Food as medicine: Banana, chocolate and peanut butter porridge

food is medicine

I don’t know about you, but one of my favourite winter breakfasts is porridge. It is so comforting and warming on a cold morning, and it is delicious too! In keeping with the food is medicine theme, I created this scrumptious delight.  I used coconut water in this recipe as it is a great source of fibre, calcium, vitamin c and potassium.  It is also naturally sweet, so you don’t need to add much extra sweetness. Studies have also shown that coconut protects cells and lowers blood sugar.

Here is a breakdown of the other ingredients and their therapeutic benefits.

CHIA SEEDS

Chia Seeds originated in Mexico and South America and were used by Mayan and Aztec cultures for their supernatural powers. They are high in fibre, protein, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium and antioxidants. They also protect against ageing, improve digestive health, make bones stronger, assist with muscle growth, and boost energy levels and metabolism.

CACAO

Cacao originated in Mexico and was known as the Food of Gods by the Aztecs, Mayas and Incas. It became the first form of chocolate when Christopher Columbus mixed it with vanilla and sugar to make it into beverage, which he then served to wealthy and powerful Europeans as an aphrodisiac. Cacao is high in magnesium (ladies- hello chocolate cravings when it’s that time of the month!) which means it is great for premenstrual symptoms. It also enhances mood and cognitive function

PEANUTS

Peanuts originated in South America 3500 years ago. They were a staple in the Aztecs and Native Indian diets and were used as sacrificial offerings, as well as ground into maize as a drink.  Scientific research has shown that peanuts protect against Alzheimer’s and age cognitive decline.

BANANAS

Bananas are thought to have originated in Malaysia around 4,000 years ago.  They spread to India and the Philippines where they first recorded as being grown in 327 B.C by Alexander the Great's army. In 1482 A.D, bananas were brought into Africa by traders, where they were then discovered by Portuguese explorers who took them to the Americas, which is now the largest place for banana production in the world. Due to their high potassium content, they are great for cardiovascular health, blood pressure and heart function. A medium sized banana also contains 3 grams of fibre which helps regulate digestion.

OATS

Oats are one of my favourite functional foods and they don’t always get much attention for their therapeutic benefits. Did you know that Oats have been used across the world for over 2000 years, and before they were used as food, they were utilised as a medicine to treat leprosy and skin conditions? Crazy hey! Oats also stabilise blood sugar, lower cholesterol levels, enhance the immune system and protect against cancer.

CINNAMON

Cinnamon is one of our oldest spices in the world and it was even cited in the Bible.  Its history lies in ancient Egypt where it was used as medicine for fever and nausea. It was so highly cherished that it was deemed more treasurable than gold. Studies have supported that it is effective for blood sugar control, anti-clotting actions and anti-microbial actions. It also acts as a booster for our brain functionality.

FLAXSEED MEAL

The origins of flaxseed can be traced as far back as 10,000 BC.  It was used to treat bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, boils and digestive illnesses as well as being spun into linen! Flaxseed is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, assists with digestive health, protects against cancer and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

food is medicine

Banana, chocolate and peanut butter porridge

WHAT YOU NEED.

50g rolled oats

250ml coconut water

2tbsp natural peanut butter

One banana

1tsp cacao powder

1tsp cinnamon

1tsp chia seeds

1tsp ground flaxseed meal

1tsp sweetener of choice- (agave, honey, maple, stevia, brown rice syrup)

70% dark chocolate pieces, or 1 tbsp of cacao nibs

HOW TO MAKE

Pour oats into a pan and add coconut water, bring to the boil


Once the mixture starts to bubble remove for 1 minute and stir


Bring back to the boil on a low heat/ simmer


Add in cacao powder, cinnamon and 1tbs peanut butter, and stir until oats become soft (approx. 10minutes)


Pour the mixture into a bowl
Top with sliced banana, 1tbsp peanut butter and 70% dark chocolate pieces, or 1tbsp of cacao nibs, 1tsp sweetener and sprinkle the chia seeds and ground flaxseed meal.

TO SERVE

On its own, or with a dollop of coconut cream, or Greek yoghurt