Feeling Juicy.

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I was watching Ingrid a.k.a. MissGlamorazzi on Youtube last night, and she made a beverage with beet juice in it. The vibrant purple colour was so beautiful that I knew I needed to go buy some beets after work and make my own beet beverage!

Before today, I really dismissed the thought of drinking beet juice. The first and only time I ever had a beet beverage before was at Jugo Juice two months ago where I got the Cant’ Beet This juice. The strong beet flavour really took me by surprise, so I was kinda turned off the whole idea of drinks with beets in it. But seeing how refreshing Ingrid’s video made beet juice look, I decided to give it another chance, and oh my goodness, I’m so glad I did!

I didn’t want to drink pure beet juice, so I did a little googling and found a recipe on the Minimalist Baker (link here) for an apple, carrot, beet, and ginger juice. This recipe doesn’t require a juicer which is great because I don’t have one! I decided to skip out on the ginger because I was a little scared that it’d be too spicy (I know, I’m a wuss), but I think I’ll try to add a small nub in next time. Sieving the juice through a strainer was a little tedious, but the end result was so worth it! I diluted the juice was a little bit of water to make a cup of ~16oz. and it was divine. The nutty beet flavour was perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the carrot and apple.

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I was so impressed by how refreshing the beet juice was that I decided to experiment a little with the fruits and veg I had on hand! The yellowy-green juice you see above is the result of me combining celery, cucumber, orange, and pear together. I thought long and hard about what flavours would go well with the limited produce I had available, and I think these 4 flavours blended beautifully to create an amazing juice! The cucumber provides a cool and fresh taste that balances the sweetness and tang of the orange. The pear is a light base that adds a slight tart and sweet flavour to the drink. Flavour from the celery is very, VERY apparent, so if the taste of celery overwhelms you, maybe add 1 stalk instead of 3 like I did!

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Because I am married to the internet and love to research everything about food and healthy living, I came across Pressed Juicery while browsing- They are a company that specialize in selling pressed juices (lol, duh Amy) for juice cleanses. Now I’m all for healthy living and routine detoxes, but not when it costs $200! I don’t understand how juice for a 3-day cleanse can cost as much as food for an entire month! (Okay, maybe not a month, but at least 3 weeks!) I will happily continue to make my own pressed juices, because I for one am way too poor to afford that cleanse.

But I’m not even complaining because making juice is fun! Yes, it is a little time consuming when you have to use a blender instead of a juicer, but you get to decide exactly what fruits & veg you want and how much of each. You can decide to make it a little sweeter with a few more pieces of fruit, or if you want more green goodness, you can load up on the kale! It’s actually really fun and being able to drink the end product is so rewarding! Is it weird that I find so much enjoyment from making juice? Probably. But oh well, I like it!

Anyway, if you’re interested in adding beets to your diet, the beet juice by the Minimalist Baker is a MUST try! Beets are great detoxifiers with a ridiculous amount of folate (the stuff that promotes the production of red blood cells and reduces the risk of heart disease)  and the ability to help lower blood pressure, so why not add it to your diet?! Oh! Also, remember to add the leafy green stems at the end of the beet root to your juice! The stems are also packed full with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, so make sure not to toss away all that goodness!

Do you guys juice regularly? If so, what are your favourite fruit & veg combos? Please let me know! I’d love to try out some new juices this weekend 🙂

Till next time!

Love,

Amy

Breakfast Beauty.

IMG_4772Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how attractive my breakfast looked this morning. Blackberries, bananas, almonds, almond-hazelnut butter, rolled oats with vanilla soy milk. I think I’m in love.

Eating a well-balanced breakfast will help you recharge your brain and make it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight, so I urge you all to never ever skip breakfast! If you’re a busy body and don’t have enough time in the mornings (Which I don’t believe by the way. You always can make time to nourish your body with good foods!), try baking these healthy cookies on a Sunday night and store them in a bag to grab-n-go throughout the week. ‘Cookies for breakfast? No way!’ Yes, friends, dreams do come true.

Hope you all have a lovely Sunday!

Love,

Amy

7 Ingredient Cacao-Banana-Nut Butter-Oatmeal Cookies.

Alone, banana and chocolate are superb. But, when paired together, it’s like the interlocking of fingers between two soul mates… in food form.

IMG_4740Today I made these chocolate-banana-peanut butter-gluten free-oatmeal cookies. I know, quite a mouthful to say, but ridiculously simple to make and undeniably delicious. I seriously can’t believe I made these using only 7 ingredients! None of which, might I add, are butter, sugar, or eggs! The absence of refined sugars and reduction of saturated fats in these nutritious cookies makes me feel less guilty indulging in more than just one.

IMG_4714I initially didn’t know what I was going to make; it could’ve been bread, scones, granola… I really just wanted to bake something using the ingredients I had on hand. Little did I know that I was going to make some super delicious, moist mini cookies! This just goes to show how flexible baking can be and it also reminds us to be creative and willing to experiment with recipes.

IMG_4754IMG_4758Sure, these might not look like your traditional cookie, but I can vouch that they are equally as delicious as any chocolatey, sugary, buttery cookie out there! The texture of these are very reminiscent of banana bread. The outer shell is firm and the insides are plush, moist, and bursting with flavour.

IMG_4727As always, I used dates as my sweetener instead of refined sugar. I cannot stress how great incorporating dates into your recipes is. Per 100 grams, dates have 105 less calories, 8% less carbs, and 32% more dietary fibre than white sugar. If that’s not reason enough to switch to using dates instead of refined sugars, I don’t know what is!

IMG_4721Rather than my usual almond butter, I grabbed the almond-hazelnut butter last week at the grocery store and my oh my, this stuff is life-changing. I kid you not, almond-hazelnut butter tastes like liquified Ferrero Rocher!!! Though, I guess it makes sense since Ferrero Rocher is a hazelnut cream-filled chocolate. But you guys need to try it! It adds something different to the cookie rather than just strictly using peanut butter.

Ingredients:

(Yields ~ 40 cookies)

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1-2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup almond-hazelnut butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Place oats in a blender and pulse until milled into a fine, flour-like texture. It’s perfectly fine if there are a few larger pieces of unground oats- it will give the cookies more texture. Place ground oats in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Soak dates in 1/2 cup of warm water. After 5 minutes of soaking, transfer the dates with the water to the blender and blend until the no large chunks of date are visible and the consistency of the mixture is like a thick paste. Transfer paste into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Peel the bananas and mash them in the bowl with the date paste. Keep mashing until no large chunks of banana are visible.
  5. Add the peanut butter and almond-hazelnut butter into the banana-date mixture. If you can’t get your hands on hazelnut-almond butter, feel free to substitute with equal parts of almond butter or more peanut butter. Once the nut butters are added, mix until everything is well incorporated.
  6. Add the cacao powder and baking powder to the mixture and slowly add the ground oats. Keep mixing and adding more oats a little at a time until all the oats are incorporated and everything is well mixed.
  7. Spoon the cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. These cookies don’t spread out as they bake, so you can get away with arranging the cookies closer together/fitting more into one baking sheet.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Once they’re finished baking, let them cool for 5-10 minutes, then they’re ready to enjoy!

IMG_4766 I couldn’t be more happy about the way these turned out. I even put them to the test with my anti-health food friends (friends who think anything I make is made out of grass) and they really enjoyed them! They were surprised at how sweet they were despite not using any sugar. They also made a note that these would make a great on-the-go breakfast. The nut butters definitely gives you the protein you need and the oatmeal provides the bulk that’ll make you feel full!

IMG_4733Baking these was such a great way to spend my Saturday evening! I hope you guys give these a try and please let me know if you do! Anyway, hope you’re making the best of your weekend and I’ll talk to you soon!

Love,

Amy

 

Always Look Forward to Weekend Lunches.

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This was lunch today- baked lemon ginger salmon with balsamic vinegar salad and a side of guacamole. It was freaking fantastic; just thinking about it now makes me smile, haha.

Monday to Friday lunches usually consist of a salad and sweet potato, which I enjoy very much, but I do like to switch it up on the weekends to make sure my tastebuds don’t get bored.

Salmon is packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which has been proven to reduce risk of coronary heart disease, and tastes great, so I try to add it into my meals on the weekends! It’s also super simple to prepare- I just marinate the salmon with the juice of a lemon, 1tbsp of grated ginger, cilantro, 3 cloves of garlic, 2tbsp of olive oil, and some salt & pepper in a Ziplock bag for an hour in the fridge then bake it in the oven at 350°F for 30 minutes and voila! Your perfectly cooked, flakey, moist, flavourful salmon is ready to eat.

If you’re in a diet rut and are looking to add something new to your meals, give salmon a try. Many people shy away from fish because they think it’s difficult to prepare and whatnot, but I promise you, it’s easier than you think! There are plenty of amazing salmon recipes out there and I urge you to try them out! Incorporating this healthy fish into your diet will  provide you with a plethora of nutrition without sacrificing taste/flavour.

To anyone who actually reads this, I hope you’re having a lovely Saturday and enjoy the rest of your weekend! And go eat some salmon!!!

Love,

Amy

Lazy Saturday Guacamole

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I find that on the weekends when I have nothing pressing to do and nowhere important to be, I eat more than the average person should. Seriously, I can’t stop eating! Every hour or so I find myself stalking my fridge and pantry and rummaging for something to eat. It’s not even that I’m hungry… I think I’m just bored. I’m not the only one, right? Please tell me I’m not alone when I say eating is one of my favourite recreational activities!

But even though I’m eating often, I try to nourish my body with clean, healthy, nutritious foods that won’t make me feel sluggish throughout the day. Today, I had a sudden craving for guacamole. Actually I’ve been craving it all week and I finally had the time to make it today. It’s really strange- I really don’t like eating avocados in any form except for in guacamole. On its own, eating avocados, to me, tastes like eating a slab of butter (yuck). But in guacamole, the tang of the lime and crunch of the onion really make avocado something I really enjoy.

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Guacamole is simple, quick, and so versatile. You can use it as a dip for your crackers/chips/carrots/celery, put it in your burritos/tacos, or even just eat it on its own as a side to your meal. Yes, avocados are high in fat, but it’s the healthy unsaturated kind that is proven to help lower cholesterol levels. Also, the buttery green fruit is high in fibre and has more potassium than a banana, so all the more reason to make guacamole!

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Look at that beautiful colour- Isn’t it pretty? 

There isn’t anything special about my recipe- it’s just a combination of simple, fresh ingredients that blend perfectly together, and I really wanted to share it! Everyone should be allowed to indulge in this healthy, delicious snack! So here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 1/4 of a red onion
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 a jalapeño pepper
  • 10 springs of cilantro
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Remove the avocado flesh from the skin and mash together in a bowl using a fork. Keep mashing until no large chunks are longer visible.
  2. Squeeze the juice of the lime into the avocado and mix well. The lime gives a great tang to the dish and prevents the avocado from browning as quickly.
  3. Dice the tomato into small cubes and add it to the mixture.
  4. Finely dice the onion and add it to the mixture. Make sure the chunks aren’t too big, or else you will be experiencing some serious onion breath after eating this!
  5. Remove the stem of the  jalapeño pepper and vertically slice it in half. Be sure to remove all the seeds inside. Dice the pepper into tiny tiny cubes and add it to the mixture. You can add as much or as little as you like (Personally I think half a pepper gives you the perfect amount of kick).
  6. Roughly chop the cilantro and add it to the mixture.
  7. Mix everything up well, making sure each ingredient is evenly distributed, and add salt and pepper to taste.

And that’s it! It’s pretty much just cutting everything up and mixing it in a big bowl, haha. Regardless of its simplicity, the end result is still spectacular. I enjoyed my guacamole today with celery sticks, baby carrots and a few rosemary olive oil Triscuits- It was such a spectacular afternoon snack!

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So, next time you’re bored on a lazy Saturday and want to snack on something great, give guacamole a try. I promise you, you won’t regret it!

Love,

Amy