My husband bought a scented candle a couple of weeks ago called ‘wood smoke’ (so manly). I think he was trying to compliment his favourite tv show, the channel that just has the burning fire log with the guy’s plaid arm stoking it once in a while. Anyway, (luckily?) it doesn’t smell like burning anything, but mysteriously, more like how you want Christmas to smell, which is just so awesome.
As much as I love the lights and decorations and the Peanuts Christmas soundtrack, by far my favourite thing about the holiday season are the smells. Everything from the fresh cut trees outside the grocery store, freshly peeled mandarin oranges, your neighbours up the hall getting a jump on their gingerbread baking, the way the air smells when its thinking about snowing, simmering mulling spices and warm roasty dinners all make this season so nostalgic and infectious. It’s hard not to jump on board with both feet, at least in the beginning.
The recipe this week smells (and tastes) like the Holiday season. It is a nice way to ease into it, but would also go really well with stocking-opening time. It’s a great way to not only set yourself up to win nutritionally, first thing in the morning, but also to give yourself a holiday treat (that might satisfy you enough not to be tempted by the other treats that pop up all around you this time of year).
Eggnog is such a festive word, it sounds like a clunky old-fashioned dance move. Besides the spices (nutmeg -which is a digestive aid and relieves gas and reduces pain, and sometimes, cinnamon -which helps control blood sugar, raises vitality and helps with nutrient absorption, and cloves -which work as an antiseptic and also aid digestion as well as nausea and vomiting), there isn’t a lot in the original recipe that your body really wants or needs.
So we stole these deeply warming, deliciously Christmas-y spices and infused them in some hot water to pull out their powers, added some (very lightly sweetened by a medjool date) homemade coconut milk and some mighty, fiber, antioxidant, calcium & omega-3-rich chia seeds to make a secretly nutrient-dense, truly festive, warm and cozy breakfast.
Feel free to sub the coconut milk with nut or seed milk (we have a good recipe for nut milk here) but just try to mix up your nuts once in a while to vary the nutrients you’re getting and to give your body a break. We keep the milk raw by heating the spices in water before adding the milk once the heat is turned off. This way you get a warm but still enzyme-rich breakfast. Canned coconut milk would work too, you may have to water it down a little more and heat it up with the water and whisk it to make it blend evenly. You could easily serve this cold too, it will keep in the fridge for several days.
We have added a recipe that could easily stand alone as a refined sugar-free cranberry sauce. It’s really simple and a great topping for any breakfast food too. Although it’s festive and fun, it’s not necessary in order to make the chia pudding recipe complete though, you could also top the pudding with your favourite seasonal fresh fruit instead.
Guess what you won’t be after a few days of starting your day with this warm Eggnog Chia pudding? Bored with your breakfast, lacking holiday spirit or constipated.
This recipe is especially good for people who are having problems swallowing or chewing (it can even be further watered down with extra coconut milk), or for those of you who reeeeeeally like rice or tapioca pudding (you know who you are, you guys are so hardcore). However, none of this applies to me and I find it pretty delicious too.
- 2 c Homemade Coconut or Nut or Seed Milk (see recipe links in the body of this post)
- 1 Date, pitted
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg, preferably freshly grated)
- ½ tsp Cinnamon, ground or freshly grated
- Pinch Cloves, ground
- ½ c Water
- Pinch of Sea(weed) Salt
- 7 Tbsp Chia Seeds
- 1 c Cranberries (frozen or fresh)
- 1 Pear (around 240g), diced (leave the skin on)
- 3-4 Dated, pitted and chopped
- 1 tsp fresh Ginger, finely grated
- ¼ c Water
- In a blender, blend the milk with the date until well blended (and you can no longer see chunks of date).
- In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil, add the spices and turn it off.
- Add the milk and whisk together well (leave the heat on if your milk is cold from the fridge and let it warm up a bit).
- Pour into a bowl and add the chia seeds. Whisk together well and wait for 10-15 minutes, whisking occasionally.
- Once puffed up, serve with a scoop of the compote or with some fresh fruit.
- Can also be served cold, keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- In a small saucepan, heat the water, ginger, dates and cranberries on medium/low heat.
- Simmer until the cranberry skins pop open a little bit and then add the diced pear.
- Simmer for another 2-3 minutes until the pear softens but doesn't get mushy (although this wouldn't be the end of the world).
- If it gets too dry (and sort of jammy) add another splash of water.
- Serve with the chia pudding (or coconut yoghurt, or use it as a cranberry sauce over the holidays)