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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

Simple Poached Salmon With Yogurt Sauce

This simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce will keep you healthy inside and out…

simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce

I don’t think I’ve poached salmon since I was in cooking school. I don’t really know why I don’t do it more often though, because this salmon is awesome. It’s perfect if you are serving a crowd and it’s an easy dish to make ahead and serve cold or at room temperature. This simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce really is just that: simple.

What’s better than a dish that is made for leftovers? The salmon that’s leftover here makes the best cold salmon salad. And it makes a terrific filling for omelets. Oh, and topping a salad with some big chunks of this moist salmon and then using the yogurt sauce as a dressing… well, just… yum!

I made this a few weeks ago when I was asked to bring a main course to a family gathering. Honestly, I usually use those kinds of opportunities to experiment with new recipes (which some people are happy about and some people are just plain scared about), but on this particular day, I just didn’t feel like cooking. And I’ve learned the hard way that if I don’t feel like cooking but I cook anyway, any first-time-experimental-recipe invariably comes out pretty bad. So, I figured I’d do something simple. Something mainstream. Something everyone would love, and nobody would be fearful of.

Oh, did I mention that I used my leftover simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce to make tacos the next day…?

And, the yogurt sauce is non-dairy!

I tell a lot of my clients to add wild salmon to their diet to increase their athletic performance — this fish can help reduce aches and pains in your muscles and joints, and it’s a good source of iron.

If you want to try another great salmon recipe, try my recipe for Blood Orange Salmon With Turnip Noodles.

simple poached salmon with yogurt saucesimple poached salmon with yogurt sauce

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce recipe:

Salmon is the perfect food to nourish the blood and the yin. It’s especially great for women because it raises fertility levels by promoting a healthy endometrial lining. Salmon is also great for anyone who is in need of additional iron. Be sure to buy wild salmon because the levels of mercury are lower than in farmed salmon. This beautiful fish also contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, making it a good food source to combat breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, asthma, depression and diabetes. Lately there’s also been a lot of evidence that salmon is great at reducing intestinal inflammation and that it’s also good for your joints and muscles.

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.

Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial agent. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels.

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 used a full-fat coconut yogurt for the sauce to accompany this salmon.

Dill is considered a chemoprotective in that it can help neutralize some carcinogens. It also helps fight bacteria in the body.

simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce

Simple Poached Salmon With Yogurt Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: simple, paleo, whole30
Cuisine: seafood, fish, salmon
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
This is a classic recipe. Anyone you serve it to will love it and the leftovers make awesome tacos...
Ingredients
  • 4 lb salmon fillet, cut in half
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 4 scallions, cut into 3 or 4 pieces (leave the roots on)
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 2 carrots, cut into thick slices
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 10 grinds black pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 cup full-fat plain coconut yogurt
  • ⅓ cup healthy mayonnaise (I used Fabannaise)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Place the salmon in a large pot and cover it will water.
  2. Add the vinegar and scallions to the pot.
  3. Squeeze the lemon halves into the pot and then toss in the lemons halves themselves.
  4. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  6. Simmer about 10 minutes, or just until the salmon is cooked (if you start to see the white fat congealing on the fish, it's a bit past done... so watch carefully)
  7. Using two large spatulas, carefully remove the fish to a platter. You can throw away the lemons and scallions, but if you like carrots, serve them strewn around the salmon.
  8. Make the sauce: Stir together all ingredients.
  9. Break up the salmon a bit on the platter and serve with the sauce.

simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce

Coconut Blood Orange Ice Pops

These coconut blood orange ice pops will make you feel like a kid again!

coconut blood orange ice pops

Ice pops are like art for me. I always wanted to be a great painter, but I wasn’t blessed with the skills for this endeavor. I can’t even draw a good circle… So, for me, food is my art. I love when you can take creative license with food and have it turn out beautiful and delicious. Ice pops are one of the easiest things you can make and yet they can be one of the most creative.

And, luckily, these awesome frozen treats can be made with great healing ingredients, with little or no calories, and can be customized to your particular tastes.

Steve likes to have dessert after dinner. Me, not so much… I prefer to stay away from the sweets after dinner, mostly because I have very little self control around them. If you have this issue, ice pops are perfect. If you can grab one of these out of your freezer, you will feel like you are indulging but with no detrimental effects. And, the dessert-loving-bad-influence-person (who shall not be named) is satisfied too, because these really are decadent tasting.

If I am being totally honest, I made these ice pops the other night when I was having a few good friends over for dinner. My friend Val and I loved them, but Frank and Steve… well, I think they would have preferred a big hunk of cake. That’s not to say that these ice pops are a feminine dessert, but they are not heavy like chocolate cake either… but this is one of the characteristics that make them so awesome…

So, I’ve been experimenting… wait until you see some of the ones I’ve tried! I’m actually really excited to start posting some of these pics and recipes. Once I got in the groove, there was no stopping me. Some of them are beautiful, some are delicious, some are just plain weird (and, not surprisingly, the latter category is my favorite)!

Anyway, this recipe for coconut blood orange ice pops is easy, healthy, and pretty. I love the layered effect, and it’s so easy to achieve. I tried this recipe both ways — some I layered and some I just stirred everything together and went for a creamier pop — you can choose (I like the layered ones a bit better)…

Here’s another grab-and-go freezer dessert recipe: Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge.

coconut blood orange ice pops

There are only a few ingredients in these ice pops, but they are good ones:

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 ice pops.

Coconut Sugar is made from the sap of the coconut palm. This sweetener won’t cause the drastic blood-sugar spikes that are associated with traditional white sugar. It has significantly less fructose than agave nectar, meaning that it is not as easily stored in the body as fat. Another plus is that it is not chemically altered. Coconut sugar is also a very sustainable sugar, making it the environmentally friendly choice.

Blood Oranges are oranges with extra anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are compounds found in many plant-based foods. These compounds can help prevent certain cancers and can help with brain function. Oranges, of any kind, 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.

coconut blood orange ice pops

Coconut Blood Orange Ice Pops
Author: 
Recipe type: ice pops, frozen
Cuisine: dessert. Recipe adapted from: Fork Knife Swoon
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
These ice pops take 5 minutes to make and they are awesome to keep in the freezer for a quick dessert anytime!
Ingredients
  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar (here's a good one)
  • 1 cup blood orange juice (I was able to find organic blood orange juice in a bottle in the market, but you can juice your own or use another type of juice.)
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the coconut milk, vanilla, and coconut sugar.
  2. Fill 6 ice pop molds about ½ to ⅔ full with this coconut mixture.
  3. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, fill the molds the rest of the way with the blood orange juice.
  5. Freeze until completely frozen.
  6. Enjoy!

coconut blood orange ice pops

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