I was thinking that to be patriotic I will post about some kind of red and white food… first thing that came to mind are beets! So I’ll just talk about red food because I’m not in the mood to yell at you about sugar (white) right now and although beets (red) and cauliflower (white) are both great for you they aren’t really in business together when it comes to the functions they serve.
Beets come in a range of colours from yellow to orange to red and into purple. They are beautiful, sweet, delicious and best of all nutritious! Nothing beats a beet when it comes to cleaning out your organs! Toxins get into our bodies every time we eat, drink and breath and we rely primarily on our liver and kidneys to filter them out and keep us clean but what keeps our liver and kidneys clean? BEETS! …and dandelion and milk thistle but that’s another post.
Beets are a great detox food and if eaten on a regular basis they work well to keep our liver and kidneys healthy and functioning at the top of their game, not to mention giving us great skin and healthier arteries. There are a variety of ways to eat beets: boiled; steamed; pickled; fried; baked; grilled; in soup; in a drink; and any other way you might want to try! Of course some methods of preparing them are healthier than others but definitely eating them is healthier than not eating them 🙂
So at your Canada Day socially distanced family BBQ don’t forget your beets on the side ofwhatever celebratory choices you are making today!
I don’t know about your house but we’ve been doing our part and staying home and it seems like part of that process is constant snacking! I usually buy granola bars to stick in my kids lunches for school but now that I’m not packing a lunch and our routine varies from day to day the granola bars were constantly being asked for and it was a battle I just wasn’t willing to fight. My philosophy is that if you don’t want your kids to eat it then don’t buy it at the grocery store. If you buy it then brace yourself for the ensuring battles of “can we have it?”, “can we just have one?”, “can we have it after we eat?”, “but you said yes yesterday so why can’t we have it today?” Maybe this is just me but I like saying “YES go ahead and snack away kids!”
…but I have to feel good about what they’ve put into their little bodies throughout the day.
As many of you parents know, the snack has to be delicious enough for them to ask for it, want to eat it, and consume it happily.
These snack bars are so easy, sweet and convenient there really is no reason not to make them. I’m going to throw in economical too! There are many of us during these uncertain times keeping track of our pennies and when it comes to pre-packaged snacks “healthy” and “cheap” are never in the same sentence.
take the bag of nut & dried fruit mix and dump it into your food processor.
if your kids are like mine and prefer to eat everything with chocolate then add some non-dairy chocolate chips
blend the mixture until it’s crumbly
add 2-3 tbsp of maple syrup
blend again to mix in the maple syrup
press the mixture into a pan (use a silicon sheet or grease the pan with a little coconut oilfirst) – the size of pan you use will depend on how thin you would like the squares to be
place the pan into the freezer for about 30 mins, cut into squares and let the snacking begin
We chose to keep the pan in the freezer and eat them straight out of there, it doesn’t actually freeze it just keeps them firm and chilled. I pre-cut all the squares and just let the kids go for it whenever the snack attack hits 🙂
This recipe is full of iron, healthy fats and fibre. The sugars are natural and are in whole food form. This is a great granola bar alternative because you don’t have the waste, you don’t have the processed sugars, it’s free from preservatives and the kids can even help to make it!
Spring is in the air and fresh food is on the mind…
It may surprise you to hear that my plant-based family rarely eats salad. Salad was something that very often accompanied the more traditional meat and potato meals of my childhood – but always with dressing. When we first started eating plant-based we bought some of the vegan alternative caesar dressings and vinaigrette mixes. But as we started eating more and more whole food plant-based and using less processed foods in our meals our tastebuds changed. Currently when we eat salad we like to load it up with delicious flavours like ripe tomato, green onions, pumpkin seeds, cucumber, raisins, and fermented sauerkraut! These flavours are better than any dressing. A squirt of lemon or lime, or a splash of pickle juice gives just enough acid to make a salad like this salad mouth watering.
We will have to remember to put it into rotation more often 😉
Ok so here I am again posting about brownies… a window into my life 🙂
My littlest is doing her best to live off of chocolate… getting it into as many meals a day as possible and will use tears as a weapon if necessary. Obviously this is every mom’s dream come true and even better if you are a nutritionist right! LOL
I do wonder if I am losing the 80/20 balance that I strive for with her and her chocolate obsession. I try to incorporate healthy chocolate recipes into her life as much as possible… also she likes to cook and bake and with me, so who doesn’t love a helper 🙂
Yes these brownies contain chocolate chips (non-dairy of course) and yes these brownies contain maple syrup which is basically just liquid sugar BUT for the balancing act they also contain black beans, dates, ground flax and peanut butter!
I’m calling this a win, she will eat some fibre, she will eat some healthy fat, she will eat some protein and she will eat some chocolate.
But the good news here is that this recipe is super instant even in real life 🙂
about 2 cups cranberry trail mix (this is a premixed bag that you can buy at superstore)
4 tbsp hemp hearts
1.5 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp maple syrup
non-dairy chocolate chips
In a food processor add all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips and cocoa powder. Blend until the mixture is all chopped up and sticky. Portion off little balls of any size you like, fold a chocolate chip into the middle before rolling it in your hands. Thanks to the maple syrup rolling them is super quick and easy. Prepare a small bowl of cocoa powder to roll each ball in. After rolling it in the powder you’re done! You can eat or refrigerate…your call 😉
My daughter and I were invited to a summer’s end potluck and this recipe popped into my mind. I had made it in the past but somehow even though my family loves it, I had forgotten about it…until now!
CURRY CHICKPEA PITA
You can find variations of this recipe in plant-based cook books but personally I like this combo best 🙂
1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1/2 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 green onions (chopped)
1/2 large carrot (shredded)
handful of cilantro (chopped)
handful of sunflower seeds
handful of pumpkin seeds
handful of dried cranberries
handful of daiya cheese (optional)
2 or 3 chopped pickles
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp yellow curry
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 lemon slice freshly squeezed
a few blobs of vegan mayo… you’ll have to just mix it and decide how creamy you like it.
There is no method, just mix it all into a bowl! That is about the best I can do with measurements 🙂 I just eyeball, dump and shake while I cook. Don’t be afraid to taste it and add more or less of those flavours you love. There are lots of veggie options that make a nice addition like sweet red pepper, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, fresh garlic, etc. Have fun!
We stuffed this mixture into a pita for our potluck but it can be eaten straight up, with crackers, or on spaghetti (which is how we ate the leftovers).
This salad tastes great when you make it, awesome when you arrive at your potluck and even better the next day as the spices give out more and more flavour.
This one was quick and easy since jackfruit comes in the can and doesn’t really need to be cooked. I just pulled apart the jackfruit and fried it a little in some sweet and tangy BBQ sauce with a handful of smashed black beans. To boost the flavour even more I added some onions, garlic and mushrooms to the frying pan. Onions and garlic are not only great for the immune system but are also powerful anti-inflammatories, lowering inflammation in your gut and throughout your body.
DID YOU KNOW: Mushrooms relax your arteries lowering your blood pressure!
We love our homemade guacamole! Avocado is rich in oleic acid – a healthy fat – and we try to consume it as much as possible — our guac is just squished avocado with some S&P, a splash of pickle juice and scoop of nutritional yeast — For the rice I always cook it in broth and often will add some cumin or coriander for added flavour. If you add the spices to the water then the rice (or any grain you cook) takes on the flavours as it’s cooking and soaking it all in.
We topped it all off with a little salsa and some fresh cilantro — cilantro is great at soaking up and naturally removing any extra heavy metals from our body.
OATMEAL: 28grams (1 small bowl) per day = 5% lower death risk (because the leading causes of death involve your heart and oatmeal is great for your heart)
Oatmeal has many health benefits and is quick and easy to prepare in the morning before work and school. You can also add a variety of fruits (both fresh and dried), nuts, seeds (chia seeds, pumpkin, sunflower) and spices (cinnamon) to the oatmeal to give it different flavours and boost it’s nutritional value even more!
This boosted version of oatmeal that I made for my kids before school took about 5 mins:
quick oats & boiling water (protein and vitamins)
hemp hearts (protein)
ground flax (healthy fibre and anti-inflammatory)
chopped banana (vitamin C, fibre, protein)
rasins (protein, antioxidants)
dried cranberries (fibre, antioxidants)
pumpkin and sunflower seeds (good fats for the brain!)
a heaping scoop of coconut mango whip (healthy fat and vitamins)
a small blob of maple syrup since my kids like it on the sweeter side (they are kids after all!)
scoop of peanut butter (healthy fats, protein)
Some of the health benefits of oatmeal are:
– BETA GLUCAN (which is an extremely helpful sugar) – reduces absorption of cholesterol reducing LDL 7% (similar to a statin drug but without side effects)
– beta glucan also increases the production of bile salts which are critical for the digestion and absorption of fats (prevention of gall stones)
– it contains vitamins and minerals such as copper, manganese, iron, b vitamins
– oats are a source of soluble fibre which lowers cholesterol (lowering the risk of heart disease)
– oats are anti-inflammatory; lowering your blood pressure; reducing arthritis
– they help control your body weight
– improve liver function (fatty liver disease is now the most common cause of liver disease, even more than alcohol)
– increase positive gut flora (beneficial bacteria in your stomach and intestines)
With all these health benefits and so many ways to make it delicious I hope you consider making oatmeal a part of your morning!
Kale is just one of those foods, you either love it or you hate it. Some people have the ability to eat it despite their dislike but I am a strong believer that there is enough variety out there, you can always find something with the same health benefits that you love…
You should always love what you eat and eat what you love!
I am a kale lover! This pic was from a hot salad that I made myself for lunch today. I steamed the kale and mushrooms in a little bit of miso broth and added fresh tomatoes and spicy banana peppers on top…a personal love of mine.
But the benefits of kale are worth it in spades even if you only like it a little.
Lowers LDL cholesterol – after just 14 days of adding kale to the diet of people with high cholesterol they saw a 20% drop
Immune booster – adding kale into your diet exponentially increases your white blood cell army (your disease fighting immunity cells)
Loaded with vitamins – iron, protein, folate, magnesium, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, calcium, …the list goes on!
A great source of dietary fibre
Kale can be a bit bitter uncooked, so I recommend eating it steamed. Lots of fresh foods lose many of their nutritional benefits during the cooking process but kale is not one of them. So go ahead and steam, bake or even boil your kale.
Spice it up, season it, sauce it – discover how you love it and then eat it often!
TIP: If you’ve given it an honest try and aren’t a kale lover/liker you can give purple cabbage a try and reap many of the same rewards 🙂
This delicious whip is a new family breakfast favourite …even my mother, a long time yogurt lover, declared this was BETTER! Now just to be clear this doesn’t offer any probiotic benefits, but it does offer many other benefits such as fibre, omega 3 and Vitamin C, along with it’s light and delicious flavour.
This is another 5 mins or less recipe that will not only save you time but is seriously easy on the bank account. We love vegan yogurt, granola and fruit as a nutritious breakfast, lunch or even dessert if supper was really early. But 680g of coconut Silk brand yogurt will run you between $6-$8 per container depending if you have found it on sale or not. We were going through about 2 containers a week minimum. So now I’m spending $16/week on a processed food that we only kind of liked because we were adding maple syrup to it to cut the sourness.
I saw a need…
This is a 680g container full to the top and the best part is …the recipe below makes 2 of them!
3 bananas ~$1
1 can coconut milk ~$2 (look for one that has the least amount of ingredients, once you start reading the labels you will be surprised at the difference)
2 generous cups of chopped, frozen mango ~$2
2 tbsp chia seeds (cents!)
blend until smooth and refrigerate over night… I’m guessing it would only take about 3 hours in the fridge to become a nice whip, but I have always just made it the night before. You want the chia seeds to soak in all the moisture and break open their shell so you get all the benefits from the omega 3 fats that they have to offer. Banana’s lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and the fibre filled mango is not only a great source of vitamins A and C but also an antioxidant boosting your immune system.
So there you have it, we are at $5 and change and this makes 2 containers!