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!

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Immunity Shots

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Anyone who’s ever wandered into a juice shop before or maybe even perhaps if your local grocery store has caught on, you may have come across juice shots. Usually they are sold as a potent dose of nutrients in a quick, easy to toss back shot. I remember when wheatgrass shots used to be the only variety kicking about. Nowadays, there are all sorts of different kinds being touted for a variety of ailments.

I’ve been experimenting with lemon ginger variations myself and I absolutely love them for this time of the year. They’re really great to have on hand to keep you feeling well when everyone else around you begins to feel under the weather from the changing temperatures.

I’ve included a couple of extras I also like to add to mine depending on if there’s something specific to target.

Ginger is wonderfully warming and aromatic and helps with cold and flus by promoting detoxification and healthy sweating. It’s also great for the gastrointestinal tract, helping to reduce nausea and upset stomach. Ginger is also a powerful anti-inflammatory making it beneficial for aches and pains of the muscles and joints.

Lemons are very alkalizing for the body. They contain a variety of antioxidants, particularly Vitamin C, which is one of the most important we can find to maintain a healthy immune system. You can try adding half a lemon to warm water in the morning upon rising to wake up your digestion and cleanse the system of toxins.

Together, these two make a potent spicy dose that feels like you’re literally kicking any bugs lurking around right out of your body! Experiment a bit to find the right combination of the ingredients for your ideal shot.

Makes approx. ¼ cup

Ingredients

1 lemon
1 thumb-size piece of fresh ginger

Optional:
2-3 drops of oregano oil (colds/flu)
4-5 drops of grapefruit seed extract (candida/parasites)
1-2 cm piece of fresh turmeric (anti-inflammatory boost)

Directions 

If using organic ingredients, you may choose to leave the skin on. Otherwise, peel away from both the lemon and ginger then juice through a juicer. Enjoy straight away for the best benefits or keep stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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!

The Magic of Magnesium

organic, natural remedies, magnesium, minerals, epsom salts, relaxation, stress relief, stress management, holistic, holistic health, health, wellness, healthy, healthy lifestyle, healthy livingOne of the things I was most looking forward to with finally studying holistic nutrition was delving into the solid facts about the things I have read.

It’s easy to do a quick Google search about a certain vitamin or easily become confused about whether fats or healthy or not with all the information floating around out there but now I’m truly learning what this is all about. The dots are beginning to connect as knowledge flows through my classes into everyday life.

One of the first classes I took was an introductory course into the fundamentals of nutrition. This was a great class led by a great teacher full of outside the box info on holistic health and gave a general overview of the basics of nutrition. Towards the end, we finally covered vitamins and minerals which I think are always a bit confusing as there’s so much out there to know. How many times have you gone to a health food shop only to leave feeling more overwhelmed than before you arrived?

I want to highlight some of these on here and I wanted the first one to be one of my favourite minerals: Magnesium.

There’s good reason as to why I love magnesium so much. It’s definitely worked its magic on my classmates and myself during stress-y periods of constant assignments, tests, and exams. How does magnesium do this exactly?

Magnesium is one in the top three minerals that we tend to be deficient in (alongside iron and zinc). In today’s modern world, it’s hard to get enough of this from our soil alone as it’s very often depleted due to current farming practices. We also become deleted in this mineral by our fast paced lifestyles fuelled by caffeine and excess sugar.

One way to make sure you’re getting what you can from a food source is to ensure you’re purchasing organic. Organic food comes from soil that is treated without the use of chemical fertilizers leaving you with more of the nutrients intact for your body to receive. A few sources to mention include organic brown rice, almonds, spinach, and chard.

Magnesium is a natural relaxant and tranquilizer that helps to alleviate muscle spasms and tension. It’s also helpful in easing muscle cramps, PMS symptoms, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, as a laxative, reducing stress, and as a prevention and treatment for heart attacks and heart disease. Just to name a few.

When looking for a magnesium supplement, you’ll most often come across either:

  • Magnesium Citrate (useful as a laxative)
  • Magnesium Malate (useful for fibromyalgia & muscle aches)
  • Magnesium Oxide (not as readily absorbed as the others)
  • Magnesium Bisglycinate (this is the newest of the bunch with the highest absorption)

It’s best to go for a complex (a blend of them all) this way you ensure you’re getting a well-rounded formula.

My favourite way of getting more magnesium is actually through Epsom salt baths and magnesium spray. This is a really gentle way to ease into the benefits of this wonderful mineral.

I find this is a great way to unwind in the evening: Have a bath filled with Epsom salts (I use minimum 2 cups) then spray the body while skin is still damp with magnesium spray so everything absorbs into your system for a rested and peaceful sleep.

It truly does work wonders and I can say this as anyone who I’ve recommended this to have seen a huge improvement and they notice the difference when they go without.

How do you know if you’re deficient and how much should you supplement? If you’re consuming magnesium tablets, you can start with 200mg increasing until you reach bowel tolerance. You’ll know when this is!

I find it best to take this in the evening prior to sleep to help with the relaxing effect.

Magnesium truly is a magic mineral that I encourage everyone to try out and incorporate into his or her everyday life.

 

 

 

Red Velvet Pancakes

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Happy February!

A favourite day of mine is fast approaching this year: Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day)

Last year, I shared a basic pancake recipe, one that could easily be added to or used as a base for some delicious toppings. This year, the base IS the best part.

I’ve been playing with some recipes to try to create a great tasting fluffy pancake that could also be made vegan for an all-inclusive recipe that anyone can enjoy. I challenge you to see if your friends and family notice it’s gluten free and dairy free too!

These are Red Velvet Pancakes made with raw cacao, maca, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and coconut milk. Don’t be scared off by the addition of chia seeds in place of an egg. These mighty little seeds are full of fibre, calcium, protein, and vitamins and minerals. They will provide your body with a healthy dose of omega-3’s as well. If you don’t have any, you can easily use an egg instead although you might even find that you prefer the vegan version even more!

If you’re looking for something a bit different for Shrove Tuesday, or any day for that matter, try these out!pancakes, pancake day, red velvet, red velvet pancakes, chocolate, raw cacao, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, Shrove Tuesday, February, Valentine's Day, coconut oil, beetroot, veggies, vegetarian, paleo, clean eats, healthy living, healthy foodMakes approx. 8 pancakes

Ingredients:

1 small-medium beetroot

½ cup coconut milk

3 tbsp. hemp seeds

1 tbsp. ground chia seeds + 3 ½ tbsp. water (or 1 large egg)

1 tbsp. melted coconut oil

1 tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking powder

½ cup brown rice flour

3 tbsp. raw cacao powder

Pinch of sea salt

Optional: 1 tsp. maca (I love Organic Burst)

Directions:

  1. Mix the ground chia seeds with the water and set aside to gel.
  2. In a blender, add the beetroot, coconut milk, vanilla, hemp seeds, maple syrup, and coconut oil until smooth (If you’re using an egg, add that into the large bowl as below, then add the ingredients from the blender)
  3. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and whisk in the chia seed gel.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until everything is combined.
  5. Melt a little more coconut oil into a frying pan dropping spoonfuls of the pancake batter, a couple of tablespoons at a time. Cook on the first side until they begin to bubble and the edges firm up then flip them over for another minute or two.
  6. Serve with a knob of coconut oil, maple syrup, fresh fruit, or dairy-free ice cream!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HBCxMeet Toronto

health bloggers, food bloggers, the health bloggers community, meet-up, Toronto, Canada, HBCxMeet Toronto, HBCxMeet, event, Toronto events, Toronto life, Canadian, healthy, healthy living, yoga, yoga every damn day, chi junky, raw juice guru, juicingI’m excited to be sharing an event that I will be hosting with The Health Bloggers Community here in Canada!

The Health Bloggers Community is a global network of like-minded individuals whose sole purpose is to connect brands, bloggers, and wellness entrepreneurs across the world. They are based in the UK and have been hosting a variety of health and wellness events, brunches, and workshops since 2014.

They also recently launched their online magazine, which is full of inspiring content from well-known contributors as well as delicious recipes.

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This will be the very first Canadian meet-up, which will be held in Toronto. Rachelle of Chi Junky yoga studio will be the guest speaker alongside an introduction from Raw Juice Guru, who will also be providing attendees with some of their amazing products. It will be a fun morning with the opportunity to connect with some fellow Canadians.

You can find all the details and reserve your space here. Share the event with your friends and family too!

Hope to see you there! x