Roasted Spicy Chickpeas

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Chickpeas or garbanzo beans…however you like to call this particular bean, they are delicious.  This bean is used in many different ways.  Have you eaten humus?  That is made using this bean.  They are great in salads, soups, cold pasta, bean salad, the possibilities are endless.

Cooking the chickpeas this way makes it a fun snack by itself or fantastic tossed on salad! This can be considered an appetizer to serve along with other party finger foods.

My daughter is on holiday break from college.  We’ve been having fun experimenting with food.  She wanted to make this.  So we did!  She threw together the ingredients and I baked and stirred it.  Team effort.

Making this is almost as easy as eating them!  Here goes:

2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained.  Pat dry!

1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

2 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt.  Or sea salt.  (can omit all together)

1/4 cup grape seed oil  (can use olive oil or coconut oil)

Preheat oven at 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss all ingredients coating the chickpeas evenly.

Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Stir one time and bake again for another 10 minutes.  Done.  Serve warm or cold.  (I couldn’t wait and ate them hot right out of the oven!)

All ovens cook differently so peak in on them.  (I have an oven light which makes it convenient.) I’ve baked them at 450 degrees and stirred them two times during cooking.

Also, you can cook this on the stove.  The texture you are going for is slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  You may like it dryer so cook/bake longer and less cook/bake for softer.  Either way you like it, it will be delicious!

This can be made hundreds of ways.  Keep in mind the oil helps to crispy it up and to help the seasonings stick to it.  Use your imagination and toss the chickpeas with your favorite seasonings.  Chili power,  powdered onion, powdered garlic, Worcestershire sauce!  When done baking try sprinkling Parmesan cheese over it! YUM! Give it a try and please let me know the amazing ways you’ve made this!

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Lemon Zesty Blueberry Muffins

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This was a request from my husband.  All he wanted for his birthday was a bunch of lemon zesty blueberry muffins.  His biggest challenge was fighting the kids for them! (Actually it wasn’t too difficult.  Both kids had a full day of college classes and didn’t come home until the wee hours.  So dad got to have his birthday muffins all to himself! He saved them some 😉 )

This is a very easy and forgiving recipe.  I’ve also made this with orange zest. Very tasty.  The hardest part about this recipe is finding beautifully plump blueberries.

This Made 18

Muffin cups or grease muffin pans
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup blue berries
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk (I use raw unpasteurized)
6 tablespoons grape seed oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
The zest of one whole lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix together flour, baking powder, sea salt, then add brown sugar and blue berries.

In another bowl beat eggs, milk, oil, vanilla extract, and lemon rind.

Every recipe I’ve read says to make a well in the dry and pour the wet into it…well, I did the opposite and added the dry to the wet. I noticed no difference. Not saying the “well” thing isn’t a good idea, just that it made no difference in the outcome.

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden on top. (All ovens are different. Please keep that in mind.)

I made these with a lemon cream cheese frosting.
8 oz of cream cheese.
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
zest of one whole lemon
5 heaping tablespoons of powdered sugar
whipped in kitchen aid until fluffy

This was enough to top all muffins nicely.

 

 

Chia Seed “Pudding”

Remember the …. Cha cha cha Chia!–The funky clay heads you plant seeds on its head and it grows “hair”?  Same seed, but really a food!

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Magic seeds! Not really, but still amazing! 😉

Chia seeds; This endurance enhancing super-food is one of my top faves. Energy and stamina booster, I so crave and need. These amazing seeds are pumped up with fiber. One ounce gives you 11 grams, as well as 4 grams of protein! Also rich in omega 3 fatty acid, not to mention manganese, phosphorus, and calcium.

You can use Chia seeds as an “egg” replacer in a lot of your baked goods…Hear that vegans?! 😀 Use a 1 to 6 ratio of seed to water. Making a “gel” with it. This replaces one large egg! Very cool right?!

All you do is grind chia seeds in a coffee grinder/spice grinder.  Then measure out 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 3 tablespoons water. Let stand until it forms a gel like consistency! The magic takes about  5 minutes.  Wah lah! 

When liquid is added to chia seeds, they swell up to 12 times it’s weight! It’s great for helping to feel full longer, to keep you hydrated, which is why they are so popular with athletes. I wish I knew about these in my long distance running days.  A gel like substance actually forms around the seed!  It’s like the seeds own protective bubble. This gel substance is full of nutrients.

Chia is an herb. Salvia hispanica-or-Chia; native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. This super food was cultivated by the Aztec in pre-Columbian times. And some historians say that the Chia plant was just as important as the maize crops were in that time period.

You can add these awesome seeds to puddings, on top of hot oatmeal, cold oatmeal, in dressings, in your smoothies, tossed in yogurt, add them to sauces for a thickener, in lemonade; the possibilities are endless. Use them in place of poppy seeds too! You can also use them in place of flaxseed meal in baked goods. I like them best in my drinks, smoothies, oatmeal, and my favorite: a refrigerated no cook “pudding” that I eat for breakfast, lunch, or snack, and sometimes dinner!

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Refrigerated overnight “pudding”. Healthy, energy packed goodness!

Chia pudding can be made a million ways! Really! Made as a dessert or healthy snack.  Even when I say dessert; I still make it healthy-good-for-you-amazing!  The basic recipe is below.  The possibilites in what you put in it really are endless.  Bananas, chopped apples, berries, any fruit really can be added.  Any nuts such as chopped walnuts, toasted almonds, sunflower seeds, roasted pecans…are you getting it? 😀  Even the liquid you use can vary; almond milk, coconut milk, moo milk, water even!  Can you sweeten it? Yep, try honey, agave, maple syrup, cane sugar, brown sugar….whew!  Oh and you can spice it up too; cinnamon, Himalayan sea salt, nutmeg…see how this can go on and on and on? 😉

Okay here’s what I put in my pudding that I had for breakfast today:

Chia Pudding

1 cup of coconut milk

2 tablespoons of Chia seeds (I buy NOW foods and Nutiva brands as well as a few others. Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds, 12-Ounce Bag is what I use right now.  I am partial to anything ORGANIC! You can buy these at most health food stores.)

2 tablespoon of Organic Goji Berries

1 tablespoon of Organic Coconut Flakes

Stir and put in refrigerator overnight.  I mix mine in a glass dish that has it’s own lid.  Pop the lid on, put it in the refrigerator…next day take lid off, give it a stir, and enjoy!  If you want to eat this for lunch, snack, dinner, you can make this about 3 hours before you want to eat it.  Overnight is just easy for me.  I will make a few variations at night and the next day or two I will have them ready.  I wouldn’t make more than I can eat up in 2 day period.  This doesn’t take long to set up; really you are waiting until it gets cold and the chia seeds soak up all the liquid goodness.

Just keep in mind 1 cup of liquid to 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds.  If you want it thicker or thinner; just adjust the liquid.  Try this amount and go from there. 😀

FYI: I try and buy everything organic when I can.  If you see a recipe/ingredient/anything consumable-edible that I write about; if I’ve left out the “organic”, just know I try my utmost best to buy organic.  Because I didn’t write it doesn’t mean it’s not.  So what I am saying is, try and eat organic as much as you can.  😀

Hope you’ve this post and if you make this amazing pudding and or your variation on it; PLEASE let me know. I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with!

In Awesome Health, Koko

Cacao Nib Smoothie

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Happiness Smoothie!

I enjoy smoothies.  It’s fun to experiment and also a great way to get down more nutrients in a single glass.  My smoothies change with what I know I need nutrient wise and what I am doing in any given day.

Today my smoothie consisted of about 6-8 ounces of milk, one whole banana, 25 almonds, 1-2 tablespoons of raw cacao nibs, and a scoop of whey protein powder. All blended up in a high-powered blender until…well….smooth.  Hehehehe 😉

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FYI…..

Cacao nibs: Rich source of antioxidant flavonoids.  Great for promoting cardiovascular health.  It fights against toxins that we constantly face. The flavonoids in raw cacao nibs can help improve circulation and blood pressure.  My favorite is it helps assist the body to repair and resist against free radicals; a toxin no one needs in their body.  There are other benefits too, being a good source of manganese; which helps to oxygenate the blood and a fab source of magnesium which helps with brain power, (I so need that!).  Cacao nibs are rich in sulfur and that means stronger hair and nails and awesome skin. Consuming cacao nibs helps with PMS and depression.  It stimulates our endorphins boosting our mood naturally! There’s 5 grams of protein in an ounce serving, not to mention 7 grams of fiber.

Try them in smoothies, granola, cookies, just popping them into your mouth!

Are you a smoothie drinker?  Any favorites?

I’m off to bike the hills in my neighborhood.  I shoot for 5 miles; that makes me happy, 8 miles I am excited, 10 exhausted, but super satisfied.  We will see what I can do today.  The weather is beautiful. The sun is out and sky is blue; touched with white puffy clouds. It will be a good thinking day as I ride.

Have a happy day, Koko 😉 ❀ ✿ ❁ ✾

Pumpkin Pie – Sans The Crust, With Coconut Whipped Cream….oooh la la!

Pumpkin Pie – Sans The Crust, With Coconut Whipped Cream….oooh la la!

I couldn't help sprinkle homemade granola on top! Delicious!

I couldn’t help sprinkle homemade granola on top! Delicious!

pumpkin pie-before it went in oven.

pumpkin pie-before it went in oven.

This is my ultimate favorite way to have pie. I really enjoy pumpkin pie without the crust. (Though I do admit I love the bottom crust of a pie) Just make your favorite pumpkin pie recipe, instead of pouring it into a crust, you pour equal amounts into ramekins. I’ve looked for ramekins for a long time and finally found these. They are the perfect size for any “pie”, custard, cheesecake. Yes, I’ve made all those in these ramekins. I will post on them in the future; keep an eye out! The lemon ricotta cheesecake is super delicious and easy to make. As for the coconut whipped cream…story behind that is my daughter never feels good after eating whipped cream, so to have her not go without…we make whipped cream from coconut cream. Where I come from, coconut is used a lot. So it wasn’t unusual for us to make whipped cream from it. I have come across many who have no idea what coconut whipped cream is. I assure you it is delicious and easy to make and great for those who suffer from dairy allergies or just are vegans.

Putting the can in the refrigerator will solidify the cream and it will be nicely separated cream on top milky water on the bottom.

Putting the can in the refrigerator will solidify the cream and it will be nicely separated cream on top milky water on the bottom.

Coconut cream!  (before fluffing)

Coconut cream! (before fluffing)

Coconut whipped cream
1 can of coconut cream
1/4 of powdered sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract

refrigerate can of coconut cream for 2 hours. Scoop out the cream. (there will be thin milky liquid in can. I drink this plain or make a smoothie with it.)
Start whipping cream (I use a kitchenaid). Add vanilla extract. Add powdered sugar. whip until peaks form.

Tips: make sure you buy full fat coconut cream. I really like the Trader joes brand. Also Thai coconut is great too. Just make sure it isn’t “light”, got to have the fat-fat kind!
Must refriderate. Depending on how cold your refriderator is 1-2 hours.
Putting mixing bowl in freezer can help.
It’s the fat that helps the coconut whip up, so make sure you are not using “light” or low fat or anything other than; heavy, full fat, extra thick, etc. (Did I stress that enough?)
Can switch out sugars for different kinds; honey, truvia, etc, you will just need to adjust for sweetness.
Add cocoa for a chocolaty flavor. This one is sooooo good.
Can try different extracts. Almond is great!
Can add more powdered sugar. Depends on the consistantcy you like.
Don’t over whip or it may turn to liquid from basically heating it through the whipping action.

In my pumpkin recipe, I only put 1/3 cup of sugar in the entire recipe.  Eating it for breakfast, snack, lunch; doesn’t seem so bad!  😉