This drink is not your ordinary fruit juice. Packed full of fibre, omega-3 and natural energy boosting goodness, we asked our GMB Nutritionist Melissa Fine to tell us a little more about CHIA.
While fruit juice - AKA sugar - is the main ingredient in your usual juice, chia seeds are the main ingredient in CHIA drinks, with organic hydrated chia seeds making up 75-90% of the product (flavour-depending). Most juices are also free from fruit skin and pulp, which means the beneficial fibre from the whole fruit isn’t retained; this leaves a large, highly concentrated amount of sugar behind, which means your blood sugar and energy levels can spike, and then quickly crash. CHIA drinks on the other hand are packed with slow-to-digest fibre, leave you feeling way more satisfied and energised than if you’d had a straight-up juice.
For one, it is one of the richest plant sources of the essential fatty acid omega-3, which amongst its many benefits has anti-inflammatory potential. While oily fish is the ultimate source of omega-3, this isn’t much help if you’re vegan or vegetarian…and not everyone loves salmon or sardines! Few foods are high in omega-3, but chia seeds are an exception, being one of the next best dietary sources of this important nutrient, along with walnuts and flaxseed.
Considering that the Western diet is lacking in omega-3, it might be worth chugging down a CHIA drink! Chia’s fibre content can help stabilise blood sugar, providing a steady energy release and assisting with appetite control. The fibre in chia also helps keep you regular and supports digestive health (note it’s worth following a serve of chia with a glass of water to propel things along)…Did we mention that omega-3 can add moisture back into dull, dry skin and hair? Bottoms up!
We recommending drinking your CHIA as a snack to sustain you between main meals, or try adding half a bottle to your breakfast smoothie. Great for endurance athletes too, the peeps this genius of a drink was initially designed for.
GF | DF | V | Serves 2 - 4
Add the 3/4 cup walnuts, 1 cup dates, 1 tsp melted coconut oil, 1/4 cup desiccated coconut and a pinch of Himalayan rock salt into a food processor and blitz until all broken down and combined.
Line the bottom of two 10cm mini spring form pans with baking paper.
Divide the mixture in half and press into each pan, forming the base of the tarts.
In a small pot add 1 tsp agar and 1/4 cup warm water, stir and leave to soak while you make the cashew layer.
For the cashew layer, add the 1/2 cup cashew nuts (soaked overnight), 2 tbs coconut cream, 4-6 tbs rice malt syrup, 1/4 tsp vanilla paste, pinch of Himalayan rock salt and 1/2 cup coconut milk into a blender and blend until smooth.
Bring the pot with agar in to a boil on a medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.
Add the cashew layer and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring continuously.
Once the mixture has become quite thick, remove from the heat and pour even quantities into each mini spring form pan. Place into the fridge to set.
For the CHIA layer, rinse out the pot and repeat as above. Add 1 tsp agar and 1/4 cup warm water, stir and leave to soak for a few minutes.
Bring the pot to a boil on a medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.
Add the 3/4 CHIA drink and rice malt syrup and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and pour into each mini spring form pan, ensuring that the cashew layer has set enough to hold the CHIA layer.
Place in the fridge and allow to set overnight.
Remove once fully set and serve cold.