Veganuary: Matcha Chia Pudding


Whatever time of the day it is, you can bet I'm thinking about food.

As I approach the wrong side of 25, I'm becoming more and more conscious of how I'm fuelling my body. For me, eating well isn't about striving for the 'perfect' body. It's about caring for my body from the inside out and I'm slowly beginning to understand how my body deals with being well-nourished compared to when it's pumped with junk.

I'd be lying if I said that I always eat clean. I try to as best as I can but it's not always convenient and you know, cake. So that's when being prepared and knowing your own body comes in handy. When I think ahead to my next meal, I can make sure I've got the time, the mindset and the ingredients to prepare it and I nearly always choose a healthier option (unless it's a calculated I'm-going-to-stuff-my-face-with-everything kind of day).

It's when my heart overrules my head that I make not-so-good food decisions. Ironically, these are often the times that I'm feeling vulnerable and should be filling my body with nutrients but of course, logic goes straight out the window and I end up neglecting the foods that makes me feel good.

Which brings me back to preparation. Having a catalogue of quick, easy, nutritious recipes available to you at your disposal makes meal times faff-free and purposeful (body + good food = healthy body). As we approach the end of Veganuary, I'd like to share with you a recipe for one of my favourite vegan treats - chia pudding.

What I like about chia pudding is that there are no restrictions. It can be whatever it wants to be (breakfast, dessert, a snack) and it's so easy to make, so delicious and so versatile that you never feel like you're eating the same thing. In this recipe, I've added organic matcha green tea powder for an extra nutritional boost and topped it with a selection of fruit, seeds and nuts.

One chia pudding doesn't fit all so get experimenting and see what flavour combinations work for you!

Ingredients (makes 2 servings)
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon of Indigo Herbs Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 teaspoons of maple syrup (optional)
6 tablespoons of chia seeds
Toppings of your choice

Method
1. Blend the milk, matcha powder, vanilla and maple syrup together in a blender until smooth.
2. Pour the liquid over the chia seeds and stir thoroughly.
3. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes and then stir again. Repeat this for 15 minutes to stop the chia seeds from sticking together.
3. Allow the mixture to completely rest for at least an hour (or overnight in the fridge if possible).
4. Stir the mixture once more and top with your favourite fruit, seeds or nuts.
5. Enjoy! Or store in an air tight container and eat within 3 days.



Something For The Weekend: Gliffaes Country House Hotel


"Not all those who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien 

Life may be full of endless opportunities, mind-blowing experiences and breath-taking adventures but it also comes with its stresses. As much as we strive to live the 'perfect' life, it's not always plain sailing. Above many other things, life can be demanding, unsettling and complicated so when it begins to take its toll on our health and wellbeing, it's nice to know that we're able to put the world on hold, escape to a place of peace and clear our minds for a day or two. 

With the skies at our disposal, it's often more convenient to hop on a plane to somewhere far far removed from our normal environment - with guaranteed sunshine, idyllic landscapes and a slower pace of life - that we forget that there are so many beautiful places here in the UK that can offer the same respite as a faraway fairytale.  

Recently, my boyfriend and I decided that we'd leave the hustle and bustle of London and venture to Wales for a weekend in the countryside. After a 3hr 30min journey, we arrived at Gliffaes Country House Hotel, which was to be our home from home for the night. 


Located in the heart of the Brecon Beacons and the Black mountains, Gliffaes Country House Hotel is a family-owned Victorian manor house set in 33 acres of gorgeous grounds, overlooking the River Usk. As well as being the idea spot for fishing, Gliffaes offers guests the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the hotel in a variety of ways. Whether its hiking, reading, eating or sleeping, Gliffaes Country House Hotel is the perfect place to sit back, relax and truly feel at home.


With 23 individually decorated bedrooms, each room is designed for maximum comfort and relaxation: a large king-sized bed, a spacious bathroom, bathrobes, a stunning view, space to sit and reflect and Wi-Fi. Beautifully furnished in traditional country style, Gliffaes remains true to its charming heritage while providing guests with a sprinkling of modern amenities that make for a comfortable stay. 


After enjoying the comforts of our room and watching the sun set behind the hills, we headed down to the bar for a pre-dinner cocktail in front of the log fire. With a small but perfectly formed cocktail menu, beers on tap and an extensive wine list, there's a drink for everyone at Gliffaes and reason to enjoy the warmth and familiarity of the sitting room before dining in the main restaurant.


Whether you're a guest of the hotel or in the area looking for somewhere to dine, the restaurant at Gliffaes offers an exquisite fine dining experience with a menu composed entirely of seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.

The dining room is furnished in theme with the rest of the house and establishes a considerably formal ambience with an intimate setting, neatly pressed tablecloths, immaculately presented waiters and minimal noise.


After settling into our table and demolishing the homemade sun-dried tomato and herb bread, we placed our order and eagerly awaited more delights from Head Chef Karl Cheetham - and we were not disappointed.

Each course was perfectly presented with interesting composition and big flavours. It is clear that the chefs at Gliffaes have an innate passion for food, which makes dining even more pleasant. My favourite course was the Trio of Salmon starter, which consisted of a salmon and cream cheese roulade, smoked salmon and salmon terrine. Fresh, light and flavoursome, the starter set the standard for an exceptional three course meal and a truly pleasant evening. 

Starter: Trio of Salmon
Main: Curried Rainbow Trout
Dessert: Chocolate Fondant
The overal experience at Gliffaes Country House Hotel is wonderful. The staff are incredibly efficient and friendly, the guests are considerate and each room offers genuine comfort. It may not be the most glamorous hotel, tt may not be packed out every night and it may be in the middle of nowhere but it definitely feels like home.

If you're looking for a pastoral countryside hotel peppered with luxurious elements and a passion for good food, Gliffaes Country House Hotel is the perfect choice. The location, the hotel and the dining experience combine to leave you relaxed, well-rested and ready to take on the world again. 



For more information on room rates and availability, visit www.gliffaeshotel.com
© Rosie Romance

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