Baked French Toast with Chia Jam

As a Culinary Nutrition Expert I get asked for breakfast ideas all the time! Breakfast is one of those meals we all know we should pay more attention to and one that should likely contain more than just dry toast and a cup of coffee…but my clients are often strapped for time. This one is a kid-approved fave but is also full of great stuff for grownups! Use up all those bread ends that are in the freezer, some farm fresh eggs, sad bananas and make a delicious fruit-filled, sugar-free chia jam! Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse – they’re high in calcium, magnesium, and iron. They’re high in fibre and minerals. They’re also a complete source of protein and full of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. They are also soothing to your digestive tract and help your body to excrete toxins! Thanks to Epicure’s time-saving cookware this comes together quickly and will quickly become a family fave!

prep

10 minutes

Bake time 

Jam: 5 minutes, Set time 15 minutes

French Toast: bake 6-8  minutes

makes

6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 C cubed bread
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 4 jumbo eggs (or 6 regular eggs)
  • 1 tsp Apple Pie spice or cinnamon
  •  
  • For the chia Jam:
  • 2 C fresh or frozen fruit of choice (berries and cherries are great!)
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tsp Summer Berry Sweet Dip  or pure maple syrup (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare Chia Jam first: Place all jam ingredients in rectangular steamer, stir and cook, uncovered, in microwave for 5 minutes.
  2. When done, mash with a potatoe masher, or blast with a hand blender for smoother jam.
  3. Let sit 15 minutes to set.
  4. While jam is setting, mash banana with eggs.  Add apple pie spice or cinnamon.
  5. Fill multipurpose steamer with bread.
  6. Pour egg, banana and cinnamon mixture over bread.  Stir to mix completely.
  7. Cover steamer with lid and cook in microwave for 6-8 minutes.
  8. Serve with plain Greek yogourt and chia jam.

Notes

Don’t have a steamer?  Or don’t like cooking in the microwave?  Add all chia jam ingredients to a small saucepan, mash slightly and bring to a low boil.  Simmer 6-8 minutes.  Mash or puree with hand mixer and allow to set for 15 minutes as mentioned above. 

Similarly, place all French toast ingredients in lightly buttered glass or metal baking dish or multipurpose steamer if just not using in the microwave. Bake in a 400 oven for 15 – 20 minutes until egg is completely cooked.  

If using light-fleshed fruit like apples or peaches, keep in mind the chia seeds will be visible in the jam and can effect the overall aesthetic of the jam.

If using fruit like plums, apples or peaches, peel them!

Southwest Chipotle Ranch Salad

Did you like that southwest salad in a bag from the refrigerated vegetable section in the grocery store like we used to? Until I read the ingredients in the dressing anyway…..  
It’s been 5 years since I bought one, but on Monday Mr Fab Food asked if I could make one with some grilled chicken and all our Farmer’s Market  delights!
Challenge accepted and I CRUSHED it if I don’t say so myself! It’s funny how recipe development often comes from inspiration from something we’ve previously enjoyed but want better ingredients in.

prep

20 minutes

cook time

15 minutes to grill chicken

makes

6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C plain Greek yogourt
  • 1Tbsp Creamy Ranch mix
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp Chipotle aioli mix depending on spice level required
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 tsp raw honey 
  • 1 medium vine tomato, diced

Instructions

  1. Whisk first 5 ingredients together in a bowl or shake in a cruet.
  2. Mix chopped tomatoes with dressing.  The liquid from tomatoes helps to thin dressing.
  3. Grill chicken breast or thighs with chipotle, fajita or other preferred seasonings.
  4. While chicken is cooking, Shred your favourite vegetables – carrot, peppers, radish, purple cabbage all work well.
  5. Toss dressing with lettuce and shredded veggies.
  6. Serve with tortilla strips or chips, sliced avocado and grilled chicken.

Notes:

Don’t like chicken?  Serve with roasted corn, black beans and flavour infused quinoa for a balance plate!

Lemon Chia Pudding

I’ve been bored with breakfast lately….the girls will eat the same thing over and over and never seem to get bored! Food is love to me and I’ve been feeling meh about breakfast for weeks (perhaps the Covid loop we’re living more than anything….) so I decided I needed something exciting to change it up! 
Enter chia pudding! This one can be made ahead and kept in the fridge so it’s there and ready when you’re not feeling breakfast inspiration!  Double the batch if you’re making enough for multiple people, or so you can have something ready for multiple days!  Change the whole thing by changing the toppings!
Did you know chia is a nutritional power-house seed?
They’re high in calcium, magnesium and iron. High in fibre, protein and minerals. A complete protein source full of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants and are soothing to your digestive tract and therefore help the body to excrete toxins. That’s a whole lotta awesome for a teeny, tiny little seed! And in this super simple recipe, they’re also delicious!!

prep

5 minutes

set time

2 hours or overnight

makes

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2C milk of choice 
  • 6Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2Tbsp pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • pinch (no more than 1/8 tsp) of turmeric or  Mango Lassi  

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a 4C bowl, whisking to get the lumps out.
  2. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
  3. In the morning give it a stir, and split between 4 bowls. Top with fresh or frozen fruit, nuts or granola.  If not using all at once, scoop out 1/2C per serving.
  4. Get fancy and you can top with whipped coconut cream, toasted coconut and fresh lemon curd too and serve as a dessert!

Notes

Coconut and cashew milk are both smooth and creamy and delicious in this recipe!  But any milk will work depending on your preference, allergies or availability.  Want to get really fancy and add some gut-loving kick?  Use 1 C of plain Kefir + 1 C of milk instead of the 2 C of milk.

Use pure maple syrup not imitation.  If not available, raw honey or coconut sugar make a great alternative.  Coconut sugar will require more stirring to dissolve.

Pure vanilla or vanilla bean.  Again, no artificial stuff!

The turmeric or Mango Lassi helps give it a glorious yellow colour (often something we expect with Lemon flavoured food??) and a little bit of extra anti-inflamatory goodness!