4 Reasons Why Chia Seeds Should Be A Staple In Your Diet

Hi Everyone!

There are a handful of foods and spices that I consider staples in my diet.  They support my  health and nutritional goals and keep me looking and feeling great.  One food that I have loved from the first time that I tried it was chia seeds.  These little tiny seeds deliver many health and beauty benefits, so I am often surprised how few people actually eat them on a regular basis.

Native to Mexico, chia seeds was commonly eaten by the Aztecs and the Mayans to help support them through long journeys and during battles.  This tiny little seed is a food powerhouse that provides many vitamins and minerals along with energy, which is much needed to power through long and challenging days.  Here are my top four favourite reasons why you should regularly include chia seeds in your diet:

  1. It’s no secret that I love foods that help me to look good and chia seeds is one of my beautifying favourites.  Chia seeds are incredibly high in antioxidants which helps to repair free radical damage from the inside out along with helping to prevent premature aging of the skin.
  2. Bowel movements are not the pleasant topics to discuss but let’s face it – it is important and completely necessary to good health.  Chia seeds are high in dietary fibre (2 tbsp = 11g of fibre), which helps to promote regularity and a healthy stool.
  3. Chia seeds help to support dietary and weight loss goals as they are filling without a lot of calories.  This will keep you from overindulging later on and avoid any post binge guilt that you may feel.
  4. Chia seeds are a good source of Omega-3 which helps to tame any inflammation that you may have in your body.  The western diet is filled with many pro-inflammatory so any food that can help to combat this is something that you want to include in your diet.

Please note that chia seeds should not be consumed dry as it can be hazardous and potentially cause choking.  When mixed with a liquid it expands and becomes a gel similar to tapioca.  It makes a great binder as a replacement for eggs in baking and it is a wonderful addition to smoothies.  For a refreshing energy boost I like to stir a tablespoon of chia seeds into a glass of coconut water and drink it (once the seeds have gelled).

What is your favourite way to include chia seeds in your diet?

I hope that you have a fabulous day!  XXS

Cashew Butter Blondies

This recipe for cashew butter blondies came to me as an epiphany of sorts.  I love blondies and my favourite recipe in the past was curtesy of the Barefoot Contessa.  Rich, buttery and completely indulgent, those blondies were fun to eat but not so great for my health goals.  So with this year’s baking challenge I decided to include a lightened up blondie recipe.

I thought that cashew butter would be a great addition to blondies and I spent a lot time Googling recipes trying to figure out how to achieve my blondie dreams.  I tried a few recipes that I found, and while they were good they didn’t feel like the decadent treat that I was searching for.  Then I came across a recipe for grain free brownies that was simple and sounded delicious.  I decided to use that recipe as a base and adapt it into the blondie recipe I had been dreaming of.

This recipe is simple but delicious.  These blondies are flourless and can be refined sugar free if you omit the chocolate chips.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 500g jar cashew butter

1 cup (250ml) golden maple syrup

2 organic eggs

4 Madjool dates, pitted and mashed

1 cup dark chocolate chips

Pinch of Himalayan pink salt (or sea salt)

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp Baking soda

What to do:

Preheat oven to 320 degrees

Blend the dates and maple syrup until creamy

Mix in the cashew butter until completely integrated

Slowly stir in the eggs (one at a time)

Stir in the salt, cinnamon and baking soda

Gently fold in chocolate chips until just combined

Pour batter into a 8 X 8 pan lined with parchment paper

Bake for 45 – 50 minutes until golden brown

Let cool before cutting into squares

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I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Butter Brownies

Happy December Everyone!

I associate the holiday season with rich chocolate desserts more then anything else.  So while others have visions of sugar plums dancing I tend to dream of chocolate waltzing.  Bad joke?  Alright, I’ll stop before I hurt myself.

At the beginning of November I decided to challenge myself and create a few delicious dessert recipes that were decadent yet still moderately healthy treats. Eating well is a lifestyle not a diet which includes clean high quality foods that support your body without leaving you feeling deprived or overwhelmed.  To me, this includes desserts.  You don’t need to have an all or nothing approach when it comes to eating.  Simple swaps and little adjustments can make a big difference in your health and how you look and feel overall.  I created these recipes for my clients and for you, to give you options during the holiday season and beyond. For those of you who are intimidated by baking please note that I am not a baker by any means, I just really like to eat.  It’s also important to me to know what is in my food. These recipes are simple, easy and require minimal skill, ingredients or effort.  My kitchen is literally in a closet and I have zero counter space, yet these recipes still came together beautifully – if I can do it, I have faith that you can too.

First up: Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Butter Brownies

These dark chocolate chunk brownies are the most perfect dessert that I have ever baked.  Rich, dense, moist and oh so good.  Did I mention that they are gluten free and refined sugar free?!?!

Cue happy dance

This amazing recipe has officially become my go to dessert recipe when I need a sweet treat.

Please note: All of the ingredients that I used when making these little bites of heaven were organic, but I understand that buying organic that can be a little pricey, so just try to keep your ingredients as clean and as high quality as your budget will allow.

Ingredients:

4 madjool dates (pitted and mashed)

1 cup of pure dark maple syrup

1 365g jar of creamy almond butter

2 medium organic eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

1 heaping tablespoon of chunky almond butter

pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt (or regular sea salt)

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup of organic dark chocolate chunks (minimum 70%) plus some more for the top

What to do:

Pre-heat oven to 320

Line 8 X 8 pan with parchment paper

Beat the maple syrup and dates until creamy (I used a blender for this part to ensure that the dates were completely integrated)

Mix in the creamy almond butter, this will make the mixture extremely thick so slowly add in the almond milk to loosen up the batter and make it easier to mix

Slowly add the eggs

Add raw cacao, baking soda and salt and mix well until fully incorporated

Stir in the chunky almond butter and the chocolate chunks

Pour the batter into pan and top with extra chocolate chunks

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes

If you can resist eating some straight out of the pan before the brownies have cooled you are officially my new hero.  I on the other hand burned the inside of my mouth – it was totally worth it.

Enjoy! XXS

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6 Reasons Why You Should Include Ghee In Your Diet

Ghee has been used for centuries in certain parts of the world but it has only recently become popular in western culture.  Commonly used in Ayurveda it is believed to help purify and cleanse the body.  For those who aren’t familiar with ghee it is clarified butter traditionally made from cows milk that has had the water and milk fats removed.  Nutritionally rich like coconut oil, ghee is a great fat to cook with.  Here are my top six reasons why you should consider adding ghee into your diet:

  1. Ghee has a high smoke point and is very stable to cook with.
  2. Ghee is lactose and casein free which makes is a great fat for people who struggle with digesting lactose.
  3. Ghee helps to support weight loss.  The medium chain fatty acids in ghee help to burn other fats that are in our system, and it is believed that ghee helps to jumpstart our digestive system.
  4. Ghee contains butyric acid which is helpful in maintaining a healthy colon.  Butyric acid has been shown to help people suffering from IBS and Crohn’s disease.
  5. Ghee is rich in fat soluble vitamins A, D and E.  Fat soluble vitamins are vitamins that require fat to be present in order for the body to absorb them.  They help to support various biochemical functions within the body and maintain a healthy metabolism.
  6. Ghee helps to create a more alkalizing environment within the body, which in turn helps to reduce inflammation particularly in the digestive tract.  Chronic inflammation has been linked to many diseases including cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease so it is important to try to reduce the level of inflammation within the body.

Ghee has a buttery taste that adds great flavour to many dishes.  Remember though- moderation is key. Just because something is good for doesn’t mean that you need to overdo it.

What is your favourite oil to cook with?

I hope that you have a great day!  XXS