Chia Fresca (Mexican Lemonade With Chia Seeds)

Chia fresca or lemonade
Rimma_Bondarenko / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
624 Calories
6g Fat
181g Carbs
19g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 624
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 50mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 181g 66%
Dietary Fiber 46g 165%
Total Sugars 71g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 858mg 4,292%
Calcium 461mg 35%
Iron 11mg 60%
Potassium 2652mg 56%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In Mexico, chia seeds are often stirred into fruity drinks where they turn gelatinous and add a nice texture to the beverage. Chia can also be used in breads and baked goods, but making chia fresca is one of the quickest, easiest, and a most delicious way to get some chia seeds into your diet.

When the seeds absorb enough liquid, the outer layer creates a gelatinous film around the seed, so you can drink it effortlessly. The seeds themselves have a grassy flavor if you crunch them open, but the jellylike coating keeps the seed intact, preventing the hydrated seeds from imparting any flavor to your beverage.


  • 12 ounces cold, fresh drinking water

  • 1 large lemon

  • 2 teaspoons sugar, or sweetener of choice

  • 1 teaspoon chia seed

  • Lemon, slice or wedge

  • Sprig mint

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pour water into a glass. Slice lemon in half and squeeze juice into water. Stir in sugar to taste.

  3. Stir chia seeds into lemon water and let sit for about 10 minutes. (During this time, the seeds will absorb water and become gelatinous.) Stir occasionally if seeds seem to be floating or falling to the bottom.

  4. To serve chia fresca, add a slice or wedge of lemon and/or a sprig of mint to glass for garnish. You can also add ice or place in refrigerator to chill.


  • To get the most juice out of a lemon, before cutting it roll the whole lemon back and forth on the counter while pressing down firmly. Rolling like this for about 10 seconds will help loosen up the juices inside.
  • Fresh chia seeds will float throughout the liquid, while older ones tend to sink to the bottom. It is fine if they sink, but you will just need to stir them up a bit to keep them evenly dispersed.
  • If you would like to make a pitcher of chia fresca, simply increase the ingredients to 48 ounces cold, fresh drinking water, 4 large lemons, 1/4 cup sugar or sweetener of choice, and 2 tablespoons fresh chia seed. Follow the directions for making one glass, adding ice if you prefer. Garnish with whole mint leaves, if desired. Mint is very strong and can be overpowering, so it's best to add it just before serving.

Recipe Variation

  • If using granulated sugar or piloncillo (Mexican raw, pure cane sugar), you may want to dissolve it in boiling water first to make a simple syrup—otherwise, it will take a while for it to dissolve in the cold water. Other sweeteners can be used, such as Natural Stevia drops, Equal, or Splenda; start with a small amount and add more to taste.

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