Monday, May 23, 2016

80--- Blackberry Chia Seed Jam

Chia seed jam may be the simplest condiment you will ever make.  Chia seeds, naturally high in omega-3 fatty acids, turn gelatinous when submerged in liquid.  When added to a sweetened milk (or substitute) you get pudding.  When added to a sweetened fruit puree, you get jam!

Blackberry Chia Seed Jam
Makes ~ 3 1/2 cups jam

4 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp lemon zest
1/3 cup chia seeds

In a saucepan, combine berries, honey, and lemon zest. Heat over medium heat, stirring regularly, until mixture reaches a low boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and allow mixture to reduce slightly for ~ 20 minutes.  During cooking the berries will break down into a liquid consistency  (you may use a whisk or fork to break them down further).

Remove from heat and whisk in chia seeds.

Pour mixture into jars for storage, seal with lids, and place in  the refrigerator overnight.

You may store the jam in the refrigerator for unopened for ~ 1 month. Once opened use within one week.  You may also store unopened jars in the freezer until ready to use (allow to "gel" overnight in the refrigerator before storing in the freezer however).

Monday, May 9, 2016

Nutrition Tip: Snacks

Are you a snacker?

Some people are, while others prefer to stick with a square three meals a day.

Snacking can be good thing! Eating often helps to balance your blood sugars, especially if you are waiting longer than four hours in between meals.

But choosing the right snack is important.  You don't want to fill up on too many calories, especially if your meals tend to be on the larger side.  Choosing a snack with lots of fiber can keep you fuller longer, and may help you make better decisions at meal time (and provide hangry avoidance, right?).

Check out this line-up for some inspiration......

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

20---Soft Toasted Coconut Oatmeal Cookies {Lemon Buttercream Whoopie Pie Option}

There has been such good press about the medium chain triglycerides in coconut lately that this hardly seems like it should be a 20.  

But with butter, processed flour, and sugar, alas, it is.  Sigh.

MCTs are not absorbed in the same way that other fats are in our bodies, and they are processed differently.  Therefore, they will not likely increase your cholesterol in the same ways that other fats may.  Check out more info here.

I still say use moderation with coconut, as it is still high in saturated fats.  However, the more research that comes out about the benefits, the more I turn into a believer!

Soft Toasted Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 28 large cookies

2 cups old fashioned oats (rolled oats)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup coconut, toasted until lightly brown in a nonstick pan over medium heat

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugars, and mix until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated.

In a smaller bowl combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix until combined.  Add 3/4 cup coconut and mix again.

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, scoop 2 Tbsp cookie dough into small balls, leaving 2" in between each ball (the cookies do spread quite a bit). Top each ball with flakes of remaining coconut.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until lightly brown around the edges.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool. 

Optional Lemon Buttercream
Will fill 14 whoopie pies

3 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened (not quite at room temperature)
1 tsp lemon extract

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, flour, and sugar.  Whisk as mixture comes to a low boil, then reduce heat to medium low.  Continue to whisk until a smooth pudding is formed.

Transfer mixture to a bowl and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to cool.

When mixture is cooled, place butter into a mixing bowl and beat for 2 minutes.  Add pudding mixture and lemon extract. Continue to mix until well combined and fluffy.

To make whoopie pies: Place 2 Tbsp frosting on a cookie, spread evenly and top with an additional cookie.