Acai & Buckwheat Granola Bowls

March 28, 2016

A Pinch of Bella - Acai BowlsAfter hearing so much hype surrounding acai bowls for so long, I was finally able to experience these beauts in their full glory during my travels in Bali. I was hooked after my first mouthful. Refreshing and rich in both colour and taste, I couldn’t wait to try making these delectable delights myself upon returning home. I complemented my acai bowls with a homemade coconut, chia & cinnamon buckwheat granola, striking the perfect balance between smooth and crunchy. Renown for its exceptionally high antioxidant content, this Brazilian superfood will be making a regular appearance in my breakfast bowls! A Pinch of Bella - Acai BolwsA Pinch of Bella - Acai BowlsA Pinch of Bella - Acai Bowls

Ingredients:

For the Coconut, Chia and Cinnamon Buckwheat Granola:
1 x tablespoon of coconut oil
1 x tablespoon of cinnamon
1 x tablespoon of high quality raw honey
3 x tablespoons of chia seeds
1 x cup of raw buckwheat grouts soaked in water overnight
1 x cup of dried coconut flakes

For the Acai Smoothie Bowl:
3 x frozen bananas
1 1/2 x cups of organic frozen blueberries
1 x cup of coconut milk
3 x teaspoons of organic pure acai powder
1/2 cup of water (optional depending on how thick you’d like your consistency to be)

Toppings:
1 x sliced banana
A handful of fresh blueberries
A sprinkle of chia seeds
Raw honey (optional – I find that the bananas sweeten the bowl enough)

Step-by-step:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 175°C.
2. In a frying pan melt the coconut oil, honey & cinnamon over a low heat.
3. Once combined, stir in the buckwheat grouts, coconut flakes and chai seeds, making sure that everything gets nicely coated with the coconut oil blend.
4. Spread the granola onto a tray lined with parchment paper and bake for about 35 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Be sure to stir the granola every 10 minutes or so to avoid any burning.
5. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool whilst blending the acai bowl.
6. Into a blender add the frozen banana, blueberries, coconut milk and acai powder and blitz until smooth.
7. Scoop your smoothie mixture out into bowls and top them with the granola, fresh fruit and chia seeds.
8. Store the leftover granola in a clean airtight container for later!

Serves 3.

♥ C.

 

A Pinch of Chiang Mai

December 9, 2015

A Pinch of Bella - Rustic & Blue - Wholesome Guide to Chiang MaiChiang Mai is a real gem when it comes to healthy café hopping in Thailand! Rustic wooden tables, mismatched chairs, exposed brick, mellow indie music playing in the background… these are café quirks that I think we can all dig! I left each place feeling impressed, inspired and most importantly, with a happy belly. Below are my top 6 picks!A Pinch of Bella - Imm Aim Vegetarian Cafe - Wholesome Guide to Chiang MaiA Pinch of Bella - Wholesome Guide to Chiang MaiA Pinch of Bella - Ristr8tto - Wholesome Guide to Chiang MaiA Pinch of Bella - Rustic & Blue - Wholesome Guide to Chiang MaiA Pinch of Bella - The Larder - Wholesome Guide to Chiang MaiA Pinch of Bella - Arttitude x Aum Vegetarian - Wholesome Guide to Chiang Mai

1. Rustic & Blue

A place so nice, I went there twice! Rustic Blue is absolutely adorable. Their produce is hand grown, and their menu unique. There’s a lovely little courtyard through the back with rustic seating arranged around a beautiful old tree adorned with feathered dream catchers. They have an amazing selection of house blend teas, fresh juices and smoothies. On both occasions I was there for breakfast, so I tried the Acai bowl and the Chia Pudding, both made with cashew milk. They were delicious, but the Acai Bowl was a total winner, bursting with freshness and flavour! Comparatively, Rustic & Blue is slightly more expensive (for Thailand) than the other cafés, but it’s well worth it!

2. Imm Aim Vegetarian Cafe

This rustic vegetarian oasis tucked away in the backstreets just outside of the Old City, serves simple, fresh and very reasonably priced food. All of their homemade curries can either be served with brown rice or sweet potato naan bread. Their food is comforting and clean, and they offer a great selection of cold-pressed juices.

3. Ristr8tto

This is an absolute must for any coffee lovers. Hip, minimalist, and famous for their ‘latte art’, Ristr8tto purely specialises in coffee. Their menu is pretty extensive, catering to all palettes. Plus, if you’re a real keen coffee bean, you can choose your preferred brewing method. From AeroPress to Chemex (and everything in between), Ristr8tto is guaranteed to make you your cuppa of dreams. The only non-dairy alternative is soy.

4. The Larder Cafe & Bar

A wonderful little brunch spot hidden down one of the backstreets just off Nimanhemin Road. Their signature ‘sexy’ sandwiches are prepared on homemade sourdough (you can opt for whole grain). I kept it simple with smashed avocado – it was heavenly. They also serve complimentary citrus infused water which is super refreshing.

5. Arttitude Gallery

A sweet little coffee shop that offers a beautiful selection of cold-pressed juices. Each juice is named after the world’s great works of art, and is served with a cute brown paper label detailing information on the original artwork.

6. Aum Vegetarian Restaurant 

A simple Thai restaurant serving vegetarian (and vegan) dishes that are organic and free from MSG. It’s very convenient if you are visiting the Old City as it’s located right by Tha Phae Gate. Their menu is pretty diverse, and they have a neat juice selection, too. What sold this place to me was the fact that they make their sushi with brown rice. I had their avocado maki as well as their fresh spring rolls*, accompanied by a fresh carrot, ginger and beetroot juice.

* quick heads up, the fresh spring rolls are made with tofu, but you can request to have them without if you prefer.

Happy café hopping! I’d love to hear any of your Chiang Mai recommendations or thoughts on any of the spots listed above!

♥ C.

Cinnamon Infused Peachy Porridge

October 19, 2015

A Pinch of Bella - Peachy PorridgeI’m a huge fan of porridge, and could quite happily eat it for every meal. It’s incredibly versatile and a nutritious way to stay fuelled until lunch time. Inspired by the change in seasons, this autumnal bowl of goodness is the ideal breakfast to enjoy whilst tucked under a fluffy duvet on a lazy Sunday morning. It’s deliciously creamy, comforting, and guaranteed to make your morning peachy fine. A Pinch of Bella - Peachy PorridgeA Pinch of Bella - Peachy Porridge

Ingredients:

For the Mylk:
1 x cup of almonds soaked overnight
2 x pitted medjool dates
1 x teaspoon of cinnamon
3 x cups of filtered water

For the Porridge:
1 x cup of oats
1 x ripe peach
1 x teaspoon of coconut oil

Toppings:
A small handful of chopped almonds
A sprinkle of cinnamon
1 x tablespoon of maple syrup

Step-by-step:

1. Blitz your soaked almonds, dates, cinnamon and water in a blender.
2. Strain the mylk using either a muslin cloth or a strainer (I love how the residue nutty texture really complements the oats, so I just used a strainer allowing the tiny chucks of almonds to sneak their way into the mylk).
3. Using the same pot that you’ll use to cook your porridge, soak the oats in the nut mylk for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the beautiful flavours from the mylk to be absorbed into the oats.
4. Whilst the oats are soaking, slice the peach into small wedges (about 0.5cm thick). Heat the coconut oil in a small pan on a medium-high heat and lightly sear the slices on both sides. Put aside.
5. Heat up the soaked oats on a medium-high heat and cook for about 5-10 minutes until the oats are soft and creamy.
6. Scatter the brazen peaches onto your porridge bowls, and serve with maple syrup, chopped almonds and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Serves 2.

 ♥ C.