Chia seeds get some good attention on my blog. As they have very quickly become one of my new favourite ingredients to use on a daily basis. I am always discovering different ways to use them and my new favourite way to to make it into cereal.
It can be added to a cereal for a boost of fiber, protein, and healthy fat as I highlighted here.
Or it can be made into a bowl of cereal on it’s own. Thanks to Ruth’s Hemp Foods, she has made this rather easy by creating an amazing product called “Chia Goodness” which is of heart-healthy chia seeds loaded with various different flavour combinations to make each one individually unique!
Ruth’s Chia Goodness Flavours are:
They are all so delicious. Just add some water or almond milk and watch it expand. It really is like a chia pet! It grows until it is almost double the amount and you have a bowl of chewy chia cereal. That will will provide you with fiber, healthy fat an abundance of energy!
Even though they are all tasty, I am a fan of the original as I still like to make each bowl different and make it my own. I love adding in fresh blueberries, strawberries, coconut nectar or sometimes I will even add in cacao, goji berries, almonds, banana. Whatever I’m feeling that day is what I will add in!
My typical Chia Goodness breakfast:
2-3 tbsp original Chia Goodness
1/4-1/2 cup almond milk or hemp milk – blended with 1 tbsp Sun Warrior + 1 piece of banana
1/4 cup fresh fruit, blueberries, strawberries (from my garden)
1 tbsp coconut nectar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
If you are just dying to try your own version or sample one of Ruth’s delicious flavours of Chia Goodness…now is your chance!!
Chia Goodness Giveway!
Contest Rules: You must live in Toronto and must be able to come and claim your prize from me directly!
If that is all clear, then….
1. Comment below and tell me why you love chia seeds or want to try Chia Goodness
2. Share this post on Facebook – and must be a fan of both Delicious Knowledge and Ruth’s Hemp Foods
3. Share this post on Twitter – and be sure that you are following me!
To find out more about Chia seeds and where and how to use them…read about why I just love this super seed that keeps on giving!
Learn how to use Chia Seeds:
(I obvoiusly choose forks over knives…just look at my hand and logo!!)
Clever title indeed. If we are eating plant based diet, then we really don’t need to use our knives. Maybe once in a while for that tough skin on squash or to hack through a piece of kale, but overall – keeping our forks in hand is good enough.
I have been waiting for this movie to arrive for about a year. The build up has been quite profound and I have to say, I was definitely impressed, but at the same time feel that more solutions could have been provided at the end. This was another great opportunity for a documentary to dig a little deeper and not just show how wrong things are with people’s diet…but give some tools as to what can be done to make it right! Let me explain.
The movie featured two researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, scientist and author of the acclaimed book the The China Study, which sets how to prove that you don’t need animal protein to be healthy and get your daily dose of protein and nutrients! This is an incredible book and you definitely need to get your hands on it! The film also featured Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a top surgeon. They both after years of their own research and discoveries collaborated together with some remarkable findings.
What they discovered through years of work, research, tests, studies and surgeries is that life threatening chronic diseases were more commonly found among people who consumed an animal protein based diet.
The two didn’t know each other at first but when they came together and put together their findings, they came to the remarkable conclusion that diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and …could not only be reversed but prevented if people consumed a whole foods plant based diet. This is the kind of information and facts people need to see and hear.
The film showed several of their discoveries through research, charts and graphs to highlight their incredible findings. This proved the point, over an over again that if one consumed meat and dairy their risk for disease dramatically increased. While at the same time concluding that cultures and communities whose diets that are predominately plant based, such as those in rural China had rare, if any occurrences of these diseases.
When these same people from China came to North America and adopted the “North-American” diet the status of their health dramatically shifted. I mean how could it not when fried foods and processed foods are the staples of your diet? This is quite a sad occurrence for many immigrants from other regions of the world. In North America – one of the wealthiest and most advanced continents in the world, cannot seem to find a tangible and life-enhancing way to put health at the top of the list in terms of where “your” money should be spent, instead it is fed into the pharmaceutical, dairy and meat industry. The perfect combination for what is killing us. More could be said on this, but I won’t go there!
I also loved that T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn completely busted the protein and calcium myth. I mean how many people still believe that protein comes from meat and that calcium only comes from milk? Almost everyone! This film made it very clear that animal protein actually breaks the body down rather than builds it up. This is radical information and not just for the body builders of the world! They also highlighted that cow dairy and cow milk (meant only for baby cow’s) actually leaches calcium from the body making (predominantly) North-Americans prone to osteoporosis and other bone health issues. It is the cultures from rural China, Africa and other parts of the world where milk is not consumed, that have the strongest bones and less risk for fractures and long term diseases in general. This is a fact and can be found in the book The China Study.
This was also further demonstrated through Dr. Esselstyn’s son Rip. Who is nothing short of amazing and living proof that you don’t need meat and milk to be big and strong (the North American mentality.) He is a firefighter in Austin Texas and looks the part of health and wellness. He has obviously grown up with good morals, values and a quality diet inspired by his father. When a fellow colleague was plagued with a nearly terminal condition of high cholesterol, he challenged his fellow firefighters at the Engine 2 station to take on a vegan diet (The Engine 2 Diet). The results were astounding! Not only did cholesterol levels of all the men improve (as they were all previously on a meat based diet) but they lost weight, increased their strength and overall quality of life. Not to mention they loved the veggie based meals they were eating! Again this is proof that plant foods heal and build you up! I always say, just look at the horses, made of muscle and all they eat is grass! Point in case.
Other than highlighting that going vegetarian and eating fresh whole plant based foods are the key to health (which is obviously in line with my values and beliefs), I worry that after watching this film, that people who don’t know what to believe may feel stuck and helpless. There was a small segment of the film dedicated to showing people how to make some positive changes through a whole foods diet – but not enough solutions were provided. But that is okay, that is where I am going to pick up and give you some simple solutions to get started with right now!
Marni’s Simple Solutions for Eating More Plants Today!
Learn how to Thrive on a Plant Based Diet
Read my ebook Veggin’ Comfortably and learn how to get enough protein going veg!
Come on a Delicious Retreat with me!
Take a Vegetarian Cooking Class and get comfortable in the kitchen!
Prevent with Plants and stay healthy for the rest of your life!
Learn some of my favourite Tips on how to go Veggie
Learn the many ways to get your Calcium without Milk
Have you seen the film?
What where your thoughts?
What are you tips for going veg or leading a plant based lifestyle?
I don’t have all the answers, but I do have a few suggestions. Last week I had the honour of being a participant in the bi-annual Longevity Now conference hosted by David “Avocado” Wolfe. It is a power packed weekend filled with information to benefit all. I am being asked by my friends and students, left right and center, “what did you learn, how was it, tell me more?” Well now is my chance to share. But first, what I do have to say is that I got out of it exactly what I needed at this time in my life. Since there is so much information presented in such a short span of time, I really had to select what I wanted to get out of it – and I did just that!
There was everything from the new latest supplements to how to sleep in a way that will heal our bodies out of pain. So it’s diverse and very well rounded. I am not going to take you through the entire weekend, but I am going to focus on some helpful tips that you can use NOW to help you on your journey to live a long healthy life. It’s not about living to 120 years of age, it’s about the quality of your life every day from today forward…but if you can live 120 yeas while thriving (not surviving) – all the better!
So here is a list of what I learned, embraced and now want to share with you!
Get Grounded: Connect with mother earth – get outside and go barefoot in the grass. Trust me it feels amazing! On a whole, we have lost this connection with the growth of the shoe industry, cemented homes and high-rise industrial buildings. When our feet don’t make direct contact with the ground, we miss out on true vitality. I encourage you to give it a try. Good thing spring is around the corner. Kids love to be barefoot – so follow their footsteps literally and don’t compromise your health and innate strength.
However since we can’t go barefoot all the time, all year round and even walking barefoot in our homes doesn’t really count, there are amazing devices that help us to re-gain that connection. They grounding products by Earthing! I have just recently become a consumer of their products and it’s just been over a week and I have already noticed tremendous differences in my energy levels, sleep patterns and overall well being. I have a grounding pad (which my feet are on right now) a mouse pad (which my hand is on right now) and a sheet on my bed – along with some other goodies. Please have a look at the Grounded website for more info and to find out what I am talking about! But if you want to purchase your own devices click here and look under household products!
Nourish with food, superfoods and herbs: Well this should be no surprise! Considering you are on the Fully Nourished website! This is what I am all about! So there was lots of information on food and nutrition, although I consider myself well versed in the area already, there is always more to learn. There are really 3 levels when it comes to food. The first being to make sure you are drinking enough filtered, pure or spring water, then get your essentials in the form of healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates while choosing mainly raw plant based sources for fuel. Get my book if you want more ideas on how to Veg Comfortably . Then there is the next level – Superfoods – these are the foods that are loaded full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients that are vital to long lasting health. This can be in the form of cacao, goji berries, hemp, maca, leafy greens, chlorella, blueberries, brazil nuts, sea vegetables. They are all amazing and should be included in some way, shape or form into your everyday diet! The last level is the herbals . Whether it’s in the form of a tea, a capsule or elixir, herbs are necessary for taking your health to the next level. Some herbs to think about, research and possibly include are the mushrooms : (chaga, reishi, mitaki, shiataki) shatavari, astragalus, ashwaganda, nettles, tulsi – let’s just start with that! Again this happens to be the start of spring – a good time for herbs – so find out what works for you and your body and go from there!
Cook in clean cookware: This is an extremely important area. Most people don’t think twice about their cookware. They just assume that as long as they have good ingredients, then all is good. Not true. The second you put your gorgeous vibrant organic kale in toxic (I mean tephlon) cookware – then you have not only killed your kale, but you have infused it with toxins and vapours that I won’t even get into in this post. Just cause things don’t stick, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. So investing in quality cookware that is surgical grade Stainless Steel and Titanium is the best choice. This cookware (the cookware I use in my classes) will also not “cook” your food the way that you think it needs to be cooked. Water doesn’t have to boil and oil doesn’t have to splatter to ensure that the heat is high enough, in fact at that point you are again – destroying the nutrients and contents of your food. If you want to learn more about the cookware I use in my class and ask all your questions please click here!
Sleep with-OUT a pillow: Yes you heard right…no pillow! Our pillows have become a drug (according to David Wolfe) we are so dependent on them. We love curling up to them at night, but then complain of neck aches in the morning? So why bother! I have been sleeping with my face on my mattress directly for years…but that still isn’t as good as sleeping on your side with your arm/shoulder held out under your head (if you can picture that). But the distance between your neck space and the mattress should be perfectly filled in by your arm. This is ideal for proper neck and spinal alignment. Just like with anything it will take time to adjust, but once you do this – on your grounded sheet (see home products)- you will start to notice just how well you are sleeping and waking up pain free!
Jump up and down: Sounds like fun doesn’t it! Well you can do it outside and barefoot of course…but what I am talking about here is rebounding! Getting yourself a equipped with a solid rebounder for health and of course longevity. When you rebound you are able to exercise your whole body, even your cells! Everything is targeted, working and strengthening. When we challenge our body against gravity we are also able to stimulate the lymphatic system without any trauma to our skeletal system. Most re-bounders are small enough to have in a room or the basement of your house, some even fold up so that you can travel with them anywhere you go!
Breath in and out: This is probably the most important thing you can do everyday, multiple times a day. and something you may always hear about, but still aren’t doing correctly. Yes we all breath every day, but very few of us actually take in a breath. You will know when you do, because you will feel it. Drawing air in through your nose for a deep inhalation, expanding your belly fully and exhaling your breath out (for longer than your inhale) through your mouth. Sounds simple enough, but you will notice that most of your breaths are through your chest – lifting it up and not fully taking in the air. So try it the right way, through your belly. It will calm you down, bring down your stress response, relax your body and your mind. Something we all need to live a more complete and wholesome life!
Laugh, smile and love a lot – Again this sounds so simple, but most of us can go through each day without laughing, smiling or telling someone that you love them. As a society, we are too serious. Too caught up with the mundane and don’t take time to enjoy what really matters. It is kind of sad when you look at that way. But think about how good you feel when someone breaks out in laughter, smiles at you or tells you that they love you. You get warm and tingly and can’t help but feel great all over! So why don’t we do this more often? We can eat all the best food in the world, take all the best supplements, herbs but nothing will have as much an effect as this. This is something I am learning and becoming more aware of myself and the results are profound.
So these are just some of my recommendations to get started on a path were you can start LIVING longer today!
Want more guidance?
Get my one or both of my Health-E-Books that are jam-packed full of resources and information for better nutrition!
It is a topic of great interest, fear and confusion all at once. SOY! Perpetuated by the media and others alike as a food to stay away from, with or without cancer – soy has been deemed as unhealthy and on the no-no list. I can totally appreciate this to a certain extent. But because of all the confusion and mis-information, I would like to give you some insight from my perspective. Also backed up by Dr. Mercola!
Traditionally soy has been used in Asian and Japanese cultures as a condiment and is a species of legumes, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses. Soy is loaded with protein, fat and immune enhancing properties. Nowadays people include soy as the main part of their meal. Not to mention soy has also been added to so many commercial products including milks, cheese and other packaged products as a stabilizer or enhancer. As a result of the health craze regarding soy foods being good, consumers are purchasing anything and everything containing soy thinking they are on the path to health. The issue with this over consumption of soy-based products is that the soy used in the commercial industry is non-organic, genetically modified and so fractionated from it’s original form, that it is no longer a food. No wonder cancer rates have gone up!
So it’s not that SOY is bad for you, it is the type of soy products that we are choosing or over consuming. It is about moderation and choosing the right kinds of soy.
If we look at the traditional fermented forms of soy and choose to eat them in moderation – we can actually enjoy soy foods as they are meant to be enjoyed, as a condiment, garnish or accent to a meal. Eating a slab of soy chicken or TVP (textured vegetable protein) that is the equivalent to a piece of chicken will not allow you to reap the benefits of soy-based products.
Below is a list of healthy forms of soy that you can include in your diet which are the types of soy traditionally used in ancient cultures. And guess what, they are still available today!
Even though I am recommending healthy sources of soy, they should be enjoyed in moderation. Don’t over-consume these items either or you will run into the same health imbalances and problems. Balance is key – and that goes for every type of food!
Tempeh: A fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and nutty, mushroom-like flavor. Enjoy in stir fries, on sandwiches, ground up into “burgers” or just as is!
Natto: Fermented soybeans with a sticky texture and strong, cheese-like flavor. Not too familiar with Natto
Tamari, Braggs or Nama Shoyu: Traditionally made by fermenting soybeans, salt and enzymes. Tamari is the modern, healthy version of soy sauce. So be sure to kick out the kikkoman and replace it with Tamari. It is pure, gives great flavour, you can also get it as low sodium and wheat free! Great in salad dressings, sauces, marinades.
Edamame: Whole soybeans that are not fermented, but are left in their natural form. Be sure to also buy these organic. They make an excellent snack with some sea salt! Or buy them shelled and load them in a salad or cooked vegetable dish!
On the bottom end of this list (and for a reason!) is tofu. This is something that can be enjoyed VERY moderately if you buy the right kind. Moderately can even mean 1-2x per month!
Sprouted Tofu: When buying tofu it is important to only get it sprouted. You can’t get tofu fermented as it is no longer in it’s whole form but at least sprouting tofu makes it more digestible and increases it’s nutritional value. Tofu needs to be cooked and then it can be enjoyed in stir frys, sandwiches, salads, soups or blended into dips.
There is an incredible brand of soy products available that I want to mention as they take their soy seriously — Wild Wood Organics. They have an array of products, but I would just keep it simple and stick with their tempeh and sprouted tofu. Soy yogurt and soy milk is still a packaged processed versions of soy food that I believe should be avoided. Rice milk and coconut yogurt are much higher on the healthy food chain. So choose wisely.
If soy still isn’t your thing or you have allergies to it, remember there are alternatives, the line Coconut Secrets condiments are all coconut based and can replace tamari like I did in my Pad Thai recipe!
This Arame Soba Noodle Salad recipe will be featured in my Amazing Asian Class on March 7! Join us for more inspiration on how to add soy to your meals!
Arame Soba Noodle Salad
What’s in it?
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp salt
8 oz. spelt, kamut or buckwheat soba noodles (wheat or gluten free)
½ cup arame (sea vegetable)
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp gingerroot
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ toasted sesame oil
3 tbsp tamari
1 cup chopped green onions
1 carrot grated
1 cup of toasted pine nuts or black sesame seeds
1 cup shelled and cooked edamame (optional)
How it’s made!
- Bring large pot of water to boil, add basil, rosemary and salt.
- Add noodles, cook until al dente (8-10 minutes) and drain.
- Soak arame in 1 cup cold water for about 10 minutes, drain.
- In a large bowl, whisk together garlic, ginger, vinegar, sesame oil and tamari
- Add warm noodles to sauce and toss to coat.
- Stir in carrots, onions and arame.
- Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts or sesame seeds.
I may not have fully expressed the full realm of what is taking place at the end of next week. I have known about it for nearly two years, you’ve probably heard bits and pieces but I have yet to give you the full story or my version of it!
My fiance Ryan, is headed to the North Pole in April. That’s right you heard me, the North Pole! I know this may sound a little extreme but if you know Ryan (or get to know him) you would very quickly learn that this is a boy who likes to do things that the average person just wouldn’t do. I mean, how many people would willingly choose to trek to the North Pole? I am not going to spend my time here explaining why he is doing this or what his race entails for those details you can look in his website Ryans Race.
What I will say though is this. He is doing this race for his own personal feat, but with a greater plan. When he gets back he not only wants to integrate this into his line of business, events and motivational speaking. But he also is passionate about raising awareness around childhood obesity and health. This is the ultimate goal!
There are a number of reasons why this race is so extreme. Its not only about the fact that he is going to be -40 degrees whether or that he will encounter a polar bear or fall through ice, I mean there are much worse things – like eating dehydrated food-like substances out of a package and snacking on broken pieces of refined candy and milk chocolate all day long. Yup, that’s right. That is what the other racers (all of 8 of them) will be consuming day in and out during the race. Ideally he needs foods that will dissolve easily in his mouth as he is going to be in below freezing temperatures. This is the rational for providing refined “junk” if you will, as the main source of energy as part of the race. But this was no roadblock for me as I was determined to find the equivalent amount of nutrients for Ryan using wholesome alternatives!
There was no way that the man I am about to marry is going to sabotage his body (after building it up for 5 years) for one month on junk food. So we made sure to get in touch with the race organizer and confirm that Ryan can provide his own food and fuel for the days of the race. Luckily this wish was granted – not that I would have it any other way!
My full wish would actually be that everyone on this race would be on these very same foods. If only there was full comprehension of the immense super powers of the foods Ryan will be consuming, I am positive the others would want to be on the same stuff. As Ryan will be building up and nourishing his body with living, pure, wholesome plant based energy. This will not only provide what he needs while he treks through this race, but will also ensure that he will recover and adapt sufficiently to the extreme measures he is about to endure. I can’t say the same thing for all the dehydrated, over-salted, highly sugared processed food that is actually supplied on this race.
Ryan is going to be burning approximately 12,000-14,000 calories, and this needs to be replaced by quick, easy to burn high energy foods and needs to consume approximately 10,000-12,000 per day to replenish his body. With these sources of incredible slow burning carbohydrates, essential fats and plant protein sources, Ryan will be nourishing his cells, organs and brain all at the same time.
It’s too bad there is no prize for winning this race. It is just about accomplishing getting to the North Pole, which as you can imagine is a feat in itself. But as the winner of this race, (which I know Ryan is striving for and won’t accept anything less), I will be thrilled to say that he did it on the world’s best superfoods!
On that note, I want to deeply thank all of these companies for supporting, sponsoring and supplying Ryan with the best foods I could have imagined for him to be consuming on this crazy amazing adventure of a lifetime!
Here is the menu of what Ryan will be eating during the race.
Goji Berries: the goji berry is one of the most nutrient rich food on hearth, packed with protein, essential amino acids, vitamins A and C and trace minerals.
Cacao Nibs: cacao contains a rich supply of antioxidants, magnesium and is pure energy!
Chia: chia is incredibly rich in omega fatty acids and are an excellent source of dietry fiber. It is bioavailable and provides long lasting energy.
Maca: maca root is a stress fighting adaptogen to increase stamina and combat fatigue. It is packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Ryan will be munching on this all day as a trail mix. He will also add it into his morning breakfast for a super fueled start to the day!
Sha Sha Bread Co:
Special high-energy bread: ShaSha himself is formulating a special sprouted high energy grainy bread for Ryan to consume.
Sprouted Buckwheat Snacks: delicious bites of high energy nutrients, fiber and protein.
Ryan will eat this throughout the day as snacks or in the morning as breakfast.
Sun Warrior Protein:
You didn’t think I would let Ryan leave town with out a bag or two of this now, did you?
This pure, raw, sprouted plant based protein will supply Ryan with his essential protein for the day. He will put this into his morning vegan cereal with water.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying these incredible high energy snacks you must get your hands on some. They can be found at most health food stores if not order directly from their website.
They are dried shredded strands of coconut covered with cinnamon and organic cane sugar (or tamarind or sea salt). This will be Ryan’s main source of fuel as it is loaded with calories. Just so you have an idea 1 pound of coconut will provide Ryan with 3000 of calories! This is when coconut functions at it’s best!
These little packets of contain an array of nutrients, including 1,000 mg of immune supporting vitamin C,* 7 B vitamins to enhance energy naturally, loaded with electrolytes to refuel and replenish the body during any and every workout.
These will be added to Ryan’s water to sip on throughout the day. Keeping him hydrated and keeping his immune system strong!
Endangered Species dark chocolate
This is one of the creamiest most delicious organic dark chocolate bars I have ever tried. It is pure chocolate at least 72% of goodness. So instead of broken pieces of Kit Kat and Crunch Bars, little bits of Endangered Chocolate will be mixed into his daily goodie bag. It will be easy enough to melt in Ryan’s mouth on demand, to provide a good source of sugar along with much needed antioxidants.
This is one of Ryan’s absolute favourite snacks. I don’t even think he would last the month without them. He can pretty much stuff the entire bar into his mouth. Halvah is made from pure sesame seeds which are loaded full of calcium, healthy fats and protein. These will be broken up to munch on through out the day.
Ryan of course needs GREENS on this race and Amazing Grass has offered to supply Ryan with Superfood Greens. This will give Ryan energy, antioxidants, boost his immunity, keep his mind clear and infuse his cells with pure green goodness.
Manitoba Harvest will be kindly giving Ryan Hemp Pro 70 which is their only water soluble protein concentrate. This will fuel his body to enhance muscle development, speed up recovery and optimize his overall well being. It is also loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and all 10 amino acids. Ryan can add this directly into water to shake it up on the go!
Big Tree Farms
This company will be supplying Ryan with dehydrated coconut water. He can add this directly into his water as well for an incredible boost of electrolytes and nutrients.
So there you have it, the array of amazing treats and snacks that will be infused into Ryan’s body everyday for 1 month. I just hope he doesn’t come home sick of chocolate, goji berries and coconut as these are staple ingredient in our everyday life!
I will surely be letting you know how his trek goes when he gets back. There will be lots of stories to share! But if you want to track Ryan while he is on his race, please check into
RYANSRACE every couple of days to see where he is in the great north! Feel free to contact me to wish me luck as well, as this race is just as much about me as it is Ryan!
You want to know the secret…it’s coconut. A modern day Pad Thai with pure wholesome ingredients and natural condiments. I would have to say it’s been at at least 6 + years since I have eaten a traditional Pad Thai, loaded with low grade oil, fish/oyster sauce and sugar – those ingredients are long gone from my diet. So the time has come to re-create my own version.
Let’s talk about how Coconut plays a role in my version of a Pad Thai. A new line of favourites have made their way to the organic, raw, veggie market place. That is Coconut Secret’s Amino Acids, Vinegar and Nectar. (You can order them in Toronto HERE!) They are raw low glycemic, gluten free and highly nutritious, oh… and make your meals and recipes thrive with unique flavour. Each one has it’s own versatility and use. Coconut Aminos, can replace traditional soy sauce and even natural soy sauce like tamari. I do love tamari, but it is nice to replace it once in a while. Coconut vinegar can be used for salad dressings and sauces basically anywhere that balsamic, brown rice, apple cider vinegar or any acid would be used. Now the Nectar which has truly become one of my new favourite ingredients is amazing to naturally sweeten desserts, pancakes, sauces, dressings, stirred into yogurt or a smoothie. It is light and has a gooey texture that is slightly addicting. They can all be used individually, but I decided to use them all together in a tangy sweet and savoruy Pad Thai sauce, that is truly like no other! As you may or may not know Coconut it’s recognition as a super ingredient, as it it is loaded with essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals to find out more benefits look here.
So that takes care of the sauce…but the base of my pad was none other than one of my other favourite ingredients, kelp noodles. These can be found at several health food stores or restaurants in your local area. They come in a package and need to be soaked to be enjoyed. I took them one step further and threw them into my wok to soak up flavour and soften even more into my delicious Thai sauce. I had only ever eaten them raw before this, and now, I might just reconsider when and where I use rice noodles over kelp noodles! They are extremely light and easy to digest, they have no calories (not that I care), very little flavour and will adapt to any recipe you choose to use them with. So your options are really limitless.
Then I loaded this dish with a combination of veggies that just seemed to work. Sweet potatoes taste good in anything so those went into the pan. There always has to be some green veggies with my meal – so broccoli and kale it was for this one. I am not big on tofu and use it probably once a month if that, but when I do, it’s got to be sprouted and organic – I take no risks when it comes to Soy and GMO’s. Wildwood has a great brand that I actually enjoy. To be honest, Ryan is the one who loves tofu – so the addition was really for him. I am more of a tempeh fan Then I topped everything off with some home sprouted mung beans, loaded with fiber, enzymes, protein and just bursting with crunch -to liven up each bite!
So there you have it. The secret is out. Now I encourage you to make this and report back to me!
Veggie Pad Thai
2 tbsp coconut vinegar
5 tbsp coconut aminos
4 tbsp coconut nectar
2 tbsp almond butter
3 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, grated
2 cups of yams, cut into thin chunks
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 bunch of kale, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 block of sprouted tofu, cut into cubes (can also use tempeh)
1/2 cup sprouted mung beans
1 package of kelp noodles, rinsed and soaked in water with 1 tbsp lemon juice or 1 package of brown rice noodles
1. In a small bowl, combine the coconut vinegar, aminos and nectar, almond butter and 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil. Set aside.
2. In a wok, satuey the tofu, garlic, ginger, scallions and yams in 2 tablespoon grapeseed oil for several minutes, stirring to prevent them from sticking.
3. When yams are soft, stir in the broccoli and allow to soften.
4. Pour the sauce and the kelp noodles into the wok, stir to combine and cover for a few minutes to meld together.
5. Add in the chopped kale and allow to wilt for a few minutes, while still remaining green.
6. Gently stir the noodles into the vegetables and sauce to combine. Remove from heat and serve.
Garnish with mung bean sprouts and chopped scallions.
You can get more delicious knowledge by checking out Marni’s Veggin’ Comfortably e-book, available here: http://www.marniwasserman.com/ebooks/
I have grown up in a culture that is obsessed with noodle soup, except the base isn’t miso, it’s chicken! There is nothing wrong with this, as chicken soup is for the soul…right? It will cure any ache, pain, cough, cold or flu and it must be served by your mom! The nostalgia and truth still reigns truth (and reality) for so many, but not for me. Since chicken noodle soup has been out of my life for almost a decade, I have had to come up with other alternatives.
The wonderful result of this is non other than Miso – the wonder paste that makes the most nourishing base for a soup or broth. I have been using Miso for years now. I have tried different, brands, different varieties and no matter what – you will always have an amazing soup. ( I love Tradition Miso)
Facts about Miso:
Miso is a traditional Japanese food, and it is loaded with enzymes and vital nutrients. It is typically made with fermented soy, a grain such as rice or barley, koji (bacterial starter) and salt. It has a texture like peanut butter. Stay away from miso powders and dehydrated versions as they are loaded with excess sodium and other stabilizers and simply don’t taste as good.
Other than that – just have fun with your bowl or cup. It can be as simple as just the miso paste and water, or you can load it up with veggies and sea vegetables to up the nutrients, enzymes and overall vitality of your bowl of soup. And of course, it will just never taste as good unless it has some noodles in there. I use brown rice noodles and I also like to add in loads of sea veggies. Whether it is wakame, arame or sea spaghetti.
One thing to note about miso, is that you should never add it to boiling water or water heated too high (above 104F). If miso is heated, it’s nutritious enzymes and minerals will diminish. So be careful how you prepare it!
Why is it good for you:
Miso paste is vegan and can also be gluten free (as long as you buy one that is based with brown rice instead of barley). Miso is a beneficial digestive aid – as it helps to get your stomach enzymes working before a meal. Also if you are not hungry, leave it to miso to bring on your appetite and coat your stomach. That being said if you have an upset stomach, (diarrhea, constipation) miso will also help to balance out this discomfort. It is loaded with a natural bacterial culture that works to replenish and build up your gut. It is also rich in plant based protein. It contains a natural form of salt and sodium, so if you need a dose to replenish your body after an intense workout or even if you just have a headache or feel light-headed from sugar, a bowl of miso soup is your answer. As it will ground you and bring you back into balance. Miso is also known to be effective in reducing the effects of radiation, smoking, air pollution and other environmental toxins.
Types of Miso:
The darker the colour, the more potent its medicinal properties. However there are also lighter varieties that are a bit sweeter. Light or shiro miso is great for salad dressings, marinates or just a great compliment to dark rich miso in a soup.
Nutrient-Rich Country Miso Soup
10 cups water
4 – 8 dried or fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 inch piece of Kombu
1/2 cup wakame (aka Seaweed) – soaked for 5 minutes and cut into bite size pieces
4 pieces of kale or bok choy (with stems removed) and cut into bite size pieces
2-4 stalks of celery, cut crosswise into small slices
2 large carrots, peeled, halved and cut into small pieces
1 small onion, halved and cut into slices
1 cup of miso paste (1/2 dark and ½ light)
3 green onions
1 package of brown rice noodles cooked according to package (prepared separately).
1. Bring the 10 cups of water in a pot up to a high heat, lower heat and add the strip of Kombu and half of the shitake mushrooms (this adds extra nutrients to the soup broth.)
2. Let the water come to a simmer for 15-20minutes with the onion, carrots and celery.
3. At the end of the 20 minutes, add the rest of the shiitake mushrooms and simmer for another 10 minutes.
4. Following this add the kale or bok choy. Let the soup simmer for a final 10-15 minutes.
5. Remove 1-2 cups of liquid and stir the miso paste* in a separate bowl. Once dissolved, add the mixture back into the pot. Turn off the heat and stir.
Serve Soup in bowls and garnish with chopped green onions.
** Always add Miso paste at the end. Miso is very delicate and should never be boiled. It will destroy it’s natural enzymes.
Don’t feel like making a whole pot of soup?
Just warm up a some water to fill a mug or a small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of miso to warm up your soul, before, during or after a meal – or anytime for that matter!
Have you ever made Miso soup? What goes into it?
Once upon a cold winter’s day there was a dried little green pea. It wanted so badly to be part of something bigger. So it asked a whole bunch of his friends to join him on a journey. Together they went through a very quick but effective trip where they expanded their horizons and joined forces with other friends (carrots, onions, celery and spices). They decided that in order to transform, they needed to stick together in one cohesive space that would meld and bring them all together. But they couldn’t do it alone – they needed a leader – so the called the “great white” (cauliflower) in to the mix and the green little pea had a natural affinity immediately. All stir up and warmed together – they blended flavours, textures and what came out – only 45 minutes later was a gorgeously thick, creamy, light-green soup.
That’s the story, here are the Cliff notes…
Peas are wonderful for a cold winters’ day soup. There is both green and yellow choose from. Both lend themselves well – it just depends on your mood I suppose. Green peas have a very distinct flavour and they go so nicely with fresh and dried herbs. The benefit of using dried split peas, is that they don’t need to be soaked like other legumes and beans. They simple can cook directly in your soup pot. They need a good hour or so, but they will breakdown and will blend nicely into your soup.
Ever thought of thickening up your soup with cauliflower? Well this is what happened here. Cauliflower can replace potato, flour or any other thickener that would typically be called for or used in a soup. Sometimes it is just that simple to think outside the “potato starch” box. Cut up your cauliflower into little florets they make the perfect addition to any soup that you are going to blend up or puree. They add a healthy dose of fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C (see more benefits of cauliflower). Just because it is white – doesn’t mean it lacks nutrients! So make use out of this lovely veggie. It is also a great substitute for mashed potatoes!
So there you have it, the world’s simplest soup. Well not really, but it is pretty easy, all in one pot, warmed, pureed and served!
Just toss in a bit of savoury herbs like thyme, rosemary and oregano, dash of salt and pepper…
Split Pea Soup
What’s in it?
2 ½ cups green or yellow split peas
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets or try 1-2 small sweet potatoes if using yellow peas (to thicken and sweeten)
2 celery stalks, chopped
Pinch of rosemary
Pinch of thyme
Pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch of greens, chopped (kale, spinach or chard)
How it’s made!
- In a large soup pot, put 6 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the split peas, onion, carrots, cauliflower, celery and herbs. Stir and bring to a boil again.
- Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the peas and vegetables are tender, about an hour. If you prefer a creamy soup, transfer half the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Return it to the soup pot and mix well to combine.
- Stir in your chopped greens into the warm soup and allow them to soften in the pot.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
That’s right I’m talking about ch ch ch CHIA! This super seed is power-packed full of nutrients and is most definitely on my top superfoods list. I even think it is a daily must! You will not regret making chia one of your new favourite items in your diet! It is loaded with heart healthy fiber, essential fats, protein and will give you long lasting energy. If I were you, I would start your day with some Chia!
As mentioned it is a soure of amazing long term energy, which overtime can actually help your body to function at it’s best and burn more calories throughout the day! Chia is also contains a high source of Omega 3 fatty acids – similar to flax. But where they differ, is that Chia actually contains a healthy dose of omega 6 – which makes it more well rounded. Be sure to get dark grayish Chia as it is nutritionally superior to the lighter kind.
Another thing to be aware of, is that Chia becomes mucilaginous when soaked; so go ahead and make a pudding, jam or smoothie out of it! The soothing gel derived from Chia helps to lubricate dryness on the skin and reduces nervousness, treats insomnia and improves mental focus. Also if you find you are a little backed up – take a dose of Chia and things will move along just fine. Chia is brilliant for relieving constipation!
How you use it:
Chia seeds can be added directly into a recipe, whether it is a soup, smoothie, salad or your morning porridge – it goes with anything. However if you want to soak it, place 2 tbsp or more in a bowl and cover with some water. Wait about 20 minutes, and it will double in size and you will have a thick gooey pudding. Delicious! You can also add the whole seeds or ground chia into baked goods, granola or trail mixes or use it as a condiment or garnish. I actually use Chia seeds to substitute an egg in my muffin and baked recipes.
FYI – 1 tbsp chia + 3 tbsp water or 1/4 cup applesauce – is equivalent to 1 egg.
Where to buy it:
You can get Chia seeds at most health food stores in your local area. There are many varieties and brands popping up all over the place. I am a big fan of Navitas Naturals Chia, they are clean, pure and fresh tasting!
They do come from South America, so if you happen to be traveling down there, be sure to get your hands on some, along with other favourites like quinoa and cacao!
How to Store it:
Chia seeds are best stored in a sealed glass jar. You can keep them in the cupboard or place them in the fridge – especially for long term storage. Ground Chia is best kept in the fridge or even the freezer. I love to just keep a small jar on my counter for everyday use, I add about 1 tbsp to my smoothie or cereal every morning!
Super Chia Breakfast
1/2 cup rolled oats, cooked or sprouted buckwheat
3/4 cup almond or hemp milk
1 tbsp Chia seeds
1 tbsp Goji berries
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp Raw honey
Place rolled oats or cooked buckwheat into a pot.
Top with milk, chia, goji and cinnamon.
Bring to a low simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Stir in raw honey.
For a Raw Version- Place sprouted buckwheat or Raw Oats in your bowl and top with toppings! (oats can be soaked over night to make them creamy and soft.)
Top with fresh berries, banana slices, cacao or coconut flakes!
What goes in your cereal?
When it comes to whole grains, I feel like Kamut or better known as khorasan always gets the pushover. It is all about whole wheat, rye and even spelt gets the spotlight more than Kamut does. I even notice that I use spelt most of the time in my recipes (unless it’s gluten free). There is nothing wrong with spelt, don’t get me wrong. But there is something very special about Kamut and it is time it gets some attention! In fact before I go on, something very interesting that I just learned and would like to share is that Kamut is not actually the name of the wheat variety, it is the brand name. khorasan is actually the name of the grain that we know to be Kamut. Interesting fact..huh! Or maybe you already knew that. You can still refer to that grain as Kamut, because the grain has been trademarked under that name!
But here is a little more info directly from the source:
KAMUT® is the name of the BRAND, not the wheat. One of the biggest misconceptions about KAMUT® Khorasan Wheat is that the name “Kamut” refers to the type of wheat, while in fact, KAMUT® is the branded name. Bob Quinn, Founder of Kamut International, wanted to assure the quality of the organic, heirloom grain, khorasan wheat. Under the brand KAMUT®, consumers know they can trust this wheat will always be grown certified organic, will always be non-GMO, and will never be altered or modified. KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat is grown under strict production guidelines and every field is tested for high quality standards. Go to http://www.kamut.com/en/trademark.html for more information about this like how “KAMUT” was picked as the name!
The reason why most people don’t use whole grains or unknown varieties is because people are just not informed. It doesn’t mean they don’t like it, they just don’t know. Once they taste it, it surely gets the seal of approval!
Kamut has a whole host of health benefits. Not only does this whole grain provide our body with complex “slow burning” carbohydrates but it is also high in fiber and other nutrients. Kamut in particular is considered a high energy food that is also high in protein and doesn’t cause the same kinds of problems that whole wheat does in our body in terms of gas, bloating, pain and cramping. (The same goes for Spelt, Barley, Rye and Oats they are all very similar). Individuals who are even intolerant to wheat, do very well on Kamut (but not if you have Celiac Disease). It is high in antioxidants, easy to digest and overall causes less allergic reactions and over all discomfort. However if you are gluten intolerant of have Celiac – then you would stay away from Kamut and the above listed grains all together and go for grains like quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, milled and brown rice.
Recently I have been experimenting with some different brands of Kamut flour but my latest favourite is from Grainstorm, a local Toronto company that specializes in hand milled fresh grains. I picked up a bag at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago and have been experimenting ever since. The good thing to know is that Kamut can replace whole wheat flour in equal amounts in any recipe. You will get a grainier, chewier richer texture with Kamut. you will be pleasantly surprised and you can actually taste the difference!
One of my favourite muffins to make this time of year is Carrot Ginger – they are like mini bites of carrot cake. So good!
Approx. 4 mini muffins equals 2 regular size muffins, but it’s hard to keep track they
they are this small!!
Spiced Carrot Ginger Muffins
What’s in it?
2 cups whole grain Kamut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I like to use a lot!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup vanilla rice milk
2 organic eggs or 2 tbsp ground flax soaked with 6 tbsp water
2 tablespoons applesauce
2 tablespoons grapeseed or coconut oil
2 medium carrots, grated
1-2 tablespoons ginger, grated
1 cup raisins
What You do!
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Mix dry ingredient
- Add wet ingredients (along with raisins, carrots and ginger)
- Stir until combined
- Pour into mini muffin cup trays (makes approx 36 muffins)
- Bake for 12-15 minutes
For full size muffins- Bake for 20-24 minutes (makes approx 18 muffins)
Have you tried Kamut?
In what or how?