Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Low-carb "hot cereal": Bird seed porridge

(Revised February 8, 2010.)

This is a great alternative to wheat-based porridge. It's full of fibre and healthy goodness... and low in carbs, course! I got the basic recipe from the Internet, but for the life of me can't find it again, so I can't credit the original source. This is my own version, tweaked a bit:

- 1 tbsp raw sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp raw sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp flax seeds (already ground or whole - doesn't matter)
- 1 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp chia seeds (already ground or whole - doesn't matter)
- May add another 1 tbsp ground almonds or walnuts (optional)

Please note that the seeds noted above are raw and unsalted.

Grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or Magic Bullet. (I got a Magic Bullet for Christmas and LOVE IT... a smaller companion to my Vita-Mix, which I use for bigger jobs.) You can grind the seeds to whichever consistency you prefer - chunky, powdery, etc.

You can get all the above seeds at any health food store or bulk store. Everything is quite affordable, however the chia seeds can be pricey. They go a long way, though. And yes, the chia seeds are the same on the "chia pets". They're very good for you!

To the ground-up mixture, add:

- about 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- cinnamon (1/2 tsp or more to taste)
- pinch of nutmeg (to taste)
- pinch of ginger and/or cloves (to taste)
- pinch of kosher or sea salt (optional, but a good idea to add some flavour)

Stir, place in microwave on high for about two minutes.

When done, stir and add:

- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds ("pepitas")
- 1 tbsp nut butter (I prefer almond or hazelnut)
- 1 heaping tsp (or so) coconut oil or butter
- dash of pure almond extract (this really adds some flavour - any other sugar-free unsweetened extract would be good, too... vanilla, maple, etc.)
- OPTIONAL: sweetener (Splenda, stevia) - I am not using sweetener and prefer it sweet-free... not everything is meant to be sweet.

Stir in the seeds, nut butter, oil/butter and extract. The roasted/toasted seeds added in the second step add some nice crunch and texture. The nut butter adds some good fat and heartiness. The oil/butter adds some good fat and flavour.

This pretty much turns into a gelatinous lump of "dough", but it's delicious. I love it! (The chia seeds act as a thickening agent, which is the likely cause of the "gelling" affect.) Dive in with a spoon or fork!

Try it! Experiment with it! You'll love it, too, I'm sure. This is especially good with some boiled eggs. I bring this to the office often as my breakfast.

Sorry, I don't have nutritional information for this recipe. It would change every time depending on which nuts and fats you use.


Anonymous said...

This looks yummy! Flax seeds go right "through" you if you don't grind them up, so to eat them whole is useless as they don't get digested! Grinding them yourself is best, as they go rancid quickly.

Brian Cormier said...

That's true. They need to be ground in order to get any benefit out of them. I keep my ground flax seeds in the freezer and have never had a problem. Ground nuts or seeds should always be kept in the refrigerator or freezer.