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.


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

121 Responses to “Chia Gel”

  1. andy says:

    hello. i tried this a few years ago. and trying again. should this turn into a jell? i think it did last time. this time it looks more like jello. are my seeds bad?

    • admin says:

      The seeds can vary from season to season. Looking like jello is fine. Next time you want to make something with chia seeds, add more (or less) liquid, to get the consistency you want.

  2. Sue says:

    I tried making chia tapioca pudding tonight, and it called for 3/4 cup chia seeds to 2 cups almond milk. It made an amazing amount of pudding! But I was a little disappointed to see that after 30 minutes, the seeds retained some of their “crunch”. Will that ever go away, or will they stay that way?

    • admin says:

      Sounds like there was too much chia to liquid ratio in this recipe Sue. The crunch in the chia seeds is probably because the seeds have not expanded as much as they could. In time, like about a day or so this crunch could go away. Next time, try using half a cup of chia seeds to two cups almond milk. This should give a better result.

  3. Pearl Williams says:

    How much chia seeds do you take a day?

  4. tammy gilliland says:

    I put 3/4 cup of Chia seeds with almond milk , stir and put in microwave for one minute, stir and nuke again for 30 seconds,stir again
    and it gels up wonderfully
    had a little cocoa powder reminds me of Cocoa wheats

  5. Kay B says:

    I have been soaking black chia seeds in coconut water for nearly 6 hours now and they have not gelatined as yet why is that?

    • admin says:

      Hi Kay. There are only two reasons why chia seeds will not thicken liquid. One is you have added too much liquid — try adding 1 rounded tablespoon of chia seeds to half a cup of coconut water and keep stirring until it thickens, usually within a minute. The other reason is the brand of chia seeds is inferior in some way. Sometimes the chia seeds are immature and they will be brown rather than black. So make sure you have a well known brand.

    • susan says:

      I make my gel and set it in the fridge. Sometimes it takes several hours for the gel to form.

  6. Neil1959 says:


    I have been using Chia, white and black every day for a year now. I am 56 years old and since taking them feel absolutely great. I just stumbled across the chia gel method this morning on your site.

    Chia seeds have a fairly high ORAC value 10400 @100gms. They are an anti-oxidative seed and when mixed in fluid become 22400 when left to turn into gel.

    I would be cautious about overeating too many as it could place stress on your liver and kidneys. 1 to 2 Tbsp is probably all you need.

    I like adding them to a mix of 3 Tbsp of Greek yoghurt, a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 Tbsp of black chia and teaspoon of Manuka 10+honey. This mix is very high in anti-oxidants and great for the gut flora in your stomach.

    But like everything, enjoy in balance.

  7. Jo Ellie says:

    Hi, I have used chia seeds in the past but unfortunately suffered greatly with flatulance!!! I have been thinking of trying them again but in gel form instead of pure seeds. Any advice you have on this matter would be greatly appreciated! The chia seeds improved my skin within a few days and I really would like to give them another go! Many thanks!

    • admin says:

      Hi Jo Ellie, Chia seeds in a fruit juice gel may solve your problem. It may also help to take chia seeds in a yogurt base, especially a good sugar free pribiotic yogurt. Alternately maybe using ground chia seeds would be beneficial for you. Good luck.

  8. Casi Howell says:

    I am new to using chia seeds and wanted to use them in a natural protein shake but they are not fully turning to gel.. When I add the frozen berries and blend there are bits of seed in my drink :/
    I am following online recomendations at a ratio of 1cup milk to 2tbls chia seeds… With the hope of adding yogurt and fruit … Is there any way to get them to fully gel, or fully grind?

    • admin says:

      Hi Casi. I find that if I add chia seeds to a shake, just by letting the mixture stand for 10 minutes or so, the shake will thicken more and any seeds or portions of seed will soften and “disappear” into the shake. A gel of 2 tablespoons of seed to 1 cup of milk will be quite thick. Adding yogurt and fruit will dilute it somewhat, but it should still be quite a nice thick texture. If not, you may have purchased an inferior brand of chia containing immature seeds — these seeds will often be brown. To fully grind the seeds you can use a coffee grinder or, as I do, a Magic Bullet. Alternately, you can also buy ground chia seeds. Experiment with adding chia seeds to your protein shake in different ways to find the way that you like best.

  9. k says:

    i tried to make the gel and separately, added raw chia seeds to coconut water, but the liquid really didn’t thicken up within 15 minutes. do i need to grind them to thicken or should it be done automatically?

    looking forward to trying many of your recipes!

    also, has anyone used them in milk tea?

    • admin says:

      When gel doesn’t thicken, its either because you didn’t add enough chia seeds to the liquid, including coconut water or because your chia seeds are of inferior quality. First try adding more chia seeds to your liquid to get a gel, and if that doesn’t work, try another brand of chia seeds. A gel should occur quickly and easily with normal chia seeds. Two tablespoons of chia seeds in a cup of liquid should produce a gel. A higher concentration of chia seeds will make a thicker gel. I have used chia seeds in milk tea and I only used a teaspoon of chia seeds, so as not to make a gel, much like a chia fresca mix. I also found it necessary to stir the mix the mixture between sips to prevent the seeds from settling out on the bottom. It was nice and refreshing.

  10. Gregg says:

    Thank you for all the information, I had seen chia seeds in a couple recipes in a recent issue of Men’s Health and decided to pick up a bag when I saw them at the store yesterday…I am on a diet for my wedding later this year and hope that chia seeds will be a nice thing to add to my newfound healthy cooking!

    • admin says:

      Hi Gregg, and good luck with your new healthy cooking. Regular use of chia seeds should make you feel healthier and aid in weight loss. I find its useful to have a couple of quick and easy ways to add chia seeds to your daily diet, such as a tablespoon of seeds added to a smoothie or a soup. Of course a quick chia fruit juice gel is also an easy option.

  11. Venus says:

    If i drink the chia seeds in my protein shake without letting it get thick will it thicken up in my stomach. I am trying to lose weight and the reason why i bought the chia seeds is so it could thicken up in my stomach making me full.

    • admin says:

      Yes it will thicken in your stomach and make you feel full, Venus. Make sure you drink a little more water to go with the chia seeds (which will also help you feel fuller).

  12. Patrick says:

    If i put my chia seeds in a coffee grinder and obliterate them to a dust, does that take away all their nutrient goodness?

    on another note!
    I also love making
    Chia-Brownies ^_^

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