Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

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Now that fall is in full swing I have been spending more time in my kitchen. The cooler weather makes me want to put on my comfy clothes and make healthy baked goods and soups.
These muffins are one of my favs in the fall and I love how they can be made with just one bowl!!!   I’m all about quick, easy, and minimal clean up and these muffins are just that.
These are perfect for making for school lunches or for a quick grab and go snack. They are packed full of healthy nutritious ingredients.  Made with whole grain flour, oats, and honey these muffins are dairy free and naturally sweetened.   Pumpkin is also packed full of fibre, vitamin A (which is anti aging by the way) , and antioxidants. Bonus!

INGREDIENTS

  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil*
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice or cloves
  • 1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If necessary, Grease cups of your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and maple syrup or honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs, and beat well. Mix in the pumpkin purée and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice.
  3. Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If you’d like to add any additional mix-ins**, like nuts, chocolate or dried fruit, fold them in now.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. For these muffins, it’s ok to fill the cups a little higher than you normally would. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats, followed by a sprinkle of cinnamon. Bake muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
  5. Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool. These muffins are delicate until they cool down (you have been warned!). You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan. I like to use muffin liners as I find it a bit easier to handle that way.
  6. These muffins will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They keep well in the freezer in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months (just defrost individual muffins as needed).

xo Chelsea

Tropical Golden Mylk Smoothie Bowl

Tropical Golden Mylk Smoothie Bowl

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This Tropical Smoothie Bowl is super easy to make and is packed with healthy ingredients to jump start your day.  Full of vitamin rich mangos, banana, cauliflower, and Golden Mylk, this antioxidant and anti inflammatory power bowl can help to clear your skin, alkalize your body, reduce inflammation, and improve digestion.

Have you ever tried frozen cauliflower in your smoothies?  I recently tried it and like it! I find it adds a creaminess as well as helps to add substance without adding extra fruit/sugar.  Cauliflower is also full of fibre, vitamin C, and potassium which makes it a great addition to this bowl.

I also used Botanica’s Turmeric Golden Mylk which is a modern take on a traditional Ayurvedic beverage.  Made from a whole food blend of turmeric, dates, coconut, cardamom, ashwagandha, black pepper, and cinnamon, I find it has a nice taste compared to straight turmeric and it adds a nice flavour to the smoothie bowl.

Turmeric as most of you know is an incredibly potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric helps with a number of health concerns such as arthritis, eczema, IBS, and other autoimmune diseases because it helps reduce inflammation in the body.  It also aids digestion because it reduces bloating and gas. As well, many studies have shown that curcumin has anticancer effects, particularly that it can kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing.

I hope you enjoy this Tropical Golden Mylk Smoothie Bowl as much as I do!!

For the smoothie bowl
  • 1/2 frozen banana cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower florets (I steamed my cauliflower before freezing)
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut or almond milk more, if needed
  • 1 tsp Botanica’s Turmeric Golden Mylk https://botanicahealth.com/product/botanica-turmeric-golden-mylk/
Suggested toppings
  • Kiwi slices
  • Sliced banana
  • Coconut chips
  • 1/2 small banana sliced, or 6-8 dried banana slices
  • 1/4 cup granola 
  • Berries
  • Orange or grapefruit slices

Blend ingredients for the smoothie bowl in a high powered blender, slowly adding the milk as you go until everything blends together smoothly!

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

 

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

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

 

Crock Pot Pho Soup

Crock Pot Pho Soup

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For those of you who haven’t tried Pho soup, it is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, fragrant spices, and usually either chicken or beef.  There are many different variations and each restaurant seems to have their own take on the popular soup.

I fell in love with Pho soup a couple of years ago and my husband and I were ordering Pho almost once a week.  Slight addiction…. maybe??!!  I was however starting to have reactions to all the salt and MSG that is typically found in the restaurant version so we had to stop ordering it.  I’d wake up the next day with a crazy salt bloat, bags under my eyes, and a headache to go along with it.

Missing my beloved soup, I tried a few different versions of Pho at home and finally settled on a recipe that I felt was EVEN better than take out.  It’s PHO licious!!!!  I made a chicken and beef version but you can make this soup with just chicken, just beef, or even vegetarian if you like.  I also added vegetables to mine to make sure I was getting my greens along with more vitamins and minerals!  To me, there is nothing better than a satisfying fragrant bowl of soup in the winter.  I love that this can be made in a crock pot as well.  This soup is really easy to make but it takes time to simmer to allow all the spices to meld into the broth.  It is really nice to be able to get it going in the am and have dinner ready in the pm!!  I’m big on setting things up and forgetting about them.  If you don’t have a crock pot don’t worry you can also use a soup pot.

The recipe can seem a bit intimidating with all the different spices that you likely won’t have at home but don’t worry its way easier than it seems!  You can get everything at your local Asian store and I find the prices of spices to be a LOT cheaper than at a normal grocery store. Bonus!!  If you live in Kelowna the Oriental Supermarket has it all.  Don’t waste your time going elsewhere.  My husband was really impressed with this one and told me we are never ordering take out Pho again!!

Chicken and Beef Pho Soup Recipe

  • 2 pounds oxtail (can also use short ribs, or a mix of both) * If you are not a fan of beef you can eliminate the oxtail and sirloin and just add chicken.  The Oxtail however does add a nice depth to your broth.  I found some in the freezer section of the Asian store and let them thaw out overnight.
  • 1 pound top sirloin, sliced very thin (wait to slice your beef until then end to prevent it from drying out).
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 8 cups beef broth (I still use beef broth even if I’m making chicken pho as I like the extra flavour the beef broth provides.  If you want to make vegetarian pho you can use vegetable broth and eliminate all the meat).
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 8 inch piece of ginger, sliced lengthwise and sliced into about 8 pieces
  • 3 carrots, cut into a few large pieces
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 2-3 small heads baby bok choy
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 1 teaspoon fennel
  • Salt to taste
  • Rice noodles (I like the fresh rice noodles found at the asian store)

 

Toppings
  • fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro and mint
  • lime slices
  • hoisin sauce
  • sriracha
  • jalapeno slices
Instructions
  1. In a frying pan over medium heat, toast the cinnamon, star anise, cloves, coriander, fennel and cardamom until fragrant, stirring frequently and being careful not to burn. Add to the crock pot.  This step is really important!!! It allows the flavour of the spice to really come through. No oil is needed to toast these.
  2. In the same pan, add the ginger and onion with the cut sides down and cook until they start to become charred, about 10 minutes. Add to the crock pot.
  3. Boil your oxtail if using in a separate pot of water for 10 mins.  This boils out any impurities and will give your broth a nice clear appearance.  Remove the Oxtail from the water and rinse with fresh water, then add them to the crock pot.
  4. Add chicken breasts to the crock pot. Pour in beef stock and an additional one cup of water. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar.
  5. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours if using a crock pot. Simmer on low for 5 hours if using a stock pot.
  6. When done, remove meat and set aside. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer to remove the solids.
  7. Remove the meat from the bone and add the meat back to the broth. Taste the broth and add salt or more fish sauce if needed.
  8. Steam your broccoli, some bok choy, and sliced carrots on the side and then add them to the stock OR add the veggies and let the stock simmer for another 20 mins until your veggies are soft.  I wait to add my veggies until the last 20 mins or I steam them separately as I don’t like it when they are too soft.
  9. Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions, set aside.
  10. To prepare each bowl of soup, add a serving of rice noodles to the bowl and add slices of the sirloin steak. Pour the hot broth over the noodles and meat, which will cook the steak slices (if you don’t want to do this, just add the steak slices to the hot broth a few minutes before serving to cook it.
  11. Serve with the additional toppings and allow each person to garnish the soup as they wish.
Notes
*You can sub short ribs for the oxtail or use a mix of both
**The amount of salt you will add depends on how much is in the broth and also your tastes, so it is best to add it at the end if needed after tasting the broth.
***Usually the slices of raw steak ar added to the bowl and then the hot broth is poured over it to cook them. However if you are squeamish about that, add them to the broth a few minutes before serving to cook them (don’t cook them too long or they will get tough)
****If you only want chicken pho you can eliminate the Oxtail and Sirloin.  Up the chicken breasts to 4.  If you prefer vegetarian PHO you can eliminate all the meat and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.

 

 

Fresh Beet Soup with Cashew Cream

Fresh Beet Soup with Cashew Cream

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I’ve made a lot of beet soups in the past but this purred version won me over.  It is creamy, fresh, super healthy, and satisfying.  It’s also really easy to make, packed full of veggies, and it’s vegan/dairy free.

Beets contain vitamins A, B, C, B2, iron, calcium, potassium and are great for liver and gallbladder detoxification.  I made this version with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and topped it off with a dollop of cashew cream instead of sour cream.  Have you ever tried cashew cream???  Oh my, is it good!!  It was my first attempt at making cashew cream and I found it simple to make and thought it had just the right amount of creaminess.  If you’re not quite into it, feel free to add a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt instead!!

Beet Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

6 small beets peeled and sliced

1 large yellow or sweet onion

2 carrots

2 stalks celery

2 cloves garlic

Fresh basil (for a garnish)

4 cups vegetable stock

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. In a soup pot or stock pot heat oil and saute celery, onion, and carrot until tender.

2. Add garlic, sliced beets and cook for 2-3 mins on medium heat.

3. Pour in vegetable stock and bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer.

4. Cook on low until beets are tender. Approx 20-25 mins.

5. Transfer soup to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.  Please be careful if transferring the hot soup to a blender and wear oven mitts!

6. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with your cream of choice, and add chopped fresh basil just before serving.

Enjoy!

Cashew Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 lemon (juiced)

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions:

1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with cold water for 3 hours or overnight.

2. Drain water from cashews and place them in a blender.

3. Add 1/2 cup fresh water, lemon, vinegar, salt, olive oil, and garlic. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

4. If the cream is too thick add a touch more water, blend again until desired consistency is reached!

Note– Cashew cream is better cold and will thicken as it chills.  It is great to use as a dressing (add extra olive oil to thin), in place of sour cream, drizzled on top of pizza, or added to anything you want to make creamy!

xo Chelsea