strawberry rhubarb chia “pod”

Do you remember my friend April?

She sent me this recipe for Irish Soda Bread that … well … if you haven’t tried it yet you are really missing out on some serious yumminess.

A few months ago, April asked me if I had a recipe for homemade chia “pods” so I sent her our link to this one.  It was my first attempt at the “pods” (aka chia pudding) and it’s still one of our go-to portable snacks/desserts. It’s also one of our most-searched and clicked links ever. (I’m still embarrassed about the photos in that post. Not embarrassed enough to retake them, but still …)

Anyway, I’m happy to report that it started an obsession in April’s kitchen that just can’t be contained! She has since inspired me to make chocolate chia pods, cherry vanilla chia pods, chia pudding parfaits and most recently, she shared a new recipe with me.
strawberry rhubarb chia pod

Awe…

Some…

Sauce.

Tart. Sweet. Totally refreshing. A PERFECT summer treat.

And, if you’re like those of us with outdoor Montana gardens and still waiting on your June strawberries …
strawberries - omamas.com
… this works GREAT with frozen strawberries and rhubarb.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 Cups Rhubarb (rough chopped)
  • 2 Cups Strawberries
  • 2/3 Cup Chia Seeds (black or white, both are nutritional powerhouses)
  • 2 Cups Coconut milk
  • 1 TBS Grade B Maple Syrup
  • zest from one lemon

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender.

IMG_5542 Blend and then divide into individual serving cups. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (best to leave it over night) and enjoy!!

And thank April … I did.

Makes 8-10 servings.

 

SHARED on:  Kelly the Kitchen Kop

cherry vanilla chia pod (vegan, gf, refined sugar free)

cherry vanilla chia pod recipe

Last summer we started making homemade chia pod treats.

And as time has gone on we’ve made them again and again. They are totally portable. Absolutely delicious. And completely healthy. (Have you read our post about why you want to add chia seeds to your diet?)

But we don’t limit ourselves to peach pods (because that would be boring, and peaches are not all that available here in Montana). We love chocolate pods. Vanilla pods. Coconut pods. Strawberry pods. Blueberry pods.

But our favorite of all favorites …

Cherry Vanilla …

(which might be because even in the midst of a spring snow storm we are anticipating cherries from our tree)

cherries

Cherry Vanilla Chia Pod Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of pitted Cherries (if you use frozen cherries, thaw them first)
  • 2 cups full fat unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 2/3 cup Chia Seeds (black or white)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 Tbls Raw Honey (replace with grade B maple syrup for a vegan version)

DIRECTIONS:

Puree all the ingredients in a VitaMix or high speed blender until well blended.

Divide into individual portions (we use small mason or jelly jars) and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to “set.”

Makes 8 servings.

Enjoy as a healthy snack, as a tasty dessert, a lunch-time treat, an on-the-go-breakfast or anytime (like maybe in the middle of the night after the kids are asleep and you don’t feel like sharing … which is not something I ever do … I swear!

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HAVE YOU TRIED MAKING YOUR OWN CHIA PODS?

Would you like to see your homemade chia pod creation make it into the O’Mamas kitchen?

Submit your recipe here before April 15th, 2014.  (Email us with your name, your recipe, at least one or two photos of your favorite version, and a way to contact you. Use “POD RECIPE” in your subject heading please!).

We’ll post our favorite FIVE recipes and you can decide what pod you like best!

Shared on Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday

holiday dessert inspiration

With six fresh inches of snow on the ground, and a serious Influenza A going around, we couldn’t think of anything better to do today except hole up and make Christmas cookies and holiday treats!

In case you’re looking for inspiration, we don’t have a shortage of tasty cookies and holiday desserts in the O’Mamas’ kitchens …

Almond Joyful Christmas Cookies (vegan/paleo)

Nana Ivy’s Molasses Cookies (not good for you, but OH SO GOOD)

Vanilla Cookies (recipe redux)

Chai Tea Cookies (vegan/paleo)

Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookies (grain free and DELICIOUS)

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (because who doesn’t love oatmeal and chocolate?)

Yam Brownies (made with YAMs?! Yes.  And they are wonderful!)

Tart Aux Pommes (apple tart) (refined sugar-free)

The Best Dang Chocolate Cake

Grain-free chocolate chip cookies

Homemade Almond “Nutella”

Homemade “Nutella”

Maple Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Maple Syrup & Coconut Milk Caramel Sauce

Chocolate Cake (the best-not-good-for-you-chocolate-cake-we’ve ever tasted)

Nourishing Chocolate Pudding

Pumpkin Cardamom Whoopie Pies

Simple (aka Perfect) Vanilla Ice Cream

Soaked Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten-free)

Sour Cherry Tart

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Triple Berry Cobbler (fast & easy)

Yum … I love Christmas

🙂

parmesan truffle sourdough crackers … not just for littles

A week or so ago I shared with you my recipe for sunny sourdough crackers … a simple homemade replacement for all those Goldfish or Bunny Crackers that make it into the snack bag so often.

One of my favorite things about making these crackers at home is that I know that the sourdough is more digestible than the flour in so many store-bought crackers.

But it’s even better than just being tasty and easy on the gut …

These little crackers can be spiced up in so many ways … we add herbs (like rosemary) for wine and cheese gatherings. We add extra pepper for soup crackers. We add cheese and truffle salt for gift bags. The options are seemingly limitless.

So today I’m going to share with you my favorite grown-up version of these little treats.

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These are so tasty.

Good enough for parties.

Good enough for gift-giving.

Just plain good (and good for you, to boot).

Now I’m just going to say that Truffle Salt is kind of fancy. But I’m sort of lucky in this regard because my sister-in-law has a mushroom business called Black Boar Truffle and is one of the only folks in the US that has been successful organically growing and processing the mycelium of the uber-exotic-black Perigord truffle! And she’s been kind enough to let me sample some for our kitchen and it’s been aaaaawwwwwwwsome (imagine me sing-songing this … because it’s kind of like the clouds parting and angels singing … okay … imagine someone ELSE sing-songing this because I just don’t have the range).

We’re hoping to offer some truffle salt (or stock concentrate) for a giveaway in the next few weeks as they begin to makes the salts and concentrates available to the public. Wouldn’t that be fun???

So in the meantime, it’s okay to use the truffle salt you have in your cupboard (but know that they likely use a manufactured truffle scented oil to season the salt).

Also … if you don’t have truffle salt in your cupboard (because this is a specialty item and not everyone digs truffles), these are delicious without the added umami of mushroom, so just replace the truffle salt with your favorite sea salt (use about 1/4 tsp. for the dough instead of the 1/2 tsp. of truffle salt in the recipe).

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup sourdough starter
1/3 cup melted pasture butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unrefined all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. aluminum free baking powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. truffle salt (plus enough to sprinkle on the crackers before they bake)

DIRECTIONS:

Just like with a plain sourdough cracker, combine the starter and melted butter in a food processor fitted with a pastry blade Add the flour and let it run until it forms a ball of dough.

Knead the ball until it’s smooth (which only takes a few kneads) and put it into a non-reactive (glass, stainless steel or enamel) bowl and cover with a clean cloth.

Set in a warm spot in your kitchen for 8-12 hours. (NOTE: It’s okay to leave it longer, but know that the longer you leave the dough to rest the more “sour” the crackers.)

When you’re ready to make the crackers, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Gently break apart your dough ball and add the baking powder, cheese truffle salt, onion and garlic powder and knead to incorporate the dry ingredients into your dough.

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Divide the ball into halves or thirds and on a piece of parchment paper big enough for your cookie sheet roll the dough as thin as you can make it (like … 1/8 of an inch thin … really really thin). The thinner the dough, the crispier the crackers. And don’t worry, they puff up a little when they bake.

At this point, you can either cut the dough into small squares with a sharp knife … or … for a little flare … (every time I hear the word “flare” I think of the movie Office Space and laugh) you can use a very small cookie cutter in whatever shape strikes your fancy. (We have a set of 1-inch to 1.5-inch butterflies, sun and flowers that I use).

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Then make sure there’s a little space between your crackers …

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…and bake for at least 10 minutes. I start checking them at 10 minutes, but depending on how hot the oven is, and/or, how many times little hands try to open the oven, it can take as many as 14-15 minutes to make sure the crackers are crispy and just starting to brown around the edges.

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Love and serve … my motto with crackers (and with life).

xo,
Jeanne

spiced chai pudding

Don’t forget to register for our GIVEAWAY this week!

I admit that as the weather cools (our morning temperatures for the past week have been in the low 30s) I look for excuses to make Chai anything.

Chai tea.

Chai cookies.

Chai cakes.

Chai pudding.

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I want it for breakfast.

I want it for snack.

I want it for dessert.

And I know part of that want is because of the warm and cozy scents of the familiar fall spices (like Cinnamon and Cloves).

I’m also sure it’s deeper than that.  Because ginger (in the Ayurvedic Tradition) is used to “warm” the body from the inside out.  It soothes the tummy and boosts the effectiveness of other herbs and spices.  Cinnamon is full of antibacterial, anti fungal and antiseptic properties.  It’s used to boost vitality.  And it tastes so good.  And Cloves are used in Eastern Medicine as a pain reliever (for all those winter joint pains that seem to set in as the temperatures sink lower and lower).

But chai pudding?  Why on earth would we make chai pudding?  (You mean, besides it being totally delicious and awesome?)

Because of the milk and gelatin.

Because it’s the beginning of cold and flu season and if you believe any of the recent research connecting gut health to the strength of our immune system, you know that it’s of utmost important to create a healthy environment in our bellies to make it through the season without cold or flu.

We hear a lot of talk about probiotics these days.

And I’m a big proponent of a probiotic rich diet (kombucha, yogurt, fermented veggies … to name a few).

But our guts need more than a few probiotics to digest and absorb all the nutrients in the food we eat.

We’ve already shared a series of posts on the benefits of raw milk (so long as it is from a clean source and from cows not fed growth hormones for antibiotics).  And here’s another excellent article that outlines really clearly the benefits and risks associated with it … not the least of which is reduced allergies and asthma in children.

But what about gelatin?  (I’m not talking about Jell-O.)

Yes, gelatin is good for bone and joint health.  But did you know that it’s also a great addition to digestive tract?

What is it?

Gelatin is basically composed of protein (amino acids) water and mineral salts derived from collagen.

Why should gelatin be part of our diet?

For centuries, gelatin has been used to treat digestive disorders.  Long before Imodium A/D, it was used to help alleviate diarrhea in babies.  It’s been used to treat dysentery.  And because it is a hydrophilic colloid (collagen that attracts water), it helps to line, protect and heal the mucus lining of the digestive tract.  It also helps aid in digestion and create an environment that allows better absorption of nutrients.  And now, studies are confirming that gelatin intake can help people with autoimmune disorders (like rheumatoid arthritis), joint disorders, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disorders.  I love this simple-plain English article from Natural Health about the benefits of adding gelatin to our diets.

So we look for ways to add gelatin to our diet.

Like Abby’s yummy probiotic gummy squares (probiotics and gelatin … a win-win!).

And the chocolate pudding that she made that still makes my mouth water when I see the picture.

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And I’m working on a lemon-honey-ginger gummy for cold and flu season (but I’ve yet to master it … actually, my first two attempts have been totally gross, but I’ll figure it out!)

So now back to Chai Pudding …

Because this one works.

It fills my need for the Chai spices.  Gives us the benefit of the milk and the gelatin.  And the kids LOVE it (which is always the kicker, isn’t it?)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups Heavy Cream (preferably raw)
  • 1/2 cup Milk (preferably raw or unpasteurized)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
  • pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Gelatin (we get ours here)

DIRECTIONS:

In a small saucepan over VERY LOW heat (you don’t want to boil the milk and cream and destroy the goodness of the “raw,” you just want to warm it), combine the heavy cream, milk, vanilla and salt.  Whisk in the cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  When they are well-combined, pour the contents of your saucepan into a blender.  Add the gelatin and blend on high for a minute or two.

Pour the contents of the blender into individual serving dishes and refrigerate for at least 90 minutes before serving.

Serve with fresh whipped cream and a little sprinkle of Cinnamon (or not … it’s great on its own).

YUM!

Makes 4-6 servings.

 

chai breakfast cookies

We’ve had some serious Fall weather this week.  Threats of snow (which did not appear, except at higher elevations). Overnight temps around 30 degrees.  Daytime highs in the 40s.

And all that does is make me want to curl up on the sofa, watch a good bad movie and drink Chai Tea (also called Yogi Tea).

The thing about chai tea is that it not only makes the house smell delicious while it’s brewing (I love the smell of cardamom … it’s “like totally tripendicular, you know?” – what movie?), but the combination of spices (cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom) also happens to be good for blood detoxification and circulation, detoxing the colon, settling the nervous system and strengthening the bones.  It’s good for colds, flu and general fatigue …

Basically, the ingredients in Yogi Tea are PERFECT for Fall weather blues and the onset of cold and flu season.

Then I made a promise to bring treats to a playdate we have with friends today … realizing later that at least two of the kiddos have grain, dairy and egg allergies.

I thought about making those paleo-yam brownies that I make for camping … but had no cocoa in the house.  And they have eggs in them.

I also have a recipe for raw-vegan-date-sour cherry-chocolate bites that might have fit the bill.

And Abby’s got a recipe for grain-free cookies from her sister-in-law Lores that is out of this world.  But it calls for almond flour and I wasn’t sure if any of the kids had nut allergies … and there is chocolate in them.

Again … no chocolate.  And no sour cherries.  And they have to be frozen, and I don’t want to eat frozen treats in 40 degree rainy weather.

But I did have all the spices for chai.  And I had bananas and shredded coconut (which are featured prominently in the date-sour cherry-chocolate bites).  And a few sweet potatoes.

So, armed with chai spice, bananas, sweet potatoes, a little coconut flour and a  food processor … I started experimenting.  Just two batches later … nourishing, refined-sugar-free, grain-free, egg-free, dairy-free goodness.  (I wasn’t sure about nut-allergies, so I didn’t put any in for this batch.  I might add some chopped almonds or walnuts or pecans next time … just to mix things up and add a little depth to the texture.)

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 large baked sweet potato (peeled)
  • 5-6 sweet Mejool dates (pitted and course chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor or high speed blender, combine the bananas, sweet potato, dates and ACV and pulse until well mashed and combined.

Add the coconut flour, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and cloves.  Pulse again until a sticky dough ball forms.

In a large bowl, gently fold the shredded coconut into the dough.

Scoop heaping teaspoon size balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Press them down just a bit as these cookies aren’t going to spread in the oven.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  (NOTE:  after about 12 minutes, I swapped the cookie sheets to protect the bottoms from burning … nobody likes a burnt cookie bottom.)

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Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to finish cooling completely before storing.  Not sure yet how long they’ll last in the fridge, but I’m guessing a few days.

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We’ll be lucky if there are any left by the time we head to the playdate.

xo,

Jeanne

sunny sourdough crackers

My kids love crackers.

All kinds of crackers.  Rice crackers.  Cheddar crackers.  Graham crackers.  Water crackers.  Sweet or savory.  They just love crackers.

But they especially adore Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies.  Every time we are in the store, they ask for these dang bunnies.

And they’re fine.

They’re actually pretty wholesome.

They’re organic.

There’s no artificial flavor or color.

They’re made with cheese from milk from cows that aren’t treated with growth hormones.

And it’s totally easy to pick up a box from the store and not stress about it.

So I don’t feel terrible giving them Cheddar Bunnies.

But every time we get a box of Cheddar Bunnies, it’s another box and foil lining that end up in the landfill.

So as we strive to live a bit more sustainably and responsibly and all that, I get a little bit bummed out every time one of those boxes makes it into the trash.

Plus, we’ve got this sourdough start staring at me from its perch on the back of our stove.

And I’ll be honest … since the Cowboy is out of town these days on a job, I’ve been remiss in my sourdough duties.  Sure, we make sourdough pancakes or waffles once or twice a week..  I made English Muffins once.  And I feed it every other day to keep it going.  But mostly it’s just sitting there because there’s no one in the house making bread.

And that stinks.

So I started making crackers.

Sourdough crackers.

Sunny sourdough crackers.

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And the kiddos don’t seem to mind that we haven’t bought Bunnies since we started making our own.

A big upside:  they are super simple to make.  Just a few ingredients that are probably already in your pantry, a food processor fitted with a pastry blade, some parchment, a rolling pin and a cookie sheet.  And one batch equals roughly the same yield as a box of Cheddar Bunnies, so one batch a week and we’re good to go.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup sourdough start (check out this post to learn how to make your own start … or if you live in the Bozeman area, email me and I’ll share some of ours)
  • 1/3 cup melted pasture butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the sourdough start and melted butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a pastry blade.  Add all purpose flour and let the food processor run until it forms a ball of dough.

Knead the ball until it’s smooth (which only takes a few kneads) and put it into a non-reactive bowl (glass or stainless steel or enamel) and cover with a clean cloth.  Set in a warm spot in your kitchen for at least 8-12 hours.  NOTE:  It’s okay to leave it longer, but know that the longer you leave the dough to rest the more “sour” the crackers.)

When you’re ready to make the crackers, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Gently break apart your dough ball and add the baking powder, salt, onion and garlic powder and knead to incorporate the dry ingredients into your dough.

Divide the ball into halves or thirds and on a piece of parchment paper big enough for your cookie sheet roll the dough as thin as you can make it (like … 1/8 of an inch thin … really really thin).  The thinner the dough, the crispier the crackers.  And don’t worry, they puff up a little when they bake.

At this point, you can either cut the dough into small squares with a sharp knife … or … if you are like me and trying to replace the cuteness of a cheddar bunny  for two toddlers, you can use a very small cookie cutter in whatever shape strikes your fancy.  (We have a set of 1-inch to 1.5-inch butterflies, sun and flowers that I use).

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Give the crackers a bit of space between each one … just so the edges crisp up a bit.  Sprinkle with a little sea salt and some pepper.   (I gently press the crackers with my hands to get that last bit of salt and pepper “set” onto the cracker.)

Bake for 10 minutes.

Check the crackers and if they’re not crisp yet, let them bake for another minute or two.  They firm up a bit more on the cooling rack (cooling takes all of 3 minutes), but if they aren’t mostly crisp out of the oven they won’t really ever be crisp crisp.  And nobody likes a limp cracker.

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Store in an airtight container after cooled completely.

These taste just like pepper water crackers and our kids LOVE them.  I’ve also added some grated cheese into the dough on occasion to make them more cheddar-bunny-like (I’ll share that recipe at another time … I’ve just never taken photos.  And for the cheesy crackers, we use the butterfly shapes!)

Makes about a quart of crackers.

NOTE:  Want to change the flavor and make ’em more grown-up like?  Instead of salt and pepper before baking, try a bit of Herbs de Provence and a bit of sea salt.  Or Taco Seasoning.  Maybe eliminate the salt and add your favorite Cajun spice mix.  The options are endless!

And that’s one less box in the trash heap!

xo,

Jeanne

We’re linked up:

Kelly the Kitchen Kop
The Nourishing Gourmet

a perfectly portable homemade chia “pod”

After a nearly two-week technology vacation, it’s Jeanne here.

I’m going to admit that it’s weird to be back after almost 14 days mostly unplugged.  The littles and I were on a 3,000+ mile road trip to visit the Cowboy, my mom and stepdad, my sisters, a new baby cousin, and some very dear friends.

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The real reason we made the trip:  it was take the kids to work day (not really) … but they loved sitting at Dad’s very fastidious desk (his desk at home is a little less neat :))

To describe it as “whirlwind” is sort of putting it mildly.  We trekked from Montana to Utah to Los Angeles to Palm Springs to north of San Diego to southern San Diego to LA to Palm Springs to Utah to Montana … and we did it in just under 2 weeks.

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I am so thankful our littles like to travel … this was taken on the very last leg of our trip in a hotel room in Salt Lake City. It was a very happy dance.

And honestly, it wasn’t a totally conscious decision to be offline.

We were just in the car so much … and after reading about Werner Herzog’s new 35 minute “short film” From One Second to the Next about the dangers of texting and driving I had made a commitment not to text or talk while driving.  Mind you, I have NOT seen the film.  I just read about it and it changed my life.  I don’t think I have the courage to actually watch it.  But I agree with the message … whatever it is you have to say?  It can wait.  But I digress.

I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of our trip because not everyone wants to be invited over to watch a home-movie (but if you invite me over to watch yours, I will do so happily :))

Plus … there’s a good chance the real reason you’re here today is this:

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My San Diego sister introduced me to these little nuggets of goodness, which she found at Sprouts.

It has four organic ingredients:  Coconut Milk, Bananas, Blueberries, Chia Seeds.

I love how good for you they are [Chia seeds have been shown to stabilize blood sugar, increase brain power.  They are 20 percent protein.  Jam-packed with digestible fiber, calcium and antioxidants.  They have strontium (which helps assimilate protein) and can help with weightloss by boosting metabolism and promoting lean muscle.  There’s evidence that these tiny little nutty-tasting seeds can help reduce blood pressure and encourage heart health.  They’ve also been shown to aid in detoxification and elimination. And I haven’t even mentioned how good for you Coconut Milk is.]

I love the portability (although I wish it weren’t in plastic with two plastic covers and a plastic spoon).  It’s a great texture (it’s kind of yogurty … not slimy like I thought it could be because sometimes that happens when you add chia seeds to liquid).  And it doesn’t have the “it will go bad by lunch if it’s not refrigerated” that threatens dairy products.

I tried the blueberry.

I was uber ready for it to be delicious.

🙁

It was okay.

Actually, it was sort of bland.  Like the bananas weren’t ripe enough.  Or maybe it was missing just a hint of sweet.

But I love the idea of a Chia Pod.

So I have been obsessed with making my own version of this since Saturday … waiting (not so patiently) to get home, get to the store and whip out the Vita-Mix.  (Plus, it gives me an excuse to use all those dang jelly jars that have been cluttering our cupboards.)

I started simply, with four ingredients …

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I used peaches instead of blueberries because when we were in SoCal we stopped at a local farmers’ market and bought way too many to eat on a drive home and I didn’t want them to go bad and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. (How’s that for a run-on sentence?)

But my first attempt had the same problem as the store bought Chia Pod.

Tasteless.

So here’s what I did:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 very ripe peaches (pitted and cut into large chunks … it was about a cup and a half to two cups of chopped peaches, but it could have been strawberries or blueberries or mango or a blend of any berries or fruit that trips your trigger)
  • 2 ripe bananas (I will likely reduce this to one banana next time because the taste is pretty heavy on the banana)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup of chia seeds (the Chia Pod uses white chia.  I only had black chia on hand and while it doesn’t look as “pretty” as the store bought version, it still tastes pretty much the same and packs the same amount of awesomeness)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey (or use grade B maple syrup or raw sugar or agave if you want to make this a vegan treat)
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and pulse until well-combined.  Divide into individual serving cups and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to “set.”

And …

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I know they’re not as cute as the one’s my Sis got at Sprout’s (or it might have been Trader Joe’s). I’ll have to work on the packaging when I make a strawberry version next.

I love them.

I had one for dessert last night.

Our little guy had one for a snack … and his big sister ate half of it.

And there are still six in the fridge to pack and go anywhere anytime (breakfast, lunch, snack, dessert).

So life is good.

Except for maybe what I found in the freezer after being gone for two weeks.

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But I don’t want to leave you with this image that’s haunting my brain … so here’s one of our kids after going to a block party with their cousins …

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It may not be helping you much, but it definitely takes my mind off my task for the day 🙂

 Find us also at:
Pinworthy Projects @ The Domestic Superhero
& Pennywise Platters @ The Nourishing Gourmet

gummy bear squares

About a week ago I finally got my hands on some grass-fed gelatin, and I’ve made these gummy bear squares every single day since. They aren’t actually bears at all, seeing I haven’t been able to get my hands on a mini-bear cookie cutter. Nevertheless, my kids still call them gummy bears.

In all honesty, there’s a reason I haven’t posted the earlier. You see, the first few batches I made were just gross, inedible even. I put way too much gelatin in and the texture was downright disgusting. I brought them to Jeanne’s to see if I was being too picky and she literally had to spit it out.

So…

I’ve been obsessing over tweaking this recipe all week in hopes of making something not only edible, but delicious.

Here’s why: not only are we getting the benefits of organic fruits, but also grass-fed gelatin.  The benefits of this gelatin sort of took my by surprise. I knew it would be loaded with protein, but turns it its also great for joints, digestion and reducing cellulite.  You can find it HERE on Amazon (it’s a bit of an investment, but each container should last you a few months).

I guess it’s all about trial and error, because I now have a recipe we all love!

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NOURISHING GUMMY SQUARES

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup filtered water
2 cups chopped strawberries
2-3 tbs. honey or pure maple syrup (add even more if you don’t want tart gummies)
2 tablespoons gelatin

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DIRECTIONS
In a medium saucepan, add lime juice, and water. Bring to medium heat and then add strawberries.

Let this simmer together on low for 5-7 minutes until strawberries are softened.

Once strawberries are softened, remove pan from heat and add honey or maple syrup.  Mix and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Add mixture to a high speed blender or food processor and blend well. Once blended, add gelatin and pulse a few times to get it incorporated.

Oil a glass baking dish with coconut oil and pour in mixture.  The smaller the baking dish, the thicker the gummies.

Refrigerate for an hour and then slice up to eat.  Keeps in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

-Have a wonderful weekend-
Abby

Shared over at:
The Nourishing Gourmet

oh, go soak your nuts!

For real.

You just spent good money on a big bag of bulk almonds. And they are potentially so good for you. That bag of nuts is filled with good fats, nutrients, minerals and antioxidants. Ask any health food guru and they will tell you to go ahead and enjoy a handful for your snack. Or sliver some for your salad. Maybe add some to your oatmeal or your cookies.

Wait!

Before you do any of those things, consider this … Nuts are so good for you. But just like legumes, to unlock that goodness, we need to neutralize the enzyme inhibitors and activate the enzymes that make nuts easier on our digestive systems.

Two ways to do that? Sprouting or Soaking.

I was originally hesitant to start this process because I kept reading that in order to dry the nuts I would have to put them in a 150 degree oven. (The lowest temperature setting on our oven is 170 degrees. And the one time I tried to dehydrate in our oven I ended up with a whole batch of burnt and useless sour cherries. It was a wasted harvest and totally bummed me out.) I thought I might need to buy a dehydrator. And the truth is, we have a small kitchen. I just didn’t think we needed to add another counter top appliance.

But then I decided to try my yogurt-technique. When I make yogurt, I turn the oven on “warm” and wait for it to hit 200 degrees. Then I turn off the oven, turn on the light, and let the yogurt rest in the warm oven overnight. Anytime I’ve checked the temperature overnight it’s ended up being between 110-120 degrees Fahrenheit.

And I figured that ancient people were soaking and sprouting nuts long before digital thermometers and indoor ovens or thermometers.

So I was really excited that my figuring worked out.

And now we soak our nuts!

Here’s how we do it:

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INGREDIENTS
3 cups raw almonds
1 tablespoon sea salt
filtered water

DIRECTIONS
Put the nuts in a glass quart jar with the salt. Cover by an inch with filtered water. Put the top on and shake it up until the salt dissolves. Let it rest in a warm spot in your kitchen overnight.

8-12 hours later, rinse the nuts in a colander. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting (ours is 170) and let it come to the temperature. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the nuts in a single layer. When the oven hits 170, turn it off, turn the oven light on and put the nuts in the oven. It takes about 12-18 hours for nuts to dry in this scenario. It may be quicker or slower for you depending on how warm it stays in your oven.

Once they are dry, pour them back into your mason jar and store for use in all your favorite treats!

Go ahead … Soak your nuts. Your digestive tract will love you for it!

– Jeanne

 

We’re linked up:

This Chick Cooks
Kelly the Kitchen Kop
The Nourishing Gourmet