I've been using chia seeds for a while, sprinkling them into yogurt or oatmeal, as a good vegetarian source of omega-3s, high quality protein, and fiber. They don't taste like much or have a noticeable texture as a mix-in, which is why you can easily add them into almost any food. Recently I tasted a Mamma Chia Raspberry Passion drink and absolutely loved it. The seeds were hydrated so they became gel-like, kind of like the tapioca pearls in bubble tea. I immediately looked up how to make chia gel, which is super easy. Just add 2-3 tablespoons of chia seeds to 8 ounces of water, shake well, and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Chia seeds soak up to 10 times their weight in water, which transforms them into a gelatinous substance with multiple uses: as an egg replacement in baking, instead of eggs as a binder when making meatloaf or meatballs, or to thicken soups and sauces.
But I was most interested in adding them to smoothies. I don't like flaxseeds in shakes because they taste grainy, so I thought a chia gel might work perfectly! There were also a few other ingredients I wanted to add. One was Blue Hill's Carrot Yogurt, which is part of an innovative line of savory tart yogurts that have very little added sugars, so are low in carbohydrate. The other was Metamucil Fiber, made from a soluble fiber called psyllium that dissolves quickly. A teaspoon of this would add even more fiber along with the chia gel to help create a very filling and healthful shake.
My first taste of the yogurt wasn't great...sour! I have to admit I grew up loving Columbo Strawberry yogurt, which is full of sugar. I now eat mostly Greek yogurt but still choose sweeter versions, so this took getting used to. To tame the tart, I added frozen banana and the orange-flavored Metamucil Fiber. Much better. As I started snapping photos of the shake, I wanted a deeper color so on a whim threw in some turmeric. I know that sounds crazy but what a cool discovery, because it deepened and enhanced the existing flavors! The result was a very tasty and savory shake with a hint of sweetness and with a thick filling texture from the chia gel. Awesome.
Chia Carrot Smoothie
1 container Blue Hill Carrot or Sweet Potato Yogurt
3 tablespoons chia gel
1/2 frozen banana
1 teaspoon Metamucil Sugar-Free Orange Fiber
Soy or almond milk to thin out, as desired
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
*Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth
I made a large batch and noticed the next day that the leftovers had thickened even more, so I brought it to work as a delicious yogurt 😀.
Disclosure: I've partnered with P&G on this sponsored post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. You can find more information at MetaWellness.com.