Years ago when I was living in New York, I discovered chia seeds. I can’t remember why I bought them, or how I’d heard about them. But in any case, I bought a bag and we started using them, and never looked back. There’s always a bag in my cupboard now. I hadn’t actually thought about that until I was whipping up this Apple Cider Chia Fresca. I couldn’t remember a time when chia seeds weren’t part of my day, so I had to think really hard! It’s pretty obvious I am a die-hard chia fan and so I was happy to partner with Bob’s Red Mill to bring you this delicious, fall-flavored Chia Fresca made with Bob’s Whole Seed Chia.
About a week ago, I went on a quick trip to Southern California with one of my favorite people, Kelly Pfeiffer, of Nosh and Nourish. We spent a few days immersing ourselves in a food photography and styling workshop with Todd Porter and Diane Cu-Porter, a.k.a. White On Rice Couple. While we were there, we stayed in a darling little beach house just a block from Newport Beach. It was sort of one of those “pinch me!” moments. The workshop itself deserves its own post – stay tuned!
The day we arrived, we settled in to the house and went for an extra long walk along the beach, taking in the smell of the ocean, the soft sand between our toes, and the breathtaking sunset. Honestly, that’s all I needed. Just to be on the sand, listening to the waves was all I needed. The water was soooo cold. I never even changed into my swimsuit – ha!
The next night after our workshop, we packed a picnic and headed to the beach again. It had been awhile since I had a picnic at the beach. And naturally, because I adore the ocean, I wondered why it is again I live in a land-locked state and not on the coast. I think I could get used to a nightly stroll on the beach. :)
Kelly made some TASTY Pumpkin Cookie Dough Balls (pictured in the upper right corner) to bring on our picnic. We also added fruit, cheese, and a few other yummy things, and thoroughly enjoyed our meal while we watched the sun dip below the horizon. Kelly is one of those people that you instantly love. She’s easy to talk to and has had such an interesting life! Not to mention we both love food and photography. (Have you pre-ordered her gorgeous new cookbook yet?!)
This Apple Cider Chia Fresca was just the thing to bring with us to the beach. As the name suggests, this drink is very refreshing. Chia fresca is really nothing more than a beverage made from fruit juice and chia seeds. You can make them out of just about any juice under the sun. (I often use home-brewed kombucha too!) But for this one, I just had to bring in some fall flavors – even in warm, sunny California, sitting on the beach!
Chia seeds are one of my favorite superfoods because it packs a big nutritional punch, and I pay attention to things like that. The fruit juice is hydrating and the chia seeds have protein and omega-3 fatty acids. This is a great natural energy drink or a way to replenish your stores after a long day, which was my goal.
Now some more about this yummy fall drink! I tried both fresh pressed apple cider and bottled apple juice. The verdict? Use whatever you can find and/or like the best. Both were delicious. The pomegranate juice adds gorgeous color and a lovely tart and tangy flavor. Adding a pinch of cinnamon is what took this into the realm of autumn – it’s a must! I really love sipping this out of a straw. You get the full effect of the chia seeds. They swell up many times their size in the liquid and taste like happy little bubbles on your tongue. So delightful! Here’s another little secret – I spiked our chia fresca with a little vodka, but it’s just as good without. I tested the recipe with dark rum, too, and it was very delicious. So you know, options. ;)
And if you’re not planning a beach trip (wah, wah, wah) this would be just the thing to take on a jaunt to the mountains or to sip while you’re sitting on your back porch watching the leaves fall gently to the ground below.
Looking for more fall-inspired recipes? Check out these favorites from my archives:
–Apple Variety Guide
–Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Fresh Sage
–Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Apple Bake
–Gluten-Free Oat Apple Pecan Bars
–Rustic Autumn Glory Apple Galette
–Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Apples and Thyme Viniagrette
–Brandied Apple Pie
A big thanks to Bob’s Red Mill for helping make our little trip extra fun!
- ¼ cup Bob's Red Mill Chia Seeds
- 16 ounces apple cider
- 8 ounces pomegranate juice
- 4.5 ounces vodka (optional)
- Crushed ice
- In a large measuring cup, stir chia seeds into the water. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes until a gel forms. Stir in the apple cider, pomegranate juice, and rum.
- Place crushed ice into four large glasses (or mason jars). Divide the apple cider mixture between the glasses. Top with ginger beer. Stir and drink.
-Substitute rum or bourbon for vodka
-Substitute sparkling or hard cider for apple cider, or add ginger beer for a fizzy variation
-Substitute cranberry juice for pomegranate juice
Disclosure: This recipe was developed in partnership with and sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill, a brand a love and use on a daily basis in my kitchen. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.