Apple and galangal chia “bubble tea”

The quality of the water we drink is something everyone ought to give some thought to. Although tap water is, on average, of high quality in the US and in Europe, it often exceeds regulations for nitrates (from agricultural fertilisers and manure) and pesticides. Rather disturbingly, our water also contains increasing amounts of traces of over-the-counter and prescription medications (including hormones). The effect of this on human health has not been measured, but these traces are capable of changing the sex of fish and tadpoles in rivers. See this study if you are interested in learning more about the purification and potential contamination of drinking water.

Bubble tea final

Bottled water is not the answer, in my honest opinion, as it is environmentally and economically unsustainable, and the quality of the water is often no better than that of tap water. A good home filtration system is probably your best bet. There are many to choose from, depending on your requirements and budget, but whatever you decide to go with, remember to include lots of clean water in your daily diet. I recently worked on some water-based recipes for an e-book published by Kinetico, a supplier of home water systems. This spicy little number is one of my favourites!

Serves 4


250ml (1 cup) water

scant tablespoon chia seeds

250ml (1 cup) cold pressed unfiltered sweet apple juice

1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 – 1 teaspoon galangal juice, depending on how spicy you prefer it (to make the juice, use a juicer, or grate and squeeze out with a muslin cloth or nut milk bag)


  1. Whisk the chia seeds into the water and allow to soak for at least 10 minutes. Whisk every couple of minutes.
  2. When the chia seeds and water have formed a very soft gel, whisk the rest of the ingredients into the mixture and divide between 4 glasses.
  3. Serve with thick straws and a slice of lime.


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