Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Breakfast Balls

Breakfast Balls
Some of the most common things I hear about breakfast are 'I don't have time', 'I don't feel like eating first thing in the morning', 'I'm bored of traditional breakfast foods', and 'an hour or so after brekky I am searching for food again'.
Do any of those sound familiar to you?  Sometimes kids can also be difficult customers when it comes to getting a good breakfast into them before school, and plenty of studies have shown a reduction in concentration with a nutrient poor/missed breakfast.



Funnily enough these insights are exactly what has driven a whole new subcategory to emerge in the breakfast cereal aisle - Breakfast on the go.  The past 5-10 years has seen shelf stable drinks, single serve cereal packs, and most recently even biscuits!  I mean, really???!!
The marketing is even convincing.  The spotlight is placed on the high fibre/protein contents to fill you up and keep you fuller for longer, as well as an array of 'essential' vitamins and minerals for busy people to kick start their day.

But I know all you loyal Mellymaks readers are not going to fall so quickly for the marketing jargon right?!  Look a little closer at what you are actually starting your day with.  Sugar?  LOTS!  A loooooong ingredient list including thickeners and fillers, colours and flavours?  ABSOLUTELY.  Is this 'real food'?  Is it really what you want to be putting in your and your families bodies?  I think these ingredient lists below speak for themselves...... (sorry for the fuzzy pic, I was trying to take it inconspicuously in the supermarket!!)



OK.  So what do you need to start the day right, keeping it quick and on the go, yet tasty, wholesome and 'real'??  You need ingredients that are going to sustain and nourish, a little bit of time at the start of the week, and to throw out those overly processed commercial alternatives!

These are similar to the energy balls that I have made and discussed here on my blog and also on Mellymaks Facebook page, however the main difference is the complex carbohydrate content in these balls is greater, to give that fibre, blood sugar steadying, fuller for longer effect.
Fibre, tick.
Protein, tick.
A multitude of vitamins and minerals, tick.
Whole ingredients without the heavy processing or fillers, tick.   
Easy to make, easy to eat, easy to take on the go, tick.

Well, lets get to it then ( :


Breakfast Balls

Ingredients

1 tbs chia seeds 
3/4 c oats (for a gluten free option try puffed corn, puffed brown rice, puffed or flaked quinoa, puffed buckwheat)
3/4 c puffed amaranth
3/4 c organic shredded coconut
3/4 c nuts, finely chopped if not using the TMX (try cashew, almond, hazelnut, macadamia.  To avoid nuts use sunflower seeds, pepitas, linseeds, raw cacao nibs)
3/4 c dried fruits, chopped if necessary (think cranberries, goji berries, dates, sultanas, currants, apricots)
1 tsp cinnamon, if desired
1 tbs raw honey
1 tbs pure maple syrup
1 splash vanilla extract
1 tbs apple puree or natural yogurt

Method - Conventional

  1. Mix chia seeds in a small cup with 3 tbs water and leave to soak into a gel while collecting other ingredients.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl place the oats, amaranth, coconut, nuts and dried fruits and mix together. (If using puffed corn and/or rice, crush them to smaller pieces, helping the binding process later on)
  3. Add chia gel, honey, maple syrup, vanilla extract and apple puree and stir until combined.
  4. Mould into balls the size of a walnut.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or for at least a few hours to bind and release flavours.     

Method - Thermomix

  1. Mix chia seeds in a small cup with 3 tbs water and leave to soak into a gel while collecting other ingredients.
  2. Meanwhile, place nuts in dry TM bowl and pulse on Turbo a couple of times until finely chopped (but not a meal).
  3. Add dry ingredients to the TM bowl and stir on REVERSE, speed 1 for 5 seconds.  If using larger puffs (such as corn and rice), mix on speed 2 (and not REVERSE) for a few seconds to chop down the puffs helping to bind later on.
  4. Add chia gel, honey, maple syrup, vanilla extract and apple puree and stir on REVERSE, speed 1 until thoroughly combined.
  5. Follow steps 4 and 5 as above.

NOTES:
  • For the choc variant (as pictured above), add 1-2 tbs raw cacao powder.  It may seem strange me recommending a chocolate brekky however raw cacao is full of antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals, so why not?!!!
  • This recipe makes approx 15 balls and will keep for a week in the refrigerator.  
Here are some other breakfast ideas that will give you a great start to the day:
Naturally Sweetened 4 seed Banana Loaf
Nutty Seedy Clusters and Cocoa Crunch Cereal
Gluten Free Breakfast Loaf

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