Meet my favorite post-run drink — Lemon Chia Fresca. Cold and refreshing it is an instant energy booster. Lemon Chia Fresca might just be the easiest health drink you can make at home – simply soak chia seeds in water with a little lemon juice.
Chia Fresca is the easiest all-natural health drink that you can make ahead and feast on all day. It has many health benefits. It keeps you hydrated, provides the necessary muscle building protein post-exercise, helps in weight loss and also boosts the metabolism. But mostly it makes me happy :-). After all Chia seeds are the ancient food of the Mayan gods!
CHIA SEEDS: THE TRADITIONAL ENERGY FOOD
In the Mayan language, Chia means “strength” and chia seeds have been traditionally used as an energy food by Native American communities. Long distance runners use them for sustenance. Health benefits of chia seeds include:
- They are power-packed with antioxidants, fiber, proteins, calcium, omega-3s, and many other vitamins and minerals.
- Chia seeds are great for weight loss as they keep you full for longer and help control odd-time eating.
- Chia seeds can absorb 9-10 time their weight in water. Eating soaked chia seeds helps in keeping the body hydrated.
Ideally, chia fresca should be made 4-5 hours before drinking so that the seeds have had enough time to soak and swell in the water. I make mine the night before and then carry it with me everywhere I go all day. You can make it in the morning and carry it with you but wait for at least a couple of hours before drinking to get the maximum health benefits of chia seeds.
It is the cheapest flavored mineral water you will find :-). I see all these flavored water bottle selling at such high premium prices in the market and I can’t really believe how we get fooled into buying them thinking they are super healthy when they are loaded with sweeteners.
Chia Seeds to water ratio
Chia seeds are hydrophilic, which is why they swell up when soaked and are great to make healthy gluten-free gelatinous puddings when used in large amounts. Chia Fresca is a light drink, therefore, the chia seeds to water ratio is much less as compared to puddings.
I use 1 tbsp chia seeds in 1 tall glass of water (~350ml). In this recipe, along with lemon juice, I add a little agave syrup for sweetening and a sprinkle of sea salt just to balance the flavors. You can play around with so many flavors for chia fresca. I am already thinking about watermelon juice chia fresca or maybe some coconut water chia fresca! Have fun playing with the flavors and combinations!
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Lemon Chia Fresca
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 700 ml water
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 pinch sea salt
- Combine all the ingredients in a jar. Mix it really well and let it stand for 3-4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Serve with a slice of fresh lemon or pack in a bottle for to-go. Before drinking shake it all up as chia seeds would have settled at the bottom.
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