One thing I’ve noticed since I began preparing raw/vegan foods at home…

There is a lot of prep work involved.

Granted once the food is prepped, raw and vegan meals can be a snap to throw together.

And the main benefit for me is that I know exactly what is in my meal.

Also, if you have the proper equipment:

Prepping food can be a bit faster.

The point is that making complete, healthful meals at home takes more time than throwing a little something into the microwave.

With that said, I am delighted to introduce to you my creamy, dreamy Chia Pudding recipe.

Chia Pudding is by far one of my most favorite go to choices for a

      • Snack
      • Breakfast option, or
      • Dessert

And it’s so fast and easy to make it’s almost creepy! :)

Chia Pudding to the Rescue

I love this stuff.

The basic chia pudding recipe has:

      • Almond milk or any other nut milk of choice (I also use fresh coconut milk, yum!)
      • Cashews and
      • Chia
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Cashews and Chia Seeds

Chia is a little seed that packs a huge wallop as a superfood.

Chia seeds are:

      1. High in fiber and low in calories
      2. Packed with antioxidants
      3. High in protein and omega-3
      4. A great source of calcium, phosphorous and magnesium. Chia provides bone support for those of us who don’t do dairy.

Chia Pudding Recipe

I’ve seen a lot of chia pudding recipes on the Internet and after several trials, I’ve come up with a basic recipe and some wonderful flavor ideas.

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Cashews, Chia Seeds and Nut Milk

Creamy, Dreamy Chia Pudding

      • *1 cup cashews soaked at least 4 hours or overnight, rinsed
      • 1 ½ cups of nut milk (I use homemade almond or coconut milk)
      • Pinch of salt
      • 3 tablespoons chia seeds

Blend cashews, salt and milk in a blender until creamy. It’s okay to let it blend for a couple of minutes. The longer the blend, the creamier the results.

Pour one third of the blended nuts and milk into a 4-cup Mason jar. Add one tablespoon of chia seeds and stir. Continue adding one-third of the nut/milk mixture and one tablespoon of chia seeds until all has been stirred in.

This process prevents the chia seeds clumping together.

Refrigerate for a few hours. Serve with fresh fruit.

*I like soaking the cashews ahead of time. It makes for a far creamier pudding, especially if you don’t have a high-speed blender.

Chia Pudding Flavor Options

Now this is where making chia pudding gets fun. And remember, this is a superfood, vegan, yummy creation.

You can eat this ANYTIME, day or night, completely guilt free!!! Yay! :)

Lemon/Lime Chia

      • Add 3-4 tablespoons lemon/lime juice
      • 3 tablespoons sweetener of choice, I use raw agave/raw honey
      • 1/2 tsp lemon/lime zest

Place these ingredients in blender along with nuts, milk and salt. Blend until smooth and stir in chia seeds. Refrigerate.

This is my first choice for breakfast. It is awesome with my granola….recipe forthcoming.

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Lemons add a wonderful zing to a morning chia pudding.

Chocolate Chia

      • Add 2 tablespoons raw cacao
      • 3 tablespoons sweetener of choice
      • 1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean (optional)
      • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Follow the same directions for the lemon pudding.

This is a great snack or dessert. Top with fruit or sweetened cacao nibs.  It honestly tastes like chocolate mousse, especially if you use coconut milk.  Yummers!

Vanilla Chia

      • Add in ½ tsp ground vanilla bean
      • 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (optional)

Follow the same directions as listed above.

Fruit Chia

      • Add ½ cup of any prepared fruit such as bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or peaches (organic of course).
      • 2-3 tablespoons of sweetener of choice

OR

      • Substitute a portion or all of the nut milk for a fruit juice.
      • Add sweetener to taste.

Follow above directions.

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Coconut Chia Pudding with Strawberries

Creamsicle Chia Pudding

      • 1 cup cashews soaked, drained and rinsed
      • 3/4 cup nut milk
      • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
      • pinch of salt
      • 3 tablespoons chia seeds

Follow above directions for basic chia pudding.

Chia Pudding, The Possibilities are Endless

Lately, I’ve been making chia pudding about three times a week.

It’s just so

      • Yummy
      • Satisfying
      • Beats Cravings
      • Superfood Healthy
      • Guilt-Free Indulgence

What more could you possibly ask for in a breakfast, snack or dessert?

How to Make Chia for the Crazy, Insanely Busy Person

Now for those of you who work crazy, insane schedules and simply “do not have time” to make chia pudding, I have some suggestions to make this an easy add-in to your day.

When you first get up and are making your coffee/tea, throw a cup of cashews into a 16 oz. mason jar and fill it with fresh water.  Cover and set aside until later this evening.  Done.

Once you get home and are settled for the evening, throw the cashews, nut milk and other ingredients (except chia seeds) into a blender and blend the tarnation out of it.  The more you blend, the creamier the results.

Pour mixture in with the chia seeds into the mason jar you used for soaking the chia seeds.  Mix well and place in the fridge.  Or what’s even better, is pour into individual covered dishes that you can just grab and go the next morning.  Done.

Next morning, enjoy your superfood, healthy breakfast alone or with granola, at home, on the bus, or at work/school.

How’s that for easy, pleasey??

What are some of your favorite flavors of chia pudding. I’m looking for more to try! :)

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Budget Minded OrganicsDisclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means I get a percentage of the sale if you decide to purchase. Thank you in advance for helping to keep my garden growing. :)


There’s something very humbling about turning 50.

I’ve never had a bad birthday.  What I mean by that is that my birthdays, marking the years, never depressed me.

I’ve always embraced each birthday as a wonderful milestone in each step of my life.

And I’ve never wanted to relive my past.  I’ve appreciated each decade for the lessons learned, the memories shared and the blessings I’ve received.

Turning 50, though, took a little time to accept and appreciate.

After mulling over the fact that I’ve probably lived over half my life, I realized that what I had left of my life, I would use to learn more about and appreciate MYSELF.  I want to do now what I never seemed to have time for before.

You see I’m not the same person I was 30 years ago when I moved from maiden to mother, raised children, went through a couple of husbands, and more than enough jobs and relocations.

I’ve spent so much of my past just trying to keep up with all the demands that are usually placed on us when we are no longer teens and become self-supporting adults that I’ve never really been able to Take Care of Me.

It’s been exhausting!

I’m sure this can be said for everyone reading this.

Now that I’m turning 56 this March, I’m more committed than ever to taking care of me and nurturing and supporting my “creative, intuitive intelligence”, the childlike nature in me that’s been suppressed all these years.

I not only want to reacquaint myself with my soul, my true nature, I also want to bring it out into the sunlight and let it lead me on a new journey, with a more open perspective and a more loving, giving and creative expression.

How do I do this?

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Images from The Sacred Garden Maui

The Artist’s Date

One of two requirements from Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way”, for becoming a more creative person is called “The Artist’s Date”.

Besides Morning Pages (three pages of free-style consciousness writing every morning), the Artist’s Date, done once a week, is an opportunity for you to spend some quality, uninterrupted time with yourself in whatever way makes you the happiest.

The point is for you to actually make a date to spend time with you; mark time out on a calendar for very specific and special personal time.

For example, I recently went on an Artist’s Date with my son.  Now I know, technically I’m supposed to do an Artist’s Date by myself.  I brought my son along because he’s still pretty new to Maui and he needed an Artist’s Date, too.  :)

Where did we go and what did we do?

The Sacred Garden

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Entrance to The Sacred Garden

The Sacred Garden is:

“A nursery, a peace sanctuary, a retreat center, a botanical garden, a school, a creativity center, and a temple!”

It is home to:

  • A garden nursery to sit and be inspired.
  • Two walking labyrinths, one classical 7-circuit labyrinth indoors and one medieval 11-circuit labyrinth outdoors surrounded by kukui nut trees.
  • The Mother Shrine meditation room for quiet introspection.
  • Picnic and sitting areas.
  • Gift shop.
  • Free to the public 7 days a week. They accept donations.
  • Free tea!!  :)

It was raining the day we went, as it usually does upcountry Maui, but we stayed dry inside.  Everything was covered except the outside labyrinth.  The temperature was perfect, so the rain was not a hindrance at all.

“Inspiration, creativity, beauty and peace are the undeniable themes of the garden.”

I brought with me my Kindle, the only electronic device I had with me, and ended up not even using it.

I also brought a composition notebook, my Morning Pages book, to do some writing and my favorite purple pen.

It was really terrific.  But I think I had the most fun walking the labyrinth outside.  It was illuminating.  :)

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Path to 11-Circuit Labyrinth

Walking a Labyrinth

According to the pamphlet give to us by the hostess, the 11-circuit labyrinth at The Sacred Garden is a replica from the Chartres Cathedral in France.

Labyrinths are not to be confused with mazes.  Mazes were used mainly to trick or mislead people with dead ends and false trails.

A labyrinth, on the other hand, is an ancient path of pilgrimage.  Back in the early 13th century, the Crusades made traveling to sacred destinations too dangerous.  So would be pilgrims got creative and used this “path of prayer” within the safety of a local church.  In this way, pilgrims could take a “metaphorical pilgrimage”.

Today, labyrinths are used as paths of self-discovery, healing, contemplation and revelation.

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Guidelines for Walking a Labyrinth

If you are looking to “gain” something from a walk through a labyrinth, here are some guidelines to get you prepared, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually.

And by the way, you don’t need an actual labyrinth to have a meditative, introspective walk.  A local garden area, beach, park or even a walk around your property is enough to have a rewarding experience.  It’s all about the mindset.

  1. Let go of expectations. Just relax and enjoy this time of peace and reflection.  Sometimes the messages can be subtle.
  2. Find your own pace. Fast, slow, rhythmic or sporadic, every journey is as unique as the person taking it.
  3. It is okay to pass. Utilize accessible turns to pass someone.  Do so with respect.
  4. The labyrinth is a two-way street. The path of the labyrinth takes you to the center and then returns you to the beginning.  Simply pay attention, stay present, step aside for someone to pass, then resume your place and continue.
  5. Emotions may be evoked. Simply observe these emotions and breathe.  Remember the labyrinth will mirror for you anything you need to see.
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Our Labyrinth Experience

My experience walking the 11-circuit labyrinth was definitely eye-opening!  I seemed to go faster than I thought I would, almost like it was a mission.  And I kept looking ahead of me to where the path was leading rather than focusing on where I was at that present moment.

This told me that I’m trying to hurry to get somewhere, I don’t know where, and that I’m not taking the time I want to be present in this NOW moment.

I’m glad I learned this.  This helps me to know and understand something about myself that I was unaware of before and that I would like to change.

Taking Care of Me

Spending time doing something special, just for me, is far more rejuvenating than I imagined.

It’s also something that I struggle to find time for; yet, something that I really do want to be consistent with as a healing practice.

What helps me be consistent with my Artist’s Dates is actually making an appointment with myself, in my daily planner, and keeping it.

What also helps in keeping the appointment is deciding what to do on my Artist’s Date, doing the research to make it happen (i.e., getting directions, wearing comfortable clothing, bringing necessary items with me, etc.) and then letting my husband know about my date so that no other plans are made.

Lastly, I keep a list of dreams for Artist’s Dates near my desk so that I never run out of inspiration.  I refresh the list as often as I get ideas.

If you are looking for ways to bring out your creative side, or are looking to resurrect a creativity allowed to go dormant, I urge you to read “The Artist’s Way”.

I think you’ll find yourself loving life and loving the dawn of each new day more than you ever thought possible.

What special ways do you find to Take Care of YOU??  Comment below.

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means I get a percentage of the sale if you decide to purchase. Thank you in advance for helping to keep my garden growing.    :)

 

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Disclaimer

I do not now or at anytime profess to be a healthcare provider or even professionally schooled in healthcare. I am simply a woman and mother, doing research for my own life and finding information significant enough to share on Budget Minded Organics. It is up to each of us to perform our "due diligence" (research) before considering modifications in our diet or lifestyle. And always consult a trusted, professional healthcare provider.
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