healthy

rich dark chocolate spread


As a child, I absolutely loved spreading nutella on my toast. These days, I'm more into dark chocolate, as well as natural healthy whole ingredients. I came up with this exquisite silky dark chocolate spread to satisfy my craving:
Recipe: Noir Chocolate Spread

It's perfect for slathering on toast, crackers, rice cakes, or for enjoying with strawberries or other fruit. This sweet decadent raw vegan treat is good for you too: rich in healthy omega-3 flax oil, full of antioxidant-rich cocoa, and sweetened with raw agave syrup.

The bread in the photo is gluten-free quinoa bread from Little Stream Bakery, a superb moist almost-cake-like sourdough bread, my current favorite :-)

Gluten-Free Oats?


Photo of oat flowers (avena sativa) by Andreas Trepte

Are oats gluten-free? For someone with Celiac Disease who can't tollerate wheat gluten (almost 1% of the population), this is an important question. Adi Lucas posted this sweet comment and great question under my recipe for Spiced Pineapple Oat Cookies:

"Hello Patty and thanks for the wonderful recipe. I´m always trying to improve my stash of healthy recipes and this one works great for me! I love oats as it goes fine with the small amount of carbs I include on my daily diet. My question is the following: I have heard that oats are forbidden for celiac disease and as I have a good friend with this problem, I´d like to know what kind of oats you use in this recipe so I can tell her about it. Thanks."

Patty's Pumpkin Pudding Pie

They say that the smell of pumpkin pie baking in the oven is an aphrodisiac. They also say that it's good to bake one while you're having having an open-house to sell your home - chances of scoring are higher. I bake them often in the fall and winter, as they're the perfect seasonal dish (winter squash is one of the few vegetables that will keep for months), and they're supremely delicious.

Most days, I prefer making variations of this pumpkin pudding to a traditional pumpkin pie. Why? Because it's healthier (no refined ingredients or empty calories), quicker and easier to make - and I'm more into the filling than the crust. Here's my quintessential recipe: Patty's Pumpkin Pudding

Like a clafouti, this pudding makes it's own "crust" and is sliceable when cooled down. Beautifully spiced and rich, it can be embellished with a layer of crunchy caramelized nuts. This is an easy and flexible recipe where you can play with the ingredients and their proportions - so have some warm sexy winter baking fun!

ps - here are some tips on how-to take a classic pumpkin pie recipe and make it healthier - without compromising flavour: Hi there pumpkin pie!

Green Ginger Pineapple Smoothie

This is my new favorite uber-healthy morning smoothie:
Green Ginger Pineapple Smoothie

Here are the things I love about it:
- full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
- made with enzyme-rich pineapple and easy to digest
- great for detox, candida, and alkaline diets
- full of fiber
- quick and easy to make
- refreshing, revitalizing, and delicious!

Candida, Xylitol, & Spiced Pineapple Oat Cookies

I was recently on a moderate version of the candida diet (a.k.a anti-candida diet). It's a particularly difficult diet, as you need to "starve the yeast" (candida) in your system by NOT eating sugar (refined, natural, sweet fruits...), yeast, refined flours (including starches), mushrooms, fermented food (tofu, cocoa, tea), vitamins/supplements with yeast (like most B vitamins), most dairy, alcohol, vinegar (except apple cider vinegar), nuts/seeds (because they often have mold on them)... The hardest part for me was not eating nuts!

The Noble Pineapple


photo by Ian Britton

As a child, I have fond memories of eating fresh sweet juicy pineapple on the beaches of Southern Spain. Young gypsies were selling it, walking on the hot sands yelling "brrrrrrrrr pina!". I still love scoring a beautiful fragrant pineapple :-)

While visiting Mexico last winter, we would buy it from women selling it at the side of the highways, who would offer it to you as you crept over the massive speed-bumps designed to slow-down vehicles near towns. The women included a little pouch of chili spice to sprinkle on the fruit: I highly recommend eating fresh pineapple with chili spice!

Recently, I've rediscovered pineapple and have been enjoying it almost every day. First, it's a gorgeous thing, and I love spotting a particularly nice one at the fruit stand, bringing it home, and then staring at it for a day or two. Next, cutting it up is quite satisfying and easy to do - my partner usually gets to do this. Finally the booty: sweet fragrant juicy fruit! Besides being awesome tasting, pineapple is very healthy, full of vitamin C, manganese, and the enzyme bromelain that helps you digest protein - this is why it's particularly good with fish and meat.

Bonus: the noble pineapple happens to be the food of the week on the world's healthiest foods.

I will post some super pineapple recipes next...

Fat Tuesday!


New Orleans Mardi Gras maskers, c. 1915, scanned from old postcard. Note women carry whips to fend off any unwanted attentions. (Wikipedia)

It's Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day, the last day of Carnival! I'm putting on something sparkly and frying up some pancakes tonight :-)

  • Festive pancake recipes:

Awesome Almond Buckwheat Pancakes - a personal favorite
Swedish Pancake - a lovely giant pancake you bake
Dee's Oatmeal Pancakes Recipe - these sound great
corn and bacon pancakes
- yes, bacon in pancakes is awesome! (get oganic)
Oatmeal Bacon Pancakes - Irish recipe, sounds yummy

  • Pancakes for hardcore healthy eaters + gluten-free:

Super Pancakes (for one or more) - packed with nutritious filling whole grains
Carolyn's Breakfast Pancakes - "...we have had this breakfast EVERY SINGLE DAY for the past 2 years"
Protein Power Pancakes - quick easy gluten-free sugar-free breakfast for one
Gluten Free / Sugar Free / Lactose Free Pancakes - the name says it all
Delicious Gluten-Free Pancakes - this has great reviews

2 Super-Healthy Quick Breads!



Super-Healthy Banana Bread
"...whole-grain perfectly spiced banana bread: gluten-free, sugar-free,
dairy-free and flavorful with no unnecessary sugar or fat."

Spicy Mayan Brownies

I came up with these super-rich fudgy spicy brownies a while back to satisfy my craving for chocolate and spice. Having a sweet spot for all things Mayan, I composed these using some traditional Mayan flavours: chocolate, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, anise, chilli, vanilla - yum! I also incorporated the healthy meso-American super-grain quinoa (I used red quinoa) as well as flax seeds - I don't think flax is Mayan, but it allowed me to avoid eggs in this recipe. I soaked my seeds to germinate/sprout them: super healthy and easier to puree. Though the high amount of cocoa, sprouted seeds, and spices would qualify these gluten-free vegan treats as healthy, the sucanat and butter (coconut oil works here for the vegan or dairy-free diets) bump these into the supremely rich and tasty side of healthy. I love these brownies + they are now officially my sweet-heart's new favorite brownies :-)

Recipe: Spicy Mayan Brownies

Festive Recipes from Favorite Blogs

Lovely nutty vegan confection - great for sweet carob lovers or those avoiding chocolate: Carob Nut Balls

Rich and beautifully flavored... Pine Nut Rosemary Shortbread

Some of my favorite flavour combos are in this beautiful (healthy!) candy: Aztec Chocolate Bark