Happy Fall! I love the beginning of the autumn months, with the chilly mornings and lovely warm afternoons. By September, I’m usually ready to put the grill aside in favor of some slow braised stews or comforting soups.
For many, the arrival of fall means just one thing…PUMPKIN SPICE SEASON!
Pumpkin spice seems to dominate everything nowadays…from lattes to candles to snack mixes (just walk into a Trader Joe’s in fall and take a gander at their pumpkin spice offerings!)
But the OG, the latte, is what we are here for! If you’ve been avoiding those Pumpkin Spice Lattes from your favorite barista…well, first of all, good for you! 👏👏👏
At 39g of sugar in just a Tall PSL, you are definitely doing yourself a favor! (That’s roughly 10 teaspoonsful of sugar in that little cup!)
Although the sugar gives the ol’ PSL a bad rap, the spices that make up the warming pumpkin spice blend are pretty darn good for us! Check out the benefits below!
Luckily, we can still keep a little spice in our life and avoid the sugar shock by recreating a healthier version of our favorite fall beverage at home. For my healthier PSL, I use maple syrup (which yes, is still sugar, but it is unrefined. This means it still contains other nutrients). It’s also really easy to adjust the quantity, so we can enjoy a little sweetness without the sugar crash.
I also use Cashew Butter (specifically, I use addJoi’s Cashew Base) which gives the creaminess. I have no affiliation with them, I just really like their products, as they have no additives! Many dairy free milk products contain thickeners or emulsifiers which irritate the gut, affect gut health by increasing intestinal permeability and/or contribute to an overgrowth of the intestinal bacteria. I encourage you to check addJoi out!
You can choose to sub in your favorite dairy free milk alternative, but may have to adjust the strength of the coffee to get the right mix, as the extra liquid will water down the latte a bit. If you enjoy a weaker cup, it might work great for you!
Are you like me and prefer your latte iced? I think my love of iced coffee comes from my pharmacist days where I would sip from the same cold cup of coffee all shift long! To make it frosty, simply blend and pour into a glass over ice!
Summer may be winding down, but I wanted to give one last ode to the fastest season by sharing my super creamy, incredibly cooling and extra yummy dairy free ice cream with you! Since today just happens to be National Coffee Ice Cream Day, we’re brewing up a coffee version for you all!
I recently did an MRT food sensitivity test on myself and found out I had both a dairy AND a coconut sensitivity (and several others!). As I have Hashimoto’s, the dairy sensitivity wasn’t a huge surprise (it’s a common sensitivity and autoimmune trigger), but coconut…man, that was a bit of a bummer.
Since I knew I’d be removing these foods for at least 3-4 months, which coincided nicely with our hot summer weather, I wanted to find something I could have for an occasional “the heat is melting my face” treat. I scoured the ice cream aisles to no avail. Even the “cashew” ice cream had coconut milk in it or other ingredients I wasn’t too keen on.
Enter the humble cashew nut. I scoured the ice cream aisles to no avail. Even the “cashew” ice cream had coconut milk in it or other ingredients I wasn’t too keen on. So I had no choice but to go without, or make my own! You know what I chose!
Since I don’t have an ice cream maker, I went with what I did have…popsicle molds and I think they worked perfectly! If you are looking to get your own mold, I have a set similar to this one.
A quick note on the cashew milk. Most store bought brands are going to have extra ingredients, like gums and thickeners, in them. These ingredients can be hard on many people’s digestive systems. Now, you CAN make your own cashew milk. I considered this, but then I found a cashew milk concentrate online!! Just organic cashews, no extra stuff. Your simply blend 1 to 2 tablespoons of the concentrate with a cup of water and voila! Creamy, delicious cashew milk with no funny business. I’m not an affiliate, I just think it’s really cool! You can find it (and other clean nut milk options) HERE.
The recipe can’t be much easier. Add all the ingredients to your blender, blend until smooth, fill your popsicle molds and freeze! A couple of things though…you may want to wait and add the maple syrup and coffee after the first blending. This way you can add a bit, blend it up, taste it and add more depending on how sweet you want it and how strong you like your coffee!! I like a less sweet, stronger brew!
The second thing is that I fill the mold, cover it and freeze it for about 30-45 minutes. Then I remove it from the freezer and insert the popsicle sticks. This is supposed to keep them centred in place better (according to my mold instructions!). It’s not wrong to just throw the sticks in right away and forget about it – you just might end up with some wonky sticks. The treat will taste so good, though, no one will really care!
Get your summer vibes while you can and give these a try. If you aren’t a coffee person (I know you’re out there!), swap the coffee out for more cashew milk, maybe adding some cocoa powder to make fudgcicles…mmm lots of options. Play around!
Add all ingredients, except maple syrup, to blender and blend until combined (approx 2 min)
Pour mixture into silicon popsicle mold, filling to approx. 3/4 full. Cover
Place mold in freezer for 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove mold from freezer and add popsicle sticks to the bars.
Return to freezer and freeze for 4 to 6 hours.
Storage: Keeps well in freezer for about 2 weeks before turning icy.
If you have an ice cream maker, make the base as described and follow the instructions for your model of ice cream maker.For non-coffee lovers, replace the coffee with nut milk or other liquid flavouring.
One of my clearest food memories is of my Mom’s Deviled Eggs. I can still see the yellow Tupperware container with the special “egg holding” insert that she used. I wouldn’t say she made them all that often, but usually when you saw that Tupperware container come out, you knew there was a party or holiday meal about to happen!
Mom’s eggs were DELICIOUS. A little sweet and a little tangy, thanks in part to a “miraculous” mayonnaise style condiment that was pretty popular while I was growing up. It probably STILL IS popular with a lot of folks, but with its high fructose corn syrup, fragile and damaged oil and various thickeners and fillers, it’s not something that’s invited into my grocery cart anymore.
So I knew if I wanted to relive that childhood food memory, I’d have to ditch the processed stuff and create my own version. I think they are just as tasty as the one’s I remember eating growing up. Different, but just as good. Well, maybe ALMOST as good because does anything ever taste as good as what Mom made? It’s that “the secret ingredient is love” thing. Pretty sure.
The funny thing about deviled eggs is that they are one of the few foods that really don’t smell all that great (they ARE kinda stinky), but almost everyone loves when they show up at a get together! I’ve taken them to numerous shindigs (they are a great potluck item for those of us avoiding gluten or dairy). When I arrive, I uncover the deviled beauties while sheepishly mumbling an apology for the odor, only to be cut off with excited exclamations by fellow party goers! “Oooo deviled eggs! I haven’t had those in ages!” “Wow! I love these things! I never make them because they are so much work!”
Truth? They are REALLY easy to make. Yeah, they take a bit more effort than grabbing a veggie tray from the supermarket (which there is nothing wrong with, by the way), but they definitely give the impression you put a lot more work in than you did. That’s never a bad thing.
The hardest part of making deviled eggs is getting hard boiled eggs that you can peel easily. There’s not much worse than trying to peel an egg and ending up with something that looks like the dog chewed on it, full of gouges and holes. I’ve found that the Instant Pot makes perfectly peelable eggs EVERYTIME! Feel free to go old school on the stove top, if that’s your style. I have read that fresh eggs don’t peel as easily as older eggs. I’ve never had an issue with the Instant Pot, but if you are boiling on the stove top, maybe buy your eggs a week or so ahead of time.
Alright – enough chit chat! Let’s get to the good stuff! How to make these wickedly good little things!
First step is to boil (or pressure steam) those eggs. I’m going to run with the Instant Pot instructions here, but I have included stove top directions in the recipe card.
Place your eggs in a single layer on the trivet (rack) of your Instant Pot.
Add 1 cup of cold water to the pot. Place and lock the lid onto the instant pot.
Ensure that the venting dial is set to SEALING and set the timer to 6 minutes under HIGH pressure.
When the timer goes off, immediately turn the venting dial to VENTING, making sure to avoid the high pressure steam that will be released. Once the pressure has lowered enough so that the lid unlocks, you can either remove the eggs to an ice bath or take the lazy person’s way (like me) and use pot holders to lift the stainless steel insert out of the Instant Pot and run cold water over the eggs. Allow the eggs to sit in the ice bath or cool water for about 10 minutes.
This would be a great time to make your mayonnaise. Click HERE to get my quick, easy and healthy Mayonnaise Recipe. You can use a store bought Avocado Oil or Olive Oil Mayo (just make sure to read those labels carefully!), but avoid any with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Damaged, unhealthy fats make damaged, unhealthy bodies!!
Now the fun part! Peel those eggs! It is really SO easy with Instant Pot eggs – total game changer.
Once the eggs are peeled, slice each egg in half lengthwise and spoon out the yolks into a separate bowl. Set the whites aside for filling later. (Pro tip from my Mom…cook a couple more eggs than you need and use their yolks in the filling. This gives you a little extra filling to go around. Nobody likes skimpy deviled eggs! You can keep the whites to use in salads etc.)
Mash the yolks up with a fork and then add the mayo, mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper (if using). The measurements I give in the recipe are to my taste. I’d advise that, instead of dumping everything in, add the ingredients separately (even a bit at a time) mixing well in between and taste as you go. Depending on your own palate, how big your yolks are and even how thick your mayo turned out, you may want to adjust quantities a bit.
Once you’ve got the filling mixed so it’s smooth, fluffy and tasting great, spoon the mixture back into the yolk divots in the whites you set aside. You can get fancy and use a piping bag, but spooning it in with a teaspoon is quicker, easier and you don’t lose a whole bunch of your delicious filling on the sides of the bag.
Once filled, let your creativity flow and garnish those bad boys with whatever floats your boat. Bacon, chives, scallions, dill, jalapeño, smoked salmon, paprika, kimchi(pat it dry first!)… the options are endless.
Chill until serving. Keeps well, covered, in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Enjoy! Let me know what topping you like on your devilled eggs in the comments!
If you want to find out more about the incredible, edible egg, check out my previous TRILOGY of posts on eggs!
Part 1 – What Do All Those Labels on Egg Cartons Really Mean?
Part 2 – Common Myths and Misconceptions about Eggs
1/4teaspoonfulpepperoptional (can use black OR white pepper)
Hard Boiling the Eggs (Instant Pot)
Place the eggs in a single layer on the trivet in your Instant Pot.
Add 1 cup of cold water to bottom of pot and place and lock lid. Make sure that the steam release valve on the lid is set to "SEALING".
Turn the Instant Pot on and set it to cook under High Pressure for 6 minutes.
As soon as the eggs have finished cooking, immediately release the pressure by turning the steam release valve to the "VENTING" position. (WARNING! Pressurized steam is HOT! Keep clear of the valve until pressure has released! You may also want to make sure your instant pot isn't directly under cabinetry so the steam does not damage the wood).
Once the pressure releases to the point that the lid unlocks, carefully remove lid. Use tongs to transfer the eggs from the Instant Pot to an ice bath. Alternatively, you can remove stainless steel insert (using pot holders), place it in sink and run cold water over the eggs. Once cooled (about 10 minutes), you can store them in the fridge for about a week or, peel and use them immediately.
Hard Boiling the Eggs (Stove Top Version)
Place the eggs in the saucepan in single layer and cover with cold water. The water should cover the eggs by at least an inch.
Set burner to medium high heat and bring to a boil.
Once the water reached the boil, cover and remove from heat.
Let stand for 10 minutes.
Drain and cool in an ice bath for approximately 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can place pot in sink and run cold water over the eggs. Once cooled, you can store them in the fridge for about a week or, peel and use them immediately.
Peel eggs and slice them in half lengthwise, dropping the cooked yolks into a small bowl and reserving the cooked whites to fill later.
Once all the eggs are halved and the yolks removed, use a fork to mash up the yolks. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper(optional).
At this point, taste your mixture and make any adjustments to suit your preferences.
Spoon mixture into the hollowed out eggs whites and garnish as desired (see suggestions below!).
Keep covered and chilled until serving. Keeps 3 to 5 days, covered, in fridge.
Plan to cook 2 more eggs than you need. The extra yolks will ensure you have ample filling and you can save the whites and use them later in a salad (or just eat them as a snack!).
I know, I know..a mayonnaise recipe to celebrate Mexican independence is an odd choice, but really EVERY day is a good day to celebrate this easy(I mean, ridiculously easy)condiment recipe. It’s chock full of healthy fats and missing all the gunk found in most store bought brands. I also use this mayo as a base for a coleslaw dressing that I serve with carnitas…so there is a bit of a Mexican link after all!
Making your own mayo can seem daunting when you read recipes telling you that you must drizzle the oil in slowly, all while whisking like madman or your mayo won’t come together and you’ll be left with a soupy, oily mess. I can barely pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time, so this all sounds like a disaster in the making.
Enter the immersion blender… with this nifty tool, you can have easy, no fuss, no mess mayo in seconds. And, it’s a pretty cool party trick to boot! I have heard that high speed blenders and mixers can also be used – but I have never tried it this way. If you get successful mayo from either of these methods, let me know in the comments!
So what is mayo? Mayo is an emulsion – or a mixture of two things that can’t normally be combined (like oil and water). This coming together of two different worlds requires the use of an emulsifier to keep them from separating. In mayonnaise, egg yolks play this role. Yolks contain lecithin, a fat emulsifier, which keeps the oil in tiny little droplets and prevents them from collecting into larger drops that will separate out of the mixture. The mustard also helps out as an emulsifier in this recipe. You can opt to leave it out, but I use to add a bit more stability and some extra zip to the flavour.
Avocado or olive oil are two healthy fats that can be easily whipped up into a delicious mayo. You want to avoid vegetable oils, not just in mayo-making, but in general. Oils, such as canola, corn and soy are generally highly processed and damaged during manufacturing, are often “deodorized” and bleached to hide signs of rancidity and can cause oxidative damage and inflammation. Yuck, no thank you!
I opt for avocado oil, as I find it has a more neutral flavour than olive oil. There are some decent avocado oil and olive oil mayos on the market. If you can find one that you like that doesn’t have any unnecessary ingredients in it, by all means, feel free! I’ve found that I much prefer the flavour of my homemade version!
Once you have the basic mayo down, you can add all sorts of extras to create a variety of dressings and spreads. I put a few of my faves in the recipe comments, but let me know what fun variations you come up with!
Now…on with the MAYO!
A quick and easy recipe for a healthier version of this versatile condiment!
Make sure to test that your blender head will fit into the mouth of the container you choose BEFORE you add the ingredients.
Crack egg into the bottom of a mason jar or high sided container.
Add all other ingredients to jar.
With one hand holding the jar, place head of immersion blender over the yolk of the egg and turn the blender on, keeping the blades immersed in the liquid. You will see the color start to change to the white color of mayo immediately.
Slowly move the blender up and down and side to side (keeping the blades immersed) until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture has thickened to the consistency of mayonnaise.
Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
Will keep, sealed in the refrigerator, for 3 to 5 days
Variations (per 1 cup of mayonnaise)
Garlic Aioli - Mix in 1 to 2 finely minced garlic cloves
Chipotle Mayo - Mix in a small amount of sauce from a jar of chipotles in adobo (start with 2 teaspoonfsul and work up, depending on taste). Alternately, you could add mayo to a blender with 2 chipotle peppers from the jar and blend until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon of lime juice and adjust to taste
Dilly Tartar Sauce - Mix in 1/2 a cup finely diced dill pickles, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon onion powder and a tablespoon of fresh dill
When working with clients, one of the biggest hurdles for them when it comes to transitioning to real, whole, nutrient dense foods is figuring out the whole “breakfast thing”. Most of the foods that we’ve been programmed to consider breakfast foods, things like cereal, toast, pancakes and even fruit are lacking in two vital nutrients. Fats and Protein. Our (often heavily refined) carbohydrate heavy breakfasts are setting us up for a wild ride on the blood sugar rollercoaster. Needing to snack every few hours, getting jittery, irritable and hangry and feeling the need for a mid-afternoon siesta are all pretty good signs that you need better balance in your life. Each meal we eat should have a balance of the three macronutrients, carbohydrates (grains, vegetables, fruits), protein and healthy fats. The proper ratio of these nutrients will vary from person to person, depending on several factors including age, activity level and digestive health. Keeping a food and mood journal, tuning into how you are feeling and working with a nutritional therapist can help you identify any tweaks you can make in your ratios to best fuel your body and provide long lasting energy.
Have you ever considered having a big Cobb salad to start your day? How about some left over pot roast and sweet potatoes? Sound crazy? Creating a balanced breakfast is more of a mental game than anything else. It’s really just another meal! Your cells don’t care if it is 7am or 7pm, they just want food that is nourishing, provides them with the nutrients they need to do their jobs and gives them the energy to keep going until the next balanced meal. This mental shift can take some work, but luckily, there is a food that is kind of a “jack of all trades”at fitting in to any meal. The almighty egg! Using eggs as a base for a tasty breakfast dish can help you transition from those carbohydrate heavy breakfasts to a well balanced, energizing way to break your fast.
Enter the Egg Bake (or Crustless Quiche if you are feeling fancy)! This recipe has it all. It’s super easy to prepare, can be made ahead and supplies you with breakfasts throughout the week and is SUPER adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. It is the perfect “fridge foraging” recipe. You know when you have a lot of bits and pieces of stuff to use up – make an egg bake!
I’ll be honest. I’m a bit of a free-styler in the kitchen. I tend to go by feel, throwing a bit of this or that in and adjusting as I go. When my husband compliments me on a meal, I often joke that I’m glad he enjoyed it, because it’s unlikely to ever taste the same way twice! I come by it naturally, as my mom is much the same way. I have fond memories of her handing a tasting spoon to Dad and asking him if the sauce or chili needed anything else. More often than not, after some pensive consideration (and maybe another taste or two), he would pronounce it as being perfect. This, for those of you wondering, is the absolute CORRECT response when your significant other asks for your opinion on their cooking!
This way of cooking does create some issues when you want to share a recipe though. A pinch of this or a glug of that doesn’t really make for effective recipe blogging. So, when I set out to make this egg bake, I made sure to jot down measurements. That being said, this recipe is so versatile, you can feel free to change it up as you see fit! I kept the ingredients in this one pretty basic, mostly because we are in the midst of the whole “shelter in place” thingy and this is what I had to work with! Leftovers work really well here. Got some leftover taco meat? Make a southwestern version with some added peppers, cilantro and top with avocado before serving. Leftover bacon (is that even a thing?) combined with green pepper and onion – voila a Western omelet egg bake. Play around, improvise – food should be fun!
For this egg bake, I whisked 18 pasture raised eggs (I wanted roughly 3 eggs per serving) with coconut milk and salt and pepper. The milk can be omitted, but I find that it helps to lighten up the egg bake and make it a little fluffier.
Next, I diced up some leftover ham, evenly distributed it into a greased 9X13 baking dish and poured the egg mixture over top.
Lastly, I placed the sliced tomatoes in a single layer on top of the ham and eggs, sprinkled with the basil, a little extra salt and pepper and the nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a great source of Vitamin B12 and it adds a mild hint of cheesiness to dishes. Since I love dairy, but am sensitive to it, I use nutritional yeast to make me feel like there COULD be some form of cheesy goodness in there!
Finally, I popped it in a 350 F degree oven and let it bake for 45 minutes. And just like that, I have breakfasts (or lunches) for the week. This version is a little light on the veg (thanks, shelter in place), but pair it with a salad of mixed greens or some berries and you have a balanced meal that tastes great and supplies you with plenty of stable energy to keep you going until your next meal.
Easy Egg Bake
A super versatile recipe that is great for any meal of the day.