Chia seeds are a food with a really unique texture and tons of health benefits. One new and intersting way people have been eating chia seeds is by adding them to kombucha. But what's the point of chia seeds? And how do you make or where can you buy chia seed kombucha?
Kombucha with chia seeds is made by adding pre-hydrated chia seeds to a bottle of kombucha. The seeds need to be pre-hydrated to avoid clumping, which will make it hard to drink and produce excess carbonation, which can result in a kombucha explosion. Chia seeds are full of protein, fiber, and healthy ALA omega 3 fatty acids.
In this article I'll talk about what exactly chia seeds are, how they can improve your health, and how you can easily add them to your kombucha. Let's get into it!
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds come from the Mexican desert plant, Salvia Hispanica. They are tiny, oval shaped, and gray with black and white spots. Hundreds of years ago, the Mayans and Aztecs praised chia seeds for their ability to provide them sustainable energy. In fact, chia actually comes from the ancient mayan word for “strength.”
One of the unique properties of chia seeds is that they can absorb up to 12x their weight in liquid, which makes them expand and develop a gel like texture.
Chia seeds are usually sprinkled onto or ground up and put into foods such as granola bars, cereal, smoothies, yogurt, tortillas and bread. They can also be soaked in water and mixed with juice to make chia fresca, chia pudding, or in our case, chia kombucha.
Why Drink Chia Seed Kombucha?
So now we know what chia seeds are and what kinds of foods are made with them, but why even eat or drink chia seeds?
To put it bluntly, the reason you should eat chia seeds is because they are one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
Calorie for calorie, chia seeds are one of the worlds best sources of several important nutrients, including protein, fiber, healthy fats, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.
Chia seeds are also full of ALA omega 3 fatty acids. Salmon is another popular food known for the omega 3 fatty acids it contains and gram for gram, chia seeds actually have more omega 3 fatty acids than salmon. Omega 3s are a really important nutrient in preventing and managing heart disease, the #1 cause of death in the world
What is Chia Seed Kombucha?
Chia seed kombucha is regular, flavored kombucha that is full of hydrated, gelatinous chia seeds.
Some people enjoy the texture that chia seeds add to their kombucha, but more importantly chia seeds add tons of nutritious benefits to an already probiotic and antioxidant full kombucha.
Where to Buy Chia Seed Kombucha
The only kombucha brand that I know that makes chia seed kombucha is GT Dave’s. Their chia kombucha comes in the flavors grape, raspberry, black, cherry, and green.
GT’s Chia Kombucha is nearly impossible to find in stores. So if you want a bottle, your best bet is to get it online. If you want to give it a try you can find GT’s Synergy Chia Kombucha on Amazon here.
How to Make Your Own Chia Seed Kombucha
If you're unable to find chia seed kombucha online or in stores, a great (and fun) way to get a hold of chia seed kombucha is to make it yourself.
There are two ways to make chia seed kombucha. You can either:
1. Home brew it yourself from scratch
2. Add hydrated chia seeds to regular store bought kombucha
Either way, all you're doing to make chia seed kombucha is adding hydrated chia seeds to a bottle of finished kombucha.
It’s important that you pre-hydrate the chia seeds before putting them in the bottle of kombucha or else they will clump up and become undrinkable, and/or create excess carbonation that can cause an explosion the next time you open the bottle.
To hydrate chia seeds, combine the dry seeds with water or kombucha in a cup or bowl and then shake or stir them in the water for a minute or two to keep them from clumping together. Then let the seeds absorb the liquid for a few hours, and once they've taken on a gel like texture add them to the kombucha you made yourself or bought from the store.
It’s important to note that if you're making chia seed kombucha from scratch the chia seeds are added after the 2nd fermentation, once the kombucha is finished.
If you don’t have any chia seeds at home, I strongly recommend Healthwork's Raw Nutrient Rich Chia Seeds. These seeds are all natural and are full of the omega 3’s, fiber, and protein that we want out of chia seeds whether we’re eating them raw or using them to make kombucha.
You can get a 2 pound bag of Healthwork's chia seeds for less than $10 on their Amazon listing here.
Chia Seed Kombucha Recipe
If you’ve made kombucha before, the instructions above should be enough for you to figure out how to make it with chia seeds. But for those that have never home brewed kombucha, I thought it’d be a good idea to include an entire chia seed kombucha recipe.
If you don’t have some of the equipment or ingredients yet, you can just click on the underlined item to view my favorite one on Amazon.
You also can check out the article I wrote on The Top 5 Things You Need to Start Brewing Kombucha to learn more about each ingredient or piece of equipment.
Once you have everything you need, it’s time to get brewing!
Chia Seed Kombucha (1 Gallon)
1 Cup of Sugar 1 Cup of Starter Tea
Step 1: Brew Sweet Tea
The very first thing you need to do to make kombucha is boil about 8 cups of water. Once the water is boiling remove it from the heat and stir in 1 cup of sugar until it's dissolved.
After stirring in the sugar, steep 8 tea bags or 2 tablespoons of loose leaf tea for around 30 minutes.
If you're making a gallon of chia seed kombucha just the directions above.
If you want to make 2 gallons of chia seed kombucha, just multiply the amount of sugar and tea by two.
If you’re using an irregularly shaped container, or don’t want to brew your kombucha to the gallon, you can use the numbers below.
To make 1 cup of kombucha you need:
0.0625 Cups of Sugar
0.5 Tea Bags or 0.375 Teaspoons of Loose Leaf Tea
0.125 Cups of Starter Tea
Just multiply these numbers by the # of cups of kombucha you want to make and you'll have the right amount of each ingredient.
Although a cup of sugar per gallon of kombucha seems like a lot, remember that this sugar is food for our SCOBY. In the end, most of this sugar will be eaten and converted into acids and gases, and the finished kombucha will only have 2-6g of sugar per 8 ounces.
If you’re making 1 gallon of kombucha, you don’t need to brew an entire gallon of tea. Just brew a few cups and add water after to reach the gallon.
Step 2: Add SCOBY and Starter Tea
Next we are going to add the sweet tea to our brewing vessel and fill up whatever space remains with water. You can use cold water to help the tea cool down faster.
Once it has cooled down to room temperature, add in the SCOBY and starter tea.
Starter tea is 2 cups of kombucha from a previous brew which will kick off the acidity of a new brew. If this is your first time brewing kombucha and you bought your SCOBY online, it will come packaged in starter tea.
It’s important to wait until the tea has cooled down to room temp to add the SCOBY because too hot or too cold of liquid can shock it.
Step 3: 1st Fermentation
After the sweet tea, SCOBY, starter tea, and water have all been combined in the brewing vessel, cover the top of the container with cloth or an old tea shirt and secure it with a rubber band. This will keep fruit flies and other bugs out.
Do not seal the jar with a lid or anything airtight, since we need oxygenated air to be able to flow in and out of the container to keep the SCOBY alive and functioning.
Wait 7-10 days for the SCOBY to ferment the sugar and nutrients in the tea into alcohol and healthy acids. Remember that the longer the brew ferments, the more sugar will be eaten and the more bitter it will taste. Taste test the brew every day with the goal of reaching that perfect sweet spot between sweet and sour. Once it has reached a bitter enough taste for your liking, the first fermentation is complete.
Step 4: 2nd Fermentation
We technically now have kombucha, but it’s not yet carbonated or flavored. To change that you’re going to first partially fill the brewing bottles with whatever flavoring you want.
Figuring out how much flavoring to use depends on what you're using to flavor and will take some trial and error. To start you may want to fill the bottles up around a ¼ of the way with your flavoring of choice, and then adjust from there in future brews.
Once the bottles have their flavoring in them, transfer the kombucha, probably via funnel, from the large container into all the bottles.
Also save 2 cups of it for starter tea for your next brew.
The bottles with kombucha and flavoring will now sit at room temperature for 4-6 days. During this time you can make some more sweet tea and start a new brew of kombucha if you want. Then ideally, by the time you’re done drinking the brew your making right now, the next batch will be just finishing.
Step 5: Refrigerate
The length of time 2nd fermentation takes will depend on the flavoring used and quality of your brewing bottles.
After the 4-6 days have passed, refrigerate the unopened bottles of flavored kombucha. The cold air in the refrigerator will slow down the fermentation process and calm the carbonation, decreasing the likelihood of an explosion when you open them to add in the chia seeds.
If when you open the bottles there isn't enough carbonation, you can place them back at room temperature for a few days and they’ll resume the fermentation process and develop more carbonation.
Step 6: Add Hydrated Chia Seeds
Add dry chia seeds to a separate bowl or cup of kombucha and stir for about a minute. Let the seeds sit for a few hours until they’ve become gelatinous, and then add them to the bottles of finished kombucha.
Step 7: Drink Up!
Congrats! The hard work and waiting is all done and you can finally enjoy your home brewed chia seed kombucha! They say food tastes better when you make it yourself and chia kombucha is no exception.
Chia seeds can add a ton of nutritious benefits to already probiotic and antioxidant full kombucha.
If you’ve been home brewing kombucha for a while, give chia kombucha a shot! One of the best parts about home brewing is experimenting with new flavors and techniques, and you'll never know if you like it unless you try it.
If you end up not liking the gel like texture of chia in your kombucha, you may still want to eat chia seeds plain or add them to your cereal to get all of the fiber, protein, and omega 3’s they contain.
Thanks for reading and happy brewing!
If you want to learn more about kombucha, how it relates to your health, and even how to brew it yourself, check out the rest of my website!