Can You Boil Chia Seeds? Here’s Why I Wouldn’t (in Oatmeal or Water)

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Can you boil chia seeds?
Can you boil chia seeds?

There’s someone I know who boils their chia seeds in oatmeal every morning.  This is a question that will sometimes be asked about chia seeds, can you boil chia seeds?

While you can boil chia seeds, and they will be edible, I don’t recommend it, and here’s why.  (If you want to learn more about chia seeds in general, see our Chia Seed Guide)

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Can You Boil Chia Seeds?

chia seedsIf you are wondering if you can boil chia seeds or if it’s possible to do, yes, you can boil chia seeds.  Here’s an example of someone boiling chia seeds in their oatmeal.

But, that doesn’t necessarily make it a good idea.  And here’s why it may not be a good idea to boil chia seeds.

Does Cooking Chia Seeds Destroy Nutrients?

You see, boiling chia seeds might degrade their nutritional value.  I say might, since there is no evidence that says one or the other, whether this is true (there are no studies at this point showing if heating or boiling chia seeds affects the nutritional value).

But anytime you heat food to a high temperature, you run the risk of degrading some of its nutritional content, with boiling causing the greatest amount of nutrient loss compared to other cooking methods. How Cooking Affects the Nutrient Content of Foods

In the case of chia seeds, there is the concern that heating them will cause their omega-3 or antioxidant contents to be reduced or lost.  For the Omega-3s, this is because fatty acids can degrade if exposed to heat.  This is one of the main nutritional benefits of chia seeds, their high omega 3 content.

Although they do have other good nutrients in them, including lots of fiber, you might not want to risk losing or degrading the omega 3s.  (Link: Does Frying, Baking and Canning Fish Affect the Omega-3 Content?)

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It’s also a concern that the antioxidant content could be reduced by boiling or just heating.  Boiling may reduce antioxidant content by 60%.

Since two of the main nutritional benefits of chia seeds are the antioxidants and the Omega-3s, this is why boiling, or even just heating them might not be good.  The chia seeds might lose some of their wonderful health benefits after boiling them.

How to Cook Chia Seeds for Breakfast

Sometimes cooking food will help to increase our ability to digest the food and its nutrients.  But, with chia seeds, there is a better way to increase their digestibility and make them easier to eat, without having to cook them.  It’s known as soaking chia seeds.

See: Do You Need to Soak Chia Seeds Before Eating?

When you soak chia seeds, you allow them to germinate and increase their digestibility in your system.  You also reduce the phytic acid content of the chia seeds.

How Do You Prepare Chia Seeds to Eat?

You soak chia seeds by simply placing them in water and allowing them to sit for some time.  (See How to Soak Chia Seeds Before Eating).  This will create a gel-like substance, which you can easily add to whatever you would like.

It’s also preferable to eating them raw since when you eat chia seeds raw, they can be slightly crunchy, and also stick to your teeth! (But you can still eat them raw if you choose).  An even better method that I have recently found is actually grinding your chia seeds.  (This helps to really increase their healthy omega benefits)

Because of this, I recommend not boiling them (or possibly heating them at all) if it can be avoided.  Instead, soak the chia seeds and add the soaked chia seeds to whatever you are cooking, after it has been boiled and cooked, such as with oatmeal (or rice).  Or you can grind the chia seeds and then add them to your cooked oatmeal or porridge after it has been cooked.

Every morning for the last couple of years, I make and eat a very healthy high-fiber breakfast bowl of oatmeal which includes ground-up or soaked chia seeds, as well as many other great superfoods.

Here’s my healthy breakfast oatmeal with chia seeds recipe.

(Another way to eat chia seeds is to make a chia pudding using some almond milk).

See also  How Long Do Chia Seeds Last? In the Pantry, Water or Fridge?

Can You Boil Chia Seeds in Oatmeal?

Can you boil chia seeds in oatmeal?
Can you boil chia seeds in oatmeal?

One good thing to do if you are trying to eat healthier or even use chia seeds for weight loss is to add some chia seeds to your breakfast oatmeal in the morning.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I do know someone who cooks, or boils, their chia seeds with oatmeal every morning.  So yes, it is possible to do.  You just add the chia seeds into the oatmeal while you are cooking it.

But, I don’t recommend it.  As mentioned previously, heat could potentially destroy nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids.

A better way would be to either sprinkle ground-up or raw chia seeds on top of the cooked oatmeal or soak the chia seeds ahead of time.  Then, the soaked chia seed gel can be added to the oatmeal, after it has been cooked.

Can You Cook Chia Seeds with Porridge?

Cooking chia seeds with porridge poses the same problem as mentioned above with oatmeal (oatmeal is a type of porridge).  Cooking the chia seeds in the porridge could potentially degrade their nutrients and lessen their health benefits.

Here’s an idea for chia seed porridge that doesn’t involve cooking the chia seeds.

Can You Boil Chia Seeds in Water?

Can you boil chia seeds in water?
Can you boil chia seeds in water?

It might be possible to boil chia seeds, but I’ve never known anyone to do so.  Generally, the preferable way is to soak the chia seeds in water instead, until they create a gel.  (You can also make chia seed pudding this way).  Another option is to just sprinkle them on top of what you are eating and eat them raw.

Can I Cook Chia Seeds in Rice?

Just as previously mentioned with oatmeal, it is also possible to cook chia seeds with rice, and some people do.  But, this might destroy some of the nutrient content and omega fats in the chia seeds.

The chia seeds will still retain their fiber benefits though and would increase the amount of fiber from the rice.  If you are eating brown rice, this would be less of a concern though since brown rice has higher fiber content.  This will be a bigger benefit for white rice which has less fiber.

Can You Heat Chia Seeds?

Can you heat chia seeds, or will heat ruin chia seeds?  You can heat chia seeds, and heat will not necessarily ruin them.

Just like with any food, there will always be nutritional value, even after being heated.  But, heat can degrade some of the nutritional content.

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This is why I recommend eating the chia seeds after they have been soaked, or eating them raw (sprinkled or mixed into something else).

Is it Safe to Cook Chia Seeds?

It is perfectly safe to add chia seeds to things you are cooking.  Some people might add them to baked goods, oatmeal, rice, or other food items while cooking.  It is safe to do so.

Can You Heat Chia Seeds in the Microwave?

You can heat chia seeds in the microwave, but just like with boiling them, there is the possibility that the heat will cause the loss of some of the nutrient quality, just as boiling would.

Can I Soak Chia Seeds in Hot Water?

Chia seeds can be soaked in hot water, but there is no need to.  Since heat might destroy some of the nutrients, it’s probably best to soak chia seeds in cold water or room temperature water instead.

See Can I Soak Chia Seeds in Hot Water for more info.

Can You Cook Chia Seeds in Quinoa?

It is possible to cook chia seeds in quinoa, but since heat might destroy some nutrients found in chia seeds, it is not recommended to cook chia seeds in quinoa.  They would still retain their fiber, but since quinoa already has some fiber, it might be best to eat the chia seeds separately.

Can You Cook Chia Seeds with Eggs?

It is possible to cook chia seeds with eggs.  Although the heat might hurt some of the chia seeds’ nutritional value and omega fats, they would still retain their fiber content.  This will help boost the fiber amount of the eggs, which have no fiber on their own.

Do Chia Seeds Lose Nutritional Value When Cooked?

It’s hard to know for sure if chia seeds lose any nutritional value when cooked since no studies have been done.  But, there is a possibility that the Omega 3 fatty content might be degraded. Does Frying, Baking and Canning Fish Affect the Omega-3 Content?

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