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 tablespoon 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.
Chia is incredibly useful to thicken liquids, make puddings, berry jam and adding to seeded bread and crackers.
Ways to use chia
If you have a large bag of chia, you may wish to try these recipes too.
Please rate this recipe.
Sugar-Free Berry Chia Fresca Recipe
- 500 ml (2 cups) water
- 25 g (¼ cups) frozen berries I used raspberries
- 2 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2 tablespoon granulated sweetener of choice or more, to your taste
- 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.
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Approximate nutrition information is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. For the most accurate nutritional data, use the actual ingredients and brands you used in your preferred nutrition calculator.
I have noticed that frozen berries have sugar. Is still okay to use them. Or where can you find frozen berries with no sugar
All berries have some form of sugar but they are generally the lowest sugar fruit and are nutrient-dense, so are a good choice to make. How many berries (and which variety you choose) depends on your goal and carb limit you have set.
frozen your own berry always better
This isn't related directly to the recipe but is indirectly,
i hear people saying they are doing low carb, others are doing Keto and others LCHF - Iisn't that the same as Keto? If not, what's the difference ???
Great question - they are all dependant on how many carbs you eat daily. Low-carb can also be referred to as LCHF, low-carb healthy fat. Moderate low-carb is generally considered to be less than 100g net carbs per day, low-carb is less than 50g net carbs per day and keto is generally considered to be less than 20g net carbs per day.
Another plus that the chai seed brings to the table is the healthy dose of omega 3 so I always look for ways to add some into my day. This looks fantascic...will definitely be trying it.
Hi Libby- Would there be any reason you couldn't use fresh raspberries? Aldi had decent looking ones for sale. I love that store! Thanks!
Go for it. Buy whatever is on sale and enjoy. Most berries are low sugar. Raspberries 5g net/100g, strawberries 6g, blackberries 5g, blueberries 11g (so go easy on these).
It is so good I mixed raspberries and strawberries and blackberry easy on blackberry or you won't taste other berry flavors as well
I'll definitely try this soon. Any recommendations for adding more fat to this? Avocado? Coconut? Cream?
Definitely coconut cream, that would be lovely, creamy and is 25% fat.
Hi again. If you added coconut cream, would that be instead of some of the liquid or in addition to what's in the recipe? Thanks!
I would use the coconut cream in replacement for some of the water. It may take a little experimenting to see if you want 50:50 water:coconut or more or less depending on how thick you like the fresca to be.
Could I make these ahead for grab n go breakfasts? How long would it last in fridge?
Thx! Looks delicious
Yes that would be a great breakfast on the go idea. I imagine it would last a couple of days in the fridge. It may settle a little so give it a quick shake or stir and you're good to go 🙂
Looks good, but I'm trying to keep carbs at 30 or lower so that makes this rather high carb. Is it the chia that adds the carbs this?
Don't forget to subtract the fibre count to get the bet carbs 2.5g doesn't sound quite as bad!
You mentioned in this column that cold meats are a good source of protein. What kind of cold meats are you talking about - like leftover roast and chops, or things like deli ham, turkey and roast beef. Are those considered processed meats & what is your feeling about them? Some say pepperoni & salami & cold cuts are ok, others discourage including them. Thank you for the clarification, the drinks look interesting.
Any cold meat that comes from the bone/roast dinner is superb, whether it is from the deli counter or last nights dinner. As for processed meats, I always choose the leat processed meat I can find, so for example I will always choose ham off the bone and not pre formed circular or square ham that has goodness knows what added to it. The same goes for salami or pepperoni, take a look at the nutrition label and try to find one that only has a few ingredients, 95% or more meat and so less fillers, preservatives or other nasties. All the studies that state that processed meat raises your risk of cancer and other diseases, do not differentiate between meal of hotdog and chips (unsafe) and a good old fashioned ham off the bone. The side of fries cooked in highly processed seed oils are doing just as much damage, if not more. So stick to meat that has had minimal intervention and you won't go far wrong.
Thx for info so many ppl need to get this
Hello I am new to your site. This looks delicious and I look forward to trying it now that the weather is warming up here (NW USA). I was wondering if you have any ideas to make low-carb gummy bears/gummy treats. I am interested in consuming more gelatin and thought that would be a fun way to do so but am unsure where to start. Thank you for all the information you provide!
No I haven't but what a great suggestion. I'll look into it - watch this space.
This is awesome! Well done to your daughter! (Was she also the one that helped develop the mug cakes?)
Yes, you clever thing for remembering that. She is so brilliant in the kitchen. She chose not to do cooking at school this year as it took them 3 lessons to plan then 3 lessons to cook gingerbread men!!! Seriously, she can whip up a couple of items whilst I'm making dinner.
This looks interesting! What is the finished consistency? Is it runny, or thick like a shake?
It is about as thick as a milkshake but not a thick shake if that makes sense?
Looks very good, well done to your daughter for coming up with this.
She's a clever girl. Maybe my recipe developer in training 😉
i have found one product that could be used also and that is barkers unsweetened black currant juice. 1 ingredient only.