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Chia Porridge, the New Breakfast on the Block

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A raw foodie's oatmeal? I wouldn't call it that. It's more like pudding, if you ask me. Yet another mushy texture that I was not very keen on trying out for the longest time. So glad I did though! Chia seeds are not only an amazing superfood but also very versatile. A simple breakfast porridge like this will give you the opportunity to experiment and create the most delicious flavor combinations. This porridge will leave you energized, satisfied, and keep you full for hours during a busy morning. It's so easy to take along in a jar and is a nice addition to your repertoire of smoothies, juices, and other usual breakfast items for a change. Aren't they the prettiest seeds? They're bean-shaped and come in colors of white, gray and black. They don't need to be ground for their nutrition to be bioavailable and they take but minutes to swell up to make breakfast, snacks, sweets, etc.

Did you know?...
...chia seeds contain the highest amount of omega-3 of all plants (which makes them the perfect brain food)
...they are a complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids present in them
...these hydrophyllic seeds are capable of absorbing water about 10 times their weight and are very high in fiber
...they're loaded with antioxidants and minerals, such as calcium, manganese, phosphorous, etc. In other words, they're a very good bone-building food and an alkaline nutritional powerhouse.
They are highly praised in preventive-health literature for having potential to lower cholesterol, helping Type 2 diabetics by glycemic control, lessen your chances of developing cardiovascular diseases and help prevent different types of cancer. All this should be enough reason to put them in your grocery basket for food and not to (at least not only to) raise chia pets!   

Chia Porridge
(Serves 1-2)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 1/2 cup nut mylk
sweetener to taste
strawberries (or other fruit)
cacao nibs
sprinkle coconut sugar on top, this is the best part : )

I made fresh almond mylk and used it without straining it. Mix the chia seeds and the mylk in a bowl, stir well and let it sit for a little while or keep it in the fridge overnight. Just before serving (or packing it into your lunchbox) add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Top with your favorite fruits, anything goes, and add caaco nibs, nuts, seeds, raisins, anything you love. Enjoy!

Lemon Poppy Seed Soft Serve

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The inspiration: last weekend while talking to my little sister on the phone she had lemon-poppy-seed cookies in the oven. I knew right then that I would be making something of that flavor combination and this is dedicated to her! Yes, I know you'll love it, L. : )
It's so simple to make and yet divine. A dessert or snack that's refreshing and guilt-free, and quite filling, really, what else would you need? Raw lemon poppy-seed cookies remain on my "to do list" or rather, my "come up with" list...

Lemon Poppy Seed Soft Serve
2 large frozen bananas (peel and slice before freezing)
juice of 2 lemons
~ 1/2 cup water or nut mylk
1 tbsp honey or your favorite sweetener to taste
~2 tbsp poppy seeds*
 tsp coconut oil
optional: little lemon zest

Grind the poppy seeds using a traditional poppy seed grinder or a spice grinder/coffee grinder first if you have one, then place all ingredients in a high speed blender. Start the process on a low setting and gradually increase the speed. Add extra liquid slowly (if necessary) while monitoring the consistency. You will have soft serve ice cream in under a minute. Share and enjoy every spoonful of it!

*Poppy seeds are very rich in minerals. You can read about their nutrition contents here and try out more recipes such as poppy seed bars or salad dressing to incorporate them into your diet.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

I dare you to not love this! It might sound like an odd combination but I've been making this for a week now and I can't get tired of it. There's something good in everything bad for sure because I didn't even touch my juicer for months until now, after going through oral surgery (ouch). I will not get into the details of what a nightmare it was to feel the effects of anesthesia. I wanted to make sure I rid my body of the drugs as quickly as possible but I don't think I did enough of anything special except for eating mainly raw and sticking with this juice. High concentrations of vitamins A and C are great for helping your wound heal and of course you will need all the vitamins and minerals you can get even more so after going through any kind of medical procedure. By the way, there are tons of things you can do to help eliminate the parabens (in drugs) and whatever else your body was exposed to. This is not a recipe for detox after anesthesia/surgery though. I'm just sharing because it's so yummy. So drink up....Enjoy!

1 grapefruit (peeled)
1 apple
1 cucumber
5-6 stalks of celery
piece of ginger

I wish I had wheatgrass to add to this but I do not have a wheatgrass cranker yet. 

Put all the fruits and veggies through a juicer and drink immediately or, if you must take it with you to work/school, etc. like I did, then try to fill up a bottle all the way. You can even make it the night before this way and as long as you do not leave much space for air in there your juice will not oxidize much. A great way to start your day with an anti-inflammatory breakfast, or pre-breakfast : )

How About a Loaf of Bread?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

No, this is not April Fools', I'm serious. I've been raw (on and off) for over a year and for the past month, for several reasons, more off then on. : ( That also means having eaten loaves of bread in one sitting every now and then! Yes, again, I'm serious! But this wonderful creation is so dense that even I can stop myself after two slices. Bread-making is not so common in raw kitchens. Raw chips and crackers are much more the mainstream substitute for everything that's normally made out of wheat flour. I thought I would change that, in my kitchen anyway, and try to come up with something that even looks like bread and can be used for sandwiches, etc. This is a version that is great for breakfast or an afternoon snack just because it's not savory with herbs or spices, which is what I would make for a veggie sandwich. The result is incredible. Perfect with nut butter and jam for a "peanut butter and jelly" sandwich. I happened to use almond butter and goji berries (excellent for the brain), a wonderful harmony, but I love it with just walnut butter (also perfect brain food) on it, yum.
If you find cardamon too strong then just skip it. It's unique enough that I imagine some of you might not be big fans. You'll still get your "cinnamon toast" out of this. It couldn't really get any better than that, right?

Raw Cardamon-Date-Cinnamon Bread
(Makes 7-8 slices)
1 cup buckwheat groats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup golden flax seeds
6-7 medjool dates
3-4 pods cardamon
pinch of salt
optional: add your favorite sweetener to taste

1. Soak the buckwheat overnight then sprout for a day or two. The goal is not to end up with little tails but to make sure they're in the edible stage. Don't rinse them right before you use them. They'll have just enough moisture for the dough with a perfect texture.
2. Grind the flax seeds and the cardamon pods (if you're using them) in a spice grinder.
3. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix them until it all clumps together forming a ball of dough. You might need to scrape down the sides a couple of times to make sure everything is mixed in.
4. Shape your dough into a cube or whatever form you prefer. With a sharp knife, cut into ~1/4 in (6 mm) thick slices.
5. Gently place your slices onto a teflex sheet and dehydrate them for 1-2 hours at 115 ˚F (46˚C) then flip them onto a screen and continue dehydrating them for several hours.
6. Spread your favorite nut butter/coconut butter/cacao spread/jam/fruit paste, etc on it. I like to sprinkle with extra cinnamon too. It's a great snack to have around or to pack into a lunch box.

I'm so inspired.....It's time to make a savory loaf, or a sourdough imitation. After all, I live in the Bay Area....It should be famous for RAW sourdough too, right? : )
The sun is out so I'm off to harvest some vitamin D! Whoever decided to send some sunshine my way, thanks! See, I promised I would post this recipe once there's enough light for photos...