Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

From Minimalist Baker

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 15oz can of coconut milk (light or regular), or ~1 1/2 cups of milk of your choice
  • To serve: whipped cream, strawberries, raspberries, or another fruit, granola, or really whatever toppings you like…it’s also good as-is!

Directions

Yields four 1/2 cup servings

  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the cocoa powder, maple syrup, cinnamon (if using), and vanilla.
  2. Add the milk and whisk until smooth.
  3. Stir in the chia seeds.
  4. Place in a jar or covered bowl and refrigerate for overnight, or for a minimum of three hours. When it’s ready, it will have thickened to a pudding consistency.

Cinnamon Granola

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We ran out of granola and I decided to try out something new. This is a slight twist on my maple granola recipe. The added spices (cinnamon! nutmeg! ginger! cardamon!) give it a little something extra.

Ingredients

  • 2  cups  old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • ½  cup  sliced almonds
  • ½  cup  dried cranberries (or a different dried fruit, or a mix)
  • ¼  cup  unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼  cup  pure maple syrup (or agave nectar, or honey)
  • 1  tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 300°F

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except for the dried fruit. Stir until everything is well coated in the maple syrup.
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  2. Spread the granola out evenly onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then toss the granola so it cooks evenly. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden.
  3. Stir in the dried fruit.
  4. Let the granola cool completely before storing it.
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Maple Granola

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David loves to eat a bowl of granola with fruit and yogurt for breakfast. Store bought granola is pretty expensive, and often comes loaded with sugar. I like to make a big batch by doubling the recipe. I’m storing this batch in former pickle jars!

Ingredients

Makes ~3 1/2 cups

  • 2  cups  old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/2  cup  sliced almonds
  • 1/2  cup  dried cranberries (or a different dried fruit, or a mix)
  • 1/4  cup  unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4  cup  pure maple syrup (or agave nectar, or honey)
  • 1  tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/8  cup  shelled sunflower seeds (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 300°F

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except for the dried fruit. Stir until everything is well coated in the maple syrup.
  2. Spread the granola out evenly onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then toss the granola so it cooks evenly. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden.
  3. Stir in the dried fruit.
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  4. Let the granola cool completely before storing it.
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Blueberry Pancakes

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One of my favorite bedtime stories growing up was Blueberries for Sal, which my parents always read to me in the green arm chair in my room. Whenever I eat blueberries, I can’t help but think kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk!

These pancakes also remind me of my grandfather. I made them for him a month or so before he died. We ate them on his back porch, which faced the woods–pines and hemlocks and oaks. As we ate, we watched the goldfinches and chickadees dart from the bird feeder (slightly mangled by a black bear), to the trees, and back to the feeder again. We poured lots of maple syrup on top. As I got him a second helping, Grandpa sang the song from Scrooge, which he sang so often everyone thought of it as his song: Thank you very much, thank you very much, it’s the nicest thing that anyone’s ever done for me!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or use more all-purpose)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 heaping cup blueberries

Directions

  1. Use an electric mixer to blend the milk, vanilla, egg, and melted butter.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder, and sugar. Mix until well-combined.
  3. Stir in the blueberries by hand.
  4. Use 1/4 measuring cup to scoop the batter. Cook the pancakes on a greased frying pan or griddle on medium heat. Both sides should be a light golden brown.
  5. Serve with lots of maple syrup!
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Sourdough Bread Pudding

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Sourdough isn’t traditionally used for bread pudding, but I had a loaf that I needed to use up. It occurred to me that the slight tang of the sourdough might actually be a nice contrast to the sweetness of bread pudding. I loved it! (David, I should note, likes things a little sweeter and prefers a more traditional bread pudding. Though he did go back for seconds…)

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf (14 slices) of sourdough bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • chopped walnuts, to serve
  • maple syrup, to serve

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F

  1. Slice your bread into 1″ pieces.
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  2. In a large bowl, use a mixer to combine the eggs, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, followed by the raisins.
  4. By hand,  slowly stir in the bread. It’s a lot of bread, so it helps to do this in batches. Add 1/4 of the bread, stir (the moisture from the liquid will reduce the size), then add more bread, stir, etc.
  5. Pour into a greased 8×8 baking pan.
  6. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the bread to absorb the liquid and flavor.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes.
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  8. Serve with a splash of maple syrup and chopped walnuts on top.
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