Today we're happy to welcome back Joanne Guidoccio, a frequent guest of our blog. In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement from a 31-year teaching career and decided to launch a second act as a writer of cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature. Learn more about her and her books at her website.
Joanne is hosting a giveaway. Click here for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.
Chia Seed Power!
From the start, I loved the sound of the Mayan word “chia” and its meaning: strength. Originally grown in Mexico, these seeds were valued for their nutritional and medicinal properties. Runners and warriors used chia seeds as fuel while running long distances or during battles. Aztec warriors claimed that one spoonful of chia seeds could sustain them for 24 hours.
Recent research has found even more benefits. An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and antioxidants, chia seeds support the heart and digestive system, build stronger bones and muscles, promote healthy skin, and can help reverse diabetes.
Definitely a superfood and one that can be easily incorporated into our daily diets. A reassuring fact for non-foodies (like protagonist Gilda Greco and me) who don’t like to cook.
Here’s my quick and easy-to-prepare recipe for chia seed pudding... the perfect solution for breakfast-on-the-go or a delicious snack.
Chia Seed Pudding
2 cups almond milk (Use coconut milk if you’re trying to steer clear of nuts)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 packet Stevia
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 scoop plant-based protein powder, unflavored or vanilla (Optional)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for one to two minutes until completely smooth.
Pour mixture into a jar or glass container and refrigerate for at least four hours. I prefer to let it refrigerate overnight so it has time to thicken into a creamy texture.
Stir a few times within the first hour to help the mixture gel evenly.
To serve, divide among bowls and top with your favorite fruit. I like to use berries, cantaloupe, honeydew, or grapes.
Note: If you would like more color and/or variety, consider these variations while blending:
~Mix in 1/4 cup cocoa powder.
~Add a pinch of ground cardamom and cloves.
~Add 3 T. each of nut butter and jelly.
~Add one banana.
A Different Kind of Reunion
While not usually a big deal, one overlooked email would haunt teacher Gilda Greco. Had she read it, former student Sarah McHenry might still be alive. Suspecting foul play, Constable Leo Mulligan plays on Gilda’s guilt and persuades her to participate in a séance facilitated by one of Canada’s best-known psychics. Six former students also agree to participate. At first cooperative and willing, their camaraderie is short-lived as old grudges and rivalries emerge. The séance is a bust. Determined to solve Sarah’s murder, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers shocking revelations that could put several lives—including her own—in danger. Can Gilda and the psychic solve this case before the killer strikes again?