Banana, Chia and Superfoods Delight [Dairy free, Gluten free, Grains free, Sugar free, Vegan, Vegetarian]
At least once a week, I include healthy chia seeds in my food preparation, more often, in my breakfast or dessert puddings, which provide a filling and nutritionally dense meal or snack, which is very desirous to me. Struck by egg fatigue this morning, and thinking of what to have for breakfast, over a cup of strong black coffee to kick start my day, I thought of this amazing tasting dairy and sugar free vegetarian delight that I call my Friday the 13th Epiphany 🙂
A combination of banana, chia seeds, nut milk and superfoods powders, provided a brilliant breakfast option, and also brought me out of my self-imposed banana drought. I’d bought a bunch of very fresh green-tipped bananas 2 days ago, and noted that they’d just turned fully yellow this morning – yellow enough and quite firm to the touch too, providing the ideal state for this fabulous tasting mix. I loved that the banana was not too sweet, or overipe and sickly sweet and it brought back fond memories of how my dear late mum would insist on only eating bananas when it was at this stage of ripeness – ripe and ready perhaps? 🙂
This was a very simple make. My chia working prowess served me well in putting together this recipe. While I used sugar free almond milk, which may be replaced by coconut milk. I’m confident that water will work equally well, as would dairy milk or yoghurt, should you include this in your meal plans. Warming cardamom powder, which may be interchangeable with similar warming cinnamon or ginger powder even all spice, as preferred, worked brilliantly in combining with the flavours of acai and matcha.
While I used superfoods powders of stoneground green tea Matcha and Acai berry powders, unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder may be used too, if you prefer a chocolate taste. Protein powder, if you use it, will work well too. You may need to add in non-refined sugar raw honey for a sweeter taste option, if using raw cacao powder.
Being mostly a Green tea drinker – I don’t drink ceylon teas, I gravitate to Matcha often. Matcha is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. It is special in two aspects of farming and processing: the green tea plants for matcha are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest and the stems and veins are removed in processing. During shaded growth, the plant Camellia sinensis produces more theanine and caffeine. This combination of chemicals is considered to account for the calm energy people might feel from drinking matcha. The powdered form of matcha is consumed differently from tea leaves or tea bags, and is dissolved in a liquid, typically water or milk.
I use the berrylicious tasting Acai berry powder often too, in my dairy free shakes, smoothies and puddings. Organic acai powder (or acai berry powder) is made from freeze-dried acai berries: super-fruits with tremendous health benefits. Acai berries have more antioxidants than almost any other fruit and contain high levels of essential fatty acids, samino acids, and dietary fiber.
The former information is beneficial for those who don’tknow these superfoods – and as we become more aware of how readily available these superfoods are, we need to consider including them in our healthy lifestyle meal choices.
The recipe below is easy and simple, and may be made a few hours before eating, refrigerated for a refreshing foodie option as we rapidly enter the hot South African Summer.
1 medium to large banana, just ripe but firm – green tippped works well too.
3-4 tblsp chia seeds
½ cup cold water
¼ cup almond milk or coconut milk, unsweetened
1 tblsp acai berry powder
1 tbslp matcha powder OR raw cacao / unsweetened cocoa powder OR wheatgrass powder
a sprinkling of cardamom OR cinnamon powder as preferred
Raw nuts and desiccated coconut for garnish (I used pistachios and raw almonds)
- Add the water to a small glass bowl, then add in the chia seeds and allow it to sit for 15 minutes to allow the chia to swell and reach gelatinous consistency.
- Peel the banana and slice. Using a hand held immersion blender in a bowl, or a free-standing blender, blend the banana until a thick liquid state is reached, add in the nut milk of choice or water, then the chia seeds, and blend / pulse for up to a minute, until the banana, chia and liquid is well combined. You may add 1-2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut to this mix too.
- Decant the mixture into a medium sized bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the now “set” chia mix from the refrigerator and divide into 2 or 3 equal portions. You will require 2 or 3 small bowls.
- Add in the flavouring (cardamom powder or your preference) and a tablespoon each of acai berry powder / matcha powder / cacao powder, and spoon mix each chia bowl well to evenly distribute the powders.
- Using a dessert bowl or wide drinking glass, layer each chia layer as desired. For this recipe, I used three layers, the base being acai berry powder, the middle, just the banana and cardamom chia, and the top layer, matcha green tea powder.
- Garnish with raw nuts and desiccated coconut.
- If eating immediately, use your spoon to gather up each layer, so there is a beautiful combined distribution of taste that entertains your palate 🙂