Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Got Vegetables? Make Juice

My latest, most favourite, amazing thing to do in the morning is to drink a cup of freshly made juice! Made with wonderful, organic vegetables and fruit, it's easy and super nutritious for you.

The Juicer: A powerful little Hamilton Beach juicer that makes a very full, healthy glass of juice (about 2-3 servings) from: 1 large apple, 1 large lemon, 1 large carrot, and a large bunch of kale or spinach makes ...

The Green Machine
(kale or spinach, carrots, apple, lemon)

Another fantastic juice recipe I concocted (name still pending):

2 medium beets
1 cup strawberries
1 cup pineapple

Everything chopped, add to the juicer and blended together.  Add ice and enjoy!

So why is freshly made juice so healthy for you?  Well to learn more I visited Care2 website which had a neat little list that explained the benefits of various fruits/vegetables ... here are a few from their website:
  1. Carrot: strengthens the eyes and helps clear up skin eruptions.
  2. Celery: helps to clear the skin (so does cucumber juice)
  3. Ginger: helps with inflammation in the body, such as arthritis and is known to remedy nausea.
  4. Lemon: is excellent for counteracting a high-fat, animal protein rich diet. Helps the liver in its daily detoxification process.  It can also help to really cut the taste of those green vegetables in your juice.
  5. Apple: helps to relieve constipation, heal the intestines, and softens gall stones.
  6. Radish: benefits the thyroid gland (in small amounts and mixed with other juice).
  7. Kale & Collard: strengthens the bones due to high levels of calcium, potassium and Vitamin A.
  8. Plums/Prune: helps alleviate constipation and can be used for liver disease.
  9. Tomato: helps restore health to the liver, and can be used to treat diarrhea and chronic indigestion.
  10. Watermelon: alkalinizes the blood, and can be used to treat urinary problems, edema, and canker sores. Its diuretic properties benefits the kidney’s and bladder. Juice the rind with the flesh for a sweet, thirst quenching drink.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chocolate Strawberry Pancakes, Smile

A lovely Sunday brunch recipe you can try this weekend, hurray, while you can still get strawberries or raspberries ... or wait, are they still in season in Ontario.

Either way, you can still make this very yummy pancake brunch using any of your favourite in season fruits.  I found this recipe online when I needed something, quick, easy, and vegan and something that my 13 year-old niece would like.  So I took the recipe and added fruit and chocolate, because everything tastes better with chocolate.

A smiley face pancake for my niece, which, well, actually looks kind of creepy but the good intention was there! LOL

These pancakes were delicious and a nice treat that I wouldn't suggest to eating everyday but once in a  while it's nice to treat yourself and/or your family.

Chocolate Strawberry Pancakes
See the original recipe here.

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl until well mixed.

2. Mix in the soy milk and oil and beat together until batter is smooth.

3. Fold in the strawberries and chocolate chips until just combined.

4. Drop about a 1/4 cup of batter at a time onto a hot oiled griddle or well greased frying pan over medium high heat.

5. When bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake, approximately 2-3 minutes, flip, and cook the other side for a few more minutes.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

DIY: A Zen Pathway to Your Home

Here's a fun diy project you can do to add some colour to your home, particularly to an entryway.  I found this idea - colourful tin planter cans - online and knew I would love trying this and I did.  And it was easy ...

1. Using a thick nail and hammer, hammer in a few holes on the bottom of each can.

 2.  Using water-based acrylic paint (which is what I used here) paint your tin cans.

3. Any colour really will do here, choose your favourites!  I stuck with lighter, pastel-like colours.

4. Finally, once the paint is completely dry, fill each tin can with soil and your favourite house plant.

Having plants in the entrance way to your home is very feng shui.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Vegan Cookies!

I made these marvelous cookies a couple of times in the last month and definitely plan on making them again this month because they were so darn delicious! Rave reviews from everyone who tried one, can't argue with that.  They are so absolutely ooey, gooey, good!

Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies
Original recipe from

2 tbsp golden flax meal
3 tbsp water
2 1/4 cup cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp vegan butter, room temperature 
1.5 cup organic cane sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips

1. Preheat your oven to 350F. In a small bowl whisk together the flax meal and the water. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes so the mixture thickens. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt until well incorporated. Set aside.

3. In another medium mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until well mixed. Beat in the flax meal mixture from step 1 followed by the molasses and vanilla extract.

4. Add the flour mixture from Step 2 and mix until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Using an ice cream scoop (to help make each cookie serving even) scoop out some dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

6. Bake for about 10-12 minutes (maximum).  Cookies will be soft and chewy, delicious!  Allow cookies to cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before serving.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

DIY: Coffee Sleeve Greeting Cards

Whenever I buy a coffee from any coffee shop I always try my best to avoid taking with me a coffee sleeve.  Now, I appreciate that they are just looking out for our well being - caution, it's hot! - but after years of baking and working with my hands I have personally developed an immunity to extreme hot and cold feeling in my hands. Besides that, coffee sleeves just seem so wasteful to me, I mean really, am I that dainty that I can't hold my coffee cup without the extra cardboard sleeve?

Anyway, for the odd time when I do forget to leave the coffee sleeve behind I always make sure to recycle it ... until now! My niece - the brilliant little tween that she is - suggested that we make greeting cards out of coffee sleeves.  So that's what we did with the sleeves we collected from our Starbucks visit.

Here are the steps ...

All you need is a variety of craft paper, some glue, scissors, and a little creativity to come up with a cute folded greeting card.  I added some sequence to the border on this card for a nice accent.  The great thing about these cards, besides the fact that you are reusing and up-cycling, is that you can design them for anybody and for any occasion.
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