As someone who loves to cook, I am always interested to hear about ingredient replacements in recipes to make the final product healthier. In the American Dietetic Association journal I found an article containing the crown jewel of nutritious ingredient replacements: chia gel.

While the ADA journal research study used chia gel to replace oil and eggs in cakes, I tried brownies. Chia seeds not only lower the total calories and fat content of a yummy dessert, but they also provide antioxidants, linolenic acid, fiber, and protein. Chia gel has zero flavor, so don’t be put off by thinking your delicious dessert is a goner. Feel like your dessert needs a power up? I’ll guide you through a step by step so you can make quick chia brownies too!


  • 1 boxed brownie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 C + 1 t chia gel
  • 2 T water

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Making chia gel:

To make the chia gel you need 1/3 C of dried chia seeds and 2 C room temperature water. This ratio will give you extra chia gel to use in other baking or smoothies for up to 2 weeks in the refridgerater. Place the seeds and the water in a plastic container with a top and give it a few shakes. Wait about 3 minutes and take a peek! You’ll see a gelatinous mass dotted with the seeds (It’s not pretty, but it’s nutrient packed).

Add the brownie mix and the other ingredients into a stand mixer, or a bowl. Mix for 3 minutes on a low speed until completely combined. Empty the batter into a baking dish and place in the oven. Consult the box for an approximate baking time, but watch closely! These tend to finish baking about 3 minutes early, depending on your oven.

The Result:

With the chia seed completely replacing the oil in the brownies I made, I added nutrients with this health-ified dessert. And while boxed brownie mix isn't exactly gourmet, is a super time saver and a great base. The chia brownies were a little denser than the oil version with a slight crunch sprinkled throughout from the seeds (think poppy seed texture). Taste was an A+!

Want to try chia? Here's your chance!