Chia seeds in pudding

The Chia Pudding Recipe Obsession Continues…

“Also for chia seeds. Honestly, we don’t know what we’d do without you.”

This is what Tanya R. Loewen and I wrote in the dedication section of Baby Nosh, and that was over a year ago. Guess what? We’re still obsessed! Or I am, at least.

So I had to share my newest, most favourite way of making chia pudding for fall and winter. It’s gone from 3 measured tablespoons of chia seeds and one cup of almond milk (stirred), to an approximate pour of chia seeds to whatever milk alternative I have on hand (I love coconut milk best!), shaken.

chia seeds pudding

That’s right, shaken. Lazy Chia Pudding (because this is what I’m calling it, now), is created in a jar with a lid. And.today I added pomegranate seeds which completely changed everything.

(I know I’m being dramatic. I can’t help it.)

Other fun things to add are raspberries, blueberries, chopped dried apricot, shaved coconut, or whatever else you have in your fridge and/or pantry that you think might rock your chia world. So bottom line? Just throw stuff in a mason jar, lid that sucker well, shake the hell out of the contents, wait a little bit, shake the hell out of it again, and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, you’ll have amazing and super nutritious Lazy Chia Pudding. (The best kind, remember.)

Chia Pudding Tips:

  • The more seeds you add, the thicker the pudding with be. I like it smooth and malleable, not super thick or runny. This is a preference thing, which is totally up to you.
  • You can use literally whatever milk you want. Even chocolate–I made chocolate chia pudding on television one time. Check it out:

  • You need to let it sit for a few minutes between shakes. The initial shake is needed, and then another good shake a few minutes later.
  • You don’t need to refrigerate overnight, but it’s so easy to make the night before and then have it ready to eat for breakfast the next morning. You can mix it with some fruit, or top oatmeal with it, too.

chia seeds recipe

So there you go! Happy chia pudding time! If you want more recipes that use chia seeds, check out Baby Nosh or Vegetarian Comfort Foods.

xo

Lime Popsicles

My Top 10 Vegan Popsicle Recipes of the Summer

If any of you have been following my Twitter feed in the last couple of months, you’ll notice a definite trend in content: popsicle recipes. I admittedly have been obsessed with popsicles lately, and now I feel the need to post my top ten fave popsicle recipes of the summer.

Disclaimer: some are easier than others (check out my pick from Jillian Harris!).

Here they are; all associated images were taken from the websites in which the popsicle recipes were found:

1

Summer Berry Chia Pops

By Daphne Cheng; Found on Well + Good

Vegan Treat

Ingredients

  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • Agave (optional)

Method

  1. Blend all ingredients until well-blended but still slightly chunky for texture.
  2. Taste and add agave to sweeten, if necessary.
  3. Slowly mix in chia seeds, whisking while pouring to avoid clumps.
  4. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze at least 2 hours or until solid.

2

Tart Rhubarb Ice Pops

By Kelly Irwin, Found on Vega

Vegan popsicle

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rhubarb
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup agave syrup or maple syrup
  • 1-2 Tbsp. orange zest (depending on your citrus love)
  • ½ inch fresh peeled ginger

Method

  1. Place chopped rhubarb, raspberries and water in a small pot on the stove over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a simmer, then turn down heat to low and continue summering for about 15 minutes (until rhubarb is tender).
  3. Pour mixture into a blender with the syrup, peeled ginger and orange juice.
  4. Blend until pureed.
  5. Add in orange zest, then place in the fridge to cool.
  6. Once mixture is cooled, pour into ice pop molds, freeze, and leave for at least 5 hours.

3

Grapefruit Popsicles

By Jillian Harris, found on Jillian Harris

Grapefruit vegan popsicles

Ingredients

  • Sweetened ruby red grapefruit juice

Method

  1. Pour slightly sweetened ruby red grapefruit juice into your favorite popsicle molds and freeze!

4

Roasted Blueberry, Coconut and Lime Popsicles

By Alex Caspero, Found on Delish Knowledge

Roasted Blueberry, Coconut and Lime Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 1 can coconut milk (either regular or light), divided
  • 1 large lime, zest and juice
  • very small pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place blueberries in a single layer in a glass baking pan.
  3. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and roast for 10 minutes or until bubbly and piping hot.
  4. Remove from oven, allow blueberries to cool completely then transfer the blueberries and any blueberry juice into the base of a blender along with ¼ cup coconut milk and a pinch of the lime zest.
  5. Puree mixture until creamy and smooth, then divide blueberry mixture among the popsicle molds.
  6. Return the blender to the base and add the remaining maple syrup, coconut milk, lime juice, zest and very small pinch of sea salt.
  7. Puree to combine and add to the molds. (You can keep the mixture layered like this, or give the molds a quick stir for a marbled look.)
  8. Cover and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.

5

Red Paradise Tea Pops

Found on Amoda Tea

Tea Berry Popsicles

Ingredients

  • Your tea of choice
  • Your preferred sweetener (we like organic cane sugar)
  • Berries or sliced fresh fruit

Method

  1. Steep a pot of tea!
  2. Sweeten if up a little more than you would if you were going to drink it, then put it in the fridge to cool it down. (Alternatively, you can cold steep it overnight or steep it double strength and pour it over ice.)
  3. Pour the cooled tea liquid into popsicle molds and pop them in the freezer until their slushy.
  4. Give it a stir so the sweetener doesn’t end up in the tip of the popsicle and add fresh fruit.
  5. Freeze overnight.

6

2-Ingredient Mango-Coconut Popsicles

Found on Simple Vegan Blog

Vegan popsicles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced fresh mango
  • ½ cup coconut milk

Method

  1. Blend the mango and the coconut milk in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds.
  3. Freeze for 35 minutes and gently insert popsicle sticks.
  4. Freeze until solid.

7

Creamy Dulce de Leche Pops

By Dana, Found on Minimalist Baker

Vegan pops

Ingredients

  • 14 medjool dates, pitted (If dry, soak in warm water for 10 min. then drain)
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut cream or full fat coconut milk (if using full fat milk, add 1 Tbsp. melted coconut oil)*
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • *Optional: 1 Tbsp. bourbon

Method

  1. Add pitted dates to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until a caramel-like paste is achieved. If you have trouble blending, add 2-4 Tbsp. warm water to help achieve the right texture – thick and spreadable. Scrape down sides as needed and blend until a thick, caramel-like consistency is achieved.
  2. Once the date caramel is smooth and creamy, add 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt depending on how salty you prefer it. Taste and adjust as needed.
  3. Scoop out caramel and set aside. Then add coconut cream (or coconut milk + coconut oil), vanilla, 1/2 cup of the date caramel, and 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave nectar for additional sweetness.
  4. Blend until creamy and smooth and taste and adjust flavors as needed. Bourbon is optional, but recommended for flavor.
  5. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours (or freezer for 1-2 hours) for best results.
  6. Once chilled, add the remaining caramel back in in small spoonfuls and loosely stir to combine/swirl.
  7. Scoop/pour into popsicle or ice cube molds (about 10, depending on their size) trying to evenly distribute the caramel swirls, and tap to remove air bubbles. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for at least 6 hours or until firm.
  8. Once set, remove from freezer and let rest for 5 minutes to soften. Then gently pull out of molds and enjoy.
  9. Pops keep covered in the freezer for up to 1 week, though best when fresh.

8

Peachy Vegan Vanilla Pudding Pops

By Jennifer Chait, Found on InHabitat

Vegan Pops

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch.
  • 2 and 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk or other alternative milk.
  • 2/3 cup organic white sugar.
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance (vegan butter).
  • 2 teaspoons fair trade, organic pure vanilla extract.
  • 1 to 2 organic peaches, washed, peeled and chopped into small pieces (about 2 cups worth). (You can also use frozen organic peaches or another fruit of your choice.)

Method

  1. Whisk 1/4 cup milk plus the cornstarch together. Set aside.
  2. Heat the rest of the milk and the sugar in pot on the stovetop.
  3. Heat the milk and sugar on medium low heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. When the milk starts to steam whisk in the cornstarch mix.
  5. Cook on medium high heat, stirring occasionally until thick and starting to boil (about 5 minutes).
  6. Turn the heat down very low and cook 5 more minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and whisk in your butter and vanilla.
  8. Allow mixture to cool down. then fold chopped peaches into the vanilla pudding.
  9. Pour into molds and freeze.

9

Mint Chocolate Popsicles

By Miryam Quinn Doblas, Found on Nuts.com

Vegan Mint Chocolate Pops

Ingredients

Popsicles:

  • 14 oz coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp. cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1-2 tsp. spirulina
  • 2 tsp mint extract

Drizzle:

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, vegan

Method

  1. Place all the popsicle ingredients into your blender and pulse until the mixture comes together.
  2. Divide the mixture among the popsicle molds and place a wooden stick in each compartment.
  3. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours.
  4. Before serving the popsicles, place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish and melt in 30 seconds intervals until completely melted.
  5. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the frozen popsicles. Enjoy!

10

Honeydew Green Tea Popsicles

By Sarah, Found on Well and Full

Vegan pops

Ingredients

  • 3 heaping cups cubed honeydew
  • 1 cup brewed green tea

Method

  1. In a blender, combine honeydew and green tea. Blend until everything is smooth and mixed.
  2. Pour your honeydew green tea mix into your popsicle mold, and set in the freezer for at least four hours or overnight, until popsicles have completely hardened.
  3. When you’re ready to eat the popsicles, run the molds under a little hot water to loosen, if needed.

To find more popsicle recipes by these amazing people, please visit the links that I’ve included in this post. If you’re interested in learning to make fun and plant-based baby food, check out Baby Nosh (my latest; released in March), and if you’re into sneaky smoothies, see HERE.

Happy summer! xo

chia pudding

Vegan Chia Pudding: The Ultimate Fast Food

When we think of fast food, we often think of popular restaurant chains that crank out relatively unhealthy (yet delicious—damn all that addictive crap in there!) meals that are convenient for on the go.

But what if you could make your own fast foods that not only tasted great, but also fueled your body and brain? That would be a no-brainer, right? (Pun intended.)

Introducing Chia Pudding

Ok, so not exactly introducing, because you’ve probably already heard of it. But re-introducing. Chia pudding is a fabulous food for those on the run. (So, everyone.) Besides the fact that it’s insanely easy to make, it’s also teeming with heart and brain healthy omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, fibre, and protein.

So here’s a very basic recipe for chocolate chia pudding. You can add fruit, NutraCleanse (my very fave digestive health supplement), honey, or whatever. You can swap the chocolate soy milk for coconut milk.

But start here.

This recipe is from Vegetarian Comfort Foods (just released in August of 2015), but there’s another in Baby Nosh (released in March of 2016). They’re both vegan, gluten-free, and super yummy.

Babies to elders; everyone can eat chia pudding—you don’t need teeth. (OMG, that should’ve been the title of this blog post! Ha. You Don’t Need Teeth. Love it.)

Here ya go:

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic chocolate soy milk
  • 3 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. raw coconut

Method

  • Stir chia seeds into milk and set aside for five minutes.
  • Stir again well, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • In morning, sprinkle coconut on top and eat right away.

If you want a visual, watch me make Riaz from Breakfast Television make it below:

Pistachio Stuffed Figs

Recipe: Sticky Pistachio Stuffed Figs

Hey, friends! Over Easter, I was asked to bring an appetizer to dinner, and so I brought this fabulously simple recipe that my sister-in-law (Kitchen, Uncorked) contributed to my second book, Vegetarian Comfort Foods. Honestly, everything this chick makes trumps anything I ever could.

She’s amazing.

But sister-from-another-mister love aside, I wanted to share this recipe with you. Like I said, it’s super simple, completely whole and plant-based, and wildly tasty.

Sticky Pistachio Stuffed Figs

Recipe by Natalie Browne

Ingredients

¾ cup shelled pistachios

24 dried figs

2 tsp. dried cardamom

1 tsp. cumin

1 orange, zest only

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Over low heat, toast pistachios until golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly until you’re able to handle them.

While the pistachios are toasting, slice the figs three quarters of the way through, and set aside. Finely chop the pistachios and place in a small mixing bowl. Mix in the cardamom, cumin and orange zest.

Spoon the pistachio mixture into the figs, patting it down as you go. Place the figs on a baking sheet, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until warm and slightly sticky. Serve immediately.

I hope you enjoy!

Moms: Do Your Kids Have Food Sensitivities?

Hey, friends! I have an exciting announcement: on March 1 2016, Baby Nosh quietly made its way into the world.

(Note: I’m talking about a baby book, not an actual baby.)

What

Baby Nosh is a book I co-wrote with the talented and locally acclaimed shutterbug, Tanya R. Loewen. Geared towards helping parents make good choices when it comes to feeding their baby solid foods, Baby Nosh is ultimately filled with tips, ideas, and 100 recipes that are kind to your baby’s digestive system and will not promote food sensitivities.

These days, with our food supply being so artificial and commercially prepped, we’re all (including our babies) feeling the results of a poor western diet.

But Baby Nosh can help!

This book is chalk-full of nutrient-dense foods that help your baby (your whole family, actually) successfully grow and thrive the way we were all designed to. Babies and children don’t need to suffer with food sensitivities.

If supplied with the right kind of foods, your family can be 100% food sensitivity-free.

Why

Your body is amazing. It does absolutely everything in its power to keep you alive, and that is the only reason we’re not all dropping like flies. I mean, let’s face it: most of us do nothing to mindfully and intentionally assist our bodies in being the best possible bodies they can be.

Right?

But a funny thing happens when you have kids: overnight, you become completely willing to give up your bad vices and totally prioritize your kids’ health and well-being. By way of osmosis, you also usually improve your own health, too.

SO: if you just had a baby, or your have small children, or just want to learn how to make easy, healthy, kind foods for your family, attend one of the two Baby Nosh events below. If you have kids with food sensitivities, you should come. If you have food sensitivities yourself, you should come.

When

Books will be for sale, and Tanya and I would be more than willing to help you achieve a blissful, healthy home–and usually, that type of wellness begins in the kitchen.

There are two locations: Abbotsford (April 5th at Precious Kargo Baby Boutique) and Vancouver (Commodity Juicery). Pick one (or both!) and we’ll see you there. If you can’t make it, you can still buy the book HERE. xo

Vegetarian Cooking at Lepp Farm Market

Happy Sunday, everyone! On Tuesday March 8, I’ll be demonstrating 4 recipes at Lepp Farm Market in Abbotsford, BC. The event will run from 7-9ish, and will include a signed copy of Vegetarian Comfort Foods.

So sign up today HERE!

I’ve decided to post the recipes we’ll be making here instead of handing out recipe cards, because it’s more eco-friendly, and easier to find than a lost piece of paper.

Right?!

It’s also noteworthy to mention that while 3 of the 4 recipes are from Vegetarian Comfort Foods, the smoothie is from my latest book, Baby Nosh.

So here are the 4 recipes we’ll be going through, and I hope you love them! Xo

Recipe #1: Green Goodness Smoothie (From Baby Nosh)

(Serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup green grapes
  • 1 kale leaf
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. hemp hearts (optional)
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds (optional)

Method

  • Combine first 6 ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth.
  • Sprinkle with hemp hearts and chia seeds for extra awesomeness.

Recipe #2: Mediterranean Sprouted Endive Boats (from Vegetarian Comfort Foods)

(Serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 2 mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • ½ zucchini
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 cup sprouted beans
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. Greek salad dressing (Rendezvous is perfect!)
  • 2 endive spears

Method

  • Clean the veggies, and throw the mushrooms, pepper, and zucchini in a food processor.
  • Process until piece are small, but not quite minced. Set aside.
  • Peel the carrot and set aside.
  • Peel layers off endive spears, and arrange on platter so the cavity is face-up, resembling boats. Set aside.
  • Place ¼ cup of water in skillet and heat to medium.
  • Once simmering, add processed veggies (not the carrots) and sprouted beans, and sauté for 2 minutes to soften, slightly.
  • Remove from heat and drain any remaining water. Add tamari to the heated mixture, toss to coat, and scoop into endive cavities.
  • Garnish with 2-3 strips of carrot, and serve.

Recipe #3: Squashed Puttanesca (From Vegetarian Comfort Foods)

(Serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 3 cooked artichoke hearts
  • 1 16 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. capers
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • ½ cup fresh, chopped parsley

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut squash lengthwise into two halves.
  • Grease cookie sheet with half the oil, and place squash flat-side down on sheet. Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, dice the onion, mince the garlic, slice fennel into “v” shapes, and quarter your artichokes.
  • Place pot on stove, and heat on medium. Once hot, add remaining oil, and throw in onion and garlic.
  • Let them brown while pushing around with spatula for about 2 minutes.
  • Turn heat down to medium and add tomatoes and fennel. Cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove cover and add artichokes, capers, and olives, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove squash from oven, and flip over. Set two plates close to stove.
  • Remove the middle stringy, seedy part of the squash using a large spoon.
  • Using a fork, scrape the cavity of the squash so that it comes out in strips, like spaghetti.
  • Once squash is plated, it should resemble spaghetti noodles. Top with sauce and then garnish with chopped parsley.
  • Enjoy!

Recipe #4: Coconut Bliss Balls (From Vegetarian Comfort Foods)

(Makes approximately 36 balls)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ¾ cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup salted pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds
  • ¼ cup cranberries
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Method

  • Mix all ingredients except for coconut together in food processor, until well combined.
  • Form into balls, roll in coconut, and place on parchment paper or in mini-muffin cups as you go.
  • Store in mini-muffin cups in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

I hope to see you at Lepp Farm Market in a couple of days! For more vegetarian recipe ideas, check out Vegetarian Comfort Foods. xo

Vegetarian Comfort Foods

Recipe: Vegan Bran-Banana Bread

When two full loaves of vegan banana bread are gone within an hour of baking them, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve baked. I mean, I have three kids who love to eat, but still.

Sheesh. Carb, much?

I wanted to share this week’s recipe, because miraculously, my older son wolfed it down, too. (He’s 16 and usually picks at everything and comes up with lame reasons why he shouldn’t touch it. Examples are “the chocolate chips aren’t big enough” or “the bread looks dark—you know white bread tastes better” or “IS THAT A CHIA SEED?!”)

But this time, he ate it. Happily. So here’s what I did to create this little miracle:

Vegan Bran-Banana Bread

banana bread

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp. flax seed meal
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 5 ripe bananas (large)
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups whole grain flour
  • ½ cup bran
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine flax seed meal (ground flax seed) and water in small bowl, stir well, and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas then add the applesauce and sugar. Combine well.
  • After letting sit for about 5 minutes, stir flax seed mixture into the rest of the wet stuff. You should now have one large bowl containing all wet ingredients. Set aside, please.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, bran, baking soda, and salt. Mix well, then add to the wet mixture.
  • Stir until combined, but take care not to over-mix. Add chocolate chips and stir 3-5 times.
  • Using loaf pans lined with parchment paper, pour batter evenly into both.
  • Place in oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until golden brown on top. If in doubt, conduct the clean toothpick test.
  • Remove from oven and transfer from loaf pans to cooling rack by gently lifting up loaves using the parchment paper.
  • Let cool, still in parchment, until barely warm. (If you try and remove while still hot, the bread will stick.)
  • Remove parchment and serve! Enjoy!

For more recipes your family might enjoy, check out my new(ish) book Vegetarian Comfort Foods. xo

 

Spring into Incredible, Edible Flowers

Springtime blooms are exciting, because they signify new beginnings and new life. So why not enjoy them in a new way—as beautiful garnishes and healthy additions to our favourite foods?

In a 2012 study conducted by Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., researchers found “that flowers increase happiness and life satisfaction, and lead to increased contact with family and friends.”[1]

So what happens if we consume them in our tastiest spring-inspired meals?

Here are three different edible flowers accompanied by their medicinal uses, associated recipe ideas, and tips:

Dandelion

Medicinal Benefits

Contrary to popular belief, dandelions are not just pesky weeds! Each part of the dandelion is edible, including the pretty yellow blooms. Not only are they super high in phytochemicals, they are also teeming with vitamins A, B and C, as well as iron and potassium.[2] [3]

Studies have found dandelions to be effective when used for digestive issues, loss of appetite, flatulence and gallstones. They also make a great circulatory tonic, skin toner, and blood tonic, and can be used for treating viral and bacterial infections, in addition to certain types of cancer.[4] [5]

Recipe Idea

Best harvested in early spring, the delicate flowers are naturally slightly bittersweet, and are excellent in salads. Simply pluck the pesticide-free flowers around early April, remove the green stem, and include the flower heads in a fresh garden salad.

Tip: the root and leaves of the dandelion can be an effective mild laxative.[6]

Chamomile

Medicinal Benefits

Chamomile is a goodie. It’s pretty in your flower garden, and it grows easily in BC. The small, sweet flower has some hefty medicinal benefits in the calm department. Traditionally used to treat anxiety, insomnia[7], and stress, chamomile is also antibacterial[8] and anti-inflammatory![9]

Recipe Idea

The flowers can be plucked and dried, then slightly crushed to make tea. Alternatively, the can be eaten fresh atop of a salad or added to a snack like avocado toast.

Tip: if symptoms of hay fever appear, discontinue use.

Lavender

Medicinal Benefits

Is there anything better than the scent of lavender? This fragrant flower is a medicinal dream. Lavender is known for relieving tension, stress, and anxiety.[10] The purple flower is also antiseptic, antispasmodic, and antibacterial. It’s also an analgesic, a relaxant, and a nerve tonic.

Who knew??!

Recipe Idea

Honestly? Make tea. Dry and crush your lavender. Combine one tablespoon dried flower with 8 ounces of hot water. Let steep, covered, for 10 minutes. Strain out loose flora, and drink up!

Tip: Lavender is generally considered safe, but it’s recommended that pregnant women avoid drinking lavender tea in large quantities.[11]

For more recipes using flowers and other herbs, check out my book, The Good Living Guide to Medicinal Tea. xo

References

[1] http://safnow.org/rutgers-emotional-impact-of-flowers-study/

[2] Rodriguez-Fragoso, Lourdes, et al. “Risks and Benefits of Commonly used Herbal Medicines in México.” Pubmed. Web. 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2322858/

[3] https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/dandelion

[4] Rodriguez-Fragoso, Lourdes, et al. “Risks and Benefits of Commonly used Herbal Medicines in México.” Pubmed. Web. 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2322858/

[5] https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/dandelion

[6] Rodriguez-Fragoso, Lourdes, et al. “Risks and Benefits of Commonly used Herbal Medicines in México.” Pubmed. Web. 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2322858/

[7] “Chamomile.” Livertox. Web. 2015. http://livertox.nih.gov/Chamomile.htm

[8] Janmejai K Srivastava, Eswar Shankar, and Sanjay Gupta. “Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future.” Pubmed. Web. 2010. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/

[9] Renata Dawid-Pać. “Medicinal plants used in treatment of inflammatory skin diseases.” Pubmed. 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3834722/

[10] “Lavender.” The University of Maryland Medical Center. Web. 2015. http://umm.edu/health/medical-reference-guide/complementary-and-alternative-medicine-guide/herb/lavender

[11] Rosemary Gladstar. Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide. Storey, MA. 2012. P. 151.

Recipes: Sneaky Smoothies

Morning, ya’ll! I don’t know about you, but I am a mother to two picky boys (and one not-so-picky girl), so I absolutely love to slip them foods they’d never consider eating on their own.

Mostly, I do this by making a lot of smoothies.

Nutrients that I feel my children don’t get enough of include plant-based protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fibre. I also feel that they often don’t consume a wide enough variety of antioxidants. I mean, let’s be honest: when I ask them to eat the rainbow, they want Skittles.

Gross.

Here are my top ten foods to slip in smoothies, which make up the majority of nutrients I feel they would otherwise lack in their diets:

Beets

You can’t overdo these, but because beets are naturally sweet and produce a very pink smoothie, my kids are usually none the wiser. They’re high in fibre, antioxidants, and if you leave the peel on, they may be a good source of various vitamins and minerals.

Spinach

Again, don’t overdo it–and if you combine with blueberries, the result can look black and sludgy. Your best bet is to throw a small handful in with banana and pineapple to create a light green smoothie.

Kale

Same as spinach.

Granny Smith Apples

My kids generally find these apples pretty tart, which is why they prefer red ones. But in a smoothie, with the peel on? No problem! They’re a great source of fibre, with minimal naturally-occurring sugar.

Avocados

Just one half of an avocado in a smoothie can produce the same smooth consistency as Greek yogurt. Unlike Greek yogurt, these suckers are plant-based, and fantastic for skin, hair, and nails. They’re high in great fat, and provide calories to little ones who need them.

Hemp Hearts

These are tasteless in a smoothie, but provide high amounts of plant-based protein. They’re a way better choice than commercial protein powder. Which brings up to:

Vega

If you’re going to include protein powder in your child’s smoothies, use Vega. It’s hemp based, and is the best quality out there in terms of nutrition and clean ingredients.

Oats

Sound weird? It’s not! Oats are completely undetectable in smoothies, but provide fabulous plant-based protein. Oats are known for lowering blood sugar levels, and will make your child’s smoothie more filling.

NutraCleanse

This flax-based product is produced in Mission, BC, and is a total fibre powerhouse. The 5 ingredients are super quality, and it’s gluten-free. Adding 1/4 cup of NutraCleanse to your child’s smoothie every day can help their digestive health, as well as prevent future digestive issues.

Bee Pollen

If your wee one suffers from seasonal allergies, bee pollen could be a lifesaver. It doesn’t taste very good, which is why I sneak it into one smoothies. You only need about 1/2 tsp. every day to really keep hay fever at bay. It’s SUPER worth it.

And that’s it, folks! Good luck with your sneaky smoothies! Your kiddos will never know. xo