Chia seeds are used in many health-food recipes, but they can be expensive and difficult to find. Luckily, there are many substitutes for chia seeds that are similar in taste, texture, and nutritional value that are cheaper in price and easier to find at your local grocery store.
You can substitute chia seeds with linseeds (also called flaxseeds), oat bran, psyllium husks, sesame seeds, quinoa, bananas, eggs, or yogurt. The substitute you use will depend on the recipe you’re making and the intended use for the chia seeds.
What Can I Substitute for Chia Seeds?
Regardless of the type of dish you are making that requires sesame seeds, there are plenty of alternative options. Choosing the right substitute will depend on the type of dish you are making, and the role chia seeds normally play in that dish.
Sesame seeds are a very common ingredient, so they will be easy to find, and they are affordable. Sesame seeds are slightly stronger in taste than chia seeds, but they are a great substitute for use in salty and sweet dishes alike, such as salads and granola.
Psyllium husks are also a great source of fiber, like chia seeds, and they can be filling when added to other dishes. Psyllium husks can be purchased as a powder, a supplement, or whole husks. They are a great substitute for chia seeds in smoothies, as there will not be a discernible difference in taste, and you will get the same amount of fiber.
Oat bran is the cheapest substitute for chia seeds, and it is very versatile. Oat bran is usually used in crackers, energy bars, and smoothies, as well as meat dishes and desserts. Oat bran does contain gluten, but there are gluten-free options on this list.
While often used as a grain, quinoa is a seed, and is a great substitute for chia seeds. It is very high in protein and very versatile. Quinoa is usually used in vegetable patties (hamburger substitutes) and salads.
Flaxseeds, which are sometimes called linseeds, are also high in fiber. Like chia seeds, flaxseeds can be used as a bonding agent in certain recipes when mixed with water.
Bananas are a great substitute for chia seeds in desserts and smoothies, as they are high in fiber and have natural sugars.
Originally, chia seeds were used as a vegan substitute for eggs, so the opposite works just as well. Eggs can be used in desserts instead of chia seeds.
Chia seeds are a common ingredient in overnight oats, but yogurt is a good alternative ingredient. Yogurt can also be used in some desserts.