Vegan Carob cookies 

 

 

Every time I make a dessert recipe I firmly state that I rarely do so. Well, because we are embarking on a NEW business venture (yep another one) I will be using some of my time to try and create prototypes for testing – you may even see us out at the farmers markets this summer AND you should definitely see us with a booth at the fall bodybuilding shows….stay tuned.

My risk, your gain, these cookies were inspired by a bag of carob chips I had leftover after teaching part of my health series at my step-daughters elementary school. I call sugary things “sometimes treats” and enjoyed that I could reinforce that terminology with the class delivering surprise cookies.

*Nearly* sugar-free, these have made the recipe books…well, mine anyway. Just wish I would’ve busted out the equipment for some decent food shots.

Carob chips come in sweetened and natural – natural carob is NATURALLY sweet so please try to find unsweetened chips.

Dry Ingredients:

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

4 cups spelt or coconut flour * I used both and liked spelt more

Wet ingredients: 

1/2 cup almond milk

1 1/8 cup coconut oil melted

2 tsp vanilla extract – try my simple recipe

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups carob chips – save us for last!

Method: 

Baker I am NOT so I will have you know that there were two fallen trial recipes before this one. I attempted both baking AND dehydrating however, baking won.

Set oven to 350.

You will need 2 bowls, one large one medium.

In your medium bowl mix warm melted coconut oil with vanilla extract and brown sugar. Dissolve your sugar up in this mix.

In your larger bowl add all of your dry ingredients and mix well.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add your wet ingredients as pictured below.


Once this is done SLOWLY add your nut milk and mix until sticking. Add in your carob chips.

The dough should be relatively dry and ball up easily. Don’t add all your nut milk at once and don’t be afraid to use a tad more over the recipe if you feel the cookies are too dry.

Ballers being ballers – stoked to have a recipe that just might work.

Next, roll into doughnut hole sized balls and place on a cookie sheet.

These bad girls don’t grow too much so squish them down with your fingers or a fork to ensure they are thoroughly cooked.

Bake for 10 minutes. I tried 12 and they dried out too much, 10 should work well if your oven temps are true.

 


 

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Regardless of how much time I have on my hands there are certain things that I WILL NOT eat out of a package. One of them is oatmeal. Quick oats give every reason for the human race to slow down and make their own damn oatmeal…here’s an inspiring recipe to bring whole food cooking back into your kitchen.

Make the time to go wild with fruits that you love!

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup quick oats & 1.5 cups hot water

1 tbsp flax seed

1/2 tsp aromatic coconut oil

1 Fuji apple – 3/4 diced 1/4 sliced for garnish

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup nut milk of choice (this was low-cal almond & coconut 35 cals per cup)

Maple syrup or agave nectar to drizzle only

Method: 

On stove top bring all ingredients (other than milk & syrup) to a quick boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

In microwave heat all ingredients other than milk and syrup for 1 minute, stir and heat for 30 seconds more.

Add milk (add this in the heating process if you like hot milk) and garnish with apples and drizzle syrup.

Makes one serving under 300 calories.

Pseudo gingerbread latte – Vegan Bodybuilding Series

   

 You all know that this diet is NOT the best, especially at the point where you’re into your last couple of weeks.

I took to trading in some of my fats for the day in order to down an almond milk latte or two.

I found that this pseudo homemade latte hit the spot and was pretty creative if I do say so myself!

The natural essential oils add a sugary / fatty taste where you don’t have to add anything. Not even stevia.

Ingredients:

1 tea bag – chai or gingerbread flavoured

1 cup almond milk, unsweetened & boiled/zapped

1 cup espresso coffee

Dash cinnamon & nutmeg

Method:

In very large mug for superhot espresso coffee and add teabag steeping for two to three minutes.

Remove teabag and stir in milk.

Add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Serve hot.

Quick protein rich parfait – Vegan

The biggest gripe I have about eating during the week is that I hate feeling as though I have no time to eat something delicious. Smoothies work but they’re not so fun day in and day out.

I got my hands on some cultured almond milk yogurt and whipped up this delicious 5 minute breakfast this morning.

Ingredients: 

1 large banana sliced

1/2 cup raspberries

1/2 cup black berries

1/4 cup cashew nuts, crushed

1/3 cup hemp hearts

1 cup almond milk, dairy free yogurt

Drizzling of agave nectar

Method: 

Layer fruit and yogurt. Top with nuts, seeds and agave nectar. Maybe even a dash of cinnamon.

Serves two.

Here’s a tip: If you need to run out the door, stack it all in a mason jar and eat it at work or after a workout.

Vegan Metis Bannock – Frybread

Tradition 2.0

Tradition 2.0

Anastacia came home from school on Friday talking about what she learned that week. Part of her experiences were speaking and learning about First Nations people, apparently Bannock was either discussed or eaten.

Having Metis roots close at home meant that she had already experienced making and cooking Bannock over an open fire at home and she has also been exposed to a tidbit of the culture.

She asked if we could make Bannock. I accepted the challenge and added a twist – veganism.

If you like scones, you’ll love this recipe.

Ingredients: 

3 cups pre-mixed cake flour (includes baking soda/powder/salt)

3 tbsp granulated organic cane sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 block (lb) of vegan butter spread (or butter if you will)

1 cup almond milk

Jam/Honey/Agave nectar for topping

Method: 

Preheat oven to 425

Mix dry ingredients.

Add butter and mix by hand until crumbled.

Slowly add almond milk until dough forms but is not sticky/runny. (Add little bits of flour if your mixture is too wet).

Knead (folding) for 2 minutes.

Form into ball.

Spread in circular formation about 1/2 an inch thick on cookie sheet. I use a pizza sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes or until browned.

Serve warm drizzled with jam, honey or agave nectar.

 

 

Vegan Strawberry Waffles

Sweet Success

Sweet Success

Weekends are the only time I really try to shine at breakfast. I’m not a fan of sweets and I am by no means a pastry chef however, this adapted recipe turned out marvelously and tasted fantastic.

I made a heap of extras to freeze and throw in the oven later – I suggest you do the same. This recipe is for a double batch of the adapted Emeril Legasse recipe.

Prep time 10 minutes, cook time 4 minutes if your going vegan. This recipe is a little heavier sans eggs.

Ingredients:

4 cups cake flour ( I used a pre-mixed blend with baking powder & salt already added)

8 tbsp of egg replacer

1/2 cup water for egg replacer (or more depending)

3 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract – try my homemade recipe HERE

8 tbsp earth balance spread or unsalted butter, melted

3 cups almond milk

2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

Coconut oil cooking spray

Method: 

Pre-heat waffle iron according to instructions.

Prepare egg replacer by adding water slowly and whisking. Ensure that you add water bit by bit to keep an eye on consistency – you want the consistency of a beaten egg.

Next, add sugar, vanilla extract, melted butter and eggs to egg replacer mixture until combined.

With rubber spatula fold wet ingredients into cake flour gently until thoroughly mixed. Do not over mix or the batter will become tough.

Coat waffle iron with cooking spray.

Place 1 cup of batter with 1/4 cup of strawberry slices at center of iron. Close and allow to cook for 4-4.5 minutes depending on your iron – check in after 3 minutes.

Serve immediately topped with agave nectar or honey. Garnish with mint leaves or more fresh strawberry slices and powdered sugar if desired.

This recipe will serve 4 and allow for at least that many servings to be frozen and stored for at least a few months.

To re-heat: 

Turn oven to 350 and bake for 10 minutes.

Banana Pancakes – vegan

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What to make for breakfast with a house full of people and nothing in the cupboards? Vegan banana pancakes of course. Silly. Add this recipe to your repertoire for a delish and healthy breakfast for the masses.

 

Ingredients: 

6-8 VERY ripe bananas

1 tbsp vanilla extract – try my homemade recipe!

2.5 cups unbleached organic flour – swap for spelt flour if you’re gluten free

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2.5 cups almond/nut milk

4 tbsp unrefined organic sugar

Avocado oil/coconut oil for pan

Method: 

Mash bananas in bowl set aside 2 for garnish. Blend with milk, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix all ingredients together until smooth.

You can play with the consistency of your pancakes here. I like them a little more thick so if they are too thin, I just add a bit more flour. Be fearless, pancakes cannot be screwed up. Promise.

(But if you do screw them up..let me know)

Pour into a cast iron pan coated with coconut or avocado oil, heated to medium heat. Cook until bubbles appear then flip. Cook to a golden colour.

Serve with sliced banana and organic REAL maple syrup

Serves 6

Quick health facts: 

If you think bananas are just for monkeys, think again.

  1. Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin — the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter.
  2. Eat two bananas before a strenuous workout to pack an energy punch and sustain your blood sugar.
  3. Protect against muscle cramps during workouts and nighttime leg cramps by eating a banana.
  4. Counteract calcium loss during urination and build strong bones by supplementing with a banana.
  5. Improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms by eating a banana, which regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation.
  6. Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B-6.
  7. Strengthen your blood and relieve anemia with the added iron from bananas.
  8. High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.

    Eating Bananas Aids Digestion

  9. Rich in pectin, bananas aid digestion and gently chelate toxins and heavy metals from the body.
  10. Bananas act as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel. They also produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients.
  11. Constipated? High fiber in bananas can help normalize bowel motility.
  12. Got the runs? Bananas are soothing to the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhoea.
  13. Bananas are a natural antacid, providing relief from acid reflux, heartburn and GERD.
  14. Bananas are the only raw fruit that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids.

    Natural Cures From A Simple Banana

  15. Eating bananas will help prevent kidney cancer, protects the eyes against macular degeneration and builds strong bones by increasing calcium absorption.
  16. Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium.
  17. Bananas are high in antioxidants, providing protection from free radicals and chronic disease.
  18. Eating a banana between meals helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce nausea from morning sickness.
  19. Rub a bug bite or hives with the inside of the banana peel to relieve itching and irritation.
  20. Control blood sugar and avoid binging between meals by eating a banana.
  21. Eating a banana can lower the body temperature and cool you during a fever or on a hot day.
  22. The natural mood-enhancer tryptophan, helps to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
  23. Quitting smoking? Bananas contain high levels of B-vitamins as well as potassium and magnesium to speed recovery from the effects of withdrawal.
  24. Remove a wart by placing the inside of a piece of banana peel against the wart and taping it in place.
  25. Rub the inside of a banana peel on your leather shoes or handbag and polish with a dry cloth for a quick shine.

Vegan pumpkin French toast

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This recipe is in honour of October, camping, crisp nights, frosty mornings with piping hot black coffee, dogs, love and real food.

 

Ingredients:

8 slices “little big bread” by Macks Flax

3 bananas

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

3/4 cup almond milk

1.5 tbsp ground flax seed

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp earth balance soy free spread

1/4 cup raw, organic, granulated sugar

1 cup water

4 small pears

2 cups strawberries

Method:

To prepare your vegan batter add bananas, milk, flax seed, almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract  and pumpkin puree into hand blender vessel & blend well. If your mix is looking too thick or dry, add more almond milk a few tablespoons at a time.

Let mixture sit for at least 30 minutes to thicken up.

In small pot add peeled (or not) and sliced pears. I do not peel mine. Add water and sugar, heat until rolling boil achieved. Turn heat down to simmer and stir often until liquid is reduced.

In frying pan on medium heat add 1/2 earth balance until melted. Dip bread slices into liquid mixture and transfer to frying pan. Cook until browned on both sides. Avoid soaking for too long as bread will become too soggy.

Brioche bread works the best…FRESH sourdough is also amazing.

Plate with sliced strawberries, top with pear reduction – who needs syrup????? If you’re feeling extra saucy, add Tofutti cream cheese with pear reduction and “stuff” between two slices of french toast. Top with fresh fruit & cinnamon.

Serves 2-4 depending on how much you love it – I say it serves two.

Pumpkin pudding pie – vegan

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I adapted this recipe heavily after trying to find something mainly raw, definitely vegan and definitely quick. This recipe will take you about 30 minutes to complete however, ** there is a setting time of a few hours** for the pudding/pie filling. Please make sure you leave yourself with at least a few hours before chowing down.

Ingredients Pie:

3/4 lg can pumpkin filling

5 tbsp cornstarch

3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice * try my homemade recipe

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1 3/4 cup coconut almond milk

3/4 tsp vanilla extract  *try my homemade recipe

Ingredients Crust: 

2  1/4 cups soaked & pitted dates * soak for 45 minutes

2 1/2 cups pecans

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice *try my homemade recipe

Method:

Create crust first by placing all ingredients in food processor and pulsing until well mixed and doughy. Mixture should form an easy ball when rolled.

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Press into pie pan (greased with coconut oil if not teflon) and place in fridge.

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Next, create your filling.

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Combine all dry ingredients in a saucepan and whisk. Add pumpkin puree and slowly whisk in milk.

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Place over medium heat and whisk continuously. Once bubbles start and the mixture thickens use a spatula to ensure your mix does not stick to the bottom or sides of the pan.

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Remove from stove top and add vanilla, whisk and let set for 5 minutes. Pour into glass bowl.

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Add Saran wrap to touch the surface of the pudding to prevent “skin” from forming.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Once set pour mixture into pie shell and let set for another 30-60 minutes. 

Serve with Luna & Larry’s coconut bliss ice cream or a whipped topping of your choosing.

Reference: The minimalist baker

The art of the juice cleanse

 

Melon Juice

Melon Juice

Many times have I committed to a juice cleanse and never have I managed to document any of the experience for clientele or the general public. Because I have embarked on yet another cleanse I feel that I had the time and space to do this – because I’m not leading a group cleanse or making juices myself.

This time, I decided to go with a commercially purchased cleanse. I looked at several options before taking the plunge and took several items into consideration:

– what was the company selling the cleanse all about

– where were they located

– price & value

– ease of starting/receiving juice

I had initially chosen a company out of Calgary as this would be a place to pick up from that was easily accessible and had nearly 0 carbon footprint. Unfortunately, they took more than forever to return emails (terrible, spoiled Albertan vendors with no idea of the rest of the worlds customer service initiatives *steam*, this province is so alienated by the oil and gas industry) and when then did, they were not helpful, or cheery, with getting a cleanse to me outside of their prescribed days and times – even though I said I would pick up.

So, as it has been going lately, I decided to look out of province. Why? Well, their markets aren’t as inflated and their vendors generally care about having paying customers.

Enter “Raw Raw” Cleanse: http://www.rawrawcleanse.com.

It took me just 2 days and $200 per person for a 6 day cleanse to arrive via courier to my office. Tina, the proprietor was very helpful. We had a bit of a hiccup with juice types and after sending an email, I was assured the additional juice would arrive next-day (today hopefully) to get the sequencing of juices done right. Wow.

If you are interested in the juices I have been drinking you can find them HERE. 

 

DAY 1

The juice arrived at 10 am to our offices. It came packaged in a styrofoam cooler with cooling gel packs above and below the juice. The package also contained a juicing reusable bag, a note on the expiry, a 25% off coupon and a quick reference card for consuming the juices in the right order.

 

3 day juice cleansing

3 day juice cleansing

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The "how to"

Because I was ravenous, I opened up the cooler and immediately (took pics for all of you) then shook and guzzled my first “Clean Greens”. I’ll just put it out there, green smoothies are NOT my favourite, never will be. I understand their vital importance in balancing our vitamins and minerals, but they are sour, and so was this one.

Next, on my way to a meeting I grabbed the ginger berry. WAY more my style and super easy to drink with a lovely ginger taste – can’t complain.

I did a couple random circles around the office looking at trail mix and bananas, but I did not partake. Win. Next, Cool melon. This is where I learned I didn’t have any cool melon but double the almond milk variety. So I drank an almond milk one…it was great – a little extra nut fiber in there, but it was good. Cool melon – for real – on the way home I snaked a cool melon out of my boyfriends order. Simple, sweet and minty – I actually use the same recipe for watermelon martinis in the summer.

On the way home, I was feeling like I needed a nap. By the time I got home, I completely thought I would have one – except work got in the way a bit. I felt SUPER agro for about 1 hour, so I ate a handful of cashew nuts – raw ones. By the time I walked the dogs and puttered around with small chores, I realized I might as well just get on with it and do my day 8 of 21 Day HIIT challenge. During this 20 minute super workout I felt like I had OK energy and could cope with all the exercises without utter exhaustion.

I then used the next Clean Greens as a post-workout drink – it still tasted bad. I was in bed reading by 8:30pm and sipped away at the final Citrus beverage until I fell asleep. I LOVE this one. Spicy, citrus-y, deliciousness. At this point, I was feeling full and so far haven’t felt starving. I don’t think Jeff can say the same.

I fell asleep and was probably up around 3am. Not sure if the lack of sleep ability was the dogs or what, but it was a tough night.

DAY 2

Waking up was a bit hellish. I managed to get back to sleep by 6 am and slept until about 7:45.

Got out of bed, guzzled some water and had my first Clean Greens. I didn’t feel hungry at all, and I still don’t.

As I sit and write this I miss coffee. The smell, the taste and the buzz. Hoping that getting through my errands and a big dog walk will pull me into the land of the living by 11 am.

Stay tuned……………………….

I headed out of the house just after 10 am with my second (and favourite) juice in-hand to have a scoot through the country with my pups.  I took the dogs out for a walk in the woods and nearly left them there – woah nelly, settle down. A little bit more easily aggravated these days I have to admit. Hangry. By 1130 am I was still tired and now annoyed at my dogs.  Again, I drove home and thought I was going to crash heavily, and didn’t. Instead, I had a handful of cashews, brewed up an herbal peppermint tea and hunkered down to watch a very disturbing movie on Netflix. I hopped up for one of the many million pee’s during the movie and grabbed by third juice of the day for “lunch”. I have just taken the dogs out for another walk, wrote a letter and am now going to attempt my HIIT for the day: WORK OUT .

It is currently 7 pm. I made it through a HIIT and 12 minutes of a 20 minute spin – legs were far too tired – I also managed a bit of Yoga without issue.

I lapped up half a clean green for a recovery drink, with a small handful of cashews.

Literally a handful of cashews.

Literally a handful of cashews.

Let me tell you , my stomach was grumbling, so I had another cup of herbal mint tea and did some laundry. I think I may pay heed to the recommendation of “moderate” exercise. I don’t even listen to my own good advice.

I currently have two juices left and am feeling quite alert. Not aggravated, that was definitely a morning thing. Though, I have been fantasizing about food for the last couple of hours. Poor Jeff, went to his grandmas and she ordered a pizza. Ruthless day for him.

I would call day 2 a success……nighty night until tomorrow!

DAY 3 

Day three arrived. My sleep wasn’t nearly as interrupted as last night however, I still woke up a little tired. Getting the ball rolling on the day seemed a little less painless and I had no desire to eat or any hunger.

The work day was 10 hours long with no breaks, a few times I had to run to Jeff’s office to scarf down some almonds & cashews. Probably ate at least 3/4 of a cup of each throughout the day.

I thought about food all day. When I wasn’t stressing about something, I literally only thought about food. I had to plan a luncheon for tomorrow and ordered about twice as much pizza for 15 people as I should have. I could taste it.

I think today was the hardest day by far. Knowing it’s nearly over and hearing a little voice inside your head say “c’mon, just have a snack”……I’ve been beating that voice back all day.

There is one more drink to go before bed. I know I can make it, I think Jeff has at least 5 meals prepared for us to eat tomorrow – which is SUCH a bad idea when you’re coming off of a cleanse. Honestly – ease into it with soup and salads….or suffer the wrath.

The dirty bits: bowel movements still occurring however, not at the mass and frequency expected. I didn’t go at all yesterday, no urge either. Jeff wont let me talk about his poops in public. Sissy.

Overall, today I felt the most spacey I have and the most weak. I opted for a longer walk with the dogs instead of exercising at full out capacity.

Ok, I lied. I'm a workout addict.

Ok, I lied. I’m a workout addict.

I will say that removing meals does remove a sense of community and that is one part of the human culture that I quite enjoy. There is a certain void left in a day where there is no communion with others, a sharp empty space that only cooking and enjoying a meal can fill. That, is what I truly craved most in this cleanse.