Make your own energy drink with chia seeds! Yes, that’s chia seeds as in the chia pets with the crazy plant hair. In the realm of nutrition these little seeds pack quite a large punch. Chia was valued by the Aztecs as a “superfood.” The seeds contain protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids—including high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid. Chia seeds can be used in baking, but making chia fresca is a quick and easy way to introduce chia seeds into your diet. Think of it as a homemade energy drink! I’ve found the seeds in Bemidji at Harmony Co-op.
When added to water a gelatinous film forms around the seed. This makes for an interesting consistency, but if you can get past this small detail it is really quite an easy way to rack up the nutritional points.
12 oz cold drinking water
1 large lemon and/or 1 large lime (depending on what your flavor preference is)
Honey to taste (optional—I actually like it with just the citrus fruit)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
Squeeze the juice of the lemon or the lime or both into the drinking water. Sweeten with honey to taste if desired. Add chia seeds, stir, and allow to set for 10 minutes. Fresher seeds will suspend throughout the drink while older seeds will sink to the bottom of the glass. If the seeds sink, simply stir the mixture occasionally. A gelatinous coating will start to form around the seeds, at which point it is ready to drink. The consistency may take some getting used to, but it is tasty and much better for you than commercial energy drinks!
Nutritional Benefits of Chia Seeds:
-They deliver maximum nutritional benefit for a small caloric price.
-Chia seeds offer 11 grams of fiber per ounce, which is about 41 percent of the recommended daily value in just one serving!
-Chia seeds pack a punch of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
-These little seeds offer anywhere from three to six times more calcium than milk, per serving.
-You can count on chia seeds for antioxidants, which are super important for protecting our bodies from free radicals.
-The chia seed is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids we must acquire from our diet.