Go-To Raw Cereal Bowl

Why is it important to eat fruit?

Fruit has tons of health benefits and research has shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of their regular healthy diet have lower risk of many chronic diseases and illnesses.

Fruit it full of vital nutrients for the body and overall health.  Most fruits are naturally low in sodium, fat, and calories; they also contain no cholesterol.  Fruits contain many essential nutrients that a large percentage of the western world under consume including potassium, folate (folic acid), vitamin C & A, and dietary fiber.  These nutrients reduce the risk for heart disease, obesity, type-2 diabetes and strokePotassium also helps protect you from developing kidney stones, regulates blood pressure and will keep your bones strong as you age.  Bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricots, and grapefruit are all fruits to try if you are looking to increase your potassium.

Dietary fiber is found in various fruits and is key to maintaining overall health, as it helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, lowers the risk of heart disease and keeps the bowels functioning properly.  Fiber also helps you to feel full, helping you eat less and maintain a healthy weight.  Although if dietary fiber is what you are after, make sure you are eating the fruit in it’s whole food form (ie. a whole orange or orange slices) not orange juice or orange popsicles (ice lollies) which contain next to no dietary fiber.

 

Vitamin C is extremely important as well, helping your tissues to grow and repair and keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

It is important that pregnant women make sure they are getting enough fruit as well because of the folic acid it provides.  Folic acids helps produce red blood cells which helps protect babies from developing birth defects.

It is recommended to eat around 2-5 servings of fruit a day.  2 servings per day by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and 4-5 servings per day by the American Heart Association (AHA).  The general recommendation for fruit consumption is around 400g a day or 5 x 80g servings.  Each serving of fresh fruit is around 1 cup or roughly the size of a tennis ball.

Current nutrition guidelines suggest that even those with diabetes should be consuming 2-4 servings of fruit per day.  Many diabetics worry about the amount of sugar in fruit but studies have shown that when eating whole fruit with the fiber still intact (not fruit juice or sugary dried fruits) it has very little effects on blood sugar levels.

So unless you are on a strict ketogenic diet, there is really no reason you should be limiting your fruit intake.  I hope you found this information to be helpful and will try out this delicious alternative to the sugary cereals that most westerners find themselves eating in the morning.

Cereal Bowl 2

Go-To Raw Cereal Bowl

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 pink lady apples chopped
  • 1 ripe banana sliced
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsps chopped walnuts chopped
  • 1 or 2 tbsps raisins or chopped dates
  • top with any plant based milk of your choosing (I like oat milk but you may choose almond, soya, cashew, rice, or coconut)
  •  

    EXTRA TOPPINGS:

  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 or 2 tbsps mulberries
  • 1 passion fruit to add a wonderfully sour note to compliment the sweetness in this raw cereal bowl
  •  

Directions

  1. Wash and chop your apples into bite sized chunks, add to your bowl.
  2. Slice banana and add to your bowl.
  3. Chop walnuts and add them to your bowl.
  4. Top with chia seeds, raisins, and any other desired toppings you may want.
  5. Pour chilled plant based milk on top and enjoy!
  6. Have with your morning coffee for a delicious, sweet, fibre rich breakfast!

Golden Pinto Bean and Potato Soup

Beans are one of the healthiest foods on the planet and a wonderfully cheap source of fiber, protein, and vitamins that will keep you full and healthy.  There are a variety of different beans that you can add to your diet to help form protein and build muscle from the amino acids that they contain.  For this recipe, I chose to focus on pinto beans because of the delicious creamy texture that goes well in a soup and will keep you full throughout the day whilst getting all the added benefits that beans give you.

Pinto beans have a low GI which means that they don’t spike your blood sugar when you eat them.  They also contain a plethora of nutrients such as: molybdenum, folate, fiber, copper, phosphorus, manganese, protein, vitamin B1 & B6, magnesium and iron.  For 1 cup of super filling, fibrous beans they only contain 245 calories which is outstanding if you pair them with some rice and a large amount of hardy veggies.

Because of the high fiber content in pinto beans, they help reduce cholesterol levels which makes them any especially good choice for people with diabetes, insulin resistance, or hypoglycemia.  The soluble fiber in pinto beans also make them a great food to help relieve constipation and help prevent and reverse digestive disorders such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

The folate, magnesium, and potassium that beans contain help lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.  Folate on it’s own helps to lower levels of homocysteine in the blood which when high enhances the risk for heart attack, stroke, and other forms of heart disease.  The magnesium in the beans helps to improve the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients having beneficial cardiovascular effects.  As well, the potassium in pinto beans is super important to the muscles (including the heart), helping them to have an easier time contracting, contributing to a healthy heart.

All beans including pinto beans are a fantastic source of iron, an integral part of hemoglobin which transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the cells in the body contributing to a healthy metabolism and energy production (whfoods.com).

Beans are one of the healthiest foods on the planet and provide us with so many benefits while giving us a good source of protein, lots of nutrients and being relatively fat-free.  The American Heart Association recommends that everyone has 5 servings a week of legumes (1/2 cup is the recommended serving), while the NHS in the UK recommends 5 servings of fruit and veggies a day allowing beans to count towards those 5 a day, the Canadian Food Guide suggests 7-10 servings of fruit and veggies a day also allowing beans to contribute to that and Dr. Greger (my favourite plant based doctor) recommends 3 servings a day.  So if you aim for any of these recommendations you will be keeping your body full of soluble fiber and will be healthier for it!

Here is a link to this printable checklist made by Dr. Greger to make sure you are getting all the whole food vitamins and nutrients you need in your daily diet.

Check out the recipe below using pinto beans to boost the intake of legumes in your regular diet and stay warm in the winter!

Golden Pinto Bean and Potato Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1250g potatoes or 5-6 large russet or yellow potatoes with the skins on (peeled if you desire)
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 4 large carrots chopped
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tsp better than bouillon (vegan and reduced sodium)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • sprinkle of salt if desired
  •  

Directions

  1. Peel and dice red onion.
  2. Peel and mince garlic.  Sauté the onion and garlic in 1 inch of water (**Water-fry**see notes**) in a medium to large pot for around 5 minutes at medium to high heat until translucent and fragrant.
  3. Wash and chop potatoes into 1 inch cubes (peel if desired) and dice carrots.  No need to peel these veggies as long as they are washed really well.  Add them to the pot along with 4 cups of water and the tsp of better than bouillon.
  4. Add in the two cans of pinto beans.  I always strain and rinse my beans thoroughly, especially when they are from a can.
  5. Next you will add your spices: the turmeric and dried thyme.  Stir all ingredients really well.
  6. Let the soup cook for around 10-15 minutes on medium heat until the potatoes and carrots are fully cooked and tender (you are able to pierce them easily with a fork).
  7. Once the soup is fully cooked you my reduce it to a simmer or the warming setting to keep it warm mixing in the nutritional yeast and a bit of salt if desired.  **If you are trying to reduce your salt intake then only add salt to the top of your food when it is already put in your personal bowl as you mainly taste the salt on the top of your food.**
  8. Serve warm with rustic sour dough bread and enjoy!

    INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS:

    • If your have an instant pot you may use the sauté setting to water-fry your diced red onions and minced garlic for 5 minutes in 1/2 cup of water until translucent and fragrant.
    • Then chop, peel and dice the remaining ingredients as the above recipe describes and add it into the instant pot.
    • Add the remaining ingredients to the instant pot EXCEPT the nutritional yeast and salt.
    • Set the instant pot to 9 minutes on manual and close the knob on the top of the pot to sealing.
    • Once fully cooked (the timer is complete) the instant pot will start releasing the pressure naturally.  Allow it to do so for 10 minutes then switch the knob on the top to venting.  This will allow the pot to release any steam that has not escaped the pot yet.
    • Take off the lid and mix in the nutritional yeast.

    Serve warm with rustic sour dough bread and enjoy!

    **Water-fry**  Water-frying means to fry your food with water instead of oil.  Place 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the non-stick pan or rock pan (non-stick or rock pans are best for this) and cook as usual.  This will allow your food to fry the same as usual without the greasiness and non-nutritious calories that oil provides.

Big Mac “Special” Sauce

Let’s face it, big mac sauce is definitely not healthy.  It’s filled with tons of sugar, sodium, and oil as well as many ingredients that we cannot recognize.

“Soybean Oil, Sweet Relish (Diced Pickles, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Corn Syrup, Xanthan Gum, Calcium Chloride, Spice Extractives), Water, Egg Yolks, Distilled Vinegar, Spices, Onion Powder, Salt, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Garlic Powder, Vegetable Protein (Hydrolyzed Corn, Soy and Wheat), Sugar, Caramel Color, Turmeric, Extractives of Paprika, Soy Lecithin.” (McDonalds.com)

Although, people still seem to crave it on their burger.

So I decided to make a similar “special sauce” for you to enjoy on your burgers but instead it’s made from healthy whole food ingredients that you can understand.

Cashews make up the bulk of this sauce which provides you with a plethora of health benefits including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants while taking in protein and healthy fats to keep you full.

Cashews contain a good amount of:

  • Vitamins E, K & B6
  • Copper
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Selenium

Eating cashews helps to reduce your blood pressure therefore lowering “bad” cholesterol levels.  The copper and iron in cashews help your body to keep forming healthy red blood cells keeping your immune system, blood vessels, nerves, and bones functioning properly (healthline.com).

The high levels of antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin in cashews have also been linked to promoting eye health, protecting them from light damage, decreasing the chances for developing cataracts (healthline.com).

Also by choosing this sauce for your burger you will help to take in mono-and polyunsaturated fats which will help keep you full and manage a healthier weight.  Harvard research has shown that just two servings of nuts a day helps to protect you from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and heart disease (healthline.com).

I hope you try out this delicious vegan “special” burger sauce recipe and let me know what you think.  You can lather up your veggie burger or even regular meat burger and know that you’re heading in the right direction for yours and your families health.

BIg Mac Sauce 2

Big Mac Special Sauce

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup soaked cashews **see notes**
  • 1/4 cup water (I use luke warm as I find it blends the ingredients better achieving a smoother consistency)
  • 2 tsps yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsps minced red onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps dried dill
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsps pickle brine (juice from a pickle jar)

Directions

  1. First, you will want to soak your cashews if you have not done so in advance.  Take a cereal bowl and place your 3/4 cup of cashews into it and cover with boiled water until they are fully submerged.  Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes, until they are tender enough to blend into a smooth consistency.
  2. Gather a small blender cup (I use the 300g ninja blender cup) and mince your red onion finely, placing it in your blender cup.  Add the rest of the ingredients: mustard, tomato sauce, salt, dill, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar.
  3. Add your soaked cashews to the blender cup and finally the 1/4 cup of water (I use luke warm as I find it blends into a smoother consistency) and blend on a medium setting.
  4. **NOTE** Usually before I blend I shake my blender cup to get all the ingredients to be somewhat mixed and not stick to the sides of the containers.  I also do this half way through blending.
  5. You may find that your ingredients are not blending as smoothly as you would like or the consistency is a bit too dry, you can always add 1-2 tbsps of warm water to your sauce and continue to blend until it has reached a thick, creamy, smooth consistency.
  6. You will want your sauce thick and creamy so it was stay on veggie burgers nicely or add a creamy element to a buddha or burrito bowl.
  7. **You may want to soak your cashews 12 hours in advance, but if you don’t have the time to prep (like me) or just want something faster you can pour the cashews into a cereal sized bowl and cover them with boiled water from your kettle and leave them sit for 10-15 minutes as you prep the other ingredients.**

Healing Mushroom Potato Leek Soup

Leeks are known for their deliciously sweet flavour and for being a member of the onion family.  They are used in a variety of European and Asian dishes and provide many beneficial nutrients to keep our bodies happy and healthy.

Leeks are very low in sodium, having almost no cholesterol or saturated fat and large amounts of essential vitamins and minerals including:

  • Dietary fiber
  • Vitamin B6
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Folate
  • Vitamins A, C & K

Because leeks are high in vitamins A & C they are wonderfully beneficial for your skin!  Leeks work as a natural diuretic and detoxify your skin flushing out harmful toxins helping to keep your skin looking fresh and smooth.  The beta-carotene and vitamin C in leeks (especially the green leafy parts) helps to protect your skin from the sun‘s powerful rays.

Leeks help your hair to grow!  The iron in the leek helps to keep your hair follicles healthy promoting growth.  Leeks also contain a good amount of vitamin C needed to absorb iron into the body helping to protect against hair loss.

The high amount of vitamin K present in leeks also help activate osteocalcin which are proteins essential to bone health.

The flavonoid kaempferol in leeks helps to protect our blood vessel linings from damage.  Kaempferol aids the production of nitric oxide, helping to relax the blood vessels, decreasing the risk of hypertension.  The vitamin K in leeks also helps keep blood circulating optimally within the body.

Leeks also aid in digestion because they are filled with dietary fiber strengthening the stomach and gut.  Because leeks are a hardy veggie, they also help you chew more, eat slower, and will keep you full, promoting good digestion.

Leeks are delicious, making you feel so healthy and fresh!  I hope you enjoy this creamy sweet soup and all the vitamins and minerals it provides you.  It is my go-to recipe before I travel or when I feel sick to give me the healthy boost I need.

Soup 2

Healing Mushroom Potato Leek Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh white mushrooms roughly chopped
  • 2 large leeks or 1-1/2 cups thinly sliced then chopped
  • 5-6 medium yellow potatoes with skin (peeled for smoother soup)
  • 1 finely chopped red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 4 cups of water with 1 tsp of better than bouillon (or 4 cups of vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup of lite coconut milk (you can use full fat coconut milk for a creamier taste)
  • salt is desired

Directions

    1.Add 1/2 cup of water into a large pot and turn on medium-high heat.  Finely chop red onion and add it to a pot with minced garlic, water-fry and sauté for 5 minutes until onions are translucent and fragrant.  **See Notes**

  1. Wash mushrooms to take away any dirt and remove mushroom stems.  Roughly chop mushrooms and add them to the pot.
  2. Slice leeks in half so you have 4 halves.  Then slice each half down long ways until there is 8 pieces, exposing all the layers of the leeks.  Then you will thinly slice your leeks.  Roughly chopping the leeks after they are sliced so they are in thin, small pieces.  Put your pieces of leek into a strainer and rinse them well as leeks are known to be sandy.  Add leek pieces to your pot.
  3. 4.  Peel your potatoes if desired.  Wash your potatoes and chop them into small 1 inch sized cubes.  Add them to the pot.

  4. At this point you will add your veggie broth, or water and better than bouillon.  You will also add your lite coconut milk (you can add full fat coconut milk for a creamier taste), spices, and lemon juice.
  5. You will bring your soup down to medium heat and cook until the potatoes are fully cooked and beginning to break down as you stir.
  6. You may bring the soup down to a simmer for 5 more minutes to allow all the spices to become fragrant.
  7. You may want to leave your soup chunky or use an immersion hand blender to blend into a smoother consistency.
  8. Serve while hot and with rustic sourdough bread.  Enjoy!

    INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS:

    • If your have an instant pot you may use the sauté setting to water-fry your finely chopped red onion and minced garlic.  Add 1/2 cup of water to your instant pot and choose the sauté setting without the lid sauté the onions and garlic for 5 minutes until onions are translucent and fragrant.
    • Turn the instant pot off sauté.  Wash mushrooms to take away any dirt and remove mushroom stems.  Roughly chop mushrooms and add them to the pot.
    • Slice leeks in half so you have 4 halves.  Then slice each half down long ways until there is 8 pieces, exposing all the layers of the leeks.  Then you will thinly slice your leeks.  Roughly chopping the leeks after they are sliced so they are in thin, small pieces.  Put your pieces of leek into a strainer and rinse them well as leeks are known to be sandy.  Add leek pieces to your pot.
    • Peel your potatoes if desired.  Wash your potatoes and chop them into small 1 inch sized cubes.  Add them to the pot.
    • At this point you will add your veggie broth, or water and better than bouillon.  You will also add your lite coconut milk (you can add full fat coconut milk for a creamier taste) and spices.
    • Place the lid on the pot and turn the knob onto to sealing, and set the instant pot to manual for 8 minutes.
    • Once the instant pot is finished it will naturally vent.  Let it vent for 10 minutes then turn to knob to venting to help it fully release all the steam.  Once this is complete you may take off the lid and add in the lemon juice, giving the soup a nice stir.
    • You may then serve the soup chunky or use an immersion blender to make it a smoother consistency.

    Serve warm with rustic sour dough bread and enjoy!

    **Water-fry**  Water-frying means to fry your food with water instead of oil.  Place 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the non-stick pan or rock pan (non-stick or rock pans are best for this) and cook as usual.  This will allow your food to fry the same as usual without the greasiness and non-nutritious calories that oil provides.

Lean Green Burrito Bowl

Lean Green Burrito Bowl

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped red, yellow or orange pepper
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 6-8 medium sized white mushrooms or button mushrooms
  • 2 medium zucchinis roughly chopped (larger chunks)
  • 1 can of pinto beans (can sub for kidney or black beans if desired)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup corn (optional)
  • 1 cup of uncooked brown parboiled rice
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 romaine hearts chopped into bite sized pieces (to form your salad base)
  • vegan cheese, cheese sauce or any other type of cheese you enjoy
  • 1 lime
  • 1 ripe avocado (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley (for topping)

Directions

  1. Cook your rice in your instant pot, rice cooker, microwave or on the stove as it will take a while to cook.
  2. Chop the romaine hearts, 1 per bowl or how ever much chopped romaine fills up half your bowl as this is a very lean green burrito bowl (you will want to use a bowl that is larger than a cereal bowl, a shallow bowl more suited for buddha bowls and salads).
  3. Water-fry your chopped onions and minced garlic on medium-high heat until translucent and fragrant.  **See notes**
  4. Add in your red pepper and sauté in a small amount of water for a few minutes until tender.
  5. Wash your canned beans and add them into your pan.  Also add chopped mushrooms, zucchinis, corn, and spices.  Mix well.
  6. Allow burrito mixture a few minutes to cook together allowing flavours to combine.
  7. Mash 1 ripe avocado in small bowl or cup.
  8. Fill each burrito bowl with 1/2 cup to 1 cup of cooked rice at this time.  Add 1 to 2 cups of burrito mixture to each bowl.  Squeeze juice from 1/4 to 1/2 lime into your bowl.  Top with mashed avocado, chopped fresh parsley, and vegan cheese (if you are using any).
  9. Enjoy!

    **Water-fry**  Water-frying means to fry your food with water instead of oil.  Place 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the non-stick pan or rock pan (non-stick or rock pans are best for this) and cook as usual.  This will allow your food to fry the same as usual without the greasiness and non-nutritious calories that oil provides.

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
  • Print

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!

Epic Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberries have been named a superfood for a reason!  They are delicious, low in calories, and wildly popular.  Many people say they are their favourite fruit.

Blueberries are known for their many health benefits, being low in calories but high in nutrients.  A 1 cup serving (148g) of blueberries contains:

  • 84 Calories
  • 4g fiber
  • 15g carbohydrates
  • Vitamin C & K
  • Manganese
  • They are around 85% water

Blueberries are full of antioxidants.  Antioxidants protect the body from producing free radicals which damage your cells and contribute to cancer and aging.  These powerful berries also are known to reduce oxidative DNA damage which is natural and occurs tens of thousands of times a day in our bodies being the direct reason why we grow older.

The iron, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin K are all equal components of having healthy bones.  These vitamins and minerals which are found in blueberries have been linked to strength and elasticity in bones and joints, calcium absorption, and a reduce in calcium loss.  Healthy bones are very important to be able to have a healthy, active lifestyle.

If you have high blood pressure, then blueberries are the food for you!  Studies have shown that diets rich in blueberries (therefore low in sodium) help to reduce those at risk for heart disease by lowering their blood pressure.

Blueberries are also high in vitamin C, a vitamin that helps prevent skin damage.  The vitamin C helps the collagen in the skin to reduce wrinkles and smooth out the skin.  Giving those who consume a healthy amount of fruits high in vitamin C a more youthful appearance.

Studies in animals have also shown that blueberries help increase intelligence, memory, and brain function.  Blueberries have also shown these improvements in human studies as well, one study specifically showing “nine older adults with mild cognitive impairment consumed blueberry juice every day.   After 12 weeks, they experienced improvements in several markers of brain function“.  This is partly because the antioxidants in blueberries help repair damage in the brain from oxidative stress, improving cell signalling in aging neurons.

Blueberries are a great choice of fruit for diabetics.  They are relatively low in sugar compared to most other fruit and the bioactive compounds help to control blood sugar. The “anthocyanins in blueberries also have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism” which has been shown to prove anti-diabetic effects through both blueberry juice and extract, although it always best to consume the whole blueberry to get all the fiber benefits.

Blueberries are loaded with nutrients for the body and mind and should be a staple food in anyone’s regular diet.  They are commonly ranked one of the world’s healthiest foods and sometimes named a superfood.  They can be bought fresh, dried, frozen, freeze dried, in juice, or in form of extract and will amp up many different recipes.  Please try the lemon blueberry pancakes below and enjoy a delicious breakfast treat with antioxidant benefits.

 

Pancakes 2

Epic Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (can substitute 1 cup white and 1 cup whole wheat depending on your taste)
  • 1 banana (to be blended with 1/3 cup water (additional water)) to substitute adding sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp & 1 tsp ground flax seeds to be mixed with 3 tbsps of water to for a flax egg
  • 1/2 medium lemon zest
  • 1 cup blueberries (preferably fresh, but frozen works too)
  • 2 cups plant based milk (almond/oat/soya/cashew)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (mixed with plant milk to curdle)

Directions

  1. Mix 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsps water and set aside in a small bowl or cup for 5-10 minutes until the mixture forms into a gel-like consistency mimicking an egg.
  2. Mix plant milk in a bowl with lemon juice to curdle.
  3. Begin by blending your banana and 1/3 cup of water until smooth and set aside.  This can also be done by mashing a banana in a small bowl with the water until it is generally smooth (some chunks can be left depending on your taste).
  4. Next add all your dry ingredients into a bowl (the flour, baking powder, cinnamon) and mix.  Create a well in the middle of your dry ingredients.
  5. Add all your wet ingredients into a bowl (banana mixture, vanilla extract, and plant based milk) and mix until combined.
  6. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, add the flax egg and mix until it forms a thick pancake batter consistency.  It is okay if it is thicker then a usual pancake batter as this will create fluffy thick cake-like pancakes.  If you like thinner pancakes almost like crepes then you want to add more water or plant based milk.  You may need to add more water/milk if your pancake batter is becoming too thick, add 2 tbsps at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
  7. Add the lemon zest and blueberries into the batter and give a final mix.  Remember when your pancake batter sits it will thicken so you may want to add more liquid after it sits for a while, while you are cooking the other pancakes.
  8. Scoop out 1/3 cup of batter at a time for each pancake and place in a non-stick frying pan or a regular frying pan with a spray of oil.  When the pancake is beginning to have air bubbles you can flip it to cook the other side.  Remove from heat when fully cooked and has a golden brown colour.
  9. Top with bananas, warm cooked apples, berries, maples syrup or agave (my favourite), or another desired topping and enjoy!