Chia seeds are one of the newest trends in health and wellness, with good reason. They contain lots of fiber, heart-healthy omega-3s, protein, calcium, and antioxidants. In addition to these benefits, chia seeds have a nutty flavor that is both subtle and mild, which means they work well in sweet and savory dishes alike. Raw chia seeds have a crunchy, dense texture that is very similar to poppy seeds. Thanks to these factors, they’re a versatile ingredient, able to be mixed or blended into smoothies, yogurt, porridge, oatmeal, cereals, granola, and pudding. You can also sprinkle them over vegetables, fruit slices, and rice dishes, add them to baked goods, or soak them in various juices and sauces. Some people even like eating them raw or make chia-based puddings and jams. They’re vegan-friendly and naturally gluten-free as well. If you’re wanting to incorporate chia seeds into your diet, here are a few we recommend.
What Should You Consider in Chia Seeds?
Here are a few things to think about before buying chia seeds:
- Quantity: Chia seeds are sold in varying quantities that range from a few ounces to several pounds. You’ll want to consider how often you plan to use chia seeds in your food and recipes before buying them. If you plan to use them regularly, you’ll want to go for something like a 1- or 2-pound bag, though anything above 2.5 pounds will be harder to find. This option will be more cost-efficient for anyone who plans to use chia seeds on a daily basis. If you only intend to use them occasionally, you may want to spring for a 6-ounce bag or something similar.
- Organic vs. Non-Organic: If you’re concerned about pesticides or herbicides, you’ll want to opt for a bag of certified organic chia seeds. Non-organic seeds aren’t necessarily sprayed with these chemicals, but the odds are higher. Non-organic seeds that aren’t treated with pesticides or other chemicals will be marked on the label or item description. The nutrient level between the two is very similar. It is worth noting that organic chia seeds will almost certainly be more expensive, which is worth keeping in mind if you’re on a tight budget.
- Color: Most chia seeds will be black or white in color. The good news is that there really isn’t a difference between the two, nutritionally or otherwise, aside from their color. You may prefer one color if you’re concerned about the presentation of your food or dish, but otherwise, it doesn’t matter which you buy. Black seeds are the more commonly available of the two. You may get a couple of lighter or medium brown seeds mixed in your container or bag of chia seeds, but don’t buy a full set of these brown seeds. They’re immature and less nutrient-rich.
Top Choice: BetterBody Foods Organic Chia Seeds
Gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, low-carb, and non-GMO, these organic black chia seeds will be an omega-3, protein, and fiber-rich addition to any pantry, compatible with any dietary or allergy restrictions. Chia seeds can serve as an excellent kitchen staple with multiple, versatile uses. You can sprinkle them over yogurts and salads and the like, mix them in with granolas and oatmeal, and bake them into items like bread and muffins to add some nutrients and give them a slight crunch. You can even substitute a mix of these chia seeds and water for eggs in just about any meal; blend 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for 5 minutes. Their flavor is notably neutral, so you can mix them in with just about any drink, smoothie, or other food without clashing with or overpowering its taste. They also add a nice texture to the food. This 2-pound bulk container provides you with enough chia seeds to keep you well supplied for a good long while.
Best Small Package: Nutiva Organic Black Chia Seeds
If you’re someone who doesn’t use chia seeds super frequently but still wants to have them on hand in your pantry, or if you’ve never tried them before and aren’t sure if you’ll like them, you may not want to buy the bulk containers. These raw, organic black chia seeds can be bought in a 6- or 12-ounce bag (as well as a more standard 2-pound one), perfect for those who want to purchase chia seeds in a smaller quantity. They don’t contain any other ingredients or additives and contain plenty of nutrients like fiber, calcium, and potassium, and more antioxidants than blueberries. Add them to your sauces to make them thicker, or sprinkle them over a parfait or smoothie bowl to make them crunchier and healthier. They can even be used as an egg substitute in baked goods if you want to make them vegan-friendly. If you soak 2 tablespoons of chia seeds in 6 ounces of water for 5 to 10 minutes, you can transform them into a nutrient-rich gel (thanks to chia seeds’ ability to absorb up to 10 times their weight in water) that you can also add to recipes. As long as you store this bag of seeds in a cool, dry place away from sunlight, they can keep for up to 2 years.
Best Ground Seeds: Anthony’s Organic Ground Chia Seed
Most chia seeds are sold whole, which will suit most people just fine. However, some don’t enjoy the texture of chia seeds. If you’re one of these people, but you still want the health benefits of chia seeds, consider giving these ground chia seeds a try. They’re finely ground down and milled into a fine powder-like consistency without losing any of the omega-3s, antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients. They still easily absorb large amounts of liquid as well. These plant-based chia seeds are USDA certified organic, batch tested, and gluten-free, as well as vegan-, keto-, and paleo-friendly. The powder form also makes the seeds blend more seamlessly into yogurts, juices, smoothies, and even soups, and you won’t have to worry about stray seeds getting caught in your teeth. They’re available in 1-pound or 2.5-pound bags.
Best Bulk Option: Healthworks Raw Chia Seeds
While a 1-, 2-, or 2.5-pound bag or container of chia seeds will be large enough for most people, others may want to buy them in large bulk quantities. Maybe you use them multiple times a day and thus go through regular bags too quickly. Maybe you don’t use them that frequently but just want to stock up to ensure you’ll have enough chia seeds on hand for months at a time. Maybe you have to cook or bake for a major event or a big party and need extra chia seeds for your baked goods or other recipes. Whatever your reasons for buying them in bulk, these chia seeds have you covered. You get a whopping 6 pounds (96 ounces) of raw black chia seeds per bag, perfect for anyone who wants to buy them in large quantities. They’re sustainably grown and sourced, non-GMO, and free of additives or other similar, harmful ingredients. Not only are they low-carb and all-natural, but they’re nut-free and grain-free as well, friendly to any and all dietary restrictions. Like all chia seeds, they’re rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, including fiber, and their mild, almost flavorless taste won’t overpower other foods. Whether you’re blending a smoothie or shake, sprinkling them over stir fry or fresh fruit, adding them to trail mix, or using them as an egg substitute in baked goods, these chia seeds are the perfect bulk option.