Chia seeds exploded into popularity recently with chia puddings now being available on every street corner. This is great as they are a wonderful source of healthful omega 3 fats, fibre and vegetarian protein but in my opinion there has been a great injustice in that they have been reserved for the sweet toothed only. One of the big considerations to make when opting for these ‘health’ foods is what they have been combined with – lots of exotic fruits, agave or maple syrup are sadly just sugar by any other name. Now this is not to say we should avoid these forever but when considering a breakfast or snack that we think is up there on the superfood scale we need to be aware of what we’re diving into.
This for me is of increased relevance when it comes to breakfast. Overnight oats/Bircher muesli/chia puddings are all great pre-preparable breakfast options so that the morning requires little input bar selecting a spoon. However it is well documented that the first thing we pop into our mouths will dictate the way our blood sugar behaves throughout the day – if we go with a lot of sugar we cause a great big spike resulting in a rush of insulin to bring it back down and a fluctuating cycle is born. However if we opt for something higher in protein, fibre and fats these affect blood glucose in a far gentler manner, slowly releasing their bounty, keeping our energy levels sustained which prevents energy dips and sweet cravings later on. If you do fancy a fruitier breakfast combination however opt for a smaller amount of low sugar berries balanced nicely with some flaked almonds or pumpkin seeds.
After that small digression I shall return to the task at hand.
I was actually considering a super quick and portable lunch (from a practically empty fridge!) that would fill me up and could be prepared in the 15 minutes I had. On went the kettle and out came the wonderfully probiotic white miso (more delicate in flavour than brown but that would work just as well), combined with the earthy-ness of the mineral rich Nori this intense flavour works brilliantly with the versatility of the chia. A few cherry tomatoes, quickly cooked down in a pan to increase their Lycopene content (a potent antioxidant of particular benefit to men), some thawed edamame beans for a bit of extra plant based protein and a few florets of lightly steamed broccoli for all its green vegetable goodness and this fab new creation was born! I will personally be experimenting with a variety of different veggies to pair with my new discovery, I have a feeling some sautéed garlicky spinach or mushrooms should feature in the near future 🙂 Bulk out with more greens for busy days, add a boiled egg if exercising as well or scale down to a size that suits you for a great metabolism balancing snack.
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 heaped tsp organic white miso paste (I use this one by Clearspring)
- 1 sheet Nori (available in most supermarkets or online)
- 1/2 cup frozen edamame beans
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 large head broccoli
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- Optional: chopped fresh coriander or spring onions, sesame seeds to garnish
- Combine the hot water and miso in a bowl, tear/cut the Nori sheet into pieces and stir through then add the chia seeds. Mix well then leave to sit for 5 minutes. Stir again, then leave for a further 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile pop your edamame beans in a container and pour boiling water over them to thaw.
- Prepare a steamer or place a small pan of water on the stove with a sieve above it. Cut your broccoli into florets and steam for 3-4 minutes until tender but still with texture, leave to one side.
- Halve your cherry tomatoes and place them cut side down in a dry frying pan. Turn the heat on medium and leave them to cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden, give the pan a shake and cook for a further 2 minutes until softened but not mushy.
- Drain your edamame a place in a bowl or jar, add your chopped coriander or spring onion if using. Give your miso chia a final stir and then spoon on top. Add your broccoli florets, reduced tomatoes and a sprinkle of sesame seeds to finish.
- Optional: Place in bag and run out of the door 😉(The travel version – made with brown miso this time & layered with edamame, roasted beetroot & steamed kale 😀 )