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Health Tips

Lunchbox ideas + chia porridge 3 ways

By 28/01/2020 No Comments

It’s no secret I am a huge fan of making sure my diet contains a good amount of plants and healthy fats. This makes chia seeds a key ingredient in my diet and also my daughter’s lunchbox, not only taste and nutrition wise, but also because chia seeds are so versatile. Hemp seeds are another favourite of mine for the very same reasons.

If you haven’t yet tried chia yourself, chia seeds are tiny little black or white seeds, which come from the salvia hispanica plant.

Despite their minute size, they sure pack a nutritional punch! Specifically, they are well known for their plant-based omega-3 content. In addition they offer a source of fibre, protein, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and Vitamins B1, B2 and B3 along with various phytochemicals.

Chia seeds are a great breakfast and also snack ingredient because they are incredibly filling and therefore provide a sustained release of energy, which means no getting hangry shortly after eating! Chia are also very much child friendly and a good way to boost the nutritional density of their diet.

In fact, for Emily’s first day back at school tomorrow, as a snack, I am mixing together ¼ cup chia seeds, natural yoghurt and mango puree and refilling a squeezy yoghurt pouch. I highly encourage you to try refilling the pouches instead of buying yoghurts for each day because this is a great way to not only save money but also reduce landfill. For more express lunchbox ideas, see below, but first, back to the chia porridge recipes!

To save time in the kitchen, the below porridge recipes, can be made as a batch and warmed up or eaten cold over a few days.

Choc Banana Chia Porridge

Serves: 2
Pre: 5 minutes
Cooking: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients
1 large banana, skin removed, mashed
¼ tsp. cinnamon, ground
¼ tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
1 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil, optional
1 cup milk of choice
½ cup chia seeds
2 tbsp. toasted coconut shavings
¼ cup slivered almonds, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. cocoa or cacao powder
1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup

Method

In a small pan combine the banana, cinnamon, vanilla and coconut oil, simmer for 5 minutes, until the banana is soft. Add the chia seeds, cocoa, honey and milk to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Spoon the mixture into a jar or bowl and top with slivered almonds and coconut shavings.

Eat immediately or store in a sealed container and place in the fridge once cooled.

 

Turmeric Chia Porridge with Muddled Raspberries

 Serves: 2
Pre: 5 minutes
Cooking: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients
Chia porridge
1 large banana, skin removed, mashed
¼ tsp. turmeric, ground
¼ tsp. cinnamon, ground
1 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil, optional
1 cup milk of choice
½ cup chia seeds
2 tbsp. toasted coconut shavings
¼ cup cashews, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup

Muddled raspberries
1 punnet fresh raspberries or 1 cup frozen, defrosted
¼ tsp. vanilla extract or paste
1 tsp. honey or maple syrup

Method

To make the raspberries, place all ingredients in a tall glass or jar and gently crush the raspberries until a rough puree forms, adjust sweetness to suit. Set aside in the fridge.

To make the porridge, in a small pan combine the banana, turmeric, cinnamon, and coconut oil, simmer for 5 minutes, until the banana is soft.

Add the chia seeds, honey and milk to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Spoon the mixture into a jar or bowl and top with raspberries, cashews and coconut shavings.

Eat immediately or store in a sealed container and place in the fridge once cooled.

 

Apple, Kiwi and Coconut Chia Porridge

Serves: 2
Pre: 5 minutes
Cooking: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients
1 apple, core and seeds removed, diced
¼ tsp. cinnamon, ground
¼ tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
1 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil, optional
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup chia seeds
2 tbsp. toasted coconut shavings
¼ cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
1-2 kiwi fruit, peeled and diced

 Method

In a small pan combine the apple, cinnamon, vanilla and coconut oil, simmer for 5 minutes, until the apple is soft.

Add the chia seeds, honey and coconut milk to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Spoon the mixture into a jar or bowl and top with kiwi fruit, macadamia nuts and coconut shavings.

Eat immediately or store in a sealed container and place in the fridge once cooled.

 

Express back to school lunchbox ideas

  • Blitz avocado, yoghurt and a squeeze of lime for a creamy dip – serve with veggie sticks and/or seaweed rice crackers.
  • Roughly mash cannellini beans with a fork, spread onto a wholegrain wrap and top with your kids favourite veggies before rolling up to eat.
  • MYO trail mix – popcorn, roasted fava beans or chickpeas, coconut flakes, dried apple, apricots or dates, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds – mix up a large batch and portion into single servings, rather than buying individually packaged trail mixes.
  • Steam or roast extra mini corn cobs at night and place in the lunchbox the next day.
  • Steam or roast whole baby sweet potatoes, in the morning mix a can of tuna or salmon with avocado, cut sweet potato in half and top with the avo mix. For a veggie version try cottage cheese mixed with diced cherry tomatoes and cucumber or hummus and grated carrot.