Chia seeds have been gaining in popularity in recent years because of their many health benefits and uses in the kitchen. Chia seeds are a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids and fiber. Vegans and vegetarians also use them in place of eggs. In terms of flavor, chia seeds have a mild taste.
Because of their many uses, chia seeds have become a staple in most kitchens. But what will happen if you’re planning to prepare a dish with chia seeds, but you realize you are out of the ingredient? Good news is you can still prepare the dish as chia seeds are easily replaceable.
You can replace chia seeds with ingredients that are readily available in your pantry. Regardless of the dish you are planning to prepare, there is a chia seed alternative that you can use. These include the following:
- Sesame Seeds
- Psyllium Husks
- Oat Bran
15 Best Chia Seeds Substitute
Sesame seeds are usually easier to find than chia seeds. After all, they were already being used for baking and cooking long before chia seeds. They are cheaper as well.
Sesame seeds are typically used as a seasoning for both sweet and salty dishes. You can also make tahini (a type of paste) from sesame seeds.
In terms of flavor, sesame seeds are a bit stronger, but the two can be exchanged for each other in various recipes. You can substitute sesame seeds for chia seeds in many recipes like smoothies, granolas, and salads using a 1:1 ratio.
Another good source of fiber just like chia seeds are psyllium husks. Thus, you can add psyllium husks to help make you feel full for a longer time. They are commonly available in powder form or as a supplement, but it is also possible to find them in their whole form, which is best if you intend to use them as a substitute for chia seeds in your recipe.
Psyllium husks work best as a chia seed substitute in smoothies. In many cases, you wouldn’t notice the taste difference. However, you will get more in terms of nutrition.
Oat bran is probably the cheapest alternative to chia seeds, and works best in meat and veggie patties, as well as in desserts. Oat bran can substitute for chia seeds in energy bars, smoothies, and crackers.
Bear in mind that oat bran is not gluten-free. Thus, you may want to consider other alternatives first if you are trying to avoid anything with gluten.
Unlike what most people think, quinoa is a kind of seed, and not a grain. This makes it a great substitute for chia seeds. It is a rich source of protein and is often used in vegetable patties and salads.
When substituting for chia seeds, use quinoa in puddings. You can replace chia seeds with quinoa on a 1:1 ratio. Just make sure that quinoa is first cooked in water for around 15 to 20 minutes before use.
Chia seeds are often used as a binding agent in many recipes, but you have to create a sticky gel out of the seeds first by mixing them with water. As a binding agent, flaxseed works as well as chia seeds.
When using flaxseed to replace chia seeds as binding agent, you need to use less water. While you need 3 tablespoons of water for every tablespoon of chia seeds, you will only need 2 Â½ tablespoons of water to 1 tablespoon of flaxseed. Adding more water will make your gel not sticky enough.
Remember that when substituting for chia seeds, you need to use ground flaxseed. You cannot make sticky gel out of whole flaxseed.
Instead of chia gel (for use as a binding agent), you can use mashed bananas. This would be a great substitution if you want some natural sugar added to your dessert recipes.
When making chia gel, you need to mix a tablespoon chia seeds with water. Replace it with Â¼ cup mashed bananas, preferably ripe for best results.
By replacing chia seeds with bananas, less sugar will be necessary for your dessert since bananas are naturally sweet.
Another alternative to chia seeds for gel are eggs. Note that chia seeds first gained popularity as an egg substitute for vegans.
Thus, the opposite makes sense. One egg is enough to replace 1 tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with water. You can then use the substitution in any cake or dessert recipe.
You can find a lot of overnight oat recipes, and most of them list chia seeds as an ingredient. However, this doesn’t mean you have to scrap your plans of making overnight oats if you are out of chia seeds.
Chia seeds are added to milk in overnight oats to create a fine creamy texture â€“ similar to what yogurt does. To replace chia seeds with yogurt, reduce the milk quantity required in the recipe by half, then add yogurt to fill the reduced quantity.
You can use either original or plant-based yogurt for the purpose. Use unflavoured yogurt if you want to add more flavor to your oatmeal later.
if you’re pressed for time, and your recipe requires soaking and cooking chia seeds, a quick, delectable substitute would be walnuts. Compared to other nuts, walnuts contain fewer calories, and they are a rich source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts are also affordable.
A healthy substitute for chia seeds in recipes, walnuts can help reduce risks for cancer, heart disease, hypertension, ulcer, osteoporosis, and gastrointestinal tract infection. Imagine all these benefits from the nutrient-packed nuts!
A known rich source of protein, essential amino acids, and antioxidants, hemp seeds are also packed with omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and zinc. Hemp seeds offer a good alternative for health-conscious individuals in case chia seeds are not available.
When used as chia seed replacement, you can use shelled or unshelled varieties that come in a lot of different flavors. You can eat hemp seeds soaked in liquid or as is. They do not contain gluten and soy. Hemp seeds are likewise non-GMO. Thus, the seeds are ideal for people with food sensitivities or allergies.
Satisfyingly crunchy, sunflower seeds offer protein, healthy fats, and dietary fiber in generous amounts â€“ all for only 120 calories an ounce! Sunflower seeds are packed with lots of vitamins that can help bring back energy to sustain you on busy days. Just sprinkle some on your favorite dish or use it as a salad topping.
Most commonly consumed as midday snacks, the small but healthy sunflower seeds provide the perfect protein and fiber boost that will keep you energetic throughout the day.
If you are planning to use sunflower seeds to replace chia seeds in your recipes, just make sure to get them when they are in season. This is because it would be impossible to get your hands on some otherwise.
Although considered a â€œfatty food,â€ pumpkin seeds offer a lot of health benefits. They are a generous source of protein, omega 3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, zinc, and iron that will help you achieve your weight goals.
Pumpkin seeds also contain lots of vitamins to give you enough energy for your day-long adventures.
While they are rich in healthy minerals and essential vitamins, they don’t have any cholesterol, which is perfect if you are under a strict diet. Pumpkin seeds are best substituted for chia seeds in veggie dip recipes.
Now, if you’re wondering how you can start your day with a healthy breakfast, nutritionists and dietitians recommend preparing a meal with the right mix of carbs, fat, and protein. This may only confuse you more and lost as to where you can start.
To simplify things, just start with almonds, arguably the king of superfoods! Almonds are rich in potassium, fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium, among others. What’s more it’s a lot cheaper than chia seeds, making it an ideal substitute.
You can take almonds straight from the bag, in the form of almond butter, or used as dip for apple slices mixed with honey â€“ a sweet breakfast to start your day.
A nutritious and great chia seed substitute, Brazil nuts taste great, whether eaten as a crunchy midday snack, or as companion to breakfast cereal. Very easy to carry in small packs, you can get your nut fix anytime and anywhere you want â€“ without the mess!
These nuts are rich in protein, fiber, as well as healthy fats. They offer a lot of benefits for your gut. The best part is, you can use Brazil nuts as a substitute for chia seeds in a number of recipes.
When used as an alternative, Brazil nuts can match all the buzz and nutrients from chia seeds, but only much tastier.
Known as nutty pantry dynamos, cashews are also considered a superfood as they are packed with potassium and magnesium, and contain 5x the amount of protein per ounce in pistachios. They are also a great source of monounsaturated fat, iron and protein.
More importantly, cashews come in handy if you are in need of a suitable substitute for chia seeds that you can use to thicken your soup or porridge recipes. You can also use cashews to replace chia seeds in chocolate cakes.
Substitute For Chia Seeds Related FAQs
Can I Be Allergic To Chia Seeds?
Yes, but only in rare cases. This is possible for people who are allergic to mustard or sesame seeds, and members of the salvia family like sage.
Some people may experience an allergic reaction after eating chia seeds and may show food allergy symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea and itching of the lips or tongue.[Source]
Can You Overeat Chia Seeds?
Yes it can be a problem due to excessive fiber intake. Eating more than what your body can take may make you feel bloated.
You may also experience problems like abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas, [Source]
Chia Seeds With Water In The Morning
Consuming chia seeds water in the morning can give a boost to your digestion and improve bowel movement.
Chia seeds absorbs lots of liquids because they contain high amounts of soluble fibre. They are able to absorb 10-12 times weight of water.
When drinking chia seed with water, you increase the feeling of fullness, slow down absorption of food, thus making you eat fewer calories and aiding weight loss. [Source]