Matcha Chia Pudding with Toasted Coconut

Matcha is green tea for people who think they don’t like green tea.  It’s bright, fruity and slightly grassy.  While, personally, I like it all- sencha, silver leaf, gunpowder, genmaicha, etc., matcha is special.  Matcha is a powdered form of green tea, which dissolves in water, milk or any other liquid, which means you get more nutrients since you’re eating the whole leaf.  Also, it’s easy to cook with!

Matcha Chia Pudding with Coconut - The Clean Gourmet

I like matcha in my morning chia pudding because not only do I get an extra boost of energy on top of my morning cup of brewed green tea, I reap more of the tea’s benefits, because I’m ingesting the whole leaf.  Some of the purported benefits include, but are not limited to: lowered cholesterol, strengthened immune system, increased metabolism, stress reduction and sustained energy that does not end with a crash.

Matcha Chia Pudding with Coconut - The Clean Gourmet

With matcha, quality is especially important if you want that bright, zingy flavor.  It should be very bright green and organic. Do not use “culinary” grade, even if you do plan to cook with it (junk in, junk out).  Instead, look for “ceremonial” or “imperial” grade organic matcha.

Serves 1-2 

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1 teaspoon honey (you can always add more if you need to)

1 teaspoon matcha powder

pinch salt

6 fresh raspberries, cut into small pieces OR 2 dried apricots, cut into smaller pieces

1 cup coconut milk, whole cow’s milk or fresh almond milk

2 tablespoons dried coconut flakes, toasted

Matcha Chia Pudding with Coconut - The Clean Gourmet

What to do:

To toast the coconut flakes: In a small pan over low heat toast coconut flakes, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.  Do not walk away.  Remove flakes from pan to cool, as there will be carry over heat in the pan, which can cause them to burn.

Combine all ingredients, except for coconut flakes, in a small bowl or cup and refrigerate 6-12 hours.  You should end up with a pudding-like consistency.  Top with toasted coconut flakes before serving.

Make the night before if you want a healthy and satisfying breakfast or midday snack.  Best consumed within 24 hours, but will keep for three days.

 

Matcha Chia Pudding with Coconut - The Clean Gourmet

Mise-en-place bowl courtesy of OK Ceramics.


Vegan Pistachio-Coconut Ice Cream (Gelato Vegano di Pistacchio e Cocco)

This is a recipe I devised to satisfy a certain family member’s ice cream addiction without having to experience feelings of guilt for watching him eat such artery-clogging, acidifying food… Thus, while it requires full-fat coconut milk (light coconut milk will become icy when frozen), at least the fat is plant-based and is argued to have many metabolic benefits, unlike milk fat.  Also, the sweetness is derived from the coconut milk, banana and agave, not cane sugar.

I wish I had an ice cream maker to try using for this recipe, but after some trial-and-error I got it to work sans the appliance.  By using not only “whole” coconut milk,  throwing in a banana gave extra natural sweetening power, along with preventing the “ice cream” from becoming too hard in the freezer.

While this vegan version of ice cream is much better for you than the traditional cream version, I would still eat this as an occasional treat.  Enjoy!

Vegan Pistachio and Coconut "Ice Cream" - The Clean Gourmet

Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk

1 very ripe banana (the browner, the better)

1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp raw, shelled pistachios

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 cup honey, light maple syrup, or agave

2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)

What to do:

Blend the coconut milk, banana, 1/2 cup of the pistachios, vanilla, agave, and salt in a blender for about 1 minute, or until there are no pistachio chunks remaining.

Vegan Pistachio and Coconut "Ice Cream" - The Clean Gourmet

Vegan Pistachio and Coconut "Ice Cream" - The Clean Gourmet

Pour in freezer-safe container or bowl and fold in the 3 Tbsp of pistachios and the chia seeds (if using).

Vegan Pistachio and Coconut "Ice Cream" - The Clean Gourmet

Cover and place in freezer for 4-6 hours before serving.  If possible, stir once or twice to “churn” during the freezing process.  If you freeze longer than 6 hours, remove from freezer about 20 minutes before serving and stir well.

Vegan Pistachio and Coconut "Ice Cream" - The Clean Gourmet

Gelato Vegano di Pistacchio e Cocco:

Ingredienti:

1 lattina di latte di cocco intero

1 banana, molto matura (più marrone, meglio è)

1/2 tazza, più 3 cucchiai di pistacchi crudi e sbucciati

1 1/2 cucchiaini d’estratto di vaniglia

1/2 cucchiaino di sale fino di mare

75 ml di sciroppo d’agave o di sciroppo d’acero

2 cucchiai di semi di cia (facoltativo)

Come Fare:

Frullate il latte di cocco, la banana, la metà tazza di pistacchi, la vaniglia, lo sciroppo d’agave e il sale in un frullatore per circa un minuto, o finché non ci siano più pezzi di pistacchio rimasti.

Versate in un contenitore adatto per il freezer e unire i pistacchi interi rimasti e i semi di cia (se ne volete).

Coprite e mettete in freezer per 4-6 ore prima di servire.  Se possibile, agitate una o due volte mentre si congela.  Se lo lasciate in freezer per più di 6 ore, toglietelo dal freezer circa 20 minuti prima di servire e agitate.

 


Fruity Chia Pudding (Budino di Semi di Cia alla Frutta)

Chia in many ways outdoes flax; first of all, chia does not need to be ground up in order to absorb all of its benefits, which include: as much protein as flax (but, unlike flax, is a complete source of protein), twice the phosphorous, more than double the calcium, and less fat.  Also, chia is packed with gelatinous fiber, meaning it is especially effective for lowering cholesterol, and it alkalizes the body.

Besides adding chia to smoothies, yogurt and salads, this pudding is a great way to introduce a good dose of chia into your diet.

*Note:  Matsu was not around during the action, so the in-process photos are mine and way inferior!  I hope you enjoy his lovely pictures of the finished product though 🙂

Serves 1-2 

Ingredients:

1/2 nectarine, 1/2 banana, a few figs or other fruit, mashed

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2/3 cup almond milk, coconut milk or any other milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or you can have fun and do 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, plus 1/4 teaspoon coconut, ginger or some other extract)

1 teaspoon honey, agave or maple syrup

pinch salt

What to do:

Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl (not too small, as the mixture will double in size) and let sit in fridge for 4 hours or more,  stirring once to ensure all chia seeds come in contact with liquid.

Mix again before serving.

Fruity Chia Pudding - The Clean Gourmet

1-2 porzioni

Ingredienti:

1/2 nettarina

2 cucchiai di semi di cia

2/3 tazza di latte di mandorle, latte di cocco o qualsiasi tipo di latte

1/2 cucchiaino di estratto di vaniglia (oppure 1/4 cucchiaino di vaniglia, più 1/4 cucchiaino di estratto di cocco, zenzero o qualsiasi altro tipo)

1 cucchiaino di miele, agave oppure sciroppo d’acero

pizzico di sale

Cosa fare:

Mescolate tutti gli ingredienti in una scodella piccola (ma non troppo piccola, perché la mescolanza raddoppierà) e lasciatelo in frigo per almeno 4 ore, agitando una volta.

Agitate un’altra volta prima di servire.

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Creamy Almond Milk (Latte di Mandorle Cremoso)

This nut milk has the consistency of low fat milk.  If you like a thinner consistency, add more water.  If you like it even creamier, add more coconut milk.  The long soaking and blending time also contribute to the creamy, full-bodied texture of the milk.  If you are doing a smaller nut, such as pistachio, you could probably get away with soaking for less time.  Alternatively, if you use brazil nuts, you might want to soak for another six hours.

If you like sweetened almond milk, I recommend soaking and blending a PITTED date along with the almonds.  You can also add agave or maple syrup.

I like the base of coconut milk, but if you don’t have it or dislike it, simply omit.  I actually like Trader Joe’s brand of light coconut milk best.

The nut milk bag is a lot less messy and works really well, but a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer will do the job.  In fact, my first tries involved a strainer and then cheesecloth, but I gave in and got the nut milk bag.  It’s easy to find on the Internet, cheap and is perfectly suited for the job 🙂 .

I like to keep mine in a glass milk jar so I can shake it up since the milk is not homogenized and will definitely separate.

Per gli italiani, ho fatto un pò fatica spiegare gli attrezzi che servono, dunque fatemi sapere se qualcosa non ha senso o se sapete com’è meglio chiamarli!

What you need: 

1 cup raw almonds (or other nuts, if you like)

1/2 tsp salt

About 1/2-2/3 cup light coconut milk (optional)

2.5 cups water

Nut milk bag, cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer

What to do:

Soaking

Soak nuts in about two cups water for 24 hours in a cool place.  (Refrigerator works well.)

Straining

Drain and rinse nuts in a colander and place in blender.  Add salt, coconut milk and 2.5 cups water.

Blender

Blend for three (yes, three) minutes.

Straining Squeezing Nut Milk Bag

Place nut milk bag over large measuring cup and pour almond mixture into bag.  Squeeze pulp until fully wrung (perhaps best to do in two batches).

Pouring

Pour milk into pitcher or glass jar and refrigerate.  Lasts about 3-4 days.

Almond Meal

Use pulp for baking or add to oatmeal!

Cosa serve:

1 tazza di mandorle crude (o altro tipo di frutta secca, se preferite)

1/2 cucchiaino di sale

Circa 1/2-2/3 tazza di latte di cocco (facoltativo)

2.5 tazze d’acqua

Borsa di rete apposta per fare il latte di mandorle, della stamigna oppure un colino col rete sottile

Cosa fare:

Saturate le mandorle per 24 ore con circa 2 tazze e mezza d’acqua.  Tenete in un posto fresco.  (Nel frigo va benissimo.)

Colate e sciacquate bene le mandorle e mettete in frullatore.  Aggiungete sale, latte di cocco e 2,5 tazze d’acqua.

Frullate per tre (sì, tre) minuti.

Mettete la borsa di rete dentro una scodella e versateci la mescolanza.  Stringete la borsa finché la poltiglia sia abbastanza secca (è meglio farlo in due lotti).

Versate il latte in un broccale o vasetto e mettete in frigo.  Dura circa 3 o 4 giorni.

Usate la poltiglia per fare dolci salutari o mettete nei cereali caldi!

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