Zest Nutrition http://www.zestnutrition.ca A Fresh Take on Nutrition Tue, 13 Feb 2018 07:04:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.3 Delicious Vegan Brownies http://www.zestnutrition.ca/delicious-vegan-brownies/ http://www.zestnutrition.ca/delicious-vegan-brownies/#respond Mon, 12 Feb 2018 06:30:06 +0000 http://www.zestnutrition.ca/?p=4771 These delicious vegan brownies are moist, chocolatey and absolutely delicious.  Just in time for Valentine’s Day. If you have been following me than you know I am not a baker. The last time, I attempted to vegan brownies with black beans was a complete disaster!  My hubby always laughs at me when I try to […]

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These delicious vegan brownies are moist, chocolatey and absolutely delicious.  Just in time for Valentine’s Day. If you have been following me than you know I am not a baker. The last time, I attempted to vegan brownies with black beans was a complete disaster!  My hubby always laughs at me when I try to put a healthy spin on things. I guess that’s what you get for being married to a dietitian. Not only are these brownies delicious but they are super easy to make. These delicious vegan brownies are rich, fudgey, and perfect for Valentie’s Day.

 

I did a lot of research on brownies and used these vegan, gluten free brownies from minimalist baker as a starting point. These delicious vegan brownies are rich, moist and chocolatey. My girls were over the moon to have these with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you wanted to keep them vegan I would suggest coconut whipped cream.

By no means will this vegan brownie recipe get the “healthy” label from me because there is still a significant amount of sugar in it. We don’t just eat to nourish our bodies, we also eat for pleasure.  Just try to aim for no more than 20% of the time. Because these brownies are so rich I cut them into 18 slices instead of 9 but its totally your call.

 

Delicious Vegan Brownies

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Ingredients

  • 2 flax eggs ( 2 tbsp of flax meal + 5 tbsp of water)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of maple sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup of flour ( I used grain red fife blend)
  • Icing:
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 100 grams of dark chocolate
  • unsweetened coconut
  • Frosting:

Instructions

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare flax eggs by mixing flax meal with water, set aside to thicken.
  3. In a large bowl combine coconut oil, maple syrup, sugar, and vanilla.
  4. Add flax eggs, baking powder, salt, and cacao powder. Whisk until combined.
  5. Add flour and fold with spatula, do not over mix.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Check for donnas by placing a toothpick in the centre and it comes clean.
  7. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes
  8. Melt coconut oil and dark chocolate in a double boiler
  9. Spread melted chocolate on cooled brownies with a spatula. Sprinkle coconut on top and place in fridge to cool. Once cooled cut into squares.
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Enjoy!

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Toasted Oatmeal with citrus compote http://www.zestnutrition.ca/toasted-oatmeal-with-citrus-compote/ http://www.zestnutrition.ca/toasted-oatmeal-with-citrus-compote/#respond Wed, 31 Jan 2018 15:29:35 +0000 http://www.zestnutrition.ca/?p=4717 Good Morning! January is national oatmeal month. I am a total believer in starting your day with a delicious healthy breakfast like this toasted oatmeal with citrus compote. Personally, I think it sets the tone for the rest of my day. What better time to incorporate oatmeal into your diet, as most of us are […]

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Good Morning! January is national oatmeal month. I am a total believer in starting your day with a delicious healthy breakfast like this toasted oatmeal with citrus compote. Personally, I think it sets the tone for the rest of my day. What better time to incorporate oatmeal into your diet, as most of us are working on our new year’s resolutions to eat healthier.  This bowl of toasted oatmeal with citrus compote is hearty and packed with fibre and vitamin C to keep you full all morning long.

Oats are a great way to start off your day.  They are healthy, hearty, and easy to make. I like to make a large batch of oatmeal on my meal prep days, to save a little time and ensure  we all have a healthy breakfast. Miss Q is slowly beginning to learn to like oats.  Toasting your oats brings out a  perfect nutty flavour, nothing like that old fashioned breakfast you remember as a kid.  Trust me this toasted oatmeal with citrus compote is nothing like your mama used to make. With all the dreary rain the West Coast has been getting, I decided to add a little sunshine to my mornings by adding a citrus compote to my toasted oats. This citrus compote is a combinations of cara cara, blood and naval oranges topped with pomegranate arils. I think we all could use a little extra vitamin C to support our immune system during the dreary winter months. Furthermore, oranges are a great source of folate, perfect for all you expecting mamas out there. I used unsweetened almond milk in this recipe but you could easily substitute any milk of your choice. Finally,  I like to sprinkle hemp hearts on top of my oatmeal, a little added plant based omega 3 to start my morning off on the right foot.

Oats with citrus compote

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of large flake oats
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 1 navel orange
  • 1/2 cup of pomegranate arils
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp of water
  • 1 inch of fresh giner
  • 2 tbsp Hemp hearts

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat melt coconut oil
  2. Add oats and toast for a couple of minutes, stir occasionally
  3. In a small sauce pan over medium heat bring maple syrup and water to a boil. Add ginger and simmer for a a few minutes. Remove ginger and allow syrup to cool for a couple of minutes.
  4. In a bowl small bowl combine oranges and pomegranate arils.
  5. Toss fruit in syrup.
  6. Add fruit to oatmeal and garnish with hemp hearts.
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Health Benefits of Oats

Not only do oats taste good but they are good for you! Oats are a good source of soluble fibre to help you feel full, stabilize blood sugars, and control cholesterol levels. Choosing the right oat can be a bit confusing with many varieties to choose from instant, to quick oats, to steel cut oats. When it comes to oats you need to read the ingredient list. Instant oats are highly processed and usually full of sugar, fillers like guar gum and artificial flavours.  Large flake oats ( also known as old fashioned oats) are quickly steamed and rolled, like steel cut oats, have their germ and bran intact, the most nutritious part of the grain. Steel cut oats are the winner when it comes to oats, they are whole grains and will keep you full all morning long, downfall they take the longest to cook. If you follow a gluten free diet you can still enjoy your oats, check the label to make sure they are pure and uncontaminated.

In addition to their high soluble fibre, oats are also a good source of B vitamins  (Thiamine and Riboflavin) and minerals iron, magnesium, and selenium.

Enjoy!

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Three Tips to make your New Year resolutions a success! http://www.zestnutrition.ca/three-tips-to-make-your-new-years-resolutions-a-success/ http://www.zestnutrition.ca/three-tips-to-make-your-new-years-resolutions-a-success/#respond Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:35:21 +0000 http://www.zestnutrition.ca/?p=4679 Happy New Year Friends! How many of you have made New Year’s resolutions? What’s your goal? Eat healthier? Exercise more? Sound familiar!  Let’s be honest how many of you were successful with last year’s resolution? Did you know that less than 10 percent are actually successful. Ouch! Resolutions are hard to keep.  With January half […]

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Happy New Year Friends! How many of you have made New Year’s resolutions? What’s your goal? Eat healthier? Exercise more? Sound familiar!  Let’s be honest how many of you were successful with last year’s resolution? Did you know that less than 10 percent are actually successful. Ouch! Resolutions are hard to keep.  With January half over I thought I would check in and see how your New Year’s resolutions are going. If you are successful, congrats. If you feel like quitting, hang in there. Take a look at our three tips on how to make your new years resolutions a success!

Set Realistic Goals:

Ever hear of the term SMART ? SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Too many of us want big results FAST. Sorry friends instead of wanting drastic and immediate results, look at your journey as a slow and steady incline to your wellbeing.  A smart goal might look like this: Incorporate more vegetables in my diet by eating a green salad with dinner on weeknights. This goal is SMART because eating a green salad is specific, at dinner is attainable and weeknights is timely.  Remember you want to make lifestyle changes for the longterm. Remember small changes can have a big impact on your health.

Focus on what you can have (not what you can’t)

Too often we make unrealistic resolutions like to give up sugar. Really, how realistic is that in the longterm. When we make unrealistic goals we set ourselves up for failure. Instead, look at all the foods you can eat. There are tons of healthy foods that we should all enjoy on a daily basis. I suggest trying a new recipe a week or buying a new cookbook for inspiration. You will often hear dietitian’s  recommend to eat healthy unprocessed foods at least 80- 90 percent of time and allow for a little indulgence 10-20 percent of the time.  Hey if you have a cookie not a big deal.

Plan Plan Plan:

Let’s face it, I am sure most of you could all agree on is you need more time. One of the common barriers to healthy eating is lack of time and preparedness. With work, taking the kids to their activities, and everyday chores, life gets hectic. I couldn’t survive without meal planning, not only does it save me from what to make for dinner stress, it forces me to try new recipes. Meal planning  may seem like a lot of work but setting aside 30 minutes every week to develop a meal plan and grocery list will save both time and stress. The key to feeding your family and yourself is meal planning. I know you are probably rolling your eyes at me but trust me it’s a life saver. It takes a bit to getting use to but I encourage you to do it for a month. If you have older kids have them plan 1-2 meals per week. It’s a great way to get the whole family involved and take the pressure off one person. If you are new to meal planning check out our post on meal planning for tips.

 

Seek help from reliable resources:

At this time of the year there are a lot of good and bad advice when it comes to nutrition. There are too many people out there providing unrealistic nutrition information. I am not going to name any people or websites.  A dietitian colleague Abbey, from Abbey’s kitchen summarizes some popular sites providing misleading nutrition and health information. Instead, look for a trusted and trained professional such as a registered dietitian whom you can work with. Like other professionals, many dietitian’s specialize in a specific area. For example, if you want to go vegan it would be beneficial to see a dietitian who is vegan and/or has a lot knowledge around veganism.  Seeking help from a trained professional  like a registered dietitian will help you make SMART goals and re-evulate those goals with you to make sure they are working for you for.

 

Wishing you a healthy and successful 2018!

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Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup http://www.zestnutrition.ca/homemade-turkey-noodle-soup/ http://www.zestnutrition.ca/homemade-turkey-noodle-soup/#respond Wed, 03 Jan 2018 05:38:17 +0000 http://www.zestnutrition.ca/?p=4656 I always look forward to turkey leftovers after the holidays. I love making a big batch of homemade turkey noodle soup. Luckily, Mr. D and the girls love turkey noodle soup as much as I do because we eat it for days on end. To me there is nothing more comforting than a fresh bowl […]

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I always look forward to turkey leftovers after the holidays. I love making a big batch of homemade turkey noodle soup. Luckily, Mr. D and the girls love turkey noodle soup as much as I do because we eat it for days on end. To me there is nothing more comforting than a fresh bowl of homemade turkey soup.

I fondly remember my mom making homemade turkey noodle soup after the holidays. To be honest, the long process of making homemade turkey noodle soup used to always intimidate me. But it’s worth the effort, plus you have leftovers for days. You can easily substitute a roasted chicken for the turkey. I recommend using the reserved liquid from cooking the carcass for extra flavour but you can also use low sodium chicken stock.  I like to add a lot of extra vegetables to my soup. I also added barley to make it heartier, you could also add wild rice. To finish I add a ton of fresh thyme and cracked pepper.

 

Turkey Noodle Soup
Author: Zest Nutrition
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • Turkey carcess
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 10 carrots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 onion sliced in half
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups of homemade stock, or low sodium chicken broth.
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of barley
  • 6 stems of fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful of egg noodles
Instructions
  1. Fill a large pot with water and turkey carcass. Allow it to boil and then simmer over low to medium heat until the meat falls off the bones, about 2-3 hours.
  2. Remove the carcass and remove the meat. Strain and reserve the liquid for later use.
  3. In a large pot. Add oil and cook celery and carrots until soften. About 3 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and cook for a about a minute. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  5. Add bay leafs and half onion to pot.
  6. Add reserved stock to pot and allow to boil and turn down to a simmer.
  7. Add barley and water to pot and simmer for 45 minutes.
  8. Add thyme leave.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.

 

What’s your favorite way to use  turkey leftovers?

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Dark Chocolate Oranges with Hemp Hearts http://www.zestnutrition.ca/dark-chocolate-oranges-hemp-hearts/ http://www.zestnutrition.ca/dark-chocolate-oranges-hemp-hearts/#respond Fri, 22 Dec 2017 06:51:33 +0000 http://www.zestnutrition.ca/?p=4637 Hey you guys, these dark chocolate oranges are AMAZING! If you are looking for a simple, delicious, and healthy recipe to impress your guests this is it. I mean who could resist oranges dipped in dark chocolate. If your anything like me you probably have a couple of potluck parties. Let’s face it, time is of […]

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Hey you guys, these dark chocolate oranges are AMAZING! If you are looking for a simple, delicious, and healthy recipe to impress your guests this is it. I mean who could resist oranges dipped in dark chocolate. If your anything like me you probably have a couple of potluck parties. Let’s face it, time is of the essence.   I made these dark chocolate oranges with hemp hearts on a whim within a few minutes after I completely ruined my initial dish. I never intended on making a super healthy dish, honestly.  These dark chocolate oranges with hemp hearts are delicious, easy to make and healthy.

These dark chocolate oranges are sprinkled with hemp hearts for additional crunch. These oranges are so good your guests won’t even mind that they are healthy.  Hemp hearts are added to many dishes in our house, for good reason.  Hemp hearts are a great source of plant protein and a source of omega -3 fatty acids for fighting inflammation. Furthermore, these little seeds also contain fibre, iron, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorous.

 

Dark Chocolate Oranges with Hemp Hearts

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Ingredients

  • 3 mandarin oranges, peeled
  • 100 grams of chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil, melted
  • Hemp hearts

Instructions

  1. Place peeled oranges on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Allow to dry
  2. Melt coconut oil in a double broiler
  3. Add chocolate and melt over medium heat
  4. Dip oranges in chocolate and place on parchment paper
  5. Sprinkle hemp hearts on oranges
  6. Place in fridge until ready to serve
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Mr. D was pretty skeptical when I first made these but after trying one he couldn’t stop. Miss E is begging me to make some for the family. It’s nice to provide guests with healthy dessert and show them how to incorporate healthy strategies for the holidays.

Not only do these dark chocolate oranges with hemp hearts taste great but they are easy to make and clean up afterwords. Let’s just say these oranges will be making a regular appearance during the holiday season.

 

Happy Holidays!

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