Chocolatey Banana Chia Pudding

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Woke up with a bit of a sweet tooth this morning and was craving something rich and delicious. Chocolate has always been a weakness of mine. Since giving up refined sugars my sweet tooth has noticeably diminished. I never thought it would be possible to eat a meal without having something sweet after (I know I’m not alone here). But trust me, anyone who knows me would tell you that I would never say no to a piece of dark chocolate with sea salt. Chocolate can actually be very healthy for you. No, not your Kit Kat or Coffee Crisp (so sorry) but raw unprocessed cacao is loaded with properties that contribute to wellness. Let me reiterate,cacAO NOT cocOA. Sounds the same, but nutritionally are far different. Heres the breakdown:

Cacao

Cacao refers to the raw form of chocolate, including the tree and bean. Raw cacao powder is not roasted, mostly unprocessed, and has no sugar or cocoa butter. Seeds of the cacao tree are roasted and then the shell is removed which produce cacao nibs (quite bitter in flavour but provide a nice crunch if used appropriately). Cacao is a great source of antioxidants which contribute to fighting off cancer and wrinkles (woooot). Chocolate and cocoa also contain a high level of flavonoids, which may have beneficial cardiovascular effects on health.

Cocoa

Once the cacao bean is roasted and essentially transformed (rid of its nutritional value) then does it become the ever so popular cocoa. After it has been roasted it continues its processing as it is ground, and usually mixed with cocoa butter and a sweetner. This same kind of cocoa you find in your Oh Henry bar, or in the cup of cocoa you get at the ski hill. Delicious, yes… nutritional not exactly. The downfall of cocoa is that within the processing (roasting, grinding, mixing) most of the nutritional benefits are eliminated. It definitely won’t kill you to have a little cocoa, but if raw cacao is available to us, why wouldn’t we use it?

This recipe for chocolatey banana chia pudding is soooooo good, and is Clean Eating Goddess approved for breakfast, yes… BREAKFAST! With the addition of all natural organic peanut butter, your kids will believe they are having a bowl of melted reeses pieces for breakfast (best mom/dad ever!). If your child has a peanut allergy, feel free to use a nut/seed butter of your choice. Best part is, its ready in a flash and can be made the night before to grab and go in the morning. Full of nutrients and fibre, this chocolatey banana pudding is the perfect dessert or breakfast. Did I also mention it is gluten, dairy and sugar free.. oh and vegan! Bon appetit readers!

Ingredients:

• 3-4 tbsp chia seeds
• 1 tsp cacao powder
• 3-4 drops stevia or 1 tsp maple syrup
• 1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
• 1 mashed banana
• 1 tbsp peanut butter or nut/seed butter of choice
• 1 tsp hemp seeds
• berries and chopped banana

Directions:

1. Place chia seeds in a bowl or jar with almond milk, stevia and cacao powder. Mix very well and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. The longer it rests in the fridge the more thick and pudding-like it will be.

2. Remove from the fridge and add fruit, peanut butter and sprinkle with hemp seeds.

Ginger Cinnamon Acai Smoothie Bowl

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Smoothies and juices are such a delicious and refreshing way to start your day. In these cold Canadian winters however, I always want to eat my breakfast rather than drink it. I introduce to you, the smoothie bowl. When making smoothies I always would top it with coconut, seeds, nuts, granola or oats for a little added texture. So why not put this same combination in a bowl? The key to a great smoothie bowl is making sure the smoothie is thick and not watery. Some ways to thicken your smoothies is by adding chia, frozen banana and avocado (swear you don’t taste it!). With enough frozen bananas, it can even seem like you are having ice cream for breakfast but without the guilt.

Ill be sharing many posts about my favourite juice and smoothie combinations but this one right here is one of my favourites. The combination of ginger and cinnamon with the creamy texture of the blended banana is so warming and comforting. It is also PACKED with ingredients that fuel your body to reach its maximum operating potential. I topped mine with hemp, chia, sunflower seeds, almond butter, strawberry and sliced banana. The smoothie ingredients include frozen banana, acai, spirulina, kale and cucumber. So why add all these fancy sounding ingredients, you ask?

hemp

– contain all essential amino acids (energy)
– protein (full, satisfied)
– omega-3 (joint, skin, brain and heart health)
– omega-6 (goddess hair, skin, nails)
– magnesium (energy, bowl movements)
– vitamin E (anti-aging)

acai

– antioxidants (fights free radicals that cause cancer)
– protein (more than an egg…shocked? I know)
– low glycemic

spirulina

– plant protein (feel full for long periods of time)
– essential amino acids
– chlorophyll (remove toxins, alkalize)
– calcium (strong bones, teeth)

I talk about benefits of kale and chia in the chia pudding and kale salad posts. Oh! Cinnamon also helps to regulate your blood sugar and boost memory. Ginger helps improve digestion, fight nausea and suppress hunger.

Have a wild night of drinking? Eat lots of poutine (bonjour Quebec!), pizza or chinese food yesterday? Do your body good and make this smoothie! I guarantee this will cure your alcohol/food hangover. You will feel and look like a goddess or a god for all you healthy men out there!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

• 1 frozen banana (add more for thicker consistency) plus fresh for topping
• 1 cup strawberries
• 1 heaped tablespoon of acai powder
• 1 handful of kale
• 1 inch piece of ginger peeled
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 cup almond milk
• 3/4 cup cucumber
• 1 tsp almond butter
• 1 tsp pumplin seeds
• 1 tsp chia
• 1 tsp hemp
• 1 tsp spirulina
• few drops stevia or sweetener of choice

Directions:

1. Blend all ingredients except for hemp, pumpkin seeds, some strawberry and fresh banana.

2. Pour smoothie into bowl and top with banana, pumpkin seeds, strawberry and banana.

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Superfoods Overnight Oats

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Unless you’re having fruit or a hard-boiled egg, there are very few options for a comforting breakfast that can be made the night before. Overnight oats are easy to make and require no cooking whatsoever. It is the best feeling to sleep in those extra 7 minutes knowing that my breakfast is already prepared for me. Best part is, you can make it in a container or a jar and take it on the go. The following recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and has no added sugar. This is how I normally like to eat my overnight oats but the possibilities are endless. Many people add greek yogurt to give extra creaminess. I also love topping my overnight oats with my quinoa granola for added crunch! This recipe is so easy and delicious! Bon appétit!
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Ingredients:

• 1/3 cup gluten free oats
• 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
• 1/2 tsp stevia or sweetener of choice (maple syrup, date syrup, honey)
• 1 tsp chia seeds
• 1 tsp hemp seeds
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 cup mixed berries (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry)
• 1 tbsp almond butter
• pinch of sea salt

 

Directions:

1. In a bowl or jar, stir oats, almond milk, stevia, chia, hemp, cinnamon and salt

2. Place mixture in fridge overnight or at least for two hours

3. Remove from fridge and top with berries, almond butter and quinoa granola!