Dark Chocolate Strawberry Covered Brownies

Ok, these are unreal. I wanted to make a sweet Valentine’s day treat and these delivered.

Recipe is inspired by If You Give a Blonde a Kitchen with a couple little changes - using an all purpose gluten free flour, coconut sugar, dark chocolate and cacao powder.

This recipe is gluten free and contains a little less sugar but they’re still a sweet treat and every so often that’s just what we need!

Plus, I love the strawberry touch on top :)

Ingredients

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1 cup 75% dark chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup unsalted grass fed butter, room temperature

3 tablespoons raw cacao powder

3 eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup raw coconut sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

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Chocolate Ganache Topping

2 cups fresh strawberries, halved

2 cups, semisweet chocolate chips

8 tablespoons heavy cream

Method

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a square baking pan with parchment paper.

Melt dark chocolate and butter in a double boiler, then whisk in the cocao.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut sugar, vanilla extract and salt.

Whisk in the warm chocolate and then stir in the flour until well combined.

Pour batter into brownie pan and spread out flat with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes and let cool before adding strawberries and ganache.

When brownies have cooled, place cut strawberries over the brownies. 

Heat heavy cream in a saucepan (do not boil!) and remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until melted then pour over the strawberries.

Let rest for a little bit before cutting and serving and store in an air tight container.

~ Happy Valentines day!

GF and DF Waffles

I’ve been working on perfecting a dairy-free and gluten free waffle/pancake recipe forever and I’ve finally done it.

It can be tricky using GF flour to get the same consistency and fluffiness of conventional pancakes and waffles but these come really close - you can’t even tell!

Plus they can be paired with savoury or sweet toppings and totally freezable for a few weeks!

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Ingredients - Makes about 8 small waffles or pancakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

Dash of Ceylon cinnamon

1 large free range egg

1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk - I used Califia Farms unsweetened coconut milk

1-2 tablespoons coconut oil - or spray oil if using waffle iron

Method

Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and drop in egg and milk of choice. Whisk thoroughly until a batter forms. Batter should be thick but also a bit runny although not as runny as conventional pancake batter *add a bit more milk if consistency is too thick.

Heat a large skillet on medium and add half the coconut oil.

Place dollops of batter in the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes on each side - until golden brown.

Top with whatever you like! Some suggestions:

- Nut butter - love mine with almond butter or sunflower seed butter

- Fresh or frozen berries and yogurt - I used Yoso Vanilla Cultured Coconut here

- Maple syrup, egg and bacon - savoury and unreal!

Paleo Waldorf Salad

The colder winter months usually make us crave warming foods like soups, stews and cooked foods so it’s important to remember to include fresh, raw veggies daily. This leaves me looking for salad inspo all the time!

Enter the famous Waldorf salad.

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My twist on this classic salad is Paleo approved since we’re swapping plain yogurt from the traditional recipe with organic coconut milk and avocado mayonnaise. Honestly I think this dressing makes this salad, its unreal!

I made mine vegetarian but if you’re looking for some extra protein to make this salad more of a meal, poached chicken is an optional ingredient listed as well :)

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Ingredients

Leaf lettuce

Arugula

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 apple, chopped

1 cup grapes, cut in halves

1 cup raw walnuts, lightly roasted

Option: poached chicken breast, chopped

Dressing

2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

3 tablespoons Organic coconut milk cream - leave in fridge over night to ensure separation

1 tablespoon avocado mayonnaise - I recommend Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon onion powder

Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Prepare your dressing by mixing all ingredients well, toss into salad mix and enjoy!

~ K

Festive Dark Chocolate and Nut Butter Cups

Here’s my recipe for a healthier version of a Reese cup with some festive toppings because -tis the season! :)

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Ingredients

1 cup or slightly more if you’d like - dark chocolate chips (try for 70% cacao or more)

1/2 cup SunButter sunflower seed butter ( https://www.amazon.ca/Sunbutter-Unsweetened-Organic is bomb)

1/2 cup natural, unsweetened crunchy almond butter

1 tsp chia seeds

pistachios

macadamia nuts

pumpkin seeds

dried cranberries

dried goji berries

coconut flakes

How to

  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or gently in a saucepan on low heat to avoid burning the chocolate..

  2. in a medium bowl, mix together the sun butter, almond butter and chia seeds until smooth.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together nuts, dried fruit and coconut.

  4. Line a cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners. This recipe should make 12.

  5. Once chocolate is fully melted, using a teaspoon pour in a small amount into the bottom of each paper liner.

  6. Place tray in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

  7. Remove tray from the freezer and next scoop in about a teaspoon of nut butter mix into each tray, making the middle layer.

  8. With the remaining chocolate, cover the nut butter.

  9. Sprinkle on the nut and fruit toppings and place back into the freezer for another 10 minutes.

  10. Remove and enjoy!

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The top 4 Supplements you should be taking every day and why

As a nutritionist, I always promote getting your necessary nutrients from whole foods first. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, quality meat and fish are the best sources of everything essential to our bodies. A vitamin and mineral supplement is not meant to replace a healthy diet. Unfortunately, with busy lives and the quality of our food sources diminishing, supplementing can fill in those gaps we may lack from our diet from day go day to ensure optimal health.

The supplement world can be overwhelming. There’s new information coming out constantly. We’re being told that we should take a number of supplements regularly to promote good health - but this can become super costly and not to mention it’s crowding our cabinets. Besides, who wants to take 10 supplements a day?? Here’s my top 4 supplements you should take regularly to ensure optimal health.

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Vitamin D

Otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is necessary for bone health as it regulates calcium in the body. Food sources include fatty fish like salmon, eggs, beef liver and cheese.

Vitamin D deficiency can be common for vegans, vegetarians and for those of us living in more northern climates with less sun exposure. Symptoms include frequent colds, fatigue, back and muscle pain, bone loss and hair loss. In the fall and winter seasons, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a common symptom of deficiency as well - lethargy, sluggishness, depression, appetite and weight fluctuations. Remember that safe sun exposure is important for vitamin D intake, at least 20 minutes a day is recommended.

Probiotic

Probiotics keep our gut friendly bacteria thriving and bad bacteria at bay. These live microorganisms help lower inflammation, boost the immune system and restore gut flora. They are especially good to take after a course of antibiotics where good bacteria is killed off with the bad.

The most common strain, lactobacillus, is found in yogurt and fermented foods such as kimchi and kombucha and aids with digesting lactose and with diarrhea. The bifidobacterium strain is particularly good for irritable bowel syndrome.

Probiotics also aid in skin conditions, urinary and vaginal health (preventing yeast infections) and preventing allergies.

Best taken 30 minutes before or with food for optimal survival.

Multivitamin

Taking a quality multi-vitamin is a great way to get an extra boost of nutrients that we may not have found in the diet that day. I recommend naturally derived over synthetic multis. Here’s why!

Supplements that are naturally derived are extracted from actual fruits, vegetables and grains making them more bioavailable and preferred by the body.
Synthetic vitamins are cheaper to produce and therefore less costly and also have a longer shelf life BUT as similar as they may seem to the food derived sources, they’re not identical and are not recognized and used by the body as effectively.
When choosing a multivitamin and mineral product always check for fillers because the less the better. Also look for quality ingredients and brand transparency i.e a reputable brand/website that is clear with where and how their product is made.

Take your multivitamin with food for optimal absorption.


Omega 3 Fatty Acid

Omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial for heart, brain and skin health. They prevent heart disease, help lower blood pressure, improve cognitive health and improve skin health and elasticity. It is an essential fatty acid which means we cannot produce it and must obtain it from the diet or in supplement form.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in plant oils such as flaxseed while eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are found in fish and seafood.

Take your Omega 3 supplement with meals.

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With that said always, always, always aim to get your nutrients from a healthy diet first. Our body absorbs nutrients best from actual food sources.

Here’s some of my favourite supplement brands I recommend checking out:

https://www.megafood.com

https://www.genuinehealth.com

https://naturalfactors.com/

Comment any questions below!

~ Kat