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Chocolate Rooibos Chia Seed Bubble Tea Recipe

by Jeanette on May 22, 2014 · 18 Comments
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This Chocolate Rooibos Chia Seed Bubble Tea is super refreshing and so good for you, you’ll want to have a pitcher of it in your refrigerator to pour yourself a glass on a whim.

Chocolate Rooibos Chia Seed Bubble Tea © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Today’s recipe for Chocolate Rooibos Chia Seed Bubble Tea was inspired by the popular bubble teas that you might have seen at Asian shops or Bubble Tea shops. Bubble tea is traditionally made with black tapioca pearls which can be found at the Asian grocery store. It’s a fun and refreshing drink when it’s hot out, and comes in all sorts of flavors. Unfortunately, most flavored bubble tea is artificially flavored, so I’m making my own healthier version with whole ingredients.

This healthier bubble tea is just as refreshing and packs in some extra good stuff. In place of black tapioca pearls, I used chia seeds which are nutrient dense – rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are high in fiber and calcium, and a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Just one tablespoon has 5 grams of dietary fiber and 2,375 mg Omega-3 fatty acids.

Chocolate Rooibos Chia Seed Bubble Tea © Jeanette's Healthy Living

I chose Numi’s fair trade Organic Chocolate Rooibos tea (a blend of Rooibos tea and cacao) as my tea of choice, and sweetened this bubble tea with raw honey. Rooibos tea or “red bush” tea is naturally caffeine free and high in antioxidants, especially quercetin, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. Rooibos tea may also be anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral activity. Rooibos is also a source of two comparatively rare antioxidants, aspalathin and nothofagin. Aspalathin may help reduce stress and regulate blood sugar. Both aspalathin and nothofagin may also help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Chocolate Rooibos Chia Seed Bubble Tea © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Today, I’m participating in The Recipe ReDux’s “Cooking with Tea” themed event. There are so many new flavors of tea on the market, and lots of unique ways to incorporate teas into healthy recipe.

The Recipe ReDux is a recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, which focuses on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them better for you. Similar to my mindset, Dietitians Regan Jones, Serena Ball and Deanna Segrave-Daly founded the group on the belief that healthier eating should always taste delicious. Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover.

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5 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Rooibos Chia Seed Bubble Tea
Make a bigger batch if you like. You can also just let the chia seeds soak for about an hour before serving. The longer the chia seeds soak in the tea, the more gelatinous they become.
Serves: 1
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bag Chocolate Rooibos tea or your favorite variety of tea
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • a few splashes of milk (use almond milk or coconut milk for dairy-free options)
  • a few ice cubes
  1. Boil water and steep tea bag in water for 8-10 minutes. Add chia seeds, stir, cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir in honey and add a few splashes of milk before serving. Add ice and shake until you get bubbles on top. Serve.

Source: Fox News: Red Tea: Even Better For You Than Green Tea?

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  1. It would be really nice to drink one after yoga!

  2. Bubble tea is one of my rare guilty pleasures, but I love the idea of making it at home with REAL flavors! So glad I just stocked up on chia seeds!

  3. Love, love, LOVE the idea of using chia seeds for bubble tea. I’ve always just been stuck on it being chia water but you’re so right that its basically the same as bubble tea, just much smaller bubbles and a superfood!

  4. Such a fun recipe Jeanette, and I’d love to try making this for my kids (me too!) I’ve never tried bubble tea before, but what a great idea to make it with chia and chocolate flavored rooibos-love it!

  5. Jeanette, I LOVE that you substituted chia seeds for the traditional tapioca pearls! I would never have thought of it. This is one healthy drink, that’s for sure!

  6. Sounds amazing! I have tried bubble tea once before but wasn’t a fan of the tapioca pearls. Strangely enough, I love drinks with chia in them! Maybe it’s because they’re smaller? I’d love to test this out!!

  7. I love bubble tea and the idea of making it with chia seeds is fabulous! Can’t wait to try this, Jeanette!

  8. What a fantastic recipe Jeanette – I love that you made a healthier bubble tea using chia seeds to replace the tapioca pearls. It sounds so refreshing and I can’t wait to try making this!

  9. I have this tea in my cupboard. I can’t wait to try my hand at making my own bubble tea!

  10. I keep hearing about bubble tea, thanks for a recipe!

  11. This looks great Jeanette and what a great switch-up using the chia seed in place of the tapioca pearls. I too love having a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge this time of year — I’ll have to try your delightful version of bubble tea!

  12. Well this couldn’t be more convenient for me – I just got some of that Numi’s tea in my recent Fair Trade klout package and I’ve always wanted to make bubble tea – so excited to have this recipe!

  13. I made this with a Vanilla Chai flavored rooibos tea and it was so good! This was my first time having a drink with chia seeds in it. I thought it might gross me out, but I loved it. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Laura – thanks so much for trying this recipe and letting me know how it turned out for you. I’ve seen chia seed drinks in the supermarket and they’re so expensive to buy, but very economical to make at home. Vanilla Chai rooibos tea sounds delicious!

  14. Ooo, Chocolate Rooibos sounds delicious with the chia seeds!

  15. I’ve tried to make bubble tea follow your recipe but it taste like tea with milk, not really like bubble, and I couldnt smell almond milk in this recipe. Could you tell me how is flavor of your bubble tea Chia pls

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      The tea is flavored using chocolate rooibos tea I used. The chia seeds are not the same as the traditional tapioca pearls, but meant to be a healthier version. Almond milk is a non-dairy milk and doesn’t smell like almonds. You can use regular dairy milk if you can tolerate dairy.

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