If you've not experimented with chia seeds yet, now is the time to start! These little seeds originate from latin america - as they are a seed, not a grain, they are high in protein and ideal for anyone trying to reduce carb intake or following a paleo/primal eating style.
Bursting with omega 3s, minerals and soluble fibre, they can be used in a number of ways. At breakfast time, they led themselves well to smoothies and chia 'porridge', the latter being the topic of this blog. They can also be used as an egg substitute for baking or added to casseroles to help thicken up a sauce.
Unlike regular porridge, chia seeds don't need to be cooked, they just need a little time to soak. This makes then ideal for us busy people - make a batch at the start of the week, spoon out what you need each morning for tasty healthy breakfast, ready to eat in seconds!
Chia seeds have a very mild, nutty flavour - what makes a chia porridge great is its versatility. From the same base, you can make a different version each week to suit your mood or the season. Below is a simple chia base and then a variety of suggestions for you to experiment with to find your favourites.
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 2-3 cups of liquid - milk/alternative - koko (coconut milk), nut milk, soya milk, coconut water or watered-down juice
Stir the above ingredients and leave to sit for 10 - 15 minutes then stir again. It can then be eaten or left to soak. Make on Sunday and soak overnight in the fridge for the ideal texture. To give the porridge more flavour and nutrition, combine the above with any combination of the ingredients below. This can be done at the start, when you first blending the chia seeds with the liquid (vanilla, cinnamon, honey) or just before serving (nuts, desiccated coconut, fruit). The above makes enough for 2-3 breakfasts - store for up to a week in the fridge. Enjoy a healthy nutritious breakfast each day with minimal time and effort.
Fruit to sweeten:
- stewed apple or plums
- grated apple or pear
- chopped mango, pineapple, papaya
- finely chopped dates
- blueberries / raspberries / blackberries / strawberries
- mashed banana
- goji berries / saltanas / raisins (soaked for 10 minutes and drain - or add at the start)
- cacao nibs
- honey (small amount only - manuka for additional goodness)
- vanilla extract
- chopped nuts - almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews or nut butters
- seeds - sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, hulled hemp seeds
- soaked buckwheat
- desiccated coconut
- tbsp of natural dairy, soya or coconut yoghurt (see CoYo)
Chia porridge is not only a great breakfast but also makes a handy snack - spoon into a jar (glass is better than plastic) and enjoy mid-morning. Store in the fridge at work if you don't plan to eat until the afternoon.
Experiment with blending the chia mix in a blender to break up the seeds to make a pudding-like consistency.