Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy September!!

September is my new favourite month of the year. Fall has always been my favourite season - although its really the New England fall that I grew up with, and that still lives on in my mind, that I love. The crisp air, the sunny skies and the gorgeous array of coloured leaves...ahhh!

But now I love September even more because it brings with it such happy memories. This time last year we were (impatiently) awaiting my son's arrival. And September is now the month where we celebrate both my dear hubby and my sweet little baby's birthdays!

To celebrate the start of my favourite month and season - here is one of my all time favourite snacks, with the signature autumn flavour we all love!

Pumpkin Millet Muffins
Muffins are usually not on my list of recommended foods, as they are usually high in calories, fat, refined sugar and refined carbs. Not these beauties! These muffins feature whole grain millet, pumpkin seeds and I have adapted the recipe to use more healthful ingredients.

This recipe is from the Rebar cookbook, but I modify it to include healthier fats (unrefined coconut oil instead of sunflower oil) and unrefined sugars (pureed dates instead of brown sugar), as well as whole wheat flour (feel free to try some other flour like spelt or quinoa).


Yeilds 16 large muffins or lots of little mini muffins (which I love as a quick little snack)

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup unrefined/ extra virigin coconut oil (available in natural food stores with olive oil)
1 cup milk with 1 tbps of lemon squeezed in it
3/4 cup pureed dates (I soak the dates in warm water for a few minutes, then puree in my food processor)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I get organic pumpkin in a can...don't get 'pumpkin spice mix/ pie mix', just pumpkin)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup millet
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1) Preheat oven to 350. Grease large muffin tins with butter. Set aside. Combine eggs, oil, milk, dates, vanilla, and pumpkin in a large bowl and mix together. Stir in the oats. Toast the millet in a hot dry skillet until lightly brown and fragrant. Toast pumpkin seeds and add both to the mix. Set aside.

2) In seperate bowl mix dry ingredients together. Add the dry mix to the wet mix and gently stir to combine. Do not overmix, or the muffins will be dry and rough.

3) Fill muffin cups generously with batter. Spring tops with pumpkin seeds and bake for 25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes clean.

These muffins are really moist, and because they are made with whole foods, they only last about 3 days before beginning to mold. Keeping them in the fridge may help preserve them for up to 5 days.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Savoury Snacks Done Right

Ditch the bag of Lay's... nutrient packed savoury snacks are a cinch! Make a batch of each of these delicious nibbles and have them on hand when you get a hankering for Pringles. You will be glad you did!

Potato chips and other salty snacks that you buy in the supermarket are loaded with rancid fats, mainly in the form of cheap canola oil. This highly refined oil is causing all kinds of damage in your body, as a free-radical (disease causing agent). This is why everyone seems to be so obsessed with antioxidants, because we need all of the help we can get to combat this packaged food diet which is laced with free-radicals. So skip the chips, and make your own crunchy snacks with healthier fats and mineral rich sea salt!

Beet Chips (you can also try yams, parsnips or any other root veggie)

8 organic beets, any variety or colour
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (evoo)
Unrefined Sea salt and pepper to taste.

Method: Using a mandolin, vegetable peeler or knife, cut each beet into a thin chip-like size. Place on a cookie sheet or large baking dish. Drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 300F degrees and bake for 1.5 to 2 hours. You can increase the heat if you like, but not above 350, and just keep in mind they burn easily and you don't want to burn the EVOO.

Roasted Spiced Chickpeas

15oz can chickpeas, dried and rinsed
1 tbsp EVOO
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 350. Toss chickpeas with oil and spices until evenly coated. Spread on rimmed backing sheet. Roast, shaking pan ocassionally, until chickpeas are golden and crunchy, udually about 30 minutes. Let cool and store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Markets in Every Community Bringing Locally Grown Delicious Food to YOU

You are running out of excuses! This summer there are fantastic Farmer's Markets happening in basically every community in the Greater Vancouver area. There are over 125 Farmers Markets operating in BC!!! Local farmers who are using sustainable growing practices are bringing fresh, nutrient filled, delicious meat and produce TO YOU!

If you haven't been to a market yet, or in a while, get out this weekend. Take the family, enjoy the sunshine, the music, the community atmosphere and THE FOOD. This is without a doubt the best time of year to try out the markets with just about every amazing green, red, yellow, orange and even purple produce in season. You have never tasted anything quite like tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes, peas, berries, peaches, kale, onions, cherries (and the list goes on) that were picked YESTERDAY.

So take the family, have a picnic, support your local food economy and enjoy your local Farmer's Markets.

Check out this link for market locations and times in the West End, Trout Lake, Kits, Main Street, and Kerrisdale.

Check out this link for market locations and times in Lower Lonsdale, Central Lonsdale, Lynn Valley, and Deep Cove.

Here is the link to the Lonsdale Quay and Ambleside Artisan Farmers Market

And anywhere else in BC - here is your MarketFinder

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blossoming Baby - My Son's Diet Diary

Recently I have been fortunate enough to be working with lots of fabulous Mamas as they introduce their babies to solid foods, wean their children from breast milk and or formula, and improve their toddler's diets. I love working with families in this way because starting children out on a nutritious, varied, and wholesome diet is the best way to ensure a lifetime of health and wellbeing. A lot of these Mamas ask me what I feed my here it is "A Day in the Life of the Son of a Holistic Nutritionist!"

My son Jasper (shown left with a face full of raspberries!) is 10 months old, and is a big blossoming baby. He was nearly 10lbs at birth, and is still towards the top end of the curve for his age. Therefore he puts away a lot of (healthy!) food each day. Jasper is also still breastfed, and I don't count the number of feeds, or their length any more, so sorry, no real details on that! Please bear in mind that each child is different, so please do not read this and think "oh no, my baby is not getting enough", or "oh no, I haven't introduced x yet". Each child and each family require a customized plan. This is just what it looks like in my house!

We aim to eat meals together, as a family, and recently have been doing a better job at this, I am pleased to report. It was harder in the beginning when we were introducing foods a bit more slowly due to a family history of food allergies.

Tuesday, August 2 (and most days are similar)

Early Morning 'Snack': 1 banana, 1/2 an apricot

Breakfast: Around 3/4 cup steel cut oats with cinnamon & 1 tsp unrefined coconut oil; a few cherries

Lunch: 1/4 cup baked wild salmon; 1/2 cup mixed steamed veggies (broccoli, kale, green beans), 1 roasted beet; a few slices of avocado

Afternoon Snack: large handful blueberries, 3 kamut & brown rice cakes

Dinner: a chicken thigh (See recipe) with some onions and garlic, 3 roasted purple potatoes, sauteed swiss chard and zucchini

Drinks: breast milk; 4-5 tumblers of water

*If you are interested in booking a session to create a nutrition plan for your child, please email me!*