Seven Ingredient Chunky Monkey Superfood Cookies

Craving a cookie after all of the sweet treat teasing we’ve been through this week?

In the name of guilt free and bakery’s, these cookies can be whipped up in minutes, are soft, chewy and naturally sweet.

  • With cookies, chocolate chip in particular, being one of the all time most popular desserts, these Chunky Monkey Cookies forego all of the classic wheat, sugars, corn starch and dairy so that I can give you full, nutritionist approved permission to go right ahead and even eat the batter!

In  conclusion to a week of sweet talking, these are your bite sized, guilt free indulgences to treat yourself to today.

 chunky monkey

3 Reasons To Go Banana’s

1. Flour free & refined sugar-free
  • Completely free of refined flours and sugars which are devoid of nutrients and spike our blood sugar with a subsequent crash. Ever felt the sudden rise of energy directly after eating sweets, only to be caught snoozing with you head on the table the next? That’s your blood sugar talking!
  • Instead of refined sugars, we owe this cookies sweetness to the whole food; bananas. Where 12 grams of of sugar are in just one tablespoon of table sugar, a quarter cup of mashed banana contains less than 7 grams!
  • Quick tip: making sure they are brown and spotted is to ensure that they are more alkaline to the body and make a sweeter cookie.
2) Makes just 4 a batch
  • Portion control at its finest! Most cookie recipes make around 2-3 dozen cookies, a lot of temptation to have hanging around in reuseable food containers on the countertops. 4 cookies makes just enough for you to enjoy without going overboard.
3) 7 Wholefood ingredients
  • All of which you are more than likely to have as staples in your holistic cabinet. With just seven, wholesome ingredients and minimal time to make, these are easy to whip up whenever you have a craving for a sweet treat.

Chunky Monkey Superfood Cookies

Adventure level: 2/5

Yields 4 cookies per batch

Ingredients:

  • 1 mashed banana
    • Making sure its ripe and spotted brown to ensure sweetness!
  • 1/4 C gluten-free rolled oats (I like Bob Redmills)
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened coconut flakes
    • Also look for sulphite free
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Sprinkling of sea salt
  • Handful of gogi berries, dark chocolate chips or crushed pecans (I used a combo of all three!)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Combine all ingredients together, mixing well
  • Spoon onto a baking sheet forming cookie shapes and gently flatten the top
  • Bake 15-20 minutes, let cool 10 minutes

Cookies that aren’t monkeying around on taste or nutrition, enjoy!

Suzanne Eden

Restaurant In Review // Kelly’s Bake Shoppe; Burlington, ON

This is love at first bite.

It’s not everyday that you stumble upon a bakery brimming with your holistic morals. So in the name of bringing you the most intimate reviews, I had to savour as many goodies as possible… for quality assurance purposes of course!

Kellys bake shop

Located in downtown Burlington, these tasty creations are designed to be dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, butter-free, casein-free, preservative-free, peanut-free, vegan and composed of organic, fair-trade ingredients, with natural colours sourced from flower petals.

Here is where you realise that real ingredients are cause for real flavour!

hiking

This Saturday marked my third trip to the bakery after reading that they served chocolate vanilla swirl soft serve! Something that I haven’t had since my days of dairy cones and summer road trips. So we made our own excursion to scout out Burlington boutiques, stroll the pier with our dairy-free ice cream and steal a few treats for our late night hike up the escarpment to catch the sunset (and a few mosquito bites in the process).

From decadent brownies to rich raspberry squares, wether or not you are near the area to be tempted into this adorable cafe, or looking for inspiration to whip yourself up a deliciously wholesome treat tonight,  allow me to give you a sneak peek into the whimsical world of Kelly’s Bake Shoppe!

kellys

The Bakery

  •  Surrounded by charming boutiques and outdoor gardens, Kelly’s Bake Shoppe is hard to miss from the swarms of health food and dessert enthusiasts alike. Created by a dynamic mother-daughter duo, it is evident the ingredients of love and passion are infused in every nook and cranny. From witty puns of sweet desserts, decorated with fragrant flowers, and the inviting and inspirational atmosphere begging to be every bloggers second home.
happiness
  • Stepping inside, you are welcomed to the smiles of exuberant employees (the sign of a passionate business), and the sounds of chatting customers and steaming of coconut milk cappuccinos. And then you feast your eyes on the line up of freshly baked goods scattered neatly along the countertops…
Muffins

The Decadent Desserts

You will be uprooted in a swirl of tempting treats, gawking at all of the possibilities and lost in a sea of frosting and donuts and soft serve but this is my MUST have for you: Snag yourself a triple fudge brownie! Rich, indulgent  and layered with a  creamy spread of chocolate frosting, their brownies crept their way into my dreams after my first stop here last year. If you love chocolate (and who doesn’t!) make this your go to.

triple fudge brownie

Now this Saturday, as any chocolate enthusiast would understand, it was a daring decision to trade in my usual brownie for a Raspberry Coconut Square, but this treat could make ANY chocoholic question their loyalty. It’s sweet, fruity, filled with raspberry jam and topped with golden toasted coconut. It is heavenly.

I have also had the pleasure of indulging in their Skinny Cookie which we bought to split over our soft serve. This one being geared as a breakfast cookie as it is entirely flour free and based with roasted bananas, oats and sunflower butter. The World Peace Cookie was also tasty when savoured with a coconut milk latte back when I first visited in the fall.
raspberry bar

What To Watch Out For

  •  In all of my chocolate-vanilla-swirl-soft-serve excitement, I failed to notice that it was based in soy. So though, yes, they do have soy-free options here, that does not mean that everything is soy-free. They do have binders to check all ingredients for you and are more than happy to answer any of your questions about your personal dietary needs.
soft serve
  • Though they are renowned for their cupcakes, many of these are extremely indulgent with some sporting their own donuts on top of a mountain of frosting. Though too much for me, they would make a good treat to split if you wanted to try one. Their award-winning Mile High Brownie is also something that I have not tried as that, too, is far too much for me, but I have a funny feeling that nobody would mind sharing 🙂
muriel

A Place For Non-Health Nuts?

Absolutely! These desserts taste far better than any gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar and artificial baked goods. Truly. And the best part is that these treats, savoured in moderation, won’t leave your stomach in an uproar and your head in a fog. Bring your unassuming guinea pigs here, while shielding their eyes from the health food signs, and I guarantee you, they would never suspect a thing!

Want to try these for yourself?

Kelly’s Bake Shoppe and I are teaming up to give one of you a free cupcake and $25 gift card! Follow @lifeofeden and @kellysbake on Instagram to find out how you could win!
cupcakes
I can just image more of these health conscious cafés cropping up in towns and cities over the years, with many more of my reviews to inevitably follow in their footsteps, but those footsteps will have some big shoes to fill!
A sweet, gracious thank you to Kelly’s Bake Shoppe for your exceptional service, inviting atmosphere and dream inducing desserts. I’m sure I will be paying your bakery another visit very soon!
Sweet dreams of decadent desserts,
Suzanne Eden

Manifest Monday // 5 Bites To A Guilt-Free Week With Lemon Meringue Pie

Birthday meals have always varied but there is one thing that’s remained the same these past few years and that’s my absolute favourite dessert of lemon meringue pie! Baked fresh by my mother, sweetened with nothing but love (no refined sugars at all right? 😉 )  and topped with a light and fluffy layer of golden peaked meringue, it is to die for and no lifestyle would have me denying you this basic human right to a homemade lemon meringue. That is simply unethical. But understanding our relationship to food and how to best indulge is the key to holistic success and exactly what we’re taking a sweet little bite into this morning!
First, let me ask you this:
What was the last thing you ate that you felt guilty about?
  • Perhaps it was candy, ice cream, potato chips, cake, pastries or fast food as these were the top guilt inducing foods according to a survey published in Appetite in 2009. Or perhaps it was a late night binge or a craving you succumbed to.  Whatever it was for you, let yourself off the hook!
The  one thing I would never want you do is become afraid of food or to associate food with guilt. Food can greatly enrich our lives and make us feel AMAZING! But nothing in life is so serious that we should be experiencing feelings of guilt, regret or self sabotaging thoughts over it and if you do, redirect your thoughts to being grateful for what you ate instead.
lemon pie
  • The other day I was listening to a Tony Robbins podcast where he spoke about how for years he was meticulous and adamantly strict with his diet until his wife came into the picture. A nutritionist who savoured greens juices and salads until one day they went out and she ordered a hot fudge sundae. The voice of a shocked Tony Robbins was comical to hear but when he asked “what are you doing?!” she replied; “living you bastard!” Brilliant.
  •  Now, a hot fudge sundae is not on my list of indulgences. The sheer thought of dairy to someone who is lactose intolerant is simply, well… intolerable. But at the Canada Day carnival a few weeks ago, though my friend graciously offered to eat the candy off a candy apple for me  or lick off the butter and salt and give me the popcorn kernels, instead we walked up to the local shops and found dairy free sherbet. A rainbow of sugars and food dyes and who knows what else and you know what? Who cares! I almost always travel prepared with food but when in doubt, I pick the best thing I can scavenge and savour every last bite of it.
gelato
Food is wonderful! It is nourishing, empowering and, of course, tasty. But we don’t want it to consume our thoughts. When we obsess over everything we eat, we create stress in our body and this will negatively impact what it is that we are eating. You know how to intuitively listen to your body and give it what it needs, that is all you need. Now you can heave a sigh of relief, relax and enjoy your treat!

5 go-to tips to enjoying every bite!

 1) Think of food as an experience
  • Food is not “good” or “bad,” that’s our labeling of it. Food is an experience. Like all experiences in life, they come with consequences and so if it is a consequence we like, we choose to have that experience again. Likewise if the result was something that we did not like, we choose to avoid it the next time. Don’t like the way you felt after have that ice-cream cone or slice of cake? Remember that and chose to steer clear of it the next time. Instead of being a bad experience, it was a learning experience and one that progressed your health rather than diminished it.
2) Forbid the Forbidden
  •  The mindset of guilt can, in fact, heighten the pleasure of an experience. Think about this for a moment; if drinking was entirely acceptable, would it have been as appealing to you growing up? The same is true for foods. We tend to associate “forbidden” foods with delicious foods and so when we experience guilt, we think that the food must be delicious and we anticipate more pleasure. See the issue?
  • Instead of thinking of “forbidden foods”, recognise that it is simply food and is there for you anytime if you choose. Taking the labeling away from food takes the power back from your plate and puts into your hands.
3) When applicable; Make it as healthy as possible
  •  Choose the healthiest option you can. Neither dairy nor gluten work for me, so even with treats, I avoid these except for the odd thing once or twice a year (or Paris! French baguettes and real, authentic goats cheese beg for a little splurge). For the lemon meringue pie we used a store-bought gluten-free crust mix that, although had some ingredients I normally stay away from, it was a far cry from gluten and something I could feel good in treating myself to!
4) Savour it and be present
  • Really taste your food. Pick out the flavours, notice the textures. This is the difference between mindlessly scorfing down food without experiencing it vs truly being present to savour it. Closing your eyes removes one of our key senses thereby heightening the others, including taste. Take your time and chew at least 35-40 times which will allow for the optimal digestion of our food to reduce stomach pains of indigestion.
  • Bonus: Doing both of these will help us to feel satisfied faster, enabling us to need smaller portion sizes than what we would if we were gulping it down fast.
5) Keep on track the remainder of the day – to treat yourself is not to cheat yourself!
  • Eating a cookie does not mean that the rest of the day has gone to crumbs, quite the opposite! Instead, enjoy the treat and balance it with awesome and healthy meals the rest of the day.
  • If feeling a post treat guilt trip creep in, do something particularly cleansing. Perhaps you will drink lemon water or drink a green smoothie or balance it with a salad. You may even try oil pulling or soak in a bath. Whatever it is to remind yourself that you are taking care of your body and nourishing yourself.

~*~

Wellness Weekly Challenge;
  • Don’t get so hell-bent on your diet that you forget that food is just, well… Food! Let food enrich your life, not restrict your life. I  adore whole, energizing foods that make me feel amazing and have healed me for years and every now and again a night at the carnival, a good dose of Giddy Yoyo dark chocolate (my favourite!), and a slice of homemade lemon meringue pie.  I LOVE food, and it can be used to make our lives, well, come to life! But always remember that it’s not about restricting or guilt, it’s about experiencing it and having fun with it, all of it!
  • This week; be present with your food and treat it as a gift. What you ate in the past is in the past! Let that go, move forward, enjoy your food, experience and implement these strategies to drop any guilt and replace it with self-love and the experience of learning what works for your body.

 

Savouring our own holistic slices of lemon meringue,
Suzanne Eden

 

 

Shark Weeks 6 Ways to Make Waves In Our Health And The Health Of Sharks

Whoever considered that soup could be a deadly concoction to both human beings of land and majestic creatures of the ocean? Or that liver oils and aphrodisiacs could heighten your mood but deflate a 4,000 pound predator of the deep?

~*~

With thoughts of shark week, holistic health may very well not be the first thing to swim into your mind (or even the last thing for that matter), but our everyday lifestyle choices affect the health of sharks just as much as they affect ours. These impressive creatures have been swimming the oceans for over 400 million years (100 million years before the first dinosaurs appeared on land) and have been contributing to the delicate interplay of our oceanic ecosystems ever since.

They are integral to our oceans and though recent news has surfaced with shark attacks on the rise, the shark population is on the decline, with Green Peace reporting that some species have declined over 95% in the last decade. The empowering news is that we DO have the power to protect these predators and much of it takes place on our plates!

jelly

Random FACTS of kindness:
Most shark species are docile and couldn’t give a shark’s fin about humans. What they DO care about is feeding their enormous bodies with seals which we so conveniently resemble as we’re floating in the water. Most shark attacks are not fatal because, just as you would a mushy apple, a shark takes one bite, realises we’re not what it thought we were and spits us out.  The unfortunate thing is that on the  jaws of a standard shark, this “test bite” is pretty substantial. But all things considered, sharks are really wonderful creatures and an important part of the sea. Turns out we don’t need to be as afraid of sharks as we should be afraid for them.

In honour of shark week, let me take you on a dive into the 6 ways that we can make waves in our health and the health of our sharks!

1) From bait to plate: Do not eat shark. EVER.

  • Have you ever tried shark? If not, you are missing out on one of the greatest sources of mercury you could eat from the sea! Sound appetizing? I have never been one to turn down a strange food experience but this would be one of them. With extremely high levels of mercury contamination and inhumane killing practises, we’re swimming in over our heads with each bite.
  • Mercury is a neurotoxin to both humans and animals and found in extremely high amounts in sharks. Pollution has dramatically increased the amount of mercury found in our water with The Whole Life Nutrition book stating that the top 100 meters of the ocean now has twice as much mercury as it did in the previous century. The larger and fattier the animal, the more this accumulates in the tissues with up to 9 million times the amount that’s found in the water, according to Mercola.
  • Predatorial fish (such as sharks) now contain 12 times the mercury they did during pre-industrial times. Why such large amounts? Sharks, being top-of-the-food-chain creatures, are eating other fish that are already contaminated, which causes the mercury to accumulate within their bodies. When we eat them, that mercury will accumulate in us.

Beware that shark can be disguised under other names such as flake, rock salmon, dog-fish, rigg or rock eel.

  • In Asia, shark fin soup is a delicacy but an indelicacy to sharks, who are cruelly killed for their fins (utilizing only 1-5% of the shark’s body weight) with the rest of their bodies being discarded back into the ocean (often with the shark still alive and left to bleed to death). The fresh fins can fish prices of up to $400 / kilogram according to wildaid.org.

RFOK (random facts of kindness):

Even with those tell-tale razor sharp teeth, sharks don’t actually chew their food but rather swallow them. As for us, we need to chew our food around 30-40 times for optimal digestion!

shark tank
2. Some-things a little fishy: Eat sustainably caught fish

  • So you’re not eating shark, but what about your everyday seafood choices such as fish? Turns out over half the amount of sharks caught each year are done through by-catch while attempting to catch other fish such as squid, tuna, and other commercial species.
  • This way of farming or fishing doesn’t jeopardize the health of our oceans and is an easy and effective way to make a change each and every time you purchase seafood. To find sustainably caught sea food, follow this link which will give you access to consumer guides, downloadable apps and even lets you compare you favourite sushi! http://www.seafoodwatch.org/

RFOK: We aren’t the only ones who like variety in our seafood! In captivity sharks will refuse to eat if they have eaten the same thing too many times.

3. Hooked on health: Choose shark-healthy health products

  • There are unfortunately a few health care products utilizing components of shark. Some of these include aphrodisiacs, shark liver oil, arthritis and cancer prevention products that use shark cartilage. The effectiveness of these supplements is backed up by very little, if any, scientific facts. Stay away from the use of any of these products, especially with the potential risks of contamination that appears in sharks.

RFOK: Speaking of aphrodisiacs, female sharks have thicker skin, as males have to bite the females while mating. Due to the fact that they heal rapidly, bite marks on a female shark is a telltale sign that you’ve found their mating grounds.

deep blue

4. Give them a High Fin!

  • Flying can impact our deep-sea diving friends! This is one tip I “flew” with after reading it on the Discovery shark week website. Many shark fins are transported via airplane and choosing airlines that refuse these practises is a simple way to hop on board and take a stand as you take your seat.

RFOK;
Sharks move like airplanes by creating forward movements with their tails (like propellers) so that water moves over their fins like wings.

5. Adopt a shark!

  • Now, I am certainly not encouraging you to strap on your scuba gear and dive into a swarm of hungry sharks with your adoption agency papers looking for the right one to bring home to your living room aquarium. On the other hand, or fin, there are many organizations such as WWF, that allow you to “adopt” an animal, thereby donating to the protection of that species. This makes a great gift too! 😀

RFOK:
There’s a species called the cookie-cutter shark (presumably gluten and refined-sugar free!) that takes cookie-cutter shaped bites of its food.

jellyfish

6. Share Socially!

  • Share this and other articles! Tweet it, Facebook it, email it. Social media has become one of the biggest ways to make a splash in our world. It allows us to instantly share information and bring awareness to important issues that we care about. Whether it be this article, a Greenpeace article, the shark week website, or any other modality, create waves by creating awareness.

As we sit down with our lemon waters and humus to take a bite of shark week, consider that with our everyday choices, we have the power to influence these magnificent creatures of the deep! And it is easy, so easy, to make waves in their health, right now! It starts with knowledge and changes with action. And your first line of action? Share this article and get the message out there!

For loads more information check out: http://wildaid.org/sites/default/files/resources/EndOfTheLine2007US.pdf

Wishing you all a Holistic Chomp of Shark Week!

La fin,
Suzanne Eden

3 Hacks Of Holistic Independence & Canada Day’s Crowd Pleasing Summer Aspargus Salad

From cooking all of our own meals since we were freshmen, to reading nutrition books over novels and being the ones to eat salads out of mason jars, stick fruit in our BPA-free water bottles and ask for salt lamps and aloe plants for our birthdays, as holistic junkies, we all know a little something about independence!

 

canada day

American or not, independence is something we can all celebrate! And when adopting a unique lifestyle, there’s almost guaranteed to be encounters with some negative feedback from others now and again. HECK, that’s just fine! Anyone else’s opinion has nothing to do with you and whether they keep it to themselves or are overtly open in voicing their opinions, it is your right to choose the lifestyle that suits you! And for the record, I’m behind you 110% 🙂

But it’s also important to mention the other side of the coin. It can be all too easy when you are feeling amazing, to wish this lifestyle on others, but everyone’s path is theirs to follow and they have as much right to live their life as they choose, as we have the right to live ours. So while we wait for our friends and family to all hop aboard the holistic lifestyle with us (or they may never get there and that’s okay too!) celebrations can get tricky. What can we eat when navigating BBQ’s strewn with mayo potato salads, unknown sources of meat burning on the grill, beers over kombuchas and dairy desserts?!

 

Here are 3 hacks to holistic independence:

1. Bring your own holistic swaps that mimic the standard dishes

  • Try to mimic dishes as much as possible which serves several purposes:
    • It allows you to avoid feelings of deprivation. Ever been to a BBQ and watched everyone else savouring a juicy burger and felt the cravings sink in? Bringing your own allows you to feel included in what everyone else is eating while knowing that the quality of your beef is something you can feel good about.
    • I also come with my own condiments such as mustard that are easy to stick in my purse and are free of sugars and food dyes.
    • As for dessert? Dark chocholate is an easy treat to stick in your purse and enjoy later.

2. Know the secret phrase that works for every question

  • This phrase is dynamite. You may have all of the scientific “facts” in the world backing you up but there will always be people who have other ideas. Afterall, nutrition in itself, is always changing and evolving and I’m sure you’ve been lead astray at some point too. But there is one thing that no-one can argue with and that’s how you feel. 
  • So when others question you, simply, happily and firmly state that you eat what you enjoy and what makes you feel good.

3. Share your food

  • Of course, you can pack your own food that may be completely different from others, but I find that this can too often upset the host/hostess. They want everyone to enjoy the food, too! Though I pack my own mustard and bring my own beef, I do so discreetly, explaining ahead of time what I’m doing and quietly sneaking it to them in the kitchen so that it doesn’t draw much attention. Unless someone asks, I certainly don’t feel this the time to make a statement about nutrition. So while I do bring some of my own things, I also bring a large dish that everyone can enjoy! This is usually a salad, and lots of it, to fill up on.
    • Holistic life hacks: worried that there won’t be enough for you to fill up on? Sneak your own serving into your bag. No one will notice but you won’t have to worry about everyone loving it so much that you have nothing to eat.

 

Now the question that arises! What does a holistic foodie bring that everyone can enjoy?

SALAD!

Always  a go to, salads are bound to show up at any event, but creative salads are the ones that will be more than just a side dish and asked for time and time again.

crowd pleaser

~*~

Summer Asparagus Salad

Adventure level: 1/5

Serving size: 4 (multiply for the crowd)

Light and fresh with local, in season asparagus, oven roasted for big flavour (as opposed to grilling) and rich in nutrients, this salad was our Canada Day crowd pleaser!

Ingredients

  • 1  1/2 pounds asparagus (cut in half or 3/4s)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil (or more olive oil)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
  • Himalayan salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small garlic, minced
  • 4 large roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1/3 cup organic olives (green or black), sliced and pitted
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil

 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Toss asparagus & onion in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (for higher heat stability) with salt and pepper to taste and roast for 6-8 minutes until they begin to go tender.
  • Remove from oven adding the minced garlic, 2 TBSPs of the balsamic vinegar and return to the oven for 4 minutes or until the vinegar is no longer runny.
  • Toss in a bowl with capers, olives, olive oil, and a little more balsamic if needed.
  • Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Let it chill for 30 minutes in the fridge before serving.

Simple and delicious, this one is sure to go over well and is extremely versatile. You can add soon to be in season cherry tomatoes, quinoa for a more filling salad, mint leaves for additional flavour, chicken so that you can take a pass on the BBQ’d meat, you name it!

With a delicious and nutritious day to celebrate all the glory of your holistic independence,

Suzanne Eden