The key to balancing our hormones and keeping them in check is good bowel health. When our hormones have finished carrying out their job, they’re banished through our bowels. Part of this process involves changing the structure of them slightly. But this makes them less safe and they start to act like toxins. This can be a major problem if we’re constipated because it can lead to reabsorption, creating all sorts of mischief in our bodies. So to stop this happening the best thing we can do is to keep our bowels moving.
Step forward chia. Aside from Omega 3, these tiny seeds are packed full of soluble
Combining the seeds with blackberries produces a comforting dish packed with flavour. Because blackberries are brim-full of bioflavonoids and antioxidants, you’re getting lots of nutritional value. They are very low in sugar so they won’t spike blood sugar levels too. Foods high in sugar send our blood sugar on a roller coaster ride. This can make our hormones go wonky - another reason why this combination is so good for our hormones.
This breakfast pot is a sinch to make and tastes delicious. Made ahead of time, it’s brilliant for grabbing from the fridge in the morning and taking to work. On their own, the seeds can irritate the lining of the gut. However, soaking them in a liquid allows the seeds to form a soothing gel. So even if you’re short of time, it’s really important to allow at least 15-30 minutes for the chia seeds to do this.
What you need
- 160ml cow’s milk alternative such as oat, rice or nut milk
- 3 bay leaves
- 15g seeds, about 2 tablespoons
- 15 blackberries, frozen or fresh
- 6 juniper berries
Makes one pot
Gently warm the milk in a saucepan with the bay leaves for a few minutes, without letting it boil. Watch it carefully because the milk warms up really quickly.
Put the chia seeds in a container. Remove the saucepan of milk from the heat and pour over the chia seeds. Stir to prevent any clumping. Leave to cool. This allows the flavour from the bay to infuse the milk and for the seeds to plump up.
Meanwhile, put the blackberries in another small pan with a splash of water. Using the side of a knife, squash the juniper berries and add them to the blackberries.
Turn the heat to medium-high and cook the berries until they start bubbling. Immediately turn down to a low heat for no more than 5 minutes. The cooking should yield a rich juice. Leave to cool.
Carefully pick out the juniper berries, then gently tip the blackberries and juice over the cooled chia mix and enjoy.
Harriet’s tip: This mixture is delicious with an added tablespoon or two of ground flaxseeds, a teaspoon of lucuma powder or a sprinkle of desiccated coconut.
Harriet Bindloss has always loved cooking and feeding family and friends. She trained at Leith’s School of Food and Wine, worked as a private cook, then went on to produce the food pages at House & Garden magazine for five years. Now she uses her experiences and passion for nutrition to feed her most difficult critics, her two young children.