Pumpkin Coconut Curry

Holistic Vitae, Steph Matthews, pumpkin, coconut, curry, Indian curry, Thanksgiving, American, Happy Thanksgiving, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, healthy, vegan, raw, raw vegan, dessert, sugar free, refined sugar free, healthy food, healthy weight loss, holistic nutrition, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, get the glow, yoga girl, nutrition, health, holistic, healthy living, fresh, plant based, plant power, whole foods, Huffington PostThe one good thing about the colder weather is of course pumpkin season. You know it’s here with the release of that infamous coffee drink.

This pumpkin coconut curry contains all the warming elements you need to begin your seasonal hibernation. Each bite combines the infusion of turmeric, chilli, and pumpkin in the coconut sauce and then you add in the texture of fresh pomegranate seeds and toasted pumpkin seeds for extra colour and crunch. This makes for one delicious combination.

It may seem like a lot of ingredients here but everything is quick to throw together in a large pot that makes plenty of servings to share or freeze and have extra for lunches and weeknight dinners. You can even make this extra festive by using pie pumpkins or squash as your bowls! If you’re using fresh pumpkin, don’t forget about those seeds either. Give them a rinse, lay them on a baking tray, and toast them in the oven with salt, pepper, and some paprika for a tasty nutritious snack.

Ingredients

1 sweet potato

1 carrot

1 onion, finely diced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

½ red chilli, grated

2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated

1 knob coconut oil

1 tin full fat coconut milk

1-2 tins of water (use from the coconut milk)

1 tin pureed pumpkin or 1 ½ cups fresh pumpkin

1 tin white beans (kidney, lima)

2 tsp. turmeric

2 tsp. garam masala

¼ tsp. cumin

¼ tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Optional: Fresh coriander, toasted pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, sliced fresh chilli

Holistic Vitae, Steph Matthews, pumpkin, pomegranate, coconut, curry, Indian curry, Thanksgiving, American, Happy Thanksgiving, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, healthy, vegan, raw, raw vegan, dessert, sugar free, refined sugar free, healthy food, fall, autumn, healthy weight loss, holistic nutrition, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, get the glow, yoga girl, nutrition, health, holistic, healthy living, fresh, plant based, plant power, whole foods, Huffington PostDirections 

  1. Melt the knob of coconut oil in a large casserole pot. Add the garlic, onion, chilli, and ginger and allow cook for a minute then add the spices in.
  1. Chop the carrot and sweet potato into bite sized pieces and toss in. Allow to soften for a few minutes.
  1. Add the pumpkin, the beans, and the coconut milk. Using the tin from the coconut milk, add in 1-2 tins of water (depending on how thick the curry is)
  1. Bring everything to a boil, then allow to simmer for 40-45 minutes or until the veg has softened.
  1. Serve straight away and top with toasted pumpkin seeds, fresh pomegranate seeds, and chopped fresh coriander.

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Feel Good Fudge

holistic vitae, Steph Matthews, fudge, chocolate, chickpeas, raw cacao, cacao, hormones, stress relief, organic, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, healthy, vegan, raw, raw vegan, dessert, sugar free, refined sugar free, healthy food, holistic nutrition, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, get the glow, yoga girl, nutrition, health, holistic, healthy living, fresh, plant based, plant power, whole foods, Huffington Post

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to enjoying eating in a healthier way. Many people claim they don’t have the time to eat well, or it’s difficult to do so when you’re eating out, or that simply, it just doesn’t taste as good. I think the best way of winning people over is showing them that you can actually still eat well with tasty and delicious food and one of the best ways (in my opinion) is with dessert!

This fudge came about when I had some leftover chickpeas. They are the magic ingredient in this dessert. I didn’t want to make something savoury with them and I thought if I blended them with some cashews and added in some cacao it could wind up being a simple and quick sweet tooth fix. After leaving the fudge to sit in the freezer for a couple hours, you have a healthy decadent dessert, all of which takes you no time to prepare with only six ingredients. This recipe gives you protein, fibre, and healthy fats that help to balance hormones and manage sugar cravings in a healthier way. And they are ingredients that you’ll feel far better in consuming and are kinder to your body than the usual refined and processed sugars that make up the conventional fudge.

You can change this up to suit what you like by adding some raw cacao nibs, chopped dark chocolate, or chopped nuts. Just mix it in at the end before you pop it in the freezer. This will not only take away a chocolate craving, it will fill you up before you get the chance to finish the whole pan!

Ingredients 

1 ¼ cups chickpeas

¼ cup cashews, soaked (4 hours minimum or overnight)

4 heaped tbsp. coconut oil

¼ cup maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

4 tbsp. raw cacao

Optional: 1 tsp. maca, raw cacao nibs

Directions

  1. Blend chickpeas and cashews in a food processor until combined.
  1. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the raw cacao, and blend until smooth. Add the raw cacao and blend again until the whole mix comes together.
  1. Add to a parchment lined baking tray and pop in the freezer until firm, usually a couple of hours.
  1. Remove from the freezer, pop out of the tray, cut into squares and enjoy!

holistic vitae, Steph Matthews, fudge, chocolate, raw cacao, cacao, hormones, stress relief, organic, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, healthy, vegan, raw, raw vegan, dessert, sugar free, refined sugar free, healthy food, holistic nutrition, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, get the glow, yoga girl, nutrition, health, holistic, healthy living, fresh, plant based, plant power, whole foods, Huffington Post

Adaptogenic Chaga Smoothie

holistic vitae, Steph Matthews, chaga, chaga smoothie, adaptogen, hormones, stress relief, smoothie, smoothies, cinnamon, coconut, breakfast, organic, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegetables, five a day, healthy, vegan, raw, raw vegan, healthy food, holistic nutrition, Organic September, yoga girl, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, nutrition, health, holistic, healthy living, fresh, plant based, plant powerThis is a delicious smoothie using the balancing action of the adaptogenic chaga mushroom.

Chaga is a medicinal mushroom along the same lines as Reishi, Shiitake, and Cordyceps, amongst many others. It acts as an antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, has anti-cancer properties, and helps to support the immune system. It’s wonderful for supporting the body at this time of year when we begin to transition from summer into fall and the colder months.

When you brew this hearty tough mushroom, you wind up with a wonderful tea that nourishes your organs and your glands. Being an adaptogen, this does exactly what it says: it helps our bodies “adapt” to our inward and outward biological, chemical, and physical environments. Adaptogens also keep our stress hormones in check, preventing us from releasing more than we need in times of crisis and our fight or flight mode. Overall, adaptogens provide a balancing and calming effect on the whole body, especially the nervous and endocrine systems, allowing us to cope with the things life throws our way.

Special care should always be taken when harvesting this mushroom. It’s always best to ensure that wherever you are purchasing your Chaga from, the company maintains practices that keep parts of the mushroom behind so the spores can repopulate and it may grow again.

While you can just easily sip this as a warm or cold tea or make a delicious hot cocoa with it, adding it as the liquid base to your smoothie gives you a great dose of the little fungi too! Paired with raw cacao and plant-based protein it becomes a wholesome smoothie to optimally support your body.

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 cup cold brewed chaga tea
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 Medjool date
3 tbsp. hemp hearts
1 heaping tbsp. raw cacao powder
Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Optional: 1 tsp. maca, pinch of cinnamon

Directions

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Bites

Easter, Easter baking, carrot cake, cinnamon, vanilla, cashew, cashew cheese, essential fatty acids, healthy fats, omega 3, omega 6, dairy free frosting, raw, vegan, raw vegan, plant based, whole foods, holistic nutrition, coconut sugar, refined sugar free, homemade, recipes, dairy free, gluten free, healthy, health bloggers, food blogSpring hasn’t exactly quite sprung but that hasn’t stopped me from embracing the lighter side of things and these raw vegan carrot cake bites are a total treat! Incredibly easy to put together, they take no time at all and are as delicious as a freshly baked carrot cake.

The difference in these though is that they are considerably a much more healthier alternative. A little note on using organic carrots:

Choosing organic products means better health benefits for you and the environment around you. The soil our food grows in these days is seriously lacking nutrients and is depleted by the use of different pesticides and herbicides as well as conventional farming practices. I don’t know about you but I like my carrots to taste the way carrots are meant to and know that they’ve grown as nature has intended them to.

Organic carrots make up the bulk of this recipe giving you a dose of Vitamin A,  an antioxidant that maintains our vision and healthy skin. They also contain Medjool dates for added sweetness and a dose of fiber, and walnuts which have essential fatty acids. These are the kind of healthy fats we can’t make ourselves but that are necessary in supporting the body’s hormone production, reducing inflammation, and aiding in the proper development and function of our brain and nervous system (to name a slight few reasons as to why they are essential). Not to mention, a wicked raw cashew “cream-cheese” frosting to drizzle over as a final touch. I mean…

You can put them together this Easter weekend, or make them as part of your food prep for the week ahead as a tasty snack.

Makes 18-20 balls

Ingredients:

For the carrot cake bites:

4 organic carrots

1 1/2 cups of walnuts

4-6 Medjool dates- (depending on your sweet tooth)

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. ginger or freshly grated (add a little more with fresh)

Pinch of sea salt

Easter, Easter baking, carrot cake, cinnamon, vanilla, cashew, cashew cheese, essential fatty acids, healthy fats, omega 3, omega 6, dairy free frosting, raw, vegan, raw vegan, plant based, whole foods, holistic nutrition, coconut sugar, refined sugar free, homemade, recipes, dairy free, gluten free, healthy, health bloggers, food blogFor the cashew “cream-cheese” drizzle:

1 cup of cashews, soaked for 4 hours or overnight

6-8 tbsp. of coconut milk (depending on how thick or thin you want the drizzle)

1 tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. of vanilla

Juice of ½ lemon

Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, add about ¼ cup of the walnuts, pulse until crumbly then set aside to roll the balls into later. Add the carrots and the rest of the walnuts and pulse again until fine.
  1. Set aside about ¼ cup of the shredded coconut then add the rest along with the dates, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and salt and pulse to combine everything.
  1. Take ½ tbsp. amounts of the mixture, roll into balls then alternate coating them in the ground walnuts or shredded coconut until covered. Place on a lined baking tray then pop them into the fridge.
  1. Make the cashew cream cheese. Drain and rinse the cashews then add to a high- speed blender with a few tablespoons of the coconut milk. Add the maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt and blend until smooth. Depending on how thick the mixture is, add more coconut milk, tablespoon by tablespoon until desired consistency is reached.
  1. Drizzle the carrot cake bites with the cashew cream cheese and enjoy!

Easter, Easter baking, carrot cake, cinnamon, vanilla, cashew, cashew cheese, essential fatty acids, omega 3, omega 6, healthy fats, dairy free frosting, raw, vegan, raw vegan, plant based, whole foods, holistic nutrition, coconut sugar, refined sugar free, homemade, recipes, dairy free, gluten free, healthy, health bloggers, food blog

 

 

 

 

 

Airplane Essentials

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Snacks– I’ve never been a fan of plane food (show me someone who is!) even more so now so I usually make sure to stock up on a bunch of snacks I can tuck away in my carry-on. This time I’m taking coconut chips, paleo granola bars, popcorn, homemade granola, and my favourite, chocolate! I also really enjoy grabbing my own meal at the airport from the best place I can find and taking that on board. Flying out of Gatwick, I usually head to Pret A Manger and grab one of their superfood salads and a green juice.

Water– I like to buy a big litre bottle of water once I’ve cleared security so that I can stay properly hydrated before flying. Airplanes play so much havoc on our skin and we dehydrate quite quickly so it’s always good to have water on hand at all times.

Lip Balm– I usually have more than one kicking about in my handbag and the same goes when on airplanes. I love my Nova Scotia Fisherman lip balm and I also love to take a little of May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon on board which not only smells heavenly but also doubles as a moisturizer and eye cream.

Rose Water– I really love rose water at the moment. It’s been really great for calming inflammation on my skin and keeping it hydrated before applying a moisturizer. Plus it smells really lovely and the size is acceptable to bring onto the plane.

Anti-Bacterial Spray/Gel– Hundreds of people, several hours, all cramped in one small space does not make for the most hygienic place! It’s good to carry something extra and I love this Dukha To Sukha spray (actually a yoga mat spray) because it’s multi-purpose and makes a great hand sanitizer.

Oregano Oil– Without fail, around this time of the year I tend to come down with a cold and I’ve been fighting this off by taking oregano oil. It doesn’t taste that great but it really is one of the best things I have found to take for the immune system. Any sign of sniffles or sore throats disappears when I take this and I’ve been having it everyday in the lead up to flying.

Essential Oils– I don’t wear perfume but I do love the scent of many essential oils. I find them a lot subtler and they’re really lovely to have either to relax before a flight or freshen up with just as you’re landing. I have a blend for stress and anxiety that I love from this little apothecary shop I found in the New Forest.

Eye Mask– I can’t always sleep on planes but I make sure to pack one of these anyway just in case! This one is from Saje Wellness and smells of lavender and chamomile.

Big Comfy Socks– I usually find myself getting super cold on airplanes so I always pack a big warm pair for the journey.

Books– If I don’t already have one, I really love going into the bookshop before boarding and seeking out a book I know nothing about to read with all the spare time I know I’ll have. If I don’t find a book, I often grab some magazines and even a word search puzzle book (which I secretly really enjoy!)

Notebook– I also take along a notebook to write down anything and everything that comes to mind. Being disconnected from technology and having so much time on your hands is a really good reason to keep this on hand.

Headphones– The in-flight ones just aren’t the same as pulling out my own pair that I know are guaranteed to work to watch movies and listen to my music.

Gum– This tends to already be in my handbag so I just pack some more for a longer journey; I love Pur gum.

Scarf– I love scarves and always have a hard time choosing which ones to take with me when I go anywhere! I always pack a bigger, warmer, cozy one like my cashmere one which doubles as a blanket.

Sunglasses– Always pairs well with jet lag and even works to hold up messy hair before you get the chance to grab a shower.

Tili Bag– I loved these bags from the first time I saw them. They come sized and ready to go through security and come in really cute patterns to carry all of your liquids. You can find them here.

Travel Documents– Of course you can’t go anywhere without these and they are the most important. I have a travel pouch that I keep my passport and tickets in so they’re easy to access.

I know all of this seems like a lot but it really isn’t when it’s all packed and in your bag. Traveling between the UK and Canada no longer feels like a huge trek to me and I find having these items tides me over and keeps me happy on my journey until I arrive at my destination.

 

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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These cookies though. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to a classic chocolate chip cookie, this should do the trick! Not only are these free from any flour or refined sugar, they can also be made vegan (substituting butter for coconut oil) and still taste amazing! Super simple to put together, they bake up in a matter of minutes for a satisfying chocolate treat.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups oats (gluten-free if necessary)

1 cup organic shredded coconut

1 cup coconut sugar

1/3 cup organic grass-fed butter or coconut oil

3 tbsp almond milk (or coconut, oat, etc.)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of sea salt

100g organic dark chocolate, chopped (80% or higher; I used 90%)

Directions:

1. Preheat over to 350°F. Add the oats to a food processor and blend until they make a flour. Add the shredded coconut and allow it to blend with the oats for a few pulses.

2. Tip the oats and coconut into a large bowl and add the coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla, stirring to combine.

3. In a small saucepan on the stove, melt the butter or coconut oil on a low heat. Allow this to cool slightly.

4. Add the melted butter/coconut oil to the dry ingredients and mix together. Fold in the chocolate.

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and take tablespoon amounts of the mixture to make the cookies. Leave about 2 inches between each cookie to allow space for them to spread.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes then allow to cool before indulging!

This recipe makes approximately 28 cookies. They’ll keep for a week in a sealed container (if they last that long!)

Night to Day Oats

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My recipe for overnight oats which I’m loving for breakfast at the moment. I’ve been eating them a few times a week for months now but they are currently being consumed pretty much on a daily basis!

Sometimes after I wake up I don’t feel like eating straight away. Or if I practice yoga first thing, I’m really hungry by the time I finish and want to eat something RIGHT after. Overnight oats work in both cases. They are one of the easiest things to prepare and they’re ready whenever you want them for breakfast.

This version is chocolate with berries but it’s easily adaptable to your liking. Enjoy this without the raw cacao and make it vanilla. Add nuts or granola with different fruit. Try adding some shredded coconut or superfoods such as maca. Making it with chocolate actually seems like you’re having dessert for breakfast and who wouldn’t like that?

The first three ingredients are your base. From there, it truly is endless so experiment with different flavour combinations as you see fit.

Ingredients:

1 cup of oats

1 cup almond milk (coconut milk, rice milk, etc.)

¼ cup filtered water

Toppings & Add-ins:

1 tsp vanilla or ½ vanilla pod

1 tbsp raw cacao

1 tbsp maca

½ -1 tbsp maple syrup (date syrup, honey, coconut sugar)

Nut butter

Shredded coconut

Granola

Nuts & seeds (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower, pumpkin, etc.)

Fresh fruit (berries, banana, orange slices)

Directions:

Simply add the oats and your choice of milk to a bowl, mix together, and leave overnight in the fridge. When ready to eat, remove the bowl from the fridge, mix again, and add your toppings. I love mine with the raw cacao, a little maple syrup, sprinkling of chia seeds, cacao nibs, and frozen raspberries.

P.S. You can make this in a mason jar and take it with you on the go in the morning for your commute or to eat at your desk!