I have a love/hate relationship with breakfast. Besides being allergic to everything most people eat for breakfast, it’s just not my meal.
Dinner is my favorite meal. I absolutely love to eat, but I’m not a morning person and rarely do I rise with enough time to really cook or leisurely eat. I can hear my Gigi saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and I’m sure there’s something to that, so I do my best to start the day off right. After all, Gigi fried eggs and bacon every day for my grandpa for 50-some years. God bless that generation.
Brunching is actually one of my favorite weekend activities. A good brunch buffet is worth not eating for the rest of the day, and we have some pretty good options here in town. A family favorite is Hereford House, since they can accommodate our army of Farha relatives quite easily and the view is just gorgeous. It looks over the golf course, if you haven’t been. Another favorite for smaller groups is Newport Grill. The offerings are not as vast as Hereford House, but the food is incredible and it has some unique seafood items.
Since brunching isn’t a daily option for both my waistline or my checkbook, I usually make a smoothie for breakfast with a scoop of protein or eat chia seed pudding. You might wonder what in the world chia seeds are anyway. They were originally grown in Mexico and known for their medicinal and nutritional value. At one point, they were used for currency. Can you imagine walking into some place with your bag of chia seeds to pay for something? Sounds messy considering they’re about the size of a sesame seed. They’re packed with omega 3 fatty-acids, dietary fiber, calcium and protein. That’s enough for me to want to eat them, and in this pudding, they have a slight crunch. I love any food with a crunch.
The top reasons you should eat chia seeds are so plentiful, you’ll run out and purchase a bag. They’re said to reduce aging, are high in antioxidants, are great for your digestive health, are heart-healthy, help reverse inflammation, regulate cholesterol and blood pressure, help treat diabetes, boost energy and metabolism, strengthen bones, build muscle and help you lose weight. And they’re delicious, too.
Think of tapioca pudding, except you can see the seeds, while tapioca hides in the opaque pudding. If you prefer things sweeter, you can add more maple syrup. You can also use liquid Stevia – only use five drops though because it’s quite concentrated – instead of maple syrup if you are watching your sugar intake.
Also, feel free to use a different milk if you prefer one over coconut. I’m crazy about So Delicious brand unsweetened vanilla coconut milk. I use it in this pudding, smoothies and on my granola. When you’re serving this chia seed pudding, it makes a fantastic breakfast with sliced fresh mango, berries and a sprinkling of granola. I also enjoy it for dessert because it’s slightly sweet and feels like a treat. When you’re making it, you can also add cinnamon in it. As much as I love cinnamon, I prefer the mild vanilla flavor in mine.
Next week, I promise to give you an entrée recipe. I can hear Randy wanting something besides last week’s quinoa salad and this week’s chia seed pudding. He calls it “chick food,” but he does eat it. I know I’ve expanded his palette over the years. You know how marriage goes – you learn from each other.
Chia Seed Pudding
2 cups coconut milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup maple syrup
½ cup chia seeds
In a blender, add coconut milk, vanilla and maple syrup and blend until mixed together. Pour into a bowl and whisk in chia seeds. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to gel.