Chocolate Hazelnut Bites

Here’s another great family friendly snack to keep chilled in the fridge for that afternoon craving (or morning…. or night…..   )   😉

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup Shredded Coconut (plus some for rolling)

6 Medjool dates

3/4 cup Hazelnuts

1/4 cup Hemp Seeds

1/4 cup Honey

4 tsp Cacao Powder

1 tsp Vanilla

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor.  Squeeze together and roll into bite size balls.  Roll in coconut and store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Puree

I don’t know about you, but lately when it comes to my almost one year old I am often finding myself staring blankly into the fridge wondering what to feed him.  He’s in that awkward stage where he still prefers some food pureed but will also try some of the food that we make for ourselves.  So I’ve found lately that he seems to be getting odds and ends and I don’t really feel like he’s getting enough variety in his diet.  I often fall back on the things I know he likes just because I know he will eat them.  But that means he’s missing out on other foods (and nutrients).

So I decided that for the next couple of days I will be in full on cooking mode!  I am loading up the freezer with healthy purees, stews and cooked veggies to have on hand for him.  It makes life so much easier…..it’s just finding the time to do it.  It’s worth it.  Take one or two days to get it all done and be stress-free about meals (most of them anyway) for the next little while.

This roasted red pepper and goat cheese puree is the first one I whipped up.  It can be used as a pasta sauce, dip or spread.  High in Vitamin A and C with some Folic Acid, Potassium and Niacin the peppers are a great nutrient boost combined with protein rich goat cheese.

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Ingredients: (This makes about 1 cup you can store in the fridge for a few days.  However if you’re stocking up your freezer you will want to multiply the ingredients according to how much you want)  I used 8 peppers!

1 Large Red Pepper

2 Tbsp. Goat Cheese

Lay your Pepper (s) on a foil lined baking sheet and broil for about 15 minutes, rotating them every few minutes to make sure all sides get roasted.  You want your peppers to become black and charred on the outside, so don’t worry about burning them.  This makes the skin come off very easy.  Once done, set your pepper(s) in a bowl and cover for a few minutes to allow the steam to also help remove the skin easier.  Once they are cool enough to handle peel of the skin (you can use a knife to get it started), pull out the stem (it should come off very easily), slice the pepper down the middle, flatten it out and scrape out the seeds.

Roughly chop into pieces your food processor can handle.  Add the pepper(s) to your food processor along with goat cheese and process until smooth.

Store in a container in the fridge for up to a few days or freeze in baby-friendly containers in the freezer.

Frozen Chai Smoothie

This tastes like a Chai Latte but frozen instead. (YUM!)  If you like Chai Spice you can easily make your own at home and store it in a jar so it’s ready to go.  Just combine the following ingredients….

Chai Spice

1 Tsp Ground Cardamom

2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 Tsp Ground Cloves

1 Tsp Allspice

2 Tsp Ground Ginger

Adult and child friendly, you can use your new Chai Spice Blend to create this cold refreshing smoothie to have on a summer day!

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Ingredients:

1 Banana (peel and chop and freeze overnight)

1 Cup Coconut Milk

3 Ice Cubes

2 Dates (to sweeten)

1 Tsp Chai Spice

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.  Make sure to blend long enough that you don’t have chunks of date in your smoothie!  Alternatively you could use another sweetener like honey.

You can also adjust the amount of Chai Spice to your liking.

Other add-ins to boost the nutrients in this smoothie could be ground flax, kefir or hemp seeds.

Ahhhhh refreshing.

PS – I would love to know what else you’re using your Chai Spice in!

 

Spiced Sweet Potatoe Wedges with Smoked Paprika “Aioli”

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Do you love ordering sweet potatoe fries and dipping sauce at restaurants?  Try these baked sweet potatoe wedges and greek yogurt based dipping sauce for a healthier version!  You can make them in wedges or cut them thinner to make fries…just adjust your cooking time accordingly.

For the potatoes….

2 Large Sweet Potatoes

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tsp Cumin

1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Dried dill

Pinch of Sea Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and cut the ends off of your potatoes.  Slice in half, and in half again and again creating wedges of similar size.

In a bowl combine the potatoe wedges with all remaining ingredients, using your hands to make sure they are all coated.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the potatoe wedges out in an even layer.  I like to lay them skin side down.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes (or until they are soft when poked with a fork).  Turn them half way through so they cook evenly.  Times will vary depending on your oven, the size of your potatoe wedges and whether you like them more mushy or firm.

Meanwhile for the dipping sauce you will need….

1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1 Tsp Minced Garlic (I used the minced garlic from the jar that contains some oil)

1/2 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Green Onion chopped

Pinch of Sea Salt & Pepper

Combine all ingredients and garnish with some extra green onion if you like.  You can leave this in a bowl on top of your oven while the potatoes are cooking if you like it a bit warm.

Note – if you like spicy, totally add some cayenne to the potatoes or the dipping sauce!

Vanilla Cranberry Muffins

A while back I was in the grocery store and came across whole vanilla beans.  Yum!  They smell so delicious so I had to grab some while I was there.  I was thinking to myself today, I haven’t made muffins in a while and we used to always have them ready to go in the fridge for breakfast or a snack.

I came across an old bran muffin recipe I had and decided to modify it, using spelt flour instead and adding a few other ingredients like greek yogurt and apple sauce to moisten them up.  Of course I also had to throw in some freshly scrapped vanilla from a whole vanilla bean.

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Here’s the recipe…..

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups Spelt Flour

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Dried Cranberries

1 Vanilla Bean

3/4 Cup Milk

1/2 cup Honey

2 Tbsp Avocado or Grapeseed Oil

1 Egg

1/3 cup Apple Sauce

1/2 cup Greek Yogurt

Hemp Seeds (For sprinkling on top)

To Make:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl and set aside.  Cut your vanilla bean in half and scrape out the vanilla (you can use the tip of a spoon) into a separate bowl.  Add remaining wet ingredients to this bowl and whisk to combine.   Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring to combine.

Lightly grease a muffin tray with coconut oil, or line with muffin cups.  Scoop batter by the heaping tablespoon to make 12 muffins.  Sprinkle with hemp seeds.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  You can place a piece of aluminum foil on top of the muffins 3/4 of the way through the cooking time to prevent them from getting too brown.

Remove, cool and enjoy with a little butter, or homemade jam or whatever your heart desires!

I couldn’t keep my 1 year old’s hands off these!  Quick, get them before they do!

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Decaf Chai Tea with Honey

Herbal teas are a great (and healthier) substitute for regular caffeinated tea and coffee. The berries, flowers, leaves, stems, barks and roots of all kinds of plants have therapeutic actions.  It’s worth doing a little bit of research to see the many benefits of specific herbs.  There are so many  that you won’t get bored!

I was used to having Orange Pekoe with milk and sugar, but have since started avoiding caffeine and I also try to avoid refined sugar as much as possible.  So this is my new favourite!

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I enjoy all kinds of plain herbal teas but sometimes I still like a “creamy” tea.  There’s just something soothing and warm about it.  So I brew Decaf Chai tea and simply add a little bit of milk (cow’s or alternative) and  honey instead of white sugar.   Honey is a much healthier option than refined sugar (but should still be used in moderation).

Check out herbal teas and add them into your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rise & Shine Smoothie

Not only is this smoothie fresh and fruity, it aids in digestion through Papaya and Kefir.  Papayas contain an enzyme called papain that aids in digestion and they are also rich in Beta-carotene and Vitamin C.  This smoothie also contains “good fats” and other beneficial vitamins and minerals from the Avocado.

Kefir is a fermented milk product that contains loads of friendly bacteria.  Look for organic Kefir in the dairy section of the grocery store.

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Ingredients: (Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 small)

1/2 Avocado

1 cup Chopped Papaya

3/4 cup Almond Milk (or milk alternative)

1 Tbsp Kefir

3 Ice Cubes

1 Big Splash of orange juice

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

When serving to kids I always like to use a cute glass (or these awesome jars) with a fancy paper straw.  Don’t forget, how it looks is just as important as how it tastes when it comes to your little kiddos  😉

Roasted Chick Peas

This is a great snack for little ones !  Simple and nutritious.  Open a can of chick peas, drain, rinse and spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Drizzle olive oil over them and use your hands to coat  them.  Sprinkle with sea salt or your own creation of spices. Sweet?  Savory?  Whatever you or your little ones fancy….

Roast at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, moving them around half way through.  They will be nice and golden brown when done.

They are best eaten right out of the oven when cooled down a bit, but can be stored in an airtight container for a few days.

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Quinoa Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing

A light yet satisfying lunch!

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Ingredients: (Makes about 4-6 servings)

For the Salad…

1 cup quinoa

1/4 cup peeled diced cucumber

1 cup chick peas

1/2 cup red pepper diced

2 cups baby bok choy thinly chopped

1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add quinoa then reduce heat to medium low.  Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until water is absorbed.  Put cooked quinoa in a bowl and add all remaining ingredients stirring to combine.

For the Dressing….

1 Tsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp pure orange juice

2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar

1 1/2 Tbsp low sodium soya sauce or Tamari

1 1/2 Tbsp Sesame oil

1/4 cup Avocado Oil

1/4 – 1/2 Tsp grated ginger depending on your taste

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl, or add all ingredients to a mason jar and put on the lid and shake it up!

I like to keep the batch of salad (undressed) in the fridge.  Take out what you need and drizzle however much dressing you like!