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Candied Pecans, Two Ways

8 Dec

I can’t believe Thanksgiving flew by and now it’s almost time for Christmas! I love this time of year for the gaily colored lights and for the excuse to give in a little to excess. If you don’t know, I’m a seasonal candy junkie. I buy seasonal editions of peanut M&Ms and candy canes like I buy muskmelon and sweet corn in August. But as much as I love eating all that sugar, sometimes I just want a hint of sweet, a snack with more substance. I remember the delicious Nuts4Nuts carts in NYC and how the little packets of just candied peanuts warmed my hands and belly on the subway platform.

Enter the Candied Pecan. Continue reading


Chia Seeds!!

28 Sep

After coming back from China, land of meaty snacks and multi-course meals, I’ve really made a concerted effort to eat more plant based products and to be more creative with my protein sources. I started experimenting with chia seeds right before I left for my trip and it was one of the few things I was looking forward to coming home and eating (salad greens and raw veggies were another). On my first few tries, I bloomed chia seeds in too much water which resulted in a bland, vaguely nutty, terribly soupy, “pudding” of sorts. I tried again with chocolate soymilk and that ended up far too sweet for my liking (though it went wonderfully with fresh strawberries). This time, I hit the jackpot: one part chia seeds (by volume), three (up to four) parts cashew milk. Now, I don’t own a Blentec or a Vitamix, just a twenty year old Hamilton Beach home blender. Needless to say, my neighbors hate me, especially when I’m running the damn thing for five minutes at a time on a Sunday morning.

I find chia seeds to be really weird. I’m not a fan of strawberry seeds (in general) but the texture of this “pudding” is a little like tapioca’d strawberry seeds. I like pairing chia pudding with fruit that mirrors the seed’s texture so figs, kiwis, and strawberries have worked well for me.

Cashew Milk
soak 1 cup (one part, by volume) cashew pieces overnight (at least 6 hours).
rinse and drain.
combine in blender with 2 cups (two parts, by volume) water.
blend at high until smooth (in a conventional blender, at least two minutes).
add 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon sugar).
blend again to incorporate.

Chia Pudding
combine 1 cup (one part, by volume) chia seeds with above cashew milk (three parts, by volume).
stir well to prevent clumps.
wait 30 minutes to enjoy, or refrigerate for breakfast the next morning.
yields 32 ounces chia pudding.