Tag Archives: chia

7 months of gratefulness & a lovely Strawberry Chia Jam which tastes like spring 

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Enjoying a spring day in San Anton Gardens in Attard

When I started writing this blog post last week, I was sitting on a bench next to a pond in San Anton Gardens, breathing in the lovely smells of flowers, feeling a mild spring breeze in my hair and watching the birds fly in the sunshine. Now I finish it sitting it in the same spring sun next to the sea with my darling Zoe playing happily away in her pram next to me. Have I ever imagined mummy life like this a few months ago?? Nope, I definitely haven’t. Sometimes I even think it’s too good to be true… And while I know from my fellow mummy friends that in a few weeks things might change drastically when our babies start to crawl and walk I’m even more devouring these quiet, peaceful moments in the now 🙂 .

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Chilling in Gozo with my parents. Zoe loves the sea just as much as we do.

A few days ago our little sunshine turned 7 months. Yes, of course she still wakes up at night and interrupted sleeps are part of my life, and yes, even though Zoe is a very happy and content baby, she also cries at times but all in all I must officially say I’m a freaking happy and grateful new mum and I fall in love with being a mummy even more every day. Who would have ever imagined the love I would feel? The worry when Zoe sleeps so deeply that I have to check her belly breathing (yes, paranoid. I know)? The joy when she cracks a huge smile as soon as I open the door to her nursery in the morning? But also the peace and tranquility when she’s nursing or napping and allows me to have a bit of time to myself, to sit next to the sea like now and to give me a chance to breathe, think, reflect and to feel happy, free, inspired and open. Have I ever sat on a bench in a past just enjoying the moment and being grateful so much?

A baby definitely changed my perspective on many things. I take each day by each day. Each night by each night. I try to go inside myself more often and listen deeply to myself: Am I happy? Am I doing the right things? Am I taking the right decisions? I’m a strong believer in the sayings “Happy mummy – happy baby” and “You have to be happy to make others happy” so I try to live accordingly to them.

What I’m definitely learning at the moment is to put ourselves first. Not to always please others, always doing others a favor, learning to say no – it’s a hard lesson for me but I’m getting better. I also think much more about my own childhood than ever.  How our parents raised us and what a great influence it makes later in life. Recently my parents came to visit us in Malta and for the first time I was consciously aware of how incredible it must be to see you own child have their own baby. The gift of life is something so incredible and I catch myself more and more reflecting on it. What will our future be like? What will our children’s future be like? Every topic on sustainability, be it protection of nature, saving the planet from too much rubbish, overfishing of the sea, politics, wars, terrorism, diseases like cancer on the rise.. The list goes on and on. Every time my head starts spinning by all these thoughts I gently remind myself that all we can do is be aware of the now, be grateful for every moment and every day and trying to be happy, sharing the happiness and enjoying the little joys of life to the max ❀ . Yoga has helped me learn this over the last years and little Zoe teaches me to do it even more! I remember my dear friend saying at our wedding ceremony “Shine brightly, together” and I think it’s important passing this on to our children.

So I try not to be nostalgic that our little baby girl is growing by the day, that all our favorite outfits are getting too small (yes, I know – I have to sort them out!), that she’s slowly getting too heavy for long walks in the baby carrier, that I can’t see, cuddle and kiss her non stop when she’s in her big new stroller.. – stop! No! I try to do exactly what she does – enjoying to see and learn new things everyday and enjoying the moment of life you’re right at NOW 😊

Which finally brings me, of course, also to eating and enjoying to cook lots of wonderful spring foods Malta has to offer right NOW! Be it citrus, artichokes or strawberries.. The fruit and veggies in the spring are just as fresh as inspiring and just as delicious as easy to prepare! As most of you know I’m a big fan of easy cooking and all these ingredients can be transformed into lovely meals without spending hours in the kitchen. Be it a nice fennel citrus salad, steamed artichokes with a parsley egg and lemon dip or the recipe for yummy and healthy strawberry chia jam which I’m sharing with you today! It’s not only good for breakfast on homemade bread or as a topping on porridge, but also lovely for tea time or a little healthy dessert (e.g. on yoghurt) in the evening ❀

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Tastes like spring! Strawberry Chia Jam

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lt; h1>Strawberry Chia Jam

Probably all of you know the benefits of the super food chia seeds by now, but to sum it up briefly, chia seeds are a great source of plant protein, contain Omega 3 and 6, have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and help digestion. They can help you you lose weight (even more if you use this jam instead of normal one! 😉 ) because they have a low carbohydrate, are rich in natural magnesium, contain many essential nutrients and can therefore strengthen the immune system. As always I try to get organic whenever I can, for my superfoods I love the products of my Austrian friends of Green Panda but of course any chia seeds will do the job. You can take black chia, white chia, the whole seeds, ground seeds – they all work the same. Chia seeds have binding properties which makes them perfect for puddings (recipe here), jams or in baking.<<<<
u don't have strawberries at hand you can also try other berries like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries etc. You can add different notes of flavors likes orange blossom water, rose water, vanilla, cinnamon – play with it!

What you need…< /strong>(for a small jar)< /em>As a rule of thumb 2 cups of washed and chopped fruit plus 2 table spoons of chia seeds work very well. For a thicker texture add a bit more chia. 2 cups of washed and chopped strawberries (or other fruit)2 table spoons of chia seeds

  • 2 table spoons of orange juice (alternatives: lemon or lime, rose or orange water)
  • Agave or maple sirup according to your sweet tooth (honey for the raw version is nice too)

What to do… Mash or roughly chop washed strawberries depending if you like your chia jam rather fine or chunky. Heat them up in a small pot on medium heat, I added some blueberries which I had to use up but only strawberries are fine, too. Add a bit of fresh orange or lemon juice, the sweetener of your choice and let it simmer for a few minutes until it reduces and gets nice and thick. Turn of the heat. For a raw version simply blend it all in a processor instead.

Now add the chia seeds and let it stand for a while. The longer it stands the thicker it gets but I’d wait at least 15-20min. If you’re hungry and want to eat your fresh jam right now – go for it and enjoy it some home baked bread or simply brown toast with a lovely cup of tea! Alternatively store it in a jar in the fridge and use it as a yummy topping on your bfast or on your greek yoghurt as a snack. It even goes well with a  nice goat cheese and with these temperatures it would also be a lovely topping on some banana or chocolate ice cream (recipe here).

Hope you enjoy it and have a lovely new month ahead! For regular food inspiration don’t forget to follow my Facebook fan pay  or Instagram.

Big love & thanks for reading, lovely people<<<<
on't forget to shine brightly ❀

N xx

P.S. I'm also taking new clients for private cooking classes, and an exciting workshop on yoga and healthy food for mummies is in the works so watch this space or get in touch with me for more info.

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Winter warming Chai & Chia smoothie

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Do you also love smoothies? Throughout the spring, summer and autumn a delicious smoothie with fresh local fruit or vegetables pimped up with some super foods are part of my daily life, ideally for bfast. This unfortunately changes drastically when the temperatures get colder.. Yes, also here in Malta it can get extremely uncomfortable, chilly and cold. (Don’t ask for details or I won’t stop talking about how much I miss my Austrian central and underfloor heating – ahhh!)

Anyways, as soon as it gets colder my smoothie love changes into tea addiction and somehow it was obvious that a warm smoothie with my favorite tea had to be created. The result was a Chai Chia Smoothie which gets his special kick by adding warming spices such as fresh ginger, cinnamon and cardamom but also energizing substance through Chia seeds and almond butter. So it’s warming, comforting and is a real energy boost at the same time! But try it for yourself …

winter warming chai chia smoothie

What you need…
(Ingredients for 2 smoothies)

1 hot cup of your favorite chai tea ( I like Chai Vanilla or Chai Red Bush)
1 cup warm nut milk (almond, coconut or soy)
2 teaspoons of chia seeds (soaked over night in water or chia tea)
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
1 ground cardamom capsule (Attention, the shell belongs to the bin 😉 alternatively use ground cardamom
2 teaspoons almond butter
1 tablespoon molasses sugar syrup (particularly high in iron, magnesium and folic acid), if you can’t get that use honey, agave or maple syrup
4 dates

What to do…
Blend all ingredients in the blender . Voila – here’s your first warm smoothie 🙂

Love,
N xx

P.S. I want to dedicate this recipe to my friends P and R from Vienna who were brave enough to quit their jobs and set up their own company for super foods in Germany, Austria and Italy. Guys – you rock and are an inspiration! If you want to check out their Facebook page (in German only) go and check out Green Panda – Superfoods with love. I wish you all the best of luck with it!!

Our favorite morning muesli mix

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What do you eat as your first meal of the day? Nothing? Coffee? A quick croissant on the way to work or a pre-made sandwich from the corner shop? Well, we’ve all been there and I’m not saying that a nice, lavish brunch should generally be banned. But: on an everyday basis we try to start our day healthily. Sure, it has to be quick – I fully agree. But it should also give me a boost for the day and do my body something good 🙂 Therefore me and my lovely have created our very own special muesli mix.

Since my last detox I kept on eating oats for breakfast. The contain a lot of fibre and keep the guts working (pssst! – that’s also good for people whose bowls don’t move enough if you know what I mean). Besides, they have ton of other health benefits which you can read here and if you wish you can also get them gluten free. In addition to the oats we mix lots of other yummy ingredients and super foods which surely all heard of like chia seeds, goji berries, maca powder, cacao nibs and so on. Just choose what you like and play with different combinations!

To keep it simple in the mornings, we just prepare a recycled box or big jar of our special bfast muesli mix and keep it ready in the drawer. Like this you only have to get your bowl, take a few table spoons of the muesli mix and top it up with hot water or dairy free milk like coconut or almond milk before you have your shower. You can also put it on the hob for a couple of minutes then it’s creamier like a porridge. Chop up a piece of fresh fruit or two (we like apple, fresh Maltese peaches or nectarines, pomegranate or whatever you get locally and is in season) and either cook it with the muesli or use it as a topping. Add a tiny bit of oil to get the best out of your ingredients and mix it. Then take your time to get ready for the day – in the meantime the muesli mix can soak up the liquid. You can also do that over night -that’s what everyone calls “overnight oats”.
If you do it fresh in the morning it sometimes soaks up so quickly that you have to add a tiny bit more liquid. By the time you’re ready, your muesli will be perfect to enjoy and give you the best start to the day! If you’re in a total rush you can also just put it in a jar and simply take it with you. Easy peasy 🙂

So far, all our guests fell in love with it – so we thought it’s time to write up the recipe!
(for our German speaking friends I chose the photo with the original handwritten recipe)

Our special muesli mix

What you need….
(amounts depending on the size of your box, play with it!)

  • Oats (about 50%, that’s the base)
  • Chia seeds
  • Whole almonds
  • Flax seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Goji berries
  • Dried cranberries, mulberries, apple etc. (whatever you have and like)

Possible superfood additions

  • Cacao nibs
  • Maca powder
  • Baobab powder
  • Bee pollen

Possible toppings:

  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut flakes
  • Raw cacao powder

At the very end:

  • A tiny bit of oil (I use cold pressed flax seed oil cause of the great amounts of omega 3 but you can also use coconut which tastes much nicer 😉
  • Fresh fruit
  • Hot water or dairy free milk

What to do…

Mix all ingredients in a big box or jar (apart from the toppings). When you wanna make it, take out a few table spoons per person (seems little but soaks up nicely), top it up with hot water or dairy free milk, let it stand for a bit (10min minimum, no maximum) and finally add some fruit, a drizzle of oil and toppings of your choice.
If you make a warm version, which is lovely in winter, throw it all in a little pot and let it cook gently for a few minutes – warm bfast here we come!

As I said, play with the ingredients – you can add or skip stuff and see what you like best. Only the oats I wouldn’t skip as they are the base for a nicely creamy comfort muesli.

Enjoy and have some great energetic mornings!

Love, N xx