recipe

Classic & Toasted Coconut Granola

I'm a big fan of granola. There's something about sweet crunchy oats that's almost addictive... I generally find the store-bought stuff way too sweet (maybe that's why it's addictive), or too oily, or both - so after many experiments, I came up with this granola recipe that we love around here:

Recipe: Patty's Classic Granola & Delightful Variations
This is a lovely simple aromatic granola. You can make your own delightful variations from this basic recipe.

Variation: Toasted Coconut Granola
In my opinion, the most delightful variation of Patty's Classic Granola :-)

Health Notes: This recipe is vegan and gluten-free (if you use gluten-free oats). It has less fat and sugar than most store-bought granola (especially if you make the lower-sugar option) and is full of healthy fiber from oats and flax.

Cha-cha-cha-chia!

Over the past few months, I've noticed the ancient Mesoamercian chia seed popping up everywhere. Remember the chia pet? Well, it's the same seed, and it happens to be a super food, high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Chia was one of the most important foods for the Aztecs and Mayans. I bought the raw seeds, and started drinking chia fresca, a Mexican drink simply made by mixing about a tablespoon of raw chia seeds into a glass fruit juice or water, and letting it sit for about 10 minutes so that the seeds become gelatinous - the result is a drink that's both refreshing and satisfying.

Where this nutritious little seed really shines for me, is as a hot breakfast cereal.  A good friend gave me some Chia Goodness to try - and I loved it. Inspired, I came up with this tasty combination of nuts, seeds, and fruit that's become a house favourite:

Recipe: Instant Hot Chia Cereal

Besides being tasty, filling, and nutritious - it's super-quick to make: just add hot water. Another bonus: you can customize the recipe with your favourite nuts, seeds, and fruit - fun!

Instant Hot Chia Cereal before adding water.

Ginger Miso Peanut Butter Cookies


The combination of miso and peanut butter is one that's intrigued me for a while. I've experimented with different versions of miso peanut butter cookies for some time now... and recently: miso, peanut butter, and ginger - wow! The combination of sweet, savory, and spicy is pretty awesome :-) A Japanese take on classic peanut butter cookies:

Recipe: Ginger Miso Peanut Butter Cookies

Health notes: These addictive exotic treats just happen to be dairy-free and gluten-free. Packed with peanuts, these cookies have a substantial amount of protein, minerals, and healthy fat. Ginger is great for the immune system and digestion, and cinnamon has a bunch of health benefits, including the ability to help moderate blood-sugar levels. These cookies are really sweet, and by sweet I mean delicious *and* sugary, though they're not as sugary-sweet as traditional peanut butter cookies.

Sweet Ambrosia Cookies

Ambrosia: The food of the gods. It is said the consumption of ambrosia results in immortality.

Recipe: Sweet Ambrosia Cookies

I can't promise immortality, though I will say these honey-sweetened aromatic cookies are pretty satisfying and delicious :-) Inspired by Tahini Oatmeal Walnut Cookies, these are made with sweet nutty sunflower seed butter, which is abundant in these parts (and for some, easier to digest than tahini). Rich and healthy, these gems also contain oats, pecans, coconut, vanilla and cinnamon. These cookies happen to be vegan and wheat-free/gluten-free - they're really quick and easy to make too!

How to make your own healthy baking powder

The other day I ran out of baking powder, so I decided to make my own. I was delighted with how easy it was, and how well it worked in my recipes - just as good as the store-bought stuff. The best part is, the home-made variety doesn't contain aluminum, so it's much better for you, and doesn't impart an aluminum flavour. (Knowing what we do about aluminum, I'm surprised that some baking powders still have it! To be fair, the store-bought baking powder I used didn't contain aluminum, it had corn starch, monocalcium phosphate, and sodium bicarbonate.) Another bonus to making your own: you can choose your own starch, I use tapioca starch. (Typically, baking powder contains corn or wheat starch, so this recipe is good for people with corn or gluten intollerances/allergies.)

Recipe: Aluminum-free Baking Powder

Happy healthy baking :-)

Sprouted Quinoa Cornbread


Fresh cornbread with homemade guacamole: yum!

Here's another healthy tasty quick bread for cornbread lovers ~

Recipe: Quinoa Cornbread

I've updated classic cornbread to make it healthier, without compromising flavour or texture. Like my Quinoa Rice Bread, this is also made with germinated/sprouted quinoa seeds, resulting in a moist delicious nutritious bread that's surprisingly easy to make. (I've served it to non-health nuts with rave reviews :-) It's also great for special diets, as it's naturally gluten-free, and optionally dairy-free and sugar-free.

Fresh cornbread with guacamole.

Surrounded by a lovely crust, this cornbread is terrific warm and fresh out of the oven. If keeping longer than a day, I wrap it up and store it in the fridge, and then toast or grill thick slices - particularly good topped with homemade guacamole, or butter and honey!

Toasted cornbread with butter and honey.

Roasted Almonds with Figs

Figs and almonds are a classic - and with great reason. Lately, I've been eating dried figs stuffed with roasted almonds and WOW. This combination is almost shockingly delicious - satisfying too. It's super nutritious as well:
Almonds: high in healthy fats, vitamin E, B2, magnesium, copper, antioxidants
Figs: high in fiber, potassium, calcium

This combination is even better when you roast the almonds yourself - here's how:

Recipe: Roasted Almonds with Figs

  • Heat oven to 350.
  • Spread raw almonds on a single layer on a pan and bake (a jelly roll pan works great) for 10 - 20 minutes, stirring once or twice while baking.
  • When they are ready, they will be fragrant and golden inside (cut one open to check). Be careful, as they will continue to roast once you remove them from the oven - so don't let them get too brown.
  • Allow to cool completely.

Next, snip the top off a dried fig (buy natural dried figs with no sulfites) and push a few almonds in. Enjoy!

Marvelous Macaroons


The first time I had a real fresh almond macaroon was in French Switzerland. After one sweet crisp chewy almondy bite, I was hooked. Later, I looked up recipes for classic French-style almond macaroons, and was pleased to see how simple they are (basic ingredients; almonds, egg whites, sugar) and easy to make. Another bonus: they're gluten-free! After several delicious experiments, I came up with this lovely not-too-sweet version of classic French-style almond macaroons, here made with fresh almond flour, fragrant orange zest and honey.

Recipe: Honey Almond Macaroons

Miam miam!

Gluten-Free Sprouted Quinoa Rice Bread


It's official: I'm off wheat gluten, for now... I've been avoiding wheat gluten for the last month, and have been feeling generally healthier: less bloating, less overall aches and pains, better mood too :-) I went on a bit of a wheat binge yesterday, and bam! Bloating, joint pain, and a noticeably compromised immune system. Good thing there are many other great things to eat besides wheat out there. Here's a delicious moist gluten-free quick-bread I've been enjoying:


Recipe:
Quinoa Rice Bread

Similar to cornbread, this bread is made with healthy sprouted quinoa and brown rice flour instead of cornmeal. Sprouting the quinoa is easy: rinse the seeds in cold water (3X), then soak the seeds in at least twice as much room temperature water (6-12 hours) and voila! your quinoa is germinated/sprouted. This makes the seeds healthier, easier to digest, and easier to puree (which is perfect for this recipe). This bread is great fresh out of the oven with butter, alongside hearty soups, or toasted and slathered with nut butter and honey for breakfast. The slice in the photo is embellished with almond butter, raw honey, and cinnamon: yum!

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 :-)