Some mornings I want something more substantial than my Paleo Porridge and this is perfect for a bit of carb loading of the slow release variety. Chia seeds are perfect for adding protein to your porridge, which will keep you feeling full until lunch, plus all their other benefits.
If you can’t be bothered clicking on the link, I will summarise – they contain protein, amino acids, iron, fibre, calcium, magnesium, omega 3s. OK?
Chia seeds have no flavour so are perfect for mixing into things (and sneaking into kids yogurts etc for a protein and nutrient boost) but what is also brilliant about them is their texture. They form a gel consistency when mixed into liquid, so are a perfect thickener to soups, stews, smoothies, and of course porridge. You won’t even notice they are there! Unless you are my husband, who thinks they are a bit gloopy and frogspawny in porridge, which is a shame. But even he will eat them in yogurt as he likes the fact they are tasteless. so, persevere with chia!
If you’re feeling organised, you can soak your ingredients the night before, then all you have to do is heat it up in the morning for a super speedy breakfast. I soak it all ready to go in the pan on top of the hob, so it couldn’t be easier, even for an organisation-phobe like me.
You don’t even need a recipe for this. I use around a handful of organic jumbo oats per person and a heaped tablespoon of chia. Add about a mugful of almond (or any other) milk depending on how thick you like your porridge and a tiny pinch of salt. Soak overnight and then warm up in the morning or, if making from scratch, simmer on the hob for about 10 minutes.
Then the fun can really begin with…
FLAVOURS AND TOPPINGS
HOT CROSS PORRIDGE
This is possibly my fave. I LOVE hot cross buns, I could easily eat a whole packet. So I am often on the lookout for something similar, but healthier, and this is IT. Just don’t try to toast and butter it.
Add raisins, chopped apricots, a few twists of lemon zest, 1/2tsp mixed spice, pinch cinnamon and few gratings of nutmeg at the cooking/soaking stage. This helps the fruit to get all juicy and plump and lovely. Top with pumpkin seeds and grated apple for a bit of texture. And honey, always honey.
Ooh no, maybe this is my fave… Add 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon at cooking/soaking stage, top with sliced banana and honey.
Add cinnamon, mixed spice and raisins at cooking/soaking stage. Once cooked, stir through 1/2 grated apple per person, chopped walnuts and top with apple puree (I use Hipp or Organix baby puree, apple and pear, its organic, cheap and easy, yippee! Hipp Puree). Drizzle with honey or maple syrup.
Add cinnamon, sliced banana, chopped walnuts and a spoonful of almond or nut butter. Dreamy!
My kids like it with just chopped apricots and honey.