Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding

PS Chia

Fall is my favourite season. It’s filled with all of the things that I love the most – scarves, yummy candles, warm spices, roots veggies, and plenty of tea. I love sitting on the front porch in the early morning or late evening when the air is fresh and crisp.

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I also love this season for its overabundance of all things pumpkin spice.

Although, there is one pumpkin spice thing that I don’t particularly like. An overwhelmingly sweet beverage mixed with coffee. Your body doesn’t feel very festive after drinking 16oz of liquid that contains 50g of sugar and 150mg of caffeine. Don’t worry though, I promise that my pumpkin spice recipe doesn’t have any refined sugar or preservatives like potassium sorbate. You can consume a full serving without putting your body into a pre-diabetic state. Chia pudding has plenty of protein and healthy fat to support blood sugar levels and keep you feeling warm and cozy.

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Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding – vegan, GF, paleo, refined sugar-free
Serves: 5-6

INGREDIENTS


1 can (400mL/13.5oz) full-fat coconut milk
1 cup pumpkin purée
3/4 cup water
1 large ripe banana
8-10 drops stevia
2 tbsp. raw honey or maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. whole chia seeds

METHOD


 Add all of the above ingredients except for the chia into a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.

In a 1 litre glass jar, add the liquid and chia seeds. Stir the chia seeds into the liquid really well and seal the jar with its lid.

Store the jar in the fridge and allow the mixture to thicken overnight. Its a good idea to stir the mixture a few times in between to assure an even consistency.


Free-Range Chicken & Broccoli Bowl

This has been my go-to meal lately! It’s perfectly balanced with the three macronutrients of healthy fat, carbohydrates, and lean protein. I’ve also been making mini versions for post-workout snacks. It’s totally something that you can prepare in large batches and put together when you’re ready to eat (I love that).

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The chicken featured in the photo is this brand* (below photo). It’s a Canadian company that has a line of free-range and grass-fed products. I’ve been really happy with the chicken burgers, as they don’t contain any questionable ingredients or breading of any kind. In my opinion, it is a convenient, healthy, and sustainable product. Although, you can go ahead and use another organic or free-range chicken from a local farm or health food store. Please do your best to avoid the conventionally raised options at the grocery store. Simply because it is not a health promoting food. Those animals are not humanely cared for and often live in fear, they are fed grains (which animals like cows and chickens are not naturally suppose to eat btw) and are also fed other animals (a.k.a animal by-products). It’s all just kind of gross. I’m a supporter of local farms that let animals roam and graze. I support hunters that take the time to connect with their food from start to finish. We need more connection to our food, especially those of us who consume animal protein.

*This is not a sponsored post, I’m just a fan of the product :)

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I’ve had a revelation about broccoli.

You see, during the last four years of my life I’ve been steaming broccoli. I should clarify, I’ve been over steaming broccoli. I’ve been creating a dungy mushy mess of a vegetable.

Well not anymore! Sautéing is my new favourite way to cook veggies. It leaves them slightly crisp, cooks faster, keeps more nutrients in (we like that), and tastes way better.

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Here it is.. the recipe. The one that I’ve been so in love with for the past two weeks. The easy to prepare, grain-free, yet totally satisfying bowl of goodness. So go read it.

NO.

Go make it.
Right now.

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Free-Range Chicken & Broccoli Bowl – paleo, gluten + grain-free
Serves 1

INGREDIENTS 


BOWL GOODIES
1 head of broccoli (about 2 cups)
2 cup kale, stems removed
1 Life Choices free-range chicken burger or an organic chicken breast (cooked)
1/2 large avocado, pit removed

DRESSING INGREDIENTS – it makes extra!
3 tbsp. avocado or olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. water
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. salt
Touch of pepper

METHOD


Begin by chopping the broccoli into florets and slicing or tearing the kale into bite sized pieces.

Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp. avocado oil or organic butter.
Add the broccoli and stir. Once the pan is heated (about 2min) add 2-3 tbsp. of water and reduce the temperature.
The water will cause steam to rise, at this point add the kale and cover with lid. Let the veggies cook until tender and bright in colour, about 4min. Add more water if veggies begin to stick.

While the veggies cook, mix-up the dressing! Add all of the dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until the parsley has disappeared and a lovely green dressing remains. Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge.

When the veggies are done, remove from the heat.
Pour 2 tbsp. of the dressing over the veggies, add salt to taste and mix.
Put the veggies into a bowl, top with chopped avocado and sliced chicken.

SO YUM!


The How-To: Soak Dates

Maybe you’re wondering why a recipe calls for “soaked dates”? Well, by soaking dates in water it allows them to soften. The softer the date is the easier it will incorporate into a recipe like a sauce or batter.

There are several varieties of dates available. I tend to stick with either Medjool or regular pitted dates. Medjool’s are already very soft and almost as sweet as caramel. They are also a touch more expensive than other varieties because they are harder to grow. You might be most familiar with the pitted dates seen below, as they are often sold in the baking isle of the grocery store. These are harder and less sweet than Medjool’s and definitely require soaking.

Fun fact: There are more than 200 varieties of dates!

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This may seem silly to some folks, but for those who have never had to soak dates for a recipe, here are the simple instructions.

Regular Soak

Add desired amount of dates into a bowl and cover completely with water.
Let the dates soak in water for at least 4hrs or overnight.

Quick Soak

Add desired amount of dates into a bowl and cover completely with boiling water.
Let the dates soak in water for at least 30min.

Then.. 

Drain the water from the dates and discard or use in smoothies.
Continue the recipe as instructed!