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.

3 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling

My mom and sister were packing for their business trip to Australia when they asked me how they should stay healthy while away for so long. I made a few suggestions based on a few common trouble areas.

Here are 3 ways to stay healthy while traveling:

  1. Sleep: Melatonin is a traveler's best friend. Using it before bedtime after changing time zones will help your body readjust its sleep cycle and ward off jet lag. Magnesium can also be used as a natural muscle relaxant to help encourage sleep, too.
  2. Digestion: Tummy troubles can be a scary thing while on holidays. They can easily put a damper on anybody's good time. I tend to be a bit too adventurous on holidays and have wound up with food poisoning too many times. Aside from encouraging you to play it safe, I will also let you in on a few secrets: Gentiana lutea is one of my favourite herbs and just a few small drops 15-20 minutes before a meal will get your digestive juices flowing to improve resilience and digestion. Magnesium (as mentioned above) not only helps you sleep, it also relaxes the bowels to ease the discomfort of constipation that often occurs when traveling. Shelf-stable probiotics are also extremely helpful for balancing gut flora so your tummy can fight off the bad.
  3. Immunity: A simple increase in Vitamin C with Emergen-C or Sisu to Go can help manage exposure to viruses while you're away on travels. Don't forget to wash your hands, too. But my favorite thing to have in my carry on is a bottle of St. Francis Deep Immune packed full of herbs to keep your immune system chugging along even in the face of travel.

What are your favourite ways to stay healthy while on vacation?

You can find more travel tips here.

 

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.

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!

How to Navigate the Grocery Store

Shopping for groceries isn’t my favourite thing to do, but I do love to cook and bake, which makes it a necessity. Navigating the aisles of your typical big-box, grocery store location doesn’t do it for me. I much prefer to peruse the stalls of a local farmers market. But when necessity calls I have no choice. This is when I have to call upon my trusted grocery navigation tools.

  1.  Make a list. Check out your cupboards and fridge before heading to the store so you know what you need. I keep a list on my fridge and on my phone.
  2. Start in produce. Fill your cart with the freshest local and in-season produce available at your grocery. Here you can learn about Ontario’s local options. Stick to the Clean 15, Dirty Dozen list to help you avoid harmful pesticides while also minding your costs. Sticking to the remainder of the perimeter of the grocery is a good rule of thumb, given that the freshest, least-processed foods are located here. 
  3. Venture in if you must. Should you need to gather oats, grains, oils, vinegars and seasonings do so quickly. Just don’t get tempted by the cereal, cracker, or junk aisle where the really evil ingredients reside.

And last but not least, always remember to pick up a few cans to drop off in the food-donation bins at the exit of the store.