healthy

Chia Seeds as Egg Substitute

Hello there!

Holidays had passed and now it’s already February of 2015! January just flew by like that.

And because the holidays have made us gain those extra pounds, I want to try my best to eat healthier starting this new year. I thought of replacing some of my baking ingredients with healthy alternatives, like mashed avocado for butter, applesauce for sugar, or chia seeds for eggs.

I started off with replacing eggs with chia seeds. I saw it before on TV and in Pinterest but never really looked into it. Who would have thought that these tiny seeds have such great nutritional value! Here are 10 reasons why you should add chia seeds to your diet:

Combat Diabetes

Chia is being studied as a potential natural treatment for type-2 diabetes because of its ability to slow down digestion. The gelatinous coating chia seeds develops when exposed to liquids-can also prevent blood sugar spikes.

Get More Fibre
Just a 28-gram or one-ounce serving of chia has 11 grams of dietary fibre — about a third of the recommended daily intake for adults. Adding some chia to your diet is an easy way to make sure you’re getting a good amount of fibre, which is important for digestive health.

Stock Up On Omega-3
Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, with nearly five grams in a one-ounce serving. These fats are important for brain health. “There’s better conversion of omega 3s into the plasma or into the food than with flax seed,” said researcher Wayne Coates.

Stronger Teeth And Bones
A serving of chia seeds has 18 per cent of the recommended daily intake for calcium, which puts your well on your way to maintaining bone and oral health, and preventing osteoporosis.

Don’t Forget Manganese
Manganese isn’t a well-known nutrient, but it’s important for our health: it’s good for your bones and helps your body use other essential nutrients like biotin and thiamin. One serving of chia seeds, or 28 grams, has 30 per cent of your recommended intake of this mineral.

Plenty Of Phosphorus
With 27 per cent of your daily value for phosphorus, chia seeds also helps you maintain healthy bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also used by the body to synthesize protein for cell and tissue growth and repair.

Pack In The Protein
Chia seeds also make a great source of protein for vegetarians and don’t have any cholesterol. One 28-gram serving of these super seeds has 4.4 grams of protein, nearly 10 per cent of the daily value.

Fight Belly Fat
Chia’s stabilizing effect on blood sugar also fights insulin resistance which can be tied to an increase in belly fat, according to Live Strong. This type of resistance can also be harmful for your overall health.

Get Full. Faster
Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, is also found in chia seeds. While tryptophan is responsible for that strong urge to nap after a big Thanksgiving dinner for example, it also helps regulate appetite, sleep and improve mood.

Improve Heart Health
According to the Cleveland Clinic, chia seeds have been shown to improve blood pressure in diabetics, and may also increase healthy cholesterol while lowering total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol. All good news for your ticker!

Now you ask, how can chia seeds replace eggs in your recipe? Very quick and easy!

For one egg, combine 1 tbsp chia seeds with 3 tbsps water in a small bowl. Let it sit for about 15 minutes until it forms a thick gel. You can use this for cookies, cakes, and muffins.

Interesting, isn’t it? I tried this with my oatmeal cookie recipe. I just had to extend the baking time by about 10 minutes as the dough is a bit more moist than the original recipe, but it was good. I couldn’t tell the difference.

If you are not into baking, you can add chia seeds to your smoothie or your breakfast oatmeal for that extra pack of nutrients.

So, don’t forget to grab that bag of chia seeds on your next trip to the supermarket!

Thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

Broccoli and Potato Cheese Soup

Good Friday is a day when Christians remember the death and suffering of Jesus. It’s a day of prayer, and a day when we believe we should not eat red meat, being one of the sacrifices that we have to make during this time.

So today, I made another version of the Broccoli Soup that I made a couple of months ago. This time, no looking at recipes in cookbooks or the internet. Just relied on my basic cooking knowledge and judgment of my taste buds. Surprisingly, it’s better than the one I made before!

Broccoli and Potato Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

  • florets from 2 broccoli heads
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 can evaporated milk
  • 1 block (250g) cheddar cheese
  • about 4 cups water + 1 tbsp Hao Chi all-in-one seasoning (or chicken broth)
  • 1 medium onion
  • salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

  • Boil broccoli, potatoes and onion in water or broth in a large pot for about 10 minutes, or until broccoli and potatoes are tender.
  • Turn off the heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until creamy. Creaminess of the soup would depend on the amount of water. Less water would give you a thicker soup consistency. Add water if necessary.
  • Stir in the milk and cheese. The cheese should be melted by the residual heat from the soup.
  • Add salt, pepper or Hao Chi according to your taste preference. Perfect to eat with garlic toast.

I love the creaminess and the cheesy taste of the soup. You can also add cooked macaroni pasta to make it more filling.

Broccoli is one of the healthiest veggies. For more info on that, click here.

By the way, today (Good Friday) is a holiday for most countries. That means I got to spend more time in the kitchen to cook, and also some early morning bed cuddles with Alexa who is turning 7 months soon. She also had pureed broccoli (mixed with 15ml formula milk) for lunch today.

Tomorrow we will be heading to Malaysia for some more family bonding time. The joy of long weekends!

Thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

 

 

Skinny Broccoli Cheese Soup

Whenever I would go out for lunch on workdays, I would choose either fastfood, the hawker centre, or the Soup Spoon.

At Soup Spoon, my all-time favorite is one of the chef’s specials, Broccoli Mac and Cheese, which unfortunately is not available everyday of the year.

Another one is at Souperlicious, their Broccoli Cheese Soup is also to crave for.

I am not much of a healthy eater, in fact I love McDonald’s and KFC. But it has been almost 5 months post-pregnancy and someone can still mistake me to being 3 months pregnant! I need to get back in shape, fast!

Hubby and I are too lazy have no time to exercise because of our little one, so for the meantime, we will try do our best to eat as healthy as possible. This is our first attempt to a homemade healthy food.

Skinny Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Recipe from Anjali @ The Picky Eater

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups unsalted vegetable stock (I used 2 chicken cubes in 3 cups water)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup half-and-half (I used 1 can evaporated milk)
  • 4 ounces shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided (I used 4-5 cheese slices, the only cheese available in my kitchen)
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (optional, garnish)

Procedure: 

  • Combine first 7 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
  • Turn off the heat. Using an immersion (hand) blender, blend the soup until it’s creamy. [Alternatively if you don’t have a hand blender you can use a regular blender: Pour soup into a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return soup to pan.]
  • Stir in the half-and-half (or milk) and 2 ounces cheese. You don’t need to turn the stove back on again, the residual heat from the soup should melt the cheese. (For this step, the amount of cheese I dumped in is according to my taste preference)
  • Top evenly with remaining 1 tbsp cheese per bowl and parsley. (My sister made milk dots and topped it with dried basil.) Makes 4 servings.

I have made a little modification ‘coz I used only whatever is available in the kitchen. I was too excited to try my new immersion blender and did not bother to buy the exact ingredients according to the recipe.

We had some leftovers which we finished on the next day and I can say, the leftovers taste better! The cheesy goodness has been more distinct, I liked it!

By the way, we got an immersion blender ‘coz our baby will be trying on pureed food when she turns 5 months this Saturday. We’re all very excited for that, can’t wait for her 6th month! I can’t bear to see her chew on her toys for another month, haha!

Oven-Baked Potato

My sister, Alexa’s Auntie B, arrived on Saturday to meet Alexa in person. Since it was her birthday the day before she came, I made her a Red Velvet birthday cake which was way better (color- and taste-wise) than the first time I made it for hubby’s birthday. Better, so we had to save a few slices to send and to share the calories back home to the family this weekend.

Her being a potato lover, I also made some oven-baked potato which says in Pinterest “better than fries“. I thought that was the best time to give it a try.

How to do it?

Cut potatoes almost all the way through (my knife went all the way, cutting the potatoes like chips), drizzle with olive oil, butter, some sea salt, and pepper over top and bake @ 220 deg C for 40 minutes.

That’s it!

It was tasty and healthier than fast-food fries. Try it!