Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Chia Weekend

When I was a kid my mom never bought the fun foods that all my friends seemed to enjoy all the time.  That's not to say we didn't eat our fair share of junk, it was just the adult versions of junk.  One of her favorite treats to have around was chocolate covered almonds and I was obsessed with eating risotto as a kid (made from a box mix).  Yeah, I was that complete weirdo ...  But every once in a while I'd get to have a fun treat at a friend's house, and one of my favorites was hamburger helper. 
I don't even know why I liked it so much.  The whole idea is really pretty silly because without the contents of the box it's still incredibly easy to make a hamburger-helper-like meal.  And that's just what I've been doing all the time lately.  Just make up elbow macaroni, then mix in vegetarian beef crumbles, pasta sauce, and any additions you like.  I've added basil, broccoli, mushrooms ... but the possibilites are endless.  I even ate my version of hamburger helper for breakfast Sunday morning!

I also went full-tilt into chia seed mode this weekend.  First, I revisited one of my new favorite recipes, Almond Joy Chia Pudding.  I was out of almond milk, so I mixed up the recipe using plain soy milk which worked just as well.  But the real innovation came when I dropped the container of soy milk, spilling milk all over the kitchen floor.  Distracted by the mess, I never managed to add maple syrup to the mix.  And you know what?  I didn't miss the sweetness at all.  In fact, I never would have noticed anything except I was surprised by how much thicker the pudding seemed and thought it looked a lot whiter than normal.  At first I thought it was the difference between soy and almond milk, but then I realized it was the syrup.  I liked the non-syrup version so much I'll definitely never go back to adding the unnecessary calories. 
My second chia endeavor of the weekend was based on another recipe I saw on the blog Carrots 'n Cake, this time for Blueberry Chia Seed Jelly.  I thought that since I was loving chia pudding so much, chia jelly would also be great.  Unfortunately, I didn't feel like this was any great innovation.  I'll admit, I might have messed this up a bit myself by using frozen wild blueberries as opposed to "regular" blueberries - the wild blueberries tend to be smaller and firmer.  Regular blueberries might have been better at mushing into an actual jelly consistency, rather than rolling around on my bread like all I did was defrost blueberries and set them on top.  The chia seeds certainly didn't seem to do anything to create a jelly texture either ...

Oh well ... chia jelly fail.  Maybe I'll try it again sometime with regular blueberries.  Hmmm ... or raspberries!?  I guess I haven't sworn of chia jelly just yet ...

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