chia

Vegan Coconut Chia Balls

coconut chia ballsOh my, hello coconut powder, woweeee, where have you been all my life? I wanna tell you guys how amazing this stuff is but you should check out a more informed write up about coconut powder’s wonderful versatility because I want you to get involved. It’s not coconut flour nor desiccated coconut but pure coconut powder and I reckon I found another absolutely delicious way to put coconut powder to work- vegan coconut chia balls. So simple, yet sooooooo bloody tasty and the best part is these cost nothing, well they cost a little tiny bit. I got a huge 1 kg bag for £3 from my local Indian supermarket and probably used only 50 pence worth for this one recipe. Thank you very much. Coconut powder is officially high up on the list of my coconut loving, coconut milk on tap (now there’s a thought) and creamy curries make this stuff pretty special…..oh god, what would happen if there was no coconut….shudder. Life would be pretty awful though, wouldn’t it?delicious coconut chia balls

My day was filled with dull training and long team meetings, oh and what a drag it was to see the sun finally come out only to be stuck in a huge strip lit meeting room. That’s the worst for me – being cooped up indoors when there’s sunshine and blue skies outside but luck was on my side as my meeting finished really early! Obviously I came straight home to make these delicious coconut chia balls whilst sitting outside in the sunshine and generally chillaxing. Yes I did just use that word.

Making coconut + chia balls

I think people across from the canal, usually walking dogs wonder what I’m doing with my kitchen utensils and camera laid out all over the garden furniture. I do get some funny looks! Oh no, I just had a horrid thought, soon it will be winter and really cold so where am I going to make all my food…………of course I have a kitchen but it’s really not the same as al fresco food prep! I guess I’ll survive, inside, in my kitchen…..just like normal people!The ball making station!

So the mixture only made 10 balls which really wasn’t enough for me so just double or triple the mixture for a larger batch because they really don’t last long. Packed full of creamy coconut and ultra satisfying, I can honestly say that these are way tastier than any shop bought sweets I’ve ever had. You know what I love on top of all that, there’s no ridiculous ingredients or additives either, zero hydrogenated fats and very low in sugar. In fact they’re a very healthy treat. You know what else, coat these in some raw dark chocolate and you can say goodbye to Bounties forever!Ball station!

I just wanna persuade you to make these coconut chia balls, so here goes: they contain the amazing superfood chia and coconut, very cheap to make, no blender involved so minimal mess and super duper quick to throw together, healthy and better than a Bounty! No problemo If you don’t have any chia to hand as sesame seeds, cocoa, carob or any crushed seed or nut would work wonders as a coating. Enjoy. Delicious coconut chia balls

Vegan coconut chia balls

(makes 10 balls, yeah double this recipe!)

1 cup coconut powder
pinch of fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup crushed chia seeds

Method:

1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl + combine well.
2. Using your hands form 10 small smooth coconut balls. The mixture should be very maleable when squeezed together but if it’s a bit dry just add a little extra coconut oil.
3. Lightly dampen the outside of each ball + roll in the crushed chia seeds.
4. Transfer to freezer for 30 minutes + store in an airtight container if you haven’t already devoured them. Consume within 4 days.

7 Cheers for Chia Seeds – a Weight Loss Weapon

Chia Seeds 5This chia seed craze isn’t going anywhere soon, it’s here to stay. I’ve had many a fleeting affair with the latest in vogue food, some working out and others not. Sorry goji berries, it’s not you, it’s me. With chia it’s different…….I am fully committed to the humble chia seed, it won’t enter my life for a few weeks of dabbling only to be pushed to the back of the cupboard, lonely and forgotten! Chia has a firm place in my kitchen and has made itself very comfortable.

I wasn’t at first convinced when my first bag of chia arrived and as they bounced along my kitchen work top I couldn’t help but think these tiny seeds seemed a bit, well small and fiddly. And anyway, how could such a tiny seed contain so much goodness? So much goodness.

Chia is yet another amazingly nutritious food from the superfood continent South America (quinoa, maca, lucuma, cocoa nibs- why do they have all the best ingredients?). Anyhow, first recipe in I really liked them but I loved them a whole lot more when I learnt about their nutritional attributes and impressive versatility within plant based recipes. Chia doesn’t have a truly distinct flavour  but it has a unique consistency when combined with liquid, providing an excellent base to add your own flavour and experiment with your favourite ingredients. I like to think of chia as a powerhouse nutritional canvas to get creative with! Chia + liquid = very swollen seeds and a consistency that resembles tapioca pudding, all part of it’s secret weight regulating powers.

There’s a whole lot more to these Aztec wonder seeds and there’s very good reason(s) why they’re one of the big players in the realms of wellness. Here’s 7 of them:

  1. High in fibre so excellent for digestive function. Most of us could use more fibre and these contain a third of our daily requirements in just 2 tablespoons. We all know that a fibre rich diet keeps us fuller for longer, enabling us to maintain a healthy weight and beat cravings. These seeds swell to 10 times their original size when combined with water form a gel high in soluble fibre, which fills the stomach and satiates. Naturally, this fuller feeling reduces tendencies to over eat, so chia’s a weapon to any weight loss eating regime.
  2. A remarkable amount of antioxidants. Go away free radicals, ageing and cancer. Such high levels give chia a lengthy shelf life of up to 2 years.
  3. Calcium. Who needs dairy when you can get 1/5 of your daily needs from just 2 tablespoons, 5 times more than milk. These powerhouse seeds also contain sizeable amounts of magnesium and phosphorus.
  4. Good source of Protein. Made up of 30 % complete protein, containing all 9 amino acids in proper ratios,  they certainly give meat products a run for their money!
  5. No Gluten. Enough said.
  6. Brilliant egg replacer for plant based recipes. Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 of water and leave for 10 minutes to thicken.
  7. One of the richest plant based sources of omega 3’s. In fact it contains 8 times more than salmon so is super for heart and brain health.

Bonus: I find chia helps fight fatigue, keeps me energised for longer and less likely to have late afternoon lethargy. I’m a recreational runner and find I am recovering quicker post exercise. Chia is a runner’s best friend.

So get cracking with an easy, feel good, filling chia pudding, a chia studded smoothie, sprinkle on cereal or make your own egg substitute.
Vanilla chia pudding

Start the day in spectacular fashion by making a yummy chia pudding!

Let’s all chia up!