pistachio rosewater granola


You guys just floored me with your support and advice following my last post on my little health issues. You have no idea how much it means to me! As a person who blogs about health and nutrition it made me feel really bad and embarrassed that I couldn’t seem to get a handle on my own issues! I was also concerned because, as someone who eats a plant-based vegan diet, admitting nutritional issues might give people the impression that a vegan diet is incomplete, unhealthy and missing critical components. I do strongly believe in eating the way I do and I would hate to think I was doing a disservice the vegan community.

But what you guys reminded me is that health is a journey and each person needs to find the diet and tweaks that work best for them. So I will continue to blog about healthy eating and vegan recipes while exploring what works best for me. I do not believe there is one diet with specified amounts of each macro and micronutrient that will work for everyone. I just need to find my own balance. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that :)

I have taken a lot of your suggestions to heart and I’m working to incorporate some changes that will hopefully help! I am definitely going to look at a different iron supplement and search out for a holistic health care professional when I move in September. Until then I will continue to make tweaks and adjustments.


I also want to briefly mention the results of the questions I asked a few days back on what you guys would like to see more of on the blog! Well turns out you’d like a little of everything! I’ll make sure to take all your suggestions into account and keep lots of variety going on. What you can expect moving forward are:

  1. Main meals
  2. Snacks
  3. Desserts
  4. Simple ingredients
  5. Superfoods
  6. And of course, lots of nutritional info and tips!

I know a lot of this is what I do anyway, so there may not be a lot of noticeable changes, but I promise I am listening ;)


I hope you all had lovely weekends! I was in Montreal celebrating my great aunts 90th birthday and her and my great uncle’s 65th wedding anniversary. They are such an inspiring couple- in their 90s but still so independent and happily married. Something to aspire to for sure! It was such a lovely gathering of family I haven’t seen in at least 7 years. A lot of them didn’t even recognize me at first (not that I can blame them, I do look quite different!). It was a running joke of the evening that at first many people thought I was my cousin’s girlfriend! Oh awkward family moments….nothing beats them lol.


Today I want to share with you a beautiful granola recipe that is gluten-free, high-raw, very low in added sweeteners, low in added oil and vegan.  In addition to these stellar nutritional features it is so special and exotic tasting! The rosewater adds a delicate floral scent that when tasted creates a complexity that goes beautifully with the tartness of dried cranberries and the subtle sweetness of pistachios.

Now I know rosewater isn’t an ingredient that is commonly kept in a lot of pantries, but I urge you to purchase some and keep it around. It makes everything seem gourmet! The rest of the ingredients in this granola are fairly common and I’m sure it would taste wonderful even if you decided to forego the rosewater.

This granola features rolled oats, buckwheat groats, dried cranberries and pistachios which are complimented by a hint of cardamom and rosewater, lightly sweetened with agave. It’s lovely paired with granola and fresh seasonal fruit for a refreshing and exotic summer breakfast or snack!


Pistachio Rosewater Granola (Vegan, Gluten-free*, Sugar-free, High Raw)

  • 1 cup buckwheat groats (preferably raw and sprouted)
  • 1 cup rolled oats* (preferably soaked and dehydrated)
  • 3/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp rosewater (make sure it’s food grade)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 8 drops stevia (or more agave)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

*ensure these are certified gluten-free is this is a major concern

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl combine the wet ingredients then add the wet to the dry and mix well, ensuring all the dry ingredients are coated.

Dehydrate for 3 hours at 105, flip the mixture over as best you can and continue drying for another 8-12 hours, or until crisp and crunchy.


I am submitting this recipe to Allergy Free Wednesdays and  Wellness Weekends!

Have any of you had funny/awkward moments with family like that? Anyone get up to anything interesting over the weekend?

Have a great Monday!

banana coconut cream pie oats and soaking grains

Hello all! How is everyone doing today? The lovely weather we’ve been having here continues and I am blogging from a chair on the deck. It’s so nice to be able to listen to the birds and feel the breeze as I sip on my kombucha and type away :)

Before I get into the real (veggie) meat and potatoes of this I just wanted to do a little (shameless) self-promotion! My recipe for the Banana Beet Cake I made at Easter was featured on the Velvet Aroma blog in their post on Gluten-Free Baking in honour of Celiac Awareness Month! Click here if you guys want to check it out! I get so excited when people even stop by my blog so when a recipe get’s featured I can’t help but bubble up a little :)

Now, back to the regular programming…


Who like’s desert for breakfast??

What a silly question right? While the concept of eating dessert for breakfast definitely appeals to me, what I wouldn’t like is the heavy feeling that would follow. I like starting my day with something nutritious and easily digestible and dessert doesn’t always fit that bill (although you may find a couple that do on my recipe page ;) )

These oats are so simple and have fewer ingredients than the name suggests! There is absolutely NO added sweetener, including dates and stevia, yet they taste like you are eating dessert. Of course, if you have a big sweet tooth, there are a couple areas where you could definitely add in some sweetener and I’ll point those out.

I have also made this using my raw buckwheat porridge as the base (where instead of the hemp seeds I used 1 tbsp coconut and omitted the extra 2 tbsp almond milk and stevia) and that tasted great as well (and also raw!). I thought I’d share with you this version though since I also wanted to share something else I’ve been doing- soaking my oats.

When I was doing my cleanse, I read up a lot about sprouting and soaking grains for the purpose of being able to eat them raw. What I wasn’t expecting though was that this could have loads of benefits for cooking the grains as well. I’m not sure why I never thought of this since soaking legumes before you cook them is important but oh well….

Here’s why I’ve started soaking my oats (and other grains) before I cook them now: It’s all about phytic acid.

source: Wikipedia

Phytic acid is the main form of storage for phosphorus in plants, which is not digestible by humans. It is of such a molecular structure that many essential minerals (such as iron (!!), magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper and niacin) bind to it, preventing their absorption!

Phytase is the enzyme that neutralizes phytic acid and liberates the phosphorus and other minerals. We don’t produce a ton of this enzyme on ourselves, although having good intestinal flora helps you produce a bit more. Phytase also exists in plant foods, but we have to help it get liberated so it can break down this phytic acid. To make it even more complicated cooking grains at too high a temperature neutralizes this enzyme.

Soaking grains helps activate phytase and reduce the phytic acid! Phytic acid won’t completely disappear (especially in oats since they have a lower amount of phytase to begin with) but it will lower it, enhancing mineral absorption!

Not to mention soaking grains makes them super fast to cook- you can use less liquid and it takes 1/2 the time!

So as someone who has difficulty with iron absorption and a passion for healthy eating, I decided it was time to start soaking my grains and get all the possible nutrition out of them. I mean who doesn’t like getting more bang for their buck?

The basics you need to know for soaking your grains:

  • soak 1 cup of grains in 2 cups of warm water
  • add 1-2 tbsp of an acidic medium per cup of grains: lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, coconut kefir. Some people say you can use buttermilk or yogurt too, but I read a little research that suggested that something in dairy products might actually reduce the amount of phytic acid released). You won’t be able to taste this since you’ll rinse the grains later
  • mix this all up, cover with a cloth and soak for a few hours. Some grains like buckwheat, rye and wheat will release phytic acid very quickly so only an hour or 2 is needed. Oats need a long time though. 8-24 hoursis recommended, the longer the better!
  • when you’re ready to use them drain and rinsethem really well.
  • once the grains are soaked you can dehydrate the grains again and make flour if you’d like!

And now for a recipe using those soaked oats of yours!


Banana Coconut Cream Pie Oats (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Raw Option*)

These oats taste rich and decadent but are super nutritious! Loaded with healthy fats from the coconut milk and chia seeds, and fibre from the oats, these are a health indulgence.


  • 1/2 cup oats soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1/2 a ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • optional: stevia or agave for extra sweetness

* you can make this raw by using the base for my raw buckwheat porridge instead. Substitute the 2 tbsp hemp seeds for 1 tbsp coconut flakes, leave out the stevia and extra 2 tbsp almond milk)


  • 1/2 a banana, sliced
  • sprinkle nutmeg
  • sprinkle coconut flakes
  • coconut whipped cream (recipe below)

First soak the oats overnight in 1 tbsp lemon juice. In the morning drain and rinse well. To prepare the oats, take 1/2 of the soaked oats with the rest of the ingredients and combine in a blender until smooth. Pour this and the rest of the oats in a small pot and heat over medium-low heat until it reaches the consistency you like!

Top with sliced banana, a sprinkle of nutmeg and coconut and a dollop of coconut whipped cream!


Coconut Whipped Cream (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Raw)

Better than regular whipped cream, this version has healthy fats and tastes slightly coconutty (which is awesome in my books!). Feel free to sweeten or add flavour extracts to help mask the coconut if desired.

  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat not lite)
  • optional: agave, honey, stevia, etc. to sweeten or extracts for flavour (like vanilla, almond, coconut, rum, etc.). You could even try whipping in juice or berries for something fruity!

Place can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight or for a couple days. I found a couple days to be more effective. You do this to separate the cream out from the more water part.

Open the can and scoop out the thick cream that has settled on top. Reserve the water that is leftover for use in smoothies.

Place the coconut cream in a large bowl and using and electric hand mixer, beat the cream until light! Easy peasy!

Use this to top anything from puddings, brownies, cupcakes, fruit, or even oats ;)

Here’s a picture of the raw buckwheat version if anyone’s interested!


It was cold and perfect for the warm mornings we’ve been having. I’ve been craving smoothies and chilled food like crazy lately!

Do any of you soak your grains? What are your reasons?

What foods have you been craving lately?

That’s it for me today. Enjoy the day everyone!

I am submitting this post to Slightly Indulgent TuesdaysAllergy-Free Wednesdays, Foodie Fridays, Allergy-Friendly Friday and Wellness Weekends!

raw banana granola- no oil, no sugar, no grains!

Good day all! Another rainy, cloudy day here in Kingston! But that’s all right, I am armed with my book (go read the Song of Fire and Ice series if you haven’t already, do it!) and DVDs of Smallville. Today is going to be a-okay!


Today I’m going to share my raw granola recipe that I dreamed up a couple weeks ago and first showed you here. This was my first big success with the dehydrator. I honestly could not stop eating this stuff it’s so good, and with no added sugar and no oil, it’s no problem that I couldn’t! This granola doesn’t have any grains either and relies entirely on buckwheat (a psuedograin) and raw nuts and seeds).  This means it’s great for those on a grain-free diet and is packed with loads of nutrition! It was perfect on it’s own with almond milk, with berries, on top of smoothies, on top of puddings…basically on top of anything :) You could probably also try baking this, and I’ve left a guess as to what those directions would be at the end. This recipe is very forgiving. It could be modified to suit your tastes or whatever nuts/seeds you have on hand. Just keep the proportions the same and you should be good! IMG_0716 Raw Banana Granola with No Added Sugar or Oil! (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Raw) The flavour of the banana is very prevalent and combined with the dates this granola is just sweet enough. Lots of crunch from the buckwheat nuts and seeds and loads of clumps, just as granola should have!

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean powder (or vanilla extract)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 8 drops vanilla stevia
  • 2 tsp water or more (if needed)
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat groats, soaked 1 hour

Pulse the first 8 ingredients in a food processor until desired consistency is reached (add vanilla extract with the banana if not using the powder). I did it until the nuts were chopped fairly small with some larger chunks and the dates were in small pieces. Like this picture: IMG_0676 Empty the mixture into a large bowl. Mash the banana in a small bowl and mix with the stevia and vanilla extract if using, Add the wet ingredients to the dry and add the buckwheat groats and mix until well combined and sticky. Add the water as needed to get everything full incorporated and coated. Place on teflex or parchment paper lined dehydrator sheets in a thin layer. Dehydrate at 105°F for 3 hours. Carefully flip the granola over. Doing so will break it up a bit but that’s ok, helps create the chunks! Dehydrate for another 9 hours or until dry and crunchy. Alternatively you could try baking it at around 250 for an hour or 350 for around 25-30 min. If anyone does try this please let me know what worked for you!


Serve with fruit, almond milk, or whatever you choose. It’s bound to be tasty. Especially if you eat it with an awesome spoon….


got it for my dad for Christmas. Love it!

I'm submitting this recipe to Allergy Free Wednesdays, Allergy Friendly Fridays and Wellness Weekends and Best Recipes of 2012!

Before I go 2 shout outs and heartfelt thanks to give! Thank you to Dudette who nominated me for the Sunshine Award! Thank you so much my dear :)

Now I have to answer you 7 questions about myself :)

1. Favorite color? green, dark purple and charcoal 2. Favorite animal? dogs, especially huskies 3. Favorite number? 4 4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink? water is the best, but green tea is a winner too 5. Prefer Facebook or Twitter? Facebook I guess for keeping in touch with people. But I'm really starting to love this Twitter thing… 6. My passion? healthy food, cooking, eating ;), traveling, reading and yoga! 7. Prefer getting or giving presents? I like both- it's fun to be surprised yourself and to make other people happy! 8. Favorite pattern? Not sure. I think the pattern on the sides of my blog is pretty cool though. 9. Favorite day of the week? Days I don't work, get to cook a good breakfast where I can drink my tea outside and listen to the birds. It's the simple things that do it for me :) 10. Favorite flower? Roses. Sounds typical girl I know, but I love the way they die- so dramatic! For this I'm not going to nominate the 10-12 bloggers as I'm supposed to (who needs rules psssh) but I will nominate and say a special hello to the lovely Ali and Jef at the bear and the blackberry. Their blog makes me laugh so hard I cry! Delicious looking food too! And thank you to Heather at Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes for the Versatile Blogger Award. Love you girl! You have stellar photography and food that makes me wish they had invented technology that would allow me to reach through my computer screen and grab a bite :) I'm supposed to tell you 7 random things about myself for this one, but I think the above questions should suffice don't you?? That’s it for me today! Enjoy your next couple of days and come back here on Saturday- I’ll be participating in a super-special blogger event. There’s lots of good food to be seen I promise you!

strawberry banana buckwheat breakfast porridge


Today is the official start day for my cleanse! If you missed my post where I outlined my plan, guidelines and goals, see this post for full details. I have spent the last few days easing into it and preparing and I have to say I am so excited to have started it. Prep included:

  • bookmarking a zillion recipes to try over the course of it
  • making a couple of said recipes- hello Strawberry Coconut Butter from Almost Vegan. Amazing!!


  • making raw basics like almond milk, cashew cream and almond butter


  • sprouting some quinoa


  • reading through a ton of books for inspiration and guidance
  • organizing my pantry, hiding things I am eliminating and checking labels of things I’m not sure about


brought out all my rooibos and herbal teas and hid the green, black, oolong and white!

  • cleaning up my bedroom and bathroom for clear, stress-free space
  • buying groceries including lots of fresh produce and a few other odds and ends like buckwheat groats, raw almonds, carob powder and sundried tomatoes
  • ordering a couple fun things online to experiment with (like Dandy Blend, Coconut Aminos, kelp noodles and my Excalibur 2400 Dehydrator!!!)
  • and developing a few new recipes (which I will post soon!)

    • sunflower seed “hummus”
    • my own version of kitchari


Update: here'e the recipe for Red Lentil and Quinoa Kitchari!

Today started out rather well! Deep breathing and 15 min of yoga to start the day, warm lemon water and raw buckwheat breakfast porridge. Did a quick 4 min tabata workout, followed by dry skin brushing and a shower and super simple raw lunch which I will post tomorrow. Snacks will include one of my lemon-apricot-hemp power bars and dinner will be some kitchari (with raw “ketchup” for fun, no one said I needed to be completely authentic!). What I have found today is that my planning has definitely paid off. I barely had to think about what I was doing- it all kind of came automatically which was really cool. I’m so glad I took the time now!

Today I will share with you my delicious breakfast and tomorrow, a super simple lunch idea that blew me away. I’m such a tease I know…..


Raw Strawberry Banana Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge (Vegan. Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Raw)

Adapted from Oh She Glows’ Raw Buckwheat Porridge

Porridge Base

  • 1/4 cup raw buckwheat groats, soaked for at least 1 hour or overnight
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds (optional, omit additional 2 tbsp almond milk if not using)
  • 1/2 a small banana
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp almond milk (homemade for completely raw)
  • dash vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 drops vanilla stevia

Toppings (infinitely variable)

In today’s mix:

Rinse the buckwheat very well and place in a bowl with filtered water to soak. Rinse well again after soaking and place in a blender or food processor with the almond milk, chia seeds and hemp seeds if using. Allow to sit for a few minutes so the chia seeds gel a bit.  Then add the rest of the porridge ingredients and pulse until the banana is completely blended, but there is still some texture in the buckwheat.

Pour in a bowl and top with your favourite toppings! Enjoy!

Have a good Monday everyone!

I am submitting this recipes to: Allergy Free Wednesdays, Allergy Friendly Fridays, Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love, Wellness Weekends and RecipeLion Blog Hop!

maca hemp seed milk

Happy Sunday! I hope you are all not feeling toooo many negative effects from various celebrations and shenanigans last night. But if you are don't worry, I've got you covered. Today I have 2 nutritious recipes for you that utilize some awesome superfoods that are good for recovery and reducing stress on your body :)

I've talked about how awesome hemp seeds are before- they are an amazing source of nutrients, easily digestible protein and omega-3's and help to alkalize your body. It's natural digestive enzymes remain intact allowing your body to use it with great efficiency, reducing stress on your body, maximizing the nutritional benefit.  But did you also know that they are one of the most easily sustainable crops that can be used to manufacture many of the products we use everyday like clothing, medicine and car parts!

This is a great music video that shows just how amazing the plant really is!

I can personally testify to just how delicious and versatile hemp seeds are. They are fabulous sprinkled on salads, blended into smoothies and for making nutritious sweet treats like these hemp seed fudge bites!

Read this article here for more info on the current debate on hemp food in the U.S. (http://www.naturalnews.com/035244_hemp_save_the_world_music_video.html)  It's a really informative article and it really goes to show just how complex instituting positive changes for our health and the environment can really be!

So I was motivated to utilize hemp in yet another way! This was when I got a delivery in the mail….

It finally came! The maca powder I ordered! I had been waiting for it for ages (serves me right for ordering it from the States…probably got held at the border for ages) but then once I got it, I had NO idea what to do with it. I had seen it used so many times on so many blogs in so many recipes but my brain just wouldn't work. I googled recipes but couldn't get inspired.

So it sat on my counter for 5 days without being touched…poor maca…it must have been terribly lonely.

But fear not! I eventually had a burst of brilliance and made some maca hemp seed milk. A delicious combination of 2 amazing superfoods.

First, a bit about maca and why I was so determined to get my hands on, and use it. Maca root comes from the Andean regions in Bolivia and Peru. As a result of it's growing at such high altitutes in nutrient poor soils, it is has developed extraordinary defense systems, resulting in loads of nutritional goodness for us! It is best known for it's ability to nourish the endocrine system: aka helps with your hormones! It's particularly adept at combating stress (physical, emotional, nutritional, etc), increasing stamina, and combating fatigue. It does this by lowering cortisol levels and providing nourishment (therefore more energy without being stimulated by something like caffeine!). It's a known adaptogen too which means it increases our body's ability to fight off illness, without being toxic to the recipient. It's got loads of vitamins and essential minerals and fatty acids as well! You do need to take it for a while before it's effects start to be seen- it needs to build up in your body. You should also take breaks from it every once in a while for a about a week at a time to ensure your body remains responsive to the maca. It has a mild butterscotchy, nutty and, almost malty flavour to it. This makes it perfect to add to loads of sweet applications like desserts and beverages. And now for a couple of recipes! They are both very alkalizing :)

Maca Hemp Seed Milk (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Raw)

Makes about 3 1/2 cups

  • 1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds (soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight)
  • 3 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 3 medjool dates (soaked at least 4 hours or overnight and pits removed)
  • dash of vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp maca powder (will probably increase this next time around. I want to give my body time to adapt to the maca for now)

Put everything in a blender and blend for a few minutes! Store in the fridge for up to a week. You can either strain the mixture through a nut milk bag or leave it as is for a thicker milk. I opted to leave it unstrained. That way you keep all that goodness in! If you do opt to strain it, probably put everything but the maca in, blend, strain, then add everything back in with the maca. That way all the maca stays in your milk. And now for a recipe you can use this milk in! This was a nice change from a smoothie. While I love the way drinking a green smoothie makes me feel in the morning, sometimes I do miss having a warm, comforting bowl of cereal. This is loaded with goodness with the hemp and the maca from the milk, lots of protein from the buckwheat (in particular it is high in the amino acid tryptophan- the feel good amino acid!), the good fats and calcium in the tahini, loads of vitamins, omega-3s and protein in the chia seeds and minerals and quick digesting carbs in the banana. Buckwheat is also slightly alkaline forming compared to gluten-containing grains so bonus! A very solid beginning to the day! Raw Banana Tahini Buckwheat Porridge with Maca Hemp Seed Milk (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Raw)

  • 1/4 cup raw buckwheat groats, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup maca hemp seed milk
  • 1 medjool date, soaked and pit removed, chopped small
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 of a large banana, sliced
  • generous sprinkle of cinnamon

Put the soaked buckwheat, hemp milk and date in a small pan and heat very slowly over low heat. You don't want this to go above 115ºF for it to be strictly raw. Feel free to heat it up a bit more if you want, but don't let it boil up! We want to retain all the nutrients in the hemp :). * You don't even need to heat it up if you don't want. I just like how this helps it get thicker When the mixture has thickened a bit and has been heated to the temperature you want, take it off the heat and add in the chia seeds. Mix it up and let it sit for a couple minutes. This will help it get reeaaalllly thick! Top with the tahini, banana slices and cinnamon. Munch away! Hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend! Make sure you give your body some solid recovery fuel so you can start the next week fresh :)