Jumbo Vegan Pecan Pumpkin Muffins

IMG_0502To be honest, I actually found a variation of this recipe on the Taste of Home website. At a first glance, I thought this is not the recipe for me with its bleached white flour, white sugar, canola oil, buttermilk, etc…reminding me of some of my grandmother’s recipes (which is beautiful and nostalgic, but not how I want to nourish my body temple.)

And in that moment, I remembered how much I love taking any recipe and transforming it into a healthier version by substituting the types of flours, oils, sugars and for this muffin, even using flax “eggs” for a vegan version. I feel so grateful to have this knowledge and am looking forward to sharing this recipe with you!

Here are 2 tips for you: #1 – you can use spelt flour the same way you’d using any other kind of flour in a recipe without any need to change the measurements. #2- You can use less oil in a baking recipe by substituting half the oil for apple sauce (and it even makes the recipes more moist!)

This muffin is really tasty! …and it is jumbo! If you’re not much of a breakfast person, this may feel a bit heavy for you first thing in the morning so enjoy it mid morning with a tea, or in the afternoon.

 

Makes 16 delicious, moist, abundant muffins (with the most perfect crunchy topping!)

Ingredients

4 Flax Eggs (4 Tbsp of organic ground flax mixed with 8 Tbsp warm water)

5 cups Organic Light Spelt Flour

1 Cup Organic Raw Sugar

1 Tbsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice (or mix mostly cinnamon with ground ginger and a pinch of all spice and nutmeg.)

1.5 tsp Baking Powder

1.5 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/2 Cup Local Maple Syrup

2 cups Organic Canned Pumpkin Puree

1/4 cup Organic Almond Milk, or any non-dairy substitute that you have on hand

1/4 cup Organic Coconut Oil, melted

1/4 cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 cup Chopped Pecans

Topping

1/2 cup Organic Coconut Sugar

2/3 cup Pecans

1/4 cup Organic Rolled Oats

2 Tbsp Organic Virgin Coconut oil, cold or room temperature

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine ground flax and warm water, stir and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, raw sugar, spices, baking powder and soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, combine maple syrup, pumpkin, almond milk, coconut oil, apple sauce, vanilla. Mix in flax eggs.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until almost mixed and then fold in the pecans.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. In a food processor, add all the ingredients for the topping and pulse for 5 seconds. Otherwise, finely chop the pecans and mix in a bowl with remaining ingredients.
  7. Prepare muffins tins by greasing with additional coconut oil.
  8. Scoops muffin batter into the tins (I use the silicone ones!), filling half way, and top each one evenly with the crunchy-sweet oat topping. Warning… these do get a little messy 🙂 
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Let cool on a drying rack for 5 minutes before removing from muffin cups.

IMG_0501

 

 

Advertisements

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies {vegan}

These are simply the best! They started as a way to use up the extra garden abidance of zucchini this season, but now they have turned into a regular favourite! Essentially they are like a healthy and homemade granola bar (which means you can have it any time of day!)

IMG_0311.JPG

yield: 2 1/2 DOZEN COOKIES

cook time: 10-12 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup organic light spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic raw cane sugar
  • 1 flax egg ( 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 2 tbsp water, mix and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (and drained)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, prepare flax egg.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut oil and sugars, mix until smooth. Add flax egg and vanilla extract. Next, add the shredded zucchini. Be sure to squeeze out any extra liquid with your hands. Mix until combined.
  5. Slowly add flour mixture until just combined. Stir in oats, coconut, and chocolate chips.
  6. Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden around the edges and set. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Holistic Lacey’s Pantry

Holistic Lacey’s Pantry

When transitioning to a plant based diet, focus on adding as many organic, seasonal, local and fresh fruits and vegetable to your diet. I recommend adding salads or raw food to every meal (according to constitution), as well enjoying snacks such as fruit, veggies, superfoods & green smoothies. Some of my favourite nutrient powerhouses include sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, avocados, almonds, brazil nuts, berries, lemons, broccoli.

Whole grains/ flours

Quinoa

Millet

Brown Rice

Spelt flour

Light bucwkwheat

Sprouted grain bread/ rye bread

Soba noodles

Rolled oats

Barley

Nuts & seeds

Flax seeds

Chia seeds

Hemp seeds

Pumpkin seeds

Sunflower seeds

Walnuts

Pecans

Almonds (almond butter)

Brazil nuts

Sesame seeds (+tahini)

Beans, legumes, & more veggie protein

Chickpeas

Black beans

Kidney beans

Edamame

Mung beans (sprouting)

Red lentils

Green lentils

Organic Tofu

Organic Tempeh

Organic Free-Range Eggs

Sweeteners

Maple syrup

Honey (raw/local)

Molasses

Dried fruits

Medjool dates

Organic un-sulphured apricots

Cranberries

Raisins

Oils & vinegars

Olive oil

Coconut oil

MCT oil

Sesame oil

Grapeseed oil

Apple cider vinegar

Balsamic vinegar

Spices & fresh herbs

All spices &herbs especially cinnamon, sea salt,  turmeric, fresh ginger root, garlic, parsley, cilantro

Condiments & more

Grainy mustard

Dijon Mustard

Tamari (gluten free)

Kalamata olives

Superfoods

Goji berries

Sea veggies

Cacao (raw)

Maca

Ashwagandha

Bee Pollen

Chaga/ Reishi Mushroom tea

Shortcuts

unsweetened Apple sauce

Vegetable broth

Almond milk (Earth’s own)

Hummus

Salsa

Sea veggies

Kombu

Nori

Dulse

Spirulina

Chlorella

Dairy (refrigerate)

Organic Butter

Organic plain yogurt

Organic Kefir

Goat cheese

Sheep feta

Other:

Fermented food (refrigerate) Kombucha

Saurkraut

Kimchi

Loose Leaf Tea

Supplements:

Probiotics

Plant based enzymes by Organika

Aloe Verga Juice by Lily of the Dessert

Greens Powder 

All in One: Women’s SUPERfood Elixir RECIPE

Hail to being a woman… to fully feeling, embracing and honouring our emotions… ..to celebrating our ecstatic highs and witnessing our lows. Let’s set a collective intuition to thrive, rejoice and feel optimal and balanced in our body, mind, heart and spirit.

This drink is inspired by:

❤ the gratitude I feel for being a woman

❤ my love for superfoods (especially chocolate) and super health!

❤ my intention to live with a wide open heart

❤ my yearning feel fully alive and to thrive

❤  the inherent place of joy, stillness, love and freedom that dwells within my heart.

15621787_1274906302584239_8868958832220903059_n

It is so easy to collect a cupboard full of superfoods and not know how or why to use them, so I decided to make one drink withe everything in…that actually tastes amazing!

This drink has everything in one heart opening-balancing-nourishing-calming,-immunity strengthening- revitalising- detoxifying – chocolate bursting- delicious ELIXIR (a.k.a tonic, superfood tea, glorified hot chocolate, hot beverage).

Ingredients

2 cups brewed tea of choice. I like to use Tulsi (holy basil) Chai, lemongrass-ginger, chaga or gynostemma tea for the medicinal properties.

2 heaping Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder

1/4 tsp (up  to 1t) Ashwagandha

1/2 tsp (up to 1t) Maca powder

1/4 tsp (up to 1/2 t) Spirulina

1 ml reishi tincture (or your favourite mushroom tinctures/powders)

1 Tbsp Coconut or MCT oil

1 Tbsp Hemp seeds

2-3 tsp Maple syrup or local honey

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Pinch of Cayenne

Toppings: Bee Pollen, Goji Berries, cacao nibs, additional hemp seeds and cinnamon

Blend all ingredients together in blender. Makes one very enjoyable serving! 

Read more about these superfoods in the article top-10-superfoods, also featuring aloe vera, camu camu, chlorella, fo-ti and more!

More superfood recipes you may like to try:

Raw Cacao Superfood Truffles 

Maca Cacao SuperMylk 

Chewy Chocolate MACAroons (ps. you can bake with maca … I did the research!)

 

 

Get creative in the kitchen with these autumn recipes

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie {dairy-free} by Vega One

pumpkin-pie-smoothie-without-product

Roasted Fennel, Broccoli and Kale Soup by Food + Love

creamy-broccoli-fennel-kale-soup-768x512

Roasted Squash and Pine Nut Quinoa by Deliciously Ella

a

Sweet N Spicy Rosemary Nuts

No need to buy any more store bough sweet nut medleys or trail mix. Once you try this sweet and spicy combo you will be hooked and this will become a kitchen staple. Guests on retreat at Farm of Life absolutely loved taking this snack on waterfall hikes! Everything homemade, truly is better! This is a great way to enjoy healthy fats found in nuts and seeds as well as coconut oil! No need to follow the recipe exactly, just use the nuts and seeds you have in your pantry!

Makes 16 snack size servings

sweet-spicy-nuts-2

Ingredients:

2 cups peanuts

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup whole almonds

sweet and spicy coating

1/3 cup virgin coconut oil

1/3 cup dried cranberries

5 sprigs fresh rosemary or approximately 3 tbsp, chopped

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp sea salt

1.5 tsp pepper

1/4 cup honey

Method:

In a pan, dry roast (no oil) all nuts on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.

sweet-spicy-nuts-1

Place nuts aside in a bowl.

Return pan to heat, and add coconut oil. Once melted, stir in rosemary, cranberries, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper. Turn off heat and add in honey.

Add nut mixture back into the pan and mix until well combined.

Place nuts on a lined baking sheet and place in the fridge for 2 hours. Store in a glass container in the fridge.

Enjoy as a nutrient dense power snack, topped on salad or a creamy savoury soup, or even with breakfast on your morning oats….

The Essentials: Your Morning Coffee {Sugar Free September}

The Essentials is a series of recipes and tips that will inspire you to stay sugar free without changing your daily routine. Ok, you have decided to take on the challenge of going sugar free for the month of September. You committed to yourself that you could 1) avoid store bought sugary baked goods, 2) that you are going to replace soda pop with hydrating herb and fruit infused water and 3) you are going to attempt making your own sauces, condiments and dressings at home…

IMG_4237

BUT.. then you remember… you favourite morning ritual… your coffee (w/sugar!) No need to worry, I got you covered with this creamy, silky and sweet morning brew… I can assure you, you will not be missing your double double!

Directions

After brewing your morning cup (or 2) of coffee, add it to your blender with 1 tbsp of virgin coconut oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and optional 1 tsp of cacao.  Blending the coffee with coconut oil turns it into a creamy latte, while giving you a dose of your healthy fats. The added cinnamon helps to balance blood sugar levels and the cacao is a great magnesium and energy boost.

Not a coffee drinker? Try one of my Superfood Latte Teas (click for free e-book with 5 recipes!) for a morning boost like Maple Chaga, Matcha-Maca, or Turmeric Chai!  They are all dairy free and prepared with your choice of coconut or almond milk. You could also experiment with using an all natural coffee replacement such as Dandy Blend.

IMG_2770

Turmeric Chai Superfood Tea 

Cleaning out your pantry for Sugar-Free September…& becoming a more conscious cook!

IMG_5358

There are some simple and easy steps that you can take to bring more awareness to what you are putting into your pantry..and therefore into your body (and that of your family).

I have selected some popular “food products” that unfortunately may still be found in the common pantry. Below, I share with you WHAT to replace it with, WHY you would want to replace it and HOW to become more educated on reading ingredient lists and food nutrition labels.

Bringing Mindfulness to Reading the Ingredient List 

“Ingredients” that you want to be on the look out for when trying to purify your body, mind and spirit include sugar, high fructose corn syrup, partially/hydrogenated oils – especially soy, corn & canola (most likely GMO),  maltodextrin, BHAT & BHT, the many names for MSG, and food colourings. For more types of added sugars of which to be mindful, see Sugar Explained by the Canadian Cancer Society. Although the packaged and processed foods you are eating at home may not be extremely high in sugar (i.e.: crackers, soups, frozen meals), they are filled with many other non-nutrient dense “foods”… or let’s say additives, fillers or preservatives.

Making the Lifestyle Change … Beyond Sugar-Free 

You may want to start by first focussing on reducing sugar intake, or maybe you are ready to clean up shop a little bit more. Remember to make it work for you and your lifestyle and that small changes are more likely to last long term.

Pantry Makeover … Making Healthier Choices!

  1. Peanut Butter (Kraft, Jif, Skippy) ….TRY 100% natural peanut butter or any nut/seed butter without any added ingredients.

“Oh great! Only 1 gram of sugar in my favourite Kraft Peanut Butter”…. Not such great news, unfortunately. Although it may seem like a low amount of sugar, this product is not filled with only roasted peanuts… it contains all the the additives from the list above and is sweetened with refined and processed sugars.

I invite you to make the transition to all natural peanut butter or nut butters than can now be found at most local grocery stores. Look for brands that contain only nuts.. no added oils or sugar necessary. Want to take it to the next step?  It’s so easy (and cost efficient) to make your own nut butter at home with a food processor. Add your own natural sweeteners like maple syrup and a pinch of Himalayan sea salt to preserve it and feel good knowing that you are conscious of what you are eating or feeding your family.

2. White Refined Sugar (baking, morning coffee)…TRY a natural sweetener such as Canadian pure maple syrup, honey or Medjool dates.

Numerous amounts of research shows that white, refined sugar is a very addictive substance and even more addictive than drugs like cocaine!!! Utilise this 30 day challenge and fundraiser as an opportunity to break free from any addictive relationships with sugar and start to feel the Health Benefits of going sugar free. Stay tuned for my series Sugar Free Essentials which includes a delicious and satisfying way to enjoy your morning cafe latte free of refined sugar! As for baking, replace sugar with dried fruit like dates or even mashed bananas. Get the recipe for a sugar free Zucchini Cranberry Loaf sweetened with ripe bananas.

3. Sugary Breakfast Cereals… TRY homemade granola or chia pudding.

Today, I am using the example of Frosted Mini Wheats, a store bough cereal promoted as  a “nutritious and delicious bite size snack, whole grain, and a high source of  dietary fiber.” This product contains 11 grams of refined sugar per serving, as do many cereals. The ingredients consist of: Whole grain wheat, icing sugar, glycerin, gelatin, bht. Vitamins and Minerals: iron, thiamine hydrochloride, d-calcium pantothenate, zinc oxide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid. 

I strongly believe that there are alternate breakfast options to offer our body a daily source of fiber, vitamins and minerals without the icing sugar, gelatin (sorry vegetarians!) and BHT.

It’s definitely worth it to take time, once a week (or less), to prepare a breakfast cereal that includes ingredients that you can pronounce! Try my Baked Maple Pecan Granola as featured on the Traditional Cooking School’s The Great Granola Round Up . Other breakfast options include my Easy Overnight Chai Oats or you can google the infinite world of chia pudding.
Trusting that these examples inspire you to become a more conscious cook!

Stay Tuned for more sugar free recipes including homemade Sweet and Spicy Rosemary Nuts… a delicious alternative to buying candied nuts or pre packaged trail mix.

Cranberry Zucchini Loaf {sugar-free | Sweetened with Banana}

Sugar-Free Baking Tip: 

Did you know that you can replace 1 cup of sugar with mashed, ripe bananas. Ensure that bananas are at room temperature and add then to any of your favourite recipes instead of refined white sugar. You may have to adjust the recipe recipe looks like there is too much liquid.

You can also create a puree from fruit like dates or figs for the same effect.

IMG_4870.JPG

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients 

2 cup shredded zucchini

1 cup virgin coconut oil

4 organic free range eggs

2 small ripe bananas (about 2/3 cups)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup dried cranberries

3 cups light spelt flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Directions

Shred zucchini by hand or with a food processor. Set a side in a strainer and bowl and allow excess water to drain while you prepare remaining ingredients.

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 2 loaf (5×9) pans with parchment paper.

Whisk together coconut oil and eggs. In a separate bowl, use a fork to mash bananas to a puree consistency. Add to egg and coconut oil along with vanilla, cinnamon and cranberries. Stir until combined.

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

Use your hands to squeeze any remaining moisture out of zucchini and fold into wet ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined.

Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans. Top each loaf with 1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds. Bake for 50 minutes at 350°F or until centre is well cooked (or a toothpick comes out clean!). Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.

Enjoy on its own, with almond butter or ghee.

Homemade Coconut Milk {fresh & delicious}

Once you experience the ease, simplicity, creaminess and deliciousness of your very own homemade non-dairy milk, there is no turning back! When making healthy lifestyle shifts, especially if you are using mylk on a daily basis for smoothies, elixirs or granola, I highly recommend preparing your own. Most of the packaged milks contain no nuts at all, and unfortunately only guarantee added synthentic vitamins, fillers, binding agents and artificial flavours.

Holistic Tip: Use your fresh coconut milk to prepare one of my Superfood Elixirs. Get the Free E-Book: Superfood Teas or use this for making the filling of my dairy free StRAWberry Cheese Cake.

IMG_3471

Fresh Coconut Milk

2 cups coconut meat

4 cups of coconut water or purified water

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp of pink Himalayan salt

1 tbsp maple syrup (honey or 2 medjool dates, pitted )

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or bean/powder)

IMG_3488

Fill blender with fresh coconut meat and cover with coconut water. Blend on high speed until smooth and all pieces are broken up.

To drain coconut milk, place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and squeeze it through. If you like, save the meat (pulp), dehydrate and use to make homemade coconut flour.

Rinse the blender. Return milk to blender. Add cinnamon, salt, vanilla and sweetener of choice. Keep refrigerated and drink within 3-5 days.

Want to try something tasty?

Blend with 1 ripe organic banana for a creamier, sweeter milk.