Overnight oats and chia pudding

Ever since I was diagnosed of mild gluten intolerance, all kinds of breads, cakes, noodles, pastas have been diminished from my diet. Naturally, it had me wondering and listing all the food stuff devoid of gluten. I took my time and did some research. First thing that showed up in the gluten-free food list was ‘Oats’. I wasn’t much of an oat lover because I hated the consistency of cooked oats. It was too gooey and sticky. So, further research and enticing pictures from a ton of Instagram communities made me try overnight oats. And what can I say? It was a revolution for me. I was totally converted. No gooey, sticky consistency. Every morning I look forward to having a breakfast of oats and chia pudding along with various fruits and smoothies. At this point I’ve made what feels like a zillion smoothies and oats.
The recipe is versatile and flexible. Best of all, its portable! You can make it in mason jars or airtight containers and have breakfast on the go. Its a great feeling to share these recipes with you all.

I use quick oats because I don’t cook oats in this recipe. Feel free to try old fashioned oats.
I usually use honey/agave/stevia to sweeten my bowl of pudding. If you’re vegan, use one of these options: agave, stevia, coconut sugar, brown rice syrup, maple syrup. I suggest using unsweetened vanilla almond milk for 2 reasons – to control sweetness of your pudding and vanilla gives good flavor. You may use coconut milk, cashew milk, mix of almond-coconut milks, hemp seed milk, hazelnut milk. If you aren’t plant-based, you can use whole or skimmed milk.

Overnight oats and chia pudding recipe:

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Ingredients:
1 cup quick oats
1/4 cup chia seeds
1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
1-2 tsp sweetener of your choice
Toppings –
dry fruits(apricot, figs, cranberries),
nuts(walnuts, pine nuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds) ,
fresh fruits(apples, berries, banana, dragonfruit, kiwi, mango, cherries),
frozen fruits(berries, bananas),
nut butters(peanut, almond, coconut, hazelnut),
seeds (flax, pumpkin, sesame),
smoothies, protein powders, granola, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, shredded coconut or coconut chips, edible flowers.

Method:
1. Mix together oats and chia seeds in an airtight container, stir around to distribute evenly and avoid clumps.
2. Pour in milk and add sweetener. Stir thoroughly breaking clumps. At this point you can add some nuts or smoothies or protein powders of your choice.
3. Let the oats rest 4 hours or overnight. Next morning they are ready to eat along with suggested toppings or as is.

I usually top the oats with fresh fruits or smoothies, nuts and granola because that’s what I like the best. I really hope you guys try this out and let me know how it turns out. I want to hear it all – success, failure, attempts.

Enjoy!

Eggplant Shakshuka

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and I’m all for variety in this meal. Most of the days I consume smoothies, acai bowls, overnight oats and chia pudding or avocado toast for breakfast. However, some days I just feel an uncontrollable need to eat something spicy and that’s when I cave in and make something like I did today.
In no ways am I saying that you should restrict this dish for breakfast. Have it for lunch or dinner by all means. Continue reading “Eggplant Shakshuka”

El Salvador

Never in my wildest dreams had I thought I would land in El Salvador and attempt to explore it. On our flight back to New York from Costa Rica, we had layover in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. We took the 8 hours long layover as an opportunity to have a glimpse of life in San Salvador.

The only things I had ever heard about the infamous El Salvador country were it being a major drug trafficking and mafia haven. I was about to get a reality check. Continue reading “El Salvador”

Smoothies galore

Smoothies are my absolute favorite beverage! I can have them any time of the day, any day of the week, any week of the.. well you get the point!
I’m so excited to write this post because I have been asked for smoothie recipes on Instagram by few too many people. Well, finally here it is. Just a few of many many smoothies I have on a daily basis.
I have been making (and devouring) smoothies since quite long now. The first ever smoothie I made was with bananas, kiwi squash/concentrate, yogurt, milk and honey. As time passed, I experimented with a ton of fruits and veggies to create different types of smoothies with or without yogurt and milk. Recently I started leaving out regular milk from as many meals as I could. That also meant I cut down on yogurt. Started using almond milk which gave the smoothies a subtle flavor and made them sublime. Not that I turned vegan, just that I like the taste of almond milk. I also started adding protein and fruit powders to boost their health quo. Continue reading “Smoothies galore”

Pura Vida in Costa Rica

Hola!
Buenos Dias!
Como Estas?
Muy Bien! A Tu?
Bien, Gracias!
Adios!
That was all the Spanish I knew before stepping foot in Costa Rica. Well, that and ‘Pura Vida’.

Christmas vacation and Costa Rica travel plans coincided this year. What made us put a pin on it was the geographic diversity it offered. Costa Rica has everything – mountains, volcanoes, rivers, ocean, rocky beaches, sandy beaches. What’s more, it also offers a new culture, new cuisine and a language that was new to us. Bingo! We had found our new destination. Continue reading “Pura Vida in Costa Rica”

All alone, first time and this!

One fine day my company asked me to travel to Toronto for a month to attend requirement meetings. Anxious, the first thing I did was what anyone my kind would do. Google! I looked up where Canada was on the map, searched further for Toronto and on and on until I narrowed it down to the hotel I’d be staying, location of my office and food arrangements nearby. My first international travel, it was natural to be anxious. Continue reading “All alone, first time and this!”

Best of Toronto – Top 10 things to do in Toronto

A city as big as Toronto houses a load of attractions apart from the usual museums, zoos and aquariums. Any travel plans to Toronto must include most, if not all, of the below locations. The Downtown is pretty easy to navigate and the landmarks are unmistakable. One of the safest city ever, Toronto has great nightlife to experience. People are extremely helpful so never hesitate to ask for directions any time of the day. Due to corporate offices, universities and markets, there are countless eateries, cafes and pubs in and around the city. If you’re on a budget, check for some free attractions below! Continue reading “Best of Toronto – Top 10 things to do in Toronto”

Toronto – Downtown and beyond

The day I arrived in Toronto, people were busy with preparations for the following day. All the corporate offices were closed for a long weekend. It happened to be Canada Day that weekend. I couldn’t wait to get immersed in this great big city and its culture.

After my hotel check-in fiasco, I shook off the whole thing and started chalking plans to explore the city. It was sunny and warm with a crisp breeze in air. The city was full of happy crowd waving and wearing the Canadian flag, cheering for the Blue Jays at Rogers Center. Another thing I deliberately noticed, maple trees everywhere. I was still loopy from sleep deprivation but there was no way I was going to let that get in the way. Continue reading “Toronto – Downtown and beyond”

Where it all began..

Sure I had traveled within India, but that was either a pilgrimage or just for the sake of a change from routine. Such trips would normally commence and end with an overnight bus/train journey and squeezed in were some(as many as possible) popular touristy spots from a list marked as “must see!”. Mostly these spots were recommended by friends and family, and otherwise due to my habit of frantically searching TripAdvisor for every minute detail about a new place. Call me skeptical, but I appreciated all the online information; it was first-hand.

Never had I thought of travelling as a hobby, because everybody I knew had hobbies like dancing, singing, sewing, cooking, reading and so on. Also, for a middle class person, travelling seemed like an expensive hobby. Forget about international trips!

My first travel opportunity came through two years ago. My company asked me to attend meetings in Toronto, Canada. A part of me wished it was US instead of Canada but that thought disappeared just as quickly as it had popped. Nothing could diminish my excitement of experiencing my first international travel. Continue reading “Where it all began..”

Canada

 

Somehow I associate Canada with a white pigeon clutching a twig in its beak soaring freely across snowy lands and white mountains, knowing no boundaries.
Your day starts with a ‘Good Morning’, passes between multiple humble Please’s, Sorry’s and Thank You’s and ends with a ‘Good Night’. Most polite people ever and a cosmopolitan bunch.

Canada is known for its serene lakes, picturesque landscapes, meandering roads, secluded trails lined by tall snow-dusted pine trees in dense forests guarded by enormous snow-capped mountains with a frozen lake in view. Dead silence everywhere except the soft plopping of snow flurries. Look at all the national parks in Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec. Every sight looks surreal, like a picture straight out of a postcard or a Disney movie.

It’s not just the landscapes that make Canada, what it is. The sprawling downtown and cities, modern skyscrapers, french influenced architecture, efficient infrastructure, latest fashion stores, best food joints, premium liquors and what not.

The most popular attraction in Canada is, without a doubt, the Niagara Falls. Hundreds of thousand people visit Niagara Falls every year, some for the first time, others for second or even third time. I myself have visited Niagara Falls twice from Canada and once from New York side. It’s quite an area to explore, especially with inviting casinos, endless pubs and eateries, line of tempting candy shops with incredible displays that you just can’t stop gaping at.
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READ: Toronto – Downtown and beyond..

Talk about the magnificent cities of Canada like Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal. Toronto is my first love. (READ: Where it all began..) This is the city where I started my travel adventures. I would love to move to Toronto, live in the downtown and grow old there. It’s so peaceful.
READ: Best of Toronto – Top 10 things to do in downtown!

Montreal is a complete different story. Being there simply doesn’t feel like you’re in Canada. All signs, hoardings, directions in French. Every alley and every building has its own character. Cobbled streets, quaint coffee shops, cozy breweries give it a Paris feel.
Coming up: Montreal and the Canadian French style.

My bucket list is incomplete sans the national parks of Canada. One of the summers, I wish to explore the scenic lands of Northern Canada, stay in a log cabin, light up a campfire and see millions of stars in the clear sky at night.
It’s not a dream, it’s a wish.