Summer Iced Tea Smoothie

Iced Tea Smoothie
During these grueling hot summer days, I know how badly we all need something refreshing to rehydrate and cool us down. When making smoothies we often opt to add in milk, yogurt or juice to get things moving in our blender and of course, to add flavour and texture. Although these add ins are nutritious and add extra protein, sometimes its nice to have a lighter option if you want to have a smoothie more for a snack then a meal replacement. By using an unsweetened tea, you get a flavourful base without any heaviness you may feel from milk or juice.

For my smoothie, I used Pure Leaf Unsweetened Lemon iced tea as the liquid, but feel free to use your favourite tea. I think a cold brewed ginger tea would be amazing as well. A reminder that if you are using all frozen fruits, you most likely will need to add more iced tea. Another great idea is to make popsicles so you have a cold treat straight from the freezer all summer long! Hope you love this recipe as much as I do.
Iced Tea Smoothie

Ingredients

• 1/2 cup unsweetened lemon iced tea
• 1 ripe frozen banana
• 1/2 cup blueberries
• 1/2 cup pineapple
• 1 tbsp almond butter

Directions

1. Add ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Iced Tea Smoothie 1

Sesame Peanut Chewy Bars

Sesame Peanut Chewy BarsI bought puffed buckwheat and quinoa recently to eat as a cereal for breakfast. I don’t know if any of you have tried this stuff, but it pretty much tastes like air. Out of frustration of wasting money on these products I decided to incorporate them into a granola-type bar.Just in this case, I swapped the ‘granola’ for puffed buckwheat- and I’m so glad I did. These bars make a perfect breakfast or snack as they aren’t overly sweet but leave you satisfied. The addition of sesame and ginger play on the savoury side of things so I highly recommend these to those absolutely crazy ‘non-dessert’ people out there. These come together super quick and stay nicely in the fridge or freezer. Hope you love them!

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Sesame Peanut Chewy Bars

Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup pitted dates
• 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
• 2 tbsp coconut oil
• 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (all natural)
• 1/2 cup water (or more) to thin out peanut butter mixture
•1 tsp freshly grated ginger (optional)
• 2 cups puffed buckwheat (or your favourite gluten free cereal)
• 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
• 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
• 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• 1/2 cup 70% dairy free chocolate, melted
• pinch of sea salt

Directions:

1. Line an 8 x 10 inch or 5 x 20 cm baking dish with parchment paper.

2. Process dates in a food processor until a paste forms.

3. Melt coconut oil, peanut butter, sweetener of choice, and ginger in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until combined.

4. Once combined, whisk in your date paste. Use hot water as needed to thin out the mixture. It should almost look like caramel.

5. Remove from heat. Fold in your peanuts, puffed cereal, sesame seeds and coconut.

6. Press your mixture into baking dish and allow to firm up in the fridge or freezer for at least an hour. Remove from the cold, and drizzle on melted chocolate then sprinkle with sea salt. ENJOY!

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Sesame Peanut Chewy Bars

Apple Cinnamon Walnut Muffins

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With fall just around the corner, I have been working on making warming meals featuring some of my favourite fall ingredients. Although summer is an amazing break from our freezing, sometimes miserable winters here in Montreal, fall will always be my absolute favourite season. There is nothing more comforting then being in an oversized sweater (I have a slight addiction to buying these), with a warm cup of tea watching those beautiful multicoloured leaves fall.

When those crisp temperatures begin in September, we all crave more comforting, warming meals that feature hearty ingredients and bold spices. Cinnamon is definitely my favourite fall spice that I use year round. Besides for making dishes taste amazing,  cinnamon has so many amazing benefits some of which include controlling blood sugar levels and warding off hunger.

So to ease us into the season, I have made these super light muffins that are lower in fat but full of fiber, protein and whole grains. I have been able to reduce the fat content by replacing oil with apple butter. If you’ve never heard of it, apple butter is a highly concentrated form of apple sauce made by a slow cooking process where apples are cooked to a point where the sugar in the apples caramelizes creating a deep rich brown colour. It is extremely flavourful and adds intense moisture to baked goods! I bought apple butter at a regular grocery store where they have the natural nut butters, honey, maple syrup etc.. You can also make this yourself at home!

These muffins are packed with oats, chunks of apples and crunchy pieces of walnuts.  An extra sprinkle of cinnamon and coconut sugar gives these muffins a crunchy topping that goes amazing with a cup of coffee in the morning! These Apple Cinnamon Walnut Muffins are an amazing grab and go breakfast that the whole family can enjoy. These also are perfect with a little spread of  Chia Jam or Roasted Cinnamon Maple Almond Butter on top. As always these muffins are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. Bon Appetit!
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Ingredients:

• 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
• 1 cup oat flour
• 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
• 1 cup diced and peeled apples (preferably organic)
• 2 tsp cinnamon (divided)
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 3 tbsp coconut or light olive oil (melted)
• 1 cup almond milk (or non dairy milk of choice)
• 1/2 cup apple butter or unsweetened apple sauce
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 2 tbsp coconut sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375.Line muffin tins with parchment and grease with coconut oil.
2. In a large bowl, mix oat flour, oats, 1 tsp cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together apple butter, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs and almond milk.
4. Slowly add wet ingredients into dry until combined. Then, mix in diced apples and walnuts.
5. Pour batter into muffin liners. In a small bowl mix together the remaining 1 tsp cinnamon and the 2 tbsp coconut sugar. Sprinkle over the tops of the muffins.
6. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!
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