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Apparently chia seeds are a very high source of polyunsaturated fatty acids and have a very favourable ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. In terms of nutritional quality they are very similar to flaxseed.

What are some different ways that chia seed can be eaten? Do they have a taste that makes them a good substitute for other foods, and what kind of foods are complemented well by chia seeds?

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on Seasoned Advice, the cooking SE site. Eating chia is not unique to vegetarians and vegans. – Nic Apr 16 '18 at 7:38
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    Voting to Leave Open because chia is one of the few veg*n sources of omega 3 fatty acids, and can work as a binding ingredient in place of eggs and thus particularly common and important in veg*n diets and recipes – Zanna Apr 16 '18 at 9:28
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    Voting to Leave Open because of the reasons that Zanna outlined above. With the amount of activity on this site so far, I believe we can cater to questions that are not related to veganism by definition but have strong ties to it, such as chia seeds. Might be good to discuss this in Meta. – Alexander Rossa Apr 16 '18 at 10:52
  • @AlexanderRossa I struggle to imagine what is about veg*nism by definition. If preparing veg*n food is not about veg*nism, what is the site going to be about? :( – Zanna Apr 17 '18 at 7:37
  • @Zanna I agree that veg*n food is about veg*nism. I do not see chia seeds as exclusively veg*n since they are also quite popular in the general cooking community, mainly in the recent years, but as I said in my previous comment, I definitely see a strong connetion between them and veg*nism without them being targeted at vegn*sm (such as soy milk, veg*n meat-substitutes and so on). – Alexander Rossa Apr 17 '18 at 9:17
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Chia seeds form a very viscous substance when soaked. This is similar to the behaviour of flax seeds, but chia seeds have a much more neutral flavour that goes well with sweet foods.

It is a popular "raw food" ingredient, because of its binding and nutritional properties.

Soaking chia seeds for 15 minutes or so in vegan milk, fruit juices or a mixture of any nut butter and water, optionally along with a liquid sweetener like agave, date syrup, or maple syrup, and other ingredients like dried fruits, other seeds, desiccated coconut, sweet spices, cocoa powder or cacao nibs, etc as desired, produces a "chia pudding" which is becoming popular as a breakfast food or snack. This can be made overnight like porridge. Oats can be included for their nutritional and textural properties. I usually make chia pudding this way:

  1. Combine a 50:50 mixture of oats and chia, with nut mylk to just cover, a few chopped dried apricots or raisins/sutanas, desiccated coconut (optional) and a teaspoon of maple, rice or date syrup or molasses.
  2. Stir well, and put in the fridge over night
  3. Add any extra toppings such as nuts and fresh fruit.

After soaking, chia seeds can be blended until smooth, and this forms a fluffy substance that can be useful in desserts. I have mixed it with freeze-dried strawberry or cocoa powder and maple syrup, and used this as filling on a raw pie/tart base (made from ground up nuts and dried fruit), for example.

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Chia seeds have a very mild nutty flavor. I put them in smoothies. I use a Bullet blender and just toss them in. Favorite smoothies: Carrot, celery, 🍏 apple, chia seeds, orange juice; Pineapple juice, chia, banana, coconut flakes.

Because they’re so mild, I suppose you could bake them into a casserole, or sprinkle on top of either a sweet or savory dish before serving.

I find them a very versatile, healthy additive. Take a small mouthful and taste them; notice if their mild flavor reminds you of another food and then add them to that food or dish with that ingredients. A soup or PBJ comes to mind.

I cannot address all of your questions because my experience is limited by chia seeds whole and dry.

Good luck with your food experiment.

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Chia Egg Substitute for Baking

  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 2.5 Tbsp water

Berry Chia Jelly

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 to 12 ounces (around 2 ½ cups) frozen raspberries, preferably organic
  • 10 to 12 ounces (around 2 ¼ cups) frozen blueberries, preferably organic/wild.
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (about ½ medium orange, juiced)
  • Up to 4 tablespoons maple syrup (optional), to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the frozen raspberries and blueberries, chia seeds and orange juice. Cover and let the mixture defrost for about three hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator (the front of the bottom shelf in the fridge is the ideal spot for defrosting, since it’s generally the warmest area).

  2. Once the berries are defrosted and soft, use a potato masher (or the back of a big spoon or serving fork should work) to mash up the mixture to your desired consistency. I like some texture in my jam, so I don’t mash it much.

  3. Taste, and if you’d like a sweeter jam, stir in some maple syrup, to taste (keep in mind that you can always just drizzle maple syrup or honey onto your jam later, if you prefer). If the chia seeds aren’t nice and plump yet, let the mixture rest for about 20 minutes to let them absorb some more moisture.

  4. Store leftover jam in the refrigerator, covered, for about 1 week.

You can also use Chia Seeds in place of Poppy Seeds for baked goods like "Poppy Seed Muffins" as Chia Seeds provide a higher percentage of B Vitamins and Fiber.

Dr. Greger has 3 Videos on the health benefits of Chia Seeds on his site NutritionFacts.org

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    Hi, welcome to Vegetarianism SE :) Would you mind expanding your answer a bit? Perhaps sharing a link to the jelly recipe or adding some more information? – Alexander Rossa Apr 7 '18 at 22:03
  • I'd be interested in more details about substituting them for eggs (qty? any prep?) too! – Erica Apr 8 '18 at 18:44

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