Yesterday I made an extremely rare visit to a leading big box “health” food store. While there I quickly starting scoping the various aisles for new product ideas. Looking at the refrigerated beverage section I saw a bottled chia seed beverage. For those that don’t know, chia seeds are being pushed as a sort of super food. I’m not sure if they are a super food, but their nutritional profile is pretty good.
While I’m glad that different kinds of food and beverage are getting some recognition, I am amazed at how pricey these things are. I support cottage industry and I definitely support small-scale producers. What I don’t support, however, are a few brands taking over a “niche” market. For example, I have been told that my pickled okra is too expensive at $5.00 a pint. That’s because people can find mass-produced “pickles” at the locally grocery store for half the price. I would argue that local, small-scale producers use superior ingredients and also support other local producers and markets. Now with people accustomed to paying $2.50 a pint for pickled okra, there is a barrier to entry for small-scale producers. Consumers are left with supporting the large-scale producers or search for competing markets. (This leads to a different topic for a different article.)
Back to chia seed drinks!
While seeing chia seeds floating in a glass bottle brought a smile to my face, I was saddened at the reputation that this sort of drink would now get. Just like kombucha has been solidified as a health food or bourgeois novelty, the delightful chia seed elixir will be as well.
Instead of sitting idly by, I would like to a share a basic adaptation of a Chia Seed drink that I started making after I read Thrive Nutrition by Brendan Brazier. I also suggest picking up Pinole Recipes by Matt Frazier. This book has a number of recipes using chia seeds.
Basic Chia Seed Elixir
Soak one teaspoon of chia seeds in ten ounces of water. Let sit for ten minutes and then add the juice of one lime. Sweeten with agave, stevia, or honey to taste. The last step is optional as I generally skip the sweetener.
I use this recipe more as a guide. I have used many other juices and have even left the juice out. Experiment to your palate’s content.
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