Tomato Appreciation 

This year we planted and incredible variety of tomatoes in our garden! Over the summer I have gotten to enjoy the most amazing tomatoes of my life! So sweet, juicy and addictive.

Health benefits of tomatoes:

  • High in Vitamin C
  • Good for skin, high in beta carotene
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Improves bone health
  • Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease due to the antioxidant lycopene
  • Boost immunity

I made caprese salad with them! Check out my Instagram for more pictures!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies 

I made these amazing chocolate chip cookies! They use whole, healthy ingredients and definitely satisfy a sweet tooth.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup organic butter or coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used dairy free)

Preheat oven: 350 degrees F

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla, combine. In a small mixing bowl, blend in flour, baking powder and salt. Combine with creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate chips (I usually start with 1/3 cup)

Form into balls, line greased sheet pan, bake: 10 mins

Enjoy!

 

 

Health Benefits of Raw Honey 

I love using raw honey as a sweetener instead of processed white sugar! I use it in my oatmeal, pancakes, tea, baking desserts and even using it as a nightly face cleanser. It is a versatile ingredients that has so many amazing health benefits. Raw honey is better than  processed honey because all the vitamins, nutrients and enzymes are all intact.

Health benefits of raw honey: 

  • Anti-viral and anti-fungal properties
  • Relieves cold and flu
  • Heals sore throats
  • Fights allergies
  • Boosts immune system
  • Improves digestion
  • Supports good bacteria
  • Promotes healthy skin

Detox tea: 

– 1/4 lemon, squeezed

– 1/2 inch ginger

– 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

– 1 tbsp. Raw honey

I love making this tea when I wake up in the morning or before bed. It is very soothing and creates a warming sensation. The honey gives it the perfect amount of sweetness.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread 

Dear reader, this is seriously the best banana bread I have ever made. I am so excited to share this recipe with you because it turned out amazingly! 🙂

I’ve been interested in baking lately so I went to Whole Foods and picked up some ingredients to make this delicious vegan banana bread. Here are the ingredients that you will need:

  • 2 + 1/2 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. almond milk
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup walnuts

1) Mash 2 and a half bananas – set aside

2) Combine coconut oil, coconut sugar, flour, baking soda, maple syrup, cinnamon and almond milk in a large mixing bowl

3) Add mashed bananas and stir until combined

4) Add chopped walnuts and dairy free chocolate chips

5) It should look something like this 🙂

6) Line a loaf pan with coconut oil and/or parchment paper

7) Fill and garnish the top – I added more chocolate chips, walnuts and the other half of the banana

8) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and bake for 35-40 minutes

9) Cool completely before cutting and serving

10) Enjoy

Health benefits of spelt flour:

  • Good for digestion (soluble and insoluble fiber)
  • High in vitamin B6, niacin, manganese, folate and magnesium
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Supports immune health
  • Low gluten

Health benefits of coconut sugar:

  • Low glycemic index (slow absorption of sugar into the bloodstream)
  • Builds strong bones
  • Regulates blood sugar levels and blood pressure
  • Prevents and manages hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes
  • Supports brain health
  • Aids in weight management
  • 16 vital amino acids

 

A New Found Passion


Gardening has been a tradition at our house for as long as I can remember. My parents have tended a family garden every summer, and each year we have an abundance of fresh produce. As a kid it seemed like no big deal, but now I am realizing how fortunate I am to be surrounded by homegrown veggies. Of course my dad does all the hard work, and I take credit by taking pictures and cooking amazing meals. 🙂

There is so much beauty in growing your own food. Taking care of a plant or watching something grow from a seedling is more rewarding than I have ever imagined. It takes hard work, patience and dedication. Watering, weeding, harvesting – and chasing away bunnies takes a lot of energy.

I love being able to wake up every morning and pick out veggies for my breakfast, or get home from work and pick out my dinner for the evening. It’s an amazing feeling to have so much variety at my fingertips.

This year, I started paying attention to all the labor that goes into having a garden. I became passionate about growing my own vegetables and using them different recipes. I definitely want to carry on the tradition and have a garden of my own one day to share with those I love. My boyfriend and I even planted a couple of potted vegetables to experiment with.

This summer my family planted a plethora of vegetables, as usual. We have more cucumbers than we know what to do with and our tomatoes have just started ripening. I am amazed at how much everything has grown in just a few short months.

Beautiful heirloom and cherry tomatoes. According to my dad, we had 34 tomato plants this year!

3 types of kale: Russian, curly and lacianto (or dinosaur) kale

Zucchini, squash, eggplant

So many herbs! I consider myself to be the herb queen because I always find an excuse to use them in recipes. Mint, sage, rosemary, thyme, sweet basil, Thai basil and chives.

More beauties

My boyfriend and I planted basil, rosemary, cherry tomatoes and jalapenos.

Me and my baby

I love sharing my passion with him and I love watching him get excited about plants. We ran into some trouble with the bunnies and squirrels (it turns out we weren’t the only ones who were waiting for our veggies to grow) but we still have so much amazing produce! Pesto and salsa are definitely on the menu this summer. It’s a learning experience for the both of us and I can’t wait to do it again next summer.

Kale, Avocado and Basil Pesto 

We had an abundance of kale and basil in our garden this year so I made this delicious, super simple pesto! It was absolutely amazing and so versatile. You can put it on anything: pasta, zucchini noodles, sweet potato, eggs – the possibilities are endless! I am so excited to share this recipe with you. Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 stalk of kale
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1/3 cup of basil
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts (or any nut)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 a lemon, squeezed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

1.First, I spiralized one zucchini to make “zoodles”

2. I put all the ingredients in a food processor and combined until smooth. I added a couple tablespoons of water to thin it out. Feel free to adjust accordingly!

3. I tossed the pesto sauce with the noodles! This recipe make two servings
4. I took this with me to work! I topped it with tomatoes from our garden and more walnuts. Enjoy!

Health Benefits of Tumeric, Onion and Garlic

Health benefits of tumeric:

  1. Anti inflammatory
  2. Protects against UVA damage
  3. Detoxifies the liver
  4. Lowers cholesterol
  5. Improves digestion
  6. Helps alleviate seasonal allergies

Health benefits of onions:

  1. Lowers blood pressure
  2. Relieves stomachaches
  3. Boosts immune system
  4. Antibacterial
  5. Lowers heart attack risks
  6. Helps treat asthma

Health benefits of garlic:

  1. Cold and flu treatment
  2. Improves digestion
  3. Antibacterial and anti-fungal
  4. Boost immune system
  5. Antioxidants
  6. Cancer prevention

You can use these amazing ingredients in so many ways! Add them to soups, sauces, tea, stir frys, meat dishes and stews! I made lentils the other day with all 3! 🙂

Health Benefits of Avocado 

I have had an obsession with avocados lately. I put them in everything: salad, quinoa, pasta, and even in smoothies for extra healthy fats! I love the usual guacamole, but there are so many more things you can do with them.

Not only are avocados delicious, they have so many amazing health benefits!

  • Lowers inflammation
  • High in potassium
  • Improves nutrient absorption
  • High fiber, aids in digestion
  • Reduces LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Regulates blood sugar levels
  • Rich in folate and vitamin K
  • Loaded with heart healthy monounsaturated fats
  • Promotes healthy bones
  • Balances hormones
  • Moisurizes skin

I made some delicious sushi and toast the other day featuring this glorious fruit.

Check out my Instagram for more ways to use them! 🙂

Beauty Benefits of Aloe Vera 

Aloe Vera has been used for thousands of years as herbal medicine. It is traditionally used for healing and hydrating the skin. It is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and is regarded as one of the most important plants used in Ayurvedic medicine.

Aloe Vera is great because of its versatility. You can use it both internally and externally and get countless benefits. Consuming ithelps detoxify the body, lower high cholesterol, supports immune health, boosts metabolism and aids in weight loss.

I love using it to improve my hair, skin and beauty regimen. I usually just take a slice of the leaf and use the gel as a moisturizer.

1) Add it to shampoo to moisturize hair

2) Use it as a face toner to heal damage and improve elasticity

3) Put it on cuts, burns, insect bites, eczema, or rashes to promote healing

4) Use the gel as a body moisturizer instead of lotion

5) Use it as brow or hair gel

6) Use as conditioner to promote hair growth

7) Use as an ingredient in a face mask or skin scrub

Raw Carrot Cake Balls 

I am absolutely obsessed with these carrot cake balls! This is one of my all time favorite desserts to make, especially in the summer. 
I stole this recipe from Joy McCarthy. She is a certified holistic nutritionist based in Canada, and I fell in love with her book! It  was a catalyst for inspiring my passion in holistic nutrition, and she shares so many amazing tips and recipes. 

You can find the full recipe on her blog, but all you really need is a food processor or blender. 

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 
  • 6 pitted medjool dates 
  • 3/4 cup walnuts 
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots 
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds 
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves 

Combine everything in a food processor or blender and form into balls. 

Reserve 1/4 of the shredded coconut to roll your carrot cake balls in