DIARY OF A CHEF AT HOME
a collection of holistic nutrition tips & tricks, plus many of Food on the Table's favourite recipes
Marshmallows are an occasional occurrence at our house, like Easter! The base contains only 4 ingredients and are a healthier alternative to conventional marshmallows which contain highly processed ingredients like corn syrup, refined sugars, preservatives, artificial colours and flavours. Non-foods I'd rather not feed my kid, his friends, myself, or anyone for that matter!
Did you know chocolate (real chocolate) is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet?! Did you know that's it's full of magnesium and magnesium just happens to be one of the most used nutrients in our body keeping our muscle and nerve function steady.
You may of noticed blood oranges popping up at your local grocery market. If you haven't eaten one before I highly recommend you stop and place a few in your basket, you won't regret it! Unlike traditional oranges, blood oranges are only in season between December through until May depending on the variety.
My son's been asking me to make pickled carrots for about a month. I finally made them and honestly, I don't know why it took me so long. Life I guess. But, these literally take about 10 minutes to prep and 3-7 days to ferment.
The holidays can leave many of us feeling a bit off track when it comes to the foods we eat. With the onslaught of parties, dinners, late nights, excessive sweets and increased alcohol consumption, it might leave us feeling heavier, sluggish, lower energy and feeding into a sugar addiction.
There's nothing like giving a home-made gift made with your very own hands. Not only are homemade gifts made with TLC, they can also be very economical and an activity that can get one or more sets of hands involved. If we're close, you've likely received something home-made from me. Being a creative and practical person, I often like to give gifts that you can eat.....or slather on your body ;)
Happy National Cookie Day! In honour of this special day and because it's December I decided to make shortbread cookies, which are hands down my all-time favourite cookie. I usually only eat them around this time of year when they seem to be everywhere. At every potluck, every holiday party, at the markets, Everywhere. Maple, chocolate dipped, orange, cranberry, lemon, you name it. Those delicious, buttery, sweet, but not too sweet, rich, yummy morsels of goodness really do make me happy.
With those of you with young children, what do you do on Halloween? I allow my son to have the occasional piece of candy. He does not have any food allergies or sensitivities and he eats a balanced, whole foods diet.
Since going grain free (and sugar free) last year I've had to find alternative ways to eat some of my favourite foods. (In a later post I'll explain why I altered my diet to suit my current needs and how it has affected me).
If you're thinking of going grain free or just want a lighter style of granola but just as filling and satisfying, then you'll love this recipe! Not only is it a fraction of the price of store bought granola, it also uses only a fraction of the ingredients resulting in a much more nutrient dense and tasty cereal.
This recipe is merely a template so feel free to play around with the type of fruit and spices you use. I happened to have dried apples and sugar-free candied ginger in my pantry so this is what came out! That's the beauty of cooking.
Apple Ginger Granola (Grain Free)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 - 3 tablespoons natural sweetener (I used Swerve for a sugar free version)
3 cups coconut ribbon
2 cups nuts and seeds (I used sliced almonds, cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds)
1/2 cup dried unsulphered apple, diced
1/4 cup currants, dried
1/4 cup candied ginger, diced (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1.5 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
I will admit that I'm not big into baking. I often prefer to go with no-bake desserts and snacks because they're easier and depending on the ingredients, raw deserts are often more nutrient dense.
Granola is one of those staple foods that I try to keep stocked in my pantry. It's a quick, easy & delicious snack or meal that's extremely versatile and I most often have the ingredients (or some version) on hand.
My son is 3 and he loves to eat snacks! This is a fairly new thing for him as he used to be quite a grazer when it came to eating. When we started to slow down on the the nursing (at 2yrs, ended at 3yrs) the desire for snacks increased in a huge way. Makes sense since he is a growing boy and they need good nutrients to support the rapid rate at which it happens! I try my best to provide him with high quality food and make as much of it as possible by setting aside a few hours one day a week to make 2-3 different snack options.
Beef jerky is one of my all time favorite snack foods! It's relatively easy to make (in a dehydrator or oven), you can experiment with many different seasonings, it travels well and it's a high protein snack with highly absorbable nutrients like iron and zinc. When I make it at home, it usually doesn't last for very long, there's something very addictive about these salty, sweet & spicy, chewy, yet tender strips of beef that is so very satisfying!
These little snappers are quick to make, delicious and jammed packed with lots of like protein & healthy fats. They're free of sugar, gluten & dairy and full of LOVE
14 dried figs, chopped (stems cut off)
1/4c raw cashews
1/4c cashew butter
Rind from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
In a food processor or vitamix, process figs & cashews until almost smooth. Add cashew butter, lemon rind & juice and process for another 30sec.
Form into little balls and refrigerate for 30min. Cookies will last in fridge in a Tupperware container for up to 1 week if they last that long!
One of my great joys in life is cooking! As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) & food lover I continue to explore the balance between healthy, traditional food preparation and tasty dishes.
Check out my new COOKBOOK! Planting Seeds of Nourishment with over 40 whole-foods based recipes and tons of nutrition info!