Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cinnamon Kefir Chia Pudding and Yogurt Parfait

For breakfast or dessert, this delicious parfait brings a smile to everyone's face! It looks so elegant and complicated, but it really isn't. It takes some prior planning to have all the ingredients ready, but once that is done, it's quick and easy to put together.

1. Make a batch of my Spiced Grain-Free Baked Granola.  Click here for the recipe. I always have this granola on hand in my pantry because it is a breakfast staple in my house. If you don't want to make your own granola, purchase a gluten-free variety.

2. Take plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt (or a mixture of kefir cheese and plain yogurt) and mix it with vanilla powder (or vanilla extract) and stevia powder to taste; set aside.

3. Then make the Cinnamon Kefir Chia Seed Pudding (see recipe below). I like making my chia seed pudding in a blender, rather than other methods that mix the whole seed in liquid, because I like mine smooth.  The pudding needs to set up for a couple of hours or overnight, so plan for this.  In the morning, assemble your parfaits and dazzle your family! This is a attractive breakfast no one can refuse!

Cinnamon Kefir Chia Seed Pudding
Makes 4 servings (1/2 cup each)

1 cup almond or coconut milk
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened kefir (see directions for making kefir at home)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or unsweetened vanilla powder
1/2 teaspoon stevia powder, or to taste (I use Sweet Leaf brand)
1 pitted date (soaked in water, if too dry)
1 teaspoon Golden Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener (or substitute with another pitted date)
A pinch of salt
1/3 cup chia seeds (I used white chia seeds)

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until thick and smooth. Taste mixture and add more stevia, if desired.  Pour mixture into a glass storage container or jar, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Nutritional Information per 1/2 cup serving: 139 calories, 8.6 g carbohydrate (5.8 g dietary fiber, 1.9 g sugars), 10.2 g total fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 44 mg sodium, 227 mg calcium, 17 mg potassium, 4.5 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 2.8 grams

To Assemble a Parfait: 
Into a small, clear glass spoon in 1/4 cup Cinnamon Kefir Chia Seed Pudding, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of granola over pudding layer, top granola layer with 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt, and top the parfait with another 1 tablespoon of granola, toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, and 1-2 chopped walnuts.

Nutritional Information per serving (1 parfait): 289 calories, 12.7 g carbohydrate (5.8 g dietary fiber, 5.3 g sugars), 24.3 g total fat (6.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 11 mg cholesterol, 113 mg sodium, 225.1 mg calcium, 227 mg potassium, 9.1 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 6.9 grams

All recipes by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016

Chocolate Peanut Butter Kefir Smoothie

Creamy, delicious, nutritious and full of beneficial probiotics...what more do you need in the morning? This Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie has been one of my favorites lately! For variety, I switch the peanut butter for almond or organic sunflower seed butter occasionally; they're all good! The unripe, green banana adds creaminess but, more importantly, it contains prebiotic fiber that feeds the good microorganisms in the kefir to support a healthy microbiome. Because of the addition of healthy fats and protein from the collagen hydrolysate (if using, see explanation below*), this smoothie is so satisfying that often I can make it to dinner with just a snack of nuts mid-afternoon. No hunger, no cravings, no blood sugar lows! This meal replacement smoothie keeps me energized and going all day. Have a good morning!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Kefir Smoothie
Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup homemade unsweetened dairy milk kefir or coconut milk kefir (see recipe here)
1/4 cup coconut or almond milk (or other milk of your choice)
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon flax oil
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon stevia powder, or to taste (I use Sweet Leaf brand)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
A pinch of salt
1-1/2 inch piece of frozen unripe, green banana (skin removed)
4-5 ice cubes
1/2 cup water, more or less, depending on the thickness you desire
1-2 teaspoons collagen hydrolysate powder (optional source of added protein, see below)*

Place all of the ingredients in your blender and blend on high until smooth.

Nutritional Information per serving (without collagen hydrolysate): 597 calories, 16.8 g carbohydrate (5.3 g dietary fiber, 4.4 g sugars), 53.8 g total fat (27.3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 182 mg sodium, 135.8 mg calcium, 40 mg potassium, 10.4 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 11.5 grams

*What is Collagen Hydrolysate?  Often people ask me which protein powder I recommend.  Well, this is it!  Collagen hydrolysate is 90% pure unflavored protein, no fillers or additives.  It dissolves in either hot, warm or cold liquids, making it perfect to add to smoothies, soup, coffee, tea or juice.  Hydrolysed collagen is a unique combination of amino acids in concentrated levels. It is easily digested and supports the body's natural healing process, similar to the benefits of bone broth.  It can be very helpful for someone suffering from arthritis or a joint related injury.  You'll notice a difference in the health of your bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, hair and nails, if taken regularly as a supplement.  The powder I use is from Great Lakes Gelatin and can be purchased on the Internet.

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016