Cooking With Chia Seeds
Chia, as an ingredient, is a dieters dream food. There are limitless ways to incorporate Chia seed into your diet. Chia must be prepared with pure water before using in recipes. The seed will absorb 9 times it's weight in water in less than 10 minutes and is very simple to prepare.
Food Extender/Calorie Displacer
The optimum ratio of water to seed, for most recipes, is 9 parts water to 1 part seed. One ounce of seed will make 10 ounces of Chia gel. This is the most unique structural quality of the Chia seed. The seed's hydrophilic (water absorbing) saturated cells hold the water, so when it is mixed with foods, it displaces calories and fat without diluting flavour. In fact , I have found that because Chia gel displaces rather than dilutes, it creates more surface area and can actually enhance the flavour rather than dilute it. Chia gel also works as a fat replacer for many recipes.
Making Chia Gel (9 to 1 ratio)
Add the gel, between 50% to 75% by volume, to any of the non-bake mentioned foods, mix well and taste. You will notice a very smooth texture with the integrity of the flavour intact. In addition to adding up to 50% to 75% more volume to the foods used, you have displaced calories and fat by incorporating an ingredient that is 90% water. Use as a fat replacer, for energy and endurance, or for added great taste, by substituting the oil in your baked goods with Chia gel.
Use chia seeds to replace eggs in recipes
When mixed with water, chia seeds, high in soluble fiber, form a thick gel. Place 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in a cup and add 3 tablespoons of water. Allow the mixture to sit for about 15 minutes. 1/4 cup of hydrated chia seeds equals approximately 1 egg.
Use chia seed flour in a wide variety of gluten free recipes as a 1-to-1 replacement for wheat flours.
According to Nuchia Foods, the manufacturer of Chia Seed Flour, a blend of milled chia seeds and organic brown rice flour, their product performs as a 1:1 replacement for wheat flour.
Baking tips for using chia flour in gluten free baking.
Sift chia seed flour before using, use smaller pans when baking with chia seed flour and increase baking time by about %5. For example, if a recipe calls for a 60 minute baking time, increase time by about 3 minutes for better results.
Chia seeds do have a ton of great health benefits surprisingly enough and I have been adding them to everything I can think of! Here are a few of my favorites that are super easy
-add them to smoothies, milkshakes or protein shakes
-sprinkle them on cereal, oatmeal, salad or soup
-add them to any muffin, cookie, or cake recipe
-add them to pancake batter before you cook the cakes
Those are just a few because you can literally add them to just about any food because their flavour is very mild and will not interfere with the flavour of the food you add them to.