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Chia Seed Uses: 10 Surprising Ways To Use Nature's Superfood

08/06/2013 03:14 EDT | Updated 09/23/2015 09:59 EDT

This teeny weeny black and brown superfood has become somewhat of a ch-ch-ch-champion in the health world.

Chia seeds, which come from a flowering plant in the mint family in Mexico and Guatemala, have a long list of health benefits including a good source of healthy omega-3 fats, calcium and fibre.

These tasteless seeds can be eaten whole or milled, but can also be turned into gels by adding water. Thanks to their sponge-like abilities, they can be added to everything from soups to hot cereals. Chia seeds are a wholesome source of protein, manganese, and phosphorus, and are an ideal option for vegans, vegetarians and people with gluten allergies.

And besides adding chia to your meals or growing them into a head of green hair like you used to back in the day, these seeds can also be used to make homemade hair masks, act as an egg replacer and even help reduce acne scars on your face.

How do you use chia seeds? Let us know in the comments below:

LOOK — 10 surprising uses for chia seeds

10 Things You Can Do With Chia Seeds

Egg Substitute

Because chia easily absorbs liquids and turns into a gel, it makes a good egg substitute for baking. And no...you can't make a chia-seed omelette!

Breakfast Topper

To turn chia seeds into anextra healthy topper, add them to your morning cereal, yogurt or even in your pancakes. The best part? You won't even taste the difference.

Soup Thickener

If you want to avoid using a flour thickener for your soups or stew, you can also use overnight-soaked chia seeds. This is also great for those of you who can't have gluten.

A Healthy Pudding

Forget processed store-bought pudding cups: Chia seeds can easily make the perfect homemade (and healthy) pudding. We found this great almond milk recipe from Skinny Taste.

Chia Seeds Jellies And Jams

Have some extra blueberries, raspberries or strawberries hanging out? Make them into a puree and add chia seeds for the an easy homemade jam. Try this recipe here.

Chia Seed Flour

For another gluten-free option, grounded chia seeds can be used to replace your all-purpose flour for baking. However, if you're looking to make a thinner batter or dough, mix the chia seed flour with a gluten-free flour for the right consistency.

Make A Hair Mask

Looking for a new and natural way to hydrate your hair? Add lemon juice to a chia seed gel and apply the mixture to your hair for 10 minutes. Get the full recipe here.

Chia Seed Breading

Okay, you may not be able to get away with a chia seed-only breading, but you can mix your seeds with panko breadcrumbs and nuts to make your own healthier breading. We found this great recipe on The Dinner Mom.

Grilling Meats

The next time you start your grill, add some chia seeds to your barbecue sauces to create a thicker spread.

Scarring

Another homemade beauty recipe: Apply chia gel over scars and watch the redness reduce.