I keep experimenting and enjoying one of this seasons most delicious vegetables: the butternut squash. And being an absolute breakfast fan I wanted to add it to my morning meals too; today as a spicy chai scented sauce with which to top my chia puddings! The mix is divine: the texture melts in the mouth and the taste is luscious and uplifting as healthy creamy vegetables tend to be. The chai blend really puts me in the mood for the holiday season, however, it is a great spice mix to prepare anytime during the winter months to get your circulation going and stimulate the mind.
The deep yellow butternut squash is a very valuable vegetable to include in your winter preparations; it is packed with essential vitamins and antioxidants and is a rich source of dietary fiber. Thanks to it’s high content of vitamin A it’s helps to support beautiful skin and healthy eyes. Butternut squash is also very rich in B-vitamins like folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, thiamin and pantothenic acid which are important to maintain our energy levels throughout the day and promote e.g. beautiful skin, hair and nails. And don’t throw away the seeds! They are real powerhouses full of protein, minerals, vitamins, dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, as well as the essential amino acid tryptophan, which turns into serotonin and is crucial to regulate your mood, sleep… amazing brain chemistry!
So please don’t limit your culinary experiences with butternut squash only to stews and soups and savoury dishes. Try it our in your sweet preparations like pies and muffins, smoothies, and get that extra veggie portion to up your daily quota! It is such a nutrient dense and tasty vegetable we should try and enjoy it more during the season. Breakfast fan like me? Why don’t make a sweet butternut soup to start the day with or experiment your butternut smoothies, or make a delicious cream using your favorite vegetable milk and add nuts and dried fruits in it?
Chia is definitely one of my favorite superfoods (and my little boy who is now 20 months go crazy for a raw cacao chia pudding.) A rich source of omega- 3, protein, calcium, potassium, and iron, chia has three times more antioxidants than blueberries! Chia also contains the amino acid tryptophan, just like the butternut squash (regulates appetite, improves sleep and mood), so you’ll definitely get a real balancing boost out of this breakfast treat! Other benefits include stabilizing the blood sugar, lowering bad cholesterol and promoting a healthy digestion thanks to it’s high content of fiber. Chia is amazing for boosting your energy in the morning, so I love using them in my breakfast preparations to get going and start my day with something gentle on the stomach. As an afternoon snack it’s really great too, you can prepare the blend in the morning, cover it up after you’ve stirred a few times and let it set in the fridge until your break. Just make sure to add enough liquid to allow it to swell and get that nice, juicy texture !
Chia pudding with chai butternut sauce:
Vegan and gluten-free
For the chia pudding:
4 big tablespoons chia seeds
about 2 dl (170-200 ml or a little less than a cup) rice milk (coco flavored is amazing :-), any vegetable milk will do but preferable not sweetened
For the chai butternut sauce:
about 100g cooked butternut (1 small)
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp cardamom
dash of nutmeg
dash of clove
1 tsp honey
optional: a handful of crushed walnuts for topping
– Pour the milk over the chia seeds and let it set for minimum 20 minutes and stir regularly to get a nice even pudding texture (start of with a little less than 2 dl of liquid, and if the texture feels too dense add some extra milk- it all depends how big your tablespoons are!).
-Meanwhile, cook the butternut preferably by steaming to keep the nutrients intact, for about 10 minutes or until they are soft.
Nadine Andreewitch is originally from Sweden and has been in Paris since 2006, where she still lives today with her husband and little boy. Having worked in the fashion industry, Nadine most recently converted to the yoga world as a newly certified instructor. She will also soon be leading detox workshops, including yoga and breakfast on weekend mornings. Stay tuned for more info!
Nadine is passionate about nutrition and well being and the intention seeps from her words:
“To create more awareness in regards to how we can eat and pamper ourselves in a healthier and more responsible way. Simply learn to choose better. It’s also about showing you how to prepare delicious, easily prepared meals that are good for your bodies and respectful of the environment, without feeling that you are missing out.”
Check out Nadine at her beautiful website Cook&Glow.
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