Happy weekend, y’all!
It’s been awhile since I wrote my last post – apologies for being MIA. Summer is one hell of a chaotic (the good kind of course) ride. And somehow along the way, you lose concept of time because of the summer memories you’re busy creating.
To make it up to you, here’s one of my favourite cake recipes. You know how I do: low sugar, gluten/wheat free, vegan and crap-free.
It’s also a chocolate cake.
That’s how sorry I am.
Cause chocolate makes everything better, amiright?
What you’ll need:
1 cup of buckwheat flour
6-7 tbsp of organic raw cacao
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1/2 tsp of baking soda
3/4 cup of organic coconut sugar or granulated xylitol + 3 packets of stevia (adjust to sweet tooth!)
1/4 cup of plain unsweetened coconut yogurt
3/4 cup of unsweetened almond/coconut milk (or filtered water)
1/4 cup of raw almond butter (or Sunbutter if you want it nut-free)
2 tsp of alcohol free vanilla extract
2 tbsp of organic coconut oil + 1 tsp of organic coconut oil for pan greasing
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8″ square pan with 1 tsp of organic coconut oil. Set it aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and use a fork to get rid of any clumps. In a second bowl, bring in nut butter, yogurt, milk, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and mix. Do not over mix! Transfer into pan and distribute evenly.
Bake for 22-26 minutes. Remove and let it sit to cool.
For the coconut yogurt icing, you’ll need:
1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut yogurt (or non dairy option – I love using Yoso Coconut Yogurt)
1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1-2 pinches of uncut stevia (or 1/4 of organic coconut sugar)
3 tbsp of coconut cream (not oil!)
1 tsp of organic raw cacao
Combine everything in a frosting bowl until completely smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness. Spread icing on the cooled cake, cut into desired square slices and top with sugar free chocolate chips (or carob chips). Nom nom away!
Drink to your health – right in the morning!
One of the best things to have right after a well rested sleep is a delicious, healthy green smoothie loaded with nutrients. They give you a boost in energy, supply a radiant amount of nutrients, help improve skin conditions, reduce sugary cravings, assist in effortless weight loss and provide you with the daily dose of vegetables and fruits your body needs. While green smoothies and juices are all the hype these days, there are ways to get the most out of your daily dose of uplifting nourishment.
Steadily start your engine by swapping your dead, sugary, unhealthy breakfast with a pre-chewed living greens smoothie after your tall glass of lemon water or morning green tea. This way, your body reaps the benefits of the bio-available nutrients it has offer while preserving your delicate digestive fire.
The other day, I learned a fantastic habit to get the most out of my daily smoothies. Chew them! Digestion starts in your mouth, so by activating salivary enzymes by “chewing” your smoothie, you are basically letting your digestive organs know that food is on its way. Saliva is secreted when you chew your food, so by chewing your smoothie, you’re helping an important part of the digestive process by lubricating the sugars that essentially helps them break down easier in your stomach. Let’s face it – bloating can suck! So try chewing your smoothie instead of gulping it down in one sitting.
I’ve made this recipe almost everyday this week! It’s easy, quick and absolutely tasty. As you probably know from my previous posts, I keep on a low sugar, low glycemic diet in which I consume much more vegetables than I do fruit. The first tip to making a nutrient dense smoothie (or juice) is by keeping the greens-fruit ratio roughly 4:1. Leafy greens provide a substantial dose of calcium, iron, disease fighting phytochemicals and phytonutrients. You don’t necessarily want a sugar laden smoothie as it defeats the overall purpose. Frozen cucumbers is a great way to add some wholesome sweetness to your smoothie without having to use sugary fruits like bananas or mangoes.
A second important tip is making sure you get an adequate amount of protein combined with healthy fats. This is very important especially when you’re having your smoothie for breakfast or as a meal replacement. Raw almond butter and hemp seeds stow healthy fats including immunity and brain boosting Omega-3 fatty acids. Along with the vegan protein powder (whether it’s pea protein or brown rice protein), this smoothie is packed with the essential protein your body needs for daily fuel, growth support and maintenance.
Get the right energy you need by starting your day off with a smoothie bang!
An Ode To Smoothies – Recipes like this:
Ironic isn’t it? I don’t drink alcohol but I love using my tall Carlsberg glass for my smoothies! Who needs alcohol anyway when you can have a succulent and beneficial drink instead?
What you’ll need:
Half a large local cucumber (frozen, cut into slices)
3-5 packed cups of organic baby spinach (or leafy greens of your choice!)
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk (or 1 cup of almond milk +1/2 cup of filtered water if you don’t want it too creamy)
1 tsp of organic raw almond butter (I love Dastony’s sprouted almond butter for this!)
1/2 a scoop of vanilla vegan protein powder
2 tbsp of raw hemp protein (Natera’s Natural Hemp Protein works great)
1 tsp of grounded flax or chia seeds
Optional: sometimes I like my morning smoothie a little bit tangy sweet, so I add half a cup of FROZEN sliced raspberries!
Blend the cucumbers, baby spinach and almond milk first for 1 minute. Add in protein ingredients and flax/chia.
Blend some more. Keep a bit of the smoothie chunky so you retain some of the needed fiber which you can then “chew” during consumption.
Chew, drink and feel powerful!
This is ish is bananas! B-a-n-a-n-a-s! (Thanks Gwen Stefani!)
There are so many smoothie recipes out there that require bananas. Now I don’t dislike bananas (I actually love them), however, I do believe that bananas (and other high sugary fruits) should be eaten in moderation. Bananas have a higher calorie and sugar content than a lot of other fruits so having them as a wholesome treat once in awhile with some almond butter or cacao nibs is something I recommend. But if you’re like me, who consume green smoothies and juices on the daily, it’s probably a fine idea to swap out bananas once in awhile from your typical smoothie and think outside the box! When you’re on a plant based diet, remember that a variety of vegetables and fruits are key. (Especially veggies!)
While having a banana is a great source of vitamin B and potassium, you don’t need to eat them daily to be healthy. Despite popular belief, you also don’t need them to make a nourishing smoothie either. You can have a an incredible creamy, healthier smoothie without it – and a delicious one at that! For those of you who don’t like the taste of banana in your smoothie or on a lower glycemic, low sugar and low fructose diet (like moi), I got chu!
What you’ll need:
1/4 of frozen organic strawberries or raspberries (frozen wild blueberries work too)
1 cup of frozen cucumber slices
1/2 cup of frozen zucchini slices
2 packed cups of spinach (or other leafy green)
1 cup of kale
1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk frozen cubes (or 1.5 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 scoop of Vanilla Vegan Protein Powder
1 tbsp of ground flax
2 tbsp of chia seeds (trick: you can gelatinize it with some water before throwing it in!)
1 tbsp of hemp hearts
For an extra creamy smoothie, add 1 frozen avocado slice. For a sweeter smoothie, add 1/2 cup of frozen melon or cantaloupe. For a frothier smoothie, add ice or more almond milk frozen cubes.
To make this a fruit free smoothie, you can eliminate the frozen berries and add more frozen cucumbers. Frozen cucumbers actually taste a bit sweeter so you might not even miss the fruit!
Add the almond milk first in the blender. Throw in the rest of the ingredients. Blend, blend, blend! Devour.
A is for apples. B is for buckwheat. C is for chia AND cinnamon. Good enough for me!
Friends, let’s have the alphabet for breakfast.
Forget the high simple carb, sugary muffins you have the morning at Starbucks. It’s crap and you deserve better. 🙂 Something like this delicious and simple baked breakfast cake is very much all you. It’s similar to a thick moist muffin cake you can enjoy with your favourite fixins’ like melted almond butter, homemade jam, almonds, more fruit or coconut butter. So. Many. Possibilities.
Having this in the morning means having a high fiber, protein and iron rich, healthy fats filled blowout. Also low in sugar (free of refined sugars) and naturally sweetened with delicious green Apple bits, Cinnamon and some xylitol/stevia.
I’m obsessed with baking (more so eating) chia seeds and buckwheat especially for the past couple of days. Both have become a staple part of my pantry and diet and for many of my everyday dishes, they’ve been great flour and grain replacements. Not only do they do the body really good, they are also very versatile. Healthy puddings, cereals, cakes, pancakes, smoothies…you name it. So when I found out Nature’s Earthly Choice created a line of convenient and nature-approved goodies like Chia Goodness, I was left in a moment of bliss. They kindly provided me with healthy products that not only were quality fresh but combined two of the beloved main ingredients for my breakfast bake: chia seeds and Buckwheat.
Score! Healthy, real ingredients and provides satisfying energy to fuel the beginnings of promising days.
And for an extra nudge of protein and nutrient density, all of the Chia Goodness products contain hulled hemp seeds too. Therefore, when you’re pressed for time in the morning and can’t make this ABC breakfast bake (no excuse not to make it on a Sunday!), you can jumble a few tablespoons of the Goodness mix with unsweetened vanilla almond/coconut milk (perhaps some fruit?) for a speedy and nourishing breakfast bowl. Either way, you’ll certainly be taken care of in the mornings. 😉
I know my bake is a little naked but I wanted to show you how delectable it looked on its own. If you don’t want a heavy breakfast, you can definitely have it by itself and hustle it to go like you would a muffin.
Step aside muffin.
What you’ll need:
3 tbsp of Nature’s Earthly Choice Chia Goodness Original mix
1/2 cup of organic buckwheat flour (grind buckwheat groats in blender)
1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tbsp of organic cinnamon
1/4 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of vanilla bean extract (non alcohol)
1 flax egg (1 tbsp of ground flax + 3 tbsp of warm water – let sit for 5 minutes to create flax gel)
Small green gala apple, diced
1/2 tbsp of organic coconut oil (can omit)
1 tbsp of xylitol or stevia (adjust to sweet tooth)
Optional: 1 tbsp of raw cacao or carob powder
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all of the dry ingredients together. Whisk in wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix well. Lightly grease a small ramekin or other safe baking dish with some coconut oil. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 20-23 minutes until fully cooked but still moist. Let cool. Flip onto a small bowl, top and devour!
Do you avoid kale, parsley, swiss chard, and other green juices due to their bitter flavor? Here’s a simple yet effective way to mellow it out. Although, I don’t mind it because I personally feel A LOT better drinking a mostly vegetable based juice, some of you probably don’t feel the same way. Or some of you are brand new to the world of juicing. Being a vegan, my taste buds have definitely adapted to enjoy the natural flavor and richness of greens. I also love when my juices are more tart than sweet.
What about fruit, you ask? You can add pineapple, agave nectar, or other sweet ingredients to cover up the bitterness of greens but I don’t recommend it. Not only does it (sorta) defeat the purpose of a healthy green juice but you’re more at risk at raising your blood sugars by adding it. When you strip off the fiber from the fruit, it enters the bloodstream very fast and can send blood sugars and insulin levels to rocket. The only fruit that works well with green vegetables in blends and juices is a green apple – not too much though. It’s a great base and adds the perfect amount of sweet while still keeping the sugar content down. However, if you’re like me and prefer an easy, less sugary alternative to balance the flavor, add lemon or lime. The acidity neutralizes the bitterness, plus it tastes absolutely refreshing!
The greener, the meaner, the better!
What you’ll need:
Half a large cucumber (sometimes I’ll use the whole cucumber!)
Half a large carrot
3 stalks of kale
3 cups of organic baby spinach
1 small lemon peeled or half a lemon peeled
1/2″ of peeled piece of ginger
2-3 large romaine lettuce leaves
1 cup of filtered water
Additional: Spirulina powder, Sunfood Sun is Shining Green Superfood, chia seeds (for added crunch!)
Thoroughly wash your fresh ingredients. Remove stems where applicable. Cut the vegetables so they’re able to fit in your juicer.
Pass the ingredients through the juicer’s chute.
My favourite tip: re-use the pulp and juice them 1-3 times and then pass through filtered water.
Add green powders or chia seeds. Stir. Drink immediately!