Cinnamon granola

Adapted from Alton Brown

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup flax seed (can be grounded)
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (oats, nuts, seeds, brown sugar, spices).
  3. In a small/medium bowl, combine wet ingredients (maple syrup, oil, and salt).
  4. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
  5. Remove from oven and cool.

I find the granola is done when it all feels dry as you stir it, and doesn’t clump together all sticky-like. I still don’t have a baking sheet, but this time I tried baking the granola in two separate dishes to cook faster. The maple syrup was a souvenir I picked while visiting my friend Francesca in Montreal. It’s some good stuff, and came in a can! Last but not least, Jesse’s tip: don’t spill.

~Jessica

Starbucks-copy strawberry overnight grains

Adapted from Kitchen Treaty and Life Made Sweeter

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup red quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 2 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup + more to taste if desired
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds*
  • 1/4 cup coconut chips

Directions:

  1. Combine uncooked rolled / old-fashioned oats, milk / Greek yogurt and sweetener and spices if using.
  2. Scoop some of the oats into a bowl, mason jar or a resealable container.
  3. Slice or chop up some strawberries and layer over the oats.
  4. Spoon in the rest of the oats on top. Alternatively, you can just mix in the strawberries with the oats and just add everything into the jar or container all at once.
  5. Seal up the container and park it in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next morning, you can heat the glass jar up in the microwave for a hot breakfast or enjoy your overnight oats cold straight from the fridge. You can add more milk and any fun toppings of your choice.
  7. It should keep for 4-5 days.

To cook the quinoa or steel-cut oats:

  1. Add water to a large saucepan set over medium-low heat. Stir in the oats, quinoa, and salt. Cook on medium-low, uncovered, until the grains are just tender and the water has evaporated, 15-20 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat. Stir in the coconut milk, chia seeds, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla. Taste and add additional sweetener if desired. Allow to cool, then pour into eight separate containers (about 1 cup per container). I like to use mason jars because they have lids + they’re sturdy and portable.

I didn’t have quinoa or steel-cut oats this time, but I loved the texture in the Starbucks version (shaved coconut might be harder to acquire, or pricy). I didn’t have almonds or fresh fruit either, maybe when it’s in season… I used some cow’s whole milk, but will try coconut milk next, if I cook the oats and quinoa together.

~Jessica

Berry overnight oats

Adapted from Quaker Oats and Min Kwon

It ain’t pretty, but it’s okay

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk or nondairy substitute
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh mixed berries and fruit (in season)

Directions:

  1. Add oats to a glass jar (mason, jam, whatever) and pour in the non/dairy. Layer yogurt, et al. over.
  2. Leave it in the refrigerator (40° F or colder) for 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Enjoy in the morning, add additional liquid if you’d like. Best to eat within 24 hours.

The mixture will keep for up to 2 days. If you don’t add a banana, up to 4 days. Use a one-to-one ratio of raw oats and your choice of milk, yogurt, or any other dairy substitutes. Other suggested toppings: fruit (fresh or dried), nuts, nut butter, seeds, protein powder, granola, coconut, spices, citrus zest and vanilla extract. I didn’t have any chia seeds or berries in my house, alas, so I subbed with my favorite Bonne Maman confiture (jam preserves). Why oh why are healthy fruits and vegetables so expensive. I miss Germany.

~Jessica

Plum berry smoothie

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla kefir (or whatever yogurt you have)
  • 2 large bananas, peeled (frozen ahead of time if you remember)
  • 1 plum, frozen, quartered
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 dates
  • 3 ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Pour in the almond milk.
  2. Add the kefir/yogurt and chia seeds and dates, to soak a bit and soften.
  3. Add the frozen plum.
  4. Add the two bananas, halved.
  5. Rinse your blueberries, and de-stem them if needed, before adding.
  6. Add the ice cubes. Blend all. Serve cold.

I froze my plums that I had quartered and de-pitted. I now have two more cut plums sitting in the freezer for the next couple of smoothies.

~Jessica

Blueberry banana smoothie

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate kefir (or whatever yogurt you have)
  • 2 large bananas, peeled (frozen ahead of time if you remember)
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3 ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Pour in the almond milk.
  2. Add the two bananas, halved.
  3. Rinse your blueberries, and de-stem them if needed.
  4. Add the kefir and chia seeds.
  5. Add the ice cubes. Blend until ready to serve.

I read that you can also freeze plums with a similarly nice slushie effect, so I quartered and de-pitted one for the next batch, sitting in the freezer now.

~Jessica

Green monster smoothie

Adapted from Oh She Glows

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk 
  • 1/2 cup kefir or plain yogurt 
  • 1-2 cup de-stemmed baby spinach 
  • 1 large ripe frozen banana, peeled and chopped into chunks 
  • 3/4 cup blueberries/strawberries 
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds 
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon 
  • 2-4 ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender.
  2. Serve cold. Feel free to use whatever berries or fruit are in season!

I prefer the flavor of almond milk and whole milk kefir. Make sure you chop the banana before freezing, or it will get messy — peeling a browned slimy peel off freezing cold bananas. Perfect for summer!

~Jessica

Strawberry chia jam

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Fresh  out of the pot

Adapted from Nadia Lim

Ingredients:
2 cups strawberries, frozen
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp chia seeds
splash of vanilla extract (optional)
splash of water
splash of lemon juice

Directions:
Mix all ingredients except chia seeds. Cook in a small pot over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Stir until thickened, breaking up the fruit. Sweeten to taste. Add the chia seeds and stir for a minute. Let jam cool slightly, then transfer to heatproof, sterilized jars (I adore Bonne Maman preserves, so I always save up their jars). Cover and let cool completely. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.

IMAG1293After looking up all of those interesting ways to use chia seeds, I became fascinated with this simple recipes. Only berries and sugar and chia seeds are essential, but I had the rest in the pantry, so hey, why not? All the little chia seeds look like strawberry seeds in the photo! I thought the vanilla flavouring unnecessary, so I wouldn’t add it next time. And it wasn’t overly sweet, as most jams are — a nice change!

~Jessica

Chia seed pudding, part II

IMG_2689Adapted from Wellness Mama retry of this

Ingredients:
2 cups almond-coconut milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

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sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon

Instructions:
Whisk all ingredients together. Refrigerate overnight. Eat with fresh fruit in the morning.

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pre-almond topped

I wanted to try a chia seed recipe without using yogurt, because I love my yogurt, but I wanted to use up the almond milk before it expires (one week after opening, according to the label).

So I layered 3 spoonfuls of chia pudding with 2 spoonfuls of whole milk plain yogurt. Added chopped strawberries and toasted chopped almonds and a spoonful of jam to finish. This made enough chia pudding for six (small) servings.

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~Jessica