Here in the southern hemisphere, we are deep into winter weather now. One thing I do love about winter in Sydney is that we still get beautiful sunny days and I love spending the morning in the garden. It’s fantastic to get some much needed Vitamin D and catch up on my emails, but the early mornings and evenings are dark and super chilly.
For me that means perpetually cold hands – an excuse to wrap them around a warm mug of tea – and most of all I want comfort food. The slow cooker gets a good workout (stay tuned for a delicious slow cooked recipe up next week) and I find myself craving warm dishes for every meal. But winter comfort food seems to be so intrinsically tied with carbs, so I have been trying to find healthier alternatives that still warm me up from the inside out and don’t feel like I am depriving myself.
Soups, roasted vegetable salads and lighter pasta dishes made with cauliflower or zucchini noodles are all on the menu this week. When the mornings are so cold, porridge used to be one of my go-to breakfast options. This chocolate chia porridge is an absolutely fantastic breakfast that ticks all the boxes for health and has the same amount of comfort food charm as a warm bowl of porridge.
Chia seeds are a great little super food that I have been including in my diet for about 2 years. They are incredibly high in fibre – great for your digestion – and a great plant source of Omega-3 fatty acids and protein, which makes this a nice filling breakfast.
The cacao powder makes it feel like you’re eating chocolate for breakfast, which suits me fine! Cacao is a fantastic source of polyphenols which have strong antioxidant properties, help to balance your hormones and lower your blood pressure.
I’ve made this quite a few different ways over the last few weeks, but these two have been my favourites. I love adding peanut or almond butter and coconut flakes for some extra healthy fat on top and whatever fruit I have on hand. I would happily eat the Peanut Butter and Banana version for dessert. The Raspberry and Pomegranate version reminds me of a cherry ripe. This recipe is a blank canvas to add any of your favourite healthy toppings. Many great flavours go so well with chocolate, so make it your own.
Another great thing about this recipe is that I tested it two ways. Making the chia pudding the night before and heating it in the microwave for a breakfast that takes about 1 minute flat on a busy morning. You can also make it in a saucepan on the stove in about 5 mintues.
Either way, the result is quick, healthy and delicious. I will also quickly add that I as I write this, I am eating a warm version of my Coconut & Blueberry Chia Pudding complete with homemade chia jam and that is absolutely delicious too.
Warm Chocolate Chia Porridge
This is the base recipe for both kinds. Makes 2 servings.
- 1 cup Coconut & Almond Milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cacao powder, sifted
- A few drops Stevia or 1-2 teaspoons rice malt syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Banana & Peanut Butter Chocolate Chia Porridge
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon mixed seeds of your choice
- 1/2 banana, sliced
Raspberry & Pomegranate Chocolate Chia Porridge
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate arils
- Fresh raspberries
- Handful of coconut flakes
To make the Chocolate Chia Pudding the night before, combine the Almond & Coconut Milk together with the chia seeds, cacao powder, sweetener of your choice and vanilla in a glass jar with a lid. Cover and shake well, set aside for 15 minutes. Give it another good shake then refrigerate 5-6 hours or overnight. In the morning, place into 2 bowls and microwave for 1 minute. Add your desired toppings.
To make the Chocolate Chia Pudding in the morning, combine the Almond & Coconut Milk together with the chia seeds, cacao powder, sweetener of your choice and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring for about 5-8 minutes until mixture is warmed and thickened. Place into 2 bowls and add your desired toppings.