Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

At the beginning of the summer I took my first plunge into the world of chia seeds. Before that, I had only ever heard of them in reference to chia pets. I never realized that they were something you could eat. After putting chia seeds in my green juice, I kind of threw them by the wayside. They sat in my cupboard going forgotten. Until this past weekend. I was talking with a close family friend and she told me about a chia seed pudding recipe that she swears by. ingredients

pudding ingredients

The nice thing about this recipe is that there is little work involved, yet it yields at least 3-4 days of breakfast. It is also an incredibly healthy recipe with chia seeds, nonfat Greek yogurt, and agave nectar. You don't have to feel too guilty about eating this pudding.

vanillachia

A great addition to this recipe is to add fresh fruit and sliced almonds on top of the pudding. It is perfect for a quick breakfast before a busy day at work.

chiaseedpudding

After taking the above picture, and trying to edit out the insane white-out, I have realized how badly I need a diffuser panel. Looks like my photography equipment collection will be growing very shortly.

I hope you all get the chance to try this recipe, and if you do, please let me know your thoughts!

Vanilla Chia Pudding

Ingredients: 1 cup fat-free or low-fat plain Greek yogurt 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 1/4 cup chia seeds 2 tablespoons agave syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla extract pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Mix ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Let sit on counter, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.
  3. Refrigerate.
  4. Top with fresh fruit and almonds, serve!

Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt & Gingersnaps

After three months of summer, I finally made my first trip to Lauderdale Lakes in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Bummer that it happened just as summer is coming to a close. Perfect weather. Amazing food and beer. Wonderful conversation and laughs with family. A run of slaloming on less than ideal water. I couldn't have asked for a better Sunday. peaches

While browsing the Men's Health website the other day, attempting to get my life together and eat healthier and workout more often, I fell upon a recipe for grilled peaches with Greek yogurt and gingersnaps. The idea of grilling fruit seemed rather strange, but I have friends who have done it before and swore by it. So, I allowed my curiosity to get the best of me and I purchased a few white peaches.

grill

The bourbon glaze is a nice subtle addition to the natural flavor of the peach and Greek yogurt. It's not overpowering, but strong enough to add that extra something. I would suggest that you use plenty of gingersnap crumbs when topping the fruit. The more the better. Plain Greek yogurt can be rather tart and the gingersnap helps cut the intensity of the yogurt.

grilled peaches

Do you have any favorite healthy treats? What's your take on grilling fruit? Any fruits that you'd like to see grilled? Let me know and I'll come up with a recipe.

Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt & Gingersnaps Serves 4

Ingredients: 4 peaches 1 tablespoon bourbon 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1/8 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt crushed gingersnap cookies

Instructions: 

  1. Prepare grill for cooking at 400°F to 450°F.
  2. Halve and pit 4 peaches.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon bourbon, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
  4. Whisk in 2 teaspoons vegetable oil.
  5. Lightly brush bourbon mixture onto cut sides of peaches.
  6. Grill peaches, cut sides down (be cautious; bourbon may flare), for 2 to 4 minutes, until dark grill marks appear.
  7. Top each half with 1/8 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt and a crushed gingersnap cookie.

Greek Yogurt vs. Regular Yogurt

Are we all about to hop on another health-food bandwagon?

greekvsregularyogurt

To begin with, let's get one thing straight: both Greek and regular yogurts, in their plain non-fat (or low-fat) forms can be a great addition to any healthy balanced diet. Both are undoubtedly low in calories and have tons of calcium and live bacterial cultures. However...at the end of the day, Greek yogurt reins victorious.

Here are a few important nutritional comparisons between Greek and regular yogurts:

Protein: A typical 6-ounce serving of Greek yogurt packs a whopping 15 to 20 grams of protein, compared to a measly 9 grams in regular yogurt. This doesn't even compare. This fact could be especially appealing to vegetarians who need to find alternate sources of protein, instead of beef, poultry or fish. The added protein also makes you feel fuller, helping prevent overeating.

Carbohydrates: Having a diabetic mother who counts carbs, I know that you are constantly looking at the nutritional facts to see where you are at. In comparison to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt has almost half the amount of carbohydrates. Keep in mind though, if there is added flavoring or sugar, you will in return have added carbohydrates.

Fat: This is where we all need to be wary. Full-fat Greek yogurt can have 16 grams of saturated fat. If you were on a 2,000 calories daily diet, this would count for over 60% of your daily intake of saturated fat. If you choose to go the Greek route, be sure to get the nonfat or low-fat option.

Sodium: A serving of Greek yogurt has about only half the amount of sodium as regular yogurt. Too much sodium can increase blood pressure and the risk of other heart problems.

Calcium: Regular yogurt will provide you with about 30% of your daily intake of calcium while Greek yogurt will only bring in about 20%. As said before, Greek yogurt goes through a strenuous straining process which results in the loss of some calcium.

What I love most about Greek yogurt is its versatility. Mix it with herbs for a great vegetable dip. Or throw in fresh fruit, granola and agave nectar for the perfect breakfast to start your day.

While facts add up in Greek yogurt's favor, it is undeniable that both yogurts, if consumed properly, can help keep you full on fewer calories and can help you lose weight. The key? Stick with the nonfat or low-fat versions.