You heard that chia seeds are a superfood full of protein, omega-3s, fiber, and other important nutrients. And you’ve seen countless people put them into smoothies. So you decide to give it a try, and throw a spoonful into the blender with your normal smoothie ingredients.
It tastes good at first, but within a few minutes it starts congealing into a thick blob that’s impossible to sip. You try to finish it because you hate wasting food and your stomach’s rumbling, but each slimy chunk sliding down your throat makes you want to vomit. So you throw it out (does this go down the drain or in the trash??) and vow never to put chia seeds in a smoothie again.
Not so fast! Follow these tricks and never have a chia smoothie fail again.
- Bloom before blend.
When you add chia seeds to liquid, they gel up. So when you add dry chia seeds to a smoothie, it gels up. But if you “bloom” the seeds first, you won’t have this problem. Mix 1 part chia seeds to 4 parts water and let sit for at least 10 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Then combine with your other smoothie ingredients and blend well. I usually bloom my seeds before going to bed so I can make my smoothie first thing in the morning to take to work with me. You can also make a bigger batch of bloomed chia seeds and keep them in the fridge for up to a week.
- Don’t overdo it.
Only add about 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (measured before blooming) to your smoothie.
- Beware the grit.
Even after gelling up, chia seeds still have a bit of crunch to them. Be aware that your smoothie may be a little more gritty than usual, unless you’re using a Vitamix. I find chia seeds work best in smoothies that have a thicker consistency, because the textures don’t clash as much.
My go-to morning smoothie (pictured) consists of:
- Frozen mixed fruit from Aldi (super cheap AND hella convenient)
- Baby greens (spinach and/or kale)
- Chopped ginger root
- A sprinkle of cinnamon and ground fennel seeds
- Chia seeds (when I get around to blooming them)