Category Archives: Chia

Chia, Date, Walnut Slice

My kind of sweet treat this week, there is no refined sugar in this Chia, Date, Walnut Slice, no wheat or dairy either if that is what you need to avoid.  So easy to put together and no cooking required!  I came across the recipe on Woman and Home and had all the ingredients to hand which I’m trying to do more of, use what I’ve got in!

Chia sweet treat

You literally put all the ingredients except the dates into a food blender and blend until you have fine crumbs, then add the dates a few at a time and blend until it all comes together. Then put into the tin of your choice and refrigerate for an hour or so, it will keep up to 2 weeks.

dates

 I’ve made mine in a flan tin with a loose bottom and have cut into slices and cubes for a little sweet, sugar-free treat.

chia slice

chia bites1

These will definitely become a staple here,  I thought they would be super-sweet with the amount of dates required but not so and really tasty according to the 3 year old!

Quick Nutritional Info:

Chia – This article by the Huffington Post highlights the benefits of eating Chia seeds.

Dates – contain magnesium selenium, manganese and copper which are important for healthy bone development and strength.  Other minerals include iron and potassium plus vitamins B2, B3, B6, Folic Acid and K.

Walnuts – very high in Omega 3, this chart from California Walnut shows what just 1 oz of walnuts will do for your health.

Link up your recipe of the week

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Almond Breeze Almond Milk – Competition

I have been using nut milks for some time as I have an allergy to cow’s milk, they are a great alternative for people who are also lactose intolerant and are vegetarians or vegans.  Almond milk can be used just like normal milk, in your hot drinks, on your cereal and is excellent in smoothies. 

Almond Breeze® is lactose free, dairy free and soya free and has no added sugars. It’s made using all natural ingredients, is a source of calcium and low in saturated fat.  When I saw the Almond Breeze® advert on TV (love the narrator’s soothing voice) I was pleased to see an unsweetened version for myself and the usual Original version for toddler ND. 


Almonds are rich in dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals and are packed with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals, they are an excellent source of vitamin E, B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, and folic acid.  They are also an amazing source of minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese and selenium.

Smoothies are a fabulous opportunity to infuse more nutrition into our children and ourselves too!  So many exciting combinations of fruits, vegetables (yes hidden vegetables!), nuts and seeds.  I also love a nightcap with warmed almond milk and cocoa for a seamless, soothing night’s sleep. The possibilities are seemingly endless! 

Some days a smoothie is all I want for breakfast, especially if I’m running late or on a fast day when I need breakfast to last until dinner! The unsweetened version of Almond Breeze®
has a mere 29 calories per 200ml and as I am still on the 5:2 diet with 11lbs lost and kept off simply by fasting twice a week I am keen to keep it up – a supercharged, supernutritious, superfood smoothie fits the brief!

Some days the toddler ND likes to copy mummy and drink her breakfast too, who am I to argue, have you tried arguing with a 2 year old, huh?

Smoothies are easy to put together and can be ready in record time.  I never get anything in especially, all the ingredients in my smoothies are in my store-cupboard and fridge.  The addition of Chia, Linseeds, superfruits, Avocado and Coconut oil bumps up the nutritional value significantly – healthy fats and concentrated nutrition.

Foodies100 and Almond Breeze® are teaming up with a competition to challenge us to come up with a super breakfast smoothie for a great way to start the day.  Here is one of mine plus an extra one for my child.

Healthier is a Breeze….. Goodness is now gorgeous!

Almond Breeze® Superfood Smoothie


Ingredients


200ml Almond Breeze® Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 tablespoon Chia seeds – see info below
1 tablespoon Golden Linseeds – rich in Omega 3
a good dollop of 0% Natural Greek Yogurt (for extra protein)
1 generous teaspoon of Coconut oil – see info below
half a small Avocado – see info below
Blueberries and Strawberries -antioxidant rich

half teaspoon Cinnamon – lowers blood sugar levels
Almond milk ice cubes

Add all of the ingredients except the ice to a smoothie maker or blender and whizz up for a couple of minutes till smooth.  The Chia and Linseeds will thicken in the glass if left but this does have the benefit of keeping you fuller for longer.  Chill in the fridge for a few minutes then add the Almond milk ice cubes.  Drink slowly and enjoy the health benefits!


Fruitful Almond Breeze® Smoothie Goodness – for toddler ND

Ingredients

100ml Almond Breeze®  Original Almond Milk
1 tablespoon Oatmeal
Blueberries/Raspberries/Strawberries
1 tablespoon (or so) Avocado
half a teaspoon coconut oil

As before, whizz up in blender or smoothie maker, add a splash more Almond Milk as necessary to adjust consistency, serve in plastic beaker with a straw! 

Quick Nutritional Info:

Avocado rich in monounsaturated (good) fats, vitamin A, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, Folic Acid and Potassium.  Phytonutrient compounds found in avocados, such as polyphenols and flavonoids have also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. 
Chia seeds twice the protein of any other seed or grain, the protein is a complete protein with all 8 essential amino acids and 5 times the calcium of milk plus boron.  With more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, a wealth of antioxidants – four times higher ORAC value than blueberries and 3 times more iron than spinach.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid and medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), it is thermogenic which helps to burn more calories to speed up metabolism and aid weight loss amongst other health benefits!

*I did not receive any free samples of Almond Breeze®, both cartons were purchased by myself.

Chia Seed Pudding

I first read about Chia seeds a couple of years ago and then about a year or so ago I found  some not really knowing what to do with them but reading about their nutritional benefits I was keen to try them and find out how to incorporate them into my diet.

Chia is a gluten-free wholegrain that comes from a desert plant in Mexico called Salvia hispanica. These tiny black and white seeds were used long ago by Mayan and Aztec cultures to boost energy.  Because they have a mild, nutty flavour, chia seeds are easy to add to a variety of foods and drinks.

There certainly is a nutritional powerhouse within these tiny, versatile seeds, they are said to have twice the protein of any other seed or grain, the protein is a complete protein with all 8 essential amino acids and 5 times the calcium of milk plus boron which is an important mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones.  With more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, a wealth of antioxidants – four times higher ORAC value than blueberries and 3 times more iron than spinach, chia’s nutritional benefits are extremely valuable.


The best way to use chia is to soak in water first (although Chia will absorb any liquid), the seeds will rapidly absorb the water to create a gel which can be used almost immediately although more of the nutrients will be released with a longer soak.  Unlike flaxseeds, there is no need to grind Chia first.  The seeds are easily digested and absorbed and the nutrients are quickly assimilated into the body. 


A recommended daily intake is one tablespoon of chia, but make sure you drink plenty of water as chia is very high in fibre.


How to eat:

For breakfast I’ve been adding a tablespoon to coconut milk and leaving to soak for a few minutes and then use the milk to cook oatmeal.  Chia combines well with yoghurt and fruit and can be added to smoothies, juice, puddings, sauces, soup, cereal, etc for an added boost of nutrition. 

Quick Chia Drink

1 tblspn Chia seeds
150-200ml of your favourite juice

Mix the juice and Chia together, pop in the fridge for 15-20 minutes for the seeds to absorb the liquid. Stir and drink!


Chia Seed Pudding – serves 2

This pudding is very reminiscent of the Tapioca pudding we ate as children.

Take:

1 cup of coconut milk or any milk of your choice, we like almond too.
⅓ cup Chia seeds (less if you prefer a less dense pudding)
¼ tsp vanilla extract (or to your own taste)
Sweetener of your choice – maple syrup, honey, stevia, etc

Stir the Chia seeds into the coconut milk, then add the vanilla.  Leave for 20 minutes to allow the seeds to absorb the milk, stirring after about 10 minutes to avoid clumps of seeds.  Add a sweetener of your choice to your own palate.  I don’t use any sweeteners – it tastes great without!  At this stage you can add anything you wish, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, dried fruit, nuts, etc.

For a chocolate variation:  add 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to the milk and whisk together before adding the Chia seeds (if using raw cacao powder, you will need a touch of sweetness as it can be a little bitter for young tastes).

Enjoy, it’s delicious and nutritious!

Note:
If you are allergic to sesame or mustard seeds you should not be consuming Chia seeds without consulting your health care provider first.