In the remote mountainous regions of Oaxaca, Mexico, you can get a kind of lemonade made with whole chia seeds. It's called "chia fresca."
The chia seeds float around in the liquid and the gelcoat becomes concentrated with lemonade flavor. The seeds slide down real easy, and the drink is delicious and refreshing. (I've made it for a few friends who have said they really enjoy it.)
In the glass, chia fresca looks something like this:
It's Basil Seed Drink (with Honey)!
Last week, I found a can of this drink at my local oriental grocery for only $.89.
Like Lori in Champaign, Illinois, I found the drink to be a little too sweet for my liking, with a very strong artificial banana flavor from isoamyl acetate (which, BTW, was not listed on the label!!!)
Botanical fact: Chia and basil both belong to the mint family.
Which raises some interesting questions:
- Do all members of the mint family have these gelcoated seeds?
- Are seeds of other members of the mint family made into drinks?
- If basil seeds are used in any other food products (like ice cream), can chia seeds be used in the same way?
- Did the inventors of basil seed drink get the idea from chia fresca? (Or was it the other way around?)
- Do a taste test: Basil seed drink or chia fresca? Which tastes better? Which is most nutritious?
If you want to read more about basil seed drinks, I've collected a set of links:
Basil seed drink reminds these folks of slurping frogs eggs!
Sterchlia with basil seed drink. A variation on a theme.
Homemade basil seed drink was poured out on the grass.
Nutritional label for basil seed drink. I believe it is wrong. It doesn't list fat or protein, which we know must be present in the seed.
Or you can buy some seed here and make your own!
If you have tried basil seed drink, why not leave me a comment? Thanks!