Cherry Chia Seed Pudding

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Chia seeds are a super food that are packed with protein, good fats, healthy fiber and phytonutrients.  Adding them to your day often helps to level blood sugar, which improves satiety and reduces food cravings.  They also help support healthy digestion.  There are some really awesome ways to get a good serving of chia seeds each day.

Here’s a delicious recipe that is sure to be a great breakfast cereal or mid-day snack.  It is full of sweet delicious flavour and is packed full of nutrients.  Plus, a recipe like this is a great substitute for yogurt, for those who have a dairy intolerance or allergy.

Check out this Cherry Chia Pudding recipe, pictured above.  The recipe calls for cherries, and these days you can find frozen *organic* cherries at Costco, Zehrs and many other grocery stores.

The recipe also calls for Stevia to sweeten it, but honey or maple syrup can also be used.

Enjoy this great recipe for chia and see how they make a difference in how you feel.

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Healthy Chocolate Spread

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Here’s lookin’ at you, kid!

My “All Dressed Apples” recipe was really well received, so I couldn’t leave this option out for all the chocolate lovers out there.

When you are looking for a quick chocolate fix, this is an option that will serve up a satisfying healthy snack.

The Chocolate Spread

1 tbsp almond butter (see nut free options below)

1 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tbsp raw cacao powder

Mix the three ingredients together until creamy.  This makes enough for 1 chopped apple.  Dip the apples in  or use as a spread.  To make a school friendly version, use sunflower butter, tahini or “Wow”  butter.  Option to top the spread with gluten free, dairy free chocolate chips, goji berries, shredded coconut, hemp hearts and/or chia seeds.

“PB” + Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

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This is a deluxe healthy treat if I’ve ever had one.  I am loving these little darlings.

My recipe is inspired by the recipe from Cooking Classy.  I gave this recipe a few modifications to upgrade it’s nutrition.  The original recipe calls for peanut butter and I’ve swapped it for almond butter because almond butter is a more nutritious and cleaner option.  For those who still prefer to use peanut butter, choose a 100% pure peanut butter that doesn’t contain the refined sugar and hydrogenated oils that conventional brands like Kraft or Skippy do.  I also offer a few nut free suggestions in place of the nut butter for the kids school lunches.

Here’s how to get this one done:

“PB” + Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

1/2 cup almond butter (School-friendly option: use sunflower or soy “wow” butter)

1/3 cup raw unpasteurized honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup old fashioned oats

2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted

1/2 cup whole chia seeds (*This was a great swap because they make the bites crunchy…yum!… whereas ground flax would not add that.)

6 tbsp dairy free, gluten free chocolate chips

Assembly: Stir everything together.  Refrigerate to harden.  With damp hands, shape into balls.  Makes about 20.  Store in airtight container in refrigerator.  Try not to eat them all. 😉

All Dressed Apples

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When I work on nutrition with my patients I find that many people are in need of more nutrient dense foods in their day.  Increasing the fiber through plant foods is the best way to do this.  When we put the words “fiber” and “plant food” together the thought that may come to mind is “boring.”  But I’m here to show you that’s not the case.

Here’s one of my favourite snack recipes and it will knock your socks off!  It fits my criteria of easy, tasty and healthy.  All plant food here, people… and you’re going to love it.

All Dressed Apples

1 apple, cut into rounds or slices

Almond Butter

Granola

Goji berries

Hemp Seeds

Chia Seeds

Dairy Free Chocolate Chips

Assembly: Cut apples.  Top with almond butter.  Sprinkle with fun toppings*.

*Fun toppings can be anything you want to add.  If you don’t have granola raw oats.  Try shredded coconut, chopped dates, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries… etc.

Me & The Minimalists: Key Lime Darlings

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Since the hubby and I resolved at the beginning of January to get back on track with healthy eating we’ve been making sure a plentiful amount of daily greens are in effect.  The days have been mighty full through the month of January.  I have been meaning to make us some very healthy treats for a while and I finally got my chance!

Ever since I did my healthy holiday treats post back in December, I have been eyeing those pretty Key Lime Tarts from the Minimalist Baker.  The look sooooo lovely… and the fresh flavour of lime is perfectly aligned with our efforts to keep up our healthy eating.

The recipe for these little gems called for a variety of options for the crust.  I opted for a grain free crust and used a classic and easy nut and date mixture.  The filling whipped up like a dream.  This recipe was so simple I enlisted the help of my munchkins. Here’s my version of the Vegan Key Lime Pie Tarts.

FIRST – SOAK RAW CASHEWS 

This recipe has one element that needs to be prepared ahead of time.  The dairy free filling is made from cashews, so to get that creaminess, the cashews have to be softened through soaking.  Raw cashews are available at the Bulk Barn and at some grocery stores.  They need to be soaked for 4-8 hours in water.  Soak 1 cup of cashews in enough water to cover them.

MAKE THE CRUST – GRAIN FREE OPTION

A grain free crust is to easy to make and works in these types of tarts.  The recipe from the Minimalist Baker makes about 24-28 small tarts.  With the recipe below I was able to make enough crust for all the tarts.

1 cup almonds, walnuts, pecans or a mix of these… *Food Adventure Option: we were a bit scarce on nuts at the time so crossed my fingers and threw in pumpkin seeds (1/4 cup) with pecans (1/4 cup) and it worked wonderfully!  After doing this, I’m certain you can use a mix of nuts and the heartier seeds like sunflower and pumpkin if you needed to.

+ 1 cup medjool dates

Place ingredients in food processor and process until the dates and nuts/seeds turn into a fine, grainy mixture that holds together when you pinch it.

crust

PUT CRUST IN TART SHELLS

My oldest son was pleased as punch to help me make these tarts.  I scooped 1 teaspoon of the date mixture into each shell and he pressed them down.

filling

MAKE THE FILLING (Dr. Laura’s Version)

1 cup cashews, soaked

1/2 cup coconut milk, from the can.  Mix it well to combine the coconut cream and coconut water.

1/2 cup coconut oil

Juice from 3 regular limes

1/3 cup maple syrup

Throw everything in blender and blend until smooth.

FILL THE TARTS

Pour filling into tart shell.

FREEZE

These tarts set in the freezer.  Once they are frozen you can take them out of the tart pan and store them in the freezer or the fridge.

You can eat them chilled or leave them out on the countertop for a little bit to thaw before enjoying them!

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THE VERDICT: These tarts were everything I imagined them to be!  They are sub-LIME little bites of dreaminess.  The cashew cream was silky and rich.  The tarts taste delightfully sweet and sour.  I have to add that this recipe was so simple to make!  Whenever I can get the kids involved it’s a sure sign of a simple, straightforward recipe.  Don’t you love it when healthy eating is simple and yummy? 😉

Kale Chips

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After three years of recipe posts, this one is coming down the line pretty late!  I can’t believe I didn’t post this recipe sooner, but it’s a keeper!

Kale chips are super healthy and a great alternative to regular chips.  We’ve spent a lot of time outdoors this summer, and that lends itself to summer snacks to replenish our energy levels.  I’ve found kale chips to be a great snack option.

I LOVE the recipe I’m sharing here.  Check it out: BEST EVER KALE CHIP RECIPE

That being said, kale chips can also be a smash with just a little olive oil and sea salt.  The recipe above gives options to make them in your oven or a dehydrator if you have one.  Either way, this is a recipe that is a good one to have.  Especially is you are looking for a healthy and tasty treat!

Quirky Food Combos

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I came across this article about quirky food combinations a while ago and I found it so interesting.  In part because I’m fascinated by food… and also because I have my own secret food quirk.

Check out the article here: Quirky Food Combos

I can see how some of them would work.  In fact, I’ve seen the strawberry-basil combination before in our inspiration for fruit infused water that I posted a while back.  And I’m downright interested in trying some of these out.

My quirky food combination comes from a party way, way…waaaaaay back in my hometown days.  A friend made a sandwich and although I thought it was the most horrendous thing I ever saw, I was dared to try it and when I did something about it just jived.  I’ve been making my twist of it ever since.

Dr. Laura’s Food Quirk: Almond Butter, Mustard & Black Pepper Rice Cakes

I tried googling this combo… surely SOMEBODY else has eaten this.  Sure enough there is.  It’s very similar to the Peanut Butter and Pickle sandwich in the post above.

This is what I like about it: sweet, salty, kinda-thai-inspired, crunchy and kinda-on-the-healthy-side

How I make it:

Start with 1-2 rice cakes…Top with almond butter…Spread a layer of dijon mustard on top…Sprinkle with black pepper… done.

What quirky food combos do you secretly like?