Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Whole grain chia waffles

These I make different every time I make them.  I have way too much fun with them.  I will write the recipe we were given by Amoreena, but will add my notes.
As far as waffles go, these are just fine - they are waffles.  I figure they don't have to be spectacular if you are going to put some maple syrup on them.  They were also good with strawberry chia jam.  Now when I added some mashed banana (2) and some mini chocolate chips, then made a "syrup" that was 1 part maple syrup, 1 part peanut butter, melted in the microwave.  Now those were scrumptious and got remade a few times in a row.  Yummy!


  • 2 cups of flour - really any combination will do.  My original says 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup spelt, but I've made them with lots of combinations of spelt, oat, wheat, barley, brown rice, and even probably bean.  Have fun.  I just usually keep at least 1/3 wheat.
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chia gel
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups almond milk (I usually use vanilla if I'm using almond.  Any milk would do)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Mix dry ingredients.  Then add the rest.  When adding milk, add until you get a nice pouring consistency.  The batter will still be thick.  Cook in waffle iron.

chia jam

This is probably my favorite way to use chia so far.  But truth be told I haven't experimented much, and most of what I did was before the holidays hit, and before DH started traveling a lot.  I do remember this jam, and made it more than once.  So simple, so tasty, and so healthy.  YUM!  Oh, and I forgot to mention super quick - no slaving over the stove.  You can realistically make a batch at a time when you need it.  Again, thanks to my friend Amoreena who fiddled with this recipe and came up with correct proportions.  This is her favorite combination for strawberries.


  • 1 1/4 cup strawberry puree -I just thawed some frozen strawberries and pureed them in my blender or food processor, or with my immersion blender - can't remember which.
  • 1/4 cup chia seed
  • 2 Tablespoons agave
  1. Mix all ingredients in a pint size jar (or other container)  
  2. Let set until thickened.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze.
Can it possibly get any easier?

You can use any fruit and/or sweeteners, but you need to adjust amounts to suit your tastes.  Strawberry is nice and sweet so it doesn't require much added sweetness.  

Love this on waffles, toast, pancakes, french toast, rolls, bread...


I have a group of friends through church that started a "healthy cooking" group.  Each month someone picks a topic and hosts at their home.  We've done green smoothies, quinoa, veggies, home made yogurt, and the last one was chia.  I have to say chia was very new to me, but good stuff.  I have started using it more often.  In fact.  I often make chia waffles now.  (I just wish I could remember the exact recipe I was using for the chia/chunky monkey waffles I was making back at the end of Nov/beginning of Dec.  Time for some more experimenting.  :)
Normally I don't do a post that is just information, but I love this, and don't want to lose it.  Truth be told, it is rather miraculous that I still have the paper since we did this class back in November.  That is a long time for something to hang out in my kitchen and not get spilled on, used as a grocery list, and/or thrown away.  
This class was taught by my friend Amoreena.  I'm just retyping the wonderful information she gave us.  It includes some fun historical facts as well as some great nutritional facts about chia.  If you'd like to try chia, I'd suggest ordering on  At least in my area that is the easiest and most economical option.

Chia Facts
  • The chia plant (salvia hispanica) sometimes referred to as the chia sage, originated in the central valley of Mexico and is a member of the mint family.
  • Records indicate chia seeds were used as a food source as far back as 3500 B. C.
  • It was the third most important crop of the Aztecs, who recognized it as a "superfood" and prized it so highly that it was often used as currency
  • Aztec warriors and runners are believed to have sustained themselves for an entire day on just a tablespoon of chia.
  • After the Spanish conquest, chia seed nearly disappeared as the Spaniards banned foods that were linked in any way to Aztec religion or tradition and virtually wiped out the complex agricultural system extablished by the Aztecs in order to grow foods that were popular in Spain instead.
  • Chia seeds have more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other plant food, including flax seeds.
  • Chia seeds are about 20% protein.  Most nutritious plants are incomplete proteins.  Chia however, is a complete protein like meat, but without the high levels of saturated fat.  Being a complete protein, chia has all the 9 essential amino acids in proper proportions including other nonessentials.
  • Chia is hydrophilic and can absorb more than 12 times its weight in water.  This makes it helpful in maintaining body hydration, something that is especially beneficial for athletes who need to remain hydrated during races and endurance activities.
  • Chia seeds when soaked in water for 30 minutes form a thick gel.  This gel also forms in the stomach when chia seeds are consumed.  Bad??  Nope, researchers believe it actually slows down the rate at which digestive enzymes turn carbs into sugar, making it especially beneficial for diabetics and others with blood sugar issues.
  • Chia gel can be used to replace eggs and oil in recipes.  (see below, recipe posts to follow)
  • Chia seeds are so high in antioxidants that they do not spoil easily and can be stored for long periods, unlike flax seeds.
  • Chia is high in fiber.  Two tablespoons of Chia contains 2.3 grams of high-quality fiber, which is equivalent to 41% of your suggested daily fiber intake.  According to nutritionists and dietitians, the ideal ration of insoluble to soluble fiber should be about 5:1.  When compared to other good sources of fiber, Chia reigns supreme because it comes with 5.3 grams of soluble fiber and 35.0 grams of insoluble fiber.  That would be a 6:1 ration, so pretty close to perfect.
  • Chia is a great source of vitamins and minerals.  Organic chia seed Has 6 times more calcium than milk, 11 times more phosphorus and 4 times more potassium than milk.  It has higher vitamin b and more niacin than soy, rice, or corn.  2 Tablespoons of chia will satisfy 22.25% of your daily calcium 32.5% of your recommended magnesium intake, 29.25% of your iron, 6% of zinc and 33.25% of phosphorus. 

So, for a tiny little seed, it sure packs a punch right?  Now, how do you use it?
  1. Mix it with what you already eat.
    1. smoothies, sauces, oatmeal, yogurt, salads...
  2. Use chia gel (1 part chia, 3 parts water - mix and let set.)
    1. 1 egg +1/4 cup chia gel or 1 Tbsp. chia seeds, 3 Tbsp. water
    2. can replace up to 50% of the oil used in a recipe
    3. can be frozen or will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

Sunday, January 15, 2012

peanut butter fudge

Unlike the other peanut butter fudge on this blog, this was not a chocolate fudge with peanut butter.  It was an all peanut butter fudge.  It also came from the little booklet in my food network magazine.  My only beef with this recipe was that the peanuts didn't stick really well to the top of the fudge.  Kind of made it messy.    I think I'd just leave them off next time. (Or stir them in if I really want the crunch.)  The fudge itself was also a tad bit crumbly.  Yummy, but crumbly.  Made it hard to cut into pretty pieces - maybe too much powdered sugar?  My scales may or may not have been broken at the time. - I could have looked up a cup equivalent to the pound of sugar.
The verdict - If feeling like peanut butter fudge, I'd definitely try this again.  It was simple and quick.


  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts.
  1. Line an 8 inch square pan with foil.  
  2. Melt the butter and peanut butter in a saucepan.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar.  
  3. Spread into the pan.  Press peanuts into the top of the fudge if desired.  Chill until firm.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

chocolate mint candies

These are super yummy!!!  Think andes mint.  Originally they were supposed to be peppermint, but # 1.  I prefer regular mint. #2 I had mint extract and not peppermint extract already in my cupboard.  These too are from the little insert in my food network magazine, and although they had more instructions than some of the recipes, they were still  a bit on the tedious side extremely tedious.  Delicious, but tedious, and made me feel like I'm not at all artistic.  Which is actually the truth - I just don't need to feel that way while making candy.  There is a reason I cook, and make candy, but don't make cutesie cupcakes or cake pops or any number of items where artistic ability is required.
Really, I was trying to pick easy recipes.  I don't have a lot of extra time at the holidays, and much less this year with 2 kids in 2 different sports and a hubby who has been traveling a lot, and working late.  I thought these would be quick.  They seemed simple enough.  Cut the dough out with a cookie cutter and dip in chocolate.  No artistic talent required right?? .... Wrong!! (if I'm making them at least.)  I somehow made it one of the most difficult things I made this Christmas.  - This was after the Chocolate-hazelnut crunch balls which I couldn't get to stick together until the very end.
I did make some modifications that made things easier - #1 I quit using stars and started using a tree and a bell.  Those were soooo much easier to deal with because I didn't have 5 points all trying to go askew when I dipped them.  My only issue with them was that I felt like they ended up looking like triangles and not being worth the work.  In the end I made the last bit of the dough into something that resembled an Andes mint.  I just rolled out all of the dough.  Dipped one side in chocolate, then the other.  Chilled and cut them with a pizza cutter - or something similar - it could have been my dough scraper for all I know, but you get the idea.  By the time I got to this option, I probably should have re-heated my chocolate for the who knows how many'th time, but I didn't, so they didn't turn out pretty.  However, if making these again, and trying to save time, I would definitely think about making them like an andes mint.   Honestly, the middle is super simple to whip up, it just really only is easy to work with if it is super frozen, and working with it thaws it out and makes it really sticky.  However, you could roll it out, freeze it,  Paint on some melted chocolate, freeze again, flip it over, paint on some more melted chocolate, and whah-la.... Super simple mint-chocolate candies.  Did I mention these were tasty????  Why else would I go to so much trouble trying to figure out how to make them (only easier next time.)

Well, I started writing this 2 weeks ago, never got to finishing, and 2 days ago my computer decided to crash and it doesn't look like I have any pictures left.  :(  Here are the directions anyway.  That's what I get for being a procrastinator.  But honestly, who cares about the food pictures, I'm sad I don't seem to have any family pictures either.  Must find a computer guy soon to see if this problem can be remedied.


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 8 oz chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons shortening (I probably used coconut oil)
  1. Beat powdered sugar, corn syrup, butter, milk and mint until smooth.  Chill 30 minutes. (or roll out to 1/4 inch thick and freeze.)
  2. Dust with more powdered sugar and roll out until 1/4 inch thick.  (Read thoughts above for ideas to make this easier.)
  3. Cut into desired shapes and freeze until hard.  
  4. Melt chocolate with shortening.  Let cool to room temperature.
  5. Dip stars (or whatever shape you made) into the melted chocolate and sprinkle with nonpareils if desired.  Chill until set.


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