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)

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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

ice cream … with no apologies

I love ice cream.

All kinds of ice cream.

Coconut milk ice cream.

Gelato.

Ice Milk.

Frozen yogurt.

But I especially love ice cream we make at home … mostly because then I know what’s in it.  And, more specifically, what’s NOT in it.

Like dextrose (which is often made from corn starch), high fructose corn syrup (do I have to explain what’s wrong with HFCS?), or guar gum (which isn’t necessarily bad for you, I just think if we can use fewer ingredients, just maybe we should).  (Side note re: corn starch and corn syrup … because nearly 90 percent of the corn used in commercial products in the U.S. is GMO corn, it’s nearly impossible to ensure that these products are “organic” and grown without pesticides … just something to think about.)

Plus, I’ve got helpers that also like to make ice cream.

LO checks ice cream

So there was this day not so long ago in our house when we really wanted ice cream.

But we had no coconut milk (which is what we usually use in our homemade ice cream).

No maple syrup (which is what we usually use as our sweetener for most things delicious).

And it was too late to go to the store.

We did have a half cup of whipping cream.

And a can of sweetened condensed milk.

And vanilla.

And an ice cream maker staring me down.

So I took a gamble.

Which turned out to be one of the tastiest gambles I’ve ever made.

And even though we now have coconut milk.

And maple syrup.

I have been known to throw caution to the wind and make this luscious, delicious, decadent, almost too sweet, but totally not too sweet, rich vanilla ice cream.

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And then not share it with the kiddos.

(If I knew how to make an emoticon with a sheepish grin … that’s what would be right here.)

xo,

Jeanne

P.S. – here’s the easy how-to:

ice cream ingredients INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

If you’re using a Cuisinart ICE-21 (like the one we have), put the frozen bowl in place (we keep ours in the freezer for exactly these moments when the urge for ice cream demands it be made immediately), turn on the machine, and pour the contents of your mixing bowl into the Ice Cream Maker and let it rip … for about 15-20 minutes.

Remove the ice cream from the ICMaker, place in a freezer safe container and let the ice cream “set up” in the freezer for at least an hour (or until the kids go to bed).

P.P.S. – Don’t weigh yourself in the morning.

We’re linked up on seven-alive.com

seasonally inappropriate coconut milk ice cream … and happy birthday Abby!

Last night we celebrated Abby’s birthday (which is actually today).

We had a simple dinner … fried chicken, roasted root veggies, a salad and apple pie with maple coconut ice cream.  It was delicious.  And perfectly Abby.

But before I share my “ancient family secret” for tasty dairy free coconut milk ice cream (which we love, even though we aren’t a dairy free family), I’d like to take a moment to say something about Abby.

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Because she’s pretty amazing.

She’s one of those people who can immediately make everyone comfortable … just by walking into the room.

She’s an incredible mom … one of those moms who makes it look really easy.  She can stop an argument between toddlers without interrupting her train of thought.

Her photographs … well … she didn’t give me permission to repost these but … her photographs speak for themselves (she does family portraits and baby photos … in case you’re interested 🙂

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The thing is … Abby is love.  Not the air-kiss-on-the-cheek-love ya-mean it-love.  But Genuine Love.

Unpretentious.

Unassuming.

Unadulterated love.

She is love of family.

Love of friends.

Love of food.

Love of life.

And all of that love permeates everything she does and everyone she meets.

Which makes me a pretty lucky gal, actually (not to turn this into a post about me) … You see, I’m one of those people who believe that we do get to choose our family.  Sure, we’re born into a unit.  Mom.  Dad.  Sisters.  Brothers.  Aunts.  Uncles.  blah blah blah.  But we spend our lives accumulating the people we want to share it with.  We get to choose our mate.  We choose our friends.  So why not choose people with whom we’d like to have as family?  Who we love and respect and enjoy.

So … I’m the lucky one.  That day at the Dinosaur Playground when our little one decided that Abby’s little guy was going to be her friend.

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Because that was the day I got to meet my new family.

(And now for the recipe for the maple coconut milk ice cream that I promised yesterday … which is seriously a favorite in our house … like … we can’t keep coconut milk in the house because it’s too dang tasty!)

Maple Coconut Milk Ice Cream (makes about 8-10 servings)

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 14 oz. cans of organic coconut milk (we use full fat because I like the creamy ice cream texture!  “Light” will make it more like ice milk)
  • 2/3 cup of maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

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DIRECTIONS:

Whisk together all of the ingredients.

Turn on your ice cream maker.

Once it’s spinning, pour in the coconut milk mixture.

Let it spin for about 15 minutes (checking occasionally to make sure things are progressing) — the time spent in the ice cream machine is going to depend on your ice cream maker.  Fifteen-twenty minutes is about as long as it needs to go in our Cuisinart ICE-21.

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It will start to “firm up.”  Before it becomes butter-like, remove from the ice cream maker into a freezer safe container and freeze for a few hours before serving.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ABBY!

love, Jeanne