Vanilla and almond chia breakfast pudding

Vanilla and almond chia breakfast pudding

This is a yummy and refreshing way to start the day. It’s super easy to make, just needs to be made the night before.

You will need:
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla paste (could use vanilla extract but the paste is so much more delicious and potent)

For the topping:
1 x banana, sliced
2 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy is best for this pudding)
Sprinkling of mixed seeds (I used sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and linseed)

Vanilla and almond chia breakfast pudding

In a jar or glass, add the chia seeds and then pour the almond milk on top. Give it a good stir and pop in the fridge for at least two hours (but overnight is best). If you can, try and stir it every ten minutes or so for the first half hour to ensure it sets evenly.

Once it has, you can add whichever toppings you like, but I suggest you include a little sweetness and a little crunch. This time I opted for a layer of crunchy peanut butter, some sliced banana and some mixed seeds.

There is some misleading content online that suggests chia seeds are not low FODMAP, however Monash University have tried and tested these little guys and have approved the quantity of 2 tablespoons. Read about their research on chia seeds and other so-called superfoods kale and coconut water in the Debunking the Myth Behind Superfoods article. Monash also warn here that chia seeds aren’t tolerated by some people with IBS so that it might be worth trying a smaller portion first.

Chia seeds are a good thing to include in our elimination diets though, as they are a rich source of nutrients that we might be missing out on while we figure out our intolerances. They’re high in omega-3 fatty acids (60% of their composition is omega-3s!) which are especially good for us IBS sufferers as they reduce inflammation. They’re also high in fibre, something else we often miss out on with the elimination of grains, you will get 10g in just 2 tablespoons! And then there’s the antioxidants, minerals and their ability to maintain healthy insulin levels. They really are popular for a reason, so get ’em down ya!

It’s worth mentioning too, I think, that after eating this for breakfast, I’ve made it all the way through until lunchtime without a single thought of food, which for me never happens. I’m such an elevensies person, and today the need for a sweet something totally passed me by.

kale & parmesan salad with dates and toasted almonds

kale salad

So after spending 17 days in Sicily I am definitely in need of some light and fresh food. Although there were plenty of gluten free options and I managed to stay clear of bread and pizza, I couldn’t resist so many of the pasta dishes on offer. Plus, the region we were in was known for its production of gorgeous almonds, pistachios and ricotta. All on the naughty list.

Anyway, I’m home now and it’s time to get back on the wagon! Enter this simple but delicious Kale Salad with Dates, Parmesan and Almonds I like from Epicurious. It’s a great mix of sweetness and citrus flavours and with all the deliciousness of the parmesan thrown in it’s easy to forget you’re eating raw kale!

The original recipe has shallots in, but I’ve taken them out. The dates and honey mean that this recipe is moderately high in fructose, so beware. If you know you malabsorb fructose or are yet to reach the reintroduction stage of the low FODMAP diet, replace the honey with maple syrup and skip the dates. A handful of almonds is perfectly legal so enjoy. Leave enough time for the kale to sit in the dressing before gobbling – at least 20 minutes.

Kale salad

Prep time: 10 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 1

you will need:
– big handful of kale, stalks removed
– 1/3 cup almonds, sliced
– 3 dates, chopped (these are high in fructose so be aware if you malabsorb this group!)
– teaspoon of honey (ditto above – sub in maple syrup if you need to)
– six slices of good parmesan cheese
– lug of olive oil
– juice of 1/2 lemon
– salt & pepper

Whisk your lemon juice, honey and salt and pepper together in a big bowl. Add kale and leave for at least 20 minutes (you can also make this a day in advance and finish the salad just before you’re ready to serve – allowing the kale to soak up maximum goodness!)

while the kale is sitting, slice your almonds roughly into halves and toast them on a medium heat in a dry pan until they deepen in colour.

when 20 minutes have passed, add the almonds, chopped dates and sliced parmesan to the kale. add a generous splash of olive oil, and you’re ready to eat. Enjoy!