Category Archives: raw

Hemp milk

As i’m sure everyone knows by now, cows milk is considered the devil in the health food world (unless raw).

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It’s filled with hormones, sugars and preservatives and is heavily pasteurized killing any potentially beneficial nutrients. Not only that but a large majority of the population does not have the enzyme needed to properly breakdown lactose. This leaves people with gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, weight gain, foggy head etc.,

There are TONS of alternatives out there: almond milk, soy milk (ANOTHER BIG NO- but that’s for another time), rice milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, sunflower seed milk… One of the problems with buying cartons of alternative milk from the grocery store is the majority of them contain carrageenan. Carrageenan isn’t going to hurt you if you consume it very rarely (unless you have any type of inflammatory bowel disease).

Carrageenan is derived from red seaweed and is added to the alternative milks (and other products) to keep the milk from separating, this alleviates the customer from needing to shake the carton before they use it. The main problem with carrageenan is it has been shown to cause inflammation, gut irritation as well as cancer! It is definitely a little confusing because carrageenan is derived from a natural source however, it has been shown to cause significant harm to the digestive system which results in inflammation as well as ulcerations and bleeding-hence why it is a NO NO for people with IBD.

So with all of that being said what can you do to get around carrageenan? Read labels! Not every brand of alternative milk contains carrageenan. OR you can follow my recipe below for the easiest creamiest hemp milk ever!

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Easy, quick, cheap, healthy hemp milk

¼ cup hemp hearts (I use Manitoba harvest- you can buy giant bags from Costco). Hemp is amazing! You want to be consuming more of it I promise! It is full of fiber, protein and good healthy fats and just tastes great. I love hemp in my smoothies, sprinkled all over my salad, as a topper to toast…

1 ½ cup of filtered water

1-2 tsp of sweetener. I use either maple syrup or I just throw a date in. But honey would be yum too.

A splash of vanilla

A pinch of sea salt

Throw everything into the blender and whip it up until all of the hemp has broken down and you are left with creamy milk. I have a vita mix which definitely makes this process easier. Once your done you can either strain off the little bits and pour the milk into a glass jar OR, like me you can just leave the added bits for texture and flavor. Just be sure to shake it up before you use it- I know, so much work!

That’s it that’s all. I use hemp milk in my smoothies, in my baking, in my hot bevvies, in my granola… in anything you would add milk to, this hemp milk is a great, healthy, cheap alternative.

Hope you enjoy!

Taffy was nose bumping me the entire time I was writing this post so I guess she wants to say hi 🙂

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My first guest blog post!

Hi everyone,

I’m just about to unplug for a much needed long weekend away with some girlfriends!! Before I go I wanted to share a guest post I was privileged enough to write for a good friends blog- FoodSavy! Head on over and check it out!!

Just a hint I share mine and the man friends latest snack obsession 🙂

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Happy longweekending everyone! hope you all get a chance to unplug and be more present! I know I don’t do it nearly enough and am really looking forward to a long weekend of ZERO phones and computers!

 

The great juicing challenge!

This past week I encountered something I thought I would NEVER do. Lets rewind a bit first shall we? Sunday night the man friend and I decided to watch the documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, if you haven’t watched it- watch it now, it’s great (you can see it on Netflix). Throughout the movie we kept nodding our heads in agreement and discussing how much sense everything they were saying made (yes I know juicing is not for everyone). At the end of the movie we got into a discussion/ debate about whether either of us food lovers could ever go an extended period of time without eating. I’m normally a eat every 2-3 hours person so the idea seemed completely far-fetched. The man friend kept insisting that I could totally do it and after a little prodding I decided, why not, if those people in the movie could do it, why couldn’t I? So I didn’t lose my motivation I started bright and early Monday morning. I decided I would do 7 days of 3-4 juices per day as well as lots of herbal tea, water and home made kombucha. I decided to keep a little journal to record how I felt throughout the entire experience and I thought I’d share it with you incase anyone wanted to challenge themselves. Generally speaking I started the day on a fruitier note and shifted to more veggie juices throughout the rest of the day.  Normally I workout 5-6 days a week either crossfitting or running with the pup but I decided to give myself a break this week and just focus on nice long walks with the pup.

Day one was a breeze; I was still feeling very determined, motivated and excited. My energy levels were great throughout the day however, towards the evening I started feeling very tired and hungry- the doubtful thoughts started crawling in, why the heck was I doing this!

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Day two was a bit of a struggle. I woke up starving with a headache however, after my morning hike with Taff I was feeling much much better. It’s crazy how getting out in nature and getting some fresh air changes your mentality.

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Day three was definitely the hardest day. I had a headache on and off with very little energy as well as a nagging hunger all day long! Its was a toughie! I almost quit a few times but managed to stick it out.

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Day four was my turning point. I bounced out of bed and felt great all day long. I started feeling very grateful for this challenge and my motivation was restored.

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Day five, I slept very very well and woke up feeling great and full of energy. No real hunger or cravings just really energetic. It was definitely helpful that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Day six was another tough day. I had minimal energy and was generally hungry all day long. I was really missing food-preparing it, smelling it, eating it, everything! I was very ready to be done with it all but there was NO WAY I was giving in when I was so close.

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Day seven, FINALLY! The end was so close I could taste it! It was a little bit of a struggle merely because I was so excited for the end but I stuck with it and put my self to bed early.

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As you can see I made it! It was a roller coaster for sure! Looking back I’m so so glad I did it. Not just for the nutritional benefits but also for the confidence it gave me in my self control, normally I can’t turn down a treatie let alone only consume juice for a whole week. It gave me confidence that if I really want to do something I can do it :). Apart from a few moments I really wasn’t that hungry. It’s funny how when you provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs you don’t crave crap!It was nice to be able to give my digestive system a bit of a break, especially seeing as I have so many digestion issues. Did you know the cells that line your GI tract have a 3 day turnover, that means every 3 days new cells line your GI tract. By giving my digestive system a break I was able to properly promote internal healing and I have to say I suffered ZERO digestive complaints the entire 7 days, which for anyone that knows me is a complete miracle!

On day seven I got pretty excited about eating food but knew that I really needed to ease into eating slowly. I wrote up a meal plan and went grocery shopping for lots of vegan goodies. I decided I would eat light vegan meals with at least 1 juice a day for the next 3-4 days. It is really important to not over do it after a juice cleanse. Imagine going from only juice for 7 days and then a giant steak on day 8- hello shock to the system!

To give an example of my post cleanse diet: today I ate a smoothie for breakfast (mango, strawberry, banana and spinach), roasted kobacha squash and hummus for lunch, a delicious green juice (recipe to follow) for a snack and a packed salad (kale, tomato, apple, avocado, carrot, apple and hummus) for dinner.

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Easy for the digestive system and delicious!

The man friend and I have had a few discussions on how we hope to continue juicing (although he didn’t do a strict 7 days cleanse he did incorporate 1-2 juices into his diet for the 7 days), we hope to include 1-2 fresh vegetable juices daily.  I have even been tossing around the idea of a 1-day juice day every week or every 2 weeks but we shall see how that goes. Needless to say we are both hoping to incorporate a lot more fresh juices into our diet, they really made us feel great!

Before I babble on even more I will leave you with my favorite juice recipe.

Cleansing greens (serves 2)

1 lemon

1 piece of ginger about half the size of your thumb

3 granny smith apples

4 stalks of celery

A handful of parsley

2-3 handfuls of spinach or kale

1 cucumber

One more quick note, make sure EVERYTHING you juice is organic! Because there is no fibre in the juice all the vitamins go directly to your cells. If you juice conventional produce covered in chemicals your basically allowing all of those chemicals to go directly into your body without any filter. The whole point of juicing and cleansing is to aid the body in detoxifying and proving your body with much needed nutrients. Juicing conventional produce will only make the body more toxic thus making your efforts pointless.

With all of that being said Happy Juicing! Is anyone else out there big juicers? Thoughts?

Side note: people that should stay away from juicing are:

  • Anyone with blood sugar issues
  • Juice cleanses should be avoided by pregnant or breast feeding mothers
  • Anyone with liver issues- metabolizing all the fructose in fresh juice can be very taxing on the liver.

Kombucha Loving

Happy weekend to everyone! I know I’m not alone in looking forward to the weekend from Monday through the week. Its not that I don’t  love my job but I love sleeping in, going for nice long walks, visiting the farmers markets, going for brunch etc. a little bit more, crazy I know.

For the past 10 days or so I’ve been doing some new kind of kitchen experimenting that I thought I’d share.

It all started with my weekly (if not daily) whole foods trip for my absolutely favorite treat-kombucha. I have always known it was good for me but I also knew that I LOVED the taste, I would easily shell out $4-5 dollars for a small bottle! (crazy I know). Then I got the man friend equally as obsessed as I was, no longer were the whole foods trips $4-5 dollars but we were going and buying 3,4,5 bottles at a time! (plus the many other wonderful delicious things only whole foods offers). One of my mini new years resolutions is to be a little more cautious with my spending (read: no more $5 kombucha everyday), enter my friend Danni from school. Danni had taken a kombucha making class a few months before and had a spare scoby to give me so I could start brewing my own. At first I was a little intimidated but it ended up being the easiest and most delicious experiment either.

So before I get going on my step by steps you probably want to know what this kombucha is. Essentially kombucha is a fermented tea known for its amazing healing properties. Kombucha is full of probiotics, enzymes, B vitamins, lots of minerals and anti-oxidants. Kombucha is great for anyone detoxifying, for anyone with digestive troubles, for anyone with joint/muscle pain and for anyone looking for a little immune boosting power! Basically kombucha is the shit! And bonus, it is SO easy to make at home.

What you need:

  • 1 scoby with kombucha started juice (if you don’t have any friends making kombucha you can buy them off craigslist, online, or shoot me a message and I’ll get one of my scoby’s to you)
  • 12 tea bags (I used jasmine green tea but black tea works well as well)
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1gallon (16 Cups) of pure clean water
  • 1 cup of freshly juiced ginger
  • A giant glass jar- enough to fit 1 gallon of water
  • A kitchen tea towel and elastic band
  • Smaller bottles for the kombucha, I use 4-1 quart mason jars per batch

First thing you do is bring the 1 gallon of water to a boil, turn off heat and allow tea bags to steep for about 20 minutes, remove tea bags. After 20 minutes stir in the sugar until dissolved.

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Once the tea has cooled to room temperature pour it in the large glass jar, pour the kombucha starter juice (roughly 2 cups of kombucha from your previous batch (or store bought)) into the jar and carefully place the scoby on top of the tea (don’t be worried if it doesn’t float).

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Cover the top of the jar with a tea towl, secure with an elastic band and put away in the pantry for roughly 7 days.

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After 7 days you can go ahead and remove the scoby (along with some tea to start another batch) and drink the tea as is or you can add a flavor and start a second fermentation process.

For Ginger Kombucha:

Juice 1 cup of ginger (While I had the juicer out I juiced another cup of ginger juice and froze it in an ice cube tray for my next batch. Next time I make ginger kombucha I will just add 2 ginger cubes to each mason jar)

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Divide the fresh ginger juice evenly between the 4 mason jars

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and pour the tea into each jar until full.

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Then secure the lids tightly as the tea will start to naturally fizz and store those jars in the pantry for another 2-5 days, depending on your preference- go ahead and taste every day until your satisfied.

As you can see it is easy peasy! Right now I have 4 jars of ginger tea fermenting along with a new batch of kombucha, the beauty is you can just keep re-using the scoby each time you finish making a batch. Now please go get yourself a scoby and start on this fun kitchen adventure, you will not regret it! The heath benefits speak for themselves.

Being sick sucks!

Once again I am sick. For a supposedly healthy person I sure do get sick a lot! I have come to terms that until my life slows down a little (so maybe in 50 years) or I learn to deal with stress better I will continue down this road… oh joy!

Anyways with always being sick I have learnt a few things that really get me through the days. Here are my go to’s just incase you are feeling under the weather as well!

Fresh ginger tea. My immune system struggles a fair bit (hence I’m always sick), because of this I don’t generally run a fever to burn off the infection/invasion. Ginger is a diaphoretic that is great to help increase your bodies’ temperature and support your fever while your immune system does the work. I love pairing grated ginger with some alkalinizing fresh lemon juice and a little anti-microbial, anti-viral manuka honey!

Garlic. Garlic is amazing! It has so many great qualities: antiseptic, anti-microbial, anti-viral, diaphoretic, anti-spasmotic etc., in this case I use garlic for its diaphoretic, anti-viral, anit-microbial and antiseptic qualities. The best way to take garlic is to chop up 1 clove and let it sit for at least 1 minute, mix it up with some honey and eat it straight off the spoon. I like to do it 3 times per day. (side note: this is a great remedy for people dealing with candida problems, garlic is highly microbial but unlike most  it supports your beneficial bacteria instead of killing them off as well).

Bone broth. Bone broth is so so healing (hello chicken soup when your sick)! Bone broth is a mineral rich infusion made from organic bones, vegetables and herbs. Bone broth is amazing for your healing your GI tract, for improving digestion, for boosting your immune system, for bone health, for join, hair, skin and nail health… basically it’s amazing and should be apart of everyone’s dietary routine (unless of course you are a strict vegan/vegetarian).  I will go into depth on all the amazing benefits of bone broth another time but for now just know it is an amazing immune boosting tonic full of easily absorbable minerals that are difficult to obtain elsewhere and that it will help get you back on your feet quickly! To make a killer bone broth I just throw in about 2-3 pounds of organic bones (chicken or beef are my favorite), 2tbsp-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (to help extract all the minerals), a chopped onion, some carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, ginger… really anything I have kicking around and I let it simmer in the slow cooker for 24 to 48 hours.

And last but not least, chocolate! Yes I have a killer sweet tooth but I also love all of the amazing health benefits real raw chocolate has. Raw chocolate is full of vitamins and minerals that help lower blood pressure and improve circulation, that promote heart heath, that protect against free radicals, that aid in proper digestion and most importantly that enhance your well-being! Lets be honest, when your sick everyone needs a little pick me up. It can be quite depressing lying there amongst your sea of dirty Kleenex.

On the weekend I attended a potluck and decided to get creative with chocolate, luck for me there was a little left over that has helped carry me through the past few depressive days (I’m quite pathetic when I’m sick I know).

Raw chocolate dream pie

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Crust: 2 cups walnuts, ¾ cup shredded coconut (unsulphered!), 1 ¼ cup dates… add to food processor and pulse until combined and sticky. Press into wax paper lined cake pan and place in freezer while you make the filling.

Filling: 2 cups raw cashews (soaked over night and rinsed well), ¾ cup raw cacao powder, ½ cup coconut oil melted, ½ cup maple syrup, a splash of vanilla and ½ cup almond milk… add everything to a high speed blender and blend until nice and creamy. Once mixed pour on top of crust and allow it to sit in freezer until set. Remove it from the freezer about 15-20 minutes before you want to serve it.

Well there you have it, that’s my go to sick arsenal and it works for me every time! Even if you’re not sick you should go ahead and make the pie, it is dangerously good! So so rich and chocolatey

Oh and how could I forget, lots and lots of cuddle’s from my pup never hurt!

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