Archive for recipes

no bloat spaghetti boat

Spaghetti squash and kale pesto . www.nu-roots.com

Spaghetti squash is perhaps one of the best pasta subs out there. Not only is it gluten free, but this recipe is entirely grain free! The beauty of a grain free pasta is the zero bloat and no heavy feeling post consumption. Feel free to sport your extra skinny jeans during this meal, you wont even have to undo the top button!

Now the long list of ingredients and lengthy looking recipe below is deceiving, do not be intimidated! Just pop the squash in the oven and get the food processor out. The kale pesto is ready in minutes and you can sit back, relax and wait for the squash. This is not a difficult dish whatsoever, I’m by no means an extravagant cook!

Step 1. Cook Spaghetti Squash

  • Spaghetti squash, 1/2 per adult
  • 1 tsp coconut oil per ½ squash

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Rub a tsp of coconut oil on each ½ squash. Place face down on a cookie sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until soft. You can add some water to the cookie sheet to steam it up a bit faster, just be careful not to spill the water and burn yourself!

Step 2. Prep Kale Pesto

  • ½ bunch kale (washed and off the spine)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or hemp, walnut, flax oil)
  • ½ cup hemp seeds (or pine nuts, or cashews)
  • 1 tbsp dry basil (or 3 tbsp fresh)
  • 1 tsp dry oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Optional – but extra delish

  • 2 tsp        bragg soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup    nutritional yeast (a Parmesan cheese substitute)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth.

Step 3 – Additional goodies per 1/2 squash

  • 1/4 cup cannellini beans (cooked or canned), rinsed
  • 2 tbsp chopped kalamata olives (press with the palm of your hand to get the pit out)
  • 4  chopped grape tomatoes

Step 4 – put it all together

Place the cannellini beans into the bowl of the squash. Add a couple of scoops of kale pesto (to your taste), and top with grape tomatoes and kalamata olives.

Step 5 – eat to your hearts content!

Scrape the sides of the squash with your fork to pull the spaghetti squash from the skin. We found it quite filling, with lots of leftovers.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Even my 10 month old got in on the action.

On another note, we are finally getting settled into our new Oakville life and I am keen to get the biz up and rocking once again. If you have any recommendations on what you’d like to see online or in town (if you’re in Oakville), please comment below or feel free to send me an email!

Much love,

Sam

gluten free quinoa chocolate cake

Gluten Free Quinoa Chocolate Cake - nu roots nutrition

Hola amigos! For those of you who follow me on facebook and twitter you will know that I recently celebrated the end of my 20‘s, the big 3-0! Which, as someone pointed out, is my 4th decade…gulp. Scary as it sounds, I think it is going to be marvelous!

It was a really great week because it just so happens to coincide with my hubby’s bday and the end of our journey in the Netherlands. So, we had several excuses to meet up with many of our favorite people, and eat some of our favorite indulgences.

I came across this recipe years ago when the cookbook Quinoa 365 came out. I’ve altered a few of the ingredients to make it lower glycemic, less allergenic and holistic nutritionist approved. Not only is it gluten free, it is completely flour free, and can be made dairy free also.

She really is a beauty. I think you will enjoy it immensely.

Gluten Free Quinoa Chocolate Cake

Quinoa 365 – adapted by Samantha Peris, nu roots nutrition

Ingredients
•    2/3 c. (150 ml) white quinoa
•    1 1/3 c. (340 ml) water
•    1/3 c. (90 ml) milk substitute
•    4 large eggs
•    1 tsp. (5 ml) pure vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean, scraped)
•    3/4 c. (170 g) butter, melted and cooled (or ghee or coconut oil)
•    1 1/2 c. (375 ml) coconut sugar (can use 1 cup if you dont want it too sweet)
•    1 c. (250 ml) raw cacao powder
•    1 1/2 tsp. (7.5 ml) baking powder
•    1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) baking soda
•    1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) sea salt or himalayan rock salt

Directions

  1. Soak the quinoa for 10 minutes, then rinse in a fine wire strainer. Transfer to a pot and bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes (until the water is absorbed). Turn off the heat and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease two 8-inch (20-cm) round or square cake pans. (I’ve also cooked this in one larger pan, or in muffin tins for cupcakes).
  3. Combine the milk sub, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add 2 cups (500 ml) of cooked quinoa and the butter and blend until smooth.
  4. Whisk together the coconut sugar, cacao, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add the contents of the blender and mix well.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake on the centre oven rack for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan before serving. Frost if desired (I use a chocolate avocado frosting…recipe to come). Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.

Serves 8 to 12.

new recipe september

quinoa lentil soup - nu roots nutrition

September is here! The month I have been patiently awaiting since my arrival in the Netherlands. The month that changes my life forever, it’s the month when I become a mama. With less than three weeks until my due date my nesting instincts have begun to kick in. I must make sure the house is spotless, baby’s clothes are washed and ready to wear, and to stock my freezer full of healthy soups and stews so that I don’t have to worry about cooking when the little one arrives.

Since I imagine it will be a rather busy month, I figured this was the perfect timing to introduce many of my clients favorite recommendation, one new recipe per week, an incredibly manageable request for even the busiest of people.

Changing over to a whole foods diet can be overwhelming, especially if you are just learning to cook, and trying to make every meal and snack from scratch. My advice is to start slow and integrate these changes into your life at a manageable pace.

If you’ve been following my blog this year, you’ll know we’ve been taking on a challenge (or resolution rather) every month. So this month your challenge is simple:

Make one new *healthy* whole food recipe (that you’ve never tried before) per week.

This challenge is great for those of you who are just getting into a whole foods diet, or anyone who is just stuck in a rut making the same meals over and over…which is kind of where I am at these days. Even those of us that love to cook can get in the occasional rut (perhaps it’s because my mind is all baby, all the time). It’s time to add some excitement to my kitchen, I hope you join me!

I will do my best at sharing the new recipes I try via Facebook, Twitter, or right here on my blog.

I’m going to start you off with the one I tried this week. It was inspired by a Barley Lentil Soup, but I needed to make it gluten free. It turned out awesome and is on it’s way to the freezer to await babe’s arrival.

Quinoa Lentil Soup

1 cup quinoa
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
6 cups soup stock (ideally homemade chicken or vegetable stock, or you can just use water)
1 cup green lentils
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp tamari  (gluten free if needed)
3 celery stalks, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon each: basil, oregano, thyme, sea salt
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/4 tsp cayenne (or more if you like extra spicy)

Directions

  • Soak quinoa for at least 15 minutes in a glass bowl
  • Soak lentils for at least 15 minutes in a separate glass bowl
  • In a large pot, heat coconut oil over low heat. Add onion, saute until translucent
  • Add stock and bring to a boil
  • Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, add them to the pot
  • Strain and rinse lentils, add them to the pot
  • Reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes
  • Once quinoa and lentils are cooked, add the vegetables, herbs and spices and simmer for an additional 10 minutes
  • Add more water if needed to thin soup
  • Freezes well

All the best,

from the extremely excited (superfood) mama to be :)

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

beet red cashew dip

IMG_3143

I figured it was time for a deliciously vibrant recipe post! Enough with all this pregnancy stuff already…right? Well, rest assured there is more of that coming too, but for the meantime, a little something for everyone!!

This recipe came to me when a friend visited us in the Netherlands all the way from Canada. You Alberta folks may know of a little vegetarian restaurant on Calgary’s 17th Ave called The Coup. If you haven’t been there, you must check it out. They are happy to accommodate all types of food allergies as well, my kind of place! Anyways this recipe comes from the cookbook they put out, and I think it is just divine. Besides, it allows you to do one of my most favorite things – dip veggies into more veggies! Sounds like fun, right? Trust me, it is!

Why should you eat this recipe?

Well I’ll tell you why…because it is chock full of nutrition! You may have guessed by the bright red colour of the beets there is something extra special about them nutritionally. Usually these deep or bright colours represent phytonutrients. Beets contain two phytonutrients called betanin and vulgaxanthin, which are known to be antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and can aid in detoxification. Sadly these nutrients are heat sensitive, so over cooking your beets will diminish their health promoting properties. Luckily for you, this recipe is raw (fewf) and you don’t have to worry about the integrity of these beneficial nutrients. Plus all raw fruits and veggies contain live enzymes to help you digest them!

Another benefit? Beets are high in folate, one of the most important nutrients for the early stages of pregnancy (okay sorry, I had to go there for just one second). This ever important vitamin helps to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida, so load up on beets prior to conception and during the first 4 weeks of pregnancy.

Well let’s get to it then, it is super easy to make. All you need is a food processor.

Beet Red Cashew Dip – The Coup

1/2 cup soaked raw cashews
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3 small-med beets (if organic I leave the peels on, it’s up to you though!)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste

  • Rinse and strain your soaked cashews (even soaking for an hour is better than nothing. This helps to increase digestibility).
  • Place cashews, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds into the food processor and process to a fine meal.
  • Chop the raw beets into quarters to ease the load on your food processor (no cooking necessary).
  • Place the rest of the ingredients in the the food processor, leaving the olive oil for last and watching for consistency, you may need a little more or a little less depending on how liquidy you like it, or how big the beets are.
  • Once desired consistency is reached (a touch of water could also be added), scrape this bold coloured dip into a bowl.
  • Consume with chopped fresh veggies, brown rice (or quinoa, or buckwheat) crackers, or use as a spread in a whole grain wrap, on a sandwich, or however you like!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! It has become another staple in our household.

chia fresca may

chia fresca

It’s that time of the month again…no, not that one…resolution time! May’s resolution is extra special because it involves our very first product giveaway. You can enter to win one of my favorite wholesome breakfasts Chia Goodness Cereal by:

  1. Liking nu roots nutrition on Facebook (and hey why not twitter while you’re at it)
  2. Liking Ruth’s Hemp Foods on Facebook (maker of Chia Goodness Cereal)
  3. Telling me why you love chia seed or what type of recipe you love to use it in. Post it in the comments section below (on this blog post &/or on the Ruth’s Hemp Foods Facebook Page)

Please note that you must be in North America to enter (sorry to any of my new Euro followers).

May’s resolution is designed for your digestive system. It will keep you regular, (combating both constipation or diarrhea) boost your digestive system and provide a mild form of detoxification through the bowels. Hey, you might even shed some weight too! Just drink 1 glass (or jar) of chia fresca everyday!

Chia Fresca

Chia fresca is a Mexican beverage traditionally made with water, citrus, chia seed and a little sweetener (if needed).
As mentioned many times previously on my blog, chia seeds are my #1 fave source of fiber! A must for all, especially those of us who are pregnant and suffering the woes of a slowed digestive system…

Why it’s so amazing

First off, the sourness of the lemon will jump start the whole digestive process, just think about tasting it and you will start to salivate. This sets off a chain reaction of increased stomach acid, higher enzymatic output, and more bile purged from the liver – just trust me when I say this all translates to “better digestion and elimination”.

Secondly the chia seeds, an incredible source of water soluble fiber, cruise through the digestive tract sweeping up all the bile and giving it a first class ticket to the toilet where it belongs. Bile is our liver’s way of getting rid of toxins, old hormones and cholesterol – without enough water soluble fiber we just reabsorb all that gunk and it continues to circulate, yuck! This is why fiber is always recommended for those with high cholesterol. Also, it is great for weight loss because of many are carrying around a bunch of old poop in the bowels (as lovely as that sounds). I believe this chronic constipation may be due to the high gluten and dairy diet of North Americans, both of which can be extremely congesting on the gut.

And finally, superfood chia seed themselves get digested for all their amazing nutritional properties like anti-inflammatory, blood pressure reducing omega 3 fats. They also have more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and a whole array of other essential nutrients like potassium, copper and zinc.

How to make chia fresca

  • 1 L pure water (ideally spring or filtered)
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 to whole lemon, freshly juiced
  • few drops of liquid steva to sweeten (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a 1 L jar or other container with a lid (so you can shake it). Let sit for 15 minutes, shaking occasionally and the chia will develop a gelatinous layer around it, so it slides down your throat nice and smooth. Drink throughout the day, though this is best enjoyed in the morning for maximum benefit.

I look forward to hearing all about your favorite uses for this amazing superfood in the comments below. Feel free to post a link to your favorite recipe if you have one! Don’t forget to follow all the contest rules and enter to win Chia Goodness Cereal!

Happy chia fresca May!!!

Here are the rules again. You can enter to win one of my favorite wholesome breakfasts Chia Goodness Cereal by:

  1. Liking nu roots nutrition on Facebook (and hey why not twitter while you’re at it)
  2. Liking Ruth’s Hemp Foods on Facebook (maker of Chia Goodness Cereal)
  3. Telling me why you love chia seed or what type of recipe you love to use it in. Post it in the comments section below (on this blog post &/or on the Ruth’s Hemp Foods Facebook Page)

Please note that you must be in North America to enter (sorry to any of my new Euro followers).

 

gluten free buckwheat crepes

IMG_7284

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!!

superfood smoothie march

Superfood Smoothie

It’s a new month, which means time for a new resolution! February’s daily meditation proved to be a challenge for me, but one that has absolutely changed me for the better.

Half of the month was spent on vacation, 10 days in Mexico, and a week in my home town, Calgary. This made it particularly difficult to remember to take time out of my day to sit and be still, especially since coming home and running around like a mad woman. The most difficult of all was when I was so stuffed up from my cold that I couldn’t breathe through my nose. Open mouth meditation was odd, and unenjoyable, but I suffered through it :p

My most important lessons from February:

  • stop with the excuses
  • there is always time to meditate, even if it’s just a minute or two
  • meditation should not be looked at like a chore, but rather something that will enhance your day (and believe me, it did!)
  • you can meditate anywhere, in any comfortable position
  • use a little help if you need it – I loved the guided meditations on yogaglo, they helped me get into a deeper meditation then I can do on my own (I’m still a rookie)
  • most importantly – just do it!

If you still haven’t tried meditation I highly encourage you to give it a go! I certainly intend on continuing myself.

superfood smoothie marchI have decided to focus my march resolution on a nutrition goal, something I already love, and should be easily achievable for my followers. One superfood smoothie per day!

Superfood smoothies have been one of the single greatest additions to my diet since becoming a nutritionist. They were one of the first changes I integrated into my life, that made the biggest impact. If I get one superfood smoothie in every day I know that at least one meal a day was nutrient PACKED, and lets be honest, that would be a great start for many! I currently don’t always have one per day, so it will still be a “challenge” for me too!

When I first introduce clients to superfoods I tell them the easiest way to integrate them into their life is through a smoothie, now who doesn’t like a smoothie? They are quick, easy, and so tasty! There are many components that I feel are necessary in my superfood smoothies. They are:

  • 1/2 cup high antioxidant frozen (or fresh) fruits – like (organic of course) blueberries, strawberries, mangoes, any fruit really!
  • 1 banana for potassium, flavor and creaminess (or try 1/4 avocado)
  • 1 scoop (2 tbsp) protein – it’s not just for body builders! Failing to add protein to your smoothie may send your blood sugar soaring, which is followed by the inevitable crash. Protein will also help you feel full longer, making your smoothie more of a meal then a snack. Good choices include VEGA (Sport, Smoothie Infusion or ONE), Ruth’s Hemp Protein Powders (which can also be bought with superfoods already added, easy peasy!), AOR Advanced Whey (if you can do dairy), or Interactive Absolute Vegetarian.
  • 2 tbsp fiber – for so many reasons! It keeps you regular, balances blood sugar, pulls toxins out of the body, and if you use sources such as chia, hemp or flax seed, adds omega 3’s and lots of additional nutrition.
  • a handful of greens – why not?! You don’t taste them anyway, not with all the delicious fruit and yummy protein powder. I usually do either kale or spinach for extra folic acid and energy boosting B vitamins.
  • 1 cup liquid. It can be filtered water, unsweetened milk substitutes (I like almond, oat, hemp, or brown rice), you can even add freshly squeezed juice of your choice!
  • 1 tbsp omega 3 fats – usually in the form of a high quality flavored fish oil supplement, or you can try flax or hemp oil. We need more omega 3’s and putting them in a smoothie sure beats taking it off the spoon! I like Ascenta NutraSea or Seroyal
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbsp of any or all your favorite SUPERFOODS! Well we couldn’t call it a superfood smoothie without them right? If you want the biggest bang for your buck (nutrient wise) try spirulina and chlorella. A tsp to tbsp depending on how adventurous you are of either will suffice. Bee pollen, for more B vitamins, protein and allergy prevention, maca root powder for hormone balancing and libido, raw cacao powder for anti-stress magnesium, and don’t forget the high fibre seeds are omega 3 rich superfoods as well (chia, hemp and flax).
  • other optional ingredients include 1 tbsp black strap molasses for pregnant or nursing moms, it provides an extra iron boost. 1-2 tbsp non GMO soy lecithin is great for fat digestion (if the fish oil makes you burp) and elimination. 1/4 cup kefir (a fermented dairy beverage) is loaded with good bacteria and yeast for your gut.

This is just a rough recipe, get creative and remember recipes are only guidelines! Now it’s time to run out and buy smoothie ingredients for a month…come on you can do this one with me!!

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!

 

DIY vanilla extract

Vanilla

I adore vanilla. I especially love fresh vanilla, straight up from the pod – the scent is so intoxicating.

Conveniently, I was left with a 1 lb bag of vanilla beans when I left my shop in Canmore. I am talking over 100 of the most deliciously soft, fresh, wildcrafted, raw, whole vanilla beans, from Ultimate Superfoods. Obviously, I made room in my suitcase for them and I am fortunate to be using them in all my favorite sweet treats.

Vanilla is not really a bean, it is the fruit of an orchid (fun fact to share with friends…many don’t know this!). Historically it has been used as an aphrodisiac or to treat fevers. Currently it is almost always used for its delicious flavor or aromatherapy.

Sadly, the vast majority (like 97%) of vanilla used is made synthetic chemicals…ew. Not to mention the taste pales in comparison to the real deal. If you have the luxury, buy whole, fresh beans. I know they are expensive, in fact they are the second most expensive spice (next to saffron), because they are the worlds most labour intensive agricultural crop.

I have intended on making my own vanilla extract for ages, and when I found my favorite honey booze at the local liquor store, I got the sweetest of ideas.

Ron Miel (honey rum) is a sweet sipping liquor my hunny and I discovered one spectacular day in the Canary Islands years ago. We have always had a soft spot for it, even though it is really quite sweet for my tastebuds now. It is nearly impossible to find outside of Europe, but thankfully this recipe can easily be made with any booze (40% alcohol is recommended (Ron Miel is only 20% so it is a bit of an experiment on my end). Vodka, rum, or bourbon are often used, or even combined to make vanilla extract.

Why do you want to bother making your own vanilla extract? Well for one you can control what goes in; artificial vanilla extract is just a bunch of chemicals…remember? Second, you will actually save yourself some moo-lah this way. Third, you can customize it to your boozy delight as I am doing. So bust out the booze, it’s vanilla makin’ time!

DIY Vanilla Extract

What you need:

  • 12 vanilla beans
  • 1 x 26 oz of booze (vodka, rum, bourbon…Ron Miel?) 40% alcohol recommended

Carefully take a sharp knife and start at the bottom of a vanilla bean, gently slice along one side of your bean until you reach about a cm from the top. Open up the delicious bean, inhale…melt, then stick it in your booze (either the bottle it came in, or use a jar – just chop the beans if they are too long for a jar). Repeat 11 more times with 11 more beans.

Let sit for 2 months, shaking the bottle (or jar) occasionally. Then use for all your favorite vanilla requiring recipes. As you used it up, add more booze, more beans and you will never be without the most delicious, real, vanilla extract.

Enjoy this one my friends…I sure am!