I have been coming across so many blog entries about chia pudding and cold oatmeal lately, my curiosity got the best of me and I combined both concepts into one recipe this weekend.
The basic premise of chia pudding is that chia seeds, a very healthy and nutrient-packed superfood, take on a tapioca-like texture when they’re soaked in any liquid. This quality makes these seeds the perfect candidate for a healthy dessert option. They are an easily digestible plant-based protein, easy to integrate into various recipes (they’re often used as egg replacements in vegan baking, since they bind ingredients together effectively), and neutral in flavour. And yes — chia seeds are used to grow the “hair” on Chia pets!
Cold oatmeal, on the other hand, is made by combining oatmeal and milk — either dairy or non-dairy — and letting it sit in the fridge for a few hours. The idea is that you can enjoy a healthy filling oatmeal breakfast in the summer without having to have it hot, which can feel a bit heavy when it’s warm and humid out. Oats are an excellent source of fibre and protein, low on the glycemic index, and may help reduce risks of heart disease (according to the FDA). What’s not to like?
Naturally, I can’t just follow a recipe, so when I decided to try my own cold oats/chia pudding, I had to make up my own… no recipe escapes unaltered when I get my hands on it!
I actually made this mocha chia oatmeal concoction to take to work as a mid-afternoon snack for a closing shift, but I think it would be a fantastic breakfast. The best part is that it takes less than 5 minutes to put together! Just gather your ingredients, whisk them up together, and throw it in the fridge overnight.
Although the pudding’s mocha flavour seems better for a dessert, I think it can be breakfast friendly. The cocoa is unsweetened, so that plus the coffee gives the dish a nice rich deep flavour, and doesn’t make it taste like sweet chocolate. Plus, who doesn’t like a bit of dessert in the morning, anyway?
I really wasn’t sure of what to call this dish, hence the confused title… I definitely enjoyed it though, and can’t wait to get creative with my flavour combinations. It is seeeeriously filling: in addition to the chia seeds and oats, I added hemp hearts, so this is some protein-packed stuff right here. Great to start the day! I would recommend going easy on the chia seeds, as they can get a bit slimy if you mess up your chia-to-oats ratio. I really liked the way mine turned out, but feel free to play around with the ratio until you find one that suits you.
I expect this type of breakfast to become more and more common for me as spring and summer arrive. Maybe I’ll try something fruity next time…
Mocha Chia Oatmeal Breakfast… Pudding?
for 2 large servings
1 cup oats (I used quick oats, but I think any type can work)
4-5 tsp chia seeds
4-5 tsp hemp hearts
1-2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1-2 tsp instant coffee
1 1/4 cup soy, almond, rice, or cow’s milk — you choose!
maple syrup to taste
1. Set a small amount of water to boil.
2. Place the cocoa powder and instant coffee in a heatproof bowl or measuring cup. Once the water has boiled, pour enough water over the powders to allow them to dissolve. Add the milk and stir to combine.
3. In a large bowl, combine the chia seeds, hemp hearts, and oats. Pour your chocolate coffee milk mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until there are no clumps. Drizzle in maple syrup to cut the bitterness of the unsweetened cocoa (if you like it bitter, skip the sweetening).
4. Pour your mixture into a container, snap a lid on it, and put it in your fridge for 3 to 8 hours. Then simply take it out, give it a quick stir, and enjoy!