How to Make And Use Chia Seed Gel (With Recipes and Ratios)

We wouldn’t doubt that somewhere in your health-food journey, you’ve come across some of the wonderful ways to consume chia, but today we want to focus specifically on chia seed gel.

The problem is, you may still not be sure where to start or, perhaps, even how to start.

Chia gel is the key to unlocking all of chia’s nutrition, essentially making it the most bioavailable and absorbable.

One of the most beneficial ways to eat chia comes in the form of chia gel, and today we’ll be teaching you the ins and outs of how to make chia gel.

Before we do anything else, we’re going to answer some of the most common questions surrounding making chia gel.

What is Chia Gel?

Chia gel is simply a mixture of chia seeds and water that has been allowed to set for a period of time to allow the chia seeds to absorb water. Since chia seeds can absorb up to 12x their weight in water, they swell up and become somewhat gelatinous, creating chia gel.

What Does Chia Gel Do?

Chia seeds are already naturally high in fiber and protein, and when they are soaked for a period of time, it allows the seeds to swell up and expand in size.

When these seeds are introduced in the digestive tract, they act somewhat like a clean sweep to knock out anything and everything stuck hanging around in the intestines, and are very helpful in the digestion process.

Since the chia seeds have been soaked, it also unlocks many of the nutrients that have been ‘hidden’ behind the layer of phytic acid inherent in all seeds. Soaking your chia seeds before consumption just makes them that much better for you!

How Long Does Chia Gel Stay Good For?

Chia gel should keep in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks in a sealed container (mason jars seem to be the popular choice), so don’t be afraid to make it in larger batches for later use!

How Can I Use Chia Gel?

Chia gel can be used in a variety of ways, but the most common forms would have to be as an addition to smoothies and juices, to make chia Fresca, or as an egg replacer!

Replace the water with plant milk in your chia gel recipe, as well as some sweeteners and flavorings, and you’ll have yourself a hearty cup of Chia pudding!

How Much Chia Gel Can I Eat Per Day?

While there isn’t really a known upper limit of chia gel consumption, we would stress that if your diet is typically low in fiber, you might want to ease into things.

For those starting out or coming from low-fiber diets, we’d recommend 1.5-2 tablespoons of chia gel, twice daily, for best results. After that, listen to your body!

How To Make Chia Gel

For this tutorial, we’re going to start small and work our way up, which means that for the first part, we’ll be talking about using chia as an egg replacer.

No matter how much chia gel you’re trying to make, the process remains pretty much the same: add chia to water, stir vigorously or shake repeatedly, let sit, repeat stirring/shaking, let set, ready to use.

The reason so much agitation is required is because the chia seeds tend to clump together when they’re not shaken or stirred, so be sure to keep an eye on your chia in these crucial first few minutes.

Using Chia Gel as an Egg Replacer

What You’ll Need:

  • A Small Bowl
  • A Fork
  • 1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. Water

Time to Prepare: 10 Minutes

Directions:

  1. Combine water and chia seeds in a bowl.
  2. Use a fork to stir vigorously for 45 seconds, making sure to fully submerge the seeds to get them nice and wet.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Use a fork to stir vigorously (again) for 45 seconds, making sure to break apart any clumps in the chia seeds that may have formed.
  5. Keep a close eye on your mixture – it should be ready to use within the next few minutes!

*Note* The chia gel does not need to sit in the refrigerator while water is absorbed but it may help the process along. Also, depending on the seeds used, absorption may be quicker or slower, so just keep an eye out for the formation of the gelatinous texture you’re going for!

Using Chia Gel as a Smoothie Addition

What You’ll Need:

  • A small mason jar (feel free to be creative here)
  • 2.5 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
  • 1 Cup Water

Time to Prepare: 20 Minutes

Directions:

  1. Combine water and chia seeds in mason jar and seal.
  2. Shake vigorously for 45 seconds.
  3. Allow mixture to set in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  4. Shake vigorously for 45 seconds (again).
  5. Allow mixture to set in refrigerator for an additional 10 minutes before stirring into your smoothie, juice, or other beverage.

How to Make Chia Gel for Multiple Uses

While you can certainly opt to make your chia seed gel on a per-use basis, we find it is much easier to make it in bulk and allow it to store in the refrigerator between uses.

This has multiple benefits because for starters, you’re always going to have chia gel on hand for whatever creative uses spring to mind and you won’t be waiting around for it to soak.

The second and much larger benefit, however, is that while chia seeds can soak perfectly fine in under half an hour for use in a pinch, you will always get the best results from your gel if it is allowed to soak in the refrigerator overnight.

With anywhere between 3-8 hours, we really start to see the benefits of soaking your seeds before use shine. We see the breakdown of phytates and anti-nutrients in the seeds, as well as their full hydrophilic potential, be fulfilled.

What You’ll Need:

  • A Large Mason Jar
  • 1/3 cup Chia Seeds
  • 2 Cups Water

Directions:

  1. Combine water and chia seeds in mason jar and seal.
  2. Shake mixture intermittently for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Place mixture in the fridge and allow to set overnight.
  4. Use whenever.

And that pretty much does it! Hopefully, by now you have a pretty good handle on how to make chia gel, as well as the scalable levels you can create it on.

While these recipes and directions should give you a pretty reliable starting point, we also recognize that not everyone will be pleased by the consistencies yielded, so don’t be afraid to play around with the proportions!

Once you get an idea of what works best for you, it’s much easier to scale your chia gel recipes to suit your needs.

10+ Chia Fresca Recipes and Why This Chia Seed Drink Is Remarkable For Hydration

Move over water, chia seeds in water (Chia Fresca) is so much better!

When chia seeds are soaked in water they become the absolute best way to stay hydrated.

While we all love drinking water, sometimes we need a little something different to keep us hydrated.

Not only are chia seeds rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and protein, they also love to absorb water and swell up into gelatinous little balls.

Swollen chia seeds retain lots of water, and can be very hydrating themselves, but for something even more beneficial and unique, you can actually make some fun and fruity drinks with them!

What is Chia Fresca? Where did it come from?

Chia Fresca is a derivative of a traditional Mexican drink. Aztecs were firm believers in chia seeds and incorporated them into their diet regularly. Chia Fresca is a popular drink in Mexico and Central America to this day!

Luckily, you don’t have to pack your suitcase to give these drinks a try. Here is a list of some different and interesting types of Chia Fresca to make at home. They take little time to make and will enhance your day right away!

If any recipes contain sugar, be sure to switch it out for stevia or another natural sweetener!

#1 No Sugar Lemon Chia Fresca

Need a metabolism boost? This No Sugar Lemon Chia Fresca will kick your metabolism into gear with a slight hint of cayenne pepper! This homemade drink will leave you feeling energized and hydrated for the whole day. For a special dose of magnesium, try swapping out cold water for coconut water!

#2 Pineapple Chia Fresca

Embrace the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric while you detox with this Pineapple Chia Fresca. The coconut water in this recipe provides you with potassium while the lemons go to work on your metabolism. So refreshing!

#3 Strawberry Hibiscus Chia Fresca

Enjoy the fruity and flowery flavor of this Strawberry Hibiscus Chia Fresca. The hibiscus tea in this recipe helps keep your blood pressure and blood sugar regulated, and the strawberries provide antioxidants and vitamins. This sweet beverage is a great replacement for soda and any other artificially sugary drinks plaguing your diet.

#4 Pineapple and Turmeric Chia Fresca

Fight inflammation with this Pineapple and Turmeric Chia Fresca. Pineapples are vitamin-rich and provide you with your daily dose of vitamin C! Meanwhile, turmeric provides powerful curcumin, a strong antioxidant that aids in decreasing inflammation.

#5 Cucumber Lime Chia Fresca

Quench your thirst with a Cucumber Lime Chia Fresca. The recipe combines refreshing ingredients – such as cucumber, lime, and chia – to provide you with a hydrating drink packed with vitamins and minerals. This is the perfect drink for a hot summer day, but also works great to keep your thirst satiated when the heater kicks on for winter!

#6 Kiwi Agua Fresca

This Kiwi Agua Fresca is a naturally sweet drink that is perfect with the addition of 1/4 cup of chia seeds! Kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. They also aid digestion and are great for those looking to detox.

#7 Pomegranate Lime Chia Fresca

Skip the expensive store-bought chia drinks and make this Pomegranate Lime Chia Fresca at home! Pomegranate juice is full of antioxidants and vitamin C. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory and aids digestion, making it beneficial for everyone that drinks it.

#8 Watermelon Agua Fresca

Toss in 1/4 cup of chia seeds to this Watermelon Agua Fresca and enjoy the refreshing taste! Watermelon is naturally high in water content, making it the ultimate fruit for keeping your body hydrated. It is also a source of vitamin C and anti-inflammatory antioxidants.

#9 Blackberry and Lime Chia Fresca

This Blackberry and Lime Chia Fresca provides you with vitamin C, fiber, vitamin K, manganese, and of course, omega-3. This drink is a great way to stay hydrated while keeping things fruity and delicious. Sip and detoxify!

#10 Grapefruit Chia Fresca

This Grapefruit Chia Fresca is great for those looking to lose weight or boost the immune system. The recipe also offers alternative fruit and sweetening options, making it more customizable to your needs and what you have available!

Had you tried Chia Fresca before? Which recipe was your favorite to make? Leave a comment below!

Now that you have some new ideas, it’s time to get creative and make your own Chia Fresca. It can be a very simple or complex recipe, but the chances that you have at least a couple ingredients lying around the house already are pretty high! Whatever you do though, be sure to stock up on chia seeds!

RECIPE: Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Chia & Nut Crumble Crust

Who doesn’t love pumpkin pie? This all Vegan Pumpkin Pie recipe is full of nutrition and taste!

Here’s what you need first:

INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:
2 Tbsp chia seeds (Pure Organic Foods)
2 Tbsp raw chia seed oil (Pure Organic Foods)
2 cups organic raw almonds
½ cup organic raw walnuts
1 Tbsp organic date syrup (Date Lady)
1/3 cup organic unsweetened coconut, shredded
1 Tbsp coconut oil
¼ t sea salt

For the Filling:
2 cups organic pumpkin puree
1 cup organic oat milk (Pacific Foods)
¾ cup organic date sugar (Date Lady)
¼ cup chia seeds (Pure Organic Foods) + ¼ cup warm water
½ Tbsp organic date syrup (Date Lady)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

PREPARATION

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a spice grinder or high powered blender, grind the whole chia seeds for the filling for 1-2 minutes, until finely ground
3. In a small bowl, combine ground chia seeds & warm water then set aside to thicken
4. In a food processor or high powered blender, pulse all crust ingredients until ground then press into your preferred pan & transfer to freezer for 10 min while preparing the filling
5. Wipe food processor or high powered blender clean then add filling ingredients & process 2-3 minutes, until smooth & well-combined, scraping down sides with a rubber spatula as needed
6. Pour filling mixture into prepared crust, transfer to oven & bake 30-35 min, until filling is set, covering the crust edges with strips of foil if exposed
7. Cool completely before serving

Recipe Testing Notes

Ingredients

Result
Took it out of the oven at 35 minutes because the filling was getting too brown, but it was still slightly loose, even after cooling fully. A few easy fixes:
Change the milk from oat to coconut milk, using the cream at the top of the can. Oat milk is comparable to skim milk in that is is low fat. Higher fat content will result in thicker consistency and help stabilize the loose texture.

Increase Chia Seeds to 3 Tbsp and/or add 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds to the chia mixture
The finished pie was quite dark. I lightened it up in photo editing but I think the switch to coconut milk will also help with the coloring as oat milk can tend to brown a bit in baking.
The overall flavor of the filling was great. Just the right amount of pumpkin pie spice.
The flavor and texture of the pie crust was great. It was crispy and crumbly and just the right amount of sweet from the date syrup and savory from the nuts.

TIME
Active Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes + cooling time

SERVES 6-8 people


19+ of the Best Delicious Vegan 4th Of July Recipes For A Meat-Free Celebration

Fireworks, flags, hotdogs and burgers can only mean one thing: it’s the 4th of July, and Americans all across the country are celebrating the anniversary of our declaration of independence.

While food is typically meant to bring us closer and more together as a community, being vegan can often be more divisive than inclusive. When considering a mostly barbecue-based holiday such as this, that dividing line seems to become even bolder at a time we should be celebrating our similarities and not our differences.

Luckily, a vegan Fourth of July is entirely possible thanks to the many creative folks out there and ever-increasing availability of meat substitutes.

So kick back with a cool chia drink, a sparkler, some sunglasses and a vegan hot dog as we count down twenty vegan 4th of July recipes that are sure to get your Independence Day celebrations back on track!

It’s also worth noting that most of the recipes below are scalable, so whether you’re serving for two or twenty, you’ll have exactly the directions you need to make it happen!

Vegan Fourth of July Side Dishes

20. Classic Vegan Potato Salad

This one is pretty much a no-brainer – you just can’t have 4th of July without potato salad, it’s like, in the rules. The best part is that Kelly over at The Pretty Bee has created this recipe as a direct translation of traditional potato salad, just with vegan ingredients. There’s nothing weird or new age going on in this dish, just good old-fashioned classic potato salad!

19. Grilled Fajita Vegetable Skewers

These savory vegetable skewers have everything but the meat! With roasted corn, mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and brussels sprouts, these fajita veggies skewers are sure to hit that familiar barbecue taste you know and love!

18. Vegan Coleslaw

Just like potato salad, coleslaw is basically a staple of 4th of July celebrations. What better food to cool you down in the blistering summer heat than a nice cool bowl of vegan coleslaw? The best part, you can easily make this with a bag of pre-shredded cabbage mix, which means you can have this dish ready to serve in just minutes!

17. Garlicky Mashed Cauliflower

Cauliflower has recently become popular for its versatility and usability. From fried rice and buffalo wings to mashed potatoes and pizza crust, it seems like cauliflower can be used to replace just about anything! For this recipe, you’ll probably want a food processor or blender, but other than that, this cauliflower mash tastes just like everyone’s favorite homestyle mashed potatoes!

16. Vegetable Fritters

While not necessarily traditional, these fritters will fit right in alongside all of your tasty Fourth of July vegan sides! If you’re craving the taste of hushpuppies, this may just do the trick for you too! Served with vegan chipotle ranch, these may just be some of the best snacking foods to grace your table this Independence Day.

15. Crispy Paprika Oven-Baked Fries

What 4th of July celebration is complete without some delicious oven-baked fries? While this recipe, in particular, is aimed at small servings, it could easily be scaled much larger with a few more potatoes involved! Our pro-tip would be to also add a bit of onion and garlic powder to the finished product for some irresistible snacking fries!

14. The World’s Best Guacamole

This guac is no joke, y’all, period. It’s simple, easy to make, and ridiculously delicious. It’s the type of guac that will make you want an entire tray of fresh-baked restaurant style chips to accompany it because it’s seriously that deserving. The secret ingredient? Veganaise for added creaminess.

Recipe: Rae Gun Ramblings

Vegan Fourth of July Main Dishes

13. Portobello Mushroom Steaks

These steaks are the real deal, people. This isn’t some throw a mushroom on the grill and a little bit of seasoning and call it a day kind of steak. This is a slow-simmered in vegetable broth, butter, wine, and spices kind of steak. This is a juicy, tender, mouth-watery goodness kind of steak, and it is the perfect way to veganize your Fourth of July festivities in a big way. This is a treat yo’ self kind of steak and boo, you deserve it.

Recipe: Produce on Parade

12. Grilled Corn Avocado and Tomato Salad

This recipe really could be used as a side or a dip, but it could do just as well as a standalone main dish as well. It’s light and refreshing but also nutrient-dense and loaded with healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats and is sure to hit the spot for anyone looking for lighter fair for their vegan Fourth of July celebration.

Recipe: Well Plated

11. The I’m Possible Burger

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the Impossible Burger, accompanied by people crying, “it bleeds like real meat!” – or something to that effect. What this is, however, is a very similar version of that very same burger – the catch is, this one doesn’t cost $15. Utilizing a very interesting blend of rice, beets, tempeh, mushrooms, and oats, this burger blend results in a VERY meaty texture and is sure to satisfy even the most skeptical of carnivores.

Recipe: Planted 365

10. Smoky Carrot Hot Dogs with Creamy Chickpea Salad

I know what you’re thinking – carrot hot dogs? Carrot hot dogs. You would be very surprised to find just how sweet, savory, and tender a carrot gets on the grill and just how satisfying it can actually be on a bun with the proper toppings. This recipe goes beyond the bland yet traditional notion that a hot dog only needs ketchup or mustard and offers a bold and deeply satisfying chickpea salad blend to finish these dogs off with style!

Recipe: Sandra Vungi Vegan

9. Crispy Cauliflower Hot Wings

How could we possibly pass up an opportunity to include cauliflower hot wings in our vegan 4th of July recipes roundup? Cauliflower hot wings have been seeing a huge spike in popularity lately and, while hot wings aren’t exactly traditional Independence Day fare, we think they would fit right in next to the coleslaw and blackberry-lime chia fresca (more on that later!) Served up with some vegan ranch and celery sticks, these hot wings are sure to be a hit at any party!

Recipe: Mallory Maddox

8. Balsamic Grilled Garlic Mushroom Skewers

Again, some could consider this a side dish more than a main course, but mushrooms are actually pretty darn filling, and this skewers could go very well with a plate of white rice to balance things out. After a 30-minute marinade session and just a few minutes out on the grill, these tender and savory mushrooms are sure to satisfy!

Recipe: Closet Cooking

7. BBQ Pulled Sweet Potato Sandwiches

This is a new one, and a very welcome take on BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. Sweet potatoes definitely were not something that naturally would’ve come to mind but we’re glad they came up, because this recipe sounds absolutely enticing. The best part about these is you could even top it was some of that coleslaw from earlier or the leftover chickpea salad from your carrot dogs to take it to the next level!

Recipe: Yup…It’s Vegan!

Vegan Fourth of July Desserts

6. Easy Peach Blueberry Crisp

It was a tough call between apple pie and peach cobbler, but ultimately we just had to go with this peach-blueberry crisp to hit our warm dessert cravings this 4th of July. It’s colorful, it can easily be served with some banana nice cream or plain vanilla, and it’s just enough of a twist on tradition to keep things interesting. There are actually very few ingredients necessary and the resulting dish will definitely satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth!

Recipe: Kim’s Cravings

5. Red, White, and Blue Popsicles

What better way to beat the heat than by enjoying a nice frozen dessert in the summer sun? These coconut-cream-based popsicles are a perfect way to wind down after a long day, and are actually quite a bit healthier than your average ice cream bar. With the addition of fresh berries, these pops will be a great a refreshing way to celebrate this Independence Day!

Recipe: Sprouting Zen

4. Red White and Blue Rice Krispie Bites

So admittedly, this recipe is not inherently vegan, but it can be made vegan VERY easily. The only necessary change is swapping the butter for Earth Balance or your choice of vegan butter and acquiring some vegan marshmallows (I prefer dandies but there are other options out there too!) Rice Krispies are already vegan so there’s no worries there! Rice Krispie Treats are just so darn delicious and it’s one of those foods you never realized you missed until you found out they can be made vegan. Let your inner child out to play once again with these patriotic treats!

Recipe: Two Sisters

Refreshing Fourth of July Drinks

3. Homemade Strawberry Lemonade

Again, this is another recipe that needs just a small adjustment in order to be made vegan. This time, it’s the honey. Simply swap out the honey for your sweetener of choice in this recipe and you’ll be off to the races in no time! Strawberry Lemonade is one of the absolute best ways to cool off in the summer sun, and this recipe may find you relaxing in a poolside chair or lounging in a backyard hammock.

Recipe: Laylita’s Recipes

2. Blackberry and Lime Chia Fresca

Unlike other traditional drinks, chia fresca is unique in its hydration abilities due to the ability of chia seeds to absorb up to 12 times their weight in water. This absorb water is then delivered later in the digestion process as gel water for a thoroughly and prolonged hydrating effect. As a complete source of protein, chia fresca can also help keep you fuller for longer, so if you’re trying to steer clear of the snack table this 4th of July, chia fresca has your back!

Recipe: Cocoon Cooks

1. Watermelon Peach Smoothie

Simple, smooth, refreshing and delicious are all adequate adjectives when it comes to describing potential of this smoothie to change the whole course of your day. Watermelon is a summertime staple, and peaches are some of the most under-appreciated fruits out there that deserve so much more love. This smoothie combines this match made in heaven to a delectable summer afternoon treat that is sure to leave you reaching for more.

Recipe: Seasonal Cravings

So there you have it, 20 awesome vegan Fourth of July recipes to take the stress out of vegan eating this Independence Day! We hope you enjoyed the list and found some creative ideas to help you stay plant-based, well-fed, and most importantly, well-hydrated in the summer sun this July!