Chia Seed Whole

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per 1/4 Pound
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per Pound

Chia seed is obtained from the dried flowers of a plant in the mint family that thrives in the warm climates of Mexico and western North America.

Aside from notoriety for generating the "hair" in Chia Pets, the seed is fiber dense, packed with nutrients and has endless culinary uses.

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quick look

information at a glance

approximate cups to one pound3
constituentslinolenic acid, linoleic acid; antioxidants: chlorogenic and caffeic acids, myricetin, quercitin, and kaempferol flavonol. chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and flavonol glycosides; mucin, fibre; 8 essential amino acids (score 115.)
vitaminsA, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B15, B17, C, D, E, K, choline, folic acid, inositol, PABA
mineralsboron, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, strontium, sulphur, zinc, amylose (a slow-burning starch helpful in treating hypoglycemia), and electrolytes
nutrition factschia has a very good ratio of omega-3 oil to omega-6 oil; with 20-30% protein, 35% oil, 25% fiber. Gluten-free and very low-sodium. Contains the important mineral boron, a catalyst for the absorption of calcium.
plant part usedseed
why buy chia seed?chia seed is highly nutritious and it has many uses

buying & keeping

general guidelines and tips

storage tipsStore in an airtight container away from heat, light and moisture. Chia seeds are very stable and can be easily stored without refrigeration.
appearance & aromaThe tiny seeds are grayish-brown, with no detectable aroma.


try something new

culinaryUse to thicken foods, to make puddings, add directly to salads, soups and baked goods. The seeds can also be sprouted to produce microgreens for salads, sandwiches and wraps.
substitutionsChia can substitute flax seeds. Flavor is neutral.

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flavor profile

chia seeds

Raw chia seeds taste a little like poppy seeds.

culinary companions

Combines well with many fruits, yogurt, coconut milk and almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla and cardamom.

other chia suggestions

The seeds have a mild, nutty flavor and can be enjoyed on salads, cereal, yogurt or ground up and baked into wholesome breads and muffins. A popular drink in Mexico is the chia fresca—made with 2 teaspoons of seeds stirred into a glass of water with lime and sugar.

what else you should know

chia seeds

To the ancient Aztecs, chia seed was not only a food staple but was also regarded a valuable commodity or currency in the trade or exchange of other goods. Although they couldn’t have known the full nutritional and antioxidant value of the tiny seed, they did observe its effects and gave named the plant chia, which means “strength.”

Chia seed is equally valued today as a superfood because it is abundant in protein, essential vitamins and minerals, amino acids and antioxidants, including quercetin and kaempferol. In terms of fiber, a mere one-ounce serving (about 2 tablespoons) provides more than 40% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber.

In the 1980's chia seed experienced kitsch notoriety as Chia Pets; when watered, the seeds grew into green hair on terracotta figurines. Fortunately today, better use of chia has been rediscovered.

using chia seed

chia seeds in water (or other liquids)

Soaking chia seeds is the most common way to eat them. They can absorb a large amount of liquid in a rapid amount of time, between 10-12 times their volume, in under 10 minutes.

a basic chia seed gel recipe

• add ⅓ cup of seeds (2 oz) to 2 cups of water
• stir the mixture well and pour it into a sealed container
• refrigerate until you are ready to eat it (stays up to three weeks)

This recipe yields around 17 oz of chia seed gel. You can begin to eat the gel almost immediately if you like—however 8-9 minutes is the approximate time for the gel to be formed. Letting the chia seeds to sit for even longer (a few hours) will allow even more of the nutrients to be accessible.

It is popular to create a batch of chia seed gel and leave it in the fridge for as-needed future use. You might add it to smoothies, mix it with salad dressings, puddings or granola, or simply take it by the spoonful.

mixing in more than water

As mentioned above chia seeds will absorb anything; they don't have to be soaked in water. Try chia seed with other beverages. For example, chia seed will offset the intense sweetness of the apple juice. Nut milks are other popular liquids that allow the creation of creamy pudding-like drinks and a subtler sweetness. Also try blending fruits (bananas or persimmons) and stir the chia seed into that mixture.

Again, the longer the seeds are left to soak, the more their nutrients will be readily available to you.

Ten Raw Chia Seed Recipes

Some of these recipes may seem quite peculiar or unfamiliar to those who are not accustomed to eating raw. We encourage you to try them out though and to perhaps use them as a 'spring-board' for creating and enjoying your own chia recipes. All of these recipes are based on one person eating.

Basic Chia Seeds Gel


Mix 1/3-cup chia seeds to 2 cups water. Stir. This is the 'basic gel' recipe that can be stored in your fridge and used as required.

Sweet Shortbread Chia

4-5 tbsps chia seeds
2 cups fresh apple juice
2 tbsp lucuma powder
1/4 cup dried mulberries
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Soak the chia seeds in the apple juice. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Leave to soak for at least 10 minutes before consuming.

'Chia Fresca'

2 tsp chia seeds
10oz pure water
juice of one lemon or lime
agave syrup or raw honey to taste

This is still a popular drink in modern-day Mexico. Simply stir the ingredients together and enjoy.

Fruity Chia

3 small or 2 big apples
8 dates, pits removed
4-5 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup dried mulberries

Blend the apples and six of the dates together. Transfer that mixture into a bowl and stir in the chia seeds and mulberries. Chop down the remaining 2 dates into pieces and stir those in too. Leave to soak for at least 10 minutes before consuming.

Bana-paya Chia

1 banana
3/4 cup papaya flesh
6 dried Turkish figs
4-5 tbsp chia seeds, ground

Blend the banana and papaya flesh together. Put the figs in this mixture and leave it to soak overnight. Blend the whole mixture, including the figs, the next day. Stir in the ground chia seeds. Serve.

Green Chia

8 dried prunes, soaked in 1 pint pure water
1 tbsp spirulina powder
1/3 cup chia seeds

Drain off most of the prune soak water and put the chia seeds to soak in the prune soak water. Blend together the prunes with the spirulina and a small amount of the soak water. Stir the spirulina/prune mixture into the soaked chia seeds. Leave the chia to soak for at least 10 minutes before consuming.

Chia Gel 'Muesli'

1 cup of basic chia gel
2 bananas, mashed with a fork
1 tbsp lucuma powder
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Mix together the ingredients in a bowl with a fork and eat.


Persi-nana Chia

4-5 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 bananas
1-2 persimmons
1tsp maca
1 tsp cinnamon
handful of goji berries
handful of pumpkin seeds

Blend together the bananas and persimmons. Pour out the mixture into a bowl. Stir in the chia seeds, maca, cinnamon, gojis and pumpkin seeds. Leave the chia to soak for at least 10 minutes before consuming.

Raw 'Rice Pudding'

4-5 tbsp chia seeds
2 cups almond milk
raw honey or agave syrup to taste

Combine the ingredients to your taste. Leave the chia to soak for at least 10 minutes before consuming. You can also add other flavours like vanilla, cinnamon or cardamom.

Banana-nut Bread

2 cups vegetable juice pulp (preferably at least half carrot)
8 tbsp ground chia seeds
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup raisins
5 bananas

Mix together

Chia Seeds Article

Video Transcript

Chia seed is an ancient Mayan staple obtained from the Mexican native chia plant or Salvia hispanica, named after the Mayan word “strength.” This modern super food was aptly named since the seeds were known by several indigenous peoples to promote endurance. In fact, chia seed was often the only source of nutrition consumed by the ancient Aztecs and southwestern tribes of the U.S. while traveling great distances.

Nutritionally speaking, chia seeds pack a wallop. It consists of about 30% protein, and an abundance of vitamins A, B, D, E and K as well as alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, which are essential fatty acids the body cannot manufacture on its own. In addition to containing calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, thiamine, and zinc, chia seed is the richest plant-based source of omega-3. It is also an excellence source of soluble fiber, and a mere quarter cup of chia seeds supplies as much calcium as three cups of milk, as much magnesium as ten stalks of broccoli, 30% more antioxidants than blueberries, and 25% more dietary fiber than flaxseed.

The seeds have a mild nutty flavor and can be enjoyed on salads, cereal, yogurt, or ground-up and baked into wholesome breads and muffins. However, soaking the chia seeds is the most common way to eat them. They can absorb a large amount of liquid in a rapid amount of time, between 10 and 12 times their volume in under 8 minutes. Just add the chia seed gel to smoothies. Mix it up with salad dressings, puddings, or granola, or simply take it by the spoonful.

To make a basic chia gel, simply add 1/3 cup of seeds or 2 oz. to 2 cups of water. Stir the mixture well and then leave it in your refrigerator in a sealed jar. This will yield around 17 oz. of chia gel. You can begin to eat the gel almost immediately if you like. Just nine minutes is enough time for the gel to be formed. Allowing the chia seeds to sit for even longer, such as a few hours, will allow even more of the nutrients to be accessible. So many people like to make up a batch like this and leave it in the fridge. It will stay good for about three weeks. Then you can just reach into the fridge and take out some of the ready-made gel whenever you need it.

Chia will absorb anything, so you don’t just have to soak it in water. We like soaking it in things like apple juice, for example. That way, the intense sweetness of the apple juice is also offset by the chia and its great taste. We also often blend fruits such as bananas or persimmons then stir the chia into that mixture. Again, the longer the seeds are left to soak, the more their nutrients will be readily available to you. Still, you can easily eat a meal like this, 10 minutes or less after preparing it.

To experience this wonder food order your chia seeds today by visiting There you can also use several recipes using chia seeds and chia gel. While you are there be sure to check out the hundreds of other herbs, spices, teas and herbal supplies available from Monterey Bay Herb Company.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor,
especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.