Spicy Garam Masala Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seeds

Fresh pumpkin seeds, washed and drained
½ Tbsp. garam masala
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. sea salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
½ Tbsp. maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Clean and drain the pumpkin seeds, and pat dry with a paper towel.
3. In a bowl, mix the spices and maple syrup together.
4. Add the seeds to the bowl of spices, coating well.
5. Spread the seeds out evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Check often to make sure they don’t burn.

* Garam masala is a blend of ground spices common in North Indian and other South Asian cuisines. It can be found pre-made in the spice section of many grocery or bulk food stores, or you can make your own using the recipe below.

Homemade Garam Masala Recipe
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 ½ tsp. ground coriander
1 ½ tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 ½ tsp. ground black pepper

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies (Gluten-Free/Vegan)

Ginger Bread Cookies

Dry Ingredients:
3 ¼ cups of gluten-free flour
For this recipe, I used following fail-safe mixture of five different gluten-free flours to achieve the perfect consistency.
To make these using regular flour, simply use 3¼ cups of all-purpose flour.

Gluten Free Flour Mixture:
1 ¼ cups tapioca flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup almond flour

Dry Ingredients:
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt
1 ½ tsp. agar powder
¼ cup coconut sugar
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
3 tsp. dark cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Wet Ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup fancy molasses
1/3 cup cooking molasses

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Stir in the coconut oil and blend until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
3. Blend in the rest of the wet ingredients, mixing well.
4. Chill the dough for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
5. Roll out small amounts of dough at a time,(about 1 cup) between two sheets of wax paper.
6. Cut out the shapes using cookies cutters. If the dough is too sticky, place back in the refrigerator for a bit longer.
7. Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
8. Remove from the  oven and let cool for 10 minutes on the tray, then remove and cool for 2 hours on a cooling rack before icing.

1 cup icing sugar
1 ½ tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. lemon juice
2-3 tsp. almond milk

1. Mix the icing sugar and corn starch, and set aside.
2. Take 1/2 cup of icing sugar and stir in the lemon juice and almond milk, mixing well.
3. Scrap down the sides, then add the remaining icing sugar and mix thoroughly.
If it is a bit watery, add a touch more icing sugar.



Kaniwa Chickpea Salad

Some health and nutrition experts don’t like using the term “superfood”, but when I find a food that has an excellent nutritional profile and tastes absolutely delicious, well, what else do I call it other than SUPER!

Like quinoa, kaniwa is often described as a grain, but it is actually a seed that is cooked and consumed like a grain. It is closely related to the highly popular quinoa, but does not contain a bitter saponin coating, a compound that requires rinsing before being cooked and eaten.

Kaniwa seeds are reddish-brown in color and are significantly smaller than quinoa, with a mild, nutty and slightly sweet flavor. Just like quinoa, there are many ways to incorporate it into meals. It can be enjoyed as a breakfast porridge, warm pilaf, or added to soup, stews or a stir-fry.

Nutrition Facts
• Kaniwa is exceptionally high in flavonoids! Flavonoids may help prevent cardiovascular disease, inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses, and reduce the risk of certain inflammatory diseases.

• Kaniwa is an excellent source of high-quality protein. It contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Just ½ cup of cooked kaniwa contains 7g of protein!

• Kaniwa is a good source of iron, calcium, zinc and B vitamins.
That means it is good for the bones, immune and nervous system!

How to Cook: Combine 1 part kaniwa with 2 parts water, and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes.

Kaniwa Chickpea Salad
½ cup kaniwa
1 cup water
½ cup chickpeas, cooked, drained and well rinsed
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp. hemp seeds

½ tsp. garlic powder|
¼ tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of clove
¼ tsp. curry powder
¼ tsp. Himalayan pink salt
½ Tbsp. coconut sugar
Juice from ½ lemon
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Bring water to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Boil for 5 minutes, then turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Allow the kaniwa to cool before adding the dressing other ingredients.
This recipe is best served when allowed to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours.

In my opinion, kaniwa is a SUPERFOOD definitely worth trying!

Homemade Salt Replacement Seasoning


This recipe uses sprouted and ground chia seeds and flax seeds, which can be purchased at almost any health food store.

Ingredients: Brown sesame seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, kelp flakes

Begin by adding whole sesame seeds to a coffee grinder and processing until it becomes a powder. A pestle and mortar can also be used. Combine all ingredients together in equal amounts, and store in a glass container.  This mixture is best stored in the refrigerator to maximize and preserve the freshness.

Add this high mineral seasoning to any meal where you would normally use salt
Use in soups, stews, salads, pasta, or sprinkle on sandwiches!

Sesame Seeds:
Incredibly rich in calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium. Many of these minerals play a vital role in bone mineralization, red blood cell production, enzyme synthesis, hormone production, as well as regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle activities.

Hemp Seeds: Contains a balanced ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, vitamin A, E, and many B vitamins. It is also rich in sodium, calcium, dietary fiber and iron.

Chia Seeds: A rich source of minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Chia seeds contain all nine amino acids in proper ratios, making them a complete protein.

Flax Seeds: High in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Kelp Flakes: Contain 46 minerals, 16 amino acids and 11 different vitamins. An excellent source of iodine to support thyroid health.

Spiced Carrot Walnut Zucchini Bread (Gluten-Free/Vegan)

Spiced Carrot Walnut Zucchini Bread

• 1 cup carrot, grated
• 1 cup zucchini, grated
• 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
• ¼ cup water
• ¼ cup apple sauce
• ½ cup almond milk
• 1 cup coconut sugar
• ¾ tsp. baking soda
• ¾ tsp. baking powder
• ½ tsp. Himalayan pink salt
• 1½ tsp. cinnamon
• ¼ tsp. ground cloves
• 1 cup coconut flour
• 1 cup almond flour
• ½ cup pumpkin seeds
• ½ cup walnuts, chopped

* This gluten-free recipe uses two different types of flour, which adds to the flavor and texture of the recipe, but it can also be made using 2 cups of all purpose flour.

Preheat oven to 350° F.
1. To begin, grate the zucchini and carrots and strain out all of the excess moisture and pat dry. Any extra moisture will prevent the bread from baking all the way through and will result in a sticky texture.
2. Measure out all the spices into a small bowl or cup and set aside until ready to use.
3. In a another bowl, combine the flax seeds and water to make an egg-like mixture. Let sit for 5 minutes.
4. Add the apple sauce and almond milk to the flax, blending well.
5. Combine the rest of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, mixing well.
6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
7. When well combined, add the grated zucchini, carrots, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. It will have a thick consistency, like cookie dough.
8. Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake for approximately 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
9. Allow the bread to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

For this recipe, I chose to add a topping of oats, walnuts, cinnamon and maple syrup. This is optional of course, but it added a bit of pizazz to the flavor and appearance. Who doesn’t like pizazz!

Topping Ingredients:
• 1 cup of quick oats
• 5 walnuts
• ½ tsp. cinnamon
• Pinch of cloves
• Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
• 2 Tbsp. maple syrup

In a bowl, combine the oats, spices and maple syrup. Carefully remove the loaf from the oven after about 30 minutes and spread on the topping, gently pressing it onto the loaf. Place the walnuts over the top and return to the oven to finish baking.

A New Spin On Potato Salad

Purple Potato Salad

Purple potatoes are a type of potato native to South America, with their origins in Peru and Bolivia. They taste very similar to the Russet potato but are four times higher in antioxidants. With a medium-starchy texture, they can be used in most recipes that call for potatoes. They keep their shape when baked but also mash and blend well after boiling.

For this antioxidant packed recipe, I combined purple and sweet potatoes to add a vibrant and exotic flair!

• 3 large purple potatoes, cooked whole
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled, cubed, boiled and cooled
• 4 green onions, chopped
• ¼ cup hemp seeds
• ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds

• ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
• 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp. dried oregano
• ½ tsp. garlic powder
• ½ tsp. onion powder
• ½ tsp. dried parsley
• ¼ tsp. cumin
• ¼ tsp. chili powder
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp. maple syrup
• ¼ tsp. Himalayan pink salt
Mix all ingredients together in a separate bowl.

In a medium sized pot, bring water to a boil, then add the purple potatoes. Boil whole, with the skins on, until tender enough to easily pierce with a fork (about 15-20 minutes). Cooking the potatoes whole, with the skins will preserve their colour and nutritional value. If you cut them before boiling, they will lose their colour.

While the purple potatoes are boiling, peel the sweet potato and chop into bite sized cubes. Boil until tender (about 6-8 minutes), then cool. Sweet potatoes cook much faster than purple potatoes so be careful not to overcook them. When tender, remove from heat, strain and immediately rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking.

When the purple potatoes are ready, remove from heat and strain. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then slide off the skins while still warm. When cool enough to handle, chop into bite sized pieces. Rinse off the excess starch, and let dry in a colander.

In a bowl, combine the potatoes, green onions and mix in the dressing. Toss with pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds. Chill before serving.
Will keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to four days.


The Ultimate Cold/Flu Busting Soup

Flu busting soup

Broccoli, Carrot, Purple Potato Soup

You will need:
• 1 head of broccoli
• 4 carrots (1 chopped, 3 shredded)
• ½ purple onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 purple potatoes
• 1 L low sodium vegetable broth
• ½ tsp. garlic powder
• ½ tsp. onion powder
• 1 Tbsp. honey mustard (optional)
• Splash of apple cider vinegar
• 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
• ¼ tsp. Himalayan pink salt
• Pinch of black pepper
• Hormone/antibiotic free, free-range skinless boneless chicken breast (optional)

1. In a large pot, warm the coconut oil over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic for about 6 minutes.

2. When the onions begin to soften, add the vegetable stock and bring to boil. For this recipe, I used the entire broccoli, stem and all. Peel and chop the broccoli stem and add to the pot first, while you wash, chop and prepare the rest of the broccoli and carrots.

3. Reduce heat and add the chopped broccoli and one chopped carrot. Gently simmer for roughly 6-8 minutes, or until the stalks begin to soften.

4. While the broccoli is cooking, wash the potatoes and boil for 10 minutes, or until tender. When ready, remove from water and peel while still warm. The skins will slide off easily.  Chop and add them to the soup at the end.
*Cooking the potatoes whole will preserve their colour and nutritional value.

5. When the broccoli begins to soften (be careful not to overcook), remove from heat and let it slightly cool before adding to a blender. Pulse a few times in the blender. You want to break up the large pieces, but be careful not to completely liquefy it.

6. Pour the soup back to the pot and add the shredded carrots and chopped potatoes. Gently simmer for another 5 minutes.

If adding chicken:
Fill a small/medium sized pot with water or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and boil until cooked all the way through. Remove from water and let cool. When cool enough to handle, cut into bite sized pieces and add to the soup at the end.

Cold and flu got you blue? For my best cold and flu recover tips, see this post >> Cold and Flu Recovery Guide