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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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….

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…

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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.

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Turmeric Chai Superfood Tea 

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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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.

 

Savoury Flax Muffins {grain-free}

I am really enjoying experimenting with grain free recipes, and when they turn out delicious, I love to share!
These savoury muffins are perfect to add to breakfast, to enjoy on their own as a snack with ghee or to serve with your favourite soup or stew as a biscuit. You can also create a sweet version too, by switching up some of the ingredients, which I have also included below.

Flax seeds, which have been around for 6,000 years, are an easy way to include healthy omega-3 fats into the diet. They are also an incredible source of fibre which help to improve digestion due to its mucilingenic properties which aid in cleaning out the intestinal tract. Plus, only 3 Tbsp of flaxseeds contain 6 grams of protein and a variety of important minerals like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium.

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Savoury {or sweet} flax muffins
Makes 24 muffins
Ingredients

4 cups ground flax seed

2 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoon green onions or chives (2 tbsp dried cranberries or dates for sweet variation)

1 tbsp fresh parsley or basil (1 tbsp maple syrup for sweet variation)

1 teaspoon sea salt

10 large eggs

1 cup water

2/3 cup olive oil

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Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease two 12 cup muffin tins with coconut oil.
  2. Combine flax seed with baking powder, herb mix and sea salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine fully and set aside.
  3. Add eggs, water and oil to the jug of your blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds, until foamy.
  4. Transfer liquid mixture to the bowl with the flaxseed mixture. Stir with a spatula, just until incorporated. The mixture will be very fluffy. Once incorporated, allow to sit for 3 minutes.
  5. Drop mixture into prepared muffin tins and transfer the pan to the preheated oven.
  6. Bake muffins for 20 minutes, until top is golden. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 1 hour.
  7. Keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Thank you to Leanna Vogel at Healthful Pursuit for inspiring me to create this recipe based on her flaxseed focaccia.

Baked Maple Pecan Granola

Simple and classic. Enjoy with banana oat milk, or your favourite non dairy beverage. Top with additional fixings like coconut flakes, ground flax, chia or fresh fruit.

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Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats

1⁄2 cup pecans or almonds

1/2 cup mixed dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins, figs, prunes, apricots, peaches, cherries

1/3 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds

2 tsp cinnamon

1⁄2 tsp nutmeg

1/4  tsp salt

1⁄2 cup maple syrup, or liquid sweetener like agave. It’s best not to bake with honey

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

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PREHEAT oven to 275° F. Line Baking sheet with parchment paper. IN A LARGE BOWL, combine oats, pecans, cranberries, raisins, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. IN A SEPARATE BOWL, combine maple syrup, ginger, coconut oil and vanilla. ADD maple syrup mixture to oat mixture and combine well. SPREAD granola in a thin layer on baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes to prevent burning. Cool completely and store for up to a week in an airtight container.