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

Heart-Healthy Carob, Walnut & Lucuma Smoothie

29934304_UnknownI can’t describe how heavenly this is! I surprised myself, even though I love carob. This is one of those thick smoothies that can be served for breakfast or dessert. It’s very filling so maybe split between two if having it after a meal.

I used buckwheat flakes* because I had no oats left and lucuma powder as I’d run out of baobab. Lucuma is a Peruvian fruit grown at high altitudes, the powder has a subtle malty flavour. It is nutritionally healthy, containing protein, calcium, iron, B3 as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals.

Carob is also from South America and is a tasty alternative for anyone who can’t eat chocolate or cacao. I discovered it in the 1980’s when I was trying to find a healthier alternative to commercial chocolate bars and hadn’t yet come across raw cacao. It’s caffeine-free, low in sodium, contains calcium and is high in fibre. Carob contains gallic acid which is antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, acts as an analgesic and antioxidant.

Ingredients

(Vegan, Gluten-Free, Organic)

1 Heaped Tbsp Carob Powder

1 Banana, chopped

3 Dried Figs, chopped

Good Handful Walnut Pieces (and a few to serve)

1 Dsp Peanut Butter

1 Tbsp Buckwheat Flakes or Oats

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

Coconut Water

1 rounded Tsp Lucuma Powder or Baobab Powder

***

Blend, chill (if you can wait!), add a sprinkling of chopped walnuts, and serve. Bliss.

29934272_Unknown

*See also:

Vegan Chilli with Aduki Beans & Buckwheat

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

Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Ageing Cherry, Chia and Lucuma Smoothie (no bananas necessary!)

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Hanna’s Simple Turmeric Breakfast Pot

img_6137After I published my post on the health benefits of Turmeric, the super-supplement and the accompanying juice recipe, I was asked by a couple of people how else to make this important ingredient more palatable?

Later that evening, I saw Hanna Sillitoe’s recipe for Simple Turmeric Breakfast Pot (it would also be a lovely pudding, it has chia seeds, cacao and fruit in it). This seemed the best answer for those who don’t juice, here’s the Link.

Hanna has a great blog. We have been internet friends for quite a while now, we began juicing around the same time, when she was covered in psoriasis. She now has clear skin from juicing, healthy eating and exercising and inspired me when I developed a nasty skin condition. (See my post How I Juiced My Skin Clear).

I’ve tested a few of her recipes, they are mostly vegan, always gluten- and dairy-free and always work out well, but haven’t had chance to do this one, I wanted to get it out to you as soon as possible after my turmeric post.

Hanna is about to publish her first cookbook of healthy recipes in early 2017, do look out for it and have a look at her blog.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Walnut & Banana Smoothie with Raw Chocolate Mulberry Chips

This is a really thick smoothie – you will definitely need a spoon! – so feel free to adjust the amount of liquid if you prefer it thinner. It is intended as a meal replacement.

image

Walnuts are a powerhouse of nutrients: protein, Vitamin E, B vitamins, healthy oils, fibre – good for the brain, good for the heart. Apricots contain iron and Vitamin A while Romaine, Quinoa, Sunflower and Hemp Seeds are also good sources of protein, Banana has potassium – also good for your heart – and Cacao, well, what doesn’t it have and what’s not to like?!

All ingredients are organic where possible.

Ingredients

Small Banana

4-5 Organic Dried Apricots, rinsed

1 Tbsp Quinoa Flakes

3 Large Romaine Leaves, washed and chopped

1 Tbsp Sunflower Seeds

1 Tbsp Raw Hemp Seeds*

1 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder *

Handful Walnut Pieces or Halves

1 Tbsp Dried Mulberries*

1 Tbsp Raw Chocolate Mulberry Chips* to sprinkle on top

1 Small Glass Fresh Apple Juice + some filtered water if you want it a little thinner

Blend all except the extra Raw Chocolate Mulberry Chips, then sprinkle them on top. Sit back, relax and savour this raw chocolate smooth sensation!

This is for you, K! 😉

*from The Raw Chocolate Company

Copyright: Chris McGowan