Sunday, October 14, 2018

Bird Seed & Herb Crackers

I got this recipe courtesy of my boyfriends mom and it has since made the perfect addition to our pantry.



I struggle to find quality foods to snack on while restricting grains in my life. I'm trapped in the middle of a constant "I want food to be healthy and taste good" and "I don't want my stomach to hurt" fight. Thankfully by making food at home I don't have to be stuck in the middle of this fight and I have complete control about the ingredients that are going into my body.

Here's the ton of health benefits behind each ingredient used in this recipe:

Pumpkin seeds:
Pumpkin seeds are a valued source of zinc, which has benefits to your skin and immune system. One of my favourite sayings, that you can almost always hear me repeating whenever I eat pumpkin seeds is "zinc is good for your dink!" (It was a fun saying in nutrition college..). It has been studied and results have shown that zinc supplementation can increase sperm count and mobility in infertile men, and that's pretty damn interesting if you ask me. 
Pumpkin seeds also contain numerous forms of vitamin E (alpha-tocopheral, gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocomonoenol, and gamma tocomonoenol). We are likely to get more health benefits from the various forms of vitamin E, than we would opposed to just getting one form (such as in supplementation).

Sesame seeds:
These little babies contain a lot of minerals such as copper, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, molybdenum, and two unique substances sesamin and sesamolin which belong to the lignin family. Lignans contribute to lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, but sesamin specifically  can also help to prevent oxidative damage to the liver.

Sunflower seeds:
High in polysterols, which has anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular and cancer protection benefits. 
Polysterols are compounds found in plants that have a similar chemical structure to cholesterol. When these compounds are present in diets, they can potentially reduce blood levels of cholesterol (LDL), enhance immunity and decrease risks of certain cancers.

Chia seeds:
A ton of fibre, omega 3's and protein are somehow packed into these tiny super seeds! Only 2 tbsp will deliver 11g of fiber, 4g of protein and 9g of fat (5g of which are omega 3's!). Chia seeds are also a source of prebiotics, which is basically food for probiotics. Both play a significant role in digestive health. 
Chia seeds are also rich in calcium and manganese that help to maintain bone health.

Flax seed meal:
Flax seeds contains a motherload of alpha-linoenic acid (a component of omega 3's) which is great for heart health and cognitive function. Flaxseeds also contain a lot of lignans, which I briefly discussed earlier, but they actually contain about 7X as many lignans as sesame seeds. Which means that these guys are GREAT for heart health. 
The poopy thing about flax seeds however, is that the whole seed is indigestible; and is passed right through the digestive system if it is not grinded or broken down by your teeth. This is why flaxseed meal is a better way to get all the nutrients that flaxseeds have to offer. It is recommended that you store your flaxseeds in a cool dark place, and grind them yourself. Once ground they have a short shelf life, so it's best that you store them in the fridge for 3 to a maximum of 5 days.

Finally, here's the recipe. 
Thanks for reading and nerding out with me. Enjoy! 



Ingredients:

1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 C black sesame seeds (white will also work)
1/2 C raw sunflower seeds
1/2 C chia seeds
1/2 C flax meal
1 1/2 tsp himalayan salt
1 tbsp fresh minced rosemary (about 1 small sprig)
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp dill (I used dried, use 2 tsp if you're using fresh)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 C water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°

Mix all ingredients together and pour in the water last. Stir and let the seeds absorb all the water. Taste to ensure this is the correct seasoning and flavour profile you want. Feel free to add a little more of this or less of that! I like salty crackers so I will sometimes adjust at the end.

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper then spread the seed mixture evenly from corner to corner. Use an additional silicone mat or parchment paper and place on top of the mixture. From here, use your hands to evenly press out the mixture in-between the two sheets/mats.
Put another baking sheet on top and press down. This makes sure it's compressed and flat. 

Keep the top baking sheet on and bake for 30 minutes.
Then remove the top baking sheet and parchment/mat on top and cut the crackers into the sizes you prefer.
Put them back into the oven, uncovered, and continue to bake for another 30 minutes.

Makes about 30 2x2" crackers.




Thursday, June 7, 2018

Coconut Cashew Chocolate Chip Muffins

This recipe is grain, gluten, dairy free.. and it's also perfect. 
I freaking love these muffins. 
I mean, they have chocolate chips in them so it's pretty hard to go wrong!

I'm currently trying to transition my diet into being gluten free again. Sadly, I think I'm starting to develop an intolerance to that beautiful protein. The two years I just spent on the SAIT campus attending culinary school, my diet ended up being totally haywire. I choose to eat food because I want to learn; and tasting is learning for me. But then my digestive issues started coming back (mostly constant bloating and tummy aches) combined with my constant crave for sugar due to being exhausted and undernourished, I'm so happy to be eating my preferred way again :) Now that I've finally graduated (YAY ME!), I'm hoping to slowly go back to my grain & gluten free days. 

I've mentioned this lots on the blog and on my instagram before ,but I really do feel my best when I eat fewer carbs, and eat a lot of healthy fats and protein. So for that reason, I like having snacks like this one handy for my busy work schedule.

This recipe is good for people who are just starting out eating grain/gluten free. I find that coconut is a bit finicky to bake with, but this recipe is super easy and turns out lovely. It's also not SUPER coconuty which I like because sometimes I find coconut flour can be a bit overpowering. 

Coconut Cashew Chocolate Chip Muffins



Ingredients:

1/4 C cashew butter (I used homemade, but you can also substitute almond or peanut butter)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 C coconut sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs 
1 C cashew milk
1/2 C coconut flour
1/3 C dark chocolate chips


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°

Line a muffin tray with 12 liners and lightly line each up with cooking spray (I use coconut oil spray to avoid nasty refined vegetable oil).

Combine cashew butter, coconut oil, coconut sugar, and vanilla into your mixer and mix well. Slowly add eggs one at a time while continuing to mix. Then pour in cashew milk, and once combined, mix in the coconut flour.

Once the coconut flour is incorporated, stop mixing and fold in the chocolate chips by hand.

Fill muffin liners about half way and bake for about 18-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Deconstructed Egg Roll

The only reason I made this deconstructed egg roll dish is straight up because I was lazy, wanted a meal full of vegetables and knew this would be easy to prepare after a long day of work. Which is exactly what it ended up being! 

It's a super easy meal to make when you're busy but want to fill up on vegetables and lean protein. Plus, the ingredients are super cheap. Bonus.

I adapted this recipe from detoxinista.com and made it my own by adding the fish sauce and tweaking a few other things. If you've never used fish sauce before, it smells like total shit but tastes so good because it adds umami to the dish. Omit the fish sauce and substitute tofu to make this meal vegan.

Deconstructed Egg Roll



Ingredients:

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 yellow onion, julienned
4 carrots, julienned
4 celery sticks, cut thin, on a bias (also known as asian cut)
1 small head cabbage (about 1.5 lbs), shredded
2 C shiitake mushrooms (can use another kind of mushroom if desired)
4 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp fish sauce
pinch sea salt & back pepper
green onion and toasted sesame seeds for garnish
6 eggs

Directions:

Heat sesame oil over medium-high heat in large deep skillet. 

Saute onion, carrots and celery until they start to soften and turn light brown. 

Add in the shredded cabbage, mushrooms, tamari and fish sauce. Lower heat, cover, and stir every few minutes until cabbage is soft (about 10 minutes).

Season with salt and pepper.

If making an egg scramble: Push the vegetables to a side and create a "well" in the center. Add eggs and mix together with the vegetables until cooked. 
If using poached eggs: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add vinegar, but just enough to slightly taste the vinegar in the water. Reduce to a simmer and slowly drop in the eggs. Cook about 4-5 minutes for a medium egg yolk. Using a slotted spoon, remove eggs and dry off on a plate lined with paper towel. Add on top of vegetables.

Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.

Serves 6






Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Rosemary Lemon Candied Cashews

Omfg I love cashews. 
They're so expensive, but soooo good. 
When I was volunteering in Kenya, I bought so many cashews and macadamia nuts because I needed to take advantage of them while they were so cheap! A 200g bag was about 2000 Kenyan Shillings, which is basically $2.50 CAD. WHAT?! So I went nuts (didn't even intend that pun I swear) and bought as much as I could. 

Candied nuts are just a great snack to have around. I often neglect to eat while I'm working (professional kitchens are SO busy!) so I like to have these around to snack on to help keep my blood sugar regulated.

This recipe is one of my favourites I've made so far because its PACKED with umami! Sweet yet also savoury, and overall just pleasant to taste. Rosemary and lemon are such a great and traditional marriage of flavours that my palate is so happy to indulge in whenever I give it the chance. I hope you love snacking on these nuts as much as I do! 

Rosemary Lemon Candied Cashews


Ingredients:

2 C raw cashews
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp honey (or try maple syrup. It's seriously delicious!)
1/2 + 1/4 tsp himalayan sea salt (divided)
1/2 tsp course black pepper
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°

In a small pan, lightly warm the oil and honey. This just makes it easier to disperse throughout the nut mixture. If you're using maple syrup, skip this step.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl (excluding the 1/4 tsp salt) and mix together well. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and evenly spread the nuts.

Bake for about 10-14 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Make sure to stir half way through roasting!

Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle on remaining sea salt and stir again.

Let cool fully and break apart the chunks before transferring to an airtight container. 

Enjoy! xo

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Chocolate Chip Energy/Recovery Balls

Whether you're going on a hike, bike ride, or spending a day shredding the snow on mountain tops, this ball will deliver energy to your muscles and brain and also help support muscle recovery. It also supports the digestive system as they are a good source of insoluble and soluble fibre.  Each ingredient has a reason for being used and to me, this is how all recipes should be created: with health and purpose in mind.

Here's a breakdown of why I chose these ingredients because knowledge is power!

Medjool Dates: High in minerals such as iron which is a component in red blood cells, and helps determine the balance of oxygen in the blood. Also high in electrolytes such as the mineral potassium which controls heart rate and blood pressure.

Hempseeds: Holy shit, how do I keep this simple and to the point? Hemp is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation and is food for your brain, helping to improve cognitive function. Also high in minerals, just 3 tablespoons meets 50% of the suggested daily value of magnesium and phosphorus, 25% DV for zinc, and 15% DV for iron. Also high in both fiber and protein, it was a no brainer (no pun intended) to add hemp seeds to the recipe. 

Rolled Oats: Complex carbohydrates that slowly digest, and provides glucose to the brain and muscles to utilize as energy. Also high in fibre.

Flax and Chia seeds: These 2 super seeds truly deserve their own paragraphs, however for the sake of not boring everyone (and taking into consideration my laziness), I'll sum just up what their purpose is in this recipe. Both high in Omega 3 fatty acids, and contain insoluble and soluble fiber which helps regulate bowel movements and cleans the intestinal tract. Chia seeds specifically are a great source of protein, amino acids, and antioxidants too.

Coconut: High in healthy fats which keep your blood sugar levels contained at a sustainable level, and is brain food because of the medium chain triglycerides.

Nut butter: In this case I used homemade cashew butter, however nut butters are a great source of protein and fat. Keeps your tummy full longer, and delivers energy to you muscles.

Cinnamon: Good source of chromium, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

Himalayan Salt: Provides trace minerals to the body thus reducing muscle cramps and providing electrolytes. 

MCT Oil: FAT IS HEALTHY FOR YOU. DON'T BELIEVE THE PROPAGANDA FROM THE 70'S! Sorry. I went a bit overboard.. 
Your brain uses this fat as energy, which results in better thinking and overall brain function. Helps with digestive function and healing the gut. 

Chocolate chips: Chocolate makes you feel loved. And love makes you happy.


** If you don't have both chia or flax seeds, you can substitute by using either 1/2 C flax or chia
*** If you don't have MCT oil, just use coconut oil instead. If you don't have coconut oil, I'd substitute with a cold pressed oil such as avocado, flax or hemp.

Chocolate Chip Energy/Recovery Balls




Ingredients:


7-8 soft medjool dates, pits removed (if they're not soft, quickly soak them in hot water for 5 minutes, then drain well to ensure there is little to no added moisture to the recipe)
1/2 C hempseeds
1/2 C rolled oats
1/4 C flax seeds
1/4 C chia seeds
2/3 C toasted coconut (doesn't have to be toasted, but I highly recommend to add more depth to the flavour profile of these energy balls)
1/2 C nut butter (I used cashew butter, but almond or peanut would be delish too!)
heavy pinch himalayan sea salt
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp MCT oil
1/3 C mini chocolate chips
1 tbsp honey** if needed for consistency 

optional:
3 scoops (15000mg L-Glutamine powder)

Directions:

Make a date paste by putting the dates in a food processor and letting it form into a smooth paste. then add other ingredients in the order they are listed. Blend until the mixture is crumbly but mixed together well. You want all of the ingredients to be incorporated together so that each bite has all of the intended ingredients and flavours.


Place processing bowl into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. This helps when you're forming the balls so that they're not crumbling everywhere, making a mess, and thus, pissing you off in the process. 

Once cooled, form into balls, whichever size you prefer. I like taking a cookie dough scoop and roll from there.

Store in fridge to retain freshness.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Lemon poppy seed muffins are nothing new or creative to the culinary world, but these classic muffins have always been a total fave of mine, so I wanted to put my own Wholistic Foodie Approved recipe up on the blog for all my friends to enjoy. I adapted this recipe from The Roasted Root, but as always when I adapt recipes, I made the recipe a little bit my own in the process of putting the ingredients together by tweaking a few things. 

Happy baking!



Ingredients:

2 C almond flour
1/2 C tapioca flour
3 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 C coconut milk
3 lemons, zested
1/3 C lemon juice (can add an extra tbsp if desired)
3 eggs, whisked
1/3 C + 2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp poppy seeds (try using chia seeds instead to boost up the fibre and add omega-3s!)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°, line a muffin tray with 12 liners

In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients (except the poppy seeds).

Combine the wet with the dry ingredients, and sprinkle in the poppy (or chia) seeds.

Pour into muffin tin and only fill 3/4 of the way up. Garnish with fresh berries (I used raspberries and they were amazing!)

Bake for 23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and eat up later!
They keep well in the freezer to save some for later 

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

I freaking love zucchini in all forms. Adding it to cookies? Even better.

I love having low sugar snacks that are packed with protein and fibre on my busy days, so having cookies like these around make my busy days just that much better and keeps me more prepared

You can even turn this recipe into a DOUBLE chocolate chip recipe if you want! 



Ingredients:

2 C almond flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
3 tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 small-medium zucchini
2 eggs
1/4 C coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 C chocolate chips

3 tbsp cocoa powder, if making double chocolate cookies

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°

Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl (add the cocoa powder now if using)

Finely grate zucchini with a cheese grater. Transfer to a clean tea towel and ring out all of the moisture. 

Whisk the eggs, and combine the coconut oil and maple syrup in a bowl. Fold in the zucchini.

Combine wet ingredients to the dry, then fold in chocolate chips. This mixture will be more wet than a typical cookie recipe.

Using a cookie scoop (or a heaping tablespoon), scoop dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes. 

Let cool and snack away!