Recipes

Lemon Meringue Banana Cream Chia Pudding

Gluten-Free * Dairy-Free * Vegan * Absolutely Delicious *

A few months ago, I decided to run a series of plant-based cooking classes and recipe share workshops. My goodness it has been fun. Have I ever mentioned how much I love cooking and feeding people? I really do! This is one of the recipes I served at the Vegan Energy Bars and Raw Desserts class I put on last night.

I love coming up with new and interesting ways to chia seeds, but chia pudding is still one of my favourite ways to use them. There are so many different flavours to play around with. The possibilities are endless! This recipe is lemony and tangy and wonderfully refreshing on a hot summer day. Even though this isn’t really a meringue, the taste reminds me of lemon meringue pie, hence the name.

Lemon Meringue Banana Cream Chia Pudding

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons whole chia seeds
2 bananas
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 30 minutes)
Juice from one large lemon

Zest from one lemon
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Method:
1. Begin by adding the cashews to a bowl and fill with water. Let the cashews soak for at least 30 minutes. The longer you can soak the cashews, the smoother and creamier they will be when you blend them. I’ve gone as far as soaking them overnight. If soaking overnight, cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator. Drain before use.
2. Combine the cashews, coconut milk, banana, lemon juice and maple syrup together in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
3. Pour mixture into a large bowl and stir in the chia seeds. Cover and let sit for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally.
4. When the chia seeds have absorbed the liquid and have become soft and plump, stir in the lemon zest.
5. Pour into serving bowls and enjoy!
Best served chilled.
* Garnished with banana slices and fresh mint.

Recipes

Raw Cookie Dough Energy Balls

Grain-Free * Dairy-Free * Gluten-Free * Vegan

Another happy accident that manifested into a delicious recipe! Oh how I love when that happens.

As I was preparing for my Vegan Basics 101 workshop last night, I was in a hurry to make some healthy treats to serve up. I meant to open a can of chickpeas, but instead, I had grabbed some white kidney beans. What oh what to do…

I decided to go ahead and use the kidney beans to make a recipe similar to the chickpea energy balls I made a while back. This time, I replaced sunbutter with sesame seed butter and added a bit of pumpkin spice. Oh my goodness! I thought the chickpea energy balls were delish…but these are so much tastier! White kidney beans on their own have a very mild flavour so the pumpkin spice really stands out!

The really fun part about playing around with recipes is the opportunity to be creative and use interesting ingredients in unusual, but healthy and delicious ways! Some of my crazy concoctions don’t always turn out, but when they do, you get a winner like this one!

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups white kidney beans, cooked, rinsed and well-drained
1/2 cup unsweetened sesame seed butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 Tbsp. pumpkin spice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1/2 cup coconut flour (you can also use oat flour or almond flour)
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips)

Method:

  1. Place the white kidney beans, sesame seed butter, and maple syrup in a food processor and blend for about a minute on high, or until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Add in the pumpkin spice, vanilla extract, salt, and flour, and pulse until combined. At this point your dough should look similar to a cookie dough consistency. If it is too dry, add more sesame seed butter. If the dough is too wet, add more flour.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll between your palms to form a ball.

* Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

beanballs_edit

Recipes

Fully Loaded Veggie Chili

#Gluten-free, #Vegan, #madewithlove

This recipe was requested from someone who attended one of my workshops the other day. Perfect timing, because I always crave this recipe when the weather is rainy and dreary – like today!

I love using chopped cauliflower to bulk up a recipe! Even though I absolutely love cauliflower, you can’t really taste it in this chili…which is good if you’re trying to get the kiddos to eat more veggies!

Not only is this recipe loaded with fiber and anti-oxidants, cauliflower, which is a cruciferous vegetable has protective effects on the liver! This is due to the high content of isothiocyanates, specifically indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane.

These compounds dramatically improve the body’s ability to eliminate numerous carcinogens while enhancing both phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification pathways in the liver. That’s super exiting to a nutrition nerd like me! But never mind that, it just tastes really good!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups cooked black beans. If you’re using canned, a good BPA-free brand to try is Eden Organic.
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)
  • 1 bunch of spinach, lightly chopped
  • 2 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 cup organic salsa

    Spices

  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt

    * Or on a lazy day when I don’t have time to measure out my spices I use this spice mixture by Simply Organic

Method:

  1. In a large pot, sauté the onions and garlic in a tiny amount (1/4 cup) of water or vegetable stock for 3 to 5 minutes on medium/high heat, until onions soften.
  2. Add the chopped cauliflower, tomatoes, and salsa and simmer for 5 minutes on low/medium heat.
  3. Add the spinach to the pot, stirring well. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. When the vegetables have softened, add the zucchini and beans and simmer for another 5 minutes until the zucchini softens.
  5. Spoon into a bowl and serve with a dollop of cashew sour cream and enjoy!

    * Topped with Cashew Sour Cream and parsley.

    Cashew Sour Cream

  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for 20 minutes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  1. Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 20 minutes, then drain and discard the water.
  2. Place the drained cashews in a blender. Add 3/4 cups of fresh the water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and salt.
  3.  Process until smooth. Add more water, if needed to reach desired consistancy. Pour into a glass, air-tight container and store in the fridge until needed.
    Cashew sour cream will keep in the fridge for about 1 week.
Recipes, Uncategorized

Chocolate Chip Banana Hemp Muffins

#dairyfree #eggfree #glutenfree #vegan #madewithlove

I love doing workshops on plant-based nutrition, and I feel so lucky to live in an area where there is so much interest in this topic.

For the next few months I am doing a series of workshops and cooking classes focused on promoting the awareness of whole food, plant-based living.  For those of you in the Kitchener/Waterloo area, all classes will be posted on this site here.  For my first class last night, I made these amazingly delicious hemp protein muffins. Now, I’m not claiming they are beautiful (I really did try to get a good picture, I swear).  But what they lack in physical beauty, they more than make up for in flavour and nutritional density.

Chocolate Chip Banana Hemp Muffins
* Makes 12 regular sized muffins or 24 mini muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oat flour (1 ¾ cup whole oats make 1 ½ cups ground)
  • 1/2 cup Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 50
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp. ground flax meal, 3 Tbsp. water)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (Enjoy Life)

Start by making the flax egg. Combine the flax seeds with water, stir and set aside.
If you are making your own oat flour, prepare this next by adding the oats to a food processor until they are ground.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners or grease with coconut oil.
  2. Add the oat flour, Hemp 50 Protein Powder, salt, coconut sugar, and baking soda to a large bowl, stirring well to combine.
  3. Add 3 ripe bananas to a separate bowl, and mashwith a fork. Or if you’re lazy like me, save yourself the trouble and add these to your food processor! Mashed banana in 20 seconds or less!
  4. Combine the banana, applesauce, almond milk , flax egg, vanilla extract, and mix well.
  5. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the banana mixture.
  6. Fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined (try not over mix). Stir in the chocolate chips and mix until combined.
  7. Add the batter to the prepared cupcake pan.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees F or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.

 

hemp_muffins

Recipes

No Bake Key Lime Energy Balls

Gluten Free – Dairy Free – Vegan – No Refined Sugar

Warmer weather is finally upon us (here in Ontario Canada at least). I get so excited this time of the year because I can finally start making some of my favourite warmer weather recipes. I don’t know about you, but when the weather is -10, all I want is warming soups and stews, herbal tea and warm pie if I’m having dessert.

It’s kinda funny, I was just having a conversation with my partner the other day about how both our parents used to pack away their seasonal clothing. We’re always running out of space in our closets and it finally dawned on us that it might be a good idea to start packing away any clothing we wouldn’t be wearing for the season. Is it an adult thing? Geez, why did it take me until the age of 42 to realize this was a good idea! #kidatheart is my excuse 🙂

Figuratively, I suppose I do this with my recipes as well. We have such dramatic weather changes here in Canada that my food choices really do change quite a bit with each change of season. Each day as we get closer to summer, I’m getting more and more excited about all my favourite recipes I can start making again!

This past weekend, we celebrated my sister’s birthday. Her favourite pie is key lime and I’ve literally been waiting almost a year to make these for her, since I first came up with the recipe last July!

No Bake Key Lime Energy Balls

Gluten Free – Dairy Free – Vegan – No Refined Sugar

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw unsalted almonds
  • 2 cups raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 ½ cups pitted Medjool dates
  • Juice of 3 key limes
  • Zest of 3 key limes
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
    1. Place almonds and cashews into a food processor and process until finely chopped.

    2. Add the dates, salt, lime zest and juice and continue blending until the mixture starts to form a ball.
    3. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add the coconut flakes, mixing well.
    4. Roll mixture into balls.
    5. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

    * Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

    lime2

Recipes

3 Ingredient Banana Brownies

Naturally gluten-free
No added sugar
No flour

I’ve been searching for a while now for a recipe that satisfies both a craving for chocolate and something sweet, but without adding any flour or extra sugar. This recipe does the trick!

To achieve the perfect level of sweetness, this recipe works best with VERY ripe bananas. The more freckled your bananas, the sweeter the brownies will be. My first attempt at making these didn’t turn out very well because I didn’t allow the bananas to ripen enough. The image shown below is how the bananas looked to achieve the perfect amount of sweetness!

Recipe:

  • 6 medium, overripe bananas
  • 1 cup smooth almond butter (or nut butter of your choice)
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons cocoa powder. If you’re looking for a richer flavour, use at least 4 Tbsp.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven the 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a small cake or loaf pan with coconut oil and set aside.
  3. In a small pot over medium heat, melt the almond butter.
  4. When warm, mix in the cocoa powder and stir until well combined.
  5. Add the bananas to a food processor and blend until smooth. If you do not have a food processor you can use a blender, or mash well with a fork.
  6. Add all ingredients together in the food processor and blend until well combined.
  7. Pour the mixture into the greased baking pan and bake for around 30 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing into pieces.

*Makes approximately 16 brownies depending on how large you cut them.

Nutritional Information: 1/16
(Using 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder)
Calories 139
Carbs 13.5g
Fat 8.7g
Protein 4.1g
Fiber 3.5g
Sugar 4.5g
Potassium 290mg

Recipes

This Soup Can Help Get Rid of Inflammation Fast

Last week I did another talk for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and I mentioned this delicious anti-inflammatory soup that I use to help reduce inflammation in my body whenever I start to feel an MS flare-up coming on. * Knock on wood* no major relapse in 9 years now! You can read that story here.

Even when I suffer a minor hiccup (that’s what I call little random symptoms I might experience when I stray a little too far away from my healthy diet or experience a lot of stress), I’ve been able to avoid a relapse all these years by eating, living and thinking in a certain way.

Of course, there are often several factors that contribute to imbalances and inflammation in the body such as food intolerances, an inflammatory diet, overconsumption of sugar and refined grains, lack of good gut bacteria, poor sleep quality and chronic stress. Even though it’s always best to address the root cause of inflammation, adding anti-inflammatory foods and spices to your diet can help dampen some of the flames of inflammation.

This recipe uses many anti-inflammatory spices, including turmeric, which helps reduce pain and inflammation throughout the entire body. The beta-carotene in the butternut squash is also extremely healing and loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. I’ve even used this soup to help get over colds faster, due to the antibacterial properties in the purple onions and garlic.

Anti-inflammatory Butternut Squash Soup

  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1/2 purple onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. curry power
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • Dash of ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Wash the butternut squash thoroughly and poke several holes in it using a sharp knife, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Roast squash for 45 to 60 minutes, until tender. Remove from oven and set a side until cool. When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and cut squash into cubes.
  4. While squash is cooling, dice the onions and garlic and sauté in half a cup of vegetable stock.
  5. Add the squash, remaining vegetable stock and spices to a pot with the onions and garlic.
  6. Gently simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
  7. Puree until smooth. Add the coconut milk, stirring well and gently simmer on low heat for another 10 minutes.

* Anti-inflammatory Cooking Tip: Vegetable stock can used as a substitution for cooking with oil. Refined oils not only adds empty calories to a meal but when heated, oxidizes and can contribute to inflammation.

Recipes

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Macaroons

* Quick. Simple. Better-for-you ingredients!

On my quest to safely multi-task (that means not turning on the oven), I present to you yet another no-bake, easy-to-make holiday treat.

Ingredients:
3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tablespoons natural, unsweetened peanut butter (Or nut butter of your choice)
* Only as I started typing out this recipe did it occur to me that using hazelnut butter would have been amazing. Ah well, next time!
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 cup chocolate chips (I used these dairy-free ones by Enjoy Life)
Pinch of sea salt

* Makes approximately 50 macaroons.

1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or in the microwave.
2. Measure out the peanut butter, coconut oil and maple syrup and stir into the melted chocolate, combining well.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine shredded coconut, flax seeds and salt.
4. Add the melted chocolate/peanut butter to the coconut mixture, coating well.
5. Roll mixture into bite-sized balls and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
6. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Macaroon

Recipes

Chocolate Almond Butter Hemp Heart Truffles

Is everyone ready for the holidays?!
Oh boy, life is busy! I didn’t have time to do a ton of baking this year, but I did manage to come up with a couple of good recipes, most of which contain some combination of chocolate and peanut butter or chocolate/almond butter (my latest vice).

Here’s the first of 3 recipes I’ll be sharing today. Out of necessity, I had to keep it simple this year, except for my fruitcake recipe. That one is not so simple, but I’ll tell ya, if you like fruitcake but looking for a healthier option, it’s worth the little bit of time you’ll spend making it! I’ll get to that one later on today. My last fruitcake is still in the oven and I haven’t snapped a picture of it yet! For now, relax and enjoy a chocolatey almond butter truffle!

Chocolate Almond Butter Hemp Heart Truffles

Ingredients:
1.5 cups hemp hearts
3 tablespoons almond butter (Or nut butter of your choice. I made a version with peanut butter earlier this week – delish!)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 cup dried cranberries
1.5 cups chocolate chips (I used these dairy-free ones by Enjoy Life)
Pinch of sea salt

1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or in the microwave.
2. Measure out the almond butter, coconut oil and maple syrup and stir into the melted chocolate, combining well.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the hemp seeds, dried cranberries and sea salt.
4. Pour the melted chocolate/almond butter mixture in with the hemp seeds, coating well.
5. Roll mixture into bite-sized balls and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
6. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

* If the mixture gets a bit dry (hemp seeds absorb a lot of moisture), add a bit more coconut oil.

hemp heart truffles

Recipes

No Bake Carrot Cake Bites

Carrot Cake

Ahh in hindsight…
In the spirit of the season, it would have been fun to try and make these with fresh grated pumpkin, but I had some carrots sitting around that I wanted to use up. There’s always next year!
Simple and sweet, better-for-you treats! I love finding ways to sneak veggies into snacks.

No Bake Carrot Cake Bites

* Gluten-Free * Dairy-Free * Egg-Free * No White Sugar! *

Ingredients
• 1/2 cup carrots, chopped/grated (roughly 2 medium carrots)
• 3/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
• 4 Medjool dates, pitted
• 1.5 cups, almonds
• 1/4 cup almond butter
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1/4 cup hemp seeds
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

1. Place almonds in a food processor and pulse until they reach the consistency of almond meal. I like to add the spices at this point and pulse for a few more seconds to get them nicely blended into the almond meal. Remove from food processor and set aside.
2. Rinse out the food processor and add the chopped carrots. Pulse until shredded. Do not over process the carrots or they will end up too mushy and watery. If you do not have a food processor, you can shred the carrots using a hand grater, and blend the rest of the ingredients in a blender.
3. Add the almond meal, almond butter, honey and dates into the food processor with the carrots and process until fully combined.
4. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the coconut flakes and hemp seeds.
5. Form mixture into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls and enjoy!
Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

* If the consistency ends up being too moist, you can add more coconut or hemp seeds to soak up the liquid. Over blending the carrots will result in moisture being released into the mixture. This can be avoided by grating the carrots by hands and adding them at the end, or pulsing them slowly in the food processor and paying attention to the consistency as you go.