IBS solutions

Chia seeds in pudding

The Chia Pudding Recipe Obsession Continues…

“Also for chia seeds. Honestly, we don’t know what we’d do without you.”

This is what Tanya R. Loewen and I wrote in the dedication section of Baby Nosh, and that was over a year ago. Guess what? We’re still obsessed! Or I am, at least.

So I had to share my newest, most favourite way of making chia pudding for fall and winter. It’s gone from 3 measured tablespoons of chia seeds and one cup of almond milk (stirred), to an approximate pour of chia seeds to whatever milk alternative I have on hand (I love coconut milk best!), shaken.

chia seeds pudding

That’s right, shaken. Lazy Chia Pudding (because this is what I’m calling it, now), is created in a jar with a lid. And.today I added pomegranate seeds which completely changed everything.

(I know I’m being dramatic. I can’t help it.)

Other fun things to add are raspberries, blueberries, chopped dried apricot, shaved coconut, or whatever else you have in your fridge and/or pantry that you think might rock your chia world. So bottom line? Just throw stuff in a mason jar, lid that sucker well, shake the hell out of the contents, wait a little bit, shake the hell out of it again, and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, you’ll have amazing and super nutritious Lazy Chia Pudding. (The best kind, remember.)

Chia Pudding Tips:

  • The more seeds you add, the thicker the pudding with be. I like it smooth and malleable, not super thick or runny. This is a preference thing, which is totally up to you.
  • You can use literally whatever milk you want. Even chocolate–I made chocolate chia pudding on television one time. Check it out:

  • You need to let it sit for a few minutes between shakes. The initial shake is needed, and then another good shake a few minutes later.
  • You don’t need to refrigerate overnight, but it’s so easy to make the night before and then have it ready to eat for breakfast the next morning. You can mix it with some fruit, or top oatmeal with it, too.

chia seeds recipe

So there you go! Happy chia pudding time! If you want more recipes that use chia seeds, check out Baby Nosh or Vegetarian Comfort Foods.

xo

Lime Popsicles

My Top 10 Vegan Popsicle Recipes of the Summer

If any of you have been following my Twitter feed in the last couple of months, you’ll notice a definite trend in content: popsicle recipes. I admittedly have been obsessed with popsicles lately, and now I feel the need to post my top ten fave popsicle recipes of the summer.

Disclaimer: some are easier than others (check out my pick from Jillian Harris!).

Here they are; all associated images were taken from the websites in which the popsicle recipes were found:

1

Summer Berry Chia Pops

By Daphne Cheng; Found on Well + Good

Vegan Treat

Ingredients

  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • Agave (optional)

Method

  1. Blend all ingredients until well-blended but still slightly chunky for texture.
  2. Taste and add agave to sweeten, if necessary.
  3. Slowly mix in chia seeds, whisking while pouring to avoid clumps.
  4. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze at least 2 hours or until solid.

2

Tart Rhubarb Ice Pops

By Kelly Irwin, Found on Vega

Vegan popsicle

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rhubarb
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup agave syrup or maple syrup
  • 1-2 Tbsp. orange zest (depending on your citrus love)
  • ½ inch fresh peeled ginger

Method

  1. Place chopped rhubarb, raspberries and water in a small pot on the stove over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a simmer, then turn down heat to low and continue summering for about 15 minutes (until rhubarb is tender).
  3. Pour mixture into a blender with the syrup, peeled ginger and orange juice.
  4. Blend until pureed.
  5. Add in orange zest, then place in the fridge to cool.
  6. Once mixture is cooled, pour into ice pop molds, freeze, and leave for at least 5 hours.

3

Grapefruit Popsicles

By Jillian Harris, found on Jillian Harris

Grapefruit vegan popsicles

Ingredients

  • Sweetened ruby red grapefruit juice

Method

  1. Pour slightly sweetened ruby red grapefruit juice into your favorite popsicle molds and freeze!

4

Roasted Blueberry, Coconut and Lime Popsicles

By Alex Caspero, Found on Delish Knowledge

Roasted Blueberry, Coconut and Lime Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 1 can coconut milk (either regular or light), divided
  • 1 large lime, zest and juice
  • very small pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place blueberries in a single layer in a glass baking pan.
  3. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and roast for 10 minutes or until bubbly and piping hot.
  4. Remove from oven, allow blueberries to cool completely then transfer the blueberries and any blueberry juice into the base of a blender along with ¼ cup coconut milk and a pinch of the lime zest.
  5. Puree mixture until creamy and smooth, then divide blueberry mixture among the popsicle molds.
  6. Return the blender to the base and add the remaining maple syrup, coconut milk, lime juice, zest and very small pinch of sea salt.
  7. Puree to combine and add to the molds. (You can keep the mixture layered like this, or give the molds a quick stir for a marbled look.)
  8. Cover and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.

5

Red Paradise Tea Pops

Found on Amoda Tea

Tea Berry Popsicles

Ingredients

  • Your tea of choice
  • Your preferred sweetener (we like organic cane sugar)
  • Berries or sliced fresh fruit

Method

  1. Steep a pot of tea!
  2. Sweeten if up a little more than you would if you were going to drink it, then put it in the fridge to cool it down. (Alternatively, you can cold steep it overnight or steep it double strength and pour it over ice.)
  3. Pour the cooled tea liquid into popsicle molds and pop them in the freezer until their slushy.
  4. Give it a stir so the sweetener doesn’t end up in the tip of the popsicle and add fresh fruit.
  5. Freeze overnight.

6

2-Ingredient Mango-Coconut Popsicles

Found on Simple Vegan Blog

Vegan popsicles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced fresh mango
  • ½ cup coconut milk

Method

  1. Blend the mango and the coconut milk in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds.
  3. Freeze for 35 minutes and gently insert popsicle sticks.
  4. Freeze until solid.

7

Creamy Dulce de Leche Pops

By Dana, Found on Minimalist Baker

Vegan pops

Ingredients

  • 14 medjool dates, pitted (If dry, soak in warm water for 10 min. then drain)
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut cream or full fat coconut milk (if using full fat milk, add 1 Tbsp. melted coconut oil)*
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • *Optional: 1 Tbsp. bourbon

Method

  1. Add pitted dates to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until a caramel-like paste is achieved. If you have trouble blending, add 2-4 Tbsp. warm water to help achieve the right texture – thick and spreadable. Scrape down sides as needed and blend until a thick, caramel-like consistency is achieved.
  2. Once the date caramel is smooth and creamy, add 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt depending on how salty you prefer it. Taste and adjust as needed.
  3. Scoop out caramel and set aside. Then add coconut cream (or coconut milk + coconut oil), vanilla, 1/2 cup of the date caramel, and 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave nectar for additional sweetness.
  4. Blend until creamy and smooth and taste and adjust flavors as needed. Bourbon is optional, but recommended for flavor.
  5. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours (or freezer for 1-2 hours) for best results.
  6. Once chilled, add the remaining caramel back in in small spoonfuls and loosely stir to combine/swirl.
  7. Scoop/pour into popsicle or ice cube molds (about 10, depending on their size) trying to evenly distribute the caramel swirls, and tap to remove air bubbles. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for at least 6 hours or until firm.
  8. Once set, remove from freezer and let rest for 5 minutes to soften. Then gently pull out of molds and enjoy.
  9. Pops keep covered in the freezer for up to 1 week, though best when fresh.

8

Peachy Vegan Vanilla Pudding Pops

By Jennifer Chait, Found on InHabitat

Vegan Pops

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch.
  • 2 and 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk or other alternative milk.
  • 2/3 cup organic white sugar.
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance (vegan butter).
  • 2 teaspoons fair trade, organic pure vanilla extract.
  • 1 to 2 organic peaches, washed, peeled and chopped into small pieces (about 2 cups worth). (You can also use frozen organic peaches or another fruit of your choice.)

Method

  1. Whisk 1/4 cup milk plus the cornstarch together. Set aside.
  2. Heat the rest of the milk and the sugar in pot on the stovetop.
  3. Heat the milk and sugar on medium low heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. When the milk starts to steam whisk in the cornstarch mix.
  5. Cook on medium high heat, stirring occasionally until thick and starting to boil (about 5 minutes).
  6. Turn the heat down very low and cook 5 more minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and whisk in your butter and vanilla.
  8. Allow mixture to cool down. then fold chopped peaches into the vanilla pudding.
  9. Pour into molds and freeze.

9

Mint Chocolate Popsicles

By Miryam Quinn Doblas, Found on Nuts.com

Vegan Mint Chocolate Pops

Ingredients

Popsicles:

  • 14 oz coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp. cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1-2 tsp. spirulina
  • 2 tsp mint extract

Drizzle:

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, vegan

Method

  1. Place all the popsicle ingredients into your blender and pulse until the mixture comes together.
  2. Divide the mixture among the popsicle molds and place a wooden stick in each compartment.
  3. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours.
  4. Before serving the popsicles, place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish and melt in 30 seconds intervals until completely melted.
  5. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the frozen popsicles. Enjoy!

10

Honeydew Green Tea Popsicles

By Sarah, Found on Well and Full

Vegan pops

Ingredients

  • 3 heaping cups cubed honeydew
  • 1 cup brewed green tea

Method

  1. In a blender, combine honeydew and green tea. Blend until everything is smooth and mixed.
  2. Pour your honeydew green tea mix into your popsicle mold, and set in the freezer for at least four hours or overnight, until popsicles have completely hardened.
  3. When you’re ready to eat the popsicles, run the molds under a little hot water to loosen, if needed.

To find more popsicle recipes by these amazing people, please visit the links that I’ve included in this post. If you’re interested in learning to make fun and plant-based baby food, check out Baby Nosh (my latest; released in March), and if you’re into sneaky smoothies, see HERE.

Happy summer! xo

Recipe: Vegan Bran-Banana Bread

When two full loaves of vegan banana bread are gone within an hour of baking them, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve baked. I mean, I have three kids who love to eat, but still.

Sheesh. Carb, much?

I wanted to share this week’s recipe, because miraculously, my older son wolfed it down, too. (He’s 16 and usually picks at everything and comes up with lame reasons why he shouldn’t touch it. Examples are “the chocolate chips aren’t big enough” or “the bread looks dark—you know white bread tastes better” or “IS THAT A CHIA SEED?!”)

But this time, he ate it. Happily. So here’s what I did to create this little miracle:

Vegan Bran-Banana Bread

banana bread

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp. flax seed meal
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 5 ripe bananas (large)
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups whole grain flour
  • ½ cup bran
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine flax seed meal (ground flax seed) and water in small bowl, stir well, and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas then add the applesauce and sugar. Combine well.
  • After letting sit for about 5 minutes, stir flax seed mixture into the rest of the wet stuff. You should now have one large bowl containing all wet ingredients. Set aside, please.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, bran, baking soda, and salt. Mix well, then add to the wet mixture.
  • Stir until combined, but take care not to over-mix. Add chocolate chips and stir 3-5 times.
  • Using loaf pans lined with parchment paper, pour batter evenly into both.
  • Place in oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until golden brown on top. If in doubt, conduct the clean toothpick test.
  • Remove from oven and transfer from loaf pans to cooling rack by gently lifting up loaves using the parchment paper.
  • Let cool, still in parchment, until barely warm. (If you try and remove while still hot, the bread will stick.)
  • Remove parchment and serve! Enjoy!

For more recipes your family might enjoy, check out my new(ish) book Vegetarian Comfort Foods. xo

 

Fruit & Nut Smoothie Bowl

It all started because I went to Booster Juice for a green juice before my yoga class. After ordering, a saw a picture of a newly promoted smoothie bowl, and wanted that instead, but I had already ordered the juice.

I know. First world problems, right?

So after yoga, I raced home to make a smoothie bowl, and this is what happened:

Awesome, right? It was soooooo good, and I want to share the recipe. So here you go!

Fruit & Nut Smoothie Bowl

There’s everything you need in here for a blustery, rainy, dark, crazy Vancouver day. Eat it first; thank me later. xo

Ingredients for Smoothie:

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 scoop Vega vanilla protein powder
  • 1/3 cup NutraCleanse™
  • 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Ingredients for Garnish:

  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp. hemp hearts
  • 4 chopped dates
  • Other half of banana

Method

  1. Using a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix), blend all of the smoothie ingredients together until thick and creamy.
  2. Spoon into bowl, and layer garnish ingredients over top.
  3. Take a picture (skip this if you’re not an Instagram freak like I am).
  4. Eat immediately.
  5. Feel full and happy and energized.

5 Plant-Based Cookbooks to Buy TODAY

I love plants, and I love eating them, so I buy plant-based cookbooks. A lot. Sometimes I don’t even make any recipes from them, I just like to look at the pictures and drool.

(I might have a problem.)

But the following 5 books are books that I use all the time to create great and inventive plant-based meals for myself and my family. I strongly suggest you search them up on Amazon, take a look inside if that feature is available, and then buy them.

(Because you’ll want to after glancing at the food photography. Wow.)

The Blender Girl Cookbook

The Blender Girl

Let me begin by stating that good people create amazing cookbooks. Tess Masters is a lovely woman, whose heart and soul can be found living in bliss at the bottom of a Vitamix.

Full of creative, gorgeous recipes that taste as incredible as they look, this book encourages the intake of vegan nutrients by way of uber nutritious smoothies, sorbets, sauces, soups, and more.

Buy on Amazon HERE.

Oh She Glows

oh she glows

I know—this one’s a goodie that everyone owns by now, right? But if you’re one of the few that don’t own it, you should.

Written by Angela Liddon, who’s also the food photographer, this book packs insane nutrients and incredible enthusiasm for plant-based foods into every single page. I like the U.S. cover better than the Canadian one, and was disappointed to have been delivered the latter, but beggars can’t be choosers—and I was begging for this book.

Buy on Amazon HERE.

My New Roots

my new roots

This lovely book has the most beautiful photographs. Honestly. Any plant-based cookbook that includes edible flowers in their recipes get a giant thumbs up from me. It’s so pretty, I want to display it on a shelf in my living room, but my husband won’t let me.

Seriously.

Buy on Amazon HERE.

Thug Kitchen

Thug Kitchen

I’m not going to lie: I bought this book because of the persistent profanity. Who expects to open a cookbook and read “Slowly whisk in the milk so that shit doesn’t get all lumpy. SLOWLY, MOTHERFUCKER.” (Page 23.)

It had me at “Pay. Fucking. Attention.” (Page xiv.) Or “Eat like you give a fuck.” (Cover.)

So I paid attention, and loved the book. The recipes are simple and delicious and ridiculously entertaining to follow. I think I’ve purchased about 8 copies as gifts, alone. If you or someone you know loves to peruse plant-based cookbooks, this one’s highly recommended if only for the shock factor. (Which it won’t be, because the recipes are truly delicious.)

Buy on Amazon HERE.

Vegetarian Comfort Foods

Vegetarian Comfort Foods

Yep—I’m unapologetically plugging my own work. Officially being released on August 4, this labour of love consists of over 75 plant-based recipes that are designed to be kind to your digestive tract. A follow-up to my first book, Happy Healthy Gut, Vegetarian Comfort Foods provides recipes, meal plans, and tons of insight about how to care for a touchy bowel.

If you or anyone that you know suffers from stomach disorders such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), Crohn’s disease, colitis, and diverticulitis, this plant-based cookbook can help.

Buy on Amazon HERE.

My next purchase?

The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl and Spoon

Bowl and Spoon

Part of the Sprouted Kitchen series by Sara Forte, this book looks like it’s right up my alley. It’s plant-based, inventive, creative and earthy home-cooking.

LOVE.

Buy on Amazon HERE.

Ummm…you’re welcome! xo

 

Vegan Foodie Pics of the Week

Happy Meatless Monday, friends! Here are this week’s most delicious-looking vegan foodie pics, courtesy of the incredible filters on Instagram and my iPhone! Some of these recipes will be available in Vegetarian Comfort Foods, which will be released August 4, 2015. (Pre-order HERE.)

Enjoy…xo

Pomegranate Salad

Pomegranate Salad

Banana-Mango Smoothie

Banana-Mango Smoothie

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

Sweet Potato and Corn Quesadilla

Sweet Potato Quesadilla

Granny Smith Apple-Ginger Juice

Apple Juice

Earthy Glow Bar

Earthy Glow Bar

Strawberry Protein Smoothie

Strawberry Protein Smoothie

What to Eat if You Have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)

Happy Healthy Gut

Hello, all! People are always asking me what they can eat that won’t make them bloated, in pain, or generally bring on an irritable bowel flare-up. Sooo…I thought I’d post my answers, and then they will live on eternally, somewhere within my blog.

(Ha!)

Here you go…

EAT YOUR VEGGIES!

Nobody ever said to you, “don’t eat your vegetables!” Most of what we eat throughout the day, every day, should be vegetables. They are completely necessary for proper digestive function, and yet most of us don’t consume nearly the amount we should. Not only should we be focusing on increasing our overall intake, but we should also be experimenting with variety, and become aware of what is in season. Our bodies naturally process food that is whole and in season much better than foods that are processed and from thousands of miles away. (For example, living in the pacific northwest, my body wouldn’t process a pineapple in January the same way it would kale.)

Beet Juice

LIMIT ANIMAL PRODUCTS

Let’s get real: animal products are not that great for your body. Despite the fact that various meat and dairy industry representatives swear up and down that animal products are a necessity for your health, we all know that can’t be true. Animal meat is very high in saturated fat, which isn’t at all good for us; especially ground beef. Unless purchased from an organic, grass-fed only farm, almost all meat (99% of what is out there), comes from factory farms, and it’s not healthy. The thing is, factory farms are a cesspool of nutrient-deficent meat due to too many growth hormones in the feed, routine antibiotics, and largely diseased animals due to the inevitable overcrowding that occurs. It is also the number one contributor of crazy environmental pollutants.

Dairy is bad, too. Cow milk is meant for calves, not humans. We don’t feed cows human milk, right? Dairy causes allergies and intolerances, which can contribute to ear infections, sinus problems, constipation, and other digestive issues.

STOP EATING PROCESSED FOOD

We are living in a new age of food. Or “food.” The nation’s rates of chronic disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, digestive disease, etc, are skyrocketing at a pace never seen before. This is largely due to two things: increased consumption of animal meat, and increased production/consumption of highly processed food. In developing countries, where processed food is nil, these diseases are not present. It’s yucky, and needs to go. This type of food is “dead” because there is nothing nutritionally valuable left for it to offer. A good rule of thumb is to take a look at the list of ingredients, and rule out anything that contains un-pronouncables, and over 6-8 ingredients in total.

STEER CLEAR FROM GMOS!

Genetically modified food is lab-created, nutrient-void, and poses considerable risk to your health. It is currently under investigation to prove its role in increased cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, autism, and among other things, decreased immune system function. Download the iPhone app ShopNoGMO to learn which food companies are GMO-free, and which ones aren’t. You can also visit www.gmoshoppingguide.com.

Beans

EAT WHOLE FOODS!

Whole foods are exactly what they sound like. They’re still in their whole form, and haven’t been processed. These foods are nutritionally dense, and our bodies thrive on them. They’re super simple for our digestive systems to process, which lends more energy (that would have been diverted to heavy, unclean digestions attempts) to other parts of your body. Foods in this category are whole fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, (preferably sprouted!), dried fruit, etc, If your digestive system is giving you trouble, try eating this way: completely eliminate dead food, and switch to a diet rich in whole foods.

NEW FOODS TO INTRODUCE:

Once you eliminate the yucky foods, you can introduce an awesome assortment of foods that heal. These include such wonder items as digestive enzymes, probiotics, whole grains, sprouted grains, sprouts, wheatgrass, fresh veggie juices, sea vegetables, fermented goodies, tofu, tempeh and seitan, organic lovelies, and more! Food is our best ally against digestive unease and good health: we need to use it properly!

The right food nourishes your body, mind, and soul.

Those who know me, know that I am VERY into healthy eating and consuming food that I believe lends to more usable energy. I don’t want to feel good- I want to feel AMAZING! Ask me how, or visit www.facebook.com/happyhealthylife.org. Think Food Forward!

 

Homemade Chocolate Bark with Pink Sea Salt

Chocolate Bark1

Happy Sunday, folks! I’ve been living in my kitchen for the weekend (Jen talk for “I’ve been cooking a lot”), and decided I needed to share this gorgeous image of the chocolate bark I made.

Don’t get mad because I can’t share details exactly (this recipe will be in my new Vegetarian Comfort Foods cookbook, coming August 2015, Skyhorse Publishing), but here’s what you need to know:

Organic, dark chocolate

Organic raw almonds

Pink Himalayan sea salt

Chocolate Bark2

That’s it. Seriously. So if you want to make this at home, experiment and you WILL be successful. My only piece of advice is to use either a double broiler when melting the chocolate, or double up your pots. (Which is what I did.)

Good luck, and remember that tomorrow is Meatless Monday! xo

Kris Carr's Crazy, Sexy, Cancer

crazy sexy cancer

I read Crazy, Sexy, Diet by this woman years ago, and thought it was SOOOO inspirational. But before that book was this one, and the accompanying documentary. Below is the 8 minute trailer, and it’s well worth a watch.

Kris Carr was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer, and stopped the disease it its tracks by going on a journey of yoga, spirituality and adopting a plant-based diet. Buddah has been quoted as saying “Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”

Watch and see if you agree. xo

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umnbB9QKr2Y]