DIY Cough Syrup

Colds and flus are all around us this month! Are you coughing and sneezing along with the rest of us? One of my regular go-to's for this time of year is DIY Cough Syrup. It's easy to make, isn't full up crap and doesn't suppress the symptoms.

Remember, the cure for the cold is the cold itself.

Your body simply needs to fight off the virus, and you can help it by giving yourself lots of antimicrobial support in the form of garlic and onions. These two members of the Allium family are exceptionally high in antimicrobials amongst other things. But it's best to consume them in raw form, which is where this syrup comes in handy. So get out your chopping board and let's get started:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large yellow or small purple onion, peeled
  • 2 cups honey, divided into 4 x 1/4 cups

Methods:

  1. Quarter the onion.
  2. Coarsely chop 1/4 of the onion and 1 clove of garlic. Place these in a small glass Mason jar and cover with 1/4 c of honey.
  3. Repeat step 2 until you have used up all garlic and onion.
  4. Place in the refrigerator. It will be ready within 1 hour, but it keeps for up to 5 days.
  5. You'll notice a thin liquid forming on top of the mixture. Take 2 Tbsp of this liquid as needed to alleviate your cold.

Optional Additions: 1 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp ground ginger

NOTE: please do not use if you have an Allium family sensitivity or for children under the age of 1.

Thanks for reading & let me know how you feel after trying them out.

Don’t forget to share with a friend in need, too.

P.S. Have questions? Contact me.

DIY Household Cleaning Recipes

Making the choice to green up your home is certainly a wise one, especially given the amount of chemical whoknowswhat present in conventionally available cleaning products. Think endocrine disruptors and neurotoxins – Yikes! But where to begin? It can be very overwhelming to figure out how best to green our homes inside and out. In fact, most of us likely stand in the cleaning aisle scratching our head and wondering what to buy (trust me, we’ve been these people). It’s taken us a long time to become well-versed on better options and to avoid greenwashing, but we've finally figure it out. Best of all, some of these can be made at home by YOU! We're sharing DIY household cleaning recipes for 3 common items used in the home. Enjoy & please share your tried-and-true DIY household cleaning recipes in the comments below.

1. All-Purpose Cleaner

Ingredients:

1 part white vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 part water

Baking soda

Method:

Combine vinegar, lemon and water in a spray bottle. If you'd like a little extra oomph to your clean, sprinkle down some baking soda before your spray and scrub away.

2. Laundry Soap

Ingredients:

1 cup soap flakes

1/2 cup washing soda

1/2 cup Borax

Method:

Combine all ingredients. Use 1 Tbsp per load of laundry. If you need a little extra cleaning power you can go for 2 Tbsp.

3. Floor Cleaner

Ingredients:

¼ cup liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap)

Juice of 3 lemons

2 gallons warm water

***Add ¼ cup distilled white vinegar to the bucket for greasy floors

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a bucket and wash away!

So there you have it! You can get started on greening up your home with these DIY household cleaning recipes. We modified these recipes from one of our favourite authors (P.S. she's Canadian, too) Miss Adria Vasil. We highly recommend her Ecoholic series including Ecoholic Home.

Now, greening up the home is certainly one thing, but don't forget the importance of greening up your health. This is where I come in. Chat with me about how I can better your health from the inside out.

Thanks for stopping by, and, as always, I'd be thrilled if you'd share this with someone in need.

Time to scrub the floor now!

Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

Could you pack anymore delicious things into these wonderful muffins?!? I think not! I got creative in the kitchen this past weekend and went on, what my husband calls, a baking binge. Baking calms me. It provides me with beautiful, dependable & delicious results. Oddly enough, if I hadn't followed my calling to become a naturopathic doctor, I would have become a pastry chef instead. A healthy pastry chef, that is!

Enjoy these yummy muffins with a warm cup of tea, a swipe of all-natural nut butter, and a piece of fruit for a complete meal. Yum!

Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup spelt flour (you could change this for a gluten-free blend instead)

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 egg

2 medium bananas, mashed

1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup full-fat, plain, Greek yogurt

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup maple syrup

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line your muffin tin with liners.

2. Whisk together all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Combine all wet ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients until the mixture is well combined. If you notice it is too thick you can add a bit more yogurt.

4. Fill each muffin liner until it is about 3/4 full.

5. Bake for 18 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

6. Let cool & enjoy!

Holiday Paleo Gingerbread Loaf - Moist & Delicious

I loooooove gingerbread. It's one of my favourite holiday items, but I have been very put off by how dry it can be and how much sugar can be in it. Over the last two holiday seasons I have worked hard to develop a moist and delicious paleo gingerbread loaf recipe. This is in loaf form rather than cookie dough form, but I like it better.

Kid-Friendly Option: If you want to make it more fun for your kids you can line a cookie sheet with Silpat or parchment paper and place a number of different coconut oil-greased cookie cutters on the baking sheet. Then fill the cookie cutters with gingerbread batter. This will adjust the cooking time to 25 minutes instead of 35.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs (if you would like to omit eggs, you can use this flax egg recipe instead)
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk of your choice (almond, coconut, rice, hemp)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or applesauce (the choice is yours)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey (the choice is yours)
  • 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400oF. Line a loaf pan with crumpled parchment paper.
  2. Whisk eggs in a small glass bowl. Then add molasses, almond milk, vanilla, coconut oil and maple syrup or honey. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
  4. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix gently until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into your loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Serve with toppings of your choice: almond butter, unsweetened apple butter, pomegranates or orange slices.

Canadian Iced Tea Mocktail Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8

It’s the Canada Day long weekend, and that means hot weather and cold drinks. Thankfully, there are alternatives to beer, wine coolers, and the other alcoholic beverages that seem to dominate during summer holidays. This Canadian Iced Tea mocktail is a perfect choice. Complete with black tea’s antioxidant power, lemon’s liver cleansing effects, and maple syrup’s satisfying sweetness, you’ve got a super summer sipper. What makes it Canadian? The maple syrup, of course! Happy Canada Day!

How does this mocktail fit into a healthy diet? Since it contains sugar in the form of maple syrup, and dehydrating black tea, it’s best to limit this to occasional enjoyment. Save it for long weekends and the odd patio evening. It shouldn’t be a part of a daily diet.

INGREDIENTS 3 litres of water 2 litres sparkling water, chilled 4-5 black tea bags of your choice 3/4 cup maple syrup 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 2 lemons, juiced 1 lemon, sliced for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a saucepan over high heat, bring 1 cup water and maple syrup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and let simmer for 5 minutes. Note: It doesn't need to reduce to the point of being an actual syrup. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside.
  2. Boil the remaining water in a large pot. Add tea bags to the pot. Let steep for 15 minutes, or longer for stronger tea.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat. Then scoop out the teabags. Add maple syrup-water combination, a splash of vanilla, and the juice of 2 lemons. Stir.
  4. Pour into a serving jug and add chilled sparkling water.
  5. Serve over ice with a lemon garnish.

Grain-Free Protein Pumpkin Loaf Recipe

Mmmm. Is there anything better than the smell of baked goods rising in the oven? I have fond memories of learning to bake at my mother's elbow as a child. Unfortunately, baking often takes a back seat to healthy eating regimes because processed goods are often packed with white sugar, chemicals and bad fats. Thankfully there are options for those of us with a serious need to "knead" (hehe!).

I developed this loaf recipe after testing out a few recipes I found floating around the internet. I finally seemed to have achieved the perfect amount of fluffiness, moistness and spice, while maintaing lots of nutrition.

I nearly melted from the smell wafting from the oven this morning. Give it a try. I'd love to know what you think.


Yields: 10 slices

Helpful Tools:

  • 2 glass mixing bowls (1 small, 1 large)
  • 1 hand mixer
  • Spoon measures
  • Cup measures
  • 1 loaf pan
  • 1 fork
  • 1 spatula

Ingredients:

  • 3 free-range, large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling - way too sweet)
  • 2 cups ground almonds (Bob's Red Mill or JK Gourmet)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 scoops Sun Warrior Warrior Blend Vanilla protein powder (or protein powder of your choice) - 1 scoop = 21g
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Coconut oil (for coating the pan)

Methods:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking loaf pan with coconut oil.
  2. In large bowl beat eggs with a fork until well combined. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Add pumpkin puree and honey and beat with the electric mixer until well combined. About 1 minute.
  4. In small bowl combine ground almonds, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder, protein powder and spices.
  5. With the mixer set on low, slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients periodically stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until everything is well combined.
  6. Scoop the mixture into your prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  7. Bake in he oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out dry.

Let cool & enjoy. Best served with apple butter (like Wellesley's), almond butter or remaining pumpkin puree.

Peanut Butter, Banana & Chocolate Smoothie

Most mornings of the week I prepare breakfast for my husband and myself & it is usually a smoothie.

This morning I was especially inspired to whip up something delicious because I had just had a seriously hard leg workout. My body was screaming for nutrition! So a Peanut Butter, Banana & Chocolate Smoothie it was! It definitely helps that it tastes like dessert, too.

Benefits: An awesome dose of protein to feed your muscles post-workout, lots of clean fuel to keep you going all morning, more than half of your daily fiber intake, trans-fat free & packed full of magnesium & potassium for more post-workout recovery.


Peanut Butter, Banana & Chocolate Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 Tbsp organic peanut butter (I like Nuts to You, but use whatever brand you like)
  • 1 scoop Sun Warrior Warrior Blend Vanilla protein powder (or protein powder of your choosing)
  • 1.5 Tbsp raw cacao powder (this is the chocolatey, good-for-your-brain & muscles part)
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened, almond milk

Method

Blend all ingredients together in your blender, Vitamix or Magic Bullet and enjoy!

Let me know how yours turns out in the comment section below.

Healthy Frittata Recipe

I made this delicious arugula frittata recipe for Mother's Day Brunch. It was tasty and filling. Making frittatas ahead of time to have ready for breakfast each morning is the perfect way to be ready for the day without the typical morning rush. They keep well in the fridge for at least 3 days. The rest of our delicious Mother's Day feast can be found here.


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large potatoes, thinly sliced (preferably with a mandoline)
  • 3 handfuls fresh arugula
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (of your choice)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Methods

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and milk together. Set aside.
  3. Heat coconut oil and garlic in a skillet over medium heat until golden. Then remove and discard garlic, keeping coconut oil in the pan.
  4. Toss potatoes and onions in a large bowl along with salt and pepper. Then add to the skillet with coconut oil. Cook, turning often, until golden – about 10 minutes.
  5. Slowly add in arugula handful by handful until it has cooked down.
  6. Then add the egg and milk mixture stirring just enough to ensure everything is evenly combined. Then place the skillet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked on top. Cool and serve.

Cashew Cream Dessert

I am sooooo excited to share this incredible recipe with you. It came to me originally from my mom, Tosca Reno, who made cashew cream as the dessert course at our Power of Women dinner held a few weeks ago. It was a pretty special meal joined by my sisters, friends (including personal trainer extraordinaire Andie the Fit Geek) and very special colleagues. The best part about this cashew cream dessert is that it tastes wonderfully decadent all while being pretty darn healthy, hearty, and raw.

The original chocolate version can be found here on ToscaReno.com, and today I will share the vanilla version with you...

NOTE: THIS REQUIRES OVERNIGHT SOAKING

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup raw unsalted whole cashews (not pieces)

1 cup almond, rice or coconut milk

1 scoop Sun Warrior Warrior Blend Vanilla Protein Powder

1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

1 Tbsp maple syrup (this is an optional addition if you desire more sweetness)

1 pint organic raspberries

Methods:

  1. Cover cashews with water and soak overnight in fridge
  2. Drain cashews and place in a high-powered blender. Top with milk of your choice, protein powder and vanilla extract. Blend until you reach a creamy, pudding-like consistency - this may take a few minutes.
  3. Divide into 1/2-cup serving dishes and refrigerate for at least an hour. Garnish with maple syrup and raspberries.

Authentic Masala Chai Tea

Two years ago I trekked to India for a 9-day intensive homeopathy course led by the great Rajan Sankaran and his compatriots. I spent 3 days in Mumbai, 9 days in Varca, Goa and 4 days travelling the Golden Triangle: Delhi to Agra to Jaipur and back again. It was a remarkable experience, and one which I will not soon forget. One of my favorite parts of the journey was drinking authentic masala chai tea. I had discovered chai at Starbucks long ago, but now I had the opportunity to try the real deal. And boy was it everywhere – from the local chai wallah trekking his Thermos through the streets, to the multitude of restaurants, and even from the caterers at snack time during our course. I had gallons of the stuff while I was away from home and the warm beverage provided me great comfort especially during bouts of homesickness.

Masala chai tea combines a number of warming, aromatic spices with black tea and milk. It’s the perfect tea to warm you up on a cold wintery day, comfort you from nausea, and give you a dose of inflammation-fighting, antioxidant-heavy, digestive-friendly spices. I swear it kept me healthy while I was in India.

Since my love for masala chai became very apparent in India I decided I needed to stock up on my own Indian spices so I could take the experience home with me to share with my family. I visited Sahakari Spice Farm in Goa and stocked up on the most incredible spices (I highly recommend visiting this spot when you are in India). Then, with the help of my friend and travel partner, Tehseen, I made my own masala chai tea, which I have shared with you today:

Masala Chai

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

4 cloves

4 cardamom pods

2 sticks cinnamon

4 whole black peppercorns

½ inch ginger root

2 tea bags (black tea)

¼ cup evaporated milk, ½ cup homo milk, ¼ cup cream (this can be replaced with soy or almond milk)

2 cups water

2 tsp sucanat (this can be replaced with maple syrup or honey)

Directions:

  1. 1Add 2 cups of water to a saucepan.
  2. Smash cardamom pods slightly with back of spoon, and peel ginger root.
  3. Add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black peppercorns, ginger root and tea bags to the saucepan with water.
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally (for strong tea boil longer than 5 minutes).
  5. Once spice aroma is present from steam, add milk and sucanat to desired taste.
  6. Stir quickly and frequently for another 2-3 minutes, ensuring foam created from heat does not spill over.
  7. Using a strainer to strain tea into mugs.

Note: Fennel, lemongrass and star anise are other amazing spices to add to the mix.

Chai… er… try it out and see how you like it.

Enjoy!

Perfect Raw Brownies

Yep! You heard me - brownies. Yum! But these raw brownies are healthy with brain-beneficial cacao, heart-healthy nuts and coconut oil, and poo-friendly dates. Believe me - they taste just as good as the real thing. I wouldn't lie about that as I am a brownie lover!

I have spent the past week trying out recipes to come up with the perfect, no-bake, chocolatey, gooey treat so I could share it with all of you.

And here it is - Enjoy!


Ingredients:

  • 12 Medjool dates, soaked (soak them by covering them in water for 10 minutes)
  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 Tbsp raw cacoa powder (I really like this one from Organic Traditions)
  • 2 tsp melted coconut butter
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (leave out if your diet is sugar-free)

Method:

  1. I like to start out by grinding the dates into a paste. They can be tricky to deal with so add them into the processor 2 at a time until a paste has formed. Now, use a spatula to scrape out the paste into a bowl and set it aside.
  2. Grind the hazelnuts and almonds on high until they have formed a nut flour.
  3. Add in the sea salt and cacao powder. You'll begin to notice the chocolately flavor now.
  4. Gradually add in coconut butter, almond butter and dates allowing the food processor time to catch up with the thick mixture. If you need to, use the pulse setting until well mixed.
  5. Use a spatula to scrape this mixture either into an 8"x8" square baking dish or roll the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls. Serve & enjoy. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

NOTE: I recommend a really good food processor for this recipe!

Sugar Pumpkin Smoothie

With Thanksgiving greeting us this weekend in Canada I am excited to share a Sugar Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe with all of you. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving to recognize the harvest, and with harvest time comes a whole host of goodies from the earth. Sugar pumpkins are just one of these delicious offerings. Nutritionally, sugar pumpkins are loaded with Vitamin A (notice their orange colour), Vitamin C, fiber, potassium and even a little bit of protein.  They also boast a sweet taste, which makes them the perfect addition to most fall meals.

So after you've spent Thanksgiving weekend pureeing sugar pumpkins for pumpkin pie, why not save some for a delicious protein smoothie perfect for post-workout refuelling:


Ingredients:

Methods:

  1. Blend in your blender or Magic Bullet (my kitchen saviour) for 1 minute.
  2. Enjoy within 1 hour of your workout for optimal muscle uptake and recovery.

What are your favourite pumpkin recipes for fall?

Grain-Free "Corn" Bread Recipe

It's a hot summer day and I'm busy preparing a delicious meal for me and my significant other. Spicy, barbeque chicken is on the menu along with roasted sweet potatoes and a vibrant green salad. But something is missing from this mid-August meal. Something - warm and soft. Southern. Sweet. Corn bread!

I sigh as I remember I've been following a grain-free diet for the past 2 months, and treats like corn bread fall right into that category - corn and all.

Then I remember almond flour makes a pretty fantastic replacement for grain flours in most baked goods. There must be a recipe out there. I search, and indeed there are a few. I meld them together into my own little creation and here's what happened...


Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups almond flour (try JK Gourmet or Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Coconut butter (for greasing the pan)

Methods:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 6" round pan or 8" square pan with coconut butter.
  2. Combine all ingredient in a large bowl and mix at until fluffy for about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into your baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown, the center is springy and a knife comes out clean.
  4. Spoon out hot and steamy and enjoy with your meal.

Sparkling Kombucha Iced Green Tea

Nothing says summer like iced tea and boy does my significant other make a good one!

I have embarked on a 30-day no alcohol challenge this summer and in light of this Mat decided to make me a fun summer drink - Sparkling Kombucha Iced Green Tea.

It's a perfect after-dinner drink for sipping on the balcony, porch, beachside or on the dock. Lemon stimulates liver detoxification, spearmint aids digestion and cools, lemongrass & kombucha aid immunity & green tea boasts major antioxidant properties.

Here's how to whip up this delicious, refreshing drink in no time:


Ingredients

Methods 

  1. Brew 8 tea bags in 2 cups of boiling water. This may seem like an odd ratio, but iced tea has a tendency to lose strength of flavour so using more teabags is crucial. Add honey. Let cool for 1 hour.
  2. Combine brewed tea and honey and sparkling water.
  3. Cut lemon in half crosswise. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 the lemon into the iced tea. Cut the remaining lemon into thin wheels for garnish. Top with mint & enjoy.

Tip: Replace the sparkling water with ice to make a slushy iced tea instead.

Caesar Dressing Recipe

It's summer & with that comes the desire to enjoy delicious, crunchy & cool salads. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine principles, changes of season like going from winter to spring/summer and summer to fall/winter signals our body to a change in cravings. Soups and stews (unless chilled) take a back burner to salads and raw veg. Unfortunately, many of us know how laden with crap regular salad dressings can be. I encourage you to try out a homemade dressing like the Caesar Dressing recipe I have included here. I Cleaned it up from my favourite Joy of Cooking selection.

From my kitchen to yours...

Caesar Salad Dressing

Serves 6 – 8


Ingredients:

  • 5 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a small bowl well combine 5 anchovy fillets, 2 cloves minced garlic and ½ tsp salt.
  2. Then whisk in lemon juice and Worcestshire sauce.
  3. Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream while constantly whisking.
  4. Serve with loosely chopped Romaine lettuce and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (optional).

Tip: Looking for an extra crunch, but don't want to resort to croutons? Try breaking up Mary's Gone Crackers overtop of your salad or use roasted sunflower seeds or chickpeas.

Quinoa Dessert Recipe

I’m sure by now you all have heard of quinoa (keen-wa). It is that little grain/seed that everyone in the health world seems to fawn over. Quinoa does indeed deserve a lot of praise. It is a grain-like crop harvested for its seeds. Did you know you can even eat quinoa greens? You can, but they are very difficult to find commercially. For now let’s stick to learning more about quinoa seeds. In ancient Peruvian times it coined its funny name, which means “mother of all grains”. It provided a great deal of nutrition to these people and has now resurged amongst the healthy crowds of North America.

½ c of quinoa contains half of your recommended folate (B9), magnesium and phosphorus and a third of your thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), B6, iron, and zinc. Wow! That is impressive. Better yet, it also contains 14g of complete protein, meaning all of the essential amino acids are present. This is a rare find in plant form.

Best of all, quinoa is gluten-free. No wonder it is so popular.

Quinoa is best-prepared like rice or couscous. But one extremely important tip is to remove the saponin coating on the quinoa before using. To do this, strain quinoa under cool water for a few minutes until all of the bubbles disappear. Now you are ready for cooking. Do 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and let simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until all of the water has absorbed. Now you are ready to use quinoa in whatever way you would like – as a breakfast food, in quinoa cakes, as a side dish, or as a main.

Scouring the internet will lead you to lots of quinoa recipes, but here is one of my favorites specially donated by Tosca Reno, author The Eat-Clean Diet.


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup / 240 ml quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 4 or 5 dates, chopped
  • 2 cups / 480 ml no-sugar-added grape juice
  • ½ cup / 120 ml raisins

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot and cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until quinoa grains are cooked.
  2. Serve hot or cold.

Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia Seeds and Chia Seed Jam Recipe

Gone are the days of chia seeds being known only for their ability to create chia pets! This seed is an all-around super food with star nutrients being fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, & iron. They also contain a host of powerful antioxidants, including caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and quercetin. Chia’s fiber content really is something to marvel.

Chia seed has more fiber per 100 grams than barley, wheat, oats, corn, and rice.

The soluble fiber present in chia seeds creates a gel in the stomach when exposed to carbohydrates thereby slowing down the digestive process of carbohydrates and reducing the spike in blood sugar after a meal. Chia seeds are also very high in protein and antioxidants. This is especially beneficial for diabetics.

Chia seeds have become exceedingly popular amongst the healthy crowds over the years. It is an excellent appetite suppressant because of its high amounts of fiber and protein. Chia seed can sustain you for hours, which is why it was used by the ancient Aztecs to sustain warriors during battle. In fact, 1 Tbsp of chia seed would sustain Aztec warriors for 24 hours during battle! In this day and age when food variety is certainly not  a problem, it is still important to maintain a balanced diet. Chia can be incorporated into your nutritional plan as a topping on oatmeal, an addition to smoothies, and in baked goods. But my favorite use of chia is as a healthy a jam. Chia seed contains about 5% soluble fiber. It soaks up lots of water and appears as clear mucilage (that means gel). Imagine that beautiful gel coating and soothing your intestines. Glorious!

Here’s a quick recipe for Chia Jam:


Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds (black or white)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Stevia to taste

Method:

  1. In a medium bowl combine chia seeds, stevia, and water.
  2. Let chill for 30 minutes. During this time the chia will absorb all of the liquid and gel.
  3. Serve cold on toast or on its own.

Vegetarian Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Kisses

Vegetarianism a hot topic! I assume most people out there think that all naturopathic doctors are vegetarian when in fact many of us aren’t. I myself am not a vegetarian, however, I do believe in incorporating meat-free meals into my omnivore diet. That is why I am so excited to have a fabulous resource for you. New York Times best-selling author, Tosca Reno, has finally debuted her Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook. It is full of healthy, clean, and tasty vegetarian recipes as well as informational pages covering many aspects of vegetarian health. Tosca has generously shared one of her recipes here with us:

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) vegan unsweetened protein powder, as natural as possible
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) hulled hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) flaxseed, cracked
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) vegan semisweet natural chocolate chips
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) all-natural peanut butter, sugar and salt free
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) brown-rice syrup, yacon syrup or pure honey

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together oats, protein powder, hemp seeds, flaxseed, dried cranberries, chocolate chips and sea salt. Add peanut butter and syrup or honey and mix together. Using your hands, knead mixture together thoroughly. Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto a baking sheet, or use a mini ice-cream scoop. Using your hands, roll into balls. Wrap kisses in squares of aluminum foil, twisting tops to seal, or store them unwrapped in an airtight container.

Most importantly, enjoy!

Should you choose to be vegetarian just remember that it requires a lot of education and diligence about one's health. Vegetarians need to be extra cautious about iron levels, vitamin B12 levels, protein intake and carbohydrate selection. It’s easy to be a bad vegetarian who relies solely on fats and sugars. Oh my!

Meat-free meals are just what the doctor ordered!