Don’t Waste the Stems!

I love broccoli, so much so that my mom had a problem getting me to eat anything but broccoli for a long while when I was a kid (I know…I am weird).  I would eat it plain, with lemon juice or covered in melted cheese (obviously my favourite way). When it comes to cutting broccoli I have been pretty lazy.  Because the stem is my least favourite part, and I wasn’t quite sure how to prep it, I often threw away perfectly edible portions. No more! Check out these instructions on how to properly prep a whole head of broccoli (link).

How to Peel Tomatoes

I don’t think I have ever peeled a tomato before, but my friend Caroline makes a mean salsa that is pretty labour intensive once you start peeling the tomatoes.  Here is a quick and easy way to peel (link).

 

Banana Berry Soft Serve

This is a great healthy summer treat that you can make all year round!  I made this as an afternoon snack for Marc and I are one lazy summer Sunday! Luckily, we always have frozen berries and bananas on hand. As soon as our bananas start to brown I cut them up and store them in a container in the freezer. They are great to bake with once they thaw or you can use them in a smoothie.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/4 cup of berries or frozen fruit of your choice.
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • toppings – I love sprinkling unsweetened coconut on top. Or, melt some natural peanut butter or chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt – optional

Directions:

Place frozen fruit in a food processor. Add vanilla extract and process until creamy. If you want it creamier you can add 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt or any yogurt you like.

Happy Last Days of Summer!

How to Keep Your Produce Fresh – Longer!

Check out this great article from Fit Sugar on how to store your fresh fruits and vegetables (link). The pineapple tip was pretty impressive!

Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

This is going to be a simple post. After many batches of plain coconut macaroons I started craving chocolate. So, I drizzled melted chocolate over a few batches and the results were delicious! I also tried mixing in dark cocoa powder – and loved them. If you want to give it a try use my original recipe and when you add the coconut to the pot of warm honey also add ¼ cup of cocoa powder and stir. I used organic dark cocoa powder, but any type will work. These may be one of my favourite cookies of all time – especially when they are still warm!

Peach Crisp

I love peach season. I don’t know if it is because I grew up in Niagara, where peaches are readily available at any roadside fruit stand and celebrated with festivals, or if they are just too awesome not to love.

After a delicious brunch with my friend Caroline at School, I went to a the Liberty Village Farmers’ Market and picked up a bunch of treats including a basket of peaches. Some of them were really ripe so I knew I wanted to make some sort of dessert out of them right away.  I came across a recipe for Peach Crisp on Clean Eating Chelsea.  It was delicious! It is not as sweet as a standard crisp, but if you are looking for a healthy alternative that takes more like peaches than sugar give this one a try. It is going to be on high rotation while peaches are still in season.  I may even buy some peaches to freeze so I can make it well into the fall.  Also, Marc really loved this recipe and didn’t even mind that I made it again one week later so I could take pictures of it.

Oh and did I mention that this recipe is vegan and gluten free?!

Warning – the bake time on the crisp is 40 minutes. My first attempt was during a heat wave and running the oven for 40 minutes is not advised!

Serves 8 – 10

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 8 peaches, cored and sliced – do not peel
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. agave nectar – I subbed agave nectar for honey. It worked just great. If you like a sweeter crisp add 1/2 tbsp more.
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. water

Crisp Topping

  • 1 cup rolled oats (or old fashioned oats – just break them up in the food processor a bit)
  • 1/2 cup rice flour – I used whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 and 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp. agave nectar – Again, I subbed agave nectar for honey. You can add more honey if you want it sweeter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Core and slice peaches. Place in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice, agave nectar (or honey), vanilla extract, cinnamon, and water.

In a medium sized bowl mix the oats with the rice flour (or whole wheat flour), salt, and cinnamon and stir until all dry ingredients are combined.

Cut in your coconut oil by using your fingers to mix the coconut oil with the dry ingredients (see *note below). This should create a “crumbly” consistency. After the coconut oil is cut in, add in the vanilla and agave nectar (or honey) – stir to coat.

To assemble the crisp, spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and evenly add the peaches to the bottom of the dish (see **note). Evenly spread the crisp topping over the peaches. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes, uncovering after 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

*note: If you keep your coconut oil in the fridge let it sit out for about 20 minutes to get it to room temperature. You don’t want it to melt, but you do want it to be able to spoon it out of the jar. If you are short on time you can always heat it in the microwave for a few seconds until it becomes softer. But do not melt it.

**note: If you peaches aren’t quite ripe (very soft) I would recommend adding the juice from the peach mixture into the baking dish. If your peaches are soft you will have enough juice. I personally hate soupy crisps, so when my peaches are really soft I usually leave it out.

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