One of the most exciting weekends of the year for women in the food industry is the Cherry Bombe Jubilee. Whether you’re there in person or following along on Instagram, this conference gathers all the baddest b*tches of the food world under one roof to meet, exchange ideas, and support each other. I’ve been lucky to attend for the past two years, and both times I’ve left with new friends and renewed motivation for what I do (this year I got to chat with Julia Turshen, Melissa Clark AND Molly Yeh! – all personal sheroes of mine). For 2017, Cherry Bombe added a second day to the festivities. Following Saturday’s conference was Sunday’s “Marketplace”, which featured lots of awesome women-owned brands and products. It’s at the Marketplace that I first learned about She is French.
Being a diehard francophile, I was drawn to their booth because of the name and adorable logo. She is French turned out to be an indie granola company, and the She in question is founder Agathe Lerolle. Their three granola flavors are made with ingredients that are designed to nourish women and target specific areas of concern. They feature maca, turmeric and matcha as star ingredients, which are meant to increase libido and endurance, tame inflammation, and provide antioxidants, respectively. Each flavor is also named after an inspiring woman in Agathe’s life: “Karine” is a marathon runner friend, “Alba” is Agathe’s longtime babysitter, and “Lauren” is named after the legendary Lauren Hutton. I found the concept really clever and immediately fell in love with the brand.
Of course, leave it to the beautiful native-French-woman-turned-New-Yorker to make granola sexy.
(To be clear, I’d never tell you that eating one superfood or supplement is going to solve all your problems, but I do believe that eating a varied plant-centric diet can help with many health issues, and this granola made with whole ingredients, minimal sweetener, and no preservatives definitely fits the bill.)
I love to make my own granola, but let’s face it: it’s a luxury. When there’s no time for homemade, it’s great to know there’s a packaged granola out there that is exactly the kind of product I would make for myself. While brainstorming the best way to showcase this granola, I decided on chia pudding. With just three basic ingredients – nut milk, chia seeds and maple syrup – and precisely one minute of active prep time, you get a delicious, versatile breakfast or snack that’s really good for you, can be made up to several days in advance, and even be brought along for your morning commute.
Chia seeds are a super food in their own right. Just 2 tablespoons provide a great source of fiber, protein, calcium, and Omega-3 fatty acids. I love chia pudding as a vegan substitute for yogurt. Its creamy texture is the perfect vessel for fruit, nuts, seeds and granola – basically anything you’d typically pile onto your morning yogurt.
This chia pudding recipe features cardamom, my new favorite spice for anything sweet. It has a nutty floral fragrance similar to cinnamon and nutmeg, but is more interesting and unexpected. (Matcha is another thing I love to stir into my pudding). The Karine flavor goes so perfectly with this recipe. Key ingredients like turmeric, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds pair really well with cardamom and mango. If you want to make your own nut milk, here’s my recipe. If you’re using store-bought, I highly recommend Califia Farms brand – it’s the creamiest and most delicious non-dairy milk I’ve tried to date. When buying any granola, be sure to read the ingredient list and steer clear of any brands that use artificial sweeteners or preservatives; check the sugar content per serving, too. Remember: 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon.
- 2 cups unsweetened almond, coconut or cashew milk
- ⅓ cup chia seeds
- About 1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, to taste
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 mango, peeled, pitted and finely cubed
- 4 ounces She is French “Karine” granola, or your other favorite granola
- In a medium container with a lid, whisk together the milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla, cardamom, and salt. Let sit for 10 minutes then whisk again to break up the clumps. Cover tightly with a lid and chill for at least a few hours, or overnight, until the mixture is thickened and gelled a bit, reaching a pudding-like consistency. The pudding will keep in the fridge for up to several days.
- To serve, top the pudding with the mango and granola.
I have a feeling this is going to be my go-to breakfast all summer long.
*The Breakfast Club is a series in which I nerd out on my favorite meal type and share recipes to make each morning a little more special.