(Update 4/2019: Be sure to read the Recipe Notes for a small variation on this one that is also amazing and maybe even better?!)
Sometimes you just need a little kick in the butt to get out of a breakfast rut. Maybe you’re sick of overnight oats, or scrambled eggs or avocado toast or leftover pizza (#nojudgement), or maybe you’ve been skipping it altogether. And look, I’m not gonna lie and say this healthy cereal alternative is as easy as opening a box of bran flakes and pouring into a bowl. BUT I’m willing to bet you may find the few extra minutes for chopping and assembly is just WORTH IT and a solid addition to your morning rotation. Dare I even say it’s kid-friendly, depending of course and as always on your kiddos. (For us, it’s 1 out of 3 but that means more for me, right?!) Also, let me just say that it tastes much better than it photographs but still we need a shot before digging in:
Here’s everything you need to make this happen:
- Crunchy tart little apple chunks
- Crushed roasted nuts
- Chunks of chewy sweet dates
- Flax and chia seeds for texture and nutrition boost
- Coconut and vanilla as a treat for your taste buds
- Creamy almond milk to finish it all off!
I almost always have chia seeds, flax, and coconut on hand, but if you don’t, know that you can find them relatively inexpensively and the bags will usually last a long time. I bought bags recently at Kroger for $3.99 (chia), $3.49 (flaxseed), and $2.49 (unsweetened coconut flakes). The chia and flax seeds are also great in smoothies or sprinkled on your yogurt or oatmeal, FYI if you’re looking for more ideas to use them up. And try my Fudgy Chocolate Coconut Snack Balls to use up some of that coconut. Finally, don’t be tempted to skip the vanilla! You won’t regret it!
The key for the best possible experience here (and we want that for you, right?!) is chopping the apple into really small pieces. I use a knife to chop the nuts too, but you could also leave them whole, or even use my (highly professional) method of crushing them by adding to a plastic baggie and smashing them with a big spoon (also easily outsourced to helpful kiddos).
For an average size appetite, this recipe will make enough for 2 bowls worth, but feel free to eat it all….because after all it IS crunchy, sweet, creamy nutritious breakfast slaw (it’s a thing, right?!) If you’re just going to eat half, store the remaining chopped apple in the fridge in an airtight container overnight. Then the next morning, all that’s left is to stir in the additional toppings and almond milk and get eating. Your apples may turn slightly brown but will still taste just as good. You can always squirt some lemon juice on there before storing, but I don’t do that here because I don’t want the lemon flavor on day 2. (Which reminds me, if your mornings are really tight, chop the apples and nuts the night before, store separately, and then assemble it all in the morn.)
<< Nutrition sidebar! If the taste isn’t enough, another reason to love these bowls is because it’s an easy way to work in some ALA omega-3s. Why is this important? ALA is an omega 3 that can be converted into EPA and DHA in the body. In our modern diet, we eat a lot of omega 6 fatty acids (many common oils have a high omega 6:3 ratio). Ideally the ratio of 6:3 would be somewhere between 1:1 and 4:1, however, these days, it’s commonly skewed to 16:1 or worse, due to the prevalence of high omega 6 oils (i.e. soybean, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, etc.) in restaurant and processed foods. Plant based sources of ALA include walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, and hemp seeds, so you’ll get a dose here in the flax and chia, plus even more if you use walnuts too. Note that plant based sources of ALA have a somewhat low conversion rate to EPA and DHA in the body, so if you eat vegan or vegetarian, you may want to also talk to your doctor about an algae-based DHA and/or EPA supplement. >>
Now back to our regularly schedule programming! I’ll just drop this little video here in case you need more inspiration to give it a try 🙂
This crunchy, sweet, creamy concoction tastes delicious and packs a ton of nutrition and flavor into your morning. Tart apple chunks mix with crushed nuts, sweet chewy dates, coconut flakes, chia, and flax and are topped with vanilla and almond milk for a healthy breakfast you'll actually want to eat!
- 1 large apple, cored and chopped into small pieces (I like organic Honeycrisp)
- 1/3 cup nuts, chopped or crushed into smaller pieces (I use dry roasted pistachios and almonds)
- 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp grated coconut (see note)
- 8 pitted dates, chopped
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (I use unsweetened almond or oat)
Add half the chopped apple to a bowl. Top with half the nuts, 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed, 1 Tbsp chia seeds, 1 Tbsp grated coconut, and 4 of the chopped dates. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp vanilla and pour in 1/2 cup almond milk. Stir and eat!
I look for grated coconut, but if you can't find it, or if flakes are less expensive, just buy the coconut flakes and blitz them in the blender or food processor until they're finely grated.
UPDATE 4/2019: For a variation on this (that I've been making and loving lately!), leave out the dates, coconut, and vanilla. Then use a blender to blend together the non-dairy milk (I like oat for this), plus 2 Tbsp almond butter (you're making 2 servings), and 1 tsp honey. Then pour that creaminess onto the "cereal" and eat!