As part of an overall quest to get healthier, I went to a holistic doctor for the first time last week, and part of my prescription is to eat greens daily. How awesome is that?
I’m also supposed to eat vegetables from the cabbage family every day. It was pretty cool to look down at my prescription and see “brussels sprouts.” But I’m a veggie lover, and I’ve been a fan of brussels sprouts since I was a kid, so maybe I’m just weird.
Anyway, I’m trying to incorporate more greens into my smoothies, and this yummy green smoothie with green grapes, baby kale and ginger was the result this morning. It’s very good, and tastes like something you’d pay at least $5 for at a juice bar. It’s easy, and much cheaper, to make at home. So, give it a try.
Green Goodness Chia Superfood Smoothie Recipe
1.5 cups green grapes
1 large banana
2 large handfuls of baby kale
1 T extra virgin coconut oil
1 cup of chia gel plus 1/4 cup water
1 T dry chia seeds
1, one-inch, pinkie-finger width piece of fresh ginger
1 cup of ice
1 T. honey, agave or sweetener of your choice
Throw all the ingredients into a Vitamix or other high-powered blender and blend on medium-high for about a minute.
I had some leftover chia coconut pudding (made simply by soaking chia seeds in some leftover coconut milk and adding maple syrup to taste.) Also, I needed breakfast quick.
I made up this breakfast mash bowl on the fly, and it is super fast to put together (if you have the chia pudding made already), so good for busy mornings.
The cool thing is you can use any combo of pudding flavor, fruit and topping to make whatever kind of bowl you desire. Hence, the mix-and-match name.
Here’s what you need:
1/2 cup dry oats (use gluten-free oats to make this a gluten-free recipe)
1/4 cup almond milk (or soy, rice, dairy, or any milk you choose)
Half a banana
Chia pudding of your choice (I used coconut)
Any fruit (I used frozen mango chunks)
Dried unsweetened coconut (or any kind of chopped nuts or seeds)
Maple syrup (or honey, or any sweetener you like)
Here’s what to do:
Put the oats in a bowl and mash in the half banana with a fork. Pour the milk on top, stir, and let it sit for five minutes. Top with the chia pudding, fruit, topping and sweetener of your choice.
Here are a few combo ideas:
Coconut chia pudding, mango, coconut
Chocolate chia pudding, raspberries, coconut
Strawberry chia pudding, strawberries, coconut
Chocolate chia pudding, cherries, walnuts
Coconut chia pudding, kiwi, almonds
Raw apples, dried apples, walnuts & cinnamon
You could really mix this up even more, using quinoa or rice as a base instead of oats, and throwing in many different combos of fruit (or dried fruit) and seeds. You could add raisins, dried apricots, dried apples, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, anything you want. It truly is made for mixing and matching with whatever you have in your kitchen.
If you discover a favorite combo, please comment & share. Thanks!
I’m starting a gluten-free diet this week to see if I can get rid of headaches I’ve had my entire adult life, and also possibly address a few other health issues.
This is totally new to me, so I spent quite a bit of time doing research and reading labels in the grocery store. I’ve heard gluten is very sneaky and hides in a lot of places you might not expect it. I bought gluten-free soy sauce and also certified gluten-free rolled oats from Bob’s Red Mill. My grocery store has a pretty good gluten-free section, and it was interesting to see all the stuff that’s available.
I’m keeping it healthy this week since health is my reason for doing this, so I didn’t pounce on the gluten-free cookies, though they looked good. I’ve always loved cold oatmeal with chia seeds, so I decided my first gluten-free recipe would be a pretty oatmeal breakfast parfait using the blueberry chia seed gel I made the other day.
Cold breakfast oatmeal is super easy to make and very tasty. Here’s a recipe that takes less than 10 minutes to put together. Yum.
This recipe serves two. You can just double or triple it to make additional servings.
*It’s a good idea to make the blueberry gel a day ahead of time so it’s ready for this recipe. To make blueberry chia gel, put three cups of natural blueberry juice (I used Northland Superfruits Blueberry Blackberry Acai juice) in a ball jar. Add 3 T chia seeds and shake well. Continue to shake every few minutes to keep the seeds from clumping. In about 15 minutes, put the gel in the fridge. Give it another good shake whenever you open the fridge. Let it sit overnight until it forms a gel with chia seeds suspended in it. Done.
Cold Oatmeal Parfait with Blueberry Chia Gel
1 cup rolled oats (use gluten-free oats to make this recipe gluten free)
1.5 cups Silk Original Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 cup blueberry chia gel*
2 T pure maple syrup
A few drops pure, natural vanilla extract
1 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries
2 small ball jars with lids
Mix the oats and the almond milk together in a glass mixing cup with a spout. Add three to four drops of vanilla extract and mix.
Mix the maple syrup with the blueberry chia gel.
Pour a quarter of the oat mixture into each jar.
Pour a quarter of the blueberry chia gel into each jar on top of the oats.
Divide the rest of the oat mixture between the two jars.
Divide the rest of the blueberry chia gel between the two jars.
Put 1/2 cup of blueberries on top of each parfait.
Put the lids on and put the jars in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, take the jars out of the fridge and enjoy!
I love those little seedless “personal watermelons” — they’re always crisp and sweet, and you don’t end up with enough watermelon to feed a family of eight. They’re the perfect size for my husband and me. So, I just happened to have one sitting on the counter when I went to make a smoothie this morning. I love watermelon smoothies, but they often come out too thin, even when I don’t add any additional liquid aside from what’s in the watermelon. Hence the name.
Enter: chia seeds. One of the great things about chia seeds is that they make an excellent thickener, kind of like flax seeds. So, I thought I’d experiment with adding double the usual amount of chia seeds I normally add to a smoothie. I tried it first with the amount I usually use, and the smoothie turned out very watery, almost like a licuado. I then added an extra two tablespoons of chia seeds and blended the smoothie again. Perfect.
I sipped this smoothie while sitting out on my sun porch, listening to the chirping birds and enjoying a late summer morning in Georgia. I love how the mornings are getting just a little cooler, making it pleasant to sit out outside. But they’re still warm, sunny and summery.
My husband loved the smoothie, and said it was one of his favorites I’d ever made. I thought the black cherries went well with the watermelon, and they gave the smoothie a nice deep pink color too. Here’s the recipe, which serves 2:
Half of a personal watermelon (just scoop the watermelon into the blender)
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen black sweet cherries
4 T chia seeds (plus extra for garnish)
1 T pure maple syrup
1 cup ice
Add the watermelon to a high-powered blender and blend on medium-high (I use speed 8 on my Vitamix) until it’s liquid. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on medium high for about a minute.
My husband and I are total coffee addicts, so we hate when this happens. I went to make coffee and couldn’t find the beans to grind. He was washing the dishes. “Hey, we’re not out of coffee beans, are we?” I asked. He looked at me. “Oh, yeah, sorry, we ran out yesterday. I forgot.”
Crisis! I decided to run to the coffee shop a few blocks from our house, where they roast their own beans. It’s a little pricy, but worth it. But. They were closed for renovations and had no coffee beans. They were, however, giving away free coffee in front of the shop so they would keep their morning regulars happy during the two-week renovation.
When I got back from hunting down the coffee, I asked my husband if he wanted a smoothie. He said yes (he always does) but he had just cut two juicy Georgia peaches into a bowl. They were so perfectly ripe they were almost syrupy. And, continuing with my quest to eat as much fresh summer fruit as I can while summer lasts, I decided to use them in this morning’s smoothie.
I wanted something a little different to pair them with and, when I looked in the freezer, I saw some black grapes I had frozen to eat as a healthy dessert. I knew the grapes would add a nice extra boost of sweetness to the smoothie, so I decided to use those.
In this smoothie, I also used homemade chia gel I had in the fridge instead of adding raw chia seeds right into my blender like I usually do. The peaches were so juicy that, with the chia gel, I didn’t even need to add a liquid.
One nice bonus: the chia seeds in the gel weren’t nearly as sticky as the dry chia seeds, so I spent less time cleaning the blender afterward. (I do love the self-cleaning feature on my Vitamix, but chia seeds can be stubborn, so I sometimes have to run the blender at top speed for a while to get them to come off.) So, I think I’ll be experimenting with using chia gel in my smoothies more often.
The smoothie tastes delicious — and it’s vegan!
Here’s the recipe:
Peach Black Grape Chia Seed Smoothie
2 large ripe peaches
1 frozen banana
10 large frozen black grapes (you can sub another type of grape if you like)
1 cup chia gel
2 tsp. pure maple syrup
Add all the ingredients to a high-powered blender (I use a Vitamix) and blend on medium-high speed (I go up to number 8 on the Vitamix) for about one minute. Pour into a glass and garnish with chia seeds and/or finely diced peach. Enjoy!
On Saturday, I stopped by the farmers market a few blocks from my house to get some tomatoes. It was a warm, sunny morning with blue skies, and I was a little surprised to see that our favorite tomato guy had no more tomatoes — just eggplants and butternut squash. A sure sign that fall is just around the corner. But it sure didn’t feel that way when I went for an 18-mile bike ride on Sunday in the 90-degree heat. After that, all I wanted was an icy glass of water and some cold melon.
This is the time of year I love to squeeze all the final goodness out of summer, which means eating lots of tomatoes and, of course, melons. So, I bought a Sugar Kiss melon over the weekend, along with some fresh blueberries. I’ve always loved to eat cantaloupe and blueberries together, and the Sugar Kiss reminds me a lot of a cantaloupe, though it’s quite a bit sweeter.
So, this morning I decided to create the ultimate end-of-summer smoothie, a sugar kiss blueberry chia concoction that was really quite delicious. Here’s the recipe:
Sugar Kiss Blueberry Chia Seed Smoothie
Half of a ripe Sugar Kiss melon (or cantaloupe)
1/2 cup of fresh, sweet blueberries
Half of a frozen banana
1 tsp. real maple syrup
1 cup ice
1 T. black or white chia seeds
Make the smoothie:
Combine all of the ingredients except the ice in a high-powered blender (I use a Vitamix) and blend at medium-high for a minute. Add the ice and blend at the same speed for about 30 seconds more.
*Tip: You can use frozen blueberries for an icier smoothie.
Pour into a tall, icy glass and enjoy! And if you’d like to get more chia seed recipes, tips and tricks, don’t forget to subscribe to ChiaQueen.com!
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