Chia seeds are the new flax seeds. They are full of Omega-3’s, antioxidants, and fiber. They also do not go rancid or need to be ground up to be absorbed the way flax does. Though I describe them as new, they have been around for a long time and were a core component of the Aztec and Mayan diets.
Seriously, what I find fascinating about them is their ability to retain so much water. Because of this unusual property a mixture of chia seeds and water will form a gel which has culinary uses and can be used to create texture for a pudding or substitute for fat.
The general ratio for how to make chia gel is 9 parts water to 1 part chia seeds by weight. I have also tried just 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 9 tablespoons of water and although a bit thinner in texture it did create almost exactly 1/4 cup gel. Once you have the gel you can use it in cookies, cakes, and other baked goods like these cherry cardamom muffins.
[print_this]Chia Gel (makes 2 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup chia seeds
2 cups water
Combine in a sealable container. Shake vigorously and allow to stand for about 30 minutes or until it forms a gel. Refrigerate or use immediately. Will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator.[/print_this]