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How to Soak Chia Seeds & Use Chia Seeds

Updated on February 11, 2013
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Soaking Chia Seeds makes them a very healthy and versatile addition to recipes

When Chia Seeds are soaked in liquid they simultaneously expand up to nine times their original size and release their amazing nutrients.

The longer they soak, the more the health benefit. Letting them soak overnight is optimal.

The seeds and liquid form a Gel that absorbs the flavor of the liquid, making unlimited flavor combinations possible.

Basic Chia Gel can be added to many recipes that are designed for people with food sensitivities as well. Raw Chia is a gluten free, all natural seed.

The seeds can be soaked in water, milk, fruit/vegetable juice or any other liquid you would like to try. The gel will stay fresh and ready to use for 2 weeks when refrigerated.

What makes them so healthy?

It takes our bodies a long time to remove the liquid absorbed by the seeds so it allows us to stay hydrated longer.

The Chia Gel also has other wonderful health benefits that make it important to use on a daily basis. This amazing new super-food has a significant amount of fiber, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, protein, iron, and calcium.


Basic Chia Gel
Basic Chia Gel | Source

Basic Chia Gel

To make a basic Chia Gel used for baking and other recipes, all you need is water.

Start by mixing ¼ cup chia seeds and 1 cup of water, stir after 15 minutes or so, cover the container and place in the refrigerator. That’s it.

The seeds will turn into a gel that is the consistency of pudding or custard.

Let it soak overnight and it is ready to use. It doesn’t get any easier than that.



Chia Muffins
Chia Muffins | Source

Baking with Chia Gel

You can easily replace ¼ of the oil or butter in a baking recipe with chia gel without noticing any change in the taste or texture.

This simple change may increase the omega-3 fatty acids in the final recipe three times the original amount.

Although it might be tempting to substitute a larger percent for a larger benefit, 25% is the maximum substitution ratio you can use unnoticed.

As a bonus, adding the Chia Gel can keep the food moist and tasting fresh longer.

This can be used in many things like cakes, muffins, brownies, quick breads or any recipe that asks for oil or butter.



Source
Source

Chia Gel is a great snack!

When you soak the seeds in other liquids such as a fruit juice, vegetable juice, or flavored water you have an instant snack.

Combined 1 cup of liquid and ¼ cup Chia Seeds just like with the Basic Gel. The only difference is that you have added some flavor. Allow them to soak about 15 minutes then stir the mixture. You can eat the gel after 15 minutes or let it soak longer to increase the nutrition content.

Adding fruit or granola to your gel is a great way to make your snack unique and will give you the boost you need mid-day. Sliced bananas, pears, or peaches are a perfect compliment. Blueberries, raspberries or strawberries also add an amazing flavor and texture. Stir the fruit in gently and eat the chia gel with a spoon.



Berry Parfait with Raspberry Chia Gel
Berry Parfait with Raspberry Chia Gel | Source

There is always room for dessert when it's this healthy!

The fruit juice Chia gel makes an incredible topping for desserts as well. It is a delicious addition to ice cream, poached pears, baked apples, and of course cheesecake!

When the gel is mixed with fruit and layered with yogurt or custard you have a delicious parfait. If you go a step further and add granola to the mix you have just made a heavenly breakfast that has all the nutrition you need to power through your morning.


The Possibilities are Endless

Flavored gel can also be used when making seasonal Fruit Sauce or Chutney and served with pork or lamb for dinner.

There is no limit as to how many different ways you can use Chia Seeds Gel to improve your health and enhance your recipes.

The only question is, what do you like best?


Have you ever heard of Chia Gel?

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    • profile image

      Emy 6 months ago

      today first day try the chia seeds ...

    • roxanne459 profile image
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      Roxanne Lewis 3 years ago from Washington

      jillyb, absolutely they can! Sounds delicious! :)

    • profile image

      jillyb 3 years ago

      Could chia gel made with fruit juice be frozen into a chia pop?

    • healthy meals profile image

      healthy meals 3 years ago from Europe

      Very informative hub. I've just got my first pack of Chia seeds yesterday -in an effort to improve my diet- and I had my first chia gel this morning in a smoothie, it was very pleasant. I will certainly try your suggestions here.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 4 years ago from Washington

      Ice Cream? What a great idea! I am definitely trying that this weekend. :)

    • georgialgal1984 profile image

      Mrs Clark 4 years ago from United States

      I love Chia seeds! I will make the gel or add them in my homemade & healthy blender ice cream. Great information! Hope you have a wonderful day~

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 4 years ago from Washington

      col356, I think it's great that you are using Chia Seeds! Unfortunately, they do need to be refrigerated after they have gelled. :( When Chia Seeds are soaked in a liquid they release all their many nutrients which means we absorb them faster but it also means they are subject to spoiling like any natural food that is left out. Leaving them out for about 30 minutes so the gel can form is totally fine! After that, they should be refrigerated or eaten. Sorry about the bad news, I just don't want you to feel bad when you're obviously trying to do something so good.

    • profile image

      col356 4 years ago

      Very informative article! Thank you!

      I made a water bottle with chia seeds but I left it out for almost 24 hours.

      I see that it can be stored for 2 weeks in the fridge, but do the hydrated seeds NEED to be refrigerated?

      I don't want to throw it away if I don't have to.

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      stayvillainous 4 years ago

      Thank you very much roxanne459

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 4 years ago from Washington

      stayvillainous, it is completely normal for some seeds to float to the top at first. After the seeds have been in the liquid for approximately 10 minutes, stir the mixture so that all the seeds have been covered. They will all expand and gel over time.

      It is definitely not bad to digest them before the gel has formed! It is common to eat Chia Seeds plain or with other foods as well as using the gel. You will get all of the many health benefits no matter how you choose to eat them. :)

    • profile image

      stayvillainous 4 years ago

      Is there a reason some of the chia seeds float back to the top? Does it really matter if I digest them?

    • profile image

      Mj 4 years ago

      The gel may last in the fridge weeks if you make it with water but don't expect to get more than a few days f you use juice or milk. The use by date of the liquid u use should be your guide inthis case.

      MJ

    • roxanne459 profile image
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      Roxanne Lewis 4 years ago from Washington

      Thank you elderadvisor, I'm not surprised to hear that at all. When Chia seeds are added to a healthy diet, there are so many benefits!

    • profile image

      Alicia Foley 4 years ago from Connecticut

      This is an informative Hub. I just saw a documentary that mentioned consuming Chia gel as a way to naturally detoxify the body. You have some great suggestions as to how to incorporate Chia into your everyday diet.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 4 years ago from Washington

      Great Idea! I usually put them in the individual servings as they are being served. Havn't tried cooking them in the recipe but I will now! :)

    • Mitch Alan profile image

      Mitch Alan 4 years ago from South Jersey

      Making chili today and added them to the pot.Extra nutrients without changing the flavor.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 4 years ago from Washington

      That sounds amazing! I think I will have to try that one for myself. I also have a daily smoothie that includes mixed berries, banana, vanilla soy milk, chia seeds, spinach and coconut oil. I have no doubt that you will discover many new delicious ways to enjoy the chia gel as well.

      My daily snack for work is 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup soy milk and 2 tablespoons chia seeds. I let that set, then add some pure cocoa powder and agave nectar. It tastes like chocolate tapioca pudding and keeps me going for hours!

    • Mitch Alan profile image

      Mitch Alan 4 years ago from South Jersey

      I mix Chia seeds with spinach, Kale, banana, blueberries, strawberries, almonds and flaxseed in my NutriBullet every morning. I have been meaning to try the gel. I do add the seeds to soups and chowders. Might need to make some gel tomorrow. Great Hub.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 4 years ago from Washington

      You will love them! :)

    • sarahshuihan profile image

      Sarah 4 years ago from USA

      I was actually thinking about trying chia seeds out! Thanks for the informative post!

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 4 years ago from Washington

      Thank you loveofnight! I really hope you get as much out of them as we do ;)

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 4 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      I actually thought that you were talking about chia pets, I was in awe.....None the less this sounds like a definite try. The next time that I make market I will be on the look out for it, I'm loving it and haven't tried it yet. Thanks for all of the great advice.....keep hubbing

    • roxanne459 profile image
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      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      wayseeker, when I first heard of Chia seeds I thought the same thing! :) I really hope you try them and let me know what you think.

      Thanks so much for checking this out.

    • wayseeker profile image

      wayseeker 5 years ago from Colorado

      I laughed out loud at your poll--I seriously thought soaking Chia seeds had something to do with growing a better Chia pet. This is completely new to me, and quite intriguing. I'm looking for ways to improve my diet in general, and this looks like it might be a great thing to investigate.

      You provide a lot of nice detail here that gives many options for its use. I think I'll check it out.

      Thanks for the ideas and information!

      wayseeker

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Marcy, this really is an amazing little seed and so easy to use. I hope you try it and enjoy better health! :)

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      I want to try this! The Omega 3 really sold me on the idea, and the simplicity of making it! Now I wish I'd paid more attention to the Chia Pets fad!

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      I must admit it took me a litte while to get used to. Now, the pudding is one of my all favorites! ;)

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Kris, I added a link to your hub; The Benefit of Black and White Chia Seeds.. Thank you! :)

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Hahaa, there was a bit of Chia gel floating around the office a couple weeks back after a white elephant-gifted Chia Pet was taken out. It's a funny substance!

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      Nice hub:) The substitution ration you give here is great.

      I"ll link out to it from my hub on the health benefits of white and black chia seeds.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      jessicafox, thank you for reading and commenting :)