I don't know about you, but I am a serious creature of habit and quite often find myself making the same meals over and over again because it's quick and easy. And, when you have kids who are picky eaters, when you find foods that your kids will actually eat without making screwy faces and complaining, you roll with it for a while because it saves a lot of aggravation. For as long as I can remember, I have been a lover of a hearty smoothie for breakfast. I still love my smoothies and always will, but lately I've been getting a little bored and wanting to shake things up a bit for myself. Inspired by a recent trip to a cute little juice bar/vegan eatery, I created this seriously delicious and outrageously nutritious chia breakfast pudding that is guaranteed to put a spring in your step and a smile on your face to start your day,
I am a huge fan of chia seeds and have been using them in all sorts of manners for years. A couple of examples of how I like to use chia seeds is to add them to my smoothies and my raw energy bars. But these darling little seeds are a perfect way to start your day from a nutrition standpoint because they are loaded with all of the things that help give us that much needed kick start to get on with our busy day.
Chia is a species of plant belonging to the mint family and is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala where it has a long-standing history of use in everyday meals and for giving energy to those who need it (like the ancient Aztec warriors). Chia is an outstanding source of Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber and B vitamins, and is a rich source of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. It is a complete protein which is perfect for anyone following a vegetarian or vegan diet and a little goes a long way. You don't need to use a lot of these little guys to make a filling meal for yourself so they are incredibly economical to use.
So let's get to this yum-tastic recipe!
What You Need...
FOR THE CHIA PUDDING:
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tsp raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
This is where you get to let loose and be creative. I chose a banana, some homemade granola, some organic blueberries and some hemp hearts, but you can let your creativity shine through and have some fun with this. I have added things like fresh berries, cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, goji berries. Just have fun with it and make it beautiful whole foods that will light up your taste buds and nourish your body for the day!
Add all of the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend and remove any cacao powder lumps.
Add the coconut milk and whisk until the mixture is well blended.
Place bowl in refrigerator for approximately 20 minutes until the pudding is at the right pudding consistency for your liking.
Add your toppings! I like to make mine pretty because I'm just like that...and I find that the more visually appealing, the more enjoyable an experience it is to eat!
Once you're finished, dig in and enjoy!
This breakfast is such a nice change-up to the standard rushed "ho-hum" breakfasts so many of us get stuck making day in and day out. And it certainly packs a powerful nutritional punch over any of the processed breakfast cereals that are on the market shelves. Although it really doesn't take much time to prepare, you can even make the pudding the night before and just add the toppings in the morning if your days start on the extra-crazy-hectic end of the scale. Either way, this is a fabulously quick and blissfully nutritious way to fire up the body for the day. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Jill Taylor is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. She is the mom of two pretty awesome teenagers, s very dramatic dog, a hedgehog and a snake (yikes!). Jill assists her clients in achieving true wellness through thoughtful and compassionate dietary and lifestyle coaching. Feel free to visit the "Contact" page to get in touch. Jill would love to hear from you!