Updated on January 5, 2017
Source Why Would You Grow Your Own Chia?
Chia is easy to grow, beautiful to look at, and offers lots of nutritional value. It deserves a place in any garden.
I have been growing chia organically for the past ten years, and in that time I have fine-tuned my growing and harvesting techniques. Chia is one of the easiest plants to grow, and one of the healthiest.
Chia seeds are a very high source of linolenic acid (LNA) and linoleic acid (LA). Both these essential fatty acids attract oxygen and help cell membranes to be flexible and fluid, plus strengthen our immune system to help protect our bodies from viruses, bacteria, and allergies.
Most people’s diets are dangerously low in essential fatty acids, which results in tired muscles, fatigue, and a range of health problems. We need to eat EFAs daily because the human body cannot manufacture them. If your diet includes a lot of refined oils and processed foods, you are most at risk.
EFAs, such as those found in chia, can assist with weight loss and removal of toxins from the body.
Enzymes in chia also help with digestion of other foods.
Traditionally, chia has been used to calm nerves and strengthen the memory, but the most high-profile value of chia comes from the seed’s ability to give you energy. University research has revealed that one tablespoon of chia seed could reasonably be expected to sustain a person working hard enough to work up a sweat, for 24 hours.
This is the kind of chia seeds I bought years ago and planted. Since then, I’ve been harvesting and saving seed to use from one year to the next. I’ll show you how easy it is to grow your own chia plants. | Source 10 Ways to Use Chia Seeds and Leaves
Chia is very convenient and versatile. Here’s ten different ways to use chia seeds and leaves.
- Chew Chia Seeds
I chew chia seeds, releasing their nutty taste, as a snack on a busy day. They swell a little as they absorb saliva, making them soft and ready for the journey to your stomach.
- Soak and Drink
Soaking the seeds first in water or fresh juice makes them even easier for your body to digest. Wait long enough for the seeds to swell. Chia seeds have appetite suppressant qualities and are useful for dieters.
- Add Chia to Milkshakes and Smoothies
If you enjoy a summer smoothie or your kids like milkshakes, add some chia seeds for extra energy. You probably won’t notice them as you drink, but the goodness will be there!
- Sprinkle Chia Seeds Over Food
Chia seeds can be sprinkled over breakfast cereals, jam on toast, or a nice fresh salad. When I serve my home-made pumpkin soup, I add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle chia seeds over the top of each bowl.
- Eat Chia Sprouts
Sprouting chia seeds increases their vitamin content and makes them even more nutritious. Just like sprouted alfalfa and mung beans, chia sprouts are a great addition to a salad.
- Drink Chia Tea
The leaves, fresh or dried, make a relaxing and therapeutic tea. Chia tea has traditionally been used for fevers and pain relief, to relieve arthritis and respiratory problems, as a gargle for mouth ulcers and sore throats, and to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you want to sweeten your chia tea, use a healthy sweetener like honey or stevia.
- Add Chia to Bread MIx
When baking bread, I sometimes toss a handful of chia seeds in the mix. This is not the healthiest way to eat chia because essential fatty acids are at their best when uncooked, but it makes the bread a little lighter and provides a nice change in texture.
- Use Chia to Feed Birds and Animals
Extra chia leaves I feed to my hens, pigs, or other animals. The animals would eat the seeds too, but I keep most of the seeds for human consumption and planting next year. If I’ve had a bumper crop, I feed chia seeds to my chickens and other birds.
- Chia as Garden Mulch
If you don’t have animals, use the chia leaves as mulch. Remember though, if you have not removed all the seeds they are likely to grow where they fall. To avoid random chia plants growing in your garden, add the leaves and stalks to your compost heap.
- Give the Gift of Chia
Home-grown chia makes a wonderful gift. Package seeds in a jar or bottle for those who like to eat chia, and give one of your small plants to anyone who likes to garden.
Chia LeavesChia leaves: Pick and dry them to make tea. | Source Where to Grow Chia
Before you choose where to plant chia seeds or transplant your seedlings, it helps to have a realistic expectation of the size of a mature chia plant. Chia plants grow to the size of a large bush or small tree.
If you grow herbs in small pots or tucked tightly together in an outdoor herb garden, you’ll need to find a new spot for chia. Chia grows taller than most herbs and takes up a lot of space, so give thought to where you’ll grow it.
Chia is not a ground-hugger like mint, and it will grow much taller than even the biggest parsley, sage, or rosemary plants. You need to provide sufficient space (and head room) for your chia to expand before it flowers.
My organic chia plants grow as tall as an adult. Some reach six feet or more while others settle and flower at about five feet tall. If you intend to grow chia in a pot, it is important to anticipate the size of a mature chia plant when choosing the pot size.
How Big Does a Chia Plant Grow?How tall does your chia grow? My organic chia plants grow as tall as an adult. | Source How to Grow Organic Chia
Chia seeds are tiny. You don’t need to dig a hole to bury them. Lightly ruffle an area of your weed-free garden with a rake or, if you only have a few seeds and are spacing them carefully, simply loosen the earth with your fingers. Sprinkle a few seeds over the soil and rub gently to cover them.
Water the seeds daily, and within about a week you can expect to see chia sprouts.
When planting chia seeds directly in the garden, I create a carpet of chia and then thin the plants as they grow. Some are fed to the hens, some are used as mulch, and some are harvested while young to dry the leaves for chia tea.
Chia seeds can also germinate successfully in pots. If you want to start your chia plants indoors or close to your garden tap, sprinkle the seeds lightly in your pot and water regularly. When the sprouts are about three inches tall, they are ready for transplanting.
Remember to mulch your chia plants as they grow, and water them regularly. They thrive in an organic garden and don’t like competing with weeds.
Here’s some hints to remember:
- Don’t clear existing weeds until you are ready to fill the space.
- When it’s time to plant, work gently. Don’t dig up or turn all the top soil (thereby exposing a whole new lot of weed seeds).
- Plant your new seeds in the freshly cleared space without inviting unnecessary competition from deeper weed seeds.
- Add mulch and compost and anything you like to make your garden healthier as your plants grow, but put it on top and let it feed the soil from above.
Chia SeedlingsChia seeds germinated in a pot. | Source Plant and Eat Chia Seeds!Chosen Foods Organic Chia Seeds, 16 Ounce
In the average garden you only need to sprinkle a few seeds. Even in very large gardens like mine, you’re unlikely to want to grow more than a dozen chia plants. Thin the plants as they start to grow. While waiting for your own harvest, enjoy eating the rest of the chia seeds in the pack!
Time Lapse Sequence of Chia Seeds Sprouting Chia FloweringIn addition to the health benefits associated with eating the seeds and drinking tea made from the leaf, chia flowers look lovely in the garden. | Source Harvesting Chia Seeds
The size of your harvest will determine how many days are required to separate the seeds, but if I don’t have time, I store dried flower heads in a large calico bag until I have time for my next seed separating session.
Successful collection of chia seeds without waste has a lot to do with timing. When growing chia at home, it is possible to pick individual flower heads when they look ready instead of doing a mass harvesting like they do in a commercial growing environment.
If you wait until the flower head browns, you risk losing the seeds.
- Begin harvesting your chia as soon as most of the petals have fallen off the flower.
- Give the heads time to dry in paper bags or on a drying rack. Expect at least some of the chia seeds will break free in the process.
- Do not hang the plants upside down in your shed.
Ready for HarvestThe easiest way to harvest chia is to pick it. Wait until most of the petals have fallen. If in doubt, check for seeds before harvesting your seed heads. | Source Dried chia flower heads, ready for seed separation. Picked at the right time and allowed to dry, the chia seeds are easy to separate and collect. | Source Harvesting Chia: So Easy a Child Can Do It!
Harvesting chia is great fun for children.
Because I insist on growing everything organically, there are no pesticides or chemicals to fear at harvest time. Together, the children and I pick the flower heads, put them in paper bags left open so the air can circulate, and wait for them to dry.
Children love to crush the flower heads and loosen the seeds. Chia is one of those lovely plants that doesn’t have sharp or prickly parts. Even when dry, they still feel relatively soft on your hands. I set the children up with their own work area and they can busy themselves for a full day.
Meanwhile, I work separately.
Separating the Chia Seed from the Flower HeadMy children conduct science experiments with chia. They explore different ways to separate the seed. | Source Crushing Chia Flower HeadsThe fastest and easiest way to crush the dried flower heads and extract the chia seeds is to rub with a flat hand. | Source Once the chia flower head is rolled and crushed, pour the seeds and debris into a sifter. | Source Other Ways to Harvest Chia
If you turn your back as your chia matures, and you find it is really too late to pick your flower heads without losing too many seeds, there’s a more effective way of collecting the seeds than thrashing the plant.
Simply hold a bag underneath and shake one flower head at a time. This will be a slow and arduous process if you are growing a lot of chia plants, but the seeds will fall freely.
If your seed heads are very dry and the seed is difficult to catch, try cutting the whole head off with scissors. The falling seeds will land in the bag. When you get back to your kitchen, separating the remaining seeds may be as simple as shaking, instead of rolling, the individual seed heads.
In my experience, the simplest, easiest, and most effective way to harvest your chia is to wait for most of the flowers to fall and pick when there are only a small number of petals remaining. Nature will help the seeds dry and become firm if you allow plenty of fresh air to circulate around your plants.
Growing more chia is easy. Toss some of your harvested chia seeds in your garden in the spring and enjoy the benefits of homegrown organic chia for years.
This Video Made Me Laugh…
There is no need to slap the plant the way the people in the video do. I don’t actually see a chia plant in their garden, but perhaps it is a different variety from the one most of us are familiar with.
If I put in as much effort as they did, I would want to see a much bigger bag of chia seeds for my effort. 🙂
Collecting chia seeds in my organic garden is much more pleasant and a lot less work.
Nutritional Value of Black, White, and Brown Chia Seeds: Which Color Is Best?
Chia seeds come in various shades of brown, gray, black, and white. In fact, the accepted definition of “black chia” includes gray and brown chia seeds. Yes, it has always been the case with chia that brown is black. (In name, at least.) Black chia has traditionally been the name given to any chia seed that isn’t white (which, incidentally isn’t really white, either).
I was warned that since commercial cloning has resulted in the production of darker seeds, PR teams were generating controversy around the “superior nutrition” of black chia, making the darker seeds seem more valuable and (hopefully) undermining the status of natural chia. So if you ever hear anyone claim that black chia is better, think again.
It came as no surprise to me that when I googled the subject of black and white chia seeds being the only ones suitable for consumption, dismissing the value of brown seeds, the one and only company making that claim about brown chia seeds is — you guessed it — the very same chia company I’d been warned about.
It seems the word of doubt is starting to spread, but don’t believe what they tell you — the brown seeds are in no way inferior (and, in fact, their brown color may be a sign that they’re natural!). Folks who simply repeat what they read on the internet will fall for the PR stunt but those who know about chia, through research and personal experience, will always know it is a load of hogwash.
People can – and will – grow chia in their yards, with varying levels of success. Whether they plant black, white, or brown chia seeds from whichever packet of chia they have in their cupboards makes no real difference.
Stalk of a Chia PlantChia plants have very distinctive stalks. At later stages they are clearly ribbed but at first, you may need to rub it to feel the ribs. In this photo, taken at the end of the season, the ribs are very obvious. | Source World Shortage of Chia!
Have you seen news of a world shortage of chia? Lately, there have been sporadic shortages during which chia seeds were hard to obtain. At one point, all chia wholesale companies in Europe were sold out. Undoubtedly, as word spreads of chia’s healthy properties, demand for the seeds will continue to increase.
All it takes is one bad season in a major chia growing area for seeds to become more difficult and more expensive to buy. To my way of thinking, that’s even more reason to plant and harvest your own chia.
Have I answered your questions about growing and harvesting chia?Is there sufficient information provided here to meet your immediate needs?
Questions & Answers
I am having trouble separating the fine debris from the seeds as they fall through the sifter. I have tried a more dense sifter but the debris will not fall through. What gauge sifter do I need to use?
Congratulations on your successful chia seed harvest! There’s a photo of my sifter in the article. I don’t know the gauge, but you can compare the holes to the size of the chia seeds. I’m wondering if you’ve crushed the debris so it becomes fine like in my photo. If not, I suggest you put your harvest back into a bag and roll/crush it again. The chia seeds will survive the process if you’ve waited long enough for the seeds (and debris) to dry completely.
When is the appropriate season to plant chia seeds? Is it rainy seasons, dry seasons or light showers because I understand chia seeds spoil when they get in touch with water.
Plant chia seeds in spring. Even if the season is dry, you’ll need to water the seeds. I don’t know of any plants that germinate and grow without water. The seeds swell and grow when wet.
© 2013 LongTimeMother
Maybe one of the most asked questions related to chia seeds is how could it be grown and harvested without dealing with the dilemma of searching for it in grocery stores or over the internet. Chia seeds could actually be grown by people in the comfort of their own homes, and the surprise is that this could actually happen in an easy way without any difficulties faced. There are different reasons behind the need for growing this plant by your own hands, and one of these different reasons is the fact that it is rich in benefits that could serve the body as well as the brain. Moving from taking care of the internal organs of the body to taking care of its beauty from the inside is all in the hands of chia seeds.
How to Harvest Chia Seeds?
A lot of people prefer taking the easy roads; the means that will take them directly to their targets, they don’t want to get tired; they just want to get what they want. The first option that people might use in order to get closer to chia seeds is searching for them in grocery stores without even trying to think about whether they could grow them in their personal homes or not.
The best thing about chia seeds is that they could be actually grown at home, and the process is even an easy one. Seeds in general bring different benefits for the human body, but chia seeds are from the most preferable ones that people always want to include in their daily diet plans. From these different nutritional values related to consuming chia seeds: they are rich in proteins, antioxidants, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and calcium, and each one of these have its own effects on different parts of the body as well.
Looking back into the history of chia seed, we will find that it is a flower plant that is also known as Salvia Hispanica, and it is also a relative for the mint family. Those people, who have grown chia seeds before, consider it good for the overall look of the garden because of its beautiful flower. People should stop asking the “where do I find chia seeds” question and start asking about how could they grow chia in their gardens instead.
Does it need a Wide Space?
Harvesting chia seed does not just happen with sprinkling some seeds across the garden, but there are some important understandings that people should go through first in order to grow their chia in the most right and effective way. Chia seeds do not need a specific place or a specific length for them to be grown; some people make lines that reach 2.2 meters and there are those who make them even shorter, it all depends on the amount that you need. Most probably, 2.2 meters long in two rows will produce about 100 grams of chia seeds at the end.
Does it need a Specific Time to Be Grown?
Actually yes, chia seeds need a schedule for planting them because in some seasons as well as some weather conditions, they might easily die. It is always preferred to plant and grow your chia seeds in winter and the very early spring, because it is considered a short day plant that will not work with the long day seasons. But although chia seeds are considered best to be grown in winter, they also do not appreciate frost or snow and that is why they might easily die if the garden is affected by any of these two conditions.
Could All the Chia Seed Types Be Planted?
There are different colors for chia seeds; the black, the white, and the grey, but in addition to the color which should not change anything about the seed; there are different conditions for it that might make it unable to be planted. The main problem comes in the fact that not all the chia seeds that people buy could produce viable crops, because there are those which are considered very old and which have been stored wrongly and thus lost their viability along the way. Before you plant your seeds in the garden in order to grow chia seeds, try to pass them first by a sprouting test on wet paper and then decide what you will do next.
Chia Sprouts Nutrition
Mentioning the sprouting test above in order to know whether the seeds are viable to be planted in the garden or not, it is important to know first how sprouting chia seeds should happen. The process is very easy; first, you will need to splatter some chia seeds across a terracotta dish then place the dish into your greenhouse (this green house is a glass dish that you use for baking and it should have a lid). Now add ¼ of water to the greenhouse in order to let the terracotta become wet, and then spread the seeds a little bit across the dish. There should be no water in the terracotta dish in order not to make it turn into a gel. It is now the right time to cover the dish with the lid to trap in the moisture, and then place it in a dark corner on the kitchen counter.
From four to seven days, the sprouts should start to grow and you will be able to view the process, when they start to grow, you could place them in the light. There are actually different benefits for eating it, such as the benefit of chlorophyll which is the “green” of the leaf, and this is actually perceived as a powerful blood cleanser and blood builder. Sprouted chia replenishes and increases red blood cells count as well as increase the ability of these red blood cells to carry oxygen and deliver increased levels of it to the body.
How Much Does it Take to Grow Chia Seeds?
It is always better to prepare chia seeds for being planted in the garden by first germinating them in the house until the sprouts are formed and then take them to the outside garden. Usually it takes four to six weeks for the sprouts to reach 6 inches and this is exactly when you can start planting them in the garden, when it starts to have about six or eight leaves.
In the garden phase, there are different things to pay attention to; first of all, when you place these sprouts in the soil, make sure to leave some space between them because when they grow they might reach about 4 feet tall and 18 inches wide, and that is why try to leave about 12 to 18 inches apart between them. Chia plants always prefer a sunny, wet-drained place in the garden, so make sure to choose the right place for them, and always put in your mind that this plant is drought resistant but it thrives when watered regularly; only water it when the soil is dry to the touch.
The Chia Flowers
Four months after the germination of the seeds, the blue to lavender flowers will begin to appear and this will probably be in the months between July and August. These flowers attract native bees, honeybees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Once the flowers are pollinated, they die back and the tiny seeds start to develop; deadhead these flowers in order to ensure continued blooming and frost.
Chia seed preparation phase might be considered the easiest in this harvesting process, but in order to separate the seeds, you have to pay attention to the color of it. Separating the seed once the flower starts to turn into its lavender color will dry it off, so cut off these mature heads when they turn into a brown color, save them in a paper bag, and then dry them out well. Leave the bag for several weeks, scrunch up the paper back and shake it around; the seeds will fall out of their seed heads and into the paper bag. Now, the seeds could be separated from the chaff easily and then stored in a cool, dark place.
Harvesting Chia Seeds
Harvesting chia seeds and caring about the whole process of growing them by yourself at home in your garden is considered an important thing, and this goes back to the different health benefits that any person could gain from the nutritional value related to this seed. There are actually different benefits for chia seeds that have been mentioned millions of times but should always be stressed about.
Chia seeds are considered the richest source for the Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), such as linolenic acid with 30 to 60 percent, and linoleic acid with 30%. EFA’s carry a slightly negative charge and spread out as a thin layer over surfaces without forming aggregations; this in turn makes cell membranes soft, fluid, and flexible, allowing nutrients to flow in and wastes out. EFA also absorb light and attract more oxygen, and this oxygen is needed at the cell membranes to make a barrier against viruses and bacteria. The supply of oxygen to the cells is also important for vitality, pain relief, and healing.
EFA’s might be low or non-existent when it comes to the things we purchase and that is why it is always important to grow things by yourself which you will be in need for afterwards, and chia seeds is just one of them. There are other different benefits for chia seeds and the things they are rich with, since they can come to rescue the tommy when it is upset and cannot accept any other foods, it can quench thirst when added to water, improve memory, and at the same time calm the nerves.
The chia leaves can be used in order to form the chia tea, and this tea is beneficial when it comes to healing diarrhea, fevers, and can be used as pain reliever. It could be also used as blood cleanser, used for arthritis, respiratory problems, diabetes, mouth ulcers, gargle for inflamed throats, reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and strengthen the nervous system. In addition to all that, chia seeds are considered a good source for energy and are sometimes used before workouts for people to become more energetic and are even used when people want to recover faster from fatigued muscles that resulted from exercise or physical work.
Chia seed is definitely one thing to add to the list of seeds you are going to plant and harvest in your own personal garden, because as much as you might be in need for it, getting it from the grocery store might not bring the same benefits that you would gain when taking it directly from your own personal place. Harvesting chia seeds is not hard and will be an extra needed ingredient to your diet.
I’m a huge fan of chia seeds. Ever since I first discovered them years ago (from a friend who now writes at AltHealthWorks.com) I have been on the Chia Seed train. I add them to water in a glass jar and let them soak up with fruit and drink it throughout the day. It’s a flavorful drink, all organic full of healthy fats, proteins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and more!
Chia seeds are something I recommend to everyone to upgrade your health. What I discovered out recently is that you can grow chia sprouts. I love chia seeds so I figure i’d try to sprout chia seeds and see how it went. It went astonishingly well. The first batch of chia seeds that I planted grew into a good amount of chia sprouts. Healthy as can be!
I always see alfalfa and broccoli sprouts in the health food store but never chia sprouts and i’m not sure why. It’s fine though because after watching this video and seeing how easy it is to grow chia sprouts, you’ll do it yourself forever!
First, let’s warm you up to the health benefits of chia sprouts. You may already know and love the health benefits of chia seeds. Chia sprouts are a different form of the seed that still offers many of the same benefits plus a few more.
Chia Sprouts Health Benefits:
- They’re rich in calcium, which benefits bone and cardiovascular health.
- They’re rich in phosphorus which benefits bone and teeth health.
- They are rich in ALA Omega 3 Fatty Acids! Great for brain and heart health.
- They’re a great source of fiber and antioxidants which work to outsmart free radicals!
- They’re high in manganese which is a good mineral for connective tissue.
- They’re a great source of chlorophyll which is beneficial for blood health and rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin a, c, e, k as well as a source of magnesium, potassium and iron!
Now, here’s how you can grow Chia sprouts from chia seeds at home with only a few things needed.
What You’ll Need To Grow Chia Sprouts:
And there you have it. It’s a simple process. All you need is the chia seeds, soil, pot and water. All organic is preferable as your chia sprouts will come out greener and more full of nutrients. Enjoy those chia sprouts! They’re delicious!
You can harvest your chia sprouts when they begin to fall over to the side and can no longer stand on their own. This means that it’s time for them to be eaten. This takes around 10 days or so to do. If you have a bigger pot you can plant more chia seeds and harvest more sprouts at one time. If you have a bigger family or live with a larger group of people this makes more sense.
Three Parts:Healthy and Beauty UsesCulinary UsesDecorative UsesCommunity Q&A
Chia seeds have been used for centuries by ancient cultures and, recently, they have become a popular health trend in contemporary society. If you have never used chia seeds before, you can try using them for health, beauty, culinary, and decorative uses. Keep reading to learn a little more about some of the many uses of this natural wonder-seed.
Part 1 Healthy and Beauty Uses
- Hydrate your hair with a chia seed gel.
A gel made from chia seeds and lemon juice can infuse your hair with moisture and protect your locks from dry air.
- Add 1/3 cup (80 ml) chia seeds to a resealable container and pour in 2 cups (500 ml) of water. Whisk well and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Whisk the mixture again and let it sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or until it turns into a gel.
- Mix 3 Tbsp (45 ml) of lemon juice into the gel.
- Apply the concoction to your hair and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
- Make chia seed exfoliator for your skin.
Tiny chia seeds can act as a gentle and natural exfoliator when combined with coconut oil and lemon juice.
- Mix 1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut oil and 1 Tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice with 2 Tbsp (30 ml) chia seeds.
- Gently wet your face with warm water and apply the chia exfoliating scrub to your skin. Let it set for 2 minutes, during which it should begin to form a gel.
- Remove the chia scrub with a wet washcloth and rinse your face with cool water when finished.
- Prepare a hydrating mask for your skin.
The combination of egg whites, plain yogurt, and chia seed oil can revitalize skin, making it smoother and less dry.
- Thoroughly mix two egg whites, 1 cup (250 ml) plain yogurt, and 1 Tbsp (15 ml) commercially prepared chia seed oil.
- Apply this mixture to your face and let it sit for 10 minutes before you rinse it off with cool water.
- The egg whites make your skin firmer and the yogurt makes it smoother. The chia seed oil help hydrate the skin.
- Use chia oil in an eye cream.
You can apply chia seed oil directly to the area surrounding your eyes before going to bed each night to help repair the skin.
- Dab commercially prepared, organic chia seed oil around your eyes, focusing on any puffy bags.
- The omega-3 fatty acids in the chia will reduce the puffiness and help fight fine wrinkles.
- Treat facial redness and scars with chia gel.
Chia gel can reduce fight inflammation thanks to the high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids it contains.
- Mix 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of chia seeds with 3 Tbsp (45 ml) water and let it set into a gel for 10 minutes. Mix in a few drops of lavender essential oil for an added boost.
- Apply the mixture to red areas and scars. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing off with cool water.
- Use chia seeds as an alternative medical treatment.
Unofficially, chia seeds are sometimes used to help treat diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease in general.
- Chia seeds have high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber. Preliminary research suggests that these nutrients might be able to help minimize risk factors for various forms or heart disease.
- People with diabetes, in particular, might be able to benefit from consuming 37 g of “Salba” chia seeds daily for 12 weeks. This dosage can help reduce blood pressure and lower the amounts of inflammatory C-reactive proteins and clot-forming von Willebrand factors in the blood.
- You should not take chia seeds if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, at risk for prostate cancer or currently diagnosed with prostate cancer, or dealing with high triglyceride levels.
- Talk to your doctor to determine a good dosage of chia seeds for your particular set of health conditions.
Part 2 Culinary Uses
- Use chia seeds as an egg substitute.
Chia seed gel made from chia and plain water can be used as a substitute for eggs in most baked good recipes.
- Grind a handful of chia seeds dry in a coffee grinder, blender, or food processor.
- Mix 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of ground chia seeds with 3 Tbsp (45 ml) of water. Let it sit for 15 minutes or until it thickens into a gel.
- This amount can be used as a substitute for one egg in just about any baked recipe.
- Grind chia seeds into flour.
Speaking of baking, you can grind chia seeds into a coarse gluten-free flour that can be used in a variety of recipes, including those for many baked goods.
- Put a handful of seeds in a food processor, coffee grinder, or blender and pulse until a powder forms.
- For thick doughs, you can substitute chia flour in equal parts.
- For thin batter, mix one part chia seed flour with three parts gluten-free flour.
- Thicken liquids with chia seeds.
Chia seeds absorb liquid and give it a thicker texture. In highly concentrated amounts, chia seeds can turn the liquid into gel, but in small enough amounts, it only acts as a thickener.
- Add 2 Tbsp (30 ml) whole or ground chia seeds to soups, stews, gravies, and sauces instead of cornstarch or flour. Mix well to combine and let it sit for 5 minutes to gauge the new thickness.
- Continue adding additional chia seeds to the liquid as needed to achieve your desired thickness.
- Create a healthy snack option.
There are a variety of chia seed based snacks that you can make at home. Some of the easiest include chia crackers and chia seed pudding.
- There are several variations of chia crackers you can make, but most simply require you to mix the seeds with a few seasonings and some water before baking.
- Mix 1/2 cup (125 ml) chia seeds with 1/2 cup (125 ml) sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup (125 ml) pumpkin seeds, and 1/2 cup (125 ml) sesame seeds.
- Combine 1 cup (250 ml) water, 1 grated garlic clove, 1 tsp (5 ml) grated onion, and 1/4 tsp (125 ml) salt separately before stirring the seasoning liquid into the seeds.
- Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius).
- Cut into crackers, flip to the other side, and bake for another 30 minutes before enjoying.
- You can make chia pudding by blending together 2 cups (500 ml) coconut milk, 1/2 cup (125 ml) chia seeds, 2 Tbsp (30 ml) cocoa powder, 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract, and 1 Tbsp (15 ml) honey. Let it sit for 10 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.
- There are several variations of chia crackers you can make, but most simply require you to mix the seeds with a few seasonings and some water before baking.
- Try chia seeds instead of breadcrumb fillers and breadings.
If you want a healthy way to add filler to meatballs or to bread chicken, pork, or fish, chia seeds can be just what you need.
- If you need to thicken meat with a filler, add 2 to 3 Tbsp (30 to 45 ml) of chia seeds per 1 lb (450 g) of meat and mix well to combine thoroughly.
- To use chia seeds for a breading, mix equal parts chia seeds with almond flour or another type of gluten-free flour. Dredge cuts of meat in this mixture and cook as normal.
- Grow chia sprouts for salads.
You can grow chia sprouts in the same manner you can grow bean sprouts at home. These sprouts are crisp, healthy, and great for salads and stir-fry garnishes.
- Place a handful of chia seeds in a glass jar. Cover with water for 5 minutes or so.
- Drain the water and let the seeds sit in the covered jar for a few days.
- Rinse the seeds with water every 12 hours, pouring the water out of the jar each time.
- The sprouts should be ready within a few days.
- Make an energy gel.
Chia seeds mixed with coconut water can form a thick, hydrating energy gel that is far healthier than sugary sports drinks and commercial energy gels.
- Add 2 Tbsp (30 ml) chia seeds to 1 cup (250 ml) coconut water. Let it sit for 10 minutes until a thin gel forms.
- This gel can be enjoyed as an energy drink and can be beneficial for kids and adults alike.
- Prepare easy homemade jam.
Extra berries can be mashed into a puree and combined with chia seeds to make a tasty and simple jam.
- Combine 1 cup (250 ml) berries with 1 Tbsp (15 ml) chia seeds and 1 Tbsp (15 ml) warm water. Blend in a food processor to give the mixture a jam or jelly consistency.
- Let the mixture set for 60 minutes before using it.
Mix plain chia seeds into other foods. You can enjoy chia seeds plain. Instead of crunching down on them alone, though, you might find it a little more appetizing to add plain chia seeds to salads, stir-fries, granola, and other foods as an easy garnish.
Part 3 Decorative Uses
- Grow your own chia plant.
The word “chia” became popular in Western culture thanks to the commercially produced “Chia Pet,” but you can make your own cheap version of this at home by sprouting chia seeds in a small pot and watering consistently.
- Fill a clay pot with soil. If you want to get creative, you can find a pot shaped like an animal, but any pot can be used.
- Sprinkle the chia seeds over the pot. Gently press them into the soil with your fingers.
- Add enough water to keep the soil moist. Continue watering the plant, keeping it regularly moist, and let the chia plant sit in a sunny area.
- It should only take a few days for chia to sprout.
- Use chia seeds to prevent mud.
If you pack chia seeds into a dark area of your yard, they can help prevent mud and make your lawn look neater and cleaner.
- Spread a handful of chia seeds evenly over a small patch of yard in a shaded area. Use your feet or the back of a shovel to pat the chia seeds into the ground.
- Without sun and regular watering, the chia seeds are unlikely to sprout into chia plants.
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
Did you try these steps?
Upload a picture for other readers to see.
Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 78,541 times.
Did this article help you?