Paleo dessert

Vanilla Chai Chia Pudding

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Gosh, Sorry I haven’t posted for a long time. Been busy testing new, easy, Paleo recipes and applying for jobs like crazy. One of these quick new recipes I have discovered is chia pudding. I can’t stress it enough, this recipe is so easy! The first time I made chia pudding, I was afraid I wouldn’t like it because I hated tapioca pudding. But turns out, I love it! Chia seeds don’t have all of the Omega fatty acids you need/should have in your diet, but it does contain one called ALA that’s good for you. Google it and try it out this recipe!

 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup white chia seeds. I got mine from Weis. I’m sure black chia seeds would work just fine too.

1 cup unsweetened almond milk or vanilla flavored almond milk or coconut milk. Coconut milk will give a creamier consistency.

1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or vanilla beans

1-3 tablespoons strongly brewed chai tea, cooled

1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons of honey, depending on how sweet you want it.

Optional-A jar

Toppings (berries, granola, etc.)

 

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, adding the chia seeds last. Set the timer for 20 minutes and stir or whisk the mixture on and off. Be sure to taste the mixture to make sure you sweetened it to your liking. Add more honey if you want. Wait a couple minutes, stir again, wait another minute, stir again…When the 20 minutes of stirring are up, you’ll finally see the mixture become more like a pudding consistency. Pour mixture into a jar, or tightly sealed container. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Top with fruit or granola and enjoy!

*I quadrupled this recipe and it worked out really well. I save glass jars to store the pudding in. The pudding can also last a long time in the fridge (over a week).

 

Paleo Mixed Berry Pumpkin Muffin Bars

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OMG these are delicious. I can see why they’re from a blog called PaleOMG. Seriously, her recipes are amazing. I love messing around with them and giving them my own personal cooking touches, adding things here and there. She actually liked this photo on my Instagram yesterday! Yeeaaah I’m such a geek, but I’m a huge fan of hers, so I was really excited about it.

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The best part about these bars?….I doubled the original recipe and it cost me $5. Yes, $5 for 16 bars the size of the palm of my hand, homemade, and healthy! But I have to add, I only needed three more ingredients (a lemon, more frozen berries, and pumpkin puree) to make these. This may seem like a huge ingredients list, but if you’re a regular Paleo/low carb dieter, you probably have coconut flour, maple syrup, honey, nuts, and basic spices already in your pantry. Also, I already had some frozen berries in my freezer. I love keeping frozen berries as back up because I’m a supporter in trying to eat what’s in season. The berries I like to eat aren’t usually available during the winter or else they’re probably shipped from outside of the country, or they’re probably genetically modified or something…I don’t know…I think eating what’s in season is just a nice habit to get into. Think about it, google around. You can google what produce is in season and when and post the list to your fridge. I’m no expert on this sort of thing, but my sister is (almost) a certified nutritionist and I get a lot of advice about food from her.

On a totally random note…I saw Alton Brown LIVE! In Baltimore, last Saturday. I was elated! I have a pretty great guy, getting me such a great gift for Valentines Day. The man knows me so well. I wish I was half as good as buying gifts for people as he is….

If you don’t know who Alton Brown is….*siggghhhh*…….

 
 

Yields two 8×8 inch baking dishes. Feel free to half the recipe and make one dish.

Ingredients:

For the pumpkin muffin part:

2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree (if you get a can, save the leftovers for pumpkin waffles, recipe coming soon!)

2/3 pure maple syrup

1/2 melted coconut oil..or butter..or whatever oil you have that you think would work.

6 eggs, whisked

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut flour (Bobs Red Mill brand- cool, employee owned company. My sister met Bob too. Not the happiest of guys..)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 pinches of salt

 

Berry layer:

4 cups frozen mixed berries (thawed) or fresh berries. You could use just blueberries, cherries…get creative

4-5 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut butter

Zest of one lemon

Juice of one lemon

4 tablespoons coconut flour

 

Topping:

1/2-1 cup of any nuts you like or have lying around. I used raw almonds (banged it up in a zip loc bag using a butter knife handle), macadamia nuts, and walnuts. Could add shredded coconut to that if you want to. Again, get creative!

1/2-1 teaspoon sesame seeds. Add how ever much you like, really.

1-2 tablespoons of honey (depending on the amount of nuts you’re using)

generous sprinkle of cinnamon

pinch of salt

 
 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease two 8×8 baking dishes with butter or coconut oil. Then, line the bottom with parchment paper. You want one, long 8×8 strip, so the edges hang over two sides. This allows you to take the bars out more easily once cooked and cooled.

3. Mix together the wet ingredients- pumpkin, vanilla, eggs, syrup, and oil-in a large/medium bowl.

4. In a separate and smaller bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients of the pumpkin muffin part- flour, spices, baking powder, and baking soda. Then add to the wet ingredients in the large bowl and mix it all together until well combined.

5. Divide the batter among the two greased baking dishes, pouring it into the bottom of each and spreading it out evenly with a spatula. Then pop that in the oven for 30-35 minutes. You will know it’s cooked all the way through if you poke the center with a toothpick/skewer and it comes out clean.

6. While that’s cooking, combine the thawed out berries, lemon juice, lemon zest, butter, and honey in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. If you have fresh berries, you’ll know they’re done when the blueberries start to burst. If you have frozen berries, you want the fruit to be cooked to the point where you can easily squish the berries with a spoon/spatula. Then add the coconut flour and stir until well incorporated. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to cool.

7. Once the muffin part has finished cooking, divide the fruit mixture among both dishes and spread out evenly again with the spatula.

8. Combine all of the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl and sprinkle/crumble it on the top of the bars.

9. Put them back in the oven for 15 minutes. Let it cool for at least 15 minutes before attempting to remove the bars from the pan, moving it to a cooling rack.

10. Refrigerate the bars, uncovered on plates for a half hour to one hour. After that it will be much easier to cut into rectangles. Keep leftovers refrigerated.

Paleo-ish Products I Love – #1 Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

I decided that in between recipes I will post a paleo-ish product I love. These will be products I usually have in my kitchen or I love as an occasional, guilt-free treat. Like the one I’m posting now is an example of one of those guilt-free paleo-ish treats. Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. It’s like a guilt-free version of Nutella, except with a grainy texture and a little more salt added to it…and way better for you, as in, having less sugar per serving, and no artificial flavors.

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This is a great logo too. Fun and playful. Makes me feel better about what I’m eating. Not guilty.

As for the ingredients…Nothing there you can’t pronounce. Sugar is not the first ingredient. It’s not sweetened with refined sugar and doesn’t contain gluten or dairy either 🙂 I love this stuff! Pure chocolatey goodness.

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Okay, I have to admit….The only thing I don’t like about this stuff is that it’s $8-9 for a 16 oz jar at Mom’s Organic Market and even more on Amazon. But when I purchase it I have to consider, I won’t be eating this every day and buying this every time I go to the store, because it’s a treat. It’s also 12 carbs/2 tablespoons so, when I do indulge, I’m scooping some on a spoon and that’s probably it for the day. And even if I have more than one serving, it’s not bad for me! Google the benefits of almonds and keeping nuts in your regular diet too. Not bad at all. They also sell Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter in 1-2 serving packets at Mom’s Organic Market and Roots Market in Olney, MD. They could possibly sell it at Whole Foods too, but it probably costs $500 a jar or packet….If you don’t understand that joke, you need to read this.

Everything in moderation 🙂 I’ll leave you with a few words Steve’s PaleoGoods posted on Instagram yesterday about what the Paleo diet is all about. They will get their own post here as well some time soon. They’re awesome people with awesome healthy and quality products. Check them out.

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