Orange Chia Refresher – Gluten-free, Vegan + Sugar-free

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For the last 4 weeks, I have been working on a running program. A gradual build-up to a 5K for beginner runners, such as myself. It is an 8 week program, so this week marks the halfway point. So far I am really loving it. First time in my entire life I have tried running and I actually didn’t adamantly HATE it.

I think the biggest difference for me, is with now living here in California, every single run brings the sun shining it’s amazing rays down on me, I am surrounded by the beautiful views of the ocean, lagoon, palm trees, amazing birds, etc. These amazing surroundings has really changed running for me.

That being said, the thing I have found most challenging is being alone with my thoughts. What I enjoy about yoga is with the practice being a moving meditation, it is a wonderful way to get out of my head for a while. I don’t look at yoga as an escape from my life, but a time to acknowledge, express gratitude and strengthen, in more ways then one. I am able to shut off the constant chatter in my head and my inner voice telling me that “I can’t” or “I am not good enough”. Instead I just am. I just do. It is such an amazing thing. Yoga has taught me to not just ignore those thoughts as they arise, but to acknowledge them and the place they are coming from, then set them aside and focus on my breath and being.


With running, I haven’t quite gotten there, yet. However, that is part of what I like about running, the time it gives me to think. To really focus on the things in my head, process them fully without distractions and deal with them in whatever way needed. There are lots of thoughts swirling in my head when I run, good and bad. So different from yoga, but a really nice compliment.

Sometimes I have deep thoughts when running and sometimes I think about food and recipes. The idea for this Orange Chia Refresher came to me during a run and I couldn’t wait to make it and share it with you guys. Based on the response on my Facebook page when I asked who would be interested, you guys couldn’t wait either.

In looking around, I realized I didn’t exactly have some unique idea on my run, I discovered a drink like this has existed in Mexico for a long time. They call it a chia fresca. I don’t recall ever seeing this, but either way I guess it was in my subconscious.  This drink could be made with lemon, lime or grapefruit and be just as tasty, plus I bet it would also be amazing with a sparkling water. First time I tried chia seeds in a drink, was in kombucha and I wasn’t a huge fan. However, I do think there were WAY too many seeds in it, so it was super thick and weird. I went light on the seeds with this, but feel free to add as much or as little as you’d like and sweeten according to your own preferences. I find with these measurements, you end up with a delicious water drink that isn’t overwhelmed with seeds and isn’t thick or chunky. I particularly enjoy drinking this with a straw.

Chia seeds are a super food that provides a variety of wonderful health benefits. It a nutshell – by adding just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to your daily diet it will give you approximately 7 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, and a whopping 5 grams of omega-3! OK, I won’t go into a huge rant about all of the many benfits of chia – instead I will ask:

What is your favorite benefit(s) of chia seeds? 

Orange Chia Refresher - Gluten-free, Vegan + Sugar-free

[print_this]Orange Chia Refresher – Gluten-free, Vegan + Sugar-free
Makes 1 drink

  • 12 ounces (1 1/12 cups) of cold filtered water
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (grapefruit, lime or lemon would also be amazing)
  • 2-3 teaspoons whole chia seeds
  • Sweetener to taste (stevia, maple syrup, sugar, etc)

Pour water and orange juice into a glass jar with a lid (or a glass), add the chia seeds. Put the lid on and shake very well to combine (or stir if in a glass). Let stand for 10-15 minutes to let the chia seeds do their thing and get all puffy.

Take a quick sip and add sweetener to taste, shake (or stir) again, well to combine. Add ice and an orange garnish and enjoy.

*Fresher seeds will float throughout the liquid, while older ones tend to sink to the bottom. If they sink, that is totally ok, you will just need to stir them up a bit to keep them evenly dispersed as you are drinking it. [/print_this]

**Please don’t be turned off by the odd color of this drink in the photos, as the seeds soak, settle and swell even more, you will see the pretty and subtle orange hue more than the color of the seeds. I happened to only have black chia seeds on hand, but I bet white seeds would be even prettier.

Did you make this recipe - or any others from the TY archives?

Share your photos on Instagram, tag @bethmanosbrickey and include the hashtag #tastyyummies

14 Responses

  1. My husband just finished “Born To Run” and is pretty excited about trying Chia seeds before running to see if they can enhance his running. I’m just excited that they are supposed to give you more energy. Can’t wait to try them.

    • tastyyummies says:

      Hey Lynn, what is Born To Run? Ironically after I posted this recipe I actually came across something that said they were supposed to supply you with more energy and would be great for running. Given the topic of this post, I thought I should edit the post and add that in. (Which I have done)
      Maybe I will try adding some to my morning warm lemon water that I drink before I run. Could be the perfect addition.

  2. Kalinda says:

    I really enjoy chia seed drinks. I love the weird not-quite-set-Jell-O texture. The husband thinks it’s completely gross. I think you either love it or hate it.

    • tastyyummies says:

      Kalinda, I agree definitely a love it or hate it thing. My husband is quite the “texture eater” and he tried it and liked it. I was surprised as he hates chia pudding.

  3. Nikki Aragnastio says:

    I am like you, I think SO much when I run but thats why I am so into it. I can really get in there and get some good vibes going. Its a fantastic way for me to focus on the positive and rejoice and life! This chia refresher looks so yum! I am gonna try it before my run tomorrow. thanx

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks for sharing, glad I am not alone in thinking too much! I love your idea on focusing on the positive. Thanks again Nikki.

  4. Victoria C. says:

    I am not a yogi but I am a runner. That same serene calm meditative state you talk about with yoga is what I have found in my running. I can shut off the entire world and just be. Me, my breath and nature. It’s incredible.

  5. Alissa N says:

    It is so awesome that you are working up to run a 5k. I really want to do the same, and have been thinking signing up for one of the Disney runs would be good motivation. Gorgeous photos!

    I love chia seeds. I have had them sitting around in my pantry for what feels like forever, but I only recently started to make an effort to incorporate them into my every day. I had sort of a mood slump a few weeks back, and I started sprinkling chia seeds over everything. I swear that it had an enormous positive impact on my mood!! I heard someone suggest making bubble tea with chia seeds, which is sort of what you did here. It looks fantastic. I just signed up for a CSA and I am getting a grapefruit this week that I had no idea what I was going to do with. This is the perfect use!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Haha I literally just said to my hubby the other day that I wanna do a 5k this summer, a 10k in the fall and try to work up to a half marathon by January 2014. That’s when they do the Tinkerbell half marathon at Disney 😉 What better way to run my first marathon right?
      I have heard chia seeds are great for mood boosting and energy, etc. I have to pay a little more attention when I have them and see. Hope you enjoy this if you make it. I am gonna try having this before my morning run tomorrow actually.

  6. This drink looks so refreshing! I’ve been wanting to try to make something like this recently, but you’ve done the work for me 😉

  7. Janet Fazio says:

    I have to admit, I have been put off by the chia seed appearance, although I know they don’t really have a taste of their own. I’m runner and chia seeds are so hydrating. I may try it in my water bottle on long runs rather than a sports drink.

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