Posts tagged chia
Summer Berry Crumble Bars

I made this oat crumble as a surprise 'bressert' for my boyfriend last weekend. His favourite fruit is rhubarb and I had a few stalks in the garden that I wanted to use up.  I wanted a super healthy breakfast crumble that was indulgent enough for dessert (hence bressert).

I had planned for this to be enough to last us for breakfast ABD dessert late in the day.... but we ate it all for breakfast ;-)

vegan berry oat crumble .jpg

I first made this oat crumble recipe for my 'Not Just For Goldilocks' book, so I won't share it in full right here, BUT I will share with you a great spin-off in the form of these bars. I made the bars in the photos below initially for Real Food Source last year and using the same principle as the crumble I made them again.

These bars are quite soft and cakey with a crisp top, which is how I love them. I used a combination of oats, ground almonds and tiger nut flour for the topping, but other flours in place of tiger nuts and almonds would also work.

They also have a great nutritional boost by way of chia seeds which are also used here to thicken and bind the base and fruit layer.

These are perfect served hot with some vegan for a little indulgence or with a dollop of plain vegan yoghurt for a breakfast option.

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Recipe: Summer Berry Crumble Bars

Makes approx 12 squares

Ingredients:

Crumble:

  • 1 ½ cup oats

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds

  • 1 cup tiger nut flour (or other flour such as wholemeal, spelt or a gluten-free blend)

  • ½ cup coconut oil– melted

  • approx. 2 tbs coconut syrup (to taste)

  • 2 tbs chia seeds and 3 tbs warm water (mixed to gel)

Berry Layer:

  • 1 heaped cup stewed fruit (I used a combination of apple, rhubarb and raspberries)*

  • approx. 1 tbs maple syrup

  • 2 tbs chia seeds

  • ½ cup rough chopped nuts of choice for topping (optional)

*I used approx 2 small/medium apples, 2 medium stalks or rhubarb and a large handful of raspberries (I didn't measure precisely but it equated to a good cup of fruit once cooked down)

Method:

Mix the oats, ground almond and tiger nut flour dried with the melted coconut oil and syrup. Set aside approx. 1/4 of this mixture for the topping (or more for a thicker topping).

To the remaining mix, add the chia ‘gel’ to help bind. Press the crumble mix firmly into an 8” square pan- it should be approx 1cm deep.  Bake for approx 15 minutes at 180C until just golden.

Meahwhile stew the fruit in a saucepan, adding a little syrup to taste as the rhubarb and raspberries are tart. No extra liquid is required as the fruit will release it's own. Add the chia seeds during the last few minutes to help thicken.

Remove the base crumble from the oven and spread the fruit layer evenly over the top. Add the reserved crumble mix, plus extra chunky nuts if desired.

Bake for another 5 minutes or so until the topping is golden and the fruit bubbling.

Serve hot or cool (note: the bars slice better when cool)

 

tiger nut crumble bars 1a.jpg
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Matcha lemon & blueberry chia pud!

Here is a recipe I've been meaning to post for a while but life too over and my brain got busy with other stuff (go check the coaching blog). But anyway, finally i'm here with this little beauty that makes for the perfect summer breakfast or chilled afternoon snack, or maybe even desert though you might not want to eat matcha to close to bedtime since it helps create an an energising zing!

You may remember I have previously tried out a few matcha recipes here. For someone who is not a typical green tea lover (I find it too bitter and tastes like straw if i'm honest, ha) I actually really enjoy matcha and this time was no exception, matcha it is a much milder, purer, smoother in flavour and the best bit is the fact it is the whole leaf ground into a powder and is packed full of antioxidants. 

I was generously gifted a sample of this lovely matcha powder from OMG Teas to get creative and share with you. This was also in collaboration with Thrive Magazine who, as you may know, I have the privileged to write for.

OMG Teas have also provided a few links to get you started with using matcha powder, here are some FAQs and a link to how to make the perfect classic matcha. There is also a reader discount at the bottom of this post. 

I also created a super simple banana matcha shake that I shared on Instagram a while back, matcha and banana is another beautiful combo, gives a sweetness to the matcha whilst not being overpowering.

A classic way to consume matcha is as a latte, but I fancied something different with this little pud, getting a boost of chia for a super charged breakfast pot! Prep ahead and chill overnight for a breakfast ready to go.  I really loved the combo of lemon and blueberry which complemented the matcha and made the flavours pop!

Recipe: Matcha lemon blueberry chia pud

Serves 1

 Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup nondairy milk of choice
  • ½ tsp matcha powder
  • ¼ tsp vanilla bean powder/paste
  • 1 tsp agave (or other syrup to taste)
  • 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • Topping - a handful blueberries and a sprinkling of lemon zest

Method:

Mix the pudding ingredients together in a small bowl and allow to sit overnight (or a few hours)

Spoon into a serving dish and add the blueberries and lemon zest to serve.

P.s Just for the record... as with every product review, I was gifted the sample BUT all thoughts, words and creativity is entirely my own :-)

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Chia-choc shake... and new FREE ebook!

Long time readers will know I collaborate with Real Food Source to develop recipes and create ebooks.... well, there is now a new additional to the ebook collection!

The little book of chia seeds!  

One of my favourite and most versatile vegan baking and nutritional ingredients. 

 
 

YOU CAN ALSO DOWNLOAD THEIR BOOK FOR FREE HERE!

(note: if you are not in the UK you can still download the book, if it asks you to enter an address during the checkout process just make one up or put 'dots' in the boxes to get past the system!)

Taken from their website: "We love chia seed here at the RealFoodSource and we've put together our fifth little free recipe ebook packed full of inspirational Chia recipes. We also share 10 simple ways to add them to your diet.  It includes our favourite breakfast, savoury and sweet recipes, did you know chia seeds make an egg replacement for baking and can make a fantastic pizza base?  As always the recipes are all super simple to create with most taking 5-10 minutes max to prepare.  All of the recipes are gluten, dairy and soy free, vegan and quite a few are paleo/primal too so there's something for everyone for free!"

I shared the recipe below for a chocolate chia snake in the book and it's now on their website too. Thick and creamy shake or pudding... perfect as a summer dessert or snack. Grinding the chia seeds creates an extra super smooth and thick texture which is perfect for people who are not such a fan of the unique texture of chia in it's whole seed form.  For a pudding, simply increase the chia to 3-4 tablespoons and serve in little ramekins.

You could also dollop a little coconut cream on top, or why not try this creamy concoction plus some fruit or cacao nibs on top... so many options!

YOU CAN FIND THE FULL REICPE HERE AT REALFOODSOURCE.

How do you most enjoy chia seeds?

For a little more inspiration, here are some more of the recipe ideas from my blog archives... click!

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Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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Blackberry & Apple chia porridge

It's been a beautiful sunny October with some very warm days thrown into the mix. I love the seasons. Conkers on the floor, red crunchy leaves in the woods and the nip of winter on the horizon with dark mornings and early nights creeping in. Particularly now the clocks have changed.

Is it porridge time yet?

Yes please!

I had some blackberries left from picking a few weeks back in the freezer and some apples that I picked from a a friends tree sop this little warming breakfast or brunch was perfect. Plus I have been experimenting with recipes using this natural unrefined syrup by Sweet Freedom. More on this to come soon, but you can check them out here. The thing I love most about this syrup is that it is the closest equivalent to honey in flavour that I ever have come cross in a vegan sweetener.  I love it in muffins or drizzle on porridge like this. They also make a chocolate drizzle syrup and I have had both on hand in my cupboard for a few years, so versatile!

You could also try this porridge concept with gluten fee oats or something else entirely such as buckwheat or quinoa flakes.

By adding chia seeds and grated apple along with the oats, you'll create a lovely warming porridge that is that little bit lighter than the norm... perfect for the shift to winter when full blown comfort foods might not quite yet be in the agenda!  

Recipe: Blackberry & Apple chia porridge

Serves 2

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 1/2 cup nondairy milk of choice (plus extra to suit)
  • 2-3 tbs chia seeds (white will look prettier)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 small apple grated
  • 1 small apple chopped
  • large handful blackberries
  • 1 tbs sweet freedom plus extra to serve

Method:

Add the oats, milk, chia, cinnamon and grated apple to a medium saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes (or until preferred consistency- I like my oats only just cooked) Add extra milk to achieve desired consistency- the amount of chia you use will impact this.

In a separate frying pan cook the apple chunks- or you can just add them into the porridge along with the rest of the ingredients at the beginning if you are not fussed about having them as a chunky topping.

Add the cooked apple and blackberries on top (I add the blackberries cold) then drizzle with sweet freedom to taste. Add an extra dusting of cinnamon if you are a cinnamon freak like me!

Note: you can also stir through a teaspoon of maca powder, it's totally optional by I usually add it to all my porridgy concoctions as it gives me a boost for the day!

blackberry apple porridge3.jpg

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Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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Raspberry chia pudding... for a little Valentines love!

The celebration of love is once again nearly upon us!

So I have a few pink foodie recipes to throw your way over the next few just in case you are into all that kind of thing ;-)

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Since beginning my health coaching course with Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I have realised the importance of self-love and self-care much more so than I ever gave credit for before. So maybe this year I will be my own Valentine... Ok, yeah that does sound a bit sad really doesn't it. ha ha. 

That said, and joking apart, it is so important to look after yourself, and by that I mean to nourish your soul... with kind words, kind foods and supportive relationships. 

Make that loving start right now....with breakfast, dessert, or anything in between. Self love doesn't come better than a chia pudding!

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Recipe: Raspberry chia pudding

Serves 1-2 (depending on size of dish/ramekin)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 heaped cup raspberries (I used frozen)
  • 1/4 cup non dairy milk* 
  • 2-3 tbs chia seeds (depending on desired thickness)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder or extract (optional)
  • a few drops of pure stevia or 1 tsp syrup for a little boost of sweetness as desired.

Topping: dairy free yoghurt of choice with a pinch of vanilla extract and optional sweetener. Note: I added 1 heaped tsp fine coconut flour to my soy yoghurt to give it extra thickness a bit more like frosting. You could also make a thick cashew cream topping. Add raspberries (or red berries of choice) to decorate.

*or sub 1 tbs cashew butter blended with 1/4 cup beet (or red juice) for extra 'redness'

Method:

Blend all base ingredients together lightly and carefully spoon/pour into the bowl you will use to serve.

Chill for and hour or so to allow the chia seeds to thicken the pudding. Just before serving prepare the topping as desired and spoon over the pudding. Decorate with berries and serve chilled.

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I used 2 tbs chia seeds but next time would use 3 tbs for a little extra thickness.

I used 2 tbs chia seeds but next time would use 3 tbs for a little extra thickness.

This recipe was submitted as part of Ricki Hellers Wellness Weekend.

 

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me here:

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Coconut water smoothies...mega hydration!

During my endurance training for Tough Mudder I really got into drinking coconut water blends. Chia seeds and coconut water are great for hydrating the body and coconut water in particular for boosting electrolyte intake. However I've never been a huge fan of coconut water on its own, to me it has a little bit of an odd taste that's kind of sweet as if it doesn't really know what flavour to be… sorry coconut water I don't want to diss you as you are so healthy!

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I began adding it to my drinks and desserts such as this tropical chia pudding and these watermelon and cucumber coolers. However much as I like the coolers I still wanted to come up with a way of keeping the coconut water as close to its original state as possible and with even less prep.

Enter the coconut water smoothie!

Simply add a dollop of fresh fruit and chia seeds for an extra boost. So far I have experimented with raspberries, mango and strawberries… However the key ingredient is banana! Literally a generous inch chunk of a banana will be enough to emulsify the other fruit so that it doesn't separate when mixed together.

Just check out the difference between the two photos below of the strawberry version....the only difference between each was a small piece of banana.

strawb coc compare.jpg

I used a quarter a cup of fresh fruit in addition to 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. Therefore approximately three quarters of the large glass consisted of coconut water. It had a lightly creamy and not too watery consistency without being particularly thick either, the chia seeds helps to ever so slightly thicken and emulsify so that I could barely taste them within the final drink when blended up so finely… It's a winning combo!

After trying lots of variations my favourite combo is simple vanilla and banana and so this is the one I have given a little recipe for below...but obviously have a play with other 'fleshy' fruits too!

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Recipe: Vanilla banana coconut water smoothie

serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 1 small banana (or 1/2 a large one)*
  • 1 tbs white chia seed (dark will work but will not look so pretty)
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla bean powder
  • (* options- reduce amount of banana to approx. 1 tbs and add 1/4 cup berries or mango)

Method:

Blend together well and serve. The banana is important as this is what emulsifies the liquid and prevents separation.

strawb coconut 1.jpg
banana coconut 2.jpg
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Tomato ketchup

So, you remember this post from a couple of days ago…

Black bean beet burgers!

Well just peeking through in the corner of that photo is a little pot of tomato sauce. Homemade tomato ketchup, with a sweet  kick just like regular tomato ketchup but without all the sugar!  What provides the sweetness…plums! Helped out with a little agave syrup (you could omit this is you liked), the plums are a perfect complement to the fresh tomatoes.  I also added some ground chia seed stirred through right at the end to give a health boost and to act as a thickener. If you don’t have chia I would advise experimenting with some other form of thickener to achieve the right consistency for your sauce.

This will store in the fridge for a good for weeks and is the perfect companion for summer time. I can already picture the burgers on the BBQ now! It’s best to store this sauce for a couple of weeks before consuming as it will allow the flavour to mature…nut feel free to dip in of you can’t wait that long!

This sauce would also work well as a basic pasta sauce or base for my super- speedy GF pizza crust.

Recipe: Healthy Tomato ketchup

Makes approx. 500ml

Ingredients

  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 400g ripe vine tomatoes
  • 120g ripe plums
  • 2tbs tomato puree
  • 20g agave
  • 1tsp molasses- optional (gives a slightly deeper richness)
  • 50g white wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 small chilli pepper with seeds removed
  • Salt to taste (I added approx. ¼ tsp)
  • 3-4 tbs ground chia seed

Method

Roughly chop the garlic and add to a food processor along with the tomatoes and plums, pulse to achieve a coarse even ‘paste’.

I used my Thermomix for the entire cooking process, but for those without, transfer the tomato mixture to a medium pan, add the remaining ingredients (except chia) and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring as required to avoid sticking. Add the ground chia in the last  minute.

Remove the cloves and bay leaf (if you can find them) and then transfer the mixture to a blender (or use a stick blender in the pan) and blend until you have a smooth mixture.

Pour into a sterilised bottle or jar and store in the fridge. The flavour matures over a couple of weeks.

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Breakfast crumble crisp

 So many ideas…!

That often happens, I have one idea of something to I want to bake, which then gives rise to another version which then inspires another recipe idea, and then I have a brainwave to make an old recipe even better by using the new ideas…etc etc, you get the picture. Not that I’m complaining though, I simply wish I had even more time (and even more money to buy all these ingredients).

Yesterday I had one majorly successful recipe…a burger trial (with one more variation left to try to make sure it’s the best it can be) until I will unveil all to the world. However that was followed by one major disaster recipe….it was my basic nutty granola to stock up my snack supplies but I burnt it big time and it was not salvageable. Sad times.

Anyway, now onto breakfast; this one is so good, so simple and more like dessert than breakfast but just as good for you as my usual bowl of fruity oats.

Make a big dish full and have it as breakfast and then dessert in the evening! Perfect.

Meet the fruity breakfast crumble crisp.

A deep layer of juicy chunks of seasonal fruits topped with a thick layer of nutty, oaty crumble crisp. With most of the sweetness coming from the fruit itself and apple sauce in the topping, with just a smidgen of agave syrup, this is one virtuous crumble. I also added white chia seeds to the fruit mix to bulk up the sauce and also give an extra nutritional kick, but these are entirely optional.

Use whichever fruits you like- here I used apple, raspberry and blueberry, but you could use pear instead of the apple, plums instead of the berries or maybe even mango for a tropical trip...combine that with some coconut flakes in the topping!!

P.s it seems that my ‘mugcake’ poacher idea is finding a few fans! Thanks guys.

Recipe: Breakfast crumble crisp

Serves 3

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 2 apples or pears cut into chunks (skin on)
  • ½ cup blueberries or raspberries
  • Squeeze of half a lemon
  • 1 tbs whole or ground chia seeds
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-2 tsp agave syrup (optional to taste)

Topping:

  • 3 tbs apple puree
  • 1 tbs coconut oil- melted
  • 2 tbs agave syrup
  • 1 cup oats
  • ½ cup puffed brown rice (or other cereal)
  • 1/3 cup nuts and seeds mix
  • ½ - 1tsp cinnamon

Method

Mix all filling ingredients together in a medium bowl and spoon into the bottom of a smallish oven proof dish.

For the topping, in a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients together first and then add in the dry  topping ingredients. Mix until well coated then press down firmly and evenly over the fruit layer.

Bake at 180C for approx. 20 mins until topping is golden.

Serve with soy cream or yoghurt if desired.

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