Watermelon Chia Fresca is an easy Mexican-inspired drink to make whenever you're lucky enough to have fresh melon on hand.
Sometimes the best thing in the world is a fruity, hydrating beverage. This is especially true when it's hot out.
I first learned about Chia Frescas, which is similar to Agua Frescas, when I was working as an oncology dietitian. I spent a lot of time encouraging people to eat chia seeds because they're so rich in fiber and plant-based omega 3 fatty acids. Chia seeds also have protein and minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
Chia seeds are nutritious, and they also have a thickening effect that adds a little more substance to this watermelon drink. According to the website, Mexican Food Journal, Chia Fresca is common in the central part of the State of Chiapas, Mexico.
Watermelon Chia Fresca Ingredients
The ingredients for this summery mocktail or breakfast drink are pretty simple.
- Chia seeds - Look for them in the bulk section.
- Water - Whatever you normally use for drinking water is fine
- Seedless watermelon - You'll need about half of a melon (feel free to double the recipe and use the whole fruit)
- Fresh mint leaves - This adds all of the refreshing herb flavors.
- Lemon or lime - For a little brightness and acidity.
- Salt - Because everything's better with a little salt.
How to Make Watermelon Chia Fresca
There are three main steps to make this Watermelon Chia Fresca recipe.
- Prepare the chia gel
- Blend the fruit with mint and salt
- Mix the chia gel and the watermelon water together and serve
Stir chia seeds and water and set aside for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the chia seeds from separating from the water.
After about ten minutes, the chia water will thicken and form a gel.
Before you do anything with the chia water, add watermelon, mint, lemon or lime, and salt to your blender and blend on high until the mixture is smooth and liquidy.
At this point, you can pour in the chia gel and pulse a couple of times, or until the chia seeds are evenly mixed with the watermelon water.
To serve, divide the Chia Fresca between glasses and garnish with more fresh mint leaves if desired.
Can you make Watermelon Chia Fresca ahead of time? What's the best way to store it?
Chia Fresca is a great meal prep recipe to make in advance. Store Chia Fresca in a pitcher or jar with a lid and refrigerate for up to five days.
Potential Ingredient Substitutions
- Instead of mint, try substituting fresh basil.
Mexican-inspired Chia Fresca with a sweet and herbaceous twist from the addition of fresh watermelon and mint.
- 4 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon, (about 1/2 medium melon)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, plus additional for garnish if desired
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel or lime peel (optional)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or lime juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Stir chia seeds and water and set aside for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the mixture thickens and a gel forms.
In the meantime, add watermelon, mint, lemon peel, lemon juice, and salt to a blender. Cover and blend on high 30 seconds, or until liquid forms. Pour in chia water gel, cover, and pulse two times, or until the chia seeds are evenly mixed with the watermelon mixture. Transfer to glasses and garnish with fresh mint leaves if desired.
Store Watermelon Chia Fresca in a pitcher or jar with a lid and refrigerate for up to five days.
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This post was most recently updated on August 27, 2020.