What is simple, colorful, flavorsome and used in cooking & baking?

What is simple, colorful, flavorsome and used in cooking & baking?

The Stunning Carrot!

Do you see carrots as a hero vegetable?   You could say they have super powers yet how would you know without a label to tell you.  What a shame, if carrots did come with a nutrition label PLUS marketing messages here is what I think you would see;


Carrots are a good source of vitamins and minerals!
Carrots are extremely low in fat!
Carrots are a component of a healthy diet.

 

Now turn the carrot over and lets see what is on the back panel:

The nutrition facts for two small-to-medium raw carrots (100 grams) are:

  • Calories:                 41
  • Water:                    88%
  • Protein:                  0.9 grams
    • Carbs:          9.6 grams
    • Sugar:          4.7 grams
  • Fiber:                     2.8 grams
  • Fat:                        0.2 grams

    Carbs
    in the form of – starch and sugars
    Sugar in the form of sucrose and glucose
    Fiber in the form of pectin { a soluble fibre} and cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin {insoluble fibre}@
    @Soluble fibre helps lower blood sugar levels by slowing down your digestion of sugar and starch.
    Insoluble fibre helps reduce constipation

And the vitamin and mineral content is also worthy of mention, look at all you get in just two carrots!

Vitamin A promotes good vision and is important for growth, development, and immune function
Biotin: A B vitamin plays an important role in fat and protein metabolism
Vitamin K1 important for blood coagulation
Potassium important for blood pressure control
Vitamin B6 involved in the conversion of food into energy


W
ould agree, carrots are a rather good vegetable to have on hand.

However, I don’t think there are enough recipes that allow carrots to show off.  Carrots are still seen as things to hold dip, add to recipes for flavour, used as a side dish, but never as the star of its own show.    What if there was a recipe that allow the humble carrot to be the star.  I recently found such a recipe – Carrot Sung Choi  Boa.  The recipe was perfect for a party I  hosted over the weekend.  The guests loved it, I loved it and my husband loved it.  I know you will love it too, so I have included the recipe here for you!

Now that you know what a kick *** vegetable carrots are, will you use them more in your daily cooking?  Maybe you need some ideas to help your own creative juices going – here are some ways I use carrots:

  • Roasted whole to be use as a side dish or for salads
  • Grated, to be added to any thing like meat loaf, pasta sauce, and salads (adding fibre ).
  • Cut into different shapes for different uses – coins, baton (carrot sticks), spiral (for noodles), thin match sticks, diced (mirepoix) for stocks and stews.
  • Healthy snack.
  • You can turn them into soup, dips, or juice, bake into a cake, turn into fritter, or plant-based filling for Sung Choi Bao
    I discovered this recipe while looking for a menu item for a party. The original recipe I came across was by Jacqueline Alwill from her website The Brown Paper Bag. The photo I used here is also from that same website. The changes I made were to swap out the quinoa for cauliflower and broccoli rice with minced mushrooms added. The Topping was changed from peanuts to hemp and sesame seeds in an effort to keep this nut free.
  • Or use with other left over vegetables, like cherry tomatoes and zucchini and create a whole meal like I did after my party.
    I was left over veggies - Now I am a main meal

    Am I going to be a soup, pasta sauce, or…..

     

    I turn 500 grams carrots + one onion + garlic + 2 zucchinis + 300g of cherry tomatoes and 1 tin of chickpeas into a vegetable tagine. All  vegetables were saved from going to waste!

    Pantry creation

    Stunning vegetables saved from going to waste!

 

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The Pure Joy of Peanut Butter Bliss Balls!

The Pure Joy of Peanut Butter Bliss Balls!

photo credit to wholesome yum.
I love SIMPLE – WHOLE – CREAMY – CHEWY – BLISS BALLS.  The pure joy of Peanut Butter Bliss Balls!

Ah the pure delight  of a great bliss ball is truly a wonderful thing.  My favorite is usually made with peanut butter.   What I do know peanut butter is its one of my go to snack creators, I love it on slices of crunchy apple , down the middle of celery sticks (yes really), in a banana smoothie, in over night oats and as the perfect dip for dark chocolate must be bitter with very little sugar (85 to 100%), and last but not least in a peanut butter bliss ball.

I have included a very simple recipe for you here.  Honest, just a couple of ingredients and you are in business!  If you don’t like peanut better or can’t eat it, you can use other nut or seed butters.  I think almond butter is great in this recipe as is sunflower seed.  Additionally you can coat the bliss balls with melted chocolate for an extra special treat.

 

Simple to make and easy to enjoy Bliss Balls!

 

 

Black bean Burger that will rock your taste buds! New recipe from Patricia of Warmly Nourished.

Making a burger with black beans is so easy and so yummy. If you don't want to serve them as a burger, you could use them as a base for a salad, or as a wrap. I am sure you will think of so many ideas to create meal ideas. They also make a great addition as a lunch box meal for kids and adults - can can be eaten cold.

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Healthier Green Smoothie With Essential Oils

Healthier Green Smoothie With Essential Oils

To be honest, I really like to chew my food, so having a smoothie can sometimes put me off.  That’s not the case with this lovely smoothie. I call it my Healthier Green Smoothie.

Elegant Serving a smoothie in a wine glass!

Make every meal special, why not serve your fresh and healthy breakfast smoothie in a wine glass!

Well balanced using fresh spinach, fresh apple -with peel, good fats with flax seeds, hemp seeds, tahini and a medjool date for hit of sweetness wrapped up with fibre and iron.  But what I really love is the addition of essential oils.  For this recipe I choose lemon, lime and ginger.  The lemon and Lime help with your metabolism in the morning and the freshness wakes me up.  I used Ginger for the warming touch it gives and for digestion.

What a perfect breakfast smoothie!

Bright, well balanced Smoothie that will suit the whole family.

With Essential Oils

So balances…so fresh…loving the essential oil addition!

Ah, Cake!  Homemade German Chocolate Cake

Ah, Cake! Homemade German Chocolate Cake

Homemade Birthday Cake was the norm when I was growing up,  every member of my family had their GO TO cake.  Mine was lovely layered cake known as German Chocolate Cake.   It had this really yummy frosting made with pecans and coconut and I simply couldn’t think of anything better.

Traditional German Chocolate Cake

This cake is named for a man not the country!

Travel forward with me to 2019 and I have re-fashioned my childhood cake into a more whole food version that tastes just as special as it always did!  In this version, the white flour and white sugar have been replaced with wholefood options.   And if you want the cake to be VEGAN, the eggs can be replaced too!  WOW, so is this really a cake?  Yes it is and its every bit as good as the original.

So what magic did I spin to create this cake?

It starts with replacing the flour.  Which I did my using pre-cooked quinoa.  I then replaced the white sugar with coconut sugar.  Now I could have used rapadura sugar here, however, I really like the caramel taste of coconut sugar.  I don’t have an issue with eggs, however, I have many friends who either can’t eat eggs or are vegan, so I have included an option to use chia gel as an egg replacement.  You could also use powered egg replacement, however, I wanted to keep this as a whole food cake so chia was the  better option.

The result, is a moist, yummy, chocolatey cake worthy of being someones favorite Birthday Cake!  With the perfect pecan and coconut frosting.  YEAH!

For the frosting, the sugar was replace with whole majool dates – the rest is almost the same, unsweetened coconut and fresh raw pecans.  Its the perfect frosting for this cake.   Whats  more, you can make this cake as a single layer, double layer or turn it into cup cakes.  The choice is yours.  I hope you love this cake as much as I do and make it often.