Chia Seeds

Chocolate Chilli Overnight Oats

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I love overnight oats because they're quick and easy to make, are super versatile and you can take them on the go with you when you're pressed for time!

Now that the weather is cooling down I like to keep my internal body temperature warm by using ingredients that help keep my internal fire going. This recipe is filled with super boosted medicinal foods which support a healthy immune system to keep the seasonal colds at bay.

The use of cayenne pepper in this recipe is to activate the healing benefits of the turmeric while also making you feel all warm and tingly inside. Turmeric is a superfood root which is dried and powdered, the benefits of using it are numerous. For me the most important thing is that it reduces inflammation in the body. Inflammation is your body's response to injury which is great! However, our modern diets and lifestyles of eating highly processed sugars and dairy, drinking alcohol, feeling stressed etc can also cause inflammation in the body. Therefore by adding turmeric to our diets we can aid our bodies by reducing it's workload. It's not a cure all and it also helps to be more mindful of what we fuel our bodies with, both nutritionally and mentally.

Cacao is also a very powerful antioxidant, high in magnesium, which helps relax our muscles, hence why women crave chocolate when they are about to start their cycle. Please make sure that you use good quality raw cacao powder for this recipe as nutritionally it makes a big difference. Most cocoa powder you find in your local supermarket has been heated at very high temperatures which kills a lot of the nutrients. It is more expensive but a little goes a long way with so it's worth investing in some as it will last quite some time.

If you don't have all the ingredients don't worry, get creative and substitute some or leave others out. Or better yet why not try your hand at making your very own signature version?!

Ingredients
(Makes 1 large serving or 2 smaller servings)

  • 3 Tbs chia seeds
  • 3 Tbs rolled oats
  • 1 Tbs almond meal
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbs goji berries
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 Tbs cacao nibs
  • 1/2 Tbs coconut flakes
  • 1.5 cup non dairy milk (I used sunflower seed milk)
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Method

Mix everything into a bowl or jar using a fork, making sure it's all well combined. Place in the fridge overnight or for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. Enjoy! *This will last in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Refreshing Rose Petal Sharbat

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The summer has definitely arrived here in Doha with temperatures hitting the high 40s and even 50 last week!! So a great alternative to cooling yourself down in the summer heat, apart from blasting your air conditioning on full blast, which I detest, is by making a sharbat!

Sharbat is an aromatic syrup which is diluted with water and ice, very similar to cordial, and made either from fruits, herbs, vegetables or flowers. This age old Persian answer to the sweltering hot summer months, cools you down from the inside out! It also is known to help improve hydration and is a good source of antioxidants. You can have it plain with water and ice or to get the antioxidant effect, add in some chia seeds. The traditional seeds which are used in sharbat are basil seeds, which are very similar to chia seeds so I decided to use what I had on hand.

Ingredients (serves 10)

1 cup coconut sugar or any sweetener of your choice

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup rose petals (you can also use rose water instead)

splash of rose water

1 lime

Optional: chia seeds (about 2 teaspoons per glass)

cucumber slices

Sharbat ingredients 1


Bring the water to a boil in a pot.

Then add the coconut sugar, stirring constantly, until it dissolves.

Reduce the heat and add the rose petals and rose water and let simmer for a couple of minutes.

Remove from heat and let the syrup cool down completely. I put mine in the fridge to speed up the process.

Once the syrup has cooled down, pour about 1/3 of a cup of syrup per glass, then add cold water, ice cubes, squeeze of fresh lime and 2 teaspoons of chia seeds.

OR you can make a big jug of this to share, and add in some cucumber slices or watermelon.

Stir it all up and enjoy this refreshing aromatic summer drink!

NB: you can save any left over syrup in a bottle in the fridge for up to a week.

Meat or Beet Burgers

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I made these juice pulp burgers when I was still in London and decided to post the recipe up as I had a lot of people ask me how to make them. I was inspired by  The Whole Pantry App, and would recommend buying this app if you haven't already, not only is it filled with amazing healthy and delicious recipes, there are also a bunch of very insightful articles, and the proceeds go to charity!

So if you've been juicing a lot of beetroot lately, or if you just want to try these out and have a beetroot juice as an added benefit give this a go. I had made a batch of beetroot, apple, carrot and ginger juice earlier in the morning and saved the pulp in the fridge so that I could have these for lunch. To be honest I didn't know what to expect and was quite dubious so I invited my neighbour Caroline (who I miss dearly) over to try out with me and we were both very pleasantly surprised!

Ingredients (Makes 4)

1/2 onion - diced handful of fresh parsley - chopped roughly 1 clove garlic - minced 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon paprika 5 tablespoons ground chia seeds 1/2 cup water

Juice pulp of: 2 medium beetroot 2 carrots 1 apple small piece of ginger

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Squeeze the pulp over a sieve to remove any extra juice.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well, making sure the chia seeds are mixed in evenly.

Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture for each burger and shape the patties with your hands.

Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat.

Leave them bake for approximately 50 mins, turning them over half way through.

Remove them from the oven when done and serve with a minty yoghurt sauce, a bun or a green salad.

Enjoy!

Juice Pulp Gluten Free Muffins

Juice pulp muffin

I posted a video on our Instagram page (@vegetariantreehouse) of me making some juice yesterday morning and a friend posted a comment asking whether I do anything with the left over juice pulp. The answer was yes, I've made a number of things with it including hummus inspired dips, soups, veggie burgers (watch this space I have a recipe coming soon), and crackers. Since the pulp has a lot of nutrients and fibre in it it's a real shame to let it go to waste, so if you don't have time to make something with it immediately after making your morning juice just store it in the fridge, and it should keep for a couple of days. His question got me thinking about what else I could do with the pulp I had just saved from my morning juice and so I started researching and came across this lovely recipe. I decided to give it a go with the ingredients I had on hand at home, and since I'm packing up the flat at the moment in preparation for the big move to Doha on Friday I improvised a bit.

The pulp I used was from a orange, carrot, apple, ginger, and parsley juice, I sifted through it to get as much of the parsley out as possible. So here is the recipe and I hope you try it out next time you make a juice. If you want to give the muffins a go and don't have juice pulp just grate some carrot, apple and ginger and leave out the orange and parsley!

Ingredients (makes 12)

2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I made my own, see recipe below) 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1 tablespoon cinnamon 3/4 cup sunflower seeds 1/2 cup chopped raisins (or whatever dried fruit you have on hand) 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds Filtered water 2 cups unsweetened soya milk (or non dairy milk of your choice) 1 teaspoon vanilla (fresh from the pod or extract) 1 1/2 cups juice pulp (or grated fruit) 2 tablespoons date syrup (or sweetener of your choice)

My Improvised Gluten Free Flour Recipe

Blend 2 cups quinoa flakes until it becomes a flour like consistency. Then add 2 tablespoons coconut flour, and 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour to it. The End.

So back to the muffin recipe...

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius. Grease the muffin tins, I would not recommend using muffin cups as I did because the muffins stick to the paper! Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl and add the sunflower seeds and raisins. In a separate bowl mix the chia seeds with about half a cup of hot water, stir well and add the soya milk, date syrup, and vanilla. Then add the fruit pulp and another half cup of water, and mix well for a couple of minutes. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix together. Then spoon the batter into the muffin tins, place in the oven and leave to bake for about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a metal rack. Enjoy!

Green Juicie and Chia Seed "Pudding"

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This is a great breakfast packed with super foods which will help wake you up and get you through an action packed morning with a lot of chia power! A juicie is what I like to call a mix between a juice and a smoothie, I normally make them when I want a smoothie but don't want chunky bits of fibre, for instance when I'm using kale. The chia "pudding" is packed full of goodness, chia seeds are a great source of protein, and a little goes a long way. Coconuts work wonders on your immune system with antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, to name a few. And goji berries are again a great source of protein, Vitamin C, fibre, iron and antioxidants. You can replace the water with almond/soy/hemp milk if you like but since I used almond milk in the juicie I thought it may be too heavy to have in both.

Please Note: Items marked with * suggest using organic products if possible.

Chia "Pudding" Ingredients (serves 1)

2 tablespoons chia seeds* 1 1/2 teaspoons goji berries* 1 tablespoon dried coconut chips* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder 1/2 cup of filtered water

Place the chia seeds and cinnamon powder in a bowl/cup and pour the 1/2 cup of water over them and stir. Then add the goji berries and coconut chips, and set aside while you make your green juicie.

Green Juicie Ingredients (serves 1)

4 stems of kale * 1 piece of ginger (to your taste preference) 1 apple* (I used Braeburn) 1/4 avocado 1/2 cup blueberries* 1/2 cup almond milk Scoop of green superfood powder of your choice (optional) 1/2 teaspoon edible dried rose petals (optional)

Juice the kale, ginger, and apple. Then add the blueberries, avocado, almond milk, and green superfood powder (optional) to the juice and blitz them with a handheld/regular blender. Sprinkle the dried rose petals on top and enjoy the mood enhancing aromas with every sip!

The Best Juice...Ever!

I just made this juice and would recommend it to anyone with a juicer. It was so good that I didn't even have a chance to take a photo of it!

I would recommend using organic ingredients if you can get a hold of them.

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 fennel bulb 1/2 box of blueberries 2 small apples (I like to use Braeburn) 1 small bunch of basil (leaves and stems) Ginger to taste (I used a big chunk) 1 teaspoon linseeds/chia seeds/cinnamon (optional)

Cut the fennel, and apples into large chunks and put them in the juicer. Then add the blueberries, ginger and basil. Sprinkle some linseeds/chia seeds/cinnamon on top for an extra nutritional kick. Enjoy xx