Cool Drinks: Mamma Chia


[Photo: Kathy YL Chan]

For a long time chia seeds were only stocked at health food markets, touted as a "superfood" with numerous health benefits. The seeds could be used in many different ways, easily blended into baked goods, and toasted and incorporated into salads. But now chia seeds have gone mainstream with texturally memorable Mamma Chia drinks.

What seems like a thousand (or even more!) chia seeds are hydrated in cold organic fruit juice blends with names like Blackberry Hibiscus, Cherry Lime, Cranberry Lemonade, and Raspberry Passion. The Blackberry Hibiscus is my favorite, with it's clean tart-and-sweet balance. They use agave nectar in place of sugar, and the texture is not far from what you find in Vietnamese basil seed drinks. Each tiny hydrated seed has a sightly crunchy center surrounded by a clear jellylike exterior. The slippery seeds alone don't have much flavor, but combined with the lightly sweet fruit juices, you have a tasty and unusual concoction. Did I mention that each bottle also has 10 grams of fiber?

Battery Place Market

77 Battery Place Market, New York, NY 10280 (map) 212-786-0077