pudding

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.

Apple, Blackberry + Triple Coconut Crumble (GF + Vegan)

Apple & blackberry coconut crumbleGosh, this morning’s workout was full on, I’m aching already and it’s not even lunchtime! I’m completely addicted to circuits and now that I’ve roped Russ into partaking it’s way more fun. It’s like our own little morning work out party – except it’s just us at the party, am I sad? But it’s so much fun designing your own routine in the sadistic knowledge that you’re going to inflict it onto someone else (Russ!) and of course me! The thing is I wouldn’t workout nearly as hard if he wasn’t there kicking some butt too. Goodness knows what the neighbours must think as they pretend not to see us both jumping around in skimpy clothing first thing! Oh well, they shouldn’t be looking in! Of course we workout separately too but these living room circuits are a full on but fun way to jump start the day a couple of times a week! At this rate I reckon I could give Jillian Michaels a run for her money! Anyway, after Sunday circuits we went to Russ parents for tea and cake with the family which wasn’t too shabby either. We left with a big bag of apples. Apples galore!

Aren’t apples pretty? I seem to making a lot of ‘appley’ recipes lately and now Russ’ grandparents have just gifted us a massive bag of them from their garden, which means I’m making more apple dishes this week. It’s so sweet of them, they’re the loveliest people ever so I couldn’t let their fruit, given with such love and kindness go to any waste. The bonus is it’s still blackberry season so I took ten minutes to go pick some to jazz up my coconut extravaganza! Blackberries give a fabulous colour to any dish and they seem to be sweeter than ever this year so I’m eating my fair share.Apple & blackberry coconut crumble,

Apple crumble was my favourite pudding by miles as a kid. Actually, it still is and this didn’t disappoint at all. The crumble has the most delicious creamy coconut flavour which goes too well with the fresh apple and blackberry combo. I used coconut oil, flour and desiccated just because the urge was just too much, three forms of coconut in one dish is a rarity for me so I had to cash in. We devoured ours with cashew cream and take my word for it, this takes it to a whole new level.Very simple process

Apple, blackberry and coconut crumble (well this one anyhow!) is so good it should be bad for you, but it’s really not at all. Quite the opposite in fact, this is packed full of goodness and healthy fat from the coconut ingredients and the majority of sugar derives from the fruit. Apples too are a good source of fibre and regulate blood sugar as a result of the phytonutrients they contain. Added to this, scientists are getting quite interested in the humble apple as they seem to have some undiscovered health benefits, watch this space. For now at least, we can say this dessert regulates blood sugar, provides a steady source of energy and is packed full of heart and mind healthy coconut fats. I think I’ll be eating this for breakfast it’s that healthy.

Delicious apple & blackberry crumble

By the way I have to say once again, crumble + cashew cream = another level (the same level as heaven)! What was your favourite dessert when you were younger and is it still the same?

Crumble & cashew cream + yum,

Apple, blackberry & triple coconut crumble

(serves 4)

5 large cooking apples, cores removed & sliced roughly
1 cup water
1 tablespoon stevia (or your choice of sweetener)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup blackberries
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons coconut oil

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 200ºC.  Add apples, water, sweetener & spices to a pan and simmer over a low heat for 10-15 minutes.
2. In a separate bowl combine the flour, desiccated coconut, coconut oil & maple syrup stirring with a fork. It should resemble a crumble mixture. Adjust flour or coconut oil to achieve a crumbly texture.
3. Add the blackberries to the apples and transfer to an oven proof 10-12″ square dish. Spread the mixture out & place crumble mixture on top evenly.
4. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown & bubbling. Serve with ice cream or cashew cream!

Chocolate Coconut Cream in an Almond + Oat Crust, with a Strawberry Sauce (GF + Vegan)

Chocolate pieBirthday time! Not mine though, it’s my niece Chloe’s second birthday so me and the boy are heading over for a little party and some cake with gifts in hand. I’ve just realised not only did I miss her actual birth, I missed her first birthday too, oh the guilt! You guessed it I was outta the country, I suppose you can’t make everything all of the time especially when you can’t seem to stay still for too long! Anyway, I’m here for her second which is the main thing and armed with Peppa Pig paraphernalia and more importantly – chocolate coconut cream in an almond and oat crust. Ummmm. Oh, and the strawberry sauce of course. It’s all a bit of a mouthful, but a delicious one at that!Slice of chocolate pi

Sheer peer pressure is the reason I made this. Well maybe that’s not 100% true but there was a lot. It was my Sister and Mum, they saw this chocolate cream pie and fell in love at first sight! I kinda saw their point so I said I’d make it and what a good decision that was because it’s amazing. Of course, I wanted some for myself and of course I ate the first slice. I said I’d bring the pie to the party for communal tasting but I didn’t mention there’d be a cheeky slice missing! Ooops, I’m sure no one will notice. This may be one for the adults but we’ll see how it goes down with the kiddies, if there’s any left!An easy as pie process

Clearly, something this good just had to be inspired by the wonderful blog, ‘Oh She Glows’. The only deviation was to use 200 grams of chocolate rather than the suggested 340 as it just seemed like such a lot! Definitely a good call as the finished pie was still extremely rich and chocolatey, just perfect.Chocolate pie + strawberry sauce

I’m not a technical kinda cook, more a comfort food, make it up as you go kinda girl but this looked so good I just had to try it. I had visions of a crumbling crust and a floppy innards ‘cos for some reason I don’t trust myself with pie crusts or things that have to set. However, I’m pretty inspired because this worked out so well, the crust set perfectly with the first slice popping out with real ease. Me and my Mum had to hold back from just eating the pie crust alone the aroma was so good. Come to think of it I had to try really hard not to drink the coconut cream before filling the crust too. I’m glad I didn’t because the chocolate cream set to perfection and had the dreamiest, richest and creamiest of flavours, decadent stuff. The oat and almond crust makes this absolutely gluten free and the coconut cream, vanilla & vegan chocolate make for a simple, healthy and dairy free filling. Miles tastier than any other chocolate pie I’ve ever had and it’s 100% void of wheat and dairy – yes it is possible and here’s the proof.Chocolate pie & strawberry sauce

Although the process looks full on, it’s in fact very simple and can be whipped up in no time. 15 minutes baking, 2 hours in a freezer and you’re done, just don’t forget to take it out! I had no problem here, I couldn’t get the thought of eating this chocolate coconut pie outta my head let alone forget about it!A slice of pie

Chocolate coconut cream pie

(12 slices)

crust:
3/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup oats

coconut filling:
1 can coconut milk, chilled overnight
200 grams dairy free milk/dark chocolate, broken
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

strawberry compote:
500 grams strawberries
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons maple syrup
i teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat the oven to 175 ºC + grease a 12′ pie dish. Place almonds in a blender & pulse to a bread crumb texture. Add the remaining crust ingredients (apart from whole oats) & pulse until a dough forms. Now add the oats & pulse so that the oats are fine but retain some texture. The dough should stick together when squeezed between your fingers. Process for longer if this is not the case.

Sprinkle the crust mix into the pie dish evenly. Starting from the middle, push down firmly with your fingers until the pie crust is compact. The more compact, the better.Prick with a fork 5 times & bake for 15 minutes. Remove after baking & allow to cool.

To make the sauce, mix the cornstarch with some water to form a paste & place in a small pan. Add the remaining sauce ingredients & simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the coconut cream from the can taking care to separate the cream from the water. Add cream & chocolate to a pan over a low heat, stir until nearly dissolved. Take off the heat & pour into the pie crust. Transfer to the freezer for 2 hours or until set. Keep chilled & serve with the compote. Pie can be frozen for up to a week.Enjoy.