Thursday, June 30, 2011

DQ-Style Ice Cream Cake + OneGreenPlanet

Jenn and I are proud contributors to, it is an article publishing site that focuses on green, eco-friendly, and ethical material. They also publish vegan recipes, which is something more or less in our arena of knowledge :P, so we've submitted our first one that was just published today!

Check it out!

DQ-style ice cream cake...awww yeah!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book + "Taste of Nature" Bars Giveaway

The kind people at Vega sent us their newest health and diet book: "Must Have Been Something I Ate" by Peggy Kotsopolous to review.

Let's start with the pros.

The writing style of this book is very casual and easy to understand. I know I'm not the only one who appreciates a down to earth approach to health. I like how she outlines each individual ingredient and tells you exactly what it can do for your body and how it can help you.

The cons are:

This book can only really be used as an index for ingredients. It has all these different sections like "depression" and "fatigue" and saying that these conditions can be cured by including a few simple superfoods into your diet. This is a bit misleading because everyones body reacts differently to certain foods. For example Jac goes crazy hyper if she has raw cacao, whereas I can eat a lot more without being affected.

The main benefit I got while reading this book was information on all these different superfoods and made sure to not take the fact that they can "cure" you all that seriously.

The fast facts are really interesting...

1,2 chai chai chai 3,4 chai chai chai

We made the chai tea latte and it was delicious! She has alot of yummy and creative recipes in the back of the book and a lot of them use the ingredients she outlined.

This book was sent to us through Vega, so naturally they also included some other samples of their wonderful Vega products that we are huge fans of. I've never tried their Shake & Go's and was excited to try 'em out!

Chocolate and Tropical

I made this bomb of a blueberry-berry Vega, frozen yogurt bowl. All it is is: avocado, blueberries, Vanilla Almondilla Shake and Go and a little bit of stevia. The Shake and Go's are pretty much like Vega but less "proteiny" getting more down to the flavour business.

We've also decided to include some of our favourite snack bars from Taste of Nature in the giveaway package. These bars are delicious; not too overly sweet, contain all organic ingredients, are gluten-free and vegan. Pretty much our dream bars. And they are made in Canada, saaweeet! I'm not even sure if they sell them in the U.S. so for non-Canadians this is your chance to try something totally new. :)

*NOTE: the Niagara Apple Country is the only bar that isn't gluten-free certified. Celiacs be aware.*

*GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED* To enter the giveaway, leave a comment letting us know your favourite summer fruit! We are obsessed with fruit and are genuinely curious to know what is your fave!

For additional entries:

1. Follow us on twitter
2. Follow our blog
3. Submit something to Health Freak Food

*make sure you leave a comment for each additional entry*

Just to clarify, the winner will receive the book and 6 Taste of Nature bars.

The winner will be announced next Wednesday. Hopefully Canada Post will be up and running soon!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Basil-Banana Bread

Jenn brought home bananas again! These ones were reeeally black so banana bread was naturally the only option.

I asked Jenn, what should we add in? chocolate chips? nuts? mint? mint is too gross. Jenn said Basil...I paused for a few seconds...basil...

Then I remembered how basil is randomly added to desserts like ice cream and berry tarts. Hey, apparently it tastes good in sweet stuff. And I've always wanted to be apart of that secret club that adds basil to obscure dishes so I appear sophisticated and gourmet-like.

I will never be afraid of basil again, the good thing about it is that it's a mild herb so it would never over power the main ingredient, which in this case is bananas.

This was a delightful banana bread, so case in point: experiment with basil more often!

2 cups buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp finely chopped basil
1 tbsp ground flax seeds

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix dry ingredients together. Mash bananas and mix in other wet ingredients including basil. Pour wet into dry (or vice versa). Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Carrot Beet "Spring-roll" Stir fry

ahh, just had a long day at work. Nothing too stressful, just alot of standing and uncomfortable-ness. My sister and I are working at a country market this summer at the ice cream parlour.

Ooohh crazy temptation there :P We had to try the ice cream so we can tell customers how good it is, so you know, we had some ice cream. :)

After annoyingly long shifts I just want to watch tv and have some comfort food. I usually am drawn to eat the first packaged food I see like cookies, crackers, chips etc. It's funny how I always did that after school during highschool days, I just devoured the kitchen when I got home.

Usually, I go for curry in these cases but decided to experiment with some Chinese spices. I have this chinese spice blend of anise, fennel, cinnamon, ginger, white licorice and cloves that I love, but I only had like a pinch left.

Thankfully I had all of the spices (except for licorice) in my spice drawer so, I then got to blending. The result tasted just like spring rolls!...or, the filling of spring rolls. Still good without the wrapper!

3 grated carrots
2 grated beets
1/2 an onion sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp anise seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp cloves
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp sea salt
Ground black pepper
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Coconut oil, for cooking

Heat oil in a medium frying pan. Add onions, cook for a few minutes, add garlic, anise and fennel seeds. Cook until seeds are toasted and garlic is fragrant. Add carrots and beets, then add rest of spices. Season as necessary. Garnish with sesame seeds. Serves 2.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Carob Banana Chocolate-Chip Cupcakes w/ Maple-Butter Frosting

Oh lordy! Prepare for the yummiest vegan cupcakes you've ever seen! I know they seem pretty elaborate, but every component plays its part and creates an amazingly scrumptious treat.

Jenn brought home some bananas that were pretty ripe, she bought them to freeze them but I insisted we bake with them instead. She agreed and we began to create with what we had in the kitchen. I remembered how good the Chocolate-Banana Muffins we made before were so I decided to do carob-banana cupcakes. I also remembered how much I loved the Lucuma-Chip Ice Cream, so we settled on a maple-butter-lucuma frosting.

I'm surprised how good these tasted considering I only used buckwheat flour, which is something I never do (usually I'd use a blend of buckwheat, gluten-free oat and brown rice) If you do make these make sure to use the lighter buckwheat flour instead of the grittier darker type for optimal texture.

Chippy chippy who's got the chippy?

Chippity chip chip chippity chip chip look at chippy go!

1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 cup carob powder
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup banana puree
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Maple-Butter Icing:
1 tbsp sunbutter
3-4 tbsp water
2 tbsp lucuma powder
1 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine wet in another bowl. Add wet to dry then add in chocolate chips. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

To make icing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Allow cupcakes to cool and spread icing on. Top with some more chocolate chips.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Natural Face Care: Exfoliant

I remember when I was in university last year, my skin would break out randomly from all of the junk food, staying up late and just in general not taking care of myself. One of my friends suggested baking soda as an exfoliator, I thought: Perfect! Baking soda is cheap and it seems natural right?

Well recently I looked up baking soda as a facial exfoliator and it changes the ph of the skin over time and causes strange rashes and burning sensations, doesn't sound sketch-free to me! lol

The oatmeal adds a gentle-ness and the kelp is a common facial exfoliator that usually goes over well with most skin types. The sea salt is there to mimic sea water, you know how you notice a glow in your skin after a dip in the ocean?

Here is a gentle, natural non-perishable facial exfoliant that takes no time to make:

lol, you can so tell my canadian-ness from this image, gotta love it ;)

1/4 cup roughly ground oats
2 1/2 tsp kelp granules
1 tsp sea salt

Combine ingredients and keep in a container. To use, combine mixture with a little water in hand and apply to face. Rinse off and cleanse as usual.

And another plus is that it's edible! lol, you know I couldn't resist.

For a natural non-perishable cleanser recipe click here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Maqui Berry Smoothie + Review

Navitas Naturals asked if we could review some of their new Maqui Berry Powder. I'm actually a super fanatical fan of Navitas, I'm always checking their website for new products so when they contacted me I was kind of amazed thinking: how did you know I wanted to try this? Anyways, I just love their smart packaging design and the way they make buying/consuming superfoods as easy as (goji berry) pie.

I usually put acai berry powder in my smoothies and always feel good about comsuming this pungent Amazonian superfruit. Maqui Berry powder (Patagonian superfruit) is similar to Acai powder in the taste category. It would be a good idea to blend it with other berries just to balance out the flavour. This stuff is super pungent, and bitter, it makes me happy because I know the healthier the food the more sharp it tastes. It also makes your smoothies a beautiful magenta colour :)

And you know, where there's purple, there's ANTIOXIDANTS! Actually Navitas claims that Maqui Berry has the most antioxidants of any discovered fruit, meaning it trumps blueberries, chocolate, acai and pomegranates. For more nutritional information on Maqui Berry check out this page.

1/2 cup mango
1/2 cup strawberries
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp Navitas Naturals Maqui Berry powder
Water to blend
Stevia to taste

Blend ingredients together, enjoy! Top with some toasted coconut, hemp seeds, granola, or whole berries.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Black Bean-Pea Burgers

Are you one of those people who like peas?? Well if you are, this is your lucky day! :) Veggie burgers are one of my favourite ways to fulfill that "hearty protein" meal I usually crave a few times a week. Peas blend really well and add that much needed starchiness to keep these burgers sticking together. 

Burger in a salad nest
1 1/2 cups black beans
1 1/2 cup cooked peas
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp tahini
1-2 tbsp tamari
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Combine black beans, peas, water, tamari, and tahini in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in spices, and flour. Form into 7-8 patties. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350F oven. Serve over salad or in a whole-grain bun. Top with tahini sauce.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Natural Face Care: Cleanser

I have been absolutely obsessed lately with making my own skin care products. I'm like, why?! I think that if you're eating clean, eventually that trickles into other parts of your life that need cleaning up as well.

I usually just use Cetaphil as a facial cleanser since I have a history of acne and skin issues, but lately have been noticing the astringent, chemical smell of it and have since been embarking on a DIY adventure.

I did some research and found a recipe for a cleanser on LIVESTRONG, one of my favourite health sites. I adjusted it for those with combination skin. (Combination skin is when you have some parts of your face that are dry and some parts that are oily, or just in general, an uneven complexion). You can adapt this recipe by adding essential oils that match your specific skin's needs.

One thing I've noticed with most DIY face cleansers are that they are usually perishable (they either contain milk, avocado, grapefruit etc.) or you have to keep them in the fridge. Well my bathroom is upstairs and I would most likely forget or be too lazy to wash my face then trod downstairs to put it back in the fridge. So this cleanser, you can keep in the bottle under the sink and it will keep pretty much...forever.

This website lists all sorts of herbs/essential oils that adhere to each skin type, it's a rather useful tool if you're considering making your own as well.

One herb that shows up in almost every category was lavender, so I purchased some Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap with Lavender essential oil already in it (better deal than buying the oil separately). Castille Soap is basically a very simple, naturally made soap usually made with olive oil, coconut oil or in this case, hemp oil. You can even make your own at home!

I added ylang ylang to the recipe because it's best for combination skin...but after washing my face with it, I found I was either sensitive to the ylang ylang or the lavender, I would just choose one scent next time instead of going over board on the scent-train. Dr. Bronner's has a mild soap that is unscented.

2 oz. Castille Soap
2 oz. lecithin
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
10 drops essential oil

Combine all ingredients, stir until combined and emulsified. The yellowness by the way is from the lecithin granules. 

If your skin is dry: Reduce apple cider vinegar
If your skin is oily: Add more apple cider vinegar
If you skin is sensitive: Add more water to thin out and use unscented soaps and use essential oils for sensitive skin.

I love how this cleanser suds up and your face really does feel clean after washing.

Stay tuned for a Non-Perishable exfoliant and moisturizer!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Carob-Banana Buckwheat Crackers

I have been experimenting a lot with buckwheat flour recently and decided to try to make crackers! I know that carob and bananas aren't candida friendly, but we've decided to take a break from the diet, just cause it's summer and we want some fruit! We will get back on it at some point in the near future...We just love fruit too much! A diet is no good if you are constantly stressing about it, so if you need to take a break, I say go for it!

Onto the treats...

3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup dark roasted carob powder
1/2 tsp powdered stevia
2 tbsp almond oil
1/2 cup water
1 Organic Banana, thinly sliced

Combine all ingredients until it forms a ball of dough. Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll until you can't roll it no more! ;) Just make sure it's very very thin. Place thinly sliced bananas on top. Score dough into crackers with a knife. Bake for 25 minutes on 400F.

I know it's weird...sweet crackers? But these were awesome and low-glycemic if I may add...

Golden bananas

It's time to banan-up