A lot of people ask what the secret is in the rich creamy chia pudding that I make. I respond to them “well it is made with a lot of love and of course with pure coconut milk”.
Pure coconut milk, meaning the variety that comes in a (BPA free) can versus aseptic packaging. The latter is a “beverage” and has added items such as sugar, vitamins, minerals, gums, natural flavors, lecithin, and carrageenan. The coconut milk base in the beverage is also usually a blend of mostly water and coconut cream.
Canned coconut milk, what I call pure coconut milk, is made with coconut milk as the first ingredient and sometimes has water, guar gum, carrageenan or sulfites. Which variety you purchase is important when buying canned as well as with the beverage.
The variety I purchase and make my famous chia pudding with is from cans that have a BPA free lining and is 100% pure coconut milk. There are no added gums, carrageenan, preservatives or sulfites. I believe this makes a big difference in not only the health of you and our environment, but also in taste and texture. This variety of coconut milk is rich, thick and creamy and makes the best base for chia puddings.
If you are interested in making coconut milk from scratch you can do so simply by combining unsweetened coconut flakes (purchase sulfite free) with water in a blender then straining it. Here is a recipe and how to guide for you. This is a delicious, refreshing and a wonderfully pure food.
Here is a simple chia pudding recipe for you to try out today:
VANILLA CHIA PUDDING
1 (14oz) can full fat coconut milk (My favorite brand is Aroy-D)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
Optional: shredded coconut, fresh fruit, granola to top
Add coconut milk to a mason jar (with cover) and whisk until blended and smooth. Add vanilla extract, maple syrup, cinnamon, and whisk. Add chia seeds and immediately whisk until fully incorporated, no clumps. Put cover on and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning add shredded coconut, fresh fruit, and granola, then enjoy!
Well now that I have divulged my secret I look forward to hearing your stories of making your own coconut milk chia pudding and what fun flavors you come up. Post comments and pics below!
We have all heard the quote that “breakfast is the most important part of the day.” So why do we still skip it, rush through it, or eat morning meals that are basically sugar laden desserts? Eating breakfast wakes up your system, jump starts your metabolism, and prepares your body for the day ahead. Therefore why not choose foods that will fuel you with the energy you need to make it a rockin’ day!
Here are 5 ways to supercharge your breakfast:
Remember that you want a good balance of fiber, protein and carbohydrates to supercharge your morning meal and thus supercharge your day. Make the time to fuel your body well and your body will thank you. Now go rock your day!
Start your year and EVERY day right with these breakfast ideas:
Fruit salad - Combine your favorite seasonal fruits such as apples, pears, oranges, bananas, pineapple, or kiwi, and eat as is or topped with fresh squeezed lime juice, shredded coconut, hemp seeds, nuts and a drizzle of agave.
Smoothies - Throw all the ingredients in the blender the night before, blend in the AM, pour into a Nalgene bottle or reuse a plastic cup and enjoy. Be creative. You can use a base of water, juice, coconut milk or homemade almond milk, then add fresh or frozen fruit, wheat germ/flax/chia/hemp seeds, nut butters or nuts, sunflower seeds, spirulina and a sweetener such as dates, agave or maple syrup.
Or try one of my creations which in just one serving has 13 g Fiber, 14 g Protein, over 1,000 mg Potassium, 45% Calcium, 25% Vitamin D, 17% Vitamin C, 16% Iron, as well as many other vitamins and minerals:
FUNKY MONKEY SMOOTHIE: 1/4 cup chopped dates, 1 banana, 1 Tbsp natural peanut butter, 1/8 cup ground flax seed, 1/2 cup plain organic yogurt, 1/4 cup water. Place all in blender and puree.
Oatmeal - Again this can be prepped at night by placing water in a saucepan on the stove and setting out the measured cup of oatmeal with some raisins or dates added to it. In the morning bring water to a boil, place oatmeal and dried fruit in the pan and let simmer while you are doing something else. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or cloves, along with chopped nuts and seeds for added nutrients. Sweeten or add a liquid of choice.
Coconut Yogurt and Muesli/Granola - Bob's Red Mill makes a pure delicious muesli or you can try making your own. The night before or first thing in the morning combine muesli with yogurt and let soak. You can add chopped fruit or use coconut/almond milk instead of the yogurt. For granola, just add yogurt, milk or try with orange juice, the way I sometimes like it.
French Toast, Pancakes, Waffles - Try making your own whole grain bread and use leftovers for french toast. Or make your own wholegrain or gluten free pancake/waffle base to have on hand. Combine dry ingredients and place in an airtight container in the freezer. Just add wet ingredients when you are ready to make them.
A new hearty Pancake/Waffle Recipe I developed this month, which serves about 3 and has 10 g Fiber and 8 g Protein per serving, consists of:
1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup ground flax, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp honey, 3/4 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/4 cup water, 1 Tbsp safflower oil, 1/4 -1/2 tsp almond extract, and frozen raspberries.
I mixed all the dry in one bowl, the wet in another, and then blended the two until just combined. Pour in a waffle maker or make pancakes and press raspberries into the batter before flipping sides. Top with applesauce or maple syrup, toasted nuts and seeds, or fresh fruit.
Oh happy delicious day to you!!
In the spirit of Christmas I am writing this article on the vivacious and marvelous sunflower, which in my opinion is one of nature's most precious gifts.
I am thankful for its sunny characteristic that consistently brings a smile to my face and fills my spirit with joy. How can one not be fascinated by this unique flower that continuously seeks out the sun. It reminds me of how we should live...by always seeking the sunny side of life.
The sunflower, Helianthus Annus, originated in the American southwest and was eventually brought to Europe and other parts of the world to cultivate. This amazing plant is used not only in the cut flower industry but also for its oil and seeds. The sunflower head is actually a composite of hundreds of tiny flowers which mature into fruits which are what we know as the "seeds." The outer covering of the "seed" is inedible and the inner part is the true seed which we can eat.
Sunflower seeds contribute a wealth of nutrition to us in the form of essential fatty acids (the good fats), vitamin E, protein, fiber, phytochemicals, calcium, magnesium, selenium, copper, zinc, folate, and iron. These little guys are great for boosting the immune system due to their high content of antioxidants.
Can you believe these tiny little things give us so much? Seeds are truly the spark of life giving us everything we need for vitality, so it is important to incorporate more of them in our diets.
Some ideas on how to incorporate these nutritional powerhouses in your diet include simply snacking on them (in small amounts as they are concentrated in fats), tossing them on salads or in cereals, adding them to stir-fry or grain dishes, and incorporating them into granola or trail mixes.
You can experiment with them and substitute sunflower seeds for other ingredients such as pine nuts in pesto. Here is a simple homemade granola bar recipe that you can make for your family or give away for holiday gifts this season:
Homemade Granola Bars - makes about 5 or 6 bars
1/4 cup raw honey, agave or brown rice syrup
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats (not quick!)
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds
pinch of ground cinnamon - or more to taste
In a sauce pan over low temp heat honey with peanut butter until blended. Remove from heat and add vanilla. In a separate bowl combine rolled oats, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, and a pinch of cinnamon. Add the warm wet mix to the dry and stir evenly.
Lightly spray a loaf pan with cooking spry and press the mix evenly in it. Let dry and cut into bars. Simple, healthy, and quick! You can be creative with this recipe and add other ingredients as you like.
So now that your ready to go out and buy sunflower seeds let me add a quick note on how to buy and store them because they can go rancid quite quickly. Purchase raw hulled sunflower seeds from stores with high turnover. Store them in a dark glass bottle in the fridge.
You can sprout the seeds and then roast/cook them for easier digestion. Lightly roasting the seeds can reduce the effects of rancidity. Other than that, go ahead and enjoy nature's gift to us. Happy Holidays!!!
Here is a recipe I created that will make your morning more glorious…If you want to sub spelt flour for the all purpose flour, go for it! Or maybe sub coconut oil or applesauce for the vegetable oil. You could also experiment with lessening the white sugar and subbing with a bit of maple syrup or honey. As usual, I encourage you to play with your food, be creative and have fun!
And of course make every morning, glorious!
Stacey’s Morning Glory Muffins
2/3 cup raisins
2 cups organic all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups organic sugar
1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
3 Tablespoons water & 1 Tablespoon flaxmeal (or add one more egg)
2 organic eggs (or flax eggs: 2 Tbsp flaxmeal, 6 Tbsp water, let sit till thick)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 – 15oz can of crushed pineapple, drained. Reserve 1/4 cup of the juice
This blog is an exploration of life, love, adventure and art primarily through the medium of food.