If you've never seen chia drinks in stores, you're probably giving me the side-eye right now. (Well, as much as you can give a blogger the side-eye—I can't see it, but I know it's happening!) But really, this is a thing! The first time I saw a bottle of juice with chia seeds in it, I assumed that:
a) It would be disgusting.
b) I would choke on it.
c) It was hippie food.
Maybe the last one is true, but it's not disgusting and I didn't choke on it. When hydrated, the outer layer of chia seeds becomes gelatinous. This gel-like coating means that chia seeds go down easy so no, this isn't like drinking a glass full of poppy seeds. Chia drinks (also called chia fresca or iskiate) kind of have the consistency of softened Jello, a bonus for me, since I don't eat Jello. And in a drink, the seeds don't really impart a flavor because you're not chewing on them, so you taste the flavor of the juice and nothing more. Chia seeds are little nutritional dynamos too—they're high in Omega-3s, antioxidants, and fiber, and unlike other seeds, they don't need to be ground in order to digest their nutrients. (Here's more information about chia seeds, if you're interested: Chia for Health.)
After trying my first chia drink, I quickly became hooked and began buying a bottle or two anytime I went shopping. But unfortunately, the bottled chia drinks are really expensive. After happening upon the bulk bin of chia seeds at Whole Foods and doing the math in my head, I realized that I would save a ton of money if I just made chia drinks myself. So that's what I've been doing ever since.
I used pomegranate and lime juice in this chia fresca recipe, but any kind of juice you want to use is fine. You can also adjust the amount of chia seeds to your liking—I used a little bit less than you find in most bottled drinks. Basically, to make your own chia drink, you simply put a few tablespoons of seeds in a glass, pour juice on top, and wait for the seeds to form a gel. Super easy!
- Place chia seeds in a glass.
- Pour water, pomegranate juice, and lime juice over seeds. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Whisk to break up any clumps of seeds and serve.