Did you know that many Canadians skip breakfast?  According to the latest Tracking Nutrition Trends report, almost 40% of Canadians skip breakfast.  Eating a healthy breakfast has been associated with lower prevalence of overweight and obesity, reduced weight gain over time, better appetite control and increased intake of nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, potassium and fiber.
Breakfast can have a tendency to be boring.  Many of us have our “go-to” breakfast which can start to feel like a chore to eat.  Breakfast bowls can be a great way to increase the variety in your breakfast; these bowls have the same base ingredients (oats, chia seed and hemp seed) and the rest is up to you to create and enjoy!

Oats aren’t just a breakfast staple,

they are a source of soluble fiber, which can help to lower cholesterol and blood sugar.  They are complex carbohydrates which means our bodies take longer to digest them, helping you to feel full even longer, which can also be a great way to prevent over-eating.  For more info on complex carbs, check out the Blog post “How Low Can You Go? The Low Carb Diet”. Oats are also gluten free which makes them a great choice for breakfast-eaters everywhere!

Chia seeds are less known in North America,

but are growing in popularity.  Salvia hispanica L. (Lamiaceae), commonly known as chia, is native to Mexico and Guatemala, it is a grain with a long history of use for food, oil and medicines.  Chia is similar in nutrient composition as flax seed.  It is a good source of ALA (an omega 3 fatty acid); in 1 tablespoon there is 1.896g of ALA.  Targets for daily ALA intake are 1.1g to 1.6g for adults. Current research has now led many scientists to believe that ALA has some heart health benefits.  It is also a great source of fiber (about 4g per tablespoon).
From a breakfast perspective, soaking chia seeds causes them to swell, adding a really nice, thick texture to your morning breakfast bowl.

Hemp seeds are also a good source of protein and they add a great flavor to many dishes, including these breakfast bowls,

To date there aren’t a lot of long term human studies around the consumption of hemp seeds. However, they do have an impressive nutrient profile; like chia seeds they are a great source of ALA (about 2g for 2 tablespoons).

Here are some recipe suggestions

Fruity Granola Breakfast Bowl
Ingredients:
2 tbsp chia seed
2 tbsp hemp seeds
¼ cup oats
½ cup milk, or milk alternative
5 lychee fruit (canned in juice, drained)
¼ cup sliced strawberries
¼ cup blueberries
3 tbsp granola
Directions:
Soak chia, hemp and oats overnight with milk.  Stir, and top with remaining ingredients.
Tropical Fruit Breakfast Bowl
Ingredients:
2 tbsp chia seed
2 tbsp hemp seeds
¼ cup oats
½ cup milk, or milk alternative
¼ cup raspberry Greek or dairy free yogurt
¼ cup cantaloupe, cubed
½ banana, sliced
1 kiwi, sliced
1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
Directions:
Soak chia, hemp and oats overnight with milk.  Stir, and top with remaining ingredients.
Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bowl
Ingredients:
2 tbsp chia seed
2 tbsp hemp seeds
¼ cup oats
½ cup milk, or milk alternative
3 tbsp plain pumpkin puree
2 tbsp granola
Directions:
Soak chai, hemp and oats overnight with milk.  Stir, and top with remaining ingredients.
Coconut Berry Breakfast Bowl
Ingredients:
2 tbsp chia seed
2 tbsp hemp seeds
¼ cup oats
½ cup milk, or milk alternative
¼ blueberries
½ cup strawberries, sliced
1 tbsp dried cranberries
1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
Directions:
Soak chia, hemp and oats overnight with milk.  Stir, and top with remaining ingredients.
Chocolate Banana Breakfast Bowl
Ingredients:
2 tbsp chia seed
2 tbsp hemp seeds
¼ cup oats
½ cup milk, or milk alternative
1 tbsp cocoa powder
½ sliced banana
1 tbsp granola
1 tsp slivered almonds
Directions:
Soak chia, hemp and oats overnight with milk and cocoa.  Stir, and top with remaining ingredients.
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