Maple Cinnamon Roasted Almond Butter

ej3AC93xGfBCEowvDmBPGCTSPgoMXg2QMMP2MkHhyrE
I can eat nut butters with a spoon, fork, hand, cracker… just about anything. Seriously, if you guys want your kids to eat more vegetables, its amazing what a little almond, sunflower seed or peanut butter can do to a boring carrot or celery stick. Add some dates, raisins or honey and you have a dessert that includes vegetables! Happy parents! Happy kids! Wahoo!

Some of you might be wondering why I talk about kids often. No, I don’t have children… but I do work in an elementary school. I have become a little mesmerized by what parents are sending in their kids lunch boxes. Not to say feeding a child is easy. A black seed, a creamy texture, a boring color are just a few complaints I hear from kids about why they “can’t” eat their lunch that day. After a long day at work, packing your child’s lunch is the last thing any parent feels like doing. Plus, you get questions, requests and complaints that could make your head spin. Thus comes in the packaged cookies, gummies and a few carrot sticks for good measure.

Don’t get me wrong. A kid deserves to be a kid. No child should live their life without ever trying a Kit Kat. When it comes to school however, kids need fuel. Theres no way around it… food fuels the brain. We wonder why kids these days have trouble concentrating. I suggest before we start prescribing medications we take a look at what kids are eating everyday. Lucky Charms for breakfast (has whole grains… must be healthy right? Mac and cheese for lunch followed by pizza for dinner. Brain food is lacking. Parents have to consider the sugar crashes, dairy pains and lack of protein lows. I have been doing lots of my own research on this topic everyday with the children in my classes and in observing and speaking with parents. I hope to find ways to make feeding and educating children more accessible and simple. Future project in the works! I am so passionate about this and I want to help parents and teachers any way I can!

So back to the nut butter…this maple cinnamon roasted almond butter is unreal. While those nuts were grinding in the food processor, I thought that this was maybe a little too much work when I can buy perfectly made almond butter in a jar. But I have to say, this combination of cinnamon and maple syrup was truly addictive. I had some on gluten free crackers and then eventually just took the spoon straight to the jar. With just a little bit of patience, you will save a couple bucks (nut butter can be really expensive).Furthermore, flavoured nut butters have lots of added oils and refined sugars. I will be working on some more flavour combinations in the future, but for now this is perfect to top on my porridge, toast, chia pudding, banana etc… Bon Appetit!
Th4Tp7FE4v-urZobx-W-Htgs6Gs2PTeeiTrTuOgrrRY,F2QqpLFAmOJSKctgStfXfPlq4-q8LoPvku8IpAa7rSI

Ingredients:

• 2 cups almonds
• 3 tbsp maple syrup
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• pinch of sea salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven at 350. Spread almonds on a cookie sheet and dry roast in the oven on 350 for 10-15 minutes.
2. Place almonds in food processor and process for 10 minutes.
3. Add maple syrup, cinnamon and salt and process for another 5-10 minutes until the oils are released and the butter is creamy.
4. Store in an air tight container or jar.

Chef Tips

-Although it may seem that the thick paste will never ever turn into creamy butter… it will. You just need patience! You will see a little smoke coming from the processor… keep a close eye.

-I roasted my almonds prior to making the butter, but it isn’t necessary! It does give a nice toasty flavour though. I highly recommend.

-Adjust syrup/cinnamon to your taste. Add a bit at a time until it suits your taste buds. You are the chef!

JFcgYM_wTI9UW7sk7iclSNtcYRM8aHSuE4we0X7RKW4iWbyO-x01hNAzlkeM53GOOXtscfNSEKcpCNosrcga2I,Zcd4hb0aDL2bN2cVKq4h9w9nH9wU888Fs8NYLn1xLYs

Ginger Cinnamon Acai Smoothie Bowl

bM1srsBs4PCz3DlgYGxOaK3XdQz1IISw67HAosMQyVE

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.

1D8goo_C8RYxJfWRGzkcLKpFNUMsj8mpBO_x3S5bgnc-1

iIpXEyAE7QKckhjEZQ1l1MKozA-p0T3jmCnojVgIvtY

Superfoods Overnight Oats

2014-03-18 18-1.33.07

Unless you’re having fruit or a hard-boiled egg, there are very few options for a comforting breakfast that can be made the night before. Overnight oats are easy to make and require no cooking whatsoever. It is the best feeling to sleep in those extra 7 minutes knowing that my breakfast is already prepared for me. Best part is, you can make it in a container or a jar and take it on the go. The following recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and has no added sugar. This is how I normally like to eat my overnight oats but the possibilities are endless. Many people add greek yogurt to give extra creaminess. I also love topping my overnight oats with my quinoa granola for added crunch! This recipe is so easy and delicious! Bon appétit!
2014-03-18 18-1.34.342014-03-18 18.23.43
2014-03-18 18.21.142014-03-18 18-1.35.10

 

Ingredients:

• 1/3 cup gluten free oats
• 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
• 1/2 tsp stevia or sweetener of choice (maple syrup, date syrup, honey)
• 1 tsp chia seeds
• 1 tsp hemp seeds
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 cup mixed berries (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry)
• 1 tbsp almond butter
• pinch of sea salt

 

Directions:

1. In a bowl or jar, stir oats, almond milk, stevia, chia, hemp, cinnamon and salt

2. Place mixture in fridge overnight or at least for two hours

3. Remove from fridge and top with berries, almond butter and quinoa granola!