Whether you are looking to improve your digestive health, boost metabolism, or add another source of healthy fatty-acids to your diet, chia seeds have got you covered. There is a lot to love about “superfood” chia seed recipes: their high source of fiber, ability to help keep you full, the benefits they provide for cardiovascular and digestive health.
Another great thing about using chia seeds in your homemade desserts, snacks, and side dishes? They are low in calories- especially when you consider all of their benefits- and are now available at almost all major supermarkets.
If you’ve been struggling to find ways to use that big bag of chia seeds you recently bought, here are 21 awesome chia seed recipes that you can turn to over and over again, in order to get these healthy seeds into your diet each and every day.
I recommend using natural sweeteners like raw honey, real maple syrup or organic coconut palm sugar to get the most nutrients out of these recipes. Also always substitute grass-fed dairy or goat milk, replace table salt with sea salt or kosher salt, and replace canola and vegetable oil with coconut oil or ghee.
21 Chia Seed Recipes You’re Going to Crave
CHIA SEED RECIPES: Breakfast & Snacks
“Chia pudding” is a perfect swap for sugary, processed bread or rice puddings that are loaded with refined carbs and empty calories. Chia seeds have the ability to soak up water and form a gel-like substance,which closely resembles other dessert-like puddings that may be some of your childhood favorites.
The sky is the limit when it comes to chia seed recipes for making healthy breakfast puddings, but this combination of coconut, strawberries, and lime is a perfect combination of sweet and decadent, while still staying light and fresh thanks to the acidity of the lime.
Photo: Strawberries and Cream Chia Pudding / The Kitchn
Pancakes made using coconut flour and topped with a bit of unsweetened coconut flakes add something different in terms of taste than your usual plain or blueberry pancakes.
The addition of good-quality vanilla whey protein and chia seeds boosts the satisfying protein and fiber in this breakfast, so you stay full and focused until lunch time. These would be a great way to sneak some chia seeds into your children’s day as well- since what kid doesn’t like pancakes?
Photo: Coconut Chia Protein Pancakes / Dr. Axe
Many packaged protein bars contain a laundry list of processed ingredients that commonly cause digestive problems and more. Make your own protein bars instead, so you always have a healthy breakfast-on-the-go option, or something you can keep in your bag as a filling afternoon snack. Replace the agave in this recipe with raw local honey, one of my favorite ingredients for reducing inflammation, providing vitamins and minerals, and appeasing a sweet tooth in a healthy way.
Photo: Quinoa Chia Seed Protein Bars / Cooking Quinoa
Adding chia seeds to your oatmeal if one of the easiest ways to incorporate them into your breakfast. Pumpkin and chia seeds make this breakfast a great source of fiber, which helps to keep your digestive system operating smoothly. Plus cinnamon, along with the high amount of fiber, both work to keep your blood sugar stable as the morning goes on. Make sure you add a bit more water than you normally would when preparing your oats with chia seeds, since the chia seeds will soak up a good amount of liquid and make your oats more dense. The making similar oatmeal and chia seed recipes by adding in other fruits, nuts, or healthy toppings of your choice.
Photo: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal / Dr. Axe
Oranges and other citrus fruits should be staples in every kitchen. They are one of the foods that is highest in vitamin C, which boosts immunity, helps to heal infection, and acts as a powerful antioxidant. Citrus fruits are even great for your skin, so this orange infused oatmeal will help you keep your “glow” all winter long, while oranges are usually at their peak of ripeness and availability.
Vanilla extract makes a great addition to any chia pudding because its shelf-stable, low in calories, but very high in flavor (a little goes a long way). Vanilla beans or pure vanilla extract are a great way to bring our sweetness in chia seed recipes without needing to add any extra sugar.
Photo: Orange Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding / One Ingredient Chef
If you love lemon poppy seed muffins, then this chia seed recipe for healthy breakfast muffins has your name written all over it. Remember to use coconut palm sugar in place of regular white sugar and to substitute sprouted ancient grain or your favorite gluten-free or grain-free flour.
And don’t be shy with adding plenty of fresh lemon juice and lemon zest; lemons are full of benefits, boosting immunity, helping to reduce allergies, and more. Lemons and good-quality raw honey are two one of my favorite detox ingredients and a great way to fight off colds and other illnesses.
Photo: Lemon Muffins with Chia Seeds and Honey Glaze / Pinch of Yum
This egg-free chia seed recipe uses coconut flour over processed flours, which makes this recipe both gluten free and vegetarian/vegan friendly. Apples are an excellent addition to any muffin recipe, thanks to their high level of fiber and anti-inflammatory properties. Apples contain a special compound called pectin, which are great for the digestive tract.
Photo: Apple Mug-Muffins with Chia Seeds / Civilized Caveman Cooking
Skip the overly sugary, jarred jams that you buy in most grocery stores and make your own upgraded version instead using plenty of actual berries and chia seeds. The chia seeds help to create a perfect jelly texture, and also importantly keep your blood sugar staple.
Blackberries and other berries are some of the healthiest fruits you can add to any breakfast chia seed recipes, so start by spreading this jam on sprouted ancient grain toast, english muffin, or oatmeal. Thanks to their high level of antioxidants, berries help to fight free radicals and are great for reducing symptoms associated with aging, plus they are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Photo: Blackberry Chia Jam / The Kitchn
Instead of relying on baked goods like store-bought muffins or pastries, make your own “toasted oatmeal” instead, which will give you the same hearty texture you’re looking for with a fraction of the calories and sugar.Oats are an excellent source of fiber, which helps to regulate blood sugar and reduce cravings thanks to its ability to make you feel full and satisfied. Fiber also plays a very important role in digestive and cardiovascular health. Oats also provide important minerals and complex carbohydrates, which are especially useful for athletes, making them a great pre or post workout snack. Coconut whipped cream is a perfect silky-smooth substitution for flavored, sugar-loaded yogurts. Between the chia seeds, berries, oats, and coconut, you’ve got a breakfast that offers antioxidants, healthy fatty acids, loads of fiber, and some serious staying power.
Photo: Toasted Oatmeal with Strawberry Chia Jam and Coconut Whipped Cream / Cookie and Kate
Here’s another great example of how to please the whole family on “pancake Sunday”, while still giving everyone a healthy meal. Use oat flour or sprouted ancient grain flour instead of whole wheat in this recipe. And swap in coconut palm sugar for regular sugar.
Strawberries, and all other berries, are excellent when combined with water-absorbing chia seeds, making the perfect topping for simple oats. Along with strawberries, try adding blueberries as well. Blueberries are a food I try to eat every single day, because they contain a whole range of important nutrients, plus they taste great. All berries are an excellent source of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins K and C.
Photo: Chia Seed Pancakes with Roasted Strawberries / Two Peas and Their Pod
CHIA SEED RECIPES: Desserts
11. Peach Cobbler
If you have a weakness for warm cobbler topped with cold vanilla ice cream, then you need to try making this healthy version at home! Chia seeds, coconut flour, and almond flour all give this dessert plenty of healthy fats, which help to keep your blood sugar level stable when you eat sweets, like fruit.
Peaches, while they have a short season, can be found in organic frozen varieties in most grocery or health food stores, allowing you to make this healthy dessert year round. Try the same recipe using fiber-rich apples too.
Photo: Peach Cobbler / Dr. Axe
Luckily for us, good quality dark chocolate in the form of unsweetened cocoa is very high in anti-oxidants and flavanols. Flavonols may help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the brain and heart. Cocoa is also a great source of magnesium, which is a mineral that many people are deficient in.
Cocoa gives you a nice energy boost without any jitters and helps with focus, attention, and athletic training, making it on of the most popular “superfoods”. For this particular recipe, use coconut palm sugar as your sweetener and also replace regular butter with grassfed butter or coconut oil, in order to give these brownies plenty of healthy moisture.
Photo: Mocha Chocolate Chunk Chia Brownies / All Day I Dream About Food
This is not your average chia seed pudding- this one features a unique sweet and spicy flavor, thanks to the mix of pink peppercorns and pomegranate seeds. Pomegranate is a great antioxidant and a perfect addition to any of your favorite chia seed recipes.
What makes pomegranates even more impressive? They were actually one of the foods mentioned in the Bible, and have been eaten for thousands of years around the world for their health-promoting abilities. Pomegranates are a great skin-boosting fruit, since they have a natural ability to help the skin health and protect itself from sun damage and age-related wrinkles and fine lines.
Photo: Chai Spiced Chia Pudding with Peppercorns and Pomegranate / Wholehearted Eats
Try making these grain-free cookies, made with almond meal in place of processed flour, with lots of different antioxidant-packed berries. Blueberries are a great choice for example, because they contain gallic acid, which is a special protective antioxidant that is linked with anti-fungal, anti-viral, and immune boosting benefits.
Other berries to incorporate could include raspberries, blackberries, and even dried superfood berries like gogis or mulberries, which you could easily fold into your chia jam.
Photo: Grain-free Thumb Print Cookies with Chia Berry Jam / Savory Lotus
I love the simplicity of having some fresh fruit salad after dinner, especially when it’s got the extra benefit of omega-3 rich chia seeds added to it. Honey and lime, along with chia seeds, make an impressive dressing that is a good source of vitamin C, essential fatty acids, and has the ability to boost immunity. At the same time, the different fruit and berry varieties that you choose to use add to your fruit salad pack antioxidants and fiber into to this dessert.
Photo: Honey Lime Fruit Salad with Chia Dressing / Food for My Family
This creamy smoothie is naturally sweetened with dried dates and gets it decadent flavor from blended hazelnuts and chia seeds. Whenever you want to add heart-healthy nuts to your smoothies, it’s a good idea to soak them overnight in water beforehand, this way they blend easily and you wind up with an extra smooth smoothie.
Cocoa powder, a type of healthy chocolate used in this particular recipe, is a fantastic superfood- rich in numerous trace minerals. Look for good quality, organic and raw cocoa powder whenever possible to get the most benefit out of using it in desserts, smoothies, and more.
Photo: Creamy Chocolate Hazelnut Shake with Chia / Detoxinista
I can’t think of a better way to use chia seeds in a healthy dessert than to add them to cookies! Try using coconut flour or oat flour in place of regular all-purpose flour, and swapping in pure maple syrup or honey, instead of the agave nectar.
Photo: Chia Seed Wafer Cookies / Savy Naturalista
CHIA SEED RECIPES: Savory Entrees & Side Dishes
18. Cheesy Bread
If a good piece of bread is your weakness, this chia seed recipe is made for you. Chia seeds help to give the bread a good, hearty texure but also keep your blood sugar stable, which is important any time you are eating carbohydrates. The good-quality raw cheese, kefir, and cage-free eggs in this recipe give the bread a high amount of protein as well, which will keep you way more satisfied than your average piece of processed brread. Using almond flour instead of regular refined flour makes this suitable for those avoiding gluten as well.
Photo: Cheesy Bread / Dr. Axe
What could be better than combining two of the healthiest foods- cruciferous vegetables (including cauliflower) and chia seeds? This simple side dish is made using eggs, almonds, and of course chia seeds, which means they are actually a good source of protein in addition to many other minerals. Use organic mozzarella cheese or try goat cheese or organic, grass-fed Greek yogurt for add even more healthy protein to this cauliflower and chia seep recipe.
The combination of quinoa and chia seeds has a list of health benefits that could fill this entire page! Both are high in protein, gluten free, and provide numerous benefits related to keeping blood sugar stable and a healthy weight in-check.
Quinoa is also high in fiber, full of antioxidants and trace minerals, and has been shown to help maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Chia seed recipes for making homemade salad dressings sounds like the perfect way to easily add some to a whole range of meals that you’re already preparing, from simple salads to veggie-filled grain dishes.
Photo: Quinoa Salad with Chia Chipotle Dressing / Serious Eats
If you aren’t already into using nutrient-packed avocados in all sorts of new ways (like on toast ,with various toppings), you need to give this one a try. Together with chia seeds, the avocado in this recipe adds even more filling fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, A, potassium, iron, copper, and more. For this recipe, use ancient grain sprouted bread, or even completely grain-free bread (such as paleo bread). Also consider using actual cranberries or sliced grapes for even more filling volume.
Photo: California Avocado Toast with Cashews, Chia, and Cranberries / I Wash You Dry
Organic, cage-free eggs are a great way to start out a busy day, or even a good addition to lunch or an afternoon snack. Eggs provide not only protein, but also importantly Vitamin D, iodine, choline, and iron too. Be sure to find the best quality eggs you can (organic and cage-free) in order to get more omega-3s, nutrients, and to decrease the risk for things like salmonella contamination. Look for them at farmer’s markets or your local health food store.