BLUSHBABY SMOOTHIE- Vegan, Grain-Free & Refined Sugar-Free

Ever wanted something that tasted like a dessert but was filled with veggies?

Blushbaby SmoothieWell you’re in luck because Leanne Vogel’s newest cookbook Vibrant Life Cleanse Program & Cookbook (that I introduced the other day) is filled with juice and smoothie recipes that are absolutely delicious. There’s even an entire chapter in the book dedicated to dessert smoothies. Now that’s my kind of chapter! I’m honestly drooling just thinking about all the recipes I cannot wait to try!

Leanne was kind enough to let me share a recipe with you. This recipe is fantastic because it’s a smoothie made with fresh juice. A bit more labour intensive than just a smoothie or just a juice, but the flavour is unbelievable. It’s definitely worth the extra effort. I would suggest making a double serving when you make this. Believe me, you won’t regret it.

Blushbaby Smoothie

Shared with permission of Leanne Vogel. 

Serves 1 (Makes 500ml)

Ingredients:

1 orange, juiced

4 carrots, juiced

1 golden beet, juiced

8 frozen mango chunks

6 strawberries

3 ice cubes

Directions:

Juice the orange, carrots and golden beet.

Pour the juice into the jug of your high-powered blender, followed by remaining ingredients in the order they are listed.

Blend on high for 1 minute, or until smooth.

Transfer to a glass and serve immediately.

To store: pour into a glass container and keep in the fridge for 1-2 days. Alternatively, pour into a plastic container and freeze for up to 1 month.

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Grab your copy of the cookbook here and after you do, immediately flip to the dessert smoothie chapter!!! Just do it.

xoxo Erin

HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PUREE- Vegan, Grain-Free & Refined Sugar-Free

A bonus of the timing of Canadian Thanksgiving is how it lengthens pumpkin treat season. Make pumpkin treats for Thanksgiving, make more pumpkin treats with left over Halloween pumpkin and make even more pumpkin treats when you see all the mouthwatering pins on Pinterest leading up to American Thanksgiving. Oh pumpkin, how I love you.

I love pumpkin so much that I’ve been thinking of pumpkin recipes for a while now. Unfortunately, I haven’t organized myself enough to have these recipes tested and posted like I initially planned. Ah, but such is life. At least I can say I’ve got chocolate chip pumpkin cookies in the oven as we speak. The pumpkin recipes are slowly, but surely moving out of my head and into my oven!

In preparation for all the pumpkin goodness that is to come, I thought I’d share how I prepare the star of the recipes:

Pumpkin

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

Step 1: 

Buy a pie pumpkin. This is important! Pie pumpkin is sweeter and I find it carries a deeper pumpkin flavour in baking. They’re also smaller and therefore easier to carry home from the store 🙂

Step 2: 

Cut pie pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stringy middle. I like to separate the seeds from the stringy middle so I can make home roasted pumpkin seeds.

Step 3: 

Cup pumpkin into strips and place is steaming pot.

Ready to Cook Pumpkin

Step 4: 

Steam pumpkin until it’s fork tender. Let the pumpkin cool and peel the skin away from the flesh.

Step 6- option 1: 

Place the pumpkin flesh in a bowl and mash it with a potato masher.

Mashing Pumpkin

Step 6- option 2: 

Place the pumpkin flesh in a high power blender (I used my Vitamix) and blend until smooth. This is my preferred method because it makes the pumpkin so smooth and creamy.

Vitamix Pumpkin Puree

Store the pumpkin puree in the fridge if using it within a few days, otherwise freeze for anytime use.

So why do I bother making my own pumpkin puree when I could just buy a can from the store? Well, I bought my pie pumpkin for $1.25 and I made about 4 cups of pumpkin puree with it. Homemade pumpkin puree is not only way cheaper than buying canned puree, it’s also free of BPA (Bisphenol-A) and all those other nasty chemicals hiding in those cans. And lets not forget about flavour, nothing beats fresh pumpkin.

Mmmm pumpkin….

xoxo Erin

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UPDATE! This recipe has been shared at Gluten-Free Fridays.

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES- Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free & Oil-Free

vegan month

I have been trying to create a recipe for chocolate cupcakes for months. I wish I was exaggerating when I say that this was literally my 6th attempt. Thankfully this batch didn’t just turn out, they were perfect!

Naked Chocolate Cupcakes

I like these cupcakes just as they are, but my partner didn’t think they were sweet enough. What can I say, he’s still getting used to my perception of sweet! Feel free to increase the coconut sugar amount or add some powdered stevia to make these cupcakes as sweet as you’d like. But remember, a less sweet cupcake will balance well with a sweet icing!

I decorated this batch of cupcakes for a friend of mine. She was attending a celebration for her mother, who recently completed chemotherapy for breast cancer, and wanted to bring along some appropriately themed cupcakes. Make cupcakes look like breasts? Sure, I can give that a try 🙂

Breast Cancer Survivor Cupcakes

On a side note: there is a 5K run in Toronto next weekend for breast cancer awareness (Run for the Cure). My friend and a group of individuals (including me) are participating in the race. I don’t think I ever really completed my donations page properly, but if you’d like to make a donation here’s the link to my friends page. I haven’t met my friends mother yet, but from what I’ve heard she is a remarkable woman: intelligent, strong, funny and loving. Oh, and a complete inspiration. Even though she has recently completed chemo-therapy, she’s participating in the 5K. Now THAT is an amazing woman! I’m very honoured to be able to participate in this event with such a radiant group.

Breast Cancer Awareness Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from She Let Them Eat Cake.

Makes 10-12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp psyllium husk
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.
  2. In a small cup mix together the apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup of the non-dairy milk. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl cream together coconut sugar and unsweetened applesauce. Once the coconut sugar has melted and the mixture looks uniform, stir in the vanilla extract and remaining 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk.
  4. In a separate bowl mix together brown rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, psyllium husk, sea salt and cocoa powder.
  5. By now the apple cider vinegar and non-dairy milk should have curdled slightly. Add the curdled mixture into the wet ingredients bowl and mix until combined.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  7. Divide the batter among the lined cupcake pan and bake for 20-23 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let cool completely before topping with favourite frosting and indulging.

Breast Cancer Awareness

xoxo Erin

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Caramel Corn Cupcakes

HOMEMADE BROWN RICE FLOUR- Vegan & Gluten-Free

vegan month

I’ve been on a serious “homemade” kick lately. Probably because I’m extremely interested in saving money day to day so I can afford the luxury of another vacation. A simple way I’ve learned to save money is by making my own flours. Store bought gluten-free flours are expensive, more expensive than they need to be! To make your own flour all you need is 30 seconds, a whole grain and a high powered blender. Even though in this post I’m making brown rice flour, I use the exact same process to make my own oat flour and sorghum flour.

Step 1: Add whole grain of choice to a high power blender. I use my Vitamix and added 1 cup of brown rice.

Pre-Ground Brown Rice Flour

Step 2: Blend grain on high for 20-30 seconds. The blending time will depend on your blender, but I find 20-30 seconds in a Vitamix creates a wonderfully fine brown rice flour. 1 cup of brown rice will create just under 1.5 cups of flour.

Brown Rice Flour

Step 3: Get baking! Whatever you don’t use you can keep it in the fridge. If you don’t think you’ll use the flour in the next few weeks though, put it in the freezer for safe keeping.

Homemade Brown Rice Flour

xoxo Erin

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OATMEAL ON THE GO- Vegan, Gluten-Free & Refined Sugar-Free

When I’m traveling breakfast is my favourite meal to make myself. I usually wake up starving so I enjoy being able to hush my stomach growls sooner rather than later. Making my own breakfast is also a simple and delicious way to save money. On my most recent vacation I packed only single plain oatmeal packages to make my breakfast with. Boring, I know, but I didn’t want to use up precious suitcase room on food.

Turns out you can easily transform plain oats into a delicious breakfast with minimal ingredients!

Tea Flavoured Oatmeal

Healthy Tea Flavoured Oatmeal

A travel friendly breakfast that will satisfy your tastebuds and give you the energy you need for an abroad adventure!

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 single package gluten-free oatmeal (or 1/2 cup instant oats)
  • 1/4- 1/3 cup hot water (use less water for thicker oatmeal, more water for runnier oatmeal)
  • 1 tea bag, any flavour (I used peach mango herbal tea in picture above)
  • 1 serving fruit (I used banana in picture above)

Instructions:

  1. Steep tea in hot water for 2-5 minutes, depending on how strong of tea flavour you like.
  2. Add dry oats to a bowl/container and slowly add the steeped tea. Make sure to stir the oats with every little bit you add. Add just enough steeped tea to achieve your desired oatmeal consistency.
  3. Add sliced fruit and dig in.

Oatmeal on the GoThere’s a picture of a more extravagantly topped oatmeal I made while in Stockholm, Sweden. We had a big kitchen where we were staying so we stocked up with some groceries. This Tea Flavoured Oatmeal is topped with mango and apple as the fruit as well as a mixture of nuts and dried fruits.

xoxo Erin

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ULTRA ALKALINE SALAD- Vegan, Gluten-Free & Oil-Free

Ultra Alkaline Salad

Greens are awesome:

They’re at the top of the scale for nutrient density.

They’re filled with vitamins and minerals and are low in calories.

They’re versatile, pair well with other food and are down right delicious!

Ultra Alkaline Salad

I’ve also noticed that the days I eat the most greens are the days I feel the best and most energized. Skip the coffee and go for a bowl of this Ultra Alkaline Salad. It’s easy to throw together and ever so refreshing in this summer humidity.

Ultra Alkaline Salad

This healthy and flavourful salad is packed with alkaline forming foods. The more alkaline forming foods you eat the better you’ll feel 🙂

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of kale, steamed and chopped
  • 2 cups swiss chard, steamed and chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-4 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 large lemon wedges
  • optional- 1 cup cooked short grain brown rice
  • optional- 1-2 tbsp fresh chopped chives

Instructions

  1. Add the onion and garlic to a frying pan with a splash of water. Saute over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the kale and swiss chard and continue to cook until the greens wilt and decrease in volume.
  3. Remove from heat and top with hemp seeds, fresh squeezed lemon juice and chopped chives (if using).
  4. If desired, serve over cooked short grain brown rice.

xoxo Erin

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UPDATE! This recipe has been shared at Wellness WeekendFat Tuesday and Gluten-Free Fridays.

RAW NUT-FREE PORRIDGE- Vegan, Gluten-Free & Refined Sugar-Free

When I tell people what one of my comfort foods is they look at me like I’m from another planet. I think it’s because the comfort food I’m talking about is porridge:

Raw Nut-Free Porridge

Porridge is warm and creamy and oh so delicious- I don’t know how you can’t consider it a comfort food! I’ve also recently discovered how perfect of a breakfast it is when you’re away from home. I brought gluten-free steel cut oats and buckwheat groats with me when I went on vacation  to have the one morning we were in a hotel before reaching our vacation destination. It turns out that I enjoyed my concoction so much that I ended up eating it every single day:

Eating Breakfast

There’s Em and I enjoying our breakfast on the patio in North Carolina. And here’s a close-up of the deliciousness that my bowl is filled with:

Raw Nut-Free Porridge Close-Up

Raw Nut-Free Porridge

Creamy and sweet porridge topped with juicy fresh fruit, crunchy seeds and chewy dried fruits. 

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp gluten-free steel cut oats
  • 2 tbsp buckwheat groats
  • 1 medium banana, mashed
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • dash of cinnamon

Optional Toppings:

  • fresh and/or dried fruit
  • hemp, flax, sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds
  • roasted edamame

Instructions:

  1. Soak steel cut oats and buckwheat groats in water overnight (6 hrs minimum).
  2. Drain the soaked grains and place them in a bowl with the mashed banana.
  3. Add non-dairy milk and cinnamon and mix until combined.
  4. Add as many toppings as you desire and dig in!

I don’t know if you can notice, but in these pictures I used some almonds so it wasn’t actually nut-free. However, the base of this recipe is nut-free so I felt the title was justified 🙂 In the pictures the toppings I used were hemp seeds, strawberries and a mixture roasted edamame, nuts and dried fruits. That mixture was a packaged mix that I came across while in North Carolina and fell in love with! I mildly regret not buying a package to bring back to Toronto with me!

Raw Nut-Free Porridge

xoxo Erin

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Update! This recipe has been shared at Raw Food Thursdays and Fat Tuesdays.

TROPICAL TANGO ICE CREAM- Vegan, Gluten-Free & Refined Sugar-Free

As soon as it reaches above 20 degrees Celsius I consider it summer…aka ice cream season:

Tropical Tango Ice Cream

And what better flavours to celebrate the beginning of summer with than pineapple and mango- oh my!

Sugar-Free Tropical Tango Vegan Ice Cream

Sweet and creamy dairy-free ice cream that comes together in a matter of moments and bursts with the flavours of summer. 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 large orange, juiced (approx 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 heaping cup frozen sliced banana
  • optional- 1-2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut for topping

Instructions:

  1. Add the liquids to a high power blender, followed by the fruit. Blend until smooth. 
  2. Enjoy immediately or put in freezer for 15 minutes to make more firm.

Tropical Tango Ice Cream

And that, my friends, is how you make the ultimate healthy summer treat!

xoxo Erin

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Cherry Citrus Popsicles

UPDATE! This recipe has been submitted to Tasty TraditionsWhole Foods FridaySlightly Indulgent TuesdaysThank Your Body ThursdaysHealthy Vegan FridayTasteful TuesdaysWhole Foods WednesdayRaw Food ThursdaysNatural Living Mondays, Pure Potluck Party.

 

Fast and Easy Paleo Recipes

FRESH BEAN SPROUT STIR-FRY- Vegan, Gluten-Free & Oil-Free

Stir-fry is awesome.

Bean Sprout Stir-Fry

Especially when it comes together in a matter of moments with minimal ingredients!

Bean Sprout Stir-Fry

Fresh and Healthy Bean Sprout Stir-Fry

A real “fast food” meal. Healthy, nutritious and downright delicious!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 cups swiss chard, stems removed and set aside
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Instructions:

  1. Add onion and garlic to a frying pan with a splash of water. Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes, adding more water when necessary to avoid veggies from sticking to the pan. 
  2. Chop the removed swiss chard stems and throw them into the frying pan. Cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  3. Chop the swiss chard leaves into bite-sized pieces and add them, along with the broccoli and bean sprouts, to the frying pan.
  4. Cook until the swiss chard is wilted and the broccoli turns brighter green.
  5. Remove from heat, toss with lemon juice and dig in!

xoxo Erin

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UPDATE! This recipe has been submitted to Meatless Mondays.

5 Ingredient Mondays: SUGAR-FREE CHERRY CITRUS POPSICLES (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

It’s that time again, 5 Ingredient Mondays! Last week we had a bunch of delicious recipes, check them out here. It was very hard to pick my favourites (so I highly suggest checking them all out), but I managed:

Cauliflower Crust Pizza– Carrie on Vegan

Cauliflower Pizza

I love pizza, like, really LOVE it. A crust that includes a vegetable is therefore a dream come true for me!

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Frosting– Sandi’s Allergy Free Recipes

Sweet Potato Icing

Frosting is something I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with. It’s challenging to make without oil, but this recipe does it and does it with brilliance! Who needs oil when you can use sweet potato?

This week my 5-Ingredient recipe was inspired by the weather, anti-inflammatory foods and satisfying a sweet craving without any added sugar. My partner is recovery very well (and quickly) from his surgery and has actually told me he thinks it’s because of the foods I’ve been feeding him!!! Woohoo!!! He’s even trying to convince me to make a few posts about the pre and post surgery diet I’ve put him on. In the meantime, I thought I’d share one of our favourite treats. It’s cold, it’s refreshing, it fights inflammation and it’s down-right delicious:

Cherry Citrus Popsicles

Anti-Inflammatory Cherry Citrus Popsicles

A fresh summertime treat that cools your inflammation, while cooling you from the heat!

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen dark cherries
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1-2 tsp fresh ginger

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender (I used my Vitamix) and blend until smooth. 
  2. Pour into popsicle moulds and place in freezer.
  3. Once they’re frozen, run the mould under hot water until the popsicles can be removed.

Cherry Citrus Popsicles

There’s my submission to 5 Ingredient Mondays, what will yours be this week?

Please review the following guidelines before linking up:

  1. Recipe should contain 5 ingredients or less, pantry staples excluded. So basically anything that is likely to be found in most peoples kitchen/pantry does not count as an ingredient, neither do optional ingredients. Examples of kitchen/pantry staples may include spices, baking soda, baking powder, milk/non-dairy milk, oils, etc.
  2. Recipe must be gluten-free. Bonus for recipes that are also dairy-free and double bonus for plant-based recipes.
  3. Lastly, please leave a link to your own recipe that goes to that week’s 5-Ingredient Monday post, not on this static page.

Your recipes don’t need to be from this week, but it does need to be your own recipe. I will sometimes share photos of the recipes with links back to your blog, so by sharing your recipe, you are giving me permission to use your photo and link back to your recipe. 

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xoxo Erin

UPDATE! This recipe has been shared at Raw Food ThursdaysFat TuesdayWhole Food WednesdaysThank Your Body ThursdaysPure Potluck PartyNatural Living MondaysHealthy 2Day WednesdaysWellness WeekendMake Your Own MondayFull Plate ThursdaysAllergy-Free WednesdaysHealthy Vegan FridaysTry a New Recipe TuesdaysGluten-Free Wednesdays and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.