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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

Orange Banana Smoothie

This orange banana smoothie will make you think of summer!

orange banana smoothie

Most mornings I wake up and I’m excited for my green smoothie. I know excited is an odd way to feel about a glass of green slush, but it’s really true. Over the years I’ve perfected them, so they taste great and make me feel even better. I truly love the energy I feel from all of the great ingredients in that big green glass.

But sometimes, I’m just not feeling’ the green. But I still want that energy… that’s how I felt a few days ago. It was a rainy day and I just wanted something that would make me feel like summer was coming. I created this smoothie, and it fit the bill perfectly. I mean, just look at the color of this orange banana smoothie… you can’t not smile and think of summer.

If you have been reading my posts, you probably know that I love to use whole citrus fruits — the peels and all. This smoothie is no exception. I put the entire orange into my Vitamix, and that’s really what sets this shake apart from so many others. Add when you add a few superfoods, the effect is amazing. The taste and the energy and the nutritional punch you get from the this combination of awesome ingredients really cannot be matched.

Here’s another non-green smoothie to try: Apple Cinnamon Smoothie.

orange banana smoothie

Here’s some of the great things that make up this “sunny” smoothie:

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.

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.

I love to add bananas to smoothies; they give it a great natural sweetness and a nice creamy texture. 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.

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.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Bee pollen is considered one of the most nutritious substances you can put in your body. It is higher in protein than anything animal-based and it contains an amazing amount of amino acids. It’s good for your energy, your skin, your breathing and your allergies. Add a spoonful to whatever you can.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy then whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here.

orange banana smoothie

Orange Banana Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie
Cuisine: breakfast, snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
This smoothie tastes as bright and sunny as it looks. It will give you a warm feeling and a burst of energy. Just pop everything in the blender and you're good to go!
Ingredients
  • 2 frozen bananas, cut in half
  • 1 whole orange, with the peel, quartered
  • 1-1/2 cups coconut water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1-1/2 tsp maca root powder
  • ¼ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 3 pitted dates
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 1 Tbs bee pollen granules
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender. (I'm not sure how finely the orange peel will grind up in a regular blender, so if you try it, please let me know!)
  2. Whiz it up until it's really smooth.
  3. Garnish with extra coconut flakes or orange slices if that makes you smile.
  4. Enjoy!

orange banana smoothie

Orange Peel Chicken

Chicken and oranges pair so well together and orange peels are great for your digestion… enter: orange peel chicken!

orange peel chicken

This past weekend I was at my son’s college graduation. I’m such a proud mom and I just love that kid so much that of course now in the days past the graduation all I’m doing is thinking about him. He likes to cook, so I love to come up with recipes that I think he would like and that are easy to prepare. This one fits the bill — but when he makes it I’m sure a lot of hot peppers will go into the sauce.

I love chicken dishes with fruit. A great friend of mine once made me his version of Caribbean chicken with lots or oranges and lemons and cherries. This was many years ago, and I still think about that dish today.  So, these things had me thinking…

I know, I really should get a life. All I do is think about food…

My favorite lemonade is made with whole lemons (here’s that recipe) — peel and everything. And I absolutely love grating lime zest on everything! So, when I was making orange chicken the other day, I figured why not use the whole orange. Yup, this orange peel chicken uses the entire orange — peel and everything.

All I did was put all of my orange sauce ingredients into my Vitamix, whiz it up and cook the chicken in it. Not only is this recipe delicious, but I underestimated the amount of sauce my ingredients would make and I had enough sauce to freeze half of it for another time… which is definitely a really good thing! There’s nothing better than a freezer stocked with awesome sauces…

orange peel chickenorange peel chicken

Nutritionally speaking, this chicken is awesome:

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.

Ginger is a Chinese herb (Gan Jiang) that warms the body. It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when it’s winter or when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of these 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).

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually 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….

orange peel chicken

Orange Peel Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, poultry, main dish
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Toss some whole oranges into your blender (peel and all), add a few more ingredients, cook the chicken in this delicious mixture, and you will have a delicious and healthy dinner.
Ingredients
  • 8 boneless chicken thighs (about 2-1/4 lb)
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large oranges (organic if possible), washed, unpeeled, cut into quarters
  • 1 Tbs sliced fresh ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup plum sauce or hoisin sauce or korean bbq sauce (use whatever healthy version is available)
  • 1 -1/2 tsp sriracha
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp five spice powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Heat oil in a large sautee pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Brown the chicken on both sides in the oil, about 5 minutes on each side.
  5. Place all of the remaining ingredients into a blender and whiz it up until it's really smooth. (I used my Vitamix so this didn't take too long.)
  6. When the chicken is browned, pour enough of your blended orange sauce into the pan so that the chicken is mostly covered. Stir to coat the chicken.
  7. Cover the pan and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  8. Transfer the chicken, shaking off excess sauce, to a baking sheet.
  9. (I saved my extra sauce and put it in the freezer for another time!)
  10. Place the sheet under the broiler until the sauced chicken starts to char a bit (about 3 minutes).
  11. Enjoy!

orange peel chicken

Sweet Potato Strawberry Arugula Salad

This sweet potato strawberry arugula salad has everything your body needs to feel awesome!

sweet potato strawberry arugula salad

We are in the process of trying to sell our house so there are strangers walking through at all times. It’s hard to keep the house perfectly clean for all of the potential buyers stopping by! Especially the kitchen! Now, when I cook I try to be mindful of the cleanup, which is a real challenge for me because I use a lot of equipment and ingredients when I create recipes.

I went to the market the other day with absolutely no idea of what i was going to prepare when I got home. So many things looked so good… this might have been because I was hungry when I got there, which is probably not the best time to food shop…

It’s much more of a challenge to put my food together into a cohesive meal if I’ve shopped before breakfast. If I shop hungry, everything looks great. I feel like I get one of those cartoon bubbles above my head with experimental recipe ideas written out. Sometimes when I unload the bags at home, I can’t imagine what I was thinking. But sometimes, it just works.

So, I bought a bag of produce filled with beautiful colors. I bought beautifully orange sweet potatoes, huge firm strawberries, perfectly ripe avocados, fresh arugula and spinach, and oranges the size of your head.

When I got home I was starving! And, I still hadn’t eaten breakfast. And, let me tell you, this NEVER happens — I always eat breakfast. But, the fridge was bare… even my smoothie ingredients were severely lacking.

I heated the oven and put the sweet potatoes in to roast. Then I layed out all of my other ingredients on the counter. The colors were beautiful, but they didn’t seem to be conducive of a cohesive meal.

Salad to the rescue! Sometimes beautiful fresh ingredients come together in the most unexpected ways, like in this colorful, sweet potato strawberry arugula salad. I don’t want to call this a breakfast salad, because I’m well aware that a lot of people don’t like salad for breakfast, but if you’re game, you should try it because this is an awesome breakfast!

If you like salads with out-of-the-ordinary ingredients, try my Tomato And Herb Salad With Roasted Lemons too.

sweet potato strawberry arugula salad

This salad is delicious and so good for you:

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…

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.

Avocados are one of my favorite foods, both for their health benefits and because they taste great. In Chinese medicine, some practitioners recommend avocados to raise the sperm count. I like them because they are good for anemia, dry skin, palpitations and hot flashes due to menopause.

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 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.

Arugula has a good amount of calcium and it also contains vitamins A, C and K. It is rich in potassium and it’s extra beneficial in the summer because it actually cools the body down. This delicious peppery green is also believed to be a libido booster. One of the first things I learned when I started really taking care of my health through proper nutrition, was to substitute dark greens for lighter greens whenever possible. One of the easiest, tastiest, and healthiest switches you can make is to swap out some of your lighter salad greens for peppery, dark arugula.

It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (yes, really), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

sweet potato strawberry arugula salad

Sweet Potato Strawberry Arugula Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: American, vegetarian, vegan
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
The colors in this salad are beautiful and the taste is even better! This salad is filled with ingredients that will heal you and make you smile!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 8 basil leaves, torn into large pieces
  • 1 orange, peeled and sliced, slices cut in half
  • 6 large strawberries, sliced
  • 1 large roasted sweet potato, roasted and then sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • For Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (or other healthy sweetener)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Arrange all salad ingredients on a large platter.
  2. Whisk all dressing ingredients together and drizzle onto salad.
  3. Enjoy!

sweet potato strawberry arugula salad