You may know them from the Chia Pets of the 1980s, but chia seeds are making quite a comeback as a health food and for good reason. This tiny and humble superfood is quite the nutritional powerhouse.  The seeds are a great source of fiber, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and are a complete protein. In just two tablespoons of chia seeds, there are 11 grams of fiber, which represents more than 30% of the recommended daily amount. Their great ratio of protein, fats, and fiber can contribute to stabilizing blood sugar and may help keep you full longer. Chia seeds also contain numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including calcium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

One of the most unique characteristics of chia seeds is their ability to absorb many times their own weight in water, so they are perfect for creating a gel-like consistency to puddings.  These puddings work well as a meal or snack and you can easily make them in large batches to last all week.  Chia seeds can also be used as an egg replacer:  1 “egg” = 1 tablespoon chia seed + 3 tablespoons water.  Here are three of our favorite no-cook, make-ahead recipes that include chia seeds:

Apricot Macadamia Overnight Oats

Chunky Monkey Chia Pudding

Strawberry Almond Chia Pudding

We made a video showing you how to put them together – check it out here.

Written by Michelle Davies

Reviewed and edited by Jeanne Petrucci, MS, RDN