I have to admit, this is not my recipe AT ALL and I need to give full credit where credit is due.
My daughter developed these after badgering me for the chia fresca drinks we have been seeing in the supermarket.
But as much as they are touted as a health drink, they are packed with sugar. So she developed a sugar-free berry chia fresca.
What is a fresca?
Chia fresca is a drink generally made with chia seeds, juice, and sugar.
Chia drinks are often sold as a superfood, a super smoothie or a tonic.
What is a superfood?
I personally don't call anything a superfood with miraculous benefits, but I do think chia is a wonderful addition to your diet, whether it be in a chia breakfast, sprinkled over cereals or added to smoothies.
So many food and drinks are touted as health foods, and I know I harp on about this, but please do not believe the marketing hype and health claims - learn to read nutrition labels and become an ingredient ninja.
Get into the habit of reading the back of the packaging (nutrition labels) not the front (marketing and advertising).
Chia seed benefits
Chia seeds were popular for the Aztecs as the original "superfood". These incredible little seeds are high in protein and fibre for their weight, high in plant-based omega 3, swell and become gelatinous in liquid, and impart no flavour to recipes.
Chia is relatively high in protein for its weight. Just 1 tbsp chia provides 2 g protein.
But you'll notice the sugar-free berry chia fresca actually isn't very high in total protein. It only contains 2 grams.
The claim of chia being a good source of protein is only per weight. So unless you're going to eat a large volume, it is negligible.
So don't go buying specialty foods (breads, wrap, muesli bars etc) that claim they contain chia as a good source of protein. There are far better sources of protein such as meat. There is a variety of quality protein sources for vegetarians too.
Ways to use chia
If you have a large bag of chia, you may wish to try these recipes too.
Sugar Free Berry Chia Fresca
- Using a blender or smoothie maker, blitz the frozen berries, sweetener and water with the blade until all the berries have been pureed.
- Adjust sweetness to your taste.
- Add the chia seeds and pulse a couple of times to break some of the chia seeds up (this helps them swell) or if you like whole chia seeds in your drinks, simply add them then shake or stir.
- Allow the sugar free berry chia fresca to sit in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to allow the chia seeds to absorb the water and swell.
- Shake once or twice to distribute the swollen chia seeds.