The days are still short, but are slowly getting longer as we descend through winter and into spring. Last year it was around this time that my SAD kicked in (seasonal affective disorder). It was my first true winter, having only ever lived in sunny, tempered climates before moving here to Colorado over a year ago. My chronic illness last winter didn’t help much either (more on that in future posts) and I was unprepared in every way for the lack of sunlight and plant life I was about to encounter for three long months. This year I said heck no, that is not going to happen again. After recovering from my illness last summer my world here in Colorado has changed, and I’ve been thinking of how to combat the winter blues for the past few months. Those were dark times last year that I’d rather not relive, and am happy to say I am downright giddy as a bumble bee in a field of flowers right now on this cold, stark day in Denver. Why? I like to think its because of my cheery disposition (**wink face**) but I really know that the food I have been focused on consuming has played a major part in this “operation: defeat winter SAD”. Ever since the second week of December, when winter got real around here, I started pumping myself full of green juice, raw veggie salads, and a host of superfoods. My Amazon orders were made up of items you might find at a hippy health food shop (well, they always do, but did even more) and I signed up for a membership at our neighborhood gym to take shelter from running outside in the freezing cold (which I ran in all of last winter and don’t think that helped with my struggle). Then I received a case of these drinks from Bai and did a little happy dance.
I’m excited to share the stellar drinks made by Bai with you today in hopes that you will feel inspired to put down the sugary, artificially colored drinks that you might be tempted to grab this season – and offer you an alternative. Something made from real fruit, and an extra punch of goodness with their celebrated superfood – the coffeefruit. Filled with antioxidants, and oh so refreshing, Bai’s Antioxidant Infusion line is not only good for you but also tastes amazing. Mix it with a little club soda for a sparkling drink, add it to your morning smoothies, or use it in your overnight oats like I do in my recipe for you below. No matter what, make sure to take care of yourself this season. Fight off those winter blues with some extra nutritious meals to help keep those endorphins firing. Smile and give lots of hugs.
Breakfast? Dessert? You can decide, all I have to say is a bowl of this goodness will keep you energized all morning if you choose to enjoy it in the AM. A mixture of Bai’s Congo Pear drink with hemp milk infuse the cocoa dusted oats with a creamy and sweet base. Adding chia seeds is great for thickening as well as getting in a dose of omegas. I love my toppings, and feel as if the crunchy and bright pomegranate seeds are the perfect neighbor to the spoonful of toasted hazelnut butter and soaked seeds. I soak the seeds the night before to activate their nutrients and break down those enzyme inhibitors, and even include a simple recipe at the bottom for my go-to toasted hazelnut butter. Any nut (or seed) butter that you love will work wonderfully here as well, and feel free to mix up the toppings depending on what you have on hand/the season. A quick, easy, delicious, and nutritious breakfast waiting in your fridge when you first wake up sounds like everything I need to get going in these darker, winter mornings. Plus the bright red pomegranate seeds look so cheery. Happy (and healthy) breakfasting folks!
This post was sponsored by Drink Bai. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and I think their drinks are delicious. I sincerely appreciate your support for Faring Well by supporting its sponsors!
CHOCOLATE + PEAR + HAZELNUT OVERNIGHT OATS
Makes 1 serving for breakfast, or dessert.
1/2 cup rolled oats (quick or steel cut work too)
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1/4 cup plain hemp milk
1/4 cup Congo Pear by Bai
1 spoonful soaked pepita and sunflower seeds
1 spoonful pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoon toasted hazelnut butter
Begin the night before by combining the oats, chia seeds and cacao powder in an 16 ounce jar. Mix well, and then pour in the liquids. Place the lid on tightly and give it a good shake. Place in the refrigerator overnight. At the same time, place a few tablespoons of pepita and sunflower seeds in another small jar and fill with filtered water. Seal the jar with a lid and place in the refrigerator to soak overnight (activating the seeds and making them easier to digest).
In the morning, remove the lid from your oats. Give them a stir and top with a spoonful of soaked seeds, pomegranate seeds, and toasted hazelnut butter. Dig in and enjoy this lasting fuel all morning! (For the soaked seeds, drain and rinse well in the morning, storing any leftover seeds in an airtight jar in the refrigerator to sprinkle over additional breakfasts that week.)
make your own toasted hazelnut butter
2 cups raw hazelnuts
a few pinches of salt
Toast the hazelnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet in a 300F oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let slightly cool. While still warm, roll them between a folded cloth towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. Place the nuts, along with a few pinches of salt, in a food processor and blend until smooth (stopping to scrape down the sides as needed). Store in a 16 ounce glass jar, tightly sealed, in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.
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