Chi Chi Chi Chia


Chia seeds, which used to be mostly known for growing kitchy green hair, is now coveted as a omega-3 rich supergrain.

I always secretly yourned for the terra cotta collectable, so I wanted in on the healthy fun.

With a kid that has just started her career in brown bagging lunches, I’m certainly learning that it’s tough enough getting them to eat, let alone eat well. One food I know will not return home again are bagels and since I usually try to make my own of everything, I thought I’d give them a go.

CHIA SEED BAGELS

1 1/4 Cups Warm Water
1 1/2 teaspoons Instant Yeast Granules
2 Tablespoons Sugar
3 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1/4 Cup Chia Seeds

Measure off the warm water and add the yeast and sugar, stirring to dissolve.
Leave the yeast mixture to sit, activate and bubble while you add the flour and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer with the hook attachment. (Alternatively, a large bowl and a wooden spoon still works:) Mix to combine.
Once the yeast has begun to bubble turn your mixer on low and continuously pour the yeast mixture over the flour and salt.
Keep the motor going, it should come together into a elastic dough. If you find it’s still sticking to the bottom of the bowl, feel free to toss in a small handful of flour and keep mixing.

Remove the dough, shaping it into a smooth ball and transfer it to a lightly greased, deep bowl to rise, loosely covered it with plastic wrap.
Let your dough rise, doubling in bulk, for about 2 hours or over night in the refrigerator, but bring it back to room temperature before proceeding.
Turn the dough out to a lightly floured surface. Dust a knife in flour and cut the dough in half.
Cover one half and cut the other into 4 or 5 pieces.
Beginning with the first piece, roll out the dough into a long rope, about 1″ (2cm) in diameter, shaping into a ring and secure. Leave it to rest, covered, on a baking sheet while you continue with all of the remaining dough.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF and bring a large pot of water onto boil.
Once the water is boiling, drop 2 – 3 of the bagels in for about 1 minute on each side.
Remove with a slotted spoon and return to a new, parchment lined baking sheet. Carefully sprinkle over the chia seeds and return to boiling the rest of the waiting bagels.
Flick or lightly spritz water into the oven and place the bagels on the center rack. Bake for about 5 minutes and spritz water into the oven again to create steam (and crispier bagels).
Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes more or until golden.

Whole Grain Crackers


WHOLE GRAIN FLAT BREAD CRACKERS

1/2 Cup Whole or Twelve Grain Cereal
1/2 Cup Boiling Water
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/3 Cup Vegetable Shortening
1/3 Cup Soy Milk, or water
1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

Pour the boiling water over the cereal to soften
Let sit 20 – 30 minutes.
In a food processor combine flour, salt, sugar.
Cut in the shortening until it is blended into a crumb consistency.
Add the moistened cereal then through the feed tube, drizzle in the milk, bringing the dough together into a soft ball.
Cut the dough two disks and quarter each of those leaving you with eight pieces.
Heat the oven to 400ºF.
Roll each piece as thinly as possible between two pieces of parchment paper.
If desired, lightly spray the rolled dough with oil and top with any desired combination of truffle salt, sea salt and rosemary or parmesan and black pepper.
Bake for 8 – 9 minutes; until crisp but barely golden, watching as they brown quickly.

Juice And A Muffin


Twelve Grain Breakfast Muffins are by far my favourite muffins – breakfast or otherwise.
The are so quick and versatile I think I’ve prepared about twenty or so variations.
This latest combination is my current favourite.

Wanting more than a traditional burnt raisin and bran muffin, I first began eating these to get the obvious fiber addition in a grab and go breakfast. When I realized I could eat the whole lot straight from the oven I knew I had my winner.
I’ve tried them with different fruit combinations but one thing always remained, the wonderfully moist centre and crisp outer edges – perfect. This is why could I not resist sharing these for the Muffin Monday 04 round up.

Mostly hands off they’re almost faster to make that your morning coffee (or juice as this day would have it).
Toss the moist ingredients together, take a shower, return to mix in the dry and bake it while you get dressed and blend your juice. Nothing says breakfast more than orange juice, however these are my favourite muffins so the to make the juice a little bit more add a handful of seasonal strawberries and a banana, frozen if you have one on hand. Blend until smooth and check the muffins. Depending on your muffin size it’s, ten to fifteen minutes in the oven, one minute to cool and no time to enjoy!

12 GRAIN BREAKFAST MUFFINS

3/4 Cup 12 Grain Cereal Mix
1/4 Cup Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/4 Cup Broken Pecans
1/3 Cup Canola Oil
1 Cup Soy Milk
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
3 Tablespoons Orange Juice or 1 teaspoon of orange zest

Prep muffin tins with a light spritz of spray oil.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the cereal, oatmeal and stir in the milk and oil.
Allow everything to absorb and soften for 15 – 20 minutes. If you are hard pressed for time, you may skip this step.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Add the baking powder and soda, then stir in the juice (or zest, if using).
Add the flour, combining only enough to moisten everything – try not to over work.
Spoon into prepared tins and bake 10 minutes for mini-muffins and 15 minutes for regular sized muffins or until golden and slightly crisp around the edges.

GOOD MORNIN’ SUNSHINE JUICE

2 Cups Orange Juice, freshly squeezed is of course the best
2/3 Cup Fresh, Hulled Strawberries
1 Banana, Frozen

Blend everything on high, until the fruit is puréed and everything is smooth.
If you’re not usually a pulp lover, you might want to strain the strawberry seeds.

*Note: If you don’t have a frozen banana on hand, just crush an ice cube or two to get the chilled slush goodness.