Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to our diet, and the reason we are encouraged to eat fish. That's why many consider these healthy fats to be the Achilles' heel of vegetarians and vegans. But what happens if you're a meat-eater who simply doesn't like fish? Well, good news. You can take a page from the vegan and vegetarian (cook)book, and get your omega-3 from chia seeds.
Chia seeds are not only an excellent source of omega-3 but also are rich in protein, fiber, calcium and vitamin C.
Ready to introduce some ch-ch-ch-chia into your diet?
When you soak chia seeds in liquid for 10 to 15 minutes, they become gelatinous. For this reason, some people use chia as an egg substitute. But many people also add it to pudding, because of the similar texture of the gelatinous seeds. Take this recipe for mango lime chia pudding, for example. You can tell the seeds have expanded. Since the seeds don't taste of anything, you can add them to virtually any flavor of pudding you prefer. We'll maybe not tapioca — that might be gelatinous overload, especially if you are not a fan of that texture.
You won't find an easier way to introduce chia seeds to your diet than adding them to smoothies, and we mean any smoothie, from the spinach, kale, green stuff that hardcore health junkies shotgun to something like this triple berry chia smoothie.
Five minutes, five ingredients. It doesn't get easier.
Overnight oatmeal was all the rage and still makes the rounds on good old Pinterest. It not only makes for a nutritious and convenient breakfast, but also the perfect opportunity to put those chia seeds to good use. We like this recipe for cherry chocolate chunk refrigerator oatmeal.
Check out this porridge recipe. When you're done preparing it, you can either set it aside for 30 minutes or leave it overnight in the fridge. We're huge fans of finding breakfast waiting in the fridge after not enough sleep and a 12-hour workday, not including oh-so-joyous commute, ahead.
Don't have time to soak them? You don't have to! Throw a couple of teaspoons into that pancake batter. You won't taste them, and you'll render even those decadent blueberry Dutch baby pancakes healthier.
While you're at it, throw some in to these lemon chia seed muffins, in lieu of (or in addition to, if you like) poppy seeds.
And check out these adorable and delicious mini egg muffins. Told you that you can add chia to pretty much anything. Neutral foods rock, especially when they are good for us.
If you don't mind 20 minutes of baking and have a hankering for one of those delightful Kind bars, then you'll have to check out this copycat recipe. It includes two tablespoons of chia seeds, will satisfy hunger and, perhaps, your sweet tooth. Our kind of bar indeed…
Here's a no-bake recipe that's just as tasty.
No time to make jam, you say? You haven't seen this recipe for raspberry chia seed jam. All you need are five ingredients and five minutes. Well, you do need to refrigerate it for at least an hour, but you can make it before going to bed and have a nice treat waiting for you the next morning. Peanut butter and raspberry chia jam? Yes, please.
This is but a small sampling of how to add chia to your diet. But we're not kidding, you can add chia to pretty much anything, including your bottle of water, homemade salad dressing, dipping sauces, scrambled eggs, pasta sauce (including pesto!), soup, stew… the sky's the limit.