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Chia Seed Gel (thickener, binder)

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So what is so special about chia seeds? Well, a lot of things actually. I won’t go into full detail, but for the sake of creating a chia gel, I want to touch on a few things. First of all, chia’s hydrophilic structure holds water, so when mixed with liquid, it displaces calories and fats without compromising flavor.

When combined with water or liquid, Chia can absorb 9 – 12 times its weight in water. What does this mean for you? Hydrated chia slows digestion, and the time it takes for your stomach to empty, which means you feel full longer. To do this, you will need to soak the chia seeds to activate them, making it more bio-available to your body, which helps in reducing blood sugar spikes, decreasing cholesterol, and will keep you hydrated longer. To learn more about chia seeds, please click (here).

How to Use Chia Gel

Add this mixture to sauces, drinks, yogurt, salad dressings, cashew cream cheese, jams, jellies, salsa, hot/cold cereals, dips, puddings, soups, or other liquid or creamy foods. The gel won’t affect the flavor but definitely, increases nutritional value. If you don’t like the texture of the seeds, you can first grind them to a powder.

Check out my recipe for  Strawberry Lemonade Chia Seed Drink, where I used chia seeds gel as the base.



  1. Combine the chia seeds and water in a mason jar with a tight lid. Shake for 15 seconds.
  2. Let stand for at least 10 minutes to thicken. Shake before use.
    • You don’t need to soak your chia seeds longer, but it does help to maximize the benefits. I prefer to let it soak overnight before using it if time permits.
  3. This mixture will keep in the fridge for 2 – 3 weeks.
    • You can modify this recipe to suit your needs. For example, you may prefer to grind the seeds (and thereby release the essential fats for better assimilation).
    • Or you may prefer to use more water to achieve a less thick gel. Play with the process until you discover what works best for you. Get creative with it!

21 thoughts on “Chia Seed Gel (thickener, binder)

  1. Melissa says:

    Can you explain why it’s beneficial to grind Chia seeds some more? If I was to grind the Chia seeds, can I then make a gel with that for substitution of fats in baked goods? Had any luck using Chia gel in baked goods yourself?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Melissa,
      I don’t do much “baking”. I try to keep my diet high in whole foods. Both my husband and I are GF and I know that there are tons of new GF products on the market but just because they are GF doesn’t mean they are any healthier. So, with that, I just don’t dabble much with it. I grind chia seeds depending on the texture I want in my recipe. If you don’t want “seeds” to show in your recipe, grind them. If a person doesn’t like the texture of the seeds, grind them. But this step is not required unless someone has a recipe that specifies it. They don’t need to be ground to release the nutrients. Chia seeds do however add great nutrients to cooked recipes, so use them!

      CUT FAT = They can cut the fat in a recipe by 50%. If a recipe calls for 8 tablespoons of butter, use 4 tablespoons of butter and 4 tablespoons of chia gel. Bake the cookies just as you normally would.
      EGG REPLACER = To replace an egg, use ¼ cup of water with 1 teaspoon ground chia, or 1.5 teaspoons whole chia seeds.
      For a recipe with texture, like cookies, muffins or breads with nuts, seeds, etc., whole seeds will work.
      FLOUR SUBSTITUTE = Ground chia works better for cakes, brownies, and less textured baked goods. Some people just replace all of the flour with chia flour, and others use a combination of chia flour and regular or gluten-free flour. Using all chia flour is OK for doughs that tend to be a bit thick or gummy anyway, but for more solid mixtures like cookie dough, it’s best to use a combination of 1 part chia flour to 3 parts regular or gluten-free flour.
      THICKENER = Chia seeds ground finely to a powder can be used as a thickener for puddings and other silky smooth recipes.
      BINDER – A small amount of chia can replace xantham or guar gum. For most recipes, ¼ to ½ teaspoon of ground chia can serve as a binder.

      Just like preparing raw food, learning to bake GF or learning to sub out unhealthy ingredients for healthier ones, requires playing and experimenting in the kitchen.

      Right now I eat 1/2 cup of ground chia daily. I grind the seeds and make a porridge out of it and eat it through out the day. The only reason I grind it up is to give myself some variety. lol Ground chia seems to thicken even more so than the seeds.

      I hope this helps some Melissa…. let me know! amie sue

      • Victoria says:

        Do you try to eat 1/2 cup of ground chia seeds gelled in ~4.5 cups water every day? That seems like a huge amount!

        I mix a couple tablespoons of chia seeds into my water bottle each time I fill it. It probably adds up to 1/2 cup, but it is less daunting.

        • amie-sue says:

          Oh gosh, heck no Victoria. hehe This posting is about making a chia gel that you can make up and have ready in your fridge so you can add it to recipes. Have a wonderful day. amie sue :)

      • Helen says:

        This is so very informative and helpful.
        I’m looking at your suggestion regarding substituting chia flour for standard flour – either entirely, or say 1 part chia flour to 3 parts regular flour.
        Are you thinking in terms of weight or volume?
        I never know whether substitutions or substitution ratios refer to cup measures or weight measures.
        When people speak of equal ‘parts’ or ratios of ‘parts’ do they mean equal weights, or weight ratios, or equal volumes (volume ratios)
        It crops up all the time and often involves substituting ingredients with very different densities, like black beans and flour for a random example. Can you advise please? I’d be really really grateful.

        • Helen says:

          I’m also really surprised at how little chia you really do need per 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) water for an egg substitute. Other writers I’ve seen use far more than 1.5 teaspoons chia seed per 1/4 cup water (a ratio of 8 to 1 by volume). I often see 1 tablespoon chia seed to 3 tablespoons water which would give a gel of more than twice the density.
          Maybe it doesn’t matter.
          We learn something new every day…..

          • amie-sue says:

            Well Helen when it comes to preparing food… there seems to be many many different ways and opinions. :) It’s the art of experimentation! Have a blessed day, amie sue

        • amie-sue says:

          Good morning Helen,

          Well, I can’t speak for others but when it comes to my recipes I go by volume. If I go by weight, my recipes will reflect that.

          Before I got into raw foods I couldn’t cook or bake at all. It wasn’t a skill set that was developed in me growing up. One day, I told my husband Bob, that I wanted to go pastry school. I wanted to learn how to cook so bad but I HAD to have a recipe with detailed instructions, otherwise I was lost. Pastry arts interested me because it is scientific and precise. Whereas cooking was more of a free for all and that scared the ba-jebbers out me. hehe

          I decided to skip pastry school and learn what I could with raw foods.. much healthier choice in the long run. :) But one thing that I quickly learned about raw foods was that it is very forgiving, you don’t have to be precise and you can be a lot more creative. In return, learning raw foods has taught me to be an amazing cook! Who knew.

          Anyway, I shared that only to encourage you to relax a little in the kitchen, learn to have fun but most of all do it with joy in your heart! Blessings, amie sue

          • Helen says:

            I can’t believe what I am reading. Your former self sounds just like me. Unless I have a precise st of instructions I freeze.

            I had assumed that you had been making beautiful creations all your life.

            So if you have overcome your fears and find you can do it better than you thought originally, then maybe, just maybe, so can I. I’m just not very brave at experiments, and always fear there’s someone judging me.

            Your story is so helpful and inspiring. So ok, I’ll roll my sleeves up this weekend and make something. And if it goes wrong then what the heck! I’ll throw caution to the wind. Nobody will see me.

            Interestingly, my grandmother was a pastry cook!!! She didn’t go to pastry school, her mother was a pastry cook and they had a family business. Granny never weighed anything. She just flung the fat and flour in a bowl, rubbed it, baked it and got the most amazing results.


            I hear others saying that raw recipes are very forgiving, I just didn’t believe them.

            I guess there’s one clear advantage though – you can’t burn anything!! I’m forever burning myself cooking.

            You are very good at stories. Keep them coming please.

            You are a truly special person and so very very talented.

            Take Care

            Helen xx

            • amie-sue says:

              Good evening Helen,

              I am glad that we can identify with one another. :) As you scroll through more of my recipes, you will read many stories that reflect on my lack of cooking skills and how I was the butt of family jokes when it came to me cooking. My true experience with preparing raw foods was born with the passion of wanting to live a life of optimal health. Nine years ago if you had told me that I would have a recipe blog site, I would fallen off my chair laughing… along with the rest of my family. hehe

              I have overcome a LOT and so can you! Your attention to detail can be helpful with your kitchen adventures, just don’t let them hold back your inner creativity. It’s like a muscle that has to be worked… meaning in time, having a more relaxed approach to food preparation will become second nature. That way, your energy, your vibration, your joy… can shine through with each dish you make. This will make your food taste better and it will bless your body.

              And do worry about feeling queasy with experimenting. In time you will develop a solid foundation that will give you much more confidence in the kitchen. Besides, that is why I am here. To help you, to encourage you, and to support you. I have done tons of experimenting every single day in the kitchen over the past 8 years… all so I could share recipes and inspire others. So follow my recipes, follow my instructions and once you understand how raw foods work, you will be able to improvise and make changes to my recipes that will tickle your taste buds. :)

              If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you take a SMALL (hehe) break from reading recipes and read through the “Raw Ingredients” and “Raw Technique” categories. This will help lay down a stronger foundation for when you read through my recipes. But regardless, you know that I am always here to answer questions. :)

              No matter what Helen, I want you to feel confident when you are in the kitchen. Never worry about others judging you… the only person judging you is yourself. And if others ARE judging you… you might want to ask why they are in your life. :P Just give yourself some wiggle room so you can breath and HAVE FUN! I can’t express the fun part more. Let your inner child out to play and like you said, the beauty of raw preparation is that “she” won’t get burnt. hehe

              Feel loved, feel supported… that is my wish for you. :) Blessings, amie sue

  2. Dana says:

    Ooops! Typo on step 1. Thank you for the info! Defs going to use this!

  3. Helen says:

    You mention that 1/3 cup chia to 2 cups water corresponds to a ratio of 1 part in 9. Volume wise, it’s 1 part in 6. Are you speaking of a ratio by weight?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Helen,

      I removed that part in the instructions so it doesn’t trip people up. The main thing to remember is “You can experiment with using more or less water, depending on your preference, or the consistency of the food item to which you’re adding it.” That is the key here. amie sue

  4. jkbolian says:

    I just purchased and received my first dehydrator “Excalibur 3900B” I was surprised at the noise — the motor is loud and the door rattles. Is this noise to be expected or do you have a different experience?

    Today is my first day using my dehydrator but my husband is complaining about the noise.
    Thank you,
    Judy B

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Judy,

      It’s hard for me to comment on the noise level because that is so subjective to a persons hearing and the location of space that it is in. In small places, it can seem louder, or the noise can be reflecting off of other things, etc. Or the motor might be off-set and running loud. If you think it is running louder than it should, and the door is rattling, I would contact Excalibur. Regarding the rattle, make sure the door is positioned right, sometimes it doesn’t hang right when you place it on and can cause a rattle.

      As a side note, is there any other place that you can put the dehydrator so it isn’t a focal point of sound? Laundry room, garage, etc? Or course it needs to be easily assessable and only you know how your house is set up for that. I have been using one for 8 years and never have had it in my kitchen. I have found other creative places to have it in. Just a thought.

      Blessings, amie sue

  5. Linda says:

    I seem to be missing something–lol–

    Why is the picture pink?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Linda,

      It’s just a sample of how I used chia seeds in a beverage. It’s of my Strawberry Lemonade Chia Seed Drink. :) Have a great day, amie sue

  6. Lara says:

    I have ground chia seeds, if it works to use them to make a gel what would be the ratio of ground seeds to water?

    • amie-sue says:

      It depends on how much you want to make. The basic ratio is 1 cup chia seeds = 2 cups of chia flour. So as you can see, it basically doubles once ground. I would use roughly 2-3 Tbsp of ground chia seeds and see what you think of the texture. If you want it thinner, add more water. Thicker, add a tab bit more ground chia seeds.


      Blessings, amie sue

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