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Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits: with homemade plant milk

Breakfast is bomb.

Table for five, please.

Coffee? Yes. Of course, please.

And thank you.

A stack (of pancakes) with bacon and a side of home fries is my go-to breakfast order. Extra butter, warm maple syrup, please. And thank you! (Check out my blog about homemade from scratch pancakes

Anywhere I go.

Whether it's at any Eat 'n Park, Egg 'n At in Moon Township, Pamela's or Deluca's in The Strip, or Decataur Diner in Ocean City Maryland, that's my go to breakfast order.

Except for First Watch.

I mean Million Dollar Bacon is ordered like an appetizer. Two orders since there are only four pieces per order. Add a Morning Meditation juice like it's a cocktail. Mmmmm, it's so delicious.

AM Superfoods Bowl or Avocado Toast for me please.

Multiply that by 5 and my bill easily tops $100, without tip included.

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day, is often overlooked in our fast-paced lives. However, there is one restaurant chain that understands the significance of a wholesome morning meal like no other – First Watch. With its commitment to freshness, quality ingredients, and exceptional service, First Watch has emerged as a favorite breakfast spot for countless food enthusiasts.

First Watch, founded in 1983 in California takes pride in its dedication to sourcing the freshest ingredients to craft their delectable breakfast dishes. From farm-fresh eggs to locally grown produce, their commitment to quality shines through in every bite.

Now headquartered in Bradenton, FL, the chain's emphasis on using real, natural ingredients sets them apart from other breakfast establishments, ensuring a healthy and delicious start to the day.

They understand that breakfast preferences can vary greatly from person to person. To cater to diverse tastes, they offer a wide range of menu options, from classic favorites to innovative creations. Whether you crave my traditional pancake order, fluffy omelets, or avocado toast with a twist, First Watch has it all.

Ever-evolving menu keeps things exciting, making each visit a delightful experience all while offering a plethora of options.

Included in the seasonal menu are gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan choices, ensuring that everyone can find something to enjoy.

They prioritize using fresh ingredients and lighter cooking techniques without compromising on flavor, allowing guests to savor a guilt-free breakfast without sacrificing taste.

Going above and beyond being just a breakfast destination, they actively engage with local communities through various initiatives, such as supporting local farms and charities. Their commitment to sustainability is evident in their eco-friendly practices, including recycling, energy conservation, and reducing waste. By prioritizing community engagement and environmental responsibility, First Watch showcases its dedication to making a positive impact.

First Watch has undoubtedly established itself as a breakfast haven, capturing the hearts and taste buds of breakfast enthusiasts across the nation. Whether you're seeking a satisfying classic or craving a unique culinary creation, First Watch is the perfect destination to start your day off right.

Let's face it, food is expensive. I don't see the prices coming down anytime soon.

I love, love, love the AM Superfoods Bowl; I would go pick it up for breakfast everyday if I could.

Coconut milk chia seed pudding, fresh bananas and berries, mixed berry compote, house made granola with almonds and whole grain artisan toast with almond butter and Maldon sea salt.

But ordering every day, that would break the budget.

So instead, I've learned how to make it.

This doesn't mean by any stretch of the imagination I will not go out for breakfast and order it. It just means I can save money during the week making it on my own to then enjoy a beautiful weekend morning savoring the delicious food of First Watch with my monthly budget intact.

Once I dissected the recipe and did some research, I took it a step further. The CarolOfMoon "test kitchen" decided making it even more of a budget conscious recipe by adding a version of homemade plant milk to the recipe.

I hope you try it and enjoy!

Let's get cooking!

Cooking Class with Carol

Things to Consider

Plant Based Milk

Plant-based milk, also known as non-dairy milk or alternative milk, refers to beverages made from plant sources that serve as alternatives to traditional cow's milk. These milk alternatives have gained significant popularity in recent years due to various reasons, including health concerns, dietary restrictions, environmental considerations, and ethical choices.

There are numerous plant-based milk options available, each with its unique taste, texture, and nutritional profile. Some of the most common plant-based milks include:

  1. Soy Milk: Made from soybeans, it has a creamy texture and a relatively high protein content, making it a popular choice. Soy milk is also rich in vitamins and minerals.

  2. Almond Milk: It has a slightly nutty flavor and a thinner consistency compared to cow's milk. Almond milk is low in calories but doesn't contain as much protein as soy milk. It is often fortified with calcium and vitamins.

  3. Oat Milk: Oat milk is made from oats blended with water and then strained. It has a creamy texture and a slightly sweet taste. Oat milk is known for being a good source of fiber and is often fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

  4. Coconut Milk: Coconut milk is made from the grated flesh of mature coconuts. It has a rich, creamy texture and a distinct tropical flavor. Coconut milk is higher in fat compared to other plant-based milks but also contains beneficial medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

  5. Rice Milk: Rice milk is made from milled rice and water. It has a thin and watery consistency, similar to skim milk. Rice milk is often fortified with vitamins and minerals, as it is naturally low in nutrients compared to other plant-based milks.

  6. Cashew Milk: Cashew milk is made by blending cashews with water and then straining the mixture. It has a smooth and creamy texture with a subtle nutty flavor. Cashew milk is often used in recipes that require a creamy consistency.

  7. Hemp Milk: Hemp milk is made from the seeds of the hemp plant, also known as hemp hearts. It has a slightly nutty flavor and a creamy consistency. Hemp milk is a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Plant-based milks are often fortified with nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and others to provide a more comparable nutritional profile to cow's milk. However, it's important to check the labels as the nutrient content can vary between brands and types of plant-based milk.

People choose plant-based milk for various reasons. Some individuals may have lactose intolerance or dairy allergies, making cow's milk unsuitable for consumption. Others may opt for plant-based milk due to ethical reasons, such as avoiding animal products. Environmental concerns related to the dairy industry and the sustainability of plant-based alternatives have also influenced the growing popularity of these milk alternatives.

It's worth noting that while plant-based milks can be a suitable substitute for cow's milk, their nutritional composition may differ. It's essential to consider individual dietary needs and consult with healthcare professionals or nutritionists to ensure adequate nutrient intake when incorporating plant-based milks into your diet.

For my recipe I'm using Cashews. (First Watch uses coconut milk). Choose the plant milk that suits your tastebuds. Or try it with different types. I also sweetened mine with Mejdol dates. This is what gives it a slightly darker hue than say coconut milk.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are small, oval-shaped seeds that come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, which is native to Mexico. They have been consumed for centuries and were an important part of the ancient Aztec and Mayan diets. In recent years, chia seeds have gained popularity as a nutritious and versatile superfood.

They are an excellent source of dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and several minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. They also contain antioxidants and vitamins, such as vitamin B and vitamin E.

Chia seeds have a mild flavor and can be easily incorporated into a variety of dishes. They can be sprinkled on top of cereals, salads, or yogurt, added to baked goods, or used as an egg substitute in vegan recipes. Chia seeds can also be mixed with liquid to create a gel-like pudding consistency.

Health Benefits: Due to their nutrient profile, chia seeds offer several potential health benefits. These include aiding in weight management, promoting heart health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, supporting healthy digestion, and providing sustained energy levels.

It's important to note that while chia seeds are generally safe for consumption, some people may experience digestive issues or allergies. It's recommended to start with small amounts and drink plenty of water when consuming chia seeds, as they can absorb liquid and may cause discomfort if consumed in excess without adequate hydration.

Overall, chia seeds are a nutritious addition to a balanced diet and can be a valuable ingredient for those seeking a plant-based source of essential nutrients.


Chia Seed Parfaits with Homemade Plant Milk.

Let's Make Plant Milk

What to Do

1 cup plant protein (any from the list above) I used cashews for this recipe. But any can be substituted.

4 cups water, filtered if possible

7 Medjool dates, pitted

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla paste

pinch of salt

Measure plant protein and submerge in cold water, covering cashews for 2 hours to overnight. This will soften the nuts making them easier to crush.

drain and rinse cashews.

In a blender, add all ingredients and blend on high for 2-3 minutes or until contents are pulverized.

Strain with a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.

refrigerate for up to 7 days. contents will separate, be sure to shake before using.

Chia Pudding

4 cups plant milk

1/2 cup chia seeds

1 vanilla pod

What To Do

  1. Place chia seeds and vanilla pod in a medium mixing bowl, and set aside.

  2. Make cashew milk. Pour into bowl with chia seeds and vanilla pod; whisk well. Let mixture stand for 10 to 15 minutes, whisking every few minutes to prevent chia seeds from clumping (pudding will thicken quickly). Refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.

  3. Discard vanilla pod. Whisk pudding. Divide pudding among 8 bowls. Top each with berries, and drizzle with maple syrup.

Pudding can be refrigerated in a covered glass container for up to 5 days


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