Chia Bowls and Smoothie Bowls have become extremely big with hipsters and health conscious folk, lately, appearing in cafes all over town and across my Instagram feed every day.
Their popularity is understandable – not only are Chia or Smoothie Bowls a delicious meal, they’re also full of healthy fruits, chia seeds and nuts, and often gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free as well. Plus, unlike the poor chicken parmi (parmigiana), a cult favourite in Australian pubs and hotels, they are ridiculously photogenic as well, making them a popular social media subject, thereby driving up demand.
Chia seeds are considered one of nature’s superfood as they are high in protein, fibre, antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, whilst also being low in calories. They are also very versatile as they can be eaten raw, soaked in juice, added to cereals, porridges and puddings, or added to baked goods like cakes, muffins, slices and crumbles.
I like the sheer variety of Chia Bowls: you can make them up with any kind of milk (e.g. almond, soy, rice or cows), fruit (e.g. strawberries, blueberries, kiwi fruit, papaya, grapefruit, grapes, cherries, apples, pear bananas), nuts (e.g. almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios) and seeds (e.g. sunflower and pumpkin). Shredded, dried or shaved coconut is also great, too, or you could do a Middle Eastern inspired Chia Bowl by adding ground cardamon, coconut milk, rosewater and (food-grade) dried rose petals.
For an easy and filling breakfast for the whole family, I make up chia bowls the night before and store them in the fridge. Then in the morning, it’s simply a matter of adding whatever fruit, nuts and seeds the kids prefer and breakfast is ready. But Chia Bowls are equally good for afternoon tea or even a healthy dessert, too.
The possibilities are endless. So why not give this Chia Bowl recipe a go today?
- 8 tablespoons of white chia seeds
- 3 cups milk (almond, rice, soy or cows). If using rice milk then try use 3 tablespoons less as it's very watery.
- Honey, stevia rice malt syrup or agave syrup to sweeten
- 2-4 pieces assorted fruit, cut into small pieces (e.g. papaya, pear, melon, kiwi fruit, apple, banana) or 2 punnets assorted berries (e.g. strawberries, raspberries or blueberries) or stewed fruit (e.g. rhubarb, apple or berries) or 200 grams assorted dried fruit and seed mixture
- 160 grams flaked, slivered or (pulverised) whole almonds
- Place chia seeds in a medium bowl and top with milk.
- Leave for at least one hour or in the fridge overnight to absorb.
- Whisk mixture to break up any lumps.
- Sweeten mixture with honey, stevia rice malt syrup or agave syrup to taste and then separate into four glasses or bowls.
- Top with fruit, nuts and seeds as desired.