Cardamom Tahini Granola

The mister and I are heading to Costa Rica. AGAIN, you might say? Yes, again. I have fallen in love with the country, the people and of course the weather. I would buy property there in a heart beat if it wasn’t so damn blasted expensive. I am offering a retreat this coming November at the Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort and will most likely make a visit once a year mandatory until I find another land that I love more. 

IMAGE.JPG

This brings us to granola😊 Everytime we travel  we try to stay with AirBnb. The mister and I eat pretty special diets. Him being Celiac and both of us plantbased. We like to manage our food as much as we can and staying in a place with a kitchen REALLY makes our lives easier.  Our set up is to get a place, find food, and then make food ... but that can be expensive if you want all the comforts and option of being home. We love our superfoods and the last time we went to CR we spent a small fortune in the local organic market buying all of said staples and supplies. Well not this time. This time we are taking everything we need. Hemp seeds, chia seeds, granola, steel cut oats, cinnamon, sea salt and  even our homemade sourdough! 

The mister and I have talked about bringing our food on the plane with us for ages. Airlines TRY to accommodate the needs of their passengers and some go above and beyond (Air Singapore is amazing) but truth be told they just aren’t set up for allergies. The mister flew home from Hong Kong with next to nothing to eat. Our attendant on Air Canada took some snacks from first class to help but suffice to say, that was a long trek home. I have seen lots of insta accounts taking food on planes but it wasn’t until my friend @drtarasunshine posted her oats on route to Barbados that I was like OK, this is SO HAPPENING when we fly to CR! It is important to add here that while I made it thru security, I almost didn’t. If my jars had of been any more liquid he would have taken them away. It helps to SMILE and also, he wanted my recipe🤣

 Ok GRANOLA TIME... we took a huge bag with us cause there is nothing better than a sprinkle of this stuff on oats, toast or in a bowl with some banana and papaya!!  Homemade is always the way to go. I hope you enjoy this recipe and IF you make it, please let me know!

TAHINI CARDAMOM GRANOLA 

  • 3c gf Oats  
  • 1/2c desicated coconut
  • 1c raw almonds chopped
  • 1/2c raw walnuts chopped
  • 1/2c raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2c raw sunflower seeds
  • 1tsp cardamom
  • 1tsp true cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp sea salt
  • 1/2c raisins
  • 1/2c tahini
  • 1/3c maple syrup
  • 1/2c coconut oil
  • 1tsp vanilla

METHOD

Preheat oven to 325

Mix dry ingredients together. In a small pot add tahini, syrup, oil and vanilla. Stir until well incorporated.  Add to dry and mix. Spread out evenly on 1 -2 sheet pans (I love my Pampered Chef) and bake twice.. once for 15 minutes (remove from oven and give a gentle stir) and then a second for 15-18 min or until golden brown. 

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Tahini cardamom granola🥣🥣 

 Let cool completely in the pan and transfer to an airtight container like a mason jar.

Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don’t know a single person who doesn’t love a good cookie. I know I sure do!TBH I have been on a bit of a cookie run as of late...Thank GOD for my trainer, yoga and all those steps I take daily. Trust me, I do it all for the sake of food. This recipe was adapted from one of my insta crushes Minimilist Baker. I made only a couple changes and one of them was swapping out the sugar for my new found fave Lakanto which is made from monk fruit. It is sugar free AND it tastes good. I know I am not alone here in saying that sugar substitutes taste terrible. I’m talking specifically about my nemesis Stevia. Sorry not sorry for those who love it. I just can’t wrap my head around the taste. Lakanto looks like sugar, tastes like sugar but has zero calories, no artificial flavours and has no weird aftertaste. 

IMG_2395.JPG

Here’s the recipe—If you make it, let me know and don’t forget to tag me in your pics!! 

ingredients 

  • 3/4c gf oats (I use @bobsredmill)
  • 3/4c almond flour
  • 1/4c desiccated coconut  
  • 1/4c dairy free chocolate chips (I used @enjoylifefoods) 
  • 3/4tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 fine sea salt
  • 1/4c Lakanto (monkfruit sweetner) 
  • 1/4c aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas) 
  • 2tbsp almond butter
  • 3tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2tsp vanilla

METHOD

1. In a mixing bowl stir together all dry ingredients. Including chocolate chips. Set aside 

2. In a separate bowl whip aquafaba using electric hand mixer until peaks form. Gently fold in almond butter, vanilla and oil. Add wet to dry and stir to combine  it should be a firm tacky dough. Place in fridge for about 30 min to firm up. 

3. Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment, or grease. 

4. Scoop chilled dough into roughly 2tbsp amounts. I used my hands to form and I flattened with palm of my hand. Leave approx 1 inch gap between cookies  (they don’t spread). My recipe yeilded 11 cookies. 

5.  Bake for 10 min  and then increase heat to 375 and bake for an additional 3 minutes or until golden brown. 

6. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes if you can wait that long. Grab a tea, a coffee or a glass of cashew milk and enjoy! 

 

 

DSC_2285.JPG

Chai Granola

Fewer things give me as much pleasure as a good granola, so when Tara @drtarasunshine and I got together to brainstorm recipes  a while back, I suggested granola and she suggested chai flavours, it was a resounding,  all of the yes😋

FullSizeRender.jpg

Freshly baked chai granola  

Who among us has TOO many granola recipes. Not this kid, and with all the warm spicy flavours that bring oh so much comfort in these cold AF winter months, who doesn’t want that? So here ya go peeps. Please let us know what you think!  


GRANOLA:

CHAI SPICE MIX

4 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ginger

1 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp allspice

GRANOLA

  • 2 1/2 cups gf oats
  • 1 cup roughly chopped raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw pecans or raw walnuts 
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/4 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (my family makes the stuff so I know it's top quality. Don't cheap out on the maple syrup. The good stuff is actually good for you. Full of magnesium. Just don't drink it😉)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oi
  • 1/4 cup organic tahini
  • 1tsp vanilla 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 325.  In a large bowl mix dry ingredients together and set aside. In small pot, heat tahini, maple syrup and coconut oil until it melds together, remove from heat and add in vanilla. Add wet to dry and mix until well incorporated. You will most likely need 2 cookie sheet pans (or 1 large pan. I love my Pampered Chef ceramic pan☺️) to spread mixture evenly. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and gently move granola around. Place back in the oven and bake again for a minimum of 15 minutes. With the addition of tahini, this recipe needed more time in the oven to dry out. Don’t be afraid to keep it in until desired crunch factor has been accomplished😉 It will also dry out once cooled. 

ENJOY!!! 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Pretty Dr T and her gorgeous stove🙌🏼 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Premeasured always rules. Makes me feel like I’m on a cooking show🤩 

FullSizeRender.jpg

casual🥄

FullSizeRender.jpg

Tahini, coconut oil, vanilla and maple syrup 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

All mixed and ready for the trays

FullSizeRender.jpg

fresh out of the oven

FullSizeRender.jpg

yum

RUSTY (aka, our sourdough starter) —featuring My Mister (aka, Rick😉)

 Sourdough Starter-By Rick Morton

A sourdough starter is basically a fermented flour mixture that will eventually be used as a levian when you make a loaf of bread. It replaces the yeast used in many bread recipes.

A happy, active, and bubbly Rusty.

A happy, active, and bubbly Rusty.

With yeasted bread you buy the yeast and add it to some warm liquid (perhaps milk & water) to wake it up and you mix in a bit of sugar so it has something to eat. The byproduct of the yeast eating the sugar is gaseous and that is what makes the bread rise and have little air holes. With a sourdough bread you ferment flour and the bacteria created during the fermentation process is like a natural yeast. Some might think of their starter as a flatulent teenager … you feed it sugar and flour and it grows and gets gassy :)

From a practical standpoint, the big difference between yeast and a sourdough starter is that it takes time for the flour to ferment and you have to tend to the mixture until it becomes active. To create the starter you mix flour and some filtered water in a jar, cover it with a porous material (I use cheesecloth at home but at work we use plastic wrap), then you put it in a place where the temperature is relatively stable and relatively warm (between 20 degC and 27 degC). You must use filtered water since chlorine in tap water kills the bacteria that makes the mixture active and creates the bubbles. The temperature of the ingredients is important … all of them should be in the low to mid twenties (between 20 degC and 27degC). The cover that you put over the jar needs to allow gas to escape so don’t wrap it too tightly if you are using plastic wrap.

Once the starter is created, it needs to be maintained until it becomes active. Every twelve hours or so you create a new starter and then take half of the previous starter and mix them together. Then cover it and leave it on the counter until the next “feeding”. The other half must be tossed in the organic waste bin :(

You need to keep feeding the starter until it starts to become active and bubbly. This could take anywhere from 3 days to ten days depending on the temperature on your counter. If it is relatively cool then it will take longer and if it is pretty warm then it will happen faster. It’s important that the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too rapidly during this initial growth period.

Once the starter is active and you can see bubbles through the side of your container (I use straight sided mason jars so I can see the activity), you can use it to make some bread (recipe coming soon).

Starter Recipe

  • 30 g Sorghum flour

  • 30 g Buckwheat flour

  • 90 g Filtered water

Starter creation

Weight out the ingredients and mix them together in your container (mason jar, clear bowl, or a clear glass). Cover with cheese cloth or plastic wrap and place on your counter.

All ingredients must be weighted … including the water.

All ingredients must be weighted … including the water.

Feeding - Initial growth

Make a new starter every twelve hours and add half of the previous starter before putting it on the counter again. Discard the other half of the previous starter at this point. Repeat this process every 12 hours until your starter becomes bubbly and active. You can use this to make bread at this point or you can go into maintenance mode until you’re ready to bake.

Adding half of yesterdays starter to todays flour and water.

Adding half of yesterdays starter to todays flour and water.

Feeding - Maintenance

If you are going to make bread every day then you can feed your starter daily when you make your levian/bread. If you are going to make it once a week or less then you can put it in the fridge a couple of hours after feeding. Take it out once a week and make bread or just feed it and return it to the fridge.

Prep-ed and ready to feed.

Prep-ed and ready to feed.

Hazelnut Chocolate Bark

HO HO HO....  So I just got home from Costa Rica. Vacation was awesome, so needed and was far far away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas chaos that seems to grip Toronto at the beginning of each December. 

Being away for two weeks was the perfect amount of time away but didn’t leave me a whole lotta time to prepare for Christmas. This year we (the mister and I) decided to pare down on the spending. More specifically, reducing the feeling of consuming for the sake of consuming. Choosing to give minimal gifts, mostly to children, and asking that the adults in our life do the same. No gifts please. At the end of the day, we don’t need for anything and really, everyone’s money could be put to better use. Right? 

Onto the gifts that are always appreciated ... Food. Last year was a bit of a debacle. We had made and prepped a ton of food to take to Moms but the day we left was a bit of a shit show and with an already overpacked car we somehow overlooked allllll the food. Homemade chocolate truffles, main dishes, and more. Much more... it was a teensy bit hilarious when we realized our gorgeous garlicky kale and lentil potato dish was still on the counter. Funny until we got home days later that is😝 

This Christmas will be different. We are still taking some treats but, again, minimal. We will do our cooking on Christmas Day in my moms kitchen.  

To the treats!  I love chocolate. Good dark chocolate. The higher the percentage of cacao, for me, the better. As we all know, store bought stuff an have all sorts of hidden nasties so the mister and I have a rule, if we want it, we have to make it ourselves. Challenging sure, but also SO WELL WORTH IT!!! 

Heres a recipe I adapted from Minimilist Baker cause she’s the queen and needs to be thanked here.  

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BARK 

for the chocolate: 

  • 1 1/4 chopped cocoa butter
  • 2tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 1c pure cacao (not cocoa!)~sifted
  • 2tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 big pinch of Maldon sea salt  
  • 1/2tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 3tbsp cacao nibs (I love Navitas brand) 
  • 2c toasted hazelnuts—preheat oven to 350 and roast for 15 min. Keep your eyes on them! Once out of oven, place on clean towel and rub the skins off. It’s perfectly fine to still have some skin on too!

how to do:

Set up a double boiler. We used a stainless steel bowl over 2 inches of boiling water. The bowl should be bigger than pot so no risk of splashing water in your chocolate. Add in chopped cacao and coconut oil and let melt. Stirring occasionally. 

Once melted, add in cacao using a fine mesh strainer (this helps avoid clumps), and stir to combine. 

Add in maple syrup, vanilla, sea salt and cacao nibs. Stir stir. Finally, add in your nuts (this can be made with any nut and or dried fruit combo!). Transfer to a parchment lined 8 by 12 baking dish and spread evenly. Transfer to the freezer and let set for minimum 1 hour but I let mine set for 3 before breaking apart in desired sized chunks.  

YUM!!! 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Dog Days of Summer

Summer goes fast doesn’t it? Up here in Canada we get approximately 60 solid days of summer give or take a few and if you blink you just might miss them. 

I knew I was going to be working ALOT this summer. I took the better part of the beginning of the year off to travel and train and while I thought I’d prepared myself for the work I guess I wasn’t expecting the repercussions. At the end of December last year I was suffering burnout. Unsure that was actually a thing I did a little research and it turned out yes indeed it was. Exhausted pretty much ALL the time, trouble sleeping, and constantly needing to nap taking the first 6 weeks off in January-February was not only needed it was necessary. Well, here we are again.... Feeling pretty much the same symptoms I went to the doctor last week to find out WTF is going on with me. Waiting on results... I’ll let you know. 

This is actually a good post and I feel GOOD post believe it or not. Presently I am enjoying a full week off. I am in Niagara with my best girlfriends with all our misters and baby Maia at a gorgeous Air BnB. I am tapping away whilst sitting poolside with the mister reading beside me. Le SIGH... My hash tag this week has been #neverleaving🙂  The besties went winery hopping leaving us to relax and make PEACH CRUMBLE. It’s peach season here in Niagara so what better way to show case that.  

IMG_2837.JPG

greasing the vessel😊

 

IMG_2864.JPG

🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Walnuts for crunch (and health) 

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Slicing all dem🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑 

 PEACH CRISP (for 7 people)

Ingredients  

  • 9 large peaches 
  • 2tsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2c gf oats
  • 1/4tsp sea salt
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  •  1/2c almond flour
  • 2tbsp brown sugar
  • heaping 1/2c chopped walnuts
  • 2tbsp melted vegan butter 
  • 2tbsp melted coconut oil (plus more for greasing pan) 
FullSizeRender.jpg

Dry ingredients🥄🥄 

METHOD 

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all dry ingredients together then add melted oil and butter to make the crumb. Slice the peaches and add maple syrup to coat. Spread crumble mixture over peaches evenly and place on middle rack in oven. Bake for 42 minutes. I cranked my oven up to 400 add baked for an additional 15 to ensure the peaches were juicy. Serve with nice cream or coconut whip cream. So good!!! IF you make this recipe, please lmk how it goes! 

Oh and let’s make a pact to try to milk the rest of this summer for all it’s worth. Time waits for no one and we are worth every second💛 

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

All ready for the oven☺️ 

FullSizeRender.jpg

She’s just so pretty😍 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Going in🍑🍑🍑 

............. 

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Just waiting on vegan ice cream!!!!😁 

GRANOLA

It's been far too long since I've posted.. I promise that I will rectify that situation in 2017. Life gets busy doesn't it? I myself have had an emotional couple of months. I broke up with my partner of 10 years. That in of itself is a blog post which I will definetley get to... 

BUT this post is not about breakups, hardships or massive life changes. THIS blog post is about my kickass granola recipe. I promise you will not be disappointed. 

 

IMG_1263.JPG

I have been working on different variations of the same recipe now for well over a year and this one hits it out of the park. Crunchy, savoury, a hint of sweet and healthy! I plan on filling my house with this smell and giving the gift of food. Really, how great is that?! I might even whip up my cashew milk and give as the pair cause that stuff is bomb diggity as well💛 

granola 

  •  2 1/2 cups gf oats 
  • 1 cup roughly chopped raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw pecans or raw walnuts  
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (my family makes the stuff so I know it's top quality. Don't cheap out on the maple syrup. The good stuff is actually good for you. Full of magnesium. Just don't drink it😉) 
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

method

 Preheat oven to 325 Degrees. 

Mix all dry ingredients. Melt coconut oil and then add room temperature maple syrup (cold syrup will coagulate the coconut oil) and vanilla. Stir to mix and then add to dry ingredients.  Lay out evenly on 1-2 baking sheets and pop it in the oven. After about 20 minutes take a peek. Give a gentle mix to get less cooked granola a chance to be baked and then pop back in for another 10 min. Keep a close watch. You don't want it to burn!
Wait for it to completely cool then put into mason jars. 

cashew milk 

  • 1 cup raw cashew pieces (pieces cuts down your soaking time significantly)---cover in filtered water for min 2 hours
  • 1 Medjool date (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt  
  • 3 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

 

method 

 rinse soaked cashews, add to high powered blender. Top with 3 cups filtered water. Add the salt, date, vanilla and blend. I put through the smoothie cycle ( i❤️ my Blendtec) twice and put straight into a litre mason jar. Makes a perfect litre!  

 

Enjoy lovelies~~ and Merry Christmas🎄🎄 

 

E2C5655B-27D0-456B-AB09-86463ECAB9DD.JPG

Peanut butter Cookies

I love peanut butter. I mean, I love ALL nut butters but peanut butter really is the best. Ever since I was a kid I remember my mom making the best peanut butter cookies. I remember asking her if I could help and by help I meant eating the raw cookie dough😏 HER  idea of me helping was doing the heavy stuff like mixing the batter which always felt like I was mixing cement but then again, I've always been a bit of a drama queen☺️ My favourite part tho was definitely making the fork imprint on each cookie. Turns out, that's still my favourite part!

Since becoming vegan and GF baking has become fun. I love creating healthy versions of the original and being able to enjoy them with a relatively clean conscience😜 Here's my version of my Moms old school pb cookies. The recipe is dead simple and is completely vegan and GF. 

GF, Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies 

  •  1c organic pb 
  • scant 1c coconut palm sugar
  • 1tsp pure vanilla
  • 3 tbsp Aquafaba =1 egg(water from can of chickpeas!)  
  • 2tbsp hemp seeds  
  • 1/2c carob chips
  • course sea salt

method

  1. preheat oven to 350
  2. using electric hand mixer combine Aquafaba and sugar. Add in vanilla and combine.  
  3. Addin pb and mix thoroughly. Addin hemp seeds and carob chips. 
  4. Let sit to rest for 10 minutes.  
  5. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  
  6. Using 2 teaspoons scoop about a tbsp of dough per each cookie and space accordingly on sheet. Have a glass of cold water handy. Take a fork, dip into cold water and make imprints on each cookie to flatten. Get creative if you want! Create a crisscross pattern on each cookie. Sprinkle each cookie with course sea salt 
  7. Bake for about 15 min. Turning pan once in between.   
  8. Keep an eye not to burn. Take out, let rest and devour.  

Happy, healthy baking!!!

TA😍 

image.jpg