paleo pumpkin bars

breakfast, holidays, snacks, treats

They started off as a weekend treat. Then a quick breakfast option and onto an after-gym snack. They are pretty much just always around these days.

This pumpkin bar recipe from the Detoxinista has been a weekly staple for us this season. Canned pumpkin is hard to come by in this city but we had some generous visitors come through Edinburgh and they brought us canned pumpkin from the States… they know me too well!

They are moist. Pumpkiny. Warm. Comforting. And the closest thing I got to pumpkin pie, that is GF, DF, and refined sugar-free this year. They have been the perfect alternative and great with a morning cup of joe.

I have successfully reintroduced a couple of key spices here after following the AIP. If you have yet to incorporate nutmeg and clove into your diet, look at the link here for a vegan and AIP-friendly recipe for pumpkin bars from Cook It Up Paleo.

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Paleo Pumpkin Bars

Makes 12 bars

Ingredients:

15 oz. pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs

Coconut oil, for greasing the pan

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F / 175C
  2. Grease a 9×9 baking tray well with coconut oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well.
  4. Transfer batter to the greased baking tray, smooth the top.
  5. Bake at for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the center is firm.
  6. Allow to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve.
  7. Share with your people, enjoy!

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Notes

  • Coconut flour is a unique GF flour to use in baking. This recipe relies on using coconut flour and a substitution is not as straight forward as you might think. If you would like to use a different flour substitute look here for an almond flour recipe from Elana’s Pantry.
  • These bars will store well in the fridge for a few days (if they last that long!)
  • Try a pumpkin pie spice blend for ease and perfect ratios.

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What healthy treats do you or your families make every year? The past few years my mom makes delicious crust-less pies for the holidays. Instead of a traditional pie crust, she makes the most delicious base of ground nuts, coconut oil and agave nectar or maple syrup. See a similar recipe here

I can attest that this recipe is a delicious addition while you are putting up your Christmas decorations. I hope you are having a lovely start to your December and Advent season.

Have a delicious week, x!

 

 

 

 

healthy pumpkin spice latte

food & drink, snacks, treats

Hi friends, it is the first day of fall! Yay!

Leaves. The clock rolls back. Scarves. Sweaters. Boots. Scented candles. And all things pumpkin!

This week I have been experimenting with a homemade, healthy version of the classic Pumpkin Spice latte from Starbucks. There is nothing wrong with a little treat yo’self, especially if you look forward to this fall treat year-round. But I would like to drink them all fall (and winter for that matter), so I had to find a healthier way to do that without a growing waistline or dwindling checking account. I will definitely be sipping on this as the mornings are darker and the weather just a bit cooler.

Serves 1- 2

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk (or your dairy preference)
  • 2 tbs pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee or espresso
  • ground cinnamon

 

Directions 

  1. Combine all ingredients (minus the coffee) in a small pan over low heat on stovetop. Stir slowly until the milk is hot.
  2. Whisk the mixture to get a frothy texture for 30-45 seconds.
  3. Pour coffee or espresso in a mug and top with coconut milk mixture. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon
  4. Sip and savour fall in a mug!

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Notes 

  • Extra mixture will keep in glass jar up to two days
  • You can freeze any leftover mixture in ice trays for another day or to blend in a morning smoothie or cook into your oatmeal

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Let me know if you give this recipe a try, as always! What are the fall recipes that you look forward to most?

Happy autumn! x

green coconut smoothie

breakfast, dessert, food, recipes, snacks

I think we can agree fruits and vegetables are good for you. But do you struggle to get all of your greens in for the day?

Maybe you are ready to mix up your morning routine. Want to feel like Superwoman (or man…) from all the greens you consume before your 9am start at work? Raise your hand if you want brighter skin, happy bowels and a slimmer waist?! Give green smoothies a go- they are super healthy, easy to make, and they just might turn you into a morning person.

This smoothie recipe uses fresh fruits and dark, leafy greens. Green smoothies are defined by their use of leafy greens like spinach, kale (most nutrition value per calorie out of any plant!), chard, collards, and even dandelion greens (so good for detoxing) to get tons of vitamins and minerals and give your body the plant-based nutrients it craves.

5 REASONS TO LOVE GREEN SMOOTHIES

  1. Easy way to get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet every single day. If you struggle with salads and eating green, you might find this doable.
  2. Natural weight loss can be an additional side effect of enjoying these in place of a typical breakfast. Be sure to include healthy fats and protein to make it a more complete and balanced meal.
  3. The immune-boosting benefits of green smoothies are a good preventative measure to keep the flu bugs away. And a simple way to boost your immune system when you are feeling under the weather.
  4. Green smoothies provide natural energy. I have cut back on my caffeine intake as a result because I feel a pep in my step and they help to keep the morning slump at bay.
  5. Quick, easy to make, and portable (if it even lasts long enough to make it out the door) and delicious! It is the best ‘fast food’ for the morning especially if you prep ahead.

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This book peaked my interest in a morning smoothie ritual. Eat. Nourish. Glow by Amelia Freer- the Queen of all things delicious and healthy. Check out her entire archive of juice and smoothie recipes and how we can use food as medicine. Full of practical advice, I find myself empowered to make healthy decisions about the food I buy and kick unhealthy habits that can make me feel sluggish and exhausted. Amelia makes it easy.

This green coconut smoothie recipe is full of fresh greens and fruit; avocado +coconut that provide healthy fats; banana that creates a creamy, sweet base; coconut milk adds creaminess and complements the flavours from fresh produce.

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Ingredients

  • 8oz/230ml coconut milk (or dairy-free alternative)
  • 8oz water
  • 1 kiwi fruit or granny smith apple
  • ½ banana (preferably ripe and frozen pieces)
  • 3 handfuls of kale or spinach
  • 2 celery sticks
  • ½ cucumber
  • ½ avocado
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ground ginger
  • shredded unsweetened coconut

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Method

  1. Start with dairy-free milk and water, pour into blender.
  2. Add leafy greens, blend until smooth and leafy chunks are gone.
  3. Add remaining, diced fruit + veg, blend again until smooth.
  4. Pour into a large glass (or a mason jar, you hipster, you).
  5. Gulp, sip or pour into a bowl and add some delicious toppings (see below).

Notes

  • If your smoothie is too thick, add some extra liquid (water or dairy alternative) and blend for a few seconds to thin.
  • If your blender is struggling to make things smooth, try blending your greens and liquid together first, then add the fruit and blend a second time.
  • Enjoy getting creative with some nutritious toppings: a quality protein powder, dried coconut, fresh berries, cacao powder, cinnamon, maca powder, nuts, seeds or a spoonful of nut butter.

Use this helpful guide from simplegreensmoothies.com to get your creative juices flowing and try your own variation

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What are you favourite smoothie recipes? Looking for some additional smoothie or juicing inspiration? Here are my all time favourites:

  • Green Kitchen Stories  – an entire cookbook dedicated to smoothies. Yes, dreams do come true and the photography (if you’re into it) is top notch.
  • Minimalist Baker – lots of delicious smoothie bowl recipes. For those of us that prefer to shovel it in with a spoon and can’t be bothered with a straw.
  • Deliciously Ella  –  known for her nutritious and healing recipes, Ella has loads of quick smoothie and smoothie bowl recipes available for free on her website.

 

Enjoy! x

 

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chocolate + almond butter pudding

dessert, recipes, snacks, treats

Who doesn’t want a quick and nutritionally dense way to answer a sugar craving? This chocolate pudding removes all the guilt and satisfies my sweet tooth . This dairy and gluten-free recipe is rich, smooth, creamy and nutritiousIt is also incredible easy and quick to put together – would make a great last minute Easter dessert.

-Take care of the ticker with avocados that are rich in healthy fats, folate, and extremely heart healthy.

-The creaminess of banana provides Vitamin B6, potassium, fiber and sweetens the pudding naturally.

-Cacao or cocoa powder provides antioxidants and magnesium. Did you know that most people are deficient in magnesium? It is an important mineral for regulating blood sugar and helps fight strong sugar cravings.

-The almond butter provides an extra boost of protein and even more healthy fats to keep you satiated and adds the right about of salty to sweet.

Ingredients

makes 4 small pots 

  • 2 large avocados
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 2-3 tbs cocoa or cacao powder (to your preference)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp optional sweetener (date syrup, agave nectar, honey)

 

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Method

Place the flesh of the avocados and all remaining ingredients together in a blender or food processor and blend, scraping down the sides as you go until well combined. Yep, that easy.

a). remove to a bowl + eat now

b). cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours + eat later

Both ways are delicious. Serve it up and share with your people.

The toppings are endless or it can be served plain and simple. Top with a pinch of cocoa, sliced bananas, a handful of berries, a dollop of almond butter or some shredded coconut flakes.

 

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Notes

  • If you prefer an intense chocolate flavor, add less sweetener.
  • The pudding can easily be prepared in advance and put into serving glasses/jars to store in the fridge.
  • The consistency of the pudding will thicken when chilled. Leftovers will keep in the fridge up to a few days, though best when fresh.

 

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Enjoy! x

 

Cinnamon Granola with Nuts + Seeds

breakfast, dessert, recipes, snacks

We all need a reason to get up on a wintry morning.

This hearty, subtly sweet, nutty granola is your answer. Scented with coconut and cinnamon and bursting with crunchy almonds, pecans and seeds. Perfect for snacking, storing, atop a smoothie bowl (I chose pumpkin, I think that’s obvious) or on its own with a bit of milk.

Adapted from The Minimalist Baker: Nut + Honey Coconut Granola

INGREDIENTS

Serves: 12

  • 3 cups GF rolled oats
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup pecans
  • raw pumpkin seeds to top
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tbsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey  or agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut *
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit *

 

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METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 340 F or 170 C
  • Mix the oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and nuts together in a large bowl.
  • In a small saucepan over medium low heat, warm the coconut oil, honey/agave and vanilla extract and pour over the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Spread the mixture evenly onto a baking sheet(s) and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring a bit near the halfway point. The coconut oil will help this granola crisp up nicely but be sure to watch it carefully as it browns quickly.
  • If you are going to add the shredded coconut*, be sure to add in the last minutes as it will burn easily.
  • Once the granola is visibly browned remove from the baking sheet and into a bowl to let it cool.

 

NOTES

– Place in a container that has an air-tight seal and it should keep for a few weeks.

– This granola is very customizable. Feel free to omit or add any addition spices, oil or nut components.

– Some dried fruit* like raisins or apples would be nice. Be sure to add in the last few minutes of cooking, so they stay soft.

– Serve over a smoothie bowl, greek yogurt, as cereal with your favorite milk or take it on the go as a nutritious and delicious snack on the go.

 

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Grain Free Pumpkin Bread

dessert, recipes, snacks, treats
When the smell of cinnamony, nutmeggy pumpkin bread fills your home, it’s a special kind of nirvana in the nostrils. During these cold, dark and damp winter months in Edinburgh this easy pumpkin bread has won us over, time and time again. This perfectly moist, gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free pumpkin quick bread is made with high protein almond flour and has no processed or refined sugars.

Ingredients – serves 4

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup pureed pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 bananas (with a little green, too ripe does not work well for this)

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Method

  1. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients; flours, salt, baking soda and spices
  2. In a food processor, combine wet ingredients; pumpkin, honey, vanilla and banana, pulse for 2 minutes
  3. Scoop batter into a mini loaf pan
  4. Bake at 350°F (or 170°C)  for 35-45 minutes
  5. Cool for 20-30 minutes
  6. Take a whiff of pumpkin filling your kitchen, serve warm and share with your people

Notes

  • I have experimented with this recipe a few times. Eggs, no eggs, ‘flax eggs’, gelatin, banana… I opt for the vegan option because mashed banana makes a really nice binder. The texture is just right and it really brings out the pumpkin and spices in this recipe.
  • For another vegan friendly option, substitute the honey with date syrup or agave nectar
  • If you want an extra sweet treat, toss in some raisins and/or dark chocolate chips to the batter before baking
  • For an additional crunch, mix in or top the loaf with your favorite nuts or seeds halfway through baking
  • Coconut flour absorbs anything its mixed with. If your mixture seems a bit dry, stir in some dairy (2 tbs. at a time) of your choice to make a little wetter before putting in your loaf pan

I’m in love with pumpkin and I don’t care who knows it! I have had my share of the stuff for months now; curries, breads, pancakes, stews, breakfast hash… and I don’t plan on stopping.

If you too, are experiencing pumpkin obsession/heaven what is your favorite pumpkin recipe? How do you prefer to prepare winter squash that is in abundance this time of year?

 

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overnight pumpkin spice oats

breakfast, recipes, snacks

This time of year I crave all things pumpkin. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin chili, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin curry, pumpkin pancakes – sweet or savory, the options are endlessly mouthwatering. It is finally pumpkin season, and the reasons to celebrate are many.

Pumpkin is all that it is cracked up to be- and more. It’s quite magical really, and therefore it’s OK to be totally obsessed with this season’s superfood. Pumpkin will help you feel feel fuller, longer. It packs dietary fiber and is a low calorie food, keeping that waistline in check. It can boost vision, as one cup packs more than 200% of your daily Vitamin A.  Pumpkins can help lower blood pressure, help you sleep better, promote a healthy heart, alleviate constipation and/or diarrhea (like I said, it’s magical), restore your body’s balance of electrolytes and boost your mood.

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This recipe for pumpkin spice oats is simple and quick because it is prepared the night before and includes only five baseline ingredients; oats, pumpkin, yogurt, chia seeds and milk.  Your body will reap the benefits of fiber (thank you, oats), healthy omega fats (thank you, chia seeds) and satisfying plant-nutrition (thank you, pumpkin and yogurt). Overnight, the oats and seeds are soaked into the pumpkin, yogurt and milk, which means that the oats become deliciously soft, creamy and easy to digest. The chia seeds expand and create a pudding type texture that will have you wanting it every day of the week.

Ingredients

3/4 cup gluten free oats

1/2 cup coconut or almond milk

1/3 cup dairy-free plain yogurt (I really like this coconut yogurt, but soy yogurt is also delicious and a bit easier to find)

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

1/2 tsp of each, sprinkle in some cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove

Method

Are you ready for the easiest thing ever?

Place all of the base ingredients in a jar and stir them all together. Secure the lid and pop in the fridge to store overnight or for at least a few hours. The End. Really!

Extra cinnamon, pecans or raw pumpkin seeds are the perfect toppings for this pumpkin spice recipe. Feel free to experiment with what you like and what you have on hand: almond butter, sliced almonds, unsweetened coconut chips, or drizzle some honey or agave nectar. Make it a dessert with some carob or dark chocolate chips.

With all overnight oats, the toppings are endless, click here to see a Kilts+Kale post for a basic overnight oats recipe.

Notes

If you tolerate dairy, use your favorite yogurt and milk

If plain yogurt is not your favorite, try adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract or stevia to add more flavor

If your oats are a bit thicker than you would like in the morning, just add some milk and stir in until you find a consistency that you like

I hope you enjoy this fall treat and this first weekend of October!

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pea + mint hummus

appetizer, dips, snacks

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Me and a delicious snack are two peas in a pod.

There is no better place to get some snackspiration than at Earthy Café. On a recent visit, I indulged in some serious snack samples of homemade dips and spreads. Unique recipes like Lemon Hummus with Harissa, White Bean and Basil and Pistachio Hummus with Feta were all on point. After all of this sampling, I was inspired to try making our own using something in season and a bit unusual.

Pea + mint is not a new concept, it is a classic flavour combination but a bit out of the ordinary for me. However, this summer I had my first bowl of pea and mint soup and… wowza, loved it. Loved it so much I wanted it in dip form.

This dip is a simple, fresh and healthy way to snack. Peas might be small but they are packed with nutrients. A cup of peas contains about 115 calories, 8 grams of protein, and 14 grams of net carbs. Peas are an excellent source of folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin K and also rich in calcium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese.

I hope you enjoy this twist on hummus and the flavours that it brings with it! Who knows, you too might be in for a surprise.

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INGREDIENTS

serves 4-6

1/2 pound frozen green peas, thawed

1/2 tin chickpeas

1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/4 red onion, diced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs tahini

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves (about 3 to 4 sprigs), chopped

1/2 tsp black pepper

Juice of one lemon

Sea salt, according to taste

METHOD

1 In a small pan over medium heat, sauté chopped onion and garlic until soft and translucent, but not browned, about 4-5 minutes.

2 Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and well combined. Serve chilled. Easy peasy.

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NOTES
As with all hummus, there are countless ways to serve it up!
  • Enjoy as a dip for veggies- cut up carrot, cucumber, pepper or courgette
  • Enjoy as a spread over your favourite crunch – slices of whole grain pita, warm toast, or oatcakes
  • Top it up with grated feta, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds or reserved green peas
Enjoy!
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beetroot hummus

dips, recipes, snacks

Some people are terrified of beets.  Fair enough, they have a habit of bleeding over everything (my white cutting board loves this), they look a little out of this world and unfortunately, the pickled-vinegary-crinkle-cut variety have caused most people to turn them down. You might have even had a nightmare or two about being stranded at Dwight Schrute’s beet farm. Whatever it is, can I encourage you to give beets another chance? Beetroot is a unique combination of sweetness and earthiness. They provide our bodies with high-levels of potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A, B & C, beta-carotene and folic acid. Beets can be pressed into fresh juices and, believe it or not, added to chocolate cake and brownie recipes. They can also boost our mental health, lower blood pressure and fight off cancer! Enough said. Aside from their shared earthiness, beetroot and cumin could not be more different. The sweetness of beetroot is spiced up by cumin’s smoky edge and is deliciously creamy when mixed with chickpeas. It’s the perfect dip for a healthy snack or addition to supper. Ingredients  200g roasted beetroot / 2 medium  150g chickpeas 1 large garlic glove, crushed 50g almonds or walnuts 1 tablespoon cumin lemon 1 tablespoon olive oil sea salt and ground pepper IMG_2372 Method Beetroots can be cooked in the oven at 200ºC/400ºF for about 45 minutes, but I prefer to sautée them on the cooktop on medium heat with olive oil until tender. Either way, the beetroot should be soft not shrunk. Once cooked, leave on the side to cool. In a food processor, blend the nuts into chunky crumbs. Add the beetroot, chickpeas, and 1/2 of the garlic, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Blend in the processor until the ingredients form a thick pasty texture. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking. I take more of everything and add the remaining 1/2 of the ingredients; garlic, cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper and even a little parsley. If you find that the dip is too thick, continue by adding 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil at a time and pulsating in the food processor until your desired consistency. IMG_2143 Notes We enjoyed this hummus with organic gluten-free oatcakes. It could also be  served with warm pitta bread, spread on chunky seeded toast or scooped on top of a fresh spring salad. If you are not dairy-free or vegan, try topping with crumbled goat cheese for an extra flare of flavor.

overnight coconut chia oats

breakfast, recipes, snacks

Scotland has a long and fascinating history with oats.

I am not ashamed. This is precisely the kind of thing that I geek out about. I am currently trying to convince Ryan that we need to go and tour an 800-year old oat mill in Alford, Scotland. Yes, they have been milling oats for a very long time and they host the World Porridge Making Championship – I must go and experience this. Oats are a serious food staple here and I love how versatile and easy they are.

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If you have perused Instagram or Pinterest lately you know that overnight oats and chia pudding are all the rage. This recipe combines both recipes and will give you an easy way to get the nutrients and energy you need to start your day. Or if you are like me, it makes the perfect afternoon snack.

This is a quick morning meal because it is prepared the night before and includes only four baseline ingredients; oats, yogurt, chia seeds and almond milk. The toppings are endless and totally up to you. Your body will reap the benefits of fiber (thank you, oats), healthy omega fats (thank you, chia seeds) and satisfying plant-based protein (thank you, yogurt and almond milk). The oats and seeds are soaked into the yogurt and almond milk, which means that the oats become deliciously soft, creamy and easy to digest. The chia seeds expand and create a pudding type texture that will  have you wanting it every day of the week.

Ingredients 

1/2 cup gluten free oats

1/4 cup almond milk

1/4 cup dairy-free yogurt (I really like this coconut yogurt, but soy yogurt is also delicious and slightly easier to find)

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

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Method 

Place all of the base ingredients in a jar and stir them all together. Secure the lid and pop in the fridge to store overnight or for at least a few hours.

When you are ready to eat, get creative with your toppings. They are endless, experiment with what you like and what you have on hand: sliced bananas, blueberries, strawberries, almond butter, sliced almonds, unsweetened coconut chips, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, honey or drizzle some agave.

Notes

If you are not dairy-free use your favorite yogurt and milk

If plain yogurt is not your favorite, try adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract or fresh fruit to add more flavor.

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Enjoy and I hope you have a delicious start to your week!