The Best Banana Bread (with chocolate chips)

DSC_0214Happy fall! This is a solid banana bread recipe that results in a deliciously dense loaf.  It is nice and sweet, but uses minimal sugar – keeping it comparatively healthy to traditional recipes.  This recipe is easily veganized by using the substitutions in brackets.  I love and enjoy it both ways.  I often bake bite size portions in mini muffin tins for my little guy to take to kindergarten. It begs to be eaten with a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate ❤ ❤

Best Banana Bread:

  • 1.2 cup butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup coconut or brown sugar
  • 2 free range eggs (or flax eggs)
  • 4 bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (dairy free if you would like to keep it vegan)

Preheat oven to 350ºF

Cream together your butter (or coconut oil) and sugar.  I use my stand mixer with a paddle attachment, but you can use electric beaters or whip it by hand.  Add in your eggs and banana and mix well.  In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients.  Gently stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 60 mins.  If you’re using a muffin tin bake for around 20 minutes or until golden brown 🙂

Enjoy ❤ ❤


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“Pea-kles”- Fermented Snap Peas

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Scared off of making conventional pickles? Try these! You don’t need a tannin source and the recipe is very forgiving.  Adjust the seasonings to make it your own.  To keep it traditional use the seasonings in this post.  To keep things interesting I sometimes make Italian versions with oregano, basil and garlic (about 1T of each dried or 1/4 cup fresh) or Mexican pea-kles with chili powder, red pepper flakes, coriander and cumin (about 1t of each)…the possibilities are endless.  Up next in my kitchen is an Indian spiced pea-kle! Use the freshest peas you can find 🙂



freshly picked from the garden

– sugar snap peas

– brine made with: 2 teaspoons pink himalayan salt dissolved in 2 cups of purified water

– seasonings of choice-adjust to your tastes

Pack you peas into a sterilized jar.  Try and pack them as tightly as possible.  I like to use fido style jars (as in the pictures), but in a pinch you can use mason jars.  Add your seasonings.  Pour your brine over the peas, leaving about an inch of headspace in the jar.  Seal your jar.  Let the jar sit happily on your counter for 7 days.  You will notice the peas change from bright green to a much less vibrant army green.  The brine may get cloudy as well.  Taste your peas after 7 days.  If you’re happy with the flavour move them to the fridge.  If you like them a bit more tangy, allow to sit on the counter for a few more days- tasting as you go.


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Super Simple Green Smoothie

This smoothie recipe is so simple and delicious! I have been drinking at least one smoothie a day (usually a green one 😉 ) as the weather warms up and have noticed a drastic improvement in how I feel.  Try adding more greens and raw fruits and veggies to your diet to see if you experience the same.  This is a simple and basic recipe.  Feel free to use it as a guide, rather than a strict recipe.  Mix up your fruit (pineapples, oranges, berries, etc are all great) and your greens (try spinach, kale, collards, my favourite-nettles, arugula, romaine lettuce, etc.) to find your favourite combination.  You can add in some “superfood” extras (such as maca, spirulina, or chlorella), but I prefer to keep this one nice and simple ❤

Super Simple Green Smoothie

– 2 frozen bananas DSC_0808

– 2 pears, cored 

2- 3 cups of dark leafy greens, loosely packed (start with 2 cups and move up as your tastebuds adjust to more “earthy” flavours)

– 2 cups purified water

– juice of 1 lemon (optional)

– 2-3 dates (optional)

Throw all your ingredients in your blender.  Blend! If you find it too thick, add more water until desired consistency is achieved.  Sip in your favourite spot.  I recommend the garden 🙂

Enjoy ❤ ❤

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Vegan Cinnamon Buns


~* heaven *~

To all my local Fraser Valley friends, you now have the option of ordering *the best!* DSC_0903cinnamon buns through my Megatarian Facebook page.  Made with wholesome, organic, unrefined ingredients and an extra dose of love, the buns are $10 for 6 or $15 for 12.  For an additional $5 you have your choice of a non-vegan cream cheese frosting, or a vegan maple and coconut oil glaze to smother these babies with.  24 hours notice is required.

Enjoy ❤ ❤

Fresh from the oven


That perfectly caramelized bottom

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Easy Homemade Pizza

DSC_0790_2This is a wonderful recipe to make with kids (or kids at heart!).  There is something so satisfying about squishing into a big bowl of sticky dough.  If you have yet to try making your own bread dough, this is a great recipe to start with.  It’s forgiving, simple, and delicious! A great idea for family night is to put out a variety of toppings and have each person make their own mini pizza.  Kids seem to really appreciate being involved in their dinner making and it’s an ideal opportunity to introduce them to new ingredients. This recipe is easily halved, doubled, quadrupled, etc.  It can easily be made in a food processor with the dough processing attachment, or in a KitchenAid stand mixer with the dough hook (although that does take a bit of the fun out of it 😉 ) If you would like to freeze the dough, do so after your 1st rise.  It will sit happily in the freezer for about 3 months.  When ready to use: defrost in the fridge overnight, let come to room temperature and proceed. DSC_0788_2 DSC_0785 DSC_0773 DSC_0771_2 Easy Homemade Pizza: Makes 1 extra large (16-inch) pizza or 2 medium (8-inch) pizzas Dough: – 1 teaspoon sugar – 2 cups all purpose flour – 1 teaspoon salt – 1 cup warm water – 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast Combine the 1st 3 ingredients and make a well in the centre.  Add the water and yeast.  Stir to combine.  Really get in there and use your hands! Knead the dough until it holds together in a soft ball. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and set aside in a draft-free area.  I like to use my turned off oven, with the light on.  Let your dough rise for 30 minutes.  If you are making this with little ones, encourage them to check on the dough and monitor the process. After this first rise, punch the dough down (this seems to be the highlight for kids lol) Press into your oiled pizza or baking pan (I love to use my homemade or store bought sauce.  Add your favourite toppings and a layer of grated cheese.  To keep this vegan use Daiya, however, I prefer to use a bit of the real thing.  Bake at 450 degrees until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown in spots. DSC_0819_2 *The topping choices are endless.  Right now my favorites are roasted red peppers, paper thin slices of red onion, spinach and mushrooms 🙂 Enjoy ❤ ❤

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The Perfect Spring Green Juice

Yay! I’m back after taking a long winter hiatus to hibernate with my munchkins 🙂

During the winter months I naturally crave simpler foods, such as rice, beans, potatoes, and stews. I find myself turning to a few of my standby recipes and not really experimenting or creating anything new in the kitchen.  Watching the earth wake up this time of year, I can’t help but do the same.  Spring is such an inspiring time for cooking as the farmer’s markets and my garden are beginning to provide beautiful and vibrant ingredients that beg to be turned into something delicious! Part of my transition from winter to spring involves gentle cleansing.  I like to keep things simple and just increase the quantity of water, fermented foods, fruits, and raw veggies in my diet.  I find myself craving dark leafy greens, and this is my favourite way to enjoy them.  Usually I advocate for smoothies as I feel fibre is an essential component that I don’t want to miss out on.  For deeper cleansing, I turn to juices.  Be sure to drink your juices on an empty stomach so that your body can instantly absorb them!


Growing weeds on purpose- my stinging nettle and clover plants 🙂

The not-so-secret ingredient in this juice is nettles.  Yep, stinging nettles.  The benefits of consuming stinging nettles are overwhelming.  Read about them here.  I actually have become so crunchy that I grow my own in a pot in my backyard to ensure my nettles are organic and easily accessible.  If you are feeling adventurous, I encourage you to wild forage for some.  Make sure you wear gloves, take a guide book, and head to the mountains or the woods to harvest your own crop.  If this intimidates you, simply substitute the nettles in this recipe for spinach, kale, or your favourite leafy greens.

***TIPS** If you don’t have a juicer, you can make this as a smoothie- adding just enough water to blend and straining through a nut milk bag or fine sieve at the end :).  If possible chill your ingredients in the fridge before juicing.  I find this juice tastes best extra cold.  For more info on why I love pineapple check out this post.  Read more about my addiction to cucumber here.

The Perfect Spring Green Juice:

– 4 cups nettles, or other dark leafy greens

– 1/2 pineapple, peeled and cored

– 1/2 large cucumber

– 1 orange or grapefruit (optional)

Run the ingredients through your juicer in the order listed.  Enjoy the sweet tastes of spring

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Gin Infused with Pomegranate Seeds


This is my favorite drink! It is great anytime of year, but is particularly festive for Christmas time.  If you are not a gin fan, substitute vodka for equally delicious results.  To read more about my love of pomegranates (and the easiest way to deseed them!) click here.  Merry almost Christmas to you all ❤

Gin Infused with Pomegranate Seeds:

– one pomegranate for every 750 mL of gin or vodka

Deseed your pomegranate.  Place seeds in a mason jar.  Pour gin or vodka over.  You can drink this as is (best combination ever!), but for best results, let sit for a few weeks or longer.  Enjoy ❤ ❤


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Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

DSC_0968  These were the ultimate Christmas cookie of 2014 and the recipe I will be leaving out for Santa tomorrow evening 😉  I made many batches to share with family and friends and they always vanished quickly.  I love a simple snickerdoodle, and by adding brown butter they are infused with a subtle, caramel deliciousness that I find irresistible.  To keep these vegan- substitute vegan yogurt for the sour cream and coconut oil (1:1 ratio) for the butter.  Although you can’t brown coconut oil (due to it’s high smoking point), using it instead of butter adds a faint and understated coconut flavor to the cookies which I adore.  Try both versions. I hope you love them as much as I do ❤


Brown Butter Snickerdoodles:

– 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour or your favorite gluten-free flour mix

– 1 teaspoon baking soda

– 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

– 1 teaspoon cinnamon

– a pinch of sea salt

– 1 cup unsalted butter

– 1 cup coconut sugar or sugar of choice (brown or white)

– 2 flax eggs or free range eggs

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 1 tablespoon sour cream or greek yogurt

Heat a pan over medium heat.  Add your butter and whisk until melted.  Continue to whisk until foam appears and the butter begins to turn brown.  Watch closely! Once butter has turned from golden to a light brown, remove the pan from the heat.


~*perfectly browned butter*~

In a separate bowl add your flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat together sugar and brown butter until well combined.  This step is crucial in creating the perfect texture so don’t rush.  Take your time to cream the sugar and butter together well.  Add the 2 (flax) eggs, vanilla and sour cream or greek yogurt.  Either turn your beater to low or switch to a wooden spoon and stir until the ingredients are incorporated.  Add your flour mixture in in 2 batches, stirring to combine after each addition.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour or overnight. 

After chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine:

– 1/4 cup sugar of choice

– 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Using 2 Tablespoons of dough at a time, roll dough into balls.  Roll balls in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Place on cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), 2 inches apart.  Bake for approximately 10 minutes, watching as oven temperatures vary.  The cookies are done when the edges are lightly brown.  Transfer to a wire rack and cool.



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Pomegranate Honey (fermented)



Honey ferments were my treasured discovery of 2014.  I continue to be inspired by the medicinal quality of garlic in honey and the deliciousness of the fruit ferments.  Having noshed through my jars of blueberries and peaches way too quickly (scooped into green tea was my favorite way), I needed to find a winter way to get my fix.  Try this recipe as an unusual and charming Christmas gift for those you adore.

The honey for this needs to be raw.  I purchase raw, local honey by the pail.  Although you are spending a bit more up front the cost per mL is reduced, saving you money in the long run.  DSC_0062As I mention here, honey has a long established history as healing medicine. It was used in pre-Ancient Egypt to treat wounds, was used by the ancient Greeks with the hopes of living longer, and is even referenced medicinally in the Quran ❤

(Raw) Honey is antibiotic, antiviral, antiseptic, antitoxic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal. It is rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes to boost our immunity which is especially important during the colder months. The simple carbohydrates in sugar provide our bodies with strength and endurance to defend against whatever ailment we are fighting. The glucose in honey is instantly absorbed providing a quick hit of energy, while the fructose is more slowly digested, providing more sustained energy.

Pomegranates are a super food in their own right.  Pomegranates are one of the world’s oldest fruits and have been in cultivation since the time of Moses.  As with honey, pomegranates (latin for “apple with many seeds”) have a rich historical tradition.  They have been labelled “the fruit of the dead” in Greek mythology (!) and were even contemplated as the possible “forbidden fruit” in the Garden of Eden.  Jewish tradition speaks of a pomegranate having 613 seeds to represent the 613 commandements of the Torah.  Revered as a symbol of health, fertility, and eternal life, I devour as many as possible while they are in season! Paired with such a vibrant history, I am addicted to the pomegranates health promoting qualities.  The seeds contain 3 times as many antioxidants as blueberries and 4 times as many as oranges.  Pomegranate has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and provide immunity building and cancer prevention.  Their high levels of vitamin C make them a perfect winter fruit.

Pomegranate Seeds in Honey (fermented):

– pomegranate seedsDSC_0079

– raw honey

Remove the seeds from your pomegranate.  Be careful as the juice stains everything. Place your seeds in interesting glass jars (flea markets and thrift stores are great places to score these!), leaving 1 inch of headspace.  Pour honey to just cover the tops of the seeds.  Use a spoon to gently stir to ensure the honey seeps down throughout the jar.  As the seeds ferment they will release juices, mixing with the honey and providing enough liquid to fill the rest of your jar.  Place the lid on your jar and tighten.  Reserve to a cool, dark place (like a cupboard or quiet section of your countertop).  Once a day (or when you remember), flip the jar over to allow honey to evenly coat all of the pomegranate seeds.  Allow to ferment for 1-2 weeks.  Taste every few days after the first week.  Once the “fizziness” of the seeds is to the point you prefer, you can move your jars to the fridge.  As I live in a cool part of the world (Canada), at this time of year I can leave this on the counter where it continues to slowly ferment happily.  There are no strict rules, taste as you go and do what feels right to you.  Upon fermenting too long the pomegranates become boozy, which is not necessarily a bad thing 😉 Use your finished product as a sauce for oatmeal, rice pudding (pictured above), ice-cream, in tea, on waffles, on pancakes….

Enjoy ❤ ❤


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Fluffy Overnight Pancakes (vegan or not)


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These pancakes are perfect for holidays, house guests or lazy weekends.  Surprise your partner with breakfast in bed and score some major brownie points! All of the prep work is done the night before allowing you to create a beautiful stack of pancakes in about 20 minutes the next day.

My sweet friend recently travelled across the country and brought me back the most delicious partridge berry syrup.  If you can find this, use it! One of the things I love most about food is it’s ability to allow you to explore new cultures and traditions without leaving home.  If you can’t find partridge berry syrup top these with pure maple syrup, butter, honey blueberries, honey peaches, coconut cream or whipped cream.

Fluffy Overnight Pancakes:

–  3 cups all purpose flour, or a mix of whole wheat and white flour

– 2 Tablespoons baking powderDSC_0612

–  1/2 teaspoon salt 

– 1/2 cup coconut sugar

– 2 1/2 cups buttermilk, kefir, almond or coconut yogurt, or almond or coconut milk

– 2 eggs or 2 flax eggs

– 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons avocado or grapeseed oil, melted coconut oil, or butter if you are feeling extra naughty

– 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (optional, if you don’t have any on hand just omit)

In a mixing bowl, mix first 4 ingredients.  Make a well in the center and pour in remaining ingredients, including the yeast if using.  Mix until well combined.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.  Skip and dance to bed knowing that in the morning you will be in for an amazing breakfast with minimal work ❤

In the morning take your bowl out of the fridge.  Heat a pan over medium heat.  I love my cast iron, but use what you have.  Once your pan is hot carefully scoop your batter into your pan.  I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and it works perfectly. Be gentle with the batter as bubbles will have developed overnight and we don’t want to break them, giving you fluffy cloudlike pancakes.  Cook until bubbles cover the exposed side of the pancake. Flip the pancake and continue cooking until both sides are golden.  If the pancake burns before the middle is cooked, reduce the heat a little.  Stack and eat!

Enjoy ❤ ❤


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Warm Quinoa Breakfast Cereal

DSC_0993 As the weather cools I am naturally easing off of breakfast smoothies and beginning to crave warmer foods in the morning.  This recipe is actually my daughter’s creation, one that the whole family loves.  It is a powerhouse of nutrition and perfectly filling without being difficult to digest.  I like to make a big pot, store in the fridge, and heat up individual servings as needed on busy school day mornings.

Warm Quinoa Breakfast Cereal:

-2 cups of cooked quinoa 

-1/4 cup each of chia, pumpkin, and hemp seeds, shredded coconut, and coconut sugar

-2 T maple syrup, plus more to taste

-1/3 cup of almond or coconut milk

– 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

-1-2 cups of blueberries (substitute for your favorite fruit.  Sliced bananas are a good choice!)

While your quinoa is cooking, mix all of the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Once the quinoa is done, remove it from the heat, and stir in first your dry, then wet ingredients. After you have mixed it well, add your blueberries (or fruit of choice) and you’re done! Enjoy ❤ ❤

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Roasted Cream of Tomato Soup

DSC_1069 This soup is incredible this time of year, allowing you to use up the last of the summer produce in a delicious, warming way. The last of the true, seasonal tomatoes will only be available for the next few weeks and this is a great way to use up the last few in your garden or at the farmer’s market.

Combining the slow roasted flavours with fresh tomatoes creates a depth of flavour that I find irresistible ❤

This makes a big batch which I like to divide, eating half for dinner, and freezing half for a busy day.  If you decide to do this, reserve your half for freezing before you add your cream.  Once defrosted, add your cream and re-heat slowly.


Roasted Cream of Tomato Soup

– 6 medium sized tomatoes

– 2 large or 3 medium onions

– 3 medium carrots

– 4 garlic cloves

– 1/4 cup olive or avocado oil

– salt and pepper to taste

– 4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 a jar of canned tomatoes OR 2 cups fresh tomatoes

– 1/2 cup white wine 

– 3/4 cup heavy cream OR coconut milk (to keep it vegan-I promise you won’t taste it!)

– 2-4 cups fresh basil

Preheat your oven to 400•.  Halve your tomatoes, onions, carrots, and garlic cloves.  Toss with the oil and a generous pinch of both salt and pepper.  Place on your baking pan in a single layer (if you have cast iron, use it now <3) Roast until your veggies are golden and beginning to caramelize.

Scrape into a large pot, making sure to get all the juices and the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the baking pan.  Add vegetable broth and fresh tomatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes (or longer if you like).  Add white wine and allow to simmer for 5 more minutes.  Use an immersion (or regular) blender to puree the soup.  Be careful 🙂 Remove from heat.  Add your cream and tear in your basil.  Taste.  Season with salt and pepper until perfect.

Enjoy ❤ ❤

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Easy Pumpkin Lasagna with Sage Bechamel Sauce

DSC_0273 This easy vegetarian lasagna is great for holiday meals.  Add a salad and some fresh baked bread and you’re done.  It appears as though there are a lot of steps, but you can either cheat and use store bought or prepare the layers ahead of time.  As I had some homemade pumpkin puree and a jar of my canned spaghetti sauce on hand, I only needed to make the bechamel sauce and grate some cheese.  Easy peasy.

To roast your own pumpkin puree, slice your pumpkin (make sure you buy a baking pumpkin, NOT the kind you carve 😉 sugar pumpkins are my favorite) in half.  Place cut side up on a baking sheet.  Don’t worry about removing the seeds, it’s easier to do it after roasting.  Roast at 400• for around 40-60 minutes depending on the size of your pumpkin.  Check to see if it’s done by poking it with a fork.  If it’s soft, it’s done.  Remove from the oven and use a spoon to scoop the “guts” out.  Scoop the rest of the pumpkin out and mash until smooth.  This can be frozen or stored in the fridge for a couple of days.


I use coconut milk to make my bechamel sauce in an attempt to reduce the hit of dairy in this recipe.  Once simmered with the savoury ingredients you cannot taste the coconut at all and the sauce is indistinguishable from the milk version.  Trust me.

Easy Pumpkin Lasagna:

– 1 lb lasagna noodles

– 4 cups pumpkin puree, seasoned with salt and pepper

4 cups of your favorite marinara sauce (this is where all of my cans come in handy 😉 )

– 1-2 cups fresh basil (optional)

– 3 (or more) cups of cheese, grated.  I use mozzarella, havarti, cheddar, fontina or a mixture.

– 1 recipe of:

Sage Bechamel Sauce:

– 2 Tablespoons butter

– 2 Tablespoons flour

– 4 cups coconut milk (either homemade or from a carton, NOT the thick canned version)

– 1 large onion, sliced into thick rings

– 2 large garlic cloves, halved

– 1 bunch fresh sage or basil OR 1 Tablespoon dried (optional)

– salt and pepper to taste

– 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat butter and flour together over medium heat.  Stir constantly until mixture begins to brown.  Once butter and flour reach a golden brown, pour in coconut milk.  Increase heat to medium high and add onions and garlic.  Whisk.  Just before mixture reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and add the sage.  Allow to simmer on low heat about 10 minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat.  Strain, discarding the solids.  Add parmesan cheese.  Taste.  Season with salt and pepper until perfect.


Preheat oven to 400•.  Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.  Layer a small amount of marinara sauce, followed by a small amount of bechamel sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 lasagna pan.  Place your first layer of noodles.  Spread approximately 1/5th of the pumpkin puree over layers.  If you are using the basil, tear a layer over the pumpkin.  Add a layer (approximately 1/5th) of marinara sauce, a layer (approximately 1/5th) of bechamel sauce and a sprinkling of cheese.  I usually only add a little bit of cheese between the layers and save most for the top.  It gets lost in the layers, but provides a nice browned crust for the top.  Continue forming the layers until all of the ingredients are used up.  Don’t stress about making each layer perfect, just keep going until you are about 1 inch from the top of the pan.

Place in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes until the top is bubbling and beginning to brown in spots.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy ❤ ❤


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Rustic Apple Crostata

If you have never made a pie before, this is a great place to start.  While a standard 2 crust pie can be difficult, this fuss-less version is easy to create and there are no mistakes!  Whatever cracks, bumps or defects appear on your crust simply add to the rustic, homey nature.

For a delicious vegan version, use the ingredients in brackets.  Serve your final product with whipped coconut cream, whipped cream sweetened with maple syrup, this caramel sauce, or a scoop of vegan or not vanilla ice-cream.

Rustic Apple Crostata: DSC_0031


– 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (preferably organic)

– 3 Tablespoons coconut sugar

– 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

– 2 teaspoons cinnamon

– 2/3 cup butter (or coconut oil), cut into 1 inch dice

– 3 Tablespoons milk (or almond milk)

Place ingredients in food processor and pulse until dough begins to come together into a ball.  If you are making the crust by hand, mix the 1st 4 ingredients, cut the butter or coconut oil into the dough with 2 forks, and add the milk to combine. Once dough begins to stick together, remove from bowl and place on a piece of plastic wrap.  Wrap in plastic and place in the fridge for at least one hour (can be left overnight), or in the freezer for 1/2 hour and then the fridge for 1/2 hour.

Filling: DSC_0019

– 3 apples of choice (I like to use 3 different varieties)

– 1/4 cup coconut sugar

– 1 Tablespoon cinnamon

– 1 teaspoon dried ginger (optional)

– a pinch of cloves (optional)

– 1 teaspoon dried cardamom (optional)

Slice your apples into bite sized chunks or slices (remember there are no mistakes!) Mix the rest of the ingredients into your apples and let stand as you pre-heat your oven. Preheat your oven to 400•. Take your chilled dough and roll into a 10-12 inch circle.  Transfer to your baking sheet.  I love cast iron <3.  Pile your apple filling into the middle, leaving a 2-inch border around the edges.  Pull the edges over themselves, to seal in the filling (see pictures).  Bake the crostata for 40 minutes until the crust is golden and the apples are tender.  Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly to ensure the apples hold their shape when sliced.  Slice. Enjoy ❤ ❤


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Perfect Fall Pasta (With Mascarpone and Leeks)

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I ❤ leeks.  They grow well in our cold, wet climate and are abundant this time of year. Check out your local farm (thank you One Love Farm for providing me with these organic beauties!) or farmer’s market to find some.

A member of the onion family, these babies become sweet and tender when cooked long and slow.  Although they are versatile, this is my favorite way to enjoy them.  This rich meal is fit for an special occasion, but is extremely easy to throw together.  Due to the (super delicious) mascarpone cheese, this is definitely not an everyday treat, but so worth is when you feel like being naughty.  Tasting like the most perfect alfredo sauce, it is perfect enjoyed by a fireplace on a rainy fall day.

Perfect Fall Pasta with Mascarpone and Leeks:

(Serves 4)

– 1 lb pasta (I often use spaghetti, but use your favourite shape)

– 3 large leeks, whites and tender light green tops only (discard the dark green few inches at the tops of the leeks)

– 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves

– 1/4 cup butter, olive oil or a combination (I do 1/2 butter, 1/2 olive oil)

– 1 cup mascarpone cheese

– 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Heat butter and olive oil over medium low heat.  Mince your garlic and finely dice your leeks.  Add you leeks and garlic to the pan and stir to coat in the oil/butter.

Put your pot of water on to boil.  Salt the water.

As you are waiting for your pasta water to come to a boil, continue to stir your leeks and garlic occasionally to prevent them from browning.

Once your water is boiling add your pasta to it.  Cook to al dente (check package directions for approximate cooking time).

Before you drain your pasta, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.  Drain pasta.

Remove leeks and garlic from heat.  Add mascarpone cheese.  Add reserved pasta cooking water.  Stir to combine into a silky sauce.  Add drained noodles.  Taste.  Add parmesan cheese.  Season generously with pepper.  Taste.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately, garnished with more parmesan.

Enjoy ❤ ❤

* Have someone hide the rest of the mascarpone from you so that you don’t eat the rest of the container….by the spoonful….sprinkled with coconut sugar 😉

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Vegan Golden (Turmeric) Milk

DSC_0006 Rain Rain go away….As we transition into fall everyone is craving something warm and comforting in their bellies.  This recipe will keep you warm from the inside out while increasing your immunity to keep colds and flus at bay.

Turmeric has been widely acknowledged as being  anti-inflammatory.  This property allows it to have a preventative effect for a large range of diseases.  By itself, turmeric is poorly absorbed into the blood stream.  Adding black pepper enhances the absorption by 2000%, so don’t leave it out ❤

Traditionally golden milk is used for colds, flus, sore throats, sore joints and headaches.  I like to drink it as a preventative and enjoy a cup in the morning and a cup in the evening.  If you like, make a double or triple batch and store in the fridge for a few days to save time on busy days.

Vegan Golden Milk

– 2 cups almond or coconut milk DSC_0025

– 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

– 1 pinch ground black pepper

– 1 slice fresh ginger (optional)

– 1 star anise (optional)

– 3 cardamon pods (optional)

– 1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)

– honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup to taste (I use 1 Tablespoon of raw honey, however to keep this truly vegan use coconut sugar or maple syrup)

Add milk and spices to a saucepan.  Heat over medium heat until milk begins to simmer.  Cover and remove from heat.  Let stand for 20 minutes to allow spices to infuse the milk.  After milk has cooled slightly, add you sweetener to taste.  Pour into mugs and drink.

Enjoy ❤ ❤


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The Best Pumpkin or Apple Preserves


Last year I became obsessed with pumpkin and apple butters.  If you follow the blog, you may have noticed my main theme of the year is fermenting any and everything.  I wanted to take my beloved butters and add additional health benefits in the form of probiotics.  Check out the “Fabulous Ferments” section on the recipe page if you need some inspiration and to check out my other happy belly recipes.

You can make this recipe with either pumpkin, apples, or my favourite; a combination of both.  The pumpkins are interchangeable with any type of squash.  I often use acorn, delicata, or any orange fleshed squash and it works beautifully.  You can roast the apples or pumpkin before smothering in honey, if you prefer.  Use what you have and/or is available organically to you.

Flavoured with rich, warming spices this is perfect fall food.  Use these stirred into oatmeal, over ice-creams or blend and spread over toast or strain and use the fruit as the filling for an incredible apple or pumpkin pie.

The measurements for this are up to you.  Make as large or small batch as you need.

The Best Pumpkin or Apple Preserves:

– apples or sugar pumpkin, peeled and cubed into bite sized pieces (a variation is to roast the apples and pumpkin before proceeding)

– honey DSC_0806

– cinnamon

– tumeric

– cloves

– nutmeg

Place the cubed apples and/or
pumpkin in your container of choice.  Add honey to the jar to cover the apples/pumpkins.  They need to be covered, but not fully submerged.

Add you spices to taste (I usually go heavy on the cinnamon and add a pinch of everything else).  Stir.  Close the lid.  Place the jar on a plate to catch any drips. Reserve to a dark place (a cupboard works great).  If you remember, flip the jar once or twice a day to ensure that all of the apples/pumpkin are coated with the honey.  After 2 days check the ferment.  The fruit should have softened and released it’s liquid into the honey creating a delicious, syrupy sauce.  If you prefer a silky smooth butter-type texture, blend or puree your mixture. Either way, after 2 days move to the fridge where the ferment will last happily in the fridge.  I have been known to pull it out and eat by the spoonful 😉

Enjoy ❤ ❤


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Cold Pressed Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

DSC_1053 I’m writing this recipe as a public service.  I don’t drink coffee, however I know when fall comes around people flock to Starbucks, lining up for their pumpkin spice latte.  With a long line of questionable ingredients I wanted to offer people a healthier alternative.  Even I think this tastes amazing and all my taste testers agree.  This makes a big batch (2-3 days worth) which is a great time saver for busy mornings.

By cold pressing the coffee we keep it’s flavour cleaner, reducing bitterness and acidity.  This also makes this recipe accessible to anyone (even those who don’t own a coffee maker or French press).  It can be enjoyed cold or heated.  Top with whipped cream, coconut cream or a sprinkle of cinnamon ❤

Cold Pressed Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte:

– 4 cups coconut or almond milk

– 2 cups water  DSC_1040

– 1/4 cup ground coffee beans (organic and fair trade)

– 1/3 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup

– 2 cups pumpkin puree (preferably homemade)

– 2 slices ginger

– 2 T cinnamon

– 1/4 t nutmeg

– 1/4 t cloves

Add all of your ingredients to a large jar or bowl.  Cover and place in the fridge overnight.  In the morning, use a fine mesh strainer to strain the coffee.  Either drink as is for an iced latte, or heat up on the stove for a traditional latte.

Enjoy ❤ ❤




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Raw Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce (lacto-fermented)

I have been so in love with my fermented salsa recipe that I wanted to apply the same principle to an Italian style sauce.

If you are new to fermenting this is a perfect recipe to start your family with as it is so delicious that no one will know your little secret.  While I love sauerkraut, it can be an acquired taste 😉 This recipe is a less hardcore way to reap all of the probiotic benefits associated with these types of foods.  To read more about fermenting and why you should be doing it, check out the “Fabulous Ferments” section on the recipe page at the top of this site.

Because this is a live food, we need to be conscious to consume it raw.  It is possible to heat it slightly, but once heated the probiotics and enzymes begin to die off.  To play it safe, I like this best turned into dishes which keep it as raw as possible.


To use this sauce to make the best bruschetta:

Grill slices of good quality bread (I like sourdough).  If desired rub the warm bread with a sliced garlic clove.  Spoon sauce over bread.  Top with a piece of torn fresh mozzarella or a sprinkling of parmesan (omit to keep it vegan).  Eat ❤


To make the best pasta salad:

Boil 1lb pasta noodles.  Drain and allow to cool for a few moments.  Do not rinse.  Add half of a quart of the sauce.  Stir.  Add more sauce as needed to reach the consistency that you like.  Add 2 cups of halved bocconcini (omit for vegans).  Tear over another 1/4 cup fresh basil.  If pasta appears dry add 1/4 cup avocado or extra virgin olive oil OR 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water.  Eat ❤


The best raw pasta salad:

For each person use a spiralizer or julienne peeler to make noodles out of 1 zucchini.  Top with spoonfuls of the sauce until you are happy with the consistency.  Eat ❤

This sauce can also be used as a dip for veggies, as a raw pizza sauce, and as a spread for sandwiches.

The following recipe makes approximately 1 quart.  Multiply or divide as needed.

Fermented Raw Marinara Sauce:

– 3 lbs tomatoes (for me this is about 10 field tomatoes)     DSC_0753

– 2 onions, peeled and halved

– 2 carrots, peeled and halved

 2-4 cloves garlic (depending on how much you love garlic! I use 2)

– 1 T dried italian seasoning

– a couple twists of black pepper

– 2 cups (or more) fresh basil (stems and leaves)

Slice tomatoes in half and use a spoon to scoop out the tomatoes “guts”.  Compost and reserve the tomato shell. Add to your food processor with the onions, carrots, and garlic.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Add the italian seasoning, pepper and fresh basil.  Pulse until finely chopped and combined.

Transfer to a 1-quart mason or fido jar, leaving 1 inch of headspace.  Add:

– 2 T sea salt

Stir well to distribute salt equally throughout sauce.  Pour over the top of the sauce:

– 1/4 inch layer of avocado or extra virgin olive oil

This allows the sauce to stay submerged, reducing the risk air will cause contamination and ruin your ferment.  Once the ferment is complete, stir the oil into the sauce to add richness.

Place the lid on your jar and place your sauce in a cool, dark place.  Start
checking your sauce after 2 days.  If you live in a warm climate the sauce should be ready in 2-3 days.  At this point move it to the fridge.  As the weather is cooling here in BC, this took 5 days for me.  Taste daily.  You will know the sauce is ready when the salt flavour has dissipated and the sauce tastes tangy and is slightly effervescent.  You won’t ruin it by letting it go for too long or too short so don’t stress.  Once you are happy with the flavour, move to the fridge where it will sit happily for many months.

Enjoy ❤ ❤

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Peaches Preserved in Honey (lacto-fermented)

I was recently gifted a case of beautiful,
organic peaches.  After eating many (oh my goodness…so many!) each day, I had some that I needed to preserve.

Traditional recipes for canning peaches call for large amounts of refined sugar to make the preserving syrup.  As in my honey garlic and blueberries preserved in honey recipes, this recipe uses pure, raw honey to preserve the peaches- no canning or blanching required.

Although these recipes use what appears to be a lot of honey, after you eat the fruit (or garlic) you can use your flavoured honey.  The flavour of the honey will be enhanced by the fermenting process and can be used in teas, as syrups for pancakes, waffles, or crepes (fruit honeys), drizzled over brie…you will find lots of uses once you taste how delicious it is!

I offer the optional suggestion of adding turmeric to this ferment.  The turmeric plays well with the flavor of the peaches and offers additional health benefits.  The curcumin in turmeric is anti-inflammatory, high in anti-oxidants and cleanses the blood.  I add a bit of black pepper in the recipe as black pepper contains piperine which enhances the body’s absorption of curcumin by up to 2000%! As we move into the cooler months I have been adding turmeric to everything I can (smoothies, juices, chilis, soups, curries…) to boost immunity and keep my family well.

Peaches Preserved in Honey:

– peaches

– raw honey

– per quart: 1 T turmeric powder, a couple whole black peppercorns OR a pinch of ground black pepper, 2 cinnamon sticks OR 1 t dried cinnamon, 1 slice of fresh ginger *(optional)

Slice your peaches in half and pull out the pit.  Slice each half into 3-4 pieces. Peel the skin off the peaches.  Add you peaches to your jar.  I use mason jars, but Fido jars are usually preferred amongst fermenters as they allow gasses to escape.  Use what you have.  If you use a mason jar you can “burp” it once a day by opening the lid for a few moments (then reclosing) to allow built up gas to escape.  Leave approximately 1 inch of headspace between the peaches and the top of the jar.  Add you spices if using.  If your honey is solid heat it over very low heat (to preserve all of it’s enzymes) until it becomes liquid.  Pour over the peaches to cover.  The peaches do not need to be fully submerged, but the honey does need to reach the top of the peaches.  Over the next few days the peaches will release juices, mixing with the honey and creating more liquid.  Set your jar on a plate or pan to catch any leaks.  Flip once a day (or when you can) to ensure all of the peaches are coated in honey.  Keep at room temperature for 2-3 days (if you live in a very warm climate 2, cooler climates 3).  After this, move to the fridge to slow down the fermenting process.

Enjoy these last few days of summer ❤ ❤


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