Archive for raw chocolate

coco-choco-chia pudding

Choco-coco-banana-chia-goji Pudding - nu roots nutrition

One of the many fabulous things about pregnancy (yes, it really can be FABULOUS) is that crazy late night cravings inspire creativity in the kitchen. Especially if you live in a city where all the stores are closed at 7pm and as much as you want to send your husband out on a wild goose chase around town looking for your favorite chocolate bar, it really won’t do you any good.

The solution; keep deliciously healthy superfoods well stocked in the house and use a little common sense to combine flavors you think would taste incredible together!

I make no attempt to hide my love and desire for dark chocolate (especially of the raw variety). It has been a staple superfood in my diet for the past 5 years or so. It should come as no surprise that it has been one of my most prominent pregnancy cravings, and I do admit, I indulge from time to time…or all the time, whatever.

My inspiration for this creation: Commercial Chocolate Pudding – healthy styles (of course!)

Coco-Choco-Chia Pudding

  • 1/2 cup organic coconut milk (full fat is where it’s at)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 large banana
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder (organic, fair trade and raw if possible)
  • 2 tsp unpastuerized honey (or pure maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or 1/2 whole vanilla bean – slice along one side and scrape out the beans
  • garnish with raw cacao nibs & goji berries (optional)

Place all ingredients (except garnish) in a personal blender (Magic Bullet type) or regular blender and blend until smooth. Use a spatula to make sure all the chia seeds don’t stick to the sides of the blender. Pour into small bowls or wine glasses and set in the fridge to thicken for at least half an hour. Garnish with goji berries and raw cacao nibs. Serves dessert for two.

In the fridge, the chia seeds will gelatinize and create a pudding-like consistency. This is due to the high water soluble fiber content in chia seeds, which will fill you up faster, ensure your blood sugar does not go soaring, pull toxins out of your body and help keep you regular.

Now let’s compare this to the “real deal”. I use this term sarcastically as obviously the above (my delicious recipe) is created using real food, and this “readily available commercial chocolate pudding”…well I’m not so sure there is any food in it at all.

Actual Commercial Chocolate Pudding…without naming names…

Ingredients: SUGAR, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE (FOR THICKENING), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SALT, TETRASODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE (FOR THICKENING), MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES (PREVENT FOAMING), RED 40, YELLOW 5, BLUE 1, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, BHA (PRESERVATIVE)

Personally, this ingredient list makes me want to vomit, especially when I think of copious amounts of children downing this stuff daily. Notice how my recipe did not require any refined sugar, GMO’s (corn is often genetically modified), artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or anti-foaming agents?

But – there’s NO fat in it! Well it’s time that the no (or low) fat paradigm is done away with for good! It makes me want to scream (or maybe that’s just the hormones). Usually these types products are high in sugar and artificial chemicals, none of which are there to serve your health.

On the other hand, good fats, such as those that come from coconut, are incredibly nutritious and are are vital to your health (future post on good fats to come…stay tuned). In the meantime, don’t be so scared of fat, just make sure you are eating the right kinds.

Have I sold you on the healthy homemade version yet? I sure hope so! This recipe is so quick and easy to make and you will not be disappointed when it comes to flavor and satisfaction. Enjoy!

In health and happiness,

Sam

gluten free buckwheat crepes

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I know I have already posted the best ever weekend breakfast, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say this recipe was up there…perhaps even tied for best ever. My hubby and I discovered a fantastic crepe restaurant while he was studying in Gotland, Sweden last year. We drank red wine and pigged out on both savory and sweet buckwheat crepes, then rushed home to discover how we can make them on our own. The rest my visit, we must have made 6 or so batches of gluten free buckwheat crepes, we were obsessed! Crepes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert…these were (and still are) our favorite combos. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Crepes 



Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free buckwheat flour (you can grind it fresh in your vitamix with whole buckwheat or just buy ready made buckwheat flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups dairy free milk substitute (I use whatever is on hand, oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk etc.)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a non-stick ceramic or cast iron pan.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients in the blender, adding butter when melted, leave a little on the pan for the first crepe (you may need a little more to grease the pan later, but I found usually once is enough if you have a good pan).
  3. Make sure the pan is fairly hot before you pour the first crepe. Usually a medium temp will do.
  4. Each crepe will use about 1/4 cup of batter. Pour batter onto the hot pan, then pick up the pan and swirl it around, spreading it thin and evenly along the bottom of the pan. Cook each side for about 1 minute, until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and repeat until you run out of batter. Should make about 8 crepes.

Note: You can freeze extra crepes for up to 2 months in a freezer bag.

Raw Chocolate Banana Breakfast (or Dessert) Crepes

Per crepe:

  • spread a thin layer of honey & sunflower seed butter (or any nut/seed butter) on to the crepe
  • 1/4 chopped raw banana
  • 2 tbsp chopped raw walnuts
  • a drizzle of simple raw chocolate sauce
  • Optional but highly recommended additions
    •    probiotic organic yogurt – I like sheep yogurt the best (for nutrition and digestion)
    •    other chopped fresh fruits – apples, pears, strawberries – whatever you have!
    •    hemp seeds

Simple Raw Chocolate Sauce

  • 3 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp unpasteurized honey
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • Optional – splash of vanilla (or use 1/2 vanilla bean) and sprinkle of sea salt
  • melt ingredients together gently (super low temp) in a sauce pan

Poached Egg & Spinach Crepes

I use my leftover crepes for lunch. Simply add savory ingredients this time, these crepes work either way!

Per crepe:

  • a thin layer of mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp salsa (or sub olive oil and apple cider vinegar for a dressing)
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 4 grape tomatoes sliced
  • 1/8th avocado sliced
  • 1 poached egg (boil hot water, drop eggs into boiling water, cook approx. 4 mins – depending on how hard or runny you like your eggs, remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of spinach)
  •  top with sea salt, pepper, chili flakes or hot sauce
  • optional – 2 small slices herb goat cheese or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast

Bust open your delicious poached egg before wrapping the crepe, then dive in and enjoy immensely!!

death by chocolate

Chocolate Spirulina Balls

If I could choose the method by which I leave this earth, it would be to feed me these little bites of chocolate goodness until my body literally explodes and my veins are oozing with raw cacao and spirulina. Ok, perhaps that is taking it a tad too far, but these delights are my weakness, my death bed last supper, my ultimate craving. The combination of sweet, salty and chocolatey goodness always leaves my mouth watering for more…and it actually has algae in it! Yeah, only a nutrition nerd like me wants algae on their death bed, but just you wait and try it before you judge!!

I am not opposed to sweets, IF they are homemade and packed with raw superfoods, as this recipe is. Of course it is best not to overdo anything sweet, but there is nothing wrong with indulgence of this sort.

The sweets best to avoid are anything made with white refined sugar and flour…so that eliminates most of what you would find at any cafe, bakery or regular grocery store, ugh! Good thing you have a resource in which to refer to when making your own sweet treats…I mean me of course!

Ok, let’s get to the goods! The original recipe is from David Wolfe’s Superfoods book, but I have made a few optional, yet delicious additions. I hope you enjoy as much as I do!

Spirulina & Chocolate Balls
David Wolfe – SUPERFOODS adapted by Samantha Peris, Holistic Nutritionist

Always choose organic ingredients, when possible.

  • ¼ cup hempseed
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder
  • 1-2 tbsp spirulina
  • 3 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 pinch celtic sea salt or Himalayan rock salt, finely ground (this is a must…the saltiness is divine)

Optional (any or all!)

  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • 2 tbsp organic nut/seed butter
  • 2 tbsp goji berries
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes

Mix all ingredients in a food processor, roll into 1” balls and freeze for 15 min then enjoy. Store in freezer for optimal freshness.

Then if you are feeling extra motivated, you can turn these superfood balls into:

Superfood Energy Bars

  • ingredients from above
  • ¼ cup whole buckwheat (soaked and rinsed)
  • ¼ – ½ cup oat flakes
  • ¼ cup goji berries
  • 2 tbsp hemp protein
  • ¼ cup nuts & seeds of choice

Just add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor (before rolling them into balls). For the bars you can press the mixture into a lightly greased (coconut oil) square glass pan or use parchment paper. Then freeze, cut into bars and enjoy on a hike or as a mid-day snack.

 

SUPERFOOD PROPERTIES (more info on my fave superfoods here)

  • Spirulina – 1 tsp = Antioxidants in 2-3 servings of vegetables, 70% protein, great for everyone!!
  • Goji Berries – 18 amino acids, 21 trace minerals, antioxidant. Add to trail mixes, breakfasts, tea, water (for flavour), smoothies, desserts
  • Raw Cacao – ORAC 620-955(14x flavanoids in red wine, 21x AO’s in Green Tea), high in Magnesium, in 28 grams there is 314% RDA of Iron. Commercial chocolate processed in temperatures up to 150C – destroying nutrients
  • Hemp seeds – high in omega 3’s, absorbable source of protein, complete protein, immune enhancing
  • Coconut oil – immune boosting, antiviral, metabolism boosting, great for cooking!

 

sam’s fave superfoods

goji, maca root, raw cacao, spirulina

Let’s face it, nearly every superfood is my “favorite” something or other…I may be a little over enthusiastic about them, but honestly, they are in fact really super. In general they are all known for their high antioxidant content, their ability to aid in detoxification, boost metabolism and help us maintain a healthy body weight. Note: some of these are what I would call “hardcore food nerd” superfoods, you are going to have to find these bad boys at health food & superfood shops…I may however post an “everyday grocery store superfoods” post soon though!

It was hard to narrow it down, but here we go:

  • Raw cacao(chocolate): Ok this one was obvious if you know me. Raw cacao has not been heat treated like commercial cacao powders, and therefore retains WAY more nutrition. It is the highest natural source of anti-stress mineral Magnesium, and a source of iron. You can get it as nibs (the whole bean crushed), a powder, or raw cacao butter for your skin or chocolate making. I can go on and on about this one (and I do in my 2 hour raw chocolate making class), but you really cant go wrong with raw cacao (sounds like kuh-kow):
    • most delicious food ever – check
    • 30x more antioxidants than blueberries – check
    • wonderful to add to smoothies, breakfasts, desserts or nearly every meal or snack – check
    • brings me joy like no other food on the planet – check
    • ‘nuff said!
  • Spirulina, chlorella, or other blue green algae: I call these my “whole food multivitamins” they are so nutrient packed that one tsp is like 2-3 servings of veggies for antioxidant content. I put 1 tbsp in my smoothie daily (you can start with less if the bright green colour freaks you out, but once you feel the energy this food provides, you will get over the alien-like appearance).
  • Coconuts: Young coconut water, raw coconut flakes and/or virgin coconut oil tend to make their way into my diet on a daily basis. Ok so maybe it is no where near “local” for us Canadians, but it sure is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It is true that coconut oil is primarily saturated fat, but this kind of saturated fat is actually good for us! It is great for cooking as it can take more heat than polyunsaturated fats. It also boosts metabolism and kills yeast in the body. Young coconut water is a perfect electrolyte drink, so perfect it has been used for blood transfusions!
  • Hempseed: A fab source of our ever so important essential fatty acids (omega 3’s & 6‘s). Omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, blood pressure reducing and hormone balancing. We need more 3‘s North America, so eat up! Use hemp seed on your breakfast, in smoothies, drink hemp milk or sprinkle on salads. They are an excelled vegetarian source of protein with loads of fibre to boot.
  • Chia seed:Yep, the same seed we used to plaster on ceramic animals and stick in the window sill (ch-ch-ch-chia). One word says it all – REGULAR. Seriously my fave source of fibre, the good kind that helps pull toxins out the body and well, ensures a regular morning visit to the can. Another fabulous benefit of chia is that it helps to regulate blood sugar (type 2 diabetes is on the rise every year). Try it in smoothies, on breaky or in water with fresh squeezed lemon (just shake it up before you swig).

    hemp, chia and flax seed

  • Unpasteurized honey: Loaded in B-Vitamins, our energy spark plugs, raw enzymes to help us digest and the taste is unsurpassed by any other sweetener (in my opinion). Use as a sugar sub by using 1/2 to 3/4 cup honey per 1 cup of sugar in your recipe, and reduce other liquids in the recipe by 1/2 cup per 1 cup of honey. It is also a natural anti-microbial and is great for coughs & colds. Please don’t feed to kids under 1 for risk of botulism.
  • Goji berries: They look like little red raisins, but pack a nutritional punch. Again, crazy high in antioxidants and for this reason have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. I eat them by the handful, in trail mixes, in my breakfast porridge, or even throw them in my water or tea.
  • Golden berries (Incan berries): The highest protein berry (16%). They are tart yet sweet, making them the best healthy substitute for sour candies. I prefer to eat them solo, but many others enjoy them in a trail mix or with other dried superfood berries.
  • Maca root powder: A fabulous hormone balancer, libido booster, fertility enhancer, also used for strength and endurance for athletes (or the Incas back in the day). It comes from the cruciferous veggie family, a root similar to a radish that is dried, then ground to a powder. Again I would throw 1 tsp – 1tbsp in a smoothie, or add to raw chocolate bars.
  • Kelp: Seaweeds are our highest source of iodine, which runs the thyroid and boosts our metabolism. They also help to pull heavy metals like mercury out of the body. I find the easiest way to integrate seaweeds into my diet is by sprinkling a little kelp powder into savory sauces, dressings and soups. We only need a little bit every day.
  • Matcha green tea powder: I was only going to do 10, but I couldn’t leave out the all mighty matcha. Matcha is powdered green tea leaves, with TONS more antioxidants than regular steeped green tea. It also boosts metabolism, keeps cholesterol in check, regulates blood sugar, detoxes and alkalizes the body. I try and start nearly every day with a delicious nut milk (usually almond) matcha green tea latte, add a few drops of french vanilla liquid stevia (a zero calorie, all natural sweeter)…deeeee-lish!

Stay tuned for more ideas and recipes on how to use these glorious foods.

Also check out David Wolfe, superfood guru, for additional info via videos and books.

I’d love to hear about how you use your fave superfoods below :)

a nutritionist bride

photo by www.orangegirlphotographs.com

Well it was no surprise that there were many references to my career during our wedding this past weekend. So much so that my husband included in his vows “I promise to nourish your body with wholesome, healthy and, wherever possible, organic & gluten free food”. And my brother-in-law observed how I continue to love my man despite the fact that he put a spoon in my Vitamix. All of which were great for a laugh when I needed it most.

photo by www.orangegirlphotographs.com

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