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Beetroot’s deep, overpoweringly red juice has earned it the reputation as the most bossy of vegetables.  It is difficult to resist the ruby red juiciness especially when you know just how good they are for you. It is a great source of iron and folate while also containing antioxidants and magnesium.
As a Fitness Trainer, I adore beetroot because it is suggested to enhance exercise performance.  Beetroot is packed with nitrates which our body converts into nitric oxide, a molecule that enhances blood vessel dilation. As a result, this increases blood flow capacity, lowering the amount of oxygen your muscles need. Beetroot also enhances energy so grabbing a beetroot juice or shot around 3pm, when most find their energy dips, is much healthier than consuming caffeine (which causes a crash and burn effect).
So with all the benefits beetroot provides why not spice up our regular hummus with this superfood? I say Hell YA!
This sophisticated twist on the breakfast sandwich will liven up your day! Enjoy xx
Ingredients
Beetroot Hummus:
  • 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)
Bread:
  • Brown Rice Sourdough
Topping:
  • 1/2 hass avocado
 Instructions
1. Place 1 peeled medium size beetroot in a pot of boiling water. Boil on medium-heat for approximately 15 minutes or until soft.
2. Place lemon juice, olive oil, garlic cloves, tahini, chickpeas and the beetroot (in this order) into a high speed blender (a blender will give you a smoother texture than a food processor). Process until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add some cold water until the mixture is a smoother consistency.
3. Season the mixture with salt, cumin, extra olive oil (optional)
4. spread the beetroot hummus on sourdough bread and top with 1/2  an avocado and then top with fresh parsley (optional).

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

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 cup pitted dates
1 cup raw pecans (you can use any nut here)

Filling:

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

Blueberry Jam:

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup lemon grind

Instructions:

  1. Add dates to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add nuts into blender or food processor and blend into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend.
  3. Lightly grease, with coconut oil, a spring foam pan
  4. Place crust into the foam pan and press with your fingers to fill the old. Pack the crust mixture down using the back of a spoon. Set in the freezer to firm up.
  5. Add the filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth.
  6. Pour the filling mixture on top of the crust and smooth with a spatula
  7. Pour the blueberry jam on top of the cheesecake mixture and cool in fridge until served

Blueberry Jam:

  1. Put the blueberries, lemon juice and lemon grind in a pot, cover and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove the lid and cook on medium heat for approximately 15 minutes. The mixture will reduce by 1/3 and thicken.
  3. Blend the mixture until a smooth consistency.
  4. Pour the mixture into a jar and store in the fridge.

 

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

Yields: 8-10

As a child Brussels sprouts was one of those vegetables that I cringed even at the thought of eating them.  They have become one of my favourite adult vegetables (when in season of course).  Brussels sprouts are a great source of iron and potassium (important for bone health) and offer other benefits that can boost your overall health. Butternut Squash is a staple in my household in the fall and winters months.  It delivers an ample dose of dietary fibre as well as potassium and vitamin B6 (essential for the proper functioning of  both the nervous and immune systems). I try my best to incorporate vegetables, herbs and spices that boost the immune system during the fall and winter months to protect us from the common cold.

I adore the combination of ingredients here with all the flavours of winter. This dish is not only low-maintenance but it makes a beautiful presentation too – it was a wonderful holiday side dish that made a great addition to our Christmas menu.

Enjoy xx

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts (halved)
  • 1 medium size butternut squash (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (Roast). Place the butternut squash chunks in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Place the Brussels sprouts halves into another large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to distribute the oil evenly.
  2. Place the butternut squash on one baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place the Brussels sprouts on another baking sheet lined with parchment paper (tip: place the Brussels sprouts cut side down so they caramelize much more evenly).
  3. Roast the vegetables for 25-30 minutes, flipping them gently 1 to 2 times.
  4. Place the pecan halves in a pan and toast for 5-7 minutes until golden.
  5. Gently place the roasted vegetables in a large serving bowl or platter. Drizzle olive oil and toss the vegetables gently until they are lightly dressed. Serve warm.

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

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower seed butter
  • 3 Tbsp molasses
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup 1-to-1 baking flour (Bobs Red Mill)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and baking powder. Blend well.
  2. In a small pot, combine the coconut oil and molasses and heat up for only 20 seconds until well combined. Add the coconut sugar (leave the 2 Tbsp for sprinkling) and whisk until blended. Add the egg and whisk the mixture until thoroughly blended.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry and mix until combined. Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or up to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 2 sheet sof plastic wrap on your working surface, placing one dough on each and roll out until ¼ inch thick.
  5. Use cookie cutters to cut out cookie shapes and place each cookie on the baking sheet. Combine your dough scrapes into a ball and roll them out again repeating until you have used all of your dough. Sprinkle the cookies with coconut sugar.
  6. Bake for 8-11 minutes (8 minutes for a softer cookie and 11 for a more crisp cookie). Place cookies on cooling racks to cool.

For a drink with holiday spirit!

Dairy- free, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free

Yields: 4

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 😉

Ingredients

  • 6 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 stick whole cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cans full fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and maple syrup until thick. Set the bowl aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, slowly heat the almond milk with the cinnamon stick, stirring frequently, until the cinnamon becomes fragrant. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and discard the cinnamon stick. Pour the milk very slowly into the egg yolk and maple syrup mixture, whisking constantly. This is how to temper the eggs, so they don’t scramble. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and stir in the coconut milk.
  3. Return the saucepan to the stovetop, and simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble slightly (not a full rolling boil, or it will curdle) and starts to thicken.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla, nutmeg, and ground cinnamon. Chill completely in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 Tablespoon organic matcha powder
  • 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup Naturespath organic brown rice crisps

Instructions:

  1. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap for easy removal
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until smooth
  3. Scoop the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out
  4. Freeze for 20 minutes or until solid
  5. Slice into 8 chocolate bars and enjoy! These bars will melt at room temperature. Store into a container in the fridge to avoid melting.

 

The stomach flu has been traveling in my house for the last week or so (yikes!). Parents warned me that once my little one started nursery school she would bring home gifts other than her cute art work LOL. I do have a protocol to boost her immune system, using different herbs and supplements, at various times throughout the year however sometimes it just can’t be avoided. With that being said, the weekend past and I was not feeling my best so Savannah and I stayed home and hung out around the house.  We woke up Monday morning and I did not have much in the fridge to whip up for breakfast. I saw the very few ingredients that I did have and decided to make a batch of these banana pumpkin breakfast muffins. Savannah and I sipped our camomile tea, had these delicious warm muffins on the couch while watching Dora. It is these small moments that I know I will cherish forever.

I was overwhelmed with the comments and requests for me to post the recipe I created on the fly. I hope you enjoy them as much as Savannah and I did (the batch lasted less than two days!).

 

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free

Yields: 12 muffins

 

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas

3/4 cup pumpkin puree, canned

1 egg

1/4 cup coconut yogurt (dairy free)

1 1/2 cups 1-to-1 baking flour (Bobs Red Mill, gluten free)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup

1 tablespoon raw unsalted pumpkin seeds (topping)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl mash the bananas, add sweetener of choice (honey or maple syrup) then add pumpkin puree and mix well using a hand mixer).
  2. Mix in egg, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Then add in flour.
  3. Spoon evenly into a 12 muffin tin greased with coconut oil. Sprinkle raw pumpkin seeds on top.
  4. Bake at 425 for 5 minutes then reduce heat to 375 and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Baking your muffins at a high temperature for 5 minutes allows them to rise and gives them a beautiful plump appearance.

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:

  1. Increase metabolism
  2. Maintain or lose weight
  3. Enhance mood
  4. Enhance immune system
  5. Stimulate the brain improving memory and concentration

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.

Yields: 12

Ingredients

Kale & Spinach

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup sliced mushroom
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Broccoli Cheddar

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup cooked broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup sweet yellow onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Pomodoro

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped or minced)
  • 1 handful fresh basil torn
  • 1 cup quinoa cooked

Instructions

  1. Coat muffin tin with coconut oil and set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Dice the vegetables into small pieces and add to the egg mixture (for the broccoli cheddar add the nutritional yeast at this stage as well).
  4. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes until centres are set and no longer runny.
  5. Allow to cool slightly before serving

** 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.