I can't remember when exactly, but sometime a few years ago I heard about the benefits of chia seeds. I'm sure it was something on TV, but the idea got stuck in my head and I started looking for ways to add chia to my diet. I tried the usual things – I added it to yogurt and baked goods – but the one thing that really stuck was chia oatmeal. It is a staple in my house now, in no small part aided by the fact that my girls gobble it up. (I know, I was surprised too). They love it so I keep making it. They eat it plain, but I like to add some fruit to mine. Either way it's a breakfast win in my book.
Chia really deserves the title of super food. It's high in fiber, protein, has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and it's rich in vitamins and minerals (including Calcium, which I never seem to get enough of). Chia is full of anti-oxidants and helps you feel fuller longer. In fact, the word chia comes from the Mayan language meaning "strength".
This oatmeal is also super simple to make, especially because I usually prep all the dry ingredients beforehand and then just dump it all in a pot in the morning with some milk (I'm not graceful in the morning before my coffee so dumping is as good as it gets…). It takes about five minutes; a little stirring and you're done. With my girls having such particular breakfast tastes, I even packed up a container to bring with us on vacation. Yes, I am absolutely writing this from my hotel room – you caught me.
I start with some old fashioned rolled oats. I like the texture they provide – not too mushy like if you used quick oats – just the right amount of structure but nice and creamy from the milk. I've tried using water (in desperation) but the milk really brings the flavor to the table. We use lactose free milk because I am lactose intolerant (if I am making it in the morning, I am eating it) and it works very well.
I add equal parts light brown sugar and ground chia seeds, a pinch of salt, and then cinnamon. The cinnamon is a bit of a debate in my house – my girls like it when it tastes like they are prepping for the cinnamon challenge – I like it to be more of a hint of cinnamon. So, that one I leave up for interpretation.
A word of caution about the brands of ground chia seeds – I have found that some brands can have a very bitter after taste when cooked. You can't escape it – it's like someone rubbed a grapefruit along your tongue without permission. (Not that asking for permission would make it better… well, ok maybe if you like grapefruit… maybe that is a weird analogy). You may need to experiment a bit with brands to find one that you like. Personally, I use the Spectrum Ground Chia Seed. It works for us and doesn't have that bitter after taste.
Another satisfied customer. I hope I will be making them Chia Oatmeal for a long time to come.
A healthy start to the day, rich and creamy chia oatmeal that's as easy to prepare as it is to eat.'
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 3 tablespoons ground chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or to taste)
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
1. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium pot.
2. Add the milk and cook over medium heat - stirring frequently. (If you don't stir often enough it can start to burn a bit to the bottom of the pot and be a bit of a pain to clean later.)
3. At first the dry ingredients will sink and it will look like a pot of milk. After about five minutes the oatmeal will pull together. Once it looks as though the oats are suspended in the milk and you no longer have liquid slosh about when you stir - take the pot off of the heat. The oatmeal will thicken even more as it cools so be careful not to overcook. You want the end result to be light and creamy - less like paste.