5 Healthy Treats Made With Chia Seeds

Health Benefits of Chia

Stack of wooden bowl with chia seeds and wooden spoon on wood
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Chia seeds are high in fiber and alpha-linolenic acids, plus they're loaded with calcium magnesium, iron, and zinc. Alpha-linolenic acid is the plant version of omega-3 fatty acid, so chia seeds are perfect for vegans or vegetarians, or for those who don't care for fish and seafood. Oh, and they also have some phenolic acids that may work as antioxidants.

It's said that eating chia seeds will help you lose weight because they swell and take up space in your stomach. There doesn't seem to be any supporting research on the matter, but the extra fiber certainly is good for you.

You'll find chia seeds in most grocery stores, usually in the natural foods section. There are black chia seeds and white chia seeds. Sprinkle some of the seeds on your salad or cereal, or add them to your favorite smoothie for a quick little fiber and omega-3 acid boost.

Then, if you're in the mood for some healthier treats, check out five of our favorites.

Vanilla Chia Pudding With Berries

Chia pudding made of chia seeds with almond milk and raspberries
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This luscious pudding is so good for you because it's loaded with calcium that you need for strong bones, healthy muscle and nerve function, and normal blood clotting. It's also got a good dose of protein, magnesium, and iron.


  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • pinch of salt

Add everything except chia seeds to a medium or large bowl and whisk which until everything is blended. Taste the mixture and add more honey or vanilla extract to suit your taste. Add the chia seeds and stir. Then cover and rRefrigerate the mixture for at least 40 minutes, or better yet, overnight (the hardest part is waiting for the little seeds to work their magic). Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Information

Each serving of pudding has about 170 calories, 6 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber. You can reduce the calorie count by about 30 calories per serving if you use sucralose or stevia in place of the honey.

Each serving also supplies about 25 percent of your daily calcium need, 20 percent of a day's worth of magnesium, and 7 percent of your iron requirement, plus a bit of alpha-linolenic acid. Add your favorite berries for even more vitamins and minerals, plus antioxidants.

Note: You can use vanilla yogurt if you prefer—just eliminate or reduce the vanilla extract and the honey.

Smoothie Bowl With Fruit, Berries, and Chia Seeds

Smoothie with fruits and chia seeds in bowl
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This smoothie bowl combines the goodness of blueberries and a beet for top notch nutrition and a gorgeous color. The flavor is outstanding as well. The recipe also calls for oats, yogurt, and chia seeds, so you’ll have protein as well as tons of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You'll need a high-speed blender, like a Nutribullet, which is perfect for making smoothies and smoothie bowls.


  • 1/2 banana peeled, sliced, and frozen
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 small tangerine
  • 1 beet peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup dry rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5-7 ice cubes
  • Sliced fruits such as peaches and kiwi

Add ingredients to the speed blender and blend on high until smooth and thick. Poor mixture into a bowl and top with your favorite nuts, more chia seeds, and fresh fruits. Makes one large serving. A large smoothie bowl like this is perfect for breakfast or to share as an afternoon snack.

Nutrition Information:

Before adding any toppings, this smoothie bowl has about 300 calories, 13 grams protein, 9 grams fiber, 31 grams sugar (no added sugars), and 6 grams fat. You’ll also get 8 percent of your daily need for omega-3 fatty acids, 17 percent of your daily calcium need, half your day’s need for vitamin C and one-third of your daily need for both magnesium and folate, and about 1 gram alpha-linolenic acid. 

Dark Chocolate Chia Pudding

Glass of chocolate pudding with chia seeds sprinkled with chocolate shaving
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Who doesn't love chocolate pudding? This version made with chia seeds is high in protein and calcium, plus fiber and omega-3s, plus antioxidants from the cocoa powder and the chia. 

This pudding is sweetened with maple syrup, but honey works fine, too. Or if you're calorie-conscious, you could use sucralose or stevia.


  • 2 cups nonfat milk 
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • pinch of salt

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until it's thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 40 minutes, but if you can wait for an hour or two, it will be even better.

Serve plain or add chocolate shavings, chopped nuts, coconut flakes, or granola. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Information:

Each serving has about 200 calories, 6 grams fat, 7 grams protein, 32 grams carbohydrates, and 8 grams fiber. You'll also meet 25 percent of your daily need for calcium, 30 percent of your daily need for magnesium, and 13 percent of your daily iron requirement, plus about one gram alpha-linolenic acid.

Chia Fresca

Agua de Chia (Chia water) in a mason jar
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Chia fresca is basically flavored water combined with chia seeds. Lemon is probably the most common flavoring. It's a refreshing alternative to plain water, so you can rehydrate and get a little extra good nutrition. 

Here’s how you make it:


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons lemon juice (depends on your taste)
  • a tablespoon or 2 of sweetener, again to your own taste. You can use sugar, agave, honey, or any non-calorie sweetener like stevia or Splenda.


Combine ingredients in a jar or pitcher and stir until the sweetener is dissolved. Do a quick taste test to see if you want more lemon or sweetener. Let the drink sit for at least 20 minutes until the seeds are soft.

Keep your chia fresca in the fridge. You may need to shake or stir the drink if the seeds clump together. Makes two servings, each with 70 calories from the chia seeds, and more if you use honey, agave, or sugar.

If you love the texture of chia seeds, you could also just add chia seeds to your favorite juice.

Frozen Raspberry Chia Pops

Bowl with raspberry chia ice lollies and raspberries
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Raspberries are loaded with powerful antioxidants, as well as several vitamins and minerals. Yogurt adds protein and calcium, so this makes for the perfect combination for a refreshing and healthy treat. You’ll need a blender or a food processor and popsicle molds.


  • 2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 cups vanilla flavored nonfat Greek yogurt


Place berries, chia seeds, and honey in the blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth. Pour contents into a large bowl. Fold in the yogurt and mix until well combined.

Pour the berry, chia, and yogurt mixture into popsicle molds, add sticks, and freeze for at least five hours. Makes about eight yummy popsicles.

Nutrition Information:

Each popsicle as about 120 calories, 8 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, 2 grams fat, plus 20 percent of a day's worth of calcium, and just under a milligram of alpha-linolenic acid.


United States Department of Agriculture Super Tracker. My Recipe. Accessed April 27, 2016. https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/myrecipe.aspx.

United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research SERvie National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. Basic Report: 12006, Seeds, chia seeds, dried. Accessed April 27, 2016. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3610.

Valdivia-López MÁ, Tecante A. Chia (Salvia hispanica): A Review of Native Mexican Seed and its Nutritional and Functional Properties. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2015;75:53-75. doi: 10.1016/bs.afnr.2015.06.002.

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