I'll admit it, I used to be all about oatmeal. Gluten free oatmeal was my morning jam! Cooked with unsweetened nut mylk, drizzled with maple syrup (a little too much maple syrup) and topped with gobs of nut butter and fruit. It always felt more like a dessert than a breakfast and I was HERE FOR IT.
Occasionally, I'd give Opie a tablespoon or two and he'd gobble it up but always gagged afterwards. I could never tell if it was because he inhaled the sugary treat at lightening speed, or if his body just wasn't agreeing with the starchy carbohydrates that he wasn't used to eating. Either way, I quickly realized it wasn't a good dish for sharing.
Which then made me question how good it was for me. And listen, I'm not poo-pooing oatmeal. It can be a great, hardy winter dish filled with fibre and protein (and a way healthier alternative than a grab and go muffin or bagel), but as a frequent breakfast dish, it wasn't keeping me full and it was making me crave sugar.
So, I went back to the drawing board, to look for something slightly sweet and comforting, filled with fibre, protein and plant based goodness that I could share with Opie. And I found it! Chia seed pudding.
For those of you who don't know, chia seeds are rich in omega-3's, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins and phosphorus (and a ton of protein and fiber as stated previously).
Now, I know some people have an aversion to the texture and, at first, I wasn't completely sold either, but now, I am HOOKED. It's creamy, filling without being too heavy and super nutrient dense for both Opie and myself (and so many different ways to keep it interesting!). So, how do we make it? Grab a small mason jar and CHECK IT OUT:
- 3 tbsps organic chia seeds
- 1 cup of unsweetened nut mylk (we use Elmhurst or make our own so we can control the use of any fillers or artificial additives/gums/emulsifiers)
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds or crushed pumpkin seeds (optional)
- 1/4 cup organic walnuts/almonds/cashews (crushed to avoid choking hazard and overall increased deliciousness)
- 1/2 green banana sliced (can be riper just be mindful of sugars)
- 1/2 cup of low glycemic/low sugar fruit (peaches/blackberries/raspberries/strawberries/kiwis)
Mix chia seeds with mylk and let sit for 30 minutes- 2 hours. After this she should be niiiiice and thick. Mix again and top with crushed seeds, nuts and fruit. Add a tablespoon or two (pending on your dogs size) to their bowl or on top of their food and eat up pup!
**Because this is just a snack, this is not to be relied on for sufficient nutrients that go towards a balanced meal, but just a boost of tasty healthful plant based goodness. Additionally, if your dog has pancreatitis, do not incorporate into their diet as chia seeds are higher in fat and may contribute to discomfort.