Monday, July 21, 2014

Cold Summer Treat

I know it's been awhile since my last post. I just needed to get out of the winter blues and find some inspiration. All it took was going to a Farmer's Market.
I went to the market at Art Scape Wychwood Barns. I had been to Evergreen Brickworks before and a few smaller markets around the city but never to Wychwood. It had all the essentials, and then some. Fresh produce, breads, meats, fish, baked goods and more. It was just what I needed to find some inspiration. There's something about the atmosphere at a Farmer's Market that is calm and blissful.
I know Farmer's Markets can get pricey so I try to limit what I get. I just pick up a few fresh items that aren't always that great at the grocery store like berries or peaches. Although, this was my first market of the year so between that and my grocery trip afterward, I definitely splurged. Whoops! But it was all worth it.
I came home with all my goodies and cooked up a storm. I made raspberry chocolate chip muffins, crustless mini quiches, vegetable stir fry, pad thai (to go with the veggie stir fry), cherry crisp, and peach yogurt popsicles.

What I really want to write about are the popsicles. There are so many great homemade popsicle recipes out there. I found this particular recipe site from Real Food Real Deals on Facebook. There are some great options on there but naturally, I combined a couple and made my own.
My popsicle holders are quite small and this made 7 for me.
I cut up two peaches and put them in the Magic Bullet (blender should work too). Then, in a bowl I mixed a cup and a half of vanilla yogurt, the blended peaches, and a table spoon of lime/lemon juice.
I spooned a small amount of the mixture into the bottom of the popsicle holders then dropped in a couple pieces of raspberries and blueberries. I did 3 layers of fruit in mine. But you can make as many layers as you want!
Place them in the freezer for a couple of hours then enjoy!
Feel free to mix up the fruit. The options are endless! You can also make these with plain yogurt and add in your own sweetener. I'd recommend some honey.
I had one yesterday for a snack and then today I had one as part of my breakfast. They can be enjoyed anytime of the day. They are such a yummy summer treat and take no time at all to make!

Recipe Recap - Peach Yogurt Pops

2 peaches - washed and cut
Berries or other fruit
1 1/2 cups yogurt
1 tbsp lemon and/or lime juice
Honey (optional)
Popsicle holders

Place the peaches in the blender and blend until smooth. In a bowl, mix the yogurt, citrus juice, honey (if adding), and stir in the blended peaches.
Drop a spoonful of the mixture into the popsicle holder and drop in a layer of fruit. Make as many or as few layers as you want. Put in the popsicle sticks and freeze for a couple of hours.

Here is the link to the original website. Feel free to test out any of the other recipes or if you're like me, you'll just make your own!

Happy summer everyone!



Remember, a healthy mind and body equals a happy and healthy dancer.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cookies can be healthy

This post is going out to a group of my friends who, for the month of March, have completely cut out all junk food. This includes candy, sweets, pop, highly processed foods, etc.
Wouldn't it be nice though, if you could still eat some sweets and not feel guilty or get that sugar high/crash afterward? Well, you can. With the proper ingredients you can make desserts that your body will love as well as your taste buds!

I found a chewy oatmeal cookie recipe online and, as per usual, tweaked it a bit. I added in other ingredients like flaxseed and sesame seeds. Flaxseed contains fiber and omega-3, and sesame seeds contain nutrients like calcium, fiber, magnesium, vitamin B-1, and iron. These two seeds are great to throw in to any baking to give it a boost of nutrition.

I tend to cook with coconut oil but I know it can get expensive. With this recipe, you have a couple of options. You can use all coconut oil, all a different kind of cooking oil, or you can substitute half the oil for unsweetened applesauce.
Also, for those who don't normally have honey in the cupboard or would like to save it, because it too can be expensive, you can substitute it for 1/3 cup brown sugar. However, this would be unacceptable for my friends who are cutting out sugar ;)

Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup oats (Quick is okay. Just not instant)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/8 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 oil (or 1/4 oil, 1/4 applesauce)
1 egg + 1 tbsp water
1 tbsp molasses (optional)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 raisins
1/2 chopped walnuts (optional)

Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.
In separate bowl, mix egg with water then add remaining wet ingredients.
Mix wet and dry ingredients. Fold in raisins.
Cool mixture in fridge for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 335F.
Drop rounded spoonfuls on to parchment lined baking sheets. Flatten slightly with fork to ensure even cooking.
Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden on bottom.
Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
Makes 25-35 depending on how big you like your cookies!

Original recipe from



Remember, a healthy mind and body equals a happy and healthy dancer.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Muffin Top

For about two years in my high school days, every Saturday morning on my way to teach I would stop and get a fruit explosion muffin. It's full of fruit, right? I also used to really like low fat raspberry and blueberry muffins. Low fat is a good option, right? While they tasted so delicious at the time, I've learned there are other muffin options out there.

Muffins seem to have a lot of mixed reviews. Are they healthy or not?
Well, it depends. They can be full of sugar and fat or they can be packed with lots of healthy goodness. The ones you buy in the grocery store or a coffee shop chain are basically like cake with nuts and fruit in them. The ones I make are healthy and delicious.

They can be a great snack when you're on the go. And they really don't take very much time considering you will get 12 muffins out of one batch. They can also be stored in the freezer for longer lasting time.

I used some ingredients that not everyone will have in their cupboards. But the great thing about these, is that you can use substitutions or omit certain things. They're all listed at the bottom :)

First I would like to give credit to the Muffin Mania cookbook for giving me a basic recipe. Over the past couple of years I've been able to develop my own recipe and the last muffins I made really hit the jackpot.

Hannah's Banana Muffins
Preheat oven 350-375 (If you have an oven on the hotter side, go with 350)  
Serves 12

3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 coconut
3 tbsp ground flax seed
2 handfuls of chocolate chips (I used white chocolate and it give them a really nice flavour. But milk or dark will work just the same)

Mash bananas. Stir in honey, egg and oil. Mix in dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon into muffin pan. I like to use the paper cups so they don't stick to the pan. If you aren't using paper cups then make sure you grease the pan well.

Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

For substitutions, you can substitute the honey for regular sugar, coconut oil for vegetable oil (or melted butter but that will definitely add some fat), and whole wheat flour for all purpose flour. You can also omit the coconut, flax seed and/or chocolate chips. Or you can substitute the chocolate chips for walnuts for a banana nut muffin. Using nuts will add a bit of protein.

Mmm these delicious muffins are great any time of the day! For breakfast, snack, or part of lunch. And definitely great on the go.



Remember, a healthy mind and body equals a happy and healthy dancer.