Chia seeds have many different benefits and are great to include in your diet. However, the most unique properties of chia seeds are that they are able to absorb up to 12 times their weight in water.
This might not seem too big of a deal, but hydrated chia seeds slow down digestion and the time it usually takes for your stomach to empty, which means that you feel fuller for longer.
Soaking chia helps you include some great fiber, omega-3, and protein into your diet. These tiny nutrient-dense seeds pack a punch and should become a regular in your daily diet!
So how do you soak chia seeds? Soaking chia seeds is a fairly simple process. You can choose to soak chia seeds in water, milk, and even yogurt. What you soak the chia seeds in will also depend on how you are planning on using them, so some planning ahead of time is needed before you start soaking.
Understanding how to properly soak chia seeds in different liquids will help you make the most of these powerful little seeds, and give your diet a healthy boost with very little effort!
How to Soak Chia Seeds
Keep reading to learn exactly how to soak chia seeds in water, almond milk, and yogurt. We’ll also teach you how to use chia gel!
Soaking Chia Seeds in Water
When you soak chia seeds in water, you are making a chia gel.
A chia gel takes advantage of the chia seeds’ natural ability to absorb water, and offers up all of the benefits of chia seeds, as well as slowing down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugars, helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
In order to take advantage of these benefits of chia gel, you would need to know the proper chia seed-to-water ratio to ensure that the seeds soak up as much water as possible and that you are left with a nice consistency of chia gel and not something that is too stodgy or too watery.
Also, in case it wasn’t obvious at this point, you need to be using whole chia seeds, not ground ones. Also, it’s really important when making a gel that you get high quality, raw, organic Chia Seeds, otherwise you’ll just be soaking up pesticides and other garbage that you absolutely don’t want.
I personally buy this bag of Chia seeds and think it’s completely amazing. They are Organic and raw and probably the best-reviewed chia seeds anywhere.
Chia Seeds in Water Ratio
The way you make your chia seeds will be dependent on personal preference, but the best ratio of water to chia seeds is a 6:1 ratio.
You can experiment with using more or less water depending on your preferred preference and also depending on the food item you are combining the chia seeds with.
Start off with a ratio of 6:1. An example of this would be 1/3 cup of chia seeds added to 2 cups of filtered water.
If you are wanting a thinner gel which is easier to drink, you could use a 9:1 ratio. This allows the chia drink to go down easier with more water and helps to promote hydration in the body.
Eating the chia seeds with a higher water ratio also helps the body adjust to taking the chia seeds.
Making a Basic Chia Seed Gel
Once you know the right ratio to use to make a chia seed gel, you would need to know how to make a basic gel.
Here’s how to make chia seed gel:
- Use slightly warm water, as this helps the gel form faster. Pour the measured water into a container that can be closed with a tight-fitting lid, such as a mason jar (I like these large ones from Amazon).
- Pour in the right amount of chia seeds into the water.
- Shake the container for at least 15 seconds and then let the chia seeds stand.
- Once the chia seeds have rested for a minute, shake them for another 15 seconds.
- Seal the container tightly and place it in the fridge for however long you need to.
It is important to keep the chia seed and water mixture in a tightly sealed container so that there is no loss of moisture or contamination from other odors or foods in the fridge.
The closed environment helps the chia seeds absorb as much water as possible, and helps to make the best chia gel.
How to Use a Chia Gel
Chia gel can be used for so many different meals and food items at home, and can even be used in drinks. In fact, chia gel is one of the best ways to eat chia seeds thanks to its versatility.
Incorporate chia gel into sauces, drinks, yogurts, oats, smoothies, salad dressings, cereals, preserves, dips, puddings, soups and so much more.
The gel will not actually affect the flavor of what it is added to, but it will increase the nutritional value and give the food item or drink a different texture.
You could add the chia seed mixture in equal parts by weight to these different items, but once again it will depend on how much chia seed you like with your food or drinks.
Soaking Chia Seeds in Almond Milk
If you want something a little creamier, but do not want to use milk for chia seeds, you could look to soak chia seeds in almond milk.
This is both vegan and gluten-free and creates a pudding that only uses 2 ingredients!
Here’s how to soak chia seeds in almond milk:
- Mix in your preferred ratio of chia seeds to almond milk in a closable container.
- Shake it up and mix it well.
- Pop it into the fridge overnight.
- In the morning, top with berries, granola, or anything you fancy, and enjoy your almond milk chia seed pudding!
You can do this just before bed, and have a tasty, creamy, and healthy breakfast to enjoy the next morning. The almond milk and chia seeds make a light but creamy breakfast that can be enjoyed as is, but you can also top it off with some nuts, fruit, and honey.
If you are unsure of a ratio to start off with when making chia pudding with almond milk, you could try ¼ cup of chia seeds, which is about 4 tablespoons, and 1 cup of almond milk.
This is such an ideal breakfast for those who do not have time to make breakfast in the morning, as it is actually best made the night before.
You could also make up the chia pudding in the morning with almond milk to enjoy as an after-dinner dessert, or even as a creamy snack during the day.
The chia pudding mixture should last in the fridge for up to 3 days, so you can enjoy it a few times for breakfast or dessert if you make a large enough quantity.
Do not add in other ingredients to the chia pudding until you have portioned it into a separate bowl. Any other ingredients in the chia pudding mixture could cause it to spoil faster in the fridge.
How Long to Soak Chia Seeds in Yogurt
To get the best results, you will want to soak chia seeds in yogurt overnight, or for about 8-12 hours.
Soaking chia seeds in yogurt works best with thinner, runnier yogurts since they have more moisture. If you use thick yogurt, there won’t be enough liquid for the chia seeds to plump up.
If you are using greek yogurt, which has a thicker consistency, then I recommend mixing it with milk. You can use a 1:1 ratio of milk and yogurt, add your chia seeds, give it a good stir, and place the mixture in the fridge overnight.
Soaking Chia Seeds Overnight
You do not necessarily have to soak chia seeds overnight in order to eat them, but doing so does help to maximize the benefits.
Chia seeds’ hydrophilic properties, which is the ability to soak water, is what makes the seeds so valuable to your body, so it really is worth it to leave the seeds to soak overnight.
Water-soaked chia seeds are easier to digest, and when soaked, your body absorbs the chia seed nutrients better. The soaked chia seeds will prolong hydration and help retain electrolytes, which is especially useful during exercise.
If you have the time and plan ahead slightly, then it is definitely better to soak the chia seeds overnight. While it is possible to soak chia seeds in 2 to 3 hours, they will be able to absorb more water, to their full capacity, when left for a longer period of time.
Soaked chia seeds, which have sat in the fridge overnight, will also have a softer, creamier texture, which is often nicer when added into oats and smoothies.
Chia pudding, made with chia seeds and milk, is also much better to enjoy after having sat in the fridge for a night.
How to Soak Chia Seeds Quickly
It is recommended to let your chia seeds soak in the fridge overnight, in order for them to absorb as much water as possible, but if you are in a rush, you can soak chia seeds quickly.
If you are in a hurry and can’t soak your chia seeds overnight, you can mix them up quickly. Use your preferred ratio of chia seeds to water to measure out the ingredients.
How to soak chia seeds quickly:
- Add the water and the chia seeds into a mason jar or another similar container that seals tightly shut.
- Swish the chia seeds and the water around in the mason jar (while it is sealed) for a few minutes and then let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
- After this short amount of time, it should develop a gel-like consistency. With enough water in the jar, you should also be able to easily clean up the jar afterward without the chia seeds sticking to the bottom.
The longer you leave the chia seed to soak for, the better, but if you are in a rush you can leave them for 10 minutes, but just make sure that gives them a good mixing and swishing to ensure that the chia seeds can soak up as much water as possible.
Do You Need to Soak Chia Seeds?
You do not need to soak chia seeds before eating them, but soaked and raw chia seeds do have slightly different health benefits.
You can eat chia seeds raw and enjoy their energy and nutrients, but eating a spoonful of chia seeds raw can also be unpleasant, as they might stick to your teeth and become dry.
It is also important to note the difference between the two – soaked chia seeds help to keep you hydrated, as they are packed with water, up to 12 times their body weight. This allows for a slow release of hydration and helps to keep you full for longer.
When it comes to raw chia seeds, they can do the opposite. As they have such a strong absorbent power, they can actually absorb water from your body during the digestion process and cause you to become dehydrated.
If you are wanting to eat raw chia seeds, you should plan to drink extra water.
Raw chia seeds are also helpful for those who suffer from acid reflux and can help relieve the symptoms a bit.
However, even though you can eat chia seeds raw, it is better to soak them first, so you can enjoy all of their nutritional properties and continued hydration.
How Long Do Soaked Chia Seeds Last?
How long chia seeds last in the fridge will depend on what you mix them with. Chia seeds which are mixed with water can be kept in the fridge for up to a week, as long as it is kept in an airtight container such as a mason jar.
It is important to keep the chia seed and water in an airtight container so that it cannot be contaminated by other odors or foods and to stop too much loss of moisture.
If you are mixing the chia seeds with milk, which is considerably more perishable than water, you should only keep the mixture in the fridge for up to 4 days. This again needs to be kept in an airtight container and should not be in contact with any other food items.
If you are wanting to add fruits and nuts, or any other toppings to the chia pudding, rather do so once you have dished up your portion, as this could cause the milk to spoil much sooner than what it should.
With chia seeds lasting for a few days in the fridge, whether they are soaked in water or some type of milk, you can make a big batch at the beginning of the week to enjoy for breakfast each day.
This also gives your chia maximum time to absorb as much of the moisture as possible, which then also helps keep you properly hydrated.
To make it easier for you in the morning, keep out single servings of the toppings you want to use for your chia seed breakfast, or keep your oatmeal portioned out waiting for the chia pudding to be added!
The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia Seeds are considered a superfood and are among some of the healthiest foods on the planet. They are loaded with many nutrients that are beneficial for both your mind and body.
To help decide whether or not to include chia seeds in your diet, here are some of the great benefits.
High Nutrients, Low Calories
Chia seeds contain a large number of nutrients, but contain a very small amount of calories.
Per one-ounce of chia seeds, they contain 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, 18% RDI of calcium, 30% RDI of manganese, 30% RDI of magnesium, 27% RDI of phosphorus, as well as a good amount of zinc, vitamin B1, potassium, vitamin B3 and vitamin B2.
This one-ounce serving of chia seeds only contains 137 calories.
High in Antioxidants
Chia seeds have a high count of antioxidants. These antioxidants actually work to protect the sensitive fat in the chia seeds from going rancid, and it is widely accepted that antioxidants have a wide range of health benefits.
They help to fight against the production of free radicals, which can be a contributing factor to aging and cancer.
Most Carbs Are Fiber
Almost all of the carbs found in chia seeds are fiber. This allows them to absorb almost 12 times their weight in water.
The high fiber content helps the chia seeds become gel-like and expand in your stomach, giving you a fuller feeling for a longer time.
The fiber also feeds healthy bacteria in your intestine, keeping your gut flora fed.
High Protein Content
Chia seeds have a high protein content and are made up of 14% of protein. Protein is an important nutrient and is especially important when it comes to weight loss.
Chia seeds, having a high protein content, lower appetite, and can even prevent unnecessary snacking.
Being high in protein and fiber, chia seeds help aid weight loss and are easy enough to add to your daily diet.
Help Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
There have been studies done that show that chia seeds may lower the rise in blood sugar, particularly after a high-carb meal.
This can be potentially beneficial for those who suffer from type-2 diabetes.
Easy to Add to Your Diet
The best thing about chia seeds is that they are so easy to include in your diet, and there is little planning that you need to do to get them ready to enjoy the next day!
How to Eat Chia Seeds for Breakfast
Don’t think that your only option to enjoy chia seeds is just chia seeds and water or chia seeds and milk.
There are some incredible breakfasts you can make with chia seeds, all of which are not only super tasty but which are healthy as well!
Vanilla and Cinnamon Chia Pudding
If you are a fan of rice pudding, you will love a vanilla and cinnamon chia pudding.
It is super easy to throw together and really ends up making itself! Use a base of almond milk or coconut milk and leave the chia seeds to soak overnight, and give it a pinch of cinnamon for a little punch of flavor.
In the morning, add in some vanilla essence and top with chopped nuts or toasted coconut.
For more chia pudding ideas, we highly recommend watching this video by The Cooking Foodie on YouTube. (Our favorite is the Lemon Blueberry flavor.)
Peach and Spinach Chia Smoothie
You can give your smoothies a nutrient boost by adding in some chia seeds. Whip up some spinach leaves, peaches, apple juice, and some chia seeds.
The peaches and apple juice give the smoothie some natural sweetness. You can freeze smoothie packs to use each morning, and then top in as many chia seeds as you want.
Dark Chocolate and Almond Chia Muffins
Using your favorite muffin mix, you can add in some chopped almonds, dark chocolate, coarse sea salt, and chia seeds. These ingredients together are absolutely delicious and are healthy as well!
Chia Seed Waffles
You can make some healthy waffles using whole wheat pastry flour. It adds whole grain goodness to recipes but still gives the same texture as white flour.
You can add in some chia seeds to the waffle recipe and cook it as normal. This offers a good punch of nutrients and a classic breakfast that everyone loves!
How Many Chia Seeds Can I Eat a Day?
There is no clear limit to how many chia seeds you can eat in one day, but it is important to note that eating raw chia seeds can dehydrate you, so limit your intake of those.
If you are soaking the chia seeds, you should consume around 20 grams per serving, which is around 1.5 tablespoons.
You can have two 20 gram servings per day. There is a possibility that you might face digestive issues if you are not used to a lot of fiber, as chia seeds do have a high fiber content.
What’s the Best Way to Eat Chia Seeds?
The best way to eat chia seeds would be to let them soak overnight, and then enjoy them as a pudding or add them to oatmeal or smoothies.
By the chia seeds having the time to soak, you will benefit from the extra hydration, which will also help to keep you feeling full for longer.
Can Chia Seeds Cause Gas?
As chia seeds contain a good amount of fiber, eating too many could cause digestive problems, such as bloating, gas, constipation, and abdominal pain.
It is a good idea to limit the number of chia seeds you eat each day, especially if your body is not used to a high fiber content diet.
How to Soak Chia Seeds Recipe
When it comes to soaking chia seeds, it is best to leave them to soak overnight, so they are able to absorb as much water as possible.
This ability to absorb water is why chia seeds are so great for a diet, as they help you feel full for longer!
Chia seeds have many great health benefits, and with them being so easy to incorporate into your diet, there is no reason why you shouldn’t start experimenting with soaking them today!
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 2 cups of filtered water
Use slightly warm water, as this helps the gel form faster.
Pour the measured water into a container that can be closed with a tight-fitting lid, such as a mason jar.
Pour in the right amount of chia seeds into the water.
Shake the container for at least 15 seconds and then let the chia seeds stand.
Once the chia seeds have rested for a minute, shake them for another 15 seconds.
Seal the container tightly and place it in the fridge for however long you need to.
Instead of water, you can also use almond milk, coconut milk, regular milk, or any other liquid that you'd prefer.
Just keep in mind that by using another liquid, you will essentially be making chia pudding.
You can also make drinkable chia juice by using a 1:9 ratio of chia seeds to juice.
*About the serving size: We recommend limiting yourself to about a 1/3 cup serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1.5 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 31Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g
I hope you found this huge guide on soaking chia seeds helpful! Chia seeds are such a wonderfully healthy food, full of omega-3 fatty acids and minerals.
If you are inclined to learn about how to soak chia seeds from a video instead of reading about it, this lesser-seen video has everything you need to know:
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