Sunday, September 27, 2015

Quick Meal That Feels Like Dessert!

Chia seed, your choice of milk and flavoring. Let it sit overnight.  
That easy.  REALLY!

Chia seeds have been a staple in countries for centuries. For many of us it is a new super food like quinoa.  The Mayans and Aztecs knew what they were doing!

Chia seeds are high in Omega 3's, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.  They are seeds, so they have fat but the good kind since it is from a vegetable source.  The fiber helps with a feeling of satiety - ability of food to satisfy.They are high in calcium, manganese, and phosphorus.  

  • Manganese - healthy bones, bone metabolism, fertility, processing of nutrients
  • Calcium - healthy bones
  • Potassium - protein building, electrolyte & fluid balance, muscular contractions, nerve impulses

The benefits are numerous. 

The outer shell of the chia seed swells, absorbing the liquid in the milk creating a pudding like texture. They are also a great replacement for eggs in recipes like flax seed but the advantage is chia seeds don't need to be ground.

Chia seed pudding is a quick and easy dessert to make that is full of the health benefits listed above. It is versatile as you can choose the flavoring you want to suit your mood.  I like making it in individual containers but you can just put in one big one and serve. I don't use any sweetener and then feel less guilty when it is a meal replacement. Adding fresh fruit or a dollop of preserves on the top can also add sweetness to the pudding. 
Share your favorite add-ins on That’s Vegetarian’s Blog.

Chia Seed Pudding
3 c cashew milk (almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, pistachio milk, regular milk)
1 T flavoring - vanilla, almond extract, amaretto, preserves...and/or3/4 t spice - pumpkin pie, cinnamon, cardamom,...1 T sweetener - maple syrup, agave syrup, honey (vary amount to taste)1/3 c chia seeds6 t preserves or fresh berries
Mix the ingredients together well.  Put in one large container and let it set in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

Optional - add 3T cocoa powder to make it a chocolate pudding!
Difficulty level: easy
Serves 6

Prep Time: 10 min
Wait time: up to 4 hours

gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Summer Sangria Time!!

It is the end of summer, a heat wave everywhere.  Enjoy fruit filled beverages that are light and refreshing.

Cut up a peach, grapes, strawberries, nectarines, and some watermelon. Put in a glass with some ice and add water, seltzer, or club soda for something non-alcoholic and refreshing.

Or use that fresh fruit and make sangria. Just add the fruit to a pitcher, pour a bottle of white or blush wine over so the ratio is 1/4 fruit to 3/4 wine and let it set in the fridge for 8 hours. There is no need to soak the fruit in brandy. It adds some flavor but the extra alcohol is not necessary.  I prefer a drier white like a Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

When serving top with a splash or seltzer or club soda.  Don't forget to put some of the fruit in the glass too!