Chocolate Lovers Chia Pudding

chocolate chia pudding
Mmmmm. Pudding.

I am always a sucker for a free recipe book, so when I ran accross a free kindle book all about Chia Seeds (Chia Seeds: Facts, Nutrition, Benefits, And Recipes For Weight Loss, Energy, and Overall Health) {phew} including a hundful of recipes, I one-clicked it immediately and excitedly.

The chocolate pudding recipe, above the rest, piqued my sweet interest, and after minor adjustments to the recipe, this pudding is a fave!

Chocolate Lovers Chia Pudding
¼ cup chia seeds
2 tablespoons Dark Cocoa Powder
2 tablespoons Organic Grade B Maple Syrup
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 heaping teaspoon black strap molasses
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, syrup, black strap molasses,
and vanilla until you have a silky smooth texture. Add the milk and the chia
seeds and mix to incorporate. Let the mixture stand and set on the counter for
about 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

Cover and chill for 2 hours (or overnight).

I transferred the chilled pudding to my vitamix and blended before serving, to
make the texture more smooth. Serve up as is, or decorate with your favorite
toppings. Some of our favorites:

Fresh Fruit
Coconut Flakes
Cinnamon & Coconut Sugar
Whipped Coconut Cream
A dollup of nutbutter

~Happy Eating~

Grain Free Pumpkin Muffins

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Baking this morning with my very own “admiral underpants”. There’s really nothing like an underoo-clad 4 year old to make your baking experience a delight. With slow-but-steady little four-year-old-sized fingers, he carefully pulled apart each little mini-muffin liner and placed them into the muffin pan. My mommy-hands hovered above, pressing the scooper lever to fill each of his liners. Soon, we were ready to bake, and a short time later, we shared some pretty big smiles as we devoured 3 muffins each. Memories officially made.

PALEO / GRAIN-FREE PUMPKIN MUFFINS

First, we preheated our oven to 325 degrees f.

Ingredients:

1 cup organic peanut butter
3 eggs, pastured-raised
1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree
4 tablespoons coconut oil, liquified
1/4 cup +1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon organic cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons organic lemon juice

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In a mixing bowl, we lovingly combined these grain-less ingredients, spooned them into our lined mini muffin cups, and placed in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

paleopumpkinmuffins6<

Perfect, golden, fluffy, yummy, grain-free pumpkin muffins were ours for the tasting!

paleopumpkinmuffins3

Happiness.

paleopumpkinmuffins4

Paleo Pita Tortillas

Pita Tortillas with Hummus
Pita Tortillas with Hummus

Over the years of our special diet, we have gradually lessened and lessened the amount of grains we eat. At the same time, we have switched our brains off of that once prominent desire for a bread every day or even at every meal. Now ~ even though we don’t feel deprived of our breads, we certainly ENJOY a bready texture every now and again.

I ran accross the idea on another blog site, Slim Palate. I varied the method a bit, but I thought the outcome was fantastic! These cauliflower tortillas have a super-short ingredient list. I love super-short ingredient lists!

Cauliflower
Eggs
Seasoning

For what I would consider minimal effort (trust me, I have seen MUCH more labor-intensive tortilla recipes!), you have a grain-free bread option that tastes, to me, like pita bread. My family has taste-tested these beauties a handful of times now and they are one of those magic-trick creations – they always do a dissappearing act! Hope you enjoy.

Tools you will need:
A food processor or blender
A food net or cheesecloth
A baking sheet
Parchment Paper ~ Unbleached
Preheat oven to 375 degrees f.

Ingredients:
2 small heads of cauliflower (you will need 4 cups of “riced” cauliflower)
4 eggs (preferably from pastured, humanely raised chickens)
2 teaspoons Real Salt Organic Seasoning Salt

Start by trimming the cauliflower to remove the stem. I used my vitamix to finely chop down the raw cauliflower into a “rice”. You could most definitely use a food processor. (I don’t own one.)

Next, place the cauliflower in a large stock pot and add a cup or two of water. Bring to a boil, then cover, turn off your heat, and let sit for 5 minutes, just to soften the tough cauliflower.

Next, I added the cauliflower, water and all, back to the Vitamix. I would NOT recommend an immersion blender here. Pulse a handful of times to be sure you chop down any of the larger pieces and get an even, gritty consistency.

Strain the cauliflower using a fine mesh bag or cheese cloth. Be careful not to burn yourself. Strain as much water out as you can.

Dump the strained cualiflower into a mixing bowl and add the 4 eggs and the seasoning salt. Mix well. Your “batter” will be kind of runny and gritty, but don’t be alarmed. These will surprise you!

You should be able to make 6 rounds on your parchment-lined baking sheet. Mine were about 5″ in diameter. I spooned the mixture on and spread it into a circle with the back of the spoon.

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Place in the oven for 12 minutes. You will see that the edges begin to look cooked (similar to watching for a pancake to know when to flip it). Carefully, peel the pita tortillas from the parchment and flip.

Place back in the oven for another 12 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter. (Should make 16-18 pitas-tortillas)

Notes: The original recipe I saw had lower cooking times and called for the extra step of browning these off in a skillet. I found that I was able to achive the browned surfaces with the higher cook times and save myself a step. I may brown them before a future meal for a crispier texture if that specific recipe seems to fit that texture. But, we all enjoyed these as a pita-type bread. A delicious grain-free winner!

Plum Crazy Parfait

We heart parfaits! Breakfast, snacks lunches, sometimes even for dinner!

Plum Crazy Parfait
Plum Crazy Parfait

This week, I ran accross some deliciously plump organic plums at our local grocer (H.E.B.). They were glistening at me this afternoon from the fridge and I decided they needed to adorn an afternoon parfait.

I pulled out 2 cans of this week’s yogurt choice (So Delicious brand coconut yogurt) and some other add-ins: Frozen Organic Blueberries Fresh Organic Blackberries Dried Unsweetened Coconut Shreds 1 Banana

&

2 Juicy, Ripe Organic Plums (star of the show)

I layered everything beautifully in some stemless martini glasses just to enjoy the art of it all. Sweet treat that everyone was happy with!

~Happy Eating Always~

Pepi-Chia Herb Crackers

When I began on our special diet journey for our suffering then-3 year old, we removed in one fail swoop the triad of typical Standard American Eating : Wheat, Milk & Eggs. This is how my career-in-the-kitchen began.

Molly is our little canary in the kitchen, and we have since learned that her immune-dysfunction provides us with a perpetual game of guessing as to what her immune “soldiers” may be bullying around each day.  We have come an amazingly long way since those days of desperate prescription filling (with no avail). Her rashes were given so many names and so many treatments, but it was not until we removed the underlying cause of inflammation that we began to see big changes; and the bonus changes ~ her neurological issues associated with sensory processing disorder, obsessive compulsion, and Aspberger’s Syndrome actually began to improve.  Behaviors that we were settling in on with a “non-progressive but incurable” diagnosis were actually changing. Hope. Light. and a Passion beyond comparison to share this “Secret” with the world, just in case what worked for us may work for other suffering families.

As we began, I worked hard to mimic the flavors and textures that we were all used to eating. But once you go as far as I had to take out milk and wheat and eggs, and once you understand how calming that inflammation has long-lasting effects, effects that may mean the difference between her having to be put on dangerous drugs with very long lists of side effects, or the difference in her developing cancer in her 50’s or 60’s and her living a long a healthful, vibrant life, those choices don’t seem so difficult at all! Quite the contrary.  I get excited about finding new ways to promote our health through food!!

Since I started, I have been traveling ever-further into healthful choices in our kitchen, subsequently we actually do very limited grains now and have severely  down-sized our consumption of animal proteins.

We eat rices, and some quinoa, and occasionally gluten-free oats (on a 4-day rotation), but every once in a while, I still get that craving for a crunch that a simple nut won’t appease. Today, I was having such a craving.

We are relaxing at home today, football playing for dad, kids enjoying the cooler outdoor weather and making “gluten-free mud pies” and I have put on a pot of chili with beans and zucchini and some chopped greens and stewed tomatoes.  In our past life, I would have eaten my chili on a bed of frito chips and a large handful of cubed colby ~ not today.
We now are dairy-free (processed) and have recently decided to take corn out of the equation as well.  So today, I went into creative mode to come up with a cruchy cracker that fit the bill.

My challenge: No Grain, No Sugar, No Fruit, No Eggs, No Milk Crackers
My solution: Pepi-Chia Herb Cracker
My surprise: Everyone loved them, including our 2 year old grazer.


Pepi-Chia Herb Crackers

1 cup + 1/3 cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

½ cup non-dairy milk (I like almond or hemp)

2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons raw shelled sunflower seeds (or more)

1-2 tablespoons dried parsley

1-2 tablespoons dried rosemary

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon Real Salt (optional)

In your food processor or spice grinder, grind 1 cup of the pepitas into a meal
or course nut flour.

In a medium mixing bowl, dump in your pepita meal and stir in the chia seeds, sunflower
seeds, herbs, baking soda and Real Salt. Now add the non-dairy milk (or you
could use water) and the oil and stir just until combined.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, spread the mixture into one even layer about
1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle the remaining pepitas over top and bake at 325 degrees
for 25-30 minutes. Take out to and cool on baking sheet. Cut or break into desired shapes.