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Chia Limeade Recipe

Chia Limeade Recipe


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This limeade recipe is made with a surprise superfood ingredient: chia seeds!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. black or white chia seeds
  • 1½ cups superfine sugar, plus more if needed
  • Lime wedges (for serving)

Recipe Preparation

  • Whisk chia seeds and 5 cups water in a pitcher. Let sit until seeds soften, about 10 minutes.

  • Add lime juice and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Add more sugar to taste if sweeter limeade is desired.

  • Divide limeade among ice-filled glasses. Garnish with lime wedges.

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

Nutritional Content

One serving contains: Calories (kcal) 120 Fat (g) 1 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 34 Dietary Fiber (g) 2 Total Sugars (g) 28 Protein (g) 1 Sodium (mg) 0Reviews Section

Pomegranate Lime Chia Fresca

Published: Mar 9, 2020 · Modified: Mar 4, 2021 by Kiersten · This post may contain affiliate links.

Don't buy expensive chia drinks when you can make your own! This Pomegranate Lime Chia Fresca recipe (also called iskiate) is super simple to make.

If you've never seen chia drinks in stores, you're probably giving me the side-eye right now. (Well, as much as you can give a blogger the side-eye—I can't see it, but I know it's happening!) But really, this is a thing! The first time I saw a bottle of juice with chia seeds in it, I assumed that:

a) It would be disgusting.
b) I would choke on it.
c) It was hippie food.

Maybe the last one is true, but it's not disgusting and I didn't choke on it. When hydrated, the outer layer of chia seeds becomes gelatinous. This gel-like coating means that chia seeds go down easy so no, this isn't like drinking a glass full of poppy seeds. Chia drinks (also called chia fresca or iskiate) kind of have the consistency of softened Jello, a bonus for me, since I don't eat Jello. And in a drink, the seeds don't really impart a flavor because you're not chewing on them, so you taste the flavor of the juice and nothing more. Chia seeds are little nutritional dynamos too—they're high in Omega-3s, antioxidants, and fiber, and unlike other seeds, they don't need to be ground in order to digest their nutrients. (Here's more information about chia seeds, if you're interested: Chia for Health.)


After trying my first chia drink, I quickly became hooked and began buying a bottle or two anytime I went shopping. But unfortunately, the bottled chia drinks are really expensive. After happening upon the bulk bin of chia seeds at Whole Foods and doing the math in my head, I realized that I would save a ton of money if I just made chia drinks myself. So that's what I've been doing ever since.

I used pomegranate and lime juice in this chia fresca recipe, but any kind of juice you want to use is fine. You can also adjust the amount of chia seeds to your liking—I used a little bit less than you find in most bottled drinks. Basically, to make your own chia drink, you simply put a few tablespoons of seeds in a glass, pour juice on top, and wait for the seeds to form a gel. Super easy!


Delicious, tart chia lime agua fresca, limeade (limonada) with chia seeds added. Whole limes are blended with water then strained which gives the drink a pronounced lime taste.

This method of preparation is common in the central part of the State of Chiapas. Prep time is only 5 minutes.

Our photographer’s mother prepared this for him regularly when he was a kid. This is a much healthier and tastier option than a soda to accompany your meal.

Cut off both ends of the limes then cut into quarters and remove the seeds.

Blend the limes, water, and sugar for 30 seconds.

Add the chia seeds to the lime water and let rest for 15 minutes. The chia seeds will absorb water, soften and turn into a gel.


Mint Chia Seed Limeade Recipe with Honey

Making it is simple. First, add 1/4 cup chia seeds to 6 cups of water. Mix together and let sit for about an hour so the chia seeds can gel a little. Meanwhile, combine the lime juice, honey and mint in a blender. Add the honey lime mint mixture to the chia water and stir to combine. Enjoy this beverage chilled.

It is normal for the chia seeds and the water to separate so always give it a little stir (or shake if you are storing in a bottle) before drinking. Feel free to garnish with an extra lime wedge and some mint.


Blueberry limeade is quick and easy to make. You’ll need water, limes, blueberries, and a sweetener of your choice. I like to use maple syrup to sweeten limeade because it dissolved effortlessly into the cold liquid. This refined sugar-free limeade can be made with either fresh or frozen blueberries. I usually opt for frozen blueberries because it makes it nice and cold without having to use ice. That being said, if you don’t have a blender, I recommend using fresh blueberries instead.

The easiest way to do this is to use more sweetener. I tend to like my limeade more tart, so that is how the ingredients in this recipe are portioned. To make this blueberry limeade sweeter, I recommend adding one tablespoon of sweetener at a time until you achieve your ideal taste.

I like to use maple syrup because it blends into the limeade so well. However, stevia or monk fruit sugar would be great sugar-free alternatives to sweeten this limeade recipe.


To begin making the Chia Seeds Shikanji Recipe, add chia seeds in 2 cups of water and mix everything properly. Keep it saide for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add sugar, lemon juice, 3 cup water, black salt, black pepper powder and mix till the sugar dissolves.

After the sugar dissolves, add in the Ice cubes, Chia seeds and Mint leaves. Mix properly and serve it in a glass. You can also use honey instead of sugar.

Serve Chia Seeds Shikanji Recipe along with Baked Mathri Recipe for your evening snacks. You can also serve fresh fruits along with this Shikanji to beat the heat in this Summer.


Chia honey limeade

At age 3, we started Peach in swimming lessons. We signed her up at a local swim club, highly praised for working with young children, easily acclimating them to water play and for training older kids in competitive swimming. While she loved to play in the water with Daddy when at various hotel or friends’ pools, Peach immediately shut down with the task at hand. Parents not being allowed in the water during class was the first and last strike for her. Eat was determined: we stuck it out through the entire 10-week course, only to finally give up going at the end when Peach had done nothing differently from the first class (though not trying to hang onto my legs poolside). A typical class involved her staring sadly at me or Eat, as the teacher held her, cajoled her with water toys to get her hair wet, and gently moved her limbs to simulate swimming, as if she would suddenly change her stubborn mind and try. It didn’t matter that the other kids in the class were having fun and learning, Peach was to have nothing to do with it.

Then Eat had a brilliant idea: peer pressure. During out first trial of swimming class, a friend from daycare arrived for a class after Peach’s. Seeing a familiar face changed her affect. It’s not that she started following the teacher’s instructions but she appeared happy that a friend was nearby.

And it worked. After another 2-3 month course of weekly swimming lessons, at age 4, Peach has become a regular water bug. She’ll get her hair wet without a whine. She’ll calmly lie supine in the bathtub at home, immersing her head enough to keep her nose above water but her wet hair softly waving underwater like a little mermaid. She will go underwater holding her breath, sink to the bottom on purpose, and not freak out upon resurfacing. She gets excited about going to class once a week.

softened chia seeds awaiting their destiny

While Peach’s swimming story is a platform for today’s post, it really doesn’t have much to do with chia honey limeade. Except that we all liked it, it’s perfect for summer, and chia seeds are like little swimmers that listen to peer pressure. They travel together, those chia seeds.


Recipe Tips And Ideas

Follow these tips to make sure that this chia fresca turns out perfect every single time!

  • Add apple cider vinegar to your chia drink. Some people like to add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar because it has enzymes in it that help them feel refreshed.
  • Use whole chia seeds. Either white or black chia seeds will work for this drink. If they are whole, they will taste better in the drink.
  • Store chia seeds correctly. If you bought more chia seeds than you will use at once (even after you made yourself chia bowls), keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They will stay fresh in the fridge for up to a year.


Limeade Green Smoothie Recipe

Yield: about 4 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

My twist on the Green Monster: limeade green smoothie. Filled with spinach, banana, ginger, green apple and lime, it's the perfect breakfast or snack.

Ingredients:

2 cups spinach
1 green apple, sliced
1/2 English cucumber, skin removed
1 banana
1 large lime, peeled and quartered
1/4-inch piece of fresh ginger root
1/4 cup non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
2 handfuls ice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a powerful blender, such as a Blendtec, and blend until smooth.

Cassie’s Notes:
Optional add-ins: 1/2 of an avocado 1 cup of kale in place of one of the cups of spinach 1 large pinch of cinnamon milk (soy, almond, cow’s milk, etc.) instead of Greek yogurt regular yogurt instead of Greek yogurt flax seed, chia seed, orange juice, pomegranate juice

Jar individual servings and store them in the refrigerator if you plan to drink the smoothies within a couple of days.

Make a couple of big batches ahead of time and store in the freezer. Set the smoothie 30-45 minutes before you plan to drink it I put mine in the fridge overnight and then take them out of the fridge when I get up in the morning they are perfectly thawed after a night in the fridge.

Disclosure: Blendtec provided me with a blender to review. I was not compensated for this review and, as always, all opinions are my own. I truly love this blender. This post contains affiliate links.


Chia Power

Since its publication in 2009, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall has brought a great deal of attention to chia fresca, or what the Tarahuma people call "Iskiate." Here's an excerpt from the book.

Billy Yang is a  runner who blogged about attending a book signing at which Chris demonstrated the making of Iskiate. Photos below by Billy Yang.

Who uses chia seeds?

Chia seeds are the main ingrediant in "iskiate," the chia seed drink of the Tarahumara people of northern Mexico.

Recently the New York Times published this series of images of the Tarahumara people by photographer Ruben E. Reyes who kindly gave me permission to republish one of his images, below.

From the article: Though his father’s family had come from an area about 50 miles away, Mr. Reyes was an outsider in the Copper Canyon, among the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental. He found the Tarahumara, who are known for their running prowess, living lives not wholly unlike their ancestors centuries ago, who fled to these elevations from the Spanish.

“They still had their own culture,” Mr. Reyes said. “It wasn’t Mexicanized.”

However, by the time he returned for several months in 2009 to photograph, Mr. Reyes saw signs of a cultural shift among the Tarahumara (also known as the Rarámuri). Men who had previously worn loincloths now wore jeans. Children, most of them now in school, were speaking Spanish, while their grandparents spoke only Tarahumara. People were leaving the canyon to seek work in the cities. 

Mr. Reyes did not photograph or see anyone consuming iskiate during his visit.

Chia Tea

This video gives you a sense of how chia seeds behave when added to a beverage. The seed coat expands to form a gel, and the seeds float throughout the drink, making a refreshing beverage similar to bubble tea.

"Chia seeds are a superfood that is receiving increasing attention, in part because of the Christopher Mcdougall book, Born To Run. I get mine at PuritansPride.com They are taste neutral, so I add them to tea, and they are neutrally buoyant, which makes them really cool to look at! Each tablespoon contains a gram of Omega 3, 2.5 grams of Omega 6, and because of their amazing water-absorbency, they provide long-term carbohydrates, with no spike or letdown, and a fantastic sustained hydration. I also think it is fun to chew on them!"

Tarahumara Living

Melissa's cute video is informative and has a couple of good chia drink recipes and includes a great Tarahumara cartoon. It's part of a series that she made for a college project, I believe.

But it has one error. Her  mother remembers drinking a chia beverage in Vietnam many years ago (at 1:25), but that drink was almost certainly made from basil seeds, not chia seeds.

From Doña Lupe's Kitchen

Gina Ruiz of  Doña Lupe's Kitchen makes Chia Fresca the authentic way, she adds chia gel to limeade. Here's the link to her recipe for this, and other traditional Mexican agua frescas.

Agua de Chia – Chia Seed Water

1 cup chia seeds (you can find these in the Mexican spices section of your supermarket, usually in a little pouch)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
Sugar to taste
2 quarts of water
Ice

Soak the chia seeds in two cups of water for 2-3 hours until they are soft and gooey. Chia seeds have a lot of gooey almost gelatinous goop on them when they are soaked.  That’s part of the fun. Think Boba in a very tiny form.

In a large glass jar or pitcher add the 2 quarts of water, the lemon juice and the now spongy, wet chia seeds.  Stir well and add sugar to taste and plenty of ice.  Before serving make sure to stir it well so that the chia seeds are floating throughout the whole jar.

10,000-year-old Red Bull

Christopher McDougall, author of the best seller, Born to Run, has recently published, on his blog, his thoughts about consuming the now famous chia drink, iskiate.

Wingfoot Iskiate

I really had this idea first, but didn 't have the nerve to try it, so Sheree and Tobias are the creators of this mix-in powder.

Just pour a packet into your bottle of water and shake for a few minutes. It makes a delicious chia seed drink, exactly like the beverage consumed by the Tarahumara!

Simple Chia Fresca Variation

NOTE: Real Chia Fresca is made with lemon/lime juice and a little sweetener. None of this Crystal Lite and seltzer. But this drink looks pretty appetizing to me.

Making Chia Gel

From the Mailbag: How to Grow Chia?

From: bjh
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 2:52 PM
To: mvc
Subject: Hello Margaret

I am a Family Practitioner from South Carolina and have been studying and using chia in my practice for almost a year now.  I ran across your web site this past Monday and have found it extremely helpful and fun.

I was wondering about the growth of Chia in areas outside of the Southwest.  I don't think there have been any successes, but just wanted to pose the question.   My husband is a horticulturist.  Two friends have been able to grow the plant, but weren't able to get seed production.

I have been extremely impressed with these seeds and have seen some very good results.  

Your friends' experience is the same as mine: my plants barely started to flower in late October and were hit by frost before they could set seed. This is because in chia (Salvia hispanica), flowering is determined by the length of daylight.

My colleague Ann, in Knoxville, Tennessee, has also been trying to grow chia. She wrote me on November 30:

I think I won't get any seeds from my experiment this year. The Salba plants and the S. hispanica seeds (white & blue flrs., respectively) have bloomed madly and I can see seeds forming, but the forecast is for a night in the 20s by the end of the week with chilly but not freezing weather until then.  A couple of light frosts have withered some leaves in the past week.  The plants grew HUGE, with plants nearest the street bowing into the street area. 

Chrysanthemums and Christmas cactus are other examples of plants that are triggered to flower only at that time of year when the nights are long and days are short, in the fall and winter. For plants growing in the tropics and subtropics, day-length can still play a role in flowering, but since frost is not an issue, the life cycle can be completed during the winter months. 

I have heard that scientists are trying to breed chia that is not daylength sensitive so that it can be grown in temperate zones.

In the meantime, I have a suggestion. Try growing a different species of chia: Salvia tiliifolia (Tarahumara chia). This is an attractive, fairly weedy plant that will self sow in northern climates. It is also the same chia plant that is used in iskiate by the famous long-distance runners, the Tarahumara people of Copper Canyon.

My friend, Dave recently grew some here on Long Island, so I'm sure you can grow it in South Carolina!