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:
- 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.
- Stir well, and put in the fridge over night
- 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.