The Culinary Magic Of Chia Powder
I’ll admit something to you: I’m a bit of a chia freak. If had my way, I’d be putting chia on and in everything! In fact, whenever people ask me what my top superfood pantry staples are (a profoundly difficult question!), I always include chia. It’s so beneficial, and just so, so versatile!
Chia powder takes this versatility one step further. A whole food ingredient, chia powder is nothing more than finely milled chia seeds, which have the consistency of a flour. If you’ve used chia seeds before than you likely know they really don’t taste like much of anything, and chia powder is the same way: it has a ever-so-slightly nutty undertone that keeps to the background of almost anything it’s put into.
As easy as chia seeds themselves are to use, some people prefer recipes without eating whole seeds – I often hear it described as “it’s a textural thing.” Never fear, my texturally-sensitive friends, as that’s where chia powder really shines. Because it’s so finely ground, chia powder incorporates beautifully into recipes of virtually every variety. Smoothies, sauces, baked goods, breakfast bowls – practically any recipe that requires mixing or blending is a perfect place to sneakily incorporate chia powder. Note that if combined with liquid, chia powder will thicken the mixture if it’s left sitting for more than a few minutes (just like the whole seeds do), which can be either desirable or not depending on the type of recipe. Simply adding a little extra liquid will dilute chia’s thickening power.
In addition to being just a stirred-in nutritional boost (Omega-3’s, fiber, protein, minerals, and more), chia powder can also be a very functional food as well. In baking, chia powder can sometimes work similarly to an egg in terms of its binding abilities. To make a chia “egg” for baking, simply use the following formula:
2 tablespoons chia powder + 1/3 cup water = 2 “eggs”
Just let this mixture sit for 10 minutes to thicken, then add to your baked recipes… like cookies, muffins, cakes, and breads! Additionally, that thickening quality can be useful for other recipes too: adding pre-soaked chia gel (made with chia powder) to smoothies is an exceptional way to add creaminess to smoothies while keeping the calories at a minimum. Or, try it in puddings and desserts that need to firm up a bit, like this extra-smooth Coconut-Banana Tart.
Remember, chia powder is one of the most versatile culinary products of all superfoods. Have fun with it, and reap the healthy rewards!