Sweet Potato & Carrot Chipotle Latkes

I LOVE latkes! I actually had forgotten my love for these creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside little patties of goodness until I scanned my fridge/kitchen and realized I needed to use my abundance of sweet potatoes and I had gotten a 10 lb bag of the sweetest carrots from the market a few days prior. I personally am always inclined to throw some heat in with sweeter ingredients, it makes such a yummy contrast! So for lunch I got a hold of my trusty grater and baked up some healthy, Sweet Potato & Carrot Chipotle Latkes with some lime avocado mash!

Did you know carrots actually have two seasons? Obviously we can get them year round, but you will find some of the best and most flavorful carrots around Spring & Fall, not to mention the colorful varieties that I always cave in and buy… way too tempting! With my massive bag of seasonal and local carrots, giant sweet potatoes, a little bit of red pepper and sweet yellow onion, I was off on my grating marathon! I weirdly enjoy watching my vegetables get grated to oblivion, kind of therapeutic actually. I coarsely grated all of those up, now we have a latke base that provides us with lots of beta-carotene, vitamins, antioxidants, potassium & fibre! With the base of the latke created, time to create a binding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for the binding, to hold these babies together I used egg whites, oat flour and of coarse some spices to kick things up a notch! You know me, spices are my best of best friends, they fulfill and make my taste buds dance ūüôā I went a little Mexican with the flavors because who can resist chipotle!? A smoked chili ground into a deep dark powder that livens up recipes and other flavors! A dash of garlic, onion powder, paprika and a squeeze of lime juice, let’s get our hands dirty and form these yummy latke cakes, my favorite part, then bake away. I always opt to baking over frying, so much better for you! The key to the creamy insides here and crispy outside is a oven on higher heat and baking for 35 – 40 minutes or so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me break down the ingredients for you and some instructions for these Sweet Potato & Carrot Chipotle Latkes:

3 cups lightly packed sweet potato – coarsely grated

1 medium carrot (approx 1/4 cup) – coarsely grated

1/2 red pepper (approx 1/4 cup) – coarsely grated

1/4 medium sweet yellow onion (approx 1/4 cup)  Рgrated

2 egg whites

2 tbsp oat flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp dried garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp lime juice

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp salt

pinch of chipotle powder (if you like more heat, add more)

Avocado Mash:

1/2 ripe avocado

1 tsp lime juice

Pinch of salt & pepper

Creating your Sweet Potato & Carrot Chipotle Latkes:

Makes approximately 9 latkes:

Heat oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit & line a baking sheet with parchment paper, lightly oil.

Combine grated ingredients in a bowl, take some folded over paper towel (about 2 sheets) and press excess water out of your vegetables, press firmly a few times until your paper towel is soaked.

In a separate bowl combine the rest of your ingredients and whisk together well.

Pour your egg & spice mixture into your vegetables and coat evenly.

Make palm sized latkes in your hands and firmly press together, some liquid will be pressed out, this is okay, place latke onto sheet and press down slightly on the latke when on the sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes and the carefully flip and bake another 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crispy on the outside.

While baking, you can make your avocado mash, mix all ingredients together and mash!

Serve hot with a dollop of avocado mash, YUM!

They are such a great lunch or snack idea, fun to make and you can use up your vegetables! I even took them for lunch the next day, not as crispy but still so flavor filled and filling. I also can’t wait to share some exciting news with all of you regarding a local collaboration, coming very soon and a saving opportunity for you all! I’d love to hear if you created these yummy latkes and what you thought, xoxo! Almost weekend time everyone, hooorayy!

 

 

Continue Reading

Pumpkin Spiced Teff Pancakes with Pomegranate Maple Drizzle

Happy Friday… the 13th… spookyyyy! I present to you on this Friday, pancakes for the weekend! So pancakes, you either love em or you don’t. I never used to care for plain ok pancakes really, they offered no nutritional value, felt kinda dry in the mouth and left me feeling heavy. I decided to turn this bland pancake world upside down and punch up the nutritional value with a denser, spiced, moist pancake that energizes me for the day instead, now that’s what I’m talking about! Then to make this pancake situation even more exceptional, I added a fresh maple pomegranate drizzle to finish it all off, what a masterpiece. Let me introduce you to a lovely fall breakfast of, Pumpkin Spiced Teff Pancakes with Pomegranate Maple Drizzle… mmmmm. What else could you possibly make for breakfast this weekend?

I knew I had to get a fall breaky recipe out to you guys, to enjoy these weekend mornings with bites of pumpkiny spiced goodness, I also HAD to incorporate pomegranates, tis the season and they are so tasty and mysterious! I have to say, the pomegranate maple drizzle really makes this recipe bloom, the pops of sweet pomegranate with hints of spice and a warm bite of pancake, I was truly in my happy place testing these out. I did have to trial a couple batches due to initially quite a dense pan… more like pound cake… so I went back to drawing board and finally came out with a pancake I found quite delicious. I personally like a bit of weight to my pancakes, a little on the denser side, slightly crispy on the outside, but still manages enough fluff to soak up that pomegranate maple juice of course!

I decided to keep working with teff flour as I have had great results in other recipes and I can’t get enough of its unique taste, so that’s what I did! Also, like I mentioned before, I do love a pancake with a little density that will keep me full for the day, so I decided on whole small flake quick oats to be a part of this pumpkin dream! Then I threw in some pumpkin spice, cinnamon, citrusy ginger to highlight the pumpkin and spices! I wanted the challenge of creating a more than edible, enjoyable in fact, vegan pancake, so I stuck to using a “flax egg” (1 tbsp milled flax mixed with 2.5 tbsp water) you can use 1 egg if you want, almond milk & of course that gorgeous orange pumpkin puree. I ate every last pancake.

The recipe is pretty straight forward and you’ll have it whipped up in 20 minutes, eating in 30 minutes, coffee in hand and pancakes in the other, yum!

Here are the ingredients:

Makes 10 medium pancakes:

1 cup teff flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2 cup quick oats

1.5 tsp baking powder

1 tsp pumpkin spice

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

Wet ingredients:

1.25 cup almond milk (I use unsweetened vanilla)

1/2 pumpkin puree

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp juice from fresh grated ginger or dried

1 tbsp milled flax mixed with 2.5 tbsp warm water (let this sit for 5 minutes)

If you like your pancake on the sweeter side add a tbsp or so of your favorite sweetener, maple syrup, honey, sugar etc.

Pomegranate Maple Drizzle:

1 large pomegranate

1/4 cup maple syrup (I use ED Smith No Sugar Maple Syrup)

How to make these glorious pancakes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create your flax egg by adding 1 tbsp of flax and 2.5 tbsp warm water, blend well and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Add all your dry ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.

Add your wet ingredients into another bowl and whisk well, add your “flax egg” to your mixture.

Slowly add your dry ingredients to your wet and mix well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heat a pan over low/medium heat, lightly oiled.

Once the pan is heated, spoon your batter into pancakes onto the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes a side on low, flip and cook another 5 minutes or so.

While your pancakes are cooking away, cut your pomegranate in half and loosen the skin slightly by stretching out the rind just to loosen the seeds, place the pomegranate in your hand, seeds facing down and take a wooden spoon and hit the back of the pomegranate over a bowl full of water. Your seeds will be sent flying into the water and any extra unwanted white rind will be left floating! Scoop out the unwanted bits and pour out your water. Add your maple syrup to the seeds and muddle with the syrup, just enough to release the juices but not completely broken down. Best pomegranate hack ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once all your pancakes are cooked, drizzle your pomegranate maple sauce all over, top with crunchy pepitas, a shake of cinnamon and EAT! SO good and good for you, love it when the two coincide ūüôā Hopefully you guys get to try these out ASAP, let me know what you think, had to get a little pumpkin spice in there somewhere!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The finished product once again, Pumpkin Spiced Teff Pancakes with a Pomegranate Maple Drizzle, on its way onto your plates and into your happy bellies! Happy almost weekend! XOXO

 

Continue Reading

Curried Shrimp Squash Noodle Bowl

Monday’s are tough enough for most of us, then we get pummelled with a windy and wicked snow storm just to top it all off here in Calgary… just great, especially after enjoying the stunning Fall we were having!¬†My mission on this mission Monday, to fill your bellies with a dish that will make you forget about all the swirling snow and high velocity arctic winds out there and bring you to your happy place. With all the gorgeous squash hitting the markets and my body craving¬†comforting Winter¬†spices, what better to make than an easy, flavour layered¬†and most definitely satisfying,¬†Curried Shrimp Squash Noodle Bowl!

I actually think I could eat anything with curry in it, truly, I love curry and how you can mix it with so many different flavors, textures and how in such a short amount of time you can create a dish that tastes like it has been simmering all day long. Now squash + curry = WHOAH, delicious! I undisputedly decided to go with two types of squash in my Curried Shrimp Squash Noodle Bowl, because I adore pumpkin and butternut wholeheartedly and didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings here… The pumpkin puree and fresh tomato¬†thickens the sauce and creates a perfect base that gets infused by the curry, the sweet butternut squash I made into orange golden spiraled noodles, now if you don’t have a spiralizer, don’t fret, you can make little butternut squash chunks instead and it’s just as tasty! Then I threw in some vital spices and flavors that are all just meant to be ūüôā

Butternut squash comes alive when it is roasted, so while¬†I was¬†whipping up the curry sauce, I threw the butternut in the oven to roast away and you will add it back into your curry after, it¬†is exceptional¬†with the roasted squash, especially in noodle style! I have roasted butternut squash probably 4 times a week, I can’t get enough of it. Squash are also so pretty to look at, just throw them in the middle of your table on a platter¬†when you’re not using them yet, you have yourself a decorative table piece just like that! Who needs HomeSense…

Back to the star of this post, my Curried Shrimp Squash Noodle Bowl is truly a heart filling,¬†curl up and slurp away on those noodles kinda bowl. I don’t even care if I have curry pumpkin sauce plastered on my face while eating it, means it is¬†delicious AF, am I right? FYI, no, I was not the kid with mustard/sauce on my face in elementary, I don’t think! I was also contemplating making this bowl with some yummy tofu but I came across some gorgeous fresh wild pink shrimp and couldn’t pass them up, so in they went!¬†Alright, let’s get to the good stuff then, what do you need and how shall you make this bowl of goodness to punt your Monday blues away!

Your Grocery List:

Serves 2:

1 small butternut squash – peeled & spiraled into noodles, or cut into small chunks

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 large yellow onion – sliced

2 cloves garlic – crushed

1 tsp fresh ginger – grated

1 tsp yellow curry (I use medium curry)

1 1/2 tsp lime juice

1/4 tsp salt

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Pinch of cayenne

2 large Roma tomatoes – diced

1 cup vegetable/chicken broth

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup lite coconut milk

8-10 raw shrimp, peeled

2 tbsp fresh basil – chopped

1 tbsp roasted cashews Рcrumbled

Your choice of noodle – I use thick rice noodles so yummy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get cooking:

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Add your butternut squash noodles/chunks to the tray and drizzle with a little bit of your preferred oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder, put in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping half way.

Heat 1 tsp olive/coconut oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.

Add your onions, garlic, ginger, lime juice, curry, salt, pepper and cayenne, allow to cook down until onions begin to soften and your spices are fragrant, about 8 minutes.

Add your chopped tomatoes, stock, coconut milk and pumpkin puree, stir well and allow to simmer for another 8 minutes.

Add your shrimp into the sauce and cover with a lid, allow them to cook for 5 minutes or so until opaque, pink and cooked through.

Start making your rice noodles as per package.

Your butternut should be done roasting, take out of the oven and add them to your curry with the 2 tbsp of basil.

Mix well, once noodles are done, toss them into your curry sauce until well coated then transfer to your fav bowl.

Top off your Curried Shrimp Squash Noodle Bowl with your crumbled cashews and extra basil, devour!

There you have it, dinner in under 30 minutes! A stunning bowl of Curried Squash Shrimp Noodles that is packed with nutrients, vitamins, fibre and flavors upon flavors of yumminess! The sweet butternut breaks through the spicy curry, fresh hues of basil, crunchy cashews all on top of hearty and yummy rice noodles, hope you all enjoy and now you can use up that squash you bought, it’s no longer a table piece ūüôā Let me know how you love the recipe, tag me in your pictures on Facebook or Instagram @APinchofNurse! Stay safe & warm XOXO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Crunchy Buckwheat Cacao & Dark Cherry Granola

Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a lovely Monday and start to this beautiful week to come! It’s officially Fall as of last week and I welcomed the transition into Fall by rooting myself with more me time to reflect and absorb this short but stunning season! I attended one of my favorite events, a Bend and Brunch aka yoga and food all in one, it truly is heart and belly filling. The brunch is always different and deliciously imaginative, this week I was inspired by the brunch which had some delicious granola, I was then on a mission to perfect a healthy granola that included some of my favorite flavors and textures while remaining free of refined sugars, because most granola’s are packed with unnecessary sugar! So my next recipe I’d love to share with all of you is my Crunchy Buckwheat Cacao & Dark Cherry Granola, it’s UNREAL!

I love cacao, cinnamon and dark cherries together, especially in this season, so I went with those flavors for this granola, you really can get creative with the flavors or additions in your granola, but this combo was my fav, I can’t get enough of it. If you are wondering what raw cacao nibs are, they come from the seeds of the fruit of the cacao tree, it is the purest form of chocolate you can consume and raw cacao is actually a super food due to their high antioxidant levels, iron and magnesium levels, bonus! Cacao is also supposed to enhance your mood… so we now have an excuse when we’re feeling a little down to eat this granola by the giant spoonful, nom nom, all in the name of happiness! Oh, where do I find these lil raw cacao nibs you ask? I find them in the bulk section of Planet Organic, Community Foods and I’ve seen them at a few other natural health food stores.

This granola is legit, and really, what beats a batch of freshly baked granola and made at half the cost of store-bought? So the star ingredients for this Crunchy Buckwheat Cacao & Dark Cherry Granola are all of my favorites, nutty earthy buckwheat, fragrant roasted cacao, chewy tart dark cherries, shredded coconut (duh, a must in all of my granola’s), sunflower seeds, comforting cinnamon and vanilla, to hold it all together is a date and banana paste that turned out magical. Also, if you’re not a banana person, it just barely has a banana hint, the cacao and cherry rule the flavors here. One moment please as I hit up my pantry for some of this granola… yum!

Ready to make your own fresh batch of granola! Let’s get granolaing, it’s a word okay.

What you will need for this Crunchy Buckwheat Cacao & Dark Cherry Granola:

1.5 cup raw buckwheat groats whole (soaked)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup cacao nibs (i get these at planet organic/community foods bulk section)
2 tbsp chopped dried tart cherries
10-12 pitted dates (soaked)
1/2 large banana
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

How the heck do you make granola, keep reading:

Prior to starting your granola, soak your buckwheat groats in warm water, enough to cover the groats completely for a minimum of 3 hours, you can skip this part but I found the buckwheat gets very crunchy/hard after baking, soaking it makes it more chewy and granola textured.
Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Add hot water to your dates to soak in (5-10 minutes).
Combine the drained buckwheat, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs and cherries in a bowl.
Drain your water from the dates and throw into your blender with the banana, vanilla, cinnamon and salt, blend until a smooth paste is made.
Pour your paste into your granola base and mix thoroughly until well coated.
Pour granola onto your lined sheet, spread out the mixture, but not too thinly so chunks of granola form!
Bake 15-20 minutes then flip and bake another 15 minutes or so, watch carefully near the end so you don’t burn your granola. I find when you go to flip it half way, flatten out the mixture with your spatula to help it stick together and create clumps.
Remove from the oven and let it cool completely (don’t be tempted, cool completely!), it’ll begin to harden, when cool, it’s ready to eat!
Store in an airtight container up to 3 weeks (probably more, mine is always gone prior to then!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, just a warning, do not attempt to transport your granola on the parchment paper only to another location like I did. The paper folded and ripped as I was half way through my kitchen and half my granola went flying throughout the kitchen, like a granola grenade had gone off and a high-pitched scream of disbelief rang through my kitchen as I dropped to my knees in order to try salvage those perfect granola clumps, my husband thought I had cut off a finger, nope just precious granola hitting the floor, a tragedy! My next warning, this Chewy Buckwheat & Dark Cherry Granola is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE, okay I warned you, if it’s gone in a day or two, not my fault. I think that’s all I have to warn you about this time ūüôā I hope you try out my granola and I’ve inspired you just a little! Thanks for checking out my post and granola recipe, let me know how it goes, I love to hear from all of you! Have a beautiful week, happy granola crunching, XOXO.

Continue Reading

Zucchini Galore = A Good For You Zucchini Banana Bread

Monday’s Monday’s, gloomy Monday’s, NOT TODAY! You know why, I have for you a recipe to use up all those zucchinis that you may have stockpiled from your garden, went crazy at the market buying, or like me, you may have been lucky enough to have received a generous, over sized, beautiful, baby like, yellow zucchini gift from a co-worker! I had several recipe ideas whirl through my head as I cradled this massive zucchini in my arms and I thought it was about time I tackled a scrumptious loaf of some sort, I’ve been shying away from this as for me baking doesn’t come as easily as cooking, I mean who wants to actually stick to measuring and mixing and watching through a tiny oven window… Well with it being right after zucchini galore season = A¬†Good For You Zucchini Banana Bread was in order, boy did it turn out unreal, I’m glad I took it on!

 

You know me, always trying to tackle the impossible and create a “feel good” recipe with my own healthy flair for common recipes out there. I know there are thousands.. probably more, Banana Zucchini Breads out there, but this one is infused with my love, a serving of hidden veggies and a moist, give me another piece now, kinda feel. I think I even shocked my husband with it, I fed it to him and he said, that is gluten free… and healthy? YEP, SURE IS! The loaf was gone within a day and a half! It truly turned out unreal you guys. I substituted regular flour with Teff flour, a teeny tiny gluten free grain that packs huge nutritional benefits despite it’s tininess! I’ve baked and cooked with it before and thought, let’s try it out in creating my Banana Zucchini Bread, it’s mild nutty profile would compliment banana and chocolate well! It also is the leading grain for calcium content, 1 cup of cooked Teff has 123mg of calcium, what’s not to like about that?! ¬†I find Teff at almost every grocery store now a days, Bob’s Red Mill brand is lovely, or you can find it at Bulk Barn.

 

I try and bake with veggies whenever I can, zucchini is definitely a vegetable to cook with, it infuses itself and takes on every other flavor surrounding it and allows this bread to be so moist, it’s miraculous that it even holds together! You also will feel more than inclined to eat a piece or two, all in the name of getting your veggies and that calcium content in your diet, am I right? I also felt that I didn’t need to load this recipe up with sugar, the bananas and chocolate chips lend the perfect balance of sweetness, you don’t need a cup of sugar, I opted for 2 tbsp of coconut sugar due to it’s caramel taste/sweetness, it can even be omitted if you don’t like overly sweet treats. My Banana Zucchini Bread is also super easy to create, get your little minions (children or SO) to mash those bananas and grate up that zucchini for ya and it’s just mixing after that ūüôā Done and done. Well, here is the recipe for the masterpiece, oh and I suppose you want to know how to make it as well, yeah? Keep reading!

Look at that sucker!

Here is what you’ll need to make my delicious Good For You Zucchini Banana Bread!

Wet Ingredients:
2 large ripe bananas – mashed (plus an extra sliced banana for topping if you want, it’s so pretty!)
1 cup loosely packed- finely grated zucchini (I used yellow, green will also work)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of your choice)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Dry Ingredients:
3/4 cup (120 gram) Teff flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand at most grocer’s or Bulk Barn)
1/2 cup (45 grams) rolled oats
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I use Krisda or Foley’s no sugar added chocolate chips, cheapest in Save on Foods bulk section)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Make – Mix & Bake!

Preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
Grease a standard 8×4 loaf pan well, I use avocado oil.
Mash bananas and add to finely grated zucchini, along with all your other wet ingredients, mix well.
Mix all your dry ingredients together except the chocolate chips.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.
Fold in chocolate chips or mixing of your choice, walnuts are also delicious!
Bake for 45-55 minutes, it will vary on your oven, use a toothpick to check, when the toothpick comes out clean with no wet better, it is done.
Let it cool then remove from pan and slice/serve!

BOOM, there it is! How stunning is that! Now get in there and enjoy ūüôā Thanks for following and trying my creations, sending my love to you all, XOXO! I hope the rest of your week is lovely, bring it on Fall!

Continue Reading

Black Rice Pudding With Spiced Stewed Plums

PLUM SEASON IS HEREEEE and I’m surrounded by every type of plum in the markets, you bet I’ve taken on the challenge of tasting every plump plum out there, well almost ūüôā I’m not ready for¬†PSL’s or pumpkin anything¬†quite yet (but very soon), I’m easing into fall flavours and produce with this next recipe, which clearly has to make plums the star since I just announced my plum love… I have combined my infinite love for rice pudding, black rice, comforting sweet fall spices and those juicy black plums, out came a spoon licking, mouth-watering, smile making,¬†Black Rice Pudding with Spiced Stewed Plums, OMG so delicious!

I walked into the Italian Centre Shop the other day and my eyes immediately gazed towards all those plums for sale, I ran over like a kid in a giant candy shop and started to load every¬†plum I could get my paws on¬†into¬†my basket,¬†then I proceeded to take pictures of and get a little Insta story video all within seconds, multitasking at it’s finest I’d say. I then looked up to an employee staring at me dumbfounded… he then asked if I was finding everything I needed, I laughed nervously, grabbed another quick¬†handful of prune plums and¬†dashed away just as quickly as I had come in. What, I can’t be the only one fondling & taking videos of plums right? Am I… oh boy. I guess this is why my husband prefers when I do the grocery shopping, alone, haha. Well, what I ended up with in my hurry were¬†Italian prune plums, AKA Empress plums, that have a yellow flesh when cut open, then they¬†transform into a stunning¬†fuchsia when cooked, they naturally have a high¬†sugar content, great for baking, drying, preserves and clearly perfection being stewed in spices. I also love their small elongated shape and how well they hold up when cooked!

I discussed black rice, aka emperor rice,¬†a couple posts back, I still can’t get over its deliciousness¬†and it proves to be so versatile in recipes and I mean how fitting that I have combined the empress plums with the emperor rice!¬†I substituted the typical white rice in your standard rice pudding with this gorgeous dark grain and it didn’t disappoint whatsoever, it brought this rice pudding to the next level and another added bonus are its nutritional benefits over white rice. I can never seem to do things the “standard way”, my life has always been like that, but it keeps things interesting don’t ya think!?¬†Black¬†rice¬†has this slight chew to it and a nutty flavor that compliments the warmth of cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom and cloves so well. I used¬†canned lite coconut milk and a blend of unsweetened coconut/almond milk for the pudding base. I knew the rice would release some of its deep violet colour, due to the anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant,¬†(look at the picture below!)¬†and sure enough, this pudding has a stunning dark hue and topped with those fuchsia plums, so beautiful and mysterious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the rice cooks away in one pan you can get your plums stewing away in another with fragrant fall spices, your¬†kitchen will smell unreal! The¬†combination of spices I used were cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom pods and cloves, I love using whole spices and fresh vanilla when possible but I know it can be tricky to locate, you may need to explore a couple of stores, but¬†instead of cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods or fresh vanilla pods, you can use¬†ground cinnamon powder, pure/extract vanilla liquid¬†and ground cardamom, they are¬†just as delicious if you have that kickin in your pantry!¬†But I do typically find all of these at bulk barn, the Italian Centre or the Silk Road Spice Merchant in the Farmer’s Market, if you want to go on an adventure spice seeking trip hit those stores up. Typically rice pudding is over loaded with sugar, I didn’t add any sweetener to the rice pudding itself, with the raisins for a pop of sweetness and then the stewed syrupy plums, it’s not needed and is surprisingly very naturally sweet.¬†My Black Rice Pudding with Spiced Stewed Plums is pretty darn easy to make and stores so well in the fridge¬†for next day enjoyment, if you don’t eat it all in one sitting that is!

Here is what you will need for this Black Rice Pudding with Spiced Stewed Plums:

Ingredients:

Rice Pudding:

1/2 cup black rice (find in the bulk section at planet organic & community foods)

1 14 oz can lite coconut milk

1 3/4 cups almond/coconut milk blend (I use Dream Blends unsweetened Almond/Coconut Milk)

2 tbsp golden raisins

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 pods cardamom or (1/4 tsp ground cardamom)

1.5 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

Stewed Plums:

6-8 prune plums (or plums of choice) pitted & halved

1/2 cup water

2 tbsp. maple syrup (I use ED Smith no sugar added Maple Syrup)

1 tsp cinnamon

2 pods cardamom or (1/4 tsp ground cardamom)

2 whole cloves

3/4 vanilla pod, seeded or (2 tsp vanilla extract)

How to Create:

Heat deep saute pan over medium/high heat & add all ingredients for pudding except raisins, bring to a boil then turn down heat over medium/low and allow to simmer.¬†Stir frequently until the rice is chewy and you have a pudding texture, approximately¬†25-30 minutes, don’t¬†over cook it¬†or your rice will absorb all the liquid. Add raisins half way through cooking.

Approximately 15 minutes into the rice pudding cooking, add all ingredients into a separate pan for stewed plums over medium heat. Allow plums to cook down, carefully mix plums around, be careful not to break them down too much. Once they are stewed down and created a syrup, remove the cardamom pods & cloves and remove from heat.

Your rice should be done at this time, remove cardamom pods. Spoon that lovely dark rice pudding into a bowl and top off with stewed plum mixture and some syrup, devour and enjoy!

There you go, an ease into fall recipe using seasonal produce, nothing makes me happier than sharing this with you guys, I hope you can try this and let me know how it turned out! I served this to my husband a top a little ice cream because he LOVES his ice cream and he inhaled it ūüôā¬†I love getting all your messages, questions, feedback and your own¬†take¬†on my recipes. Tag me on Instagram, Facebook or drop me a comment on the site/below! Thanks for your love and support everyone, living my dream everyday with this food blog, truly surreal, XOXO.

Continue Reading

Chia Hemp Saskatoon Berry Jam

Long weekends rule and so does jam, am I right! I loveeeee jam, any sorts of jam brings me happiness, I remember always having a jar of jam in the fridge growing up, so much nostalgia in a jar of jam. There is something about fruit preserves made into a sweet jelly that is so yummy and versatile, I particularly adore it mixed into plain yogurt, on buckwheat crepes and layered on bananas, mmmm. How can we forget about our childhood PB&J sammies when we opened up that lunch pack!? I have never attempted to make jam but I pay a hefty penny for a jar of organic, refined sugar-free jam, so the incentive to make my own jammy jam was high! So, with bags upon bags of Saskatoon berries from my bushes I decided to create a juicy, deep purple, lightly sweetened and super food infused Chia Hemp Saskatoon Berry Jam!

Sorry for the delay everyone on the jam recipe, I teased with this jam picture post earlier in the week, now here is the recipe for instant, healthy and nutty flavored jam, just in time for the August long weekend. No matter what you’ve jammed into your long weekend (haha see what I did there…) jam is sure to enhance it, right!? Now I have to say, it took me a couple batches to get the consistency right, but now I’m half through my jam jars… just so delicious! So I started with picking the juiciest of juicy Saskatoon berries, now those were way up high on the top of the bushes reaching to the sun, I have picked the bottoms bare! One day while my mom was visiting we were standing in an upstairs bedroom and looked out the window and took note that the large, bursting berries were just an arm’s length away through the window, we laughed that I could simply pop the screen out and go to town on berry picking through my bedroom window! Well the next morning, I layed there and stared at those berries, taunting me waving in the breeze, so I jolted out of bed, grab a huge tupper-ware, knocked that screen out and plucked those fat berries for my jam adventure! I may have frightened my neighbor hanging out my window…

Here are the simple and gorgeous ingredients to make your own jam:

4 cups fresh Saskatoon Berries (or berry/berry blend of your choice)

1/4 cup water

4 tbsp fresh lemon juice

3 tbsp honey (I use Drizzle Summer Honey)

1 tbsp chia seed

1 tbsp hemp hearts

I started by washing up those beautiful berries and heating a large pan over medium heat, then I threw 4 cups of Saskatoon berries on in with a 1/4 cup of water. I watched the berries begin to break down and turn into a lovely compote over approximately 10 minutes, then I added 4 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3 tbsp of Drizzle Summer Honey, 1 tbsp of chia seeds and 1 tbsp of hemp hearts. I then muddled the berries and mixed everything together well and allowed it to cook down for another 10 minutes on medium/low heat until I reached the consistency I love in my jam! I mean, how easy was that! I let the jam cool then I spooned it into adorable little mason jars. We have now made jam! I let it cool then popped them into the fridge and the jam lasted well over a week, I’m sure even longer, if I hadn’t, I mean if my husband hadn’t eaten it all…. ūüėČ

This jam is packed with super food chia seeds that aid in digestive health, give us boosts of energy, not to mention the positive impact on our skin and aging with all those antioxidants! I also threw in those hemp hearts as they are rich in protein, omega and have a creamy nutty texture and flavor that compliment these berries tremendously. Jam is typically fruit floating in white sugar…not this one, it’s lightly sweetened with the lovely local Drizzle Summer Honey collection that I can’t get enough of! It’s a¬†sweet creamed honey with notes of wildflower, oak and clover, it sealed this jams perfection. So, now its your turn to make some super food infused Saskatoon Berry Jam! I think my favorite way of eating the jam so far has been stirred into thick greek yogurt, fresh fruit and topped with crunchy roasted almonds! Let me know what you think of the jam and your fav way of enjoying it!

Happy and safe August long weekend to everyone! XOXO

Continue Reading

Spiced Chia Pudding with Honeyed Saskatoon Berries & Apricots

Good Sunday morning everyone! It’s officially berry season and I am in utter dreamland with sweet, juicy and perfectly ripe berries of all sorts! The markets are overflowing with baskets and flats of berries, my mind wandered to countless potential recipes using the traditional berry blends, compotes, jams, crumbles… I came home wondering what I was going to create and decided to meander outside into my backyard to get inspired. I had been recently inspecting the trees in my backyard that was producing gorgeous plump blue/purple berries that peppered my sidewalk, after some research I realized I had struck gold and have four Saskatoon Berry Bushes! This is when my Spiced Chia Pudding with Honeyed Saskatoon Berries & Apricots recipe hit me in the face, I immediately began picking the lovely berries as quickly as I could… half in my bowl, half in my tummy!

Look at those Saskatoon Berries, aka, Prairie Berries! I hadn’t appreciated the beauty and unique flavor of Saskatoon¬†berries until a couple of years ago, when I filled up my pail full of the berries at the Saskatoon Berry Farm U-Pick, I was in love. They have such a unique, sweet nutty flavor, a mix of apple and berry essence and you can pick even pick them slightly under as they continue to ripen after picked. Saskatoon berries are highly known for their antioxidant properties, high calcium value and what sets them apart from other berries are their anti inflammatory properties that have been tested in medicinal treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. Wow, I mean, how incredible are these little purple balls of packed goodness!

Picking them Saskatoon Berries!

I had to incorporate the berries unique flavors and health attributes into a recipe abundant with some of my favorite spice blends that compliments the berries almond nut influence. I couldn’t leave out one of my absolute adored in season stone fruits, apricots! I picked out a large bags worth of seasonal, organic and vibrant B.C. apricots at the farmers market this week. Apricots have that tart and musky flavor with a smooth bite, I could eat a trees worth in one sitting! I certainly get my fibre and carotene intake in a day I’d say. My mouth was watering when I thought of mixing apricots, Saskatoon berries, roasted salted almonds chunks and a pinch of cinnamon coated in local honey, Drizzle’s Summer Honey, a sweet creamed honey you will not get enough of with notes of oak, wildflower and clover and use it to top off a delicious spiced pudding, it doesn’t get any better than this!

Now let’s get to the spiced chia pudding, I know most of you have had some variety of chia pudding, it’s popularity has definitely risen and is a healthy alternative to sugar filled puddings. I love warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and ginger, I then infused them into this chia pudding with a base of almond and coconut milk, along with some dates for sweetness and I snuck in some ground flaxseed to thicken up the pudding. I’m sure you all know by now that flaxseeds have an incredible amount of plant-based omegas that keep your nails, locks and skin healthy and luscious (maybe that’s my secret to this head of hair :)) This chia pudding is a breeze to create, throw everything in a large mixing bowl and let it set for at least 4-8 hours, I like my pudding a little thicker, so I let it set overnight and sometimes even add an extra tbsp of chia or flaxseed, you can adapt my recipe to your pudding preference!

So how do you make this Spiced Chia Pudding with Honeyed Saskatoon Berries and Apricots?! Keep reading my friends, this recipe really comes together quite simply and you can make it in large batches that last a few days in the fridge!

Spiced Chia Pudding:

1 cup unsweetned vanilla almond milk

1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk

4 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

3 large pitted dried dates – diced finely

2 tbsp maple syrup (if you like a sweeter pudding add, if not leave out)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp pure vanilla

1/2 tsp fresh zested ginger (or 1/4 tsp dried ginger powder)

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/4 tsp pink himalayan salt

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of ground clove

Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until well mixed, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for

4-8 hours or until your desired consistency of pudding reached (the longer it sits, the thicker it will become).

Honeyed Saskatoon Berries & Apricot Topping:

2 ripe apricots – diced

1 cup ripe Saskatoon berries

2 tbsp roasted & salted almonds – roughly chopped

1 tbsp Drizzle Summer Honey

1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Pinch salt (omit if almonds well salted)

Add all ingredients except honey in a bowl and mix, melt honey until just turning into liquid form and pour over mixture, toss in honey until evenly coated. Spoon spiced chia pudding into bowls when set and top off with the crunchy, sweet, spiced honey berry & apricot blend, YUM! A great recipe to make in batches and have as breakfast, dessert or a snack! This recipe will keep you full and energized during these beautiful summer days, hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend and summer so far, try this recipe out and tag me or leave a comment below, I love hearing from all of you, xoxo!

 

 

Continue Reading