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Vanilla Almond Chia Breakfast Bowl

Posted by Kayla Grossmann

Last week I found myself in a breakfast rut. Don't you just hate when that happens? I woke up, walked down to the kitchen and scanned it blankly. I swung open the cabinets and peered into the refrigerator, but nothing looked appetizing. I was bored with my go-to options and was craving something new. That's when I dreamed up this Vanilla Almond Chia Breakfast Bowl. Packed with healthy fats, protein, antioxidants and fiber, it has plenty of nutrition to satisfy and just enough sweetness to leave you scraping the bowl.

Everyone seems to be talking about chia seeds these days, and with good reason! Chia (pronounced chee-ah) seeds are from a desert-growing plant called Salvia hispanica, which is a member of the mint family. There is evidence that the tiny seeds from this plant were consumed by indigenous peoples of North and South America from as early as 3500 BCE. Traditionally, chia seeds were eaten alone or with other grains, ground into flour, mixed with water and consumed as a beverage, or pressed for their oil. They were also used as a base for face and body paints, incorporated into medicines, and kept for ceremonial purposes.

Today chia seeds are celebrating a welcome revival by foodies all over the world and are being used creatively in many dishes. Just about the size of a poppy seed, each chia seed is bursting with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also gluten-free, easily digested, and anti-allergenic, making them a well-tolerated functional food. Here's a list of some of the health-giving compounds you'll find in chia seeds:

  • Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese
  • Vitamins: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Niacin, Folate
  • Phytonutrients: Quercetin, Kaempferol, Myricetin, Chlorogenic Acid
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Essential Alpha-linolenic Acid

Chia seeds are hydrophilic, meaning they absorb moisture. When wet the outer layer of the chia seed swells and takes on a gelatinous quality. Unlike many other nuts and seeds, chia seeds are therefore easy on and soothing to the digestive system. In this recipe, the chia seeds are covered with almond milk and left to sit overnight. During this time the seeds absorb the almond milk creating a thick, porridge-like result by morning. The effort needed in the evening is minimal and will take just a few minutes. The results are well worth it; with a little planning you'll have a tasty, nutrient-dense breakfast ready when you stumble into the kitchen in the morning!

As with most recipes I put up on this blog, I encourage you to get creative with your breakfast bowl too! I topped mine with almonds and coconut, but there are many other options. Fresh fruit, nut butters and green blends are all delicious additions. I know some fermented-food-lovers who even mix kimchi into their chia breakfast bowls for an extra probiotic boost (check out a recipe for this in the cookbook Fresh & Fermented if you dare!). We are all unique, so play around to discover what appeals to your taste buds and feels most nourishing to your body.

Vanilla Almond Chia Breakfast Bowl

By

Makes 2-4 servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 pitted dates, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups almond milk

1/2 cup sprouted almonds, chopped or slivered

2 tablespoons coconut flakes

Instructions

In a medium bowl mix together chia seeds, cinnamon and chopped dates. Add vanilla extract, almond milk and stir until well combined. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. The chia seeds will absorb the liquid, resulting in a thickened porridge-like texture.

In the morning, top with almonds and coconut flakes. Spoon desired serving into a bowl and enjoy!

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Tags: Recipes, Fuel Your Body

No-Bake Chocolate Berry Slices

Posted by Kayla Grossmann

Making healthy, real food desserts isn't always easy. Gluten-free flours can be tough to work with, recipes seem to have a million steps and at times it can feel like you've spent days in the kitchen experimenting only to end up with a recipe flop. But every so often I find a dessert like this one that tastes amazing and is super simple to make. I guess it's hard to go wrong with chocolate, nuts and fresh berries. This unique nutrient dense dessert combines these beloved ingredients into something that falls between a tart, pie and fruit pizza. Call it whatever you'd like; most importantly it is delicious!

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Tags: Recipes, Fuel Your Body

The Forgotten Mineral That Could Protect Your Brain

Posted by Kayla Grossmann

As far as cosmologists can tell, there were only three elements present when the universe was first formed some 13.8 billion years ago: hydrogen, helium, and lithium. As one of the three original elements, lithium is found throughout our atmosphere. The sun, stars, and meteorites burn brightly with the flame of this highly reactive element. On earth, lithium remains a major mineral component of granite rock, and also lingers in significant amounts in sea water, mineral springs, and soils. Every organ and tissue in the human body contains the mineral lithium, with particular importance in brain health.

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Tags: Supplements & Remedies

Mineral Deficiencies and Depression: Evidence-Based Research

Posted by Kayla Grossmann

Last year I was privileged to contribute to one of the first medical textbooks on integrative treatments for depression. The book, edited by Dr. James M. Greenblatt and Dr. Kelly Brogan, is supported by the review of nearly 3000 scientific studies that consider the roles of inflammation, genetics, hormonal imbalance, gastrointestinal conditions, environmental stress, and nutritional deficiencies in the pathogenesis of mood disorders. Needless to say it was a BIG project! Today, I'd like to share a quick excerpt from the chapter I worked on about mineral deficiencies and depression. It's a short and sweet snip-it, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

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Tips for New Gardeners to Remember

Posted by Kayla Grossmann

What is the one thing that every first time gardener should remember? Sustainability expert and master gardener Celeste Longacre is here to tell us! Celeste is joining us for part three of our interview series on learning to grow your own food at home. In this segment we cover the benefits of community gardening, what to look for when purchasing seeds and how to preserve food to last all year. Can't you almost taste the delicious, fresh homegrown veggies just thinking about it? Enter Celeste...

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DIY Switchel Recipe: A sweet and delicious fermented drink

Posted by Kayla Grossmann

If you are looking to add more fermented foods to your diet, then it may be time to give switchel a try. This simple colonial farmer's drink is made with tangy apple cider vinegar, warming ginger, fresh lemon and a drizzle of honey for sweetness. Switchel packs a punch of beneficial enzymes, detoxifiers and anti-inflammatory compounds, all in one sweet and refreshing gulp. Best of all this DIY fermented beverage can be mixed up at home and savored within minutes.

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Tags: Supplements & Remedies, Recipes, Fuel Your Body

4 Myths About Anxiety We Need to Stop Believing

Posted by Kayla Grossmann

Welcome my sister Kelsey back to the blog! This post is part of a series that covers the many ways in which nutrition, digestive health and mood are related. We hope that you find it helpful. If there are any topics that you would like to see covered, leave us a comment and we will try to add them to our series too!

When it comes to anxiety some people just don’t quite understand it, and I get that. As an anxiety sufferer myself I can see that it could be challenging for those who have never experienced it to grasp what it is like. However, the stigmas that surround anxiety discredit it and make those who experience it think they should be able to control it on their own. That is why I am here, to debunk four of those silly anxiety myths so that we can all move on and work towards finding solutions that actually work!

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Helpful Hints for Starting a Home Garden

Posted by Kayla Grossmann

Master gardener and sustainability expert Celeste Longacre joins us for part two of our interview series on learning to grow your own food at home. In this segment we discuss gardening methods to fit every living situation, how to prepare soil for planting, and effective all-natural pesticides. We hope it inspires you to step outside, savor the sunshine, and get your hands in the dirt! Enter Celeste... 

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Homemade Spiced Ketchup Recipe

Posted by Kayla Grossmann

When you say the phrase “healthy foods” many people think that this means bland, boring and dry. Unfortunately, they are correct in far too many cases. Many nutritionally-aware folks shy away from sauces and condiments because the varieties lining store shelves are loaded with unwanted ingredients from food dyes to unhealthy vegetable oils to high fructose corn syrup. If you've every browsed the grocery store in search of a high quality condiment, you may understand what I'm talking about: even a simple ketchup can be difficult to find. That's why I want to share this recipe for one of my favorite DIY condiments: Spiced Ketchup. This can be made at home in minutes with simple, healthy, real food ingredients.

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Dry Skin Care: 4 Tips for Reviving Skin Naturally

Posted by Kayla Grossmann

Have you ever taken a stroll down the skin care aisle of a pharmacy or health food store? The shelves are stocked with bottles of all shapes, colors and sizes; all stamped with a promise to deliver soft, youthful skin to purchasers. But how do you know what the right solution is for you? And can you actually be confident that the skin care products you purchase contain safe ingredients? Skin care can certainly be overwhelming. That's why I am sharing this interview with Mira Herman, Acupuncturist, Chiropractor, Herbalist and founder/formulator at Rosemira. Rosemira is a skin care company dedicated to providing artisanal, handcrafted, organic skin solutions. Mira recently sat down to answer some questions about navigating skincare, specifically in the winter months. Read on for some very good advice. 

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Tags: Supplements & Remedies, Avoid Toxins

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    Hi! My Name is Kayla. I am an RN turned researcher, real-food-nibbler and integrative health advocate. Welcome to the blog!

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