Spiced Apple Chia Breakfast Pudding-Porridge Recipe
(gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, grain-free, egg-free)
Holidays mean slow, lazy mornings (well, for me anyway).
No alarms to wake up (not that I use one as Mila is an alarm that goes off at 5:30am regardless), no mad rush to get to school, no adrenaline rush as you remember everything you need to get done today. BUT… breakfast still needs to be made. Which is why I love this recipe so much – it is super-quick to make and can be made the night before while you are in the kitchen prepping dinner anyway.
The variation possibilities are endless too – see the end of this post for some ideas. Simply add whatever fruit, nuts, seeds and spices you may have in your pantry at the time.
Well, it is nutrient-dense with healthy fats and protein like a breakfast should be; it has the consistency of porridge; but… it tastes like pudding! (Besides, you are more likely to get buy-in from your kids if you call it pudding 🙂 )
Makes: 1 adult serving
*Soak the dates by covering with water for a minimum of 1 hour, or overnight in the fridge. Once soaked, remove them from the soak water and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
The possibilities for this “porridge” are endless. Using chia seeds and coconut milk (or any other dairy-free alternative) as the base – add whatever seasonal fruit and spices take your fancy.
There is no need to blend the ingredients unless you are feeding it to a baby/toddler. As I write in my book:
“It is best to grind the seeds in a coffee grinder and then add it to a purée, as your little one’s digestive system may not yet be able to break through the walls of the seed to release its nutrients. As he/ she gets older and is able to gum food, you can simply soak the chia seeds in some liquid to soften them before adding to a purée, pudding or smoothie.”
So to make the porridge without blending, simply mix the chia seeds in the milk, add chopped fruit, nuts, seeds and spices on top, seal the jar and place in the fridge overnight… Ready-made breakfast!
I was first introduced to chia seeds by my mother-in-law when I was pregnant. I was so skeptical about about eating this completely foreign food, that I put them in my fridge and forgot about them :0 Silly me! You can read more about the benefits of eating these during pregnancy on Dr. Axe’s website.
Then when Mila starting eating solids, and I had begun my free-from and wholefood journey, I was looking for alternative sources of calcium to add into our diets. What did I find – Chia Seeds!
“Gram for gram, chia seeds have more calcium than dairy and more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. Naturally gluten-free, they are being recognised as an exceptionally nutritionally-dense superfood.
Chia seeds are exceptionally high in antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory benefits, provide digestive support due to their soluble and insoluble fibre content, and support healthy development of bones due to their calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and protein.” – Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics
(I quickly retrieved my mom-in-laws amazing gift from the fridge and started eating them 🙂 )
Use a chia-egg instead 🙂 Due to chia’s gelatinous nature when it comes into contact with liquid, it can be used as an egg replacement in baking or as a thickener in sauces, puddings or smoothies.
Yield: 1 egg replacement
As I write in the 156-Ingredient Glossary of my book Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics:
“Chia is a flowering mint species of plant native to Guatemala and Mexico. The tiny mild tasting, mottled grey-brown and white seeds are the edible part of the plant. They can be ground or used whole in drinks, bread, crackers and puddings.
Introduction: 8 months
Please note that the seeds swell considerably when placed in liquid (they can absorb up to 9 times their weight in water), so a small amount goes a long way – 1 teaspoon a day will be plenty for your little one.
Selection: Due to their essential oils containing natural insect repellents, the plants are grown without the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides so there is no need to look for organic ones.
Whole seeds – in a sealed container – in a cool, dry place – for up to 2 years
Whole seeds – in a sealed container – in the fridge/freezer – for up to 4 years
Chia gel – in a sealed container – in the fridge – for up to 2 weeks
You can grind and pre-soak chia seeds when first introducing them to your little one. Later, you can simply add them whole or ground to puddings, smoothies, porridge and purées.
Chia has no taste or smell and is easy to include in any meal. It is best to grind the seeds in a coffee grinder and then add it to a purée, as your little one’s digestive system may not yet be able to break through the walls of the seed to release its nutrients. As he/ she gets older and is able to gum food, you can simply soak the chia seeds in some liquid to soften them before adding to a purée, pudding or smoothie.
Excellent source of: omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, protein, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous and iron.
Good source of: zinc, vitamins B1, B2 and B3 and potassium”
Sources for glossary information: