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

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Frozen Mango & Passionfruit Smoothie – yum!

29401088_UnknownI love mango, all smooth, exotic and tangy with a delicate aroma, and I adore passionfruit. It doesn’t look up to much, all wrinkly, dark and swarthy, and when you slice it open, what do you get? No juicy flesh, just a spoonful of less-than-appetising crunchy seeds covered in what looks like yellow frogspawn! But the smell and the flavour are gorgeous, and they are so good for you, so putting them together in a breakfast smoothie was a no-brainer, why hadn’t I thought of it before? This particular week we’d found a pack of four in the supermarket greatly reduced as they were close to their use-by date, so I used two of them in this smoothie.

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It was a sunny morning and looked like it was going to be a hot day, I wanted something fruity and refreshing for breakfast, but that would fill me up as well.

This smoothie ticks all the boxes (that one’s for my husband who hates buzzwords and phrases!), plus it’s lovely and creamy and smells wonderful too.  It has lots of nutrients: vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, protein, healthy fats (omega oils), vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin E, dietary fibre and lots lots more. The baobab powder has a lightly citrusy taste and adds more vitamins and minerals – it has 6x more Vitamin C than an orange. It promotes a strong immune system, healthy skin and a healthy gut. The Aduna brand supports small African businesses harvesting and exporting baobab, many of them run by women.

Ingredients

Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, can be nutfree if you use seed, rice or soya milk but it will taste a little different.

Organic where possible.

All amounts are very approximate.

2 Tbsps Oats

1 Small Mango, chopped and frozen

2 Passionfruit, scooped out, but save half of one for serving

1 Tbsp freshly-ground Golden Linseeds

Glass of chilled Homemade Almond Milk*, more or less depending on how thick you want it

1 Tbsp freshly Ground Almonds

1 Tsp Baobab Powder **

 Blend everything except one half of a passionfruit, pour into a glass and top with remaining passionfruit seeds.

Serve and enjoy 😊

*Nut & Seed Milks & Smoothie Recipes

**Aduna

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

The Look, No Banana! Mango Smoothie Bowl

imageI nearly always start a smoothie wth a banana. I like that it thickens the smoothie but also that it has so many healthy nutrients in one ingredient and it is so satisfying.

Today, however, I went for something different: dried mango. I love mango, it is my favourite fruit: I love the juiciness, the colour and most of all the smell! But it is difficult to find them here, they are nearly always expensive and unripe.

Like avocados, they have a tendency to go off before they ripen and so when I get the urge for mango, I generally turn to the dried strips. Still organic, but not so juicy – or so messy! They take a little soaking first, so you may want to soak them in a little fresh apple juice or with the chia seeds and quinoa flakes in the coconut water for half an hour while you do something else. (This is extra yummy if you use frozen mango).

Mangoes are a good source of dietary fibre, B6, Folate, Vitamins A, C and K (necessary for bone health), and Potassium. Quinoa is a complete protein, while chia seeds are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and essential omega fats (see also 3 Cheers for Chias! for more info on these amazing seeds plus further breakfast bowl recipes). Brazil nuts contain selenium, which some people are deficient in. (See Love Brazils? Beware Potential Selenium Overload! to read more about the symptoms of selenium deficiency and also the dangers of over-consumption).

This isn’t a particularly arty breakfast bowl, but it is simple and healthy.

All ingredients are organic, vegan and gluten-free.

Ingredients

1 Cup Dried Mango, chopped

1 Tbsp Quinoa Flakes

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds*

3 Brazil Nuts

1 Medium Glass Chi Coconut Water

Soak the above for about 30 minutes in the blender.

Blend and pour into a bowl and top with sliced apple and a sprinkling of dried coconut. 

Some smooth jazz today with some stunning natural photography.

(Ps If you’re reading this via email, you’ll have to go onto the blog to play the video)

Have a great day!

*http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Nana Rhys Cream with Mango, Cacao & Peanut Butter

imageThis dessert is named after our 13 year old friend, Rhys, who has been visiting while his military dad is away ‘on manouevres’ (we all think he’s having a whale of a time in the sun, really).

Rhys is at that age when boys just sprout every other day and every time you look in the fridge, the contents have not-so-mysteriously evaporated!

So having restocked since he was here the other day, we decided on chilli, rice and salad for dinner, making extra of course (sorry, didn’t think to take a photo before it was hoovered up!) Rhys had too big platefuls, reneging on a third because I had promised home-made dairy-free nice-cream if he still had room. Foolishly, I was convinced this time we would fill him up! He looked up from his empty plate, smiling with the face of a choir boy and asked if he could still have dessert.

We played it by ear as always, guessing as to quantities amd allowing Rhys to ok the ingredients. At first, it came out a bit like a smoothie, then we added frozen mango, whizzed it up again and put it in the freezer for an hour, which thickened it up but didn’t freeze it solid. It was perfect.

Ingredients

(All organic except for the maple syrup)

3-4 Frozen Ripe Bananas, sliced, depending on size

1 1/2 Cups Frozen Mango Pieces

2 Cups Coconut Milk

3 Tbsps Raw Chocolate Company Cacao Powder

1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1 Dsp Meridian Palm Oil-free, sugar-free Peanut Butter

Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt

 Blend on high until smooth, but don’t overdo it. Pour into a freezer-proof box and freeze about an hour. If it’s half and half after that time, pour into a bowl and stir a couple of times.

Serve with toppings of your choice.

We used:

Coarsely chopped Almonds, Grated Raw Chocolate Company Mint Chocolate bar, Organic Desiccated Coconut

There was too much to all fit in the freezer box, so each of the three of us had a small glass dish of the smoothie left over in the blender as a taster while we waited for the real McCoy! Rhys had 3 servings altogether.

I think it passed muster.

(Ps There are more Raw Chocolate Recipes here).

http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Dipped Naked Tiger Nut, Mango & Orange Treats

I recently reviewed the new Naked Organic Peeled Tiger Nuts from The Tiger Nut Company (see here) and wrote that I’d post a recipe using the resulting finer, smoother Tiger Nut Milk pulp. I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath, so here it is!

These fruit balls are packed with energy, protein, essential healthy fats, vitamins and minerals and are moist and tasty with a distinct chocolatey orange flavour.

All ingredients are organic, vegan and gluten-free. All measurements are approximate.

Ingredients

1 Cup Naked Tiger Nut Milk Pulp

1 Cup Dried Mango Pieces + 1/4 Cup Goji Berries*

Both soaked in the juice of 1 small orange

1/4 Cup Golden Linseeds/Flaxseeds, partially ground

1/2 Tbsp Chia Seeds,* very lightly moistened

2 Tbsps Melted Raw Cacao Butter*

2-3 Squares Mini Orange & Goji Raw Chocolate,* grated

****

Pulse and process all the above for a few seconds until it comes together.

Take pieces of the mix and roll them into balls.

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Melt the rest of the mini bar of Raw Orange & Goji Chocolate in a bowl over hot but not boiling water, with 1 Tsp of solid Raw Cacao Butter

Dip the fruit balls in the melted chocolate and place in the fridge to set.

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The pulp from the Naked Tiger Nuts makes a much finer, smoother texture than the original Organic Unpeeled Tiger Nuts when making energy balls.

Ps See also my Page of Tiger Nut Recipes

*http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan