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

cherry chia (soaked) oatmeal

cherry chia oatmeal Jeanne here.

We were fortunate this summer to get a 20 pound box of Flathead cherries from a friend who lives nearby.

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Although I’m going to admit that after slicing, pitting and freezing 15 of the 20 pounds, my finger nails were purple for a week (it didn’t matter that I scrubbed them raw), my sink was stained and I was a little “over” cherries.  So into the freezer they went… out of sight out of mind.

Months have passed now.  There’s snow on the ground.  It was 14 degrees when I trekked our garbage can to the curb this morning.

I “re-discovered” the cherries in our storage freezer a few days ago.  My love for cherries is renewed.  And after making cherry chia soaked oatmeal at least 3 times in the last week, I have discovered a new favorite warm and cozy breakfast treat.

It’s packed with protein (chia seeds), the great anti-bacterial-anti-viral benefits of raw local honey, the healthy gut-bacteria renewing properties of raw milk and the uber-digestible benefits of soaked oats.

Here’s how we do it:

SOAKED OATS:

  • 1 cup rolled oats (not steal cut, not quick cooking)
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg’s apple cider vinegar (you could also use whey or lemon juice)
  • about 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • glass or ceramic (non-reactive) bowl/jar

OATMEAL:

  • 1 cup soaked oats (thoroughly rinsed)
  • 1 cup milk (we use raw whole milk, but you could use coconut milk or almond milk or whatever milk substitute you like)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • handful frozen cherries (rinsed and partially thawed)
  • pinch sea salt

DIRECTIONS:

The Night Before – soak your oats! (12-24 hours before you’re making oatmeal) – I put these in a bowl when we started making dinner and about 16 hours later, I used them for breakfast.

Add one cup of rolled oats to your non-reactive glass or ceramic bowl/jar.  Cover (by about an inch) with filtered water and add 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar.  (The ratio is 1 tablespoon for every 1 cup of oats … so if you’re making 2 cups of oats, it’s 2 tablespoons of ACV, etc.)  Cover with a clean dish towel and leave in a warm spot in your kitchen.

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NOTE:  I put mine on the stovetop as it’s the warmest spot in the kitchen.  Sometimes I put it in the oven as it stays pretty warm after using it for dinner.

In the morning:

First things first … rinse those soaked grains in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear.  This makes all the difference in the world.

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In a small to medium saucepan, add the soaked oats, milk and salt.  Cook on medium until the oats are the consistency you like. (It takes about 3-5 minutes.)  Stir in the honey and chia seeds.

When well combined, separate into serving bowls.  Top with cherries (or blueberries or peaches or whatever other frozen fruit you like)

Totally satisfying and nourishing breakfast to start a busy blustery day.

We’re linked up:

Kelly the Kitchen Kop: Real Food Wednesday
The Domestic Superhero

supplement spotlight: chia seeds

There’s a lot in the news about Essential Fatty Acids.  You know, those Omega-3s and Omega-6s that are so good for us?  The ones you find in fish … and fish oil … and the like?

Well … perhaps because I’m an on again off again vegetarian … or maybe I just have a thing about fish oil … but I struggle with fish oil (and sometimes I struggle with fish).

I’ve tried.  But I can’t get past the fishy burps and nausea I get when I take the fish oil supplements.  Was that too gross to share?  Sorry.  But it’s true!  There’s little worse than a fishy oil burp … for me, anyway.

And when I was pregnant with little #2, my doctor and midwife wanted me to increase my EFA intake (great for fetal brain development, don’tcha know … and not so bad for pregnancy brain, either.)  But I didn’t want to risk fish oil (pregnancy nausea PLUS fish burps?  Are you kidding me?!?  Thank you, no).

So I had to find another way to increase the EFAs.

Which is when I discovered the glory of the Chia Seed.

chia seeds

Did you hear the angels sing and see the clouds part as the sun shone in?

Me either. 🙂

chia pet

Okay … so they aren’t a miracle-seed.  BUT, besides growing into adorable Cha-Cha-Cha-ChI-YA-Pets, these wonderful little seeds are one of the highest known plant sources of essential fatty acids.

And the more I find out about them, the more pleased I am that they’ve found their way into our daily diet.

They were originally grown in Mexico and South America for centuries (until the Europeans moved in), and were a staple in the diets of the Aztec and Mayans.  Chia apparently means “strength” … and these little seeds were considered a “super food” for ages.  Soldiers would often live on chia seeds when they were in battle because they were said to imbue the soldiers with strength and stamina.  They were, however, banned at some point for religious reasons (they were used in offerings to Aztec gods).

It wasn’t until recently that they found their way back into our consciousness.  And scientists are now positing that Chia seeds can help stabilize blood sugar, increase brain power.  They are 20 percent protein.  Are 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.

See what I mean?

They’re so little, but boy-O do they pack a punch!

So we use Chia seeds in our house.  Almost daily.

We add them to smoothies.

Mix them into oatmeal.

Put them in yogurt.

Drink them in kombucha (a teaspoon of chia seeds in 8 oz of kombucha is a special treat, actually).

And add them to cookies and cakes and other baked goods.

Such an easy way to get good stuff into everyone …

with no fish burps!

Love,

Jeanne