Cauliflower Pizza Crust

 *This recipe is a low carbohydrate alternative to regular pizza dough.  It can also be made gluten-free.*

TIP: If you do not want to end up eating your pizza with a fork and knife, I recommend going light on the cheese or cooking both sides of the crust before doing your toppings. How? Cook the crust for ~10-15 minutes until browning and then use a plate to remove the crust from the parchment paper. Slide/place the cauliflower crust back on the parchment paper so that the bottom side is now turned up. Bake for ~10-15 minutes again until this side is browning. After both sides are baked – add your toppings and put in the oven one last time.

cooked final pizza
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Crust Cook time: 10-15 mins (more if you are cooking both sides)
Total time: ~40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of fresh or frozen cauliflower florets (500g)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan (from container)
  • 2 tbsp spelt flour (or gluten-free flour of choice.. e.g. almond meal)
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • ¼ tsp ground sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cheese cloth

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Place the chopped cauliflower florets in the food processor. Pulse for approximately 30 seconds until the cauliflower resembles snow.
  3. Place the ground cauliflower in the microwave-safe container. Microwave for 3 minutes covered.
  4. Remove from the microwave and allow to cool.
  5. Place cauliflower on the cheese cloth and ring out as much water as you possibly can. (Squeeze as hard as you can! The more water removed the better your crust will turn out).
  6. When finished removing the water, place the cauliflower in a large mixing bowl.
  7. Add every ingredient except for the egg. Mix.
  8. Add the egg last and stir until the mixture is fully blended together.
  9. When evenly combined, spread and pack down the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make into your desired shape.
  10.  Bake for ~10-15 minutes until browning. Remove from the oven.
  11.  Add your favourite pizza sauce, toppings, and whatever your heart desires!
  12.  Bake for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy 🙂

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Orange you glad to hear from me?

 

Fresh oranges

Today I thought I would do a spotlight on the benefits of oranges.

  • Oranges are a great source of natural sugars (carbohydrates) to provide your body with energy.
  • Oranges are PACKED with Vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a role in the healthy growth of bones, teeth, skin and other body tissues.
  • Vitamin C also helps with the absorption of iron from plant-based foods! Neat right? So, if you are vegan or vegetarian make sure to get enough Vitamin C in your diet because it will help you absorb iron from your plant foods like beans/legumes.
  •  Vitamin C also plays a role in maintaining a healthy immune system.
  • Oranges are high in potassium, which makes them a great post-workout snack. Potassium is an electrolyte that we lose in our sweat during exercise. Potassium is a mineral important to maintain the health of your nerves, bones, kidneys, and muscles.
  • Food tip: Skip the orange juice and opt for the fresh whole fruit to get all the benefits. Why? During juice processing (“pasteurization”), the high temperatures destroy the good stuff! We lose fibre, nutrients, and enzymes. After processing, we have a drink full of sugar, calories, and no nutrients or fibre. (I like to call this empty calories).

sad oranges

 

 

Baked Spicy Sweet Potato Fries with a Vegan Southwest Style Dip

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For this recipe I used the Japanese Sweet Potato (reddish skin with yellow inside). The Japanese sweet potato has slightly lower carbohydrate content than the yam (orange inside). Therefore, this makes the Japanese sweet potato a bit more diabetic friendly than its competitor…it also has a slow carbohydrate release time. Sweet potatoes are packed with fibre, beta carotenoids, and vitamin A. Be sure to cook your potato fries with the SKIN ON! The skin of fruits and vegetables pack the highest nutrient content.

Fries – What you will need:

  • 4 medium-large sized sweet potatoes (more if desired)
  • olive oil
  • ground sea salt
  • ground pepper
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • optional: chili flakes

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
  2. Scrub and wash your potatoes. Creat a few holes with a fork in each potato. In a microwave safe dish, microwave your potatoes for 3-4 minutes with 1/4 cup of water just to soften them. (This saves cook time and makes for easier slicing).
  3. Remove potatoes from microwave once they have been slightly softened. Cut into French fry sized slices.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread your fries evenly on the sheet.
  5. Drizzle your fries with olive oil, sprinkle with chili powder, ground pepper, garlic powder, and sea salt.
  6. Place them in the oven to bake for approximately 40-50 minutes (until browning). Regularly mix the fries around using a spatula. If you like your fries crispy, place them on broil for the last 5-10 minutes! Keep your eyes on them during this time to prevent burning! 🙂
  7. Give them a taste and add more spices, salt and pepper as desired.

Serve with my Southwest Vegan Mayo Dip (it’s SO good!)

Vegan Southwest Mayonnaise:

  • 1 cup Vegenaise (vegan mayonnaise)
  • 2 tbsp plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp Bragg’s Apple cider vinegar
  •  1/2 tbsp chili powder (add more to taste if needed)
  • 1 tsp cumin (add more to taste if needed)
  • 1/2-1 tbsp minced garlic
  • ground pepper
  • ground salt
  • pinch of paprika to taste

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Add more spice to suit your taste buds (increase the chili, cumin, and paprika as desired… Be careful with too much paprika as it can be overpowering!) *store the dip in the fridge if you are not using it immediately.*

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Gluten-Free)

Got a cookie craving?? TRY THESE OUT. They are a huge hit fresh, warm, and gooey out of the oven. Also, delicious from cold storage in the fridge! I made these gluten-free. However, if you do not need to use gluten free oats/flour you can substitute for regular oats/oat flour/all purpose flour.

BUT!!! Do NOT substitute out the almond butter. The almond butter MAKES IT!

Another tip, don’t cheap out on the dark chocolate. Choose a good quality dark chocolate bar (at least 55% cacao) because these cookies will be drooling with dark chocolate when they’re done!

vegan-chocolate-chunk1

Ingredients: 

Wet Ingredients:

  • ½ cup natural smooth almond butter
  • ¼ cup + 3.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp unrefined Nutiva coconut oil, melted to liquid form (allow to cool before using)

Dry ingredients:

  • ½ cup gluten-free quick cooking rolled oats
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp gluten-free oat flour (**TIP at bottom of post**)
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ¼ cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 100g (1 bar) Camino 55% dark chocolate, chopped into pieces/chunks (or dark chocolate bar of choice)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients one at a time with mixing. Stir until completely combined.
  3. Begin to stir in the dry ingredients to the same mixing bowl one at a time until thoroughly combined.
  4. Chop up your chocolate bar into chunks. Fold into the mixture.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Form your cookies into desired size (small or large). Note! They will spread out a lot while cooking! See below photo of the original tiny size I made mine.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes on 350F (or until the edges are browning).
  8. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

vegan-chocolate-chunk-pre-cooked

UMMMM helloooo yum… look at the centre of how this cookie turned out… *drool*

vegan-chocolat-echunk

**Tip: Make your own oat flour by blending oats in your vitamix, blender, bullet, etc.*

Banana Nut Bread (Low Carb, made with coconut flour!

This recipe makes ~9 large slices/servings. It is packed with wholesome ingredients and healthy fats to keep you satisfied longer!

banana nut bread.jpg

Ingredients: 

  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium-sized bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup natural almond butter
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (0% m.f.)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup rye flour (or other flour of choice, gluten-free all purpose, almond flour, etc)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon (I like using a lot for flavour!)
  • 2 packets of stevia
  • Touch of ground sea salt
  • Optional: add pecans, almonds, dark chocolate chips, or what ever suits your tastes buds. Note: I calculated the nutrition information based on adding pecans.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the four eggs and whisk to combine.
  3. Begin to add in the other wet ingredients and continue mixing by hand.
  4. Slowly start to add dry ingredients to the bowl with regular mixing. You can combine quickly using your mixer but, do not over mix as the bread will become gummy.
  5. Optional: if you adding additional nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, or fruit, begin to fold them into the batter at this time.
  6. Spray a baking loaf pan with coconut oil, and pour mix in. Ensure it is all evenly distributed.
  7. Bake for ~50 minutes until browning. Use a sharp knife to assess whether it is cooked fully through the centre by poking within.
  8. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy! P.S. as you can see from my below photo I sprinkled the top of our banana bread with pure maple sugar from FarmBoy!

Nutrition Facts per serving:

Calories: 216 cal Fat: 11 g Protein: 7g Net Carbs: 13 g

banana nut bread 2.jpg

Ranch Dip (you can whip it up in under 10 minutes!)

Whip this easy vegan ranch dip up for SuperBowl Sunday… A much healthier alternative than the other cream dressings you find on the market. It also is quick and easy to make. Preparation time is under 10 minutes! Woohoo! 

Why not give it a try?

Ranch Dip Ingredients:
1 cup Vegenaise (or vegan mayonnaise of choice)
1/8 cup plain almond milk, unsweetened
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp parsley
1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped finely
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Directions: Combine ingredients one at a time in a bowl and mix!

vegan-ranch-dressing

Pair with fresh cut veggies, my cauliflower buffalo bites recipe, crackers, whatever you fancy!

The Juice Bust! Why you should cut back on juice in your diet.

orange-juice

Many of us believe that consuming loads of orange juice will fuel us with Vitamin C and many other fruity benefits. But… is it really all that good for us?

Juice is often misconceived as a healthy beverage to quench your thirst and fuel your mornings. Why am I personally against drinking juice (specifically pasteurized juices)? …

Empty calories and high sugar content. Pasteurization removes all the good stuff from our fruit and vegetables. I like to call it drinking empty calories (Empty: limited nutritional benefit).

What is pasteurization? Pasteurization is a high heat treatment process that almost all juices on the market go through to extend their shelf life and remove some harmful bacteria to make the product safe for consumption. Sounds good so far ….

However! Although the pasteurization process may remove the harmful bacteria, in doing so, the high heat also removes fibre, nutrients, good enzymes, and other nutritional components in the process 😦 

In addition to the removal of all these natural benefits, some juices have added sugars, coloring, preservatives, and flavourings. Again, another reason why to opt for the whole fruit versus the juice.

You are much better off eating a whole fresh fruit (e.g. an orange) versus drinking a cup of juice. This way you are getting the most nutritional content possible from the food itself. Choose WHOLE FOOD first! Picking food items in their natural form will have the most benefit on your diet and nutritional lifestyle. Try to avoid processed items as much as possible. Whole food items will keep you satisfied longer due to their higher nutritional content. 

As mentioned by Dietitians of Canada,

“Fruit juice and fruit beverages should be limited. Many of these beverages contain a high amount of sugar which can lead to weight gain.  Fruit juice, even labelled as ‘no sugar added’ still contains a high amount of sugar. Eat a piece of fruit instead of drinking juice. Whole fruits have the added benefits of fibre and other nutrients not found in juice.”

Tips for hydration: 

  • Water should always be your first choice! Stay hydrated throughout the day. Always carry a reusable water bottle with you.
  • Not a fan of plain water? Add frozen raspberries, mango, cucumber, or fresh lemon to your water to amp up the flavour!
  • Working to cut back on juice? Start slowly. Begin diluting your juice with water to lower the sugar and calories. Good things take time so start with small steps to make change.
  • If you must choose juice, choose 100% juice, cold-pressed, and juices with added vegetables to lower the sugar content.
  • What about Cold-Pressed? Again limit the cold-pressed fruit juice. Choose a cold-pressed juice mixed with vegetables and high vegetable content. Cold-pressed juices do not undergo the heat treatment therefore, they have a shorter shelf-life and maintain the fibre, nutrients, and good enzymes. This is why you see natural juices marked up to a high price with a short shelf life! Again whole food is best but, cold-pressed is a step up from pasteurized juice.

 

I hope you learned something new today!

Until next time,

B