Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fun with Chia Seeds – Making Chia Seed Gel

I’ve been wanting to try baking with chia seeds, but hadn’t been able to find them locally, so I was thrilled when the folks at Bob’s Red Mill asked me if I wanted to create a recipe for them, using chia seeds. Yes! I absolutely did.

I had heard that it was possible to make chia seed gel – like flax seed gel – to use a substitute for eggs when baking. But I need to try it myself – to see how it works. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. The first thing I want you to do is look at the chia seeds, and notice how different they are than the golden flax seeds I usually use:

The chia seeds are on the left, the flax seeds are on the right.

Chia seeds are tiny – about one-fourth the size of flaxseeds. But unlike flax seeds, whose shells need to be cracked to be able to digest them, chia seeds can be eaten whole. That means they can be used as toppings or add-ins – in whole form.

Also notice the color. The dark color of chia seeds means that they will be noticeable in most baked goods – if that matters to you.

Flax seeds need to be ground into meal before you can make an egg replacer gel with them, but chia seed gel can be made from whole seeds:

That said, I actually prefer grinding the seeds before adding the water:

So that you can get a smoother gel that looks like this:

While I typically grind about ¾ tablespoon of flax seeds to get 1 tablespoon of flax seed meal, only ½ tablespoon of chia seeds are needed to get one tablespoon of meal. If you use more, your chia seed gel will be too dense.

The formula to make chia seed gel (one egg equivalent):
½ tablespoon chia seeds (either whole or ground) mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water. Whisk together, let it sit for five minutes, then re-whisk.


Unknown said...

So how did your baking turn out in comparison to the chia seeds? I have a recipe for icing using chia seeds and have yet to find them here locally in Boise. Thanks for the post!

Colette said...

Foodallergymom, sorry it took me so long to respond to you. I really liked baking with chia seeds. It definitely works as an egg replacer, and will probably use it more.

An icing recipe with chia seeds sounds odd to me -- are the seeds just used as embellishment?

Anonymous said...

Sorry , I disagree my body does not digest uncracked chia seeds even geld 36 hours. making thing a little rough.