Sip on this lemon chia fresca, a refreshing lemonade-like drink with chia seeds that’s great for energy and boosting your metabolism.
While staying in Tulum I quickly noticed that every restaurant had some sort of aqua fresca and/or fresh juice on the menu. Laurel and I took advantage of this and tried a ton of unique combinations. I think one of my favorites was a tamarindo drink with habanero that I ordered at Restaurare on evening. It was sweet, spicy and so refreshing after a day in the sun!
Back at home I’ve been missing those fun drink options so I started playing around with infusing water and even got some tamarindo from nuts.com to try making agua de tamarindo. I haven’t experimented with it yet, but I’m excited to try my hand at it.
Anyhow, all of these new drink ideas inspired me to try making a chia fresca. If you’re unfamiliar, a chia fresca is simply water and/or juice mixed with chia seeds. The idea originated in Mexico as Ancient Aztec warriors and long-distance runners would use chia seeds to provide sustained energy for long periods of activity. Mixing the seeds with water is like making a homemade energy drink!
Today people use chia frescas to stay fueled and hydrated for exercise but also as a replacement for plain water, tea or coffee. So instead of opting for a cold brew to get you through your afternoon energy slump, you can sip the refreshing lemon chia fresca I’m sharing today.
No only does the chia fresca have a delicious sweet lemon favor (without any actual sugar), it’s super hydrating and the cayenne pepper gives your metabolism a little boost. Of course, you’re also getting all the health benefits of the chia seeds. The healthy fat, protein and fiber no only give you sustained energy, but they help to stabilize blood sugar levels and give you that full feeling. No more raiding your snack drawer all afternoon!
This basic lemon chia fresca recipe was actually inspired by Suja’s Lemon Love juice with lemon, stevia and cayenne pepper. It’s like a healthy lemonade and one of my favorite treats to buy at my local health food store. I’m hooked on this combo, but I have a feeling I’ll be experimenting more this summer with different chia fresca flavors too. There are endless variations to play around with!
- 12 ounces of cold water*
- 2 Tablespoons - ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2-3 teaspoon chia seeds
- 5-6 drops liquid stevia (or 2 teaspoons maple syrup)
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a glass and let sit for about 15 minutes in the fridge so the chia seeds have a chance to absorb some of the liquid and “gel” up. Enjoy immediately or save for later. Can be made ahead of time as the mixture should last at least 2-3 days in the fridge.
If you’re not a fan of drinking chia seeds because of the texture you can always get fill through other means… maybe these chia breakfast cookies or chia jam!