Whole Foods Lifestyle - Lhassi & CHIA drinks (not chai!)

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05-06-2007, 03:43 PM
Lhassi is an Indian yogurt drink which usually has a bit of sugar (and often rosewater or mango), it's blended up with ice cubes & goes well with curries. I started playing with it and came up with some drinks that I find keep me going for hours.

(note on chia: it's a seed, can be hard to find; very high in fiber, not bad for calcium & iron. You soak it first and it gets very glutinous. It was a staple in north & south American native diets - many of these groups now suffer from unbelievable diabetes levels, and it's thought that chia was one of a few native foods which kept any such tendencies in check; some athletes use it because it delivers sustained energy & slows absorption of carbs). It's excellent for maintaining blood sugar levels. Each night I mix 2 T (78 cals) with about 1.5 cups water, and I consume that over the course of the next day - you can add it to anything, it has no flavour).

(note that SALBA, which is becoming the in-thing, is a cultivar of chia - same plant species (salba hispanica) but they just used the white seeds (most are black). They SAY it is a lot better for you, which I suppose is why it costs twice as much as chia, but until I see the science I'm quite happy with plain old chia!!)

So, I mix a serving of low fat organic yogurt (less tart than regular), a half cup or so of the chia mix, and whatever other ingredients I want (see below). After that's thoroughly blended I add four or five ice cubes and blend until they're nearly gone. Cold, refreshing, and fill with long-lasting energy.

1. 1/2 ounce peanuts, a small banana, cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. freshly ground cardamom (you can barely taste the peanuts - an ounce would be more peanutty).

2. 1/4 cup pureed dates (I cook them & puree them with a little water to use to sweeten various things), cardamom.

3. 1/2 a small roasted acorn squash (Really!), cinnamon, cardamom, 5 prunes or some date puree. Has a bit of a creamy pumpkin pie taste.

4. frozen berries - a cup.


05-06-2007, 03:47 PM
Sounds really interesting - and tasty!

What's your source for the chia? Local, or do you order it from somewhere?

05-06-2007, 03:52 PM
You can get it in health food stores, though not all of them. We have two Planet Organics here in Edmonton and I was surprised they don't have it, but I found a place on campus that does. It will seem expensive (cdn $16.99 for 400 grams) but it lasts quite a long time.


05-06-2007, 04:52 PM
Hey there suechef,
I am presently following weight watchers and I would love to find out how many points the Lhassi is. How much yoghurt and what-not do you put in the Lhassi?

05-06-2007, 08:49 PM
Hi Serenab,

I guess the points would depend on what type of yogurt you use. I use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup Liberty (I use the smaller amount if I'm adding a whole banana or berries). I use Protrack to track my calories and I just add in the individual items that went into the drink, since there's no listing for lhassi.


07-19-2007, 04:16 PM
There is for sure research done on Salba, showing it is effective in reducing blood pressure, blood glucose response, blood clotting, and body inflammation. Look on the website. The studies are done by the University of Toronto. You will read that Salba, unlike chia, is grown under controlled circumstances in Peru, so that it remains stable in it's nutritional composition. Where can I find studies on chia's health effects? please, let me know.

07-20-2007, 09:17 AM
Hi Suechef
I'm a big fan of Lhassi-type drinks. I'm normally pressed for time, so I skip using the blender and often will just mix 1/2 cup of low-fat plain yogurt with 1/2 a pack of splenda and 6-8oz of water. I toss it in my "commuter cup" with a couple of ice cubes and off I go! It feels like such a treat to me. My kids have tasted it and say it's similar to their yogurt drinks (but mine is usually somewhat lumpy). One of my goals is to wean myself off of the Splenda monster. I love mango Lhassi and should puree some in advance so I could include it. Your recipes are intriguing - especially the acorn squash- I'm going to give it a try! Thanks for sharing!