Chia Breakfast

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A refrigerator stocked with six portions of Chia Breakfast! What a great way to start the day!

We all love fast food.  Many times we NEED fast food.  We have a deadline, a place to be, an important reason to be there, but not enough time for eating our healthy breakfast. Chia is a great plant based source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and is extremely versatile.

img_3350It is time to think differently.  What can I make that is fast, nutritious, good for me, AND will travel well? Chia breakfast to go.  The following is more of a guide than a recipe – personalise this process and make it your own! My quantities are only rough estimates – I very rarely measure anything!

Foundation ingredients:

  • Chia seeds (about 1/2 T per serving)
  • Water to cover
  • Homemade kefir or plain yogurt (±1/3 Cup per serving)
  • Nuts
Chopped fresh ginger, jalapeño pepper, and turmeric

Chopped fresh ginger, jalapeño pepper, and turmeric

  • Goji Berries, Raisins or other dried fruit
  • Seeds, sunflower or pumpkin
  • Honey
  • Fruit, chopped (apple, pear, pineapple)
  • Berries, fresh or frozen (cherries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
  • Veggies, chopped especially celery, cucumber, or kale. Celery is a great to add because it naturally helps pull metals from the body i.e. ‘detox’ and I love the crunch it provides!
  • Ginger, chopped fresh
Fresh Turmeric

Fresh Turmeric

Optional ingredients, adjust to taste:

  • Cinnamon (boosts metabolism)
  • Salt (Himalayan for mineral boost)
  • Turmeric (fresh is available, great anti-inflammatory)
  • Jalapeño pepper, fresh, chopped (anti viral)
  • Coconut, fresh or large flake
  • Coconut oil (A great brain boost, stir in fast after you add the veggies, so it doesn’t clump!)
  • Hemp seeds (also known as Hemp Hearts)
  • 1 Tbl raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbl raw maca powder
  • Flax seeds, ground (not too much)

For those who are more hard-core focus on more veggies (celery, cucumber, kale), more superfoods and less fruit. Adding hemp can be expensive, but it provides a great energy source. We’re all at different stages of our journey, but I think most people will be able to find some way to modify this concept so that they can enjoy it.  If you decide to have eggs for breakfast, or want to do “intermittent fasting”, you could always save your chia breakfast for lunch!

img_3349If it seems like a lot of effort, remember, you are preparing breakfast for several days in advance. I like to organise my breakfast ingredients into three categories: refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. This helps me streamline the preparation process.

I wrote about my previous Chia Breakfast variations here and here and here

Thanksgiving 2015Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus and truth. As a breastfeeding counsellor for over 23 years Becky is devoted to helping parents make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies. As a member of a Vaccine Safety Education Coalition, Becky writes and speaks on the topic of vaccine safety.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

decadent-chocolate-cake-quinoaThis recipe is based on quinoa and is amazingly moist. My friend, Simela, says it works equally well using millet. While I generally try to avoid sugar, this recipe with the quinoa, butter, coconut milk, coconut oil, and eggs, makes it lean towards the more healthy of decadent chocolate treats! My presentation skills are not high in my skill set, but I thought the picture looked quite appealing! I imagine adding some blueberries or other berries on top would increase the appeal.

cake-cherry-sliceThis recipe is quick and easy to make if you have a blender. I’m not sure what the results would be without a blender. I used my Vita-mix, and since I was using such a powerful blender, I decided to try something I’d never seen before in a cake recipe. You know how it says, “whole eggs”? Well, I washed my farm fresh eggs bought directly from a local farmer, and put the WHOLE eggs into the Vita-mix! So, my cake has the additional benefit of calcium and probably a few other necessary minerals! We can all use more minerals!

cake-eggsMy cake is based on inspiration from my friend, Simela, and the explanation found here. Of course, I can never follow recipes exactly, so here is what I did:

Combine in blender:

  • 4 whole (I literally used whole clean eggs in my Vita-mix! I blended them on high until no crunchy noises were heard!) If you don’t have a Vita-mix, or aren’t into consuming egg shells, just crack and use the 4 eggs as normal!

Then I added the following ingredients and blended again.

  • 1/3 Cup raw milk (from my local dairy farmer)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (I used sprouted organic)
  • 1/2 Cup melted butter (I never use a microwave to melt butter – unlike some people who bake in my kitchen. I always melt slowly over low heat)
  • 1/4 Cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla

In a separate bowl I combined:

  • 1 Cup Hershey’s dark cocoa (I often use raw cacao, but when you are going to be cooking, there is little point in using raw cacao which is more expensive)
  • 1 Cup organic brown sugar (because that is what I found in my pantry. My friend Simela, always uses honey – just less than a cup – in hers. I think I will try honey next time.
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder (I left out the baking soda/bicarb because it ALWAYS seems to give baking a bad taste)
  • Himalayan salt, several turns, probably around 1 tsp, but life is too short to measure exactly.

I poured the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and stirred to mix thoroughly. I lined 2 pans with parchment paper and divided the batter between them. The batter was a bit stiff and I spread it around and popped them straight into a 350 degree (180 Celsius) oven and baked for 25 minutes.

It works best to prepare the icing BEFORE. But I neglected to read that part – or at least digest that information enough to put it into practice! I did however, put the can of coconut milk into the refrigerator the day before, so it was nice and cold, which is important.

ICING:

  • I melted one whole 12 oz (340 g) bag of Private Selection 43% Cacao semi sweet chocolate chips. I’m sure a variety of chocolate would work, for me the darker the better.
  • I opened the can carefully and scooped out all the thick part of the coconut milk. It was about 1/2 of the can and added it to the chocolate once it was melted. You can taste it at this point to see if you want to add more coconut milk, depending on the darkness/sweetness of your chosen chocolate. I stirred everything together, then allowed it to cool on the counter, then in the refrigerator.
  • After it was cold, I whipped it for about 45 seconds.

Putting it all together:

cake-insideAfter the cake cooled I put it carefully on a plate with the bottom side up, smothered it with 1/2 of the icing, added the 2nd cake bottom side up, and smothered it with the remaining icing. I put the whole thing in the refrigerator to get cold.

I did have a piece for breakfast desert. It is satisfying, without leaving you craving more – a good place to be!

Thanksgiving 2015

Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus and truth. As a breastfeeding counselor for over 23 years Becky is devoted to helping parents make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies. As a member of a Vaccine Safety Education Coalition, Becky writes and speaks on the topic of vaccine safety.

3rd Prize Chili

Red potOrganic 3 Bean Chili Con Cashew (Vegetarian)

This is my variation of an original recipe known as Chili Con Cashew by Kathryn J. Canfield, in Whole Foods for the Whole Family, published by La Leche League International. All the ingredients are organic, if they were available. This chili won 3rd place in a local chili cook off.

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. each basil and oregano
  • ±1 tsp. chili powder, or to taste
  • ±1 tsp. curry powder (can’t get enough of those spices!)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder (great anti-inflammatory food; add to everything!)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or less
  • a few dashes of black and cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 42 ounces chopped/crushed tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup dry red wine

Salute garlic and all vegetables (except tomatoes) in the coconut oil in a saucepan for several minutes. Add all the spices (except the bay leaf) and stir.

Stove Top Method: Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and simmer on low, stirring occasionally for ±2 hours.

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Method: Dump the contents of the saucepan and all the remaining ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5+ hours. In order not to waste any of your spicy flavor, add some of the tomato liquid to the saucepan, stir and pour into the crock pot.

Serve with sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips, corn bread, or WHATEVER YOU LIKE! It is also great as leftovers and can even be eaten cold!

ENJOY!

Becky Hastings

The Best Curry You Ever Made, Mom!

curry-powder-1554845-640x480Once upon a time, I didn’t know how easy and delicious curry was! I didn’t know the wonderful medicinal properties of the spicy combinations. Then I started practicing. I realized it was a lot easier than I thought, and I’ve been getting better and better at getting just the right mix of flavors! When you cook curry on low heat and add lots of beneficial spices, it delivers great nutrition.

I like to cook by intuition. It’s gotten easier over the years. Every once in a while I will cook something so tasty I have to stop and write down every step so that I’ll be able to do it again, or share it with my daughters.

This is my curry recipe that received rave reviews by my 15 yo daughter so I thought I should write down EXACTLY what I did! I must apologize for not taking a picture.

Please try it and let me know how it works for you. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. I generally try to use all organic ingredients.

CurryUPDATE Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Versions: Alternatively, you can throw it all in a slow cooker and cook on high for about 2 hours, or on low for 4-6 hours! You don’t even need to brown the chicken! Just put any vegetables on the bottom, then the uncooked chicken, topped with all the other ingredients that you sautéed in the pan (including the coconut milk). You can add some kefir or yogurt just before serving. Delicious and EASY!

IMG_0423Becky Hastings, married to John for 34+ years, mother of 5, author and curry loving grandmother of 4 so far! I have a passion for Jesus, health and family. 

 

 

Delectable, Light, Easy, Gluten Free Waffles

IMG_2203Waffles have been a family favorite forever! My traditional recipe started with whole wheat (wheat berries) and blended them with several other key ingredients to produce light fluffy waffles. Since I stopped eating wheat in August 2012 I haven’t indulged in waffles.

My daughter helped me discover that there is a wonderful way to make gluten-free waffles with rice and tapioca flours. I still don’t make them often (preferring my Chia Breakfast salad or a smoothie), but it is nice to spoil the grandchildren with waffles when they come to visit!

IMG_2201Heat up waffle iron and in a mixing bowl whisk together:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup kefir (or buttermilk, or milk with 1 Tbl  lemon)

Add:

  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt

Whisk all together. It should be bubbly, then Add

  • ± 1/2 cup coconut oil

(it seems like this might be an optional ingredient, but adds both nutritional and flavor. One time I forgot to add the coconut oil and the waffles turned out fine. I didn’t realize until much later that I had forgotten to add it!)

IMG_2202Add:

  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour

Mix just until thoroughly combined.

Spoon about 1/3 cup of the batter onto the hot waffle iron. Cook until the light changes colors (or follow the procedure for your particular brand of waffle maker).

This recipe will make approximately 8 waffles. I like to make all of them and freeze leftovers which can be heated in a toaster for a quick snack or breakfast.

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Chia Breakfast Salad

My regular preferred breakfast remains many variations of chia/kefir breakfast salad, but this is my goto recipe for waffles whenever there is an occasion for them!

_DSC7099Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus Christ and truth seeker, especially in the areas of health and children. Facing a world quite different from the one in which I grew up, I seek to research and understand the true route to health, freedom and joyful family living!

Morning Boost

IMG_1226I like to get a great start in the morning. I love to bounce out of bed and get ready to have the best day ever! I’ve been teaching people about the wonders of raw chocolate and other healthy superfoods and I always look for new ways to combine them together.

I’m not great at recipes, every time I make things they turn out slightly different. But this time, I wrote down everything as I was putting it into my morning bowl! The way I think about it is, ‘What veggies, fruits, superfood powders, nuts and seeds can I combine with my chia seeds and kefir for breakfast?’ Along the lines of “let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food:”

Morning medicine bowl:

  • Chia seeds, 3 Tablespoons or so
  • Water to cover
  • Kefir, 1/2 Cup or so
  • Raw organic Maca powder, 1 Tablespoons
  • Raw organic Cacao powder, 2 Tablespoons
  • Turmeric 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Cinnamon, 1 Tablespoon
  • Salt, several shakes
  • Cacao nibs
  • Goji berries
  • Blueberries (fresh from my friend), 1/2 cup or so
  • Fresh CiIantro, chopped
  • Celery, chopped
  • Green Fresh Chili, from my friend’s garden

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  • Fresh Pineapple, chopped
  • Coconut flakes
  • Nuts & seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, walnuts, almonds
  • Honey, 1-2 Tablespoons
  • Micro green sprouts
  • Hemp seeds, 2 Tablespoons
  • [Avocado would have been a great addition]

Do you want to have the best day ever? Why not try throwing all the best ingredients you can find into a big bowl for your breakfast boost!

I usually end up with enough for my husband and I to have for two days [I’m still working on enticing my daughter to participate!]. Half of the mixture keeps well in the refrigerator for our breakfast (or lunch) tomorrow!

Basic Raw Chocolate

2 pieces

There are so many possible variations.  This is what I wrote down as I prepared the chocolate for my Health Talk:

Basic #1

  • ±1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 3 fresh dates, pitted and chopped
  • ±1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch or so of Himalayan Crystal salt

Mix well together.  Taste to see if you are satisfied with the sweetness.  Place into a glass dish and put into the refrigerator (or freezer if you are in a hurry!) until hard. Store in the refrigerator.

Basic #2

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 fresh dates, pitted and chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh ground peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • other nuts as you desire (almonds, cashews, pecans)
  • pinch Himalayan Crystal salt
  • 1 Tablespoon, approximately, lemon or orange zest

Mix well together.  Taste to see if you are satisfied with the sweetness.  Place into glass dish and put into the freezer until hard.

Chocolate Breakfast Salad

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This is not what I would have considered a great breakfast a few years ago, but it truly is a fantastic way to start the day.  You can make this recipe and share half with someone, or put half in a container for your breakfast tomorrow. Or, if you have a hectic day ahead, you can eat the whole bowl yourself! Like my mentor, Lee Haney says, eat for what you are going to do, not for what you have done.

  • 2 Tbl chia seeds
  • 1 Tbl goji  berries

Add a little spring water to cover.  The seeds will absorb the water and become more gelatinous while you add the other ingredients.

  • 2 Tbl hemp hearts/seeds
  • 1 Tbl Maca powder
  • 1 Tbl cacao powder
  • 1 Tbl cacao nibs
  • ±1/3 – 1 cup kefir
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2 Tbl coconut
  • honey
  • coconut oil
  • fresh ginger, chopped

That is the basic, then add any or all of the following that you happen to have on hand, as much organic as possible. I keep a basket in the pantry with my “superfood” breakfast ingredients to make it easy. Then I have “spice cupboard” additions, refrigerator additions and freezer additions.

  • ±1 Tbl frozen blueberries
  • ½ frozen bananas, chopped small
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • pecans, brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, preferably soaked and chopped
  • twist of Himalayan crystal salt
  • cinnamon
  • cayenne pepper
  • fresh turmeric chopped
  • fresh jalapeños chopped
  • cilantro chopped
  • cucumber chopped
  • apple chopped
  • pineapple chopped
  • fresh lemon with some of the rind, no seeds
  • any other dried or fresh fruit you have

I have given measurements as a guideline, but you can vary the quantities according to your taste, or leave some out. If it seems too dry, add more kefir or water. Use whatever you have and whatever you like from the list. There is a lot of room for variety. Use any nuts, seeds, fruits you have available.  I also purposely limit the amount of fruit and LOVE having the celery for the crunch, goodness and detox benefits!

This is fast, easy, delicious and nutritious! I usually make 6 or 7 x 200 g servings. I put them in individual containers in the refrigerator and have a wonderful fast food breakfast for a couple of days!

So far my husband, 2 sons, one daughter-in-law and a few special friends have enjoyed my specialty breakfast. The rest of the family isn’t quite so adventurous!

Becky Isaac 11 monthsAuthor: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus Christ and truth seeker, especially in the areas of health and children. Facing a world quite different from the one in which I grew up, I seek to research and understand the true route to health, freedom and joyful family living.

 

Amazingly Healthy Brownies!

IMG_1115I’ve been wanting to make a recipe like this FOREVER! I’ve read a lot of different recipes, debated the ingredient list in my mind, stalled out and done nothing!

Finally, motivated by the fact that it was Mother’s Day and I could splurge in a healthy way, I dived in.

My daughter had shown me a similar recipe a couple of weeks ago by a British healthy foodie, but her recipe called for 2 cups of coconut sugar. Firstly, I have no coconut sugar on hand. Secondly, that is WAY TOO MUCH for me to feel good about using.

I asked my daughter to read me the list of ingredients used by healthy foodie for her avocado chocolate brownies, and I modified it radically to fit into my ideals for health indulgence. Before I give you the recipe I want to encourage you to make this well in advance of the time you would like to eat it.  I wanted to eat it right away, but the texture and experience was about a 3 out of 10. However, after it spent the night in the refrigerator, it is a 9 out of 10.  So be warned, it looks good and you will want to eat it immediately, but you will be rewarded by WAITING! You also might want to hide it from other family members who don’t have as much self-control as you!

Avocado Coconut Oil Brownies 

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup or so coconut oil (it was very soft because the inside temperature was warmish)
  • 6 blended dates
  • 1 cup or so of honey (I think it was a bit less, but I don’t measure because I don’t want to waste the ingredients!)
  • a couple of turns of Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup almond flour (approximately)
  • 1 cup cacao powder (again, approximate! If you add it 1/4 cup at a time you can see the desired darkness you like)
  • ¾ avocado mashed (that was all I had on hand. Feel free to use more!)
  • ¾ cup whole pecans (add after well mixed)

I whisked it together in a bowl until it was well blended, then put it into a glass baking dish and baked it at 350 for 25 minutes. Allow to cool and then put into the refrigerator (or freezer if you want a faster result). Wait until cold for the best results!

While these are probably the best brownies you can make – the coconut oil, avocado, eggs, and nuts are all good for you – they should be still considered a treat because of the potential of raising the blood sugar!  However, I confess I did have them (and nothing else) for supper on Mother’s Day and for lunch the following day!

Please fee free to modify as you desire, and please, let me know your results!

Breakfast to Go

IMG_0928We all love fast food.  Many times we NEED fast food.  We have a deadline, a place to be, an important reason to be there, but not enough time for eating our healthy breakfast.

It is time to think differently.  What can I make that is fast, nutritious, good for me AND will travel well? Chia porridge to go.  I wrote about chia porridge previously, this is an expansion. Choose your favorite flavors and personalize it!  The great thing about Chia porridge is that the chia seeds need about 15 minutes of soaking to expand, so it can travel with you and get better on the way! I made this chia porridge to go for my husband to take with him for his early morning appointment:

  • 1/2 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • water to cover
  • 1/2 Cup or so of homemade kefir
  • 1/4 Cup hemp seeds
  • 1 Tbl raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbl raw maca powder
  • nuts, raisins, seeds
  • 1/2 Tbl honey
  • chopped pear
  • chopped strawberry

For those who are more hard-core you could add a few veggies (celery, cucumber, kale) and omit some fruit.  Others might want to top their chia porridge with homemade granola or add different fruits. The hemp gives you the energy and will sustain you so you don’t feel hungry.  The chia is a great source of omega 3s. The maca powder is optional, but gives a great boost. We’re all at different stages of our journey, but I think most people will be able to find some way to modify this concept in a way they can enjoy it.  If you decide to have eggs for breakfast, you could always have a bowl of chia porridge for lunch!

Other chia ideas here

and here