companion blog to the e-book the 24/7 Low Carb Diner

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Showing posts with label chia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chia. Show all posts

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Crunchy and Creamy Breakfast in a Jar

I might have mentioned that the newest issue of the Diner News is all about food in jars. This one is so easy. Truly for the lazy among us. I love the different textures and flavors going on. For something so simple, the taste is not simple at all. It is so easy to gather your ingredients, line up a few small jars, fill them up and then have them ready for those harried mornings.

Sometimes we are tired of eggs. And sausage. And bacon...well maybe not bacon. Sometimes I miss something sweet and I don't want a smoothie. Sure, there are muffins. I like those too, but on weeks when I have made a savory muffin, these crunchy and creamy breakfast jars are a real treat. They are really versatile and full of stuff that is good for you. Seeds and coconut, cocoa nibs and flax. You have the dry part pre-assembled, ready to add your choice of milk or yogurt. The combination of coconut and cocoa nibs is so good. The cocoa nibs add a rich flavor and crunch, so try to use those if you can find them. I found mine locally at Sprouts.

These servings are not big, but they are satisfying. You may be surprised how they will stick to the ribs. You can always up the serving size if you want, but I find these to be just right for a quick weekday breakfast or an evening snack.

Crunchy and Creamy
Breakfast Jar
3 tbsp coconut chips
1 tbsp cocoa nibs (aka cacao)
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp ground flax seeds
1 packet stevia or other sweetener

Stir in 3 tbsp of one of the following:

Coconut Milk - 267 calories, 5 g carbs, 23 g fat
Coconut and Almond Milk blend - 249 calories, 4 g carbs  21 g fat
Greek Yogurt - 273 calories, 6 g carbs, 22 g fat
Almond Milk  - 247 calories,  4 net carbs, 20 g fat

Let stand at least 5 minutes. Enjoy.
                                                                                                              Jar before adding milk or yogurt

If you like the versatility and ease of eating and drinking from canning jars, be sure to head over to the Diner website and order the Diner News. A full year subscription is just $6. Every issue has a different theme, and there are lots of recipes and tips not available here on the blog and over at the Low Carbing Among Friends website. To order, go here:

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Among Friends Thursday- Maria's Bubble Tea

Chia seeds are a curious thing. But then, so is Bubble Tea. Today's adventure was not my first into the world of crazy textured tea. My chia fresca was among my first tastes of chia way back in 2009. It has been on my shelf every since. Thanks to a shipping mix up with Nutty Guys, I think I have a lifetime supply of chia seeds!

Maria's recipe is different from mine. It was fun, doing it more in the Asian style of Bubble Teas. No the little gelled globules are not as big as the tapioca pearls or gelatin balls found in similar teas, but these are good for you. And besides, the interesting texture is there. Maybe even more interesting.  I took mine on the road for our big contract signing this morning.* I love the thick sweet blobs traveling up the straw and into my mouth. Different from anything.  Not thick like a shake, but a little more like a jello. Hard to describe, so just try it! For those of you with texture issues, this may not be for you. I really liked it--as long as I didn't try to chew the seeds. Mine happen to be the black seeds, so one word of caution, check your smile before exiting the car as I did this morning. A stray seed could stay with you all day if you know what I mean.

Maria's recipe called for vanilla almond milk and plain tea sweetened and flavored with Capella flavor drops. I switched that according to what I had. Plain almond  milk and my favorite sweet tea--vanilla caramel truffle tea from Lipton. Click that link or this one to find out how much I like this product. It is fabulous made into Maria's Bubble tea. I was planning to add a few drops of Capella Boston Cream Pie flavoring, but at first sip, I knew it didn't need it. The flavor is there! Now, one thing to be careful of...Maria's recipe called for a full tsp of stevia. Not sure what brand she was using, but I knew that would be way too much using my bottle. I used a dropperful, a bit less than 1/4 tsp and it was plenty sweet. My advice is just to taste a little at a time, or use what you usually use to sweeten coffee or tea. Sweetening is such a personal preference anyway! The recipe is in Low Carbing Among Friends, page 94. If you haven't buy the book already! Click the photo of the book on the right side of the page.

This specialty drink is a great way to get some extra nutrition in and way better for you than those summer shakes and smoothies all the fast food places are tempting us with these days. Drink one and pat yourself on the back for being so smart!

* Hurray! We signed our contract to move into the fabulous old building for our school program!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mexicali Meatloaf and More

It is fiesta night at our house tonight. Mexicali Meatloaf. This meal is not complicated, just a regular meatloaf with taco seasonings added. Very yummy. With it I served grilled mixed vegetables seasoned with a cilantro cube. We also enjoyed a Joseph's pita split into the thin halves, toasted and topped with Jack cheese. Pretty darn close to a tostada for just 2 net carbs for half a pita.

Mexicali Meatloaf

This is one of the recipes included in my new cookbook project, Low Carbing Among Friends.
This recipe is available in the book, along with over 60 additional 24/7 Low Carb Diner recipes. By ordering the book, you get more than 300 favorite gluten free recipes from four other well known low carb cooking experts…Jennifer Eloff of Splendid Low Carbing cookbook fame, Kent Altena, the Atkins Diet Geek and You Tube star, nutritionist and author Maria Emmerich of Maria’s Nutritious and Delicious Journal, and popular blogger and food stylist, Carolyn Ketchum of All Day I Dream About Food. Unlike any other cookbook you may own, this one is a compilation of mini cookbooks featuring the talents of these well known low carbers. Think of it as a “best of” project.
Low Carbing Among Friends also features recipes from numerous other talented low carbing friends and recommendations from the medical community who recognize the health benefits of low carb, gluten free living. To preorder your copy, visit The official release date is 11/11/11, so pre-order now for a discount.

Meatloaf is great in the freezer. When ground beef goes on sale, buy a lot. Make a basic meatloaf blend and squish it all together in a really big pot, or even in a clean plastic pail. (One book said to clean the sink and mix it in there, but I could never get used to that idea) Then you can divide up the loaves into entree sized servings. Keep one or two plain, to serve with sugar free ketchup. Add the Mexican spices to a couple more. You can even add the Italian seasonings to another part of the batch. If you lay some plastic wrap or foil into your loaf pan, you can form the meat there, then lift it out and carefully wrap it, uncooked, for the freezer. Then on cooking night, just unwrap it and thaw it in the loaf pan. When it is thawed, just bake it and it will be as fresh as ever. You can make 3-6 meatloaves and only get your hands yucky once. That is a winner of an idea for me. And do try the chia seeds, they help bind the meat and make it really moist. No one will know they are in there.

I love Mexican food, but sometimes it is tougher to prepare for my hubby. He is a northerner by birth, and our definitions of hot are in no way the same. It can also be a challenge to come up with side dishes when the standard beans and rice are a no no. The man doesn't care for guacamole. Not sure he liked the grilled veggies tonight, but I really liked them. The Knorr Cilantro cubes added a unique flavor that took them a step beyond the standard grill. I think he might have been mad that I slipped in some leftover squash cubes. Those are not his favorite. Still, it was pretty and tasty. I loved the combination of flavors and mix of texture.

I have been seeing an ad on TV for a cheeseburger taco. I think the leftovers of this meatloaf would be awesome made that way. May just have to try it and see.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Strawberry Chia Pop

This is so good when it is hot outside! And so good with an added nutritional bonus too! Yesterday, I made a batch of In a Jam Muffins. Rather than topping them with commercial sugar free jam, I used some strawberries I had that needed to be used quickly. I chose all the soft berries from the container, probably about 10 berries. Sorry, I didn't count. I threw those into my bullet blender along with a tablespoon of chia seeds, some sweetener and some water. They pulverized nicely, and were quite liquidy until the chia set to work. After about twenty minutes, they were the consistency of pudding. I spooned those into the center of the muffin batter, then had enough left to top the muffins too. Those were quite good, much like strawberry french toast.

When my oldest son had his lip problems, one of his sweet girl friends brought him over a care package of "fat lip friendly" treats. Among them were some fruit pops sweetened with Splenda. I tried one, and it was so yummy I wanted to duplicate it with lower carbs. Having success with the strawberry slurry, I was inspired. I had a few more strawberries, so I repeated the procedure, replacing half the water with cream. After letting that set, I added a touch of sweetener to taste. Then, it was into the popsicle forms--the ancient ones from Tupperware. I let it freeze almost 24 hours. Tonight I am enjoying a delicious frozen treat. These taste just like real strawberries and cream. They are not rock hard like the usual home made popsicle. I am not totally sure of the proportions, but this is close. I'll try to duplicate the recipe when I get some more berries.

Fresh Strawberry Chia Pops
1 cup sliced strawberries
2 teaspoons chia seeds
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cream
2 Tablespoons Splenda or equivalent sweetener

Combine all ingredients and blend well. Let the mixture set for 20 minutes to gel. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until firm. Let rest at room temperature about 5 minutes before removing from mold and eating. Depending on the size of your molds, this would make 2-4 pops.

These really don't seem to be too drippy, but I added one of my new home made cloth napkins just in case. If you are inspired to save a bit of money, these family style napkins are too easy to make. I have pinking shears, so I don't even hem mine. I have two styles. One is a bandana, cut into fourths. Easy, and at most a quarter a piece. The other method involves buying bargain table fabric. My Walmart, though not all have fabric departments, has a great selection for $1.50 a yard. I buy ten inches, then cut that strip into fourths. The napkin in the photo is made from bargain table cloth. Can't beat the price, and they don't take up enough room in the laundry to be a bother. I keep all my cloth napkins in a cute ceramic flower pot in the center of the kitchen table. That makes them handy to grab with dinner.

Today was an easy cooking day because everything was prepped beforehand. Breakfast was the In a Jam Muffins, lunch was leftover Chili Cheese Under Pressure, and dinner was a Sloppy Tom Casserole. I spent the afternoon fiddling around with my new stone that fits in the toaster oven. With a couple of batches of Almond Thins already produced, I still don't have a winning recipe to share. No problem, we can still eat the trials which aren't quite right. I'll share my results when I have an undeniable success. Until then, try a popsicle.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Healthy Low Carb Ice Cream for Hot , Hot Days

It is so hot in my part of the world. I absolutely loathe the Oklahoma summers. The thermometer near my house read 103 degrees as we drove past at five p.m. The weather guys claim it was only 98 degrees, but I think I believe the other guys! I was so glad that our Multiply Meals dinner needed only to be popped in the microwave, and voila! Amazing Aztec Meatloaf --Great man food for my warriors, but easy on the overheated cook. All I did was steam a little broccoli, and grab the salad from the fridge.

I decided to venture out again, still mindful with the calisthenics I went through last time with my ice cream maker, and try a batch of super healthy ice cream. Somehow the old diet mentality of eating a bowl of cream still sends chills down my spine. What I came up with tonight is quite creative, even if I do brag. It does, however, break with some of my usual procedures. Generally, I shy away from specialty ingredients. It seems like this ice cream is full of them. Granted, I like to keep things simple, but sometimes nutrition and taste win out. I have been incorporating chia seeds in many foods, and tonight I used my new blender to make a slurry with them. I thought about chia ice cream, looked it up online, and behold, someone HAD thought of it before I did. Theirs, however, tends to be made as a raw food, and I am not into soaking cashews to replace the cream. I gathered my vast food knowledge, and came up with this. To up the protein, I added a scoop of vanilla protein powder. Use your favorite. When I made my order with Capella for flavoring drops, I chose Cookies and Cream because it was half price. I also got Boston Cream Pie, Chocolate Butternut Crunch and Pumpkin Pie Spice.

Cookies and cream. We low carbers don't eat too many cookies. But then, the black chia seeds I have would look like the oreo crumbs in the original stuff. I blended up my chia slurry so it didn't look like frog spawn, and it did begin to look remarkably similar to a cookies and cream milkshake. Add the other ingredients, blend and pour into the freezer.

Yes, it did it to me again. The ice cream freezer from hell almost won again. Lesson number 2. Never try to do this alone. Three to five hands are definitely required.

Here is the recipe at last!

Cookies and Cream Superfood Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups water
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup cream
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 cup Splenda or equivalent sweetener
1/2 cup ice
10 drops cookies and cream flavoring
dash of salt

Hydrate the chia seeds for 20 minutes in the water. Stir every five minutes while jelling. In a blender, add chia gel and process until the seeds are ground and evenly distributed. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions.

I wasn't too impressed with the cookies and cream flavoring; it tasted rather artificial, but this would make a wonderful base for other flavorings. Maybe I will just add more plain vanilla and call it "Vanilla Bean." The texture beats that of the coconut milk ice cream, and the protein boost is a huge nutrition plus. If you try it, I would love to hear about your variations. Until then, it is a great summertime treat, and I will experiment further!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Coconut Cream Chia Pudding

It's official. I have gone Chia crazy. First, let me tell you about last night's dessert. If you like coconut cream pie, this is a pretty good substitute. It tastes wonderful. The texture is not quite the same, but the health benefits of chia seed meal far outweigh that issue. Bear in mind, that this recipe uses the white seed. The normal black would work the same, but would have many more dark flecks from the darker seed. Here is how I made ours.

Coconut Cream Chia Pudding

1 14 ounce can Coconut Milk
3 Tablespoons of White Chia Seed Meal (or ground whole seeds)
1/2 cup sweetener of choice, or equivalent
3 drops Coconut Cream flavoring drops (optional)
2 Tablespoons unsweetened dehydrated coconut flakes
(plus 1 tsp. toasted, reserved)

Mix the first five ingredients. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes and stir again. Chill for an hour. Stir again. Chill until ready to serve. If pudding sits overnight, you may need to stir in some water to reach the desired consistency. Toast coconut to sprinkle on the top of the pudding. Carbs will vary with the brand of Coconut Milk and sweetener used. Mine worked out to 3-4 carbs per serving

In addition to the pudding, I also played around with some beverages. In Mexico, chia seeds are added to lemonade. If you don't mind gelatinous little globs floating in your drink, it is quite appealing. I think it is fine as long you are expecting it. If not, you might think you just got served some frog spawn. eeeuuuw. In Mexico, they call it Chia Fresca. I added a twist. I first soaked my chia meal in raspberry DaVinci syrup. That gave the gel a bright pink hue. Very pretty. Then I made glass of lemonade, and added a spoonful of the chia meal to the drink. The result was very nice. You should drink this with a straw to keep the Chia suspended in the beverage. Kinda cool even if it is a little scary at first...and very good for your health.

One more thing, Chia is also good stirred into tea. I made Chai Chia. I didn't get a photo because I drank it all for breakfast. If you think I am too weird, just google "bubble tea" and find out that I am not the only one!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Amazing Aztec Meatloaf

Okay, just what do meatloaf and the ancient Aztec civilization possibly have in common? That is not as strange as you might think--it is the chia seed. This is a remarkable little seed. I generally don't like speciality ingredients, but this is an exception. According to the experts, it was once so valuable, that it was given as tribute to Aztec rulers. For centuries this tiny little seed was used as a staple food by the Indians. Further, it was used as "running" food, as the Aztec warriors subsisted on the Chia seed during the conquests or long treks.

Chia can be eaten dry, although that is certainly not my favorite way of using the seeds. Many recipes use the hydrated seeds, which make a thick gel. A few spoons of Chia seeds in a jar of water will create a gel-forming reaction from the soluble fiber. Once eaten, the gel is great for adding a feeling of fullness, often with fewer calories and carbs consumed. Chia gel is also helpful as an extender for richer foods such as butter or cheese sauces. The seeds themselves are very bland, and absorb the flavors of the food around them. As an additional benefit for diabetics, the gel also creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down. It is believed to slow the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar.

Tonight, I used chia seeds as a binder. I hear they work well in baked goods, but I haven't tried that yet. However, I can recommend chia as a wonderful binder for meatloaf. I missed the texture I used to get from oatmeal or breadcrumbs. The chia seed substitutes very well, and made my meatloaf tender and flavorful. The loaf was moist, but did not crumble. Try adding about three tablespoons of chia seed meal to your favorite meatloaf recipe in place of the starch. The result is outstanding. We had our meatloaf with roasted vegetables, easy to do while the oven is hot, and a bacon vinaigrette salad. I had to hide the leftovers to keep my hubby out of them. He will thank me when he gets to eat the meatloaf again for lunch later in the week.

While I was playing with these little miracle seeds, I thought about the gelling properties and how it could be used in puddings. An online search gave me some ideas. My first experiment, a simple mix with sweetened cream was alright, but not quite the same as tapioca. I like today's experiment much better. It will be dessert tonight--Coconut Cream Pudding. I'll give you directions for that tomorrow.

FYI, I bought my Chia seeds, aka Blanco Salvia, at Netrition, but plan to order more through Nutty Guys when I get some almond flour.