Breakfast

Butternut Quiche with Caramelized Onions

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This beautifully flavoured quiche is a wonderful dish for a crowd or a special Sunday morning brunch. I recently served this up to a group at a retreat, and they were SO in love that they have inspired me to share the recipe on the website.
You will need a bit of time to caramelize the onions and roast the squash, but the steps in this dish are so worth the time commitment 😉
As always, feel free to modify the recipe to suit your taste buds and preferences. You can easily swap out the butternut for a different squash or add sautéed mushrooms and/or sun-dried tomatoes. Keep in mind that because the onions are caramelized, there is a bit of a sweet taste to this quiche, so modifying too much might work against you.

Butternut Quiche with Caramelized Onions

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Serves 6
Dairy-free, Gluten-free

1 medium onion, sliced
1 Tbsp avocado oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 small butternut squash, cut into 1/2” cubes
2 Tbsp coconut oil
Salt & pepper
7 eggs
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp dried thyme
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 cup packed fresh spinach, chopped
Fresh parsley, green onion, tomato slices, and/or avocado for serving

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  • Slice one large onion and place into a large saucepan. Add avocado oil and balsamic vinegar. Cook the onion slices on medium/high, stirring frequently. Once the onions start to get translucent, turn the heat to medium/low and cook until they start to caramelize. This will take roughly 30 minutes.

  • While the onions are cooking, cut the butternut squash into 1/2″ cubes and place in an 8x8 glass dish, coat with 2 Tbsp coconut oil and season with salt and pepper.

  • Roast the squash for 20 - 25 minutes, until slightly softened.
    Once squash is done, lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

  • Let the squash and onions cool slightly. Combine the eggs, coconut milk, spinach, dried herbs, butternut squash, and caramelized onions in a large bowl. Mix well then pour back into your 8x8 glass dish still greased from the squash.

  • Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the centre of the quiche is set - you can check by simply wiggling the pan slightly to see if the eggs are firm. Serve with parsley, green onions, fresh tomato, and/or sliced avocado.

    If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment and tell me how it turned out for you!! I’d love to hear from you 😊

Bonk Bars

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I have to admit that I have a big time soft spot for my Bonk Bars.
They were one of my first original recipes that people were really excited about. On top of that, the honest-to-gosh-golly-goodness truth is that I just LOVE them SO much. They are my absolute favourite bar to have hanging around when I’m training for a distance run, rehearsing like mad for a dance show, or just being the busy body, high-functioning human that I am. They are THE perfect afternoon slump, pick-me-up bar with all those great combinations that we love so much: macronutrient balance, nutrient-density, and total flavour jam!

These bars were inspired by a good friend who is hypoglycemic and tends to “bonk” (have a blood sugar crash inducing fits of rage and/or extreme grumpiness) if he doesn’t eat good food regularly.  Loaded with blood-sugar stabilizing fiber (dates), fats (coconut oil & chia), proteins (nuts & seeds), complex carbs (oats), and natural sweetness, these are fool-proof bars for active people, athletes, teenagers, regular “bonkers”, and sweet-treat lovers everywhere. Easy to throw together and incredibly satisfying, these will keep well for weeks in the fridge (I dare you to try) and freeze well too!
Stay grump-free.
Look out for your friends.
Prevent “Bonking”.

Print

Bonk Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Category: Snack, Healthy Treat, Power Snack

Cuisine: Vegan, Real food, Nutrient-dense, Vegetarian, Raw

Yield: 16 bars

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup medjool dates

  • 1 cup almond butter

  • 1 cup oats

  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds

  • ¼ cup sesame seeds

  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds

  • ¼ cup shredded coconut

  • 3 Tbsp chia seeds

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 cup raisins

  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

  • ¼ cup goji berries (mulberries/golden berries)

Instructions

  1. Soak dates in boiled water until soft (about 7-10 minutes).

  2. In food processor, combine dates and almond butter until smooth. Add oats and coconut oil and pulse until roughly combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

  3. Add all remaining ingredients and combine.

  4. Pour into a lined 8 x 8 square pan and press down with wet hands until evenly distributed and smooth.

  5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting into squares. Store in fridge.


If you try these Bars and love them (or not), let me know how they worked out for you!!

Love these? Want more recipes like this? Check these out:
Sesame Chocolate Power Balls

The Ultimate Cookie

Simple Berry Chia Pudding

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I like to make chia pudding at the beginning of the week for quick and easy breakfast and/or lunch for the week.  It takes about 5 minutes to make and is a nutrient powerhouse, especially if you’ve had time to whip up your own almond milk (bonus points!)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds

  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 generous handful of berries (strawberries, blueberries, huckleberries, blackberries)

Instructions

This pudding is SO easy!  Just combine all ingredients except berries in a large mason jar and shake, shake, shake it up, Baby!  Place the jar in the fridge.  An hour or so later, shake it well again making sure the seeds are floating up from the bottom of the jar (I will often use a wooden spoon to get those stubborn ones off the bottom).  Leave pudding overnight in the fridge.  In the morning, place all ingredients in a blender, adding in your berries, and blend until well combine.  Pour back into jar and EAT!  Serve with homemade granola or muesli, sprinkled with your favourite nuts & seeds (cacao nibs too), or just straight up.  Will keep 4-5 days in the fridge.


Banana Oat Bars

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Inspired by some very ripe bananas, a hungry family, and the need to have something on hand for either a quick breakfast or avoiding an afternoon crash, these bars are super easy to whip up, satisfying, and full of flavour. They are gently sweet and so moist, they might be able to pass as cake.  AND a little chocolatey goodness is always well received! A great recipe for little people, ravenous teenagers, and busy people alike. Enjoy!

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Banana Oat Bars

Prep time: 15 mins
Bake time: 15-20 mins

Ingredients

2 ¼ cups oats
¼ cup ground flaxseeds
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3 very ripe bananas
2 tsp vanilla
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup honey
½ cup coarsely chopped almonds (or other nuts of choice)
¼ cup unsweetened dried coconut
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Chocolate Sauce:
3 Tbsp cacao
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp honey

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.

  • Place oats in your food processor and grind into a coarse flour. Place flour in a bowl and whisk together other dry ingredients.

  • Combine bananas, vanilla, applesauce and honey in your food processor and process until creamy. Stir into your dry mixture.

  • Stir in almonds, coconut and chocolate chips.

  • Pour into a lined 8 x 8 pan and smooth the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the edges are slightly browned. Cool.

  • To make chocolate sauce, stir together all ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle over bars. If the chocolate sauce is too thick, place bowl over a steaming pot of boiled water for a few minutes until slightly melted.

Feeding little (or big) hungry bellies something to feel good about!



Coconut Banana Muffins

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Our summer has finally chilled out enough to turn my oven back on and it’s good timing because my boys were craving some muffins and I was dying to create.  I also happened to have some pretty brown, fruit fly lovin’, bananas begging to be a part of something fantastic!

These muffins are vegan, gluten-free, and as sweet as brown are your bananas! (The browner the better). Note: if your bananas aren’t quite there yet, pop them in a brown paper bag overnight to quicken the ripening period.

Coconut Banana Muffins

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Ingredients:

2 cups DIY gluten free flour blend (I use this one)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp himalayan sea salt
4 large, very ripe, bananas
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut cream (if you don’t have any coconut cream, scoop off the cream from a can of coconut milk)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded, unsweetened, coconut (1/4 cup reserved)
1/3 cup high cacao content chocolate chips

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin with parchment paper or reusable silicon liners.

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and whisk together.

  • In a medium bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add in sugar, oil, cream, and vanilla, and combine. Pour wet mixture into dry and stir with a large spoon.  Stir in 3/4 cup of shredded coconut and chocolate chips.

  • Spoon muffin mix into the tins and sprinkle with remaining coconut.

  • Bake for 22-25 minutes until slightly brown around the edges and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

  • Cool completely and store covered with a dish towel to enable air circulation.

Note: I like to set half the batch aside to freeze for lunches and watch the others get devoured in just a few days. Enjoy!

Ginger Plum Crisp

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It is Fall Harvest and plums are in abundance! This crisp is super simple but really really good. Gluten-free and made will all ingredients that live in my house, it’s an easy one to pull off for a dinner party, potluck, or just because there are loads of plump purple goodies begging to be baked! I served the leftovers to my boys in the morning with a dollop of coconut kefir and we all felt good about that!

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Print

Ginger Plum Crisp

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Category: Dessert, Breakfast, Snack, Tea time

Cuisine: Vegan, Real food, Nutrient-dense

Serving Size: 6

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups diced plums

  • 1 heaping Tbsp minced ginger

  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

  • Good pinch of sea salt

  • For the Topping:

  • 1 cup oats

  • 1/3 cup oat flour

  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar

  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

  • 3 Tbsp melted coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine plums, minced ginger, maple syrup, and sea salt. Spread evenly along the bottom of a small glass or ceramic baking dish (mine is 6 x 8).

  3. For the topping, combine all ingredients in your mixing bowl and spread over top of the fruit bottom.

  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes until edges begin the brown and you see the juices boiling along the sides.

  5. Serve with coconut whip cream or coconut vanilla ice cream.

The Ultimate Cookie

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What makes a really good cookie?

And by good, I mean health benefiting, energy boosting, and super satisfying, just to be clear. A truly good cookie can be everything you want it to be AND make your body, mind, and soul happy.

What do we love most about cookies?  They’re chewy, sweet, salty, satisfying, and usually contain chocolate.

When constructing the healthy cookie, we can honour all of these delicious qualifications with a few simple alterations to the average cookie recipe.

Healthify Your Cookie:

  • Chewiness: something to hold your cookie together. Some good health benefiting suggestions: chia + water, ground flax +
    water, eggs, and nut butters.

  • Sweetness: oh so necessaire!! What’s key to gaining ground in the daily health challenge is to swap out those refined sweetness wannabes (and I mean permanently) for body-loving goodness such as honey, maple syrup, bananas, or dates.

  • Salty: this one’s easy! Just say no to iodized salt. For true mineral uptake and to receive actual nutrition from salt, choose good quality sea salt or pink himalayan salt.

  • Satisfaction: what makes a cookie’s satisfaction meter shoot through the roof is not the sugar and chocolate, my friends, it is the fat + carbohydrate + protein quotient. Using all 3 macronutrients in a power snack allows you to feel full longer, to keep your blood sugar levels stable, and to boost your energy and brainpower in a way that doesn’t mess with your metabolism. Some ideas: for good fat: coconut oil/nuts/seeds; good protein: nuts/seeds/hemp hearts; and good carbohydrates: oats/oat flour/almond meal/banana.

  • Chocolate: be choosy about chocolate! Real dark chocolate is full of beneficial minerals and antioxidants, but don’t let the store shelves fool you! There are many variations on chocolate out there will a LOT of added nonsense.  Find some dark goodies with as few ingredients as possible (3), look for cacao in the ingredients list and choose minimal sweetness.

Here’s my latest and most ingenious cookie recipe that I am so proud of and that my family and I did the kitchen happy dance for when I first took them out of the oven! The absolute bonus? They’re SO easy!

The Ultimate Cookie

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2 Tbsp chia seeds + 2 Tbsp water
2 ripe bananas
⅓ cup honey
⅓ cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
½ heaping tsp cinnamon
Good pinch of sea salt
¼ cup hemp hearts
1 ½ cup oats
⅓ cup raisins
⅓ cup chocolate chips

  • In a small bowl, whisk together chia seeds and water and let sit 10 minutes.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk wet ingredients together with a fork.

  • Add in dry ingredients and combine. Fold in raisins and chocolate chips. Form into cookies of whatever size you like and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

  • Bake at 325 for 25 mins.

Vanilla Cashew Coconut Milk

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Making your own nut milk has unending health benefits.
The store bought ones are mostly water, loaded with preservatives to extend shelf life, sweetened with added sugars, and bulked up with stabilizers and thickeners.

One of the most common additives we find in store-bought nut milks is carrageenan. There are piles of studies that link this preservative to intestinal inflammation, liver & colorectal cancers, as well as immune suppression and fetal toxicity & defects.  Packaged nut milks also tend to have the addition of health depleting vegetable oils and are often fortified with vitamins and minerals that are difficult to absorb and may stress the digestive system and the kidneys.

Making nut milk your self ensures that you know exactly what’s in there.

There is no processing that removes the nutrient qualities of the nuts (or the coconut in this case), you get to choose your quality of water, you may sweeten it with whatever you like or omit what you don’t, and the satisfaction just has no substitute.

It may seem overwhelming to think about regularly pulling off homemade nut milk to feed your family. But honestly, once you get into the groove of soaking the night before and allotting 10 minutes of blending and squeezing, it becomes something far more attainable than just giving it a pass because it’s easier to buy it. The benefits far out-weigh the hassleand it feels pretty good to watch your loved ones glug down your homemade goodness.

This here is our current most favourite day-to-day nut milk that we consume in our house. Feel free to swap in the nut of your choice or reduce the sweetness. I’ve been using cashews lately because they are creamy and more affordable than almonds, but this milk is wonderful with almonds.

Even if you are unable to keep up with the homemade nut milk demands, just give it a try a few times and see how it feels. My guess: it’s gonna feel pretty darned good.

Print

Vanilla Cashew Coconut Milk

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Category: Breakfast, Drink, Snacktime, Anytime

Cuisine: Vegan, Real food, Nutrient-dense, Vegetarian

Yield: 6-8 servings

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  • Ingredients

    • 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight

    • ½ cup shredded coconut, soaked overnight

    • 5 cups water

    • 2 medjool dates

    • 2 tsp vanilla

    • Pinch sea salt

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews and coconut overnight.

  2. Drain and rinse cashews and coconut.

  3. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

  4. Strain through a nut milk bag, squeezing as much liquid as possible, and transfer to a large glass container.

  5. Will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge.


Be the kitchen super star I know you can be.
Know what’s in your food & make it your self.

3 After-School Smoothies Your Kids Will Love

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Every parent is familiar with the after school blood sugar crash. The kids come home from school, rockin’ the grumps, dragging their feet, dumping their backpacks and mitts and hat and jacket and whatever else they’ve got all over the floor while they whine that they are SOOOOOOOOOO hungry! They “can’t handle anything” and must eat right this minute!
When you make a suggestion, they let out an exasperated sigh and give you the look of hangry death.

I hope you are laughing (and not crying) by now, because you’ve seen this a thousand times.

Well, fellow Feeding-Hangry-Kids Enthusiasts, I’ve got a plan for you:

Make it a smoothie.
In fact, let them make it themselves. 

We’ve been on the after-school smoothie train here for a while and let me tell you, it’s changed the atmosphere in our house considerably. Ok fine, so the dumping of all the clothing is still a work-in-progress (you got me there), but my son will often come in from school and head straight for the freezer. He’ll pull out whatever frozen fruit we have and line up some other tasty ingredients on the counter (often coconut milk, hemp hearts, almond butter, vanilla, cacao) and hit up the blender. It is such an effective way to nip the hangry quickly, deliciously, and plus, he’s become quite the smoothie maker (we are still working on the cleaning up part  ).

Here are some of our favourite recipes that have become staples over the last few years. I will often use these recipes with Kids Cooking Camps and after-school programs and the kids love to try coming up with their own creations. I believe that giving kids some reins in the kitchen early is a great way to set them up with the desire to cook. It also nurtures a more connective relationship with food and provides them with some basic guidelines for good nutrition & a general set of kitchen skills.

Good Morning Sunshine

1 ½ cup spinach (or other leafy greens)
1 cup coconut water
1 orange, peeled and diced
1 cup frozen mango or pineapple or a mix of both
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of salt

  • Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth.

Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie

1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup coconut milk
¼ cup grated beets
1-2 handfuls of chopped spinach
2 Tbsp hemp hearts
1-2 Tbsp honey (optional)
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla

  • Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Makes 2-3 servings.

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Afternoon Pick-Me-Up Chocolate Smoothie

½ cup coconut milk
½ cup water
2 Tbsp cacao powder
Pinch salt
½ – 1 whole banana
1 pitted medjool date
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp coconut oil
A few ice cubes

  • Place all ingredients in your blender and combine until smooth.

Stay SMOOTH & Don’t let the After-School Hangrys get you down!

Like always, if you try these smoothies and love them, please let me know!!
Better yet, take a pic and tag me on facebook or instagram!

Looking for more healthy kid inspiration?