Until recently I never thought of how chickpeas were grown let alone if they could be eaten fresh. When I shared some sour apricots that I found at a nearby Middle Eastern grocer with a co-worker who is originally from Lebanon a few weeks ago (which, by the way were a unique and tasty treat) she told me about all the delicious fruits and vegetables from her home that she missed. One of them was fresh chickpeas! Now most people have had chickpeas in some form such has hummus, in salads or soups, and of course one of my ultimate favs: falafels! So to learn that these little legumes could be eaten fresh was brand new information to me.
Cut to yesterday when I'm back at the nearby Middle Eastern grocer where I found bags of fresh chickpeas in their produce section! Obviously I had to buy a bag to try them out and what a treat they are.
They are grown in little pods with one or two chickpeas inside each pod. I removed the chickpeas and found that they tasted very slightly like the canned or dried/rehydrated/cooked chickpeas I've eaten in the past but with an added fresh green pea flavour too.
Since I have a 1lb bag of these to eat I need some other ideas on how to eat them other than just one their own or added to a salad (which is what I did for last night's dinner). Anyone out there with some unique uses/recipes for these fresh legumes? Share in the comments!
It's been a while since I posted a recipe so why not share my latest favourite smoothie concoction - Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric! A combination that may be strange to some but I suspect that once you try it you might actually dig this delicious treat.
Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric Smoothie
Serves 1 and easily duplicates
Inspired by: Minimalist Baker
1 smaller carrot, grated (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
1 frozen banana (pre-peeled/sliced/frozen)
1/4 frozen cantaloupe* (pre-peeled/sliced/frozen)
1 knob of ginger, microplaned or finely grated (about 2-3 tsp depending on how much you love ginger)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric**
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
few turns of fresh cracked pepper***
1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp flax seed oil
water, as needed
1 - Place all ingredients in to a large wide mouth mason jar if using an immersion blender or in to a standard blender.
2 - Blend until all ingredients are well conbined. Add water to thin the mixture if it is too thick.
3 - Stick a straw in that and enjoy!
*Cantaloupe could easily be switched to mangos or pineapple.
**I happen to have two kinds of turmeric so used a bit of both
***Yes, pepper is needed so the health benefits of the turmeric can be absorbed by our bodies most effectively.
So there you have it! Will you try it?
I'm apparently in love with chia seeds at the moment as I currently have both black and white whole seeds in my fridge as well as a package of pre-ground chia! So there may be a few more chia recipes coming... and why the heck not, right?! They are tiny powerhouses of nutrients, a whole source of plant based protein and full of awesome omegas.
Although I have made chia jams in the past and the flavours have been fine I never really liked the texture of the whole seeds in the jams. I don't know why I never thought to use ground chia instead but now that I have a package to use it became so obvious!
Last night, I wanted to celebrate my first sale of Tonish Concepts wreaths (check them out on Instagram @tonishconceptsyyc - hopefully will figure out a website soon!) with a few new recipes. I remembered watching a YouTube video from French Guy Cooking (he's awesome and oh so Parisian adorable ;)) for different ways of using rice paper wrappers with one way being apple pie rolls. Brilliant! I had all the ingredients so figured I'd gave it a shot. While in the process of starting to prep the apples I got the idea of making a dipping sauce for the rolls and a chia jam seemed like a good idea!
The apple pie rolls didn't quite turn out as I had hoped (I think I needed to soak the rice papers a bit longer...) but that just means I get to try again! However, the jam turned out REALLY good... so needed to share right away.
But... how would I photograph the jam without making it look like a blob of unknown content? Make some bread to showcase the goodness of course! So this morning I made a quick loaf of Traditional Irish Soda Bread (thanks to Gemma Stafford over at Bigger Bolder Baking for sharing her Mom's recipe!). I used chilled coconut oil instead of butter and rye flour instead of whole wheat (it's what I had). I likely could've baked the loaf for a few more minutes as it is just the slightest bit doughy in the bottom quarter of the loaf but I suspect it's a necessary elevation adjustment (Calgary is over 1,000 m above sea-level and all...) but it turned out pretty great otherwise and was the perfect pairing for this chia jam :))
Mixed Fruit Chia Jam
2 cups mixed fruit (I used mostly frozen (thawed though) and added about a half a chopped Granny Smith apple as well)
1-2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
2-3 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 - In a skillet on medium heat add coconut oil and once melted add in mixed fruit. Stir the fruit and coconut oil together and once the mixture reaches a gentle simmer, reduce the heat to maintain the low simmer and start squishing a few of the fruit pieces to help make the mixture a bit more jammy (real word?) with the back of the spoon.
Note - My fruit mixture had whole strawberries. I removed them and quickly puréed them in the Magic Bullet (could just use a blender or simple mash them in the pan) so there weren't huge chunks of fruit in the final product.
2 - After about 2-3 minutes of gentle simmering add in a tablespoon of maple syrup and stir through fruit mixture. Now is the time to taste for sweetness. Everyone's fruit mix could be different so start with less added sweetener and adjust as needed.
3 - Turn off the heat and sprinkle two tablespoons of ground chia and stir in to the fruit mix. Depending on the liquid content of your fruit mix you may need to add the third tablespoon of ground chia. The mixture should start to thicken relatively quickly and will thicken even more as it cools. If it's still runny after cooling just add a bit more ground chia until it's the right consistency for you.
4 - Pour the fresh made jam in to a mason jar or reused jam/peanut butter glass jar. It's really great warm but wait until it's cooled a bit before adding a lid and refrigerating. Should keep for a week or so... however, fresh jam rarely lasts that long in my kitchen with a fresh loaf of bread. Haha!
It's that simple! Now you need to make some quick chia jam and share your pictures with me :) I'd love to see what fruit mix you use and what you use it on!
1 - It's delicious. Granted I will eat nearly anything. However, these little seeds are excellent vehicles of flavour since they themselves have no flavour so this allows for creative flavour combos... although, I usually lean towards the slightly sweet for the puddings.
2 - It's a portable and make-ahead friendly! A few tablespoons in a mason jar with some almond milk and any extra flavour add-ins and you are on your way to pudding goodness. I usually make a few jars on Sunday night and leave them in the fridge for quick morning breakfasts, a midday snack or a tasty dessert if any last until the end of the week.
3 - Nutrient dense super food! These little seeds have a lot packed in to their tiny packaging. High in protein, fiber, omega-3, iron, magnesium and plenty more. Top off with add-ins like fresh or dried fruits, nuts and seeds and you've got yourself a really great combination of energetic fuel!
4 - They make an excellent egg replacer for baking! Just combine 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, let sit for 5-10 minutes and you now have an egg replacer for cakes, cookies, muffins, pancakes, or sweet breads! Sometimes I combine ground chia and flax seeds for an ultra nutrient dense egg replacer for baking too.
5 - They can be used to make a jams that do not require commercially produced pectin and the ridiculous amount of sugar needed to make the pectin work. Just berries of your choosing, a bit of sweetner (I like maple syrup or local honey) and chia seeds! Here's one of my favourite recipes from Oh She Glows :)
This is how I make my chia puddings:
Chocolate Chia Pudding
4 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1 tsp camu camu*
1 tsp non-gmo soy lecithin**
1/4 tsp vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of Himalayan salt (or sea salt)
1/2 cup almond milk (or any milk you prefer)
1 tbsp maple syrup (honey or agave works too)
Toppings: sliced fruits, chopped nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, etc.
1 - Combine first six ingredients in a straight sided mason jar. Screw on lid and give it a good shake to mix all the dry ingredients together.
2 - Add milk and sweetener, replace lid and shake well.
3 - Remove lid and using a spoon or small spatula scrape down the sides of the jar to ensure everything is on the liquid.
4 - Replace lid again and let sit for 30 minutes or place in fridge and use within 5 days.
5 - When ready to eat just remove lid and place whatever toppings you'd like on top, mix and chow down. Or pour in to a bowl for added pretty presentation points ;)
*Camu camu is totally optional. I've recently been adding this to my chia puddings for additional vitamin C and antioxidants. Found it at The Light Cellar here in Calgary.
**Non-GMO soy lecithin is also totally optional. However, adding a lecithin add-in is something you may want to consider as a neurotransmitter it aids in memory retention (among many other benefits)! Another great find from The Light Cellar here in Calgary.
Do you include chia seeds in your daily/weekly diet routine? How about baking with it? If you haven't tried it before do you think you may give it a shot? Let me know in the comments or send me a direct message if you have any questions! Enjoy :)
I recently learned about Chinese tea eggs and my mind was spectacularly blown. It's a relatively simple double technique that only special requirements are time and a bit patience. If you're a fan of something savoury and different to mix up your protein intake or better yet for serving on Halloween these will do the trick... pun intended ;) haha!
Spooktacular Devilled Eggs
1 dozen eggs
1 - Place all eggs in to a pot of sufficient size and fill with water to cover by about an inch.
2 - Cover and bring to a rolling boil and continue to boil for about 7 minutes.
3 - Turn off heat and let eggs to sit in hot water for 3 more minutes.
4 - Remove eggs to a strainer and discard of the water.
3/4 C soy sauce or tamari
3-4 star anise
1 stick cinnamon
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole coriander
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
1 tsp whole peppercorn
2-3 black tea bags
Water to cover
1 - Since the freshly boiled eggs will likely still be quite hot use a clean kitchen towel or oven mitt to hold the egg. Then with the back of a spoon crack the eggshell all over to have generally even cracking. Once cracked place egg back in to the pot. Do this to all the eggs.
2 - Add rest of the ingredients to the pot ensuring everything is fully emerged in this new sauce.
3 - Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a rolling simmer and set a timer for 60 minutes.
4 - Check once in while to ensure all the eggs are still fully submerged.
5 - After the hour, turn off the heat and leave eggs in the sauce until room temperature. Once fully cooled move pot to the fridge and let the eggs continue to soak in the sauce for at least overnight. However, the longer they are left in the sauce the further the flavour will penetrate the egg white even more. They can certainly start to be eaten right away but I highly suggest leaving them for as long as you can. I actually let some sit for a week and the flavour was AMAZING!
This is where you can just use the eggs sliced on top of a salad or just straight from the shell in to your mouth... However, for added entertainment value here's how I devilled them:
2-3 tbsp olive oil (may need more or less depending on dryness of yolks and personal preference)
2-3 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2-4 tsp dijon or yellow mustard (your call)
1/2-1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
smoked paprika for sprinkling on top
Chives for extra fancy looking eggs
1 - Gently peel all eggs and slice lengthwise.
2 - Remove all yolks to a bowl and place all white on a nice serving dish.
3 - Add ingredients to yolks (using lesser quantity options to begin) and using a fork mash all the yolks together until everything is smooth.
4 - Taste the mix and adjust seasonings to your preference.
5 - Using two spoons or a piping bag divide the yolk mixture among all the egg white halves.
6 - Sprinkle each with a small dash of smoked paprika and place a small slice of chives in to each one for an added Halloweeny touch.
Not too hard to make at all and the end results are unlike anything I've made before. So tasty and I'm pretty sure I'll make these year round, just cause.
Now over to you lovely readers! Are you going to give these a try?! I sure hope you do and let me know how they turned out for you :)