The Best Chia Seeds - Why My Choice
If you are looking for the best chia seeds, here's a simple test you can do to see the quality of chia seeds you purchase. This test was devised a few years after I felt I'd found the best. I wanted to be sure they were since I was claiming them to be, on my website. So... my research began.
This test uses water to see how much the chia seeds will absorb. These pictures show you how different chia seed packages are. You use the same amount of water and add the same amount of chia.
Tip: Use more water than what you think the seeds can absorb so you get a true picture of their limit.
Start out with about 12 parts regular filtered water and 1 part chia seeds so they will have enough water to take in, just in case you have a really great package of seeds.
If using reverse osmosis water, you will require about 14 to 16 oz of water to 1 part chia seeds. The reverse osmosis water allows the chia seeds to take in more water, which I prefer.
This first picture shows the chia seeds absorbing all the available water.
This second picture shows not all the water was absorbed by the same amount of chia seeds.
I had to look further to discover the fact that more immature chia seeds, and/or lower quality chia seeds were present in the package. These chia seeds absorb less water.
What happened to me when I first started testing was this... I would think I had a good batch or a bad batch, and then find a big surprise (just the opposite of what I was finding) towards the end of the package.
I learned to shake the package before using it the first time. I then found chia seed water absorption more consistent throughout the package as I used it.
So... to ensure you are getting a valid test, it is important to shake the chia seed package well before trying this.
I now use this test out of curiosity as I use the chia. I used to shake the package before each time I took some chia out, but finally feel comfortable with just shaking just once before the first use.
You can ensure you know the extent of the immature or poor quality seeds in the package by:
- looking at how much water is absorbed
- using the same amount of water and seeds
- shaking the package before using it the first time
- testing the first batch with more water than you think they will absorb
I hope this test will help you zero in on finding the best chia seeds. Read on and you'll find my story and results after two years.
How I Came to Find the Best...
Years ago, I found the best chia seeds quite by accident. I came across a brand of chia seeds called Chian. I happened to read an article in NaturalNews where a Dr Wayne Coates was being interviewed by a Dr. Fred Liers. It just so happened that Dr Coates had a mission...
(as stated by Dr. Coates in the NaturalNews article.) "to disseminate information about chia to people and to help raise their awareness. And we make high-quality chia available at low cost. That is what we are up to basically."
Since I was always looking for new healthy products to try out, I was captivated. I came to realize that Dr. Coates has been the guiding influence on bringing chia to the world after being purposely removed as a food source over 400 years ago.
So... as I did more research, I became hooked on this brand of chia that Dr Coates was selling. This was the Chian brand of chia. I was amazed at how I began to feel after adding it to my diet. Certainly not what I would have expected from those little chia seeds I played around with earlier.
Taste Didn't Disclose the Best Chia Seeds
I did some testing over time, buying some chia seeds from a bulk bin at a local health food store. It was definitely lacking something but I couldn't tell by taste. I later learned that many factors influence the chia quality. Chian seemed to come from the best location with all the correct growing conditions. Something was very right about this product which was missing in other brands.
The Best Chia Seeds Disappeared
Well, a sad thing happened after I got really "into" this chia and making it a part of my healthy food diet. Wayne Coates sold his Chian product line to a company that took it off the market. I couldn't understand why they would take such a valuable product off the market.
I later learned that the company taking over the Chian product line was a network marketing company that made it into a form of chia powder. The change in processing and marketing was positioned to claim a higher price, more than 5 to 10 times what I had been paying. I was not interested so...
I began a two year search for a replacement. I never found a brand that replaced the Chian but I did find a couple that I settled on for awhile.
Then I found the Navitas brand. It claimed to be organic, although that was not a requirement for me. (I've grown to love sustainable as much as organic when grown right.) Now Navitas chia seeds have become an acceptable replacement, at least until...
Hold On - My Best Chia Seeds Came Back!
I learned that Dr. Coates was again distributing chia seeds under a new company. I was over-joyed thinking I would get my Chian brand of chia seeds back. I cautiously compared prices before trying to determine which are the best chia seeds. This is what I found...
I began comparing the Navitas Chia Seeds (which I liked), the Nutiva Chia Seeds (which I never tried before but liked the Nutiva Hemp Seeds) and then the AZChia from Dr. Coates.
I then tried all three brands several times throughout the following year. Some very enlightening information came out of that year. At first I started taking a lot of pictures of the chia gel and comparing all three, one against the other. What I ended up comparing was how well they absorbed water when making the chia gel. It was amazing to see the differences I found throughout the year in color and size.
Sometimes Navitas Chia Seeds would hold more water and the seeds seem to be larger. Then I'd get a batch of Navitas that seem to hold less water as a gel and I'd feel like I'd gotten a bad batch. Same thing with the Nutiva. In early summer, I purchased a large bag of Nutiva and the seeds were wonderful. When that ran out, I purchased a small 8 oz size from my local health food store. They were so different and I was back to feeling like I had just bought a bad batch. It became very confusing for me. How was I going to really tell which were the best chia seeds? Each new batch seemed to change.
I would buy the AZChia and they seemed to be consistently the same size when I created the gel. I could see that one time Navitas performed better than AZChia, and one time Nutiva performed better, but then I would get the batches that were so disappointing. AZChia continued to look and behave better than both the other two brands, consistently throughout the year.
Oh Dear! My Kitchen Turned into A Science Lab
I decided to do more tests and my husband Glen, having a scientific mind, gave me pointers in creating various tests to see what information I could come up with. I have to say, I came up with quite a bit. So much, that I decided to write an ebook. I did write that ebook but after publishing it, I was informed that I had named the ebook a name that had been trademarked. So... I am in the process of changing the name and breaking the ebook into a series of mini ebooks.
I should have the first one published soon with more to follow.
I have to say, AZChia is the best chia seeds to buy consistently throughout the year. They are actually the cheapest while being consistently better than the other two I was testing.
I have tried other brands as well. One was Rainforest, and I recommended that brand on my website. But after two people bought it and found it to be a lessor quality than what I had purchased, I've had to change my mind. It fell into the same category that Navitas and Nutiva fell into.
As more and more people find out about chia, the better chia is not always found from season to season. Some of the companies or suppliers have to look for other sources. This has not resulted in consistently good chia from the research I've done. The companies that have reliable and well managed chia farms throughout the year are able to consistently deliver the best chia seeds year round.
AZChia seems to be one of those companies. The chia seeds quality does fluctuate from season to season but not dramatically different like I've encountered from other companies.
The price for AZChia has remained the same low price since they started while other companies seem to increase in price at various times during the year. If you'd like to try their chia, just go to the AZChia Store and have a look around.
And, please feel free to email me if you have questions. I am always happy to respond.
Go to Chia Seeds, How Much a Day from Best Chia Seeds.