Thursday, September 3, 2015

Hot day. Cold treat? It's Fudgesicle time!

I am currently sitting at our family cottage in Nova Scotia, red wine by my side, desperately hanging on to the last few days of summer. The sun is warm today and the ocean is fresh. Why can’t we have summer more days of the year? I guess that just means you have to enjoy each warm day when you have it.

How did you spend your summer this year? I was fortunate enough to work at the Pan Am Games, go camping, visit with lots of friends and family, and of course I cooked a whole bunch! My summer would not have been complete without cooking and baking. 

I didn’t get out to the farmer’s markets as much as I would have liked but the times that I did just reminded me that it’s totally worth the trip. Fresh local fruits and veggies – nothing beats them! My favourite item to get at a market is corn on the cob. My fiancĂ© says I’m a bit of a corn snob but I can’t help it!! I grew up on the east coast where I could get really fresh corn. I remember being little and waiting for the truck to come back from the field so we could buy a feed to take home. But the two times I got corn in Ontario this year were really good! And guess what’s for dinner tonight at the cottage? Corn on the cob. We picked some up from a farm where they had a bin out front and you just leave your money in a jar.

Anyway, I could go on about corn forever. My main purpose for the post today is to give you a cold treat for these last few summer days. And I don't know about you, but summer is definitely going out with a bang. It's HOT today! I made these fudgesicles a couple of times this summer and they turned out so well. You just need a popsicle mold and only 3 ingredients. They’re dairy free and gluten free too!

3 Ingredient Fudgesicles

4 tblsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4-5 tblsp honey (or to taste)
1 ½ cups coconut milk

Place all ingredients in either a magic bullet, blender, or something with a tight lid like a mason jar, and shake or blend well until smooth. Pour mixture into popsicle mold and freeze for at least 4 hours.

You can substitute the coconut milk for almond milk and the honey for sugar. If using sugar, I’d recommend 3-4 tblsp as sugar is much sweeter than honey.




Hope you enjoy this yummy treat!



~Hannah

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


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Oats Oats Oats

One of my favourite ingredients is oats. Oatmeal cookies, baked oatmeal, granola bars, porridge... the list goes on. Oats are a great source of protein and fibre. There are approximately 12 grams of protein in one cup of oats. Fibre is necessary in every diet for keeping bowel movements regular. Oats also help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure. They can give you a boost of energy and help you feel fuller longer. They are such a great thing to eat before heading to class or rehearsal. And apparently, oats help reduce the risk of childhood asthma. I'm not too sure on that one but I'm interested to look into it more as I developed asthma in my preteen years. Guess I should have eaten more oats!

How do you like to eat your oats?

My peanut butter granola bars are one of my favourite ways to eat oats. They're such a great snack to have on the go. I've been eating them all week! http://cookingfordancers.blogspot.ca/2013/12/snack-time.html
Another favourite is crunchy granola. I love sprinkling it in my yogurt with berries, or sometimes just eating it with a bit of milk. I've even eaten it straight out of the jar. So yummy.
Making your own granola is easy and only requires a few ingredients. It's one of those recipes where you can just put in the ingredients that you have in your cupboard. The only necessary ingredients are oats, honey, and oil. All the others can be made up with what you currently have in your house.

Homemade Granola
Preheat oven 300F

2 cups oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup seeds
2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
2 tbsp cooking oil (coconut oil is a great option)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl with a wooden spoon or your hands. Spread the mixture into a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly toasted. Make sure to stir the mixture around once or twice so it toasts evenly.
Remove from oven and let cool. Once it cools it will get the crunchy texture we all love about granola.
Store in a mason jar or air tight container. It will last at least 2 weeks.


Also note, adding that pinch of salt really adds an extra flavour to the granola. If you like to put dried fruit in your granola, like raisins or chopped apricots, add them after it comes out of the oven.
I don't normally put nuts in mine as I work with a lot of children and I like to take yogurt and granola for a snack. So I usually just add more seeds and sometimes I'll add a bit of shredded coconut after it comes out of the oven. In this particular batch I put in 1/2 sunflower seeds and 1/4 sesame seeds and chia seeds combined.

Happy weekend everyone!


~Hannah

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



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

It's Breakfast Time

Have you ever been in rehearsal when someone says, "I haven't eaten all day?" Or maybe you've been that person. Sometimes finding something to eat first thing in the morning can seem almost impossible when you're running out the door. Stopping at a coffee shop to grab something might sound like a good idea but it's costly and things like muffins and other baked goods are packed with ingredients you want to avoid putting in your body first thing in the morning - or ever.

Eating in the morning is very important. It gives you the energy to start your day, helps you be at your best performance, and boosts your immune system. It also helps control your weight. People who skip breakfast tend to eat a larger meal later in the day and then the body will store fat because it doesn't know when it'll eat again. Or the other option of grabbing a snack mid morning because of convenience is usually high in sugar or fat.

To avoid all of this and keep yourself healthy, just eat breakfast. It doesn't have to be a big meal or complex. Just something that is healthy and has vitamins that will keep you going for a bit.

First of all, start your day off with a glass of water. Your body is dehydrated when you wake up so drinking a glass of water first thing will give you energy and help reduce things like headaches. Dehydration is one of the top reasons for getting a headache. Also, you feel hungry when you're dehydrated so having a glass of water at the beginning of your day will help tell you how hungry you really are. If you can add a wedge of lemon to your water, you'll help detoxify your body as well.

Here is an easy, affordable, and healthy breakfast recipe that you can grab on the go. It also works as a great snack too. And it's incredibly versatile! This is the basic recipe below.

Baked Oatmeal
Time: approx 25 minutes
Oven: 350F
Makes 8-9

2 cups Oats
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon or to taste
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Milk
1 egg (optional)
2 tbsp Cooking oil or Melted butter
1 tsp Vanilla (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
Line a muffin tin with paper liners and divide batter.
Bake for 20 minutes.


It made 8 for me but depending on the size you make them, you can get a couple more or a couple less. If it's all you are going to grab in the morning then I would recommend making them a bit bigger.

Notes and substitutions:
Quick or instant oats work the best.
Instead of brown sugar, you could use 1/3 cup honey, or 1/4 maple syrup, or 1/4 cup white sugar.
You can use a non-dairy milk like coconut or almond. I used coconut.
The egg is optional for my vegan friends but it does hold them together a bit better. I didn't use one in my last batch and they were still delicious.
I like to use coconut oil when I can so that's what I use in this recipe but a canola oil or other cooking oil will work just the same.
You may omit the vanilla if you wish. It's just there to add a bit of flavour.

My favourite thing about this recipe is you can add in whatever you like. I chopped up an apple in mine and added walnuts and ground flaxseed. They'd also be delicious with berries or dried fruit. Adding in nuts like almonds or walnuts will give you some protein to help keep you full longer and adding in seeds like flax or sesame will give you vitamins your body needs. If you have the time to eat breakfast at home, try topping one with milk and fruit.

Original recipe from manilaspoon.com

Enjoy!



~Hannah

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