Things are a little crazy at the moment as I prepare my family to move from Bermuda back to the States. Keeping things healthy and interesting has been proving to be little challenging, to say the least! It is so easy to get stuck in a rut especially when everything gets so busy. Time to mix it up!! A new day, a new smoothie, a new color!
All that Vitamin C and Beta Carotene, how can you go wrong?? Not only is this gorgeous little smoothie super refreshing and nutritious, it is also a nice way to mix things up a little bit. I certainly love to celebrate all things green, but if you are going to eat the rainbow you need to add some other colors into the mix! And what a glorious color this smoothie is!
I listed some delicious add-ins at the end of the recipe. Any or all of them will pump up the nutritional value and taste! The cayenne is an especially sassy and surprising kick. The bee pollen is an excellent immune booster (and let’s face it, a nice color contrast when sprinkled on top :o) ).
All Things Orange
1 Banana (can be frozen)
2 cups orange juice (fresh squeezed it best)
1 1/2 cups pumpkin and carrot puree
1 cup mango chunks
1/2 cup – 1 cup strawberries
1 tsp bee pollen
1/4 tsp cinnamon
A sprinkle of cayenne
– Place all ingredients in the blender and blend away!
If you are using all fresh ingredients then you will want to add ice into the mix to make it refreshingly cold and the right consistency. Start with 1 cup and take it from there.
I usually keep puree in my freezer so that I have it on hand when I want to add some into a sauce or a smoothie. If you steam your veggies the night before and blend them, they will be a great temperature to add into your smoothie after having been in the fridge for the night. You can always make extra and keep in the freezer for the next time!
A few words on why I love my blender… Chocolate. Peanut Butter. Chic Pea. Brownies.
Oh my goodness… I was having a craving and feeling creative!! I wanted something sweet and fudgie, decadent and of course delicious but also vegan, gluten-free, and free of refined sugars. Sounds like a challenge right? Well, If I do say so myself, I totally rose to the challenge!! :o)
This is truly sweet, simple and delicious!
And here is my vegan, gluten-free, decadent chocolate peanut butter brownie recipe:
1 can of chic peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup cacao powder
5 medjool dates (soaked)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
Pre-soak dates either over night or pour boiling water over them and soak for one hour, remove pits.
In the blender, add all ingredients except the vegan chocolate chips.
Blend on medium, scraping down the sides as needed. you can switch to high and scape down if you would like. The batter will be quite thick.
Add in the vegan chocolate chips and just mix. You can add them all or save out a couple of tablespoons to sprinkle over the top.
Scoop batter into a parchment paper lined 9×9 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes
Cool in pan on rack until completely cooled.
While your amazingly delicious brownies are cooling you can whip up a little peanut butter sauce to be used as you would like. This sauce is so delicious you may have to stop yourself from just eating it all with a spoon. (I hope I am not the only one!)
I am having to take a break from my beloved coffee… I do not always have coffee in the morning (I prefer green tea) and I certainly feel better throughout the day if I do not have coffee in the morning so although I love the taste and smell, I try to keep it to an occasional cup. Recently however, having had a run of sleep deprivation (someday my gorgeous wee ones will sleep through the night, right???) I had fallen back into a daily habit of that gorgeously aromatic little bean! Unfortunately I can tell my body is not happy with me. I get jittery and very tired in the afternoon, so I must say ‘good-bye friend’ and find something healthier to give me a little kick on the days that I need it.
As I was scanning my cupboards for some energy producing inspiration I came across my maca. Oh that maca! How could I forget the night I discovered the energy boosting superfood? That very long night! That feeling of being very alert and very awake but not jittery and sort of unstable the way coffee can make me feel, that was the feeling I had gotten from the little bit of maca I had eaten. It was in the form of some delicious freezer fudge that had been made with a cacao/maca blend. Unfortunately I had eaten it at night! I spent the rest of the night researching the effects of maca. I had so much energy, it had occurred to me to start cleaning my floors but I decided that if I started cleaning it might wake my little loves! So research it was :o) This is what I found…
Maca is a super food, it is in the cruciferous family and is packed with vitamins. Rich in B vitamins and Vitamin C as swell as zinc. Boasted for its energy boosting qualities without the side effects of caffeine. The list of benefits is long and interesting so I have included this link so I can skip to the delicious part!
Now, I have in my hand a smoothie to super boost me through this morning and I am happy, but I am still missing something. It is the smell of coffee that always gets me, it just smells so good and as I am looking at the grounds I am not going to use I remembered a little home-made body scrub I used to make years ago. I would use coffee grounds and coconut oil to exfoliate, it was awesome. I only use this little mix on my body, I leave my Clarisonic Mia to take care of my face.
So exciting! I am going to have an amazingly healthy superfood boost to start the day AND I am going to have silky smooth skin to face the world with, Win/Win!
I used a mix of ground cacao beans and maca powder. You can buy maca powder on its own, but I had picked up this pre- blended mix which has been great. If you are new to maca I would suggest just starting out with a teaspoon. It can be pretty powerful.
Chocolate Maca Energizing Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 cup almond milk
2 tbsp cashew butter (you can use any kind of nut butter you would like, they all work and are all delicious in this blend)
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp maca powder
1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean powder ( or one tsp of vanilla)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 pre-soaked dates
4 ice cubes
-Pre-soak 2 dates in water over night and remove the stones
-Place all of the ingredients in the blender and blend away
-Enjoy a super energized morning!
Some amazing add-ins for both flavor and nutritional content are:
Hemp protein and Bee Pollen. Use one or the other or add both! I usually add 1 tsp of beepollen (awesome immune booster) and 1 Tbsp of hulled hemp hearts (a nice boost to your protein intake for the day).
On to my body scrub!
All you need are coffee grounds and some coconut oil.
Mix the coffee grounds and the coconut oil together and get ready to scrub. I bring it right into the shower with me and use on my whole body. Again, I stay away from my face though, I feel as though it is a bit too harsh for our delicate facial skin. Rinse all the remnants away and feel your silky smooth skin.
Perfect to start the summer, or when your skin is feeling dull and sluggish. Say good-bye to drinking coffee and feel great about having it help you look great!
I hope you enjoy your delicious smoothie, your gorgeous skin and have an amazing day!
I have been very skeptical of Chia pudding. I am not really sure why, maybe I thought it would be too “seedy” or I would not like the texture… regardless, I decided to embrace it and play around with it in my little kitchen and I am so very glad I did! :o)
It is now absolutely a new favorite! It is perfect in so many different situations. You can have it plain and simple or add a rainbow of toppings to suit your mood and your body’s needs! It can be a nut and seed powered breakfast, a refreshing snack or light dessert, a protein packed after run (or work out) re-fuel or pre-fuel and even a great on the go lunch.
The Power of Chia
Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, full of fiber, a great source of high quality protein as well as being rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and calcium.
They have long been used by athletes because of their amazing ability to help sustain energy. These little gems have certainly helped me power through some of my longer working days, making me a true believer!
As with all things that I make, I started with my children in mind, How can I make this so they will log sit too? It can be tricky but they love fruit and any mention of dates or maple syrup perks them right up… and then there is the color. Making things pink always makes them taste better to my daughter, so I started with the goal set, must be pink.
I used a base of banana and strawberries (hello ‘pink’), almond milk and a couple of soaked dates, add in our chia seeds and we are all set! The base itself is very yummy but where I really started having fun was with the toppings… so many options!
Before I get to the recipe, here is a list of some amazing topping suggestions to boost taste, add a power punch of protein, bulk up the fiber or simply keep it a sweet little treat. In the photo below, right in front; I topped with kiwi, fresh mango, bee pollen and shredded coconut. Really refreshing!
– Granola: Awesome way to bulk it up for a super powered breakfast.
– Raw nuts: Antioxidants, phenols and omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins and fiber.
– Coconut: Adds fiber, Iron and healthy fats.
– Maple syrup: a nice natural sweetener if you are serving it as a desert, or to drizzle over gorgeously healthy toppings and entice your wee ones to take the plunge :o).
– Fresh fruit: Loaded with vitamins and fiber.
– Bee pollen: Rich in proteins, B-complex vitamins and folic acid. Bee pollen is a natural energizer and gives amazing support to your intestinal flora which helps support your immune system… who wouldn’t want that??
– Hemp protein: An incredibly tasty and easily digestible source of protein.
– Coconut whip cream: My favorite to add to everything!!!
Chia pudding is also perfect for making in a jar and taking it with you on the road. I had my super long Sunday powered by a chia, oat, fruit and nut jar that tasted so amazing and kept me completely satisfied through my longest work day of the week.
Enough said! Let’s move on to this super simple, super quick, super delicious recipe!
1 Cup almond milk
2 Soaked dates ( you could used maple syrup instead if you prefer. 1-2 Tbsp)
1 Tsp vanilla (1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean powder, or more to taste)
1/4 Cup chia seeds
– Pre-soak 2 dates either over night or pour boiling water over them and let set for at least an hour.
– Place the banana, strawberries, dates and vanilla in the blender and blend until nice and creamy.
– Add the chia seeds and pulse until just mixed.
– Pour into serving dishes, cover and refrigerate 4-8 hours or until set.
– Choose your favorite toppings and devour with great pleasure!!
For those of you who have already joined me, or would like to join me in my obsession for coconut whip cream, here is a quick recipe:
Coconut Whip Cream
1 Can coconut milk (full fat)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean powder
– Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator over night or for the day, about an hour before preparation, put the can in the freezer.
– Open the can and separate the coconut cream from the coconut water (I use the coconut water in my smoothies the next day)
– Put the coconut cream in a bowl, add the maple syrup and ground vanilla bean powder. I use an immersion blender to mix and whip. Keep blending until whipped and creamy, it will form little peaks.
– Welcome to light, creamy, ridiculously delicious side of the plant-based eating world!! ;o)
‘They’ say you should write about what you are passionate about. For me that is dancing and most recently this Spicy Banana Mango Sorbet that has been inspired by dance!
Our health does not only depend on the food that we eat (although, of course it is extremely important to fuel our bodies well!). Our health also depends on our happiness. You can eat all of the awesome kale in the world but if you are very unhappy you will not feel well.
We can get very wrapped up in our daily lives and forget to make time for the other important things. We can focus so much on the food we are putting into our bodies but forget about the nurturing and nourishing that our souls need.
Finding a little piece of your own happy each day is crucial to wellness. “It is not about finding one big happy, it is about all the little ‘happies’ along the way.” – Tarina Tashjian (a favorite quote of mine from my super awesome, super wise, super beautiful sister)
We all forget this sometimes and last week I was reminded just how important soul food is! I was lucky enough to have some time to dance. Dancing for me is a place of complete happy, on a cellular level. I will take any form of dancing I can get but I am completely obsessed with Tango! Tango is amazing, beautiful, raw and passionate… a true lesson in letting go, connection and freedom.
Needless to say, I had an amazing time dancing!
When I came home I was feeling freshly inspired, a wee bit tired and ready for something refreshing and sweet to carry me through. Being a lover of Latin Dance, I thought a little bit of spice would be nice.
So my friends, I give to you…
Spicy Banana Mango Sorbet
2 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1/4 cup almond milk
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ( more or less to taste. You can alway skip the spice altogether, it is still so delicious!)
-Place the 2 frozen bananas in the blender and blend on high, keep stopping to scrape down the sides and blend again.
-Add the frozen mango chunks and just a little of the almond milk, blend again.
-Add the almond milk as necessary, to get the right consistency but add slowly so you do not make it too runny, then it will be a smoothie and you’ll just need a straw instead of a spoon:) )
-Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and blend again. It should be a nice thick, creamy consistency now.
-You can add the Cayenne pepper straight into the blender and blend again or scoop into serving dishes and simply sprinkle a little on top.
-Serve right away.
-I did put the extra in the freezer and it was still great when I took it out, but you will have to let it sit for 10-15 minutes for it to get to a nice consistency again.
With out Cayenne in case you are just not in the mood!
This little treat truly embraces sweet, simple and delicious!
Great as a cooling snack, a refreshing desert after dinner, or an awesome pallet cleanser.
I hope you enjoy this and I really hope you enjoy doing something that truly makes you feel great!
It all started with few Hazelnuts. I had a container of hazelnuts in my cupboard that I really needed to do something with, but what? I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them! I decided to move on and make an old favorite, protein packed seedy date balls, when I reached into the cupboard and saw the Nutella ( my 2 love bugs go crazy for Nutella) and it all came to me… I do get so excited! Hazelnuts and chocolate, perfect.
I took the base of dates for the protein packed seedy date balls, added ground hazelnuts, cacao and chia seeds, (wanting to make sure I have a little extra protein and fiber) throw in some ground vanilla bean powder and a tick of maple syrup and we are on our way to a little decadent freezer treat that my children love and I feel great about giving them. Especially coming off this Easter candy high they have been riding, it is time to reign it all in a little and a treat like this seem to ease the transition for all of us.
Hazelnuts are rich in fiber, mono-unsaturated fats (the “good” fats) and folate (an important vitamin B complex).
Chia Seeds are loaded with antioxidants and a great source of protein.
Dates are one of the sweetest fruits, so while still sweetening your treats you are also getting fiber, potassium and magnesium. Dates are a great alternative to other sugars!
As I was enjoying one of these little treasures I starting thinking, I am more of a vanilla girl at heart, and perhaps I need to create a “cookie dough-ish” version of my sweet frozen friends. At this point I am very hazelnut inspired so I set out for my test kitchen… the blender came out, the ingredients started going in and… success :o)
The ingredients are whole and nutritious, they are sweetened with a bit of maple syrup, loaded with oats and hazelnuts and have a protein boost with some peanut butter. I definitely feel good about giving these to my wee ones and with everything thrown in the blender they are also super easy to make and clean up!
Oats are full of fiber, minerals and polyphenols.
Peanut Butter carries protein, potassium and magnesium.
Maple Syrup (my favorite sweetener!) is high in antioxidants and also contains zinc and calcium.
Let’s get to these quick, easy recipes! I think these are better from the freezer. At room temperature they can get a little mushy. Straight from the freezer is my favorite but it would also work straight from the refrigerator. Great for when you are craving sweet things and want to avoid a candy bar!
For the Brownie fans…
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
1/4 cup ground oats ( gluten-free if you would like)
8 Medjool dates (pitted)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla (I LOVE ground vanilla bean powder, I think nothing beats the flavor, but you can use pure vanilla extract instead. If using vanilla bean powder it is 1/4 tsp)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil
-Place the dates in the blender, blend well, scraping down the sides when necessary.
-Add the ground hazel nuts ( you can pre-blend these. Just place the hazelnuts in the blender, blend and scrape down until it is a “sandy” consistency.) Blend well.
-Add the rest of the ingredients and keep blending and scraping down until it is all really well mixed, it will be quite sticky. If it needs a little more moisture you can add a bit more coconut oil , but add very slowly because with enough blending it will get there.
-Scoop out the mixture and roll into 1″ balls and place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
-Place in the freezer for at least on an hour, then transfer to an air tight container, keep in the freezer
-Indulgence ready for the taking at your will! :o)
*In the photo of the “Nutella Bites” the whiter frostier looking ones were rolled through some confectioners sugar. They are super yummy this way but it does up the sugar content and they are soooo delicious without the extra sugar. If you are looking for something extremely decadent a light roll through some confectioners sugar will definitely do the trick.
For the Blondie fans….
1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup ground oats (gluten-free if you would like)
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 Tbsp maple syrup (or more to taste if you prefer things a bit sweeter)
2 tsp vanilla ( If using vanilla bean powder it is 1/2 tsp)
1 heaping Tbsp peanut butter (very generous:o) )
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/4 tsp of salt (optional)
– Place the hazelnut in the blender and blend, scraping down the sides as needed, until it is a fine grain.
-Add the ground oats and blend.
-Add the coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup and salt, blend again, scraping down the sides as needed.
-Add the oats and blend just enough to be well mixed but so that the rolled oats are still a little “chunky”.
– Mix in the vegan chocolate chips by hand.
-Roll the dough into 1″ balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer.
-Leave in the freezer for at least one hour then transfer to an airtight container and keep in the freezer.
-Now choose if you are a brownie lover, blondie lover… or both!
I have become absolutely religious about having a green smoothie, or some sort of smoothie with greens in it, at least 5 days out of the week. For me, my system just functions so much better by having one of these delicious and beautiful beverages. I also find that starting the day with hot lemon water followed by a smoothie leaves me feeling light and energized. What better way to start the day?
I recently ran a 3 day detox program with some friends who were willing to go the distance with me, to see how they felt and give me some feed back as I am developing the plan. The detox was not focused on weight loss but focus and clarity. I was so happy to get such positive feed back, such as feeling more energy and focus, feeling “lighter’ and even losing a few pounds. (The detox was more involved than just having the smoothies, there was a whole plan to follow. Just to not mislead anyone!)
My favorite outcome is that most of the people who participated in my little trial have continued to have smoothies daily because they really enjoyed them and noticed the benefits! (I am really excited about this 3 day detox and will be running more of them, so keep an eye out!)
I also love that I can get my son to drink his veggies without even knowing it! My notoriously picky, carb loving yet delightful little love bug, will drink my smoothies! Hoorah! There is nothing like the feeling of knowing your child is being well nourished, especially when they are choosy eaters. Success! (At least most of the time :o) I don’t want to get too crazy.)
There are endless combinations of all kinds of gorgeous fruits and vegetables for smoothies and juices that are so delicious and nutritious! I thought I would share 3 of my favorites. Each has its own distinct taste and body detoxifying benefits along with a whole host of nutritional benefits!
With ingredients like these:
Kale and Spinach, rich in iron, antioxidants and vitamin K.
Parsley that is so helpful for digestion flushing out toxins and helping to keep your immune system strong
Blueberries just bursting with vitamin C and anti oxidants.
Ginger to soothe the tummy and reduce inflammation.
Lemon to ease digestion, flush toxins and again, that glorious vitamin C.
… how could they not be a great addition to your day??
Smoothies are a great way to boost your intake of fruits and vegetables, and because they are well blended they are easier for your body to digest. The fibre content is also a huge plus. And of course there is the immune system boost as well. The list of benefits goes on and on, so I will skip to the yummy stuff!
Here are my 3 little recipes of light, focus, clarity and love!
My Green Goodness Go To
1 Frozen banana
2 Cups of almond milk (or coconut milk)
1 Cup frozen peaches ( or 1 1/2 pears or frozen mango is really nice too)
A healthy handful of fresh parsley
2 Huge handfuls of Spinach
1 Tbsp Almond Butter
4 Probiotic capsules opened and emptied into mixture
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend away.
This will make 2 servings
Blueberry Mango Bombshell
2 Cups coconut water
2 Cups blueberries
1 Cup Mango
2 Large handfuls of Kale
1/2 Cucumber chopped
A healthy handful of Parsley
Juice of half a lemon
Grated fresh ginger
4 Probiotic capsules opened and emptied into the mixture
(cinnamon can be added here as well, to taste…really nice mix up of flavors and kind of “warms” things up a little)
Place all ingredients into the Blender and blend away!
If it is too thick add coconut water to desired consistency (or regular filtered water)
This will make 2 servings
Green Belly Soother
2 Large apples peeled and chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of a lemon( or 2 depending on your taste, I like 2)
Fresh ginger (about an inch off of a fresh ginger root)
A very healthy portion of Parsley
2 Huge handfuls of spinach
4 probiotic capsules opened and emptied into the mix
1/2-1 Cup of water (added to desired consistency)
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend away! This one will take a bit more blending and add water as needed for consistency, check taste and add more lemon/lime if you would like it. This is a smoothie that is also really good strained into a juice. You can either pour through a very fine strainer or squeeze through a nut milk bag.
I hope you enjoy adding these greens into your day as much as I do!
Well, I am having a little face lift to my blog, (super exciting!) that is why I have not posted in a couple of weeks. I called in the big dogs to get help! I would love to be able to do it ALL, but alas, I am a busy working mum and had to raise my hand and say “help, please”. I was going to wait to write my next post until said face lift was complete and my site is looking as I would like it to look, then I made these ginger cookies that changed everything!
I have a recipe for ginger cookies that I very often get asked for after I have made for an event. It is an awesome recipe but I wanted to make them vegan and gluten-free in my own sort of style, so the testing began… I have deliciously accomplished my mission, if I do say so myself! Just for the record my 2 little loves have also given them the 2 thumbs up, or as Baya said “Mummy, you get ten fingers and ten toes up!” From my toughest critic this is very big!
The power of ginger cookies! It is incredible… I will actually jump straight to the recipe now because I think everyone should make them immediately :o) These little gems are vegan and gluten-free.
Double Ginger Delights
1 Cup gluten-free buckwheat flour
1 Cup ground gluten-free oats
3/4 Cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
a pinch of salt
3/4 Cup chopped crystalized ginger
1/3 Cup coconut oil (not melted)
1/4 Cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 4 Tbsp water.
Granulated sugar for rolling
– Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
-Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
-Mix the ground flax seed with the water and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes.
-Mix all of the dry ingredients together in the mixer.
-Add the Molasses, coconut oil and vanilla and mix for 3-5 minutes.
-Add the flax mixture and continue to blend. It may seem very dry but just keep blending and it will get to a great consistency for rolling in your hands.
-Add the chopped crystalized ginger and blend until well mixed
-Roll dough into balls (a bit smaller than a golf ball should do) and roll through the granulated sugar, place on the baking sheet and press down just slightly.
-Bake for 13 minutes
-Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack
-Make a cup of tea and try to stop at one or two… good luck!
I hope you enjoy them! And, don’t forget your fruits and veggies! These do have a healthy dose of sugar in them. A sweet indulgence.
My love of almond milk started about 5 years ago. When my daughter was born, she had acid reflux and I had read somewhere that it might help if the mother does not have dairy in her system and it is not getting transferred through her breast milk. I was willing to try anything before having to give my sweet baby girl medication for her reflux! I also discovered that if I held her ALL the time the reflux was not as bad, of course I still had to explore some other avenues. I gave up dairy. I could only have done this for my daughter because I never would have had the strength to say “no” to Brie and ice cream on my own! It worked, I was also holding her 90% of the time but her reflux was noticeably not as bad after I had gone off dairy. Not only that but I lost my baby weight quicker than I had imagined and I felt great. My skin felt great and looked great. I have no allergies or intolerance to dairy but I realized that my system simply functioned better without it. I was also quite happy to go down a road of exploring other options and finding new and exciting recipes.
Here was my discovery of almond milk. Awesome!
The Benefits of Almond Milk
Almond milk has no cholesterol or saturated fats, it is high in healthy Omega fatty acids that we need, it has Calcium, Fiber and vitamins D, E and B.
So yummy and so easy, just buy a carton of almond milk and away we go… until I did a little more research about what was in the almond milk that I was buying. I found that unless you are cautious about getting unsweetened, it has gobs of added sugar, the vitamins that are added are sometimes synthetic and then there is carrageenan. Oh my goodness!
I started to make my own! When you are making your own nut milk you have complete control over what is going into it. It is also surprisingly quick and easy to make. Let me not forget to mention how truly satisfying it is to know that you have just made this amazingly healthy, super delicious home-made almond milk! Everyone will think you are an absolute rock star in the kitchen and you will be tempted to not tell them exactly how quick and easy it is!
What is Carrageenan?
a substance extracted from red and purple seaweeds, consisting of a mixture of polysaccharides. It is used as a thickening or emulsifying agent in food products.
Sounds harmless right? It comes from seaweed so it must be good for you right? Unfortunately, the answer is NO.
One of my favorite health professionals Dr. Andrew Weil, MD. has been questioning the use of carrageenan for over 10 years. Read the following link for his insight.
Prominent carrageenan researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD has this to say:
“Although derived from a natural source, carrageenan appears to be particularly destructive to the digestive system, triggering an immune response similar to that your body has when invaded by pathogens like Salmonella. The result: Carrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding.”
Concerns over food-grade carrageenan are not new. Beginning in the 1960’s, researchers started linking the ingredient to gastrointestinal disease in lab animals, including ulcerative colitis, intestinal lesions, and colon cancer.
Referenced from The Wellness Mama website. Here is the link for further reading on the subject, definitely worth it!
2-3 dates (pitted and soaked for at least one hour).
Vanilla (I do love ground vanilla bean powder).
-Place almonds in a bowl and cover completely with water.
-Let soak for at least 8 hours or over night.
-Drain the almonds and rinse thoroughly.
-Place the almonds in the blender ( any old blender will do, no need for fancy kitchen devices here!)
-Add 4 cups of water.
-Blend! Just about a minute will do.
-Strain through a nut milk bag (you can use a tea towel, a muslin cloth or nylon if you do not yet have a nut milk bag)
-Squeeze out every drop of this delicious treat.
-Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 5 days.
I often make almond milk with only almonds and water; however, if I am to entice my 2-year-old and my 5-year-old over to my side I add a few cheeky dates for sweetness. I cannot lie, I do appreciate the sweetness on occasion as well! Simply make the almond milk as above, strain, put back in the blender and add the soaked dates and or vanilla, blend again. I use ground vanilla bean powder, it is so delicious and can be added to almost anything.
Almond milk is great on its own, in smoothies, in cereal, used in baking… so many possibilities!
Of course you do not have to stop at almonds, Brazil nut milk is gorgeous and let’s not forget about coconut milk.
Decadent Chocolate Almond Bliss
( You could even have this in the morning, what a way to star the day!)
1 Frozen banana
1-1 1/2 Cups of your awesome home-made almond milk ( start with 1 cup then add to desired consistency.
1-2 Tbsp Cacao powder
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp hulled hemp hearts
2-3 Pre-soaked dates
-Put it all in the blender and blend away.
This frothy treat is a super protein booster. Great for an after work out re-fuel!
I hope this inspires some creative nut milk making for the wellness of you and your families!
Thank you Lorissa, for inspiring my nut milk passion :o)
These are cookies that you will not feel bad about giving to your children, or yourself, even for breakfast! Sweet!
Yesterday morning I was on the ever frustrating quest to find something nutritious and of course delicious to give my son for breakfast. He can be a little tricksy, my little cherub, when it comes to eating. (To say the least!) As I was scanning all options, I came across the cookies I had just made the day before which had been a big hit. I thought, I cannot possibly give him cookies for breakfast, I am not quite that desperate yet, am I? Then I started thinking about the ingredients… organic oats, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almond flour, prunes, walnuts, cranberries, chia seeds, sweetened with maple syrup (which would be poured over pancakes or french toast anyway) and vegan mini chocolate chips (I did struggle here for a minute, but decided for the amount of nutrition packed into these little energy boosting delights, I could do it!)
These little gems are also vegan and if you use gluten-free oats, gluten-free.
So, my friends, I give you…
Cookies For Breakfast!
-1 cup oat and seed blend
I grind together gluten-free oats with sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and keep in a container to use as and when.
-1/2 cup almond meal
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 tsp cinnamon
-Pinch of sea salt
-2 Tbsp cranberries
-3-5 chopped prunes
-2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
-2 Tbsp vegan mini chocolate chips
-3 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 1/4 water and left to sit for approx. 10 minutes
-1/4 cup coconut oil
-1/2 cup maple syrup
-Pre-heat oven 350 degrees.
-Prepare baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.
-Mix all dry ingredients.
-Mix in the coconut oil and maple syrup, mix well.
-Add the chia mix and stir until well blended.
-scoop into rounds on you baking sheet.
-bake for 14-16 minutes.
-Let cool on the baking sheet.
-Store in the refrigerator.
* I just made them again today and I mixed some hulled hemp hearts into my oat and seed mix. This gives them a great protein boost!
I did give my wee ones some fresh fruit to go along with these. Let’s not forget there is a nice dose of maple syrup so don’t forget to get your greens in either.
These cookies are also a great addition to lunches. The children feel like they are getting chocolate chip cookies and you know they are getting calcium, iron, fiber, magnesium, protein and an array of gorgeous vitamins!
Holistic Health Coach
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