In the winter, we often look forward to a hot breakfast that didn’t come from a box. Sure, steel cut oatmeal and pancakes are good, but some variety — and a healthy option to boot — is also nice. I’m talking waffles topped with crunchy toasted nuts and a hot berry sauce. This dairy-free, vegan breakfast recipe with chia seeds and berries has a good chance of becoming your go-to favorite. Let’s go through some of the ingredients first:
Chia seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium and iron, promoting both cardiovascular and digestive health. Research shows they may also reduce the risk of heart disease.
Strawberries and blueberries are two of the most popular and widely available berries. Strawberries contain a good amount of vitamin C, which may help heal blemishes and protect against wrinkles and sunspots. They also contain a high level of antioxidants, like most berries. Antioxidants may lead to increased energy, softer skin, better memory, and better digestion. Animal research shows that strawberries may lessen the kidney and brain complications from type 1 diabetes. Strawberries may promote protection from brain damage and even some cancers. Blueberries are high in potassium, have calcium, vitamin C, and good amounts of carotene that are also skintastic nutrients.
Almond milk is not only a good dairy substitute for the lactose intolerant, but it’s also low in calories. It is full of flavonoids, which may improve heart health, including lowering cholesterol. Almonds also contain vitamin E, which helps improve skin’s moisture and slows the skin aging process. Vitamin E may also increase oxygen uptake within the body’s tissues and improve circulation, which could lead to hair growth.
So give your Sunday morning pancake recipe a rest and try this uber-healthy waffle recipe instead:
Vegan Non-Dairy Whole Wheat Waffles with Chia Berry Sauce Recipe
Chia Berry Sauce:
Makes 3 cups or 6 half cup servings
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, washed
- 2 cups orange juice
- 2 Tbsp chia seed
In sauce pot, combine all ingredients, bring to a light boil, then turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and reserve.
Makes five 6-inch waffle servings
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1 Tbsp chia seed
- 1 1/3 cup 100% whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon, ground
- 1 banana, 9 inch, ripe
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- ¾ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 1/3 cup water (to thin batter if needed)
- Canola oil cooking spray, as needed
In bowl, combine 1 cup unsweetened almond milk with 1 Tbsp chia seed, stir well to mix, and set aside to allow chia seed to swell. In large bowl, combine pastry flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, mix well with wire whisk and set aside. In medium size bowl, place peeled banana and coarsely mash; then add vanilla and mash until loose and well blended. Add reserved 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk with chia seed, and blend well. Add and fold in banana mixture to dry ingredients in large bowl, stirring until well blended with no lumps of flour. Add toasted walnuts and fold in with a spatula until well blended. If the batter seems too thick, then add water in small amounts to loosen batter to a mildly loose consistency. Spray pre-heated waffle iron with canola oil cooking spray, add ½ cup batter for 6-inch waffle iron, close top and cook waffle until golden brown, about 3 ½ minutes. Serve with berry sauce. For gluten-free waffles, substitute gluten-free flour or baking mix instead of whole wheat pastry flour.
These waffles also freeze really well so you can take them out of the freezer and pop them in the toaster oven for a quick breakfast, knowing they are not manufactured with all of the preservatives we don’t want.