I had the same trouble when we made chia mousse… are you using white seeds? Try black chia seeds, they seem to gel better. Not sure what the difference between white & black are but black definitely gels better

  12. Heather says:

    Hi, I am wondering, when you make chia seed pudding, should the seed still be a bit crunchy in the center? I have tried to make it twice and both times the crunchy center was still there after soaking for more than a day. Thanks!

    • admin says:

      The chia seeds in a pudding should not have a crunchy center Heather. The seeds will not absorb any more liquid after 20 to 30 minutes. It sounds like you may have a batch of slightly immature seeds. Try a different brand next time. The texture of soaked chia seeds should have a little resistance but no crunch. Sometimes the seeds pop when bitten and release the flavor of whatever they have been soaked in – a great sensation with fruity chia gels!

  13. Danette says:

    I like to make a protein frappe with soaked Chia seeds added to it. I make a few ahead and freeze the frappe.
    Am I getting the same benefits from the Chia seeds after freezing and then partially thawing the drinks.

    • admin says:

      I believe you would be getting the same benefits Danette. Chia seeds are very robust and do not lose much nutritional value when cooked or frozen. They also have lots of antioxidants which helps them keep fresh when stored. They can be stored for up to 2 years in your kitchen cupboard.

      • lucy says:

        I just bought a bag of chia seeds. haven’t tried them yet, but i’m excited to now after reading this. But i thought i read on the bag that you had to refrigerate after opening and try to keep it as airtight as possible and out of the sun. does that not matter?

        • admin says:

          Hi Lucy. Chia seeds are very hardy and have loads of anitoxidants. The antioxidants keep them fresh for up to 2 years stored in your kitchen cupboard. By all means keep them out of the sun, but I have never heard they need to be in the refrigerator or kept airtight. Once you start using them and notice the health benefits, I don’t see your chia seeds needing to be stored for very long anyway 🙂

  14. Amanda says:

    Are you able to drink chia seeds with water without waiting for the mixture to turn to a gel?

    • admin says:

      Yes Amanda! Many people don’t like driking a gel, including me! However I enjoy eating a thicker gel or pudding made with fuit juice, milk or milk substitute, with a spoon.

  15. Christian a. says:

    Any ideas on how I can get the chia seeds to stop clumping at the top and bottom of my water bottle? I like to take a bottle with me on my hikes but the seeds separate to the top and bottom of the bottle no matter how much I shake up the bottle. Any ideas?

    • admin says:

      Christian, I fill my water bottle about one quarter full of water, then pour in the chia seeds through a funnel and shake vigorously until the seeds are well dispersed, then add the rest of the water a little at a time until the water bottle is full. The seeds will still separate out, but a quick shake before you drink will disperse them evenly. Another way is to make a gel of water and the seeds you want to use, separately in a jug, then gradually add more water, stirring continuously and pour that into your drinking bottle. Once again, the seeds will separate out, but a quick shake will usually fix that when you are ready to drink. Hope that helps.

  16. Shirley Seah says:

    Does chia seed lose some of its value if use in cooking or baking I.e. when they are exposed to heating. Thks.

    • admin says:

      From what I understand Shirley, chia seeds are robust and do not lose much of their nutritional value when used in cooking or baking.

  17. So here’s a question: how much chia gel would it take one to see health benefits? Gel-specific here; recently, my stomach has disagreed with everything. I would be using gel in almost every recipe I make, partly as an assist to protein intake and muscle-maintenance (wasting issue).

    • admin says:

      Hi there. Its usually recommended to have 2-3 tablespoons of chia seeds per day for health benefits. How much liquid you add to make a gel depends on how thick you want the gel to be. A tablespoon of seeds to half a cup of liquid makes a gel of good consistency. If you are adding the seeds to a “wet” recipe such as soup or stew, just add the dry seeds to your dish at the end of cooking and let it stand for around 10 minutes to allow the seeds to soften and swell.

  18. Shelly says:

    I also make a weight loss drink that is 8 oz green tea, 4 oz aloe juice, 4 oz cranbeery juice, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp chia.
    I LOVE chia.
    Making Chia pudding tonight!
    I have lost 60 lbs in 3 months and a week!

  19. Vikash says:

    Hi

    I have recently heard about this seed and bought a white,black mix of chia seeds. I have a few questions

    1) Is it better to consume white over black or vice versa?

    2) Can this be consumed by pregnant women? Will there be any special health benefit?

    3) How it promotes weight loss? It contains appx 80 Kcal per tbs?

    thanks so much

    • admin says:

      Hi Vikash. A black/whiet mix is fine. There is very little difference between the nutrients in black or white chia seeds. I believe the antioxidants are a little higher in the black seeds. Chia seeds are classed by the FDA as a food and therefore are deemed safe to eat by humans as part of a healthy diet. Chia seeds have many health benefits, but I do not know of any specifically related to pregnancy. Weight loss is aided by chia seeds because they keep you feeling full and the high level of nutrients, including omega 3’s keep you feeling satisfied for longer.

      • Emily B says:

        @Vikash: Omega 3’s are being shown more and more to be important for the developing fetus. I read that some researchers feel that Omega 3’s are as important for pregnant moms as is folic acid (and you know how hard that is pushed). All the best in your pregnancy!

  20. Sue says:

    How often do you recommend we should consume chia seeds?

    • admin says:

      Hi Sue. One to two tablespoons of chia seeds per day is enough for most people to feel the health benefits, around four tablespoons for weight loss purposes. I also take a few days break from chia seeds once in a while because I like to vary my diet (and sometimes because I have forgotten to get them)

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