rhubarb chia jam

Rhubarb Chia Jam

While I feel I have touched upon quite a few recipes that formally intimidated me yet no longer do – scones, for example – I still have not mastered the art of making and canning jam, no matter how “easy” some of my friends claim it is. Perhaps, on my part, it’s laziness and a matter of money. Do I really want to buy a dozen glass jars and spend time sterilizing them? No. Am I likely overthinking this like I do for every aspect of my life?

Most likely.

That being said, I have been eyeing the chia jam trend for the past year, eager to try. I could have just used some grocery store-bought fruits to make this concoction, but, deep into the month of May, how could I not to utilize the best that my local farmers’ market has to offer?

Hellllllooooo, rhubarb!

rhubarb chia jam

I am a fan of sour fruits – my mother can attest that I used to drink lemon juice as a child, another undoubtedly odd quirk of mine – so rhubarb is right up my alley. It’s not overwhelmingly sour, does does make my mouth pucker ever so slightly when I have it on its own. While rhubarb and strawberries are a quintessential match, don’t discount rhubarb on its own. It’s quite delightful!

rhubarb chia jam

It thickens as it cools, creating a surprisingly lush and filling jam. It also makes a piece of Ezekiel bread look super sexy.

All hail chia seeds and their awesome gelling power!

rhubarb chia jam

Rhubarb Chia Jam
(Makes 2 & 1/2 cups)

Ingredients:

– 3 & 1/2 cups rhubarb, rinsed, dried, and cut into small pieces
– 1/2 cup water
– 3 tablespoons honey (or sweetener of choice)
– 3 tablespoons chia seeds
– Juice of 1/2 lemon

Before We Get Started…

– Four large stalks of rhubarb should equate to in or around 3 & 1/2 cups of rhubarb.

– The amount of water may not seem like enough when mixed with the rhubarb, but the rhubarb will release liquid as it cooks down. Do not exceed 1/2 cup of water.

– Substitute another sweetener of choice for honey to keep recipe vegan-friendly.

Directions:

1.) Add rhubarb and water to a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Once mixture begins to boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes; stirring occasionally. The rhubarb will start to break down quickly as the cooking continues.

2.) Add honey and chia seeds; stir to evenly incorporate. Cook mixture for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, add lemon juice, and stir. Let sit for 15 minutes to thicken.

3.) Add to clean glass container and store in refrigerator. Jam will last in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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dirty chai chia pudding kohana coffee

Dirty Chai Chia Pudding

I am not a coffee drinker. This revelation is usually met with a variety of reactions, including but not limited to shock and disgust. I live in NYC, surrounded by lovers of drips, cold brews, and Chemex brewers. As a supertaster, I find the taste of it as a straight beverage to be too bitter, and as an anxious person, I find the high amounts of caffeine – especially in cold brews – send my heart racing like a hamster on a wheel. It’s pretty much a lose – lose situation for me.

HOWEVER…I love coffee in things! Coffee ice cream, chocolate-covered coffee beans (go figure!), coffee milkshakes, you name it!

dirty chai chia pudding kohana coffee

In an effort to test the bounds of my coffee consumption while making a relatively nutrient-dense breakfast, I came up with this little number. While a dirty chai typically uses espresso in its mix, I’m flexing my favorite muscle: creative license. Ha! I used Kohana Coffee Cold Brew Concentrate to create this special recipe, and I have to say, I am impressed! The coffee mixed with the milk mellows it out a bit, though the flavor still shines. The chai tea and the cinnamon add a spice that plays off of the coffee flavor beautifully. Plus, do I have to get into how good chia seeds are for you? Google it if you don’t know, I feel like it’s almost common knowledge at this point. ūüėČ

dirty chai chia pudding kohana coffee

NOTE: This recipe was entered into Kohana Coffee’s recipe contest! Please click this link to find my recipe and vote for it before April 15th, 2017! Thanks in advance for your support!

Dirty Chai Chia Pudding
(Makes 3 – 4 servings, roughly 16 ounces in total)

Ingredients:

– 6 tablespoons chia seeds
– 1 cup milk of choice (dairy or plant-based)
– 1 – 2 chai tea bags
– 1/2 cup Kohana Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
– 1/2 cup cold water
– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

Directions:

1.) Place chia seeds in a large bowl and set aside. Over medium heat, bring milk to a slow simmer; it should not be brought to a boil. Turn off heat, add tea bag(s), and allow tea bag to steep for 5 minutes. Use a spoon to press on the tea bag(s), if desired, to release more of the tea. Allow milk and tea mixture to cool down for 10 minutes.

2.) Add milk tea mixture, Kohana Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate, and water to chia seeds and gently whisk until thoroughly combined. Add ground cinnamon, vanilla, and honey or maple syrup and whisk again until combined. The mixture should start to thicken by this point.

3.) Place plastic wrap over bowl and place in fridge for no less than 3 hours. Remove from fridge and stir to unify the consistency of the chia pudding. Serve immediately or return to fridge until you’re ready to consume it! This pudding, refrigerated as directed, will remain fresh for up to five days.

Banana Oat Bread

I have a true love / hate relationship with bananas. As an extremely picky eater through my childhood, I did not eat bananas regularly until I was 23. The reasoning? The little dark¬†seeds in the middle.¬†I know. That’s beyond reason. I’m even embarrassed to admit it. (Tales of my absurdly picky childhood eating habits may¬†be visited, occasionally, at future¬†juncture…)

sliced-bananas

Those scary dark seeds! (Photo courtesy of To Live & Diet in L.A. This is a great visual of more former torture. Haaa.) 

I gained my love of bananas in an odd way: In June 2008, I had a minor surgery. No big deal, just the removal of a benign football-sized tumor in my spleen.¬†¬Į\_(„ÉĄ)_/¬Į While I was holed up in a hospital bed for a few days, I was attached to a potassium drip…and it was one of the most painful experiences of my entire life. The solution is acidic. Imagining an incessant burning in your arm for four hours straight for four consecutive days. I was told I had low potassium levels, which was why I was being infused daily. I then decided that banana consumption was a much better option. I could not eat enough of them after my discharge! I was convinced they were my cure to all life’s ills. (Well, at least for that part of my life.)

A beautiful mess.

Growing up, however, I loved banana bread. Chunks of the fruit nor those black seeds were¬†visible; out of sight, out of mind, I suppose. (Refer to the last sentence of my first paragraph. If my parents are reading this now, I’m sure they’re laughing hysterically.) ¬†I found myself making it constantly, but as I’ve grown older and wiser about my eating habits, I look back on many of the recipes I had used and cringe a little.¬†I find a typical recipe calls for a stick of butter, a cup of sugar, one to two cups of white flour, and sometimes added oils. Though I wouldn’t call my version the epitome of a healthy breakfast, I make it less of a guilty nosh¬†with reduced sugar, plain Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and oats. I’ve tinkered with this recipe a lot over the few months…and dammit, I think I finally nailed it! WOOHOO!

Banana Oat Bread

Banana Oat Bread
(Serves 4 – 6)

Ingredients:

– 3 ripe bananas
‚Äď 2 eggs, room temperature
‚Äď 1 & 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
– 1 cup rolled oats
‚Äst1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
‚Äď 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon chia seeds
– 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Before We Get Started…

– All-purpose flour can be used in place of white whole wheat flour, or a mix can be created with 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.

– I prefer brown sugar to white sugar in my bread, but white sugar¬†can easily be substituted. I prefer Domino’s Pourable Brown Sugar for ease of mixing.

– I prefer to use a 9″ x 9″ pan to make my bread. Though it may not turn into a loaf in the tradition sense with this method, it works just fine.¬†I find the denseness and texture do not differentiate between either two pans.

Directions: 

1.) Preheat oven to 350¬†¬įF. Grease baking pan and set aside.

2.) In plastic bowl, smash peeled bananas with a fork until desired consistency. Add yogurt, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Mix until combined.

3.) In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chia seeds. Mix until combined.

4.) Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and gently fold / mix until combined.

5.) Add batter to greased pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Upon completion, remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 15 – 20 minutes on top of cooling rack. If using bread pan, gently remove from pan and place on cooling rack. If using 9″ x 9″ pan, slice into squares after initial cooling time; bread can be left in pan, if desired.

Banana Oat Bread

Strawberry Pineapple Kale Smoothie

Those of you in New York City are well aware that this was one of the coldest Februarys since 1869. (I can only assume NBC 4’s fact-checking was correct on that one…) February was brutal and never-ending, despite it being the shortest month of the year. March came in like a lion, but there was some hope with random 50 degree days popping up every now and then. The first day of spring was March 20th, and…

IMG_6506

…cold white stuff fell on the ground in Fort Tryon Park. NO.

I needed some artificial spring, if only in drinkable form.

I had some kale handy in the fridge, and I recall a former roommate of yesteryear making me an amazing glass of kale and pineapple juice once upon a time. Mixed with some organic strawberries on sale at Westside Market at three for $5 (…YES!), the three combined to make a surprisingly creamy and fresh creation. I was lucky to have one of my roommates, Liz, at home when I was whipping it up; it was her 26th birthday, and what better way to start a new year off right than with pulverized Vitamins A, C, and B-12?

green smoothie

 Liz, the Birthday Girl, throwing her Birthday Smoothie up on The Instagrams.

This smoothie truly is as easy as prepping a few fruits and veggies and blending them in your blender. Even the laziest of us can muster up the energy, I assure you. This makes for a great breakfast accompaniment or a light afternoon snack.

green smoothie

 Strawberry Pineapple Kale Smoothie
(Serves Two)

Ingredients:
– 1 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)
– 1 tablespoon chia seeds, plus an additional 1/2 teaspoon for topping
– 2 cups kale, washed and roughly torn
– 2 cups pineapple, cubed
– 8 large strawberries, hulled and quartered

Directions:

Add all ingredients to blender; blend for three minutes or until mixture has reached desired smoothness. Add to two small glasses. Top with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of chia seeds.

IMG_3644

P.S.: This is Ellie, Liz’s beautiful brindle and resident kitchen activity overseer. Glad she was there to make sure I made the smoothies right! Though, I’m sure she was disappointed I didn’t add her favorite vegetable to the smoothie: carrot. Elle Belle ain’t a fan of kale. Haaa.

oatmeal close up

Baked Fruit Oatmeal with Coconut & Chia Seeds

May I start off with a confession?

I have been tossing and turning over what my inaugural post for Seek Satiation should be. Let’s be honest here, people: this could make or break me! PRESSURE! This blog has been a long time coming, being put off by various life events, namely a two year year-round master’s program. I’ve made¬†plenty of fancier recipes that, likely, will show up in this site in the coming weeks and months. I’ve created plenty of recipes to cater to eaters of all types, from carnivores to vegans, from cheese-addicts to religious Paleo eaters, from Whole 30 followers to those that just don’t care how much cholesterol they just consumed. My former grad school classes have been echoing in the back of my head: how can I make this food blog a Blue Ocean kind of food blog in a Red Ocean of food blogs? What are my deliverables? What will garner the most traffic for ad revenue? Why do I have to be so ‘Type A’ sometimes?!

Finally, I sat down, drank some chamomile tea, took a deep breath, I settled on a simple recipe for baked oatmeal.

Why?

Because I already had photos of baked oatmeal with good natural lighting.

End of story.

Ha!

baked oatmeal

This baked oatmeal recipe is based off of one from a childhood friend turned globally-based yoga instructor. I’ve modified my version from Yoga by Candace’s recipe for Baked Oatmeal with Fruit and Coconut. When I first attempted her recipe last year, I followed it to a T, and it was beyond fantastic. In the past, I’ve made very rich baked oatmeals with eggs and cream, but I have not made one like that since, thanks to this recipe. Fresh out of the oven, it’s akin to a guilt-free fruit crisp. My parents request it each time I come home! What’s great about this recipe is the ability to easily customize it. I have made it with Candace’s ingredients, which are berries, peaches, and coconut. I have also made it with bananas, apples, nectarines, pears, and mangos. (Though, not necessarily together!) I’ve made it with flaxseeds, I’ve thrown in some chia seeds, and I always top it with shredded coconut if I have it. I have drizzled with with maple syrup, and I have dabbed it with cinnamon-infused plain Greek yogurt. Hell, I’ll even drip a little heavy cream on it every now and then. It makes for great leftovers; if I make a batch, I can get two or three breakfasts out of it. (Score!) Usually, I just go the “plain” route when making it on an average day, as I find the availibility of blueberries and strawberries to be pretty universal. Still, for something so relatively plain, it’s still going to garner a hearty “thank you!” from both your tastebuds and your tummy.

baked oatmeal

Baked Fruit Oatmeal with Coconut & Chia Seeds

Ingredients:
– 3 cups oatmeal*
– 1/2 cup water**
– 1 tablespoon cinnamon
– 1 tablespoon maple syrup
– 2 cups blueberries, rinsed
– 1 cup strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and chopped
– 1 tablespoon chia seeds
– 1 cup shredded coconut (optional, but highly recommended)
* – Traditional oats should be used, not quick-cooking oats or steel-cut oats.
** – In my experience, sometimes 1/2 cup of water works, but add an additional 1/2 cup of water if the mixture seems to dry; do not over-saturate, but make sure they are wet.

Before We Get Started…

-Preheat oven to 350 ¬įF.
– Have a 9″ x 9″ pan, non-greased, ready to go. A smaller or larger baking pan will work, but this always works best for me.

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine oats, berries, chia, cinnamon, maple syrup, and water. Mix gently, taking care to make sure the oats are saturated and the fruit is in tact. Spread oatmeal mixture into baking pan. Sprinkle coconut on top. Bake 40 – 45 minutes, or until the coconut flakes are lightly browned.