Have I got your attention yet?
So wonderful to have you all here on a Saturday, It feels so strange to be blogging here on a weekend, but nice. Writing this as I sip my tea enjoying a lazy Saturday morning before my bus to Kingston, I feel incredibly serene and happy. Maybe weekend blogging should become a more regular occurrence around these parts!
Anyway, this is just a quick post to share a delicious recipe I made a few days ago that would be a wonderful part of a Thanksgiving celebration. So to all my Canadian readers, if you need any last minute ideas, I think this has you covered. This Savoury Pumpkin Hummus tastes just like autumn in a bowl.
I got the idea from the wonderful Shira at In Pursuit of More who made an Acorn Squash and Scallion Hummus. Right away I was intrigued and she got my gears turning. I loved the incorporation of one of my favourite fall foods into a hummus but I was feeling lazy. Despite the fact that I had a squash to be roasted, I also had an open can of pumpkin puree in the fridge. So. Much. Easier.
Once the pumpkin went in and it was time to add the spices, I decided to take a departure from the traditional cumin. I wanted this to scream fall. Delicious savoury herbs of sage and rosemary really take this to the next level. I swear when eating bites of this you can feel the cool breeze on your face and the crisp leaves crunching under your feet. You can taste Thanksgiving dinner and feel the weight of a blanket you’re curled up under. In fewer words, it’s everything I love about fall :)
Any squash puree or even sweet potato could be used in the place of pumpkin, and dried herbs could be used in place of the fresh. Adapt to your needs!
This dip would be delicious with veggies or pita as a light pre-Thanksgiving dinner lunch/snack or spread onto a leftovers sandwich. Or if you aren’t celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, this would still be an incredible way to celebrate the flavours of the season.
Sidenote: I've always been weird and loved apple slices with hummus. If you have never tried this before, pleeeease try it with this hummus. It is EPIC.
No matter what, it’s delicious. So go make it. Now.
Savoury Pumpkin Hummus (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free)
Ingredients (a whole lot!)
Process everything in a food processor. Add chickpea cooking water to help it process as needed until desired consistency. Eat with everything.
I am Sharing this on Pure Ella's Thanksgiving Menu Potluck Party!
Happy Monday everyone!
I hope you all had a restful and relaxing weekend. I wish I could say mine was restful, but I certainly enjoyed most of it. Friday was actually quite relaxing. I did absolutely NOTHING except some yoga, chilling out in coffee shops and meeting up with a friend as well as watching my new favourite show, Fringe. (Side salad: Have any of you seen this show? I’m hooked and only a few episodes in!). I woke up completely refreshed, but only preceded to undo ALL of that on Saturday. I worked out (which was great), worked a busy and tiring shift at work, then proceeded to head out to Nuit Blanche.
Nuit Blanche is something really cool Toronto does every year, where from sunset to sunrise there are art installations all over the city. Streets are blocked off, restaurants and bars stay open till 4 am and there is an energy in the city that’s infectious. While I love this city, at times it feels a little too big, too impersonal and just too much. It’s evenings like these that restore my faith! If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a couple of my postings on it already! If you haven’t, please do follow me and check them out (@gabbyouimet)! It was such a great night! But needless to say, walking home in the cold pouring rain, getting home at 4 am then being up to work again at 1030 is not conducive to a restful weekend. Good, but certainly not restful!
But that’s not why you are here is it? You are here because I promised you a little something last week. Something involving peanut butter and chocolate, sweet and delicious but still healthy. Something you can even justify as a post-workout snack even though it tastes like dessert.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bites!
I have been getting really into working out recently. Not that I haven’t always loved fitness in a sense, I do yoga regularly, but I have really embraced going to the gym on a regular basis again. It’s funny how things can just switch in your head like that. I used to HATE gyms! It might have something to do with a little goal I have set for myself, but more on that later.
So, to help myself recover from an intense workout, I need bites that deliver protein and carbs and are satisfying. And because I often have to eat this snack on the run, it had to be something portable. Enter these babies.
I was in love with the vegan superfood protein blend I made with my North Coast Naturals products. If you haven’t seen that post yet, please check it out. I was curious to see how my blend would do in a protein bar style recipe.
I was also equally curious to put the Raw Hemp Smoothie in Chocolate to the test. It seemed too easy to put it in a smoothie. I wanted something different.
Turns out, it makes a fantastic chocolate coating. A high protein chocolate coating. Yup, I did that.
There’s a little bit of sea salt in the mix which gives it a salted chocolate taste which is amazing. I based my coating off of this recipe and it worked beautifully. I also was sure to use the hemp seeds from NCN and they lent more great protein and healthy fats to these bites. Turns out my NCN products are pretty damn versatile!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bites
Ingredients (10 bites)
Use a muffin tin and line with 10 liners.
Add protein blend, coconut and hemp seeds to your food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Add the peanut butter and the dates and process until a sticky batter forms. Finally, with the food processor running add in the melted tablespoon of coconut oil. Remove from the food processor and press into the muffin cups firmly. Put in the freezer while you make the coating.
Make the coating: Melt the coconut oil and mix in the Raw Hemp Smoothie in Chocolate, cacao powder and stevia. Pour the coating over the protein bites and then put them back in the freezer to harden. Once hard you can pop them out of the liners and store either in the freezer or fridge in a sealed container.
The weather in Toronto the past couple days (and for the next couple) freaks me out. And not in a good way.
Sure, the heat has been turned up and we’ve been granted another week of hot weather, summer clothing and cool drinks. We can push the thoughts of winter a little further into our minds and soak up the warmth of the sun as we lounge in the parks and linger on patios. The part of me that’s always cold LOVED this!
But guys, it’s just not meant to be this way. I don’t know about you, but thoughts of climate change, global warming and environmental destruction keep me up at night. I remember taking courses in school discussing the social evolution of humans and how we are programmed to consume. That coupled with a class on the science of climate change was enough to buy me 4 months of sleepless nights. The weather this week has been a reminder of how scary what we are doing to this world is. Were the temperatures Toronto experienced 100% due to our changing climate? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s these little blips, little nudges to the gut that really remind why I went vegan in the first place.
I don’t like being reminded of these global crises but I do welcome the renewed passion and inspiration it brings. I went vegan because I believe in compassion. Compassion is a big word that I believe encompasses many things:
Compassion for animals
Compassion for my body and my health
Compassion for the environment
and Compassion for all others (think food politics and the benefits of living in a cleaner, greener world!)
Eating a vegan, plant-based diet isn’t the absolute solution and goodness knows it has it’s own problems. I love knowing though that my food choices at each meal promote compassion and reduce suffering. Each choice we make has the potential to do good or cause harm. Let’s try and remember this as we bask in the final rays of the summer.
And with that, here is a bright and sunny recipe to celebrate the last (well hopefully) of the summer sun. I was inspired by these Snack Pack Vegan Cheesecakes by Lisa at Vegan Culinary Crusade. I loved the layers, the portability, the adorable presentation and just had to make a version of my own! I opted to use mango and strawberries to match the sunny weather, but any fruit could be used!
These cups are loaded with healthy fats and fresh fruit and would make a wonderful snack or dessert any time of day.
So let’s remember our responsibilities to each other and this wonderful planet we live on and celebrate compassion while we eat delicious mango pudding cups shall we?
Mango Pudding Cups (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Paleo, Raw, SCD option)
Ingredients (4-6 snack cups)
Muddle with a mortar and pestle or roughly puree in a mini food processor.
Grind cashews until a fine powder in a mini food processor , then add in the rest of the ingredients except coconut oil and process until smooth. Then add in the melted coconut oil and process until incorporated.
Process almond and coconut flakes until finely ground then add in the sweetener and pulse until you get a crumble that sticks together.
Layer it up! Start with putting a couple spoonfuls of the fruit in the bottom of each of your jars. Then layer on the filling and finally top with the crumble topping. You will probably have more crumble topping than you need so save the extra to top a smoothie with!