Including Chia in Your Favorite Drinks

By Barrie Rogers, Debbie Dooly

One of the oldest chia recipes — it’s been around for centuries — is chia fresca. This drink is common in Mexico and Central America. You simply add chia to water, lemon juice, and sugar. The Mexican cultures knew that chia seeds were great for energy and used chia fresca as a refreshing drink to refuel their bodies.

Drinking chia is a great way to get the valuable nutrients into your system fast. Throw a couple spoonfuls of chia into your morning juice or add them to your blended smoothies to get some great nutrition into your favorite drinks. You could even try them in a cocktail!

If you’re an athlete, adding chia to your water helps to rehydrate you by slowly releasing the water through the gel that the chia water forms in your stomach. This can help you exercise for longer because it prolongs hydration needed for endurance sports.

When chia is added to water, the chia absorbs the water and creates a gel. If you put too much chia in a drink, it may get too thick. Play around to get the consistency that works best for you.

Chia gel (chia and fluid) can be used in several ways and has several benefits. Probably the best benefit is that it slows the conversion of carbohydrates into sugars, thereby regulating healthy blood sugar levels, which in turn helps with energy levels.

A good rule of thumb for creating a gel is six parts water to one part seeds. Simply pour the water into a bowl, mix well, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then mix again and let it stand for ten minutes, mix again, and use as necessary. Chia gel can be added to all your favorite foods.

You can make chia gel using any liquid you choose — you’re not limited to just water. Good liquids to try are coconut milk (which makes a deliciously creamy gel and is fantastic added to curries or used as a base for puddings), coconut water (great if you want a real health kick with added electrolytes), or any other milk, nut milk, or non-dairy substitute.