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Benefits Of Chia: 15 Ways To Add Chia To Your Diet

01/02/2014 05:00 EST | Updated 09/23/2015 09:59 EDT

If there's one thing everyone is feeling at this time of year, it's the desire to add some healthy options into their diets — easily. After the excess of December's giant meals and party treats, anything that can help slim us down and feel stronger is welcomed, and chia seeds are being touted as exactly that miracle addition.

A superfood since at least 2011, when CNN extolled their virtues, this year could really be the time when the tiny, heart-healthy plant related to the mint family come into their own. Helping with everything from weight loss (thanks to their filling quality) to lowering cholesterol (they have 20 times the omega-3 as salmon), chia seeds are an easy ingredients to pop into almost anything.

We've pulled together 15 recipes that bring chia seeds into foods you're already eating to make the change even smoother. Though usually put into breakfast foods (think smoothies, oatmeal and cereals), some of these options sneak the seeds into your already healthy dinners and side dishes for a new texture and taste.

Chia Seed Recipes

Roasted Chia Cauliflower: As a side dish, cauliflower could use a little sprucing up, and chia seeds give it a lovely crunch.

Learn how to create this recipe at Oh My Veggies.

Roasted Chia Cauliflower: As a side dish, cauliflower could use a little sprucing up, and chia seeds give it a lovely crunch.

Learn how to create this recipe at Oh My Veggies.

Chocolate Frosted Donuts: Did we say something about less indulgence? Well, just count this as indulgence with a dose of health — in addition to chocolate, it has both chia seeds and black beans inside.

Learn how to create this at Pure And Simple.

Chia Flapjacks With Strawberry Salsa: Giving your pancakes a pretty, speckled look, these chia seeds add some nuttiness to your weekend morning routine.

Learn how to create this at Scarletta Bakes.

Salmon With Quinoa, Feta And Spinach: Talk about your superfood overload — this recipe (aside from perhaps the cheese) is chock full of healthy and filling ingredients.

Learn how to create this recipe at A Healthy Life For Me.

Mango Chia Pudding: An option for dessert, this mango chia pudding thickens nicely to help you feel full (and yes, keep you from hitting the cookies while watching TV).

Learn how to create this at Healthier Steps.

Lemon And Chia Seed Pull-Apart Bread: It looks gorgeous on the table and tastes just as delicious. This lemony appetizer is an inventive way to include chia seeds in your diet.

Learn how to create this recipe at A Beautiful Mess.

Clean Eating Strawberry Chia Seed Spread: A mildly sweet spread that could accompany a peanut butter sandwich nicely, the chia seeds help thicken the mixture.

Learn how to create this recipe at The Gracious Pantry.

Chocolate Cake Snack: Is adding chia seeds into a chocolate cake cheating? No, we don't think so.

Learn how to create this recipe at Good Things Grow.

Vanilla Nut Granola: Granola is a "classic" place to add chia seeds, as they work well with nutty textures and tastes. This recipe sounds like it hits it out of the park for a daily meal.

Learn how to create this at Five and Spice.

Sauteed Zucchini With Toasted Chia Seeds: Super simple to prepare, chia seeds add some crunch to the soft zucchini, adding to the healthy benefits.

Learn how to create this at Eat Drink Better.

Blueberry Chia Muffins: What's a more delicious morning snack than a muffin? Perhaps a muffin made with chia seeds, blueberries and yogurt that fills you up until lunch.

Learn how to create these at Yummly.

Spicy Tomato Avocado Chia: This fun take on a salsa can be eaten as a side dish or a meal, and makes a colourful addition to any table.

Learn how to create this at VegWeb.

Apricot Chia Bars: Filled with tons of delicious nuts and seeds, these bars will become your morning buddy as you become addicted to them.

Learn how to create these at Edible Harmony.

Lentils With Chia Seeds: Yum! Lentils provide a huge dose of protein on their own, and adding chia to the mix gives plenty of healthy benefits, along with a nutty flavour.

Learn how to create this dish at Delish.