Pumpkin Seeds Granola and Thick Mango Lassi

One of my favourite options for a plan-ahead breakfast: you can soak the chia seeds overnight in the fridge, and make the granola in advance. In the morning, you will just have to mix the ingredients in the blender and prepare your bowl. You can even prepare this in the morning, pack everything in a jar, and use it as breakfast to go.

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I definitely have a deep love for granola, and this recipe allowed me to pair it with another thing that I usually enjoy ’till the last drop: a mango lassi. Perfect as snack or breakfast, this bowl is packed with nutrients. If you have never tried to make a mango lassi before, have a look at my basic recipe for it. The one presented here is a thicker version, different in taste, but still delicious.

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Let’s see which are some of the benefits of mango:

1) RICH IN ANTIOXIDANTS
Mangoes contain plenty of antioxidants like vitamin C, carotenoids, and other phenolic compounds. They may help your body in fighting oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.

2) GOOD FOR YOUR HEART
Mangoes are rich in folate, a nutrient that has been studied in relation to cardiovascular diseases, showing that has benefits for our heart health. They are also rich in fibre that helps to manage cholesterol levels and overall health.

3) HELPFUL FOR IRON ABSORPTION
The high content of vitamin C makes mangoes a good pair for foods rich in non-heme iron (less easy to be absorbed than heme iron).

4) GOOD FOR YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Due to their high content of vitamin C and carotenoids, mangoes are a good choice to boost your immune system.

5) GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN
Due to their characteristic content of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals (especially vitamin A, C, E, B6, K – folate, potassium, copper, magnesium, iron) mangoes are helpful for keeping a healthy and younger skin.

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Thick Mango Lassi

Ingredients:

(serves 2)
1 ripe mango
4 tbsp unsweetened plain yogurt (regular or plant-based)
½ medium-sized banana
2 tbsp chia seeds
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 green cardamom pods (it’s better to crush the seeds in a mortar before adding them to the blender)
1/3 tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp of turmeric
a pinch of black pepper

In a cup, mix the chia seeds and the yogurt – leave to rest for 10 minutes. Then combine all the ingredients in a blender, and mix until you get a smooth paste.

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Pumpkin Seeds Granola

Ingredients:

(serves 4-5)
100 g rolled oats (choose the gluten-free option if needed)
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
80 g almonds, chopped
½ tsp ginger powder
½ tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsp coconut oil, melted (measured solid)
approx. 2 tbsp lukewarm water

In a bowl, combine oats, spices, coconut oil and some lukewarm water. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients. It can be useful to use a baking tray with baking paper or reusable baking sheets. Spread the granola on the baking tray making an even layer. Place in the preheated oven at 180°C for approx. 5 min. (mix once).

Take the baking tray out from the oven, add the chopped almonds and pumpkin seeds. Mix well with a spoon. Place in the oven at the same temperature for 5 min. (mix twice).

Allow to cool completely before serving or putting in a container.

Place the lassi in a bowl and top it with some granola. If I’m serving this for breakfast, I like to place a bowl with some extra granola on the table so everyone can add more to their bowl if needed.



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Pumpkin and Almond Cookies

Cookies with a different twist:  pumpkins have a high content of fibre, potassium, and vitamin C, all nutrients that are good for our heart health. They are also a well-known source of beta-carotene, that is a powerful antioxidant.

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Energy Balls with Pumpkin, Nuts, and Chocolate

These energy balls with a mixture of pumpkin, nuts, oats, chocolate and spices are honestly the best energy balls that I have ever had. They are like little bites of a deliciously decadent chocolate cake.

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Overnight Oats and Chia Seeds Pudding

If you have never tried overnight oats, this recipe will open up thousands of possibilities for your mornings. They really are a delicious option to ensure that you will have a nutrient-rich breakfast even on the busiest days. Perfect for a “breakfast in a jar” to go or even as snack. This is a quite basic recipe… but keep watching my social media pages because more tasty alternatives are on their way since I prepare overnight oats quite often!

Overnight oats have been my best option many times in between my morning yoga class and work. I was using the time to pack my breakfast to go as part of my morning routine: being focused on how I was taking care of myself by preparing the pudding in advance, choosing the ingredients, and then packing my breakfast… I was taking time to focus on myself!

By soaking the oats overnight, many people find them easier to digest compared to dry oats. Let’s be honest, how many times have you just thrown your oats from the package into a bowl, and then added some warm milk or water? I have done it many times! Obviously, the result is far away from a proper porridge (less creamy, less tasty, less easy to digest), but sometimes you need a more practical approach to your breakfast, right? Well, this overnight pudding may be the solution…

 

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Overnight Oats and Chia Seeds Pudding

(serves 2)

pudding:

  • 80 g rolled oats (choose the gluten-free option if needed)
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • approx. 100 ml nut drink
  • 4 tbsp plain yogurt

a delicious idea for the toppings:

  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/3 tsp ginger powder
  • ½ tsp ghee (olive oil for a dairy-free option)
  • 2 small apples
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Stir all the ingredients for the pudding into a bowl (except the yogurt). If you don’t want to measure the liquid, just use enough liquid to keep everything covered + add 4 tbsp. You can use only nut drink or water or half nut drink and half water. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, add some yogurt to the pudding and mix well – if you prefer a more liquid pudding, just add extra liquid. Take the pudding outside from the fridge approx. 15 minutes before eating, to allow it to warm up a little – if you are in a hurry, you can add 2 tbsp of lukewarm water and stir well.

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat with ½ tsp of ghee and then add the chopped apples, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir for less than a minute – the apples should not become too soft or start breaking.

Use the apples cold or warm as topping together with some pumpkin seeds.



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Pumpkin Risotto with Crispy Mushrooms

Let’s celebrate the arrival of a new season with this risotto. The smooth and rich mix of pumpkin and brown rice, it’s paired with a few selected spices and crispy mushrooms.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 200 g short grain brown rice
  • 400 g pumpkin (peeled)
  • 100 g mushrooms (brown button)
  • 2 shallots
  • approx. 2 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1/3 tsp grounded black pepper
  • ½ tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/3 tsp smoked paprika
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt

Heat a little bit of olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the finely chopped shallots and stir until they turn golden. Add the rice and mix well for approx. 30 seconds to toast the rice. Add slowly enough warm water to keep everything covered. Prepare 200 g of finely chopped pumpkin and add it to the pot. Mix well and cover with warm water, cook over medium heat for 30-40 minutes (depending on the rice that you’re using). Add water in small portions to cook the rice, there should not be water left when the risotto is ready.

You will also need to:

  1. Roast the other 200 g of pumpkin in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes (until it’s soft). Place it on a baking tray with a little bit of olive oil, a pinch of smoked paprika, nutmeg, grounded cumin, and black pepper.
  2. Prepare the crispy mushrooms: toss the slices with a little bit of olive oil, a pinch of smoked paprika, nutmeg, grounded cumin, and black pepper. Place in a pre-heated pan, and cook over medium heat until they turn crispy (approx. 10 minutes) – keep an eye on them since they tend to burn easily.

When the rice is almost ready, remove the pot from the heat. Blend 2 tbsp of cooked rice with the roasted pumpkin and 4-5 tbsp of water: you don’t wont to get the mix fully blended – look for a smooth paste with some small chunks of pumpkin (if your blender is not suitable for warm food, wait for them to cool down before blending).

Mix the paste with the cooked rice in the pot over medium heat for approx. 1 minute. Serve with the mushrooms on top, a little bit of olive oil, and the mix of grounded cumin, black pepper, nutmeg, and sesame seeds.

If you prepare this risotto in advance and want to re-heat it, just add a little bit of plant-based drink (almond, hazelnut, oat: they will all work well).

Quick non-laminated Croissants

A quick alternative to the classic laminated croissants. Obviously, it’s not flaky and less fancy, but you will be surprised by their nice texture, the slightly sweet crust, and the fragrant smell that will spread all over your home.

Continue reading “Quick non-laminated Croissants”