While there have been times I’ve kept chia seeds in my pantry, these days I don’t bother. Because (a) they’re ridiculously expensive and (b) there are chia seeds substitutes with a similar nutritional profile for a fraction of the price.
What Are Chia Seeds
Well I’m trying to find a better way to say this, but they’re the seeds of the chia plant.
They’re often touted as a ‘superfood’ because they contain roughly equal amounts of fibre, protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
They are generally sold whole and come in either black or white. However, I have had ground chia seeds and chia seed fibre as well.
They’re mild in flavour with a slightly nutty / green / healthy taste.
The Best Chia Seeds Substitutes
Whole Chia Seeds Substitutes
The best substitute is linseeds (also know as flax seeds). While linseeds are slightly larger in size, they contain about the same amount of protein and fibre as chia. With the added benefit of slightly more Omega-3s.
Both linseeds and chia absorb lots of liquid and produce a unique gel textured goo when soaked.
Linseeds will work in puddings and breakfasts where the chia is used to soak up liquid. Because they’re larger and have less surface area they won’t thicken exactly as much as chia will so consider using slightly less liquid or slightly more linseeds.
Ground Chia Seeds Substitutes
If you’re looking for a substitute for ground chia, ground linseeds are great.
Chia Seeds Fiber Substitutes
These days I use psyllium husks instead of chia seed fibre when I want a grain-free fibre injection. Oat bran is another option if you’re OK with grains and the type of gluten found in oats.
How to Use Chia Seeds
Either sprinkle on dishes just before serving for crunch, visual interest and extra nutrition.
Add a tablespoon or two to sauces or jams to help thicken and add extra fibre, protein and omega-3s.
Or for a delicious breakfast, soak 1/4 cup chia seeds in 3/4 cup milk (of any type). Serve with fresh berries and a splash of vanilla or cinnamon.
Favourite Chia Seed Recipes
More Ingredient Substitutes
- The Ultimate Guide to Vegetable Substitutes
- Collard Greens
- Miso Paste
- Oyster Sauce
Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.
Have fun in the kitchen!
ps. Like More Ingredient Substitute Ideas?
Join 39,339+ readers of my weekly newsletter and I’ll send you a copy of my printable Ingredient Substitute ‘Cheat Sheet’ and my 102 page eCookbook…
It’s all FREE!
Can’t see the signup form? Click HERE.