Healthy Carrot Soup

Carrot SoupI don’t know about you, but between the darkness, cold weather, shorter days etc. my whole system just feels kind of off. My body is needing more sleep than usual, and needing a lot more warming foods – hello carbs! I think it is so important to be in tune with our bodies and give them exactly what they are asking for and also ask ourselves why? I have been so incredibly busy (in the best kind of way) that my body is just telling me I need to slow down slightly, get an extra 30 minutes of sleep and ease up at the gym. The cold weather makes me crave soups, granola, bread, muffins and anything else that sticks to the bones! Am I alone here? Luckily there is this great community that allows us to eat all these delicious treats in the healthiest way possible. I have been making my goddess granola and homemade almond milk on repeat for the last two weeks. I don’t feel guilt for the added carbs or extra sleep ins, rather I feel good that I am giving myself what I need for this particular moment. Like everything, pushing yourself is good thing, so long as it is in moderation. Knowing when to take a few steps back can sometimes be the hardest part.

If you’re feeling even slightly how I have been feeling, I wanted to share this recipe to help keep you warm and cozy. After sharing my carrot soup pictures and videos on Snapchat and Instagram stories, lots of you wrote in that you’d love the recipe. Although I prefer chunky soups, pureed soups are definitely the easiest. It doesn’t matter how perfect your produce looks, or how nicely you chop it because in the end, it all gets blended together. Pureed soups are also a great way to add in extra nutrients that maybe your significant other or child doesn’t particularly like (think spinach, celery, broccoli). Because I love multiple textures, I like to add crunchy chickpeas, crushed tortilla chips or some nuts and seeds on top! Enjoy this recipe, stay warm and give your body what it needs and DESERVES!

Ingredients

• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 shallots
• 3 garlic cloves
• 12-15 carrots (side note: I actually used purple carrots in this recipe, despite the orange colour!)
• 1 peeled and cored apple (add a second for a sweeter soup)
• 2 litres organic veg or chicken stock
• salt and pepper (to taste)
• pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
• 4 tbsp freshly chopped dill

Directions

1. Roughly chop all of your ingredients. Size doesn’t really matter here because it will end up in your blender anyway!
2. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Cook onions until translucent, add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
3. Add your carrots and apple, sauté for 5 minutes. Add your stock, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and dill. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the carrots are cooked through.
4. In small batches, transfer mixture into your blender. Blend until smooth (may need to do this more than once) then transfer into a container. You can also use an immersion blender for this. Top with fresh dill.
Carrot Soup

Raw Carrot Cake Bites

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When I workout early in the morning, I find it very difficult to eat beforehand. I am one of those people however that need food for fuel; especially when I go spinning. I can last for the first 20 minutes but then I progressively feel myself losing momentum and all I can think about is what I am going to make for breakfast. People often ask me what they should eat before a workout because certain foods can leave them feeling sluggish or bloated. These portion controlled bites are filled with the perfect balance of carbs, protein and healthy fats to fuel your workout. Because of their size, you can still have a full breakfast afterwords without the guilt of having two breakfasts. Their high fiber content keep you full and help keep you regular (yay)!

The amazing part about these is that they require you to throw some ingredients in a food processor without any baking at all. They are a perfect on-the-go snack that feel like a special treat. I store mine in the freezer for a cold and fudgy texture. The chia seeds give a good crunch on the outside plus some added omega 3 fatty acids! I have already made a second batch this week. Zach says that these are my best creation to date. Let me know what you all think! As always these are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free and this time, they are raw and vegan! Have a great weekend everyone, bon appetit.
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Makes 20 Balls

Ingredients:

• 1.5 cup of packed medjool dates
• 1 tbsp almond butter
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• pinch of pink Himalayan salt
• ½ cup sultana raisins
• ½ – ¾ cup walnuts
• juice of ½ meyer lemon (regular lemon will work fine too)
• 3 tbsp ground flax seed
• 1 tbsp maple syrup
• 1 large carrot grated
• 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
• 1/4 cup chia seeds

Directions:

1. Soak dates in boiling water for 10-15 minutes or until really soft. This is only necessary if your dates are very hard. The point of soaking them is to easily remove the pit. If your dates are soft, you can skip this step!

2. In your food processor, pulse walnuts until crumbly. You don’t want the pieces too large, but also not too fine. The point is to add texture and crunch! Remove walnuts and set aside for later.

3. To process your carrot, you can do so by hand with a box grater, or you can pulse the carrot in your food processor. Set aside.

4. Add your pitted dates to your clean food processor and pulse until a smooth paste forms.

5. Add almond butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, lemon juice, flax seeds, maple syrup and salt. Blend until well combined.

6. Add your walnuts, carrots and raisins and pulse just until combined. I like some texture in the bites so I only pulse a few times. For a smoother consistency, blend for longer.

7. Place mixture in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. This well help you roll them into balls with ease. Otherwise, the mixture will be too sticky.

8. Pour chia and coconut into two medium sized bowls. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop out mixture and roll between your hands to make a ball. Then dip the ball into desired coating and roll until fully coated. Continue until the mixture is finished.

9. Place bites into an airtight container and keep them stored in the freezer! They will not freeze, but have an amazing fudgy texture! Enjoy!

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Squash and Carrot Soup with Spicy Cilantro Corn and Pumpkin Seeds

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Todays post will be a short one as I have had a super busy week and am quite exhausted! Lots of teaching, tutoring, cooking and catering and I have barely any steam left. But, I don’t want to leave you with no post this week so this one mostly be recipe.

One of the best parts about the cooler weather is cozy sweaters and comforting food (although we are getting one hell of an indian summer here in Montreal). I love making hot soups that both fill and heat you up. I love most soups, but squash and carrot soups are two of my favourite. I had both options in my pantry so I figured why not combine the two? I have started ordering produce from any amazing farm here in Montreal called Lufa Farms.  The produce is beautiful and always in season. It has actually helped inspire me to use ingredients I don’t normally buy and combine ingredients I hadn’t thought of before.

For this soup, I spiced it up with fresh ginger, turmeric, cumin chilli flakes, garlic and creamy coconut milk. I love different textures in my food so I topped my soup with fresh corn sautéed with cumin and fresh cilantro and some toasted pumpkin seeds. This soup is a meal in itself as it gives you loads of vitamins, good carbs, protein and healthy fats. Have a great weekend! Bon appetit!
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Soup Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
• 2 leeks (chopped)
• 1 sweet onion (chopped)
• 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
• 1 tbsp turmeric
• 1 inch knob of fresh ginger
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 tbsp cumin
• 1/2 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tbsp paprika
• 1 acorn or butternut squash (chopped)
• 1 lb carrots
• 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock (preferably homemade or low sodium organic)
• 1 can coconut cream

Topping Ingredients:

• 3-5 ears of corn (kernels cut off the knob)
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1.5 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
• 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
• a few drops stevia (optional)
• 1/2 tsp chopped fresh garlic or garlic powder
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add leeks and onions, sautée until tender and translucent. Add your garlic, ginger and spices. Cook for 1 minute.
2. Add your squash and carrots. Allow to cook in the spices for 5 minutes. Add your stock and allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat and cook with the cover on for about 25-30 minutes. You want the squash and carrots to be super tender and easily pierced with a fork.
3. Add your coconut cream and taste. Adjust any seasonings and then carefully transfer the soup into your blender with a ladle. (Make sure to hold the top of the blender with a dishtowel to save yourself from being burned!) Puree until reached desired consistency.
4. For the topping: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan on high heat. Add your corn, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, stevia and chilli flakes. Allow to sit on one side for about 5 minutes to add colour to the corn. Sautee until golden brown. Turn off the heat and add freshly chopped cilantro.
5. To serve the soup: ladle one scoop of soup into a bowl. Sprinkle about one tbsp of the corn and 1 tbsp of toasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!
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