Recipe Box: Chia Berry Breakfast Parfait

IMG_0951 Since last October I’ve become totally hooked on rock climbing.  For me, climbing is yoga.  It has this beautiful way of pulling me 100% into the present moment. It thrusts me out of my head and into the movement, my breath, and my surroundings.  And isn’t that union with stillness the true practice of yoga? In an unexpected way, climbing has deepened my connection with my personal yoga practice on and off the mat, my relationships with others, and my understanding of self-love.

All winter I’ve been learning technique and training at our indoor gym, which is actually this cool space inside giant old grain silos. Now that it’s finally getting warm again, I’ve started taking more outdoor trips to climb. In January, I got my first lead climbing experience in Joshua Tree, then in March a few more adventures in the Wichitas.  This past weekend, we loaded up the car and went to Arkansas for the day…

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Because we had just finished our Spring cleanse, I packed several mason jars of fresh juice for the early morning trip.  But knowing we’d be hiking and climbing all day, we needed more nourishment to sustain us.  So I made us these travel-friendly chia + berry parfaits to eat on the road.  I took a portion of the fresh berries (blueberries and raspberries) I had on hand and made two separate jams, combining the fresh mashed berries with blended frozen berries.  I layered the jam between the chia pudding, along with a few more whole fresh berries, sprouted pumpkin seeds, bee pollen, and a sprinkle of cacao nibs.  Textures4 These little parfaits were perfectly satisfying before our climb! Chia is a powerhouse seed that packs a decent amount of protein, fiber, healthy omega-3′s and nutrients, including calcium, manganese, iron, phosphorous and folic acid. Chia seeds also help balance and stabilize blood sugar because it slows the effect at which glucose enters the bloodstream. Not to mention, the chia seeds are hydrated in homemade hemp milk! So you’re getting an extra boost of fiber, protein, omega-3 & 6, and B vitamins from the ground hemp seeds.

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I’ve become hooked now on making a large batch of this hemp chia pudding to always have a jar on hand in my fridge. It stores well, and makes the perfect topping for my green smoothies. I love the added texture and nutrition it brings to my breakfasts, and the sustained energy it provides through the morning. I’ve rekindled my passion for these little seeds and have been loving experimenting in the kitchen in all sorts of new ways.  Tell me, what’s your favorite way to use chia seeds? 

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CHIA BERRY BREAKFAST PARFAIT

Maca Milk
1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
4 pitted dates
2 tsp maca powder
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch Himalayan pink salt
4 cups purified water

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Whirl until frothy. Transfer into an airtight glass container until ready to use.

Simple Berry Jam
2 cups fresh berries (raspberries/blueberries)
1 cup frozen berries, thawed
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp raw honey (optional)
pinch cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Use your hand to mash the berries together until loosely combined, leaving a few berries whole for a jam-like texture. Store in an airtight glass container until ready to use.

Chia Pudding
1 cup whole chia seeds
4 cups maca milk

Pour the dry chia seeds into a 32oz mason jar or large bowl.  Pour the maca milk over top and stir with a spoon.  Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes while the chia seeds absorb the liquid, stirring a few times to incorporate the liquid.  The mixture will eventually form a gelatinous pudding texture. If dry, add more maca milk for softer consistency.

To make the parfaits, layer several spoonfuls of chia pudding and alternate with a layer of berry jam, fresh berries, dried goji, pumpkin seeds, bee pollen and cacao nibs (or your desired superfoods) until you fill your bowl or glass.  If traveling, use a mason jar with a lid so you can seal and take it with you.  Store in the refrigerator or cooler for up to 2 days.

Makes 2 parfaits