Would like to know best brand to purchase and best way to prepare for recipes or serve just straight up.
I don't know which brand is best. I use Bob's Red Mill, and I basically just stir them into my yogurt or oatmeal in the morning. You can use them in smoothies, too.
Just look for a source that has nothing added. You may be able to find them in bulk. Don't be taken in by seductive marketing and name changes. They can be eaten out of hand, as long as you chew and crunch. They can also be ground -- I have made a filled roll with them, bread dough rolled in a sheet, spread with peanut butter, sprinkled with ground chia, raisins and cinnamon; roll up, cut in 2 inch slices, put in a pan, let it rise and bake.
They carry them in the bulk bins at Whole Foods, if you have one near you. I'd just be careful with them. I find that they hurt my stomach, oddly enough.
I use Whole Foods brand. I love them in my favorite drinks- use a 9:1 ratio of liquid to seeds. I am currently using a green iced tea. I mix the seeds with the tea in a quart container. I shake them and allow them to sit for 4 hours or until slightly sprouted. Adds fantastic texture to your drink (think bubble tea). Enjoy!