I’m a big fan of overnight oats and have been mixing chia seeds into them for years. So one day, while enjoying my morning coffee and overnight oats, it got me thinking… what else can I add these little seeds to? Could I add them to a beverage like coffee? After going down a bit of a rabbit hole, I found my answer and a ton of new tasty recipes to try!
As it turns out, chia seeds can absolutely be added to either hot or cold coffee. In fact, they’re a simple way to add a major nutritional boost to your cup of Joe. Plus, they have a relatively neutral flavor, so as long as you don’t mind their texture, you’ll still get the coffee flavor without having to worry about it tasting much differently.
And while I found some really delicious chia seed recipes, which I’ll share later, I highly recommend this recipe for chia seed iced coffee. It’s simple, only requires a few ingredients and, most importantly, it tastes amazing! When I’m really in a hurry, I just opt for the coffee and chia seeds and froth it up.
It’s incredibly versatile, meaning you can substitute almond milk with your favorite kind of dairy or substitute honey for your go-to sweetener. So whether you have to have your cream and sugar or if you’re more of a black coffee kind of person, this recipe can be universally enjoyed.
What are chia seeds?
If you’re unfamiliar with what chia seeds are or if all you can think of are Chia Pets, you aren’t alone. They are actually considered what some label a “superfood” and come from the plant Salvia hispanica L., originating mostly in Mexico and Guatemala. When added to a liquid, chia seeds can grow up to ten times their size(!) and form into a gelatinous consistency.
It doesn’t take much of this tiny seed to make a nutritional impact. With a serving size of about 2.5 tablespoons, dry chia seeds pack a punch with 10 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and 8 grams of healthy fat. And while a serving does have 140 calories and 12 grams of carbs, a helping of chia seeds can also help you feel fuller longer. If you’re watching your weight, it’s never a bad idea to measure out your chia seeds to be sure you’re not inadvertently adding unwanted calories to your meals.
Health benefits of chia seeds
There’s actually an abundance of research indicating just how beneficial consuming chia seeds can be to our health. In addition to the healthy fats, fiber, and protein mentioned above, chia seeds are also a great source of calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. They also contain all nine essential amino acids, which is a huge benefit since our bodies can’t make them on their own.
It may be the omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds that really make this food so super. This is because omega-3 fatty acids are terrific for your heart health and can help improve health conditions, including:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Lowering cholesterol
- Reducing inflammation
- Lowering the risk of blood clots
- Preventing blood sugar spikes
Of course, eating chia seeds alone isn’t a magic solution to any health problems you may have or are trying to avoid, but when added to a healthy diet with good lifestyle choices, they can certainly play a small role in your overall health.
What’s the difference between white and black chia seeds?
Literally nothing! Chia seeds are grown with both white and black shells, but that’s as far as the difference goes. White and black chia seeds still share the same taste and nutritional value, so if one is out of stock, just go with the other!
Beware brown chia seeds
There is a difference, however, when it comes to brown chia seeds. If you see chia seeds at the store that appear to be more brown than black in color, steer clear. The brown color indicates that the seeds aren’t fully mature, usually due to a natural or climate-related issue. These seeds won’t have the same nutritional benefits as black or white chia seeds, so you’ll just be consuming empty calories without any of the good stuff!
What else can you make with chia seeds?
Chia seed pudding
If you search for “chia seed recipes,” you will be inundated with recipes for chia seed pudding. There are so many varieties and it’s so easy to make. Because I have a major sweet tooth, I gravitated toward the chocolate chia pudding, but there is an abundance of flavor combinations out there and I encourage you to find the one that suits you best!
Peanut butter overnight oats
What I love about this peanut butter overnight oats recipe is its versatility. Just like the iced coffee recipe, you can really get away with making it your own. What’s best, this recipe includes plenty of substitutions and delicious topping ideas.
Nut butter granola bars
This recipe doesn’t actually call for chia seeds, but does mention them as a substitute for eggwhite, which in my opinion is a great alternative! Whether you have a sensitivity to egg products or not, chia seeds will do the trick and you won’t even notice a difference in taste. So I highly recommend adding yet another superfood to this nut butter granola bars recipe by opting for chia seeds instead of egg whites.
Blueberry chia seed jam
Chia seeds are a great way to thicken jam and add some nutritional benefit to this sweet, but delicious, concoction. This recipe for blueberry chia seed jam is so simple. Cook up a batch, jar it, and add a ribbon and label, and you’ve got yourself a great gift. Or if you prefer to keep it all for yourself, it can be frozen for up to two months.
The bottom line, chia seeds are a versatile superfood that can be worked into an endless amount of recipes, including coffee. With all the benefits they have to offer, it would be silly not to give them a try!