Healthy makeover to your favourite summer treats!

With the warm weather and long days upon us we are drawn to the succulent flavours of summer. No one can argue the fantastic taste of ice cream, popsicles and ice slushies. Unfortunately many of these treats contain large amounts of processed sugars, sodium overload, additives and preservatives that are not good for our bodies.

Here are a few simple recipes that are great tasting and made with high quality ingredients that will transform these summer classics into to a wholesome food alternative.

Banana nut ice cream

5 frozen bananas
2 tbsp almond butter
1/4 cup 70% dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup walnut pieces

Add the frozen, peeled and chopped bananas along with the almond butter into a food processor. Process until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and walnut pieces. Serve immediately.

Fudgesicles

1 cup coconut milk
1 avacodo
1/4 cup dark coco powder
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt

Blend all ingredients together (you may need more water if mixture is too think). Pour mixture into popsicle moulds and freeze for 6 hours. Note: you may want to add more sweetener so taste before you freeze.

Mixed berry slushie

2 cups mixed strawberries and blueberries
1/4 cup ice
1/2 cup fresh squeeze orange juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey

Blend and serve.

Healthy make over on a classic comfort

teaA few weeks ago a colleague of mine posted a blog about using coconut oil as a replacement for milk or cream in coffee. Given that coffee and I “do not get along”, I quickly read over the post and did not give it much thought beyond that.

I am however an avid tea drinker and one of my favourite and all time comfort is black tea with cream and sugar…confessions of a Naturopathic doctor. Given that I do not tolerate dairy products and sugar is just not great for anyone, I typically reserve this delicious treat for weekend brunches and special occasions.

This morning after waking with a huge craving for a tea with milk and sugar, I realized that I could apply the same methods for adding coconut oil to coffee for my tea. Turns out it tastes awesome and I can feel great about consuming coconut oil with all of it’s health benefits like balancing the immune system, increasing energy and boosting metabolism to name a few.

Here is how super easy it is:

1. Brew your favourite cup of tea. I used straight up black tea but I think this would be equally as amazing with Chai tea.
2. Once your tea is ready put it into the blender.
3. Add 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil
4. Add a natural sweetener of your choice, honey or maple syrup or both great options.
5. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes and enjoy.

Yummy and healthy. Just how I like it!

Photo Credit: A gorgeous cup of tea ūüôā http://flic.kr/p/kvm3RZ

A Bowl of Winter Goodness – Red Cabbage Soup

cabbage soup3Red cabbage soup is very easy to make, surprisingly tasty and has incredible health benefits.  The two main ingredients cabbage and beets are some of the most nourishing and healing foods available this time of year.

Cabbage is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and contains other protective compounds that are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant as well as antimicrobial.  Cabbage has been shown to prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease.  Also rich in fibre, this soup will fill you up and assist with weight loss.

Beets are also high in vitamin C as well as B vitamins, folic acid and iron.  Beets assist in detoxification of the liver as well as help to decrease fatty deposits in the body.  They have shown to decrease risk of heart disease and stroke and contain a compound that will improve moods.  Beets assist in the development of red blood cells and improve immune function.

Ingredients:

3 cups beets

2 cups red cabbage

1 cup carrots

1 cup potatoes

1 cup onion

2 cups water

3 cups vegetable broth

1 clove minced garlic

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp dil

salt/pepper to taste

Optional: plain yogourt

Method:

1. Bring water and vegetable broth to boil with beets and carrots.  Let simmer 30 minutes.

2. Add potatoes, lemon juice, onions and garlic.  Let simmer another 15 minutes.

3. Add cabbage, dill and salt and pepper.  Add more water for desired consistency. Simmer until cabbage is soft.

4. Serve with a dollop of plain yogourt

Photo Credit: <ahref=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/60804905@N06/5554961899/”>Helena_Bee</a> via <ahref=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a> <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147″>cc</a>

Quinoa For Breakfast

Quinoa For Breakfast


Quinoa is tasty, & versatile Рvery much like couscous but gluten free, higher in protein,  healthy fats and vitamins.  This quick and easy recipe is a yummy alternative to your typical hot cereal and will provide you with a more satisfy and nutritious start to the day.

WARMING COCONUT QUINOA PORRIDGE

This gluten-free, dairy free recipe can be made a day ahead.

Ingredients 

1 cup quinoa

3 cups water

2 cups coconut milk

4 tbsp walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

maple syrup or honey to sweeten, to your taste

2 tbsp grated or shredded coconut

2 tbsp chia seeds

2 tsp cinnamon

Method

Rinse quinoa under cold water and drain. Bring water to the boil in a saucepan and add quinoa. Cook for about 15 minutes, until water is absorbed and grains are fluffy.

Cool, add coconut milk and refrigerate overnight. When ready to eat, reheat quinoa and coconut milk in a saucepan, stirring occasionally.

Add chopped banana and half the walnuts. Add maple syrup or honey and stir. When hot, pour into a serving bowl. Top with remaining walnuts, grated coconut and chia seeds, and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Serves 2.

Photo credit:¬†Dayna McIsaac’s photostream¬†via¬†compfight

Yummy Black Bean Burger

Rich in protein and fibre there is little debate about the health benefits of legumes. Unfortunately even the most health conscious people have a difficult time getting these nutrient dense foods into their diet. ¬†Let’s face it beans need a little help to make them dinner worthy and palate friendly. ¬†So when I came across this recipe I just couldn’t help but share…

Ingredients:

2 cups black beans

1 small onion

2 cloves fresh garlic

1 grated carrot

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup almond butter

1/4 cup sun flower seeds

3 tbsp flax seeds

Dash worchestire sauce

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 egg whites

1tsp each of paprika, curry powder, thyme, sea salt

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 375

2) Put all ingredients in a food processor or (for you lucky ones) a vitamix

3) Mix until uniform

4) Make 1inch thick x 4 inch round patties and place on greased (use coconut oil) cookie   sheet

5) Bake for 20 minutes

Top with goat cheese, sautéed mushrooms and onions, homemade salsa and/or avocado slices.  Great on top of salads, as a snack or as a substitute to your regular burger.

This recipe makes between 6-8 big burgers so I froze the left overs and have been re-heating in the frying pan with a little coconut butter.

ENJOY!

Immune Booster Soup

WIth the change of season upon us it is the time of year to begin thinking about supporting your body to prevent colds and flus.  This is a gem of a recipe that contains garlic, ginger and shitake mushrooms all of which do wonders to support your immune health.  Enjoy a few servings a week to assist in prevention and increase to 2-3 bowls per day at first sign of cold.

Immune Booster Soup

Ingredients:

4 cups mushroom or vegetable broth

1 chopped medium yellow onion

5 minced garlic cloves

1 chopped medium carrot

6 fresh or soaked dried shitake mushroom

2 tbsp minced ginger root

1 tsp coarse sea salt

1 fresh squeezed lemon

3 tbsp chopped parsley

Directions:

Bring all ingredients except lemon and parsley to boil.

Simmer on low for 15 minutes.

Add lemon and parsley before serving.