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Blueberry Orange Chia Pudding

Make-ahead breakfasts are awesome. Imagine opening your fridge and having blueberry orange chia pudding waiting for you in the morning… it will make you smile.
blueberry orange chia pudding

I’m like a pusher when it comes to chia pudding. I make everyone try it. And, most of them end up loving it. I’m not going to lie though… there are still a few souls I’m trying to win over, but I’m not giving up. I’ve been developing chia puddings in tons of different flavors. And, this blueberry orange chia pudding recipe won over someone who I never thought would ever eat chia pudding. I just love it when stuff like this happens!

I was hosting my book club at my apartment one night. And, I, not surprisingly, used this as an event to test out recipes on unsuspecting people. I made 8 cute little jars of this chia pudding and had them at the ready in my fridge. When book club was over and everyone was gone, I opened the fridge and realized that I had never served the chia puddings — I had intended them to be parting gifts.

Ugh. I cannot even tell you how often I leave food in the fridge and forget to serve it.

That’s why I should never be allowed to drink even one glass of wine while I’m entertaining… nah… that’s not going to happen…

Anyway, I still had all of these lovely blueberry orange chia pudding jars.

The next night I had a few friends over before a meeting we needed to attend. I passed out a few jars. One friend looked at it and at me like I was crazy and said she would take her jar with her to the meeting. I knew this meant she would probably throw it out when I wasn’t looking. Then, I saw her taste it. And a little while into the meeting, the jar was empty. To me, that was a great compliment.

That was 2 jars down.

Confession: I ate the rest of them myself. All of them. Over the next week. Okay, maybe I gave one away. Ugh. Sometimes I can be such a pig…

And, here’s my most popular chia pudding recipe: Birthday Cake Chia Pudding.

blueberry orange chia pudding

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now… let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

blueberry orange chia pudding

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this blueberry orange chia pudding recipe:

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids,and fiber. And, because they are so high in antioxidants, they help keep your skin looking younger. They help optimize both your digestive system and your cardiovascular system.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. I like to use full-fat canned coconut milk for this chia pudding.

Pure maple syrup contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body (think inflammatory bowel syndrome or heart disease). It also contains zinc, calcium, and magnesium. It’s much lower on the glycemic scale than traditional sugar. Whenever possible, use a darker (grade B) syrup because the nutritional composition is better than that of lighter syrups.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Baobab is a superfood that is a powder made from an African fruit. This amazing superfood has tons of vitamin C to boost your immune system and it’s great for energy. Sometimes I put some in my water bottle to keep my hydrated throughout the day. It’s easy to put a scoop in anything for a pick-me-up.

Blueberries are filled with antioxidants and have been shown to help fight cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. In some circles, they are known as “longevity berries.”

Oranges will help boost your levels of vitamins A, B and C. In Chinese medicine, oranges have been used for many years to help coughs, colds and anorexia. Lately, oranges have been widely touted for their ability to help heal colon cancer. I peel my oranges and lay the rinds in the sun to dry, and save them for tea or for cooking because the orange rinds are an actual Chinese herb. I dry out the peels of oranges, tangerines, clementines… whatever I have. Dried tangerine peel, or “chen pi”, as it’s known in Chinese medicine, is one of the greatest and most easily accessible herbs around. It’s especially good for digestive issues like abdominal discomfort, distention, fullness, bloating, belching, and nausea. It’s also great if you have a cough with a heavy or stuffy chest.

blueberry orange chia pudding

If you make this blueberry orange chia pudding, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Blueberry Orange Chia Pudding
Author: 
Recipe type: make-ahead, superfoods, chia seeds
Cuisine: breakfast, pudding, parfait
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Make this recipe the night before and when you open your fridge in the morning it will be waiting for you... this will make you smile.
Ingredients
  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup plus 1Tbs chia seeds
  • 4 tsp maca root powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp baobab powder (optional)
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • flesh or ½ a large orange
  • zest of half a large orange, to sprinkle on top
Instructions
  1. In a large mason jar with a lid, or a large container with a lid, shake up the coconut milk, vanilla, maple syrup, chia seeds, maca root, and baobab.
  2. Shake, shake, shake... until it's all combined really well.
  3. Put the blueberries and the juice and the orange flesh in a blender.
  4. Whiz it up shortly until broken down and combined, but not so much that it's watery.
  5. Divide the blueberry mixture among the bottoms of several small jars with lids (I used 8 really small mason jars).
  6. Pour the chia seed mixture evenly on top of the blueberry mixture.
  7. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Enjoy!

blueberry orange chia pudding collage

Birthday Cake Chia Pudding

birthday cake chia pudding

Do you have any descriptive food words that make your mouth water? For me, if I see the words “birthday cake” or “cake batter” I have kind of a drooling, mouth watering response. I don’t know what it is about those words, but for me, when I see them, I have to have whatever it is immediately. So, when I started seeing recipes for chia puddings that were described this way, I was all in. I have to give a big thank you to Macy at Paleo Crumbs because her awesome recipe was the one that made me run to the store to buy the ingredients and make this birthday cake chia pudding.

I don’t know what mornings are like in your house, but here in my house we are kind of laid back. It wasn’t always that way. We used to run around, grab whatever we could to eat, shower, dress, and leave as quickly as possible to begin our day. It was that way for many years. Then we moved to the city. And this part of our lives magically slowed down. Now, we are able to get up, go to the park with the dogs, have an actual real conversation, and spend time together before anyone has to leave. So, oftentimes I will cook a big breakfast for us. This birthday cake chia pudding, is so good, that it can even compete with a great avocado toast or delicious eggy type breakfast, but there’s absolutely no cooking involved. The only labor here comes when you have to shake the jar!

I’ve always been a fan of chia pudding. I like that rice pudding-like texture. I love that I can customize it with whatever flavor I’m feeling at that particular moment. I also love that it is so easy to make and that it can be made way in advance. Yes, chia pudding is an awesome invention.

Now, if I’m being totally honest, I’ll tell you that I love chia pudding, but my family is not quite as enamored with these yummy jars as I am. BUT, this birthday cake chia pudding has changed all that. As soon as I stuck a spoonful in Steve’s mouth, he was a convert. It’s really that good. And, it really is reminiscent of vanilla birthday cake. Especially if you top it with sprinkles…

If you want to try another great simple creation, try my recipe for Turmeric Chia Pudding.

birthday cake chia puddingbirthday cake chia pudding

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this recipe for birthday cake chia pudding:

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids,and fiber. And, because they are so high in antioxidants, they help keep your skin looking younger. They help optimize both your digestive system and your cardiovascular system.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. I like to use full-fat canned coconut milk for this chia pudding.

Pure maple syrup contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body (think inflammatory bowel syndrome or heart disease). It also contains zinc, calcium, and magnesium. It’s much lower on the glycemic scale than traditional sugar. Whenever possible, use a darker (grade B) syrup because the nutritional composition is better than that of lighter syrups.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Baobab is a superfood that is a powder made from an African fruit. This amazing superfood has tons of vitamin C to boost your immune system and it’s great for energy. Sometimes I put some in my water bottle to keep my hydrated throughout the day. It’s easy to put a scoop in anything for a pick-me-up.

birthday cake chia pudding

Birthday Cake Chia Pudding
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, simple, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, make ahead, chia pudding
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: Paleo Crumbs
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Happy birthday to you! This quick, easy, healing, make-ahead breakfast will make you smile from ear to ear!
Ingredients
  • 1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 4-1/2 Tbs chia seeds
  • 1/1/2 tsp maca root powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp baobab powder (optional)
  • Fruit-sweetened sprinkles (for topping)
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a mason jar.
  2. Cover.
  3. Shake it up really well (really... dance around with it and work up a good sweat)
  4. Put it in the fridge overnight.
  5. Scoop into individual bowls in the morning.
  6. Top with sprinkles and enjoy.

birthday cake chia pudding

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

peanut butter banana oatmeal

Last week here in New York we were freezing our tootsies off. It was so cold outside! And, unfortunately, it was really cold inside our apartment as well. If you’ve ever lived in an old pre-war apartment, you know the “Three Little Bears” type of frustration with the heat.  It’s often too hot or too cold. I have to say, too cold is most often easier to deal with than too hot… but last week we had to break out every blanket we had to stay warm. So, I did something to make me feel nice and toasty — from the inside-out — I made a big batch of peanut butter banana oatmeal. You just can’t hate the cold while you are eating this…

You can make this oatmeal with quinoa or with a grain-free blend if you prefer. On this cold, snowy, day, I went for the real thing and it was soooooooo good. Oftentimes, if I’m making a flavored type of oatmeal, I will make it the night before in my slow cooker. Honestly, I haven’t cooked a pot of oatmeal on the stove in a really long time, but this was so easy and so delicious, I won’t wait very long to make it again.

I used what I had in my fridge and pantry, but this is so easily customizable that I want you to just have fun with it. Go into your fridge and your pantry and remove everything that might taste good on a hot bowl of oats. Go ahead… I’m waiting…
Now, pick several of these things that you think will compliment each other. Now, grab some honey or maple syrup. Now, you are ready to cook your oats.

The recipe below shows you what I used and, I will tell you, it was truly awesome. Yup, this combo is a keeper!

For another great warming breakfast try my recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes!

peanut butter banana oatmealpeanut butter banana oatmeal

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this peanut butter banana oatmeal:

Oats are great for the digestive system — they make you feel better if you are feeling bloated or have indigestion. This ancient grain can also help reduce some types of swelling in the body and, a little known tidbit: they can be eaten to help stop lactation.

Bananas are good for your intestines (an old Asian remedy was to eat a banana every day to relieve hemorrhoids) and your lungs, and they even help relieve the effects of overindulging in alcohol.

Walnuts are actually a Chinese herb (He Tao Ren). They are used for some knee and back pain, some chronic coughs and for chronic constipation. These nuts are also good for infertility and sexual dysfunctions, and they have been used to help people with kidney stones.

Peanuts, contrary to what some believe, are actually good for many things in your body. I don’t often let myself eat them because they sometimes contain mold and it’s really hard to find reasonably priced organic healthy peanuts. But, these popular nuts are great for lessening edema; they act like a diuretic. They can also help you if you have insomnia or if you are breast feeding. An old-time remedy is to made peanut tea and drink it for bed to promote sleep. And, peanut shells used to be used to help with high blood pressure. Try to buy organic peanut butter if you can — sometimes the ground these nuts grow in isn’t filled with the stuff you’d want to ingest.

Honey is a Chinese herb (Feng Mi). It’s used to boost energy, quiet coughs, and lessen constipation. It can even help with ulcers.

peanut butter banana oatmeal

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal
Author: 
Recipe type: oatmeal, hot cereal, breakfast
Cuisine: grains, gluten free, dairy free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
On the next cold day, make a bowl of this simple, healing oatmeal -- it will make you smile as it warms you from the inside - out!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup steel cut oats
  • 2 cups water
  • One banana, sliced
  • 1 tsp butter
  • ¼ cup raw honey, melted, or pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup organic peanut butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Cook the steel cut oats in the water until they are done (follow the package directions); mine took 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the butter on low heat in a small saute pan.
  3. Add the sliced banana, and stir until the banana starts to melt.
  4. Scoop the oatmeal into 2 bowls.
  5. Top with the melted bananas, melted peanut butter, honey or syrup, and the walnuts.
  6. Smile and enjoy!

peanut butter banana oatmeal

Raw Chocolate Pomegranate Tart

raw chocolate pomegranate tart

I was going to a friend’s house for dinner the other night and I wanted to bring a dessert. If you know me, you know that while I can cook just about anything, I am not a great baker. And that’s saying it very kindly… I’ve been known to burn slice and bake cookies. So, when I tell you that this raw chocolate pomegranate tart is the best dessert I ever made, that’s another way for saying this recipe is idiot-proof.

One of the reasons — and I can’t stress how important this reason is — that I was able to achieve such perfection with this dessert is because the original recipe is just genius. All of that genius-credit goes to Joscelyn at Wife Mama Foodie. I just love when I can take an existing recipe and have it come out perfect the first time, so a big thanks to you Jos!

Some people are fruity-dessert people. And some people are nutty-dessert people. I am a chocolate-dessert person. And if it’s a flourless, dense, rich, creamy, velvety chocolate dessert like this one… I’m all in.

The only downside to this tart is that because it’s healthy, I’m easily able to rationalize why I can and should eat WAY too much. I think it took me a maximum of 15 seconds to scarf down a good size slice… ugh.

Back to my friend’s dinner party — I brought this dessert. And it looked beautiful. Everyone expects whatever I bring to be delicious, so I was a little nervous because this was not something I could taste before I brought it there. Can I just say that this raw chocolate pomegranate tart is unbelievable! The chocolate filling is so creamy and fudgy and the pomegranate seeds are mixed into the filling AND they are shining pretty on top… it’s the perfect taste and texture, and it’s just so pretty!

I will be making this dessert for Thanksgiving too! Which is actually kind of laughable since my brother-in-law owns a bakery and always brings a ton of desserts… but, I rationalize that I can bring this because a) it’s a healthy option and b) he’s not a chocolate-dessert guy, so someone’s gotta bring it…

Anyway, if I haven’t convinced you to make this dessert yet, just trust me… please

And, if you are more of a fruity-dessert person, you should try my recipe for Paleo Blueberry Cobbler.

raw chocolate pomegranate tartraw chocolate pomegranate tart

Here are some of the ingredients that make this raw chocolate pomegranate tart a healthy dessert:

Raw cacao is a superfood. It is packed with magnesium, iron, zinc and other minerals. Not only is it packed with health benefits, but it actually has properties that help the body absorb nutrients better and it’s filled with antioxidants. Cacao can actually be translated as “food of the gods”… Raw cacao can help lower blood pressure, promote healthy heart function, improve digestion, and may even help increase the libido.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. The filling of this tart is made with coconut oil.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates.

Walnuts are actually a Chinese herb (He Tao Ren). They are used for some knee and back pain, some chronic coughs and for chronic constipation. These nuts are also good for infertility and sexual dysfunctions, and they have been used to help people with kidney stones.

Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranate seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence.

Pure maple syrup contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body (think inflammatory bowel syndrome or heart disease). It also contains zinc, calcium, and magnesium. It’s much lower on the glycemic scale than traditional sugar. Whenever possible, use a darker (grade B) syrup because the nutritional composition is better than that of lighter syrups.

raw chocolate pomegranate tart

Raw Chocolate Pomegranate Tart
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, chocolate, paleo, simple, tart
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Wife Mama Foodie
Serves: 8
 
This is the creamiest, richest, most decadent simple chocolate dessert around. And it's raw. And it's idiot-proof. And everyone loves it! Oh, and it's healthy!
Ingredients
  • For crust:
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • pinch of sea salt
  • For filling:
  • 1-1/2 cups raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup plus 2-Tbs pure maple syrup
  • ¾ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
  • For topping: an additional ¼ to ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
Instructions
  1. Make crust:
  2. Place dates, walnuts and salt in a food processor and process until the mixture is smooth and sticky.
  3. Press the mixture into a tart pan with a removable bottom. (I used a 9-in. round pan.)
  4. Place the crust in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
  5. Make filling:
  6. Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.
  7. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth it out.
  8. Sprinkle the top with pomegranate seeds.
  9. Place the tart in the refrigerator to set, and keep it there until you are ready to serve it.
  10. Slice and enjoy!

raw chocolate pomegranate tart

 

Grain-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

These grain-free peanut butter cookies will make you smile…

class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-7955″ src=”http://www.theresacookinmykitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/paleo-peanut-butter-cookies-vertical-stack-not-as-orange-4466.jpg” alt=”paleo peanut butter cookies” width=”667″ height=”1000″ />

In our house, dessert is a must. And this is because Steve thinks he has to have some kind of dessert after every dinner. I don’t really go this route. I mean, if I’m full from dinner, I don’t need dessert. But, I get that a lot of people are like Steve. These paleo peanut butter cookies are perfect — paleo, delicious, and they only have four ingredients!

Having a healthy dessert that can be grabbed in an instant is imperative. I say imperative because I’m not made of steel. If I don’t have a “safe” dessert available, he will bring in all sorts of crap, and depending on what it is, I might be tempted.  It’s beyond me how a man who is so smart can think that because a box says “healthy” or “natural” that it must be so.

To avoid having desserts that make me cringe, I make it a point to have Stacey-approved treats available. It’s just so much easier than having to do the big eye-roll every time…

Now, I am no baker. For real. I kind of stink at baking. I don’t like to measure and I do like to taste as I’m creating, and these things don’t mix well with baking. That’s why I am so appreciative of all of the awesome bloggers out there who create easy and delicious desserts. These paleo peanut butter cookies are the amazing creation of Brandi from The Vegan 8.

If you are looking for another awesome peanut butter treat, try my Peanut Butter Pumpkin Fudge recipe.

paleo peanut butter cookies

These grain-free peanut butter cookies are made with only 4 ingredients, but they each pack a great nutritional punch:

Peanuts, contrary to what some believe, are actually good for many things in your body. I don’t often let myself eat them because they sometimes contain mold and it’s really hard to find reasonably priced organic healthy peanuts. But, these popular nuts are great for lessening edema; they act like a diuretic. They can also help you if you have insomnia or if you are breast feeding. An old-time remedy is to made peanut tea and drink it for bed to promote sleep. And, peanut shells used to be used to help with high blood pressure.

Coconut strengthens the body, reduces swelling, and stops bleeding. It kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. These cookies are rolled in coconut sugar and it really makes them taste awesome!

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. This recipe uses almond flour instead of traditional flour.

Pure maple syrup contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body (think inflammatory bowel syndrome or heart disease). It also contains zinc, calcium, and magnesium. It’s much lower on the glycemic scale than traditional sugar. Whenever possible, use a darker (grade B) syrup because the nutritional composition is better than that of lighter syrups.

paleo peanut butter cookiespaleo peanut butter cookies

Paleo Peanut Butter Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, cookies, sweets, paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe from: The Vegan 8
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 14
 
These delicious cookies are made with only 4 ingredients! They are grain-free and dairy-free... and they taste incredible!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 cup almond flour
  • ½ cup organic creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup pure grade B maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs coconut sugar
  • small pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Combine the peanut butter, almond flour, and maple syrup in a large bowl. Use a big spoon to mush it all together. (My peanut butter was in the fridge, so I let it sit in a warm place for a bit to make this easier.)
  3. Roll the dough into balls the size of golf-ball. (I made 14 balls.)
  4. Put the coconut sugar in a small bowl and roll each ball in the sugar, until well coated.
  5. Place the sugar-coated balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Use a fork to press down on each cookie (in 2 directions).
  7. Bake just until the edges start to brown a bit, but not too long. I found that 10 minutes was perfect.
  8. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool completely.
  9. Enjoy!

paleo peanut butter cookies

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

Did you know that buckwheat is a seed and not a grain? There’s a debate as to whether or not it’s 100% paleo, but I think it is! And it can be a great fix for spontaneous sweating and high blood pressure… if you are looking for something that tastes and feels like a grain, you’ve got to try this!

paleo pumpkin pancakes

It’s pumpkin season! And it’s pancake season! Okay, so maybe there’s not really a pancake season, but there should be…

These Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes are so perfect, you shouldn’t need a reason to make them, but they taste so decadent, that you might feel like you are cheating on your healthy eating lifestyle. But you are not. Really. These are so good for you!

Breakfast is my favorite meal.  Always has been.  I’m like a breakfast freak. Steve gets on my case all of the time because the second I wake up I start planning my day around breakfast.  During the week this is easy because I usually have some type of shake. But on the weekends, it’s a different story.  I love to go out to breakfast. But, sometimes, like when I want pancakes, I’ll make them myself, because even here in Manhattan, it’s not so easy to find paleo pancakes when I want them.

So, when I woke up last Sunday, I popped out of bed (I’m an annoying morning person), and immediately started talking about breakfast. Steve looked at me, shook his head, and just kind of slid out of the room and put the dogs’ leashes on.  I knew there was no way he was entertaining my hugs restaurant brunch ideas… so as we walked the dogs, I formulated my homemade breakfast in my head.  And these Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes happened.  I can’t take the credit for the original recipe, because I got most of it from Erin at her awesome blog: Well Plated.

I’ve made lots of paleo pancakes before. But never with buckwheat. I don’t know why, except that I guess I never really thought or believed that buckwheat is paleo friendly. So I did some research. Buckwheat is a seed; it’s not a grain. And when it’s ground into a flour, it makes the most awesome pancakes. I’ve actually been experimenting with making risotto out of whole buckwheat groats lately and so far I’m loving the results (I’ll post a recipe soon).

These Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes are crisp on the outside and hot and smooth on the inside. Add some pure maple syrup and you feel like you are cheating on your diet. I mean, pumpkin and maple… this is a delicious flavor combo…

paleo pumpkin pancakespaleo pumpkin pancakes

Here are some of the reasons these pancakes are so healing:

Buckwheat is great to eat if you have diarrhea. It also helps lower blood pressure, stops some types of sweating, and has a good amount of vitamin E. It also contains antioxidants that can help fight cancer and heart disease.

Pumpkin can help reduce pain and fever and can soothe stomach irritations. It’s a great food to treat constipation, allergies and asthma. It’s high in vitamin A and can help protect your lungs and intestines from cancer.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. I like to use full-fat canned coconut milk for these pancakes.

I am a big proponent of eating the whole egg. So many of the nutrients and the taste are in the yolk; I’ll never understand separating nature’s perfect food. Eggs help with many types of dryness in the body. If you have a dry cough or a frog-in-your-throat, try eating some eggs. They have also been shown to help women with various conditions during and after pregnancy. Some people consider eggs to be a superfood. They contain a large amount of vitamins A and B and are a great source of protein. Eggs sometimes get a bad rap because of cholesterol, but it’s been shown that in 70% of people, eggs do not raise cholesterol, so don’t assume they are bad for you. Buy organic eggs and you are really doing the right thing.

paleo pumpkin pancakes

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, pancakes, pumpkin, buckwheat
Cuisine: paleo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These buckwheat pumpkin pancakes are paleo friendly; did you know that buckwheat is a seed and not a grain? These are so good and they are made in the blender!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour (you can buy it here)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (I buy them buy the case here)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs walnut oil (substitute whatever oil you like) (you can buy walnut oil here)
  • 2 Tbs pure maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp raw apple cider vinegar (buy this one)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp coconut oil for greasing the pan (plus more if needed)
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients, except coconut oil in a blender. (I used my Vitamix, so it was quick)
  2. Blend until completely smooth.
  3. Heat oil in non-stick pan until hot.
  4. Pour in batter to form small pancakes (the small ones cooked better than the bigger ones).
  5. Cook on first side until completely done (wait until the edges start to brown and lots of bubbles appear on the top), then flip them.
  6. Cook shortly on the second side, until slightly crisp.
  7. Remove to plates and serve with maple syrup.
  8. Enjoy!

paleo pumpkin pancakes

Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing

This Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing contains hemp seeds which, among other things, are great for combatting hot flashes!

thai salad with spicy peanut dressing

Many moons ago, I used to work down by Chinatown. There were so many great Chinese restaurants for lunch but my favorite place to frequent was an awesome (although kind of dirty…) Thai restaurant that was a stone’s throw away from the courthouses. All of us Legal Aid Lawyers used to go there. It was cheap and delicious and close. I remember loving the Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing. I’ve tried to re-create it a few times and have had okay results but nothing that was as good as I remember being served at that restaurant.

Until now.

I wish I could take the credit for figuring out the awesome flavors in this dressing, but the credit goes to Jessica at jessicagavin.com. I made a few tweaks to the recipe to suit my needs (like adding hemp seeds to combat my hot flashes), but the original recipe is all Jessica’s.

I used kale, cabbage, carrots, herbs, and hemp seeds in the salad. You can use whatever you like. But don’t forget the nuts. I know traditionally this salad is made with chopped peanuts in the dressing, but I used cashews in the salad too… this really is an awesome salad!

Any salad that has a spicy and creamy dressing is pretty good in my book. But this Thai salad with spicy peanut dressing really takes it to another level. Maybe it’s because peanut butter is a real treat for me because I almost never allow myself to eat it. Maybe it’s because sriracha is awesome. I guess it really doesn’t matter why it’s so good… just try it, okay?

thai salad with spicy peanut dressing

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this salad:

Peanuts, contrary to what some believe, are actually good for many things in your body. I don’t often let myself eat them because they sometimes contain mold and it’s really hard to find reasonably priced organic healthy peanuts. But, these popular nuts are great for lessening edema; they act like a diuretic. They can also help you if you have insomnia or if you are breast feeding. An old-time remedy is to made peanut tea and drink it for bed to promote sleep. And, peanut shells used to be used to help with high blood pressure.

Ginger is actually a Chinese herb (Sheng Jiang). It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is also a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Kale is everywhere these days. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. My cheat for this recipe was that I bought this kale already shredded and washed at the market. If you are using a whole bunch of kale, make sure you clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (me… I don’t really don’t like the if the kale is raw). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

Cabbage helps control a cough and lessens the symptoms of the common cold — in olden times, cabbage tea was given to people who had contracted the whooping cough. It’s also good to combat constipation and can lesses hot flashes. I like to use a mix of green and purple cabbage whenever I have both on hand, so you get the benefits of the green cabbage that I just mentioned, plus you get the benefits of purple cabbage — my favorite of which is that it’s a good stress reliever.

Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: salad, side dish, dressing, Thai, paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: jessicagavin.com
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This dressing is amazing! I made the salad out of kale and cabbage and carrots and so much more, but feel free to use the dressing on whatever you like!
Ingredients
  • For dressing:
  • ⅔ cup peanut butter (preferably organic)
  • juice of 1 large lime
  • 6 Tbs pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs white vinegar
  • 3 Tbs liquid aminos
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbs water
  • For salad:
  • about 3 cups thinly sliced kale leaves
  • red and green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup organic peanuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, chopped
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 3 scallions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and whiz until really smooth.
  2. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss or drizzle with dressing.
  3. Enjoy!

thai salad with spicy peanut dressingthai salad with spicy peanut dressing

Matcha Chia Pudding

This matcha chia pudding combines the healing power of matcha and chia seeds… make it the night before and be amazed!

matcha chia pudding

Last week when I was really tired and a bit achy, my acupuncturist/mentor recommended green tea, but in the form of matcha or sencha. These intense green tea powders are so good for you, but I had forgotten all about them.

Honestly, I don’t know how I forgot about them because matcha seems to be everywhere these days… everywhere I look there are matcha smoothies, matcha cookies, matcha lattes. So, I figured, why not matcha chia pudding…

I do love a good chia pudding. Really, if you can make something the night before and have it ready for breakfast when you wake up, and have it taste delicious, what’s not to love?

This chia pudding is great. It’s not too sweet, has a distinctive green tea flavor, and is so energizing… it’s the perfect breakfast! I actually tried something new with this pudding and I put it in the blender in the morning to give it more of a creamy, dessert-like feel. I really liked it this way, but you can omit this step if you prefer.

For another great chia pudding recipe try my take on Raspberry Chia Pudding!

matcha chia pudding

There are so many reasons (other than the delicious taste) to make this Matcha Chia Pudding:

Matcha is a type of green tea powder made from whole leaves of tea. Green tea, in Chinese medicine is known to be good for the mind, reduces headaches and aids digestion. If you use Macha, you can really magnify the already great health benefits of your green tea — research shows that matcha has over 100 times the potency and nutritional benefits of regular green tea.

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are really good for you because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. I use coconut milk in so many recipes that call for dairy — it’s incredible!

Mangos are great for digestion and they help if you have one of those annoying dry coughs that just won’t go away. This delicious fruit will also help strengthen your bones and is good for your heart.

Strawberries help get rid of excess alcohol in your body and they are good for your heart. They even help reduce plaque in your mouth and can make you feel better if you have an annoying dry cough or if you feel bloated from eating too much. So, if you’ve overindulged, strawberries are great for you.

matcha chia pudding

Matcha Chia Pudding
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, make-ahead
Cuisine: American, Asian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Here's an easy, make-ahead, energizing, healthy breakfast! You can customize it and top it any way you like!
Ingredients
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp matcha powder (here's an organic one)
  • 1 Tbs pure maple syrup
  • 4 Tbs chia seeds
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • optional toppings: mango, strawberries, kiwi slices
Instructions
  1. Place the coconut milk, matcha, syrup, chia seeds, and vanilla into a mason jar. Cover and shake well.
  2. Place the jar in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. In the morning, you have 2 choices; just scoop the pudding into bowls and top with fruit, or place the pudding into a blender and blend for a smoother texture and then top with fruit.
  4. Enjoy!

matcha chia pudding

Raspberry Lavender Cranberry Sauce

This raspberry lavender cranberry sauce is a great everyday condiment — it’s not just for Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Sauce With Raspberry And Lavender-9611

I was deciding which Thanksgiving recipe to post today, when all of a sudden I was famished. Really hungry. So hungry that I had to stop thinking about food (which I am always doing…) and eat something. So, I opened the fridge, took out some leftover soup, grabbed my just-made cranberry sauce, put a big scoop of it right in the center of my soup and I ate. And I smiled. The cranberry sauce made my delicious soup even better. Cranberry sauce post it is!

Cranberry sauce is an awesome condiment. It’s so much better than ketchup or mustard or mayonnaise on a sandwich. And, I’m not just talking about serving it at Thanksgiving or on those delicious leftover turkey sandwiches. You can put a dollop of a great cranberry sauce on top of your salad. You can’t do that with ketchup. You can stir it into soups — try a big scoop in your next bowl of butternut squash soup…

So many people just make cranberry sauce for holidays. Well, I’m here to tell you to respect the berry. It deserves to be seen all throughout the year. Start by making a bigger bowl than you’ll need for the Thanksgiving table, save the rest in the fridge, and put it on everything all week long. You’ll become a berry-believer, I’m sure of it.

Now, this particular version of cranberry sauce is really special. It’s got the usual amount of traditional tart beautiful cranberries, but it’s also filled with sweet tender raspberries. Then there’s the fresh lemon zest; the tart fresh lemony taste mingles with the sweet raspberries… OMG. But wait, we are not done yet, because we haven’t yet added the lavender. And, the lavender just takes this bowl of berry bliss to the next level.

Rasperry Lavender Cranberry Sauce (pot)-9546

Cranberry sauce is one of the easiest things to make. You just stir all the ingredient in a pot and cook. And all of a sudden, like magic, you go from the above picture to the finished product. Yum.

This cranberry sauce, aside from being mouthwateringly delicious, is really good for you.

Cranberries are known to most people as being good for the urinary tract and the bladder. They are also good at preventing kidney stones and can be eaten to increase fertility.

Raspberries are an anti-aging fruit. They are great for men who are experiencing frequent urination and for men and women with vision issues. They have anti-cancer and anti-inflammation properties. In Chinese medicine, raspberries are an herb called Fu Pen Zi that’s prescribed for impotence, premature ejaculation, poor vision, and frequent urination. Raspberries are great for you, but if you are experiencing difficulty urinating, that’s when this berry should be avoided.

Rasperry Lavender Cranberry Sauce (lemon)-9537Rasperry Lavender Cranberry Sauce (hand-lavender)-9516

Lavender and lemon are an amazing combination. They just taste great together. The floral taste of the lavender flowers plays perfectly with the tartness of the lemon zest in this cranberry sauce.

Lavender adds iron, calcium, and vitamin A to your diet.  It’s good for eye-health and digestion. I absolutely love the taste of lavender — there’s something so clean and fresh about it.

Lemon peels contain calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. I zest them in lots of foods to brighten the flavors…

Raspberry Lavender Cranberry Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment, side dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about 2 cups
 
This recipe takes gorgeous traditional cranberries and pairs them with sweet raspberries, tart lemon zest, and flowery lavender. It's one you won't want to miss.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a medium pot. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, about 40 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst and the mixture is the consistency you like. It will thicken up more when it cools. Enjoy it on everything!