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chia seeds

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Chocolate Coconut Crunch Granola

Until recently, the idea of making granola always sounded so intimidating to me. I don't know what it was but now that I've perfected my ratios, I am kind of on a roll with the stuff - I even made a batch to feed 70 for a local community even last month. I think I say this every time but this is seriously the best recipe I've ever come up with. CHOCOLATE + COCONUT + GRANOLA = I'M IN! I had every intention of making this in the afternoon and leaving it overnight but I ate it for dinner - FOR DINNER. It's that good - crunchy, toasty, sweet and best of all chocolate-y! If you loved those chocolate flavored cereals as a kid you are doing to do backflips for this because the flavor is remarkably similar - but you can know that now your repeated bowl-fulls of crunchy goodness are actually good for you. 

Cacao for antioxidants, quinoa and buckwheat for protein, oats and chia for fiber, coconut flakes and oil for healthy fats - this stuff packs a healthy punch! It's also gluten free (if you use gluten free oats that is) and uses no processed sugars! Most cereals and granolas in the stores are loaded with junk-oil, processed sugar and a bunch of other garbage - even the expensive 'good-for-you' stuff is deceivingly loaded with crap. It is so easy to make your own and you get to taste test the entire time, which makes it totally worth it to me! The recipe below makes enough to put those puny ten dollar artisan bags to shame using inexpensive ingredients you probably already have at home. 

I love how nutty and toasted this recipe is - if you're like me, theres nothing like those burnt little bits at the edges. It's great with a plant-based milk of choice, or with tangy coconut yogurt and fruit - I've also enjoyed sprinkling it over smoothies and gobbling handfuls straight out of the jar. You can of course customize here as well - tossing in cacao nibs, vegan chocolate chips, almonds, goji berries, hazelnuts, whatever you wish once the granola is out of the oven.

Let me know if you give this one a try, and what you mix-in to make it your own!


Serves: 10-12 1/2 cup servings • Prep Time: 5 min • Bake Time: 45 min


  • 2 cups gluten free oats
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked

I always have cooked quinoa on hand in the fridge as it is my go-to "grain" ( fun fact: quinoa is actually a seed) but if you don't want to go through the trouble of cooking and cooling quinoa, it's no biggie, just replace with more oats or buckwheat groats.

  • 1 cup buckwheat groats
  • 3/4 cup coconut flakes (large or small, doesn't matter)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

Don't leave these out! The chia seeds sort of stick together and make the most enjoyable clusters - OMG yum!

  • 1/2 cup cacao/cocoa powder

Using conventional cocoa powder is GREAT here and will yield the same taste result as cacao powder - you are baking the whole thing anyway, thus killing off many of the beneficial raw properties of cacao (WOMP, WOMP) so don't worry about using "the good stuff" here if you don't want to.

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. pink salt

1. Preheat your oven to 400* F and prepare a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, quinoa, buckwheat, coconut flakes and chia seeds. Toss with your hands to fully integrate the ingredients. 

3. In a sauce pan, combine maple syrup, coconut oil and cacao powder. Turn on low heat and whisk until the cacao powder is fully incorporated and the coconut oil has melted. This will only take a few seconds. Turn off the heat and add in the salt and vanilla.

4. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and use a spatula to make sure all ingredients are fully coated in the chocolate-maple-oil mixture. 

5. Dump the granola onto a sheet pan and use your spatula or hands to press it into a firm, even layer (this will ensure you get some bigger clusters in there.)

6. Set your ovens timer for 15 minutes. Once the time is up, come in with your spatula and toss the mixture to ensure even roasting. Do this again at the 30 minute mark and watch your granola carefully for the last 15 minutes  you may have some burnt bits around the edges but in my opinion, thats kinda the best part. It will not be totally set up when you remove it from the oven but will firm up as it cools.

7. Allow your granola to fully cool before putting it into glass jars for storage - lasts up to four weeks!

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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Earl Gray Chia Pudding

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If you love tea, then you are going to love this filling little treat! Earl gray tea has always been my favorite, it's was my go-to long before I started drinking coffee and the smell of bergamot will always have a special place in my heart. 

Chia seeds are full of fiber and healthy fat. I don't eat them in this volume often but I find myself fully satisfied when I do. Among other benefits, they really aid in digestion.

I was blown away by how flavorful and delicious the tea was in this recipe - I could not get enough...and I'm sure the caffiene boost helped! I certainly want to find more creative ways to incorporate my favorite tea blends into cooking. I find that not everyone loves chia pudding but if you are looking for a creative rendition, take it from a tea lover ... this recipe is for you!


Serves: 2 • Prep time: 1-2 hours or overnight


  • 1.5 cups plant milk (I used coconut almond blend)
  • 1 earl gray tea bag - any black tea you love will do
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

1. Warm the milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

2. Once you're there, remove the milk from the heat, add the tea bag and cover with a lid and allow the tea to steep and the milk to come to room temperature.

3. Once cool, remove the tea bag ringing out excess moisture. Stir in the maple syrup and pour into a jar with the chia seeds - seal the jar and shake until the seeds are fully distributed. 

4. Store the jar in the fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight to set up. You can add more milk if you prefer a thinner consistency.

5. Serve in the jar or in a tea cup with fruit, and a garnish of black tea leaves - so good!

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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Tiramisu Chia Seed Pudding

A recipe for coffee lovers, and texture coneseurs alike; it will delight you with all the same flavor notes as the classic Italian "pick-me-up" dessert, Tiramisu. It's light whipped texture, achieved by the aeration of your blender will totally surprise you, especially knowing that this dish is so healthful it can be eaten as breakfast, dessert and every meal in between. 

Chia seeds are a digestive superhero in that they are full of natural fiber that...ahem...moves things along naturally. Paired with rich cacao and a hint of coffee flavor (achieved here with instant coffee grounds) you are sure to impress yourself and guests alike. All of the flavor, none of the guilt or tummy troubles the classically rich and dairy laden dessert may cause.   

This recipe is a chia seed pudding for those who don't like chia seeds in that the seeds are ground into a fine powder, leaving you with a smooth, irresistible consistency rather than the tapioca-like lumps many choose to avoid. 


Serves: 4-6 • Active Time: 7 min • Inactive Time: 1 hr - Overnight


  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups unsweetened plant milk (I used almond)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup liquid sweeter, to taste (I used a combination of maple syrup and agave but you could also use brown rice syrup, coconut syrup, date syrup, or even a few drops of stevia. The amount and thickness of the sweetener you choose might effect the final consistency of the pudding. If its too loose add a bit more milk, if it's too thin add in some whole or ground chia seeds)
  • 3 tbsp. cacao powder
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee grounds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Add chia seeds to a high speed blender and blend on high til the chia seeds turn into a fine "flour"

NOTE: Make sure your blender is totally dry, or else you'll end up with some of the powder stuck to the sides of the blender...I totally don't know this from experience :)

2. Add in the rest of your ingredients and blend to combine - the mixture will be light, fluffy and look very loose - that's okay, it will firm up

3. Move the pudding to a container with a lid and let it chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour ( make the day ahead and chill overnight) to set up

4. Serve cold, with any variety of toppings including this simple chocolate coffee sauce.... 2 tbsp. maple syrup, 1 tbsp. cacao powder, 1 tsp. instant coffee, 1 tbsp. hot water. I layered mine and then topped it with a sprinkle of ground coffee and cacao nibs. 

 

LOVE & LIGHT, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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