The wonderful world of CHIA

Chia as an egg replacer for binding

If you thought every cake mix needed eggs, think again! You can still bake your favourite cake for someone with an egg allergy by using chia and a little more of your preferred rising agent.

Chia as a binder

Chia is a wonderful replacement for eggs in bread and cake batters as it binds all the ingredients and reduces crumbling of the baked cake. For cakes you will need ground chia. You can buy it already ground, or you can save some money and grind your own in a food processor. Just add two teaspoons to the dry ingredients of the cake recipe. Then increase the liquid by about 2 tablespoons or until the desired consistency is reached after mixing the batter for a few minutes. I prefer to use white chia for lighter coloured cakes and black chia for chocolate cakes. For whole grain breads I like to use whole black chia.

You can also use chia mixed with water in replace of eggs when crumbing meat and vegetables prior to frying. Use in the ratio of 3 teaspoons of chia to 1/2 cup of water and let soak for three minutes before dipping your meat or vegetable pieces into it. After dipping into the chia mixture, then dip into gluten free, egg free bread crumbs before frying. Yummo!

Chia as a thickening agent

Chia will thicken mixtures such as soups, stews, and sauces – cold or hot! But go easy on quantity. I like to add just one or two teaspoons of chia at a time and stir the mixture for three or four minutes before adding anymore. This is because it takes a few minutes for the chia to thicken a mixture. Too much chia will produce a thick, sticky mass.  If the batter or soup is too thick, add a little more liquid and continue stirring.

I prefer to use ground chia for thickening.

Chia does not have rising properties

As much as I love chia for its binding and thickening properties, as well as its high nutritional content, claims that it is a total egg replacer are false. Unfortunately, chia will not help your cake or bread rise. If you are removing eggs from a mixture that needs to rise, for example in pikelets or pancakes, cakes or breads, then add baking soda and an acid such as apple cider vinegar.

If you have any other uses for chia in cooking, please let me know via the form below. Happy cooking!

 

 

June 17, 2014 Permalink
Categories: Recipes Tags: , ,

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