|FROZEN, AS AN INDIVIDUAL ITALIAN ICE ROUND|
Sometimes the overwhelming buzz over the current ultimate "superfood" will encourage me to ignore good nutrition rather than embrace it. Part of that inclination is understandable; if the food is trendy, the price will skyrocket, often above an already steep price. Eating natural, whole foods can be expensive sometimes, so it's often easier to just roll my eyes when someone mentions hemp, acai, spirulina, kelp, and yes, chia seeds. I've embraced hemp, at least in the form of milk, because at least when it comes to store-bought milks, one particular brand of hempmilk is the only kind of alternative milk that I can consume. I finally decided to give chia a go when I was still figuring out my diet, as I read it worked as an excellent egg replacer, as well as having potential as an alternative to gelatin. I tried a couple of recipes with varying success, but wasn't excited enough to incorporate it into my diet with any regularity. On my list of recipes I've been brainstorming up lately is a vegan lemon curd, and I thought that maybe chia seeds might be the key. I picked up some meyer lemons that were on sale, and went to work. Well, I didn't achieve my original goal this time (more experimenting to come), but I did come up with a perfectly sweet and tart pudding and sorbet that I'm happy to share with you. This definitely isn't something I'd typically crave on a winter day, but I figure there are enough readers in warmer climates (Hello Australia!) that will appreciate it, and the rest of us can dream of licking our spoons after a long day at the beach whilst ignoring the stubborn piles of snow outside our doors. If you're curious about the (myriad of) nutritional benefits of chia seeds, I enjoyed reading Gena's synopsis here. This is my second submission to Kim & Ricki's SOS Challenge for February, the month's ingredient being stevia.
|PUDDING TOPPED WITH DRIED ZEST & LAVENDER BUDS|
MEYER LEMON & LAVENDER CHIA PUDDING & SORBET
1/4 CUP CHIA SEEDS
1 CUP HEMPMILK (OR OTHER DAIRY FREE MILK)
3 TBS COCONUT OIL
ZEST & JUICE OF 2 MEYER LEMONS
1 TBS EDIBLE LAVENDER BUDS
1/2 TSP + 1/8 STEVIA POWDER
MIX CHIA SEEDS AND HEMPMILK THOROUGHLY, AND SOAK, IDEALLY OVERNIGHT, IN FRIDGE TO ALLOW SEEDS TO SOFTEN. CHECK ON IT PERIODICALLY IN THE FIRST HOUR TO MIX IT, AS THE SEEDS CAN CLUMP TOGETHER A BIT AS THE MIXTURE GELS. THE NEXT DAY, IN A SMALL SAUCEPAN, HEAT THE MIXTURE ON LOW HEAT, ADDING THE COCONUT OIL AND REMAINING INGREDIENTS. HEAT FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES, STIRRING REGULARLY. ALLOW TO COOL. IF MAKING PUDDING, CHILL IN FRIDGE. IF MAKING SORBET, PUT MIXTURE INTO SILICONE MUFFIN CUPS OR PARCHMENT PAPER LINED CONTAINER. FREEZE. INDIVIDUAL CUPS CAN BE TAKEN OUT, THAWED FOR 30-45 MINUTES FOR MORE OF AN ITALIAN ICE (PICTURED), OR PROCESSED IN A FOOD PROCESSOR FOR SORBET.