Ch-ch-ch-chia! The Tiny Seed's Health Benefits Are No Gimmick



Their name may still call to mind a certain commercial jingle, but chia seeds (yes, those chia seeds) are currently experiencing a reputation turnaround that has nothing to do with as-seen-on-TV sprouted ‘pets’. They may be tiny, but the little seeds pack a ton of nutrients into a small package, and their unique texture has inspired everyone from bloggers to chefs to come up with fun recipes to work them into your daily routine.

In addition to their status as a complete protein, chia seeds also contain calcium, manganese, and Omega-3 fatty acids, all of which your body will appreciate. With a healthy dose of fibre in each serving to boot, adding some chia seeds to your meal, or building a dish around them, will keep you feeling full long after you’ve put down your utensils. And, thanks to their rise to foodie fame via sites like Pinterest and nutritionists’ approval, you can find them in most grocery and health food stores, both whole and ground (both offer the same nutritional value).

Along with protein-rich flax seeds and quinoa, chia is quickly becoming a favourite dietary staple among the health-conscious set. Whether you want to cautiously give the seeds a try by adding a sprinkling to your lunchtime salad, or are ready to dive in with a pudding that takes full advantage of their smooth, tapioca-like texture, here are a few recipes and links to help you get started!

Feature image: Taylor Kiser via Unsplash



What You’ll Need:

1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoons organic maple syrup or honey
¼ cup chia seeds
Toppings: ½ cup blueberries, one banana sliced

Consider this your first introduction to chia as a breakfast option! When combined with liquid (in this case, almond milk), chia seeds develop an interesting, smooth coating, which is flavourless. That means, you can add just about any topping (yogurt, fruit, you name it) without ending up with an odd combination of tastes. For the full recipe for this delicious, 5-minute bowl, head to Joyful Healthy Eats!








What You’ll Need:

1 cup flour
⅛ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. chia seeds
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened milk (I use almond milk)
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 banana sliced, for serving
½ cup 100% pure Maple Syrup
2 tbsp. peanut butter

Use this recipe to take your chia-for-breakfast game to the next level. Perfect for a lazy Sunday brunch, these pancakes offer all of the delicious trappings of a weekend breakfast, with an added dose of protein and potassium. If peanut syrup isn’t your thing, and other topping could work just as well. For instructions, visit Delish Knowledge.



Coconut Quinoa and Chia Granola

What You’ll Need:

1 cup rolled oats (I used quick cooking steel cut oats)
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped/slivered/sliced
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 tbsp stevia extract, powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened

Great with plain Greek yogurt in the morning, or as a snack on its own, this granola recipe combines the great taste (and benefits) of coconut, with the protein and crunch of super grain quinoa, and the chia seed. And, clocking in with only 60 calories per serving, it’s an ideal alternative to sugar-laden boxed granolas you’ll find at the grocery store. For the recipe, take a look at ifoodreal.





What You’ll Need:

300 g (10 1/2 oz / 1 3/4 cups) whole raw buckwheat groats
60 g (2 fl oz / 1/4 cup) whole chia seed
250 ml / 1 cup water (use half to soak chia seeds and the other half to combine in the food processor or blender)
60 ml ( 2 fl oz / ¼ cup ) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda (or 1 1/2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
juice from ½ lemon (if using bicarb)

Breakfast isn’t the only time of day when you can work chia into your diet! This hearty bread recipe makes a loaf that ensures your lunchtime sandwiches are as healthy as possible, or that your bowl of soup is paired with an equally nutritious side. Along with heart-healthy buckwheat, chia seeds can give bread a much needed boost, and will help keep you fuller longer than a typical slice! You can read up on the full benefits, and find the recipe, at The Healthy Chef.




What You’ll Need:

¾ cup chia seeds
¼ cup whipped butter, softened
1 egg white
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup agave nectar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder

Looking for a sweet treat to enjoy with your coffee or tea, guilt-free? Chia seeds can do that, too! These crispy, thin wafer cookies are the perfect snack, as the protein provided by the chia seeds will ensure that you stay satisfied long after the buzz from any other treat will have worn off. You can also try experimenting with unsweetened versions of this wafer — chia crackers and cheese would make a fantastic mid-afternoon break as well. In the meantime, the sweeter version can be found at Savy Naturalista.

Looking for even more ways to get chia seeds into your daily routine? Check out Everything Zoomer‘s guide to their 10 favourite recipes using this amazing ingredient.