At-Home Tea Pop

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 Hi all, Jen here!

I am a loose-leaf tea fiend, and spend way too much time and money on tea. It’s delicious, can help nip nasty cravings in the bud, and is so versatile! You can drink it hot or cold, sweet or bitter, black or with cream…. much like coffee, but in about a million more flavours (side note- as a Canadian living in the US, it took me about 15 minutes to decide on how I was going to spell “flavours”).  The best thing about it is that it keeps you totally hydrated if you’re bored of plain old water.

Anyway, while I love a classic cup of hot tea, there are a lot of ways you can spice it up.  My mom likes to mix tea flavours together when she gets near the end of a can.  I also like putting tea in with my coffee grinds when I’m having a cup of coffee for some added flavours (don’t use a tea bag in coffee– the coffee will dissolve the tea bag).  But lately my favourite way to drink tea has been what David’s calls the Tea Pop!  They charge 4$ a pop for one of these, but I recently received a Soda Stream (birthday gift- thanks dad!) and have been making my own for much cheaper.  This is what I do:

  1. Make a big jug of iced tea.  I brew double-strong (okay, sometimes triple-strong) tea and pour it into a jug of ice.  I make a whole lot at once so I can just go pour a glass when I’m thirsty.  Some favourites for iced tea from David’s include Midsummer Night’s Dream and Coco-Lemon Thai.
  2. Carbonate up a batch of water in the Soda Stream.  If you don’t have a Soda Stream, you can just buy some sparkling water.  I make a litre of this at a time and just keep it in the fridge as well.
  3. When I want a Tea Pop, I just fill the glass up halfway with iced tea, and halfway with the carbonated water.
  4. Enjoy 🙂

I find it’s even more refreshing than a flat iced tea!  And something a little different to keep you hydrated without getting bored.

My favourite healthy breakfast, as of today: Vegan Chocolate Frosty

Good afternoon!

Do not be alarmed by the picture below. Yes, it looks like puke in a mason jar and I could not find a coloured straw to make it look any better. But do not judge a book by it’s questionable puke-y cover…. this is a delicious treat! It satisfies the sweet tooth and keeps you full and full of energy!

This strange mystery smoothie is actually a chocolate frosty. What!?

Yes, it is my version of the healthiest chocolate frosty you may ever come across. If you find something better, comment with the link so I can make it, drink it and love my life even more. I’ll even post a thank you and admit it is better than mine. If it looks better, that’s a bonus too!

Imagell

Moving on…

What I used (serves 1)

  • 3 – 4 small frozen very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup cartoned unsweetened coconut milk (any unsweetened nut milk should do)
  • generous handful of spinach
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds (optional)

In a blender, pour coconut milk and blend in the spinach. Blend until smooth. One by one add the frozen (chopped) bananas and blend patiently (if you have a blender like mine, you’ll need patience) on the puree setting (if you have). If you find you need more milk, by all means add more.

Once smooth, add cacao powder and blend again. If you enjoy any additional spices like cinnamon, i’m sure that’ll be great too!

You can blend the hemp seeds if you’re using but I just sprinkled mine on top as if it were a sundae.Image

Okay.. so it doesn’t look like a chocolate frosty with pretty sprinkles on top.. and it actually looks exactly like what most junk food lovers would think a healthy frosty would look like… but the taste says “Oh nay nay, I am delicious.”

It’s obviously the spinach that makes it look all frightening but the best part is, if you’re not a spinach person, you can’t even taste it. And guess what, you really don’t even need the spinach if you don’t like it.

My favourite part about this recipe is that the ingredients are so minimal. Keeping it simple is the best way to achieve optimal health. If you try it, tell me what you think!

Also, Jen and I are pretty excited to see our blog and posts are getting some likes; thank you so much for reading. Things like that give us reinforcement to write, stay healthy and come up with more material to share. So, thank you! 🙂

Love,

Nidhi

Carb up!

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I don’t know about you, but I am a carb person. Our body craves carbs because our body NEEDS carbs. I have curbed a lot of cravings because I keep myself on a high-carb diet (I’m not perfect – I ate 3 tablespoons of natural peanut butter right after dinner, but I’m human and peanut butter is amazeballs). If you’ve heard of Freelee The Banana Girl (Aussie girl, very popular with her fruit-based regimen and has a kick-ass body solely because of her high-card low-fat diet) she vouches completely for the high-carb diet. I’ll definitely follow up with some more research as to why a high-carb diet can be great for your fitness goals (but everyone is different!).

I’ve decided to post some great meal ideas that are awesome right after a workout or if you’re really craving something heavier and satisfying without the guilt.

In my picture above, I made a healthier, vegan version of the Dutch dish Boerenkool which essentially is mashed potato, kale, nutmeg, butter, and bacon and/or sausage, etc.

What I used (serves 3-4):

  • 2 organic russet potatoes
  • 2 cups kale, diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp grape seed or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk (or any milk of your choice – unsweetened)
  • Himalayan/sea salt to your desired taste
  • pepper for seasoning
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • crushed chilli’s (because I love spice)

Scrub the potatoes (if you’re like me and enjoy eating the skin) and steam/or bake for 30 – 40 minutes until tender

Heat oil on a skillet and cook onion and garlic till it becomes aromatic and translucent. Set aside

Once potatoes are cooked, let cool for a minute or so to avoid burning yourself and mash the potatoes. Stir in onions and garlic and mix together. Transfer to skillet and add remaining ingredients, milk last. Add more grape seed or coconut oil if desired for more creaminess.

Serve with a generous side of roasted vegetables and enjoy :).

Next: Grilled Cashew Cheese Sandwich (nope, it’s not real cheese!). Great lunch for a “cheat day” with minimal guilt.

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This was the closest I have ever come to simulating vegan mozzarella in the most simplified way. It melted, it was stretchy, it was perfection – to me at least. I found a great vegan mozzarella recipe from this website: http://vedgedout.com/2013/03/11/individual-vegan-margherita-pizzas-with-homemade-fresh-moxarella-cheese/   .. i made my own change to get a thicker consistency, it took playing around with it to get the texture I really wanted. Be patient!

For this sandwich I used two slices of organic spelt and rye bread, and handful of spinach.

Instead of frying it on a pan, I used a Foreman grill which is ironic because it’s purpose is solely for meat and it’s only ever been used for vegetarian purpose. Hazzah!

If you don’t have a grill, fry it with some grape seed or coconut oil and press down firmly with a spatula so that the mozzarella melts properly without burning the bread. Meh, I’m sure you get it, it’s a judgement call :P.

Breakfast: I feel like I have this entire post backwards…

Steel Cut oats in a mason jar! The take-to-work breakfast/snack solution!

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Ingredients (Serves 1):

  • 1/3 cup steel cut oats
  • 2/3 cup almond milk or any milk of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp stevia or 1 tbsp organic pure maple syrup
  • 2 – 3 fried figs or any dried fruit of your choice
  • pinch of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts (optional)

Gently boil the milk in a pot and add oats and stevia. Let cook for 5 – 10 minutes then add maple syrup. Let simmer until cooked.

Add dried fruit and/or nuts and let sit in a jar to soften. Enjoy 🙂

Another option is to put the ingredients in a slow cooker overnight for the flavours to really come out :).

Anyways, I’m getting hungry and it’s 11:30pm.. I should probably brush my teeth before I reach for another spoonful of peanut butter.

Goodnight!

Nidhi