Chia-up – breakfast cheer

Getting a good breakfast can be a challenge at times, especially if you’re short of time or have run out of inspiration. It’s easy to get stuck in the same routine, grab the nearest empty calorie cereal or, worse, have nothing at all.

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day – your body has been fasting over night and needs good fuel to get it going again. And it doesn’t have to be boring, even though cereals and toast sometimes seems like the only things to have. When you’re eating a dairy or gluten free diet, you do need to get a bit imaginative at times.

There’s loads of different things on offer to power you up for the day – just because you don’t have time for a full English (or it’s veggie equivalent!) doesn’t mean you have to miss out.

Planning the morning meal is as important as any other during the day, so keep ahead of the game, and if mornings are a rush, prepare it the night before.

This chia breakfast bowl is one of the recipes that features in my Eat Well, Live Well course, a five week foray into the world of eating a whole food plant based diet. It’s so simple to make, tastes fabulous and is packed full of amazing nutrients and fibre that will keep you going all the way to lunch. Because of it’s high fibre content and lack of refined sugar, you won’t get that sugar dip mid-morning.

Chia seeds are part of the ‘in crowd’ at the moment. But rather than just another nutrition fad, these tiny little black seeds really are worth the hype. Just a couple of tablespoons gives you 5g of protein, 11g of fibre and are a great source of plant based omega 3 fatty acids. There’s also fabulous amounts of calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorous, plus zinc and vitamins B1, 2 and 3. Not only that, there are loads of anti-oxidants that help munch up free radicals that damage our bodies and contribute towards the ageing process.

The fibre content of chia seeds is amazing – not only will it help keep you full for longer, it helps keep your gut happy, providing food for the friendly bacteria deep down that aid digestion and absorption of nutrients, but also keeps our guts a healthy and happy place. And the nutrient profile of these seeds is perfect for bone health – a clean source of protein and lots of calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, all essential to keep bones healthy and strong.

This chia breakfast bowl only takes a couple of minutes to make before you go to bed;  the chia seeds swell up in the milk overnight, so when you grab it in the morning, it’s all thick and gooey, and ready to get you going. There’s all sorts of toppings you can add – hemp seeds, fruit, coconut etc – or just eat it as it is. On the photo, I’ve added some ground hemp seeds with goji berries and passion fruit.

So think ahead, and have a chia-full day!

Chia seed breakfast bowl
1 small banana
2 tablespoons chia seeds
200ml dairy free milk of choice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Toppings: passion fruit, berries, mango, strawberries – whatever you enjoy really!

Mash the banana in the bottom of a bowl. Pour the chia seeds in then add the milk. Stir in the cinnamon, then place in the fridge overnight. Add your toppings of choice in the morning, and enjoy!

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