How to Store & Use Chia Seeds

Overview

Once only used to grow cute, grassy fur on chia pets, chia seeds are now coveted for their nutritional properties. This "supergrain" has the highest fiber content of any food in the world, and more omega-3 fatty acid content than even flax seed. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Three and a half ounces of chia seeds have the calcium of three glasses of milk, the iron of five cups of spinach, the potassium of one and a half bananas, and as much vitamin C as seven oranges. Chia seeds are easily obtained online and easy to store. They are great when enjoyed dry, but chia seeds are the most nutritious when prepared as an aqueous gel and mixed into other foods.

Step 1

Eat dry chia seeds. Native Americans called chia seeds they're "running food", and claimed that they could run for a full day after eating only a handfull of the seeds. Chia seeds have a pleasant nutty flavor, and make a great nutritious snack that will give you all-day energy. Store daily-used chia seed in a sealabe jar in a dark cabinet. The rest should be in a food storage bag that has as much air squeezed out of it as possible before it is sealed and placed in a dark, dry cabinet.

Step 2

Make chia gel. While chia seeds may be eaten raw, chia gel is the best way to get all of the nutrient value out of chia seeds. To make chia gel, combine chia seeds and water in a nine to one ratio. First pour the water into an appropriately sized sealable container. Then slowly pour the seed in while briskly mixing the water with a wire whisk. Then wait three minutes and briskly mix again. Then let the gel stand for 10 minutes and then whisk it again. The gel is ready for immediate use, or it can be stored in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to two weeks.

Step 3

Use chia seed gel as a calorie displacer. The virtually flavorless gel can be mixed into yogurt, mustard, jams, jellies and any other liquid-based foods in a one to one ratio. This not only displaces half of the calories and fat of the food, but considerably increases its nutritional value.

Step 4

Use chia seed gel as a daily supplement. Preliminary studies at the University of Toronto have suggested that daily ingestion of chia seed gel can lower blood pressure, help regulate the blood sugar levels of those with type II diabetes, improve hydration, and help the body absorb the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Condensation may develop in the bag and ruin the seeds for consumption. Do not heat chia gel above 100 degrees Fahrenhit. It will destroy its nutrient content.

Things You'll Need

  • Food storage bag
  • Sealable plastic container
  • Wire whisk

References

  • McGill University: Chia Seeds
  • Living Foods: Chia
  • USDA: Chia Seeds
Keywords: chia seed gel, use chia seed, nutrition chia seed

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.