A few weeks ago I got a juicer. Actually it was a gift from my work as a way of saying “Thank You” for taking on some extra responsibility. It's always nice to have your hard work payoff, and know that people appreciate it.
And I also love the fact that my coworkers know that rather than giving me a small bonus in cash form, I'd so much prefer a juicer 🙂 How awesome is that?
Anyway, now that we have this totally rocking juicer (this is the one I have and I LOVE it), we've been juicing every morning. I assumed that our grocery bill was going to skyrocket now that we've been eating a lot more organic produce, but it actually hasn't. Thank goodness for Trader Joe's!
Since we are making sure to use only organic produce, I wanted to be sure we were getting the most out of juices as possible. I did some reading about the best way to juice and how you should drink it so that you get the maximum nutritional benefits, and I've found three interesting things:
- You should swish the juice around in your mouth and “chew” it to activate the enzymes in your saliva which help your body absorb the nutrients faster
- You should drink your juice on an empty stomach because there is nothing else in your system to soak up some of those nutrients – if you have a tummy full of food, your body is also working on processing that meal, so you don't necessarily get as many of the benefits from the juice
- You should avoid having a heavily fruit based juice or that will send your body on a sugar roller coaster (our favorite combination is (serves 2): 1 large grapefruit, 1 cup pineapple chunks, 1 lemon, 1/2 a cucumber, 5 – 6 celery stalks, 1/2 a fennel bulb, 1/2 head of romaine, 2 cups kale, 1/2 bunch parsley, and ginger….it is amazing!)
We've been following these principals and have to say we're feeling great (and by we I mean Matt and I). He tends to chug them, but I've been enjoying my daily juice around 8am each day (after I've power walked with the pup), drinking it slowly with a cup of hot water and lemon, swishing it around in my mouth and truly trying to savor each sip.
What I love about this new routine is that my day starts with something super energizing, but then around 10am, I'm hungry again and I get to have a second breakfast!! I'm seriously obsessed with breakfast (side note: stay tuned because I'm launching an AWESOME breakfast-related surprise soon) and the fact that my diet now allows me to have two, is the best.
Of course, I still try to make my second breakfast as healthy as possible, and since I'm working, I also need it to be fast. Which is precisely where overnight quinoa flakes come into the picture.
If you haven't jumped on the overnight oatmeal train, don't worry. Today, we're making it better by adding quinoa flakes to the mix. We get a nice little boost of protein and fiber, and it makes the texture a little less chewy also.
Making overnight quinoa flakes (as well as oatmeal) is super easy. Basically you just mix your ingredients together with some milk and then stick in the fridge to sit overnight. The key is the chia seeds, it helps the mixture thicken and become more like the consistency of traditional oatmeal – except this one is served cold. It might sound a little odd, but when you wake up to a breakfast of creamy and delicious oatmeal, that only took you 5 minutes to make the night before and you just have to pull out of the fridge and go, you'll be happy 🙂
I make overnight quinoa flakes a lot, but this time I felt like spicing it up a little bit. I had a perfectly ripe mango on my counter, and rather than just chopping it up and throwing it in, I decided to make a quick puree and layer the quinoa flakes with the mango to make a parfait.
The result: an over-the-top, utterly decadent breakfast that took no more than 5 minutes to make. Does it get any better than that?
Mango & Overnight Quinoa Flakes Parfait
- 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
- 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 2 - 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup optional
- 3/4 - 1 cup almond milk
- 1 large mango
- In a small bowl, combine quinoa flakes, oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, syrup (if using) and almond milk. Stir until combine. Let sit for 5 minutes while you prepare the mango puree.
- Peel and chop mango into 1" cubes. Add to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Grab a glass or mason jar and place a layer of overnight quinoa flakes down, then a layer of mango puree, followed by another layer of overnight quinoa flakes, and repeat until you have used all the ingredients.
- Transfer to fridge and let sit overnight.
- Remove in the morning and enjoy immediately!