PROBIOTIC CHIA PUDDING
So just had to share this! My wee probiotic chia seed pudding was divine!
Not only is it probiotic, from the soya kefir, its packed with prebiotic fibre from the chia seeds, strawberries & goji berries AND I added a tablespoon of inulin powder to the strawberries to sweeten them up a bit and add extra fibre for my wee gut buddies!
So this was so simple and SO good, I'm sharing it with all you healthy people!
I can think of all sorts of wonderful combinations!
So the key thing is to use enough chia seeds to thicken up your pudding, which is 2 1/2 tablespoons to 1/2 cup of plant milk or kefir. This makes enough for 1 serving! Just mix and put in the fridge for 15 mins to thicken up.
Then just get creative with fruit, nuts, seeds, coconut, edible flowers, citrus zest or even some nice fruity jam, or anything else you fancy!
I chopped up some strawberries and added 1 spoonful of inulin powder, then mashed them up a bit.
Some vanilla extract would be a lovely addition or also some lemon zest.
So just put a layer of chia pudding in a nice serving glass, add a layer of fruit, then another layer of chia pudding, another layer of fruit, and some healthy or decadent toppings!
I will be making lots of these, a gut healthy delicious wee treat for me and my gut buddies!!
Hope you give this a go!
Here are a few other flavour options;
Just use your imagination and use whatever you have available.
Almond, cashew, soya, hemp or coconut milk would all work well so again just use what you have!
If you have milk kefir grains, then consider making some plant based kefir to boost the benefits of your wee pudding to superstar status!
BLACKCURRANT & APPLE CHIA JAM
I was gifted some lovely blackcurrants yesterday so made some rather delicious blackcurrant and apple chia jam!
I'm really not a fan of adding loads of sugar to sweeten things up and most commercially produced jams are 50% sugar!!
However the sugar does more than just sweeten the jam, it also creates a gel with pectin, and preserves the jam, preventing mould, so this jam won't keep as long but chia seeds do a fine job of creating a firm gel like texture.
So I had a couple of eating apples which were lovely and sweet, also apples contain pectin, a preferred fibre source for our gut buddies!
Blackcurrants are a great source of vit C and anthocyanin, a polyphenol which gives food a purple colour and another one of our gut buddies favourites!
My secret ingredient is inulin, a white powder derived from chicory, which just happens to taste sweet and is another preferred source of fibre for our gut microbes!
You can buy a big bag of Inulin powder from most health food shops or Online. Its such an easy thing to add extra prebiotics and natural sweetness to drinks, bread, cakes and cookies. I bought mine from Grape Tree. However don't go overboard, recommended daily dose is 2 teaspoons. So 2 tablespoons in 2 jars of jam is fine. You will have to add another source of sweetness, in addition to the inulin.
Using chia seeds to thicken the jam adds more fibre, protein and good fats!
I added a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup to add a bit more sweetness but you could add honey, brown rice syrup or coconut sugar, which has minerals!
If you are concerned about adding sugar then the best sugar free option is Stevia, available in powdered or liquid drops. I am not a fan of artificial sweeteners, nor are our gut microbes but Stevia is the best choice available.
So my jam is a feast for my gut microbes, and a treat for my tastebuds without adding loads of empty calories!
Because this jam doesn't contain high levels of sugar, it won't keep as long as traditional jam so
I wouldn't make a big batch. It will only keep for a few weeks in the fridge, so make small batches and if you have lots of blackcurrants or summer berries, then freeze them. Frozen berries work just as well.
Here is my simple recipe.
Ingredients - makes 2 medium jars of jam
Enjoy with sourdough toast, scones or swirled into yoghurt or kefir!
PROBIOTIC CHOCOLATE BARK
This is quite simply the most delicious thing ever!! I think I invented it, and boy it’s a really great invention!
JUST 3 STEPS
1-Melt 2 bars of dark chocolate (200g) with a tablespoon coconut oil. I use 75% or 80% cacao solids chocolate from Aldi. Let it cool a bit, then add ¼ to ½ cup coconut kefir or 75 to 100mls coffee kombucha. Mix it well then pour onto a baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper.
You can substitute a good quality yoghurt or kefir if you don’t make your own but look for one with the most probiotic strains and avoid ones with lots of added sugar!
2- Pour the chocolate mixture onto the tray, smooth it out a bit, then sprinkle liberally with toppings of your choice! A wee sprinkling of sea salt is a great addition, goji berries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, hemp seeds, coconut, dried fruit all work well.
3- Transfer to the freezer and freeze until solid then break into pieces and enjoy.
This is best enjoyed straight from the freezer!
You can up the ante on the health benefits by adding ½ tsp maca, lúcuma or baobob powder with the kefir or kombucha.
It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, well it is in our house, apart from the fact that we all have a sore throat, so we've not been singing festive songs as much as usual!
I've been having sea salt baths with lavender and tea tree, downing shots of turmeric, ginger and lemon and eating loads of Immune boosting soup and fermented garlic!
I always use drugs as a last resort once I've given all my natural remedies a chance to work! I'm feeling better but now Kathryn and Laura have a sore throat!! Its always the same at this time of year!
Anyway I'm still in full on festive food mood and have a few more brilliant recipes to share before Christmas!
I came across this recipe on the awesome Kellie Andersons excellent blog food to glow
she has some incredible recipes, mostly plantbased and all delicious and healthy.
Her blog is well worth a look, I love her style of cooking and the flavour she manages to pack into her recipes is amazing!
So back to this great recipe...
These wee crackers would make a great gift, presented in a wee bag and tied with twine or ribbon. You can be creative and cut out all sorts of shapes. That's the brilliant thing about making your own stuff, you know exactly what the ingredients are and you can personalise most recipes to suit your own tastes and preferences.
Kids would also love making these and they make a nice change from sweet biscuits covered in icing! These crackers actually taste a little sweet and have a lovely crunch and festive flavour. They would be perfect with a Christmas cheese board (lots of dairyfree vegan cheeses around too) or as an accompaniment to dips or just plain as a wee snack!
The recipe makes lots of crackers so I have frozen half the dough and will make more crackers next week when we've eaten all this batch!
I used avocado oil in mine but olive oil or any mild tasting oil would work. Kellie's original recipe added 50 ml orange juice and the zest of a small orange but I didn't have any so I added a bit more water instead and used 1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice instead of ginger.
The trick is to try and roll the dough out fairly thinly for nice crisp crackers. Just be sure to flour your work surface well or use 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and roll the dough on the paper with one sheet on top. You can then put the greaseproof paper directly onto an oven tray.
I just lightly greased and floured 2 baking trays and the crackers crisped up nicely and didn't stick at all!
So here is the slightly adapted recipe..
CRANBERRY & HAZELNUT CRACKERS
.....your health in your hands.....
🍃 Health educator🍃