Chia seeds in pudding

The Chia Pudding Recipe Obsession Continues…

“Also for chia seeds. Honestly, we don’t know what we’d do without you.”

This is what Tanya R. Loewen and I wrote in the dedication section of Baby Nosh, and that was over a year ago. Guess what? We’re still obsessed! Or I am, at least.

So I had to share my newest, most favourite way of making chia pudding for fall and winter. It’s gone from 3 measured tablespoons of chia seeds and one cup of almond milk (stirred), to an approximate pour of chia seeds to whatever milk alternative I have on hand (I love coconut milk best!), shaken.

chia seeds pudding

That’s right, shaken. Lazy Chia Pudding (because this is what I’m calling it, now), is created in a jar with a lid. And.today I added pomegranate seeds which completely changed everything.

(I know I’m being dramatic. I can’t help it.)

Other fun things to add are raspberries, blueberries, chopped dried apricot, shaved coconut, or whatever else you have in your fridge and/or pantry that you think might rock your chia world. So bottom line? Just throw stuff in a mason jar, lid that sucker well, shake the hell out of the contents, wait a little bit, shake the hell out of it again, and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, you’ll have amazing and super nutritious Lazy Chia Pudding. (The best kind, remember.)

Chia Pudding Tips:

  • The more seeds you add, the thicker the pudding with be. I like it smooth and malleable, not super thick or runny. This is a preference thing, which is totally up to you.
  • You can use literally whatever milk you want. Even chocolate–I made chocolate chia pudding on television one time. Check it out:

  • You need to let it sit for a few minutes between shakes. The initial shake is needed, and then another good shake a few minutes later.
  • You don’t need to refrigerate overnight, but it’s so easy to make the night before and then have it ready to eat for breakfast the next morning. You can mix it with some fruit, or top oatmeal with it, too.

chia seeds recipe

So there you go! Happy chia pudding time! If you want more recipes that use chia seeds, check out Baby Nosh or Vegetarian Comfort Foods.

xo

City TV Vancouver

The Fun

5 days ago I crossed an item off my bucket list, while simultaneously jumping WAY outside of my comfort zone: a very nice producer let me do live television to promote Vegetarian Comfort Foods.

I don’t know what she was thinking, either, but now she’s my favourite. Anyway, I lived to brag tell about it.

While I was stressing and trying not to throw up or pee my pants, my husband had a great time meeting the faces of Breakfast Television and playing Sports Centre by himself. (He loved it.)

The Drama

If you watch the video closely, I run out of breath towards the end because I forgot to breathe, but it’s cool, because no one noticed, except now I’m telling everyone, so you WILL notice, but I’m okay with that because…….(*passes out).

See how that happens?!

Anyway, I loved it, I’m super grateful that people let me promote stuff in situations like this, and hopefully I’ll have a chance to try not to throw up or pee my pants again.

I’ll keep you posted.

The important thing is that no expletives left my lips. This was my number one, genuine fear, because when I get nervous, I tend to let loose. But I didn’t, so that’s one giant point for Jen.

#Winning.

The Result

Ditch the Dairy + Go Nutty for Nuts!

Raw Unsalted Cashews

As a wannabe vegan (I consume seafood, but no other meats, and very rarely dairy, but no eggs—how’s that for confusing?), I’ve come to love the benefits of nuts in my diet. These tiny protein and good-fat powerhouses make a fabulous replacement for dairy products, and this post intends to convince you of that. There are even DIY videos for making nut cheese are the end!

Here we go…

Whole Nuts

Nuts are an amazing way to pack protein and good quality fats into your plant-based diet. Adding a handful of almonds to a salad, or eating a few walnuts with a banana for your morning snack is crazy healthy. The key is to only consume 6-10 nuts at a time—they are high in calories, and it’s very easy to throw back your entire day’s caloric intake by snacking on a whole bag.

Best nuts to consume? I love raw, organic, unflavoured almonds, cashews, walnuts, beech nuts, and pecans.

Nut Butters

Ditch the boring peanut butter, and say hello to a whole new world of other nut and seed butters. Cashew, almond, sesame seed (tahini), sunflower, and brown pea butters are my absolute faves. Always be sure to purchase organic nut products, because unfortunately, nuts are one of those crops that are usually soaked in pesticides.

Yuck. Go organic, all the way.

almond milk  

Nut Milks

Ok—you’re in Jen-Land, now. I am the absolute connoisseur on milk alternatives. (Cow milk is nasty—even the organic stuff. It does not work well with our bodies, and is usually full of hormones, additives, antibiotics, and even (gulp) pus from the animals’ mastitis issues. Gross.)

Anyway…

Milk alternatives have come a long, long way. In the past, the only alternatives available were soy (but not organic, and tasted very chalky), and goat’s milk, which was incredibly wild and pungent tasting. Welcome to 2015—where milk alternatives rule the universe!

Although there are many notable brands that make a fab milk alternatives (Silk, So Nice, So Good, etc), my go-to is Vancouver’s Earth’s Own. They make an insanely delish cashew and almond milk, as well as other types. SERIOUSLY—try these products. They’re to die for.

It’s also pretty simple to make your own nut milk using soaked nuts, a Vitamix, and a cheesecloth, but honestly, I just prefer to purchase it ready-made.

Nut Cheese

For the non-vegans out there, I can almost hear you think “Errr…what? Nut Cheese?!”

Nuts make a great base for homemade, plant-based cheeses. My favourite way to make nut cheese, is to soak 1 cup of raw, organic cashews in water for 2 hours. Ditch the water, and place in Vitamix or other high-powered blender. Add 2 tbsp. almond or cashew milk, a pinch of sea salt, and 1 tbsp. or nutritional yeast (Red Star is my fave). Blend until smooth, and use to top steamed or raw veggies, in pasta, or anything else you want.

If you’re looking for a hard cheese, check this awesome 3-part series on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNpqqE25RYI]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3eYP6EmWWU]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSTAfaFeT5k]

You’re welcome! xo

Springtime In-Season Produce for the West Coast

Happy Meatless Monday!

Although spring isn’t officially here yet, it sure feels like it on the west coast. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of kale, chard, potatoes, and carrots. I want a freakin’ strawberry. And melon.

And rhubarb.

Fruits and veggies always taste better when they’re in season–that’s how you can tell they’re fresh! When your cantaloupe and watermelon start tasting spongy, it’s because they’re old, and out of season. When produce is fresh, it’s crisp and incredibly flavorful.

So when can we expect the first, earliest harvest of this long-awaited season? Pretty soon! Here’s what’s in its prime on the west coast from March until May:

Artichokes

artichoke

Asparagus

asparagus

Fiddleheads

fiddlehead

Kumquat

kumquat

Nettles

nettles

New Potatoes

new potatoes

Radishes

radish

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Curious what’s in season for each month in the Vancouver, BC area? Here ya go (graph from the BC Association of Farmer’s Markets):

Product Season
APPLES AUGUST – JUNE
APRICOTS JULY – AUGUST
ASPARAGUS APRIL – MAY
BASIL JULY – SEPTEMBER
BEANS JULY – OCTOBER
BEETS JULY – OCTOBER
BLACKBERRIES AUGUST – OCTOBER
BLUEBERRIES JULY – SEPTEMBER
BROCCOLI JULY – OCTOBER
BRUSSELS SPROUTS OCTOBER – DECEMBER
CABBAGE JULY – FEBRUARY
CARROTS JULY – NOVEMBER
CAULIFLOWER JUNE – NOVEMBER
CELERY JULY – OCTOBER
CHERRIES JUNE – JULY
CHINESE VEGETABLES JUNE – SEPTEMBER
CHIVES APRIL – OCTOBER
CILANTRO JUNE – OCTOBER
CORN AUGUST – OCTOBER
CRANBERRIES OCTOBER
CUCUMBERS JULY – SEPTEMBER
CURRANTS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
FIDDLEHEADS MAY
GARLIC AUGUST – DECEMBER
KALE JULY – OCTOBER
LETTUCE JUNE – OCTOBER
LEEKS SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER
MELONS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
ONIONS (SWEET) AUGUST – OCTOBER
ONIONS (COOKING) SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER
PEACHES AUGUST
PEARS AUGUST – APRIL
PEAS JUNE – JULY
PEPPERS JULY – OCTOBER
PLUMS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
POTATOES JUNE – OCTOBER
PUMPKINS SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER
RADISH MAY – OCTOBER
RASPBERRIES JULY – SEPTEMBER
RHUBARB APRIL – JULY
ROSEMARY YEAR ROUND
SAGE YEAR ROUND
SALAD GREENS JUNE – OCTOBER
SHALLOTS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
SPINACH APRIL – SEPTEMBER
STRAWBERRIES JUNE – SEPTEMBER
SUMMER SQUASH JULY – AUGUST
SWISS CHARD JULY – OCTOBER
TOMATOES JULY – OCTOBER
THYME JUNE – NOVEMBER
TURNIPS MAY – FEBRUARY
WINTER SQUASH MID SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER

Bean Sprout Salad with Peanut Dressing and Pan Fried Tofu

Tofu Recipe

So….Mondays. The day of the week I find the hardest to get back into the whole cooking-for-my-family-and-not-relying-on-snacks routine. I’m often uninspired on Mondays, but THIS Monday, I have a plan.

That I stole from www.kitchenuncorked.com.

Because I can. Because I have tofu in my fridge that’s dying to get eaten. If anyone out there is looking for a healthy, easy, Meatless Monday recipe idea, this one’s for you.

You’re welcome.

Bean Sprout Salad with Peanut dressing and pan fried Tofu.

Meatless Monday Recipe: Vegan Honey-Glazed Blueberry Scones

Vegan scones

My 14-year-old neighbor makes amazing scones. I can’t attest to this fact first-hand, since I’ve never seen or eaten one, but I’ve been assured by my kids that his scones are the best. Which is why I decided to make my own last night.

To compete with a 14-year-old.

Like most of my baking, these suckers are vegan; I converted an old recipe. Immediately upon pulling them out of the oven, my 8-year-old commented that our neighbour’s scones were:

“better and fancier, because they’re triangle.”

Uhhh…

So I decided to brush them with honey to give myself a little edge on the competition. (Yep—I play dirty.)

Both of my little ones awoke this morning, took one look at the scones I had arranged for them for breakfast, and burst into tears because they weren’t warm, like our neighbour’s. After closing my eyes and cursing myself for somehow producing seemingly very spoiled children, I took a deep breath, and invited them to at least take one bite.

I’m happy to say that the bite turned into an entire scone each, plus I was begged to throw another into their school lunches.

Moral of the story?

(No, really, what’s the moral here? To not bake? To keep my kids from the neighbour’s delicious triangle scones? To beg the 14-year-old for culinary lessons? To make my children realize how disgustingly spoiled they are? Please tell me.)

In the meantime, give these a try. They’re actually very good, and I’ll be making them again. (If I want to really scar my children, maybe I’ll throw some raisins in them, next time…)

Happy Meatless Monday! xo

Vegan Honey-Glazed Blueberry Scones (Makes 8 large)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 3/4 cup vanilla soy yogurt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth’s Balance Buttery spread
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. organic raw honey

Vegan scones

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine chia seeds and water, stir, and let sit for 5 minutes until “gloppy,” then combine with yogurt, mix well, and set aside.
  • In large bowl, mix together flour, powder, soda, and salt.
  • Cut buttery spread into flour mixture until it resembles small peas.
  • Add sugar and blueberries, mixing.
  • Add chia/yogurt mixture and using your hands, mix and kneed softly until mixture is a one giant soft dough ball. (If too floury, add a little water.)
  • Place ball on floured surface and pat out until 2 inches thick.
  • Divide into 8 sections, then roll into balls.
  • Arrange on ungreased cookie sheet and gently pat balls down a bit.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, and immediately glaze with honey.
  • Let cool on rack before storing.

Vegan scones