"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious" ~ Albert Einstein

Friday, October 25, 2013

Protein Quinoa Bowl and Chia Seed Cereal

I've been regularly eating a couple breakfast meals that now rank amongst my favorites since starting to eat a bit healthier.  These are the Protein Quinoa Bowl and Chia Seed Cereal.  They're both Julie Morris recipes, albeit with perhaps a few small modifications here and there.  She rightly calls the Protein Quinoa Bowl the ugly-duckling of breakfast bowls.  That, however, must make the Chia Seed Cereal the fugly-duckling of breakfast bowls.  The unappetizing green color is mostly caused by the Hemp Protein Powder found in both cereals.

Surprisingly enough, they are both delicious and very satisfying.  I like them both a bit before, or after, a good workout, because they are easy to digest and leave you with a light feeling, even though they provide energy for hours.  No doubt, you have probably heard the Chia Seed Cereal mentioned before if you have read some of my other blog posts.  I often take it with me on my trips for an early morning energy source, before a good hike or ride.

First, let's start with the Protein Quinoa Bowl.  This is a hot meal and best during the cooler months.  Like I said above, it doesn't look super appetizing.  But, don't let looks fool you!  If you like the taste of almond butter and maple syrup, topped with a little banana and cinnamon flavor,well you're probably going to like this hot cereal.  Let's start with the ingredients.

  • 1 cup Hemp (or Almond) Milk
  • ⅓ cup Quinoa Flakes
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Almond Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Hemp Protein Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Maca Powder
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup
  • 1 Banana
  • Cinnamon Powder

Bring the Hemp Milk to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Then, stir in the Quinoa Flakes and turn off the heat and let sit for about three minutes, allowing the Quinoa to cook through.

Next, add in the remaining ingredients and stir until smooth.  Dish into your favorite bowl and add sliced banana and Cinnamon Powder to your liking.

Next, prepare to be amazed how yummy this ugly-duckling of breakfast bowls can taste.  Don't forget to go for a work-out and feel the endurance!

I should also note that Maca can also provide a bit of energy.  At the same time, it's also a powerful adaptogen, making for a "calming" energy while regulating stress, if that makes any sense.  Incan warriors used to eat Maca before going into battle to increase both strength and stamina during long battles.  However, given it's libido enhancing effects, the women of the tribes demanded the men not be allowed to eat it during times of peace, so they could have some piece and quiet.

Protein Quinoa Bowl

Next up - Chia Seed Cereal.  This is best cold, or even at room temperature, which I actually prefer.  Also, if you need more fiber in your diet this is the cereal for you.  The 3 tablespoons of Chia Seed Cereal contains 15 grams of fiber alone!  Hemp Protein is a fairly rich fiber source, too.  So, it may be best to start out with 2 tablespoons of Chia Seeds and see how you handle it.  Either way, you probably don't need a whole lot of fiber for the rest of the day.  As mentioned, I find the Chia Seed Cereal very easy to digest, despite the fact that other high-fiber meals may be a bit more of a challenge.

In addition, since the Chia Seed absorbs the Hemp Milk and becomes "gelatinous", it's also helps detoxify your system.  I've also read that Chia Seeds can help with extended hydration during exercise, due to this moisture absorbing property.  To be honest, I haven't really noticed a difference here, myself.

Lets start out with the ingredient list again.
  • 1 cup Hemp (or Almond) Milk
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of Chia Seed
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of Hemp Seed
  • 2 tablespoons Hemp Protein Powder
  • 1 scoop Amazing Grass Chocolate Infusion Greens Powder
  • 1 small handful Goji Berries
  • 1 small handful White Turkish Mulberries
  • 1 Banana
  • Cinnamon Powder

I also like to add dried dragon fruit when we have it around.

Start out by adding everything but the Hemp (or Almond) Milk into a large bowl.

All the Dry Ingredients For Chia Seed Cereal

Then, pour in the Hemp Milk and stir well.  Let this sit for about 15-20 mins.  It doesn't hurt to occasionally stir during this period, but it's not necessary, either.  When ready, give it a final stir and add some banana slices and Cinnamon Powder to your liking and enjoy.

Easy Peasy!

Once again, it doesn't look very appetizing, but I personally think it's pretty yummy.  I gotta admit though, when Rebecca first introduced me to this one, I was a bit frightened to try it.  I think it took a few times to acquire a taste for it, as well.  Who knew it would turn into a fairly regular meal!

Chia Seed Cereal

I'll also sometimes have a small glass of "chocolate" milk with these breakfasts.  It's as simple as adding one scoop of Amazing Grass Chocolate Infusion Greens Powder to an appropriate amount of Hemp (or Almond) Milk.  The powder is made from Cacao, which is an unprocessed, unsweetened and healthier form of "chocolate".  In fact, it is one of the most anti-oxidant rich foods known.  If you need a little more protein you can throw in 1 tablespoon of Hemp Protein, but this does alter the taste quite a bit.

Here's to starting the day off right!  ;-)

Morris, Julie; Superfood Kitchen, Navitas Naturals, 2011

Wolfe, David, Superfoods, North Atlantic Books, 2009

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