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Posts Tagged ‘gluten-free’

I made this amazingly easy energy bar recipe last week and my family loved them…so did my clients!
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I had to share because if your household is anything like mine, having quick, nutritious and nutrient dense snacks on hand are a must.

Let me know what you think.

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Raw & Vegan – Ginger Nut Energy Bars
3 cups of raw nuts (I used cashews but you could try almonds, pecans or macadamia nuts)
2 cups of pitted medjool dates
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
pinch of sea salt

Place nuts into your food processor fitted with the “s” blade and process for about 60-90 seconds or until finely ground. Then add the dates, spices and salt. Process again for another 60-90 seconds or until dates are completely ground and the mixture is starting to form a ball. I added 2 TBSP of coconut oil to the mixture to make it stick together more but this is optional.

Press mixture into an 8X8 inch pan and refrigerate for 4-5 hours. Then cut into bar shapes and individually wrap for an easy snack on the run. Rolling the mixture into balls and then in shredded coconut also works well. Enjoy!

Recipe compliments of “Nourishing Meals” by Alissa Segersten & Tom Malterre.

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coconut_oil
Coconut oil has become a staple in my home over that past 7 years. Its health benefits, versatility and flavour far outweigh that of any other healthy fat that I’m aware of. I learned about this amazing oil while living in Nelson years ago and have had a tub in my bathroom and kitchen ever since. To say that I couldn’t live without it may sound extreme, but wait until you hear about all the ways I use it!

There are two main types of coconut oil: expeller pressed, which can be used for anything as it is odorless and tasteless, or virgin that has a coconutty flavour that’s great for cooking, baking and skincare. Always ensure you use food grade for optimal quality.

The main health benefits of coconut oil:
* Anti-inflammatory
* Antimicrobial
* Antifungal
* Antiviral
therefore it helps with…
* Improving nutrient absorption
* Killing candida fungus
* Reversing Alzheimer’s
* Type 1 & 2 diabetes
* Hypothyroidism
* Promoting weight loss
* Strengthening the hair
* Providing athletes with a natural source of energy
* 3.5 Tbsp daily can help enrich a mother’s breast milk

My favourite things to use coconut oil for in the kitchen:
* frying eggs
* drizzling on popcorn
* using in place of butter for greasing baking pans
* replacing butter or other oils in baking recipes
* frying fish or chicken
* spreading on toast to replace butter
* melting and adding to smoothies to give it a creamy, oily texture

My favourite cosmetic uses of coconut oil:
* Skin moisturizer – I use it on my face and body
* As a sun screen – it’s naturally SPF 4!
* Soothing skin after being in the sun or after a scrape or bite
* Massage therapy – I use it on my 5 month old every evening after the bath
* An all natural lubricant – the non-coconut smelling option is best

I hope this list is reason enough to purchase your own tub of coconut oil! And I bet there’s even more ways and uses for this magnificent oil, please share yours in the comments below.

Some information was referenced from the following website: http://healthimpactnews.com/2011/80-uses-for-coconut-oil/

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I made some delicious gluten-free ginger molasses cookies a few weeks ago and posted a picture to facebook. Within a few hours I had several requests to share the recipe. I wasn’t sure how a recipe for cookies really fit my blog’s MO, so I decided to write about the medicinal properties of ginger and ways to use it… including the cookies of course!

Ginger is commonly bought as a powdered spice or a fresh root. It is generally consumed in three different ways: as a side dish, as medicine or as a spice added to food. Because of ginger’s versatility it can be eaten pickled, raw, as a tea, in juice, and of course in many savoury and sweet dishes.

Ginger is also great when you’re trying to ward off or treat the common cold. Placing fresh squeezed ginger, sliced lemons, water and a touch of honey into a pot on medium heat for 15 minutes makes a soothing tea… far healthier than Neo Citron!

Combating nausea is another great way to utilize the medicinal benefits of ginger. Whether taken in capsule form or as a candy, ginger is great for calming the stomach and it’s safe for pregnancy too!

Now here’s the recipe everyone’s been waiting for…

The start of my holiday baking!

The start of my holiday baking!


Gluten-free Ginger Molasses Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup fancy molasses
2 cups quinoa flour (gluten-free)
(OR 1 cup quinoa flour &
1 cup all purpose flour)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup white sugar (optional-to sprinkle on top)

1- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2- Cream butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the egg and molasses. Set aside.
3- Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a medium bowl and blend well.
4- Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and mix until a smooth dough forms.
5- Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls or use a rolling pin to flatten dough on flour-coated counter top and use cookie cutters.
6- Place cookies 2 inches apart on baking sheet and sprinkle tops with white sugar.
7- Bake on center rack of oven for 8-10 minutes. If you enjoy a crisper cookie, bake for an additional 2-4 minutes.
8- Let cookies cool for 1-2 minutes on cookie sheet before moving to wire rack.

Nothing beats the smell of home baked ginger cookies on a cold winter day… so yummy! Wishing everyone happy holidays and a healthy new year!

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I was first introduced to quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) 6 years ago while working at the Kootenay Co-op in Nelson, BC. This ancient grain, native to South America, has become a staple in my home ever since. It’s versatility, nutritional value and taste make it the perfect all around superfood. When comparing quinoa to other grains, meats and white rice, here’s how it stacks up:

* great source of protein
* contains all 8 essential amino acids (not the case with any other grain)
* ideal for those who suffer from digestive disorders, wheat and gluten intolerance, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease or colitis
* helps promote weight loss, stabilize blood sugar levels and even helps to build muscle
* can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes and takes mere minutes to prepare…15-20 to be exact!
* it’s even great cold and stores in the refrigerator for up to one week
* great for pregnancy as it contributes to a healthy baby and enhances a mother’s milk production
* contains the amino acid histadine, which is necessary for human development therefore ideal for growing children
* it’s chock-full of fiber, iron and calcium among other vitamins and minerals – necessary for children and adults alike

Not only do I enjoy quinoa for its many health benefits but also because it’s great for people who have a wheat or gluten intolerance; something I have just discovered I do. My digestive system has been compromised for several years (see my previous blog post) but I was unaware of exactly what the culprit was. A recent trip to the Naturopathic Doctor and Colon Hydrotherapist have indicated that I suffer from non-celiac gluten intolerance, and in order to heal my digestive tract, I must avoid gluten all together.

Although this news did not come as a total surprise to me, regardless if you’re prepared or not it always takes time to adjust to a new way of eating and essentially, living. If you find yourself dealing with digestive discomfort, wheat or gluten intolerance or even more serious digestive diseases, quinoa is a grain I think you will appreciate.

One of my all time favourite dinner recipes –


Quinoa and Veggie Bake (from Vegetarian Times)

1/2 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups celery tops
4-6 kale leaves, shredded
3 Tbsp. olive oil (divided)
1 medium onion
2 green onions thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill or 1/2 Tbsp. dried dill
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup grated cheese (we use white cheddar)
1 egg lightly beaten

1- Rinse quinoa in a sieve. Toast in small pot over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until almost dry. Add 1 cup of water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer covered for 15 minutes.

2- While quinoa is cooking, prep veggies and sauté onions for 6 minutes, using 1 Tbsp of the oil. Add celery and green onions and sauté for another 2 minutes.

3- When quinoa is ready, pour 1 Tbsp. olive oil into 9-inch glass pie pan. Place in oven to heat.

4- Put shredded kale in a large bowl and then cover with the cooked quinoa. Then add the sautéed veg, dill and cheese into the bowl. Stir in egg and season with salt and pepper.

5- By now the oil in the glass pie pan should be hot. Remove from oven, ensure oil is covering the bottom, and then pour entire quinoa veggie mixture into pie pan. Bake 20 minutes, then drizzle 1 Tbsp over the top and bake 20 minutes more until golden brown.

Be sure to be on the lookout for quinoa grains on your next trip to the grocery store. They come in red, black, white or golden coloured seeds as well as ground for use as a creamy textured flour.

The majority of the information presented in this blog was taken from the cookbook “Quinoa – The Everyday Superfood 365” by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming. This book is amazing! It’s filled with all kinds of great recipes that use quinoa as the main event for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacking options. Enjoy!

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