Beet Hummus Michelle Nutrition Michelle Tirmandi Toronto Nutritionist

Beautifying Beet Hummus

Beet Hummus Michelle Nutrition Michelle Tirmandi Toronto Nutritionist

 

This hummus isn’t just pretty, it makes you pretty!

Beets are a very beautifying food for a number of reasons. A member of the same family of veggies as spinach and chard, they pack a very high concentration of vitamins and minerals and are very helpful for helping the body to detoxify naturally.

  • High in folate (especially important for mamas-to-be)
  • High in the antioxidant vitamins A + C (mega important for glowing skin)
  • High in fibre (important for healthy digestion)
  • And, they help to thin the bile which is important for detoxification!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large beet, roasted
  • 2 garlic cloves, roasted
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 (15oz) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (I use Eden Organics)
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Fresh or dried thyme for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375′
  2. Wash and peel the beets then quarter them and place on a baking tray
  3. Peel the garlic clove and place on baking tray
  4. Drizzle beets and garlic with olive or coconut oil and bake for 45-60 minutes until beets can be easily be pierced with a knife
  5. Remove the beets and let cool
  6. Add the beets to a food processor and blend well
  7. Add the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, sea salt and chickpeas and blend again
  8. Add the olive oil and blend again
  9. Enjoy!

 

Gluten Free Brazil Nut Banana Bread Michelle Tirmandi Michelle Nutrition Holistic Nutritionist in Toronto

Brazil Nut Banana Loaf

Gluten Free Brazil Nut Banana Bread Michelle Tirmandi Michelle Nutrition Holistic Nutritionist in Toronto

The other day I went to go and make my Gluten Free Banana Nut Muffins only to realize that I didn’t have any almonds (the main ingredient!). I scanned the fridge and as it turns out, I needed to get creative because all we had were a little over a cup of Brazil nuts. A few lucky ingredients later and this Brazil Nut Banana Loaf was born.

It’s main ingredients are bananas, Brazil nuts, eggs and buckwheat flour with a little vanilla and maple syrup for added sweetness (you can play around with the amount of maple syrup to your taste). I love this loaf because it’s gluten free which for most people means that it won’t leave you feeling bloated after eating it. The Brazil nuts are also the star ingredient, with their high content of the mineral selenium which is a beautifying nutrient for the skin, and also important for brain development of a baby during pregnancy. Just 3 nuts a day will give your body the total amount it needs everyday, so munching on them for a snack is a  great option too!

If eating for breakfast, it’s always a great idea to add a little extra protein to balance out your blood sugar, a little Greek Yogurt or some nut butter are always great options!

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp Brazil Nuts, processed in a food processor
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 Medium Ripe Bananas, mashed
  • 4 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tbsp Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Buckwheat Flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350′ and line a loaf pan with parchment paper or grease with coconut oil or butter.
  2. Add the Brazil nuts to a food processor and blend on high for a few seconds (don’t over-mix).
  3. Mash the bananas and stir in the eggs.
  4. Add the almond milk, vanilla and maple syrup and mix together.
  5. Stir in the nuts, baking powder and buckwheat flour and mix well.
  6. Pour in to a baking pan and bake for 40 minutes (check at 35  minutes, they are ready when a toothpick comes out clean).

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Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Gluten Free Brownies Michelle nutrition Toronto Nutrition Michelle Nutrition Michelle Tirmandi

Black Bean Brownie Recipe: 
  • 1 can of black beans (I used Eden Organics 398ml can)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao (I used Navitas Naturals)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup  chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
  • 2/3 cup sucanat sugar (unrefined cane sugar)
  • 1/2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • (scant) 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 350′
2. Grease muffin tray with coconut oil
3. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and puree
4. Pour mixture in to muffin tins and top with chocolate chips, walnuts or any other desired topping
5. Bake for ~ 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. ENJOY!!
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Simple Burrito Bowls

As I sit here in cold, wintery Toronto writing this blog post, my lucky husband is sitting on the beach in Cabo, Mexico. I’m not going to lie, I am a little envious, but instead of wishing I was there with him, I decided instead to enjoy my extra solo time and cook up some simple, healthy Mexican-inspired fare, Burrito Bowls!

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Simple, Healthy & Tasty Burrito Bowl 

This deliciously simple recipe took only 30 minutes to make start to finish, including the cooking time for the rice.  And, if that isn’t reason enough to give it a try, I will let you know that it’s colourful, plant-based ingredients are filled with phytonutrient power!

  • Black Beans: contain fibre, folate (mega important for mamas-to-be), and a decent amount of protein to help with blood sugar stabilization.
  • Cilantro: contains a high amount of antioxidants (required for healthy, glowing skin) and also acts as a natural cleansing agent, specifically binding to heavy metals and helping them to be removed from the tissues.
  • Tomatoes: a very rich source of antioxidants including Lycopene and Vitamin C (the precursor to collagen production). They also contain Vitamin A which helps to keep your hair shiny and strong.
  • Avocados: an excellent source of good fats, as well as folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and fibre (a major pregnancy power food!).
  • Bell Peppers:  an excellent source of carotenoids, which help to protect the skin, tissue and cells from environmental toxins and disease.
  • Brown Rice: contains fibre (important for natural detoxification) as well as the beautifying & anti-cancerous antioxidant, Selenium.

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Ingredients:

Servings: 4

For the Burrito Bowl:

  • 1 Cup Brown Rice (I used a Basmati Brown & Wild Rice blend by Floating Leaf)
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 15oz Can Black Beans (I used Eden Organics)
  • 1 Cup Corn (non GMO)
  • 1 Cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 2-3 Large Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 – 2 large avocados, cubed
  • 1 Medium White Onion, chopped
  • 1 Medium Red Pepper, sliced
  • 1 Medium Orange Pepper, sliced
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper, sliced
  • 1 Cup Organic Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut oil

For the Seasoning Mix:

  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt

Instructions:

  1. Add 1 cup rice and 2 cups water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 25 minutes.
  2. While the rice is cooking, chop the onions and peppers.
  3. Chop tomatoes, avocado , cilantro, set aside.
  4. Shred the cheese, set aside.
  5. Add 1 Tbsp coconut oil to a pan over medium heat and sauté the onions for 4-5 minutes. Add the peppers and stir together.
  6. Add all of the spices together and stir in to the onion and pepper mixture, continuing string for another few minutes until everything is well mixed.
  7. Heat the corn and beans in a separate pan.
  8. Once the rice is cooked add all ingredients together and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Carrot Cake Protein Bites

When it’s 3pm and you’ll literally do anything for something sweet — these bites have got your back.

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Filled with wholesome ingredients and a combination of carbs, protein and healthy fats, these are a great afternoon snack option. The best part is that they only take 10 minutes to make. My suggestion is make 2-3 batches at a time and freeze them so you’ll always have them on hand! (FYI, if you keep them hanging around the fridge you’re likely to eat most of them at once…like I just did, oops!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium carrots
  • 6 Tbsp hemp hearts (I used Manitoba Harvest)
  • 8 Medjool dates, pits removed
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional – I used Genuine Health Vegan Fermented Vanilla proteins+)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes + 2-3 Tbsp for rolling
  • 1 cup puffed rice or kamut cereal
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Add the carrots to a food processor for 30 seconds. Add all remaining ingredients except for the puffed cereal and process. Stir in the cereal and roll in to balls. Spread the remaining coconut out on a plate and roll the balls in it to cover them. Refrigerate or freeze until eating.

Enjoy!

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Falafel Salad #ftw

Have you ever wanted to make falafels before but figured they were out of the question too hard?

Fear not my friends, falafels are way simpler then you may think! Plus, of course you already know they are delicious. When you make them at home you have the potential to make them much healthier than the ones you would typically get from a restaurant because you can either fry them in a healthier oil (such as ghee, clarified butter), or bake them.

You’ve also got options…..eat them on a salad like I did, or stuff a whole grain pita and enjoy as a delicious, plant based fibre rich meal.

Also, here’s a fun fact for you: did you know that gram for gram tahini (ground sesame seeds) contain almost three times the amount of calcium then cow’s milk? I know, crazy huh? Combine that with the calcium in the spinach salad and bam, you’ve got yourself a good source of calcium in this meal, sans dairy!

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Ingredients: 

For the Falafels:

(makes approximately 16 large falafels)

  • 1 19oz can chickpeas (I recommend choosing a can without the use of BPA such as Eden Organics)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp Tahini
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (make your own by letting a loaf of bread go stale and processing it in a food processor)
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (ground regular oats in to a flour in the food processor, whole spelt will also work!)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Ghee (or other oil for frying)

Salad:

(makes medium sized salads)

  • 8 cups spinach or leafy green
  • 4 small tomatoes. chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 white or red onion, chopped

For the Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup Tahini
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Raw Honey
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 Tbsp Water (add more to thin consistency)

Instructions: 

  1. Chop 3 garlic cloves and all of the herbs then add to a food processor. Process until mixed well and remove to a large bowl.
  2. Rinse can of chickpeas and add them to the food processor. Pulse well then add them to the bowl with herbs and garlic.
  3. Add tahini, bread crumbs, flour, baking powder, sea salt and coriander to the bowl and mix together with hands.
  4. Add 1 egg and continue mixing with hands.
  5. Roll the falafel mixture in small balls or round patties and place on a plate.
  6. If baking, preheat the oven to 350′ and bake for ~ 20 minutes flipping halfway through.
  7. If frying heat 1-2 Tbsp of ghee over medium heat depending on the size of the pan.
  8. Cook for ~ 2 minutes per side or until golden brown.
  9. Mix all ingredients for the tahini sauce together until and mix well smooth (add additional water depending on the desired texture).
  10. Drizzle the sauce over the salad and add a toasted pita if desired.
IMG_8619

Raw Raspberry Lemon Protein Bars

While I had a hard time deciding what to call these bad boys (bites, bars, squares or slices..) I promise you one thing – they are divine, and they won’t last long!
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These nutritious and delicious tasty little treats taste more like dessert than anything else, but the good news is that they are filled with plenty of wholesome ingredients. I even found a way to sneak in some fermented vegan protein to up the protein content (and hence the nutrition factor!)
With the extra protein in these beauties you’ll be feeling satisfied for a longer time, not to mention your blood sugar will be more balanced. Aaaannndddd…as you’ve heard me say time and time again, when our blood sugar is balanced we feel more stabilized both in our energy levels and our cravings (side note: we’re also much less likely to store fat because protein helps to mitigate against insulin spikes  which cause fat storage – yay!). 
Another reason I love this protein powder specifically (besides the yummy taste) is because it is a complete vegan protein.  It’s been fermented from from seven plant-based sources, providing advanced digestive support, and maximum nutrient absorption (all without the bloat that you can sometimes get from a vegan protein powder). It supports optimal digestive health and primes the gut for other health promoting ingredients all via it’s fermentation process which essentially unlocks vitamins, minerals, amino acids and carbohydrates leading to optimal absorption (by the body by removing anti-nutrients and amplifying nutritional potency). Wow, that’s a mouthful – all you need to remember is that it’s for the gut!

My final reason for loving this dessert is that it’s raw, as in unbaked. By keeping it raw we not only save ourselves the time baking time, we also get the benefit of the enzymes and nutrients in the food not being destroyed by heat (I’ll explain this fully in another blog post soon….:).

Until then, enjoy these delicious treats (and don’t forget to enter the contest down below!).

Ingredients:

Crust

IMG_8522

Middle Layer 

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Top Layer 

  • 2 cups frozen raspberries
  • 3-4 Tbsp maple syrup (sweeten to taste)
  • 1 tbsp water

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Instructions: 

  1. Soak the cashews in a bowl of water in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours and rinse.
  2. Using a food processor, add the oats, protein powder, coconut flakes, maple syrup and melted coconut oil and pulse until everything is combined.
  3. Once mixed, press the crust in to the base of a large glass baking dish (use a round dish to make slices and a rectangular dish to make bars or squares). Place in the freezer immediately.
  4. Rinse the food processor. Add the ingredients for the middle layer: cashews (drained),  coconut butter, coconut oil (melted), protein powder, maple syrup, water and lemon juice mix until very creamy.
  5. Separate the mixture in half. Remove the base from freezer and add half of the middle layer to the base.
  6. Using a large spatula, spread the middle layer over top of the base layer being very careful not to mix the creamy mixture with the base layer (this is a challenge!).
  7. Add a small handful of frozen raspberries on top of the middle filling layer and place back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Rinse the food processor and add the remaining half of the filling, frozen raspberries and maple syrup together. Blend until well mixed and spread to the mixture on top of the frozen middle layer.
  9. Freeze for 2 hours before removing to cut squares, bars or slices.

If you’d like to try this recipe, make sure you enter the Genuine Health fermented vegan proteins+ contest for your chance to WIN $200 worth of free products by clicking here.

ENJOY!!
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Jewel Tone Fruit Salad with a Twist

Hello & Happy Easter!
To be honest, I had no intention of sharing this recipe on my blog today.
But, as it turns out, we just finished hosting a family brunch which included this fruit salad and everybody seemed to be raving about it!
I personally love it because it’s so pretty. But everyone seemed to think it was super flavourful and so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to add upload it over here 🙂
It’s great for a brunch because it is so simple.  I also think that it’s jewel tones mixed with the mint make it seem kind of sophisticated, lol (maybe?).
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My Easter brunch menu also included a delicious sweet potato and thyme frittata,  overnight baked apple cinnamon french toast, grapefruit raspberry & basil mimosas (along with more of the regular brunch fixin’s).
The food is so yummy that I decided that I’m going to be putting together a Mother’s Day brunch menu over the next few weeks so you can use it too! If you don’t have a brunch date planned – maybe it’s time to make one!
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Ingredients:

(serves 8-10 small bowls)

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped in small cubes
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
Instructions:

Wash and chop all of the ingredients. Mix with mint and let sit for 2-3 hours in the fridge before serving.

% reasons to drink lemon water

5 Reasons to Drink Lemon Water

If you’ve been following for a while, or have joined one of my programs before you’ll already be familiar with the benefits of lemon water.
But, if you’re new around here, and haven’t yet heard about the amazing impact that a simple glass of lemon water can have, then listen up!
I learned the lemon water health hack several years ago, and I can honestly say that it’s a game changer!
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So what’s the deal?
When you add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon to your water and drink it first thing in the morning (pre-breakfast), your body accrues some pretty serious health benefits. Here’s the run down –
Hydration:
For starters, and not surprisingly, drinking water upon waking hydrates your system! I know, seems like no big deal, but it is! Staying hydrated is very important to keep your skin looking moisturized as well as keeping your energy levels up (even a small dip of 1.5% in hydration levels can result in feeling lethargic due to changes in blood pressure – not the way you want to start off your morning!).
Alkalinity:
Alka-wha? In a nutshell, our bodies turn our food into either an alkaline ash, or acidic ash after processing (imagine your body as a furnace burning it’s fuel and analyzing the remains of the fire pit against the pH scale). Foods that leave acidic byproducts (like sugar, alcohol, caffeine, meat & grains) leave us feeling tired, as well as contribute to the leaching of stored minerals from our bodies in an attempt to neutralize the ash (these are the same minerals that are needed for strong bones, strong nails and healthy looking hair!). Alkaline forming foods, including lemon (I know, it’s not very intuitive because it seems acidic before we eat it) and other fruits and veggies (especially green ones) actually contribute to more energy, and overall health because neutralization (read: extra work for the body) isn’t required!
Weight Loss:
Okay, I may be over promising a bit on this one (#busted). But, if you are replacing your morning cuppa OJ or sugary coffee with lemon water, you’re going to be saving a bunch of liquid calories and still give yourself the energy (without the blood sugar crash, I may add). Furthermore, drinking water (with or without lemon) promotes a healthy metabolism which helps to burn fuel efficiently. What’s more, is that in order for our bodies to properly lose weight, we need to rid the body of an excess build up of toxins, see more details on this topic below…
Glowing Skin:
As you likely already know, the Vitamin C component of lemons is sky high! What you may not already know is that Vitamin C (amongst other minerals found in lemons) is a precursor to collagen which is required for keeping the skin looking taut and firm. If you want that youthful glow, guzzle up my friends!
Detoxification:
​​​​​​​Do you know that digestion is the primary system in the body that promotes overall health? If your digestion is shot (hint: you’re bloated, you’re not pooping 1-2 x/day. you’ve got heartburn or you feel heavy after meals), you’re likely not feeling your best (whether you realize it or not). The cool thing about lemon water is that you are stimulating your liver enzymes to promote overall digestion and therefore, promoting the natural detoxification process. This may be tmi, but it’s not unlikely to have a bowel movement immediately following your morning lemon water…
Want to learn more detox and health tips? Make sure that you’re signed up for my weekly newsletter by clicking here and following me over on Instagram!
ZUcchini Fritters Mucver Michelle Tirmandi Michelle nutrition Toronto Nutritionist Nutritionist in Toronto

Zucchini Fritters with Detox Herbs

I mentioned in my last post that I am officially *pumped* for Spring! I’m not much of a winter gal and tend to hibernate inside far more than anyone should so I’m since happy to report that I’m finally craving the outdoors, more excercise and plenty of fresh, green food!

I’ve also found myself spending more time in the kitchen, bursting at the seams with inspiration – a good thing for you because I have a ton of good content coming out in my newsletter planned for the next few months (subscribe here for weekly recipes & health tips). During my time in the kitchen I’ve also forced myself to put away my computer and phone and allow my cooking time to really become more of a meditation. It’s working really well for me as a stress reliever and way to infuse some creativity back in to my busy days – I highly recommend giving it a try if you also love to cook!

 

ZUcchini Fritters Mucver Michelle Tirmandi Michelle nutrition Toronto Nutritionist Nutritionist in Toronto

These zucchini fritters, or Mucver as they are called in Turkish were inspired by my recent thoughts about my friends and family in Turkey. Every time I visit Turkey I make sure to order them as a meze and they never disappoint!

Now, admittedly they aren’t the healthiest recipe I’ve ever posted, but my rules around food fall in one of two categories: Is the food made from real foods and whole ingredients? Is the food processed and made with artificial ingredients? My personal food philosophy is that if it’s made with real food then there is always room in my diet! That said, I do believe that certain foods are to be eaten less often and so these are more like a special treat.

Before I get in to the recipe, I do want to give a quick highlight to some of the herbs used. I love herbs, and sort of feel that they don’t always make it to the nutritional spotlight even though they have a ton to offer us!

Detox Benefits of Herbs

Parsley: 

Parsley is know for helping to support the natural detoxification processes by supporting the bladder, kidneys and the liver. If not supported through proper nutrition, these three organs of elimination can become overburdened with toxins which impacts our ability to operate at our best.

Dill: 

Dill has been known to offer anti-fungal benefits to protect the body from specific types of mold. Dill also has a significantly high level of Vitamins C + A, both key antioxidants that help the body to neutralize toxins and also contribute to great skin health.

Mint: 

This soothing and cooling mint is known for helping with cramping, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. Mint also helps the body to detoxify by helping to flush out unwanted substances. It’s also been speculated to help flush toxins though the skin, helping you to get your glow!

Zucchini Fritters (Mucver) with Detox Herbs 

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Ingredients:

  • 4 medium zucchinis
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup + 3 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped, divided
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 4 green onions, thinly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups regular oats, processed to flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup goat feta cheese, crumbled
  • Sea salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp ghee (or coconut oil) for frying
  • 1/2 cup plain organic yogurt

Mucver Zucchini fritters Michelle Tirmandi Michelle Nutrition Toronto Nutritionist

Instructions:

  1. Grate the zucchinis using a cheese grater or food processor with a grating blade.
  2. Add several shakes of sea salt to the zucchini (be sure to cover all of the zucchini) then add the grated zucchini to a large colander and let sit for 12 minutes.
  3. While the zucchini is sitting in the salt, wash and chop all of the herbs and add them to a separate bowl (keep remaining 2 Tbsp of dill aside for yogurt sauce).
  4. Process 1 1/2 cups of regular oats in a food processor or blender until a flour has formed, set aside.
  5. After allowing the zucchini to sit with the salt, use a few paper towels or clean tea towel to squeeze all of the excess water from the zucchini (this is a very important step – do not miss this!). Add the drained zucchini to the bowl with the herbs.
  6. Mix the eggs and cheese in with the zucchini and herbs and slowly stir in the oat flour.
  7. Add the ghee or cooking oil to a large frying pan and heat over high heat.
  8. Drop 1 spoonful of mixture in to the hot ghee or oil making sure to keep the patties separated (test with one first to detect if the temperature is too hot).
  9. Cook for 3-5 minutes on either side until golden brown then remove and place on a plate with paper towel to absorb any extra oil.
  10. Mix yogurt with the remaining 2 Tbsp of chopped dill, add a few dashes of salt and serve with the patties either hot or cold.