Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

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Now that summer is upon us I’m always looking for new salad recipes.  This Mediterranean Chickpea Salad is a spin-off of your traditional Greek salad and it’s really delicious.

It’s loaded with lots of goodies and has basically everything except the kitchen sink!  The sun-dried tomatoes, mint, parsley, and chickpeas really take the flavour to the next level. The chickpeas add some good protein and I used a local goat Feta which added the perfect amount of saltiness.

This salad is perfect to bring to your next summer BBQ!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

Ingredients

1 can (15 oz) chickpeas drained and rinsed

1 cucumber diced

4 Roma tomatoes diced

1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved)

1/2 red onion diced

250 grams of feta cheese crumbled or cubed

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil chopped fine

1 can black olives (or your favourite olives) sliced

3 tbsp mint chopped

1/4 cup flat parsley chopped

Dressing

1/3 cup olive oil

1-2 cloves garlic (I added 2 but love garlic)

1-2 lemon juiced (I used 2 as my lemons were small)

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Dash of Salt and Pepper

Instructions

1.  Make the dressing by placing the dressing ingredients in a container with a lid and shake up.  Or use a blender to emulsify.  Place the dressing in the fridge.

2.  Chop all your veggies and place them in a bowl with your chopped parsley, mint, and chickpeas.  I like to leave a little extra mint and parsley for using as a garnish at the end!

3.  Pour dressing over the salad.  You likely won’t need all the dressing.  I added approx half and then mixed everything to see how it looked.  Everyone has their own preference on how much dressing they like and I personally don’t like when it gets too soggy.

4.  Add the cubed Feta and toss again.

5.  Place the salad in the fridge until ready to serve.  Remove and toss before serving. This is where I will add more dressing if it seems to need it.

6. Garnish with crumbled feta, parsley, and mint if you like.

7. Enjoy!

xo Chelsea

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Berry Oat Muffins

Healthy Berry Oat Muffins

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These simple, healthy berry muffins are a perfect example of how I don’t like to overcomplicate things when I bake.  I like fresh food that is easy to make and doesn’t take up a lot of my time.   I’m busy and I’m sure you are too.  So as with most of my recipes, my philosophy is good food in a short amount of time.  Simple dishes that are easy to re-create but packed with good nutrition and healthy ingredients.

These muffins are soft and fluffy, made with whole wheat, contain as many blueberries/raspberries as I could squeeze into the batter, and are basically everything an oatmeal muffin should be. No more. No less.

There is absolutely nothing fancy about them, which, as it turns out, is what makes them perfect in every way.  You’ll find them equally comfortable beside a cup of black coffee as they are with yogurt for an afternoon snack. The light amount of butter makes the blueberry muffins rich but not too rich to deserve their “healthy” designation, and a handful of oatmeal gives them a more satisfying texture.

They are low-calorie but packed with whole wheat and oats for a good boost of fibre.  They are perfect for a healthy breakfast or as a snack.  You can also use dairy free milk, coconut oil instead of butter, and coconut sugar instead of brown sugar to fit your dietary preferences!  The true star of these healthy muffins, however, is the berries themselves. They’re snuggled into every bite, with the tender, buttery muffin batter enhancing, not overpowering, their juicy taste.

 

YIELD: 12 muffins                                                                                                                        PREP TIME: 10 minutes                                                                                                               COOK TIME: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour, divided
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder (I prefer aluminum free)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk or almond milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled, or coconut oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries or raspberries or a combo.  I did half and half!

 

Directions

  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and pre-heat to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a standard muffin tin with nonstick spray or line with paper liners, then coat the liners with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients to the well, then carefully stir with a wooden spoon, just until blended.
  4. Gently toss the blueberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour, then fold them into the batter, discarding any excess flour that doesn’t stick to the blueberries. (This will prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins.)
  5. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven, and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

 

Store leftover healthy blueberry muffins in the fridge or wrap individually in plastic, place in a ziplock bag, and freeze for up to 2 months.

Xo Chelsea

Healthy Carrot Cake Granola Bars

Carrot Cake Granola Bars

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I’m always looking for healthy snack ideas for my kids and for different ways I can sneak in veggies that they won’t oppose.  I found this recipe from Pinterest and absolutely love it!  It’s from the girls at Super Healthy Kids and they have some great recipes for picky eaters.  The recipe and all the photos are theirs and not mine but it was too good not to share!!

I don’t know about you but my kids can be picky especially my toddler.  If he even spots a veggie these days he immediately puts up his hand and says ‘gross’.  Like how did he even learn that??!  While I love his funny little personality his picky eating habits drive me crazy.   I’m always worrying that he is not getting enough nutrients and eating enough nourishing food when he needs it the most.  That’s where I have to get creative and try to make things that secretly contain veggies.

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My kids love granola bars so I just had to try these carrot ones.  They are full of healthy ingredients and use natural honey rather than processed white sugar so I feel good about them eating them.  The flax, nuts, oats, and almond Butter add protein, healthy fat, good fibre, to help keep the kids full without all the junk you can find in some store bought bars.

They are also made with flax egg instead of real eggs to help the ingredients bind so it’s great for anyone who may be allergic to eggs.  These remind me of those crunchy Nature Valley bars I used to have as a kid.  These are similar in crunch but are a healthier version and are really easy to make.  I hope you like them as much as I do!!

Ingredients
1 tablespoon – flaxseed, ground
2 1/2 tablespoon – water
1 3/4 cup – oats, dry
1/2 cup – pecans, chopped
2/3 cup – raisins, seedless
1 medium – carrot
1/3 cup – coconut flakes
2 teaspoon – cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon – salt
1/2 cup – honey
1/4 cup – almond butter

Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 3 quart baking dish with parchment paper.

2. Combine ground flaxseed and water in a small bowl to make a flaxseed “egg.” Allow to sit for 10 minutes to congeal.

3. Pulse oats and nuts in a food processor until semi-finely chopped but not powdery. (This helps them to bind into a bar better than when they are left whole or chunky).

4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine pulsed oats and nuts, raisins, grated carrot, coconut, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

5. In a microwave safe bowl, heat honey and almond butter for 20 seconds, or until easy to stir together.

6. Add the honey/almond butter mixture and flaxseed egg to the medium bowl with oat mixture. Stir until fully mixed.

7. Pour mixture into lined baking dish and spread out until it is even and about 1/2 inch thick (mixture likely will not cover the entire length of the baking dish).
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until edges slightly brown.

8. Remove from the over and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting bars. Let cool completely before removing and eating bars.

Makes approximately 12-14 bars.

xo Chelsea 

 

Classic Vinaigrette Dressing

Classic Vinaigrette Dressing

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This dressing is really simple to make and it’s always a big hit when I’m entertaining.  It’s my husband’s favourite and I’ve stopped buying store bought dressing for a few years now because we love it so much. It is made from natural ingredients that I always have around the house and seriously takes just 5 mins to make.

I love that it is made using apple cider vinegar, has no added preservatives, and it’s made with heart healthy olive oil.  As some of you may know, apple cider vinegar has many nutritional benefits.  It helps to detoxify the body, aids in weight loss, balances your pH levels, and helps to balance blood sugars.  The list really goes on and on for apple cider vinegar so I try to incorporate it in my recipes when I can.  I do add honey to mine as I like a tiny bit of sweetness to balance out the tanginess of the dressing but if you are trying to cut sugar or like your dressing tart feel free to skip the honey!

Ingredients:

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 lemon juiced

1 clove of garlic minced

1/2-1 tbsp honey

1/3 olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1 dash of pepper to taste

Instructions:

Mix together all ingredients except for the olive oil.  Once mixed slowly whisk in your olive oil or blend in a blender.  Separation is normal after it has been sitting for a period of time. Just whisk up or shake your dressing in a jar to emulsify.

*This dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and yeilds approx 1/2 cup when prepared.  I put mine in a sealed mason jar so I have dressing on hand when I need it!

I hope you enjoy it!

Xo Chelsea

 

Watermelon Popsicles

Watermelon Popsicles 

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How pretty are these watermelon popsicles??!  I just love how colourful they are and my kids love them too.

With the weather getting a little warmer and summer just around the corner I’ve been trying out new popsicle recipes for healthy treats at home.  Using all natural fruit, no processed sugar or preservatives, these are a great option for a guilt free treat.  They are naturally low in calories, are packed full of immune boosting vitamin C, and have a good source of vitamin A.  They also contain potassium which helps to balance fluids in the body and keeps you hydrated.

These popsicles are also dairy free, vegan, and gluten-free if anyone has any dietary restrictions!!

Ingredients

2 cups Watermelon, diced (seeds removed)
1 cup Strawberries
½ cup coconut milk, regular or light
1 cup Kiwi, diced

Instructions

1. In a food processor or blender, puree the watermelon and strawberries until smooth and set aside.

2. Puree the kiwi until smooth and set aside.

3. In your mold, fill ⅔ way with your watermelon puree. Freeze this layer for 30 minutes.

4. For the next layer pour in a layer of coconut milk on top of the frozen watermelon, leaving room for the kiwi layer on top. Pop back in the freezer for another 30 minutes.

5. Pour the pureed kiwi on top of the frozen coconut milk. Freezing in between layers gives you lovely clean layering.

6. Cover mold, add sticks and freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight. They will keep in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.

TIP: Run the molds under warm water to loosen up the popsicles.

xo Chelsea

Blueberry Chia Jam

Blueberry Chia Seed Jam

Looking for a healthy jam that is not loaded with sugar?? This Chia Seed jam is really easy to make and it has just 4 ingredients.

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Made with natural sugar, fresh fruit, and Chia seeds it is a perfect complement to those who are trying to eat healthy.  The gelling power of these tiny little seeds, allows us to transform a few cups of ripe fruit into a low-sugar, spreadable, spoonable, jam in about 20 mins!

Chia seeds are a superfood and are packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, they are rich in fibre and protein, and they turn any liquid into a thick gel.  They absorb several times their mass in liquid, creating a jelly-like substance in the process.  The jam works great on top of toast, added to yogurt, or as an ice-cream toper!

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Ingredients

• 2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries

• 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste

• 1 to 2 tablespoons honey, agave, maple syrup, or sugar, to taste

• 2 tablespoons chia seeds, plus more if needed.  TIP: Blend your Chia seeds first if you don’t want jam with seeds in it. Some people don’t like how Chia seeds get stuck in your teeth so you can pre-blend them to make them fine which will give you a jam with a smoother consistency.

Instructions

1. Prepare the fruit as needed: Remove stems and wash blueberries.

2. Cook the fruit until it starts to break down: Transfer the fruit to a saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook until the fruit breaks down and becomes syrupy, 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Mash the fruit with the back of a spatula or a potato masher, leaving it as smooth or as lumpy as you like.

4. Stir in the honey and lemon juice: Off the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of the honey and lemon juice. Taste and add more honey or lemon juice to taste.

5. Stir in the chia seeds (I blend mine in a food processor first) and let stand 5 minutes, until thickened: This won’t quite reach the firm consistency of regular jam, but it will noticeably thicken. If you’d like a thicker consistency, especially with very juicy fruits, stir in more chia seeds 1 teaspoon at a time.

7. Transfer to a jar or other storage container: Once the jam has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to a jar or other storage container. Store in the fridge for about 2 weeks. The jam will thicken further and become more set once completely chilled. The jam can also be frozen for up to 3 months; thaw in the fridge before using.

Recipe Notes

No-cook chia jam: Mash the fresh fruit with a fork until pulpy and juicy, then stir in the rest of the ingredients. You can also combine all the ingredients in a blender, or use an immersion blender, and blend until the jam is completely smooth.

Uncooked chia jam tends to be a bit looser and more sauce-like than the stove top version; add extra chia seeds if you’d like a thicker consistency.

Enjoy!

Xo Chelsea

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Oat Cookies

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Oat Cookies

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I call these little treats Mookies!!  They are a super healthy banana cookie with a thick chewy texture.  Made with ripe bananas, oats, and natural peanut butter they are made from whole foods with no added sugar, eggs, flour, or dairy!  They are quick and easy to make and you can add you favourite mix -in like chocolate chips (these obviously add sugar but I like a little dark chocolate in mine!), raisins or a combo of both if you like!

My family loves these for breakfast or as a healthy snack! We hope you like them too!

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Ingredients

2 large mashed bananas

1 cup oatmeal (raw normal Oats or quick Oats)

1 heaping spoonful of natural peanut butter or almond butter (1-2 tbsp)

Dash of cinnamon

Optional:

Chocolate chips, nuts, raisins… 2- 3 tbsp of your favourite add in!

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mash banana in a mixing bowl.

3. Add peanut butter and mix together.

4. Stir in Oats and cinnamon.

5.  Add chocolate chips, nuts, etc and stir until mixed into batter.

6. Drop by the spoonful onto a baking pan.

7. Bake for 15 mins or until slightly browned and let cool.

8. Enjoy!!

xo Chelsea

 

Strawberry Chia Jam

Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

Looking for a healthy jam that is not loaded with sugar?? This Chia Seed jam is really easy to make and it has just 4 ingredients.

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Made with natural sugar, fresh fruit, and Chia seeds it is a perfect complement to those who are trying to eat healthy.  The gelling power of these tiny little seeds, allows us to transform a few cups of ripe fruit into a low-sugar, spreadable, spoonable, jam in about 20 mins!

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Chia seeds are a superfood and are packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, they are rich in fibre and protein, and they turn any liquid into a thick gel.  They absorb several times their mass in liquid, creating a jelly-like substance in the process.  The jam can be made using any fruit you like but my favourite is strawberry!  Here is what you need:

Ingredients

• 2 cups chopped fruit
• 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
• 1 to 2 tablespoons honey, agave, maple syrup, or sugar, to taste
• 2 tablespoons chia seeds, plus more if needed

Instructions

1. Prepare the fruit as needed: Remove stems, pits, seeds, and skin, as needed.

2. Chop large fruits into small pieces. Berries can be left whole.

3. Cook the fruit until it starts to break down: Transfer the fruit to a saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook until the fruit breaks down and becomes syrupy, 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Mash the fruit with the back of a spatula or a potato masher, leaving it as smooth or as lumpy as you like.

5. Stir in the honey and lemon juice: Off the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of the honey and lemon juice. Taste and add more honey or lemon juice to taste.

6. Stir in the chia seeds and let stand 5 minutes, until thickened: This won’t quite reach the firm consistency of regular jam, but it will noticeably thicken. If you’d like a thicker consistency, especially with very juicy fruits, stir in more chia seeds 1 teaspoon at a time.

7. Transfer to a jar or other storage container: Once the jam has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to a jar or other storage container. Store in the fridge for about 2 weeks. The jam will thicken further and become more set once completely chilled. The jam can also be frozen for up to 3 months; thaw in the fridge before using.

Recipe Notes

No-cook chia jam: Mash the fruit with a fork until pulpy and juicy, then stir in the rest of the ingredients. You can also combine all the ingredients in a blender, or use an immersion blender, and blend until the jam is completely smooth.

Uncooked chia jam tends to be a bit looser and more sauce-like than the stove top version; add extra chia seeds if you’d like a thicker consistency.

Getting rid of visible chia seeds: If you’d prefer not to have visible chia seeds in your finished jam, puree the jam in a blender or with an immersion blender. If you’d like to keep a somewhat chunky texture, blend just a portion of the jam with the chia seeds, then stir it back in with the rest of the jam.

Enjoy!

Xo Chelsea

Easy Yogurt Breakfast Popsicles

Easy Breakfast Yogurt Popsicles

Popsicles for breakfast??? Yes please!! These super easy popsicles take just 5 mins to make and they are healthy enough to eat for breakfast.  Made with greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and topped with granola, they make a complete breakfast!

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My kids think they are getting a treat every am but little do they know these popsicles pack some good nutrition.  The greek yogurt provides calcium and protein, the fresh fruit provides a ton of vitamins, and the granola packs extra protein and fibre.

You can use any fruit you like and if you are vegan you can use a dairy free yogurt instead of Greek yogurt.  The combinations are endless and they are a great summer treat for those looking for a healthy option!

Yield: 6-8 Popsicles

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes (to freeze)

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt (or vegan yogurt of choice)
  • 1/2 Cup Milk (almond milk/coconut milk for dairy free)
  • 2 tsp Honey (maple syrup if you are vegan)
  • 1/2 Cup Granola
  • 1 Cup Berries/chopped Fruits

Directions

  1. Mix together the milk, yogurt and 1 tsp of the honey.
  2. Divide the mixture between your popsicle molds.
  3. Place a few berries into each mould.
  4. Mix the last teaspoon of honey with the granola (you can place the honey in the microwave for 10 sec if you are struggling to mix it) and top the yoghurt with a little granola mixture.
  5. Place a wooden ice cream stick into each mould and place the popsicles into the freezer for at least 4 hours before consuming.
  6. To remove the popsicles, run the mould under a little hot water until they come loose.
  7. Enjoy!

xo Chelsea

 

Healthy 5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola

Healthy Peanut Butter Granola

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This healthy peanut butter granola is SUPER easy to make and it’s gluten-free, dairy free, refined sugar-free, and vegan! I like that this recipe isn’t super sweet and is made with nutritious ingredients.

All natural peanut butter, whole grain oats, honey (maple syrup if you are vegan), a little salt is all it takes to make this delicious and crunchy granola.  It’s super versatile and can be used to top your favourite yogurt, breakfast popsicle, or as a snack. My kids love it and often eat it will just a little milk added for breakfast.

It takes just 15 minutes to make and will last for a week when stored in an airtight container.  If you find the granola looses it’s crunch all you do is pop it back in the over to crisp it up again!

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned (or quick cooking) oats*
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a large cookie sheet and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix together oats, salt and cinnamon. Set aside

3. Melt the peanut butter and honey (or maple syrup) together until smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

4. Stir in dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

5. Spread mixture on prepared cookie sheet.

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until granola is lightly browned, stirring the granola once gently half way through. (A great way to test to see if it is done is to remove a small portion of the granola from the pan and set it on the counter. If it hardens as it cools the rest of the granola is done)! The granola can burn quite quickly so be sure to keep an eye on it in the oven.  It darkens up once removed so best to take it out once it is slightly browned to ensure you don’t over cook it!

7. Remove from oven and let sit until cooled.

8. Once cooled, break apart and enjoy!

xo Chelsea