Chia Threesome! Chocolate, Vanilla Caramel Cinnamon and Berry Pud


I thought I would have a little fun with some chia puds yesterday and what better, given it’s nearly Valentine’s day, than a decadent looking and tasting, yet totally healthy threesome pud!

I can almost feel the love! šŸ˜‰

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This is super easy to make. Of course you don’t have to make three flavours – you can make two, or one! whatever you like! If you don’t have lacuma you can leave this out of the chocolate pud, and for the caramel one you can use maca instead (though go easy and keep tasting to get the taste you want, or use vanilla instead).

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For the Chocolate chia pud you will need:

5 tbsp Chia seeds

1 1/2 cups of Almond or coconut milk (or soya milk if you prefer)

1 tsp liquid sweetener (to taste) – you can use coconut syrup, maple syrup, agave, rice malt syrup – your choice

1 tbsp Raw cacao powder

1 heaped tsp Lacuma

 

For the Vanilla caramel cinnamon pud you will need:

5 tbsp Chia seeds

1 1/2 cups Coconut or almond milk (or soya milk if you prefer)

1 heaped tsp Lacuma

1 tbsp Mequite powder

1 tsp Cinnamon (to taste)

2 tsp liquid sweetener (to taste)

 

For the Berry chia pud you will need:

4 tbsp Chia seeds

1Ā 1/2Ā cups of berries – I used blackberries, blueberries and strawberries

1 cup Almond or Coconut milk (or soya)

1 heaped tsp of Vanilla powder (if you don’t have this then use 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)

Liquid sweetener – to taste (I didn’t bother using any as I like my berries tart šŸ™‚ )

For each of the puds pop the chia seeds into a bowl (one bowl for each flavour), mix the dry ingredients in and then add the milk and liquid sweetener and mix really well with a fork. For the berry pud I pureed the fruits in a blender – blitzing them for a few seconds, then poured that straight over the seeds.

Make sure you mix really well and then cover and leave in the fridge to set for a few hours (at least). Check after an hour and give another stir. If you prefer a thicker texture add a little more chia at this point. If you want it a bit more liquid add a little milk.

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Once set remove from the fridge and layer in to your bowl or jar. Sprinkle some desiccated coconut on top and a couple of berries to decorate and enjoy!

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The Ultimate Breakfast Smoothie


This is my go-to breakfast smoothie almost every day. This recipe was originally posted over at the Pure Form Fitness Kitchen. It’s full of goodness and absolutely delicious. It’s so important to have breakfast but sometimes it’s hard to eat a big meal early in the morning, especially if you workout early. This smoothie is perfect pre-workout fuel – light enough to make sure you don’t feel sick but satisfying enough to keep you going. It’s great to grab on the go too. The protein powder keeps you full and the L-glutamine is great for muscle recovery.

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You can change things around with this – use different nut butters if you like, add other bits and bobs eg frozen berries, guarana, chilli powder, chia seeds etc but this is my favourite base.

This mixture usually makes 2 – 3 shakes and it’s fine in the fridge for a few days.

You will need:

2 cups non-dairy milk (almond, soya, oat etc)

2 large or 3 medium Bananas

1 tbsp Cashew nut butter

4 scoops Ā Protein Powder (I use About Time vegan protein powder – but you can use any one you like)

2 scoops L-glutamine powder (optional – but great for muscle recovery. I use MyProtein L-glutamine powder)

2 tsp ground Cinnamon

2 tsp Coffee (decaf or caffeinated – your choice)

1 – 2 tbsp raw Cacao powder

1 cup Ice

Sprinkling of Chia seeds

Put all the ingredients in to a blender and blend until smooth.


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Pour into glasses and sprinkle the chia seeds over or pour into protein shakers and pop in the fridge if not drinking immediately. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Orange and Almond Brownies – dairy and gluten free


I think I’m in heaven. I’ve managed to combine three of my most favourite things – Willie’s Cacao Luscious Orange chocolate, roasted Almonds and my dairy and gluten free brownie! And wow – this is good! I’ve even managed to win over my orange chocolate hating friend! Win! šŸ™‚

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You will need:

1/4 cup Rice flour

1/2 cup Ground almonds

1 cup unrefined Raw sugar (golden caster sugar, coconut sugar etc)

1/2 cup almond oil (or coconut oil)

1/4 cup raw Cacoa powder

2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 6 tbsp water

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Orange extract

Handful of Almonds

1 – 2 bars Willie’s Luscious Orange chocolate (chopped)

For Icing

1 – 2 bars Willie’s Luscious Orange chocolate

50 – 100g Unrefined icing sugar (adjust quantity to depending how runny you want it)

Silver balls to decorate

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Preheat the oven to 170C and grease a 20 x 20cm square baking pan with parchment paper.

Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan until they just start to turn brown. To make them even crunchier I let them cool to room temperature then chopped them and toast again briefly. Pop to one side until later.

Mix the ground almonds, flour, cacao powder, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl soak the chia seeds in the water. Once the chia seeds have absorbed all the water add them to the mix along with the orange extract, and oil. Whisk together using a hand mixer until well mixed. It should be thick and glossy when mixed.

Stir in the chocolate and almonds. Pour in to the baking tin and place in the oven for 25 – 30 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack

Then prepare the icing. Melt the chocolate and then stir in the icing sugar a little at a time until you get the consistency you want. Spread quickly on to the brownies and sprinkle the silver balls and any other decorations you want to use on to the top!

Enjoy!

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The Chia Co Chia Seeds, Chia Pods and Oats+Chia Review


As many of you know I’m a big fan of chia seeds. They make an awesome egg replacer for baking, are delicious stirred into smoothies, yoghurt and porridge and are fab sprinkled over salads and in granola. So I was super excited to receive this wonderful bundle of goodies from The Chia Co to try.

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Chia is the richest source of plant based Omega 3, protein and fibre and is also full of vitamins and minerals so they’re a great food to include in your diet. The Chia Co are an Australian based company growing chemical-free, sun ripened chia and as well as producing packets of the seeds themselves they also make two awesome chia-based products to go – chia pods and oats+chia.

I was sent a big packet of chia seeds, four chia pods – vanilla bean extract and blueberry flavours, and the apple spice and mixed berry Oats+chia sachets.

So starting with the seeds – I use chia a lot so I used these seeds in my recent peanut butter brownie recipe (recipe here)

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I also sprinkled them in my granola, used them in my quinoa porridge (recipe here) and added them to my smoothie. The smoothie was based on this recipe hereĀ from Colette’s Fitness KitchenĀ – 2 large bananas, 1 tbsp cashew butter, 2 cups soya milk, 2 scoops of Pure Form Vanilla Protein Powder, 1tbsp chia seeds, 1 tsp each of cinnamon, raw cacao and coffee and a cup of ice – blitzed together! Yum! šŸ™‚

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So as you can see I LOVE using chia and these seeds from the Chia Co are fab! They’re beautifully packaged in a resealable pack and they also make them in little individual sized ‘shot’ portions which are perfect to take with you on the go!

Now on to the Chia pods! These are a serving of chia seeds, coconut milk and fruit (or vanilla extract) – all good and dairy free. I tried both flavours and although I thought I’d prefer the vanilla one the mixed berry was definitely my favourite. The vanilla one was good but I could only manage half this generous portion in one go – it was so creamy and rich.

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The blueberry one though was divine! I polished that up super quick! The addition of the real fruits really made this and lightens it up. It makes a fab brekkie, pud or post workout snack. They’re in really secure portable packaging too, with a spoon, so are easy to pop in your gym bag or handbag, or lunchbox.

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My absolute favourites of the products I tried though we’re the Oats+chia sachets. These are single serve sachets of chia, oats, coconut oil and real fruit which you just need to add water too. You can either add hot water directly to the contents of the pack, or you can add cold water (using the empty sachet to measure the amount needed – a feature I loved!) and then microwave it.

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The portions don’t look very large when you open them so I was a little worried to begin with.

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But once you add the water and let it sit for a minute as per the instructions it bulks up to a decent portion and it’s so lovely, creamy and filling that it really is the perfect amount. The apple spice flavour was delish – plenty of spices and real chunks of apple made this super tasty and filling. I had it as a post workout snack and it filled me up perfectly. I threw a blueberries on top but it would be just as nice without.

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The mixed berry flavour was my favourite once again – super creamy but wig a lovely tartness from the berries. I had this for brekkie and added extra berries and toasted almonds. It really didn’t need these either but I was feeling decadent! šŸ™‚

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So all in all I’m really impressed. The Oats+chia sachets are definitely my favourite (well aside from the seeds themselves which are super useful for loads of things!). They’re a great portion size, are filling and full of flavour. They’re also really quick to make up and are so much better than other similar instant oat products which are full of sugar and artificial flavours etc. I can’t wait to try the banana and mango, and blueberry and lemon flavours! Oats+chia are available from Ocado.

The pods were fab too – especially the blueberry one. I’m hoping the mango and banana flavours will be just as yummy! The pods are available from Tescos, Waitrose, Whole foods Market, Planet Organic and some local health stores.

The seeds are available from lots of suppliers. For more info about the products and stockists check out http://www.thechiaco.com.au or http://www.facebook.com/thechiaco šŸ™‚

Do try them and let me know what you think too! šŸ™‚

Peanut butter fruit and nut brownies – dairy and gluten free


Two very exciting things happened recently…Firstly I was given this beautiful pot full of scrummy raisins from my friend Dee šŸ™‚ and secondly I finally found some PB2 powdered peanut butter!

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The raisins… well that’s a long (somewhat amusing) story which I won’t go in to here, but needless to say they were very gratefully received :). Now PB2….What on earth is thatĀ and why would I be so excited to find it? Well for a start it’s a powdered peanut butter which means it’s a great way to get peanut butter in to your baking (if you want to.. which I do!). As an added bonus it has 85% less calories from fat compared to traditional peanut butter, but it isn’t full of rubbish. It’s all natural, slow roasted peanuts which are then pressed to remove the fat and oil. It comes as natural and chocolate (yum!) and you can either just add water to make it in to a butter to use as you would normal peanut butter…. or you can use it as a powder in bakes and shakes!

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So these two wonderful things were just crying out to be combined into something yummy…. and here it is! Peanut butter fruit and nut brownies! A great way to have a healthy treat with a little bit of a protein boost too!

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You can change the fruit and add different nuts if you like but I wanted to really give that peanut punch so I stuck with peanuts! You can also use peanut butter if you don’t have PB2 but it will change the consistency so I suggest you go a little lighter on the oil.

You will need:

1/4 cup Rice flour

1/2 cup Ground almonds

1 cup unrefined Raw sugar (golden caster sugar, coconut sugar etc)

1/2 cup almond oil (or coconut oil)

1/4 cup raw Cacoa powder

4 heaped tbsp PB2 (if you don’t have this you can use normal peanut butter – 2 – 3 tbsp)

2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 6 tbsp water

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Vanilla extract

100g dried Raisins

50g dried Cherries

Handful of natural roasted Peanuts (halved or chopped)

ForĀ topping

2 – 3 tbsp PB2 original

1 – 2 tbsp PB2 chocolate

a little Water

Preheat the oven to 170C and grease a 20 x 20cm square baking pan with parchment paper.

Mix the ground almonds, flour, cacao powder,PB2, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl soak theĀ chia seeds in the water. Once the chia seeds have absorbed all the water add them to the mix along with theĀ vanilla extract, and oil. Whisk together using a hand mixer until well mixed. It should be thick and glossy when mixed.Ā Have a taste – if you want a bit more peanutty flavour you can add a little more PB2 now but mix it in really well.

Stir in the peanuts, raisinsĀ and cherries (cut them in half if they are large). Pour in to the baking tin and place in the oven for 25 – 30 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack

Then prepare the topping. In separate bowls mix the original PB2 and chocolate PB2 with water. Add a little water at a time – you want a runny consistency but not too runny.Ā Ā Drizzle the original one over the brownie, then the chocolate one. Pop in the fridge to set Ā – or just eat straight away!

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Chocolate Cherry Brownies – gluten and dairy free


My hubby and I had a rare evening out last night with some very good friends to go and watch “Dirty Dancing” at the open air cinema. Tasked with providing dessert I decided I’d go for some good old chocolately goodness and whip up a new version of my brownies for us to munch on whilst watching the film… They’re almost as tasty as Patrick Swayze šŸ˜‰

The sweet-sour of the cherries works so well to balance out the rich chocolate in these and they’re brilliant served with berries and some cashew cream (recipe here) for a decadent (but not too bad for you) dessert.

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You will need:

1/4 cup Rice flour

1/2 cup Ground almonds

1 cup unrefined Raw sugar (golden caster sugar, coconut sugar etc)

1/2 cup almond oil (or coconut oil)

1/4 cup raw Cacoa powder

2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 6 tbsp water

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Vanilla extract

100g dried Cherries

Dairy free chocolateĀ (I use Willie’s cacao drops) – about a handful (approx 100g)

For Icing

100g Dairy free chocolate (again I use Willie’s cacao drops)

100 – 200g Unrefined icing sugar (adjust quantity to depending how runny you want your icing)

Freeze dried Cherries to decorate

Preheat the oven to 170C and grease a 20 x 20cm square baking pan with parchment paper.

Mix the ground almonds, flour, cacao powder, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl soak theĀ chia seeds in the water. Once the chia seeds have absorbed all the water add them to the mix along with theĀ vanilla extract, and oil. Whisk together using a hand mixer until well mixed. It should be thick and glossy when mixed.

Stir in the chocolate and cherries (cut them in half if they are large). Pour in to the baking tin and place in the oven for 25 – 30 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack

Then prepare the icing. Melt the chocolate and then stir in the icing sugar a little at a time until you get the consistency you want.Ā Spread quickly on to the brownies and sprinkle the freeze dried cherriesĀ and any other decorations you want to use on to the top!

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Then enjoy (preferably with a side helping of Patrick Swayze šŸ˜‰ )

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Cherry and apple flapjack slice and a whole lot of love!


This oaty, fruity, flapjacky treat is simply lovely! You can make it with any fruit compote you choose and in any shape you choose! I was feeling the love so I whipped up one rectangular one and one in a little heart shape! šŸ™‚

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This is SO much better for you than traditional flapjack slices – it’s full of wholefoods and the addition of the chia seeds gives an added Omega boost too! You could use store bought compote but they tend to be full of sugar so have a go at making your own if you can – it’s so easy!

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You will need:

1 cup Rice flour
1 cup Oats (or quinoa porridge flakes)
1/2 cup Desiccated coconut
1/4 cup Raw coconut sugar
1/4 cup Chia seeds
1 tsp ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt
110g Coconut oil (not melted)
3 Tbsp Maple syrup or Agave (or other liquid sweetener)
1 1/2 cup Cherry and apple compote

To make a quick cherry and apple compote take one punnet of cherries (pitted and roughly chopped in quarters) and approximately 3 – 4 Bramley apples (peeled, cored and chopped) and place in a bowl. Pop in the microwave and cook in short bursts until the apple has softened and the cherries are cooked through (can also be done in a saucepan on the hob). If required add a little unrefined sugar to sweeten (though I prefer it without sugar). Allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 175 C.

Add the flour, oats, coconut, sugar, chia seeds, ginger and salt to a large bowl and mix well. Add the coconut oil and rub it in to the dry mixture using your hands to create a breadcrumb consistency. Add the liquid sweetener and mix in to form a crumble-type mixture.

Line a rectangular or square (or heart shaped!) baking dish with baking paper (ensure the baking paper comes up the sides so you can easily remove the flapjack from the tin later). Take just over half of the mixture and place in to a lined baking tin and flatten well. Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until it starts to brown.

Remove from the oven and spread the compote over the base. Put the remaining crumble mix over the top and lightly press down. Bake in the oven again for 20 – 25 mins or until it browns.

Take it out the oven and let it cool in the tin (or if you can’t wait for it to cool completely wait at least 15 mins!). Then remove, cut up and enjoy šŸ™‚

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