Coconut Dessert Chia Pudding with Raspberry Compote

Everyone loves chia pudding, especially delicious, decadent, dessert chia pudding!  I know you have been told since you were little that you couldn’t have pudding for breakfast but I am here to tell you that with this recipe it just isn’t true!

Coconut Chia Pudding 2

Chia seeds are such an amazing food!  They loaded with nutrients while staying calorically low, making them one of the world’s greatest superfoods.  They have enormous health benefits which is kind of ironic because they are so tiny in size.

To show you just how much of a superfood they are here are some fun facts about just one ounce (28g/2 tbsps) of chia seeds:

  • 137 calories
  • 11g of fiber
  • 4g of protein
  • 9g of fat (5 of which are omega 3s)
  • 1g digestible carbohydrate
  • While also having heavy amounts of calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.
  • And decent amount of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2.

Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants making them a great food to help fight against the production of free radicals in the body which leads to diseases like cancer.

They are high in fiber and expand in your stomach, helping to keep you full and your digestion on point.  The fiber in our favourite little seeds feeds the friendly bacteria in our gut which is incredibly important for our stomach and intestine health.

Did you know that chia seeds also have a decent amount of protein?  While also having the essential amino acids to help your body actually use the protein within the tiny seeds.  The protein content also lowers your appetite which make chia seeds great for weight loss!

Chia seeds are also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, especially if you are plant based and looking to keep a healthy body and mind.  Although be careful that chia seeds aren’t your only source of Omega-3’s as they do not supply any DHA which is the most important omega-3 fat.  So along with enjoying your delicious chia pudding, make sure to take a regular DHA supplement.

Coconut Chia Pudding 4

Now if anyone asks why you are eating “dessert” for breakfast, you can tell them how your delicious, creamy pudding is actually a nutrient dense superfood powerhouse, helping you stay full for long while keeping your body and mind at it’s best.

Coconut Dessert Chia Pudding with Raspberry Compote

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

CHIA PUDDING

  • 1.5 cups of full fat canned coconut milk (for a lighter pudding use lite canned coconut milk)
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup (to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp vanilla

RASPBERRY COMPOTE

  • 1 bag (350g) of frozen raspberries
  • 1-2 tbsps or the juice of medium lemon (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsps cornstarch
  • 3 tbsps cold water (to mix with the corn starch)

Directions

  1. Add the can of full fat coconut to a blender cup with the maple syrup, sea salt, and vanilla.  Blend on high for 30 seconds until it is a milky, creamy consistency with no chunks.
  2. Pour the liquid into a tupperware container and mix in the chia seeds slowly and evenly on the top of the liquid mixture.
  3. Whisk the chia seeds into the coconut mixture avoiding the chia seeds forming large clumps as they tend to do.  Make sure to thoroughly whisk the chia seeds so they are nicely mixed throughout.
  4. Place the lid tightly on the mixture and refrigerate overnight (for around 12 hours) so the chia seeds form into a pudding, they will absorb the liquid getting nice and fluffy creating a cross between a pudding and jello like consistency.
  5. For the raspberry compote, put the frozen raspberries in a pot and place on medium high heat.  Add in the lemon juice, brown sugar and 1/4 cup of water and gently stir the mixture as it starts to boil, making sure to nicely mix all the ingredients.
  6. Allow the mixture to boil for 3-5 minutes while you prepare the cornstarch mixture.  In a small bowl or cup, measure out the cornstarch and cold water, stir until it forms a cloudy liquid with no lumps.
  7. Take the raspberry mixture off the hot element and gently stir in the cornstarch mixture.  The mixture will begin to thicken up and stick to the back of your spoon (I recommend a wooden spoon), once it is this thick you can put it in a container and refrigerate it for a few hours, it will continue to thicken during these next few hours.
  8. In the morning you may serve yourself some chia pudding and raspberry compote for a decadent omega-3 rich breakfast treat or for dessert in the evening with your family and friends!

    Top the pudding with granola, banana slices, some berries and enjoy!

Coconut Chia Pudding 1

Cashew Sour Cream Breakfast Burrito

Cashews are delicious and known for their buttery, salty, and sweet taste.  They are absolute chameleons and can be used to make a ton of different recipes including granola bars, sour cream, vegan “cheese”, plant based “milk”, yogurt, cheesecake, caramel and more.

In addition to cashews tasting like dessert, they actually have tons of added health benefits and should be added into everyone’s regular diet.  Here is the nutrient profile of one-ounce (28g) of raw cashews:

  • 155 calories
  • 8.5g carbohydrates
  • 5.1g protein
  • 12.43g fat
  • Vitamin E, K, and B6
  • As well as minerals such as copper, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, magnesium, and iron

Cashews have a lot of benefits for your body and your overall health.  It is important to know that not only do they have a lower fat content then most other nuts, they also have a good portion of their fats being heart-healthy monounsaturated fats which aid in the prevention of heart disease.

Cashews are also wonderful for your blood!  Your body utilizes the copper and iron within the cashew to help the body form functional red blood cells.  These minerals help your bodies immune system, blood vessels, bone health, and energy production.

Interestingly enough, magnesium is calciums sidekick when it comes to healthy bones and cashews are riddled with magnesium.  Did you know that 2/3 of all the magnesium in the human body is found in our bones?  Magnesium give your bones their physical structure while it also helps regulate nerve and muscle tone.  To keep your body at optimal health, it is incredibly important to understand what magnesium does for your body and how it interacts with calcium.

“…Magnesium serves as Nature’s own calcium channel blocker, preventing calcium from rushing into the nerve cell and activating the nerve.  By blocking calcium’s entry, magnesium keeps our nerves (and the blood vessels and muscles they innervate) relaxed. If our diet provides us with too little magnesium, however, calcium can gain free entry, and the nerve cell can become overactivated, sending too many messages and causing excessive contraction.” (whfoods.org)

But don’t nuts like cashews make you gain weight?

It is actually quite the opposite, in studies published in the journals Obesity and  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it showed that women who consumed nuts a few times a week were less likely to gain weight and actually had an easier time with weight management.  It is actually recommended that you add nuts into your regular routine as a cardioprotective component of your diet and to maintain a healthier weight.  Nuts help keep people satiated and contribute to heat production within the body (thermogenesis), which boosts metabolism.

Cashews are delicious, nutritious, and add a plethora of benefits to your diet.  Try eating them a few times a week to keep your bones strong, heart healthy, and aid in weight management.  Try this creamy cashew burrito for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, either vegetarian or vegan-style!

Cashew Sour Cream Breakfast Burrito

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

Cashew Sour Cream

  • 1 cup cashews (boiled or soaked)
  • 1/4 cup of water from boiling cashews or regular water
  • 1/2 juice of a medium lemon
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)

Burrito

  • 1/2 purple onion diced (although any type will do)
  • 4 medium sized white mushrooms diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup spinach roughly chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado mashed (1/4 per burrito)
  • 6 eggs (or sub the cheesy tofu scramble recipe for vegan burritos)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp olive oil (not necessary – you can water fry***)
  • Franks buffalo sauce (or any other hot sauce you prefer – Valentina hot sauce also works well)
  • 4-8 slices of aged cheddar (optional) sub for vegan cheese or skip the cheese all together
  • 4 multigrain burrito wraps (original, spinach, or any other style of wrap will do)

Directions

  1. You can prepare the sour cream the night before or the morning of.
    • IF starting the sour cream the night before you can soak the cashews in hot water in a bowl overnight so that the cashews are fully covered by the water and a plate sits on top of the bowl keeping the heat in.
    • OR the morning of you can place the cashews in a pot covering them with water and bring them to a boil.  Once boiling turn off the heat and let them sit on the hot element to keep soaking for another 10 minutes or so to make sure they are extremely soft.
  2. Then take the boiled cashews, and 1/4 cup of the water that the cashews were boiled in and add them to a blender cup (personal sized smoothie cup works best), you can use a larger blender or food processor as well.  Add the rest of the sour cream ingredients to the blender cup and blend on medium to high for 1.5 minutes or more until blended into a cream (no chunks remaining).  You may need to feed 1-2 tbsps of water into the mixture at a time if it does not have enough liquid to blend.
  3. Once the sour cream is made, set aside and prepare the burritos.
    • Side note:  IF making these burritos vegan, make the cheesy tofu scramble recipe before you begin frying up the veggies.
  4. Bring the frying pan to medium heat and place the 2 minced cloves of garlic into the pan with 1-2 tbsp of oil or add 1/4 – 1/3 cup of water to fry them in (waterfrying).
    • Side Note: I like to add 1/2 cup of water to the frying pan with the veggies and garlic to that they cook through more thoroughly and become soft, it’s almost like frying and steaming at the same time!
  5. Place the diced onion, and bell peppers into the pan as well.  Begin to fry everything together so that the garlic and onion starts to become fragrant.
  6. Add in the diced mushrooms and 1 tsp paprika into the veggie mixture.
  7. Once everything is cooked thoroughly and there is no water left in the pan you can turn the pan down to a low-medium heat and place the 6 eggs, and 1/2 cup of chopped spinach into the veggie mixture.  Start mixing the eggs thoroughly into the veggies to make a sort of scrambled eggs (or add in your already scrambled tofu and mix for 1-2 minutes).  You want more of a scrambled texture not an omelette texture.  Don’t be afraid to get in there and mix them up.
  8.  The egg scramble will only take a few minutes to cook until the eggs are fluffy, this is when you want to remove them from the heat, do not let them dry out as you want the creaminess of scrambled eggs.
  9.  It is okay to leave the egg mixture in the pan off the hot element while you prepare the next steps.  Lay out 2 of the burrito wraps, mash 1/4 of the avocado into each of the wraps, next take a tbsp of sour cream and spread it on each of the wraps.  Pour a tbsp or more of hot sauce onto the middle of each of the wraps then add 1/4 of the veggie egg mixture to each wrap, place a slice or two of aged cheddar on top and roll up the burritos.
  10. Place the burritos (seam side down) in a new pan on medium heat with a spray of oil for cooking if needed and cover with a lid, check in a few minutes and once golden brown, flip the burritos to toast the other side.  It is important to have them covered with a lid so the cheese can melt into the inside of the burrito when browning the outside.
    • When cooking the burritos prepare the last 2 burritos so they are ready to grill when the other burritos are done.
  11. Serve the burritos with some fruit, hashbrowns, or a smoothie for a delicious, nutritious breakfast full of veggies, protein, and healthy fats to keep you full!
  12. Enjoy!

Vanilla Latté Protein Smoothie

Raise your hand if you’re a coffee lover, I know I am!  It is so comforting waking up in the morning to brew a nice cup of jo and start your day.  But is it good for you?  Caffeine is an addictive drug so surely it does not benefit your health… or does it?

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world and as it turns out making coffee a regular daily beverage has loads of benefits to your health.  Coffee has high levels of antioxidants and tons of beneficial nutrients which gives coffee drinkers a much lower risk of serious illness and diseases.

Most people fall in love with coffee during their college and university years in western culture because it can help people feel less tired, increasing their energy levels.  Coffee contains a stimulant called caffeine which is the most popular psychoactive drug in the world, meaning it changes your brain function (ie. mood, behaviour, cognition, and perception).  When caffeine enters your bloodstream and makes it way up to your brain it actually increases the amount of neurotransmitters firing (such as norepinephrine and dopamine) which improves various aspects of brain function including reaction time, energy levels, and memory.

Coffee drinkers also have a much lower risk of type 2 diabetes.  In many studies done including one from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) “the researchers found that the participants who increased their coffee intake by more than one cup a day (on average, an increase of 1.69 cups per day) over a 4-year period had an 11% lower type 2 diabetes risk over the subsequent 4 years, compared with people who did not change their intake”.  Other studies have shown an average of a 23% to 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Studies on coffee have also shown to lower risk of Parkinson’s disease and the stimulant caffeine in coffee also helps those who already have Parkinson’s disease control their movement.  Although it is important to note that those who drink decaf do not have a lower risk of Parkinson’s.

Research has shown that coffee drinkers have a 40% lower chance of developing liver cancer and for those who drink alcohol, coffee consumption can also lower the chances of liver disease by 22%.

Coffee has a ton of antioxidant properties.  In the standard western diet studies have shown that people get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables combined!  Decaf and regular also seem to have the same antioxidant levels.

So now you can enjoy this vanilla latté protein smoothie in the morning or before a workout and all the added benefits that coffee gives your body!

Vanilla Latté Protein Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegan vanilla protein powder (I use tropeka)
  • 1 tsp or tbsp of instant coffee (depending how strong you’d like it)
  • 1 cup oat milk or any other plant based milk you desire
  • 1 ripe banana (frozen for colder smoothie)
  • 5-6 ice cubes
  • 1 to 2 medjool dates to sweeten if you’d like (optional)

Directions

  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 10-15 seconds.  I use my ninja blender and it blends to a very creamy consistency.
  2. Enjoy in the morning or afternoon to give yourself a little boost of creamy deliciousness!

Cheesy Scrambled Tofu

But how do you even cook tofu?  Isn’t it that giggly white block with no flavour?  Isn’t it linked to increased oestrogen levels which can lead to breast and ovarian cancers?  Doesn’t it cause “man boobs” in men?

I bet you have heard these myths about soy floating around but don’t be fooled, they could not be further from the truth.

Tofu is made out of soybeans and used regularly in asian cuisine.  It can soak up any flavours you give it and can take on many different forms mimicking your favourite foods (ie. scrambled eggs, omelets, cheesecake, smoothies, frittatas, quiches and more).  Tofu can be made to be delicious and it certainly is one of my top favourite foods.

Cheesy Tofu Scramble 3

In 1998 there was a study done on mice which made it seem as if there was a correlation between eating soy and developing cancer.  Although this was quickly proven to be false by many other following studies which actually proved that by consuming soy while having breast cancer actually improved the survival rates and reduced the chances of it coming back.  Soy also helps protect against initial breast cancer development, this being proven by Asian cultures who consume soy as a staple food in their diet while also having much lower rates of cancer than those in North America.

Another myth about soy phytoestrogens is that they cause men to develop breast tissue.  This rumor began because a man developed a rare case of breast swelling after drinking three quarts of soy milk everyday for six months.  When he stopped over consuming his soy drink, the problem resolved.  When people consume regular amounts of soy products such as tempeh, tofu, soy milk, and edamame it does not pose any harm to your body and especially has shown no signs of risk to men in their testosterone levels, estrogen levels, or sperm quality.

Other than being an extremely versatile food, eating tofu actually has tons of benefits for your health and body!

It is an excellent source of protein for vegans and vegetarians and is readily available in most countries around the world.  It actually provides all nine essential amino acids while also providing iron and calcium.  Manganese, selenium, phosphorus are other notable minerals in tofu that your body needs to properly function.

A 100g serving of tofu contains:

  • 73 kcal
  • 4.2g fat (0.5g of saturated fat)
  • 0.7g carbohydrate
  • 8.1g protein

It also protects against cancers, heart disease and osteoporosis when eaten as part of a balanced diet.  It contains no cholesterol and can be eaten in place of meat which contains unhealthy saturated fat and elevates bad cholesterol levels.

Tofu is a delicious way to start your day!  It has good proteins and fats to fill you up and is an excellent food to break your fast if practicing intermittent fasting, as it won’t spike your blood sugar levels and will properly satiate you.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and add it to your regular breakfast routine!

Cheesy Tofu Scramble

Cheesy Scrambled Tofu

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 block of medium firm tofu crumbled
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 to 4 tbsps plant based milk (oat, almond, cashew, rice, soya – I prefer oat)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp natural lemon juice

Directions

  1. Open tofu package and drain excess liquid.  Rinse tofu block and squeeze out excess water with paper towel.
  2. Crumble tofu block into a large non-stick frying pan until it resembles some large and small chunks like scrambled eggs on medium heat.  (I use a rock pan which is naturally non-stick and use a potato masher to mash my tofu block into large chunks instead of crumbling it).
  3. Heat up tofu for around 5 mins until it has released all excess liquid.  You may be able to see the water cook out of your tofu – this is natural.
  4. Add all spices, mustard, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice.  Stir everything until it is well blended into the scramble and takes on a very bright yellow colour, thanks to the delicious turmeric.
  5. Add as much plant based milk as necessary to make the tofu take on a fluffier scrambled egg appearance, add 1- 2 tbsp at a time, stirring in between until you reached your desired moisture.  You do not want your tofu scramble to look and taste dry or become too wet (where you can see the excess liquid surrounding the tofu).  Take your time to add the moisture added back into your scramble via the plant based milk.
  6. Cook for a few more minutes to ensure the plant milk is fully absorbed and everything is well blended and heated through.  I like to turn up the heat to med-high heat at the end for 2-3 minutes to let a curst develop on the bottom of my pan to mimic one you might get from scrambled eggs as I believe it complements the soft texture of the scramble.
  7. Serve with avocado toast, fruit, and coffee for a delicious, nutritious breakfast!

    Enjoy!

     

Garlicky Lemon Tahini Dressing

Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds and can be used in a ton of different recipes.  It originates from North African, Greek, Iranian, Middle Eastern, and Turkish cuisine and can be used in savory or sweet dishes.  Tahini comes in two forms: hulled and unhulledUnhulled tahini is better for you as it leaves the sesame seeds intact when grinding it into a paste, keeping the nutritional value.  Hulled tahini is stripped of all it’s nutrients giving it less benefits but a smoother consistency.

Tahini is rich in many nutrients and vitamins including phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium, and iron.  It is also high in protein and calories and should be eaten in moderation or be added to recipes.  The nutrition breakdown of 2 tablespoons (tbsps) of tahini (30g) is:

  • 178 calories
  • 16.13g fat (14g of fat are monounsaturated being beneficial to heart health)
  • 6.36g carbohydrates
  • 2.8g fiber
  • 0.15g sugar
  • 5.1g protein

Tahini contains antioxidant nutrients called lignans which help support the immune system and balance the bodies hormones.  For women experiencing problematic hormone imbalances or going through menopause, tahini is a great food for you to incorporate into your diet as it contains phytoestrogens, which reduce menopause symptoms such as: hot flashes, bone loss, weakness, mood changes, and low sex drive.  Phytoestrogens may also help protect the body from cancers related to hormone production (ie. breast and ovarian cancers).

Studies have also shown that tahini helps patients with osteoarthritis because it has positive effects on oxidative stress and cholesterol levels in the body.  A study group who consumed sesame regularly reported less knee pain from their osteoarthritis and did not experience any negative side effects from the tylenol they were given.  “Because tahini contains such high levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats it also plays a role in lowering cholesterol levels protecting the heart from disease and stroke.”

The fatty acids, amino acids, and vitamins E & B in tahini all work together to help your skin stay youthful and protect against aging.  Tahini is a natural antifungal and antibacterial agent which means that it kills bacteria that are trying to clog pores.  The fats within tahini also help to keep the skin moist and bring inflammation down in the body.  If you are suffering from dry damaged skin, adding a bit of tahini to your regular diet may help.

I hope you enjoy this delicious garlicky lemon tahini dressing by adding it to your burgers, falafels, salads, avocado toast, and veggie wraps.  While taking in all the added benefits it provides.

Tahini Sauce 2

Garlicky Lemon Tahini Dressing

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup water (I prefer using warm water)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (2 garlic cloves)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Directions

  1. Peel and mince garlic cloves (if using instead of garlic powder).
  2. Juice 1 fresh lemon, enough to get 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice.
  3. Blend all ingredients in a nutribullet or small blender cup until smooth (I use the small 300g salad dressing cups on my ninja blender).
  4. Pour over salad, burrito bowl, or potatoes and enjoy!