The “Blues” are #1

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are a superfood and can be added to a variety of foods for increased nutrition. They make a wonderful pudding that can be enjoyed anytime of the day - even (especially) breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups freshly made almond milk
  • 1/3 cup organic chia seeds
  • 1 Tsp organic pure vanilla
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Combine almond milk, chia seeds and vanilla in bowl. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  2. Stir several times while chilling to ensure pudding is well blended.
  3. When ready to serve layer pudding with fresh fruit in a pretty parfait or wine glass.
  4. Enjoy.
https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/07/the-blues-are-1/

Blue is the rarest of colors in the comestible world. Bet that is a little tidbit of information you’ve never given much thought to, am I right? Go on, try and name more than one or two blue-colored foods! While this is a tough challenge, chances are good almost everyone came up with a little blue fruit called a blueberry.  Native to North America, blueberries are the second most popular berry (next only to strawberries) contributing to their expected 2016 commercial cultivation reaching 750 million pounds on this continent and 1.4 billion pounds worldwide. While available year round blueberries are at the peak of perfection right now, so enjoy them.

I can remember when I was a little girl, I spent hours gathering wild blueberries on the hill behind my grandmother’s home in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.  I ate most of the berries I picked, despite having a basket to bring berries back to the house for everyone to share, and didn’t mind in the least being scolded for it.  I was pretty sure then, (and now) that God must have created blueberries just for me.

They may be small, but blueberries pack a lot of nutrition into their tiny packages. Blueberries are #1 in antioxidant capacity among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings.  The antioxidants in blueberries support our whole body and have particularly awesome benefits for our cognitive health and blood sugar management.

Blueberries are definitely a food you should buy organic.  The pesticides used in conventional agriculture today are particularly problematic for foods like blueberries.  For more information on The Dirty Dozen – Foods You Should Buy Organic, check out the Environmental Working Groups website by clicking here.  To get the most nutritional benefit from blueberries consume them in their raw state. They are perfect to take to work or school, make a great mid-day snack, are delicious on top of your favorite non-dairy yogurt or ice cream, and are a quick and easy addition to your morning cereal.  Here is one of my favorite ways to enjoy blueberries!

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are a superfood and can be added to a variety of foods for increased nutrition. They make a wonderful pudding that can be enjoyed anytime of the day - even (especially) breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups freshly made almond milk
  • 1/3 cup organic chia seeds
  • 1 Tsp organic pure vanilla
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Combine almond milk, chia seeds and vanilla in bowl. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  2. Stir several times while chilling to ensure pudding is well blended.
  3. When ready to serve layer pudding with fresh fruit in a pretty parfait or wine glass.
  4. Enjoy.
https://jazzedupveggies.com/2016/07/the-blues-are-1/

Check out the incredible nutritional benefits of chia seeds in my blog “Pudding for Breakfast”.


Nutrition Facts – 1 Cup Raw Blueberries (84 Calories)

Vitamin K 28.5 mcg 32% DRI
Manganese .50 25% DRI
Vitamin C 14.36 mg 19% DRI
Fiber 14% DRI
Copper 9% DRI


 

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5 Healthy Plant-Based Breakfasts that Taste Great

Eat Breakfast

Breakfast really is important; but, let’s be honest, most households most mornings are chaotic.  Am I right?  Getting everyone up and dressed, collecting homework and briefcase contents, and coordinating school drop-off and pick-up takes a lot of energy, and if your home is like most, it is a wonder any of us get out the door on time and with matching socks and shoes! (A first world problem, to be sure!) But, here’s the thing: our bodies need the right fuel to get the day off to a good start and to sustain us through the first several hours of what’s to come. Therefore, starting your day with breakfast needs to be on top of your daily priority list.

 


Tip: Get in the habit of “mise en place”,  which means to organize and prep what ingredients you can in advance so putting your meal together is easy and efficient.


 

5 Easy, Plant-Based Breakfasts That Taste Great

 

Jazzed Up ScrambleJazzed Up Scramble  This is a really nutritious and delicious breakfast scramble that really doesn’t take very long at all.  You can prepare veggies the night before, add some delicious vegan bacon or sausage, or maybe “cheeze it up” with some delicious Heidi Ho (my favorite is the Creamy Chia Cheeze).

 

Chia Seed Breakfast PuddingPudding for breakfast! Trust me, this is so delicious and the nutritional benefits are great. Chia seeds are packed with goodness and are one of the most nutrient dense foods available: a 1 ounce (28 gram) serving has 4 grams protein, 11 grams of fiber, is rich in Omega-3s, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. Chia seeds also provide since, vitamins B3, B1 and B2 along with potassium.

I make my own plant-based milks. It is really very easy and very, very budget friendly.  My post “Why I Love Homemade Soy Milk and You Should Too” My video will show you just how easy it is.

 

Steel Cut Oats

Porridge, or as some call it, oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts. I use steel cut oats (picture here) because they have a chewy texture and don’t get mushy when you cook them. Oats are a great source of protein, many minerals and very importantly, fiber.  I cook porridge with homemade almond or soy milk because it is lovely and creamy and it adds some extra protein and calcium. Add some fruit and nuts and a pinch of cinnamon to make this a super-delicious breakfast. Bonus benefit of porridge is it will keep you feeling full all morning!

 

 

fruit-smoothieA smoothie is full of nutrition, filling and delicious. Cool thing is there is no limit to the variations you can make. I love to use spinach and kale as my base – green is such a beautiful color and oh-so-nutritious!  I add in some frozen blueberries and whatever other fruit I have available (banana makes it really creamy). I use a cup of homemade soy or almond milk, add a tablespoon of chia seeds and a teaspoon of ground flax seed too.  Pineapple is awesome in a smoothie. You might like to use coconut milk and maybe some organic raw cacao powder.  I also like to add some soaked goji berries from time to time.

IMG_0005

Yogurt and fruit, as a side to a small bowl of ancient grain cereal, is a quick and easy option when time is really a challenge.  I love Kite Hill artisan almond milk yogurt. 1 serving provides 5 grams of protein. Add a chopped apple for fiber and vitamin C and maybe a tablespoon of raw sunflower seeds for vitamin E. Any berries would make a great addition too.

 

Take A Food-First Approach to Health.

Hippocrates

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Pudding for Breakfast – Why Not?

Pudding for breakfast is not that radical an idea, although I know my 93 year old mother wouldn’t approve; but shaking things up keeps things interesting, right? We all know that a healthy breakfast is the foundation for a great day. It energizes our bodies and fuels our brains so we can take on whatever the universe puts in our path. While we know all this on an intellectual level, the reality is, mornings can be pretty hectic. Getting ready for school or work, finding missing assignments, and searching for lost glasses and keys can make finding time for breakfast pretty difficult. My solution?  Pudding. Not just any pudding though –  Chia pudding and here’s why.

Chia seeds are one of my superhero plant-based foods. They may be tiny but they pack an awesome nutritional punch. Chia is known to have been used as a superfood as early as 3000 BC. We humans, many of us being foolish and thinking we know better than mother nature, largely abandoned this little powerhouse after the “discovery” of the Americas until the early 1990s. Thank Goodness the descendants of the Aztec and Maya people, who revered Chia for its extraordinary qualities (side note: Chia is the Mayan word for strength) held on to this marvelous food until the rest of us got smart enough to rediscover it.

Chia Seeds

Chia Superhero Stats

1 tablespoon (12g) serving of chia seeds deliver:
3 grams of protein
4 grams of dietary fiber
4 grams of fat (3.4 grams of Good Fats)
Chia seeds are also an excellent source of manganese, magnesium, and a good source of zinc, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin B1, B2 and B3.

Let’s break it down.

Plant-based protein has far fewer calories and non of the unhealthy fats. Protein is important for good health as it supports muscle development, blood, connective tissue as well as essential antibodies and enzymes.
Dietary fiber is necessary for digestive health, helps us maintain normal cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and helps maintain optimum body weight.
Omega 3,6,9 are polyunsaturated & monounsaturated fatty acids essential to good health. They support our blood, maintain fluidity of cell membranes, and assist in the production of prostaglandin.These are good fats.
Manganese supports the thyroid, keeps bones strong, and maintains the health of nerves.
Magnesium relaxes nerves and muscles, builds and strengthens bones, and keeps blood circulating smoothly.

So there you have it. Chia seeds are perfectly suited for the most important meal of the day – breakfast. Here is a delicious recipe for Chia Breakfast Pudding that the whole family can enjoy, will provide everything you need to start the day, and is ridiculously easy to prepare.

Chia Breakfast Pudding

Chia Breakfast Pudding

You are only limited by your imagination with this recipe. Choose any fruit you and your family enjoy. Add cinnamon for a lovely twist. You might like to include some shredded, unsweetened coconut, or small slivered almonds or chopped walnuts. You can really add anything you like. The basic pudding will simply be your vehicle for awesome nutrition, cool texture, and flavor.

This recipe is well suited to including older children in the making. They will be fascinated with the transformation of the chia seeds! Let them choose a favorite fruit to add or challenge them to choose a fruit they've never tried.

This is one way to make nutrition a family affair.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups nut milk (almond, coconut, cashew)
  • 1/3 cup organic chia seeds
  • 1 Tsp organic pure vanilla
  • Fresh strawberries, raspberries, dragon fruit, apple, kiwi (in photo above)

Instructions

  1. The evening before combine nut milk, chia seeds and vanilla in bowl or jar with lid.
  2. Mix well & refrigerate.
  3. Shake or stir several times to ensure mixture is blended.
  4. Seeds will absorb liquid and form a tapioca-like pudding.
  5. Before serving prepare fruit. Set aside some for garnish.
  6. Stir fruit into milk/chia seed mixture.
  7. Serve in small bowl, parfait glass, or on-the-go containers.
  8. Garnish with remaining fruit.

Notes

Chia seeds will swell when liquid is added and form a gel. If the seeds are swallowed they may cause a choking hazard when they combine with fluids in the esophagus. Children should be carefully supervised.

https://jazzedupveggies.com/2015/09/pudding-for-breakfast-why-not/

Other ways to add chia seeds into your morning routine:

*add 1 Tbsp to your morning smoothie before blending
*sprinkle 1 Tsp on  whole grain cereal then add nut milk
*add chia seeds to your baking i.e. muffins, breads

How do you like to use chia seeds?
Please share your ideas.

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