Canada Day’s Strawberry Maple Panna Cotta

Happy 150th birthday Canada!

You remain proof that the best things get better with age, and through all the years have remained sweet to your maple syrup core. So to honor you.. we EAT!

Indulgent, simple and 150% Canadian-approved, this patriotic dessert features fresh seasonal strawberries and sweet local syrup.

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No matter where in the world you are, Canada is likely infused into your daily cuisine.

Supplying around 91% of the world’s population of Maple syrup that drizzles its way over your sizzling Sunday pancakes and 90% of the world’s blueberries which boost your daily antioxidant intake. And then, from the humble origins of coastal P.E.I., comes Canada’s own “Lentil Hunter”chef Micheal Smith (yes, truly! 🙂 ), who travels the globe scouting the most delicious lentil dishes knowing that Saskatchewan is the largest exporter of lentils in the world.

From breakfast to dinner, all across the globe, there is reason to LOVE this country (and every excuse to celebrate!).

Strawberry picking

 

Currently in Canada.. it’s strawberry season! And the inspiration for this bright, light and creamy panna cotta.

HOLISTIC HIGHLIGHTS [Canadian edition]

  • Seasonal Strawberries – June-July.
  • Local maple syrup
  • Vegan
  • Paleo
  • Refined sugar-free (with syrup-free option :: see notes)

Most strawberry varieties will only be harvested to the end of the weekend. It’s the optimal time to make use of this vibrant red berry. But as blueberries come into their peak in July (and the need to replicate the Canadian flag is no longer a necessity) blueberries will make for a great topping too!

strawberry panna cotta

RECIPE

~ CANADIAN STRAWBERRY MAPLE PANNA COTTA ~

Strawberry Layer

*** Note : this recipe represents the bottom layer. Double the recipe for a top layer of strawberries or simply slice fresh berries for presentation.

  • 1 tsp gelatin
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 3/4 cup sliced strawberries

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Creamy Vanilla Panna Cotta

  • 1 15 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 ½ tsp grass fed gelatin
  • 1-2 TBSP maple syrup (or setvia to taste)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Strawberry layer ::
    • In a saucepan over low heat, warm the water and sliced strawberries until they soften and form a “sauce”. Remove from heat, stir in gelatin until dissolved. Add to the base of your ramekins and let sit one hour.
  • Panna Cotta ::
    • Whisk together coconut milk +  gelatin and let sit (to “bloom”) for five minutes.
    • Add vanilla, syrup, sea salt and whisk on medium heat until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Note: do not boil here.
    • Allow to cool (about 10-15 mins), pour over the set strawberry mixture and leave it to set in the fridge. This should take a minimum3-4 hours.
    • Add an additional strawberry layer or top with freshly sliced berries.

panna cotta

Notes:

  • Coconut milk is quite sweet on its own. If you wish to make a sugar-free version, simply add a pinch or a few drops of stevia to taste in place of the maple syrup.

Here’s to a new month, new post (the first of the year!) and a brand new favourite “go-to”.

While we take off for strawberry picking (the last of the season) and tonight’s vineyard festivities of food and fireworks, one thing’s for sure: today will be a day dedicated to ALL the red & white foods. Cue on the strawberries, coconut and panna cotta 🙂

In our truly Canadian way, happy Canada d[EH] !
Suzanne Eden

(201)6+ Gifts For Every Wellness Enthusiast On Our List

‘Tis the season of giving!

And for your holistically savvy minded, it’s a season bursting with stockings of fresh fruit, wrappings of recycled newspaper with handcrafted bows, and unwrappings of superfoods, salt lamps and Spoonks! With us, we are all for unveiling an extra dose of “health” knowing that these are the gifts that just keep giving.

So in honor of the wellness enthusiasts in our lives, this is our 2016 Holistic Gift Guide!

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For The Eco-conscious Collector

This is the individual who knows the holidays are for giving back to the environment as much as each other.

candle-house

  • Earthy materials– the lure to all of us who crave the wilderness. For us, we bring the great outdoors in! You could give a plant/terrarium (doubling as decor and air filtration), or gifts made of earthly/refurbished materials such as a burlap pillow. Embellished with an inspirational message..? So much the better!

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  • Eco Food Finds:
    •  Grocery bags:
      • Forget purses! These are the obsessions of every nutritionist. Nowadays these cute, reusable shopping bags come with compartments,  insulation to maintain fresh produce, and some look like a shoulder bag you may sport to your next nutrition workshop. It’s the gift you know will be put to good use!
    • Glass/Stainless steel lunch containers
      • If your friend-in-mind sports a glass mason jar wherever they go, this is a guaranteed hit! Gifting for kids or the clumsy? Opt for the stainless steel lunch set below.
    • Radius “Source” Toothbrushes
      • made of recycled paper/wood/currency and equipped with a disposable “head,” it reduces waste by 93% and makes an ideal stocking stuffer.
      • Shop HERE.

eco

The Mad Scientist

Ah yes. Here in their kitchen you will find mason jars of fermenting kimchi in the cupboards and bubbling kombuchas on the counter-tops. This is the person who makes you think twice before assuming that something moldy-looking isn’t a super-food concoction in creation!

kefir

Kombucha brewing jar / SCOBY / Kefir Grains

  • A large glass jar will do too, but new and improved Kombucha brewing units have been surfacing as this popular drink has become the wellness world’s newest DIY. SCOBY’s can be purchased online or potentially at a local health food store. *Tip: even if they don’t sell them, some health food stores can order them in for you.
  • New to the fermenting forum? Opt for kefir grains which are much easier to start!

 The ACTIVEist

This is for the individual who can’t sit still. The hopeless fidgeter, the yoga frequenter, the “always on the go.” They know the value of movement and RLS seems to be their steady state. Sound familiar? Well, have I got a gift for you…

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The Zenergy Chair!

  • Allow me to explain… these chairs BOUNCE! 😀 This was my favourite find at The Alexander Grand Bell Museum in Cape Breton – who knew? And I have been obsessed with them ever since!
  • These office chair substitutes offer the detoxifying benefits of a rebounder and work your core to improve your posture. They also boost productivity by increasing blood flow to the brain.
    • For my favourite (the Zenergy chair) shop HERE.
    • For a more affordable option, look for the Gaiam chair.

 

The Curator Of Creature Comforts

This is for all things cozy! For the relaxation, the rejuvenation and nights nuzzled in by a burning fire.

Matcha

  • This concentrated green tea powder is to a wellness enthusiast what festive lattes are to a coffee lover. We adore this stuff! Being on the pricer side, it makes a great treat to give as a gift, ideal for those who desire the companion of calming L-theanine for their lounging.

matcha

Notebooks

  • In my philosophy: one can never have too many notebooks! As an avid journaler, I have a real obsession for cute notebooks. The ones that inspire you to grab your pen and crack the pages before bed. The cuter, the brighter, the more recycled, the better!

From Us To You

  • For the soundtracks of the season! This has quickly become one of our favourite albums of the year and I had the pleasure of seeing my friends perform it on stage this week.
  • Delivering both a festive cover and the feature of local talents, you can have a listen and purchase your copy HERE.

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 Looking for more? Check out last year’s Wellness Wish List.

Wether by Zenergy chair (*winkwink) or otherwise, I hope this list keeps everyone bouncing for joy on Christmas morn! 😉

Suzanne Eden

5 Unconventional Fast Foods For Travelers And Scholars

Whether you’re hitting the road or cracking the books, such times call for quick, clean, perfectly packable snacks and meals!

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A few weekends ago we stuffed our duffle bags and departed for cottage country in Lake of Bays Muskoka. With a drive a few hours long at the peak of lunch hour, we found ourselves in a hunger pinch and took a road side stop to the organic section of a Superstore. So while some of the following unconventional snacks entail a specialty stop to a health food department, others can be snagged just about anywhere you may find yourself. Never will you have to drive yourself into excuses and all will enhance concentration, energy levels and brain power.

This is what we snacked on in Muskoka as a cheat sheet to a few quick and affordable fast foods!

 DRINK

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Chaga Tea

 Not to be fooled by the cup: my friend brewed this tea for me of medicinal mushrooms for the drive up to Muskoka (you can see why we’re friends 😉 ).

  • Native to the birch forests of the northern hemisphere, Chaga mushrooms have become well known for boosting the immune system. Yet, being an adatogen, it also helps us to cope and adapt to the stresses of university studies.
  • Bonus: Chaga is a natural source of melanin to help provide protection against solar UV rays. An added boost of cottage sunscreen in a cup!
  • Note: While this is a quick and easy brew, it is not readily available. At coffee shops, opt for a hydrating herbal tea (I personally love the perk of peppermint). Use stevia and/or non-dairy milk if desired.

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Greens Powder Pouch

  • Perhaps you need a mid day boost  without the caffeine or didn’t consume the most optimal meal. The solution? Crack open one of these pouches, shake into a bottle of water, and drink. Not only does it have a pleasant flavor from the green apple, but greens powders provide an instant boost of energy to both the body and brain.
  • Didn’t squeeze in a nutritious breakfast this morning? Greens will realklinaze the body to counteract some of the negative effects of an unbalanced meal.

EAT

Perfectly Packable Chia Pods

  • With the simple base of chia seeds and coconut milk, you can easily and affordably whip this up yourself in any number of flavours. But when in a pinch, Chia Pods can be purchased from local health food stores in compact cups with a built-in spoon.
  • High in omega-3 fatty acids for brain health, these compact packs are loaded with fiber to keep you feeling full through to your next meal making them ideal for on-the-go student studies and thrifty travelers alike.

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Watermelon

If you are what you eat, we were bound to become walking, talking watermelons by the time we were homebound!

  • Not ideal for long road trips or lectures as they consist of 92% water and are a natural diuretic, but don’t toss this idea yet!
  • Watermelons make a delicious way to eat yourself hydrated on a hot day and are packed with natural sugars that your brain uses to run efficiently. Its high vitamin C content assists in counteracting the stress on students and boosts the immune system while the high fiber reduces blood sugar spikes (that can lead to brain fog) and promotes good digestion when traveling.

summer-melons

Other pre-packaged Fruit

  • Equipped with their own containers, fruit such as apples, bananas, grapes, and mandarin oranges, etc. all make perfect grab-and-go snacks.
  • We snatched these up for a canoe ride on the lake along with coconut that we had freshly cracked. Coconuts are loaded with brain boosting fats that will satisfy your hunger and the MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) present in coconuts have been shown to enhance cognitive performance as they can be turned to ketones and used as fuel for the brain.

We really loved  Muskoka. It was magical. And perhaps the most magical part came from laying beneath the stars with ginger teas and a mountain of melon beside us. I can’t imagine how beautiful it will be in a few weeks with the first fall of snow. But until we make it back again (perhaps for a winterized version of this food guide??), we’ll be savouring our stress-free snacking!

Suzanne Eden

 

Tried &True Tips To Never Waste The Turkey

In my family there’s just one rule: Never let an ounce of turkey go to waste!

Afterall, when a roast this enticing only comes around a few times a year, you have to make it count!

never-wate-the-turkey

In fact, the USDA estimates that with the average cost of food waste in America, we could buy 21 whole turkeys for each person in the country! 

But with the abundance of food adorning the Thanksgiving table, we have the optimal opportunity to revamp the leftovers. And there is nothing like a turkey sandwich slathered in real mayo and stuffed with crunchy lettuce to ring in the post festivities!

These are some of my family’s favorite ways to never waste the turkey:

1. Have a heart

  • Organ meats (otherwise known as offal) not only enhance the flavour of your roast, they are one of the most nutrient dense superfoods on the planet!
  • With an impressive resume, organ meats contain all B-vitamins (particularly B12), are nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A (in the liver), are a perfect protein source, high in easily absorbable iron and and contain coQ10 for cardiovascular health (so you can run off the weekend’s feast!).

2. Make a “game”plan

  • Plan ahead so that you can properly store and prep for the weeks to come. Post-dinner, our turkey heads straight for the fridge where we cover and store it for turkey sandwiches, salads etc.
  • After a week, freeze the leftover meat to prevent it from spoiling and thaw it for dishes over the next month. Our turkey never lasts this long (not a chance!) but I imagine with the 27 pound turkey a friend of mine purchased, this is the time to haul out the freeze wrap!

turkey-roast

3. Brew bone broth

  • Bone broth is packed with all things that counteract a large feast. It is made by boiling bones in water with an acid (such as apple-cider vinegar) and adding (optional) spices, vegetables and herbs for flavouring.
  • Its high gelatin, L-glutamine and amino acid content is healing to the digestive system which allows you to reap more nutrients from your food and get the most out of your leftovers.
  • Bonus: Illness often encroaches with the shift in seasons and since an approximated 80% of all illness stems from the gut, this healing broth makes the ideal immune-boosting antidote.

4. Stir in a turkey stew

  • You can drink your bone broth on its own, or add your turkey meat and a plethora of vegetables to make a hearty turkey soup. We boil a big pot on the stove top and re-heat it over a few days for filling lunches and dinners. This being my personal favourite way to savour the remainder of our roast!

Suzanne Eden

Five Food Hacks To Help Bounce Back From Your Thanksgiving Festivities

I hope your weekend has been filled with family, food and festivities, but if you’ve been left feeling as stuffed as the turkey, this is the post for you!

While overindulgence in a feast can leave us tired, bloated and backed up, food in the proper proportions can also be used to counteract these effects. So whether you are opening up a second stomach compartment today for Thanksgiving part 2 (see HERE) or burying the hatchet on yesterday’s soiree, these are 5 holistic life hacks from foods to use.

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FEAST TO FAMINE

  • Think our ancient ancestors wouldn’t have partaken in such a feast? Think again! As meat (turkey or otherwise) wasn’t as easily come by back then, any hunted game was generally cooked and eaten in large quantities and was often followed by longer periods of time before their next full meal.
  • Following a feast, opt for small, easily digestible, plant based meals or partake in intermittent fasting. This provides your body the opportunity to rest, digest, and reset.
  • NOTE: When fasting, it is important to increase your water intake to stay hydrated and help your body in the cleansing process. Also note that this does not, and should not be, be an extended fast. When your natural hunger kicks in, think soups, salads, smoothies and bone broths.

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CHIA SEEDS / STEEL CUT OATS

  • Packed with prebiotic fibre for good digestion, chia seeds and oats (the unprocessed kind) help to flush the excess toxins and sweets from our system and regulate our bowel routines.
  • Craving last night’s pumpkin pie? Opt for my sugar-free Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats.

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FERMENTED FOODS

  • The feast for our gut bacteria! While we may have chosen turkey and gravy, our digestive system prefers foods loaded with probiotics that keep our immune systems strong and our guts happy and healthy.
  • Add kimchi, sauerkraut and/or sparkling kombuchas to your day.

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ABOVE: Fresh pressed cider from our organic apple trees!

SKIP THE SWEETS

  • Offsetting our blood sugar causes us to crave sugary foods or an excess of calories in general. Instead? Alkalinize! Start your morning with lemon water, a shot of blood purifying chlorophyll (one with mint is particularly refreshing), and pack as many veggies as you can into your day!
  • Alkalinizing cuts the cravings for sugar and calories so that you can enjoy your meals in moderation.

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TEA

  • Bloating, distention, indigestion? Both peppermint and ginger tea soothe our internal systems and being herbal, they keep us hydrated while the warmth stimulates movement in our intestines.
  • These two teas are also considered antispasmodics which relaxes the muscles of our digestive tract to reduce digestive distress.

With these holistic life hacks, you can leave the stuffing to the turkey, and whats more? No matter how you felt the following day, you can rest assured that Thanksgiving just made you healthier for the coming celebrations that are on their way!

From a weekend stuffed family festivities,

Suzanne Eden

4 Ways Your Pumpkin & Chai Spiced Autumn Addiction Is Boosting Your Health

As Autumn arrives, everything turns to spice!

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ABOVE: Dairy-free, gluten-free, pumpkin spice scone from Kelly’s Bake Shoppe.

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Its seems the moment fall fell upon us, the air turned crisp and pumpkin emerged from its slumber. From smoothies, to lattes (with coconut milk of course!), from cookies to chili’s, pumpkin slips its orange carotenoids into just about everything.

While my favourite fall produce remains forever faithful to the apples of our backyard and aromatic notes of chai, this year I decided it was high time to snag some squash and plunge into the popular world of pumpkin spice! After all, who could go wrong when cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves are involved?!

Whether a chai girl such as myself, or with pumpkin spice as your vice, these are 4 ways to validate your autumn addiction!

1) They spice Up The Season

  • As the weather cools, spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg are thermogenic foods that boost your internal body temperature and raise your metabolism. This is one reason why we intuitively crave pumpkin spice and chai when the temperature drops.

2) Enhances Digestion

  • According to Ayurveda, spices heat up our digestive “fire” (otherwise known as Agni) to enhance energy, increase digestion, reduce bloating etc. Adding warming spices to your foods is like wrapping your digestive system in a winter parka so that it can comfortably and efficiently continue doing what it needs to do!

3) Daily Detox

  • The spices found in traditional pumpkin spice and chai are equipped with both natural detoxifying and anti-inflammatory agents.
  • Take ceylon cinnamon, for example, used prominently in Chinese Medicine for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and blood purification properties. Cinnamon is the base to both spice blends and a powerhouse at that!

4) Immunity

  • Just in time for cold and flu season!
  • And as the famous French biochemist Francois Beauchamp once said: “The terrain is everything.” By keeping your internal systems working efficiently, we effectively keep our immune system strong, and spices, through all of the wonderful benefits listed above, assist in doing just that!

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Your favourite fall brew may just be the perfect medicinal boost in a mug. But of course, when aiming for the therapeutic effects of these spices, look to quality and potent sources. Making your own blend is the best way to ensure the quality of the product but if ordering out, search for those made without syrups -you want the real deal! At coffee shops, I ask for unsweetened, coconut/almond milk chai tea lattes brewed with the tea bag instead of syrup.

All in all, your autumn addiction can be both nutritious and delicious with full permission to indulge… responsibly 😉

Spicing up September,

Suzanne Eden

Cookbook Launch Tour: The Quinoa Sunshine Salad

I am thrilled to announce the release of Jesse Lane’s collaborative cookbook: “Healthy Fresh Salads” with a personal feature of my Cranberry Apple Kale Slaw!

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Jesse and I share this one simple thing: we love our salads!

And in her latest cookbook addition, she beautifully encapsulates this flare for fresh flavour. Bursting with recipes for vibrant, creative creations and complementary dressings that would entice the most leery of plant-eaters and transform any vegetable enthusiast into a masterful salad connoisseur.

As a fellow Holistic Nutritionist, Jesse delves into the health benefits of eating the rainbow, avoiding GMOs, properly cleaning vegetables, and how to save money, all the while enjoying a plethora of palate stimulating salads.

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To give you a taste of the cookbook, this recipe is a sunny burst of flavour featuring hydrating cucumber, crunchy carrot, spicy radishes, sweet cranberries, and detoxifying coriander. With flavours that fuse together over a bed of arugula and protein-rich quinoa to keep you feeling full for hours.

 The Quinoa Sunshine Salad

Recipe by Andrea Kmecza

(no soy, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian)

Prep time: 20 minutes | Inactive prep time: 30 minutes | Serving size: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (1/2 cup dry cooked in 1 cup water)
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded or thinly diced
  • 4-5 radishes, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped coriander (or parsley depending on your preference)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp hemp or flax oil
  • 4 cups of baby arugula (optional)
  • 2 avocados (optional), sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Toss all ingredients in a large mixing bowl (minus the arugula) and let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Place 1 cup of arugula in bowl and 1 cup of quinoa salad on top. Top with ½ avocado if using.
To cook quinoa:
•Rinse quinoa well and drain.
•Bring water to a boil in a medium sized pot. (1 quinoa:2 water)
•Add quinoa and bring to a boil again.
•Cover, lower heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
•Once cooked, allow time to completely cool.
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It was such a pleasure to be a part of this collaborative cookbook! To purchase your personal online or paperback copy (and for a further sneak peak), click HERE!
With a sunny take on a fresh cookbook,
Suzanne Eden