On Mondays, I have to be up and out of the apartment by 5am – which, if I want as much sleep as possible, doesn’t allow for making breakfast at home. I could rely on getting food at the airport, but the options aren’t that great at my terminal, and I sometimes cut it so close that I don’t have time to stop anyway.
I’ve come to rely on making a banana breakfast pudding the night before. With the addition of a ton of chia seeds to thicken it, I can get it to a solid consistency that is allowed to go through security, and I’ve now established a morning ritual of enjoying it once we hit cruising altitude. It’s great to start my day with such a healthy breakfast, and I like that it sets my tone for the travel week.
1/2 cup cooked wheatberries (I cook these in bulk and freeze them in ziplock bags, which just require a quick minute in the microwave to defrost)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 scoop protein powder (I use Optimum’s Any Whey, which is flavorless)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Thinly slice the banana. Heat a pot, and without using any oil/butter/etc, place the banana slices into the pot so that they’re all flat on the base and not on top of each other. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until you can smell the caramelization (mmm, delicious) happening. Flip the bananas and cook the other side for another minute or so (may be difficult since the bananas will now be mushy).
Meanwhile to a mini food processor or blender, add the rest of the ingredients. When the banana is done caramelizing, scrape the (now mushy) banana into the food processor, and blend. I don’t worry about crushing the wheatberries, since I love rice pudding and tapioca pudding, so leaving the wheatberries whole gives the pudding a similar chunkiness.
Note that after blending, the consistency will still be fairly liquid, and you’ll wonder how you could ever get this through security. Fortunately, through the magic of chia seeds (you did add a whopping two tablespoons, right?), the pudding will thicken considerably overnight. It usually ends up almost like Jello – where I can cut into it with a spoon and it wobbles but still manages to retain its shape. TSA-approved!
One warning – this is not the prettiest pudding in the world, as the bananas will cause the pudding to darken to a light brown color overnight. However, it is delicious. Caramelizing the bananas brings out the flavor and makes the pudding super sweet (with no added sugar), like a healthy version of Bananas Foster. Meanwhile, this recipe is incredibly high in both fiber and protein, making it very filling while providing both quick energy (from the banana sugars) and slow burning carbs (from the wheatberries).