CHIA SEED PUDDING

#MeatfreeMonday, Breakfast, brunch, chia seed pudding, dairy free, Desserts, exercise, fitness, food, free from, fruit, Fruits, fun, General, Gluten Free, go vegam, health, Healthy, healthy food, meat free, meat free monday, nutrition, Snack

Chia seed pudding

Preparation & cooking time: 5 minutes (plus soaking overnight)
Makes: 1 portion

I had never tried chia seed pudding before, but I have noticed that it is becoming increasingly popular in health food stores and healthy cafes, so I decided to give it a go and see what all the fuss was all about. It was so easy and quick to put together, I guess the only drawback is that you have to leave it to soak overnight until you can eat it. It was really, really tasty and it was a new experience for me as the texture is a little unusual because the chia seeds swell and jellify. It reminds me a little bit of rice pudding but there is no downside of feeling guilty about eating it, which is always good. Chia seed pudding is great as a breakfast and it is a great way to start the day but it is also great as a snack.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 250ml of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
  • A dash of vanilla extract
  • Berries (e.g. strawberries, blackberries or any berry in season/that you like)
  • A mango, cut into small cubes

Method:

1.   In a jar or bowl mix together the chia seeds, coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract.

2.   Cover the bowl/jar with cling film and place in the fridge over night or for around 6-8 hours.

3.   The chia seeds will swell and will jellify leaving a thick textured pudding.

4.   Put the berries and mango over the top of the pudding.

There you have it! So quick, easy, tasty and healthy. I really hope you like it guys!

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

Chia seeds: Chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.

Coconut milk: Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance. It is a popular choice with vegans and makes a great base for smoothies, milkshakes or as a dairy alternative in baking.

Maple syrup: Maple syrup is high in manganese and zinc.

Strawberries: Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C and a good source of manganese.

Blackberries: Blackberries are a really good source of dietary fibre, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Mango: This is a really delicious stone fruit that is native to South and Southeast Asia (it is definitely one of my favourite fruits). Mangoes provide a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and folate.

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What coffee are you buying?

#ViniDrinks, coffee, General, Information

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Buying coffee can be a somewhat stressful affair when you are bombarded with words such as robusta; single origin; Kenyan; blend etc.! I used to get so overwhelmed when I went into a supermarket and looked in the coffee isle; I saw endless options with descriptions that I just didn’t understand, so in the end I just went with any old coffee! I really do understand that the insurmountable descriptions associated with the word ‘coffee’ can be extremely off putting, however, the topic of coffee is very interesting and once you get to grips with with the basic principles, you will be able to buy the best coffee and have the most enjoyable coffee experiences that you can just through enhancing your knowledge a little. So without further a due, I am going to take you to the absolute bare bones of coffee to help you understand exactly what you are buying!

Is there more than one type of coffee bean?

Simply, yes there are. There are different species of coffee bean, however, there are only two that you will need to know about and these are the Arabica and Robusta beans.

Robusta Beans

Robusta beans have a much more aggressive flavour and contain twice as much caffeine than Arabica beans do. When you have a cup of coffee made from Robusta beans you will generally get earthy and nutty qualities. Robusta beans are much easier to grow than Arabica beans as they flourish at much lower altitudes and because of the high yield, Robusta beans are cheaper than Arabica beans. Robusta beans are considered inferior to Arabica beans, however, they are sometimes desired to make espressos due to the rich and intense flavour and for the velvety crema (the golden foam on top of the espresso) that it produces.

Arabica Beans

In comparison to Robusta beans earthy and nutty qualities, Arabica beans have a a much softer, sweeter, fruitier and floral flavour that is accompanied by a high level of acidity. Arabica beans are much more popular and widely consumed of the two species and accounts for the majority of the coffee production around the world. The main producers of Arabica beans are Ethiopia, Colombia and Brazil.

Due to the topography and climate, some coffee producing countries are able to grow both species, such as Brazil, whereas Colombia only produces Arabica beans.

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Where does your Coffee come from?

On a global scale there are three main continents from where your coffee is likely to come from, namely from countries within South America, Africa or Asia. Now you can narrow the coffee down to the specific origin, i.e. the farms that your coffee will come from. Again, I will try to make the terminology as easy to understand as I possibly can. Here I will explain what  Single Origin, Estate, Micro-Lot and Blend coffees actually are.

Single Origin

Single Origin coffee, as the name describes, is a coffee that comes from a single place. Single Origin coffee is often desired as it is a good way of achieving a consistent flavour, making Single Origin coffees a popular choice for independent coffee shops, roasters and cafes.

Estate

Estate coffees are beans that are grown on a single farm.

Micro-Lot

Even more specific than estate coffees, micro-lot coffees are from a single field within a farm, harvested on a specific day or even from a small range of altitude.

Blends

Blends are coffees that have been crafted by roasters to create a coffee that encaptures all of the qualities that they desire e.g. the perfect combination of sweetness, bitterness and acidity. Some single origin coffees may have some flavour imbalances so creating a blend is a great way to remedy these issues. Once you have tried a lot of different coffees from different countries, different farms, estates, micro-lots and different beans creating your own blend at home is great fun and is definitely worth giving a go. All you need to do is combine different measures of different single origin coffees until you get a coffee that has  your favourite flavours.

I really hope that you enjoy this post and that it has helped you to really understand the coffee that you buy in the future. I hope that it helps you enjoy coffee more and makes you feel more relaxed as you enter the coffee isle at the supermarket! Please let me know if you attempt (or if you have attempted already) to make your own blend as I would love to hear about what you create and come up with.

Thank you 🙂

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Whats in Season?

Fruits, General, Healthy, Herbs, Information, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Food that is in season always tastes so much better than using the same old ingredients the whole year round. There are a lot of people that don’t know what ingredients are in season at what point during the year, as these days the same ingredients are supplied in supermarkets all year round. To help people get the best out of their food, experience the most amazing flavours & produce and help with ideas to encourage people to experiment with ingredients they may have never used before, I have created a table showing what fruits, vegetables and herbs are best during each season of the year. I hope this table helps you out and helps broaden your knowledge and experiences of great in season produce.

Click on this link to view the seasonality table

Welcome to my new blog!

General, Information

Hi everyone!

I thought that an introductory post to describe why there has been a total change to my blog was necessary, so here it goes.

I haven’t written a post in a long, long time because I have felt that my blog lacked direction and wasn’t really representing myself and the things that I love properly. Whilst I have been away from blogging I have had a long, hard think about what it is that I want to do and what I want to write about and what to share with you all. After many weeks brainstorming and going back and forth with ideas with my girlfriend about what I wanted my blog to focus on, I realised that the answer was hitting me in the face the whole time. All I had to do was match up my passions with what my goals are for the future. Once I realised how simple it was, my decision was made.

Firstly, what are my passions and what do I really enjoy blogging about?

This is such an easy question for me to answer. My passion (for as long as I can remember) is food. Everything about food excites me as there are literally no boundaries for where your creativity can take you and also because I have the best time when I am with my friends and family talking over a great meal. The food I will blog about will be based around my diet. I am a vegetarian but I will also be posting vegan recipes as I cook a lot them because my girlfriend is a vegan. I am new to vegan cooking, so it is an exciting adventure for me to take on and try to learn as much as I can to produce amazing vegan meals.

As well as food, over the last few years I have become really interested in amazing coffee. I was really shocked about how wrong I was making my coffee and how little I knew about what affects the flavour of your coffee. Once you understand the little details about coffee and how to treat it correctly you will have a completely different view of it and experience a drink that is as complex as wine with so many amazing flavour notes. There are so many ways in which you can brew your coffee, all of which create a different flavour and consistency; this really excites me as you can have one bag of coffee beans but you can brew them differently to create a noticably different cup each time! I will be blogging about all of the coffees that I am drinking as well as all of my favourite brewing methods in the search for the perfect cup of coffee! I hope that my simple tips and recommendations inspire you to try and create your very own perfect cup of coffee.

Secondly, what is the that one thing that I would love to do in the future?

I have always had a love for food and I always thought that a career in the kitchen would be for me, even whilst I was completing my masters degree in Economics! People may have thought it was a terrible idea and a waste of four years of hard work to forgo a job related to my degree and pursue a job that I had a real passion for. To cut a long story short, I pursued my dream of becoming a chef and ultimately realised that it just wasn’t for me! I tried working in many different restaurants with the hope that I would overcome this feeling of utter dissapointment that the career I dreamt about just wasn’t for me, but unfortunately nothing helped no matter what restaurant I worked in. It was a definite kick to the plums (pun intended) but in no way did it affect my passion for food! I do not regret my decision for pursuing my dreams (or doing my degree for that matter, as I am now using what I learnt every day!) as my whole experience has helped me realise what I want to do and what environment is perfectly suited for me.

With my passion for food and coffee and my experience of business, I would love to one day be able to combine all three and open a coffee shop that serves the most amazing food and coffee. The food that I will blog about will be the food that I would love to offer in my very own coffee shop; so you can expect a large range of seasonal sandwiches, pastries, cakes, exciting twists on classics and exciting recipes that would offer a unique experience that I aim to offer people in the future.

I hope that you enjoy what I will be posting about from now on and I cannot wait to share all of my ideas with you.

Thank you,

Thomas