Berry Chia Seed Jam

Berry Chia Seed Jam

Getting out of a Jam

 

Berry chia seed jam got me out of a sticky situation. Raise your hand if your overbuy fruit. Yup, raises hand. I do this all of the time. Especially when I go to BJ’s Wholesalers and the huge boxes of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries lure me into buying them. I always promise myself I’ll eat all of that fruit. Promise broken and recently I was left with good fruit that going to go bad. And quickly.

 

 

What’s a girl to do? Make jam.

That’s what. The favors are fresh and bright. It is sweetened with pure maple syrup allowing for the berry flavors to come through. My neighbor says that it tastes of fruit not sugar. Adding the chia seeds gives it fiber. I know when I just eat a slice of bread with jam, I’m starving an hour later. This jam has some bulk in a good way.

Depending the size of your jars, you can make enough for the freezer or better yet share with friends and family.

Look for another recipe with the super chia seed? Try Chia Pudding.

 

 

Berry Chia Seed Jam

Ingredients

  • - 2 cups blackberries
  • - 2 cups raspberries
  • - 2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • - 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • - 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • - 6 cinnamon sticks

Preparation

  • 1. Combine half of the fruit and all of the maple syrup. Stirring frequently, bring nearly to a broil then reduce heat to medium-low.
  • 2. Simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • 3. Mash lightly the mixture.
  • 4. Stir in remaining berries, chia seeds, and cinnamon sticks.
  • 5. Bring to a near boil then reduce heat.
  • 6. Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.
  • 7. Remove heat and discard the cinnamon.
  • 8. Ladle into jam jars, seal, and place in fridge or freezer.
  • 9. Store in refrigerator for 3 weeks or the freezer up to 6 months.
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Easy Overnight Oats

Easy Overnight Oats

Who has time to make overnight oats? The recipes are complex with lots of ingredients. This easy overnight oats recipe to the rescue for those of us who are breakfast lazy and want to start the day off healthy.

While I’m a breakfast person, I’m not a make a breakfast person. When I get up in the morning, I want to grab and go not stand around making something. I admit it. I am a lazy breakfast person which makes me make some questionable breakfast choices. My husband usually eats bread for breakfast. He makes the breakfast and I usually like Nutella on my bread without butter. There is nothing wrong with eating bread and Nutella. No shaming here. BUT. It doesn’t fill me up and give me the energy to power through my morning.

 

Overnight Oats

A couple years ago, I was turned on to overnight oats when a friend shared their swag bag from an event with me. They came in a jar, just add milk of choice, and put in fridge overnight. I was hooked. There was a catch. The brand was hard to find and expensive. So I started looking for recipes online. So many. Too many actually. With too many ingredients. And high in calories as well as other things. It was overwhelming.

Finally I found a basic recipe that can be built on. Four ingredients: old-fashioned rolled oats, plant-based milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. From there, any other ingredients can be added like chia seeds or a nut-butter for extra protein. Mix ingredients in a glass jar with a lid popping in the fridge. The overnight oats can be then topped with fruit. Quick and easy breakfast that’s filling and healthy. To mix it up then try chia pudding.

Easy Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk like oat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste

Preparation

  • - Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid. This is where you could add chai seeds or nut-butter.
  • - Shake vigorously.
  • - Place in fridge overnight.
  • - Stir and add toppings.
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Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding for Breakfast

Chia pudding. Up until a couple of years ago, if you were to say “chia,” the first thing that came to mind was “chia pet.” Yes. That. For those of you who didn’t grow up with commercial TV and when you couldn’t fast forward through commercials, here is one of the commercials for the infamous “chia pet.” Sorry that I now gave you an ear worm from the past and it will be stuck in your brain for hours.

Fiber, Omega-3, and Protein

Low brow, I know, but that’s how I knew the word “chia.” I didn’t know you could eat it. Let alone how good it is for your health. Honestly, I discounted it all of these types of seeds as well weird until I moved towards a plant-based diet. I need to find replacements for animal-based proteins. Chia seeds has large amounts of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, plenty of high quality protein, and several essential minerals and antioxidants. Recipes kept coming up with chia seeds. As I watched Mary McCartney Serves It Up on the Food Network, she made a chia pudding as part of a brunch. It look good topped with fruit and easy. I tried it. And loved it.

 

Chia Pudding is easy to make

It does look very appealing, but the end result is yummy. The ingredients are simple: chia seeds, plant-based milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Mix it throughly and pop it in the fridge overnight for a quick breakfast in the morning. Since I’m the only one enjoying it, a batch will last me a week. You can top it with anything you like, but I prefer fruit. It is very filling so start with 1/4 or 1/2 cup. Mary McCartney’s recipe is so simple and worth checking her show and recipes out.

Mary McCartney's Chia Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk (Mary uses almond milk while I prefer oat milk)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (add in more cinnamon)

Preparation

  • 1. Add the chia seeds, milk, maple syrup and cinnamon to a bowl and whisk together with a fork for a couple of minutes so they are well combined and evenly distributed.
  • 2. Cover and place in the fridge to chill overnight. By the morning it will have set into a pudding.
  • 3. Top with fruit, granola, etc. Make it your own.
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Vegan Nutella

Vegan Nutella

Breakfast Staple

A world without Nutella is a very sad one. At least for me anyway. As I moved to plant-based eating, I decided I needed to find a recipe for vegan Nutella. It is a creamy smooth chocolate hazelnut spread you can put on bread or pancakes or dip fruit into it usually has milk and processed sugar. A main part of plant-based eating is removing processed foods including sugar and grains.

Vegan Hazelnut Spread

After some searching, I found a recipe for vegan hazelnut spread. While it is only five ingredients, there is some work to take place. You’ll need raw unsalted hazelnuts, vanilla extract, sea salt, dairy-free dark chocolate or a cacao powder, and pure maple syrup. And a good blender or food processor to blend it all together.

There are some keys to making this yummy spread. One is to roast the hazelnuts. Even if you purchase roasted hazelnuts, re-roasting will warm the natural oils and loosen the skins. And a sturdy towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. That will make a creamy spread. Chocolate is another important element. Chose quality chocolate or cacao powder to make your spread. There will be a sticker shock when you purchase quality cacao powder. I use Trader Joe’s 72% Dark Chocolate bar.

In making this vegan Nutella, you can customize it to your taste. It is all natural without stabilizers so stirring is a must. It is perfect to put on homemade bread.

Vegan Nutella

Ingredients

  • - 3 cups raw unsalted hazelnuts
  • - 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or paste
  • - 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • - 2/3 cup dairy-free dark chocolate
  • - 1 or 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preparation

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350F or 176C.
  • 2. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. For raw, roast for 12-15 minutes. If already roasted then roast for 8-10 minutes.
  • 3. Remove tray from oven and cool slightly.
  • 4. Transfer hazelnuts to towel and roll the nuts around getting as much skins off as possible.
  • 5. Put the skinless hazelnuts in the food processor blending until a butter forms after 8-10 minutes.
  • 6. While the butter is blending, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments.
  • 7. When the butter is creamy and smooth then add the vanilla and salt blending well.
  • 8. Based on taste, you can adjust the seasoning and add 1 or 2 tablespoon maple syrup.
  • 9. Transfer to a clean jar and store at room temperature. It will keep for 2-3 weeks.
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Almond Cranberry Breakfast Cookies

Almond Cranberry Breakfast Cookies

)Healthy Plant-Based Breakfast

 

When I bake it involves butter, eggs, sugar, and cream. And lots of of it. Usually that is until now when I made vegan almond cranberry breakfast cookies. No eggs, butter, or sugar involved in making these cookies.

As I move into plant-based eating, I need to evolve my thoughts on baked goods. The plant-based model discourages most of the ingredients used in traditional baking in western culture. While it is easier to be creative in making veggie dinners or as I say winging it, my confidence in vegan baking didn’t exist. I started following some plant-based blogs. One was Flora & Vino where I came across their recipe for a cranberry almond breakfast cookie. Intrigued I printed it out. (Check out Flora & Vino blog and give them some love.)

 

Flax Egg?

 

 

The first ingredient was a flax egg. OK? A flax egg? What on earth is that? Turns out it isn’t scary. All it is flax seed ground and water whipped together then left to sit for 5 minutes to gel. It was pretty cool.

 

Make Your Own Flour

 

 

The ingredients for this almond cranberry breakfast cookie are pretty simple: flax egg, banana, sunflower butter, maple syrup, rolled oats, oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, dried cranberries, and slivered almonds. My pantry is pretty well stocked. I had all of the ingredients except for oat flour. I went to the stores to find it, but no one had it. That’s when I went to the Googles and looked up how to make oat flour. Guess what? All it is is rolled oats put through a blender. That’s it so that’s what I did. I got out my trusty decades old Braun Handmixer using an attachment I had never used before: the little chopper bowl. In 15 seconds I had oat flour. I am now kicking myself for buying almond flour when I could have made my own. So live and learn.

These cookies were amazing. So tasty. I didn’t miss the eggs, butter, and cane sugar. Such a yummy treat that even got a thumb’s up by my guys those my son said they were good, but not his favorite. I’m still counting it as a win.

A great grab and go with some tea to start the day off running. For more vegan recipes.

 

 

Almond Cranberry Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients

  • - 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoon water)
  • - 1 banana, smashed
  • - ½ cup sunflower butter
  • - ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • - 1 cup gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
  • - ¾ cup gluten-free oat flour
  • - ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • - ½ tsp baking powder
  • - ½ cup dried cranberries
  • - ½ cup slivered almonds

Preparation

  • - Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • - In a large mixing bowl, whisk up the flax egg and allow to sit for ~5 minutes to gel.
  • - Smash the banana in the same bowl and add in the sunflower butter and maple syrup.
  • - Mix in the rolled oats, oat flour, cinnamon, and baking powder and stir well to combine.
  • - Add in the cranberries and almonds.
  • - Drop batter onto the baking sheet using the 1/4 measuring cup making 15 cookies.
  • - Bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown underneath and around the edges.
  • Reminder: Cool before serving. Store leftover cookies in the fridge for up to one week and freeze for long term storage.
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Italian Pandora Bread Pudding

Italian Pandora Bread Pudding

Don’t regift that Panettone or Pandora Breads

Ever since watching the British Bakeoff Master Classes where Paul made the Italian sweet yeast dough, Pandora Bread, I wanted to make it since it looked tasty and lovely. It is a rich bread made with what flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. What has kept me from making with I lacked easy access to the tin star mold. Panettone with the fruit and raisins are common finds, but the plain one was very hard to find.

Right before Christmas, I stopped in RI Job Lots – a store I can not describe – and there was a shelf full of them. I had to buy it. And I couldn’t wait until Christmas to eat it. That night the box was opened and the Pandora was taken out of the bag. We all were looking forward to it. Well there was quite a lot of disappointment. It was dry and had a flavor we couldn’t figure out. Was it alcohol? We didn’t know.

The Pandora, which was quite large, sat on the counter top. I torn clumps of it as I walked by and I wasn’t putting a dent in it. Something had to be done with it, but what?

I made a Mary Berry Christmas Pavlova for a friend on Christmas Eve. It needed six egg whites. I kept the yolks not wanting to waste them. As I put them in the fridge, the thought came to me: bread pudding. I can make bread pudding with them since it takes six egg yolks. While you could toast the bread or batter them for French (or Italian) toast, I like the option for bread pudding better. It is warm and moist with tons of flavor. And it was a hit.

So don’t throw out your Panettone or Pandora or regift it, but instead make bread pudding with it. Tear it apart soaking it in an egg sugar cream mixture and bake. Sprinkle it with powder sugar and, as we say in this house, “Bob’s your uncle.”

Pandora Bread Pudding

Pandora Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding

Italian Pandora Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • - 6 large egg yolks
  • - 2 cups whole milk
  • - 1 cup heavy cream
  • - 1 cup granulated sugar
  • - 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • - 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • - 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • - Pandora Bread, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • - 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped white chocolate

Preparation

  • - Heat oven to 375° F.
  • - Butter or spray a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
  • - Whisk together the egg yolks, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  • - Add the bread and chocolate and mix to combine.
  • - Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean in 40 minutes.
  • - Serve warm or at room temperature.
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