Drinks, Healthy Treats, Smoothies

Chocolate Mint Green Smoothie

This Month has been jam packed with activities and events and yet it seems like we we’re just starting the first week of December. I find my self wanting December to slow down. If you’ve already been to a few Christmas parties or family gatherings, you might be like me and you’ve over done it a little…..or a lot!!

After eating a few too many of the things I don’t normally eat, I decided my digestive system needed a little siesta! But I still wanted to enjoy some of the holiday flavours…….that is when this green, healthy holiday smoothie, was birthed.

 

Chocolate Mint Green Smoothie

Recipe:

 

Chocolate Sauce:

1/2 Cup plus 1 Tbsp of preferred milk alternative

1/4 Cup  medjool dates, pitted and soaked

2 Tbsp good quality cocoa powder

1/2 tsp Pure vanilla

Pinch of sea salt

 

For the Smoothie:

2 Cups Baby Spinach, washed

1 Cup preferred milk alternative

4 Medjool Dates, pitted

1/2 Frozen banana

3-4 Mint leaves

1/8 pure peppermint extract or 1-2 drops of food grade peppermint oil

Small handful of raw pumpkin seeds (optional)

 

Instructions:

Prepare the chocolate sauce first. If you don’t have a high speed  blender, soak your dates for two hours in the milk that you’ll be using. If you’re pressed for time, you can soak the dates in boiling water for 15-30 minutes, be sure to drain the excess water afterwards. Place all your ingredients for the chocolate sauce into a high speed blender or you can use a hand held blender and blend until mixture is smooth. Pour into a small bowl, set aside and rinse your blender.

For the smoothie, place all your ingredients into your blender, adding the milk last and blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until your smoothie is well blended.

Add a tablespoon of the chocolate sauce to the bottom of a medium glass. If you want, you can add some of the chocolate sauce to the top of the glass and let it drip down into the glass if you’re feeling a little creative. Then, pour in the green smoothie and drizzle a little extra chocolate on top if you’d like 🙂

 

Hope you enjoy this little healthy indulgence!

 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

 

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Drinks

Dairy Free “Egg” Nog

Egg nog is one of those things that you either love it or hate it. I’m one of the nog lovers but wouldn’t drink it any time other than during Christmas. Next to candy canes, mandarin oranges and short bread, eggnog is apart of the holiday flavours even if your aren’t fan.

The first Christmas after I went dairy free, it dawned on me that I wasn’t going to be able to have any egg nog-this was almost a year after I went dairy free and was only realizing this now because who thinks about egg nog before Dec.? I’m sure there a few die hard fans out there 😉

After trying some of the dairy free versions, I felt that they kind of tasted a little meh. Don’t get me wrong there are a couple that I don’t mind…..thing is, I don’t consider them to be a health food which is fine if your only going to have it a couple times a year. Plus, I’m always looking for a way to make it better, fresher and with more nutrient value.

So, after completely turning my kitchen into a post tornado scene………

 

I’ve come up with something that I’m pretty pleased with.

Dairy Free “Egg” Nog

 Ingredients:

1/4 -1/2 cup (depending on desired thickness)  raw unsalted cashews, soaked

1/4 cup pitted dates, packed and soaked

1 cup full fat coconut milk

1 1/2- 2 cups of preferred milk alternative

1 tsp pure vanilla

3/4 tsp of good quality ground nutmeg (it makes a big difference)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of sea salt (optional)

 

Directions:

Soak cashews and dates in separate bowls for at least an hour. If you are using a high speed blender, you can skip this step. Place your cashews, dates, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the milk into a blender and blend on low until fully combined. Then, add in your spices and sea salt, if using, along with the rest of the milk and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. And your done!

This drink is best if served fresh. It does tend thicken up after being in the fridge for several hours. If you’d like, you can add a bit more of the milk (not coconut milk) if you’d like to thin it out a bit. You can also add fewer cashews if you prefer a thinner “egg” nog.

Cheers!

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Drinks, Recipes

Golden Milk with Holiday Spice

Some of you might have seen this bright yellow “latte” popping up on your Pinterest home page, claiming numerous health benefits. If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, I’ll fill you in on a few things about this bright warm drink…..

 

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TURMERIC

Although this drink comes with other health improving ingredients, turmeric is the star of the show. Turmeric may seem like a new health product but It has been used for many years as a part of the Ayurveda system of medicine that is rooted in the Indian subcontinent. The active compound in this yellow spice is curcumin. Curcumin’s anti- inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties are what lift turmeric to star status.

 

PEPPER

What a strange thing to add to a “latte”!  Pepper does have a lot of health benefits but the main reason it’s added into Golden Milk is its component piperine which is said to increase the bioavailability of curcumin. There are other natural health practitioners out there that say that it doesn’t really matter. Until I find more research that it doesn’t make a difference, I’d suggest adding it in this recipe because……..1. There is very little pepper in these drinks to even be able to taste it and  2. because of  the other health benefits that you’d gain from pepper-it can stimulate your taste buds that in turn, increases stomach acid secretion which improves digestion ( this wouldn’t help those with hyperchlorhydia, high levels of stomach acid, which is a much rarer occurrence in comparison to hypochlorhydia, low levels of stomach acid). Black Pepper also has antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

 

GINGER

Traditionally, golden milk recipes don’t include ginger but seeing as we are in the midst of the Christmas season, it seemed fitting to add some holiday spice to this drink! Ginger, another spice that is native to India, is most known for its support in digestive upsets- eliminating gas by soothing and relaxing the intestinal tract, and helping with nausea in pregnancy and motion sickness. And just like turmeric, ginger also contains an anti-inflammatory compound, called gingerol.

 

CINNAMON

This very aromatic spice is mostly known for its ability to help regulate blood sugar levels due to its circulatory stimulating effect. Some other health benefits that come from cinnamon are that it’s used as a digestant, anticonvulsant, diuretic and as  an antibiotic ( other than it being a warming spice, this might be one of the main reasons we tend to see more cinnamon in recipes during the fall and winter months!).

GOLDEN MILK with HOLIDAY SPICE

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil

1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated or 1/4 tsp dried, ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

pinch of ground pepper

2 1/2 Tbsp of pure maple syrup

1 cup full fat coconut milk

1 cup soy milk ( organic, non GMO) or your favourite milk alternative

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil over low to medium heat. Next, remove from heat and add the maple syrup and all of your spices and blend well. Combine the two milks and slowly add a small amount ( couple tablespoons at a time) to your melted oil and spice mix then stir until combined. Do this a couple more times and then add in the rest of your milk. Return to heat and let it come to a slow boil over medium heat, occasionally stirring. Turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes. After, you can use a handheld blender our high speed blender to blend this drink even more and to remove any clumped up spices. Plus, blending it this way also adds a nice froth to make it more like a latte!

 

Hope you enjoy, thanks for stopping by!

 

Healthy Treats, Snacks

Holiday Spice Energy Bites

Here is a quick and easy recipe for those busy days during the holiday season. You can pop these into the kids lunches or your own. If there are nut allergies in your household or if your child goes to a school that is nut free, the almonds in this recipe can be substituted with a variation of seeds for a nut free version. These little bites are a great source of sustained energy. They won’t give you the quick energy that leaves you tired and hungry an hour later. For a time saver, make a couple batches and freeze ( they freeze well!). These don’t need to be limited to a snack, they can also be brought as a dessert/treat to your next holiday gathering! Fill up on a couple of these and you won’t want any of the other desserts or you might just be inclined to eat less of the unhealthy stuff.

Holiday Spice Energy Bites

Makes 22-24 energy bites

Ingredients:

1/2 cup  raw unsalted almonds

1/4 cup hemp hearts

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

3/4 cup pitted dates, packed

2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp all spice

1/4-1/2 tsp ground ginger

pinch of cardamom ( optional)

pinch of nutmeg

2-3 drops of food grade pure orange oil/ extract ( optional) or 1 tsp grated orange peel

 

Instructions:

  1. Place almonds in a food processor and process for 5-10 seconds ( if your omitting almonds, skip this step)
  2. Add in the your seeds and process for 15 seconds
  3. Next, add in your dates, spice mix and vanilla. Process on high for 30 seconds or until mixture can form into a ball when scooped out.
  4. Scoop out about a rounded teaspoon full of the mixture and roll into a ball. You may need to wash your hands half way through as the mixture gets a little sticky.

 

 

If you liked this recipe and are looking for more, feel free to sign up for updates on recipes like this one! 🙂

Enjoy!

 

Breakfast, Recipes

Chocolate PB Oatmeal Bowl

In our household, oatmeal is a staple. Every day, there is a bowl of oatmeal being made-whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or snack……. it has probably been served for dinner once or twice. My husband is the biggest oat fan though. He’ll bring a bag of oats with him to work because it’s an easy go to meal when you’re short on time- this man works a lot and oatmeal is what fuels his 6’7 body during those 10-16 hour work days!

Nutritional Profile on Oats

  • Oats are a great source of minerals like manganese, selenium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron.
  • They are a great source of fibre. Aside from keeping us regular, soluble fibre can be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease; soluble fibre brings excess cholesterol particles with it during its journey out of the body.
  • Oats are great for blood sugar stability. But, if your eating the instant prepackaged oats that come with sugar, it’ll have the opposite effect.
  • They are a great source of plant protein- 10 grams per cup of (uncooked) oatmeal. With all the add ins, the Chocolate PB Oatmeal Bowl contains 23 grams of protein!                                                                                                                                                              This recipe is an adapted version of our family favorite oatmeal bowl, created for my youngest….. she wont eat oatmeal any other way, go figure.

Chocolate PB Oatmeal Bowl

1 large serving

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats, GF

1/4 cup soy milk or your favorite milk alternative

2 Tbsp  good quality cocoa powder

1 Tbsp maple syrup or one package of stevia

1 Tbsp natural peanut butter

pinch of sea salt if you’re using unsalted peanut butter

Add ins:

1 banana, sliced

3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds

3 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

optional, hemp hearts and slivered almonds

Instructions:

1.Cook your oatmeal as directed on the package.

2. Add in your peanut butter, cocoa powder, maple syrup and milk. Stir until combined.

3. Add your toppings/add ins how ever you desire.

Hope you enjoy this warm bowl of chocolatey oats as much as we do 🙂

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