Almond Cardamom Buckwheat Chia Pudding

Almond Butter & Cardamom Buckwheat Breakfast Bowl

This hearty buckwheat and chia breakfast bowl is gluten and dairy free and supplies everything you need to fuel your morning!
Almondcardamombreakfastbowl

Today is National Cereal Day and what better way to celebrate than with a cereal recipe! When I was a kid, cereal was a mainstay in our house. My mom was uber healthy back in the 70’s it wasn’t the Trix or Fruit Loops my friends were having. Her idea of cereal was along the lines of Kix and Grape Nuts, but we still scarfed it down (and if I ever did get my hands on a box of Trix or Fruit Loops, I scarfed that down, too).

But that was then. My palate has changed a bit now and although those cereals are still fun to eat, they aren’t what I consider a decent breakfast. I need fiber, a little fat, and some protein to fuel my morning!

Almond Cardamom Buckwheat Chia Pudding

My go-to cereal nowadays is my homemade muesli. But sometimes I like to mix it up. This Almond Cardamom Chia & Buckwheat Bowl is half pudding, half muesli. It’s like chia seed pudding with a little zing!  Instead of almond milk, I whipped up a sweet and spicy coconut milk blend using cardamom, dates, vanilla, and almond butter. The raw buckwheat groats stay crunchy in the almond-coconut-cardamom milk and give the bowl some texture. The slightly thawed frozen Wild Blueberries provide the perfect amount of cold, and the bananas offer a nice sweet taste (as does the honey I drizzled on top). The cocoa nibs and sliced almonds provide even more crunch.

Almond Cardamon Buckwheat Breakfast bowl
It’s a hearty breakfast bowl that provides everything you need to fuel your morning. I developed this recipe for my Inspired Vegetarian column over at Healthy Aperture. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE and learn more about the health benefits of buckwheat.

Magnesium 101, everything you need to know!

Magnesium 101

Magnesium 101, everything you need to know!

What do pumpkin seeds, leafy greens and avocado have in common?

Magnesium!

Magnesium is a powerful mineral responsible for over 300 different functions of the body. In fact, every organ in the body needs magnesium. It helps keep your blood pressure normal, your bones strong, your immune system in check, and your heart rhythm steady. It’s kind of a big deal, folks and a magnesium deficiency can wreak havoc on your body.

Are you getting enough?

The answer is likely a big fat no. Dietary surveys of Americans consistently show intakes of magnesium are lower than the DRI. Magnesium is prevalent in many foods, but due to soil depletion, herbicide use, and food processing (such as refining grains) we just don’t get as much as we need from our diet. There are also certain health conditions and medications that decrease absorption. People with Type 2 Diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases (IBS, gastritis, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, etc), and liver damage are at a higher risk for magnesium deficiency.

Other factors that can lead to magnesium deficiency include:

  • Drinking too much coffee, soda, or alcohol
  • Eating too much sodium (salt)
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Excessive sweating
  • Prolonged stress

Some studies suggest that over 90% of the population is deficient. Many experts believe that magnesium deficiency is the largest health concern facing our nation.

Common symptoms of magnesium deficiency are:

  • Muscle spasms and cramps
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Anxiety & depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Hormone problems
  • Sleep issues
  • Low energy
  • Bone loss

Foods rich in magnesium include whole grains, nuts, legumes/beans, and green leafy vegetables.

What I recommend

Magnesium supplements are commonly combined with another molecule to stabilize the compound. These combinations are called chelates and each one has a different absorption rate and varied bioavailability.

The most common forms and their benefits are listed below:

Magnesium citrate: I recommend this form of magnesium for constipation. Take up to 600 mg twice daily until you achieve loose stools, then dial back to the lowest dose that allows for normal bowel movements.

Magnesium glycinate: Glycinate is the most bioavailable and absorbable form of magnesium, and the least likely to induce loose stools. It’s the best option for correcting a deficiency and to drive up stores. It’s also the form that relaxes muscles and has a calming response. Take 600-1200 mg daily before bed to induce sleep and to relieve restless leg syndrome. You can also take 600-1200 mg daily to relieve migraines and muscular tension, especially for women who get headaches around their periods.

Magnesium malate: Malate is best known for increasing energy, due to it’s effect on ATP production. There’s also evidence that it may reduce muscle pain and tender points in those with fibromyalgia. Take 300-600 mg per day.

Precautions

There is potential for some medications to cause interactions with magnesium, so you should take dietary supplements under the supervision of a knowledgeable healthcare provider. Because magnesium helps to lower blood pressure, talk to your doctor about supplementing magnesium if you’re on blood pressure medication or have kidney disease.

oatmealbreakfastbowl

Oatmeal with Dried Figs & Cherries

Creamy and delicious, oatmeal with cherries and dried figs is the perfect way to start any morning!

oatmeal bowl with dried figs and cherries

February’s Recipe Redux theme is “break out of breakfast boredom.” I can so relate to this! For years I’ve eaten the same breakfast, peanut butter on a toasted whole wheat pita. It was my very favorite meal of the day.  Easy and without any thought, it made me happy. And then one morning it happened. I woke up and just didn’t want it. My heart sank as I knew what this meant. I was back to either skipping breakfast (the horror!) because I couldn’t decide what to eat OR eating something different every day, depending on my mood. Smoothies are a go-to, but I prefer them for lunch. Eggs are great, but just not everyday. Pancakes, waffles and such? Just not happening. So what is left? Oatmeal.

And let me tell you, this oatmeal is worth waking up for.

oatmealwithcherriesandfigs

The combination is pretty devine, if you ask me:

  • sweet and creamy from the coconut milk and maple sugar
  • a little bit tart from the cherries
  • the perfect amount of crunch from the almonds
  • texture and sweetness from the figs

I’m not sure what more you could ask for in a breakfast bowl?

oatmealbreakfastbowlwithfigsandcherries

I used dried calimyrna figs from Trader Joes, but fresh would be fantastic, too. I let the frozen cherries thaw until they released a bit of their delicious cherry juice. I sprinkled the oatmeal with vanilla powder, one of my favorite spices in the kitchen. The base is plain steel cut instant oats, but it would be pretty amazing if you were to heat up my Cereal Swag.  Hmm…why didn’t I think of that?

oatmealbreakfastbowl

Try my oatmeal bowl with dried figs and cherries. It’s a delicious and satisfying way to start the day!

Oatmeal with Dried Figs & Cherries

Oatmeal with Dried Figs & Cherries

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry instant oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup frozen cherries, thawed
  • 3-4 dried figs, sliced in half
  • 1 tsp real maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or any milk you prefer)

Instructions

  1. Heat oatmeal with water in microwave. When done, stir in coconut milk and vanilla powder/extract. Drizzle with maple syrup. Top with cherries, figs and nuts.Add more milk if desired.
http://foodconfidence.com/2016/02/22/oatmeal-dried-figs-cherries/