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local blueberry crumble

Summer has come early to Vancouver and we couldn’t be more thrilled. This warm, sunny weather has us eager to get outside, head to the beach, and fire up the grill. Summer also has us thinking about all of the amazing seasonal produce Canada has to offer, like juicy peaches, sweet corn, and delicious cherries.

Most of all, we’re excited about the arrival of blueberry season, which  is set to begin three weeks early in BC as a result of our unseasonably warm spring. Blueberries are usually in peak season during the months of July and August. We are lucky to have blueberry farms across Canada, making it easy to shop for these berries locally.

 

fish tacos

Crispy fish tacos with a fresh, tangy slaw and an ice cold beer may just be my favourite meal. I enjoy tacos often when eating out but I had never actually made them myself.  I had to change that.

I recently discovered that one of my good friends makes them all the time and knows the recipe by heart. When I asked her for the recipe, she listed the ingredients but didn’t have a clue how much she normally used.

Like a great cook, she just made it and it always turned out. I love that approach and use it when cooking for myself, but it doesn’t work so well when trying to blog about it.

cranberry slaw finish sm watermark

(Note: This blog post is generously sponsored by Ricardo Cuisine — thank you!)

Remembrance Day is over, so we can officially listen to Christmas carols, according to my cousin Marie. Most people seem to have some sort of rule about when it is OK to listen to Christmas music. Are carols fair game after Halloween, Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day or December 1st?

ohsheglows

Oh She Glows Cookbook – Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out

Author: Angela Liddon
List Price: $29
Pages: 314

I (along with about half a million others) have always been a huge lover of Angela Liddon’s blog — so I was super excited to get her new cookbook! There is just something so great about having an actual book to look at vs a screen.

Her recipes and photography are outstanding! They are all vegan recipes but they are very easily adapted — so if you’re not vegan you will still love this book.

Angela starts her book out with the story of how she got to where she is today. Including telling readers about her 10 year struggle with an eating disorder. She talks about her shift from low-calorie diet foods (more chemicals than real food if you ask me) to a wholesome, plant-based diet. That’s when she started to GLOW!

Angela holds a Master of Social Psychology but was unfulfilled working as a researcher. After a while she quit and opened a bakery. Talk about a career change. Angela published her cookbook and had a baby this year. She certainly lives an eventful life.

Ok, so now you know a bit about the author, back to the book.

peanut butter cookie dough bite

Apparently 7 years of university wasn’t enough for me as I’m officially back!

I recently moved across the country to Toronto to start a Master of Health Science in Nutrition Communication. I have never been to Toronto before and I have had very little opportunity to explore it so far (besides my visit to the aquarium), but I’m feeling a little home sick for beautiful Vancouver and the great social life I had there. That being said, I also secretly love school.

Clearly, I am a full fledged nerd — but we already knew that. (Case in point below.)

TOAquarium

These cookies are perfect for the holiday season! You could bring them to your next Christmas party and no one would even know they are healthy (I like to call it stealth health)! These cookies are packed with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals…what a deceptive little cookie ;) To make them even more exciting they take less than 10 min to make and will store for weeks!

I highly recommend these for chocolate mint fanatics, like myself. Just make sure to spread out the extract well, if it doesn’t get totally mixed throughout the other ingredients it can be really strong tasting. If you’re not a big mint fan just skip the mint extract or replace it with a different flavored extract instead.I bet coconut or orange would be good!

Enjoy!

raw-choco-mint-cookies

Raw Dark Chocolate (Mint) Cookies

Makes 12 cookies
Slightly modified from Radiant Health
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 heaping tablespoon liquid honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract (replace with a different flavored extract if preferred, or omit)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • shredded coconut

Blend all of the ingredients, except the coconut, in a food processor until the mixture is in fine crumbs (it will start to clump) and is very sticky. Remove heaping 1-tablespoon bits of the mixture, form into balls and roll in the coconut.

Store in the refrigerated in an airtight container. They will keep for several weeks…but be gobbled up before then!

Avocado and Feta Scones

COMMENT

Avocado is natures butter right?

Well, I like to think so!

But, when it comes to baking, you just cant mimic the way butter melts with an avocado. However, I still love this recipe. You don’t get the same flaky texture as scones made with butter, but they are a fun twist on the traditional.

These “scones” are chalked full of scrumptious, healthy ingredients.

Find out where the word avocado originates (you may be surprised) and more interesting avocado facts here.

Avocado and Feta Scones

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup whole flax seeds
  • 1/2 large ripe, but still a bit firm Avocado (or more if you like)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (heaping), crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh curled parsley
  • 1 finely chopped green onion
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
Directions:
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flax seeds
  • Grate the avocado into the flour mixture (if you are using a very soft one it might be easier to cut it in with a pastry cutter – to the size of small beads)
  • Add the cheese
  • Add the parsley, green onion, eggs and buttermilk
  • Mix, and press together into a disk shape on the counter, cut into 8 wedges
  • Space the wedges out on a greased baking sheet
  • Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.  Do not over bake.

Better-4-You Biscuits

3 COMMENTS

I love warm flaky biscuits but, sadly, all that flakiness = a lot of butter!

This recipe is a great, super simple alternative if you make biscuits frequently (if not — just enjoy all that butter once in a while).

Biscuits are so great for sopping up gravy/soup and they are delicious toasted for breakfast. They do go stale very fast so freeze what’s left of them the day you bake them.

This recipe calls for buttermilk, a RD’s best friend when it comes to baking. It gives a lot of flavour to baking and tenderizes products but is very low fat.

BUTTERmilk is LOW fat?

Yup!

It is actually the liquid left over from the butter-churning process. It is thick, tangy and has a longer shelf life than regular milk so it is great to keep on hand and use in baking, pancakes, soups, salad dressings, or add to tomato sauce (one of my favorite uses).

For each cup of buttermilk used instead of regular milk in a recipe you will want to use 2 teaspoons less baking powder and add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

1 cup buttermilk can also be replaced with 1 cup regular milk and a tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice (mix and let stand 5 min) or combine 2/3 cup plain yogurt with 1/2 cup 1 percent milk, but the real thing will result in a better product.

Better-4-You Biscuits

Slightly modified from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2-3 tbsp flax seed (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

2. Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in bowl. Cut in butter with a knife or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (or make sure the butter is very cold and grate it in); stir in buttermilk until just moistened.

3. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface; knead gently 6 to 8 times. Roll to about 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter (or be ghetto like me and press is out with your fingers and then cut them with a glass ;) ). Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet.

4. Bake in preheated oven until biscuits are lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.

Note: to spice these up experiment with adding different herbs and cheeses



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