Both flax seeds and chia seeds are nutrient dense oilseeds. Both have become popular in recent years with flax seeds being the more widely known of the two. Both are excellent additions to your diet. Each of them can provide you with a range of health benefits. If you want to pick one and are unable to make up your mind, consider the comparison below in another SPICEography Showdown.
Do flax seeds and chia seeds differ in flavor?
Both golden flax and chia seeds have a mild nutty flavor, but brown flax seeds have more intense flavor. The flavor of chia seeds is considerably milder than that of either flax variety. If you are looking for a strong flavor, flax is a better option. If you want a milder flavor, chia is better. Note that the flavor of flax seeds increases once the seeds are ground.
Can chia seeds be used in place of flax seeds and vice versa?
As an egg replacement
Both chia and flax seeds are excellent sources of soluble fiber. When soaked, both chia and flax seeds will form a gel due to their soluble fiber content. The resulting gel is a good substitute for eggs. You can use both chia and flax seeds interchangeably when replacing eggs. Chia seeds do have a slight edge in that you need to use a smaller quantity in place of a single egg. The time it takes for the gel to form is also shorter with chia seeds compared to flax seeds. Use 1 1/2 teaspoons of chia seeds soaked for 20 minutes in 1/4 cup of water to replace one egg. It takes 1 tablespoon of flax seeds soaked in the same amount of water 30 minutes to form your egg substitute.
There are egg-free vegan burger and meatloaf recipes that use chia seeds as a binder. You can use flax seeds in place of chia seeds in those recipes.
For oatmeal or cold cereal
Flax and chia seeds are popular additions to oatmeal or cold cereal. Many people sprinkle them over the top for the extra crunch of flax or the smoothness that chia seeds bring. If the more noticeable taste of flax seeds is a problem, simply replace them with the mild flavor of chia seeds. If the smoothness of chia seeds is not your cup of tea, use flax seeds instead.
Flax seeds are a popular addition to granola, but whole chia seeds may be used instead. Replace the specified amount of flax seeds with an equal amount of chia seeds.
What type of use cases best fit flax seeds and chia seeds?
Flax seeds are popular for a variety of breakfast foods, especially those that can benefit from added crunch. You can use flax seeds for granola. You can also use them to add texture to yogurt or oatmeal. It is important to note that they must be ground before use. Our bodies cannot digest whole flax seeds.
Use chia seeds to improve the texture of your smoothies. You can also make chia pudding by soaking the seeds in fruit juice or almond milk until they form a gel. Once the mixture is no longer watery, you can eat it like a pudding.