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freaky {food} friday: psyllium seed husks

Helloooo there! I am so happy that…

thank god!

this cat = me

And today I wanted to do a fun little Freaky Food Friday since I haven’t done one in so long! This Friday’s freaky food is psyllium seed husks!

What is psyllium seed husks?

Ever heard of Metamucil? It’s made of psyllium seed husks!

Plantago psyllium is a plant native to Iran and India. The stalks of the plant contain tiny seeds covered in husks, which is the psyllium seed husks we can eat! It has a long history of use in traditional and herbal medicines, and is quickly becoming popular for use in weight control and intestinal health. It contains a spongy fiber (soluble fiber) that reduces appetite, improves digestion and cleanses the system, making it an excellent choice for healthy dieting. If you are following a low carb diet, chances are you aren’t getting enough fiber – psyllium can provide that fiber you need! Every 100 grams of psyllium provides 71 grams of soluble fiber; a similar amount of oat bran would contain only 5 grams of soluble fiber. Only recently have scientists learned that soluble fiber has unique effects on metabolism. The herb also provides a feeling of fullness that is helpful before meals. Psyllium is one of the simplest, healthiest and most effective herbs for weight control.

Psyllium fiber is not broken down as it passes down the gastrointestinal tract and so it has no nutritive value other than as a source of fiber. Adding water to dry psyllium causes it to swell to up to ten times its original volume – the reason why it helps with satiety. For many years products containing psyllium (aka Metamucil) have been used to increase fecal bulk and loosen stools, as ways of treating constipation. It also has the advantage over other sources of fiber for reducing flatulence and bloating. It may be recommended by a physician to help soften stool and reduce the pain associated with hemorrhoids.

Psyllium husks are great to use in gluten free baking. It can be used as a replacement for xanthan gum and pectin (which helps bind and thicken substances).

What does it taste like?

It has a earthy, wheaty taste. It reminds me of this cereal!

Why should you eat it?

Well, for one, it gets things movin down there if ya know what I mean! If you’re constipated, psyllium husk should be your go-to!

But it also keeps you full, is tasteless (so it can be added to anything), has been proven to lower cholesterol, and is an excellent herb to promote overall health and wellness! I would recommend adding a teaspoon or two to your smoothies (it will also make them thicker) at first every day and then you can gradually go up to adding a tablespoon!

What are its nutrition facts?

2 tablespoons are 35 calories with 9 g of fiber and 10 g of carbohydrate. I usually only use about a tablespoon or less.

Where can I find psyllium?

I found my psyllium at Trader Joe’s, although I don’t think they sell it anymore. It can be found online at amazon.com or at your local health food store. Sometimes it’s even in the bulk bins! Be sure to look for “whole psyllium husks.”

thank you trader darwins!

Recipes!

Healthy cookies with flax and psyllium? These are a must try!

Dr. Oz’s Magical Breakfast Blaster smoothie calls for psyllium (he says psyllium is an essential ingredient for every smoothie)!

Gluten free flatbread recipe using psyllium here!

Raw strawberry pie. I need to make this ASAP!

My overall score:

Psyllium is awesome. I love adding it to my smoothies because it really makes them thicker and I can’t even taste or tell a difference in texture. After a few days of unhealthy eating, I always turn to psyllium to help detoxify my body. My favorite way to add it in my diet is to make the recipe below! It gets an A+.

A Blondie Bakes and Bikes Recipe!

Vanilla-y Cinnamon Fiber Pudding

serves 1 (a great low-cal snack in between meals that keeps you full!!)

Ingredients:

1 T psyllium seed husks

couple shakes cinnamon

half a packet of stevia (I use NuNaturals stevia) or the full packet if you want it more sweet – you could also use agave, honey, real sugar, nothing…

1/3 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk (can also use plain and add a little vanilla extract) + a little more for mixing in afterwards

Directions:

Mix the first three ingredients in a cup.

up close to the psyllium!

dry ingredients

Add 1/3 c almond milk and stir.

VAM added

Let sit for about 5-10 minutes (the longer you wait, the thicker it will get). I personally don’t like it super thick (sometimes I just drink it right after so it’s more like cereal and milk) so I wait for about 5 minutes and then add a splash more of almond milk!

looks nast but i swear it’s good!

And that’s it! So quick and easy. You could also mix in some oats, fruit, nuts, coconut, nut butter, etc and add more almond milk for a filling breakfast porridge! Yum 🙂

Have a happy Friday friends!! Don’t forget to write “psyllium seed husks” on your next grocery list!

xoxox

Kara

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freaky {food} friday: buckwheat

Hey dolls!

Again, I apologize for sucking at blogging lately, but I’ve been a busy bee catching up with friends and organizing my war-zone of a room.

But today’s freaky food is buckwheat!

Ever heard of it?! Well now you will have! Less goooooo.

What is buckwheat?

unroasted buckwheat!

Buckwheat is a nutritious alternative to rice and grains.

While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed making it a suitable substitute for people who are allergic to wheat. It can be ground into flour (either light or dark variety…dark is more nutritious) and is often found in gluten-free flours.

Buckwheat is of similar size to wheat kernels, and has a unique three-sided shape. It is sold either unroasted or roasted. Roasted is called “kasha,” from which a traditional European dish is made. Its color ranges from tannish-pink to brown.

What does it taste like?

Unroasted buckwheat has a very subtle taste similar to oats. When soaked it’s chewy and absorbs the other flavors in the dish. Roasted buckwheat has a more earthy, nutty flavor.

Why should you eat buckwheat?

  • contains 8 essential amino acids
  • rich in flavonoids and plant lignans which are phytonutrients that protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers, and heart disease
  • high in magnesium which is needed for a healthy cardiovascular system
  • controls blood sugar better, lowers the risk of diabetes & helps manage diabetes, and scored highest on their ability to satisfy hunger
  • eating foods high in insoluble fiber, like buckwheat, can help prevent gallstones
  • good for weight loss because it keeps you fuller longer

What are its nutrition facts?

In one cup of cooked buckwheat:

  • almost 35% of your daily value of manganese
  • about 22% DV of magnesium
  • almost 20% DV of your dietary fiber for the day
  • 154 calories

Where can I find buckwheat?

I buy my buckwheat in the bulk food section of Whole Foods, but it can be found at most health food stores or online!

How do I eat it?

It can be used as an alternative for rice, oats and most grains. Often found as buckwheat pancakes or pizza. Also the main ingredient in Japanese soba noodles. Buckwheat can be cooked and made into porridge.

Recipes!

Tried this and loved it! Raw Buckwheat Porridge.

Mmmm want to try this! Buckwheat Tabbouleh.

Buckwheat granola? I must make this!

My overall score:

At first, I wasn’t sold on buckwheat. The chewy texture definitely takes some getting used to, but now I absolutely love it! If you’re hesitant on trying buckwheat, I would suggest making buckwheat pancakes (which are made with buckwheat flour) because they will change your life! Buckwheat scores an A+.

A Blondie Bakes and Bikes Recipe!

Buckwheat Breakfast Yogurt Bowl

serves 1

what you'll need

Ingredients:

1/4 c plain greek yogurt

half a smashed banana (or any other type of sweetener)

2 T buckwheat

1 T lemon juice

1 T flax oil (or you could use coconut oil or not put any at all)

cinnamon

toppings! (I used blueberries, coconut and pecans this time)

isn't that such an adorable bowl?! courtesy of my amazing roomie shauna!

Directions:

Mix yogurt and buckwheat together and let sit for up to 10 minutes. Then add all other ingredients, sprinkle on desired toppings (i.e. fruit, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, peanut butter, etc.) and eat!!!!

time for it's close up! mmmm

Try this now! I promise you won’t regret it 😉

I’m about to whip up a fabulous first dinner with the roomies and boyfriend! Wooo mmm delish!

xoxoxo

Kara

freaky {food} friday: chia seeds

Haiii friends!

Happy Friday! Today I will be introducing you to a ‘freaky’ food that I’ve tried.

Every Friday, I am going to try to feature an ingredient that you would not normally buy or maybe haven’t heard of. I will tell you what it is, what it tastes like, the benefits of eating that ingredient, the nutrition facts, where to buy, and how to eat it! I will also include recipes that call for the ingredient from other bloggers or magazines that I’ve been wanting to try AND I will grade the ingredient! Butttt best of all, I’ll include an original Blondie Bakes and Bikes recipe! Yayyy :D!

This freaky {food} friday is dedicated to CHIA SEEDS!

For you avid blog readers, chia seeds are not ‘freaky’ and are old news, but to everyone else, you’re probably wondering … “whatttt are those strange things?!”

Dontcha remember those ch-ch-ch-chia pets?!

you may have had one!

Well, now you can do something even more exciting than sitting there watchin em grow (I know you did that) … YOU CAN ACTUALLY EAT THEM!

Let’s get to it.

fear not the tiny black speckled seeds!

What are chia seeds? 

“Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. You may have seen chia sprouts growing on the novelty planters called Chia Pets, but historically, the seeds have been the most important part of the plant. In pre-Columbian times they were a main component of the Aztec and Mayan diets and were the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors. I’ve read that one tablespoon was believed to sustain an individual for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain and sore skin.” – wise words of Dr.Weil

What do they taste like?

Chia seeds have a mild, nutlike flavor. But you can add them to anything without changing the taste of the food. I barely notice when I put chia seeds in my oatmeal or smoothies, however, I don’t eat them plain.

Why should you eat chia seeds?

  • higher in omega-3 & 6 fatty acid’s than flax seeds
  • don’t need to be ground up like flax seeds to get the full nutritional value
  • virtually tasteless and VERY good for you
  • 2 x the protein of any other seed or grain (and is a plant based protein = good for vegetarians!!)
  • 5 x the calcium of milk
  • 2 x the amount of potassium in bananas
  • 3 x more iron than spinach
  • high fiber content (more so than flax & oats), which aids with weight loss, keeps you full, among other things ;).
  • 3 x the antioxidants in blueberries (such high antioxidant content keeps them from going bad … can be stored in a dry place for up to 4-5 years!)
  • levels blood sugar & great for diabetics
  • gluten-free
  • helps relieve thyroid conditions, hypo-glycemia, and acid reflux
  • contains many essential minerals such as magnesium & zinc
Are you convinced yet?!

What are their nutrition facts?

1 tablespoon of dry chia seeds have about 60 calories, 5 g of fat, 6 g of carbs, 6 g of fiber, and 3 g of protein.

Where can I buy them?

I buy them in bulk at Whole Foods, but they can also be found online.

How do I eat these things?!

Chia seeds can replace flax seeds in any recipe. They can also replace eggs in cooking (1 T ground chia seeds + 3 T water, let sit and will form a gel-like consistency like eggs). I like to add them to oatmeal or smoothies. I have yet to try them in salads, salsas, scrambled eggs … but that seems to be popular on some other blogs!

Recipes!

Shape magazine has many delicious recipes featuring chia seeds! Check them out here.

Brittany of Eating Bird Food’s chia pudding that I want to try! Take a peek.

Try them in one of Angela at Oh She Glows Green Monsters. Here.

Mmmm I’m making these, you should too!

Chia seeds even have their own website! Look!

Averie at Love Veggies and Yoga, loves chia seeds too! Yum.

My overall score:

Chia seeds are awesome! I love that you can’t taste them but you’re getting an extra protein and fiber boost. They get an A+! I urge you to TRY THEM NOW!!!

A Blondie Bakes and Bikes Recipe!

Tropical Coconut Chia Smoothie

serves 2

a visual.

Ingredients:

1 c So Delicious Original Cultured Coconut Milk (makes it more creamy but you could also use any kind of milk)

1/2 c water

1/4 c frozen strawberries

1/2 c frozen mango

1/2 c frozen pineapple

2 T chia seeds (and more for adding on top if you’d like)

Directions:

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy your delicious taste of paradise ;)!

the finished product!

Yummm! Success!

Let me know what you think of chia seeds when you try them :).

Ch-ch-ch-ciao!

Kara