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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.”
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