It’s not every day that I cook dinner for myself (or “cook” anything, for that matter), but one thing I will never go without is breakfast. Since the simplest things can be satisfying, I almost always prepare breakfast for myself, even if it just means I chop up some fruit.
As of late, though, the summer days have demanded more energy of me, and I’ve been eating sometimes 2 or 3 “breakfasts” before noon. Realizing this has drawn me towards more sustaining sources of energy, and this pudding is a perfect example. I start with a base of cashew cream for some protein, and use omega-rich chia seeds (also known as an excellent source of energy!) to thicken the texture.
Then it dawned on me, since I was making it so often, that perhaps I could use my favorite tea to infuse it with a new flavor. It turned out even more delicious than I suspected! I chose Lavender tea because it is known for its calming properties, perfect for the morning, but really you could use Earl Grey, Oolong, or even Chamomile.
Top the pudding with your favorite fruits and superfoods, or serve it with extra sweetener (like agave) for a dessert option. (Believe me when I say that this is a pudding of all trades. I even made a pumpkin version last Fall!)
Tell me, what is your favorite source of morning energy? List it in the comments below!
With Love and Lavender,
3 cups Raw Cashews, soaked*
2 cups Filtered Water
1/2 cup Chia Seeds
7 dates, pits removed
2 tbsp dried Lavender (food grade)
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
Fruit for Topping*
1. Soak lavender in water in a sealed container overnight. Strain.
2. Blend Lavender tea, cashews, dates and lemon juice until extra smooth. (I use a Vitamix, but if you do not have one you can use a food processor. Just eliminate half the liquid for processing, and whisk it in afterwards in a separate bowl.) Taste to see if it meets your sweetness standards. If not, add additional dates and reblend.
3. Pour mixture into a small mixing bowl, and fold in chia seeds until they are evenly distributed.
4. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until thick and ready to serve.
* It is important that you use 3 cups of cashews that have already been soaked, verses soaking 3 cups of dried cashews. For your shopping list, you'll only need about 2-2.5 cups of dried cashews. For information on why and how to soak your cashews, click here.
*I serve my pudding topped with shredded coconut, more chia seeds, lemon zest and blueberries!
Happy July, ya’ll! I hope you all had an amazing 4th. I worked that evening, as I’m one of the newest employees on the team, but I still got to enjoy the fun energy of everyone around me. Then, following the holiday, I had the strangest realization: it’s the BEGINNING of summer! For some reason I’ve had this sense of summer closure ingrained in me. Suddenly I started seeing all of these posts and articles about how to spend your summer that just, honestly, confused me!
To blame, I’m definitely in a state of life transition, which so many people around me have claimed to be a good thing. I am so grateful for that repeated response, too, because it’s felt challenging. I need all of the positive reminders I can get!
At the start of it all, I left my job at Luna’s Living Kitchen. My lease ended 3 weeks later, at which point I still had not been able to find a place to live. With a month-long house-sitting gig planned for September, I intended on staying at my mom’s house for at least a couple of months. I feel so lucky to have family in town for just the reason that I can always depend on them when I’m in transition, but this time I got thrown for a loop. For various understandable reasons, my time allotted at mom’s was cut down to a short month.
I’m not gonna lie...I feel like the Universe is trying to teach me something right now. It keeps occurring such that my “plan” gets altered by others in a way that I absolutely cannot affect. This challenges my center, which apparently was off-center anyway.
All of that’s to say that I’m really looking forward to next week, when again I will have my own bedroom and kitchen!! I could sleep on a couch indefinitely so long as I had a kitchen to call my own. (I even temporarily had my bed in my kitchen in Chicago. Hehe.) For now, though, I’m doing the best I can with the space I’m given, and have resorted to taking a lot of photos of my breakfasts and beverages. I can’t wait to get my knives and cutting boards back!! For now, though, don’t you worry your little pants off...I’m just going to share simple recipes with you until I can get back in the swing of things.
This recipe, for example, was another attempt to “switch things up.” I was getting a little tired of smoothies, but still wanted a refreshing and nutritious bevy made from scratch. It’s pretty unique, but I can’t emphasize enough how refreshing and delicious this is. Not only that, but the possibilities for creativity here are endless!
I would also like to hear from you all about how you found your center during times of transition. Leave a comment below about things that helped you keep your feet planted when it felt like steadiness was hard to come by. I’ve taken to more frequent yoga and meditation, but I’d love to hear your unique sources of solace.
1/4 Cup Kombucha
1/4 Cup Frozen Blueberries
2 tsp Chia Seeds
1/2 Cup Sparkling Water (I used Apricot flavored)
In a blender, pulse together kombucha, blueberries, and chia until just blended. Pour into a glass, and top with sparkling water. Enjoy!
Sometimes when life gives me lemons, I opt to make pumpkin pudding instead. Especially on days like today, when I’ve been in solitary confinement in my apartment, determined to not get any sicker than I already am. I’ve been cranky. Whiney. I don’t wanna! I do wanna! Not feeling well brings out all of my rebellion. I fight back real hard, ya’ll. Like I said- by making pudding! I know you’re shaking in your boots as I type.
I was gifted some lemons and ginger yesterday when it dawned on me that getting into real-people clothes and driving myself to the store simply was not an option. I’ve boiled the water for tea 3 times now, which means I’ve washed my tiny perfect pot 3 times as well. Alternating between boiling the water and using it to reheat my lentil-sweet-potato concoction is getting old. 3 times, folks. I’m not talking about a dishwashing spree, but I am talking about mindless and rote kitchen action.
All of that is to say that by noon today, I had to make something with a little more love behind it. I wanted something sweet but energizing. Compound that with the fact that I’ve had this recipe in my arsenal since before it was in its holiday seasonal prime, and voilah! What better time than cooped-up now?!
This recipe also embodies my mood in some other subtly rebellious ways. See, I’m one of those people who doesn’t want pumpkin in my pie or in my latte. I don’t hate pumpkin, and I never crave it. So this year I bought a can of it just to see if I could change my own mind. Additionally, I don’t want my protein in smoothie form. I love the taste of smoothies, but I can never quite figure out when is the right time to drink them such that they won’t hurt my stomach. Combine these seemingly dissonant factoids, and I think I’ve created the perfect alternative for weirdos like me: Pumpkin Protein Pudding!!
Since I’m not feeling so stellar, I was grateful to know this would be super easy. I’ve made many versions of this before and strongly encourage you to play around! For this version, I didn’t have any fresh “milk” on hand, so I made a quick hemp milk as the starter. Combine the rest of the ingredients, and you’re on your way to energy and protein-packed pumpkin goodness. Top it with your favorite nuts and seeds or dried fruit, and it makes the best fall breakfast. For a dessert version, amp up the maple syrup drizzle or add more to the batch, and top with shredded coconut or cacao.
In post-pudding glee,
Pumpkin Protein Pudding
1 Cup Water
½ Cup Organic Pumpkin (cooked or canned)
⅓ Cup Chia Seeds
¼ Cup Hemp Seeds*
1 Tbsp Coconut Butter
1 Tsp Maple Syrup, plus more to drizzle
½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
½ Tsp Pumpkin Spice
1. Using a high-speed or immersion blender, combine water and hemp seeds. Add pumpkin, coconut butter, maple syrup, vanilla and pumpkin spice. Blend until smooth.
2. Pour mixture into bowl and slowly stir in chia seeds.
3. Refrigerate until thick, about 15 minutes.
* 1 cup of any non-dairy milk can be used in place of water and hemp seeds. If mixture is too thick, add more non-dairy milk. If it doesn’t thicken to your likening, add more chia seeds 1 tbsp at a time.