Olive & Fig Tapenade

Olive & Fig Tapenade

Try this recipe for your next Italian inspired dinner! Make some extra and bring it in your lunch. Tastes great with your favourite crackers, pita bread, veggie sticks, or as in the photo, with homemade sunflower seed paleo bread!

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Ingredients

1.5 cups pitted kalamata olives

6 large dried figs, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

2 small garlic cloves, crushed

1/4 cup packed mint leaves

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground pepper

Method

In a food processor, pulse the olives, figs, capers, garlic, mint, and olive oil until the tapenade is thick and somewhat chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the tapenade to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Makes 1.5 cups

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Chocolate, Meditation & Love Aphrodisiacs

Have you Heard of the “Bliss” Molecule? 

Chocolate, Meditation and Love Aphrodisiacs

An article by Lacey Budge written for The Adult Chair

It’s time to up your chocolate consumption. Say goodbye to milk chocolate and hello to pure raw chocolate in the form of superfood drinks {elixirs}, smoothies and sweet desserts {bliss balls}.

Anandamide, the bliss molecule, is found in raw cacao (a.k.a chocolate) and is pronounced as ca-cow not coco. This natural pleasure boosting compound is released when we are feeling good and induces the same euphoric feeling as a runner’s “high” – minus the sprints and squats!

If you are looking for a boost, (mood or libido!), consider adding this superfood to your diet. Cacao is high in the amino acid tryptophan, which is key for the production of dopamine and serotonin – a natural mood stabiliser.

It even releases natural endorphins and compounds like theobromine and phenylethylamine (PEA) which gives us the natural “high” we feel when we are in love.

Cacao, known as the Food of the Gods by the Aztecs, comes from a plant native to Costa Rica (where it was once used as local currency). It is the highest antioxidant food in the world, along with chaga, maca, acai and goji berries.

The nutritional profile for this favourite treat is extraordinary. It is the highest source of the mineral magnesium – important for heart health and extremely beneficial for women, especially during their moon cycle. The pure of chocolate is also very high in iron, potassium, calcium, B vitamins and copper; promotes longevity and even weight loss.

Choose cacao in its pure raw form (vs baking cocoa), as many of these health compounds can be damaged by heating and over processing. If you can’t get your hands on a ethically sourced 100% chocolate bar, I recommend raw cacao powder. Other options include cacao beans and nibs.

Are you already excited about bringing more chocolate back into your life? Now, consider combining it with certain foods to increase its aphrodisiac effects.

We begin with Maca, also known as Peruvian Ginseng. This superfood root veggie, grown in the high altitudes of the Andes, helps you adapt to stress and promotes long lasting energy…especially during love making!

Next, we do like the Mayans! In traditional Mayan “heart opening” cacao ceremonies, warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, clove, cardamom and cayenne have always been utilised. These spices don’t only warm up your digestion, but can spice up your love life too.

Fun fact: hot peppers open the blood vessels and allow you to absorb the benefits of the cacao and maca even more. Vanilla bean relaxes the body, which is important for all aspects of life, and is traditionally grown along side the cacao plant.

Start using this powder in your chocolate love potions, morning smoothies, kids hot chocolates and any dessert that calls for cocoa.

You can join Holistic Lacey for a heart opening cacao ceremony in Costa Rica, during her 9 Day Holistic Lifestyle Retreat, this April at Farm of Life.

One last thing… when it comes to aphrodisiacs, we cannot forget about the importance of meditation. This mindfulness practice quiets the mind and increases an overall sense of well being, relaxation and connectedness. When we become more present in our life, we become a more present lover. Through a regular meditation practice, we begin to feel content and whole in the present moment, and no longer look to our partner to “complete” us.

By Holistic Lacey | Nourishing body, mind and Spirit

Recipe : The Aphrodisiac Hot Chocolate

Serves 2 

2.5 cups Chai Tea, hot and brewed

4 heaping tbsp of raw cacao powder

1 heaping tbsp organic coconut oil

1 tsp maca

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup, raw honey or 3 Medjool dates

1/2 tsp vanilla extract or powder

a small piece of ginger root

a pinch of cayenne

2 tbsp hemp seeds

Blend until well combined and super deliciously frothy! If you like, top with  additional superfoods like cacao nibs, bee pollen, hemp seeds or goji berries,  Enjoy at your own risk. Warning: may induce a state of euphoria and bliss! 

For more chocolate recipes, try  her Raw Decadent Chocolate Truffles, Healthy Chocolate “Mylk,” Chaga-Cacao Superfood Tea, and an All in One Chocolate Tonic she created specifically for women to boost mood, increase immunity and balance hormones.

 

Lacey Budge, @HolisticLacey, is dedicated to guiding individuals to live a holistic life, and to rediscovering that which already lies within. Her dharma {life purpose} is service. She believes that the best way to truly serve and make a difference is to inspire, educate, and live by example. With her clients, she offers tools such as whole food nutrition, yoga, meditation, self inquiry and connection to nature to reunite them with their True Self. Lacey, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, works in Canada and internationally as a Retreat Centre Coordinator and Facilitator, Vegan Chef, Yoga and Ecstatic Dance Teacher, Public Speaker and is currently so inspired by bringing women together into sacred sisterhood through her Emergence program.

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.

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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!)

 

 

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

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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.

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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….

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream {dairy-free}

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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Serves 2

4 tbsp or 1/4 cup fresh coconut milk or other milk substitute

1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

1 cup baby spinach or curly kale

3 to 5 drops of food grade peppermint oil or mint extract

4 bananas, frozen

3 tablespoons raw cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips.

handful Fresh mint leaves, optional

Instructions

Add coconut milk and spinach to blender and blend until as smooth as possible. Add maple syrup, bananas, peppermint oil and leaves. Start on low and slowly turn blender up to high, using the damper stick of the vitamix. Use the damper to mix well in all four corners, for about 1 minute. Add cacao nibs or chocolate chips and pulse 3 times. Enjoy immediately or allow to set for one hour in the freezer.

Inspiration and photo by @anna_bananas__

Avocado Lover’s Pesto {family size} {oil-free}

Summer sunshine and warm days are here. You’ll want to add this simple pesto to your weekly repertoire, especially if you 1) love avocados, 2) have a lot of ripe ones on hand or 3) are looking for ways to include more healthy fats into your diet. Enjoy with veggie sticks, raw crackers, on pasta (cooked brown rice pasta or raw, spiralized zucchini noodles), on toast with your favourite sandwich or with corn chips.

I created this recipe for a food demo I offered at Farm of Life in April, and guests were so surprised that there was no oil!  I usually add oil to my pestos but with a lot of avocados to use, I had an idea to completely replace the oil with the avos. This pesto is rich, yet still light, creamy and fluffy. Add as much or as little garlic as you like. You can also add a handful or fresh greens like spinach or kale for extra leafy green action!

images-20What you’ll need:

4 avocados

2 bunches of basil

1 cup walnuts or nuts of choice like macadamia, pecans, brazil nuts, cashews

1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

4-6 medium garlic cloves

1 tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 – 1/2 cup water, to reach desired consistency

1 cup spinach (optional)

In a food processor, add all ingredients, except water and spinach and pulse until well combined. Slowly add water until you reach your desired consistency. Pulse in spinach and combine until smooth or leave slightly chunky. Store in an airtight container or sealed mason jar and refrigerate. Pesto is best if used within a few days, otherwise you can freeze it for several months.

Trusting this will bring a smile to your face and warm your heart!

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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.

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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)

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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.

Sunny Pecan Dill Dip {Raw}

This is a new staple in my kitchen. I love the versatility of this and how I can use it as a cheezy spread on homemade raw crackers, a dip for fresh veggie sticks, added to a sandwich or kale wrap, and even a scoop as a salad topping.

Sunflower seeds are the gift of the beautiful sunflower that has rays of petals emanating from its bright yellow, seed-studded centre. They are an excellent source of Vitamin E, and a rich source of copper and B Vitamins. Read more about the benefits of sunflower seeds below.

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Ingredients:

1 cup sunflower seeds

2/3 cups pecans

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp water

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

1 clove garlic

1 tsp salt

Makes 2 1/3 cups

Instructions

Soak sunflower seeds and pecans overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Rinse and discard water.

Add sunflower seeds and pecans to food processor and puree until a puree.

Add remaining ingredients and blend until mixture is smooth and cream.

Recipe Inspired by Raw Essence Cookbook

Nutrition content of sunflower seeds

The seeds contain Vitamin E.

This can help protect cells against the effects of free radicals and substances that oxidize and harm protein structure, the cell membranes, including DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). This nutrient also helps in the maintenance of blood circulation and production of red blood cells (RBCs). One ounce of sunflower seeds has a total of 10 mg of vitamin E in it. Fact sheets for dietary supplements indicate this is already 35 percent of a person’s recommended daily requirement of Vitamin E.

Other health benefits are attributed to the seeds’ content of Thiamine, a B-vitamin.

This nutrient functions to stimulate cell catalysts or enzymes to stimulate chemical reactions that cells require in order to work efficiently. When a person has adequate levels of thiamine in the body, this assists in obtaining energy from food and generates the basic units or nucleic acids that comprise human DNA. An average human male requires 1.2 mg of Vitamin B1 daily while a female requires 1.1 mg. Every ounce of sunflower seedscontains 0.4 mg of thiamin or Vitamin B1.

Sunflower seeds also contain copper. 

This mineral is excellent for maintaining the skin and hair. One ounce of the seeds contains 512 mg of copper or more than fifty percent of the recommended daily intake of this nutrient. The body utilizes copper to produce melanin responsible for giving the hair and skin their nice healthy colors. The minute particles of this protein pigment can take in the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. In this way, people are protected from damaged tissues due to overexposure to sunlight. Copper also supports the mechanism of the body’s metabolic processes to assist body cells in producing energy.

Learn more:  http://www.naturalnews.com/041388_sunflower_seeds_healthy_food_nutritional_health.html#ixzz45S0W7Tl5

 

Chewy Chocolate MACAroons {Grain Free, Dairy Free, Vegan}

Ever wonder what to do with an overload of ripe bananas, and looking to expand your recipe repertoire beyond banana bread? This recipe is one of the most easy and quick desserts I make, and at no sacrifice to the taste. When they first come out of the oven, they are absolutely perfect. So warm and chewy and the chocolate chips literally melt in your mouth. I really love the size of this delicious treat, it is just enough…. and they somehow remind me of 2 bite brownies in a way.. ha! The best thing about this recipe, is that everyone always loves them!

Ingredients

4 ripe bananas, mashed

3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup raw cacao powder

½ cup dark chocolate, chopped or dairy free chocolate chips

2 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp maca, optional ** Traditionally, maca has always been  used cooked – which enhances the health benefits and makes it easier on the body to digest. Read more about raw or roasted maca…

Instructions

1) In a large bowl, mash bananas by hand with a fork, or use a food processor or blender to speed up the process.

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2) Add in all remaining ingredients and stir until just combined.

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3) Scoop mixture into balls and place on baking sheet approx 1 inch apart. I like to use a medium size trigger ice cream scoop to get the perfect shape every time.

4) Bake at 350ºF for 10 – 15 minutes.

5) Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack. Enjoy!

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Mexican Night…and its all Raw!

It’s a raw Mexican Fiesta! Tonight we served walnut-sunflower seed taco meat wrapped in collard greens from the garden. These tacos are best enjoyed with a creamy cashew red-pepper cheezy sauce! …and of course, no fiesta is complete without guacamole and salsa. You can use cabbage cups or kale for the wrap.

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The texture, taste (and the look) of these tacos are so similar to your typical non-veg taco filling, so its an easy way to introduce your friends or family to meatless favourites. This recipe is enjoyed my both raw foodies, vegan and even meat lovers!

This recipe is inspired by a great friend of mine, Jamie at The Blissful Kitchen, and I have added my own touch as well.

If you’d like to reduce the amount of nuts and seeds, you can substitute with mushrooms.

TACO MEAT by Jamie www.theblissfullkitchen.com

Ingredients
1 c. sunflower seeds (or mushrooms)
1 c. walnuts
1 red onion
2 tomatoes
1 jalepeno, vein and seeds removed
1 garlic clove
1/2 c. coconut aminos or 1/4 c.  gluten free tamari
juice of one lime
1 T. cumin
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 T. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
pinch of cayenne

DIRECTIONS: Pulse sunflower seeds and walnuts in food processor until a very fine, mealy consistency is achieved.  Place in bowl.  Next add remaining ingredients to food processor and pulse until well-combined and tomato and onion are finely minced.  Add food processor ingredients to bowl with seed/nut mixture; stir until well-combined.  Allow flavors to meld 1-4 hours before serving.

To serve: Scoop taco meat into collard green, kale or romaine leaf and roll into a little burrito wrap-rolling parallel to the stem and folding in the sides.  Serve with guac, salsa and ‘cheese’ sauce.

For the cheese sauce recipe above, I also added 3 Tbsp of tahini plus 3 tbsp nutritional yeast.