chia seed

Chia + Corn Bars (GF + Vegan)

Because runner’s need fuel.Corn + chia energy bars

We live on a canal, well more on the edge of a canal, on land, not actually in it…..and I love to sit outside just watching and listening to life over on the other side. The footpath across the water is pretty busy and these days the majority of traffic seems to be runners. I reckon a runner flies past every 5 minutes, some huffing and puffing, others lightly gliding and many in groups chatting loudly. I love watching and whenever I see them I alway get a pang of jealousy that it’s not me running along, even if I’ve ran that day! Is this weird? I thought this was a normal feeling that all runner’s experience! I just truly love running, actually we have a love and hate relationship but there’s way more loving than hating.Corn + chia bars with PB + banana!

So these simple corn and chia based bars are a celebration of my morning jog in the form of a pre-run energy boost. Because…….apparently, chia will boost my performance so naturally I’m in. I believe anything plant based will increase both performance and recovery but I do love a good theory and there does seem to be some interesting chia data out there. So, chia seeds = faster running, increased stamina+ quicker recovery times. Good job I love these little treasures.Sliced corn + chia bars

I first read about the running and chia connection in the book ‘Born to Run‘, which runner or not is a fascinating insight into the Tarahumara tribe and the powerful effects of food on performance, specifically chia seeds – a runner’s good friend. The Tarahumara people from northwestern part of Mexico are famous for their impressive  long distance running abilities and chia seeds mainly in a liquid form formed a significant part of their diets. To me this is bigger than ‘running and chia seeds’ but highlights more generally just how powerful food can be and what a radical effect it can have on our performance and day to day wellbeing. It was ‘Born to Run’ that first spiked my interest in chia and how plant food in general could in fact help me perform better – aka, a sub 3 marathon. Shame this was after I’d run a couple of marathons…….but now i’m kinda tempted to run another as part of my plant food effects on running performance curiosity. An experiment of sorts.

Easy process for corn + chia bars

Well maybe but  you don’t need to be a runner to enjoy some good, clean plant powered snackage so in the meantime i’ll enjoy these gluten free, dairy free, chia studded energy bars inspired by No Meat Athlete’s pinole recipe. They have a soft and bendy texture that and holds together well in a chia + corn bar sandwich, definitely good snacking material for when you’re on the go.

Chia + corn bars are the perfect canvas for nut butters, jams, fruit or dipped in sticky syrup. Great as post or pre workout fuel for some light but nutritious energy.

What’s your workout fuel of choice?Corn + chia bar sarnie!

Chia + corn bars

1 cup organic corn meal
1/3 cup chia seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons maple syrup /agave
Water (enough to create an oatmeal consistency)

1. Preheat oven to 175 ºC. Toast the cornmeal for 10 minutes until fragrant. Combine with the chia, salt, cinnamon and maple syrup. Add the water until an oatmeal consistency is achieved.
2. Pour into a greased 8″ x 12″ baking tin and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
3. Slice and store for up to a week. Top with copious amounts of nut butter.

Vanilla Chia + Berry Pudding (Gluten free, Raw + Vegan)

Because PROTEIN is EVERYWHERE and plants are powerful!Delicious vanilla chia pudding

Yesterday I went for a check up at the doctors and I feel the urge to share some of our chit chat with you:

Nurse: “Make sure you eat lot’s of meat for protein”.

Me: “I don’t eat meat”

Nurse: “Oh right, so where do you get your protein from?”

Me: “Chia seeds”

Nurse: ‘What are they?”

I wont go on and yes, don’t worry I was just being a tad difficult with the whole chia seeds comment. Admittedly, I could have reeled off a whole host of ingredients she’d most likely heard of but I was having a moment and I thought that being a nurse she’d have a bit more of a grasp on non meat protein sources. Of course I explained that I eat a lot of plant based protein and it seemed like her mind was put at ease, albeit with intrigue. She really was a lovely nurse but gee whizz, I just wasn’t expecting that, not from a nurse anyway. I get asked the protein question a lot and it’s hard for me to answer without providing so much information that the other person switches off (what? I’m passionate!). Usually, I go for a simple yet adequate response to this regular question with ‘oh, lot’s of different plant sources’. I’d rather it this way than start a mini powerpoint presentation to preach on how wonderfully abundant protein is within mother nature.Vanilla chia pudding

So this vanilla chia pudding is a celebration of plant based goodness….and protein of course. There are endless fantastic plants that are an excellent source of protein but today I’m picking on chia because of it’s overall amazingness. I really do love the chia seed for it’s versatility and abundant health benefits. Chia really is the seed that just keeps on giving. Check out my post on the the health benefits of this Aztec wonder food and why it’s such a great addition to any diet.Vanilla chia pudding

Vanilla chia pudding is super easy to make and requires just a little pre-soaking before being thrown into the blender for a sweet, creamy and insanely healthy pudding. Great layered with any fruit you want but berries just fit so well and I dressed mine with cocoa nibs because they’re deliciously good for you. The little green sprig is in fact stevia. I cannot believe I found a stevia plant and it was completely by accident and at a builder’s merchants….so random! Of course I’m now looking for any excuse to use fresh stevia and this is one of those!Easiest pudding recipe ever!

Chia really does give good pudding.

So, where do ya get your protein from? Only kidding! No but seriously now, what’s your favourite way to use chia?

Peace, love and acceptance.Chia pudding + spoon ready to go!

Vanilla chia + berry pudding

(Serves 1)

1/4 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maple or agave syrup
1 banana (I used frozen)
a large handful of raspberries + blueberries
cocoa nibs for dressing

Method:

1. Soak the chia seeds, milk, vanilla, syrup + banana for at least an hour in a mason jar. Soaking overnight is ideal.
2. Empty the contents into a blender + blitz until smooth. You may need to add a little more milk here for a yoghurt like consistency. Taste + adjust sweetness if necessary.
3. Layer a glass bowl or tumbler with the pudding + berries + dress with cocoa nibs or your favourite nuts.