The other week I did a Beginner’s Guide to Banana ‘Nana’ Ice Cream because I want people who have never heard about banana ice cream to learn about the basics of it and how they can make it using the ingredients in their very own kitchen (not just mine). With that post, this one, and hopefully more ‘guides’ down the road, I hope that I can practically teach you how to make some delicious dishes that can be so good for you in so many ways.
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are edible seeds that gel up when placed in liquid. They are very high in fiber and protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids. The fiber in chia seeds is excellent for for the health of the gut flora in your intestines. Protein is essential because it supports overall maintenance by serving as building blocks for different parts of your body. Protein is especially important to include in your diet after working out because it helps with the rebuilding of the structural aspects of muscle.
Get Organic Chia seeds here:
What is Chia Porridge?
As chia seeds are becoming more popular, many people are finding new ways to use the seeds in their everyday lives. Chia porridge (or you may have heard ‘chia pudding’) is one of my staple/go-to meals. What I’m about to show you is what I like to call chia porridge because I enjoy eating it for breakfast and loading it with nutrient-dense foods that help me maintain an optimal level of energy for the day. To me, chia pudding seems more simple and dessert-like, while chia porridge seems more hearty and meal-like.
The porridge that I make has a base of mashed banana, chia seeds, oats (usually), and some sort of non-dairy milk. Flavoring and other ingredients can be added depending on preference and availability. When all the ingredients are mixed together, the chia porridge should sit in the fridge for at least an hour so the chia seeds gel up and the oats, if used, become softer.
Steps to Making your Own Chia Porridge
- Mash Banana in a container (glass if you have it) that has a lid. I usually do one banana for each portion/person. If I’m making it for just myself, I usually make a double portion so that I can have it for two breakfasts in a row. You may also add about 1 tbsp. of coconut oil and mash that in with the banana as well. I like to do this because it is a healthy saturated fat to consume and also helps with providing energy. I also like it because once you place the porridge in the refrigerator, the coconut oil hardens, and it has the same texture as chocolate chips. It gives it a nice, subtle crunch and good flavor.
- Add chia seeds and oats (if using). I usually do about 2 tbsp. of chia seeds and 1/3 cup of oats for each portion/person. I use oats so that it makes more porridge and is more filling. If you are looking for a gluten-free option, you can use gluten-free oats or quinoa flakes.
- Mix in a non-dairy milk like rice, coconut, almond, cashew, hemp, hazelnut, etc. The amount really varies depending on the consistency you desire. I usually do about 1 cup of milk for each portion/person. You also may want to add milk the next day if it becomes really thick. It’s totally up to you.
- Add nut/seed butters or raw nuts and seeds. I usually use about 1 tbsp. or a small handful for each portion/person. These can include peanut butter (stay away from hydrogenated oils-get the kind made with only peanuts!), almond butter, sunflower seed butter, pepita seed butter, cashew butter, walnut butter, pecan butter, etc. You can also use hemp seeds and many other kinds of raw nuts or seeds, but I would probably dice up the large nuts.
- Add any kind of dried fruit like dried cranberries (my FAVORITE-the tarteness <3), dried blueberries, goji berries, dried coconut, raisins, dried mango, currants, dried apricots, figs, dates (another one of my favorites), and dried cherries. I usually just add a small handful of whichever fruit I use. Make sure you are reading the ingredient labels because there may be added sugar or other ingredients you don’t really want. For example, dried cranberries almost always have sugar added to them, but you can find ones that are sweetened with apple juice and they really do taste so much better.
- Add any other flavorings or powders you may like or have on hand; a dab of vanilla extract (or any other type of extract for that matter), a drizzle of organic molasses, lucuma powder, maca powder, cacao powder, or carob powder. I only add about 1 tsp.-1 tbsp. of powder depending on which one(s) I use. Maca powder has a little bit of a strong flavor so I would be more conservative with that one.
- Mix all ingredients thoroughly, place lid on securely and put in the refrigerator for at least an hour. I like to make mine the night before so I can enjoy it the next morning (and the next morning too if I make two portions 😉 ). Also, remember you might want to add a little more milk in the morning if it is too thick.
Here are the ingredients I used for these pictures:
Just like banana ice cream, you can really take this idea and RUN with it; there are so. maany. posibillitieeees. Remember to use combinations you like together and don’t be afraid to experiment-that’s the fun part!
I’d love to know if you have any different ideas or if you have any other questions or comments so leave them below!