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.

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Pumpkin Gnocchi With Rosemary & Chili

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I’ve been making this at least once a week since I started having it. These pumpkin gnocchi are so moreish and simple to make. They start off a little tedious but once you get the hang of them, they really are quick to have ready.

I know pumpkin is often paired with sage and if you like that, feel free to substitute that for the herb side of things. I’m not a huge fan and really love rosemary so I add that instead. Thyme is another great choice, or mix them together! Also, you can easily use coconut oil and/or butter to pan-fry these in after they’ve been cooked.

If you’re feeling like something sumptuous and carb-y, these should do the trick!

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Ingredients:

1 egg

1 cup pumpkin (either canned, preferably organic, or fresh)

½ cup buckwheat flour

¾ cup brown rice flour

¼ tsp. turmeric

¼ tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1-2 tbsp. coconut oil and/or butter

1 clove of garlic

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch of chili flakes

Fresh herbs- rosemary, thyme, sage, etc.

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the egg, pumpkin, flours, turmeric, nutmeg, and salt and pepper.
  1. Sprinkle flour across a clean surface and taking small amounts of the dough, roll out in a long strip about 1-1 ½ cm. thick (You may need to add more flour here, just be careful not to add too much, you still want the dough light and fluffy) Cutting across the length of the strip, cut pieces about an inch big.
  1. Using the back of a fork, with the prongs facing down, roll the cut sides of each piece of gnocchi together. Roll back again if necessary to form the pasta shape. Repeat until all the gnocchi is made.
  1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. When it’s ready, add the gnocchi to the water and give it a stir. When the gnocchi comes to the surface of the pot, it’s ready. Drain and rinse and set aside.
  1. In a frying pan, add the coconut oil/butter. As it melts, smash the garlic clove and add to the pan. Take your herbs and toss them in either whole or chopped finely, as much or as little as you like.
  1. Toss the gnocchi in the frying pan in the herbs and oil. Season to taste. Plate up a serving and top with the chili flakes and extra pepper.

 

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

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I sometimes make this just for myself, roasting one or two peppers, then sautéing some kale with lots of garlic and lemon and eating it altogether.

This pesto is made with cashews and walnuts but you can change it up with nuts or seeds that you like or have on hand. It also contains nutritional yeast, which gives it a cheesy taste without using any dairy, and supplies you with protein, amino acids, and B-vitamins.

For a pasta dish that is entirely gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, it’s not only delicious and satisfying, but completely  nourishing as well. Top it onto pasta and you’re good to go!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 red peppers, preferably organic

1 cup of nuts/seeds total: I used ½ cup cashews and ½ cup walnuts

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon juice and zest

2 cloves of garlic

Salt and pepper

500g pasta (gluten-free, brown rice, quinoa, whole grain, etc.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the red peppers onto a baking tray – no oil, no seasoning, that’s it! Roast for 20 minutes turning once until they begin to blacken.
  1. When the peppers are done in the oven, remove them quickly and add them to a covered bowl to “sweat”.
  1. In a food processor, add the nuts/seeds and pulse until a crumbs form. Add the nutritional yeast, juice and zest of the lemon, garlic, and seasoning and pulse. Cook your pasta according to the package instructions.
  1. After about 10-15 minutes, take the red peppers, remove the skin and seeds and add them into the food processor blending well. Then with the food processor still going, slowly add in the olive oil until you reach the consistency you like.
  1. Drain and rinse your cooked pasta and add the pesto on top of it while still warm. Stir everything together until the pasta is well coated and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Carrot Falafel with Sesame Seeds

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Falafel fan I have not always been but I’ve been playing with lots of different variations lately. These have been one of the best. They’re great for a meat free Monday recipe and in trying to include more plant based recipes in your life.

Usually falafel comes fried but I’ve made these by baking them in the oven and they are so delicious.

They’re free of any flour, frying, or grease but they still have a great crunch on the outside, and are fluffy and full of flavor on the inside.

The yogurt dip tops everything off but you can easily have them without.

They’re also great to make ahead to freeze for a quick dinner in the evening, or perfect for a portable lunch.

Makes 16-20 falafel

For the falafel:

1 tin 400g chickpeas

3 carrots

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup cashews

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp paprika

¼ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp black pepper

pinch of salt

handful of fresh parsley

4 tbsp sesame seeds

For the yogurt dip:

4 tbsp organic, full fat Greek yogurt (or plain coconut yogurt)

1 lime, juice and zest of

handful each fresh mint and parsley

drop of maple syrup (about ¼ tsp max)

pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. If you wish, lightly toast your nuts and seeds in a frying pan until fragrant and toasted. Add these to the food processor pulsing until you reach desired texture. Set aside.
  1. Add the carrots to the food processor and pulse. Rinse and drain the chickpeas, add alongside the carrots blending until combined.
  1. Add the nuts/seeds back in, garlic, egg, herbs, and spices making sure everything is blended until incorporated.
  1. Pour your sesame seeds into a shallow dish and taking tablespoons at a time of the mixture, form balls, then roll into the sesame seeds until covered. Pop these on a lined baking sheet continuing until all the mixture is gone.
  1. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Flip them over after the first 10 so they get evenly crispy on the outside.
  1. While the falafel is baking make your yogurt dip by adding the yogurt, lime juice and zest, fresh herbs, and seasoning to a small bowl and whisk together until combined. Serve with the falafel, warm from the oven.

 

 

A Better Brownie

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I may or may not have had these for breakfast…

I’m not saying you should be eating brownies for breakfast, but you could probably get away with it with these ones. That’s because they contain the combination of protein, fiber, and healthy fats with the addition of black beans and avocado. Not only do these ingredients create a great texture, they’re providing you with a host of nutrients.

I’ve found that the key to making good, fudgy, chocolaty brownies is in the baking time. There’s a fine line between baking them for too long and too short of a time; that’s why I’ve left a varied baking time as all ovens differ. I find they’re always best baked a little underdone. You want to check the brownies at 10 minutes, then every few minutes until they’re ready. You’ll know when you can smell them, the edges begin to turn brown, and a toothpick in the center comes out almost clean.

I’ve used the best cocoa powder I can find in the brownies but for the chocolate drizzle, I’ve used raw cacao powder. It takes two minutes to make and finishes the brownies off nicely.

As tempting as it is to enjoy these straight out of the oven, they taste really amazing once they’ve been left to cool and are even better the next day. Pop them in the fridge for an even fudgier treat.

Ingredients:

For the brownies:

1 cup black beans, packed

½ avocado

8 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in hot water for 10-15 minutes

3 tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp vanilla or 1 vanilla bean

1 cup ground almonds

3 ½ tbsp unprocessed organic cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of sea salt

Optional: Raw cacao nibs

For the chocolate drizzle:

½-1 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

Couple of drops vanilla

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F and grease an 8 inch baking dish with coconut oil.
  1. Drain and rinse your black beans and add to a food processor. Drain your dates, and add them, blending until they become incorporated with the beans.
  1. Add the rest of the ingredients, blending along the way until everything is combined. Scrape down the side of the bowl if needed to ensure everything is mixed well.
  1. Pour the mixture into your baking dish, smoothing out the top, then pop in the oven for 10-20 minutes.
  1. While the brownies are baking, make the chocolate drizzle by whisking together all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  1. Remove the brownies from the oven allowing them to cool completely before adding the chocolate drizzle and if you like, some raw cacao nibs. Cut into squares and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl

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I consume smoothies pretty much on a daily basis. I love making one to accompany breakfast or for an afternoon snack. Sometimes however, they get a little repetitive. You’d be surprised how different it actually seems once you make a smoothie bowl. It sounds silly but just by changing it up to make the smoothie a bit thicker and edible by spoon makes such a difference. This is an antioxidant smoothie bowl of goodness thanks to the blackberries, which is also what gives this its pretty hue of purple.

Switch it up with the fruit you like best, and adorn with toppings according to your taste.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups frozen blackberries

1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup frozen spinach
1/2 avocado
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp goji berries
4 tbsp coconut milk

3/4 cup filtered water or almond milk

Optional Toppings: 1/2 banana, chia seeds, extra berries, nuts, seeds, etc.

Directions:

Add everything to a high speed blender until smooth. Add more liquid as needed to thin the mixture to desired consistency. Pour into a bowl and top with whatever you’d like. Enjoy!