Currently feasting on …. Chia Seed pudding

1 May

Coconut Chia Seed

I think I am about two years late for this but Chia Seeds are very cool, who knew? Apparently a lot of people. So many in fact that one of my favourite cafe chains Le Pain Quotidian has its own chia seed pudding. There’s me chowing down on some baguette whilst my friend, who is clearly in the know, ordered a chia seed pudding. Of course having no idea what it was I had to have a taste. And I can confirm it was delicious. Don’t you love discovering something new. I do.

As with all new things I wanted to find out more. So I did some research and discovered Chia Seeds are incredible. Something nutritionally beneficial and delicious, I am in.

So here is why you should try Chia Seed pudding

  1. It is yummy – it might look a little weird but trust me it’s delicious
  2. It makes a great healthy dessert when you want something cold and refreshing ( i.e. ice cream)
  3. Chia is gluten free and high in dietary fibre which helps digestion
  4. It is a complete protein with all 8 essential amino acids ( FYI – I don’t really know what this means but I am assuming it is good)
  5. It is high in antioxidants
  6. It contains eight times more Omega 3 than Salmon, five times more calcium than milk, seven times more vitamin C than Oranges, three times more Iron than Spinach and twice the potassium content of Banana

If you want more reasons I found a great list here. Oh and did I mention it is yummy. Well there you go.

I knew after all of this you would want to have a go so I made my own recipe for you to try

This makes enough for about 6 puddings – it is quite filling so you don’t want to big a portions.

Ingredients

70g Chia Seeds

400ml Light Coconut Milk

½ tbsp Desiccated Coconut

1 tbsp Honey

For topping – Roasted Coconut Strips / or you could try a fruit compote, some fresh fruit, jam – whatever takes your fancy really

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together
  2. Spoon into your pudding bowls, cups or whatever you plan to serve this in
  3. Place in the fridge for 4 hours to chill/set (give this a stir ½ way through)
  4. Add your chosen topping and then eat

Chia Seed 2

P.s. Chia seeds start as small black seeds and in the liquid turn gelatinous and it could be said to resemble some sort of frog spawn – don’t be put of by this, unless you really hate this sort of food, it is tasty, I promise.

I hope you enjoy having a go at this. If you are not sure where to get Chia seeds, most health food shops I have been to have them, as does Holland and Barrett.

Rainy Saturday Baking

19 Apr


RSB1

April brings us rainy days. I was trying to be healthy but then the Saturday rain fell and there was nothing for it but to bake.

I was having fun playing around with the camera as well. So think of this as more of a picture book than blog. I hope you like it!

The only answer is

Ingredients

Method

Wait

Watch

Savour

Now you know what to do next time it rains!

Super Green Juice?

8 Apr

Green Breakfast Juice

So lately I have been reading a lot about green juices and alkalising your body. Word on the street is we all eat to many acid based foods and as a result our digestion is, well not at its best. Apparently the way to avoid this is eating lots of leafy greens for the majority of your day. The popular way to kick this off seems to be green juices for breakfast.

Now I am not particularly one for health fads and the thought of a spinach, lettuce, celery and apple smoothie doesn’t massively appeal – frankly I would rather eat a salad. But I am curious. People extol the virtues of these things saying how delicious they are, I am usually predisposed to think they are liars/ have no tastebuds, however after gorging on way to much chocolate and in the theme of rebalancing, I decided it’s worth at least trying once right?

So I did. Yesterday morning in fact.

I used what I had rather than go on a special trip so I had a spinach, apple and celery smoothie.

This isn’t really a recipe but

  1. I took ½ glass cold water, a large handful of spinach and blended
  2. Then added ½ chopped apple and 1 stick of chopped celery and blended again
  3. Added a bit more water because quite frankly at this point it was almost a solid
  4. Then I drank a whole glass

Green Recipe

What did I think?

Well, It definitely filled me up, it didn’t really feel like breakfast but it certainly quenched my hunger. It didn’t make me gag, it wasn’t disgusting at all, in fact it was fairly bland. Therein lies the problem. If I was an ‘eat to live’ kinda person I could have this for breakfast most days, it filled me up, it was quick to make and easy to drink and a very healthy way to start the day. But sadly I am a ‘live to eat’ kinda gal.

Maybe over time I will be willing to get this healthy and stick it out until I am just used to it but in the meantime quite frankly I would rather have porridge.

Let me know if you do any juicing, what combos you have and what you think of green juices – are they breakfast for you?

Seasonal Tastes: April

6 Apr

Seasonal food

One of the things I know about cooking and eating from scratch is that seasonality is key to tastier, healthier and cheaper meals. There is really no better argument for eating with the seasons. Also as a bonus point it brings more variety to your diet and meals. However it is all too easy to get stuck in a food rut, buying and eating the same foods. But before you reach for that same old courgette or steadfast apple, why not take a look at what is at its best right now. After all why wouldn’t you want to be eating food that is at its absolute best.

To help you out and to remind me, I put together a little mood board of food that is in season for April. Hopefully it will be as inspiring for you as it has been for me and we can all start cooking food at its best.

So why not get experimenting this weekend! Let me know what your favourite seasonal ingredient is and what you are planning to cook this weekend.

Images: Rhubarb via Spoon Fork Bacon, Rosemary via Manger, Radishes via Spoon Fork Bacon, Wild Garlic via food fun, Kale via Love and Lemons, Watercress via Martha Stewart

Super Green Salad

5 Apr

Super Green Salad

I don’t know about you, but when I think healthy. I think salad. Basically lots and lots of green.

And for good reason. Things like spinach, rocket and lettuce are amazingly good for you, filled with a load of nutrients and nothing bad. However I also like colour so whilst I have decided salads are now my go to lunch, they need to be good varied salads that I enjoy and want to go back for more.

For me this about variety and combination. Which means having a wide variety of different foods, in all sorts of combination to ensure I don’t get board and pack the whole thing in for some brownie.

This week I have been craving colour – (did anyone see the snow! I mean come on!) so pepper has been my go to vegetable of choice.

Now I can’t really claim that this is a recipe. Again it’s more about giving you a bit of a push to do something different.

My salad contained:

  • Spinach Leaves
  • Rocket Leaves
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Yellow Pepper
  • Red Pepper
  • Baby Tomatoes
  • Celery (I know a lot of people are on the fence about celery but it is a real salad winner in my opinon)
  • Apple
  • 1 Carrot
  • Walnut halves

I then made a dressing with:

  • a dash of walnut oil
  • a dash of olive oil
  • ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp mustard
  • ¼ tsp honey
  • squeeze of lemon
  • pinch of salt and Pepper

Salad 2

And then chowed down on a very satisfying lunch. It really is that simple. But I think diversity is key, so get some nuts involved to add a new texture, try some beetroot, radish or avocado. What about adding some spring onions to give it a kick or why not add in some fruit. Orange and beetroot make a good combo. And nobody can deny the joy of pear in a Waldorf salad.

Try and keep it veggie to ensure it’s a real health kick, but experiment. It is the easiest ‘cooking’ you can do.

Well, I think I made my point.

Bon Appetite!

Time to get healthy

4 Apr

So I don’t know about you but I certainly over ate this weekend. I predominantly gorged on chocolate cake and other delicious sweet stuff. Delicious as it was, and I wouldn’t take it back, I think it is time to redress the balance. I think what’s called for is a more mindful week or so of eating with the focus on eating foods that give me more energy and make me feel good. If you want to redress the balance and just have a bit of a health kick this is the place to be.

So jump aboard.

First stop inspiration.

The key to any sort of healthy habit changing is to enjoy the experience. If you create hell for yourself it will never stick. So what we really need is some good ideas for yummy healthy food and creating positive habits.

When I am in a healthier mood there are some brilliant people I always turn to. So I thought I would share my inspiration with you and a few of my favourite health blogs.

Tara Stiles

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Love Tara –  loads of free yoga routines, sage advice for your spiritual and mental well being and some super healthy video recipes.

My New Roots

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The yummiest looking healthy food ever.

TheChalkboardMag

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The Chalkboard have got your back. Covering pretty much ever angle, so if you are into juicing, alkalising, just eating healthy, doing exercise – whatever it is they will have something on it.

Martha Stewart Whole Living

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Not where you would usually think to go but as always Martha delivers.

Hopefully some of those have inspired you to pick up a few healthy habits to make you feel good. Personally I am planning to make a few simple changes to start cultivating some healthy habits.

For me these are.

  1. Hot water and a slice of lemon in the morning
  2. 30 mins of yoga everyday
  3. Getting out of my house for a walk at least 3 times and week
  4. Snacking on vegetables and maybe the odd fruit instead of hot cross buns and mini eggs.

Fairly simple but I really believe it’s the small positive actions that can really make a difference.

On that note I am going to be trying out some healthy recipes and sharing them so check back soon for health on a plate and in the meantime leave a comment below and let me know what habits your planning to keep up or cultivate.

Scrumdidlyumptious bars – the results

29 Mar

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone. I love this weekend. The weekend of hot cross buns and mini eggs for breakfast. Yes, you heard me correctly ( or should I say, read me correctly) MINI EGGS FOR BREAKFAST.

Mini Eggs

But this post isn’t about mini eggs or breakfast or even hot cross buns. This is about the results of my Scrumdidlyumptious bars/ a suggestion for what you should spend part of your day today doing (if you haven’t got plans that is).

So this is it 5 chocolate bars, 5 different flavours, 5 different challenges:

  1. White Chocolate (read Milky bar) with Raisins and Nuts
  2. A mix of Milk and White chocolate flowing in ribbons with juicy Raisins, bubbles of Praline with some Honey crisp bits with caverns of soft Caramel
  3. Orange Chocolate with Hazelnuts
  4. Dark Chocolate with Almonds and Cointreau
  5. Layers of Nougat, Caramel and Biscuit, covered in milk Chocolate with an embedded champagne truffle

I will save you the suspense and tell you now bar a few minor hiccups this was a pretty successful outing. I will admit straight out I definitely didn’t do it all from scratch, to be fair I only had one afternoon to get it done. But despite that, being in control of your combinations means this is so much fun regardless of whether you do it all from scratch or cheat a bit. And there will certainly be more unique easter gifts than your usual eggs.

So without further ado let’s get on with it.

Number 1: White Chocolate with Raisins and Nuts

This is so simple and fun I barely even need to write a recipe.

1. Melt Chocolate in a double boiler (In a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water)  – watch your Chocolate as it burns easily so keep stirring

2. Pour in your Nuts and Raisins and then mix

3. Pour into your mould – or in my case a greaseproof paper lined small bread tin- and leave to cool for an hour in the fridge

To make this a bit special I added a Milky Bar kid to the top. But you could add whatever decoration you fancy or just leave it plain.

White Chocolate Fruit and Nut

Number 2: Orange Chocolate and Hazelnuts

Again so simple, very delicious.

1. Melt your Chocolate, then grate the zest of one Orange into your mix

2. Add Hazelnuts and stir

3. Pour into your mould and leave to set

Volia!

Orange Chocolate and Hazelnuts

Number 3: Dark Chocolate with Cointreau and Almonds

So this is slightly more troublesome than it sounds as you can’t pour liquor into melted Chocolate, it changes the texture and becomes gritty – so the answer = soak the Almonds in the alcohol.

I know I am just repeating myself but just in case you want to know here is what I did.

1. Melt the Chocolate

2. Soak the Almonds in 1tsp of Liquor

3. Mix together and pour into mould. Leave to set for a few hours

Dark Chocolate1

Number 4: A mix of Milk and White chocolate flowing in ribbons with juicy Raisins, bubbles of Praline with some Honey crisp bits with caverns of soft Caramel

Here I cheated entirely but it was so much fun to make something that sounds this delicious so quickly so here it goes.

1. Melt Milk Chocolate in one bowl and White Chocolate in another

2. Get a Caramel bar (broken into its pieces – try and keep the caramel in tact), a Crunchie Bar ( chopped into pieces) and Lindt praline balls

3. Pour in some Milk Chocolate, then pour over some White Chocolate. Use the handle of a spoon to create a marble effect

4. Drop in your Raisins, Crunchie Bar, Lindt Balls and Caramel Bar into the chocolate. Then pour over the rest of the Milk Chocolate and then the rest of the White and use a spoon again to create your marble effect

5. Leave to cool for a few hours

MIlk and White Chocolate

and Finally

Number 5: Layers of Nougat, Caramel and Biscuit, covered in Milk Chocolate with an embedded champagne truffle

Now I will admit from the start I didn’t have a champagne truffle, I couldn’t find one and I didn’t have time to make one so this doesn’t have a champagne truffle – however I did use a Chocolate Praline truffle as a replacement.

1. Melt your Milk Chocolate

2. Pour a small layer into your mould. Lay your Nougat on the Chocolate, layer your Caramel ( you can either buy this pre made or make by boiling Condensed Milk), then pour on your crushed Digestive Biscuit

3. Carefully pour over the melted Chocolate and then place your Truffle in. Then leave to set

4. Once set pour a fresh layer of melted chocolate over to neaten up the outside. I then decorated using a few ribbons of White Chocolate

Milk Chocolate with Nougart, Caramel

And that’s it. Five Chocolate Bars, Five Happy Family Members.

Now that’s Scrumdidlyumptious!

Happy Easter!