I’ve always been a breakfast person, but I never used to be the “healthy breakfast” person. A big cinnamon roll or a giant bowl of sugary cereal used to be my go to meals to fuel the start of my day. But what do you expect from a high school student making these decisions on her own? I wanted what was quick, easy and still deliciously satisfying to start my day.
One of the biggest changes I made to my diet becoming vegan was improving my breakfast choices. I actually started to think about what breakfast really was for my body. Think about it: While sleeping, we are essentially fasting for some number of hours. And on top of that, we probably didn’t eat right before we slept, but maybe a few hours prior. I sleep around 7 hours a night, and I usually eat 4 hours prior to sleep. When I wake up, I don’t immediately think of my breakfast meal, but rather, I run around trying to get ready for the rest of my school day. Being that I usually get ready for about an hour, if I add up all of the “fasting” time, it would become around 12 hours. Imagine fasting for 12 hours in the middle of a normal day? I would definitely pass out! So, when you wake up, you must replenish your body from its natural fast, starting with at least a liter of water, and then adding in a nourishing meal.
I still try and find meals that are the most convenient for me with the limited time I have in the morning, and I eventually came up with this. Chia Pudding is one of the most versatile and nourishing dishes that you can treat yourself with. These amazing little seeds contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats.
A basic chia pudding calls for a 1:2 ratio of seeds to liquid, and it can be flavored with virtually anything you have in your kitchen. You can change up the nondairy milk to any liquid you choose to make the pudding from, and you can throw in any combination of fruits, or even vegetables, to construct a little cup of goodness just as I have made. I chose to use apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and coconut flakes to mine, and I sweetened it with coconut sugar to give it that caramelly,brown sugary essence I associate with breakfast. I usually make this whole recipe for my breakfast for a few days, as the pudding sits well in the fridge for about 2-3 days.
Apple Cinnamon Chia Pudding
(Yields 3-4 Servings)
2 cups nondairy milk (I used raw almond milk)
3/4 cup chia seeds
2 teaspoons vanilla powder or extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp shredded coconut + more for garnish
1/2-1 tbsp coconut sugar (or any variation: agave, maple syrup, date sugar, etc)
A pinch of freshly grated ginger
1 granny smith apple, cored and diced
Stir all of your ingredients, except for the apple, in a large bowl. Make sure the bowl is a bit larger than the mixture, as the chia seeds will expand as they sit. Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, pour some of the pudding to serve, and top with a chopped apple, coconut shavings, cinnamon and ginger. Enjoy!