Lemon Mulberry Chia Pudding

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I’m ashamed to say that even though I’ve been putting chia seeds in my morning smoothies and in my tea and occasionally in Greek yogurt, I haven’t tried to make chia pudding until now.  Chia Seeds are packed with nutrients and aid in digestion so they are understandably one of the current health food crazes, but they can also be made into a delicious and healthy dessert.  When they get wet they get a gelatinous membrane around them that thickens whatever they are in.

I didn’t realize how easy it was or how many different variations you can make.  I found this version from The Healthy Maven.  That version was for lemon raspberry chia pudding but I had mulberries instead of raspberries so I improvised and it was still delicious.

The ingredients are:

  • 2 cups coconut milk (or almond milk)
  • 4 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • The juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 cup Mulberries, raspberries or well any type of berries
  • 1 tbsp. honey or agave

Combine all the ingredients into a large container or jar, stir it up, and refrigerate over night.

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It will be very runny at first but it’ll thicken up, I promise!  Eat it plain or with more fruit and/or granola.  You can add anything and I cant wait to try some more versions.  I think pomegranate seeds would be good, or maybe strawberry kiwi.  Let me know what you come up with!

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My Patio Garden

I thought I would share some of my garden pictures so far from my little container garden on my patios.  Some of my plants are just starting to come up this year like my flowers, but I’m proud of my self because my marigolds, lily and pansies are all things I bought last year and were able to bring back from seed. (or bulb in the lily’s case)  I don’t always have a green thumb but in the Summer plants just seem so much happier and I’m getting more confident in my growing abilities.  After last Summer I know how much to water my outdoor plants (a lot!) and even though I can’t have a garden yet it’s exciting to be able to eat something you grew!  I’m trying out some tomatoes from Home Depot this year.  This breed is made to be grown in containers, they are named patio tomatoes so we’ll see!  It already have about 10 green tomatoes on in so I think pretty soon we’ll be trying to eat all the tomatoes before they go bad, which in my opinion is a good problem to have. 😉

I’ll do an update later in the Summer to see how my progress is going!  what are you’re favorite plants in the Summer?

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Coleus


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Spearmint


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Basil, the start of a lily, and a little succulent called Kalanchoe that I got from Trader Joe’s. It was starting to die inside but seems to be recovering now that it’s out. Summer really is the best for my plants!


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Geraniums plus my new bee house!


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Tomatoes, strawberries, and more geraniums. Of course the Snomingos are out to party as well!

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Pansies

Homeade Butter and Honey Butter

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I had a super busy weekend and was able to get lots of work done, and still made this butter!  It’s super simple and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to realize how easy butter is to make.  It’s just one ingredient, heavy whipping cream and you can either shake it in a jar for a long time or use a food processor.

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I used the later and it took about 5 minutes on high.  I also added some salt to mine for taste.  You will be able to tell when it’s done because there will be no more liquid and you can use a rubber spatula to scrape it out.  I put it in a bowl and folded in some honey to make honey butter because, well honey butter!  I also want to try to make some mulberry butter this summer after my mulberry trees have berries.  The possibilities are endless, enjoy! Let me know how it turns out.

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Avacado Egg Salad

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This has been one of my go to recipes for a few years now.  Even if you don’t like egg salad, don’t knock this one until you try it.  The avocados and spices give it a whole new flavor, and it’s much healthier than regular egg salad.  I got the original recipe from a blog on pinterest called {Never} Homemaker, but as I tend to do I changed some thinks around to my liking and to make it my own.  So you can read the original and mine and possibly even tweak it some more if you’d like! Ingredients:

  • 4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1 diced avacado
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • handful of chopped green onions
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder

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Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir everything up. I like to eat mine on a tortilla with some fresh kale, but Ben likes his on bread.  Try it however you like, I’ve also just ate it before. 😉

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Roasted Chickpeas

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I know my last post was a recipe, but these are so addicting and easy to make I had to!  Ben actually came up with this recipe too so I’m taking it from him.  This is the first version he made and I think this is my favorite flavor combination but it’s fun to experiment also.

To begin, drain the water out of a can of chickpeas and rinse them off in a colander.  Then pat them dry with a paper towel and put them in a mixing bowl.

Add about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, about 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, and 2 teaspoons of curry powder.  We eyeballed ours, but add enough to evenly coat the chickpeas.  Mix everything up evenly and spread them out evenly on a baking sheet.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 40 min.  Some of the chickpeas will pop which is fine, I like the crunchy burnt ones but they should all be crunchy when done.  Enjoy!

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Sunday Brunch with Beermosas

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So I can’t take credit for this lovely meal because Ben made it, but since I haven’t posted any recipes lately or drink recipes um…well ever, I thought I’d take a picture.  Last Saturday was Valentines Day so Ben took me out to brunch at a beautiful little spot in in Chicago called Trencherman where we had beermosas and amazing food.  I had the lemon pancakes, yum!  Ben wanted to see if he could recreate the beermosas and he did, using 1/4 a grapefruit juiced mixed with 1 tablespoon of honey combined with an IPA beer.  We used Anti-Hero by Revolution Brewing, but you can use whatever you prefer.  Just  mix the honey grapefruit juice mixture in with the beer and that’s it.  I usually don’t like IPA’s and I am not a fan of grapefruit but for some reason these things mixed together taste amazing to me!  Just give it a try if you are reluctant, I was at first too but I found my new favorite way to drink beer!

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The sandwiches are also by Ben, he’s such a good cook! 🙂  He made cheese omelets and put them on wheat toast with tomatoes and kale.  It was a perfect brunch for a chilly morning.  Now we’re off to go to a Blackhawks game.  We’ve never been to one and Ben got tickets at work so I think we’re off to a fun day!

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Vegan Coconut Cupcakes with Peach Frosting

DSC_0397I’ve been searching for the perfect basic cupcake recipe for a while.  I wanted a basic go-to recipe that I could use to base other concoctions I try out.  I found one at handletheheat.com that had a good, easy, basic recipe and it showed what happened if you subbed different ingredients out for others.  I love trying to make dessert recipes  healthier, and I’m not vegan, just vegetarian, but I try to limit my dairy so I wanted to try and make a go-to vegan cupcake recipe.  I like to see if I can make desserts still as tasty while switching the ingredients. 

I listed the original recipe along with the things I switched out such as almond milk, flax seed for eggs, and coconut oil for butter.  The next batch I make, I’ll probably use coconut or rice flour to see if I can make it gluten free too.  I have a niece who has Celiac disease and can’t have gluten, so I like to make sure she can still enjoy as many of the same treats as everyone else. 

For the icing I wanted to use something I had already and had bought peaches the day before so I decided to try and make some vegan icing with coconut oil and powdered sugar.  This one I made up as I go, but the measurements should be pretty close.  Just eyeball it!  Also make sure to keep these refrigerated so the icing doesn’t melt. 😉

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Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil
  • 1 egg or 1 teaspoon flax seed + 2-3 teaspoons water (enough to make the consistency of an egg)
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of milk (I used almond milk and it turned out fine)

Combine all dry ingredients and then add wet.  Mix with a hand mixer and then scoop into lined muffin tin.  The batter will be a little thicker than regular cake batter so don’t worry. 

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Makes 12

Icing:

  • 1/4 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil melted
  • 1 peach blended in a blender, bullet, or food processor 
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk (again I used almond milk)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (you may have to add more if it’s too watery)

I also added a little flour to mine to thicken it up.  Add all ingredients and blend with a hand mixer. Next let it set in the fridge for about an hour or about 20 minutes in the freezer to thicken up the icing.  And again since it’s made with coconut oil you’ll need to keep these refrigerated so the frosting doesn’t melt.

Also I used whole wheat flour in my cupcakes because that’s what I had but for the next time I think I would use either regular flour or coconut flour.  The wheat flour gave the cupcakes a kind of muffin taste, which wasn’t bad but if you’re going for a more traditional cupcake taste I’d use something else.  Enjoy!

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