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I use chia seeds in my smoothies. I put them in the blender vessel and then add some water to soak them (What Happens to Chia Seeds Soaked in Water?) before putting in the yogurt, berries and bananas. I often soak them overnight. They mostly float and some always stick to the side of the vessel even after running the blender.
How can I keep them from sticking to the sides and help them to absorb water?

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I started buying them already ground into powder form. So much more versatile. Not only can you add a spoon to your shake you can add a spoon to a lot of recipes for that nutty flavor. Grind the seeds with a coffee grinder. An additional benefit to grinding them is they will be easier to digest allowing for better absorption.

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I put them in the blender vessel ...

Well, just do not do that :)

You can soak the seeds in a separate glass. When you want to make the smoothie, just transfer the seeds to the blender.

If it will be difficult to remove the seeds from the glass, them maybe soak them directly into the yogurt, or any other wet ingredient you use. You can adjust the viscosity of the smoothie later, adding more water / milk / whatever.

Alternatively, add just a little water over those seeds. When fully soaked, they will probably sit on the bottom of the vessel and they will be removed when you start the blender with the other ingredients inside.

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After some experimentation I have found that putting some smoothie ingredients in first and adding the chia seeds in after works. I have stopped soaking them solely in water. I actually make the smoothie completely and keep it in the fridge overnight.

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