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.

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.

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.

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.