Cashew Milk

For those who avoid dairy or just want to try a new milk other than cows milk, nut milks are a great source of vitamins and minerals.

Cashews are rich in magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc and also have some B vitamins and vitamin A.  They also have Phytonutrients which are linked to prevention of disease and improved health.

This cashew milk is super easy to make with a blender and turns out nice and light and frothy!

IMG_9264

Ingredients:

1 Cup Raw Soaked cashews

1 Litre Water

1 Tsp Cinnamon

2 Tsp Maple Syrup

Pinch of Salt

3-4 Ice Cubes

Soak your cashews in a bowl of water overnight.  The next day, drain and rinse the cashews and add them to your blender, along with all remaining ingredients.  Blend on high until smooth and frothy.  Strain through a strainer into a large mason jar setting aside the nut pulp. (You can get creative and try to find ways of using up the nut pulp…baking perhaps?)

If you are not using it right away, store your milk in a  mason jar in the fridge and use within a day.

Drink it by itself cold, or warm or add to smoothies!

 

Spiced Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

Local butternut squash and a day of apple picking inspired me to combine the two in this delicious soup. (That and the fact that as soon as Fall arrives I have the urge to make soup; it’s just so warm and comforting).

There are a variety of spices you can add to this soup depending on your tastes, but for this one I chose cinnamon and nutmeg.  Mainly because I know my kids like those ones, but I also think they just compliment the squash and apples well.

IMG_9260

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Butter

1/2 Medium Red Onion chopped (you can use white also)

1 Butternut Squash peeled and chopped into small cubes

4 Gala Apples peeled and chopped in similar sized pieces as squash

1/2 Tsp Sea Salt

1 Tsp Cinnamon

Pinch of Nutmeg

2 Cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock (homemade would be awesome!)

To Make:

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter.  Add the chopped onion and cook stirring occasionally until it softens.  Add the chopped squash and cook until soft (about 10 minutes).  Add the apples, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and stock.  Then add water just until the mixture is covered.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and let simmer stirring occasionally until the squash and apples are soft (about 25-30 minutes).

Puree the mixture in a food processor blending until smooth and creamy.  At this point you can add more water a little at a time for desired consistency.

Serve in bowls topped with thin apple slices.

*Bonus – freezable! (you may have to add water again to adjust consistency after it is warmed)

Energy Boosting Matcha Tea Latte

If you need an energy boost and mental focus and are constantly grabbing a coffee in the afternoon so you’re not drooling on your desk at work or locking the kids in their room so you can have a nap on the couch…. (no…I’ve never ever thought of doing that…swear)…..try a Matcha Tea Latte instead!

What is Matcha Tea you ask?  Matcha is basically a form of whole green tea leaves ground into a powder.  It is a vibrant green colour that comes from the antioxidants, amino acids and chlorophyll it contains.  One of the amino acids called L-theanine is known to have a relaxing effect on mind and body and also improve focus/mental clarity,  while the caffeine content creates an energy boost without the jitters or crash that often comes with consuming coffee.

Because you are essentially drinking the whole Matcha tea leaf (and not just the water) you are consuming a warm mug of nutrient dense goodness.

Now to go from coffee to Matcha Green Tea may be a bit of a leap for some taste wise.  (Including my husband who just called this “Grass Tea).” But if you are used to drinking green tea, this Matcha Tea Latte has a similar taste, and if you’re not, well maybe you could give it a try, it might grow on you.  I find that the coconut milk really balances out the stronger taste of the tea.

IMG_9179

Match Tea Latte:

1/2 Tsp Matcha Tea Powder

1/2 cup hot water (it shouldn’t be boiling directly from kettle, let it sit for a bit)

1/2 cup warm coconut milk

*You can add honey to sweeten if needed

Add the Matcha Tea to the bottom of a mug, then add a small amount of the hot water and whisk briskly with a tiny whisk to create a paste.  Then add remaining hot water to the mug while whisking.  Add the warm coconut milk and enjoy!

You can experiment a little if you have a milk frother (you can use it on top of the latte)  to give it that pretty foam on top.  Since I only had my tiny whisk and wanted to make this quick, that’s all I used  😉  Different whisks (such as bamboo, etc.) may also have a different effect.  Get creative !

Enjoy!

Bacteria Buster – Carpet Freshener

For those of us who still have carpeted areas in our house (including myself) we tend to use perfumed products to freshen it up; they are not the best option since  all of their functions can be  replaced by natural products that you can enhance with essential oils.

You can make a carpet freshener powder by adding essential oils to Baking Soda or Borax Powder.  For each tablespoon of powder, add 1 drop of your choice of essential oil to the powder and mix well.  How much you make depends on your requirements.  Store in a tightly sealed jar overnight and then sprinkle on your carpet and leave for a few minutes before vacuuming.

Good Bacteria Buster essential oils are:

Cinnamon, Pine, , Thyme, Grapefruit, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lime and Clove.  Take your pick!

IMG_8523

Your Gut Health

Autumn has officially arrived! I have to say that I am liking the break from intense heat and the cool crisp air that comes with September. But as the summer dies down, my thoughts lean toward cold and flu season….booooo! Last year our whole family was hit hard with sickness. The role that stress can play on your immune system is great, so I think considering our life last year that probably played a part of why we all kept getting sick.

That’s why this year I am planning on boosting our immune systems in a number of ways to get ready for old man winter!  So I wanted to share my tips with you 🙂

The first way is by adding fermented foods into my diet. Pasteurization strips foods of live bacteria that your gut needs to stay healthy. So by adding fermented foods into your diet you are essentially adding the “good guys” or good bacteria back into your gut. Good digestion affects your entire body including immunity.

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, kefir and yogurt have been around for thousands of years. Fermentation with lactic acid bacteria increases the nutrition value of foods and can enhance the absorption of protein and minerals. Fermented foods also lower the pH of the intestinal tract slightly creating an environment that is more hospitable to good bacteria and less hospitable to yeast and bad bacteria.

So toss some fermented veggies like sauerkraut or beets on your salads or have them as a side! Try incorporating them in some of your meals to get those “good guys” defending you against disease.

For inspiration check out the salad I made today….I tossed some Arame & Ginger Sauerkraut on top of this spinach salad with orange segments, avocado, wild salmon and a Sesame & Tamari dressing.

IMG_9094

Not all fermented foods are equal in the taste/texture department so for picky kids who may not enjoy a side of sauerkraut (bahahaha) try adding Kefir to their smoothes!!

Keep that tummy happy and stay tuned for some more tips on staying healthy  🙂

Banana Mango Sorbet

Food processor?

Frozen Mango?

Banana?

Almond Milk?

You’re good to go!  This is what we had for a little treat after dinner tonight.  SUPER easy to make, healthy and refreshing.  You’re little ones will slurp it up and so will you! (Make sure to eat it fast because it melts quickly….which shouldn’t be a problem ….trust me).  Just beware, if you have really little people in your home that eat this, they may SCREAM at the top of their lungs when there isn’t any more left.  Just saying…..

IMG_9002

Ingredients: (Makes about 3-4 servings)

1 Cup Frozen Mango

Half a Banana

1/4 – 1/2 cup of Almond Milk

Add the frozen mango, banana and 1/4 cup of almond milk to the food processor.  Pulse a few times to everything moving.  Process until smooth and creamy.  Add remaining almond milk if needed to desired consistency.

Scoop into bowls and enjoy !

Mango Chicken Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

I have not posted in a long time!!  Much going on over here the last little while.  Kids are in bed, and I am sitting down to a quiet (and quick) meal.  Wow…except for that wind that just came up and made the house creeeeeeek.  Storm coming.

I had a couple of big juicy chicken breasts delivered the other day, so this afternoon when the kids were running around like maniacs I decided that I at least had time to throw some seasoning on one of them and toss it in the oven.  So this recipe starts with leftover chicken breast 🙂  I LOVE quick one bowl dinners…..like seriously love…..  since having children dinner time is tough.

IMG_8776

So start with a cooked seasoned chicken breast (however you like it with the seasoning) and bbq’d or baked.

Serves 1 :

1 Cooked seasoned chicken breast chopped

Half an avocado chopped

1/4 red pepper chopped

Half a green onion chopped

1/2 to 3/4 of a ripe mango peeled and chopped

Chopped walnuts for sprinkling on top

Dressing:

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Honey

Juice of 1 small lime

Sea Salt & Pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to your bowl.

Whisk the dressing ingredients in a separate small bowl until combined.  Pour over your Mango Chicken Salad and done!

Ok I’m going to go and eat my Mango Chicken Salad now and watch International House Hunters and dream of crystal blue waters in far away places  😉

 

 

Salad A La “Un-boring”

IMG_8707

Salads don’t have to be boring!  Try thinking outside the box and take a look in your fridge for leftovers that you can throw together to create an amazing salad bowl full of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats just like this one.  Foods like whole grain pasta, quinoa and roasted veggies can also be made ahead of time to help you pull something together fast.

If you make some pasta ahead of time like I did, just make sure to coat it in a bit of olive oil  and mix it up before putting it in the fridge so it doesn’t stick together.  I used leftover pasta, quinoa and roasted butternut squash I had in the fridge for my kids along with avocado, goat cheese, sunflower seeds and greens.

Top it with a homemade dressing and VOILA!  Amazing  🙂

IMG_8713

Hummus – Your Way

Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans are low in calories, low in fat, a good complex carbohydrate, fairly high in fiber and a good protein source.

If you enjoy hummus and pesto, you may want to try out this recipe!  I used a “Corriander & Cashew” pesto, but you can use any pesto you like (think sun-dried tomato, basil, red pepper, etc).  There are so many new variations out there to try.  I also used canned chickpeas for this recipe.

Try it out with the kids too as a dip for veggies, toasted pita, plain tortilla chips or as a spread for wraps or crackers.

IMG_8701

Although a little time consuming, a good tip when making hummus is to remove the skins from the chickpeas before processing to make a smoother hummus.  Simply pinch the skin and remove.  It will work either way, so if you don’t have the time don’t worry about it.  But I actually find it quite therapeutic myself, and your kiddos may even help (distraction? yes please!)   😉

Ingredients:

1 large garlic clove

1 can (540 ml) of chick peas drained and rinsed (skin’s removed – optional)

Juice from 1 lemon

1 Tbsp Tahini

1 tsp pesto

Pinch of sea salt

1/3 cup – 3/4 cup water

In a food processor, process the garlic until minced.  Add all remaining ingredients plus 1/3 cup of water.  Process and check the consistency.  If it’s not smooth enough add more water until desired consistency is achieved.

Store for up to a few days in the fridge.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Hydrating Sweet Almond Oil & Sea Salt Facial Scrub

I mixed up this quick facial scrub after I tried to put on some new Mineral Make-up that I bought (free of any bad chemicals).  I’m used to using a liquid foundation, and the pressed powder just didn’t go on nicely for me.

So I wanted to try to get a smoother complexion and nice hydration to see if the make-up would go on better.  After using this scrub at night and putting on the make-up in the morning it seemed to go on much nicer!

IMG_8695

Almond oil is rich in vitamins, helps maintain moisture levels and absorbs fairly quickly without blocking pores and the sea salt is exfoliates the skin (make sure to use fine-grain sea salt).

This scrub will get rid of any flaky or dead skin and give your face a beautiful glow….  a perfect base for make-up.   As I mentioned, try it at night before you go to bed in order to give the oil time to absorb so you’re not looking overly “shiny.”

Mix:

1 Tsp Sea Salt with 1 Tsp Sweet Almond Oil in a small bowl with a spoon until combined.

Scrub lightly all over your face for about 10-20 seconds.  Then using a facecloth and warm water gently wipe off.  Rinse with cool water and pat your face dry.

Sleep tight!