There are definitely some health food trends that I followed even though I didn’t like the food.
Example A: kale. I love spinach, arugula, swiss chard, and even beet greens, but I just can’t like kale. I’ve tried and even went through a phase where I thought I liked it…if I covered it with enough salt, pepper, hot sauce, and mixed into a dish. The smell, though, is what really got me…not to mention how gross it was when I tried to eat it raw. No thanks, I’ll stick to my spinach.
The same goes from quinoa (I know, what sort of blogger am I that I don’t love quinoa?). It’s not that I don’t like quinoa. I ate it regularly for a few months, and maybe I just burnt myself out on it, but now I must prefer brown rice or oats as my grain of choice.
This is probably starting to sound like a diatribe against superfoods, so let me just say that sweet potatoes constitute about 25% of my diet, I have an odd obsession with beets , and I will probably cry like a baby if this almond shortage turns out to be as bad as they say it will be.
Chia seeds, however, are one of those trendy health foods that, years after first trying them, I still love. I hadn’t even read Born to Run when I first tried those little black seeds, but they caught my attention because I love texture and crunch. Like, I can’t eat Greek yogurt without adding fruit and maybe some almonds. I’ll choose cake or cookies everything over ice cream and have never been a huge smoothie fan. Chia seeds add just the right level of crunch—not tooth-shattering but still offers something to bite into—to smooth foods, whether you add them to yogurt, smoothies, or as I did, oatmeal.
Oatmeal is one of my absolute favorite foods. I eat it almost everyday for breakfast along with a cup (or two or five) of black coffee. Like Greek yogurt, oatmeal is one of those foods that I have to top with fruits, nuts, or seeds to add some bite to it. I do to my oatmeal what most bloggers do to frozen yogurt: top it with everything in sight.
This apple cinnamon chia seed oatmeal is no exception to my tendency to pile everything into my morning bowl of whole grains. Chopped apple, a healthy dash of cinnamon and ginger, and chia seeds top this oatmeal, which also has applesauce whisked in for extra flavor and an egg whisked in for protein and creaminess.
Beyond the satisfying crunch they add, chia seeds have an abundance of health benefits. Chia seeds are full of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, calcium, and a plethora of essential vitamins. The omega-3s are particularly of nutritional value, as they are shown to prevent arthritis, female athlete triad, depression, and high cholesterol. The combination of the fiber, fat, and protein will help you keep hunger at bay, which is so important for those of us who suffer from runger (um, that’s totally me).
- 1 cup milk of your choice (I use 1% cow's milk)
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- Dash of cinnamon
- Dash of ground ginger
- Dash of salt
- 1 egg
- 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened natural applesauce
- 1 apple, cored and chopped
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Bring the milk to boiling in a saucepan over the stove.
- Add the oats, reduce the heat to medium-low, and stir while cooking until the milk is absorbed (about 5 minutes).
- Add the salt, cinnamon, ginger, applesauce, and egg to the oats, and whisk for about 1 minute or until the egg is thoroughly combined and cooked (the texture should be creamy with no bits of egg yolk or white).
- Add the apple and cook until soft. Remove from heat and stir in the chia seeds.
- Serve and eat immediately, preferably with coffee.
- This recipe is easily doubled or quadruple!
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