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.

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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!)

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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.

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

Women’s One Day Wellness Retreat with Lacey Budge: A day of self care, chakra yoga & teachings on women’s health and well-being  

 

 

 

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Saturday January 7th, 2017

9 am – 9pm

Anishnabe Spiritual Centre  1091 Anderson Lake Road| Espanola, Ontario| P5E 1T1

Retreat Overview 

Dedicate this day to YOU! … To your well-being…to softening into inner peace…to awakening your passion… to connecting with your True Essence, nature and like minded women… and to your birthright, as a women, to take time for you, without any need of an explanation! I dedicate this day to you… I honour you and appreciate you. You are worthy. My wish for all women is that we aspire to connect with our Highest Self and the wisdom that lies within.

Throughout the one day retreat, you will experience a variety of self care practices rooted in the ancient traditions of yoga, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, qi-gong and taoism. After the retreat, you will feel inspired and have the outer knowledge to create your own daily routine to bring more stillness, balance and self love into your life. Together we will practice chakra and Hatha yoga, meditation, self- inquiry, traditional energy movement practices for women, journaling, massage, self-care rituals, group sharing, time in nature, and simply being in each other’s presence.

Your body, mind and soul with be nourished with seasonal vegetarian cuisine including warming winter soups, stews, root veggies and clean comfort food. The menu will be gluten free and dairy free and I will be working closely with the chef, Andrea Noon, to create our menu. Herbal tea will be available throughout the day. An afternoon nutrition workshop will shed light on the topic of superfoods, herbs and diets for women.

Schedule

9 am Arrival, Check In & Women’s Superfood Tonic. A special tea blend prepared with herbs specific for women’s health blended with cacao, maca, cinnamon, vanilla and coconut oil.

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9:45 – 12:15 pm Opening Circle and Morning Gathering includes group sharing, chakra yoga, meditation, and self reflection journaling

12:30 – 1:30 pm Nourishing Lunch

2 -4 pm Afternoon Free Time for relaxing, walking outdoors, reading, napping, access bars session with Amanda from ACT wellness, snow shoeing, journalling, colouring, etc. During the afternoon break, I invite you to dive deeper within and connect with your Self through the practice of mauna, sacred silence.

 

4pm Superfood Snack 

4: 15 – 6:15 pm Afternoon Gathering includes conscious energy movement practice for women, and a variety of ancient self care practices rooted in yoga, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, qi-gong, taoism and the path of the Goddess. Experience the practice of Abyangha – a relaxing hot oil massage…it will change your life! The afternoon gathering will also include a talk on optimal nutrition for women where we will discuss the use of different herbs, superfoods and diets.

6:30 pm Nourishing Dinner 

7:30 pm Evening Gathering and Closing circle includes yoga for relaxation, yoga nidra, heart meditation and group sharing.

9 pm Home Sweet Home 

Rates:

$150 for first seven participants to register – – – SOLD OUT – – –

$165 until December 30th, 2016

$175 from January 1st, 2017

Want to extend your retreat experience?  Contact the spiritual centre to reserve a room for Friday and/or Saturday night. $45/night

To register:

To register, please fill out the form below to ensure availability. To reserve your space, please send full payment by e-transfer to lacey.budge@gmail.com. In the case of a cancellation, you may offer your space to another woman, however refunds are unavailable.

 

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….

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

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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.

Easy Overnight Chai Oats

 

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Ingredients:

1 cup gluten-free rolled oats

2 cups almond milk or fresh homemade coconut milk  *

1/4 cup raisins

1 inch piece fresh ginger root, grated

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (less than 1/4 tsp)

2 tsp cinnamon

ground clove and star anise (optional)

1/2 cup almonds, sliced

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup

*for canned coconut milk, add 1 cup coconut milk + 1 cup water.

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a glass tupperware container and stir until well combined. Let sit overnight in the fridge.

Optional garnishes: fresh fruit like sliced banana or cubed apple.

Tip: Soaking the oats over night improves digestion and assimmilation of the oats!

Makes 3-4 servings

Goin Seasonal Week 7: Immunity Boosting Garlic

As a member of the allium family, garlic, along with leeks and onions for example, contain high amounts of sulfur compounds. These compounds not only give garlic its potent smell, and strong flavour, but also contribute to its powerful healing properties.

Garlic is high in selenium, the heart health mineral, especially when grown in organic, mineral rich soil. It is also an excellent source of manganese, and B6, especially important for women. Believe it or not, garlic is also a rich source of Vitamin C.

 

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Benefits of Garlic

  •   Strengthens the immune system
  •   Acts as an anti microbial, anti fungal
  •   Prevents or aids in reducing symptoms of infection (urinary tract, kidney, respiratory, yeast infection)
  •   Aids in digestion
  •   Reduces and regulates blood sugar and blood pressure
  •   Detoxifies the body and aids in removal of parasites
  •   Reduces acne and other skin infections
  •   Increases circulation and body temperature
  •   Improves metabolism
  •   Acts as an anti inflammatory

How to roast garlic + Preparing an organic, free range whole roasted chicken from Dare 2 Dream Farm

Last year, I had the honour of being a part of the Dare 2 Dream Sandy Loam Produce first ever Community Support Agriculture (CSA) program in Espanola, Ontario. On a weekly basis, CSA members as well as those of you signed up for the Holistic Lacey newsletter received a flyer filled with delicious recipes, tips and nutritional facts. I have decided to share this deliciousness to inspire, educate and encourage everyone to enjoy eating locally and seasonally, and to feel the difference for yourself.

Goin’ Seasonal Week 4: Heirloom Potato Salad with Caesar Dressing & Garlic Scape Pesto

Last year, I had the honour of being a part of the Dare 2 Dream Sandy Loam Produce first ever Community Support Agriculture (CSA) program in Espanola, Ontario. On a weekly basis, CSA members as well as those of you signed up for the Holistic Lacey newsletter received a flyer filled with delicious recipes, tips and nutritional facts. I have decided to share this deliciousness to inspire, educate and encourage everyone to enjoy eating locally and seasonally, and to feel the difference for yourself.

Week 4: Adirondack Red Potatoes 

Red, on the inside and out!

Adirondack Red Potatoes are an oblong, slightly flattened tuber with purplish-red skin and pink-red flesh. They are flavourful and moist and can be enjoyed boiled and roasted.

 

Colourful Potato Salad with Green Beans

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Ingredients

– 6 cups potatoes, washed and cut into 1″ chunks, skin-on

– 2 large shallots, diced, or spring onion
– 1⁄2 cup celery, diced
– 1⁄2 cup fresh parsley or dill, roughly chopped – 3 cups green beans or asparagus, trimmed,

washed and cut into 1/2″ pieces
– 1⁄4 cup fresh chives, chopped (about 20) – 3-4 Free range eggs, boiled, sliced

(optional)

For the dressing: Choose from my favourite simple dressing included last week or for a creamy version, choose my ultimate dairy free creamy cashew Caesar salad dressing.

What in the world is a garlic scape?

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I still remember the first time I saw these beautiful wispy spirals that began to grow out from my garlic plants, planted the previous fall. I immediately did some research to learn more and was amazed (and excited!) about what I could do with them in the kitchen. I will also never forget the moment I harvested it and ate it raw…weooo…hello garlic!

 

Click Here to read more about garlic scapes and how to enjoy them grilled or in hummus + a delicious Arugula Walnut Garlic Scape Pesto recipe!

For your Health….scapes can

  • oxygenate blood
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Boosts immunity; high in antioxidant glutathione
  • lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • garlic scapes, like cloves, and other alliums are known for their anti cancer qualities
  • rich in sulfur; important for health and strength of hair, nails, skin and important for synthesis of amino acids.

Goin’ Seasonal: Week 3

Last year, I had the honour of being a part of the Dare 2 Dream Sandy Loam Produce first ever Community Support Agriculture (CSA) program in Espanola, Ontario. On a weekly basis, CSA members as well as those of you signed up for the Holistic Lacey newsletter received a flyer filled with delicious recipes, tips and nutritional facts. I have decided to share this deliciousness to inspire, educate and encourage everyone to enjoy eating locally and seasonally, and to feel the difference for yourself.

Week 3: Tasty Turnips CLICK HERE

This week’s newsletter includes:

  • 4  roasted turnip recipes including rosemary & leek or bacon and chives
  • Turnip, greens and beef stew
  • 2 simple and delicious homemade salad dressings

+ A special feature on canning by Lina Goddard of Dare 2 Dream Sandy Loam Produce and Alpaca Farms