Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

5 Sep

This is one of my very favorite guilty pleasures. BUT, not too guilty, because it is gluten free and vegan 🙂 I like to serve it with red and green apple slices for dipping. I also like to eat it right from the bowl! Mmmmmmm!

This recipe comes from the wildly popular blog full of healthy deserts: Chocolate Covered Katie

 Cookie Dough Dip

  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas or white beans (1 can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
  • 1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
  • tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut butter
  • up to 1/4 cup almond milk, only if needed
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup ( Stevia, honey, or other natural sweetner to taste)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips or carob chips
  • 2 to 3 tbsp oats ground (or flaxmeal)

Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a good food processor (not blender), and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips.

For more picture and specific directions & a sugar-free version go to Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Blog!!

For more awesome healthy dessert recipes go to Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Blog NOW!!



Quinoa with Black Beans

5 Sep

I LOVE this stuff!!!  This is a great recipe if you are trying quinoa for the first time.

AND this is what I ate for breakfast the morning of my first triathlon (Yes, it’s THAT good!)


1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup grape tomatoes sliced in 1/2
1 chopped Avocado


1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans.
4. I always leave the tomatoes, avocado, and the cilantro on the side so they can be mixed in each serving individually. That way, if there is some leftover I think it stores better.

*** This is even good cold! Love to make extra for my lunch the next day.

Spicy Baked Chickpeas

5 Sep

A Healthy Workday Snack: Spicy Baked Chickpeas

recipe from: The Daily Muse

Spicy baked chickpeas are an easy healthy. Seriously—all you have to do is toss some chickpeas together with olive oil and whatever spices or herbs you’re in the mood for, a little bit of salt and pepper, and then bake. That’s it! And, if you’re like me, you usually have an extra can of chickpeas hiding away in your pantry, so you can make these any time you’re hit with a snack attack.

Chick peas are low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. They is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Folate and Manganese. Before the extra oil or seasonings (watch the salt by the way- don’t be too heavy handed)  One 15.5 oz can  of chick peas has  385 calories, 21g Protein, 21g Fiber, 7g  Fat, and only 1g Sugar.

The basic recipe & some extra ingredient variations are below.

chick peas

1. Rinse one can of chickpeas under running water, then dry with a paper towel.


2. Pour onto a baking sheet and toss with one tablespoon of olive oil, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and Ÿ tsp red pepper flakes. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through.


3. They’re ready when they’re crispy and golden! Serve warm with an extra sprinkling of salt.

There are so many different options you can try with these, so experiment with any ingredients you have on hand. Or, try these yummy combinations:

  • Paprika + cayenne pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar + garlic
  • Lime juice + chili powder + cumin
  • Lemon juice + ginger
  • Cinnamon + honey (light on the honey)
  • Thyme + rosemary
  • Curry powder + garlic

Fight that Cold!!

5 Sep

7 Things to Help Fight a Cold

1. Aloe Vera Juice…Has immune stimulating, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-cancer properties. Also helps address stomach disorders, ulcers, colitis, constipation and other colon related problems.

2. Astragalus…Has antiviral, antibacterial properties. Increases production of interferon, which can help the immune system in its function. Used to help combat a variety of viruses.

3. Cat’s Claw (also known as Una de Gato)… Assists the immune system by providing protection against numerous viruses. Enhances phagocytosis—the ability of white blood cells and macrophages to attack and destroy harmful microorganisms and foreign particles in the bloodstream. (At HQM we carry a product called Una de Gato Combination that is a blend of Cat’s Claw, Echinacea and Astragalus)

4. Colloidal Silver…Silver suspended in water. Antibacterail, antiviral, anti-parastical, antifungal properties.

echenisa-150x1505. Echinacea…Best known herbal immune system booster. Increases the activity of white blood cells in killing viruses. Blood purifier against strep and staph infections. Also helps to kill yeasts and fungus. Increases red blood cell counts, which in turn help to remove wastes from the system. Also has benefits in stimulating certain white blood cells to attack cancer cells and tumors.

6. Garlic….Known as “nature’s antibiotic”. Fights viruses, bacteria, yeast, fungus, parasites. Won’t destroy body’s natural flora. Also stimulates lymph system in purging toxins, helps to reduce cholesterol/triglycerides, increases immunity, and reduces blood clotting (especially important against blood clots in the legs known as “peripheral arterial occlusive disease”).

7. Magnesium…The body’s immune system produces antibodies to attack and help destroy invading viruses and bacteria. Magnesium is a mineral vital to the production of such antibodies. Sugar in the diet depletes magnesium stores in the system, as does alcohol, refined grains, stress and more.

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4 Don’t’s

1) Don’t take Echinacea or olive leaf as an ‘immune booster’ all winter, unless you have been instructed to by your naturopath. If you are already taking them (and aren’t sick), drop the dose slowly, otherwise it is very easy to catch a cold or flu. Taking these herbs will boost your immune system, but once you get sick, your immune system won’t cope well because it is already being activated. Keep Echinacea & Olive leaf for the first sign of a cold or flu.

2)Don’t keep working and ‘slogging it out’. Although not always possible, stop & rest if you can. Your body needs the energy to fight the bacterial or viral infection. Resting will give you the best chance of doing so.

3) Don’t go for fast food during winter. It’s quick & easy, but doesn’t give any nutrition to your no-fast-food-150x150immune system.

4) Don’t underestimate how important it is to wash your hands & keep away from people coughing.

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5 Do’s

(Do these things to help avoid getting a cold or the flu; or if you do get one, to get over it much quicker)

healthy-food-150x1501) Eat a healthy diet during winter. Often the winter  months bring about more fatty, carb laden food. We still need to keep up the vegetable intake. Aim for 5 different colored vegetables at lunch & dinner. If you’re craving more carbohydrates, go for pumpkin, parsnip, potato & sweet potato.

2) Make sure you are taking vitamin D3  The sun naturally provides us with some vivamin D in the summer, but as we move indoors for winter are levels go down. This is the time to supplement. Make sure you are using D3!!

3) Exercise.  Regular exercise (before you get a cold or flu) helps to keep your immune system healthy. It can be difficult getting out into the coldness of the early morning or night. If you want to still exercise, but don’t want to face the cold, try getting a rebounder like this one it’s fantastic exercise & you can do it indoors at any time of the day!

4) Healthy Gut.  Having a healthy gut is really important. 70% of our immune system is within our gut. Making sure you are having regular bowel movements daily that are formed is important. Probiotics  are very important. Consider a supplement or try making your own Yogurt or Keifer.

n ostress5) Keep Stress levels low.  If stress levels are high, your cortisol which is your stress hormone will increase. This will help to stop you from becoming sick. The problem is when your stress is over, your cortisol levels decrease again & this is when you are vulnerable to getting a cold or flu. Have you ever been highly stressed with exams & then when the exams are over & you go on holidays you get sick? This is what’s happening to your body.


5 Sep

Sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrition and Delicious!!!

Sprouts are not new. They have been grown by many civilizations over the past 5,000 years. The practice of sprouting is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. This ancient practice, can turn a hard to digest grain, seed, or bean into a food product that your body digests as easy as a vegetable.

Research shows that sprouts are a veritable fountain of youth. Sprouts abound with antioxidants, they are full of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Seriously check it out: Broccoli sprouts have been found to contain 50 times as much of the antioxidant sulfurophane as mature broccoli.

Wheat Grass juice is the closest substance to hemoglobin, and is therefore a phenomenal blood purifier and liver de-toxifier. Sprouts contain enzymes, giving your body a much needed rest as they digest themselves – invigorating you while requiring no help from your body to process them. New research indicates that peanut sprouts reduce harmful cholesterol and that sunflower, buckwheat and grain sprouts dramatically improve the quality of life for diabetics. The list goes on and on.


What Can Be Sprouted?

You can sprout just about anything that could be considered a seed. You can sprout vegetable seeds like radishes and broccoli or grain seeds like wheat or quinoa. You can sprout beans like chickpeas or lentils. Anything you might be able to put into the ground to grow into a larger plant can be sprouted.

When purchasing vegetable seeds for sprouting be sure that they are marked “sprouting seeds”. Some seeds are sold with a chemical residue that prevents sprouting.

How Sprouting Works

Put simply, sprouts are the first growth of a seed, before they turn into what will someday become the plants we know and love in our gardens. When you keep the seeds most and warm they begin to sprout and create tiny little plants.

Where once there was a hard to digest seed, after sprouting you have a nourishing plant food. Sprouts are chock full of nourishment including vitamins and minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll.

Sprouting Equipment: 

You can purchase sprouting kits like THIS one  I use for making sprouts, or you may want to use two pieces of very basic equipment; A wide mouth canning jar and ring lid plus a sprout screen. A quart jar works well for vegetable sprouts and a half gallon jar works well for grains or beans.


That’s really all you need besides the seeds themselves and the water you will use to soak and rinse them.        

Cultures for Health has some great kits, lids, and seed packets.

Sprouting How-To: Basic Principles for Any Seed

Whether you wish to sprout broccoli seeds for a fresh addition to your sandwich or wheat grains to make healthier bread, the principle of sprouting remains the same.

1. Soak Sprout Seeds Overnight. Start by rinsing your seeds (vegetable, grain, or bean) in water. Then cover  them with at least four times as much water and allow to soak overnight.




2. Drain and Rinse Seeds. The next morning you are going to dump off the soaking water, rinse with fresh water, and begin the sprouting process. If you are using a jar you will want to invert it at a 45 degree angle over a bowl or other container to allow the water to slowly drain off. If you are using a sprouter just replace the lid. you want to cover or keep them in a dark place at this point.


3. Rinse, Drain, Repeat. Two to three times per day you will want to pour water over the sprouts, swirl, shake, & drain well.. Every day your sprouts will grow a bit more until they have filled your entire vessel.

after about 2 days the seeds are beginning to sprout, but they are not ready yet

alfalfa101-150x150*You will want to allow vegetable seeds to grow until they fill the tray. Remove the lid and expose them to the sunlight for a few hours so they can begin to produce chlorophyll and turn green. Grains and beans you may only want to sprout until the tiniest sprout “tail” emerges for best flavor. the length of time it takes the seeds to sprout depends on several factors, mainly temperature; the warmer it is the faster they grow.


4. Store Sprouts. When you are satisfied with the length of your sprouts you are ready to store them, either in the refrigerator for vegetable or bean sprouts or, in the case of grains, in a dried state if you wish to grind them.

No matter which type of seed you are sprouting you want the storage point to coincide with a dry point in the sprouting process in order to prevent mold. So don’t rinse them and then cover tightly and store in the refrigerator.

To dry grains you can lay them evenly on a lined dehydrator tray and dry at no more than 145 degrees to preserve enzymes. Or you can simply lay them out on a sheet pan covered with cheese cloth (to prevent bugs) on a warm, dry day. You want the grains to be as dry as they were when you started so they will run easily through a grain mill. You can test them out by simply biting or chopping into one to make sure it is dry and crunchy.

Vegetable sprouts can keep in the refrigerator for around five days, bean sprouts up to a week, and dried grain sprouts indefinitely (though consuming them sooner may enhance their nutrition).

5. Eat Sprouts!!!

Vegetable sprouts can be used in salads, sandwiches, or on top of soups. Mung bean sprouts can be used in stir fries or added to other Asian-inspired dishes. Other bean sprouts can be cooked just as you would regular beans. Sprouted grains can be ground to make everything from bread to biscuits to pancakes.

Sprouting is actually a lot easier than most people think, and only takes minutes of hands-on time. So if you are interested in the benefits of sprouting don’t be intimidated, start sprouting today!

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