Recently, I read the book “Born to Run” and really enjoyed it. Along with the fascinating tales of the fast, long-distance Tarahumara runners wearing nothing on their feet but thin rubber soles attached with leather straps, their cultural kindness and almost painfully strong humility, and their natural amazing athleticism, I learned about a few of the foods native to their people. One of these intriguing concoctions was Iskiate, or Chia Fresca, which is made very simply by soaking chia seeds in water with a bit of sweetener and some lime juice. The stories of the powers of chia seeds dates back to Aztec times, when people would bring chia to their king as gifts, and this beverage is supposed to give the drinker a magical boost of energy. Actually chia seeds are very high in protein, good fats, fiber, and the essential minerals phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium and sodium. Even though making Iskiate is supposed to be simple, I wanted to find a recipe and found one on this site.
Here’s what the chia seeds look like close up:
At best, they look like little pebbles, at worst, bugs. But they make you super human, so I pressed on. I had ten ounces of water left in my water bottle, so I measured out a tablespoon of chia seeds and tossed them in there, with a splash of lime juice. I wanted to try it without sweetener, so I didn’t add any. I shook it up, and set the timer for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes had passed, the seeds had separated, with a layer on top and a layer on the bottom. I shook the bottle and let it sit for another 5-10 minutes.
The reason you let the chia seeds soak in the water is because they start to soften and form a gelatinous kind of goo around them, which is supposed to help with digestion of the nutrients. I imagined it to be similar to the Chinese bubble tea tapioca drinks that are popular nowadays. Those don’t look super appetizing either, but they’re not bad. After my second waiting period, I poured my superfood into a glass. Mmmmm.
Honestly, I didn’t expect this to taste gross, and it didn’t. It just doesn’t look that pretty. I think it would have been more refreshing if the water were chilled, but it was pretty nice, just the same. I imagine you could mix the chia seeds with almost any kind of liquid you wanted and it would be fine – some people don’t care for the texture so they add the seeds to their smoothies instead. I’ll definitely be experimenting more with chia seeds in the near future. Guadajuko (cool)!
Navitas Naturals Chia Seeds, 16-Ounce Pouches