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Recipes

Chocolate Cake Brownies

March 8, 2017

There is absolutely nothing better than brownies when the chocolate craving hits. These yummy cakey brownies are not only healthy, contain no refined sugar but has a vegetable! Now your brownie indulgence can be a guilt-free pleasure.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  • 2 Tablespoons of honey (optional if you want it a little sweeter)
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 9 large medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1 whole grated courgette
  • 1 Tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 whole eggs and 1 yolk
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (almond, hazelnut, or cashew)
  • 2 oz. dark chocolate(85%)
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil (70grams)
  • Optional toppings to put on once out of the oven: I added a layer of Sweet Freedom Chocolate shot and a sprinkle of chopped nuts and desiccated coconut

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 175C
  • Cut up parchment paper to cover a 8 x8 in. pan
  • Mix all dry ingredients and set aside
  • Grate the courgette and take a cheese cloth or dish towel to wring out the water
  • In a high power blender or food processor, mix honey, dates, eggs, and nut butter till smooth
  • Bring a small pot filled with 1/3 water to boil and place a smaller heat resistant bowl to heat up the coconut oil and chocolate. Mix with wet ingredients when melted through.
  • Add courgette into the wet ingredients. (alternatively if you are really trying to be sneaky, peel the skin, and blend it with the wet ingredients and no one is the wiser)
  • Mix wet ingredients with dry and pour into pan.

Bake for approx 25-30 minutes(it should have a little give when you press you thumb into the middle). These are also freezer friendly, wrap them up in wax paper and keep for another day.

Nutrition, Recipes

Kombucha Adventures, Part 2 Flavouring

January 30, 2017

This article is long overdue. After a little shy of 10 months of making my own kombucha, here is the supplement to the original. I am going to share, the good, bad, and messy parts of making your own flavours.

After the initial fermentation process of 7-30 days, pour about 3/4 of the brew into a separate air-tight container at room temperature. Put them in the fridge to once you are happy with the taste to stop it from fermenting further.

Tips for flavouring

  • When using fresh juices: Use 12-25% juice and the rest kombucha
  • When using fresh, frozen, or dried fruit use 20-30% fruit depending on how sweet the fruit is, and fill the rest with kombucha.
  • If flavoring with herbs, the variety and strength of herbs varies greatly. Experiment to come up with the best ratios and combinations for your taste preferences.
  • For flavor extracts such as almond or vanilla extract, start with 1/4 teaspoon extract per cup of kombucha and adjust to taste. Remember the flavor will continue to develop during the second fermentation period.


Tips for Bottling your Kombucha and achieving the sought after Effervescence:

1. Bottle F1 (Fermentation 1) when there’s a nice balance of sweetness and acidity. It takes approximately 1-2 weeks to build up a nice amount of carbonation. Experiment with different types of teas (except Early Grey, Chai)  for  F1. I found the best combination was green and black tea. The reason not to use Earl Grey and other flavoured teas is because of the bergamot oil. I would stick to the simpler teas and add the more complex flavours in F2.

2. Bottle into one plastic bottle at the same time you fill your glass bottles. This is an excellent tip from Kombucha Brooklyn for a controlled f2 which will serve as a model help you to know when a good amount of CO2 has built up, based on your environment (temperature) and the unique qualities of your brew. Your plastic bottle will tell you there’s carbonation when it’s very tight, and thus clearly pressurized. So, when you know your plastic bottle has carbonation, your glass bottles will too. This will possibly help avoid the explosion of kombucha in your home.

3. Leave 1″ of headroom in your bottle.  It will oxidize your brew, and make it more likely that bacteria are still active, thus creating more acids, potentially contributing off-flavors.

4. Search for good bottles.  Use flip-top bottles, Ball mason jars, or the amber beer bottles. Any glass bottle that can keep your kombucha air tight. plastic.

5. Add raisins or a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Remember sugar is what sparks yeast the most, and the yeast are responsible for the bubbles. You can use a 1/2 teaspoon of plain white sugar per 12oz bottle, and that’s what many beers do to create carbonation.

6. Use a teacloth. When opening your f2, don’t shake the bottle. Just like anything bubbly, shaking it will cause a massive pop with your kombucha-causing it going everywhere. And if you are successful for achieving the much sought after carbonation, it will rise to the top so make sure you are near a sink with a teacloth over the lid, and open with care over a deep container ready to catch the kombucha that escapes!

My Favourite Recipes:

apple cinnanomLemon-lime Kombucha

  • Ingredients
    • Zest one of lemon and lime
    • Juice of half of lemon and lime and juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon of raw cane sugar
    • 8 raisins
    • Fill the rest with F1 kombucha

Pineapple-Mint-Ginger

  • Ingredients
    • 20-30% pineapples
    • 2 sprigs of mint leaves slices up
    • 8-12 raisins
    • Fill rest of bottle with kombucha

Strawberry Basil

  • Ingredients
    • 20-30% strawberries
    • 6 basil leaves
    • 8-12 raisins
    • Fill rest of bottle with kombucha

Raspberry Mint

  • Ingredients
    • 20-30% raspberries
    • 2 sprigs of mint
    • 8-12 raisins
    • Fill rest of bottle with kombucha

Apple Cinnamon

  • Ingredients
    • 20-30% sweet apples
    • 2 sticks of cinnamon( less if you are making less than 2 L)
    • 8-12 raisins
    • 1/2 teaspoon of coconut cane sugar
    • Fill rest of bottle with kombucha

You can find more wonderful resources from www.culturesforhealth.com or www.kombuchkamp.com

 

 

Recipes

Devilishly Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

January 8, 2017

After experimenting during the holidays, I have come up with an (almost) Paleo version of a dark chocolate chip cookie that is to die for. Its low in sugar, and contain no grains. Its just as satisfying with a cup of the Gold Blend Lyon’s Irish Tea or a glass of cold milk. 😉

Ingredients

  • 150 grams of Almond flour
  • 50 grams of 99% Lindt Dark Chocolate
  • 40 grams of 85% Lindt Dark Chocolate
  • 1/4 cup of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (I used Nua)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder(I used Nua but if you don’t see the brand at the shop, you can scrap one vanilla bean)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted soft butter(leave out for 30-60 mins in room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup of xylitol
  • 1 Tablespoon of Psyllium Husk (This is optional as well, but is used to helps to bind cookies made with almond flour or it may get too crumbly)
  • 1 large cold egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips(optional) and 1/4 cup of cocoa nibs

Optional: Add 1/2 shot of espresso to bring out the chocolate flavours.

Directions:

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 180 degrees C. Line two baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Break up the Dark Chocolates. Put the Dark chocolates 85% and 99% into a heatproof container in a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from water and set aside.
  3. Sift the flour , cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low, beat the butter, coconut sugar and xylitol until smooth. (1 minute)
  5. Add the melted dark chocolate into the butter and sugar mix until blended.
  6. Add the large egg and vanilla extract until blended. (1 minute)
  7. Add the flour mixture until incorporated.
  8. Fold in the chocolate chips and cocoa nibs.
  9. Using soup spoon, scoop one spoonful onto baking sheet. Space cookies approximately 3 inches apart to give them room to expand. You should be able to fit 12 per tray.
  10. Bake one sheet at a time. It should be in the oven for 12-16 minutes. Be sure to take a peek at them at 12 minutes, if you want them to be a little crispier, leave them in for longer.
  11. Cookies can be wrapped in waxed paper and stored in freezer for in case of emergency sweet attacks!

darkchocolatecookie_2

 

Recipes

Healthy Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

August 8, 2016

This cupcake recipe is delicious and healthier. I love giving this to my toddler as a snack.  There is no refines sugar. It can be made in a pan, in a loaf, or whatever you fancy.

 

Ingredients

Wet ingredients:

  • 1 C (250 ml) Unsalted butter
  • ¾ C of Xylitol (can lessen to ½ cup if your bananas are really ripe)
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 t (5 ml) Vanilla
  • 1 C (250 ml) Dairy sour cream
  • 3 1/2 Mashed  bananas

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C  Wholemeal flour
  • 1 1/2 C Almond flour
  • 2 t (10 ml) Baking powder
  • 2 t (10 ml) Baking soda
  • 1 T Bee pollen(optional added into flour)

Dry topping

  • 1 t (5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • ½ C (125 ml) coconut sugar
  • 3/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips(or less)
  • For the top layer you can add chopped Walnuts (I added Nutmost Activated Walnuts)

Directions:

  1. Cream together butter and sugar
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
  3. Add vanilla and mashed bananas
  4. Mix until smooth
  5. Combine flour, baking power, baking soda, (optional bee pollen)
  6. Add to sour cream into banana mixture, pour mixture into ending dry
    ingredients.
  7. Spoon and spread half the batter into a baking item of choice.
  8. Combine cinnamon and brown sugar
  9. Sprinkle half the mixture over the batter in the pan
  10. Top with half the chocolate chips(Optional idea to lower the amount of sugar is to put the chips in rows or a circle of chocolate chips)
  11. Repeat layers ( I like to do one middle layer, and a top layer. But you can do more than two layers.)
  12. Bake at 350oF (190oC) for 40 to 50 minutes (its done when you stick a tooth=pick into the middle and its not gooey)

Tip: To make it more decadent, I like to slather a little bit of Meriden Almond butter on top. Its super filling and satisfying.

Nutrition, Recipes

Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars

July 5, 2016

What do you get when you combine a yummy bar with a crumble? Magic. Its rhubarb season and there is no better way to make use to them but in a healthy decadent bar.

Crust:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan pink sea salt

RhubarbfillingRhubarb & Strawberry Jam Center:

  • 2 cup frozen or fresh rhubarb, chopped finely
  • 2 cup frozen of fresh strawberries, chopped finely
  • 2 T xylitol
  • 1/4 cup kombucha(can also use water, or juice)
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
spinach

Optional spinach layer


For the crumble:

  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cups almond flour
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 T honey (can add more if you want it sweeter)
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line the bottom of a 8×8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust with mixer.
  3. Evenly press the dough onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. The crust is done when it is lightly brown and firm to the touch.
  5. Mix all the rhubarb & strawberry jam ingredients in a medium sized pot and turn the heat to low.
  6. Stir the ingredients and continue stirring until the mixture has thickened. (should look like jam)
  7. Wait until jam is cooled
  8. Optional Step: add half a bag of raw washed spinach into a blender with half the cooled jam and blend until fine
  9. Pour spinach mixture into the crust.
  10. Gently pour in the rest of jam covering the green jam mixture
  11. Mix the pecans, flours, cinnamon, salt and honey together in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the coconut oil with your hands until the mixture begins to form crumbs.
  12. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the filling.
  13. Optional Step: add a few slices strawberries on top for decoration.
  14. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  15. The bars are done when the crumble top is lightly brown.
  16. Allow the bars to cool completely for a few hours.
  17. Cut the bars into 8 squares.
  18. Store the bars in your refrigerator.
Recipes

Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

April 28, 2016

After being blessed with a week of nice weather, this week we were given a dose of bad weather. Which gave me a perfectly good excuse to stay indoors and test out some new recipes.

This recipe happened because I had some broccoli that expired yesterday and rather than throw it out, I made some soup. This soup recipe is by no means my creation but inspired from Diethood.com’s Panera inspired recipe. I switched the plain flour and made mine with coconut flour. For the stock, I used a freshly made chicken bone broth recipe that I threw together. Recipe is also below. Hope you enjoy this soup as much as I have!

baseIngredients

  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • pinch salt(high quality salt if you have it, I recommend Le Paludier de Guérande)
  • ¼ cup shifted coconut flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken bone broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 450g of broccoli
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan or soup pot.
  2. Add onion, garlic, carrots, and pinch of salt; cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Melt rest of butter in a medium heat pan, then turn off and put in a mixing bowl.
  4. Whisk in flour; whisk until incorporated.
  5. Slowly add milk and continue to whisk until everything is well combined and there are no clumps.
  6. Whisk in bone broth, add bay leaf, and turn up heat to high; bring soup to a boil.
  7. Add the broccoli florets, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
  8. Pour batches of soup into a blender or use a sick blender, and puree.
  9. Return soup to the soup-pot; continue to cook over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until melted and completely combined.
  10. Stir in the paprika and nutmeg.
  11. Remove from heat.
  12. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  13. Serve.

If you have the time to make broth, here is the recipe. If you are short on time, use ready made stock or stock cubes.

Bone Broth Ingredients

  • 1 roasted chicken carcass
  • 1 beef bone marrow(if you have it)
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 apple core
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 organic unwaxed lemon (quartered)
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Throw everything in the pot.
  2. Pour enough filtered water until it covers the bones.
  3. Let everything cook for 2-3 hours.

 

Recipes

Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce(No Refined Sugar)

February 11, 2016

Kaman Sweet Chilli SauceWanting to make a salad similar in flavours to what I had at Staple Foods, I attempted to make my version of Sweet Chilli Sauce. the result was perfection with no refined white sugar.

Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3 large garlic gloves
  • 1T of Chilli paste or fresh serrano chillies
  • 1/3 C of White Wine Vinegar
  • 3/4 C of Water
  • 1/2 C xylitol
  • 1/2 T Salt

Your thickener:

  • 1T cornstarch
  • 2T cold water
  1. Blend all ingredients except cornstarch and 2 T of water on heat medium heat until dissolved.
  2. Blend cornstarch and water until dissolved before putting it into the pot (Warning: not mixing the cornstarch before dropping into the pot will result in lumps)
  3. Once it thickens, pour out into a glass jar and cool.

My salad consisted of celeriac, carrots, cucumber, and courgettes, topped with chopped cilantro. This salad can be eaten as a Vegan salad. For those who want protein, you may add firm tofu, grilled chicken, steak, burgers would go nicely with this salad.

Here is a version of what we had for dinner last night…

burgers

 

Recipes, Smoothie Wednesday

Monday Morning Matcha Smoothie

January 25, 2016
smoothies, antioxidants, good fats, vegan

Most people groan about Mondays but I love them. Its a new start to the week and who know what can happen?Here is a nice Matcha Smoothie to start your week…

Monday Matcha Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 100 gram of frozen passion fruit(if using fresh, juice of 2 passion fruit)
  • 1/4 organic cucumber
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of Spirulina powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Organic Matcha powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 cups of almond milk (coconut milk is very nice as well

*In addition, you can add 1/2 avocado to add good-fats that will keep you full longer.

Blend and enjoy!

 

 

Recipes

Mason Jar Salads

November 10, 2015

I generally like to pack buy all my ingredients on Saturday and prep my lunches for the week on Sunday. Prepping my lunches in advance keeps me from making unhealthy choices.

My favourite way of making my salads is in a mason jar. It keeps the leaves from going soggy, and pickles the heartier vegetables like cucumbers and carrots. The key to making the salad stay fresh all week is all in the layering.

  1. The first step is to add your dressing, I typically put enough to coat the bottom of that jar  (approximately 2-3 tablespoons)
  2. Next you add the heartier vegetables that will be soaking in the dressing-such as carrots, sugar snaps, beetroot, fennel, peppers, and cucumber
  3. Then you add the beans, grains, pasta
  4. Now its time to add the proteins and cheese (I fluctuate between shrimp, salmon, and roast chicken)
  5. Next you add the more fragile vegetables such as avocado, tomatoes
  6. Finally you add the leafy greens
  7. Sprinkle on top with seeds, nutritional yeast, or quinoa
  8. Cover the top and it will store for up to 5 days as long as you don’t shake the jar until its ready to be consumed

Here is my Salad for the Week:

masonjarsalads

 

Smoothie Wednesday

Vegan Espresso Super Green Smoothie

February 24, 2015

It seems I’ve been on a bit of an espresso kick since my husband got an espresso machine. Today’s smoothie is a perfect meal replacement for those days on the go.

I love it because it gives a hint of natural sweetness from the dates, a bit of salt from the peanut butter, and the tofu adds to the creaminess & thickness of the smoothie.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 box of non GMO firm tofu
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 2 T of Meriden peanut butter
  • 1 shot espresso
  • 1 t of Ultimate Green Powder (optional)
  • 1/2 t of Nua Vanilla Powder
  • 5 dates
  • 1 huge handful of ice

Blend in a high power blender or a good stick blender. Enjoy!