I’ve been away juicing!

For the last couple of months, I’ve had a lot of trouble finding foods that made me feel good and energized. Either the food I craved was too heavy and would make me fall asleep (I took a lot of naps!) feeling like a giant slug, or it was not nourishing enough and would leave me hangry. It came to a point where all my thoughts and decisions were around food, and, trust me, that’s not healthy! I spent a lot of time reading and watching documentaries (resources coming up in my next post!), and I decided to try out incorporating lots and lots and lots and lots of greens to every meal.

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I started with super green smoothies incorporating spinach, baby kale, arugula and spirulina. It was a revolution! I finally didn’t feel like I needed to go back to bed as soon as I had breakfast, and that was amazing! When making my smoothies, I always aimed for 3/4 greens to 1/4 fruits. I also added some protein powder or pumpkin seeds to make it a complete meal. The finishing touch: 1 or 2 nuts or some chia seeds for some healthy fats. These smoothies not only taste good, they are packed with nutrients! After starting my days with these for a few days, I could see a real difference in my energy levels. I am completely hooked on them!

Because greens had such an amazing effect, I decided to take it one step further and invest in a juicer. I watched so many videos comparing different juicers, but I finally set my heart (and money) on an Omega juicer. I’ve never been so happy to spend almost 400$ on a machine! The juicer is super easy to use, easy to clean and takes little space on my counter. This machine feels strong and sturdy. I’m also very pleased with the 10 years guarantee.  The best part of it all though is that this is an amazing juicer!

I’ve been using it to juice lots and lots of leafy greens like kale, parsley, spinach, coriander, lettuce and cabbage without any issue. Harder vegetables are just as easy: beets (and their greens) and carrots just zoom through. And, of course, everything in between is super simple as well: cucumber, apples, lemons, limes, ginger, turmeric and celery. There’s just nothing this machine can’t juice!

In my opinion, the omega is worth every penny. The first time I made juice with this machine, I was really surprised to see how delicious it was! I was expecting something that tasted very green, in a I’m-only-drinking-this-because-it’s-healthy kind of way. I was surprised to see how good it tasted to me and even more surprised to find myself craving green juice! That’s right, I now have my daily dose of green juice, and I just can’t skip it! After a month of juicing, I feel so much more energized and clean, from the inside out. Additionally to this, my skin has improved, my hair and nails grow stronger and faster and I crave less junk food. Completely hooked on that too!

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The only downsize to juicing is the quatity of vegetables that is needed. I’ve been astonishing cashiers in my neighbourhood when I check out with 12 heads of lettuce, 4 heads of celery and all the greens they had. After a few weeks, it seemed like an unsustainable habbit for my budget. I decided to give the farm next door a try: there, I am able to find some fresh, local and organic vegetables for a very fair price. My trick: to go at the end of the day and sweep up everything that’s left. Much more sustainable than the grocery store, it also means I get organic veggies everyday!

Anyways, all this to say that if you are on the fense about buying a juicer or have trouble with your energy levels, adding more greens might be a great area to explore. I really hope you’ll give it a try and tell me how it makes you feel!

Gingerbread! \\ Pain d’épices!

(Version française plus bas!)

That’s it! I’m done with all my crazy papers! The masters’ is all great and all, but let’s get back to the things that are really important: FOOD AND CHRISTMAS! I’ve been dying to start planning my Christmas dinner as well as decorating my house, but, you know, work got in the way.

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Well, now that that is done, I jumped in the kitchen and I made some gingerbread. And it’s pretty awesome. And it’s gluten-free. And it’s refined-sugar-free. And it’s oil-free. And it’s DELICIOUS-FULL!

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Here is what you need for 9 muffins:

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 2 tbs cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 cup tapioca or corn starch
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree, apple sauce or mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tbs lemon juice or orange juice
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp fresh pureed ginger or about 1 1/2 inch of fresh ginger finely chopped

For the glaze:

  • 2 tbs coconut butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 3 tbs almond milk

Here is what you do:

  1. Place your oats in your food processor and process until it is a fine flour, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add all the dry ingredients to your food processor, followed by the wet ingredients. Process until well combined and smooth.
  3. The mixture will seem very liquidy, but let it rest for a few minutes and the oats and tapioca will quickly thicken it up, so do not worry.
  4. Line some muffin tins or oil them up and fill them up completely. The muffins will rise nicely.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven set at 350F for 20 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely and decorate to your heart’s content!
  7. For the frosting, melt the coconut butter and remove it from the stove. With a whisk, mix in the maple syrup, and juice. Once this is well combined and smooth, add one tablespoon of milk at a time and mix well. Once smooth, spread on your cool muffins.

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For an extra festive touch, you can bake these in doughnut tins and make Christmas “wreaths”. I think these are so cute! I used some matcha powder and pomegranate seeds to decorate and give these doughnuts a holiday feel.

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These are very moist and soft muffins. You wouldn’t know thew are oil-free or gluten-free. The cinnamon and the ginger really make this spicy and warming. It’s perfect with a nice cup of tea and a great book. I really hope you try these out because they are delicious!

 

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Someone couldn’t wait for the pictures to be taken! 🙂

 


C’est le temps des vacances! J’ai enfin terminé mes travaux de maitrises, alors j’ai maintenant le temps de me consacrer aux choses importantes: la bouffe et Noël! J’ai eu envie de faire du pain d’épices depuis plusieurs semaines, alors j’ai sauté dans la cuisine la minute où mes travaux ont été terminés. Ils sont sans gluten, sans sucre rafiné, sans huile mais pleins de saveurs!

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Voici ce dont vous aurez besoin pour 9 muffins :

  • 2 tasses de flocons d’avoine à cuisson rapide
  • 2 c. à soupe de cannelle en poudre
  • 1/4 tasse de fécule de tapioca ou de maïs
  • 1 c. à soupe de poudre à pâte
  • 1/2 tasse de sirop d’érable
  • 3/4 de tasse de purée de citrouille, de compote de pomme ou de banane écrasée
  • 1/4 tasse de mélasse
  • 1 c. à soupe de jus de citron ou d’orange
  • 1 c. à soupe d’extrait de vanille
  • 3 c. à thé de purée de gingembre, l’équivalent de 4 cm de gingembre frais coupé très finement

Pour le glaçage:

  • 2 c. à soupe de beurre de coco
  • 1 c. à soupe de sirop d’érable
  • 1 c. à soupe de jus d’orange
  • 3 c. à soupe de lait d’amande

Voici ce qu’il faut faire:

  1. Plasser les flocons d’avoine dans un robot culinaire et mixer jusqu’à l’obtention d’une farine fine, soit environs 3 minutes.
  2. Ajouter le reste des ingrédients secs, puis les ingrédients humides et laisser le robot tout mélanger jusqu’à l’obtention d’une pâte homogène.
  3. La pâte sera probablement très liquide. Pas de panique! L’avoine et l’amidon vont la rendre bien épaisse en quelques minutes.
  4. Préparer les moules à muffins en mettant un peu d’huile. Remplir de pâte jusqu’au bord. Les muffins lèveront très bien!
  5. Faire cuire dans un four préchaufé à 350F pour 20 minutes. Sortir du four et laisser refroidir complètement avant de glacer.
  6. Pour le glaçage, faire fondre le beurre de coco dans une petite casserole. Retirer du feu et y mélanger le sirop d’érable et le jus d’orange. Ajouter le lait une cuillère à la fois et mélanger jusqu’à ce que le tout soit bien homogène. Décorer les muffins!

Pour ajouter une touche festive, j’ai fait cuire une partie de la pâte dans des moules à donuts pour faire des petites couronnes de Noël. J’ai utilisé de la poudre de matcha et des grains de grenade pour les décorer.

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Ces muffins sont vraiment très moelleux et tendres: on ne se doute pas qu’ils sont sans huile! La cannelle et le gingembre rendent vraiment ces muffins savoureux et parfait pour aller avec une bonne tasse de thé et un bon livre.

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J’espère que vous essayerez ces muffins car ils sont vraiment délicieux et parfait pour la saison des fêtes!

 

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C’était long la prise de photo!

 

 

Cucumber and Prune Carpaccio

It’s so hot! All I want to do is sit around and eat fresh fruits and veggies… or both at the same time with a delicious miso-ginger dressing. Yum! This is completely improvised, but so ridiculously simple and flavourful. It takes 5 minutes to prepare, so you don’t miss any of that amazing sun and nature going on outside.

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 prunes (peaches and nectarines would work too)
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated

Here is what you do:

  1. Clean the cucumber and prunes and cut them in thin slices. Place in a dish.
  2. Mix the miso, sesame oil, vinegar, syrup, water, and ginger. Make sure the miso is fully dissolved. Pour over your salad and enjoy!

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This is the perfect flavour combination: sweet, salty, sour and full of umami. The textures are also wonderful: crunchy cucumber contrasts with the smoothness of the prunes. Let me know if you try it out!

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Pour ce délicieux carpaccio de prune et de concombre, il vous faudra:

  • 1 concombre
  • 3 prunes
  • 1 c.à café de miso
  • 2 c. à café d’huile de sésame
  • 1/2 c. à café de vinaigre balsamique
  • 1/2 c. à café de sirop d’érable
  • 2 c. à table d’eau
  • 2 cm de gingembre frais, râpé
  1. Laver et couper en tranches fines le concombre et les prunes. Disposer en alternance dans une assiette creuse. Réserver.
  2. Mélanger le miso, l’huile de sésame, le vinaigre, le sirop d’érable, l’eau et le gingembre jusqu’à ce que le miso soit complètement dissout. Verser sur la salade et déguster!

 

Because Outer Happiness is pretty great!

A few days ago, I contacted Outer Happiness, an Montreal-based Etsy store specialized in vegan body products like bath salts, body scrubs, masks and even candles. The products looked really cute, and the scent combinations sounded amazing! Marina, the shop owner, was kind enough to give me a few samples to try out: how exciting!

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I took advantage of the rainy week-end to pamper myself. It is so important to take a break from time to time and just take care of ourselves! The first product I tried out was the white tea and ginger revitalizing boy scrub.

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Now, I have to tell you the smell of this is INCREDIBLE! The ginger makes this scrub super energizing and fresh. Made with Himalayan and Dead Sea salts, this is a perfect body scrub as it is quite chunky. Enriched with vitamin E, avocado oil and almond oil, it is also super hydrating and soothing to the skin. It left it smooth and so soft!

After that amazing scrub, I relaxed a bit with a strawberries and champagne bath. Doesn’t this sound amazing? Well it was!

bath-salt

The smell of this is wonderful: you feel like you are bathing in a giant strawberry candy! Made with Epsom salt and bicarbonate of soda, this bath salt is super detoxifying and relaxing. I felt like my muscles were unclenching one by one. It was great!

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Once out of the bath, the Argan oil left my skin soft and hydrated. Plus the strawberry smell lingered too, which was fun! I can’t wait to use this salt in my bath again! It’s so great!

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If you like pampering yourself, I really encourage you to try out Outer Happiness products because they are AMAZING! The packaging is reusable and super cute, and they really make you feel like you are using luxurious products, while not breaking your bank. These little wonders are very affordable and are also helping the world be a better place as one dollar per sale goes to Save the Children. How great? I will totally be buying some of her products in the future as I think they would make perfect gifts. Marina is super friendly so don’t hesitate to get in touch with her if you have an idea for a custom order. Make sure to go check her store out! It’s amazing! And support her amazing work by liking her Facebook page. Let me know if you try out some of her products!

The Mango Sorbet strikes again!

Alright, I know, yes, I know! I already have a mango sorbet recipe from a few weeks ago. But, this one is a little bit more elaborate and special. It’s also perfect because mangoes have been teasing me at the fruit store, practically jumping in my hands!

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This time, I decided to make some simple syrup (equal parts of water and sugar), infused it with some ginger and added some kiwi. The result is a smooth, exotic tasting, perfect sorbet.

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Here is what you need:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into strips
  • 4 ripe mangoes
  • 4 ripe kiwis
  • juice of one lime

Here is what you do:

  1. In a small sauce pan, mix the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Mix until the sugar is fully dissolved. Add the ginger and turn off the heat. Let infuse for 10 minutes, take out the ginger and let the syrup sit while you prepare the rest.
  2. Wash and peel the mangoes and process them until completely smooth. Pass the processed mangoes through a strainer to remove any fiber. Place the mango purée in the fridge.
  3. Cut the kiwis in half and spoon the flesh into the food processor. Process until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the mango purée, kiwi purée, lime juice and the syrup. Place in the fridge to cool for at least one hour.
  5. Churn in your ice cream machine according to the machine’s instructions. Place in the freezer in an air-tight container until fully frozen. Enjoy!

This is so great! I served this with some shredded coconut for a perfectly tropical scoop! Straining the mango pulp really helps achieving a smooth texture while the kiwi balances out the sweetness. The ginger kicks in at the end of each spoonful and makes this a really interesting dessert.

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Let me know if you try it out!

Fermented Cranberry Sauce

I love cranberries! I love them so much, I usually wait for fall, buy a ton and freeze them. Like that I get to enjoy cranberry sauce all year round. It is perfect paired with curries or salads. If you follow my blog, you also know that I like fermenting vegetables. I got this crazy idea: why not make a fermented version of cranberry sauce?

Here is what you need:

  • 300g cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 small oranges (I used blood oranges)
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup maple syrup-sweetened dried cranberries (you can also use fruit juice-sweetened dried cranberries)
  • 2 tbs chopped candied ginger

Here is what you do:

  1. In your food processor, chop the fresh cranberries for a few seconds. You want most of the berries to be chopped, but chunks are okay.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the chopped cranberries and the salt. Let sit.
  3. Peel the oranges and remove the membranes to keep only the supremes (pulpy part). Cut them in small chunks. If the membranes are really thin and the pulp is really stuck to them, just cut the oranges in small chunks.
  4. In the mixing bowl, add the orange chunks, dried cranberries and ginger. Mix well.
  5. In a sterilized jar, pour the mixture. To seal, I used a ziploc bag: press the empty bag on top of the mix to remove air pockets. Once everything is well pressed and covered with the plastic, fill in the bag with water to add some weight. Close the bag and place your jar in a large plate to catch any overflowing liquid. Let sit out of light for 5 days.
  6. On the fifth day, remove the plastic bag, close the jar with its lid, and place in the fridge to stop fermentation.

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This is great! There are two sour points: the cranberries and the fermentation, which creates a more complex flavour. The ginger also gives this a slightly sparkling taste which is complementing the sourness perfectly. The oranges add a sweet note to the mix, but if you find that it is too sour, mix in some maple syrup or honey to even things out. This is clearly a winner! It is super delicious, so tasty, and look at this color. Let me know if you try it out!

Maple Glazed Pecans

I don’t have any story to tell you about this recipe. I just love pecans and maple syrup together! These two ingredients are the perfect combination, and it’s even better when you add some ginger to the mix! This recipe takes 20 minutes to prepare, is delicious, and makes for a great ‘mason jar’ gift.

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Here is what you need:

  • 4 cups pecans
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 pieces of candied ginger, cut into small pieces

Here is what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all your ingredients and spread in a single layer on a lined cookie sheet.
  3. Place in your oven and mix every 5 minutes. The overall cooking time for these are 20 minutes. You know they are ready when all the maple syrup is really thick (almost caramel like), and your pecans are slightly brown.
  4. Place the pecans in your fridge for 30 minutes until they are completely cooled. Placing them in the fridge makes them crispier.
  5. Once cooled, keep the pecans in an air-tight container.

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This makes for a great snack or nice cream and salad topping. It is crispy, sweet, full of maple flavour and so easy to put together! The ginger pieces also add a little bit of heat and balance the maple nicely.

Let me know if you try this out!

 

Squash-Kale Soup

So, this soups is actually an accident…. At first, it was a squash and kale saute that we ate with rice noodles and peanut sauce. She thought it was really good, him, not so much. We were left with three mason jars full of the saute that he would not touch. That is how this soup was born!

Yummiest mistake in the kitchen!

Yummiest mistake in the kitchen!

Here is what you need:

– 2 yellow onions
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 1 bunch of kale
– 1 butternut squash
– 1 piece of ginger (1 inch long)
– Boiling water
– 1 tbsp soy sauce
– 1 tbsp olive oil

Here is whate you need to do:

1) Cut the onions, garlic, kale and squash into cubes.
2) Saute de onions and garlic in the olive oil in a large sauce pan until slightly brown.
3) Add the squash and the kale ans stir.
4) Let sit covered on medium heat untill the squash is tender. It took us around an hour.
5) Put the vegetables into your blender. Add 1 1/2 cup of boiling water.
6) Cut the ginger into little pieces and add it to the blender.
7) Add the soy sauce and blend away.
8) Adjust the amount of water and ginger to fit your taste.

This soup is very warming because of the ginger. The Squash gives it a nice sweet taste. It is very easy to make, and I have to admit, way better than my stir fry idea. It is great cold too, so you can easily bring it for lunch.

Give it a try and tell us what you think!