Pear, Almond and Ginger Chia Pudding

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A protein-rich breakfast is an integral part of setting up our mood and energy for the day. This first meal can help stabilise blood sugar levels and  prevent an appetite roller coaster that leads to cravings late in the day and after-dinner snacking.

Mornings are my favourite time of day. A new beginning awaits and this motivates me to start the day well. I love to wake early and squeeze in a bit of ‘me’ time before the rest of the family rises. This, along with a well-balanced breakfast, sets me up well for  the day ahead and helps me sail through the demands of the morning-rush feeling centred and energised.

I love simple, clean flavors to tickle my taste buds awake in the morning. Keep it clean and gentle on the body also by reducing refined sugars, allergens and chemicals in your breakfast.

Today’s recipe features nutritious Chia seeds. They are simply and quickly prepared to create a breakfast pudding that will boost energy, provide Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy brain and nerve function as well as a good dose of anti-oxidants, that help to remove free-radicals from the body. Chia seeds also aid digestion, stabilise blood sugar, and lower cholesterol. They are a good source of Magnesium, the mineral that helps to keep us relaxed. Magnesium is depleted with increased stress levels, reduced sleep, caffeine consumption and regular exercise, so many of us can use an extra dose.

Chia seeds have the ability to absorb 10 times their weight in liquid, creating a unique gel-like pudding. It takes only a couple of steps to prepare and creates a tapioca-like texture.

This gorgeous, delicate pudding can be made the night before and served up to the whole family for breakfast. It can also be portioned out into smaller, transportable jars for a great grab and go breakfast or mid-afternoon snack.

Little note: I always make an extra serve or two of the roast pears (below) as they make a great school lunchbox treat.

Pear, Almond and Ginger Chia Pudding

Makes 2 generous serves.

INGREDIENTS

Chia Pudding:

  • 1/2 cup Chia seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups organic, unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or other preferred sweetener). I use Leatherwood honey which has gorgeous, floral flavours – but of course any will do.
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Combine almond milk, honey and spices in a bowl or large jar.
2. Add Chia seeds and mix well.
3. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours to allow the Chia seeds to swell.

light Chia jar

Roast Pears:

  • 1 large organic pear
  • cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F
2. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
3. Slice pear into wedges and remove core.
4. Arrange on tray with skin side down.
5. Sprinkle pear wedges generously with cinnamon.

Chia - Pears on tray
6. Roast in oven until tender, approx 30 minutes. Allow to cool.

Chia - Baked pears

Assemble pudding and pears and top with a sprinkle of slivered almonds.

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Enjoy!

Banana and oat lunchbox treats

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I am a fan of squeezing as much nutrition into each meal as I can when it comes to preparing meals for my children. Adding a pinch of turmeric and cinnamon to their quinoa porridge to reduce inflammation, a sprinkle of kelp in the Lentil Bolognaise to assist with healthy thyroid function, a handful of Gogi berries in the smoothie for a dose of amino acids and a vitamin C boost , etc. This list goes on…and on.

There are mornings though when my children’s one and only simple request is that their porridge isn’t too ‘busy’. They just want simple flavours without all the fuss. Understandable.

This Banana and Oat Slice, inspired by Dale Pinnock, is simple in flavour and has just a handful of ingredients but fulfills my nutritional value test. It is packed with calcium rich Tahini, omega rich flax seeds/linseeds and oats which are super high in magnesium to boost the immune and nervous system.

It could easily double as a breakfast bar for those mornings where the accidental sleep-in doesn’t have to mean sacrificing a quality breakfast, but they do make a beautiful lunchbox treat.

Banana And Oat Slice

Makes approx  16 pieces

Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 2 tbsp Tahini (or any other nut butter you have on hand)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 1/2 cups organic porridge oats
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds/linseeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil + extra for greasing tin

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F and grease a 20cm x 20cm baking tray with extra coconut oil.
  2. In a small pot add honey, coconut oil and Tahini and gently heat until evenly combined. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the Tahini mixture to the bananas and mix until well combined.
  4. Add flax seeds/linseeds and oats to the mixture and combine well.
  5. Press the mixture into the the greased tin.
  6. Bake for approx 20 mins or until golden.
  7. Allow to cool before slicing with a serrated knife.

 

Banana and Oat slice mixture photos 001

 

 

Banana and Oat slice cooling rack photos 015

 

Enjoy!

 

Autumn Breakfast – apple and berry compote with spiced seed mix

spiced seeds

 

Taking care of ourselves during Autumn sets us up for good health through the winter.

Now is the time to keep warm, nourish yourself and protect your vitality in preparation for the months ahead. Adjusting our diet and lifestyle for Vata season is key to avoiding its seasonal disturbances such as anxiety, dry skin/lips, digestive issues and poor circulation to the hands and feet. We can address some of these outcomes by consuming foods that are warming, grounding, and nourishing – try mainly warm, cooked meals that incorporate more spices and oils .

Having a warm breakfast that follows these basic guidelines sets us up well for the day – rice porridge, stewed seasonal fruits, or pancakes are all great choices. Avoid raw, drying foods such as raw muesli, puffed grain cereals, dry crackers, and caffeine.

This Spiced Seed Mix is a beautiful addition to your Autumn pantry. It has a sweet, spicy flavour and offers a good dose of the oils we need at this drying time of year. Make a batch and keep it in a jar so it can be generously added to your breakfast repertoire –  sprinkle on any compote, use as a crumble topping or  generously garnish your porridge. It also makes a satisfying, low GI snack.

Spiced Seed Mix

  • pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • sesame seeds
  • sunflower seeds
  • shredded coconut
  • coconut oil
  • ground cardamom
  • ground cloves
  • powdered ginger

Heat a non-stick pan and toss in pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and shredded coconut. Stir until lightly browned.

Add small amount of coconut oil to pan to lightly coat the seed mix and then add cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground cloves and powdered ginger. When the spices begin to release their aroma, remove from the heat and turn the mix out onto a flat plate to cool immediately.

To make compote

Peel and dice seasonal organic fruits such as apples or pears (and sweet berries if they are still available).

Toss into a large pot with enough water to generously cover the bottom of the pot.

Cover and turn on to a medium heat. Once water starts to bubble turn to a low heat and continue to cook until the fruit is soft and translucent.

Serve warm over porridge or pancakes, with or without a small dollop of  organic coconut yogurt and a generous handful of the Spiced Seed Mix.