Naturopathic Doctor

Bliss Bites

With the holidays drawing near, it seems as if people are always stopping in. I like to have a batch of these waiting in the freezer for those impromptu visits or the potlucks you forgot to make something for. I also love to enjoy them on those blustery nights when you're feeling like something sweet after dinner.

This recipe is slightly adapted from A Couple Cooks' Bliss Bites-Healthy No Bake Cookies. Things I loved about this recipe was, first of all, I actually had all of the ingredients lying around = no searching for that one hard-to-find ingredient. I love that it is refined sugar free, and provides a good dose of healthy fats that help you to feel satisfied even after having just one. It is also friendly for those with gluten, dairy, or egg sensitivities. This recipe doesn't even require turning on your oven, and takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish! What's not to love?

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Base
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/8 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
+1/2 cup rolled oats
+1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
+1/4 cup brown rice crisps
(or 1 cup of rolled oats if missing above 2 ingredients)

Combine above ingredients (except for the rolled oats, coconut flakes and brown rice crisps) together in a small saucepan on low heat. Once combined remove from heat and fold in the oats, coconut flakes, and brown rice crisps. Spoon this mixture into 18 mini-muffin tins greased with oil. Pop in the freezer while preparing the topping.

 

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Topping
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
+Sprinkle of sea salt on top at the end if desired

Combine above ingredients together (except for the sea salt) into a small saucepan on low heat. Once combined spoon on top of the base mixture and sprinkle sea salt on top, if desired. Freeze until set & store in the fridge or freezer. 

 

Source:
Sonja Overhiser - A Couple Cooks. "Bliss Bites (Healthy No Bake Cookies)".  March 2016. https://www.acouplecooks.com/bliss-bites-healthy-no-bake-cookies/

Butternut Squash Soup

For some, pumpkin spiced lattes is their sign that fall is here, for me that item is butternut squash soup. There is something about that deep orange colour, and the warmth it brings with each spoonful. As the leaves start to turn, this is one of my favourite dishes to make! Often times I will make a double batch and freeze some for an especially blustery day. Serve as a side dish or the main event. 

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Butternut Squash Soup

1 tbsp oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 tsp curry powder
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash
1 cup peeled, chopped pears or apple

 

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First step is to tackle the butternut squash - the most cumbersome of all the steps. The good news, once your done, it's smooth sailing! I like to peel my squash first with a vegetable peeler. Then I cut it in half, and scoop out the seeds. After this, you just have to cut it into cubes and you're all set!

 

 

Saute the onions in the butter or oil in the bottom of your pot until tender. Add the curry powder to the onions and saute for 1 minute. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Blend the contents together until pureed and enjoy! Add more curry powder to taste or season with pepper or parsley.
Voila - sunshine in a bowl!

 

Cauliflower Rice

I always look at recipes and wonder how we can keep the taste, but tweak it to get more bang for your buck in terms of nutrition. We often have an easy time eating grains in our day to day diet, but what about those vegetables? It is recommended to eat 5-8 servings of vegetables every single day. Vegetable consumption has been shown to reduce your risk of certain cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Doesn't that sound like something everyone would want?! If you count, it might be difficult to even make it to 2-3 servings of vegetables in a day. If you are eating 1 serving at supper and 1 serving at lunch, that's still only 2 servings! As far as I'm concerned starting early, and sneaking vegetables into as many meals as you can, is a great way to start to reach these goals.

To me, this is the easiest way to eat cauliflower. It cooks quickly, minimal chopping time is required, and can go from fridge to table in 10 minutes. 

 

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Cauliflower Rice:

Cut half or all of the florets off of the cauliflower, and discard the green portions.
Place them all in a food processor.
Blend until small "rice-like" pieces have formed.
Place on a frying pan with some cooking oil.
Fry for 5-10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve either as a side dish, or as the rice for your favourite dishes like butter chicken or even stir fry.

Spaghetti Squash

I don't know about you, but eating healthy often feels like a challenge that will take more WORK and more TIME. The two biggest obstacles stopping people from changing eating habits is that it is "too hard" and they have "no time" - a seemingly insurmountable combination. So, my goal is to find ways to make your life easier, and those healthier meals less time consuming. Enter one of my favourite kitchen tools - the slow cooker!

I have always loved the idea of spaghetti squash, it's a vegetable, that when cooked, comes out like spaghetti noodles - what's not to love? However, it can be quite the task to cook. From cutting the hard-as-rock squash in half, to making sure you have enough time before the meal to bake it - and if not, it can be quite difficult to scoop out. That's all fine and dandy if you A) have the time and B) have some patience. If not, here's a way to avoid those challenging steps - set it & forget it. 

Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
2 cups of water
1 slow cooker/crock pot

Carefully pierce some holes into the spaghetti squash with a fork or knife, and then place it whole in the slow cooker. Add the water, and set on low for 6 hours. 

Afterwards: carefully remove the spaghetti squash from the slow cooker (it will be hot!), cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and discard, and then scoop the rest of the squash out with a spoon - it should easily peel away from the sides. 

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Serve it as a side with a meal, or serve it as the main dish with your favourite pasta sauce, a protein, and some veggies. My favourite combo: pesto with shrimp, peppers, broccoli and mushrooms!