A Guide to Feeding our Future

Archive for the ‘Kid-approved’ Category

Apple Brown Betty

By: Susan Kingston, RHN – Montreal QC

Here’s a wonderful Thanksgiving dessert that’s also gluten-, grain-, dairy-, and guilt-free! Yummmmm!

apple brown betty

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 6-7 apples (or pears), peeled, cored, sliced
  • 3 TBSP honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Topping

  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1 cup almond meal (ground raw almonds)
  • 1 TBSP ground flax
  • 3 TBSP honey or maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil or butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of Himalayan Salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Peel, core, and slice apples
  3. In a bowl combine sliced apples, cinnamon, and honey; mix well.
  4. Place pecans in a nut grinder or food processor and grind fine (will be 1/3 cup after ground).
  5. In a bowl combine all topping ingredients and mix with a fork until crumbly
  6. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter or coconut oil, layer apples evenly in dish, pour crumble mixture evenly over fruit mix, and pour lemon juice overtop
  7. Bake until top is golden brown and fruit is hot and bubbly, 40-50 minutes

“Cheesy” Macaroni and Cauliflower

By: Alison Bigg, Chef – Victoria, BC

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Cheese sauce was the first culinary technique my mother taught me. It was my ‘job’ in the kitchen. It made me feel important and a part of the team. I eventually experimented with it by making it with blue cheese and adding Dijon for spark. This same sauce is also yummy on broccoli and in potato soup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 2 TBSP chickpea flour
  • 2 TBSP butter or olive oil
  • 1 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 2 minced cloves garlic
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 cups milk or almond milk
  • 2 cups grated cheese *
  • penne pasta (ancient grains or your favorite gf version)
  • One head cauliflower
  • Salt and pepper

*for a vegan version, sub out the cheese for 2 extra TBSP of nutritional yeast and 2 TBSP of tahini paste.

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Directions:

  1. Get a big pot of salted water boiling.
  2. Heat a deep, wide saucepan to medium high. Heat yeast and flour in dry pan until you can smell it is toasted. Add butter or olive oil, bay leaf, garlic and Dijon. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Add milk slowly, whisking constantly until smooth. Get hot but not boiling, it will thicken by now.
  4. Add the grated cheese. Let your child be creative and add any combination of cheeses they might like. (cheddar, goat cheese, cream cheese, blue cheese, are all good choices)
  5. Meanwhile let your child chop the cauliflower into florettes. Show them first, then let them use a sharp but small knife — trust that they can do it! Blanche the cauliflower in the boiling water for about 5 minutes, don’t overcook. Pull the veg out of the water into a colander and put in the noodles.
  6. Once noodles are cooked, strain and add to sauce along with cauliflower. Let your child season with salt and pepper by tasting it first. Sprinkle with freshly chopped chives. Serve with grated parmesan if desired.

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AUGUST Feature Food: Blackberries

By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC

Hi everyone!  My sweet babe is due in a couple weeks, so this is the last month of posts for me until I have a baby with a somewhat regular sleeping schedule.  So read up and take this time to review last years posts too!  Don’t forget to comment and share!

We finally had a tad of rain…or shall I say a massive thunder storm, here in Victoria last week.  Lightning hit just down the street from us! WHOA!  It was fun!  Out of that lovely storm, came bright juicy blackberries!  Thank you rain, just what we needed after a drought.

blackberries for the month of August

As we know, many berries are known for being high in antioxidants. Antioxidant-rich foods are foods that are proven to reduce free-radical damage to our cells.  These free-radicals can be disease (especially cancer) causing. Did you know, that blackberries are one of the highest in antioxidants and most available to us? Most places in Canada are flourishing with this invasive delicious bush. Don’t just walk by…make sure you carry a jar or a basket on your walks, just in case you run into some trail-side or road-side berries.

Blackberries, like many other berries are rich in nutrients and not so much in calories.  So, munch away! The high amounts of vitamins and minerals like A, C, K, manganese, folate, magnesium and potassium make these berries particularly helpful in supporting our bones, tissues and mucous membranes, as well as the G.I. tract and the immune system, and our production of collagen production, iron and enzymes.

Not enough reason to eat them?…How about for lowering your cholesterol levels?  Blood sugar control? Or for brain power?

Blackberries are an amazing brain, hormone and heart food whose flavanoids and high fiber help to increase blood flow to the heart and brain; therefore decreasing harmful inflammation that can lead to high cholesterol, memory loss and learning difficulty.  Like many other berries, they are also known for decreasing insulin spikes and drops, helping balance blood sugar levels.

So, find a friend or take the family and go pick some local blackberries! If you end up with so many that you can’t just snack on them, try my tasty popsicle recipe:

Blackberry Fig Popsicles

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So, I’ve been planning on making popsicles for when I’m in labor.  Today, I finally had my chance. I made blackberry fig popsicles.  I added lemon and used maple syrup as the sweetener so that I’d have a few extra electrolytes to increase my endurance. The same thing could be done for anyone who’s been working, playing or training hard, especially in the sun.

Feel free to use just blackberries and forget the figs, or use any other berry/fruit as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 4 peeled fresh figs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sweetener (maple syrup, honey, agave… your choice!)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or less if you prefer them less tart)

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Directions:

  1. Heat water, sweetener and lemon juice in a small sauce pan over medium heat until slightly syrupy. Approx 15 mins.
  2. Purée the blackberries and figs in your blender.
  3. Strain the purée through a fine-mesh sieve. Press down with a spoon to push the juice through.  You should be left with aprox. 2 cups of purée.  Discard the seeds.
  4. Stir the lemon syrup into the purée.
  5. Spoon or pour the purée into your popscicle molds.
  6. I used these awesome silicone push pops (Figured they were less messy for holding during contractions 😉 )
  7. If you decide to use wooden popscicle sticks, make sure you have a place in your freezer where they can stand straight, so the sticks stay in place.  Or freeze them half way (about 30 mins) and then insert the sticks to continue freezing.

Gluten-, Dairy- and Grain-Free Pancakes!

By: Susan Kingston, RHN – Montreal, QC

A quick and easy pancake recipe, free of allergens – and yummy too!

pancakes - Copy

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Yields: 4 medium-sized pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 egg or 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Butter, ghee or coconut oil for greasing

 Directions:

  1. Whisk together the flour, water, egg, banana, baking soda, and salt until all the clumps are gone from the batter.
  2. Heat a pan or skillet over a burner set to medium with some butter, ghee or coconut oil.
  3. Scoop about 1/4 C of the batter into the pan to make one pancake–fit as many in as you can as they spread
  4. Cook until the edges firm up and bubbles come through the batter. Flip and cook for another 15-20 seconds until the other side has set. Repeat until all the batter is used up.

Marinated tofu, buckwheat noodle salad and steamed edamame

By: Alison Bigg, Chef, Mother, Artist – Victoria BC, Canada

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My kids and I are having a blast cooking together.  This is the age to learn how to cook using intuition, trust in yourself and also how to learn from making mistakes. Every week it’s my kids’ turn to make a meal.  I invite you follow me on their journey as they learn how to make healthy food from scratch.  Maybe your own children will be inspired to do the same with you?!

This week Oliva made marinated tofu, buckwheat noodle salad and steamed edamame for dinner.  YUM!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package medium organic tofu
  • 1 package frozen edamame (in the shell)
  • 1 small package buckwheat noodles
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 cup panko breading or GF bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • 1/3 cup pure sesame oil (plus a dash)
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup tamari or Braag’s sauce
  • 2 TBSP rice wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1″ fresh grated ginger
  • 1-2 carrots, grated
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 bunches (lots!) of fresh herbs, lightly chopped ie: mint, cilantro, chives, basil.
  • dash sea or Himalayan salt

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Directions:

  1. Slice medium organic tofu into 10 1/2 inch rectangles.
  2. Put them in a bowl with the tamari or braggs, 1/3 cup pure sesame oil and grated fresh ginger.  ( Save the marinade for the buckwheat noodle salad.)
  3. Coat the tofu with marinade then cover with mixed panko and nutritional yeast.
  4. Put frying pan on medium heat and heat 1 tbsp of cooking oil.
  5. When hot gently lay down the tofu. Brown on both sides and keep warm in the oven.
  6. In large pot, boil water. Add frozen edamame, in shell, and cook until tender but not squishy. 5 minutes.
  7. With a colander take out the beans but save water for noodles.
  8. Put beans in bowl and toss with a dash of pure sesame oil and salt. Keep warm.
  9. Using bean water, cook one small package of buckwheat noodles just until done. Don’t overcook. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  10. Place in a bowl with left over tofu marinade, maple syrup and rice wine vinegar or lemon juice. Add lots of  chopped herbs.
  11. Add one sliced red pepper and one or two grated carrot.

 

JULY Feature Food: Cherries

By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC

cherries for the month of July

So excited about cherries this month! It’s our first summer in our new house, and we have 3 cherry trees in our backyard. We weren’t sure if they would produce anything, as they hadn’t been maintained previously. Also, they were just sooooo tall that, we thought most of the cherries would be out of our reach and only accessible to our winged friends. Luckily for us, all 3 produced beautiful cherries and with a ladder, we harvested many pounds from the 1st one to produce. We let the birds have the rest. 😉

This was mostly last month, but many places in N. America are beginning their cherry season now. Victoria is a tad early. We’re still not certain the variety of these cherries; we’re thinking they’re ‘Bing’ or ‘Sandra Rose’. (If anyone knows, feel free to comment).

In any case, onto the lovely things about cherries I’d like to share with you today…

ANTIOXIDANT rich! Cherries are one of the most potent antioxidant fruits available to most of us in this region. What this means for you is that they can help reverse the affects of cancer causing free-radical damage and prevent future harm. They are also rich in fibre, helping to bind to toxins in the body and help eliminate them through defecation. The rich minerals in cherries also help with this process by softening the elimination pathways. These minerals are Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorus and Potassium. They actually contain MORE potassium than strawberries do! Talk about a refreshing summer fruit! Cherries are a great post workout snack, helping to replenish those lost minerals and decrease muscle aches and pains.

chopped cherries in a heart

Cherries are known for reducing swelling and inflammation, particularly good for reducing symptoms of gout and diabetes, as well as the risk of stroke. They are generally a great fat buster. So munch on some cherries to shed a few pounds too!

The awesome thing about cherries is that they’re great for insomniacs, or anyone with any sleeping disturbances. Naturally high in melatonin, a hormone produced by our pineal glands that helps to regulate our sleep/wake cycle, cherries make a great sleep retriever.

So, after we picked all of these cherries, snacked on some, shared some with our friends and family I then made some cherry chocolate muffins. Mmmmmm…. For me this was a great way of storing easy snacks in the freezer for after the baby comes and I don’t have time for baking. 😉

Feel free to try this easy recipe with your local cherries and reap the amazing summer benefits now and in the winter months too, if you freeze.

CHERRY MUFFINS:

Luscious cherry or dark chocolate cherry???

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Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free oat flour (or grind your own oats)
  • 2 cups sprouted wheat or spelt flour, or your favorite all purpose gf flour blend
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup raw brown sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey
  • ¾ cup melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1¼ cup milk, almond milk or coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean extract
  • 2 ½ cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped coarse
  • ¾ cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine flours, baking powder, salt and sweetener in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together milk or dairy-free alternative. Add butter (or coconut oil) and vanilla extract. Stir.
  4. Add wet to dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in cherries and 3/4 of the dark chocolate.
  5. Spoon into 9″ greased or paper-lined muffin tins and top with remaining chocolate. Fill them up nicely for good muffin tops, or not so much for little muffins.  (I did them smaller for a more freezer friendly size).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let rest in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Serve warm with butter, non-dairy alternative or enjoy plain. Store in an airtight container to keep fresh – transfer to freezer after a day or 2.

The Educated Consumer: Chocolate Covered Strawberries

By: Hollie M. Hunt-Last, D. C’Ed. ROHP/RHN – Moncton, NB

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

This month’s feature is cool and refreshing for the summertime! Dole has recently created frozen chocolate covered fruit as a low fat treat. They come in flavours of strawberry, Banana, Pineapple.  They are low in sugar and surprisingly satisfying! While the fruit may not be organic, and the chocolate may have ‘traces of dairy’ but is generally safe for most people. As a compromise food, this scores better than high fat, high sugar frozen bars, etc. In the grocery aisle, in my opinion, this product would be the winner. Enjoy!

Coconut Creamsicles

By: Susan Kingston, RHN – Montreal, QC

creamsicle

This simple recipe is both brain and body friendly, and is totally guilt free! Coconut milk is full of healthy fat for proper brain function; fresh orange juice is a great source of vitamin C;  and raw honey is chalk full of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and friendly immune-supporting bacteria. So have some guilt-free fun with your kids and create these cold sensations 🙂

Yields:

6-8 Creamsicles

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup orange juice (fresh)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 TBSP raw honey
  • ¼ tsp orange extract
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together.
  2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds. Let set for 30-60 minutes; then add popsicle sticks.
  3. Freeze for another 4-6 hours or until frozen.
  4. When you’re ready to serve, run some warm water along your popsicle mold to loosen the popsicles and serve immediately.

The Educated Consumer: Coconut Whipped Cream!

By: Hollie M. Hunt-Last, D. C’Ed. ROHP/RHN – Moncton, NB

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Dairy FREE Whipped cream in a can…that is actually BETTER than the real thing! Can you believe it? I hardly did! This was a real find. I was able to find this a few times on the refrigerated shelf of an Atlantic Superstore (Loblaws). Since then, it has been more of a challenge to locate. I am hoping that more people buy it and it becomes more popular. I would not claim this as a super food – but it is a great alternative for those who are dairy intolerant and wish to have just a little cream on their fruit cup!

The only thing I will say that you need to know is … You must shake it very well before each use. The coconut cream is quite thick. So unless you force it to the top of the can, you will use up all of the pressurized air in the can and the cream will remain stuck inside. Once you learn this trick, you are good to go!

MAY Feature Food: Stinging Nettle

Spring where I live in Victoria is bountiful! There is so much at our fingertips to forage here in N. America, if we know how. I strongly recommend looking for a foraging workshop in or around your area, if you are at all interested in doing any yourselves. There are plenty of invasive plants or what we call ‘weeds’ and many of us kill these off in our own yards with chemicals. Did you know that so many of those invasive plants are full of powerful nutrients and can be so healing? This month is Nettle. Yep! That pesky stinging nettle… Maybe I chose this one this month because I’m pregnant, and when you’re pregnant in my world you drink plenty of nettle tea for iron. It’s seeped into my blood stream so much so that I feel amazing and just can’t wait to share it’s benefits with all of you.

Stinging nettle is a bother when we’re out in the bush camping or hiking and we accidentally brush up against it. It stings! It burns! It itches! But it’s not dangerous. That’s because it contains formic acid. The formic acid ids a natural protector for the plant in nature, so that it can be left alone! Buuuut what we humans discovered is that if we wear gloves, long sleeved shirts, pants and covered shoes, we can harvest this amazing plant. Once we get it home and boil it for under 5 minutes, the sting is gone and it tastes like any other leafy green…I’d say, closest to a mustard green, which happens to be one of my faves!

boiling nettles
Like any other dark leafy green, nettle is really high in iron, Vitamin K and Vitamin C. If we cook it properly we can absorb these nutrients that help build and repair our blood. Nettle has been proven to be a super hero when it comes to healing any blood disorders, ie: anaemia, ITP, leukemia, Thrombocytopenia, low Vit B 12 or folate. Provides a very healthy amount of all of these nutrients, which all work together to support healthy clean running blood, capillaries and veins, creating vibrancy.

It contains natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. It supports a healthy inflammatory response, which is great for helping us rid ourselves of toxicity. This may seem strange considering the effect it has on our skin when we come in contact. Although, after it’s been dehydrated for tea, made into a tincture or cooked down slightly, it’s properties change. It can be used internally or externally and when taken as a capsule or tea, can be very helpful for combating seasonal allergies. It’s great for supporting the immune system, and safe for anyone with an auto-immune disease. Nettle can also be used topically as an astringent or tea compress for cuts, bruises, strains and inflamed areas.

This great leafy green can also be used for detoxification. It’s a great kidney builder and liver cleanser. A good time to consider using nettle medicinally would be if you’re battling a UTI, or kidney stones, if you’re feeling toxic and are showing signs of needing to detoxify (ie: acne, poor bowel movements, skin conditions…) or if you have a hormonal condition, especially one related to the kidneys, like type 2 diabetes.

Being a whole food as it is, using nettle is a safe way to help heal. It’s safe during pregnancy, and that’s great for me and anyone else planning a babe, building a babe, or breastfeeding a babe. It contains a natural form of Folic acid (folate), which is the most recognized by our bodies therefore easily absorbed into out blood stream and won‘t likely cause constipation, like many of those pesky supplements out there.

I hope you’ll all get curious about Nettle, maybe find some on your next hike and try out a recipe. If you do get stung a helpful and easy way of relieving the pain is using vinegar, baking soda or mud on the affected area, to reduce the symptoms and speed the healing. Whichever you use, make sure you clean the area with good water first. If you use mud, scrub the mud into the area as much as you can handle and then rinse it away. If you use vinegar spray or hold it on the area with a cloth. If you use baking sods, make a paste and rub into the area like the mud, and rinse clean. You can repeat these processes as much as needed. Just make sure to dry it in the open air and not to bandage it up. If you’re in the bush and know what a dock plant is, grab a leaf and hold in over the wound, spore side down. Pure aloe can be applied afterwards to reduce the heat.

Nettle does not HAVE to be foraged by any means, it’s often available at produce markets, local farms and friendly neighbours. It can also be found dried, in the grocery store for the fall and winter months. So, keep your eyes peeled and enjoy this lovely nettle soup recipe:

Nettle Soup:

nettle soup
Ingredients:

1 large onion
1 head of garlic (pre-roasted is best)
2-3 medium sweet potatoes
2 large carrots
1 hot pepper (if desired)
1 bunch of herbs (cilantro, parsley, mint, chives…)
However many nettle leaves you have is just fine. Around the size of a head of lettuce when bunched together is perfect.
2 cups of soup stock
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Chop sweet potato, carrot and onion (garlic too, if not pre-roasted). Add to a pan at med temperature with ½ cup of stock. Cook until root veggies are soft enough to poke through with a fork.

Add the rest of the stock to the pan heat for 2 minutes.

Add to blender.

Bring a large pot of water to boil (about 1.5L)

USE GLOVES! Wash and trim your nettle, removing any thick stems and keeping the leaves.

Add nettle and 1 tsp salt to the pot.

Boil for 5 mins, strain and add to blender.
Add salt pepper, herbs and a hot pepper if desired to blender. Blend until a creamy puree.

For a creamier consistency add 1 cup of pre-soaked cashew, sunflower seeds or walnuts.

For a more liquid consistency add more water, coconut milk, hemp milk or stock.

Enjoy!

By: Suzanne Brett, RHN