Chocolate Chunk Energy Bites… with a surprise ingredient!

Guess what these energy bites are made of?! Primarily CHICKPEAS! Who would have thought?

Chickpeas are a low fat alternative to use in many recipes. Chickpeas are also a great plant-based source of protein, fibre, B vitamins, and iron. Tonight I am hosting a class on this Versatile Bean at our Sobeys Stratford. This is one of the few recipes I came up with to demonstrate this little bean’s great versatility! More recipes will be coming your way after our class.

chocolate chunk energy bites

Ingredients (Makes ~ 24 small bites):

  • 1 ½ cups canned unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup natural almond butter
  • 3 tbsp natural honey
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 1/3 cup oat flour (gluten-free Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 70% cacao dark chocolate chunks

 

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine the rinsed/drained chickpeas, almond butter, honey, cinnamon powder, and vanilla.
  2. Process these ingredients until completely combined into a thick puree.
  3. Using a spatula, scrap the mixture from your food processor into a large mixing bowl.
  4. In the large mixing bowl, add the oats (a small amount at a time) and mix in thoroughly.
  5. Next add the maple syrup and mix.
  6. Finally, add your flour. Add ¼ cup at a time with regular mixing. (It is difficult to combine so the smaller amount at a time, the better).
  7. Fold in your dark chocolate chunks.
  8. Form the mixture into bite sized bites and place in the refrigerator for storage.
  9. Eat chilled and enjoy 🙂

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

Crunchy Quinoa Granola

I avoid most cereals and store bought granolas as they tend to be packed and filled with high sugar content, high fructose corn syrup, and many other unnecessary ingredients. Making my own granola to top on yogurt, nut milk, on fruit, and just for snacking is my favourite!

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Ingredients (Makes ~2 cups): 

  • 1 1/2 cup Hilray Large Flake Oats
  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (I used GoGo Tricolor Quinoa)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp brown rice syrup (or honey)
  • 3 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Ground sea salt to taste
  • Optional: add almonds, nuts, additional seeds, cranberries or raisins (my fav).
  • *I try to limit the added sugars to my granola. If this is mixture is not sweet enough for you, add in a touch more of coconut sugar, or maple syrup or honey.*

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl. Combine all the above ingredients together one at a time with regular mixing.
  3. When completely mixed, spread and pack down the granola mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for ~20 minutes until browning with regular mixing to ensure the outsides do not over cook.
  5. Remove from the oven and pack down with a spatula again. Allow to cool and harden if you would like it to be chunky.
  6. ENJOY!

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Lower stress, increase blood flow, improve your mood… Down Dog!

Yoga is a great way to get your blood flowing, increase body strength and flexibility. Adding a little yoga flow to your morning routine may help you lower your stress levels, increase overall mood, enhance your activities of daily living, and much more.

Downward dog is a beginner poses in yoga and is generally offered with an add on of one-legged down dog.  What are the benefits of downward dog and what does it target in your body?

downdog

Downward Dog:

·      Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, legs, calves, hands, and arches of the feet

·      Strengthens the arms and legs

·      Energizes the whole body

·      Increase blood flow

·      May eliminate stiffness and back pain

·      It is a great pose to assess the whole body to see where you may have tension and where you need to focus your energy

downdog-extended-leg

One-Legged Down Dog:

·      Helps strengthen the arms

·      Stretches the hamstrings

·      Stretches the hip flexors

·      Helps develop balance

·      Increase blood flow

·      Works your core muscles for balance
Take a moment each day to centre in. Stop what you’re doing, relax, focus on your breath, and just breathe. Even for just one minute! A moment of mindfulness can change your mood for the rest of the day. Adding these poses into your day to stretch and assess your body can also play a large role in improving your mood.

Remembrance Day #LestWeForget

remembrance-day

I write this post in freedom.. freedom that I have due to our soldiers making the ultimate sacrifice many years ago. Today is Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans Day in the United States. Striving to be your best self, accomplishing your own goals, finishing your degree, volunteering in the community, paying it forward, helping a stranger carry their groceries…the list could go on. These are all many small ways to share love and gratitude for the freedom we have on earth today. Live life to the fullest, as we are where we are now because of these individuals. Today, I want to remind you to take a moment of silence to commemorate the sacrifice that many made to ensure our freedom today. #LestWeForget

The Ultimate Trail Mix Cookie! A family favourite.

The appearance of these guys doesn’t do the flavour justice. MMMmmm these cookies turned out SO good and they are packed with nutrient dense ingredients (…ALOT of ingredients).

trail mix cookies.jpg

What you will need (~18-20 cookies): 

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour (I have used corn flour, almond flour, and quinoa flour, they all work great).
  • 1/2 cup large flake oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple sugar (found at FarmBoy.. omit and do more coconut sugar instead if you can’t find this ingredient)
  • 4 tbsp coconut smiles (found at costco – see here , bulk barn and FarmBoy also carry these)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Cashew milk (or a nut milk of your choice)
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.
  3. One by one begin to mix in the wet ingredients to the same bowl. Regularly mix.
  4. When all ingredients are mixed thoroughly together, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Form batter into cookies. (If you are forming them with your hands ensure to wash your hands and leave them a bit wet to avoid all the batter sticking to your hands).
  6. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven, let cool. ENJOY!

 

 

The Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie (Dairy Free)

These guys are packed with ingredients to keep you satisfied until your next meal. They are a great snack as they contain healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates from all the nutrient dense ingredients. The unrefined sugar and high fibre content will not spike your blood glucose, but rather leave you satisfied and fulfilled! These cookies are definitely allowed for breakfast 😉 

 oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookie-spread-j

Ingredients (Makes ~18 cookies):

  • ½ cup rye flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • ¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted to liquid.
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp ground sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup nut butter, softened (almond butter is what I used)
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp maple sugar (or omit for more coconut sugar)
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened vanilla Silk Cashew Milk
  • 1 egg + 2 egg whites (omit for flax eggs if you would like these to be vegan)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (at least 70%)
  • Sprinkle the tops with maple sugar before baking.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Add wet ingredients one at a time with regular mixing.
  4. Form batter into small cookie sizes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Sprinkle the tops of eat cookie with maple sugar or coconut sugar before baking.
  6. Bake for ~15 minutes until the bottom has become slightly browned.
  7. Enjoy 🙂