Red White Blue Chia Pudding

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I finally got around to posting chia pudding. I know, it’s sad because it’s one of the easiest things to make. One of the reasons I hesitated until now is because I didn’t just want to post a plain simple chia pudding, not that there’s anything wrong with that. This weekend I thought about 4th of July, the Independence Day in the US and it hit me – red, white and blue! So here it is, with the blue layer not so blue πŸ˜€

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For those of you who’ve never had chia – why should you eat it?

– antioxidants

– plethora of vitamins

– fiber – Β most of the carbs in them are pure fiber

– high quality protein

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So how do you make it? Chia seeds are bland so it’s easy to add them to many different dishes and drinks so they boost nutritional value. When it comes to pudding, I feel like you have to be a bit creative in terms of adding flavor. For this pudding, I did blueberries with a bit of Organic Burst Spirulina powder (for color and nutritional boost), which you all know I love πŸ™‚ The middle layer is simply almond milk and vanilla extract and on top are pretty strawberries.

As always, I encourage you to make it your own in terms of flavor. I don’t like things too sweet so taste the mixtures before you add chia to make sure you’ll like them.

Bottom layer
  1. 2 cups of water
  2. 1 cup of blueberries
  3. 1 banana
  4. 3/4 cup chia
  5. 1 tbsp vanilla extract – optional
  6. 1 tsp spirulina powder – optional
Middle layer
  1. 2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
  2. 1 tbsp vanilla extract (add more if not sweet enough for you)
  3. 3/4 cup chia
  4. Strawberries, or any other fruit for topping
Instructions
  1. Blend water, blueberries, banana and optional ingredients, if using, in a high speed blender.
  2. Pour into a bowl and add chia seeds.
  3. Stir until all combined. Scoop out with a ladle and pour into cups/mugs.
  4. Let sit until it thickens, about 15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare middle layer.
  5. Mix almond milk and vanilla extract – I blended it in a blender so that it’d foam up, just for fun.
  6. Pour into a bowl and add chia seeds.
  7. Stir until all combined.
  8. Make sure the bottom layer is solid before pouring the middle layer with a ladle.
  9. Let sit until hardens again.
  10. Decorate with desired fruits or sprinkles!
  11. Enjoy with loved ones.

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Raw Strawberry Jam

Jam, jelly, marmelade.

Do you remember those early mornings on the weekends when nothing was more satisfying than a toast with jam? A homemade one?Β I was lucky enough to have a grandma who made almost everything from scratch. We’re talking jam, pickled anything; even pasta was homemade. That woman was amazing and I hate the fact that when I was a teenager and she wanted to teach me how to make things I was “too cool” for that.

Ever since I remember I would spend time with her in the kitchen with cutting boards and flour and dough everywhere and I had my kid’s version of tools and she let me play along as she was preparing things.Β It was magic. My grandma was the kindest woman I’ve known – selfless, loving, but she stood her ground on things she believed in and I wish I got to spend more than just the 14 years I’ve had with her. I have now lived more of my life without her than I did with her, but there isn’t a day when I don’t miss her. She was a great friend – I could tell her anything. There are many recipes that were her staples and I can only try to be as close as I can, but I’ll never make them as good as she did.

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It doesn’t hurt to try though. And now, trying to be more healthy, I take recipes we have from her and adjust them. That way I get the best of both worlds πŸ™‚

I still remember my grandma making jam at her house. She had all the berries she needed in her garden so we spend a day together picking them and then cooking. The house smelled so amazing – her kitchen was always warm and steamy and yummy smelling.

While I don’t have time to make cooked jam, I sure do have time to make a raw one. And I did and I love it. You will too!
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It only takes about 5 minutes of prep, 3 ingredients and a bread with peanut butter on one side, just waiting for that jelly to be slapped on πŸ˜€

PB&J – let me tell you how weirded out I was when I first learned of this when I came to the states – “What do you mean salty and sweet? Peanuts and jelly? EEEEEEWWWWW.” But then I learned that different things are not necessarily better or worse than the ones we’re used to, they’re just different and I have simply experienced a classic culture shock. It did take me 3 years to try this, but once I did I was hooked. And let me tell you about homemade PB&J! Or, why don’t you just make it and tell me what you think? πŸ˜‰IMG_0361-1

ngredients
  1. 3 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
  2. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  3. 1/4 cup chia
Instructions
  1. If using frozen strawberries, let thaw.
  2. Put into a blender along with maple syrup and blend until smooth, or desired consistency.
  3. Put in a bowl and mix in chia seeds.
  4. Let sit for about an hour until chia puffs up and creates a thicker consistency.
  5. Enjoy with loved ones!

Super Moist Vegan Banana Bread

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Hmmm, banana bread. Super comforting ANY time of the day. Or night. That’s right. I can eat this anytime. And you know what? It’s ok because it’s got only good things. I’m talking bananas, pecans, chia, oats, almond meal, etc. Can’t beat that! This bread is the breakfast you dream of every morning. It’s also that snack you’ve been craving every afternoon. Dinner? Sure, why not. Go for it and let me know how you liked it πŸ˜‰

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I first started making banana bread when I saw it on Dana’sΒ Site. I made this amazing bread so many times I can’t count. And it’s amazing! Then last weekend I didn’t have peanut butter on hand so I decided to play a bit and see what I came up with. I decided to use less flour and more oats/almond flour and less sugar and more bananas to make it super moist and it worked out! I was able to omit sugar altogether, except a bit of maple syrup and I was able to get flour amount down to half a cup. In this amount of bread I think that’s great.

So I baked it and let it cool, but half of it was gone before it even had a chance to cool down. My husband literally attacked it πŸ˜€ I came to it to take a slice and noticed that all of the crunchy pieces on the sides were broken off and enjoyed by him before I even had a chance. I got into Stepford mode and gave him an earful. Poor thing πŸ˜€ He survived though. And then I calmed down and we enjoyed it together.IMG_0153-1

Ingredients
  1. 4 bananas
  2. 1 flax egg
  3. 3.5 tsp baking powder
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  6. 2.5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  7. 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (I made fresh one)
  8. 1/4 cup almond meal wet (leftover from when I made almond milk), or dry
  9. 1/2 cup oat flour
  10. 1 cup oats
  11. 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  12. 1/4 cup chia
  13. 1/4 cup pecan pieces
  14. chocolate chips and pecan pieces for top
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Make flax egg and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. Once it set, mash bananas with it in a bowl. I didn’t mash all the way because I wanted chunks of bananas once it was baked.
  4. Add all ingredients through almond milk and mix until combined.
  5. Add the oats, oat flour, whole wheat flour, chia and pecans and stir.
  6. Pour into a loaf pan greased with oil or covered with parchment paper and sprinkle chocolate chips and pecan pieces on top.
  7. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Let cool before slicing.
  9. Enjoy with loved ones! πŸ™‚
Adapted from Minimalist Baker

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Vegan Chocolate Covered Oranges

Hi everyone!

How is your post holiday food coma treating you? πŸ™‚ I was doing pretty good, I think, but I did eat things I normally don’t eat because I don’t want our family traditions to die out. Portion control helps – A LOT. I come from a small country in center of Europe. I’ve been living in the states for quite a while so anything that I experience from my country is always special to me. And so, since I’m raising my son in two cultures I want to keep Christmas traditions going. I’ve been craving chocolate like crazy andΒ I’ve been wanting to make orange chocolate forever, but I think the food coma got to me so the lazy me did chocolate covered oranges instead. But, you know what? I loved them. They were gone in seconds. Oops! Thank goodness I took pictures before I tasted them πŸ˜€

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You’ve all heard enough of my views on making vegan chocolate at home so I won’t be repeating myself. To make these more special, I decided to sprinkle them with some special goodies. I chose coconut for sweetness, chia for crunchiness and pecans for nutty freshness. YUM, what a good choice. I also made plain chocolate ones and I made sure to double dip them. I LOVED the double layer.

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Aren’t these IKEA dish towels a perfect match for the dipped orange wedges?? I love them.

Steps:

1. Make chocolate! always make chocolate. every day. always πŸ˜€ Ingredients and directions are in my previous posts.

2. Choose your “sprinkles” – ANYTHING you want, that’s the magic of making your own food.

3. Peel oranges and separate wedges. If you won’t be using sprinkles, dip the orangesΒ halfway in the chocolate, then put in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Then dip again. If you’re using sprinkles, dip once, cover with the goodiesΒ and put in the freezer.

4. Arrange nicely (or not, in case you can’t wait :D) and serve to loved ones.

PS.: I wish you all the best in 2015 – may it be better than 2014. Happy New Year!

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