We’ve eaten soaked chia seeds pretty faithfully every day, and most people we know have no idea what chia seeds even are. They’ve never seen them or tasted them. (For a complete view of chia seeds, you can see our complete chia seeds guide here)
If you see soaked chia seeds, those look even stranger. And that chia seed gel is probably something very strange to first look at.
So what do chia seeds taste like anyway? And how do chia seeds taste in water or a smoothie?
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are tiny black and white seeds that are packed with nutrition and health benefits. They are even considered a superfood.
They’ve been eaten for centuries dating all the way back to the Aztecs. They were so nutritious that the Aztec warriors would eat them, and claimed they gave them energy. Chia actually even means energy.
They were also so highly valued that they were traded as currency.
Where Do Chia Seeds Come From?
Chia seeds come from the Salvia hispanica plant. It’s part of the mint family and the seeds are what we eat as chia seeds. It grows in the desert and originated in Central America.
Why Eat Chia Seeds?
Chia Seeds carry tons of antioxidants and also really healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, which most Americans don’t get enough of. (See How I Get My Plant-Based Omega-3 Fatty Acids! for more ideas) They are also super high in fiber, which most Americans also are deficient in.
The antioxidant levels are extremely high for chia seeds. So high that they have anti-cancer properties. They are definitely powerhouses of nutrition. They are also a great addition to the WFPB or Plant-Based Diet.
There may also be some benefits to eating chia seeds for weight loss, as I discuss in How to Eat Chia Seeds for Weight Loss.
See Benefits of Chia Seeds for more.
What is the Best Way to Eat Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds can be eaten raw. But you can increase their digestibility and the nutrients that you absorb from them by either soaking or grinding them first.
Another problem with eating them raw is they tend to get stuck to your teeth. So, it’s actually much more convenient to eat them once they have been soaked in water or plant-based milk instead, or ground into a powder or flour.
Soaking chia seeds creates a chia seed gel. The chia seed gel can then be eaten by placing it on top of oatmeal or whatever you would like. (Learn how to at How to Soak Chia Seeds)
You could also bake chia seeds into baked goods as well, but you might not be getting as many of them as when you create a gel. (If you add too many chia seeds, it will alter the consistency of the baked goods). Also, although baking them is good for adding some extra nutrients to your current baked goods, I would recommend consuming them in an uncooked version as much as possible, to get the most nutrients. (Learn more at Can You Cook Chia Seeds?)
Another really good option for eating chia seeds is to create a chia seed pudding. It’s basically just the chia seeds soaked in a plant-based milk like almond milk, and then with some honey or maple syrup added. You can also add some fruit to it as well. If you want a chocolate flavor, then you could add some cacao.
A final option is to add chia seeds to fruit juice to create a healthy jam.
You can see all of our chia seeds recipes at Chia Seed Recipes.
- How to Soak Chia Seeds in Water or Almond Milk Before Eating
- How to Eat Chia Seeds. Do You Need to Soak Chia Seeds Before Eating?
- How Long to Soak Chia Seeds in Water or Almond Milk
What Do Chia Seeds Taste Like?
When you eat chia seeds raw and by themselves, they actually have almost no taste or flavor. The taste of chia seeds is very neutral. Some will say they have a very slight nutty taste to them.
They are seeds, so it is the equivalent of eating poppy seeds or sesame seeds. You really won’t taste anything at all. When chia seeds are soaked in a liquid or added to a food, they take on the flavor of the food or liquid they are added to.
If your chia seeds taste like dirt, or the chia seeds taste bitter, or your chia seeds taste like fish, or they taste like mold, are gross, taste like soap, taste weird, like pine or anything else such as that, the chia seeds are probably bad.
I’ve never had chia seeds taste like any of the things mentioned before, and we’ve been eating them for a long time now. We’ve also tried plenty of batches and also two different brands. The chia seeds have never tasted like anything at all, they’ve always had a neutral flavor.
If they taste bad, I can only assume that it is a bad batch and should be discarded. Even the smell of them is pretty neutral. They don’t smell like much.
What Do Chia Seeds Taste Like in Water?
When you soak chia seeds, you get the same flavor as when you eat them raw, which is that they taste like nothing. Since water has a neutral flavor, they tend to keep their neutral flavor when soaked in water.
What Do Chia Seeds Taste Like in a Smoothie?
Since chia seeds have a neutral flavor and they take on the flavor of what they are added to, then a smoothie with chia seeds added to it will taste the same as when it has no chia seeds.
How To Make Chia Seeds Taste Better
How do you make chia seeds taste good, instead of neutral? Well, when you soak them in water, you will still get a neutral tasteless flavor. But, if you soak them in a plant-based milk like almond milk or coconut milk, then you will get something that is a little tastier.
It will taste more like whichever milk it was added to. And it will thicken up, so it will have a consistency like a yogurt or pudding.
Another option to make it even more like a dessert, and to make the chia seeds really taste good, is called Chia Seed Pudding. It’s the same as soaking the chia seeds in the plant-based milk, but then you add either some honey or maple syrup to give it a little more sweetness. (Or you can just do a two-ingredient chia seed pudding) Also, you can further add some fruit, or even some cacao to make it like a chocolate pudding.
Even if you soak chia seeds in water, the soaked gel can be added to oatmeal. (See Healthy Whole Food Plant-Based (Vegan) Breakfast Oatmeal Recipe). In this case, the chia seeds will just absorb the flavor of the oatmeal bowl and everything in it (so you won’t know they are there).
Also, you can put them in a smoothie or bake them into some baked goods. A final option is to put them in fruit juice to make a healthy jam.
Also, some people will mix chia seeds in yogurt.
See all of our chia seeds recipes at Chia Seed Recipes.
How to Use Chia Seeds for Weight Loss
Because chia seeds are very high in fiber, they can help you to lose weight. Fiber helps you to feel fuller and to stay full longer. Also, fiber has a higher thermic effect, meaning the body burns more calories to digest fiber.
You can learn all the different ways you can eat or use chia seeds to lose weight at How to Use Chia Seeds for Weight Loss
(A plant-based or vegan diet has also been shown to be effective for weight loss. Learn more at Vegan Diet for Weight Loss Shown to be Very Effective)
Other FAQ about Chia Seeds Taste
Do Chia Seeds Taste Like Anything?
Chia seeds do not really taste like anything at all. The only exception is if you soak them in a certain liquid, they will then absorb that liquid and taste like whatever they’ve been added to.
What Does Chia Seed Pudding Taste Like?
Chia seed pudding tastes a lot like regular pudding. It uses a plant-based milk which can have a similar taste to regular milk, along with a sweetener. So the tastes should be
Why Do Chia Seeds Taste Like Dirt?
If your chia seeds taste like dirt then something might be wrong with chia seeds or their quality. You should probably discard them and check into getting a different brand.
Why Do Chia Seeds Taste Like Fish?
Chia seeds should not taste like fish, if they do, then it might be that something is wrong with the batch. Consider discarding them and getting a new batch or trying a different brand. The only superfood which has a slight fishy taste is spirulina.
Do Chia Seeds Taste Bitter?
Chia seeds don’t taste bitter at all. Instead, they have a very neutral flavor and taste like nothing at all, or like poppy seeds.
Do Chia Seeds Taste Bad?
Chia seeds don’t taste bad, but they don’t taste good either. They have a very neutral flavor which is neither good nor bad. Soak them in a plant-based milk or make chia seed pudding if you would like them to taste good and not just neutral.
Do Chia Seeds Taste Like Mold?
If the chia seeds you have taste like mold, don’t eat them. Chia seeds should have a neutral flavor and should be tasteless. If they taste like mold, something may have gone wrong with them.
Do Chia Seeds Taste Sour?
Chia seeds shouldn’t taste sour at all, since they have a neutral taste and don’t really have a taste.
Do Chia Seeds Taste Like Pepper?
Chia seeds don’t taste like pepper. They have a neutral flavor, whereas pepper has a very strong flavor. They do look slightly like pepper though.
Do Basil Seeds and Chia Seeds Taste the Same?
Basil seeds act just like chia seeds. They swell and absorb water when they are soaked in water or a liquid.
They are just like chia seeds in that they have a neutral flavor. So the taste is the same. They can be used interchangeably in recipes.
What Do Chia Seeds Taste Like in a Taco Shell?
Chia seeds have a neutral flavor so taco shells should taste the same even when chia seeds are added.
Why Do Chia Seeds Taste Like Soap?
Chia seeds should definitely not taste like soap. If they do it might be a sign that something is wrong.
Do Chia Seeds Taste Like Poppy Seeds?
Yes, since poppy seeds have a very neutral flavor, chia seeds are very similar in taste to poppy seeds.
Chia Seeds Taste Bitter After Baking
Chia seeds shouldn’t taste bitter at any point. If they do, you should consider throwing them away.
What Do Soaked Chia Seeds Taste Like?
Soaked chia seeds will take on the flavor of what they are soaked in. If it’s water then they will have no flavor. If it’s soaked in milk, it will have the flavor of that milk they are soaked in.
What Would Chia Seeds Taste Good With?
I like to add soaked chia seeds to my oatmeal breakfast in the morning. Since they have no flavor, it mixes well and doesn’t change the flavor of the oatmeal dish. Others have done a similar thing by adding chia seeds to overnight oats.
Chia seed pudding is another good-tasting option.
Do Black and White Chia Seeds Taste Different?
The black chia seeds and the white chia seeds both taste the same. They are the same flavor-wise, they both have a neutral or no taste. So as far as the white vs black chia seeds, they are the same.
Which Chia Seeds Taste Best?
All brands of chia seeds should taste the same and have a neutral taste.
What Do Chia Seeds Taste Like in Water?
In water, they will still taste like nothing. They absorb the liquid and flavor of whatever they are in. In the case of chia seed water, the flavor will be the same when you add the chia seeds since they don’t have a flavor.
Are Chia Seeds Crunchy?
If you eat chia seeds raw, they will be crunchy. It will be just like eating sesame seeds or poppy seeds. If you soak them first or add them to a liquid, they will absorb the water and become soft and no longer crunchy anymore but will be more like a soft gel.
Do Chia Seeds Taste Salty When Cooked?
Cooking chia seeds should not change the flavor or make them salty. The only time this might happen is if you cook them with something that is already salty since the seeds will absorb the flavor of what they are cooked with. Otherwise, they do not naturally have a salty taste.
Final Thoughts on What Do Chia Seeds Taste Like
As we have looked at, chia seeds are incredibly good for us, and something that is great to add to our everyday food choices. Chia seeds do not have any flavor at all, which can be good since they are easy to add to other foods without worrying about changing the flavor.
If you have chia seeds that you would describe the taste as being gross, bad, or like mold, fish, dirt, soap, or bitter, they might be bad and you would want to discard them. Chia seeds should have a very natural flavor.
We can improve the flavor and make them taste good or better by adding them to plant-based milk, oatmeal, or other food dishes, mixing them with fruit juice to make a jam, or making chia seed pudding.