Does anyone else start thinking about dinner while breakfast is still digesting? And do you go to bed thinking about breakfast?
I’ve always been the sort of person who wants to eat breakfast as soon as I wake up. It’s more habit than hunger–although I’m almost always hungry! Mostly though, I just really like breakfast food, and to make the morning routine easy and ensure that a hearty, healthy breakfast is ready to greet me, I rely on recipes that can be easily prepped a day or two ahead. Over the years, I’ve developed a whole repertoire of options that I really love…which makes early morning wake-ups a little bit easier!
I got this refreshing and filling breakfast idea from Simply Happenstance a little over a year ago and have enjoyed my variation of it many times since. I use chia seeds regularly to thicken a variety of recipes–and they’re a nutrient-rich superfood, so what’s not to love? Here, they loosely bind the liquid and the cooked quinoa grains (technically, quinoa is seed), forming an appealing texture and lovely base for a variety of fruit and optional add-ins. In terms of the overall flavor, the honey (or maple) and nut butter combination is what, I think, makes the meal extra special.
Until this recipe, I was not fully on board with the texture of chia pudding, a recent rage which uses chia seeds as the primary pudding base, producing a texture much like tapioca pudding. The following breakfast bowl unwittingly served as a gateway to creating a chia pudding recipe I really enjoy–more on that in a future post!
The final result here is something lighter than stovetop oatmeal yet heartier than a bowl of yogurt, and it will stay with you until lunchtime. It’s prepped in advance for an easy morning routine, and the mix-ins can be customized to taste or season. Just don’t skip the almond butter-maple syrup combo…which could also be a peanut butter-honey drizzle.
Yield: 1 serving
- 1 tablespoon almond butter (or other nut butter)
- 1/2 tablespoon honey (use maple syrup for vegan option or as preferred)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) almond milk, coconut milk, or milk of choice
- 1/3 cup cooked quinoa (50 grams cooked)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (14 grams) chia seeds
- 1/16 teaspoon (a pinch) kosher or sea salt
- 1/3 cup blueberries, chopped peaches, or other seasonal fruit of choice (feel free to use more fruit, if desired; thawed frozen blueberries work well, too)
- 1 small (or half a large) banana, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped toasted almonds or nuts/seeds or choice
- Optional toppings: 1 tablespoon flaked coconut and/or other dried fruit of choice; 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips or cocoa nibs; 1-2 tablespoons granola
- In a medium-sized bowl or 16-ounce Mason jar, stir together the almond butter, honey, and vanilla. Slowly stir in the milk. (It's easier to incorporate the nut butter when done slowly; if it's cold and very firm, you may wish to warm gently in the microwave first). Add the cooked quinoa, chia seeds, and salt; stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap or jar lid, and refrigerate overnight (or at least 4 hours).
- When ready to eat, top with the fruit, nuts, and optional toppings. Enjoy!
- After making once, feel free to add more or less of the quinoa or milk to create a consistency that's perfect for you. I like a slightly soupy starting point to accommodate all my mix-ins. I tend to add extra fruit when seasonal options are many.
- If you prefer a honey-nut drizzle (instead of mixing it in): In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine the almond butter and maple syrup (peanut butter and honey are delicious, too), and heat just long enough that the nut butter melts and the mixture can be drizzled. After drizzling over the other toppings, I do like to give the bowls a good stir so that it flavors every bite.
In the above version the almond butter and honey (peanut butter and maple syrup are delicious, too) are mixed in at the beginning. I added fresh blueberries, peaches, toasted coconut and slivered almonds as my add-ins. Below, the drizzle option is shown.
The drizzle ingredients add extra protein and a hint of sweetness and, in my mind, make this healthy meal truly heavenly. For ease, mix them in during the prep stage as explained in the recipe.