Friday, April 8, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
I love this little tea shop called The Tea Garden. They serve something called "Bubble Tea." The unique ingredient of Bubble Tea is tapioca pearls, but in this case I used Chia Seeds. Tapioca pearls are about the size of pearls and they have a consistency like gummy candy; chia seeds are quite a bit smaller, but create the same gummy texture. The big difference is in the nutritional value. The carbohydrates in tapioca pearls are starch where chia seeds are a fiber. When soaked in liquid for 30 minutes, chia seeds form a thick gel. This gel also forms in the stomach when chia seeds are consumed. This wonderful quality helps slows down the rate at which digestive enzymes turn carbs into sugar, making it especially beneficial for diabetics and others with blood sugar issues.
A typical "Bubble Tea" drink at The Tea Garden uses between 25 and 75 of these tapioca pearls, and each pearl contains 14 calories of pure starch. So that means that just the tapioca in the drink is hundreds of calories. And that's without the sugar! Most "Bubble Teas" range from 400 - 1000 calories, depending on the size and the ingredients.
FUN FACTS ABOUT CHIA SEEDS:
1. Aztec warriors and runners are believed to have sustained themselves for an entire day on just a tablespoon of chia.
2. Chia seeds have more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other plant food, including flax seeds.
3. Chia seeds are about 20% protein.
4. Chia is hydrophilic and can absorb more than 12 times its weight in water. This makes it helpful in staying hydrated, something that is especially beneficial for athletes who need to remain hydrated during races and endurance activities. This might also cause the scale to go up, but realize that it is water weight...not fat.
5. Chia seeds are so high in antioxidants that they do not spoil easily and can be stored for long periods, unlike flax seeds. Antioxidants are essential for our health and wellbeing. To read more, check out my chapter on SUPPLEMENTS in Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism book.
"HEALTHIFIED" BUBBLE TEA:
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 TBS chia seeds
1 cup brewed black tea
1 tsp stevia glycerite
Capella drops to taste (I used strawberry kiwi)
1 cup ice cubes
In a large bowl, add almond milk, chia seeds, tea, and sweeteners. Stir until the mixture is well combined (the longer you let it sit, the thicker it becomes). Add the ice cubes, and shake so the whole drink can get cold. Pour into a glass. Makes 1 serving.
NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per serving)
Traditional Bubble Tea = 280 calories, 67.9 carbs, 0.5g fiber
"Healthified" Bubble Tea = 176 calories, 13 carbs, 11.5g fiber