Monday, March 30, 2015

Chia Fresca: Energy Drink!

In Mexico chia seeds are often stirred into fruity drinks where they turn gelatinous and add a nice texture to the beverage. it’s actually a healthy beverage called Chia Fresca which has been a popular drink in Mexico and Central America for many years. I’m sure many of you have heard of it before or even made it yourself. It’s made up of water, chia seeds, lemon or lime juice, and sweetener.
When chia seeds are soaked in water a gelatinous coating forms around the seed very similar to a tomato seed. This makes it very easy to swallow so the seeds don’t get stuck in your throat.
Chia seed which contains protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids including high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid. Chia can be used in breads and baked goods as well, but I find that making Chia Fresca is the quickest, easiest and most delicious way to get some chia seeds in to your diet.
A sprig of mint can also be added to each glass, or whole mint leaves can be added to the top of the pitcher. Mint is very strong and can be overpowering, so it's best to add it just before serving.
Here’s a quick refresher on chia seeds:
  • Chia seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seed
  • Chia seeds do not need to be ground to be absorbed by the body and they can be stored for long periods of time without going rancid
  • They help with hydration due to their ability to absorb up to 9-10 times their weight in water
  • Chia seeds also contain fibre, protein, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc among many other nutrients
  • Chia seeds like to get stuck in your teeth. You were warned.
Chia Fresca is said to boost energy levels too. I’m not really sure if it boosts my energy or not, but I sure feel happy and hydrated. I like to pair it with coconut water for a natural potassium boost after a tough workout, but water is just fine too.
  • 2 cups water or coconut water ( I used coconut water)
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice, or to taste
  • Sweetener, to taste (I like 1/2 tbsp maple syrup or honey) 
  • Add chia and water into a jar or glass and stir very well to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the chia seeds to swell up. I like to use a jar with a lid so I can shake it up really well and break up the clumps of chia.
  • Add lime or lemon juice and sweetener to taste. Stir (or shake) well to combine and enjoy!
Note: Chia seeds will sink and collect at the bottom of the glass quickly. Give it a good stir as needed.

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