Blueberry Banana Kefir Chia Seed Pudding

Blueberry Banana Kefir Chia Seed Pudding

I learned a few important things this week:

  1. Chia Seed Pudding is sort of blurry looking in real life which makes getting it to look crisp in pictures a struggle and a half.
  2. Sometimes mid-food-photoshoot one gets hot and removes their boyfriend’s over-sized sweatshirt, only to discover that it matches said food very well and should definitely be in said pictures.
  3. Kefir and chia seeds were meant to be together and create really good puddings.

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Since writing a post all about probiotics a little while ago, I’ve been trying to think up new ways to welcome fermented foods into my life. And ohhhh baby I have found a way that I am going to have no trouble welcoming. Having little pots of this bad boy in the fridge ready to be grabbed was such a luxury this week. One that I think I am going to repeat next week. Okay and probably the one after.

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This recipe couldn’t get much easier and it makes my little dietitian-in-the-making heart squeal just a bit. We’re talking protein and probiotics from the kefir, omega-3 goodness from the chia seeds and vitamins and minerals up the wazoo from the fruit. Don’t mind if I do.


Blueberry Banana Kefir Chia Seed Pudding

  • Servings: 1-2
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Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed well
  • 1/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 3 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup plain kefir*
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Method: 

  1. In a mason jar or tupperware, mix all ingredients well.
  2. Taste and add sweetness to your liking.
  3. Let thicken in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
  4. Enjoy for up to 5 days.

*I used 2% kefir.

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Blueberry Banana Kefir Chia Seed Pudding

I hope you enjoy this if you try it!

And HAPPY WEEKEND! 

 

Sneaky Spinach Dark Cocoa Blueberry Smoothie

sneaky spinach dark cocoa blueberry smoothie

Smoothies are really something else, are they not? I mean, try to name another form of food in which you could consume chocolate and spinach simultaneously without wanting to barf. I know, I can’t think of one either.

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I first made it a couple months ago and have since downed more than a few. And when I made it for my mom the other day and she asked for the recipe, it occurred to me that it was about time I share.

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Like many of the best things in life, this recipe is oh so simple. And I am always amazed at just how much spinach I can add without taking away from the delicious blueberry cocoa flavour. HOLLA.

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Sneaky Spinach Dark Cocoa Blueberry Smoothie

  • Servings: 1-2
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Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup milk (I usually use almond)
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 large banana, frozen
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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Blueberry Chickpea Flour Muffins {Gluten-Free}

chickpea flour muffins graphic

This is one of those recipes that took me by surprise. I had a big bag of chickpea flour staring at me from my cupboard and very little idea what to do with it.

But muffins and I are pretty much tied at the hip these days so I figured it was worth a shot.

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I just made 6, thinking there was a decent chance that they wouldn’t be that great and not wanting to waste more ingredients than necessary. But lo and behold, they came out of the oven and were just lovely.

Before getting to the recipe, let’s talk about chickpea flour for a minute! I’ve mentioned before that raw chickpea flour tastes HORRIBLE. Even the smell is quite the turn-off for me. And one possible reason behind that is the fact that raw legumes contain toxic substances like trypsin inhibitors and hemagglutinins (source and source) that get eliminated by cooking. So while chickpea flour is simply ground dry chickpeas in which those substances are hanging out, you’ve just got to give it some heat and they vanish (and presumably take the gross taste with them!)

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I promise it doesn’t taste like you’re biting into a big ball of blended chickpeas with a few blueberries studded throughout. Ew. I admittedly find that there’s something about them that makes you stop and think “oh… what is that taste?!” but in a good way.

They’re also loaded with protein, fibre, folate and manganese (among a whole bunch of other good things I won’t bore you with) so cheers to THAT.

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Blueberry Chickpea Flour Muffins

  • Servings: 6
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Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 apple sauce carton, unsweetened (104 mL)
  • 3 Tbsp Oil (I used Canola)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 375F and lightly grease or line a muffin tin with liners.
  • In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients (chickpea flour to salt) and whisk together.
  • In a large bowl, combine egg, apple sauce and oil.
  • Pour dry ingredients into wet and stir until moistened.
  • Fold in the blueberries.
  • Pour batter into 6 muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes (mine took about 18), until tops are set and browned a bit and a bit of pressure on the top doesn’t make a dent.
  • Let cool a bit on a wire rack before enjoying.

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I hope you guys love these if you make them! 

Thick and Hearty Red Lentil Spaghetti Sauce

Lentil Spaghetti Sauce

I am going to go right ahead and admit that this is yet another Josh creation that I can take very little credit for. Broken record and a half. But the lentils were all me. I HAVE IDEAS TOO. ha.

This is just one of those staple recipes that I know I’ll be making for the rest of my life. It is quick, wholesome, versatile and so tasty. If I were to just see the ingredient list out of context, I have a feeling I would wonder if it were particularly flavourful. But wherever the flavour comes from, it’s there, alright.

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Let’s talk lentils for a minute. This is a great way to give these little guys another shot if you’ve tried them in the past and not been a huge fan. They blend in beautifully and rather inconspicuously (to the palate more so than to the eyes) and add such a nutritional punch. My eyes seriously bug out of my head a little bit when I look at their nutrition facts. Protein, iron and fibre like whoa.

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I’ve had this sauce with pasta and on pizza and even just alone as a chili of sorts. As I mention below, feel free to just throw in whatever veggies you have on hand that need using up. Also, you’ll see that I give the tomatoes a quick whirl with the immersion blender. I just find that this makes for a perfectly not-blobby-but-not-too-smooth texture, but you could certainly forego that step if you so desire!

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Quick and Hearty Lentil Spaghetti Sauce

  • Servings: 3-4
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Ingredients:

  • 1 32 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup water
  • Optional: 1-2 cups chopped veggies of choice (carrot, bell pepper, zucchini, mushroom and celery all work well!)

Directions: 

  • Pour entire can of diced tomatoes into a small pot and blend a little bit with am immersion blender*.
  • Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer to thicken.
  • Simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until it starts sticking to the pot when stirred, lentils are tender and desired thickness is reached (20-30 minutes).

*If you don’t have an immersion blender, you could give it a few quick pulses in the food processor or not blend it at all! I just prefer a slightly smoother texture.

Lentil Spaghetti Sauce

Hope you love this sauce if you give it a try. Be sure to let me know if you do! 

Have a FAB weekend friends.  

Warm Fall Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash, Shrimp and Goat Cheese

Warm Fall Harvest Salad

Last week I came across a picture on my phone and was like “OH MY LANTA. HOW DID I FORGET ABOUT THAT SALAD?!” The thought occurred to me in caps and everything.

I made this salad over and over again last winter and just couldn’t get enough of it. But at some point, squash went out of season and the salad and I had to part ways. It was a tough time for me but I got through it. DSC_0690

I moseyed on about the summer months eating lots of seasonal greens and all was well in the world. But fast-forward to this fall and salads just lost their appeal. Just so cold and NOT comforting, you know? But like, it’s not you – it’s me.

So I was about to hang up the towel and move on to cooked veggies for the winter, but somehow and some way, I came across the phone picture and it’s safe to say that I am back in salad mode.

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Creamy and sweet from the butternut squash, tangy from the goat cheese, buttery from the shrimp and crunchy from the crackers. It’s just a full-on party of flavours and textures. And the vinaigrette is really easy and a wonderful complement (cinnamon in vinaigrette = yessssss)

The best part is that if you already have a batch of butternut squash cooked, the salad comes together in less than 5 minutes.


Warm Fall Harvest Salad {Butternut Squash, Shrimp and Goat Cheese}

  • Servings: 1
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I tend to eye-ball this recipe. So while I provided approximate measurements, feel free to add ingredients to your liking to create a ratio that tastes perfect to you!

For the Salad: 

  • 1 serving greens of choice (spinach works well)
  • 1 – 2 tsp Canola oil
  • 5 – 6 frozen shrimp
  • goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 Tbsp)
  • butternut squash, cubed and roasted* (about 1/2 cup)
  • Mary’s crackers, crushed*
  • vinaigrette (recipe below)

1. Heat a skillet to medium-high and add oil.
2. Run frozen shrimp under cold water for 1-2 minutes, until thawed enough to handle.
3. Peel shrimp and add to hot pan.
4. Cook shrimp, stirring often, until just pink (no more than 2 minutes).
5. Remove from heat and add butternut squash to pan to heat (if cold).
6. Put greens into a bowl and top with shrimp, squash, goat cheese, crackers and vinaigrette.
7. Serve.

Cinnamon Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette for One:

  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt
  • shake of cinnamon

* I simply peeled and cubed a butternut squash and cooked with olive oil, salt and pepper for 25 minutes at 400F, stirring once part-way through.
* Alternatively, you can use the crackers or croutons of your choice

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Well thank you for listening to my little salad life story. Can you tell there’s an exam I should be studying for? ha

If you make it, I hope it rocks your socks off. Be sure to let me know!

What’s your favourite salad combo?