- 1 boiled beetroot
- 1 can cooked chickpeas
- 2 garllic cloves
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 a lemon (juiced)
- fresh parsley to garnish (optional)
- Brown Rice Sourdough
- 1/2 hass avocado
I am super excited about this recipe as it is simple and sooooo good! It is both creamy and tart. I taste tested this on a few of my family and friends who are not dairy free nor vegan and they loved it!
The crust is only 2 ingredients and the filling only 5 – must I say more? Go on and give this recipe a try. Enjoy xx
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup raw pecans (you can use any nut here)
1 1/2 cup soaked cashews
1 large lemon juiced
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup lemon grind
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free
Yields: 10-12 cookies
In nursery school, my daughter Savannah has been learning about Christmas traditions. She comes home one afternoon and asks me to make gingerbread men cookies for Santa. She was so excited and I could see the sparkle in her eyes, I couldn’t resist but agree! I immediately realized that I had never made Gingerbread men cookies before – yikes! I never grew up with this cookie which meant I needed to make it a few times until I was satisfied. The first time I made them the shape of the cookies were distorted but the taste was there. My mistake was rolling out the dough too thin. It is imperative that the dough is no less than ¼ inch thick to ensure the gingerbread men do not break when transferring them from the cookie cutter to the baking sheet.
I absolutely love the spices in this cookie. I use a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger; all spices that remind me of the Holiday Season. The best part of this recipe is making it with my daughter and enjoying the process. Being present in today’s society is becoming more and more difficult. As life becomes busier we become more and more distant from the present moment. Engaging in activities that bring you, family and friends together will help with presence. I am so happy that Savannah came home and asked me to make these cookies because it allowed me to get out of my comfort zone.
Now I can comfortably make these cookies on Christmas Eve to leave out for Santa with a Camomile tea 😉
Happy Holidays xo
For a drink with holiday spirit!
Dairy- free, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free
As soon as it begins to get cold I start to crave eggnog. It screams Christmas to me and I get this warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Eggnog, or also knows as egg milk punch, is traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar and egg yolks. It is a creamy dairy-based beverage that I have steered away from for years because of my dairy intolerance. However last year I decided to give this holiday drink a try making it gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. The holidays just aren’t the holidays without eggnog so I am happy I perfected this recipe (and so are my family and friends).
Some of you may be reading this blog thinking why make your own when you can buy a festive carton at the nearby grocery store. Store bought eggnog is filled with thickeners and stabilizers, artificial colors and flavors; some are also sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Making your own eggnog may initially appear intimidating but I promise that this recipe is simple. Making your own will spare you these additives and preservatives and you can create variety in the flavours of your eggnog. Using an orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and maple syrup will give your homemade egg nog the boost it needs without any refined sugars.
Some recipes use raw eggs to avoid tempering but typically these recipes call for quite a bit of alcohol which acts as a preservative and sterilizer. My recipe involves tempering the egg yolks but it is a quick process and you can still add in alcohol if you choose to 😉
Have your cake and eat it too!
These no-bake cake bites are soft, chewy and delicious. It is a healthy treat packed with nutrients. They’re sweet and packed with flavour, without the added white sugar and gluten. Yes you read that right – these cake bites are refined sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. Shhhhh you can’t tell.
These cake bites are super easy to make of course because I only ever do easy! This is the ideal treat recipe for busy schedules and anyone like me who is often “on-the-go”. No baking is required here which makes them fast to make, easy to pack and an instant treat in your mouth!
I am constantly trying to create simple healthy recipes that the whole family can endulge in. These cake bites have been a success with my little one. She attends nursery school and snacks are included however I decided to opt-out of this snack program once looking at the list of snacks provided. Our family sticks very closely to a dairy-free and refined sugar-free lifestyle with minimal to no gluten. Opting out of the snack program meant that I would have to become more creative with the snacks I pack Savannah to somewhat mimic the snacks being provided so she doesn’t feel completely left out. This is not an easy task! Well, these cake bites are always a WIN and she has her nursery school friends asking her to share! What parent doesn’t like a hidden veggie snack that tastes like dessert!?
All you will need to make this quick recipe is a few simple ingredients and a food processor or blender. You begin by blitzing the raw carrots in a food processor or blender until finely chopped. Then you transfer those to a bowl. Place dates, nuts and all other ingredients into the food processor or blender. I adore adding in dates to anything no-bake as they act as a sticky binder keeping the balls together. Not to mention they provide a lovely touch of natural sweetness.
I created this recipe with pecans for the caramel favour they have but you can most definitely swap out this nut for almonds, walnuts or your preferred nut of choice.
To this mixture, add the rest of the ingredients and then pulse until it forms a dough that you can roll into balls.
Important to Note:
Yields: 8 Bars
Matcha boosts the metabolism and detoxifies the body effectively and naturally. It is rich in fibre, chlorophyll and vitamins. This Japanese green tea enhances mood and aids in concentration. I enjoy a Matcha latte (made with coconut milk) in the mornings as it gives me the energy boost I need to start my day without the headaches that can sometimes come with coffee.
Green tea and chocolate may make you second guess this recipe but both ingredients compliment one another very well. Both matcha and cacao have a bitter taste but that is offset with the sweetness of the pure maple syrup.
Why does chocolate make us happy? Because it tastes good and it provides us with an escape from our busy and often stressed-out lifestyles. Dark chocolate made with raw cacao is good for more than curing a broken heart. Scientific research has provided explanations around the idea that chocolate does in fact make us happy. There are over 300-naturally occurring chemicals in chocolate and some of them can affect the brain by releasing neurotransmitters. Certain neurotransmitters can be responsible for your emotions and the way that you feel. Eating chocolate releases endorphins into the brain. Endorphins are known to decrease levels of both stress and pain.
Not all chocolate is weighed the same. I am speaking about high quality chocolate made with cacao not the sugary junk. Chocolate doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. These plant-based, healthy, vegan, dairy free, gluten free chocolate bars will increase your mood and enhance your taste buds leaving you feeling comforted, alert, excited and HAPPY.
Lets stop denying the fact that summer is over and fall is coming. Although in Toronto it may not seem this way with the uncharacteristicly high temperatures, Fall weather will be upon us sooner than we want to come to terms with. As the days get shorter and the temperature begins to drop, it is essential to adjust our cooking and eating habits. This is largely in keeping with the proceed that nature gives us at particular times of the year.
Last week I was at the local farmers market and as I walked around the many farmers booths I noticed that the produce has already started to produce reflecting the autumn season. I saw lots of winter squash, onions, apples and root vegetables.
Tuning into your body and understanding what it wants and needs at various times throughout the year is what I call whole body awareness. You will notice that you do not crave fresh salads, cool drinks in the fall and winter like you do in the spring and summer. Eating warming foods in the fall and winter is so vital in keeping the body healthy and balanced. This philosophy of warming and cooling foods is derived from Ayurveda, which is the ancient Indian tradition of whole-body medicine.
Ayurveda suggests that the metabolism works harder in the fall and winter to keep us warm, and therefore the “digestive fire” must be well fuelled with heavier foods. Salads in the cooler months are suggested to zap the body of energy and possibly weakening the immune system.
Butternut squash is one of my favourite and most versatile fall vegetables. From creamy soups, to hearty pastas, to nutritious tarts butternut squash truly shines in each and every recipe. I have decided to use this hard-shell squash in a delicious stuffed recipe. What I love most about this recipe are the leftovers! Easy to warm up days after for lunch for a side to a dinner dish.
1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Halve the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds, then place halves on a baking tray, cut sides up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven for approximately 45 minutes just until the squash is tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F
Most of us have been perpetually reminded since childhood, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This meal influences how we perform physically and mentally throughout our day.
The average adult gets 8 hours of sleep per day (or should) and 10 hours for children. In those 8 to 10 hours hours that the body is resting it is also essentially “fasting”. If breakfast is not consumed in the morning the body does not get the energy needed for the day, affecting concentration levels (particularly in children), mood and weight maintenance. Eating a nutritious and balanced breakfast (protein, veggies, good carbohydrates) maintains blood sugar levels and sets the tone for a day of healthy eating.
5 reasons why breakfast is the most important meal of the day:
However on the days when we are scrambling to get out the door, we tend to push it off. What we really need is a breakfast that can rush out the door with us. By taking the time to prepare and eat a healthy breakfast, you eliminate grabbing or picking up the high-sugar breakfast options at your local coffee shop. My simple and nutritious egg muffins prepped in a muffin tin are tasty, healthy, and totally transportable, making your mornings easier and your days energized.
These delicious and healthy breakfast egg muffins can be made in advance and even frozen for more convenience! When you’re busy, portable breakfasts make all the difference. I have created three difference recipes below but you can swap out or change up the ingredients as you desire.
Kale & Spinach
** Please note that extras may be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Everything in moderation. Except for Avocado
Guacamole is an avocado-based dip, originating in Mexico. Mexican cuisine uses guacamole as a condiment or side to their more snack-type dishes (burrito and tacos). However guacamole has become an addictive and very popular dip internationally and rightfully so! Avocados are a unique type of fruit in that they are high in healthy fats. Where most fruit contain primarily carbohydrates, avocados are also incredibly nutritious containing powerful health benefits.
Avocados have made the `superfood` list and it is not surprising considering its high nutrient content and health properties. Avocados are rich and creamy making them a fantastic addition to smoothies, desserts, salad dressings and guacamole. Guacamole has become well admired by most vegetarians and vegans, mainly because they contain 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fibre and 15 grams of healthy fat making this fruit a low-carb friendly plant food.
Avocado is a high fat food in fact the majority of the calories are from fat, making it loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. It is important to note that the majority of the fat in avocado is a monounsaturated fatty acid called oleic acid. Oleic acid is proven to reduce inflammation and is also resistant to heat –induced oxidation, making avocado oil a healthy and safe cooking option.
Fat does not make you fat! I am persistent when it comes to demolishing this myth. Our bodies need good fats. When we eat healthy fats we are more satiated which allow our bodies to indicate to our brains that we are full and content (eliminating over eating or cravings for junk food). Most people confuse fat itself with the junk food that it is associated with. Do not be afraid of the heart-healthy fats that exist in avocados. Not only are they packed with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre but they are loaded with powerful antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to any diet.
Avocados add that smooth and creamy texture and flavour to guacamole, making this dip an ideal snack or side dish. My guacamole bowl takes less than five minutes to make with very minimal utensils to clean afterwards.
3-4 ripe Hass avocados
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup diced red onion
¼ cup diced ripe tomatoes
3 tablespoons of cilantro (chopped)
1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
A dash of black pepper
1-2 jalapeño (stems and seeds removed) – optional
Guilt-free indulgence: A healthy alternative to the classic cinnamon roll
Have you ever smelt something that reminds you of your childhood? I can still remember the warm and cozy feeling I had as a child when I smell freshly baked cinnamon rolls. This sensory experience takes me back to my childhood in an instant. Fluffy, soft, doughy and bursting with cinnamon I just had to re-create the classic home-style cinnamon roll recipe to be gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free.
This recipe’s combination of brown rice flour and coconut sugar produces rolls that are pleasantly doughy with a subtle touch of sweetness. If you are like me and love cinnamon, you will adore the filling of these rolls as they are filled with the aroma of ground cinnamon while also delivering a healthy dose of fibre with the organic chia seeds. This recipe is not only delicious but it is also versatile. You can add nuts to the filling and even top with raisins once glazed.
I really want to speak a little about balance. As a holistic nutritionist I am very pro-balance when it comes to indulgences (and life in general!). It is funny, I usually see shock on people’s faces when I tell them about the indulgences that I have weekly. YES I indulge, I am not a rare creature who lives life restricted. I believe that depriving yourself will only lead to overeating or bingeing. An overly healthy lifestyle can be restrictive and although I advocate for healthy eating habits, I also encourage my clients to indulge from time-to-time. There are many healthier treats to indulge in and having something homemade is always a better option than out of a package.
My tips and tricks on exercising healthy indulgences:
For the dough:
For the filling:
For the glaze: