Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Nuts and Seeds
Chia seeds are the edible seeds of the plant Salvia hispanica.
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
Chia seeds are very small in size and usually black or white in color. They have a very mild, nutty flavor and crunchy texture when dry. When mixed with liquid, chia seeds will swell and absorb up to ten times their original volume of liquid—this results in a gel-like consistency similar to that of soaked tapioca.
The seeds can also be sprouted in a moist environment to yield chia sprouts.
Storage[edit | edit source]
When kept cool and dry, chia seeds have a very long shelf life. They are not particularly prone to rancidity, but storage in the freezer may help retard this if it is a concern. Soaked or sprouted chia seeds have a shorter shelf life and should be consumed within a week.
Use[edit | edit source]
Chia has a variety of uses in sweet and savory preparations. They can be eaten raw, which adds a crunchy texture to dishes. Their swelling power makes them useful in puddings, and they can also be used to add body in gluten-free baking. They may also be used as an egg substitute in some recipes by combining 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of warm water and allowing it to gel. Chia sprouts can be used like other sprouts and microgreens, such as in salads or sandwiches.
In Latin America, the beverage chia fresca is made by combining chia seeds, citrus juice, and a sweetener.