Taste: Earning Their Stripes

Chia seeds offer a new twist on the classic porridge recipe.
Courtesy of Cal-a-Vie Health Spa

Think "porridge” and you probably don’t envision chia seeds, but this cool and super-simple version of the traditionally warm winter pick-me-up might just change your perception.

The recipe comes from Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in Vista, California, which recently welcomed Tyler Lockwood as its culinary gardener. Lockwood, a graduate of the University of California Master Gardener Program, oversees the growing of fresh produce and herbs in the destination resort’s onsite gardens, and collaborates with executive chef Curtis Cooke and dietician May Tom to devise its menus.

Lockwood has already started to expand Cal-a-Vie’s culinary program to include new varieties of heirloom vegetables, herbs and fruit trees. But not everything is entirely his own work: when it comes to sourcing the rich, luscious honey that lends this dish its sweetness, he has enlisted the help of six colonies of bees, dubbed “employbees”. (Of course, store-bought honey works just as well if you don’t have a hive on hand!)

Tom cites some of the porridge’s health benefits. “Chia seeds are a fantastic source of omega-3 fats and are high in fiber,” she says. “Plus, the low-glycemic blueberries balance out the sweet banana and provide extra antioxidants to keep the brain, skin and cells healthy.” In fact, as Tom points out, the entire dish rates low on the glycemic index, making it an ideal breakfast or snack that won’t spike blood sugars.

Cal-a-Vie is exploring other buzz-worthy ways in which to showcase the honey, including injecting it in spa treatments and other menu items. The resort is also planning an edible flower garden, an herbal tea garden and more delicious uses for its golden bounty.

See the Cal-a-Vie's chia seed porridge recipe in our November digital edition!