Monday morning means we’re talking make-ahead breakfasts that will start the week off strong without sacrificing flavor or fun, and as such we kicked this week off with Chocolatey Chia Pudding. By using unsweetened cocoa powder and topping with hazelnuts, we’ve updated what has been flavor-wise for me one of the most life enhancing foods – Nutella – for a certifiably healthy breakfast. Along with strawberries, cocoa offers antioxidant benefits, but perhaps even more importantly on a Monday morning is just delicious. Hazelnuts deliver folate and according to the USDA may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. They also provide the perfect crunch and make this breakfast very satiating.
In addition Omega-3’s, which among other things help brain health (our brains need healthy fats – thanks Mom for pointing out this biology during the Fat Free craze) chia seeds also deliver significant daily amounts of manganese and phosphorus, both of which help keep bones strong and contribute to tissue repair. After a big weekend of biking and climbing – the first bike race of the season for Paul in fact – and as we hunker down to start the week, this mind-body benefit feels rather appropriate!
Overnight chia pudding comes together very, very easily, and the sky’s the limit in terms of mix-ins. Here’s how to make this version:
Hands-On Time: 10-15 minutes
Kitchen Equipment: Large liquid measuring cup, measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowl, cutting board, sharp knife, to-go containers (preferably with dividers).
– 2 Cups Almond Milk
– 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats (Not Instant)
– 4 Tbsp Chia Seeds
– 1 Tbsp + 2 Tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
– 1 Tsp Maple Syrup
– 1/8 Cup Hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
– Handful Strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped
– Add two cups almond milk to a liquid measuring cup. If the vessel is large enough, add the oats, chia seeds and cocoa powder right into the cup, or, add all ingredients to a mixing bowl. Stir throughly, removing all clumps from the cocoa powder. Cover, and place in the fridge overnight.
– Chop the hazelnuts and fruit. Store fruit in the fridge in an airtight container. Store nuts separately, if possible right in the container you’ll be taking in the morning. (Note: I like the re-usable food container selection at the Container Store – they have inexpensive ones with dividers, which have more uses than we can count.)
– Scoop the chia pudding into your to-go container or breakfast bowl.
– Top with strawberries & cover if transporting.
– If necessary, tote the nuts in a side container or small ziplock bag. Add the nuts when ready to eat.
Have a great week!