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Carien

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Aloha! I'm Carien. I live in South Africa in an area called the Swartland (Black Land). I live on a small holding (Homestead) and I am a full time house wife with one husband (yes, only one), one son, one dog, a few sheep and plenty of chickens. Living as natural as possible is a passion of mine. Inclined to a mostly organic vegetarian diet I tend to post healthy food recipes, green tips and information on natural and organic and natural living.

Chia seeds are one of the most powerful, functional, and nutritious superfoods in the world! This seed is an excellent source of fibre, packed with antioxidants, full of protein, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and the richest known plant source of omega-3. Everyone from children to senior citizens can benefit from the wonderful nutritional qualities of chia seeds.

Top 5 Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds

  • They Are Nutritious
    On top of the fact that chia seeds have more omega-3 than any other natural source, they are loaded with antioxidants, calcium, protein, fibre, and many other vitamins & minerals.
  • They Are Energising
    Not only do chia seeds give you a boost of energy that lasts, they also provide stamina and endurance. A single tablespoon could sustain Aztec warriors for an entire day.
  • They Reduce Cravings
    Because chia seeds absorb so much water and have high soluble fibre levels, they help release natural, unrefined carbohydrate energy slowly into the bloodstream.
  • They Are Easily Digestible
    Unlike flax seed, chia seeds do not have to be ground up before you ingest them. The human body can easily digest chia seeds, and with about 7 grams of fibre per serving, they actually help.
  • They Seeds Are Convenient & Versatile
    You can eat chia seeds straight from the bag, mix them with your favourite drink, add them to your cereal or salad, and just about anything else. Chia seeds last for years so stock up now!



10 Of The Easiest Foods To Add Chia Seeds To

  • Cereal
  • Yogurt
  • Salad
  • Muffin, Cookie, & Pancake Recipes
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Soup
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
  • Oatmeal
  • Salsa & Dips
  • Smoothies

Benefits of Chia Seeds

Plant-based foods have long been associated with a reduced risk of many adverse health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality. They have been shown to support a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.

Chia Seed Nutrition Profile

The reason chia seeds are so beneficial is due to them being rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals.

For example, one ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds contain about: (1)

  • 137 calories
  • 12.3 grams carbohydrates
  • 4.4 grams protein
  • 8.6 grams fat
  • 10.6 grams fiber
  • 0.6 milligram manganese (30 percent DV)
  • 265 milligrams phosphorus (27 percent DV)
  • 177 milligrams calcium (18 percent DV)
  • 1 milligram zinc (7 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligram copper (3 percent DV)
  • 44.8 milligrams potassium (1 percent DV)

Chia seeds also contain essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid; mucin; strontium’ vitamins A, B, E and D; and minerals, including sulphur, iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, niacin and thiamine; and they’re a rich source of antioxidants.

 

 

So, I mentioned before that snacks is an absolute essential in our house, especially now that the winter is starting to set in.

These Sweet Potato muffins are wonderfully moist and can easily pass for desert paired with this decadent toffee sauce drizzled over. And, of course, they are healthy enough to eat for breakfast! (or any other time if you please)

So, without any further delay, here’s the low-down on how to make them.

Ingredients:

To make 24 muffins you will need:

4 small sweet potato’s, peeled, cooked and mashed
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 cups of rolled oats ground into flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup honey (replace with sugar for a vegan option)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
3 free range eggs (replace with 9 Tblsp aquafaba for a vegan option)
1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

Pre-heat your oven to 180C / 350F and butter your muffin pans.

Blend your rolled oats to a fine flour in your blender, add cinnamon, salt and baking soda and mix through.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and add the mashed sweet potato, mashed banana, honey, melted coconut oil and vanilla. Mix until well combined.

Add the wet ingredient to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is mixed through. Add the walnuts and give it a quick stir.

Spoon the batter into the buttered muffin pans and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.

We absolutely love this toffee sauce on Flapjacks, french toast and desert. And although it is very decadent and sweet, it has absolutely no sugar and is easy peasy to make.

All you need is:

  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 2 Tblsp butter or heavy, thick cream

Instructions:

In a pot over medium heat, bring the honey and butter to the boil. Let it boil for at least 7 minutes, stirring regularly. Adjusting the boiling time to the desired stickyness you want your sauce to have. The longer you boil it, the more toffee like it will get.

Delicious and not-so-naughty!

 

With two constantly snacking males in the house, it is absolutely essential to have healthy snacks on hand to avoid hangry house inhabitants.

I am regularly looking for and adjusting old recipes to make them more healthy for my family (and me).

So my latest quest was carrot cake, an all time favorite of mine. But it is normally full of sugar and other ingredients I didn’t want my family to snack on. It’s fine now and then for desert, but surely not for everyday snacking. This is what I came up with and, if I must say so myself, they came out scrumptious!

Ingredients:

To make 12 muffins you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of oat flour (I ground up rolled oats in my blender until fine)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup honey (replace with sugar for vegan version)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 large eggs (we get ours from our homestead) (replace with 6 Tblsp aquafaba for vegan version)
  • 2 Large carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup broken walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup melted virgin coconut oil

Instructions:

Pre-heat your oven to 180C / 350F (I used my coal stove, but this is for reference). Butter your muffin pan.

Blend rolled oats to a fine flour in your blender, add baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Put the dry ingredients in another bowl to use the blender again for the wet ingredients. Add the grated carrots, nuts, coconut and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed.

Beat your eggs on the mixing setting in your blender until frothy and light, add sugar and banana and mix together for a couple of minutes (about 2). Now add the melted coconut oil and mix well until combined.

Add the wet ingredient to the dry and mix well. Spoon your mixture into the prepared muffin pan and bake for 15-20min. Use a toothpick inserted in the centre of the muffin to check if they are completely done. If the toothpick comes out clean, they are ready to be removed from the oven.

If you can contain yourself, let them cool before enjoying. They will keep for a couple of days in a sealed container.

 

If you think of egg shells, super useful doesn’t really come to mind, but actually, they are. Especially on a homestead, but even in a suburban garden they come in pretty handy.

So, here’s some things you can do with those egg shells left over from breakfast

 

1. Feed them to your chickens

One of the main things I use them for is as a calcium supplement for our girls. I have a bug bucket by my kitchen door and just throw all my empty egg shells in there, when I have enough, I put them in a baking dish and pop them in whichever oven is hot at the time (pizza, coal or gas) for them to dry out and kill any baddies that might be on them. I let them cool and crush them. Crushing them is quite important as you do not want your chickens catching on that you are feeding them eggs, or they might start helping themselves, which will leave you without any…
Put the crushed shells in a separate feeder to their normal feed as they will help themselves when and if they need extra calcium.

2. Use them in your veggie garden as a pest deterrent

Slugs and snails hate egg shells. They simply cant move over them. The sharp edges of the crushed shells will cut their bodies, which makes it a great pest deterrent. Scatter the crushed shells around your plants and the munchers will stay away.

3. Use them in your veggie garden as food for your plants.

Tomatoes loves a calcium boost. Whenever I plant tomato seedlings, I put a crushed eggshell at the bottom of the hole.

4. Compost them

If you don’t have chickens and prefer not to use them as stated above, simply add them to your compost to use in your garden later. Even if you do not have a composter, you can just crush them and sprinkle them in your garden.