1. Matter of taste
In flax seeds, the taste is noticeable, slightly nutty, and in chia seeds, it is almost imperceptible. Therefore, the former are best used in dishes that will be thermally processed and have their own strong taste, while the latter should be reserved for more refined and raw dishes (for example, fruit smoothies). If you do not want to see or feel the taste of seeds in the final product at all, then buy white chia – these seeds will be invisible and imperceptible, while retaining their beneficial qualities.
2. Instead of eggs
One kilogram of flax or chia seeds replaces about 40 eggs! Both of these seeds perform the main functions of eggs in a culinary recipe: they bind and moisten the dish, in addition, they allow pastries to rise. And all this without bad cholesterol.
Replacing 1 egg:
1. Using a food processor or mortar (if you prefer manual processing), grind 1 tablespoon of flax or chia seeds. Keep in mind that if chia seeds do not need to be crushed (they will be fully digested anyway), then unground flax seeds are simply not absorbed by the body (however, you should not do this for the future, processing a lot of seeds at once – this reduces their shelf life, since the seeds contain oil. If you still grind the seeds for future use, then the resulting mass should be stored in an airtight plastic container in the freezer or at least in the refrigerator).
2. Mix the resulting mass with 3 tablespoons of water (or other liquid according to the recipe) – always at room temperature. This will start the gelling process of our “magic” mixture. Let stand 5-10 minutes until a jelly forms in the cup, similar to a beaten raw egg. This will be the binding agent in the recipe.
3. Next, use this “jelly” in the recipe as you would a fresh egg.
3. Instead of margarine butter
Many vegetarian and vegan recipes call for some kind of butter or vegan margarine. And they contain a lot of saturated fats, which is not healthy at all … And here again, flax and chia seeds come to the rescue! They contain omega-3s, a healthy type of fat, which is what we need.
Depending on the recipe, seeds can always be replaced with either half or all of the required amount of butter or margarine. Moreover, when cooking after such a replacement, the product will even brown faster. Sometimes you will also need less flour in the recipe, because. seeds and so give a fairly dense consistency.
1. Calculate how many replacement seeds you need. The calculation scheme is simple: if you replace all the butter (or margarine) with seeds, then multiply the required amount by 3: i.e. seeds should be taken by volume 3 times more than oil. Say, if the recipe says 13 cups of vegetable oil, then add a whole cup of chia or flax seeds instead. If you decide to replace only half the oil with seeds, then do not multiply the amount by 3, but divide by 2: say, if the original recipe had 1 cup of butter, then we take 12 cups of butter and 12 cups of seeds.
2. To make jelly, take 9 parts of water and 1 part of crushed seeds, knead in a saucepan or bowl. Again, you need to let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to form a “jelly”.
3. Next, cook according to the recipe. If you replaced only half of the margarine butter – you need to mix the butter with the seeds – and then cook as if nothing had happened.
4. Instead of flour
Ground flax or chia seeds can replace some of the flour in a recipe with a healthier alternative, as well as increase the calorie content and nutritional value of the product. A common way to do this is to replace 14 flour in a recipe with flax or chia seeds, and where the recipe says “take 1 cup of flour”, add only 34 cups of flour and 14 cups of seeds. Such a change may sometimes require adjusting the amount of water and yeast added.
5. Instead of xanthan gum
People who are allergic to gluten know how to use xanthan gum in cooking: it’s the ingredient that gives density to gluten-free dishes. But for health reasons, it is better to replace xanthan gum with chia or flax seeds.
1. The proportion for replacing xanthan gum with seeds is 1:1. Very simple!
2. Mix 1 serving of ground flax or chia seeds in a blender with 2 servings of water. For example, if a recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of xanthan gum, use 2 tablespoons of chia or flax seeds and 4 tablespoons of water. And then we insist our “magic jelly” for 10 minutes.
3. Next, cook according to the recipe.
Flaxseeds and chia will add a special flavor to your vegetarian or vegan dishes! This is an excellent substitute for eggs, flour, butter and xanthan gum, which will make eating even healthier and more beneficial!