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Gluten-Free & Wheat-Free
Chia-Seed Slurry and Ice-Cubes Recipe
GF Recipe Summary
Gluten-Free Chia-Seed Slurry and Ice-Cubes: This chia seed slurry mixture is used to extend and improve all sorts of gluten-free recipes; also great frozen!
Creating a "chia slurry" is the key to using chia seed as an easy addition / substitution / alteration / modification ingredient in many gluten-free recipes. This slurry will end up providing a gluten-like (i.e., "glue like") binding power to many recipes while introducing additional moisture and "bounce", elasticity, sponginess, and the like, that you would otherwise associate with Gluten-containing products.
And, when frozen into "chia slurry cubes", these frozen chia-mix cubes have proven incredible in making smoother, creamier, dairy-free "shakes" or "smoothies" or slushies, or whatever. They add an amazing texture-smoothing / gelling quality that thickens up a drink without adding anything unhealthy to the recipe; giving frozen drinks some "creaminess" without any cream.
A slurry is quite simply a highly fluid mixture of water and finely divided material — in this case, that material is chia.
For an example of using this chia slurry in a recipe, see our Gluten-Free Banana Bread (variation from our book) with Chia and Whey Protein Recipe
Gluten-Free Recipe Card and Pictures
We start by pre-hydrating our Chia Seed. I simply use between 1.5 and 2 TBSP (Tablespoons) Chia Seed per cup of water. The concentration can be varied, and will alter the recipe outcomes accordingly. Sometimes I want a thicker mixture, other times thinner. The amount of slurry I prepare depends on what I am baking, but for now, let's just say I have a few cups of water, and the corresponding proportion of Chia I mentioned...
Place the chia seed in a bowl, add water, and stir constantly for a while to make sure all seeds submerge in the water. Then, stir every few minutes for a while to make sure the seeds are evenly absorbing water as they expand like little pearl tapioca balls. Within 15-30 minutes, this hydration process is complete, resulting in the following:
Or, a bit closer look at the resulting hydrated Chia Seed mixture:
Now, place this hydrated Chia in a blender. I have my trusty VitaMixer for this task, which does a fine job of creating a slurry from the seeds. Here is the before and after look:
That is pretty much it! You have just created the Chia Slurry to be used in gluten-free recipes where you would otherwise use water, milk, or other liquids (note: some dry-ingredient amount-adjustments may be necessary to achieve optimal substitution and outcome results).
I process (i.e., grind / chop / pulverize) the hydrated Chia into a slurry immediately before I am going to use it in a recipe. I have found this keeps the suspension of particles most consistent, and also it tends to add another important baking element: a bit of air volume (quite useful in breads for example).
You can allow the pre-hydrated Chia Seed to sit around for hours, or days, if you desire, but wait until you are ready to use it in a recipe before mixing it into a slurry. In fact, if you use a lot of Chia in baking your gluten-free recipes, it is a good idea to keep a container of pre-hydrated chia seed in the fridge all ready to go (saves on hydration time later).
Another use I have for my slurry concoction that I created on a whim is chia-seed-ice-cubes. Just take that freshly-blended Chia-Seed Slurry and pour it into ice cube trays and immediately freeze.
These frozen chia-mix cubes have proven incredible in making smoother, creamier, dairy-free "shakes" or "smoothies" or slushies, or whatever. They add an amazing texture-smoothing / gelling quality that thickens up a drink without adding anything unhealthy to the recipe; giving frozen drinks some "creaminess" without any cream.
The reason I make the chia ice cubes (instead of just adding regular water-only ice cubes to a blender with pre-hydrated chia seed) is a simple one: achieving optimal coldness and lowest temperature for best shakes, smoothies, and frozen drinks. Note: if you don't freeze the chia like this first, do not expect the same results.
Look for recipe substitutions and the like (using the Chia Slurry or Chia Ice Cubes) in the Gluten-Free Recipes Library Index.