Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Paleo Pie Crust

Making a good pie crust can be quite the ordeal. However, with this recipe, the preparation for making a pie becomes an easy task. 

Combine 2 cups of blanched almond flour, approximately 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and one large egg in a bowl. Form into a dough and press into a pie container.

Bake at 350°F until it is light brown (approximately 10 min.). That's it! 

All you have to do now is allow it to cool and then pack it with a delicious filling. 

Try apples...

or sweet potatoes and dates...

or bumble berry...

 or plums...

 or with granola or ice cream.

The possibilities are endless. This type of pie crust is best used with cold applications. Once cool, the pie will slice like a dream.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chocolate Flavoured Coffee

Have you ever seen cocao nibs in a health food store? Well, cocao nibs are roasted cocao beans which have had their husks removed. They have a chocolaty flavour, as these beans are the main ingredient in chocolate.

Like chocolate, they are full of antioxidants and minerals including iron. However, unlike chocolate, cocao nibs do not dissolve in hot liquids.

To make a naturally-flavoured chocolate coffee, at a tablespoon of ground cocao nibs in with your ground coffee, during the brewing process.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Oatmeal Flavour Variations

Cold days like this that make me crave heavy foods. Often times, these heavy foods tend to be quite unhealthy.

That being said, I try to fill that craving with different variations of oatmeal. Oatmeal is a warm, heavy food that can be nutritious, satisfying and easy to digest.

For those of you who like a creamy texture in their foods, try oatmeal with coconut cream and bananas.

For people craving a spicy warmth, try oatmeal made with a dash of turmeric powder and a drizzle of honey.

For added protein, top your oatmeal with an all-natural nut butter like almond butter, cashew butter or peanut butter.

You can even make oatmeal into lunch or dinner by mixing it with a curry base and adding some pre-cooked chicken or turkey.

Eat well and stay warm!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Chickpea Muffins

This muffin recipe will allow you to make high-protein, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free muffins.

To begin, preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, combine together the following dry ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups chickpea flour (a.k.a. garbanzo bean flour, gram flour or besan)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons lucuma powder

Side note:
At this moment, you're probably wondering, 'what the heck is lucuma powder?'. Lucuma is a fruit native to Peru. In Canada, one can by lucuma in powdered form. It is relatively expensive, compared to refined white sugar. This one-pound package cost me $18.79 at a health food store. (No one said healthy alternatives were cheap. If it's worth anything, the package below will last me for approximately 1 year.)

The fruit powder is sweet and can be used as a sugar substitute. It is low on the glycemic index, which makes it suitable for individuals with diabetes. Additionally, it has a mild maple/butterscotch flavour.

To the dry ingredients, add the following wet ingredients and mix thoroughly:
- 2 ripe bananas (mashed)
- 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 container crushed apples (100 mL)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup water

At this point, add 3/4-1 cup of carob chips or chocolate chips. I used unsweetened carob chips.

Using a spoon, fill muffin papers with the chickpea batter, so that they are almost full.

Bake the muffins for 20 minutes and enjoy.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Egg Cups

If you're on a high-protein diet, these egg cups are for you.

Take 2-3 slices of deli meat and line the sections of a disposable muffin tin. I would strongly advise you to use disposable tins, as it makes clean-up very easy. Also, there is no need to grease the tins prior to use.

Try using all-natural deli meats that are made without preservatives. I find that sliced chicken or turkey works best.

Once lined, crack an egg into each of the meat-filled sections.

Bake in a 375°F oven for approximately 20-25 min.

For variations, try adding cheese (dairy or non-dairy), spices and/or herbs.

They stay well in the fridge and are very easy to heat up. These egg cups make a great addition to breakfast, lunch or dinner and they also make a fantastic snack.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Pizza Rolls

These pizza rolls are actually easier to make than they look. The prep time is approximately 7 minutes and the method is really easy...stupid easy, actually.

Begin with an amount of pre-prepared dough. You can buy fresh dough a number of places including grocery stores, bakeries or even your local pizza shop.

On a clean surface, dusted lightly with flour, roll out the dough into a semi--rectangular shape. There is no need to flip or turn the dough. Just roll it out on one side. You may need to lightly dust your rolling pin with a bit of flour in order to do this.

Once rolled out, smear on a layer of tomato paste with the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle on some dried oregano.

Fold the dough along the long end of the semi-rectangle.

Continue rolling the dough over to the other end.

Using a knife, cut the rolled dough into sections that are approximately 2 inches in length.

The sections will resemble cinnamon buns.

Arrange the sections on a cake pan greased with olive oil. Once in the pan, spray the segments liberally with olive oil.

Sprinkle some sea salt on top and bake at 350°F for 30 min.

Delicious and easy. Try adding other ingredients, in with the tomato paste, to create your own pizza roll flavours.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Chocolate: Ready-Made

Finding dairy-free chocolate, suitable for a "no-refined sugar" diet can be somewhat difficult...especially if one is looking for chocolate that is made without artificial sweeteners. However, I've come across a few ready-made chocolate products that can help with those chocolate cravings.

Unsweetened Chocolate:

Firstly, unsweetened Baker's chocolate. This chocolate is relatively inexpensive and can be found in most grocery stores. It contains no sugar at all. It's great for use as an ingredient in desserts, cooking and baking (naturally).

Next comes chocolate made with unrefined cane sugar. Chocolate made with this type of sugar takes on a more complex flavour. Unrefined cane sugar provides some flavour details that are lost when sugar is refined. The earthy flavours of sugarcane mixed with dark chocolate work together beautifully.

Dark Chocolate:

One of my favorite dark chocolates, made with raw cane sugar, is by a company called Vivani. The packaging is horrible, but the chocolate is divine.

Note: You can find this product, as well as the other chocolates featured on this blog entry, in health food stores across Toronto.

This product by Giddy YoYo is made with simple ingredients and has a good, smooth flavour.

Alter Eco makes this product called "Blackout". The chocolate includes vanilla beans in its ingredient list. The chocolate is rich, but lacks the smoothness of the above two products. However, I'll still take it paired with a black coffee.

Flavoured Chocolate:

Alter Eco also makes an amazing product with rice crisps and puffed quinoa in it. It taste like a better version of Nestlé Crunch.

High End:

If you can find this product by Leone, its definitely worth its high price. This particular version is made with hazelnuts. Delicious.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Banana Oatmeal "Everything-Free" Cookies

This all natural cookie recipe will meet mostly everyone's dietary needs. It gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free and contains no refined sugars. Even if you don't have dietary restrictions, you'll probably like these healthy treats.

They are also ridiculously easy to make.

3 ripened bananas (mashed)
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
2 tsp honey
1 container (110 mL) crushed apples
2 cups quick oats
Optional: unsweetened carob chips (my preference), chocolate chips, chopped dates, or raisins.

Combine all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and spoon onto a lightly greased baking sheet (greased with olive oil).

Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Allow for the cookies to cool before removing them from the baking tray.

It's that simple.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Energy Balls

All-natural energy balls seem to be all the rage these days. I've also noticed that they can be quite expensive to buy at health food stores. Making them is actually quite easy and relatively inexpensive.

You'll need to find yourself some date paste. Date paste is comprised of dates, that have had their pits removed, and packed firmly together. 

Softening the date paste, so that it is in a more usable format, is easy. Simply chop the date paste, using a knife, into small cubes. The more you chop, the more the date paste will soften.

Once the paste is softened, anything can be added to it. Here are two examples:

1) Coconut Maca Energy Balls

In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 kg of softened dates, 4 tablespoons of blanched almond meal, 4 tablespoons of desiccated unsweetened coconut, and 2 teaspoons of maca powder. Kneed together until the ingredients are mixed well. Form into 1"-1.5" balls.

2) Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls 
In a mixing bowl, combine soften 1/2 kg of date paste, 2 tablespoons of blanched almond meal, 4-5 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, 4-5 tablespoons of natural peanut butter (or any other nut butter). Kneed and form into 1"-1.5" balls.

You can keep your homemade energy balls in a sealed container, in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks (if they last that long). Experiment with some ingredients and see what you come up with.