Green Goodness Smoothie

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This Green Goodness Smoothie makes a great start to your day and also works wonders as an afternoon “pick-me-up.”  The plant based protein and good fat will help to keep your energy level up.  And the spinach and kale are a good source of detoxifying chlorophyll and fiber.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic spinach
  • 1/2 cup organic kale, stems removed
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, peeled
  • 1 small banana, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup of frozen fruit (pineapple, mango, strawberries…. any work!)
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds (sometimes called “hemp hearts”)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 cup filtered water, almond milk or hemp milk

Method:

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender (Vitamix and Blentec work great).  Blend until smooth, adding extra filtered water for desired consistency.  Makes 1 or 2 smoothies.  Enjoy!

Recipe inspired from Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well Without Dieting

 

Flax Carrot Apple Muffins

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•1 1/2 cup gluten free flour or whole wheat flour
•3/4 cup flaxseed meal
•3/4 cup oat flour (process oats in blender or food processor)
•1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
•2 tsp baking soda
•1 tsp baking powder
•2 tsp cinnamon
•2 cups pureed or shredded carrots 
•2 cups shredded apple
In separate bowl
•3/4 cup non-dairy milk or organic milk
•2 eggs
•1 tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients with the wet.
Add:

•1 cup dried cranberries

Combine just until moistened. Fill paper lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Recipe modified from superhealthykids.com

Turkey Sausage, Apple & Cranberry Stuffing

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I’ve made many different stuffings over the years and I keep coming back to this one.  The turkey sausage and apple make a wonderful flavour combination.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of toasted bread cubes 
  • 1 pound of turkey sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cups dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3/4 cup organic turkey or chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted organic butter, melted

Method:

  1. To prepare your own bread cubes, preheat oven to 350F.  Spread the cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet.  Bake 5-7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted.  Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat.  When the outsides are brown, transfer to a cutting board and chop coarsely.  Return sausage to skillet and add onions.  Continue cooking until sausage is evenly browned.  
  3. Add the celery, sage, rosemary and thyme.  Cook for 2 minutes to blend the flavours.
  4. Pour the sausage mixture over the bread cubes in the large bowl.  Mix in chopped apple, dried cranberries and parsley.  Drizzle with the broth and melted butter.  Mix lightly and allow the stuffing to cool completely before loosely stuffing the turkey.

This recipe will easily stuff a ten pound turkey.  Since I’m usually cooking a 25 pound turkey, I always double the recipe!  It turns out great every time.

Pumpkin Pie

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Once you try this recipe, you will never want to use pumpkin pie fill again!  The combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds found in pumpkin have shown this food to have clear potential in the area of cancer prevention.  So go ahead and enjoy a piece of pie!

Ingredients for Two Pies: 

  • 1 large (10-12″) pumpkin or 3-4 pie pumpkins (if you are pressed for time, you can substitute 3 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree — NOT pumpkin pie fill)
  • 7 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups organic coconut palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 cups of your favourite non dairy milk (if using dairy milk, purchase organic)

Method:

  1. Cut pumpkin(s) in half and remove seeds and stringy pulp.  Place halves face down on shallow baking pan and bake at 350 F for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until soft.
  2. Once pumpkin has cooled, peel off skin.  Cut up pumpkin and press the water out.  I like to use a nut bag or cheese cloth and squeeze the pumpkin in my hands.  This is the most time consuming part of the recipe and if you can recruit some extra helping hands, I highly recommend it.  Eliminating excess water is important for preventing a watery pie.
  3. Put pumpkin in a food processor and process until smooth.  Measure out 3 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree.
  4. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  It will smell wonderful!
  5. Pour the mixture into two unbaked pie shells.
  6. Bake at 400 F or 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 F and continue baking for an additional 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the centre of the pie comes out clean.

In the fall I like to bake extra pumpkin; press & puree it into 3 1/2 cup portions and freeze it.  Then I have pumpkin on hand for baking pies at Christmas.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Loaf

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups of your favourite gluten free flour (I used Better Batter) or use 1 cup almond flour + 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie fill)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 4 eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Combine flour, salt, soda, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl.
  3. In a second bowl, beat eggs and stir in pumpkin, maple syrup and coconut oil.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well.
  5. Pour into greased loaf pan and sprinkle some pumpkin seeds on top if desired.  Bake for 45-60 minutes.

Enjoy!

Family Favourite Shepherd’s Pie

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Shepherd’s pie is an easy no-fail dish that can be made ahead of time.  Use whatever vegetables you have on hand and top with mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes.  For a vegetarian version, substitute the ground beef with bulgur wheat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass fed lean ground beef
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • about 4 cups of your favourite vegetables — I used rainbow carrots, peas and corn
  • 5 1/2 oz can organic tomato paste + 2 cans water (I like to use tomato paste rather than tomato sauce to avoid extra sodium)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • freshly ground pepper
  • paprika (optional)
  • mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes for topping

Method:

  1. In skillet over medium heat, cook beef, stirring to break up meat, until brown; pour off fat.  For a vegetarian version, use 3 parts water to 1 part bulgur wheat.  Bring water to a boil; add bulgur, boil for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover; let stand for 5 minutes, drain excess water.  Transfer to a skillet.
  2. Add onions, garlic and vegetables.  Cook until tender.
  3. Add tomato paste, water, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and pepper to taste.
  4. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring up any brown bits on bottom of pan.
  5. Spoon mixture into a casserole dish and spread mashed potatoes evenly on top. Sprinkle with paprika if desired.
  6. Bake at 375F for about 35 minutes or until heated through.  This dish can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.  It also freezes well.  Freeze before baking.  Defrost in the fridge over night and bake at 375F for about 45 minutes, or until heated through.
  7. Makes 6 servings.  Enjoy!

Bulgur wheat’s greatest claim to fame is tabbouleh salad, but it’s also a terrific substitute for ground beef. When cooked in shepherd’s pie, for example, its texture becomes very similar to ground beef, but offers more fiber and far less fat. Bulgur is available in several granulation sizes. The finer the grind, the less time is required for cooking the bulgur. A fine-ground bulgur will soften in about seven minutes, while a medium grind bulgur will be ready to eat in around 15 minutes. For shepherd’s pie, I prefer a medium grind.

Quinoa Curry

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Quinoa is a high-protein, non-gluten grain.  It combines really well with the warming spices of curry and chili to make this delicious dish.

Ingredients:

2 cups quinoa
4 cups water

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 onion
4 cloves garlic (medium size)
40 mm / 1.5 inches ginger root, grated

1 diced pepper (yellow, green, or red)
8 fresh tomatoes diced, OR 1 28 oz can organic tomatoes, diced
1 zucchini, diced

1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste

1 can coconut milk

Method:

1. Rinse quinoa under cold water and drain

2. Add quinoa and water to a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil

3. Reduce heat and simmer until water has been absorbed (around 15 minutes)

4. In a separate large pan heat coconut oil

5. Add garlic, onion, and ginger and sauté until onions are slightly soft (a few minutes)

6. Add diced peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, chili powder, curry powder and sea salt

7. Simmer on medium heat for several minutes (until peppers are a little soft)

8. Add coconut milk and simmer for one or two more minutes

9. Stir in cooked quinoa

Makes approximately 4 cups

Thanks to holistic nutritionist Paul Demeda of Healthy by Knowing for this great recipe.

www.healthybyknowing.com 

 

Stop Before You Pop

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I love popcorn, but you won’t catch me eating microwave popcorn. Microwave popcorn is deliciously dangerous for two main reasons.

  1.  Diacetyl
    That wonderful aroma that hits you when you open a bag of freshly popped microwave popcorn is a chemical called diacetyl. Diacetyl is a synthetic butter flavouring that has doctors concerned. Hundreds of workers at popcorn manufacturing plants have developed a condition called “popcorn lung,” also known by the medical name bronchiolitis obliterans. The condition is caused by inhalation of diacetyl fumes, which cause scarring in the lungs. Sufferers of popcorn lung have difficulty exhaling, and when severe, the condition can be fatal. You may not be a factory worker, but chemicals build up in your lungs and tissues over time. Repeated exposure to harmful chemicals can pose a serious health hazard.

2. Perfluorooctanoic
The second problem with microwave popcorn is perfluorooctanoic or PFOA. The manufacturers of microwave popcorn coat the bags with a chemical that, according to the FDA, breaks down during the cooking process and forms a chemical called perfluorooctanoic or PFOA. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies PFOA as a likely carcinogen and it has been linked to thyroid issues, high cholesterol and bladder cancer.

Solution:  Buy certified organic non-GMO popcorn kernels and make it on the stove top or use a hot air popper. Drizzle on some melted coconut oil and sprinkle with sea salt. You could even add some nutritional yeast for a faux-parmesan taste. Enjoy your healthy snack of popcorn, free from harmful chemicals and health hazards.

Blueberry Muffins

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Wild blueberries are bursting with flavour and filled with nutrients.  These blueberry muffins are gluten free, nut free and refined sugar free.

Ingredients:
1 cup GF rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup of your favourite gluten free flour
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 375F and combine oats, flour, flax seed, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
2. Combine bananas, coconut oil, maple syrup and orange juice in a separate bowl.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently combine.
4. Fold in blueberries.
5. Fill paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins.

Peach Cobbler

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This peach cobbler is so healthy, you can eat it for breakfast, but it tastes so delicious you may want to serve it for dessert.

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup quinoa flour or almond flour
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup ground flax
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups freshly peeled and sliced peaches

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a casserole dish with coconut oil.
2. Combine all ingredients, except the peaches, in a large mixing bowl.
3. Pour the peaches into your baking dish, then spread the quinoa/oat mixture evenly over the top.
4. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until lightly browned/crispy on the top.
5. Serve warm with a dollop of Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt.

Serves 6-8

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