Canada Day’s Strawberry Maple Panna Cotta

Happy 150th birthday Canada!

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

Canada day.jpg

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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!). 

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

Strawberry layer.jpg

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

Blueberry Acai Parfaits With Slivered Almonds, Fresh Berries & Chocolate Drizzle

Give us a lifestyle that incorporates ice cream for breakfast and we’re on board!

Inspired by this year’s Vegfest, we were all over the blueberry parfaits with layers of crunchy coconut, freshly sliced strawberries, silvered almonds & a few dark chocolate chips snuck in there too.
~*~
Being so simple and easy (just two ingredients!), I had to get my hands on the Vitamix and whip up a spin on this sweet treat. One that features maqui (pronounced “mah-key”) berries, Amazonian acai and a raw cacao sauce. Oh! And being banana based, this ice cream (otherwise known as “nicecream”) can be easily, and holistically indulged in for breakfast and leave you feeling energized and nourished for the day ahead! 100% nutritionist approved 🙂

Superfood sundae

HOLISTIC HIGHLIGHTS

  • Acai & maqui berries are both native to central America and are known for being antioxidant powerhouses with acai containing 10 times the antioxidants found in grapes. Though acai has made a household name of itself in the nutrition community, the lesser known maqui berry surpasses the antioxidant content of acai, making it one of the most potent sources in the world!
    • But of course, superfoods don’t have to be foreign and fancy. Some of the best superfoods are found in our gardens and local farmers markets. So if you don’t have these concentrated powders on hand, that’s okay. I have two recipes to accommodate, and of course, you can put your own unique spin on it too!

Blueberry sundae

THE RECIPES

These parfaits boast the consistency of traditional creamy ice-cream (without any sugar or dairy!), and are layered with fresh berries, slivered almonds and a crunchy cacao drizzle.

BASIC BLUEBERRY BLEND

Adventure level: 1/5

Ingredients:

  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup frozen organic blueberries
  • squeeze of lemon or lime

Toppings:

  • slivered almonds
  • cacao drizzle (below)
  • fresh mint leaves
  • strawberries (in season now!)
  • other fruit such as papaya, pineapple etc.
  • coconut chunks

Directions:

  • Peel and slice banana into a container to freeze overnight.
  • Once frozen, place in blender with blueberries, a squeeze of lemon/lime and blend. This will take some time and you will need to scrape the sides of the blender as you go. The more ingredients in the blender, the easier it is for the blades to grip.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy and layer with your toppings of choice.

vegfest

Fully Loaded Blueberry Acai & Maqui Parfaits

Adventure level: 3/5

Featuring antioxidant rich berries to boost the nutrition and depth of flavours in the soft-serve.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup frozen organic blueberries
  • squeeze of lemon or lime
  • 1 tsp acai powder
  • 1 tsp maqui powder

Raw cacao:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao (can substitute carob if sensitive)

 

Directions:

  • Peel and slice banana into a container to freeze overnight.
  • Once frozen, place the banana in your blender with blueberries, a splash of lemon/lime and blend. This will take some time and you will need to scrape the sides of the blender as you go. The more in the blender, the easier it is for the blades to grip.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Pop into the freezer as you melt the coconut oil in a pan and stir in the cacao (optional to add stevia for sweetness, but not necessary).
  • Layer the cacao drizzle with your ice cream and toppings (see above) and pop back in the freezer until the cacao sauce hardens (approx. 2 mins). This creates a crunchy topping like a chocolate dipped cone.
  • Once solidified, remove from freezer and enjoy!

Note:

  • The more powerful your blender, the easier and faster it will be to create your ice cream.

 

Sundae

I have been nothing shy of obsessed with this parfait for the past two weeks (as evidenced by instagram) and it is with great thanks that I received more maqui berry powder for my birthday, just as I was running out! It’s bursting with naturally sweet flavours, tastes indulgent, and is loaded with superfoods for an ultra healthy breakfast bowl perfect for summer! You will looove this, I promise 🙂

 

To our Sunday sundaes,

Suzanne Eden

 

 

 

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Gringgott’s Golden Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Milk

Everyone needs a little magic in their morning ⚡️

Mine just happens to come in the form of wands (a Harry Potter lover’s dream come true) & books & golden potions (Herbalism was a thrilling class, as you can imagine, and did you know: mandrakes are real!).
Turmeric Milk
To indulge our inner HP fanatics, I whipped up this recipe with all the ingredients specifically concocted to transform your morning in 5 minutes, just like magic. And might I say, it’s worth its weight in Gringott’s gold!
 ~

Featuring cracked black pepper and coconut oil to enhance turmeric’s absorption, the MCTs in coconut oil as a powerful brain booster, ginger to increase metabolism and a little stevia to make this drink taste.. well… golden!

~*~
Though turmeric has been harvested through India and Indonesia for over 5,000 years, this staple of Ayurvedic medicine has recently taken the spotlight as more than just a pantry cooking spice, with potent properites as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and anti-oxidant.
 ~

Everything It Touches Turns To Gold

Step aside Tom Cruise… turmeric + white jeans is a whole new stunt of Risky Buisness!

But aside from staining your attire and kitchen counters, turmeric’s golden properties boast a ton of health benefits:

  • Powerful anti-inflammatory from Turmeric’s main compound: curcumin.
    • The MCT’s from the coconut oil in this recipe assist in transporting fat-soluable curcumin into your cells making it more effective.
    • In turn, turmeric increases our ability to digest fats!
  • Curcumin indirectly boosts the growth of neurons to enhance memory and prevent degeneration of the brain.
  • Its anti-inflammorty effects help combat the unwanted side effects of exercise by reducing pain, joint swelling and mucle stiffness.
  • Enhances the functioning of our livers to aid in daily detoxification.

Turmeric

Magical Turmeric Milk Recipe

  • 1 Tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 Tsp virgin, cold-expeller pressed coconut oil
  • 1/2 C boiled water
  • 1/2 Warmed rice/almond/coconut milk
  • A pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • 100% Pure stevia to taste

NOTE: for the full health benefits of turmeric, be sure to purchase the potent powders commonly found at your local health food store.

Pour all ingredients into the blender, blend for a latte-like foam, adjust as desired, and enjoy! 🙂

To your mornings with a little dose of magical,

Suzanne Eden

 

Rich & Creamy Chocolate Avocado Pudding

From last night’s Leonardo Oscar triumph to today’s leap day, we have a lot to celebrate!

 Dairy-free desserts

Rich and decadent, this chocolate pudding is brilliant and comes with a twist: it’s based with creamy, anti-oxidant rich avocado… but no-one ever has to know!

As the next installment to the Jesse Lane E-book series comes the collaborative cookbook : Healthy Dairy Free Desserts. Do note that not all the recipes are gluten-free and may need to be adapted to suit your dietary needs, but it is filled with decadent goodies, including this quick and easy, creamy chocolate pudding.

Holistic Highlights

Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, allergen friendly, cacao-free option (for those who are sensitive), whole food based.

  • Avocados are loaded with healthy fats and fibre to slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream to keep you feeling energized after enjoying dessert.
  • It is dairy-free to avoid unwanted bloating and congestion.
  • White, refined sugar is swapped for its superfood counterpart: maple syrup containing the minerals manganese, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.
  • Being a raw dessert, all nutrients are preserved and readily available.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding from Jesse Lane Wellness Cookbook Healthy Dairy Free Desserts

Creamy Chocolate Avocado Pudding

ADVENTURE LEVEL: 2/5

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp milk alternative (either almond, coconut or brown rice)
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend well until smooth and enjoy!

Switch Ups

  • Maple syrup -> Stevia for a sugar-free dessert (may need to add more dairy-free “milk” for consistency).
  • Cacao powder -> carob powder for those who are sensitive to chocolate.
  • Cayenne pepper for a spicy kick, my favourite!
  • Additional Toppings: Gogi berries, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, fresh berries, etc.

 Like this recipe? Jesse’s e-book features over 30 delicious desserts free of soy, dairy, white flour or processed sugar and you can check it out HERE.

Whether you are celebrating Leo’s well deserved win or are taking in every last moment of our extra day of the year, enjoy pudding this new recipe to the taste test!

Suzanne Eden

Valentines Day’s Salted Chocolate Banana Love Bites

With a day practically coated in chocolate.. what’s not to love!

 

love bites

Happy (post) Valentines day readers!

This day has always hit a bit of a “sweet spot” for me (I love it), and though every year is a little different there is always one thing guaranteed to be dished up on the menu: chocolate! Usually baked in the form of gluten-free, dairy-free molten lava cakes, this year I took a simpler, but equally indulgent approach…

These bites will make the perfect addition to your family day affairs being rich, salty, chocolaty, dangerously simple to make and entirely family approved from mom-on-the-run to teething toddler.

 

salted chocolate

 Holistic Highlights

Sunflower Seed Butter

  • You can also use a traditional almond butter here but I have a slight love affair with this seed butter. Be sure to purchase one that is pure (I used Nuts To You), with no additives, sugars etc. that sneak into many conventional brands. Only the good stuff!
  • Loaded with heart healthy fats, vitamin E (shown to significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks when abundant in the diet), and magnesium which regulates heart rhythms to prevent irregular heart beats.

Chocolate

  • I recommend Giddy Yoyo chocolate bars as these are raw, maintaining the nutrient value of the cacao bean. Chocolate should always be warmed in a double boiler (in a pan over a boiling pot of water) so that these nutrients are not exposed to direct contact with heat.
  • Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which is released in your brain when you fall in love and also stimulates the release of dopamine, the “feel good”, euphoric neurotransmitter.

Bananas

  • Use spotted bananas here as they will be sweeter, riper and more nutritious!
  • Rich in bromelain, bananas are known to boost male libido and due to their high potassium content, they are recognised for lowering blood pressure to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

valentines

Salted Chocolate Banana Love Bites

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Bananas
  • 1/3 Cup Almond or sunflower seed butter
  • 1 Bar of Giddy Yoyo chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Course sea salt

Directions

  • Slice bananas approximately 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
  • Spread a dollop of sunflower butter onto half the slices and lay flat on a baking sheet with wax paper.
  • Sprinkle a good dusting of cinnamon over top and sandwich with the other half of your sliced bananas.
  • Pop these into the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until solid.
  • Melt your chocolate slowly over a double boiler. Remove the bananas from the freezer and spoon, drizzle or dunk the chocolate to coat them, sprinkling the course salt overtop before the chocolate hardens (this will happen quickly).
  • Place back in the freezer for another 1-2 hours to harden back up. Remove from the freezer when you’re ready to take a bite!

Warning: the making of these love bites may be messy, libido inducing and may trigger excessive trips to the freezer for “just – one – more – bite.” 

Wishing you all a love-ly extended holiday,

Suzanne Eden

Superbowl Sunday’s Spicy Sweet Potato Fries With Smoked Paprika & Cilantro

In my house, the Superbowl is really just one grand excuse for epic food!

HEALTHY epic food, of course, and although I’m by no means a football fan, I’ll take any occasion for a gathering with friends. Whether this post serves your Superbowl needs or is coming in preparation for future events, these are your perfect feast-friendly fries.

Warning: sweet potatoes will spoil the joys of classic fries for you once and for all.

  • In this recipe, the otherwise deep-fried, greasy, starchy, russet potatoes (of which Americans are estimated to consume 11.2 million pounds of them as potato chips this day alone) have made way for flavourful wedges of sweet potatoes, oven baked to golden perfection.
  • The white,  inflammatory vinegar I once soaked (or rather drenched) my fries in as a child, has long since been replaced by its health boosting counterpart: apple cider vinegar and sugary ketchup is swapped for stone ground mustard or my personal favourite: guacamole! Americans are estimated to consume around 80 million  avocados today, enough to fill a 12-foot deep football field according to Men’s Health.

Football fans: I may not share your love of the game but I do share in your devotion to guacamole!

superbowl sweet potato fries

I have experimented with a multitude of flavour combinations but this recipe has me hooked.

With smoked paprika, the bite of garlic, the kick of cayenne pepper, and the crunch of course sea salt, I admit that I’ve failed to try any other combination since. I can’t. And believe me, I have tried..

My hand will waiver momentarily over the dried thyme but misses and grasps the fragrant basil and oregano instead. I’ll aim for the rosemary in the cupboard but slip and land on the tin of smoked paprika. As I get bored easily and thoroughly enjoy the adventurous combinations cooked up in the kitchen, this remains the testament to how truly delicious this recipe is!

 

4 SWEET FACTS OF SWEET POTATOES

  • The stunning orange of this root vegetable comes from the carotenoid: beta-carotene known to boost the immune system, enhance vision (when converted to Vitamin A) and provides anti-cancer effects. A particularly handy defense for those of us who live in the cancer belt.
  • The anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin A contribute to glowing skin and help ward off acne promoting bacteria.
  • Both steaming and baking (as we do in this recipe) increases the bioavailability of beta-carotene so that your body can obtain more of this nutrient!
    • Tip: once peeled, oxidization causes the sweet potato to lose some of it’s nutrients, so you’ll want to pop the fries into the oven right away.
  • Adding coconut oil to this dish enhances the absorption of beta-carotene. Being a fat-soluable nutrient, it needs to be in the presence of fat to be properly absorbed.

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Medium sweet potatoes (Peeled if non-organic, washed with skins if organic)
  • 2 TBSPs melted coconut oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 Himalayan sea salt (I use a mixture of course and fine)
  • 2 Tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 Tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Dried basil
  • Sprinkling (approx. 1/4 tsp) cayenne pepper *optional”
  • Dash of cracked black pepper
  • Cilantro to garnish *optional”

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Mix seasonings in a large bowl. (I leave the course sea salt for when they come fresh out of the oven)
  • Chop sweet potatoes evenly. For crisper fries, slice thinly, for more rustic wedges, cut into chunkier sections. What matters most is that they are all about the same size so that they will bake evenly.
  • Transfer into a glass pan (large enough so that they all lie flat), drizzle with oil and toss with the seasonings.
  • Bake 15 mins, remove from oven and flip them over with a spatula.
  • Pop them back into the oven for another 10-15 mins or until golden brown around the edges. For thick wedges; pierce one with a fork to ensure that the middle is soft and well cooked through. They may require more or less time depending on the size of your fries so keep an eye on them.
  • Remove, sprinkle with the sea salt, transfer into a bowl with cilantro to offset the spiciness of your fries and serve!

NOTES:

  • You will taste the difference between organic and non-organic sweet potatoes, try this yourself and see! But for your guests today, opt for organic as they offer the richest depths of flavour for these fries.

While my Superbowl party will find me with fellow alumni cast members for play rehearsals and meetings at my yoga studio, there will be no shortage of food in the kitchen (and packed as snacks for the evening).

Give these a try and share with me your favourite combinations so that maybe, just maybe, I will have a fighting chance of reaching for a new and enticing flavourful recipe.

Until then, enjoy every sweet bite of this sweet potato super-bowl! 🙂

Suzanne Eden

Feature Friday // Cashmere & The Barefoot Contessa’s Lentil Vegetable Soup

Whether you’re desiring to entice the entire family to the dinner table, searching for a chemical-free home fragrance, or seeking to cozy in with a cashmere sweater and a bowl of something just as comforting,

this is your fix!

There is nothing more suited to cozy sweater weather then a simmering pot of steaming stew, aromatic with herbs and spices, hearty and holistic with vegetables and lentils. For this one, we have Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa to thank!

 

 

cashmere

6 Reasons to love lentils:

  • Reduced cholesterol
    • High in soluble fibre which helps to control cholesterol levels.
  • Stable Blood Sugar
    • Say goodbye to the post lunch crash! With the soluble fibre to slow the digestion of carbohydrates (sugars), you will be keeping blood sugar levels stable. This makes lentils a great option for those with hypoglycemia and diabetes.
  • Promotes Proper Digestion
    • The insoluble fibre helps to regulate your digestive system to prevent constipation and promote proper elimination of toxins from the body.
  • Heart Health
    • Lentils are also a great source of folate to lower homocysteine levels (correlated with increased risk of heart problems) and magnesium to improve blood flow and oxygenation to the entire body.
  • Energy
    • Complex carbohydrates are metabolized slowly leading to steady and sustained energy much like a hearty bowl of steel-cut oats. Lentils are also a great source of B vitamins and iron, both essential for high energy.
  • Vegetarian protein
    • The protein source of meatless Mondays! Though I do not follow any one day, 1-2X a week I participate in eating meat free. This means that my protein is sourced from plant-based whole foods which includes lentils. Just remember to pair this with food that will make a complete protein (having a net result of all essential amino acids) such as quinoa.

 

 

Holistic Recipe Swaps:

  • Kosher salt for Himalayan:
    • You will need to season wisely here as Himalayan salt is generally a finer grind more reminiscent of table salt. This pretty pink salt offers a higher and broader range of health benefits.
  • Chicken Stock:
    • Look for a quality chicken stock. Health food stores are excellent places to prowl for your pantry. Check the ingredients list to ensure that it is all real food, free of yeast when possible. The brand I like for broth is Pacific.
  • Red Wine Vinegar:
    • Where the recipe states that red wine and the vinegar are interchangeable, I recommend staying away from the wine to avoid all possible sulfites. Opt for the red wine vinegar instead.
  • Cheese:
    • We omitted the cheese entirely. This was not only for the sake of optimal health but also for the flavours of the soup to stand out on their own, as they did.

Holistic Hacks

  • Make in large batches to enjoy through the week and freeze to thaw on late nights when you want to heat up a quick and warming soup.

 

THE RECIPE

Find the full recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lentil-vegetable-soup-recipe.html

lentil pizza

THE SWITCH UPS

The wonderful thing about this soup is its versatility. My personal favourites:

  1. Wrap it up – Create wraps by easily separating spoonfuls of lentils and vegetables from the broth. I wrapped mine in sushi rice wraps with avocado, salsa, lettuce and olives. You could also use other gluten-free wraps, nori sheets, collard leaves, or lettuce leaves. Try it with humus or stone ground mustard or perhaps pesto, there are endless options available!
  2. Top your pizza & pasta – Using a brown rice wrap as a crust, I topped the pizza with a layer of tomato paste mashed with garden fresh tomatoes into a pizza sauce and layered the lentil mix (without the broth) on top. You could mix this soup into your next pasta sauce as well.
  3. Add it to roasted vegetables – Roast root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, parsnips and beets in the oven and add some of the soup for extra flavouring to the dish.

 

With a few swaps, this recipe became one the whole family enjoyed with the Barefoot Contessa to thank! Though they quickly regretted my ability to eat it as the leftovers mysteriously vanished (Oops! 😉 ), I think this stew will be making a comeback to the table again very soon.

To your cozy cashmere Fridays,

Suzanne Eden