Desserts, Recipes, Snacks

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

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

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, Snacks

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!

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)


  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.


Desserts, Recipes, Snacks

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


  • 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.



Recipes, Snacks

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


  • 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.


Recipes, Snacks

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!


  • 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.)


  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, Snacks

No Bake Cookie Dough Energy Balls

chickpea energy balls

School Safe * Peanut-Free * Grain-Free * Gluten-Free * Vegan

With kids now back to school, I’ve been getting a lot of requests for healthy, allergy-friendly school safe snacks. These chickpea energy balls are a delicious little treat that are high in both protein and fiber and uses just a touch of maple syrup for sweetness.  Surprisingly, these really do remind me of raw cookie dough!  This is a much healthier version that requires no baking.

This recipe uses chickpeas as a base and sunbutter to bind them together, which is made from blended sunflower seeds. Of course, you can use any nut or seed butter of your choice, however, sunbutter is peanut and tree nut free and permitted in schools. I’ve also made this recipe using almond butter, which is my personal preference, but sunbutter is just as tasty.

The best part – no baking required! Just roll the dough into balls and place in the refrigerator to set. I literally whipped these up in less than 10 minutes!

1 1/2 cups chickpeas (garbanzo beans), cooked
1/2  cup sunbutter (sunflower seed spread)
1/3  cup maple syrup
1/4  tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 cup oat flour (I make my own oat flour by grinding oats in a food processor first)
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips)

1. Place chickpeas, sunbutter and maple syrup in a food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth.
2. Add the cinnamon, vanilla, salt and oat flour.  Pulse until well combined. At this point, it should resemble cookie dough. If it seems a bit too dry, you can add more sunbutter or maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want them to be). If the consistency is too wet, add more flour.
3. Transfer to a bowl and mix 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 in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Recipes, Snacks

3 Ingredient Muffin Tin Smoothie Pops

* Gluten-Free * Dairy-Free * No Added Refined Sugars!


• 2 cups non-dairy yogurt (Yoso Coconut Yogurt is my personal preference)
• 1.5 cups fresh blueberries
• 1 banana

1. Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth.
2. Pour mixture into mini muffin tins, or small plastic cups.
3. Place in the freezer until semi-solid (roughly 1 hour).
4. Remove from freezer and place wooden popsicle stick in the middle and continue to freeze for an additional 4-6 hours.
5. When frozen, run tin under warm water to release the
popsicles from the molds and enjoy!

breakfast, Recipes, Snacks

Grain-Free Granola Bars


Gluten-Free • Grain-Free • Dairy-Free • No Refined Sugars

After coming up with a delicious grain-free granola recipe last week, I decided to play around with different ways to use it and came up with a few delicious recipe ideas. The first one I’ll share with you are these grain-free granola bars. Of course, you can use any granola of your choice, but if you’re looking for an anti-inflammatory option (because you know that’s what I’m all about about!), the grain-free granola I posted yesterday is a tasty choice. Because it already has the cinnamon and cloves, you don’t have to add any other spices.

Once you decide on the granola you’re going to use, whether it’s store bought or our homemade one, all you need are a few additional ingredients, a food processor and voila! It’s really that simple.

1 cup *grain free granola
8 pitted Medjool dates
2 tablespoons unsweetened almond butter
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)
1/4 cup hemp seeds (optional)

1. Add dates to a food processor, and pulse until coarsely chopped.
2. Next, add the almond butter and granola and process until the mixture begins to form a ball.
3. Transfer to a bowl and add the coconut and hemp seeds, mixing well.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and press the mixture firmly into the pan with the back of a spoon. Make the bars at least ½ an inch thick. Cut into bars with a sharp knife before placing in the refrigerator to set. (if you cut it after it sets, the edges tend to crumble). You can also make these into balls if you prefer.
5. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving .
* Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

Recipes, Snacks

A Better-For-You Heart Healthy Snack! Gingerbread Pumpkin Seed Bars

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


I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately, developing recipes for my Heart Health Class coming up on February 22nd. This one turned out perfect on the very first try. I love when that happens!

Some of you might be asking, what qualifies a recipe heart healthy? Well, here’s a quick low-down on what makes these bars a healthier snack with heart health benefits! What they don’t contain is just as important as what they do contain!

Here is what they DON’T contain:
• Refined sugars
• Heated oils
• Preservatives
• Artificial additives
• Dairy
• Gluten
• Inflammatory grains

Here is what they DO have:
• Healthy omega- 3 fats (hemp seeds)
• Raw nut and seeds (almonds, cashews)
• A good amount of fiber (almonds, hemp seeds, dates)
• Anti-inflammatory spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger)
• Antioxidants (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, camu camu powder, cranberries)
• A good amount of magnesium (almonds, cashews, hemp seeds, dates)

Gingerbread Pumpkin Seed Bars Featuring Camu Cranberries!

• 3/4 cup almonds
• 3/4 cup cashews
• 8 medjool dates, pitted
• 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
• 1/2 cup hemp seeds
• 1/2 cup *Camu cranberries
• 3 Tablespoons water
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon cloves

1. Place all ingredients(minus the cranberries and pumpkin seeds) in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
2. Pour mixture into a bowl, and mix in the cranberries and pumpkin seeds.
3. Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper, and press mixture into the pan. Smooth out the mixture with the back of a spoon.
4. Place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to allow to set, then cut in squares.

Will keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Nutrition Facts:

Did you know that nuts and seeds are rich in magnesium?

Research extending more than 70 years has found that low magnesium levels contributes more to heart disease than elevated cholesterol, or a diet high in saturated fat.

One particular study found that people with the highest blood levels of magnesium had a 40 percent reduction in the risk of CVD, compared to those with the lowest magnesium levels.

Part of the benefit appears related to its synergistic effect with calcium to help regulate electrical impulses and prevent calcium from depositing in soft tissues. Magnesium is also a natural muscle relaxant, which can help relieve stress and lower blood pressure.

Camu Camu Berries
Camu camu is a low-growing shrub found throughout the Amazon rain forests of Peru and Brazil. It produces a lemon sized, purplish red fruit with yellow pulp. This fruit is packed with more natural vitamin C than any other food source recorded on the planet!

Vitamin C greatly benefits cardiovascular health. It is vital to the production of collagen, which is not only great for the skin but also keeps arteries soft and flexible, helping to prevent hardening of the arteries!

Camu Cranberries is a product available by Central Roast, a company that sells nut and seed dried fruit snacks, using only pure, all-natural ingredients.

I recently discovered their Camu Cranberries in the natural food section of a Sobey’s grocery store. All they are is dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice and dehydrated camu camu powder. They’re the true star of these Gingerbread Pumpkin Seed Bars, adding a tangy, mouth-watering punch that compliments the cinnamon and ginger!



Recipes, Snacks

Beetroot Hummus Dip

beet root hummus
1 small beet, baked and purred
1 (14 oz.) can chickpea, drained and rinsed well
1 Tbsp. tahini (sesame seed butter)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cumin
Juice from half a lemon
2-3 Tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Wash and scrub the beet to remove any dirt then and wrap it in aluminum foil. Place it on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle before removing the foil. When cool, the skin should easily slide off. Roughly chop the beet and place in a food processor with just enough water to pulse into a smooth puree.

Add the chickpeas to a food processor along with the tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup and spices. Add just enough water to allow the mixture to blend up smoothly (approximately 2-3 tablespoons).
When smooth, add the beet puree and process until well combined.

Transfer to a bowl, garnish with sesame seeds and parsley if desired and serve with your favourite crackers or vegetable sticks.