Ginger Cinnamon Acai Smoothie Bowl

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Smoothies and juices are such a delicious and refreshing way to start your day. In these cold Canadian winters however, I always want to eat my breakfast rather than drink it. I introduce to you, the smoothie bowl. When making smoothies I always would top it with coconut, seeds, nuts, granola or oats for a little added texture. So why not put this same combination in a bowl? The key to a great smoothie bowl is making sure the smoothie is thick and not watery. Some ways to thicken your smoothies is by adding chia, frozen banana and avocado (swear you don’t taste it!). With enough frozen bananas, it can even seem like you are having ice cream for breakfast but without the guilt.

Ill be sharing many posts about my favourite juice and smoothie combinations but this one right here is one of my favourites. The combination of ginger and cinnamon with the creamy texture of the blended banana is so warming and comforting. It is also PACKED with ingredients that fuel your body to reach its maximum operating potential. I topped mine with hemp, chia, sunflower seeds, almond butter, strawberry and sliced banana. The smoothie ingredients include frozen banana, acai, spirulina, kale and cucumber. So why add all these fancy sounding ingredients, you ask?

hemp

– contain all essential amino acids (energy)
– protein (full, satisfied)
– omega-3 (joint, skin, brain and heart health)
– omega-6 (goddess hair, skin, nails)
– magnesium (energy, bowl movements)
– vitamin E (anti-aging)

acai

– antioxidants (fights free radicals that cause cancer)
– protein (more than an egg…shocked? I know)
– low glycemic

spirulina

– plant protein (feel full for long periods of time)
– essential amino acids
– chlorophyll (remove toxins, alkalize)
– calcium (strong bones, teeth)

I talk about benefits of kale and chia in the chia pudding and kale salad posts. Oh! Cinnamon also helps to regulate your blood sugar and boost memory. Ginger helps improve digestion, fight nausea and suppress hunger.

Have a wild night of drinking? Eat lots of poutine (bonjour Quebec!), pizza or chinese food yesterday? Do your body good and make this smoothie! I guarantee this will cure your alcohol/food hangover. You will feel and look like a goddess or a god for all you healthy men out there!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

• 1 frozen banana (add more for thicker consistency) plus fresh for topping
• 1 cup strawberries
• 1 heaped tablespoon of acai powder
• 1 handful of kale
• 1 inch piece of ginger peeled
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 cup almond milk
• 3/4 cup cucumber
• 1 tsp almond butter
• 1 tsp pumplin seeds
• 1 tsp chia
• 1 tsp hemp
• 1 tsp spirulina
• few drops stevia or sweetener of choice

Directions:

1. Blend all ingredients except for hemp, pumpkin seeds, some strawberry and fresh banana.

2. Pour smoothie into bowl and top with banana, pumpkin seeds, strawberry and banana.

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Kale Salad

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We all know by now how great kale is for you. Everywhere I go I see kale in many forms. Whether it is raw, sautéed, fried or oven baked, kale packs a mean nutritional punch. Kale is by far my favourite green for salads. It is crunchy, tasty and holds onto dressing like no other green. Kale is full of fibre, vitamins, antioxidants, and iron. It is detox friendly, anti-inflammatory and has cardio vascular support. Oh and… for all you dairy lovers, per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk! The whole milk makes your bones strong ordeal was really just a marketing campaign that helped boost dairy sales. What does this all mean?

Kale helps:
• you feeling full
• digestion
• protect from cancers
• cell growth, functioning of iron
• bone health and blood clotting
• lowers cholesterol
• immune system
• metabolism
• liver health

This is only one of the many kale salad combinations I make. I also add kale to smoothies, make chips and puree it into cauliflower for a beautiful green mash! This salad is filled with beautiful raw veggies, roasted sunflower seeds and hard boiled eggs and avocado for extra protein and healthy fats. I topped this salad with a mustardy vinaigrette and freshly chopped dill. It is so wonderful and fresh and is great for a filling lunch or a light dinner. Bon appetit!

Serves 2-4

Salad Ingredients:

• 1 bunch kale, chopped
• 1/4 cup chopped cauliflower
• 1/4 cup chopped radish
• 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
• 1/4 cup chopped brussels sprouts
• 1/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
• 1/4 cup chopped celery
• 1 avocado sliced
• 2 tbsp chopped dill
• 3 tbsp sunflower seeds

Dressing Ingredients:

• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
• 1 garlic clove, finely minced
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• Sea or himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. For eggs: pour cold water just enough to cover the tops of the eggs. Sprinkle in the salt. Heat the pan on medium high heat until water stars to boil.Once the eggs begin to boil, remove from the heat, and allow them to sit in the hot water for 15 minutes, covered tightly by a lid.

2. Rinse kale very well and chop. Remove tough stems.

3. Chop veggies, eggs, avocado and dill.

4. For vinaigrette: whisk lemon juice, Dijon mustard, vinegar, and garlic in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Homemade Hummus

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Chickpeas are an incredible vegetarian source of protein and fibre.They have a low glycemic index which helps leave you satisfied.Garbanzo beans also contain vitamins and minerals which help boost your intake of manganese and folate. The mineral manganese helps support bone development and wound healing and also helps carry out chemical reactions important to your metabolism. They also help lower LDL cholesterol!

Hummus is a versatile dip that can accompany meat, veggies, crackers and sandwiches. Buying hummus from the grocery store is convenient and a healthy way to add nutrients to your dishes. However grocery store brands add more canola than olive oil (sometimes none) with a nice price tag. For about half the cost you can make your own hummus with extra virgin olive oil and have double the amount. Plus it is SO easy. All you need is a food processor or an amazing blender. This recipe is for basic hummus but the possibilities for flavours are endless! Add roasted red peppers,olives, chilli peppers or herbs. Bon appetit!
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Ingredients:

• 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas or one (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (for dried chickpeas only)
• 1 medium garlic clove, peeled and smashed
• 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (about one lemon)
• 1/4 cup roasted tahini
• 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
• 8-10 dashes hot sauce (I always use Frank’s Red Hot)
• Salt

Tip if using dried chickpeas:
Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with at least twice their volume of cold water, leaving them to soak overnight. The next day, drain them, and saute them in a medium saucepan with the baking soda (which many find reduces the gassy effects of fresh beans) for about three minutes. Add 3 1/4 cups water and bring it to a boil. Skim any foam that floats to the surface. They’ll need to cook for 20 to 40 minutes, sometimes even longer, depending on freshness, to become tender. When tender, one will break up easily between your thumb and forefinger.Drain the chickpeas (saving the chickpea broth for soups or to thin the hummus, if desired) and cool enough that you can pick one up without burning your fingers.

Directions:

1.In a food processor, blend the chickpeas until powdery clumps form, a full minute, scraping down the sides. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and blend until pureed. With the machine running, drizzle in water or reserved chickpea cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get very smooth, light and creamy mixture.

2. Taste test! Add more salt, lemon juice, garlic or hot sauce to your taste!

3.To serve, drizzle with olive oil and lightly dust with paprika.