Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chia Seeds: Tart Cherry Juice with Agave Nectar

My dad recently turned me onto chia seeds (yep, the same as our beloved childhood chia pets). He goes through a lot of phases where he'll discover something new and completely obsess over it for a while, until the next thing comes around. Great for me because I get to tap in whenever I see something I like! He'd hate that last line but it's true, I'll take the chia seeds tip but leave the recycled bicycle inner tube iPhone cases.. Sorry dad, cool idea but I just don't like the texture or my hands smelling like rubber.

Back to Chia. It originated in South America and was a staple in the diets of ancient Mayans and Aztecs. Chia seeds were the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors; one tablespoon was believed to sustain an individual for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain and sore skin.

Chia is very rich source of omega-3 fatty acids (even more so than flax seeds), antioxidants, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. When added to water, chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach, slowing digestion; for dieters, this means consuming non-soaked chia seed leaves you feeling full with no more peaks and valleys in blood sugar levels. By soaking your chia seeds before consuming, you make them more easily digestible, allowing rapid transport of chia nutrients.

You can find Bob's Red Mill Chia Seed (about $10 for 1 lb) in natural food stores or find organic chia seed for even less on Amazon.

Ingredients:

Chia seeds (1 Tbsp for every 8oz of fluid)
Organic Just Tart Cherry Juice
Agave Nectar
Water


Of course you can use any type of just you'd like. I recommend getting something with no sugar added, that way you can add your own natural sweetener to taste.

I've read that there's no reason you can't soak the seeds directly into your juice mixture, but they seem to get more gel-like when I soak them in water first. Not really sure why, maybe it has something to do with the acidity in the juice. Again, use about 1 Tbsp for every 8 oz of fluid. I used about half water half tart cherry juice.


Make sure to stir the seeds at the beginning of their soak so they don't clump together, and allow 30 minutes to fully absorb. Chia seeds can hold up to 9-12 times their weight in water!

Mix the chia gel with your juice of choice and refridgerate. I like to add the agave as I pour individual glasses.

The seeds themselves add a slightly nutty flavor but it's more the texture (and energy level) that will get you hooked. As my dad says, "you can chew your juice!"

1 comment:

  1. So you likey the Chia ? Well drink up my sweet, you'll need the energy ...... For soon, you and all you love will be riding your bikes through broken glass! and nails! Just to get a chance at my ever so ginchy innertubeness wonders.... MooHa!

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