Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

This week seems to have been a pretty busy one. I’m not one for filling my diary with dinners, social events and brunches all day, every day. I don’t think I could call myself a social butterfly. I like to have at least 3 days a week, event free, just to know I can come back to the boat and relax. To come home and try out a new recipe, I like to have time to create in the kitchen and not feel rushed. Some days, I just like to flop down on our (albeit rather uncomfortable) sofa, put my feet up and CHILL. But not this week, it’s been crammed full with socialising, days to vintage markets by the seaside, and visiting friends who’ve had a new baby! It’s been great, but also exhausting. I used to hate being on my own, I feared the loneliness, the quiet. Now I embrace it.

I’m not used to this lifestyle, I’ve got an old soul and don’t like the fast-paced life. This morning I took myself out for a run in the sunshine, nice and early, before the Saturday crowds rose. Once back at the boat, I sat with my tea and completely zoned out for a good hour. It was like magic. Like readjusting that internal pendulum, to get it swinging back to your beat.

ChocolateChiapud1

Chocolatechiapud4

Chia seeds are so versatile, and have been getting more and more popular over the last few years. They are packed to the brim with nutrients, full of fibre and protein, and those amazing vitamins like potassium, zinc and vitamins B1, B2 and B3. What more could you want from a tiny little seed?

This Chocolate Chia seed pudding is such a great all-rounder. It’s creamy and decadent, but completely guilt free. Have it for breakfast, pudding, or keep a few pots in the fridge for a quick afternoon snack. It takes about 30 seconds to make, make it the night before and it’ll be good to go for breakfast the next day!

Chocolate Chia Pudding (v) (gf) 

Makes 2-4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

160g (½ cup) chia seeds
650ml hazelnut milk (any milk would work)
4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
½ banana

Optional toppings: Cacao nibs / goji berries / maple syrup / coconut yoghurt / chilli flakes 

METHOD

In a bowl, combine the seeds, milk and cacao powder. Whisk or mix really well, until fully combined.

Leave in an airtight container, in the fridge, overnight or for at least 4 hours.

Layer the banana at the bottom of a jar, pour the pudding on top and enjoy.

ChiaSeedPud2

Chocolatechiapud3

Chocolatechiapudding5

 

Don’t forget you can follow me on instagram –  tag #roughmeasures so I can see all your creations!

Banana and Blueberry Granola Bars

The boat is currently moored in a nice secluded woody area, surrounded by humungous trees and fields of horses. It also appears to be a bit of a black hole, connection wise. No internet, no phone signal. Just me and my mind. It’s been both good and bad. I don’t like feeling disconnected. But I also know that this current world is full of too much information. My brain feels like a matrix of words and news sometimes, forever buzzing and processing all the information we have access to. Social media has made switching off and being present much harder. Anxiety levels are on the rise in everybody, because life has turned into one big popularity contest.

It scares me a lot, how much this world now relies on constant sources of information and technology. We’ve forgotten how to appreciate the simple things in life, like the birds singing their songs, fresh from their migration back to the UK, fields of yellow popping up as the warmer weather arrives, the crisp morning air. We need to revel in the marvel that is this beautiful planet. Put down that screen and look outside, and around you. Breathe life.

Bananagranolabar3

Bananagranolabar

BananaGranolabar2

These bars are a great energy source, a vital addition to any lunchbox and a great snack for that afternoon stroll through the countryside. They’re also free of all the rubbish that you get in store bought bars.

Ever so slightly adapted from this fantastic one

Banana and Blueberry Granola Bars (v) (gf)

Makes 8-10 bars

INGREDIENTS

2 very ripe bananas
3 tablespoons almond butter (homemade or you can use pre-bought, I love this one)
80ml date syrup
Large handful blueberries
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon hemp protein powder (I used this one)
200g gluten free rolled oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
Handful cacao nibs
Handful pumpkin seeds

METHOD

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 C

Line a baking tray with baking paper, and then grease it with coconut oil / EVOO

In a food processor, combine bananas, almond butter, coconut oil, date syrup, half of the blueberries, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until completely combined and you have a thick paste mixture.

In a frying pan, gently toast the nuts and seeds for 3-5 minutes, until slightly brown. Leave to cool. Once cooled, roughly chop the nuts.

In a large bowl, mix the oats, hemp powder, chia seeds, coconut, cacao nibs, the rest of the blueberries and toasted nut/seeds.

Stir the banana paste mix into the oat mix and combine.

Pour mix into your lined tray. Push down with a spatula to ensure mixture is evenly packed.

Bake for 30-40 mins, until lightly golden. These bars are quite soft, if you wish for them to be slightly crunchier, then bake for 10-15 more mins, but keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!

Leave to cool for 10 mins, then tip onto wire rack and let cool completely.

These will keep (in a sealed tub) for around a week.

BananaGranolabar4

BananaGranolaBar6

Like these granola bars? Try these ones too:

Bad Ass Breakfast Bars from Happy Hearted Kitchen

Chilli Peanut Butter Granola Bars from Planet Veggie

Oaty No-Bake Bars from BakingQueen74

Smoked Chilli Energy Bars from Tin and Thyme

Spelt Blueberry Chia Muffins

When I am stressed, I bake. When I am worried, I bake. When it’s all getting a bit too much, I bake. I don’t know if I necessarily find it therapeutic, but it seems to be my go to thing when I’m having a dark-grey-cloud-over-my-head kinda day.

I try to live in the present, the now, the very moment. However it isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when you have spent 26 years of your life worrying. Baking somehow manages to change my thought process. The focussing on the ingredients and method is almost like some kind of meditation for me. It just manages to push those worries and fears aside for a while, to re-adjust my blurry head, pushing the dark cloud away.

We are blessed that we live on the water, just seeing the ripples and reflections through the windows, even on a grey day, can help push the negativity away. There is nothing better than cooking with a view, to whip up something magical whilst looking out over the canal and to the fields beyond.

These muffins are not anything new, just a good old classic recipe spruced up a little. Spelt is such a lovely grain to use, I much prefer it’s slightly nuttier flavour, and better depth of colour. You can find it in any good supermarket or health food store. It has a much lower gluten content than regular flour too, meaning it won’t make you feel all sluggish.

BlueberryChiaMuffins3

Blueberry-Chia-Muffins

Spelt Blueberry Chia Muffins

Makes 4-6 muffins

INGREDIENTS:

150g (1 cup) whole grain spelt flour
2 free range eggs
1 overly ripe banana (mashed)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
Handful of blueberries (fresh or frozen will work)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
Handful of nuts (I used flaked almonds)

METHOD

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 3 / 160 C

Line a muffin tray with 6 muffin cases

Add the eggs to the mashed banana and mix well.

Pour in melted coconut oil (let it cool slightly first) and vanilla and stir to combine all wet ingredients.

Add your dry ingredients to your wet mixture and stir with a spoon until smooth.

Chuck in the blueberries and nuts, and fold them through the mixture.

Dollop spoonfuls of the muffin mixture into each muffin case, fill almost to the top.

Place in the oven and bake for approx. 20 mins, until lightly golden and a skewer comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and place muffins on a cooling rack.

Blueberrychiamuffins2

BlueberryChiaMuffins4

Blueberry Chia Jam

Now, this isn’t your run-of-the mill jam recipe. It’s simple and doesn’t involve any cooking. My kinda jam!

I’m not a massive toast fan anymore, so tend to not eat too much of this fruity, sticky treat. I like a dollop of it on my porridge now and again. But since making this recipe, I can’t stop eating it, thickly spread over a good bit of toasted bread!

Blueberry Chia Jam

My mother informed me that it should be called a ‘conserve’ and not a jam, as the sugar content this recipe is low/ non-existent. But jam just has a better ring to it really, doesn’t it? Plus I didn’t even know what a conserve was until she told me.

This jam is so easy to make, refined sugar-free, and contains a whole load of minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.

 

Blueberry Chia Jam

INGREDIENTS:

150g blueberries
2 tablespoons Chia seeds
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Agave (optional)

METHOD

Add blueberries to a blender and blend until you have a paste. Scrape blueberry mix into a bowl.

Add the chia seeds and water. Mix well for a few minutes, making sure the seeds are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Add agave if using, and mix again.

Add to a jar / container and refrigerate overnight.

By the morning, the seeds will have swollen and your jam will be ready to rock!

Keep refrigerated in a sealed jar, and consume within 4-5 days.

Blueberry Chia JamBlueberry Chia Jam