Raw. Decadent. Thick. Pudding. Psyllium?

Spot the odd one out.  Psyllium… first off, what is it?

Psyllium is usually sold as psyllium husk in powder form. You can find it in health food stores, and its stocked in IGA, Coles and Woolies too.  Its often marketed as a colon cleanser, a reliable and natural remedy for constipation.  So sexy – not.

This recipe came by accident.

My intention was to make chia pudding, but instead of reaching for the chia seed container I poured in psyllium husks instead!  D’oh!  My mistake turned into a discovery… pysllium has the same effect as chia seeds poured into liquid, mixed and left to set.  Thickens to a pudding or jelly very nicely!

Why I didn’t realise this earlier I don’t know.  I’d known about psyllium for quite a number of years, but the usual M.O. of taking psyllium is mixing a tablespoon with water or juice, or sprinkling it over cereal.  As I’d never had a problem with *ahem* regularity, I didn’t investigate further uses and applications.

At a fraction of the price of chia seeds, I’ve found a new egg (1 tbs psyllium + 2 tbs water) and agar-agar replacer for raw treats.  Win!  For my gluten-intolerant bakers, you can morph baked goods into gluten-free versions by substituting psyllium for regular flour.  I imagine it would give an extra ‘lift’ when baking.  Taking advantage of its thickening ability, it could be added to soups and stews to generate a creamier consistency too.

psyllium pudding

psyllium pudding

Important notes:  make sure you drink extra water to ensure the psyllium can move easily through the colon. Its fibres absorb waste in the stomach and carry it out from the colon.  Psyllium should be taken on an empty stomach.  Regular intake is said to promote weight loss as it shifts stubborn built-up body toxins.

Without further ado, here’s a pudding recipe even a man can’t stuff up.

Raw Cacao Coconut Pudding

1-2 tbs psyllium husk (start with 1 tbs if you’re not accustomed to taking psyllium)
stevia or agave, to taste
2-3 tbs raw cacao powder
2-3 tbs shredded coconut
1 cup non-dairy milk (I used oat)

Mix ingredients into a large mug or small bowl.  Let it thicken – leave for an hour or so.

As it was a blistery cold and windy night, I heated the oat milk and poured it in.  The heat enabled it to thicken instantly.. probably less than a minute of stirring it.

I had a thick rich gooey chocolatey treat – minus the guilt!

What other flavour variations can you come up with?

Hope you’re staying warm and toasty … till next time.

pudding in a cup

pudding in a cup

DIY no-bake oat bars

It’s Friday.  Thank goodness.  These ‘have anytime’ treats take next to no time to make.

Whipped these up the other day.  My guinea pig (aka hubby) nearly scoffed them down before I could take a pic!

Great for breakfast, as a healthy snack between meals, or even as dessert (melt some chocolate to drip on top or crumble a bar and add some vegan icecream).

nuts + coconut + seeds

nuts + coconut + seeds

Raw Coconut Oat Bars

1 cup of almonds (or any nuts of your choice)
½ cup of shredded coconut
½ cup of rolled oats
¼ cup seeds of your choice: chia seeds, pumpkin seeds
¼ cup of melted coconut oil
¼ cup agave / stevia
handful chopped prunes
1 tsp sea salt
lemon zest (as much as you want – I used one whole lemon)

Blitz almonds in food processor quickly until they resemble crumbs.

Transfer to bowl and mix in coconut, oats and seeds.

In food processor again, blitz together the coconut oil, sweetener, prunes, sea salt and lemon zest until it forms a paste.  For those without a food processor, ensure you mix together very well in a mixing bowl.

Combine the nut/oat/seed mixture with the sticky paste.

Press the now combined mixture firmly into a baking tin and put in freezer for an hour.

When hardened, cut into bars and transfer to container.  Keep in the fridge.

TIP: The almonds can be substituted for almond meal – I had some leftover from making almond milk.  Ditto for the rolled oats too.  I used leftover oat pulp from oat milk!

Waste not… want not.

Prunes are another favourite of mine.  Not many would call this a ‘superfood’.  Read on for its health benefits.

Naturally rich in hydroxycinnamic acids and anthocyanins

A university study in Boston  ranked prunes as the #1 food in terms of antioxidant capacity. Its ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity) levels are more than twice the antioxidant capacity of other high ranking foods such as blueberries and raisins.

Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are caused by normal cell metabolism, smoking, pollution and UV rays.  These are the causes of pre-mature aging, certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and the dreaded wrinkles!

Full of fibre and natural laxatives

It’s been a remedy for constipation for as long as I can remember.  Even 100 grams of prunes contains approximately 6.1g of fibre. Plant food fibres cannot be digest and that is therefore not absorbed into the bloodstream.  Therefore fibre absorbs water and softens stools in the colon.  Sorbitol is a naturally mild colonic stimulant.  Prunes also contain neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids which assist constipation sufferers.

Osteoporosis and osteopenia protection

Florida State University researchers suggest prunes may reverse osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.  Women who consumed 100g of dried plums per day had improved bone formation markers after only three months (comparatively to the control group). This can be attributed to the high boron concentrations which is purported to assist in the fight against osteoporosis and osteopenia.  One single serving of prunes fulfils the RDI for boron.  The potassium found in prunes also supports bone health.