I’m not the only one who loves chia – this pup has a chia pet costume!
I love chia seeds because they are high in protein but are less fussy compared to their protein-rich buddies, flax. I’ve always looked for a more whole food alternative to protein drinks. As someone who doesn’t eat dairy, those whey drinks are not for me. Also, I want to stay hydrated throughout the day AND get some protein in me but I’m not a huge fan of fortified powders and milled flax needs to be refrigerated in an airtight bag…not ideal for buzzing around the city with.
So, I was delighted when I found a chia seed drink in New Mexico that inspired me to make my own at home. Not only was it delicious but also very easy to replicate. But before we delve into “how”, lets explore a little bit of “why?”. Well, firstly, most of us do not get enough protein. We don’t. This was a major problem was vegan and still a problem with my irregular eating schedule. Bad, I know – here’s a post on why regularity in eating is super important for proper digestion. Eat my words, literally, eh? Protein is so important to help us retain muscle mass, especially since it dwindles as we age. This is one of the reasons we begin to see signs of aging as we decrease in bone and muscle density leading us to look less firm and taut (the pros call the excess skin from a lack for muscle and bone structure “redundant skin”. Sounds like cellular lay offs).
Chia seeds have 4 grams of protein for every ounce (in skincare, this converts into about 30ml. So, 4 grams of protein for every eye cream size.) But it also contains 18% of our recommended daily calcium intake and 30% for manganese. Chia is very comparable to flax, but its much more user friendly. Hell, I use it to thicken homemade jams (see recipe here). It makes a delicious spread in less than 5 minutes. This is because when soaked, chia seeds become gelatinous, like little soft pods of heaven. You can use it to replace tapioca and make use it in porridgey breakfasts or to make a pudding… But now, you can use it to boost your protein intake by simply adding it to juice!
Now for the “How”: CHIA JUICE
1. The drink: I bought some organic black cherry juice as I heard it was good for insomnia and diluted it with water in a 1:1 ratio (I try not to have too much sugar – especially in juice-form). This filled a pint glass.
2. Seed it: Then I added two heaping spoonfuls of chia seeds and stirred well. As I said before, chia needs to be soaked and sit for a bit, so I waited for 5 minutes to turn those chia seed pebbles into soft, jelly like pearls (who needs bubble tea?). But if you skip stirring they clump together and make wads of gel. Not good – so just stir before you walk away and let it soak.
3. Then drink: Yum! It may seem that my photo looks like its just a bunch of seeds but if you look closely, you can see they are split open seeds that gave way to being suspended in a gel encasing. This makes the juice go down really easily.