My family is full of chocoholics – including me. We eat chocolate several times a week and I don’t feel guilty about it. To me – it’s all about moderation. We’re a foodie family and I believe enjoying a meal is one of those simple pleasures that should be a part of one’s daily routine.
We rarely eat processed food and, excluding chocolate, we don’t eat a lot of refined sugar and white flour. This granola is whole-grain, packed with fibre, and much healthier than most of the granolas on the grocery store shelves. If you have never tried raw buckwheat groats – you should. They are lovely nutty crunchy little things that are full of protein, fibre and iron.
Apples and cinnamon are both kid favourites in my house. Lately my 6-year-old hasn’t been eating her veggies at lunch – and it drives me crazy. So, I decided I needed to load some veg into her after-school snack.
These muffins are packed with sweet potato, chunks of apple and fragrant cinnamon – and they’re whole grain, too. An ideal treat to devour on a cold winter’s afternoon.
These whole-grain muffins are delicious - and they're loaded with veg and fibre. Perfect for the lunch box or after-school snack.
3/4 cup oat bran
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
one small apple, peeled, diced small (1/2 cup)
1 cup of mashed sweet potato (*see note below for preparing sweet potato)
1/2 cup of yogurt or kefir
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a muffin tin, or line with baking cups.
In a large bowl combine dry ingredients.
Mix in diced apple.
In medium bowl combine wet ingredients, then add to dry ingredients and mix until just moistened.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool.
Prick a sweet potato several times with a fork or pairing knife. Bake in 350F oven for about an hour. Allow to cool, peel, then mash. I usually do this step in advance. I throw a sweet potato into the oven while I’m baking something else, so the mash ready to go. A large sweet potato yields about 2 cups when mashed.
Store muffins in an air-tight container for up to two days.
These delicious scones are kid-approved. I recently made them as an after-school snack and one of my kids said she would trade her LOL doll for another batch. I need to take her up on that…
My eldest daughter is lactose-intolerant. Initially we avoided all dairy but we’ve recently found that there are a couple of dairy foods that she can handle. Butter is one of them. I’ve tried making scones without butter but the alternatives have never been as good. This recipe swaps out the traditional milk or cream (which are no-gos for her) with coconut milk. They are absolutely delicious and it means my lactose-intolerant kid can happily devour these goodies with her sisters.
This easy breakfast is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s also a great weekday make-ahead option which can be portioned out over a couple days.
Kefir is a fermented milk that’s kind of like an unsweetened yogurt drink. It’s thinner that yogurt and thicker than milk. It’s made with milk, bacterial cultures, kefir grains and kefir yeast. It contains more probiotics that yogurt and has a broader range of nutrients. It’s great for your digestive health and your immune system.
Chia seeds are full of essential fatty-acids, fibre, omegas, anti-oxidants, protein, and vitamins and minerals including calcium and iron, which support good heart, brain and bone health. They stabilize blood sugar and fight belly fat and inflammation.
If you like yogurt you should give this recipe a try. I love it and so do the kids!
142g/5oz baby spinach (or go spinach heavy like I usually do and use 312g/11oz)
a handful of chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, basil or dill and/or a couple sliced green onions
1 cup cherry/grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup feta cheese, cubed
8 eggs, whisked
fresh cracked pepper to taste
pinch of chili flakes (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Heat olive oil or garlic confit over medium heat in cast iron or non-stick pan.
Add handfuls of spinach and toss as it wilts. Continue adding and tossing spinach until the entire package has been added.
Add herbs and/or green onions and toss.
Pour eggs over spinach then top with the tomatoes, feta, fresh cracked pepper and chili flakes (if using), making sure to distribute evenly.
Transfer frittata to oven and bake for 20 minutes.
To release the frittata run a spatula or knife around the edge of the pan. You can cut it into wedges in the pan and serve it family style (with one less dish to clean). Or transfer the frittata to a plate or cutting board and cut it into wedges for a nicer presentation.
I love eating this frittata with chipotle hot sauce or a hot pepper relish.
Chia pudding has to be the easiest make-ahead breakfast and it’s incredibly versatile.
It’s also very healthy as chia seeds pack a big punch. These little gems are full of essential fatty-acids, fibre, omegas, anti-oxidants, protein, and vitamins and minerals which support good heart, brain and bone health. They also stabilize blood sugar and fight belly fat and inflammation. It’s no wonder this superfood is becoming so popular.
If you find it hard to manage breakfast before work, chia pudding is a great option to have ready to simply grab and go. My husband often rushes off to work in the morning and loves to bring this to eat at his desk.
At home I take the time to turn my chia pudding into a pretty breakfast bowl with an assortment of fresh fruits or chia jam and sprinklings. It’s a lovely way to start my day.
The most basic version is simply 1 cup of milk to 1/4 cup chia seeds. For vegan options you can use nut milks such as almond or cashew, or soy milk if you wish to go nut-free.
Give the mixture a stir after 15 minutes or so, otherwise the chia can clump together which yields an undesirable texture.
This cherry chia jam was a huge hit with the littles. They ate the entire jar so next time I will definitely have to make a double batch.
Chia jam is so easy to make and it’s incredibly healthy. I make some every week with whatever fruit happens to be in season. And when nothing local is in season I often use frozen fruit instead. Dark cherry is my absolute favourite in the winter. It’s perfect with warm oatmeal on a cold winter’s day.
When I started making these chocolate chip granola bars in the fall they quickly became a family favourite that was put into heavy rotation. I whip up a batch every week. They are easy to make, tasty, and infinitely cheaper and healthier than store bought. They are nut-free and sesame-free, making them safe to bring to school and community spaces with allergy-friendly food policies. They also keep well. I pop them into the daughter’s lunch box, and pack them for snacks at the park and for after-school activities throughout the week. My husband also takes them to work to munch on when that afternoon slump hits. The ingredients are all from the pantry.
1/2 cup avocado oil (or another neutral flavoured oil)
1/2 cup liquid honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine dry ingredients.
In a medium bowl or large measuring cup combine wet ingredients.
Drizzle wet ingredients over dry ingredients and THROUGHLY combine.
Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet and PRESS DOWN FIRMLY to shape it into a rectangle (about 10×11 inches). If you don’t press it together well and it’s loose then you’ll end up with granola instead of granola bars.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the top starts to turn golden.
Allow to cool – for at least 15 minutes, then cut into bars (thirds lengthwise, then eight across).
These granola bars can be stored in a container for a couple weeks (if they last that long).
I make a batch of fresh chia jam every week with seasonal fruit. It’s great for topping oatmeal, pancakes, or toast. This week I was able to get my hands on some lovely local pears. Chia jams are insanely easy to make and so healthy. Give it a try.
This fresh jam can be put together in less than 10 minutes. Then you simply pop it in the fridge and wait for it to thicken.
1 cup chopped pears (peeled, if you prefer a smoother texture)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
Cook pears over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the fruit breaks down, mash, then add chia seeds, vanilla, and maple syrup (if using). Refrigerate for several hours while the chia seeds plump up and thicken the jam.
This recipe can easily be doubled. Store in fridge for 4 or 5 days or freeze. Canning is not recommended.