VEGAN SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE “TRUFFLES”

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I love food. Always have. But it wasn’t until I began living a more conscious lifestyle that I realized I also love to cook. The more I played in the kitchen, the more I realized I could create healthy alternatives to my favourite decadent foods; often just as delicious – if not better – than the real deal (excuse me while I brag).

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AUTUMN OVERNIGHT OATS

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Oh, autumn. What a whirlwind of a season it has been.

I recently published a blog post “How-To: Grow Your Own Sprouts” rather nonchalantly in hopes that no one would notice my lack of content over these last transitory months. The air now crisp, the trees a burnt orange, and the thermostat turned on high; fall is in full swing. During this time of change, it seems I’ve made some changes too. Change in the sense of letting go. More specifically, being detached from my thoughts. I often find myself feeling frustrated and negative when in a creative rut or when I choose to take time for myself instead of work. Learning to let go of these feelings and taking a step back has helped me to be comfortable with, simply, what is. Because at the end of the day, through it all, only we know what’s best for us. But how do we learn to acknowledge this? By being alone.

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AVOCADO LIME ICE POPS

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I succumbed to a food fad, you guys. I hopped on the popsicle/ice pop/just-about-anything-frozen-on-a-stick bandwagon, and with gusto. Why? Because, avocado, that’s why.

There are just so many things to love about this perfect fruit. First of all, it tastes amazing, we all know that! But did you know it’s a source of HDL cholesterol – the good kind – that lowers the bad kind, LDL cholesterol, making it a fantastic food to eat for those with hypoglycemia and diabetes. It’s also known to be high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, potassium, vitamin B9 and folic acid. In this recipe, the lime cuts the creaminess of the avocado for a lighter, more citrus taste making it all the more refreshing, helping you beat the summertime heat. And by using a refined white sugar substitute like coconut palm sugar, you’re looking at a low-glycemic index alternative that is higher in vital phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals {meaning it still contains some nutrients, whereas white sugar has zilch}. Other sweeteners to try that are low on the glycemic index are sucanat, raw honey, agave, and maple syrup.

Call me crazy but I also added a handful of kale. Initially this was only to enhance the once green, booger-like colour of the mixture but this also upped the nutritional value. I know what you’re thinking… “but will I be able to taste it?” and my answer to this is, yes and no. For all of you kale connoisseurs out there, you likely will not be able to taste it as, if like me, you add it to almost every smoothie, side dish, and salad. For those who don’t use it as much, don’t fret, it is not overpowering in the slightest. I recently watched a TED talk from one of my favourite healthy food bloggers, Sarah Britton {you may know her as My New Roots}. She speaks on making one change in the kitchen, to change your entire life; and after watching, I couldn’t agree more. So go on, add a handful of greens to your already healthy recipe!

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“With every bite of food we take, we are voting for the way we will look, the way we will think, and of course, the way we will feel. Our food becomes us.”

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Summer is truly the best season to eat avocado. Of course, they’re not local to Canada however, it’s still possible to buy them organic. When it comes to the local vs. organic debate, I often say both is best, but this is not always possible. Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting with culinary nutritionist, Marni Wasserman, who explains “when you have to make the choice between local non-organic or organic from across the world, it may be in your best interest to choose local. When food travels long distances, it loses its enzymes, nutrients, and life force, so you’re left with an organic strawberry from South America that may have ripened on a truck, train, or plane. This means that unnatural gases and methods have been used to artificially stimulate the growth process.” With that said, we just need to do the best we can to make healthful choices when it comes to our food. In this case, the organic avocado from Mexico will do the trick.

Should you find yourself with some leftover avo lingering on the brink of their one-day-too-late state of edibility, what do you do? Make guacamole, of course! Be sure to check out Marni’s new book Plant-Based Diet for Dummies for the most summerlicious Sweet Pea Guacamole recipe. To.Die.For.

The Ingredients {Yield: 6 ice pops Total Time: 5 hours}

  • 2 small ripe avocados
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • pinch of salt

The Directions

1. Combine water and sugar in small saucepan and cook over med-high heat, stirring until mixture comes to a boil. Let cool to room temperature

2. While mixture cools, cut avocados in half, lengthwise. Remove pits and scoop flesh into a blender or food processor, along with cooled syrup and salt

3. Blend until smooth, scraping sides when needed. Add lime juice and blend until combined

4. Divide mixture among the molds. Snap on lid, and freeze until solid, about 5 hours. If using unconventional molds, freeze until pops begin to set {approx. half hour}, insert sticks, and freeze until solid

*Recipe adapted from Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Iced & Aguas Frescas

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