As one of their trusted experts, Ruth’s team has asked me to list some of my favourite uses for Chia seeds. There are so many reasons why I love them and ways to enjoy this incredible seed! Here are some of my favourites!
If you don’t have a favourite recipe for chia seeds yet, maybe you will discover one because we are doing three days of giveaways! Over the next 3 weeks you will have the chance to win some fabulous product from Ruth’s Hemp Foods.
What is your favourite recipes including Chia Seeds?
The amazing thing about Chia seeds is that they are so versatile. They can be used in many ways, from sweet to savory recipes, and anywhere in between. I particularly love to use them in baking because they act as a binder. So I never have to worry about my baking crumbling apart! Simply mix 1 tbsp chia seeds with 3 tbsp water, and you have your paste. My favourite recipe: Pea-licious Banana Muffins.
But now we want to hear from you!
Please share with us your favourite way to use Chia Seeds and you will have a chance to win an incredible gift basket filled with Ruth’s Chia Goodies. I can’t disclose anything yet!
Share on Twitter : My fav #chia recipe is….check out @marniwasserman post (and link to this post)
Share on Facebook : What your favourite recipe is and link to this post!
Here are some alternative options that will satisfy your desires and allow you to indulge without guilt!
Choosing some of these healthy alternatives to create your holiday meals will not only provide you with variety, but it will also give you unique flavours to create comforting meals that are sure to please your whole family!
Here are some comforting veg recipes to get you going for the holidays:
You can get more delicious knowledge by checking out Marni’s Veggin’ Comfortably e-book, available here: http://www.marniwasserman.com/ebooks/
Originally featured in Chatelaine
These cold, dark evenings at this time of year seem to coax out everyone’s sweet tooth. There is just something about the winter months makes us want to load up on sweet foods, but that doesn’t mean we need to load up on empty calories!
With Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and holiday parties fast approaching, we all need to make an extra effort to stay in control not to overindulge. Holiday treats are exciting to serve, fun to make, and make us feel happy. However, they aren’t always healthy. This doesn’t mean that I’m telling you not to enjoy them, but there is no reason to give your body desserts that have no nutritional value, when you can benefit from every bite by making your own desserts with natural ingredients that don’t compromise on taste or your figure!
Most holiday desserts – including cakes, cookies, and pies – are full of:
- Hydrogenated oils and saturated fats – These are used to keep most desserts and pastries on the shelf longer (they stick to your hips longer too) and are loaded with dense fats that can cause blockages in your heart and arteries.
- Refined sugars – These can be anything from white powered sugar to table sugar or even brown sugar. Other than being overly sweet and full of empty calories that accumulate on your waistline, they are often used to make your crave more than one piece of pie or more than one cookie.
- Processed white flour – This is often used to make cakes fluffy, light, and airy but give your body no nutritional value aside from starches which equal excess calories.
Choose these wholesome ingredients to make your cakes, cookies, squares, and pies:
- Coconut oil and grapseed oil – These are pure natural oils that can be heated to high temperatures without denaturing their precious fats. They work great in a variety of recipes and are good for you too. For example, coconut oil promotes health and offers a host of nutrients that benefit our skin, hair, nails, and the organs. See here for more info.
- Sucanat, maple syrup, and dried fruit – These wholesome sweeteners can be used instead of sugar in any dessert recipe. Sucanat is dark and rich and a great substitute for brown sugar, especially for gingerbread and date squares. Maple syrup gives a nice smooth sweetness to cookies and cakes and dried fruit is a great natural way to add sweetness without sugar.
- Spelt, kamut, or oat flour – All of these are great substitutes for both white and wheat flour. They are high in fiber, protein, and vitamins and can be substituted one-for-one in any baked recipe that calls for white flour. You can even use unbleached light spelt flour, which is like all-purpose flour and works great for squares, fluffy cakes, and loafs.
To learn how to bake some delicious and guild free desserts, join one of my dessert classes!
Orange Apricot Fig-Date Squares
1 cup chopped apricots, or dates
1 cup chopped dried figs
Juice of 1 orange
½ cup water
½ cup coconut butter
½ cup sucanat, coconut or maple sugar
1 ¾ cup light spelt flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup rolled oats
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Combine dates, orange juice, and water in a saucepan. Cook, covered, on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a bowl, cream together the coconut oil and “sugar”. Stir in the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the oats and mix using your hands. The dough will be crumbly but will hold together when squeezed.
- Press 2/3 of the dough onto an oiled 8 or 9-inch square baking pan. Stir the date mixture and spread it over the dough. Crumble the remaining dough on top.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in the pan and cut into squares.
Marni’s Delicious Knowledge:
People don’t usually know that both figs and apricots are great sources of iron. But make
sure that you buy apricots that are dark brown and not bright orange (due to sulphites).
The rich and decadent taste of dark turkish apricots makes this recipe come to life! Also opt to use coconut sugar for a low glycemic option.
As one of my 11 Kitchen Cupboard Staples, coconut oil has so many different uses around my house. Here are 10 reasons why you should keep it in your kitchen… and your bathroom!
- It can be put into smoothies for awesome energy both pre and post workout. For example, I use it in my delicious chocolate super smoothie
- It can be spread on sprouted toast or used anywhere butter would be used in baking. Put it in a muffin recipe, like this one (perfect timing for these ones!)
- It can be heated at a high temperature for stir frying, baking, broiling.. and it won’t destroy its nutrients. It’s great for making pad thai, or baking yam fries (see recipe below)
- It’s very shelf stable. As long as it’s sealed tight, it will stay in the cupboard or fridge for over a year. Keep in mind if it’s in the fridge, it will be solid and will need about 30 minutes to soften. Don’t worry about this though, it can go from liquid to solid continuously and still won’t go rancid
- It’s great in raw recipes, pies, cakes, and triple-coconut chocolate chip cookie sandwiches
- It can be used as a moisturizer on chapped skin and lips, cracks in feet and hands, elbows, or use post-shaving for some seriously smooth legs!
- Use in your hair and scalp treatments. It’s super nourishing and fantastic for split ends. For more green beauty advice, check out this post
- Great face moisturizer, it prevents wrinkles, and it’s great for acne and eczema
- Use it as an after-sun soother, on burns, dry and dehydrated skin. It has a mild natural SPF, great for day to day use! (It is not a sunscreen, but it does help)
- My new favourite: it’s the best makeup remover ever. It takes everything off in one or two wipes, and nourishes your delicate eye area
These are just the external benefits…to find out more on how coconut oil helps your internally read this!
If you’re new to using coconut oil, try this easy yam fry recipe and let me know what you think! (I promise your fries won’t taste like coconut )
Garlic Oregano Yam Fries
2-4 medium yams or sweet potatoes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
Sea salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F. Cut yams into wedges or chunks. In a bowl, combine the garlic, pumpkin seeds, oregano, coconut oil, basil and sea salt
- Add the yams, stirring with your hands to make sure all of the pieces are covered with the mixture
- Spread the yams on a baking tray lightly oiled with coconut oil. Bake for about 35 minutes, or if you prefer them crispier, leave in oven for an extra 10 minutes
Yams are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates – providing your body with long lasting energy. These delicious “fries” taste amazing on their own or in combination with a salad, veggie burger or quinoa. Remember, don’t peel away the skin if they are organic; the skin is loaded with fiber and other nutrients!
You can get more delicious knowledge by checking out Marni’s Cleansing with Superfoods e-book, available here: http://www.marniwasserman.com/ebooks/
What better way to transition into the fall season than with some Apricot Amaranth Muffins? Everyone needs a new muffin recipe when the fall season comes around. The cool breeze, the changing leaves, it is such a wonderful time to get into some warming fall recipes. ( I know it still maybe a little early – but I am getting ready anyways!)
There is something about apricots and that fall that seem to go so well together. A little note on apricots. Make sure you are buying dark Turkish apricots, meaning they should look fairly brown as opposed to bright orange. The orange ones that you typically find in most grocery and bulk food stores are that colour because of preservative called sulphur dioxide. These little guys can get into our system and cause a whole host of health issues from headaches to stomach cramps. So if you can avoid sulfites and this is very easy, especially if you just stick to a whole foods diet, as most sulfites are found in things that are packaged and processed!
Apricots can be a wonderful ingredient to add into a whole bunch of recipes (especially in the fall). Whether you are making muffins, granola, a cake or pie – just chop them up and throw them in. They will not only naturally sweeten you baked goody, but they also add a great chewy texture. Apricots are also great in trail mixes. So if you have never seen or purchase dark brown apricots…I encourage you to go out and find them and use them in this extremely simple and delicious gluten free recipe!!
Apricot Amaranth Muffins
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup amaranth flour
1 teaspoon each baking soda/baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup puffed amaranth
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup rice milk
1-2 cups chopped apricots, soaked (I actually heated them up with some water and mixed them with some apple butter and lemon juice)
Mix all the dry ingredients in bowl.
Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl.
Mix the two together and stir in the chopped apricots.
Divide into 8 – 12 muffin cups and bake on 350F for 20 minutes.