My Main Chicks: All About Chickpeas

chickpeas

MMMM chickpeas. Whether adding them to a salad, roasting them, or coating them in dark chocolate… they are by far my favourite of the legume family. They also go by the name ‘garbanzo beans’.

So… what are they good for?
Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fibre.
Per 1/2 cup of chickpeas (canned) you will get 10g of protein and 8g of fibre. With almost ZERO grams of saturated fats. This makes chickpeas a great vegetarian protein source and meat substitute.

How can you eat them?

  • Puree (make a hummus or use as an alternative to nut butters in recipes)
  • Roasted (crunchy snack)
  • Add canned chickpeas to salad
  • Add canned or dehydrated chickpeas to soups
  • Roast and coat in dark chocolate for dessert
  • ….ETC!

I usually buy canned chickpeas. Once they are rinsed and drained, I add them to salads for an extra protein source, roast them to have as a snack, or roast them to coat in dark chocolate for dessert!

This legume has so many different ways it can be used. It is definitely an ingredient you should consider adding to your nutritional lifestyle.
…. I made sure to include chickpeas in my day today 😉

Chickpea Bark

Click here for my dark chocolate chickpea bark recipe:>>>>>>> CHICKPEA BARK <<<<<<<<<

What’s the scoop on Edamame?

edamame

I LOVE edamame. Whether making it from frozen at home or receiving it as an appetizer at dinner. These beans are a part of the soy family and are packed with nutritional content and delicious flavour. Edamame is rich in protein, iron, and fibre.

In terms of protein, edamame contains all the essential amino acids similar to what is found in meat products. This is why edamame is a great addition to your diet if you are vegetarian and not meeting “complete” protein requirements. Protein is extremely crucial for muscle synthesis, muscle development, and maintaining a strong healthy body.

Iron is another significant nutrient in edamame. Iron is needed to transport oxygen throughout the body to our muscles and tissues. Therefore, iron also plays a large role in muscle development, cardiovascular health, and maintaining that strong healthy body.

Fibre is another abundant nutrient that is beneficial to our health and found in edamame. Fibre is needed for regular bowel movements and to promote/maintain a healthy digestive system.

With all those benefits why not include edamame into your diet? It is great to eat the beans on their own or combine into stir fries and vegetable dishes for extra nutrition!

Fun fact ladies! A few servings of soy rich foods may help reduce some of the symptoms of menopause….. tone down those hot flashes! 😉

How do I enjoy my edamame? Steam it in the microwave and add some ground sea salt…mmm! (Just like in the picture).

My Protein Picks

Protein Sources1

Protein is a macronutrient, along with carbohydrates and fats, that is essential to our diet to maintain proper body function.

 My top protein picks (as seen above) include: ground turkey/chicken, salmon, nut butters (preferably almond butter), skinless boneless chicken breast, almonds/mixed nuts, quinoa, chickpeas, Greek yogurt (plain 0%), and beans/lentils. 

 
Why is protein so important to our body?

  • it is apart of every cell in our body
  • it is needed for muscle synthesis and development
  • helps to build and repair nails, tissues, skin, and hair
  • it is a building block of hormones and enzymes

Nutrition tips:

  • Choose ground turkey or ground chicken instead of ground beef. Ground beef is high in saturated fats whereas, turkey/chicken are much leaner sources of protein.
  • When cooking chicken, try to barbeque/grill the chicken breast with spices versus pan-fried and with commercial sauces.
  • Choose plain/nature greek yogurt to avoid refined sugars. Sweeten it at home with fresh fruit, honey, maple syrup, melted frozen fruit (put in fridge over night).
  • Add chickpeas to your salads or stir fry’s to add protein.
  • Carry a small handful of nuts/seeds on you throughout your day in case you get hungry. Nuts are packed with the good fats (polyunsaturated) and protein to satisfy you until your next meal.
  • Choose quinoa, the ancient grain, over rice. Quinoa is a complete protein source, containing all the essential amino acids and also contains much more substantial/satisfying nutritional content. Check out my food fact of the day on quinoa for more information.

Raw Vegan Raspberry Chocolate Squares

Raspberry Choco Squares

JUST in time for Easter! A tasty decadent dessert.
Recipe makes 12 large squares:

Bottom Layer:
1 cup pitted dates, microwave for 40 seconds with 1 tbsp of water and mash/blend.
2/3 cup cashews, smashed
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp shredded coconut

Combine and blend all ingredients. Pack into small pan. Put in freezer and start making second layer.

Middle Raspberry Layer:
2/3 cup frozen raspberries, microwave for 15 seconds to soften
1/3 cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup cashews, smashed
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tbsp almond butter

Combine and blend ingredients. Add on top of bottom layer (once the bottom layer has hardened).

Top Layer:
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil

Combine and mix ingredients. Add on top of raspberry layer (once the raspberry layer has hardened).

Store in the freezer. Each chilled!
Enjoy 🙂

Go Green! The famous King Kale Juice

 

KingKaleCottage

I got my hands on a delicious King Kale today from Juice Matters. Kale is becoming such a famous green and for all the right reasons! It is high in vitamins A, C, K and contains Calcium.

Functions of these nutrients:

Vitamin A: maintains healthy eye sight and a healthy immune system

Vitamin C: maintain a healthy immune system, may reduce risk of certain cancers and diseases, helps your body absorb iron

Vitamin K: involved in making body proteins (e.g. when bleeding, helps with blood clotting to prevent excessive blood losses)

Calcium: keeps your bones and teeth strong!

Therefore, Kale will give your body a true nutrient boost. Adding kale to your salads, blending it in your smoothies, juicing kale, and just drinking kale juice is extremely beneficial to your health. This cold-pressed juice by Juice Matters has no added sugars, preservatives or GMOs so you know you are getting the real stuff! It is low in natural sugars as it contains 71% vegetable juice. Natural sugars will not cause a drastic glycemic response in your blood sugars as a pasteurized, concentrated, sugary juice would. Cold pressed juices contain more fibres, pectins, enzymes and nutrients.

Moral of the story… GET YOUR GREENS and choose REAL juice 🙂

Caramel Pecan Raw Vegan Cheesecake

Happy Belated Birthday to my amazzzzzing mother!!

 

We celebrated her 50th birthday with a Caramel Pecan Raw Vegan Cheesecake 🙂 … This was my first time making a raw cheesecake and it turned out soooo delicious and she loved it!

Moms50thcakeIngredients:

Crust: 
1 1/4 cup pecans, crushed
2/3 cup almond flour/meal
1 1/3 cup dates, mashed
2 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup honey
Directions:
1. Put the dates in the microwave for 40 seconds with 2 tbsp of water. Mash when finished.
2. Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until you get a crumb consistency.
3. Make a crumb layer at the bottom of a spring form pan.
4. Put this into the freezer.

Filling:
3/4 cup almond butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Directions:
1. Combine all these ingredients into a blender and blend.
2. Put this layer on top of the crumb layer and put back into the freezer.

Topping:
The top layer I cheated! I melted caramels and combined it with melted dark chocolate chips (>70% cocoa) and crushed pecans. ENJOY!!! 🙂

Quinoa Rainbow Salad

RainbowQuinoa

What you will need (Serves 4):
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
3/4 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup yellow pepper, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup tomato, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp honey
Pinch ground sea salt & ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Cook 1/2 cup quinoa (with 1 cup water) — directions are on package of quinoa you buy
2. Let cooked quinoa chill in the refrigerator
3. When quinoa is chilled, combine with all other ingredients in a bowl.
4. Eat chilled — add nuts as desired when ready to eat. I added walnuts.
5. and ENJOY! This is a perfect side to a dinner meal 🙂

Nutrients per serving:
Calories: 190 kcal/serving
Protein: 7.3g/serving
Carbohydrate: 25.5g/serving
Fat: 7g/serving
Sugar: 3.7g/serving

Quinoa is one of few COMPLETE plant-based proteins. Therefore, it provides you with all the 9 essential amino acids like an animal food source would (e.g. chicken).

RainbowQuinoa2