Chia Pudding: a great new habit

Marlene told me, after my class in Kennewick, Washington, that she makes chia pudding for her diabetic husband as a meal or dessert. (Cinnamon is a great blood-sugar controller–note that she adds lots of cinnamon to his pudding.) It’s a great idea, since chia is a power food, and high in protein as well. (It’s pure fallacy that you can’t get enough protein eating a plant-based diet! You don’t have to go out of your way to find protein—greens, nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes average about 10%, which is perfect. But chia is particularly high, at 23%.)

I asked for the recipe, and here it is. Thank you, Marlene!

MARLENE’S CHIA SEED PUDDING

Stir together

1 TBSP chia seed  

about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of any milk alternative or water (hubby uses unsweetened chocolate almond milk, I use regular or coconut milk)

As much cinnamon as you enjoy (Hubby is diabetic so he gets about 1 tsp, I use less)

Let those two soak while you are busy for about 20 minutes.

Add any seed that you like:

1/2 TBSP sesame seed

!/2 TBSP sunflower seed  

1/2 TBSP pumpkin seed

Stir above together and add more liquid if needed

1 TBS nuts

1/2 TBSP unsweetened flaked coconut  

Sprinkle of hemp seed powder

Stir all together and then add whatever fruit you enjoy. We enjoy it with no added sweetener, just frozen berries in the winter or fresh fruit in the summer. I usually do not add the fruit till he is ready to eat, it can sit in the fridge for a couple of days if he gets too busy.  When I add the fruit, I mix in a little more liquid.  

This gives hubby a nice breakfast or dessert and does not raise his blood sugar as other breakfasts and desserts do.  He likes the energy he gets from eating it. It is usually a daily meal for him. Quantities can be increased for a family (our kids are gone and raised).

a recipe from Dr. Michelle Jorgenson

I love working with Michelle Jorgenson and her enthusiastic employees as they shift to whole-foods habits on GreenSmoothieGirl Makeover. She makes foods for the whole office to improve their health, as well as her own husband and four children. This week I was filming at her house, and I have to say, I have a great garden, but her garden kicks my garden’s trash!

We swapped tastes of our uber-healthy treats (mine was Almond Joy Fudge in Ch. 4 of 12 Steps). This was her creation that I love!

Dr. Jorgenson’s Power-Through-The-Day Bars

2 C unsweetened shredded coconut

2 C chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, etc, or a combination)

2 C chopped dates (you can buy chopped dates rolled in oat flour inexpensively in bulk at many health food stores in bulk foods)

1/2 C flax seed

1/2 C chia seed

1/2 C raw cocoa, carob or cacao powder

1/4 t Original Himalayan Crystal Salt, or sea salt

1 t vanilla

1 1/2 C mini chocolate chips, naturally sweetened

1 pkg. plain vegan gelatin

1/2 C  hot water

1/2 C raw honey

1/4 t Original Himalayan Crystal Salt, or sea salt

1 t vanilla

Blend the coconut, nuts, dates and flax seeds each separately in a high powered blender until medium fine.  Mix the blended ingredients with the chia seeds, cocoa powder, 1/4 t salt, 1 t vanilla and chocolate chips in a large bowl and set aside.

Dissolve the gelatin in the hot water let stand for five minutes.   Add the honey, salt and vanilla and beat until fluffy (or mix in blender until frothy.)

Add the honey mixture to the mixture in the bowl and stir until everything is moistened.   Press into a 9 x 13 pan with moistened hands.   Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until set.   Cut into bars and keep in a container in the fridge or freezer.

6 tips to make any baking recipe healthier….part 2 of 2

Continued from yesterday. (Yes, I know people are HEALTHIER and recipes are more HEALTHFUL, and so does my editor, but we abandon that in my book titles because “Healthful Recipes” sounds so stiff and wrong.)

4. Oil

Please don’t use “vegetable oil” for baking. It’s highly refined, heated to high temperatures, and already rancid when it’s sold to you. Instead, for baking, use coconut oil. In the summer, it’ll be liquid, and in the winter, solid. It works well as a substitute for butter, shortening, or oil. We have organic, cold-pressed coconut oil in our group buy every year, but year-round you can get it here. You can read here about why this oil is far more nutritious that most and what it’s good for.

You can also substitute extra-virgin olive oil in recipes that call for just a small amount of butter or oil or if you don’t like coconut oil. It usually doesn’t affect the flavor.

5. Organic, free-range eggs or egg substitute

If you buy only ONE thing organic, make it eggs. North Americans get far too much Omega 6 fatty acids, probably because of our high intake of refined vegetable oil, which has a toxic imbalance. Commercial eggs are 6:1 omega 6 to omega 3. Eggs in their natural state are the exact opposite, with far more omega 3 that we are deficient in–so buy organic, free range. I have a friend in my neighborhood whose chickens are fed no chemicals and range in the yard. I buy from her on the rare occasion I even use eggs. You can also pay more at Costco for organic, and most health food stores have them.

You could also use this very nutritious substitute for each large egg: let 1 Tbsp. chia seed sit in 3 Tbsp. water for 30 mins.

6. Salt

Please never use iodized, refined salt (i.e., Morton’s) for anything besides homemade play-dough. For cooking / eating, use Original Himalayan Crystal Salt for a high-vibrational frequency completely unrefined crystalline whole food. My second favorites would be Real Salt or celtic sea salt.

Now in your whole-foods lifestyle, you don’t have to throw out your favorite baking recipes. Make these 6 substitutions and you should have very good results!

are eggs good food?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: Do you think eggs are okay to eat?

Answer: I get this question a lot.

The answer is, not really. Especially not conventional eggs.

If you’re going to buy ONE thing organic, let eggs be that one thing. The natural omega fatty acid balance is so disrupted in conventional eggs that it’s the reverse of what is healthy. It should be 6:1 Omega 3’s to Omega’s 6’s. But it’s the opposite in grocery-store eggs, and we’re already far out of balance because of refined oils heavy in Omega 6’s, in most people’s diet.

The only thing I use eggs in is baking, very occasionally. And you don’t have to use eggs. You can use 1 Tbsp. chia seed soaked in 3 Tbsp. water instead.

sprinkles

Heard a fun tip for using chia seed from an attendee of my class last night:

Tell the kids they’re “sprinkles” and they’ll put them on everything. Have a shaker full, to use them on cereal, treats, soup, anything.

I love stuff like that.

Chia is extremely high in protein and iron, an incredible and well rounded nutritional profile. And it FILLS YOU UP (drink lots of water with it), which causes you to want less food. Awesome food for weight loss.

Do you have any fun tips like that, for getting good food in your kids?

chia seed and flax seed

So you’ve been reading about chia seed.   (I know this because I get lots of questions about it.)   Yep, I’m talking about the little things that grow the chia pet, now getting lots of attention as a power food.   And it is.   A highly expensive one (I bought a pound of it recently for about $18).

Chia seed has 7 times as much iron as spinach.   At 18%, it has more protein than beef, and its amino acids comprise  a complete protein.   It slows conversion of sugars in the bloodstream, so it’s great to eat with a  high-sugar meal.   (I mean  like potatoes or fruit–hopefully y’all have abandoned or are at least minimizing refined sugars.)

Its mucilaginous properties mean it absorbs toxins, and it’s fantastic for weight loss.   I don’t like to eat after dinner, so if my dinner was light and I get really hungry later, what I do is eat a large spoonful of chia seed and chase it with a big glass of water.   It absorbs 10 times its own weight in fluids, so it fills you up when you are hungry with hardly any calories.

It tastes mild–tastes like nothing, really.   You can sprinkle it in cereal, or put it in a smoothie–but it will dramatically thicken your smoothie.   For that matter, it’s a great thickener!   Put 1  tsp. chia seed in 3 Tbsp. water, and you’ve got yourself an egg replacement.

It’s packed with those rare Omega fatty acids that your body cannot manufacture and must receive from foods–in perfect proportions.   And it stores for a very long time!

I highly recommend it.   I’ll find a way eventually to get it for cheaper in a local group buy (maybe national–we’ll see!).   I wish it were less expensive.

Now flax seed is still quite inexpensive at less than $1/lb.   You can watch my YouTube video making flax crackers if you want to hear more about its virtues, or read Ch.  4 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods. (All my demos are on GreenSmoothieGirl.com under the Videos tab now–and I have lots of new ones coming.)

Just want to share a thought from GSG reader Rochelle T., who happens to also be my cousin, whom I set up with her husband 19 years ago!   (I have 65 first cousins, 49 of them Romneys, but she’s the one I’ve been closest to my whole life–now she has 5 children.)   She was trying to figure a way to get flaxseed in her diet every day.   She just eats a spoonful of ground flax seed every morning, chasing it with water.   She says it’s nutty and pleasant tasting and it’s a great habit she’s gotten into.   Great idea.   Keep in mind that grinding flax seed (unnecessary with chia) makes its nutritional properties much more available.   Just don’t grind it far in advance, as it goes rancid quickly.

Hope this is helpful!