Category Archives: Chia Seeds DIY

How to Make DIY Chia Seed Juice

Chia seed juices for sale in stores can get pretty pricy. And making chia juice yourself is so easy. It takes just a few minutes of mixing, then you stick it in the fridge and let it sit overnight.

Chia Juice

Voila! Chia juice.

There are two ways to make chia juice. This first is a little more time consuming: it involves making your own fruit or vegetable juice in a juicer, then adding the chia seeds.

However, I don’t have a juicer at the moment (I hope to get one soon) so I use the ridiculously easy method: buy a good, natural 100 percent juice at the store and add chia seeds.

Here’s my recipe:

Homemade chia seed juice

  • 3 cups juice of your choice
  • 3 T chia seeds (black or white — your choice)
  • A Ball jar with a lid or drink shaker

Just pour the juice into the jar, add the chia seeds and shake hard for about a minute. Let the jar sit on the counter, coming back to shake it again every couple of minutes.

After about 15 minutes, put the jar in the refrigerator and let it sit for at least several hours. I like to let it sit overnight to make sure the chia seeds have absorbed as much liquid as they can.

Pour the juice into a glass or sport bottle, or just chug it out of the jar. That’s it.

So, now you’ll never have to pay almost $4 for a chia juice again, unless you want to.

So, what juices should you use for your chia juice? I made a delicious chia juice a few days ago using blueberry blackberry acai juice.

There are lots of other juices and juice combos that make great chia seed juice. Here are a few of my favorites:

R.W. Knudsen juices I like with chia seeds:

  • Cherry Cider
  • Kiwi Strawberry
  • Pineapple Coconut
  • Mango Peach
  • Razzleberry
  • Spiced Pear

Northland juices that work well for making chia juice:

  • Blueberry Blackberry Acai
  • Raspberry Pomegranate Goji
  • Berry Berry Maqui
  • Purple Power

So, try one of the above juices or use any juice you like. If you make your own juices, you have even more possibilities. Try a watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew chia juice. Or make your favorite combo: I think a lemon ginger orange apple juice would be great with chia seeds added. Or, add some chia seeds to a green juice to make a seriously nutritious beverage.

One other tip: if you save your bottles and lids from iced tea or bottled water, you can make chia juice in single serving bottles. Just fill each bottle almost full with juice and add one to two tablespoons of chia seeds. Then they’re ready to grab in single serving form whenever you’re heading out the door.

Do you have a favorite flavor of chia juice to make? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

 

The #1 Easiest Way to “Eat” Chia Seeds: in Water

Chia seed water is a delicious, easy-to-make and extremely hydrating drink. There are plenty of fun variations on chia water too, such as making flavored chia water or coconut chia water.

Chia seed water Photo: Janine
Chia seed water
Photo: Janine

You should put your chia seeds in the water a day ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge overnight for best results.

How to make chia water

It couldn’t be any easier to make this super healthy beverage. Here’s a a simple chia water recipe:

  • 3 cups filtered water*
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • A Ball jar with a lid or a beverage shaker

*Natural-Healthy-Eating.com recommends using water that has been filtered by reverse osmosis for maximum water absorption by the chia seeds. But I use regular filtered water from my fridge, and it works pretty well.

To make the water:

Put the filtered water in your jar or beverage shaker. Add the chia seeds. Close the jar and shake vigorously for about a minute. Let the jar sit, coming back every few minutes to shake until the water begins to thicken.  (It usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes.)

Put the jar of chia seed water in the fridge and let it sit for several hours or, better yet, overnight. By letting the water sit for a while, you give the chia seeds a chance to soak up the water and expand as much as they’re going to. Chia seeds are hydrophilic, meaning they’re like tiny sponges. They absorb 10 times their weight in water, and then they become gelatinous.

Once the chia water is ready, give it another good shake. Pour it into a glass, or a sports bottle — or drink straight from the jar.

Chia water with a twist: yummy variations 

You can jazz up plain old chia water with flavors, additions and garnishes.

My favorite twist is to use all-natural, unsweetened flavored water in place of regular water. I love Ayala’s Herbal Water. My favorite flavors are lavender mint, ginger lemon peel and lemongrass mint vanilla. Hint also makes a nice healthy flavored water.

Or, to save money, you can easily make DIY infused water by filling a pitcher with water and adding a fruit, vegetable or herb for a couple of hours, then removing the fruit or veggie after the water has absorbed the taste. Here are a few ideas for how to flavor your water:

  • Make cucumber mint water: add half a cucumber peeled and sliced plus one sprig of mint.
  • Make orange clove water: add a few orange slices and two or three whole cloves.
  • Make grapefruit lavender water: add half a grapefruit, sliced, plus one sprig of fresh culinary lavender. (I recommend doing this only if you grow your own lavender, so you can make sure it’s not treated with any pesticides.)
  • Make lemon water: add one lemon, sliced.

Another variation is to use coconut water. You can buy plain or flavored coconut water. (The one I like best: guava.) Coconut water is a great source of electrolytes and potassium, so combining it with chia seeds is doubly nourishing for you on a super hot day or before or after a workout.

Flavored chia water recipe

To make flavored chia water, just use the above recipe for basic chia water, substituting the flavored water for the plain filtered water. If you really want to get gourmet, throw in a few fresh blueberries or raspberries, or squeeze in some citrus juice (lemon, lime or orange) or add a garnish that works well with the flavor — for example, a stalk of lemongrass or a few curls of lemon zest.

The benefits of chia water

Chia seed water has several benefits. Here are two:

1. It’s a quick, easy way to get chia seeds in your diet. In water, they go down easily.

2. It can help you stay hydrated. According to the fitness site BreakingMuscle.com, downing chia seeds in water is a good way to keep your body hydrated for a longer period of time, and to get an energy boost. For that reason, chia water is especially good to sip before a run, or to tote with you to the gym or yoga class.

No matter how you slice it, chia seeds and water are a winning combination. Cheers!

 

Chia Gel: How to Make It, Store It and Use It

Chia Gel Photo: Larry Jacobsen
Chia Gel
Photo: Larry Jacobsen

You’ve probably heard of chia gel, but what exactly is it? Chia gel is simply a mix of chia seeds and water (or other liquid). The chia seeds absorb the liquid and become gelatinous, making the liquid very thick, almost like a natural Jell-O.

Store your chia seed gel in a jar in the refrigerator. It will keep for at least a week.

Basic Chia Seed Gel Recipe

It’s very easy to make chia gel, and it takes only a few minutes. You need:

  • Chia seeds
  • Water or other liquid
  • A bowl and a whisk OR
  • A Ball jar with a lid or a beverage shaker

To make the gel:

Mix 3 tablespoons* of chia seeds with three cups* of water in a bowl. Whisk the mixture, let it sit for a few minutes, then whisk again. Keep whisking every few minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.

Or, if you prefer, put the seeds and the water in  a Ball jar or other beverage shaker and shake vigorously, then come back and shake again every few minutes to keep the seeds from clumping together.

Once you’ve made your gel, it’s a good idea to put it in the fridge and let it sit a few hours, or preferably overnight, so the chia seeds can absorb the full amount of water. (They soak up 10 times their weight in water.) Before using the gel, give it another good shake.

*You can change the amounts of chia seed and water to make a thicker or thinner gel, if you like.

Chia gel variations

You don’t need to stick with the basic gel. You can mix it up and make flavored gel just by using a liquid other than water. Easy peasy. For example, you can use store bought or homemade fruit or vegetable juice. Or you can use coconut water. Or, you can use broth to make a savory gel that you can add to soups.

Flavored chia gel

Here are some ideas for liquids you can use to add pizzazz to your gel:

  • Apple juice
  • Blueberry juice
  • Coconut pineapple juice
  • Mango juice
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Concord or white grape juice
  • Homemade cantaloupe juice
  • Homemade watermelon juice
  • Guava flavored coconut water
  • Homemade carrot juice
  • Vegetable broth

Chia Gel Uses

Once you have your gel in the fridge, it’s ready to use any time you need it. Here are 5 ideas for how to use it:

1. Stir it into yogurt and top with chopped walnuts and fresh fruit for a breakfast or snack packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids (try blueberry flavored chia gel and fresh blueberries.)

2. Mix it into a beverage for a boost of energy and hydration. You can mix chia gel into water, coconut water, almond milk or juice. It makes a great pre-workout drink. (Try mango flavored chia gel mixed into guava coconut water.)

3. Mix it into oatmeal or another hot cereal during the last minute of cooking and top with fresh fruit and pumpkin seeds. (Try apple gel with apple chunks, cinnamon and raisins.)

4. Use it to thicken gravy or other sauce. Just stir a quarter to a half cup of chia gel into your sauce.

5.  Add to stews to thicken the broth a little bit. Try chia seed gel made with broth for added flavor.

Chia Gel Benefits

Chia gel has a variety of benefits. Here are a few:

Convenience. Having the gel onhand makes it super easy to add more chia seeds to your diet. The gel is always ready to be stirred into your food or drink.

Digestibility. By using chia that has been soaked already and has formed a gel, you make eating chia seeds easier on your tummy because the seeds won’t be absorbing water from your body and possibly causing stomach pain.

Hydration. Chia seeds are hydrophilic, meaning they absorb lots of water. When you eat (or drink) chia gel, the seeds have already absorbed the water or other liquid. According to nutritionist and author Sara Vance, chia gel can help prevent dehydration. The gel makes hydration last longer and helps the body retain electrolytes, according to Vance. So, have some as a pre-workout boost.

Chia seed gel is so easy to make and so beneficial that it’s good to always have a jar in your fridge.