Radiant Recipes: Chia Fresca (Iskiate)

Greetings readers!

I know it has been a long time since I have posted any recipes but I have been so excited to write about other stuff, the poor recipes got pushed to the back burner.

Well no more! Today we will be discussing a fantastic indigenous beverage that tastes great and gives you a big energy boost. Chia fresca (also called iskiate in Tarahumara) is a drink made with very few ingredients that has been giving many Mexican and Guatemalan folks energy since before the colonization of those lands. It is believed that the Aztecs (among other peoples) used chia fresca as a nutritional concoction and anyone who has read Born to Run knows of the Tarahumara tribe using solely this drink as their sustanance for 100-mile ultra marathons.

Many of you health folks are well acquainted with this little seed but here are some nutritional facts:

  • Chia seeds contain what is called a “complete protein”, meaning they don’t have to be combined with any other proteins to give the body what it needs.
  • They possess a combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber, witch slows down the conversion of starches into sugars in your body.
  • Chia seeds contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (which are hard to come by in a vegetarian/vegan diet)

Are you in love already? If not, try making some chia pudding and see what you think. Choosing Raw has a great chia recipe page and you can start there, experimenting with your favorite flavors!

But back to this chia fresca. This stuff is great. It is super cooling during the summer and so refreshing. My husband and I made it everyday we were on our honeymoon in Mexico. We were housesitting at a place with a lime tree in the garden so when the 110 degree afternoons came around (and they always did), we would sip some of this to get us through the heat spell.



  • 8 ounces purified water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sweetener (I find maple syrup to be best but yacon syrup, coconut syrup, honey, stevia, agave or brown rice syrup would be fine)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint (optional)

Combine all ingredients except the chia seeds and stir well. Adjust lemon/lime juice and sweetener to taste. Add chia seeds, stir and wait about ten minutes. If the seeds are separating too much, stir every few minutes. Add a slice of lemon/lime and/or a sprig of mint as garnish. Enjoy!


[photo from No Meat Athlete]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s