Chia Seeds are a food ingredient that has rapidly grown in popularity over the last few years. This is because chia seeds convey quite a large number of health benefits.  These include a richness in omega 3 fatty acids, fibre, minerals and nutrients.

Additionally, chia seeds have also become an effective replacement for other food types. Especially, in the case of vegans who will use a chia egg recipe as an egg replacement. Alternatively, some people will also use chia gel as an acid reflux remedy; or just with water for some extra nutrients.

 

The Best Substitute For Chia Seeds

However, despite how good chia seeds are, you may need to know some alternative options. This could be due to allergies, price,  not being able to find them in the supermarket or just simply because you don’t have some on hand when needed.

Whatever your reason, there is, unfortunately, no one size fits all solution to substitute chia seeds with. However, for each of the different ways chia seeds can be used, there is at least one alternative solution.

 

What Is The Best Substitute For Chia Seeds

If you are looking for a universal replacement for chia seed, you’re never going to find a perfect one to one alternative. However, the following options can replace chia seeds in most contexts.

  • Flax Seeds: These are a nutty seed which comes from the flax plant. Like chia seeds, these contain the soluble fibre mucilage which allows them to form a gel when mixed with water. However, flax seeds often have to be ground and the nutty taste may not suit certain dishes. Despite this though ground flax seeds are also an excellent substitute for ground chia seeds.
  • Oat Bran: This is seen as a cheaper alternative, which provides a richer taste than chia seeds. However, unlike chia seeds, oat bran contains gluten and as such isn’t suitable for those sensitive to gluten. If gluten isn’t an issue for you, however, oat bran is a particularly excellent alternative to chia seeds for sourcing fibre.
  • Hemp Seeds: Despite these being less rich in fibre and not containing mucilage, hemp seeds, like chia are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. In addition, these seeds also contain a higher amount of omega 6 fatty acids.

Whilst these may be able to replace chia seeds in some contexts though, they will not always be the best option available to you.

 

What Is The Best Substitute For Chia Seeds When Cooking and Baking?

When cooking and baking, sesame seeds make an excellent alternative to chia seeds. These are commonly used in both sweet and salty dishes and have been popular for long before chia seeds. As such sesame seeds will likely be much easier to and be cheaper than chia seeds.

Whilst they may not be able to replicate the chia seed gel at all, they can instead be used to make a sesame seed-based paste called tahini, which is popular in Mediterranean, Asian and Middle Eastern cooking.

These have a slightly stronger flavour than chia seeds but can be used in all sorts of chia seed requiring meals. In addition like chia seeds, they go great in smoothies, salads or granola.

 

Substitute For Chia Seeds - What's a Good Replacement For Chia Seeds?

 

What Is The Best Thing To Substitute Chia Seeds For When Making A Smoothie?

Psyllium husks are the seed casings for psyllium seeds. These husks can often be found either intact or in powdered and supplement forms. However, the intact psyllium husks make for a better chia seed substitute.

Psyllium husks work so well as a replacement in smoothies because they won’t change the taste of the smoothie. However, the benefit psyllium husk smoothies have over ground chia seed ones is that they are richer in fibre and nutrients.

 

What Is The Best Thing To Substitute Chia Seeds For When Making Overnight Oats?

When creating overnight oats, you add chia seeds to the milk in order to make it thicker and creamy. However, a simple alternative to this is simply to use an unflavoured yoghurt instead. To do this all you need to do is reduce the amount of milk you would use by half and replace that with your yoghurt.

 

What Is The Best Substitute For Chia Seeds When Making Deserts?

Quinoa, despite many thinking it is a grain, is actually a kind of seed. The high protein content of quinoa makes it excellent for many a dish from salads to vegetable burger patties.

 

Substitute For Chia Seeds - What's a Good Replacement For Chia Seeds?

 

However, it can also make an excellent substitute for chia seeds in chia seed-based puddings. Doing so is quite simple since you can add the same amount of quinoa as you normally would chia seeds to your pudding. The only extra step being the need to cook your quinoa in water for roughly fifteen to twenty minutes before adding to the milk.

 

What Is The Best Thing To Substitute Chia Gel For?

Depending on your dietary requirements and the type of dish you are making, different options for chia gel alternatives may be better than others in certain contexts.

Flax seeds, as mentioned previously for instance can form a similar gel to chia seeds due to their mucilage fibre content. You’ll need to use ground flax seeds and use less water but other than that the methodology is the same. 

The only slight difference in taste will be that the gel made using flax seeds will be slightly nutty. However, for certain dishes, this is more of a boon and when mixed with particularly strong flavoured ingredients, this taste won’t be too noticeable.

 

Substitute For Chia Seeds - What's a Good Replacement For Chia Seeds?

 

When making deserts, a gel made with mashed bananas mixed with water can provide some more natural sugars. Overripe bananas however may be a little runny. If so draining them slightly before adding the water will resolve the issue. Additionally, due to the natural sugars in bananas, using less added sugar is a wise idea with a good rule of thumb being ten grams less per banana used.

The simplest solution however is to just use eggs. Chia and flax gel were created to be an egg substitute for vegans. However, if you’re not vegan then you’ll likely have eggs for something like egg fried rice, these will work perfectly fine in place chia gel. Simply put, if the recipe calls for a tablespoon of chia seeds and water, just use a single egg instead.