I like to hike.
And on a long hiking trail, keeping my energy at an optimum level is important. I bring lots of water, in the summer I pack a hydrating watermelon smoothie and snacks. Lots of yummy snacks.
Here’s one packed full of carbohydrates for quick and easy energy. It also has hemp hearts for a clean protein, good-for-you omega 3 fats and a bit of dark chocolate for anti-oxidants and the yumminess factor.
Chocolate Hemp Energy Bites
2 cups of rolled oats – organic
1 cup organic peanut butter
1/2 cup 80% dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup raw organic honey or maple syrup
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup ground flax
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup organic pumpkin seeds
Combine ingredients in bowl. Let sit in fridge for 25 minutes. Roll into balls. Coat in hemp hearts.
I was really hoping to get this post out yesterday which was World Environment Day but I spent the evening hanging out at the beach and celebrating the day by soaking up our beautiful natural world.
The big topic of conversation with my friends yesterday was the effect of meat consumption on human health, the environment and, last but not least, the suffering of animals in the factory farm system.
I read an article recently that if the human population keeps growing at the rate it is, food supplies will have to increase by 70%. 70%! Imagine cutting down that many more forests to raise animals to eat? Forests which cool the planet to raise cattle whose gas when fed an unnatural diet of grains (which we are currently feeding most cattle) create methane gas that damages the ozone layer and contributes to global warming. Is it just me, or does that sound like a very sad recipe for disaster and a burning hot planet? And beyond the environmental consequences of excessive meat consumption, it does our bodies good too to stay away from too much meat.
And don’t think that you have to give up meat. Change doesn’t have to be so black and white. The less meat we all eat the better our health is, the less animals we hurt and the healthier and cleaner our world is. Every meal that we eat beans and grains and veggies is a big step in the right direction. If every person ate, say, half the meat they are currently eating, the planet would be transformed. The transformation would be a cleaner environment, less cruelty and healthier humans. It’s a win/win/win.
And to get started, here is my hummus recipe. I whip this up in my blender, serve with an herb flat bread and a big salad full of veggies and avocado and dinner is served. Yummy, healthy and cruelty-free. Oh, and the magic is in the truffle oil.
Homemade Olive Hummus
- 1 can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
- fresh lemon juice from 1 large lemon
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 3 chopped black olives
- 2 T Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon truffle oil
- Salt to taste
Blend all ingredients together and serve.
My MSG free journey is coming along pretty well. Of course there have been a few surprises along the way. One of the surprises was the realization of just how much MSG has infiltrated our lives by being in almost every prepared product on the shelves of the grocery store. This annoying little toxin is in so many every day items that you really have to re-think almost everything that goes into your mouth. An example is that I had to toss out my minty fresh, flavour enhanced toothpaste and am now brushing my teeth with a coconut oil/baking soda mixture. Oddly enough, I’m finding that I have fresher breath with this natural cleanser. I can’t wait until my next trip to the dentist for a cleaning to see what the verdict is on my new found oral hygiene. But I digress.
What I really want to talk about is salad dressing. Do you know that it’s pretty much impossible to buy a commercial salad dressing without a liberal dose of MSG added? I’ve looked and looked and haven’t been able to find one (If anyone out there knows of one please leave the brand name in the comments section below). So, I’ve been making my own dressing at home…much like I’ve been making my own everything on this journey. The TV show Little House on the Prairie that I used to watch as a teenager has been popping into my mind as I make all of my meals from scratch in my little galley kitchen. I used to love watching the show and all of the homesteading that was just part of life back then. Oops, digressing again.
So salad dressing! I’ve concocted what I think is a winner.
Such a winner that as I eat my delicious, wholesome salad, I wonder why I ever bought that preservative filled, MSG laden store-bought dressing in the first place.
Here it is:
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Drizzle this over a salad of mixed greens, pecans, goat cheese and fresh raspberries for a big plate of yum!
Our unusually snowy Vancouver winter continues, giving me beautiful photo ops like this..
and also making me crave some good, wholesome, stick-to-your-ribs breakfasts to start the day before putting on my winter boots and trudging through the snow.
Luckily I’ve been Pinteresting and found out about soaked oats. Soaked oats are amazing! Tasty, healthy and wholesome. Top with fruit and nuts and you’ve got a hearty breakfast that will power you through the toughest Canadian winter morning.
Banana Pecan Soaked Oats
- 2 cups steel cut oats
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 T full fat yogurt
- 2 T shredded coconut flakes
Top with Sliced banana, pecans and drizzle with pure Canadian maple syrup.
Are you looking for something sweet, dark and delicious to serve your Valentine in a few days?
How about a delicious chia pudding to share?
This easy parfait consists of the following two recipes layered with frozen blueberries and a little dusting of coconut flakes to top things off. It’s a yummy, healthy and energizing dish. Perfect for Valentines.
Blueberry Chia Pudding
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1 bananas
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- ½ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
Chocolate Chia Pudding
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 bananas
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- ½ cup organic nut butter
- 3 T raw cacao
Here’s to a happy, healthy Valentine’s Day xo
This week, in my Raw Food Educator course, I’ve been learning how to transition healthfully and gently to a raw food diet. Im currently doing ‘Raw til 4’ which means you get to feast on Smoothies, juices, fruit, chia pudding, veggies and raw nuts until dinner, when you eat a ‘normal’ meal.
This is working out incredibly well and doesn’t shock the system the way going fully raw all at once might…As in ‘too much of a good thing’. In fact this might be the perfect ‘raw ratio’ for me. I completely believe in the health giving qualities of raw foods but I also believe in moderation..and the soul satifying qualities of some cooked food.
Anyway, back to the recipe. Here’s a recipe for one of my breakfast bowls. It’s easy, delicious and pretty lovely to look at too.
Berry Mandarin Smoothie Bowl
- 3 bananas
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
Blend ingredients together and top with your favourite fresh fruit. Bon appetite.
Vancouver has had an uncharacteristically cold, snowy and sunny winter so far this year.
The temperatures even dipped below zero a few times, making our usually rainy city feel oddly like the rest of Canada.
My inner Ontario girl is loving this weather but it is a little chillier than I’m used to, so I’ve been drinking a warming smoothie instead of my usual frozen fruit concoctions. Here it is..
Warm smoothie latte
- One scoop Vega chai protein powder
- One tsp turmeric
- One tsp cinnamon
- One cup coconut milk
Blend all ingredients then Gently heat in a saucepan until warm. Pour into a cup or glass and warm up from Winter in Canada. Eh.