Cha Cha Cha Chia Seed Pudding!

I love pudding but my days of instant Jello mixes are far behind me.  So, obviously, I was stoked to find these two variations on Chia seed based pudding from the site Deliciously Organic.  Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and contain alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA), ladies, these all come in really handy if you experience PMS.  Yes, this chia based chocolate pudding is medicinal! Chia seeds also contain protein, fiber and some antioxidants. Chia seeds don’t need to be ground up like flax seeds in order for the body to absorb their nutrients.

Some really good lookin' nutrition information!

Some really good lookin’ nutrition information!

Ingredients:

  • 1  3/4 cups or one can coconut milk (Deliciously Organic recommends organic canned coconut milk from Native Forest. The can isn’t lined with BPA and it’s a nice thick milk)
  • 1  3/4 cups almond milk (just refill the empty coconut milk can no need to use a measuring cup!)
  • a few drops of stevia (or for non Candida diets: 4 tablespoons maple syrup or honey)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional but recommended!)
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds

Procedure:

In a wide mouth quart mason jar add the coconut milk and almond milk, extracts and stevia.  If the coconut milk is cold you will need to use a whisk to work out any lumps.  Or, put the lid on and shake vigorously!  Then add the chia seeds, put the lid on and shake well to combine.  Let it sit at room temperature for a few hours until the chia seeds are fully expanded.

If you’d like to make the pudding ahead of time, shake well and then keep it in the refrigerator until you want a health snack or dessert.

This recipe makes an excellent take along snack or addition to your picnic.  You can easily make 1/2 a recipe in a smaller mason jar if you prefer.  For a thicker pudding, add another tablespoon or two of chia seeds, for a thinner drink, similar to tapioca bubble tea, use a tablespoon or 2 fewer chia seeds.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

As above, just whisk 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder in with the coconut milk.

Top with a sprinkling of cacao nibs if you like.

Vanilla Almond Pancakes with Lemon Curd

The ones on the left were my first batch made with thick batter, the ones on the right made from thinner batter came out just right.

Honestly I was a bit skeptical about making pancakes, but my first thought when taking a bite of these was, “Oh man, these taste like pancakes!”  True story.

This recipe was found by a client of mine who is in the process of figuring out what exactly she should be eating in order to heal her digestive system.  Every few weeks her doctors seem to discover something else, want to do more testing and we keep having to change her diet.  Instead of giving up and getting frustrated, she’s getting creative! She sent me a link to these pancakes on Elena’s Pantry, a gluten free food blog worth checking out even if you and gluten get along fine. The original recipe is here, but of course, I had to change a few things!

Ingredients:

2 eggs
¼ cup almond milk (this is just a place to start, add as much as you need to reach proper pancake consistency.)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups blanched almond flour ( I used whole, raw and toasted almonds and ground them up in my coffee grinder)
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
neutral oil for sauteing: sunflower, veggie oil, coconut, ect

A little bit of stevia goes a long way, add it while you whip the eggs.

  1. Whip eggs, almond milk, a touch of stevia and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Add almond flour, salt and baking soda and blend again to incorporate dry ingredients into batter.
  3. Let batter sit while you get the skillet ready.

    The batter came out very thick. I made one batch with this batter but the second batch, thinned out with more almond milk was much more like real pancakes.

  4. Warm sunflower oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  5. Ladle pancake batter onto skillet, smaller is better and easier to flip.
  6. Pancakes will form little bubbles, when bubbles open, flip pancakes over and cook other side
  7. Remove from heat to a plate
  8. Repeat process with remaining batter, adding more oil to skillet as needed
Makes at least 12 pancakes

I used a cast iron skillet to make these pancakes.  This is a lot of batter, I made as many as I wanted to eat and then put the batter in the fridge to use later.  The next morning I heated up the skillet, thinned the batter with almond milk and had panckes in just a few minutes!

Thinner batter is better!

And if you want something to put on top of your pancakes, try making lemon or lime curd.  I found a recipe in How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson and tweaked it just a bit.  This took about 30 minutes start to finish.  I made the curd the night before and it went perfectly with my pancakes in the morning!

Lemon curd and the recipe from Nigella

To make lemon or lime curd, melt 6 tablespoons of butter on low in a sauce pan while you gather the rest of your ingredients.

Whip together: 1/2 cup of citrus juice, in this case, lemon, seeds and bits removed, with the zest of one lemon (zest first, juice second) and three large eggs.  You can add some stevia now and then adjust for final flavor at the end.

Quickly add your lemon and egg mixture to your melted butter on the stove, whisking to incorporate.  Turn the heat up to medium and continue to whisk until a custard forms.  Add stevia and adjust for desired sweet/tart ratio. You can add up to a tablespoon of agave to help take the edge off all the stevia if you like.

Put the curd into a jar and let it cool before putting the lid on and refrigerating.  It will keep for a week or so and makes a great topping for pancakes or perhaps a coconut cake?!

Pancake breakfast on the porch, life is good.

Raw Bars with Cacao Nibs

These no bake, high-protein, high-fiber bars are based upon Melissa Diane Smith’s recipe for Amaretto Protein Bars in her book ‘Going Against the Grain’ and are easy to make.  Roasted cacao nibs add extra chocolately flavor without the sugar. These make a great snack, a healthy dessert or a breakfast on the go!

Ingredients:

2 cups raw almonds

1/2 cup flax meal (flax seeds ground in coffee/spice grinder)

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup unsalted almond butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut oil

stevia to taste

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup cacao nibs

 Procedure:

Place almonds, flax meal, shredded coconut, almond butter and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.  No need to pulverize everything, some big almond pieces add texture and crunch!

In a small sauce pan, melt the coconut oil over very low heat.

Remove the liquid coconut oil from stove and stir stevia, and vanilla into the oil.

Add the coconut oil mixture to the food processor and pulse until the ingredients form a coarse paste.

Press the mixture into an 8 x 8 glass baking dish

Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour, until mixture hardens.

Remove from refrigerator, cut into bars and serve or store.  These keep well in the freezer or refrigerator.