by Olena

How to Make a Chia Egg

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Olena Osipov
5 from 1 vote

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How to Make a Chia Egg at home, using just two simple ingredients for a simple and versatile vegan egg replacement. This chia seed egg substitute binds incredibly well thanks to its gelatinous consistency, perfect for adding to cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and pancakes!

And if you love to experiment with versatile baking alternatives, you might also like to experiment with a flax egg, applesauce, almond flour, coconut flour, or sprouted spelt flour!

how to make a chia egg replacer

Simple, Two-Ingredient Chia Egg

Having just shared my method for creating a flax egg, I thought I’d do the same for another popular vegan egg replacement, a chia egg! This chia seed egg substitute works remarkably similar to ground flax seed egg and can be used as a binder to create several vegan baked goods, including muffinsquick breadsimple cookies, waffles, and pancakes!

When you’re not too busy using chia seeds to create delicious chia pudding – like this plain, chocolate, or banana chocolate chia pudding – then its gelatinous nature makes for an impressive vegan baking egg replacement. Not only is this chia egg ‘egg free,’ but it’s also gluten-free, paleo, keto, low-carb, and whole30 – making for a great ‘diet-friendly’ egg substitute.

While the results aren’t an exact match to an egg, this chia seed egg substitute has impressive binding skills, making it great for certain types of recipes (all discussed below). In fact, as a ‘healthy’ kitchen, I love to experiment with healthier ingredient swaps and often use ingredients like yogurt (dairy or dairy-free) in place of oil, butter, or to create healthier frosting.

Honestly, getting to know your classic ‘ingredient replacement’ options is necessary for any ‘healthy’ or ‘free from’ kitchen. Chia seeds are just one of many options. For example, applesauce (for fat or eggs), bananas (for eggs- like in these banana oat bars), flax or chia eggs (for whole eggs), and alternative flours like almond flour, coconut flour, and sprouted spelt flour. Plus, this method doesn’t need to be vegan exclusive – if you’ve simply run out of eggs, I still encourage you to try this simple vegan egg replacement.

And if you’re looking for more simple, healthy vegan recipes, look no further. For example, you might enjoy these vegan desserts, including carrot cake truffles, homemade dole whip, coconut oil chocolate fudge, no-bake black bean brownies, or sugar-free oatmeal cookies!

Why This Recipe for Chia Seed Egg Substitute Works?

  • All that’s required for this chia seed egg substitute is two ingredients and 15 minutes – but minimal hands-on prep!
  • Their increase in popularity in recent years means that chia seeds are now easy to source and are becoming more cost-effective, too! Therefore, they should be available in most grocery stores. If not, check health food stores/online.
  • Chia seeds are actually jam-packed with nutrients and health benefits for body and brain health!
  • These include the fact that chia seeds are packed with antioxidants – essential for fighting harmful free radicals.
  • Chia eggs are also packed with fiber (chia seeds are actually one of the best sources of fiber in the world!)– which is important for digestive and bowel health in several ways. It will also help to keep you fuller for longer.
  • In comparison to regular eggs, chia contains more protein and heart-healthy omega fatty acids.
  • Thanks to all of the above, chia seeds can help reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce blood sugar levels, increase bone health, and reduce inflammation.
  • A chia egg is fairly versatile and will work in several recipes, including cookies and biscotti, quick breads, waffles, pancakes, and muffins/cupcakes.
chia egg replacer

Ingredients for Chia Vegan Egg Replacement

  • Chia seeds: There are two types of chia seeds; white and black. Both are almost identical nutritionally and in flavor, so either should work fine to create a chia egg (though I’ve only tried with black chia, which is more common).
  • Water: Use filtered water if preferred, though tap water will work fine (if you live somewhere where it’s drinkable).
chia egg ingredients

How to Make a Chia Egg

  • Mix the ingredients: Combine the ground chia seeds and water in a small bowl and mix well. Then set aside. Note: you must use chia seeds that are ground, see below under tips on how to best grind them.

Adjust the amount of ingredients based on how many chia seed eggs are needed. It’s also best to use room temperature or slightly warm water, which tends to cause quicker gelatinization.

  • Allow it to rest: Allow the chia egg mixture to sit for 10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and becomes congealed and ‘gloopy.’ It’s amazing how they ‘gel’ due to their soluble fiber content.

And that’s it – your chia egg is then ready to use in any number of baked goods, including muffinsquick breadsimple cookies, and pancakes!

Once prepared, you can store the prepared chia seed egg substitute in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Chia Egg Replacer vs. Flax Egg

Having also shared my instructions (which is practically identical) for making a flax egg, let’s take a moment to explore the differences between the two.

As a vegan egg replacement, the two are similar in their uses; they work best for recipes that only require a few eggs, are smaller bakes, and have stronger (not vanilla) flavors like cookies, waffles, and muffins.

However, there are a couple of main differences. For example, I’ve found that chia seed eggs are slightly harder to ‘disguise’ in subtle-flavored recipes- not only with flavor but the color (unless you use white seeds) can also impact the bake. However, they do seem to be slightly ‘stronger’ as a binder than flax eggs.

More so, one of the main differences is the nutritional value between the two. Chia seeds contain higher levels of calcium and fiber (to keep you satisfied for longer). However, flaxseed contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

It’s also important to point out that, in many cases, chia seeds are the more expensive of the two. If you’re new to ‘egg free’ baking, I recommend experimenting with the two in new recipes and taking notes of your results.

chia egg vs flax egg replacer

Tips for Best Egg Substitute Results

  • How to grind chia seeds: When working in small batches with your whole chia seeds, it’s best to use a coffee or spice grinder. For larger batches, a high-speed blender or food processor can grind the whole seeds into a powdery consistency. However, be careful not to over-process the seeds, or they can start to become paste-like.
  • Expect less volume and rise: Chia eggs don’t contain the same ‘structural’ benefits as eggs, meaning that your bakes won’t rise as much. This can be slightly combatted with leavening agents (some people add a pinch of baking soda directly to their chia egg – but I prefer to adapt each recipe individually). However, it still won’t be an exact replica.
  • Let baked goods cool sufficiently: Allow any baked recipes that use a chia egg to cool for at least 45 minutes, if not longer, before removing from the mold, slicing, or eating. Otherwise, the baked good could crumble/fall apart and won’t be the correct texture. Work this time into your recipe planning.
  • It isn’t a perfect match: While this chia seed egg replacement can yield very impressive results, it’s important to note that it’s not an exact match to an egg, so you can’t expect identical results. As versatile as this vegan egg replacement is – you may need to experiment further to tweak recipes when using chia eggs.

FAQs

What is the chia egg to water ratio?

Many methods use a 1:3 ratio, but I’ve found 1:2.5 (i.e. one tablespoon of ground chia seeds to two and a half tablespoons of water) to work best.

Can I substitute this recipe for 1 egg?

Yes, this chia egg will work in place of one medium egg.

Do I have to grind my chia seeds?

Although whole chia seeds do gelatinize (ready to make delicious chia pudding), I prefer using ground chia seeds for the best chia egg! This will create the right ‘single’ congealed consistency (rather than separate gelatinized seeds). Plus, if you don’t grind them, you’ll have crunchy bits in your baked good. Again, though, feel free to experiment with using them whole vs. ground if you’d like.

When baking with chia seed egg replacer, do I need to add baking powder?

Individual recipes will differ. However, many bakes with chia eggs will benefit from the use of leavening agents to help provide further lift and texture that chia eggs cannot.

How do I store my chia seeds?

I like to store them in an airtight jar at room temperature. However, you can also store them in the fridge/freezer to extend the shelf life. Once ground, store chilled for the longest shelf-life.

Is egg substitute healthy?

For everyone healthy might mean slightly something different based on their individual needs and/or allergies. If you are avoiding eggs or desiring to use less animal products, a chia seed or flax egg is a great way to replace the egg in your baked goods recipe. Both chia seeds and flax seeds boast impressive nutritional profiles, so if adding additional fiber, omega 3’s etc to your diet, using a chia seed egg or flax egg can help you achieve that!

almond flour banana bread made with chia egg

Almond flour banana bread baked with chia egg.

How to Use a Chia Egg as an Egg Replacer

As I’ve already mentioned several times in this post how BEST to use chia eggs (including smaller baked goods that require three or fewer eggs- waffles, pancakes, cupcakes, muffins, quick breads, cookies, etc.), I thought I’d focus more on when to NOT use chia eggs.

Do not use chia eggs in the following baking/cooking scenarios:

  • To replace egg whites: This chia seed egg substitute is best for replacing whole eggs in baked recipes. However, it won’t work for replacing whipped egg whites in recipes like meringue and mousse. So instead, I’d experiment with aquafaba or another vegan egg substitute for those.
  • To replace more than three eggs: When a recipe relies on lots of eggs, it’s likely for more than just its’ binding properties, which means chia eggs likely won’t fit the bill. At that point, you’d need to adjust the recipe further to make up for the extra eggs.
  • For eggbased recipes: Scrambled egg, omelettes, quiche, and other egg-based recipes when the flavor is critical won’t work for chia eggs (which are used more for their binding and not taste).
  • With single gluten-free flours: While this isn’t ALWAYS the case, I’ve found that using this chia seed egg substitute with ‘single flour type’ gluten-free flours can be a little iffy – like almond flour or coconut flour. This is because the way those flours interact with eggs differs from regular flour, as they rely on the egg structure a lot more for lift. So while you can experiment, I think it’s important to be aware upfront that it may not be successful, and your bakes are likely to not rise much at all. However, look above for an example of almond flour banana bread made using chia eggs.

If, for whatever reason, you’ve used chia eggs and your quick bread/cake has ended up crumbly. You could still transform these into cake pops! No need to go to waste!

More How to Recipes

chia egg substitute being mixed in bowl
How to Make a Chia Egg

How to Make a Chia Egg {2 Ingredients!}

How to Make a Chia Egg at home, using just two simple ingredients for a simple and versatile vegan egg replacement. This chia seed egg substitute binds incredibly well thanks to its gelatinous consistency, perfect for adding to cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and pancakes!
5 from 1 vote
Print Save Rate
Course: Breakfast or Snack, Desssert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 chia egg
Calories: 58kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds ground
  • 3 tbsp water cold or warm

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, add ground chia seeds and water. If need multiple eggs, just multiply the ingredients.
    How to Make a Chia Egg
  • Stir with a fork and let sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick, "gloppy" or congealed.
    How to Make a Chia Egg
  • Use in place of eggs in your baking projects like muffins, quick bread, simple cookies, pancakes.
    How to Make a Chia Egg

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    Notes

    • Can I use whole chia seeds? No, for chia seeds to thicken in 10 minutes and become an “egg”, seeds have to be ground.
    • How to grind chia seeds: Add desired amount of whole chia seeds to a high speed blender or food processor and grind until powder forms. Do not overprocess into paste.
    • Where to use: I recommend to use chia seed eggs in quick baked goods like muffins, cookies and pancakes (not almond flour pancakes though) and banana bread. Chia egg definitely holds better a loaf of quick bread than flax egg does.
    • Expect less volume and rise: Keep in mind that recipes with chia eggs do not rise as much as with real eggs – it’s normal.
    • Chia “egg” vs. flax “egg” in almond flour bread recipes: I find that Many online flaxseed egg recipes call for 3 tbsp of water. I find using a bit less, makes stickier and thicker flax egg.
    • Recipes not to use chia eggs in: Chia eggs cannot be used in recipes where eggs are the main ingredient like frittata or quiche. Also they do not whip well, so recipes like mousse, souffle and cakes should be made with real eggs.
    • Let baked goods cool sufficiently: With chia egg replacer baked goods it is even more important than with regular baked goods to let them cool. When you first remove your bread or muffins from the oven, it will appear soft but let it cool for 45 minutes or so (the longer the better for a loaf) before eating or slicing.
    See recipe post for additional notes and FAQs.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 58kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 4g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

    2 comments on “How to Make a Chia Egg

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    1. 5 stars
      I never knew to grind the chia seeds first for the chia egg! This worked great in the almond flour banana bread recommended from the recipe. So glad to have this eggless option in my future baking!

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