• What Does Food Have To Do With Gut Health?

    We've just finished up a heart health series on In My Plant-Based Kitchen and I've had a few requests for a gut health series, so I've started that this week on the channel.

    Anyone who knows me knows that this is one of my FAVOURITE topics! The microbiome is absolutely fascinating, and what we eat has a huge impact on the health of our microbiome. In turn the health of our microbiome determines SO MUCH about our overall state of health!

    In this series we're going to get into the details, and of course I'll share gut health recipes, tips and inspiration along the way.

    In Episode 32 of In My Plant-Based Kitchen (Part 1 of Nutrition For A Healthy Gut series) we are setting the stage. We cover:

    • what is the microbiome, and why is it important
    • why does it matter who is living in our gut?
    • how do we encourage healthy microorganisms to thrive in our gut?
    • what does it MEAN to have a healthy gut?
    • and we made this Sweet Chili Hummus (below) HINT -- this is a great way to add some legume diversity into your diet, which your gut will thank you for!

    Ready to get cooking? Here's the recipe:

    Sweet Chili Hummus
    (makes about 1.5 cups)
    Ingredients:

    • ½ cup sweet potato (cooked)
    • ½ cup dried red lentils, rinsed
    • ½ cup water
    • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1 tsp maple syrup
    • 1-2 tsp ancho chili powder/another chili powder of your choice (or if you have chiles in sauce these are great too -- I used 1 tbsp)
    • ¼ tsp sea salt (or salt alternative), to taste

    Directions:

    1. Combine the red lentils and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once they have boiled turn heat to low and cook just until lentils are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
    2. If necessary cook a sweet potato*
    3. Place garlic clove in food processor and mince.
    4. Place the rest of the ingredients in the food processor and process until everything is smooth and creamy.
    5. Adjust salt/alternative and chili powder to taste.

    *Sweet potatoes make great snacks, and are a wonderful addition to many plant-based dinners, so I love to batch bake a bunch of them all at once, and pre-cooked is ideal for this recipe.


  • A Plant-Based Thanksgiving - Menu included!

    As the holidays approach I wanted to offer a few tips and recipes to help you make them healthier, kinder and more delicious than ever! 

    In this week's episode of In My Plant-Based Kitchen (Episode 11) I talk about

    • how to veganize and "healthify" some traditional family favourites
    • how to plan a plant-based holiday meal (including ideas for mains)
    • what's on my menu for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday dinner (see my holiday recipe ebook here)
    • I walk you through my Naturally Sweetened Holiday Cranberry Sauce recipe (so good)! Here's that recipe:

    Naturally Sweetened Holiday Spice Cranberry Sauce

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c water
    • ½ c freshly squeezed orange juice
    • 2 c fresh/frozen cranberries
    • 2 c dried cranberries
    • ½ c raisins
    • ¾ c tart dried cherries
    • 3 tbsp agave syrup or maple syrup
    • 1 tbsp orange zest
    • 1 tsp ginger, peeled and minced
    • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    • ¼ tsp ground cloves (optional – or use another spice like nutmeg/anise, etc)

    Directions:

    1. Place water, juice, cranberries, raisins and cherries in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Depending on how much water your cranberries release, you may need to add a bit more water or orange juice. If you're feeling the sauce is dry, add up to another 1/2 - 3/4 cup (you can do this later in the process too - the main thing is to give the fruit enough liquid to steep and become soft in).

    2. Turn the heat down to med-low and simmer for about 10 minutes, until some of the cranberries start to burst open, stirring occasionally. Some will burst and others won’t, which gives the sauce nice texture.

    3. Now add the agave/maple syrup, ginger, orange zest, cinnamon and cloves and simmer for a few more minutes, stirring regularly, until everything is starting to come together and the sauce has thickened to your preferred consistency (keep in mind the sauce will thicken up more as it cools).

    4. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Once everything has cooled, you can blend the sauce partially if you like a smoother sauce.

    5. Chill in the fridge or serve at room temperature.

    *Note, the flavours in this sauce really come together on day 2, so this is a great thing to make the day before your big meal. If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge and it will keep for a couple of weeks (if it lasts that long)!

    Want more recipes? Check out my HOLIDAY RECIPE EBOOK HERE.

    Enjoy! Wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy, Kind Thanksgiving.


  • Let's Make N'Ice Cream (and talk sugar)

    It's HOT and the perfect week to make N'ICE Cream! Want a delicious, cool treat that you can also count as a healthy snack? Then you won't want to miss Episode 4 of In My Plant-Based Kitchen.



    This week I'm answering a question that came in from a viewer -- sugar and sugar-free dessert ideas. We cover:

    • some good-to-know facts about sugar and health

    • where sugar can be hiding in our modern diets, and why that's a concern

    • sugar and fruit/whole foods -- what's the difference?

    • tips for enjoying a naturally sweetened diet (be sure to check out the show notes for links to further resources and recipes)

    And I do a demo and provide some practical tips for making Blackberry Lime N'Ice Cream -- Here's the recipe (it's SO easy):

    Blackberry Lime N’Ice Cream

    (pictured above)

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup chopped frozen bananas

    • 1 ½ cup frozen blackberries, and fresh for serving (optional)

    • Zest of 1 lime

    • 1 tsp lime juice (or more to taste/as necessary)

    In a food processor blend bananas and blackberries until everything starts to come together. Add zest and lime juice and pulse just until everything is incorporated and smooth, being careful not to overprocess. Top with fresh berries if desired.

    Serve immediately!

    MIX IT UP -- some more recipe ideas for you!

    Another really nice version of the blackberry recipe above swaps the blackberries for strawberries and the lime for balsamic vinegar, omitting the lime zest. Delicious!

    One of the things I love about N'Ice Cream is how EASY it is to get creative and make different kinds. A basic template to start with looks like this:

    • 1 cup chopped frozen bananas (this is pretty standard since it makes the n'ice cream CREAMY - but don't worry, you won't taste the banana since frozen banana has a very mild taste)

    • 1 ½ cup frozen berries/cherries/other fruit

    • (optional) 1-2 tbsp special additions, like nuts/seeds (or nut butters), chocolate chips or cacao, dried fruit, coconut, fresh herbs such as mint, etc (get creative)

    • (optional) 1 tsp

    In a food processor blend bananas and other fruit until everything starts to come together, pushing down as necessary. Once creamy add additional ingredients and pulse just until everything is incorporated and smooth, being careful not to overprocess/overheat. Top with garnishes for an extra special touch.

    Here are a couple more recipe ideas to get you started:

    Mint Honeydew Sherbet with Lime

    • 1 cup sliced, frozen bananas
    • 2 cups chopped, frozen honeydew melon
    • 1-2 tbsp mint leaves
    • juice of 1 lime (or more, to taste)
    • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup, to taste (optional)
    Option:
    • add a few drops of peppermint essential oil (food grade only) for an extra minty flavour

    Mango Orange Sherbet

    • 1 cup sliced, frozen banana
    • 1 ½ cup frozen mango
    • 1 ½ cup frozen orange
    • 1-2 tbsp agave syrup (optional)
    Option:
    • add a few drops of food grade orange essential oil
    • pulse in some shredded coconut at the end
    What combinations are YOUR favourite? Let us know in the comments below.


Website Created & Hosted with Doteasy Web Hosting Canada