Chia gel is easy to prepare and use for chia pudding, breakfast bowls, smoothies and more.
About Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are tiny black, brown or white seeds that are often referred to as a superfood. They are quite bland in taste which means they readily take on the flavour of whatever you put them in.
When put into liquid like water, juice or a smoothie, chia seeds absorb the liquid and a gelatinous coating forms around each seed creating a chia gel that can be used in a variety of ways.
These gluten-free seeds are rich in omega-3, protein, fibre (soluble and insoluble) plus vitamins & minerals including calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Making Chia Gel
I like to have some chia gel in the fridge to use for a quick chia pudding, to add to smoothies and breakfast bowls. I prefer to use water instead of milk, non-dairy or juice so it has a neutral flavour and lasts a bit longer.
Time needed: 15 minutes.
How to make chia gel
- Add ¼ cup of chia seeds to 1 cup of water and stir.
- Let sit for 5 minutes to absorb some water, then stir.
Some of the chia seeds may float and form a raft or crust on the top. When you stir the mixture this will break up.
- Let the mixture sit for 10 more minutes and then stir.
The chia seeds will continue to absorb the water and create a gel coating on the outside of each seed.
- After about 15 minutes your chia gel will be ready to use.
The chia seeds will continue to absorb water and the gel will thicken up. The gel is ready to use or be stored in the fridge.
How can you use chia gel?
Chia gel can be used in a variety of ways:
- To make chia pudding
- Added to smoothies, chia gel will help thicken the smoothie without changing the flavour
- For a natural energy drink like Chia Fresca, a popular drink in Central America. Chia is added to a mixture of water, lemon or lime juice and a sweetener.
- Including chia gel into the liquid of a smoothie bowl will make it more hearty and filling.
Chia pudding is simply chia seeds, liquid and flavouring, and can be quite filling. A little goes a long way! It takes just a few minutes to make and can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.
Why make chia pudding?
- Simple and easy, chia gel can be put together in just a few minutes.
- The flavour combinations endless! Are strawberries in season? Make a simple strawberry jam and add it to your base. Do you want something seasonal? Add in some cooked, pureed pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice for some warming fall flavours.
- Chia pudding is a great portable snack to take to work or school. I like to use small mason jars or recycled yogurt pots - they hold just the right amount for a filling snack.
- Chia pudding is quite filling.
Customizing your Chia Pudding
- Chia pudding is very versatile and can be customized to your personal taste. I like to make a batch of chia gel with chia seeds & water and keep that in my fridge for a couple of days to make chia pudding or add to smoothies.
- If you prefer a smoother texture simply blend your chia pudding.
- Make a couple of different flavours and layer them together for a bright, healthy and tasty snack.
Try out one of the variations below or make your own and share your favourite in the comments below!
- Add cacao powder for a chocolate pudding.
- Mix fruit puree, chopped fresh or dried fruit into the basic chia pudding.
- Stir in some matcha powder.
- Keep the base the same and switch out the spices.
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ½ cup coconut milk (can use almond milk or any other non-dairy milk preferred)
- 2 - 3 tsps date paste (alternative sweetener options: 2 tsp honey or maple syrup)
- ¼ tsp vanilla powder or extract
- Add chia seeds to the water and stir. Let sit to gel, 15 minutes to overnight.
- Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.