Energy boosting breakfast: How to make cacao and ginger chia pudding
It can take some trial and error to work out what breakfast food will give you the most energy and focus for your day. We are all different and some foods can be fantastic sources of energy for some, but less so for others.
It's a case of trialling different foods and seeing how your energy levels respond.
Our bodies synthesise energy from fat and glucose (sugar and carbohydrates). Excess sugar and refined carbohydrates in your diet can put you on the rollercoaster of highs and lows associated with blood sugar spikes: think anxiety, shakiness, hunger and low energy or fatigue.
To combat this, most of us can benefit by including a source of healthy fat and protein with each meal and snack. This keeps our energy levels consistent, stabilises blood sugar and reduces the sudden gripping hunger (or hanger) associated with low blood sugar. Best of all, it can reduce or get rid of that afternoon energy slump altogether!
Including whole grains in your diet, like oats, millet, quinoa, brown rice and whole wheat pasta, in place of processed grains (white pasta, white bread etc), will also help control blood sugar and in turn, boost your energy levels.
It all starts with what you have for breakfast. Some great ideas are eggs and smoked salmon, porridge with berries and nut butter, or my personal favourite: chia pudding.
Read on to learn how to make my favourite recipe.
How to make a quick, energy boosting breakfast
Cacao and ginger chia pudding
Chia seeds are a fantastic source of antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fats), and a source of protein. This makes them an ideal breakfast food for keeping you energised until lunch, and alleviating cravings for sugar later in the day.
I've tried chia pudding a few different ways, but this is by far my favourite. Who doesn't love chocolate and ginger?! Cacao is also high in magnesium, a mineral known for alleviating feelings of anxiety and stress, and improving sleep. Ginger has fantastic anti-inflammatory benefits too.
The best part is that chia pudding literally takes minutes to put together, and then you set it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. It's a quick and easy one to make the night before and then you're good to go in the morning. No faff.
Ingredients (Makes 1 portion)
1 tbsp cacao powder (This makes a decadent pudding! Use 1/2 tbsp to make it less rich)
4 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup almond milk (or alternative milk)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tbsp maple syrup (optional sweetener)
Toppings: Nuts and seeds, berries, nut butter
Add cacao powder to a small bowl, jar or container for your pudding. Add in 2 tbsp of your almond milk and stir thoroughly until it forms a paste, with no lumps.
Continue to add in almond milk slowly, while stirring, until cacao is fully mixed in.
Add in chia seeds and grated ginger, and stir until mixed in fully.
Add in nut butter and maple syrup (if using), and stir.
Leave chia pudding to set in fridge for a few hours, or overnight.
When ready to eat, top with fresh berries, more nut butter, seeds, nuts, whatever you fancy!
Tip: The almond milk makes this pudding slightly sweet so you don't need to add the maple syrup, but add if you prefer a sweeter taste.
A quick and easy meal for energy
Enjoy your chia pudding for breakfast, or as a mid afternoon snack to boost your energy levels and reduce tiredness.
What foods give you the most energy? I would love to hear from you, let me know in the comments below.