This is one of my favourite breakfasts…or snacks…or desserts…
I love that this is nutritious, processed sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free. It has a creamy, decadent feel about it while being really healthy. You can prepare this the night before and put in the fridge, or make it about 10-15 minutes before needed.
There are no rules with making this recipe.
There may be other ingredients that ‘call’ to you from your fridge/pantry and beg to be added?!
If you want the consistency to be more liquid simply add more almond milk.
Kids (and adults) love seeing the way the chia seeds absorb the nut milk and become bigger and gelatinous…in a non-gross sort of a way!
This recipe feeds about 5-7 people.
The ‘How To’ – Step by Step:
Create your creamy dairy-free milk in minutes -
Put these ingredients into your blender container:
(High speed blenders work the best, but a standard upright blender will also do).
1 cup of soaked raw almonds. This is about 3/4 cup of un-soaked almonds. They bulk up.
1 litre of filtered water.
4 pitted dates or a small amount of stevia.
A little pinch of Himalayan rock salt – this brings out the flavour of the almonds.
1-2 teaspoons of pure vanilla essence or the seed paste from the inside of one vanilla bean.
Blend the almonds, water, dates, salt and vanilla together. It takes about a minute.
After blending, there will be some texture or sediment in the milk. There may be small chunks of almond and date. I don’t strain it, but put every bit of this delicious goodness into the recipe.
Pour your frothy, creamy almond milk into a good sized bowl.
Gradually add 7 tablespoons of chia seeds (dark or light ones) to your milk while stirring.
Using a whisk helps. Adding your chia like this prevents clumping.
Stir again in a few minutes. Let the chia seed bulk up beautifully. This takes about 10-15 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut.
Add 3/4 cup soaked raw sunflower seeds.
Add 1 cup of mixed fresh or frozen berries (or just one type of berry).
For Decoration or ‘Bling':
Put some more berries and a sprinkle of coconut on top – either desiccated or flaked. You could also top with any other soaked nuts or seeds, or a little fresh seasonal fruit that inspires.
Serve and enjoy!
Kids (and big kids) enjoy stirring in the berries and watching the colour of the milk change to bluey pink. Raspberries create lovely marbled effects.
If you are transitioning off processed sugar it can be helpful to put more berries into this recipe to naturally sweeten it a bit more. Alternatively you may want to add a couple more dates to your almond milk. Once your palate adjusts to less sugar, you can decrease the amount of berries/dates.
Money and time-saving tips:
- Chia seeds do really ‘bulk up’ in size so they go further than you think. They are also filling. We buy our organic chia seeds in bulk through a community collective. They are much cheaper this way. Otherwise you could buy them when on special from the bulk food bins at your local supermarket, or from bulk food stores. Store chia seeds in the fridge to keep them nice and fresh. If you want to, you can use less chia in this recipe and more sunflower seeds and/or coconut.
- You could use less almonds to make your almond milk. I like mine really creamy though.
You can soak almonds (and other raw nuts and seeds) overnight and then store in the fridge for up to a couple of days. This way they are on hand when you need them. Drain these and give them a good rinse before using. Soaked nuts and seeds increase in size too which is great. I LOVE seeing food grow!
Bulk food preparation in advance is a wonderful time-saver! Simply make up this recipe and keep it in the large bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate and put into the fridge for easy self-service the next morning. Another very cool option is to divide the mixture into glass jars (or non-breakable containers for younger kids) one for each member of your family. Put a well-sealing lid on each container. Put into the fridge overnight to let the magic happen. The seeds bulk up even more overnight, and really absorb the delicious flavour of the other ingredients.
These make wonderfully easy ‘chia to go’ breakfasts or snacks for work or school.
A quick rave about the goodness of the ingredients in this recipe..
This recipe has plenty of protein, fibre and also some good fats, all of which help to make us full for longer. This is always a good thing for the beginning of the day as it can prevent mid-morning sugar cravings and tiredness!
Raw chia seed – a super food. Contains omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fibre and important minerals. Also contains protective antioxidants. Chia seeds can apparently help to improve blood sugar control.
Raw almonds – have protein, fibre and healthy fats. They have magnesium, Vit E, and other antioxidants. The thin brown skin of the almonds contain most of the antioxidants. Soaking almonds ‘activates’ them and helps deal to the phytic acid making the nutrients better absorbed by our bodies.
Dates – a very effective natural sweetener. As we are adding the whole pitted date, all of the fibre and nutrients are included. If you need to watch your blood sugar levels, some natural stevia (the green powdered variety) is an excellent choice.
Vanilla – the smell of vanilla has been linked to the production of endorphins! When vanilla is added to a recipe, less natural sweetener is needed. Vanilla seed paste from the inside of a vanilla bean has the best flavour.
Coconut - contains fibre, protein. The fat contains a little lauric acid (also found in breastmilk) which has antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal properties.
Raw sunflower seeds - contain vitamin E, also selenium, copper, zinc, folate. They have protein, fibre and good fat.
Berries – have wonderful phytonutrients. They are anti-oxidant rich (blueberries have the most). Berries in general are considered to have a low glycaemic index. This means that when eaten in moderation, they don’t spike your blood sugar levels too far upwards – which is important.
A couple more thoughts to do with our health..
- Choose organic berries whenever possible as non-organic berries have spray residues.
- Glass or stainless steel food storage containers are better than plastic, as plastic (even BPA-free) has the potential to leave residues in the food. Younger kids need non glass chia-to-go containers.
- Avoid giving chopped nuts and small seeds to really young children due to the choking risk.
If you like this recipe, feel very free to share this post with friends and family. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!