Recipes

Curried Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Soup

This soup will forever be my favourite! It’s a perfect recipe for fall because its filled with tasty seasonal vegetables.  Making this soup is a bit labour intensive as it involves a lot of peeling and chopping, but it’s so delicious, it’s worth it!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 diced white onions
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (add extra is you like spice!)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
  • 1 cup peeled, diced sweet potato

Instructions:

  1. Peel and cut squash and sweet potato into 1-inch thick cubes.
  2. Finely chop garlic and onions.
  3. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and sauté the diced onions, stirring frequently, until transparent (~ 2 minutes).
  4. Add curry powder, garam masala, garlic, and salt to pot, and stir.
  5. Add chicken stock, cubed squash and sweet potato.
  6. Cover mixture and bring to a low boil, over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes (or until squash and sweet potato are tender), stirring occasionally.
  7. Purée this mixture in a blender until creamy and smooth.
  8. Return mixture to pot, and simmer on low heat for an additional 5 minutes.
  9. Garnish with a drizzle of greek yogurt (mainly to make it look pretty) – if you find the soup too spicy, this will help lessen the spice!

This soup is tastiest when fresh, but can be stored in the fridge for up to 4-5 days, or in the freezer for as long as a month.

Enjoy!

Happy FRIDAY!!! Have a great weekend!

Anna x

Recipes

How to make homemade peach jam… with just three ingredients

Summer isn’t over quite yet! Follow these simple steps to make your own homemade, fresh Ontario peach jam.

Ingredients:

  • 12 medium sized Ontario fresh peaches (or enough peaches to make 6 cups of prepared fruit)
  • cup of granulated, white sugar
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and blanch peaches – this should take ~5 minutes.
  2. Remove peaches from boiling water, and immediately place them into a cold water bath – this should allow for the skins to come off smoothly.
  3. Remove skin and pits from peaches, and cut (or mash) peaches into small bite sized pieces.
  4. Add peaches, sugar and lemon juice to a large pot over low-medium heat.
  5. Cook this mixture for 10 – 15 minutes, mashing any large chunks of peaches as they begin to soften; stir constantly.
  6. Continue stirring mixture on medium – high heat until the set point is reached (jam slowly slides off of the back of a spoon).
  7. Remove jam from heat, continue to stir until the mixture begins to thicken and foam subsides.
  8. Follow proper canning procedures – ensure to leave ¼ inch headspace.
  9. This recipe makes ~ 5-6, 250 mL jars of jam. Enjoy!

 

Although this recipe it a little higher in sugar, it is low in comparison to other jam recipes. BUT, it is important to remember, everything in moderation … including moderation!!! Besides putting this peach jam on all my favourite carbs (!!), I also like mixing it into plain Greek yogurt, drizzling it over top of vanilla ice cream or as a glaze for meats.

Enjoy the last of what summer has to offer! Have a great week!

Anna x

 

 

Recipes

7 of my favourite low sugar, refreshing summer drinks

Summer is here, which means so is patio season… the most wonderful time of the year!!! Although not much is better than enjoying a refreshing drink in the sunshine with family or friends in the summer time, it is important to be mindful of the amount of sugar in the drinks you are consuming. Those with an Inflammatory Bowel Disease need to be particularly careful, as drinking beverages high in sugar can cause stomach discomfort or upset and bloating.  Below are a few of my favourite low sugar, refreshing summertime drink recipes.  I have incorporated a few of my favourite Ontario fresh fruits & lots of mint – mainly because it is growing out of control in the garden. Enjoy!

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  1. The Ultimate Caesar – this is my all time favourite!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of clamato juice
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz red wine
  • 1/2 tsp horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp of tabasco (I like mine really spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 ice cubes
  • Garnish with THE SKEWER – the best part! I like adding pickles, cheese, cucumber, lemon, lime, spicy sausage, celery and a pickled bean to mine. Technically it’s healthy if you add all the food groups as garnish. 😉

2. Cucumber, Mint, Lime & Grapefruit Vodka Soda – my current go-to!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sparkling water (Or I often add kombucha or flavoured soda – La Croix and Zevia are my favourite low sugar options)
  • 1 oz of vodka (Ketel one cucumber & mint is my new favourite)
  • 4 muddled fresh mint leaves
  • 2 slices of muddled grapefruit
  • 4 slices of cucumber
  • 1 tbsp of fresh lime juice
  • 3 ice cubes
  • garnish with lime and/ or grapefruit slices

This drink is super refreshing and very low in sugar. Sometimes I add all the ingredients but the soda a few hours prior to drinking it to allow the drink  to “marinate”, maximizing the flavours.

3.  Moscow Mule – Kombucha style – I love Kombucha so much, I was excited to create this recipe and have another excuse to drink it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of ginger kombucha
  • 1 oz of vodka
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp of agave syrup
  • 3 ice cubes
  • garnish with lime slices

4. Fresh Watermelon Daiquiri

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of pureed watermelon (~2 cups of fresh chopped watermelon)
  • 1 oz of white rum
  • 2 tbsp cup fresh lime juice
  • Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil and a watermelon slice 

5. Sparkling strawberry & blueberry gin soda

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sparkling water
  • 1 oz of gin
  • 4 sliced fresh strawberries 
  • 1/4 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 4 muddled fresh mint leaves
  • 3 ice cubes
  • garnish with fresh strawberries and blueberries

I find this one is sweet enough with the fresh strawberries and blueberries, but if you don’t, add a couple teaspoons of honey or agave syrup, or muddle the strawberries and blueberries and strain.

6. White Wine Peach Spritzer

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of sparking water
  • 6oz of dry white wine – Sauvignon Blanc is my favourite 🙂
  • 1 oz white peach sorbet vodka
  • 1/4 cup of frozen white grapes – I like using these to substitute for ice cubes
  • 4 fresh peach slices
  • Garnish with fresh peach slices

7. Mint- Peach Mojito

  • 1 cup of sparkling soda
  • 1 oz white rum
  • 1/2 cup fresh, peach – 1/4 cup muddled, 1/4 cup cubed
  • 10 muddled mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 ice cubes
  • Garnish with lime and peach slices

Have a good weekend! Stay hydrated (mainly with water), drink responsibly & wear sunscreen.

Anna x

 

 

Recipes

The simplified guide to delicious, homemade Kombucha

Kombucha is a refreshing low sugar, carbonated drink. It is a fermented black or green tea beverage that has many benefits for one’s health – particularly relating to gut health and immune function. Kombucha is loaded with probiotics, numerous B vitamins and antioxidants. Drinking kombucha supports the excretion of toxins within the body, aids in digestion, and can help to reduce the risk of acquiring certain types of cancers and heart disease.

Follow these 8 simple steps to make your own homemade kombucha!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 glass canning jar
  • a tightly woven cloth
  • an elastic band
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tea bag
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • a ” SCOBY” (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) – You can make your own SCOBY or you can purchase one at a health food store.
  • 1/4 cup of starter –  unflavoured store-bought kombucha if you are making your first batch, or 1/4 cup of  kombucha from your previous batch.

Step 1: Clean and sterilize a 1 litre glass canning jar.

Step 2: Fill the canning jar 3/4 full of boiling water. Add a bag of your favourite tea (mine is ginger peach) and let steep for at least 20 minutes.

Step 3: Remove the tea bag and add 1/4 cup of granulated sugar – stir to dissolve.

Step 4: Allow this mixture to cool to room temperature (~20-25 degrees). Add 1/4 cup of starter and stir.

Step 5: Gently place the SCOBY into the mixture. The SCOBY provides bacteria and yeast to allow for fermentation of the tea. Cover this mixture with a tightly woven cloth or any material that allows the mixture to breathe. Secure the cloth with an elastic band.

Step 6: Place the canning jar in a dry place at room temperature and leave it to ferment for ~7-14 days. The longer the tea ferments, the less sweet the kombucha.

Step 7: Strain kombucha and bottle leaving a 3 cm head space.  At this point, a tablespoon of fruit can be added to the kombucha to provide additional flavour.  Ensure the lid is tightly sealed. (Remember to keep 1/4 of a cup of the kombucha as starter for your next batch).  Place the bottled kombucha in a dark spot at room temperature. Allow for the kombucha to ferment a second time and carbonate for ~3-10 days.

Step 8: Your homemade kombucha is ready to drink! If you find your kombucha is not as carbonated as you want it to be, extend the length of the second fermentation process.

 

Not only is kombucha delicious, drinking it provides numerous benefits to your health and body. Give it a try… your intestinal microbiota will thank you.

Have a great week!

Anna x

 

 

 

Recipes

No-Bake Nut Butter Energy Bites

Try making these quick, easy and delicious energy bites! With the perfect blend of sweetness and protein, they make for a healthy afternoon pick me up snack.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of nut butter (I use natural peanut butter)
  • 11/2 cups of rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa nibs
  • 1 tbsp of agave nectar
  • 1 scoop of protein powder (I use Vanilla LeanFit Whey)
  • 2 tbsp of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp of flax seeds
  •  1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

 

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, combine oats, cocoa nibs, coconut flakes, and chia and flax seeds. Mix well.
  2. In an additional bowl, mix nut butter, protein powder, agave nectar and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Combine the two mixtures and stir until all ingredients are well blended.
  4. Roll mixture into ~20 bite sized balls using your hands.
  5. Store in the fridge to maximize freshness.

If you find the bites are too crumbly, after rolling, pop them in the freezer for about half an hour.

Double the batch and freeze the bites, to save time on meal prep throughout the week.

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Have a great week! Enjoy the sunshine! Summer is just around the corner (hopefully).

Anna x