the taste space

Chocolate Chia Goodness Pudding (A Portable, Instant Breakfast, Perfect for Travel)

Posted in Breakfasts, Desserts by Janet M on June 27, 2013

If you can’t tell, I am a planner. You don’t magically become successful. You plan for success.

During one of my trips last year, I discovered a lovely portable breakfast idea: Ruth’s Chia Goodness. Basically it is an instant breakfast featuring chia seeds, nuts and seeds with flavours. Just add water, wait 10 minutes, and voila! Healthy breakfast is served!

Ruth has a few flavours, but I wanted to recreate the Chocolate version for this roadtrip.

The ingredient list: Chia (salvia hispanica L.), buckwheat, hulled hemp seeds, organic cacao, raw organic cacao nibs, dates, almonds, evaporated cane juice, Celtic sea salt.

Familiar with my other breakfast puddings with oats and almond milk (chocolate cherry overnight oats and gingerbread pumpkin overnight oats), I knew I had to get rid of the fresh ingredients and milk. Oats need a long overnight soak, so to make this an instant breakfast, hemp seeds and almonds seemed like a great idea. Buckwheat couldn’t possibly be used raw, though, in its uncooked form. I turned to dehydrated buckwheat, instead. With its crunch, they added the perfect textural foil to the gummy chia seeds. The cocoa nibs and Amazing Grass added the malty chocolate goodness that left me with my morning chocolate fix. Ruth has added sugar in hers, but I felt like this was perfect without it. Sometimes I add fruits to it as well. Apples, mangoes, kiwi.. I don’t know any fruit that don’t pair well with chocolate. ;)

Do you have any great travel-friendly breakfast recipes?

This is my submission to this week’s Healthy Vegan Friday.

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Chocolate Protein Oatmeal with Mixed Berries

Posted in Breakfasts, Favourites by Janet M on March 31, 2012

How do you cook your steel cut oats?

My cousin’s spouse recently told me he cooks his for 20 minutes. WHAT?!

Mine always takes 35 minutes, if not 45 minutes. I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s how I get mine to be super creamy.

Because it takes so long, I make a big batch to last me all week. Leftovers heat up beautifully and I can mix-and-match my flavours each day.

I start by dry-toasting my steel cut oats as the water heats up to a boil (1:4 ratio). When they become fragrant and lightly toasted, I turn off the heat. Usually by this time, the water is boiling and I plop it all in, and then simmer it for 40-45 minutes.

I refrigerate the oats and take out a portion every morning. Heat it up in the microwave for 2 minutes along with a touch of water. From there, I add my flavours: cinnamon, vanilla, fruit, flax seeds, nuts, nut butter,  etc.

My recent breakfast fix has a chocolate base. I use the Chocolate Amazing Grass coupled with Manitoba Harvest’s Hemp Pro 70 for a hearty foundation. I also typically add some fresh fruit, but lately I’ve been cleaning out the frozen fruit from the freezer: this time with mixed berries!

Why Amazing Grass? Beyond its nutritional benefits, I really like the taste (Rob doesn’t like it, though). A slightly malty chocolate taste with low calories and a good protein ratio.

Why Hemp Pro 70?  First of all, I am no protein powder aficionado, but Hemp Pro 70 is pure hemp protein. No fillers, no sweeteners, etc. The high protein content (70% by weight), omega fatty acids, iron and calcium is great but the most important part is that it is water-soluble. You can’t taste it in the oatmeal. It thickens it while keeping it smooth. I usually add more water when I add it to my oatmeal. It also makes my oatmeal more filling…. and green-looking. ;)

While I am partial to steel cut oats from the bulk bin, one of my non-bulk favourites is from Essence of Life. The texture is a bit more creamy. I find Bob’s Red Mill a bit too chewy.

My cousin’s spouse, though, recommended Bob’s Red Mill. He suggests using a big pot (a great tip for no spillover!) and to do a hard boil for 18 minutes uncovered and then 2 minutes covered. He keeps it covered and then lets it sit off the heat for an additional 2-5 minutes. Says it never fails him.

I know there are other variations for cooking on steel cut oats: start with a boil then leave the oats overnight, or just soak them overnight for a chewier texture.

I’ve tried overnight slow cooker steel cut oats, but it was way too watery.

Hence, I’ve stuck with my classic, yet lengthy 45-minute boil.

Tell me, how do you cook your steel cut oats?

Here are some other ways I’ve enjoyed oatmeal:

Whipped Banana Oatmeal with Cranberries
Mango Pistachio Steel Cut Oatmeal (aka Mango Shrikhand Oatmeal)
Mango Oatmeal
Balsamic Lemon-Blueberry Steel Cut Oats
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Roasted Flax Seeds
Pan-Fried Oatmeal with Peach-Blueberry Vanilla Compote
Multigrain Oatmeal with Quinoa and Kasha
Apple Pie Oatmeal
Baked Apple Banana Oatmeal
Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal
Savoury Oatmeal with Soy Sauce and Nutritional Yeast
Savoury Oatmeal with Goji Berries, Nori and Ponzu Sauce

This is my submission to this month’s Monthly Mingle featuring cherries and berries. (more…)