Coconut Dessert Chia Pudding with Raspberry Compote

Everyone loves chia pudding, especially delicious, decadent, dessert chia pudding!  I know you have been told since you were little that you couldn’t have pudding for breakfast but I am here to tell you that with this recipe it just isn’t true!

Coconut Chia Pudding 2

Chia seeds are such an amazing food!  They loaded with nutrients while staying calorically low, making them one of the world’s greatest superfoods.  They have enormous health benefits which is kind of ironic because they are so tiny in size.

To show you just how much of a superfood they are here are some fun facts about just one ounce (28g/2 tbsps) of chia seeds:

  • 137 calories
  • 11g of fiber
  • 4g of protein
  • 9g of fat (5 of which are omega 3s)
  • 1g digestible carbohydrate
  • While also having heavy amounts of calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.
  • And decent amount of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2.

Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants making them a great food to help fight against the production of free radicals in the body which leads to diseases like cancer.

They are high in fiber and expand in your stomach, helping to keep you full and your digestion on point.  The fiber in our favourite little seeds feeds the friendly bacteria in our gut which is incredibly important for our stomach and intestine health.

Did you know that chia seeds also have a decent amount of protein?  While also having the essential amino acids to help your body actually use the protein within the tiny seeds.  The protein content also lowers your appetite which make chia seeds great for weight loss!

Chia seeds are also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, especially if you are plant based and looking to keep a healthy body and mind.  Although be careful that chia seeds aren’t your only source of Omega-3’s as they do not supply any DHA which is the most important omega-3 fat.  So along with enjoying your delicious chia pudding, make sure to take a regular DHA supplement.

Coconut Chia Pudding 4

Now if anyone asks why you are eating “dessert” for breakfast, you can tell them how your delicious, creamy pudding is actually a nutrient dense superfood powerhouse, helping you stay full for long while keeping your body and mind at it’s best.

Coconut Dessert Chia Pudding with Raspberry Compote

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

CHIA PUDDING

  • 1.5 cups of full fat canned coconut milk (for a lighter pudding use lite canned coconut milk)
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup (to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp vanilla

RASPBERRY COMPOTE

  • 1 bag (350g) of frozen raspberries
  • 1-2 tbsps or the juice of medium lemon (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsps cornstarch
  • 3 tbsps cold water (to mix with the corn starch)

Directions

  1. Add the can of full fat coconut to a blender cup with the maple syrup, sea salt, and vanilla.  Blend on high for 30 seconds until it is a milky, creamy consistency with no chunks.
  2. Pour the liquid into a tupperware container and mix in the chia seeds slowly and evenly on the top of the liquid mixture.
  3. Whisk the chia seeds into the coconut mixture avoiding the chia seeds forming large clumps as they tend to do.  Make sure to thoroughly whisk the chia seeds so they are nicely mixed throughout.
  4. Place the lid tightly on the mixture and refrigerate overnight (for around 12 hours) so the chia seeds form into a pudding, they will absorb the liquid getting nice and fluffy creating a cross between a pudding and jello like consistency.
  5. For the raspberry compote, put the frozen raspberries in a pot and place on medium high heat.  Add in the lemon juice, brown sugar and 1/4 cup of water and gently stir the mixture as it starts to boil, making sure to nicely mix all the ingredients.
  6. Allow the mixture to boil for 3-5 minutes while you prepare the cornstarch mixture.  In a small bowl or cup, measure out the cornstarch and cold water, stir until it forms a cloudy liquid with no lumps.
  7. Take the raspberry mixture off the hot element and gently stir in the cornstarch mixture.  The mixture will begin to thicken up and stick to the back of your spoon (I recommend a wooden spoon), once it is this thick you can put it in a container and refrigerate it for a few hours, it will continue to thicken during these next few hours.
  8. In the morning you may serve yourself some chia pudding and raspberry compote for a decadent omega-3 rich breakfast treat or for dessert in the evening with your family and friends!

    Top the pudding with granola, banana slices, some berries and enjoy!

Coconut Chia Pudding 1

Vanilla Latté Protein Smoothie

Raise your hand if you’re a coffee lover, I know I am!  It is so comforting waking up in the morning to brew a nice cup of jo and start your day.  But is it good for you?  Caffeine is an addictive drug so surely it does not benefit your health… or does it?

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world and as it turns out making coffee a regular daily beverage has loads of benefits to your health.  Coffee has high levels of antioxidants and tons of beneficial nutrients which gives coffee drinkers a much lower risk of serious illness and diseases.

Most people fall in love with coffee during their college and university years in western culture because it can help people feel less tired, increasing their energy levels.  Coffee contains a stimulant called caffeine which is the most popular psychoactive drug in the world, meaning it changes your brain function (ie. mood, behaviour, cognition, and perception).  When caffeine enters your bloodstream and makes it way up to your brain it actually increases the amount of neurotransmitters firing (such as norepinephrine and dopamine) which improves various aspects of brain function including reaction time, energy levels, and memory.

Coffee drinkers also have a much lower risk of type 2 diabetes.  In many studies done including one from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) “the researchers found that the participants who increased their coffee intake by more than one cup a day (on average, an increase of 1.69 cups per day) over a 4-year period had an 11% lower type 2 diabetes risk over the subsequent 4 years, compared with people who did not change their intake”.  Other studies have shown an average of a 23% to 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Studies on coffee have also shown to lower risk of Parkinson’s disease and the stimulant caffeine in coffee also helps those who already have Parkinson’s disease control their movement.  Although it is important to note that those who drink decaf do not have a lower risk of Parkinson’s.

Research has shown that coffee drinkers have a 40% lower chance of developing liver cancer and for those who drink alcohol, coffee consumption can also lower the chances of liver disease by 22%.

Coffee has a ton of antioxidant properties.  In the standard western diet studies have shown that people get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables combined!  Decaf and regular also seem to have the same antioxidant levels.

So now you can enjoy this vanilla latté protein smoothie in the morning or before a workout and all the added benefits that coffee gives your body!

Vanilla Latté Protein Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegan vanilla protein powder (I use tropeka)
  • 1 tsp or tbsp of instant coffee (depending how strong you’d like it)
  • 1 cup oat milk or any other plant based milk you desire
  • 1 ripe banana (frozen for colder smoothie)
  • 5-6 ice cubes
  • 1 to 2 medjool dates to sweeten if you’d like (optional)

Directions

  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 10-15 seconds.  I use my ninja blender and it blends to a very creamy consistency.
  2. Enjoy in the morning or afternoon to give yourself a little boost of creamy deliciousness!

Cheesy Scrambled Tofu

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But how do you even cook tofu?  Isn’t it that giggly white block with no flavour?  Isn’t it linked to increased oestrogen levels which can lead to breast and ovarian cancers?  Doesn’t it cause “man boobs” in men?

I bet you have heard these myths about soy floating around but don’t be fooled, they could not be further from the truth.

Tofu is made out of soybeans and used regularly in asian cuisine.  It can soak up any flavours you give it and can take on many different forms mimicking your favourite foods (ie. scrambled eggs, omelets, cheesecake, smoothies, frittatas, quiches and more).  Tofu can be made to be delicious and it certainly is one of my top favourite foods.

Cheesy Tofu Scramble 3

In 1998 there was a study done on mice which made it seem as if there was a correlation between eating soy and developing cancer.  Although this was quickly proven to be false by many other following studies which actually proved that by consuming soy while having breast cancer actually improved the survival rates and reduced the chances of it coming back.  Soy also helps protect against initial breast cancer development, this being proven by Asian cultures who consume soy as a staple food in their diet while also having much lower rates of cancer than those in North America.

Another myth about soy phytoestrogens is that they cause men to develop breast tissue.  This rumor began because a man developed a rare case of breast swelling after drinking three quarts of soy milk everyday for six months.  When he stopped over consuming his soy drink, the problem resolved.  When people consume regular amounts of soy products such as tempeh, tofu, soy milk, and edamame it does not pose any harm to your body and especially has shown no signs of risk to men in their testosterone levels, estrogen levels, or sperm quality.

Other than being an extremely versatile food, eating tofu actually has tons of benefits for your health and body!

It is an excellent source of protein for vegans and vegetarians and is readily available in most countries around the world.  It actually provides all nine essential amino acids while also providing iron and calcium.  Manganese, selenium, phosphorus are other notable minerals in tofu that your body needs to properly function.

A 100g serving of tofu contains:

  • 73 kcal
  • 4.2g fat (0.5g of saturated fat)
  • 0.7g carbohydrate
  • 8.1g protein

It also protects against cancers, heart disease and osteoporosis when eaten as part of a balanced diet.  It contains no cholesterol and can be eaten in place of meat which contains unhealthy saturated fat and elevates bad cholesterol levels.

Tofu is a delicious way to start your day!  It has good proteins and fats to fill you up and is an excellent food to break your fast if practicing intermittent fasting, as it won’t spike your blood sugar levels and will properly satiate you.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and add it to your regular breakfast routine!

Cheesy Tofu Scramble

Cheesy Scrambled Tofu

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 block of medium firm tofu crumbled
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 to 4 tbsps plant based milk (oat, almond, cashew, rice, soya – I prefer oat)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp natural lemon juice

Directions

  1. Open tofu package and drain excess liquid.  Rinse tofu block and squeeze out excess water with paper towel.
  2. Crumble tofu block into a large non-stick frying pan until it resembles some large and small chunks like scrambled eggs on medium heat.  (I use a rock pan which is naturally non-stick and use a potato masher to mash my tofu block into large chunks instead of crumbling it).
  3. Heat up tofu for around 5 mins until it has released all excess liquid.  You may be able to see the water cook out of your tofu – this is natural.
  4. Add all spices, mustard, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice.  Stir everything until it is well blended into the scramble and takes on a very bright yellow colour, thanks to the delicious turmeric.
  5. Add as much plant based milk as necessary to make the tofu take on a fluffier scrambled egg appearance, add 1- 2 tbsp at a time, stirring in between until you reached your desired moisture.  You do not want your tofu scramble to look and taste dry or become too wet (where you can see the excess liquid surrounding the tofu).  Take your time to add the moisture added back into your scramble via the plant based milk.
  6. Cook for a few more minutes to ensure the plant milk is fully absorbed and everything is well blended and heated through.  I like to turn up the heat to med-high heat at the end for 2-3 minutes to let a curst develop on the bottom of my pan to mimic one you might get from scrambled eggs as I believe it complements the soft texture of the scramble.
  7. Serve with avocado toast, fruit, and coffee for a delicious, nutritious breakfast!

    Enjoy!

     

Golden Pinto Bean and Potato Soup

Beans are one of the healthiest foods on the planet and a wonderfully cheap source of fiber, protein, and vitamins that will keep you full and healthy.  There are a variety of different beans that you can add to your diet to help form protein and build muscle from the amino acids that they contain.  For this recipe, I chose to focus on pinto beans because of the delicious creamy texture that goes well in a soup and will keep you full throughout the day whilst getting all the added benefits that beans give you.

Pinto beans have a low GI which means that they don’t spike your blood sugar when you eat them.  They also contain a plethora of nutrients such as: molybdenum, folate, fiber, copper, phosphorus, manganese, protein, vitamin B1 & B6, magnesium and iron.  For 1 cup of super filling, fibrous beans they only contain 245 calories which is outstanding if you pair them with some rice and a large amount of hardy veggies.

Because of the high fiber content in pinto beans, they help reduce cholesterol levels which makes them any especially good choice for people with diabetes, insulin resistance, or hypoglycemia.  The soluble fiber in pinto beans also make them a great food to help relieve constipation and help prevent and reverse digestive disorders such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

The folate, magnesium, and potassium that beans contain help lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.  Folate on it’s own helps to lower levels of homocysteine in the blood which when high enhances the risk for heart attack, stroke, and other forms of heart disease.  The magnesium in the beans helps to improve the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients having beneficial cardiovascular effects.  As well, the potassium in pinto beans is super important to the muscles (including the heart), helping them to have an easier time contracting, contributing to a healthy heart.

All beans including pinto beans are a fantastic source of iron, an integral part of hemoglobin which transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the cells in the body contributing to a healthy metabolism and energy production (whfoods.com).

Beans are one of the healthiest foods on the planet and provide us with so many benefits while giving us a good source of protein, lots of nutrients and being relatively fat-free.  The American Heart Association recommends that everyone has 5 servings a week of legumes (1/2 cup is the recommended serving), while the NHS in the UK recommends 5 servings of fruit and veggies a day allowing beans to count towards those 5 a day, the Canadian Food Guide suggests 7-10 servings of fruit and veggies a day also allowing beans to contribute to that and Dr. Greger (my favourite plant based doctor) recommends 3 servings a day.  So if you aim for any of these recommendations you will be keeping your body full of soluble fiber and will be healthier for it!

Here is a link to this printable checklist made by Dr. Greger to make sure you are getting all the whole food vitamins and nutrients you need in your daily diet.

Check out the recipe below using pinto beans to boost the intake of legumes in your regular diet and stay warm in the winter!

Golden Pinto Bean and Potato Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1250g potatoes or 5-6 large russet or yellow potatoes with the skins on (peeled if you desire)
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 4 large carrots chopped
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tsp better than bouillon (vegan and reduced sodium)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • sprinkle of salt if desired
  •  

Directions

  1. Peel and dice red onion.
  2. Peel and mince garlic.  Sauté the onion and garlic in 1 inch of water (**Water-fry**see notes**) in a medium to large pot for around 5 minutes at medium to high heat until translucent and fragrant.
  3. Wash and chop potatoes into 1 inch cubes (peel if desired) and dice carrots.  No need to peel these veggies as long as they are washed really well.  Add them to the pot along with 4 cups of water and the tsp of better than bouillon.
  4. Add in the two cans of pinto beans.  I always strain and rinse my beans thoroughly, especially when they are from a can.
  5. Next you will add your spices: the turmeric and dried thyme.  Stir all ingredients really well.
  6. Let the soup cook for around 10-15 minutes on medium heat until the potatoes and carrots are fully cooked and tender (you are able to pierce them easily with a fork).
  7. Once the soup is fully cooked you my reduce it to a simmer or the warming setting to keep it warm mixing in the nutritional yeast and a bit of salt if desired.  **If you are trying to reduce your salt intake then only add salt to the top of your food when it is already put in your personal bowl as you mainly taste the salt on the top of your food.**
  8. Serve warm with rustic sour dough bread and enjoy!

    INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS:

    • If your have an instant pot you may use the sauté setting to water-fry your diced red onions and minced garlic for 5 minutes in 1/2 cup of water until translucent and fragrant.
    • Then chop, peel and dice the remaining ingredients as the above recipe describes and add it into the instant pot.
    • Add the remaining ingredients to the instant pot EXCEPT the nutritional yeast and salt.
    • Set the instant pot to 9 minutes on manual and close the knob on the top of the pot to sealing.
    • Once fully cooked (the timer is complete) the instant pot will start releasing the pressure naturally.  Allow it to do so for 10 minutes then switch the knob on the top to venting.  This will allow the pot to release any steam that has not escaped the pot yet.
    • Take off the lid and mix in the nutritional yeast.

    Serve warm with rustic sour dough bread and enjoy!

    **Water-fry**  Water-frying means to fry your food with water instead of oil.  Place 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the non-stick pan or rock pan (non-stick or rock pans are best for this) and cook as usual.  This will allow your food to fry the same as usual without the greasiness and non-nutritious calories that oil provides.

Lean Green Burrito Bowl

Lean Green Burrito Bowl

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped red, yellow or orange pepper
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 6-8 medium sized white mushrooms or button mushrooms
  • 2 medium zucchinis roughly chopped (larger chunks)
  • 1 can of pinto beans (can sub for kidney or black beans if desired)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup corn (optional)
  • 1 cup of uncooked brown parboiled rice
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 romaine hearts chopped into bite sized pieces (to form your salad base)
  • vegan cheese, cheese sauce or any other type of cheese you enjoy
  • 1 lime
  • 1 ripe avocado (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley (for topping)

Directions

  1. Cook your rice in your instant pot, rice cooker, microwave or on the stove as it will take a while to cook.
  2. Chop the romaine hearts, 1 per bowl or how ever much chopped romaine fills up half your bowl as this is a very lean green burrito bowl (you will want to use a bowl that is larger than a cereal bowl, a shallow bowl more suited for buddha bowls and salads).
  3. Water-fry your chopped onions and minced garlic on medium-high heat until translucent and fragrant.  **See notes**
  4. Add in your red pepper and sauté in a small amount of water for a few minutes until tender.
  5. Wash your canned beans and add them into your pan.  Also add chopped mushrooms, zucchinis, corn, and spices.  Mix well.
  6. Allow burrito mixture a few minutes to cook together allowing flavours to combine.
  7. Mash 1 ripe avocado in small bowl or cup.
  8. Fill each burrito bowl with 1/2 cup to 1 cup of cooked rice at this time.  Add 1 to 2 cups of burrito mixture to each bowl.  Squeeze juice from 1/4 to 1/2 lime into your bowl.  Top with mashed avocado, chopped fresh parsley, and vegan cheese (if you are using any).
  9. Enjoy!

    **Water-fry**  Water-frying means to fry your food with water instead of oil.  Place 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the non-stick pan or rock pan (non-stick or rock pans are best for this) and cook as usual.  This will allow your food to fry the same as usual without the greasiness and non-nutritious calories that oil provides.