Healthy Lemon Chia Muffins

Usually we go home to Canada in July which is just when my lemon tree in Australia is ripening. I end up picking them all before I leave and handing them out to friends. But things being what they are this year, we didn’t go anywhere. So trying to find the silver lining (if you really want to see it!), I have been baking lots of lemon recipes. My family loves muffins, so lemon muffins was an obvious choice. So without any further ado, here is my healthy lemon chia muffin recipe!

Lemon Chia Muffins

4 Tbsp chia seeds

1 cup lemon juice (juice from 3-4 lemons)

2.5 cups self-raising flour (whole wheat preferably)

¼ tsp salt

½ cup maple syrup (the real stuff from Canada)

1/3 cup coconut oil melted

1 cup milk (I used macadamia, but you could also you almond or dairy)

½ tsp almond extract

Method

  1. Mix the chia seeds with the lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes
  2. Preheat oven to 180C
  3. In another large bowl, mix the salt and the flour.
  4. Add the maple, coconut oil, milk and almond extract to the flour and mix well.
  5. Add in the lemon and chia mix.
  6. Divide out into muffin trays.

Depending on how big you make your muffins, cook between 12-16 minutes.

Add blueberries, raspberries or other fruit to mix it up.

Enjoy!

The lemons are ripening! Yay!

As the lemons start ripening on my lemon tree, I thought it would be timely to write about them.

I’m sure you have all heard of drinking lemon water.  It can actually be quite helpful. I don’t suggest only drinking lemon water (seriously if you ever see something telling you to only do one thing, run don’t walk away!), but a glass of lemon water in the morning can be great.

Lemons are acidic.  If you drink a glass in the morning it can help stimulate your digestive juices and get them ready for digesting breakfast.

Lemon water can help with constipation.  The combination of lemon and warm water can help to get things moving in the morning.

Lemons are loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids.  This means they can help boost your immune system and decrease inflammation.

Lemon water can help with kidney stones.  This is due to their high citrate content. If you have kidney stones though, seek professional health advice.  Don’t just drink lemon water and hope they go away.  Talk to your naturopath to see if this is appropriate for you.

Drinking a glass of water in the morning will help you stay hydrated.  Over night we don’t drink anything and can become dehydrated.  Drinking water in the morning can get us going on the right path.

You want to drink this in the morning, ideally half an hour before eating breakfast.  Consistency is best for seeing results.  

  1. Squeeze half a lemon of juice into a mug (real never artificial).
  2. Add hot water
  3. Drink
  4. Feel great;)

Teriyaki Chicken and Veggies with Rice Noodles

I love this recipe! It is so easy to make and super delicious. And 2/3 of the kids will eat it! Ok not ideal, but if I only shared recipes they would all eat, you wouldn’t have much to read. You can easily scale this up or down depending on how many people are eating and the leftovers are awesome! Experiment with how strong you (or the kids) like it. I am always adding different veggies depending on what is in the fridge, so don’t focus too much on the specific veggies I use, just add some and enjoy!

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • ¼ head of cauliflower 
  • Ginger – depends on how strong you want this to be.  I use about an inch long piece.  This gives a mild-medium ginger flavour.  Good if feeding kids.
  • 2 Tbsp of coconut oil
  • 400-500g chicken thighs cut into pieces
  • 2-3 Tbps of soy sauce – You may want more or less for your taste.  Experiment here.
  • 2 Tbsp honey – a big squirt of honey
  • 200g Rice vermicelli noodles

Cut up all the veggies into bite sized pieces.  Cut up the garlic and ginger until it is super tiny.

Stir-fry all the veggies, garlic and ginger in the pan with some coconut oil. Once these are about half cooked add the chicken.  Once the chicken is cooked, add the soy sauce and honey.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the rice noodles as per the instructions.  I just pop mine into boiling water for 2 minutes and then strain.

Mix the rice noodles in with the veggie chicken mix.  Only put a small amount in at a time to make it easier to mix around.

All done! Enjoy!

Healthy Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Pudding in bowls with fruit

This recipe is certainly a family favourite.  I had to fight off little hands in order to take pictures for this post! This is a different kind of chocolate pudding in that it tastes amazing while being loaded with healthy ingredients.  It is also very easy to make, just blend all the ingredients together. We like to mix in some fresh fruit just before eating, but you can also just eat it plain.  If you have any leftover it also freezes well, although I rarely get any into my freezer!

Pudding ingredients

So why is this pudding so healthy? The ingredients are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, good fats and fibre.  How could you go wrong?

Avocados are a great source of healthy fat and fibre.  Read my other articles to learn more about what fats are and the truth about fats and why they are an important part of your diet. They also contain vitamin C, E, K, B6, folate, magnesium and potassium. Don’t shy away from an avocado, they are great for your health.

Cacao powder is considered a ‘super food’ in the media.  It differs from cocoa in that it hasn’t been roasted.  This retains its natural vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content as well as being a good source of protein, chromium, potassium and magnesium. Watch out for cheap cacao powder though.  I once bought a cheap version and it tasted awful.

Cinnamon is a super tasty way to add a bit more healthiness into your pudding.  It can help lower resting blood sugar, it contains lots of antioxidants, has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and it may even improve your memory (I think;)

I know many of my readers are in Australia, so you may not understand the beauty that is maple syrup, but trust me there is no substitute.  You need to get 100% pure Canadian maple syrup, not a sugar knock off.  While maple syrup does still contain glucose and fructose, it is much lower than regular sugar and has a lower glycemic index.  It is also high in antioxidants, riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Oh and did I mention it tastes fantastic!

We have all heard that bananas contain lots of potassium, but did you know they also contain calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin and B6? Now enough of this explanation as to why this pudding is so healthy, lets make it!

in-blender.jpg

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 5 tablespoons real maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients in your blender.
  2. Blend all the ingredients until smooth.
  3. Enjoy!

I have a Vitamix.  I would suggest using either a Vitamix, Thermomix, or Kitchenaid processor to ensure you get a smooth texture.

Pudding 2