Top 7 Best Chia Beverages Title

Chia seed drinks are becoming popular!
You may have seen several bottled varieties in stores already. But, did you know you can easily make your own healthy chia drinks at home? With some chia gel & your favorite flavors, you can enjoy the health benefits of chia any time you want, and on a low budget too. Read about the top choices and see which ones you’d like to try first with this cool list.

But first…why would you want to make chia drinks?
First of all, the nutrition benefits are great! Chia has more calcium by weight than milk, complete protein, magnesium & trace boron for strong bones,  even plant-source iron, like spinach. 1 serving of a drink that’s full of chia gel typically has 11 grams of fiber. Chia also has no flavor at all. When the gel is made with filtered water, you can’t taste the seeds or the gel. The texture is very interesting. The seeds form a soft gel when exposed to water, and they help blend together the flavors in your drink. These seeds are tiny, and when gelled, they’re not hard. Now that you know how healthy chia is, learn how to make these great drinks!

Here are our top 7 picks in no particular order...
Chia Fresca Drink Photo

Chia Fresca
The drink that started it all!

Chia fresca has been enjoyed in Mexico for hundreds of years. Because the chia plant loves the hot, dry climate there, chia has always been readily available. The people learned that you can fill up, add electrolytes (great for hot weather work-outs), and hydrate the digestive system by drinking chia gel. Chia fresca is traditionally made with chia seeds, filtered water, lime juice and a sweetening agent such as agave nectar, sugar cane juice or honey. A quick stirring helps the chia blend the flavors, and then the cool, refreshing beverage is ready to enjoy.

Chia Orange Hot Tea

Chia Hot Tea

Chia gel works in beverages hot or cold. If you enjoy hot tea, but want something that will also fill you up, consider adding chia gel. Many teas are excellent for your health. Did you know that green tea has compounds that help guard your DNA against age related damage? Chia has free-radical fighters too, such as the dark colored anthocyanins in the seed shells.

Here you can see hot chia tea with orange.
If you have a tea infuser, add orange zest to the loose leaf green tea. Don't have an infuser? Add a tablespoon of orange juice for a fresh citrus zing. To make this tea, use green tea, orange juice (or zest), 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, & 1/4 tsp ground cloves.

Lemon Mint Cold Chia Tea Cold Fruit Chia Teas

Chia hot tea is good, and chia cold tea is just as great!  Unsweetened tea bags are easy to use in flavors like raspberry, blueberry, lemon & citrus. Add chia gel, and you have a fantastic cold drink that also fills you up. Brew the tea, let it cool, then chill & add chia gel. Sweeten these teas with a sprinkle of Stevia, and they’ll appeal to kids too. It’s so easy because you can make a whole pitcher of tea ahead of time, then add as much gel as you want to the glass when you’re ready to drink. It’s so much healthier than soda or diet soda.

Shown here is Chia Lemon Mint Cold Tea.
This is easy, and makes a beautiful presentation for serving, with lemon slices and a few mint leaves floating in the pitcher. To make this tea use 4 green tea bags, 1 quart hot water, 5 or 6 tbsp frozen lemonade concentrate. Steep the tea in the hot water, after it cools add the frozen lemonade & 1 tbsp crushed fresh mint leaves. Sweeten to taste with stevia or agave nectar.

Sweetener Choices:
When you make chia drinks at home, you don’t have to worry about the choice of sweeteners. Agave nectar is low on the glycemic index.  (certainly lower than cane or beet sugar, or high fructose corn syrup) It has more calories than regular sugars, but it is 40% sweeter
…so you end up using less to get the same result.
Stevia & Xylitol are also excellent choices. Stevia is derived from a leaf, and Xylitol comes from a bark. They are artificial sweeteners, but they are all-natural and don’t have the side effects of Aspartame. Did you know that Aspartame actually makes some people hungrier? Don’t risk it- go natural.

Chia Fruit Drinks

You can make your own delicious (compare to store brands!) chia fruit drinks when you use filtered water, and frozen fruit juice mix. Be sure to select “Pure Fruit” because several varieties can have, artificial sweeteners, or high fructose corn syrup added. Sweetened fruit drinks can have as much sugar as the same amount of soda, so it's important to watch labels so you know just what you're getting.

Looking for a sweet snack in the afternoon?
Instead of reaching for chips or a candy bar, why not mix up a little 4 ounce chia drink?
1 tablespoon blueberry pomegranate concentrate * 2 tablespoons filtered water * 3 tablespoons gelled chia seeds
1 tablespoon lemonade concentrate * 3 tablespoons water * 3 tablespoons gelled chia seeds * 1/4 lime juice (unsweetened)

This will satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping you feeling full until dinner time. The complete protein in chia will also help with any afternoon energy slumps. Not only is it healthy, it's a big money saver too when you're not spending on energy drinks, fancy coffees, candy or vending snacks.

Crazy Colorful Chia Coolers for Kids

Like powdered, instant drink mixes? Their vibrant colors and fun flavors are a favorite with kids…when they’re not loaded with aspartame, or cups of sugar. Make powdered mixes fun, filling and healthy with chia. To imitate the taste of sugar in a 2 quart pitcher (most mixes make 2 quarts) you need 2 teaspoons of Xylitol and half a teaspoon to one teaspoon of Stevia. Combining these sweeteners gives the drink a more authentic taste. Of course, you can always add more stevia to sweeten further.

Some drink mixes have lots of colored dyes. (note the shocking blue here) Natural mixes are given fun color with ingredients like beet powder for red and carrot extract for orange. When you use drink mixes that you sweeten at home, you know what you're getting.

Wacky Blue Chia Cooler Drink

Bubble Tea

Have you heard of Bubble Tea or Boba Tea? What started in Taiwan is catching on all over—and for good reason too! Bubble teas are as varied as they are delicious. You're sure to find a flavor you'll love. The fun in bubble tea comes from the taste & the texture. Tapioca-starch pearls (the bubbles) are added, and they form a treat at the bottom of the cup & throughout your drink. Bubble tea can be made with, or without actual tea. Green tea & fruit, tea & milk, fruit juice & milk, or any combination of the above can be used. When you add shaved ice, it’s called “Snow Bubble Tea”.  Tapioca & chia are gluten free, and if you use rice or almond milk, it will be lactose-free too.
However, bubble tea has a drawback. The tapioca starch pearls that give it the expected fun texture also have calories. They don't have much in the way of nutrition. If you want textured tea, why not try chia? The gel droplets are about the size of 'tiny pearl' tapioca, and they're just as soft.

Know Your Milks:
You can make bubble tea with any type of milk. Looking to avoid hormones or bovine antibiotics? Try goat milk. Lactose intolerant? Use rice milk or almond milk. Soy milk is thick and gives the tea an interesting texture and flavor that many people love, but it does contain plant estrogens.
Many retailers will also use non-dairy creamer to make bubble tea now. Non-dairy creamer gives the tea its expected smooth texture.

Smoothies Juicing & Shakes As Meal Replacements

Looking to replace a meal with something fast and healthy? Fruit smoothies, fresh fruit & vegetable juice or protien shakes are a popular choice for a breakfast on the go. However it's important to keep in mind that a juicer & a blender are not "a calorie eliminator". It's ok to have that delicious berry smoothie, but keep in mind that it still contains ALL of the calories present in the mixed ingredients.

The issue with smoothies & juices is that without the plant fiber (commonly extracted by juicers) they're not as filling as the whole fruit or vegetable will be. This tempts many people to snack along with their drinks and add more calories than they were planning on. The best way to solve this, is to add chia to the smoothie, juice or shake. The chia fills you up but adds very few calories. It's the two kinds of fiber (soluble & insoluble) that helps make it so filling. Even two teaspoons of dry chia added to a shake smoothie or fresh juice can keep you full & energetic all morning long.

Papaya & Orange Glass Watermelon with a splash of lime
Fresh fruits like orange & papaya (left) and watermelon & lime (right) make bright and flavorful chia drinks.

You can find bottled chia drinks in the refrigerator section of some groceries right now, but you can customize flavors AND save money by mixing up your own at home. Want to know more about Homemade Chia Drinks?

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