Do you need a fruit based breakfast that isn’t a smoothie and isn’t bircher muesli? Are you looking for something that is coincidentally gluten free/ easily dairy free, that takes like a frolic through summer sunshine and adds a good jolt of morale to your morning? If so, then I think these watermelon, strawberry chia pots can help. Alternatively, if you’re the size of a whale, having carried a watermelon inside you for the last week (hello 39 weeks gestation) and unable to eat, sleep or move properly, then these may also be the sort of sustenance you’re looking for. If you’re in a hurry, skip straight to the recipe at the bottom. If you have time for some mental meanderings and endorsements, read on.
And so, in #poppyseedtopumpkin, we are up to watermelons. One of my favourite presents ever was this print which I was gifted towards the end of carrying Will. ‘I carried a watermelon’. It speaks to my hankering for coming of age films that feature dance sequences, my love of Patrick Swayze, and the combined indignity that plagues social interactions, catering and growing humans.
It sat proud on the change table, covering a puncture in the pristine white surface of the drawers section, which I broke when trying to put it together some three and a half years ago (an excellent lesson in why very hormonal women should not be allowed near flat pack furniture). And there it still stands. This time the nursery is decorated in shades of watermelon pink, grey, turquoise and white. There’s even a Himalayan salt lamp on a newly painted bedside table to feed by – with a dimmer switch and all (seems trivial, but is quite useful at 3 am). I have no idea if I actually believe the health claims of these lamps, but the soft seashell hue that they throw seems very soothing already.
Essentially, I’m done. I can no longer eat properly; the violent vomiting heartburn is back with a vengeance and food is once again foe. Every night for the last five I’ve been having stalled labour from 12.30 pm – 3 am. Slow creeping, Chinese burn style contractions which rise and subside every eight minutes, before shushing themselves away. The calm voice of an Irish midwife on Saturday night reminded me that ‘Love, if you can still talk to me, this isn’t it. You remember what it’s like, right?’. Oh yes, yes I do.
After a bizarre flush of energy on Friday, where I found myself at the gym doing an enthusiastic weights session accompanied by Beyonce in my headphones, I’m now as listless as a soused jelly snake. I’m weepy and take on any stern words as deep wounds. I’ve elevated nesting to a new level of madness and have audited the freezer again, divided things onto separate shelves depending on cooking times and carbohydrate/protein make up. I’ve also decided that there’s not enough of my emergency Mexican chilli, lamb and fennel seed ragu, date and cocoa cake or Bolognaise in there, so was up at 6 this morning pressure cooking black beans and am planning a day of cooking, parceling things into ziplock bags and deep breathing, in between doing some deep squats. Tomorrow it’s set to be 37C in Sydney. It would be an excellent day to be in the air conditioned comfort of a hospital.
Yet I have a feeling we’ll be like this for another week, stuck in this strange limbo. The hilarious irony is that as much as I’m urging her to come out, I know – oh, how I KNOW- that things are not going to be easy on the other side (though I have packed for the stay in hospital with the same sort of enthusiasm that I once reserved for long weekends in Dubrovnik).
But at least on the other side there will be a new baby to hold – and hopefully sometime soon, my appetite will return.
Until then, we have these.
Chia pots are often made with yoghurt or almond milk and can occasionally have all the appeal of a gritty blanc mange. What they do offer is a steady source of protein that doesn’t leave you feeling too leaden. Chia seeds if given time will absorb up to three times their volume in liquid, swelling to suspended orbs, rather than pesky seeds that get stuck in your molars. Here they’re bathed in a refreshing smoothie of fresh watermelon, strawberry and orange. I’ve used the whole orange rather than just juice for a little extra fibre – and I also like the note of brightness it brings. I’ve also added in a little Greek yoghurt for creaminess, but if you wanted to keep things completely dairy free then you could use coconut yoghurt, or just add an extra tablespoon of chia seeds to the mix.
I like to portion these into jam jars and then serve them for breakfast with yoghurt and fresh fruit (any berry is delightful). Will likes to call these ‘Dragon pots’ – I have no idea why – and will occasionally consent to eating one for pudding – though he also likes to mix cacao into his. I don’t necessarily agree with the flavour profile, but sometimes when you’re the size of a house, resistance is not worth the breath it takes.
These will happily keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Meanwhile, here are a few other things that are going on.
This, from a wonderful woman in my orbit. It’s a sage read from a midwife about the last days of pregnancy. I loved this part; ‘Germans have a word, zwischen, which means between…When I sense the discomfort and tension of late pregnancy in my clients, I suggest that they are now in The Time of Zwischen. The time of in between, where the opening begins. Giving it a name gives it dimension, an experience closer to wonder than endurance.’ And…breathe.
This great piece in ‘Time’ The Invisible Workload That Drags Women Down’. It was sent to me by a formidable friend of mine about the hidden bundle carried by many women, even when the outward load appears to be evenly split. ‘ “I am the person,” wrote Ellen Seidman, a wife and mother of three, “who notices we are running out of toilet paper.”
My hormones are running way too high for anything of real substance at the moment. Last week I saw the preview for ‘Lion’. Just the mere thought of a young boy, lost from his family was enough to reduce me to a quivering weeping mess. So instead I’ve been returning to the visual equivalent of ‘Ezi Listening Jazz’. I.e. ‘Dave‘. Circa 1993; Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, a young Laura Linney, with Kevin Kline as the stand- in for the President. It’s frothy and harmless and I prescribe it for any evening when you just want to be entertained and think of the man sitting in the Oval Office as someone genial and kind.
Dermologica Microfoliant. This was part of a gift from one of my bridesmaids, who heard me mention a while ago how it’s nigh impossible justify spending money on skin care products when you’re not earning the corporate wages you once did. This rice-based exfoliant powder is a wonder and has helped turn my sad pregnant skin around in just the few days I’ve been using it. I’ve also been loving the pure rosehip oil that was given to me from some other friends, which feels pretty glorious on drum-tight pregnant tummies.
Bone broth. Endorsed by my acupuncturist, this is one of the few things I can currently stomach. I made an enormous batch of chicken bone broth last week – this time with chicken feet in it. The feet were not for the squeamish, requiring a pedicure to cleave off the nails, but did impart to the broth a heady amount of gelatine. I’ve been sipping some mid morning, using it to cook quinoa in and have also parceled quite a few bags into the freezer for post birth.
Watermelon and Strawberry Chia Pots
Makes 6 servings
1/4 watermelon, rind removed and cubed (approx 700 g watermelon flesh)
150 g strawberries, hulled
1 orange, rind and pips removed
5 tbsp Greek or coconut yoghurt
1 cup/160 g chia seeds
Here’s how we roll
1) Combine all of the fruit in a bowl or the belly of a blender.
5) To serve top with more yoghurt and fresh fruit.
Previously in Poppyseed to Pumpkin
Each week mad websites and baby books will tell you how big your baby now is in comparison to a seed, fruit or vegetable. It starts as a poppy seed and goes from there. To make this process a little more palatable, join me as I bake my way through. Here’s the journey so far. (Nb, you can also see the poppy seed to pumpkin process in the app, or ebook from my first pregnancy with Will, or read about it on the blog here.)