Monday Meditation: Mango Chia Pudding or Sunshine in a Jar – no blender required (plus hidden smoothie recipe)

81E39081-4E5E-4799-9FDD-F06C804F0520(I apologise to those of you experiencing snow and freezing temperatures while reading this, I wrote this post only 3 weeks before and now there are 3″ of snow on the ground and more promised next day! I feel like I should be posting about a bowl of piping hot porridge!)

The previous day had been soul-sapping: it was one of those depressingly endless steel-grey November days with rain, biting chilly wind and a need for continuous artificial light; one of those days where you feel yourself slowly desiccating in the central heating. I find it hard to motivate myself on these days, no energy whatsoever, I just want to stay under the duvet or sit in front of the tv wrapped in a shawl with chocolate and licorice tea for company!

This particular day, however, was its polar opposite and I was up with the lark: endless blue skies and bright sunshine greeted me when I woke up. I had my early Morning Glory juice (see 7 Juice Recipes) and went for a walk. I love being out in the fresh air with the warmth of the sun on my face, I feel I am a completely different person and I can do anything I put my mind to. I am full of gratitude for my surroundings: for the proximity of parks, fields, woodland, the creatures that inhabit them, and I greet everyone I meet with a cheery smile.

45EE5A14-5195-457D-A60E-D9FDE8B83B40I passed a garden being landscaped and found some small smooth pebbles in the pile of earth that I could use for painting. I saw a couple of squirrels running rings around a tree and digging up hidden larders of acorns. I stood and admired a soaring buzzard before leaving a painted rock on a war grave in our nearby cemetery.

I came home invigorated and ready to be creative with my rocks. First, though, I made breakfast: Mango Chia Pudding, the bright orange fruit reflecting the weather and my mood.

Before I left for my walk, I had put some chia seeds to soak with some homemade Tiger Nut Milk in a jar, and removed some chopped mango from the freezer. It was just a matter of layering my chosen ingredients in the jar, quick and easy. It looks and tastes yum! A nutritious jar of autumn sunshine.

Recipe

(vegan, gluten-free, organic where possible)

In a jar, tall glass or glass dish, mix 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds in 4 Tbsps Tiger Nut Milk (or any other plant milk) and stir vigorously (I get my organic, peeled tiger nuts from The Tiger Nut Company)

Leave in the fridge until the seeds have swelled.

Layer cashew pieces, live coconut yogurt (or any other kind) and mango pieces, until the jar is full.

Add your favourite toppings. I used goji berries, raw dried mulberries, cacao nibs, raw chocolate covered mulberry chips* and more mango. You can use seeds, coconut, blueberries, grated raw chocolate.

Order up some sun and some birdsong, relax and enjoy.

30200944_UnknownI sat outside on this early November morning to eat my breakfast pudding and it could have been Spring. The hanging baskets were still showing off, if a little windswept, the nemesia was still in full delicate bloom and I had seen daisies growing in someone’s lawn on my walk. The robin was hopping about, busying himself collecting insects where my husband had edged the garden path. What a contrast to the day before. I felt so much better. (The picture here shows the nemesia and the smoothie I had the following morning: banana, mango, blueberries, romaine, walnuts, golden linseeds, chia seeds, coconut water, live soya yogurt. There, two recipes for the price of one!).

(PS We now have 6″ of snow, it’s magical, like a winter wonderland from the old black and white Christmas films).

*I buy mine from The Raw Chocolate Company

Three Cheers for Chias! What Are Chia Seeds & How Do I Use Them? Recipes included

Painted Christmas Card Rocks & Taking A Break

Monday Meditation: Mindfulness and Rock Painting

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Post-Election Wake-Up Nectarine Smoothie/ Dessert

28863056_UnknownThis lovely smooth nectarine chia pudding was just what I needed the morning after the General Election when I felt exhausted and strung out after all the highs and lows of the long night before. I needed energy, but most of all something to give me a lift. Like the rest of the country, I didn’t know which end was up and needed the certainty and stability (sic*) of a reliably healthy, and refreshing breakfast to keep me going through the inevitable long drawn-out hours of bemused debate and analysis to come, while everyone figured out who was running the country (we’re still not sure!).

It can be served in a glass as a smoothie for breakfast or with slightly thicker consistency in a dish for dessert.

I’m not sure why I’m publishing it so long after the election, I think I thought there were rather too many smoothies stacked up together or it may be because the weather got so cold I thought soup was more appropriate!

Anyway, here it is:

If you use frozen fruit it will be thicker and chilled, lovely for a warm day or to perk you up in the morning, or just use more or less coconut water for the desired consistency.

We had some lovely juicy nectarines in our organic veg box recently and whilst I normally prefer to eat them as is (despite the juice inevitably dribbling down my top!), a couple were becoming over-ripe in the fruit bowl and were sliced up & frozen, so I decided to put one in this smoothie. They were small, so we used just half a medium banana to go with it.

This pudding has lots of healthy ingredients and beneficial nutrients: protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium, Vitamins A, B, C, E, omega oils, probiotics, fibre to name but a few.

Ingredients – Serves 1

(Vegan, Glutenfree, Organic)

1 Nectarine (fresh or frozen)

Half Medium Banana (fresh or frozen)

2 Tbsps Plain Live Yogurt of your choice

1 Heaped Tbsp Peanut Butter

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds**

1 Tbsp Buckwheat Flakes

1 Tbsp ground Golden Linseeds**

Small to Medium Glass Unsweetened Coconut Water

1/2 Tbsp Baobab Powder**

Blend for about 40 seconds and serve, sprinkled with a few chia seeds or a slice of nectarine.

*For the non-Brits, ‘Strong and Stable’ was the Tories’ campaign mantra.

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**See also: Three Cheers for Chias! What Are Chia Seeds & How Do I Use Them? Recipes included

Golden Linseeds (aka Flax Seeds): The Original Superfood?

The Benefits of Baobab, a Fruity Protein Smoothie + Review of Aduna Bars.

 

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Frozen Mango Chia Pudding – Breakfast or Dessert

28597984_UnknownIn my previous post How to Make Cashew Nut MilkI promised the recipe for this delicious and nutritious Frozen Mango Chia Pudding – which, despite the name, makes a wonderfully light breakfast too.

As I am a woman of my word, here it is!

But first, the science bit:

Mangoes are not only juicily refreshing and tasty, they contain loads of healthy nutrients too. Here are just a few of the benefits of eating mangoes regularly:

They contain antioxidants that have been shown to prevent certain cancers; they are a good source of Vitamins A, B6, C, K, Folate and Potassium, contain dietary fibre and are good for your skin, eyes and digestion.

They are one of my favourite fruits, they feel indulgent and I love the fragrance as well as the juicy flavour.

Mangoes can be a handful to peel and slice, the best way we have found is to slice off both ends thinly to provide a flat base, stand it on one end, slice the peel downwards while turning, then slice the flesh.

And always lick your fingers afterwards!

Ingredients

 Vegan, Organic, Gluten-Free (can be nutfree if you want to use tiger nut milk or soya milk and seed butter, but it will alter the flavour)

1/2 Mango, chopped and frozen

Small Glass Homemade Cashew Milk (see above for link to recipe)

1 Heaped Tbsp Chia Seeds*, soaked in the cashew milk for a few minutes, with the oats & goji berries

1 Heaped Tbsp Oats

2 Heaped Tbsps Goji Berries*

1 Tbsp Cashew Nut Butter or Almond Butter**

2 Tbsps Plain Live Yogurt

1 Tbsp Baobab Powder***

Blend everything in a high-speed blender until thick and smooth

Serve in a chilled glass dish, sprinkle with goji berries and a little desiccated coconut.

This breakfast/dessert contains protein, calcium, magnesium, b vitamins, healthy oils, complex carbohydrate for slow-releasing energy, probiotics for a healthy gut and dietary fibre.  

Go on, what are you waiting for?

Ps Look out for my Morning After The Night Before Wake-Up Smoothie, another breakfast/dessert, coming soon!

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*We buy ours from The Raw Chocolate Company

**We use Meridian Foods organic nut butters because they are free from palm oil and sugar.

*** Baobab Powder is high in Vitamin C & fibre, contains potassium, magnesium, calcium, thiamin, manganese and protein. We use Aduna

Copyright: Chris McGowan