Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Muffins

Last week marked the first week of a 6-week long nutrition program called the ‘Fall Reset Clean Eating Challenge’ that I am running with a nearby Fitness studio, BOMB Fitness. I developed the program as a way to educate people about food and nutrition, while at the same time doing a food-based cleanse. We’re focusing on eating whole foods and foods with high nutritional value while at the same time temporarily removing some of the addictive offenders: sugar, caffeine and alcohol.

We’ve only been on the cleanse 6 days now and I have had many moments of questioning why I developed it in the first place….mostly Friday night when I had a beautiful bottle or organic red wine staring right at me…

But nonetheless, I know that I will feel amazing over the next 6 weeks,  full of energy (not to mention glowing skin, stronger nails and shinier hair) so I am very glad that I am doing it! The program has also forced me to get out of some of my regular eating habits as I find new meals to incorporate in to the weekly meal plans that I am creating for the awesome members.

Here is one recipe that I created this morning. It felt like fall today here in Toronto and fall always makes me remember my mom’s fresh baked apple cinnamon muffins (mmmm…). Surprisingly, these flavourful muffins don’t contain any refined sugar (or animal ingredients for that matter!). They are light, yet if you add a dollop of nut butter they become incredibly satiating.

And, the best part (which is usually the best part of all of my recipes) is that they are incredibly S-I-M-P-L-E!

Recipe:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Whole Spelt Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or another nut/rice milk)
  • 1/4 coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup + 1/3 cup apple butter (unsweetened)
  • 1 1/2 small-med sized apples chopped in to small peices
  • 4 fresh dates chopped in to small pieces

Preheat the oven to 350′. Grease a muffin pan with coconut oil. Mix all of the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix all of the wet ingredients together. Mix wet and dry ingredients together and spoon mixture in to muffin pan (makes ~10 muffins). Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until you can insert a knife in to the centre of a muffin and remove it clean. Let cool (or not!) and add a dollop of your favourite nut butter.

 

Enjoy my friends!

Michy xo

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Fall Roasted Veggie Salad

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Today was such a fulfilling day…one of those days where you get to do everything that you love to do and it just makes you feel so happy!

I woke up to a text at 8:00am from a friend wanting to know if I wanted to go to the farmers market. I had my alarm set for 9:30 (which I thought was a reasonable sleep in for a Saturday) but I decided that this was not an opportunity to be missed. There is something about Fall, Friends and Famers Markets that is just so lovely.

This salad is everything that Fall stands for in a salad – hearty, warming, beautiful and delicious.

After a shop, walk and coffee in the market, later on I was lucky enough to be joined by another dear friend for an outdoor, lake-side business meeting  (re: the amazing Tuja Wellness). And, as it seemed that I was in a market-loving mood, later in the afternoon Jon and I  set off to shop Kensington Market. We came home and I cooked (whilst drinking a glass of wine, of course). I must say, it was a perfect day.

The colour in the salad comes from the roasted beet, delicata squash, yellow bell pepper and the carrots.  Kale and quinoa provide the bulk, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds add heart and fresh chopped grapes give it a little sweetness.

Orange/yellow pigmented vegetables contain antioxidants and carotenoids which protect the cells from free radical damage. They contain beta-carotene  (converted to Vitamin A in the body) which helps to differentiate cells, promote heart health, and eye health. The quinoa and hemp hearts are complete proteins (containing all of the amino acids) and the pumpkin seeds contain Zinc, Magnesium and much needed Omega 3s.

With all these healthful and beautifying ingredients, this seasonal (filling) salad is definitely worth a try!

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 bunch kale (I used purple kale)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 beet
  • 1 delicata squash
  • ½ red onion
  • 2-3 stalks celery
  • 1 (small) bunch colourful carrots
  • 1/3 cup chopped grapes (red or green)
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
  • 1 clove of garlic (chopped finely)
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup tahini

1. Remove Tahini from fridge.

2. Preheat oven to 425’. Chop squash, carrots, beet and pepper in to bite sized pieces and add to a baking tray with parchment paper.  Add 1-2 tbsp coconut oil on to vegetables (use hands to cover all veggies in coconut oil) and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 35 mins, remove from oven and stir after 20 mins.

3. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.

4. Wash and tear the kale in to bite sized pieces. Mix all of the dressing ingredients and pour dressing over kale. Massage dressing in to the kale with hands (cover all of the surface area). Add celery, red onions. Chop the grapes.

5. Mix the dressed kale with the roasted veggies and quinoa. Mix in hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds.

6. Top salad with chopped grapes.

Enjoy my friends xo

Michy

*Recipe inspired by Oh She Glows 

4 Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups Michelle Nutrition

4 Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Um, Yum. That is pretty much all I have to say about these delicious treats.

Let me first start by letting you know that these treats are made with clean, real food ingredients:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Cacao Powder
  • Organic Peanut Butter
  • Organic Maple Syrup

Nothing, and I mean none of the 4 ingredients are questionable (yay!!). Now, that in itself is pretty darn amazing isn’t it?!

In a past life I was a calorie counter. I literally wrote down everything I ate and drank, almost every day. Not only was this exhausting, it had an impact on how I felt about myself. A low calorie day meant I was successful, a high calorie day meant the opposite (very bad for the self-esteem). And while I was so wrapped up in numbers, I failed to truly understand how food actually impacts the body. I hadn’t yet made the connection that food can be of such vital importance to our wellbeing – that is, it can affect our mood, our appearance (especially hair, nails, skin), our ability to concentrate, our energy levels, our appetites and so much more. Once I developed this understanding, I realized how important eating real, whole food  (as close to the source found in nature) actually is.

I also came to the very profound (and important!) understanding that when you eat a balanced diet, filled with whole foods, there is most definitely room for treats! Especially treats like these simple and delicious, clean, 4 Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups!

4 Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

(Makes approximately 6 cups)

For the PB Base:

  • 3/4 cup organic PB (I used chunky – MaraNatha brand)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

For the Chocolate Topping:

  • 1/2 cup Cacao powder ( I used Nativas Naturals brand)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

Base: Melt coconut oil on low. In a medium sized bowl add coconut oil (melted), maple syrup and PB. Stir well. Using paper muffin cups, add ~ 1tbsp mixture to the cup (fill less than half full). Freeze for 20 minutes until solid.

Topping: Melt coconut oil on low. In a (different) medium sized bowl add coconut oil (melted), maple syrup and raw cacao powder. Stir well.

Remove frozen paper cups from the freezer and add chocolate topping. Freeze again for 20 minutes. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve (they melt quickly!).

Note: You can also make this recipe with almond butter and/or make mini cups.

Enjoy my friends!

 

 

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Mucver Zucchini Fritters

My husband is Turkish, and although there are many things that I truly love about Turkish culture, I think it’s the food that I would have to say wins.

The many spices and flavours as well as the fresh ingredients truly are something special….mmm  my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I guess its because I am a nutritionist that I can truly appreciate the variety of fresh vegetables and herbs as well as the quality of the ingredients (real food!) used in the cuisine.

I will admit that, although I would love to cook Turkish recipes all the time, I find that it’s not on the menu as often as it should be. A goal for the fall…cook more Turkish food 🙂

The great thing about Turkish food is that there is something for all tastes.   Because of Turkey’s arable land, the food supply including vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, olive oil and livestock is both local and seasonal. The cuisine comes from a rich heritage, and interestingly, the Ottoman dynasty set high standards for foods and nutrition and had laws around the freshness and quality of the produce and preparation methods. Recipes established in the kitchens of the Sultan’s palace eventually were shared with the masses and are still used today.

What’s more, is that for the past many years I was a devout vegetarian (lie: I’d occasionally eat a fish), yet it was never a chore for me to find a vegetarian Turkish meal filled with beans or lentils that I liked, let alone didn’t fall in love with.

When I was trying to decide what to cook tonight for this post I took a moment to really think about what I felt like eating. I decided that I wanted to cook something fresh and in season, but something that felt cooling given this (unusually) hot weather we are having here in Toronto. I decided on Zucchini Fritters (or Mucver pronounced Mujver in Turkish). I headed to the market to get some zucchini and a selection of summer herbs for the delicious yogurt sauce to accompany them.

The beautiful thing about these little fritters is that they can be served both as an appetizer (known as Mezzes) or as addition to a main meal. In our case, we ate them alongside sautéed rainbow chard with organic spicy sausage (It was delish!).

And just so you know, if you have any fritters leftover (a rare event), they taste equally as good the next day cold. Bon Appetite my friends 🙂

Prep & Cooking Time: 40 minutes. (Serves 4)

Ingredients: Zucchini Fritters

  • 3-4 zucchinis (depending on size) – 4 cups grated
  • 2 carrots – grated
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • ½ small white onion – ½ cup grated
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill
  • ½ cup feta (I used goat feta)
  • 1 cup whole spelt flour or gluten free alternative
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. Camelina oil or ghee for cooking

Ingredients: Herbed Yogurt Sauce

  • ¾ cup yogurt (I used sheep yogurt)
  • 1tbsp fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ cucumber grated

Directions:

  1. Grate the zucchinis and pat down with paper towel until water is absorbed. Alternatively use a nut milk bag or cheese cloth and squeeze excess liquid (note: this step is very important!)
  2. Grate carrots and white onion and add to a mixing bowl with the zucchini.
  3. Add dill, feta, green onion, salt, eggs and flour. Mix into a thick batter.
  4. Heat Camelina oil in a frying pan on low-med heat.
  5. Use your hands to create ‘burger’ like patties (approximately 2 tbs of batter for each, 1 cm thick) and cook fritters in the pan until golden brown and cooked on the inside. (note: cut one in half and see if the inside is still wet, if yes continue cooking on low)
  6. Remove fritters using a slotted spoon and drain any excess oil off on paper towels.
  7. Optional – place fritters in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 (depending on how dry you like them).
  8. For the herbed yogurt sauce, mix all ingredients and chill before serving.
  9. Serve Mucver with herbed yogurt sauce and enjoy!

 

 

 

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The Best Eeev-er 10 Minute Chocolate Chip Cookies!

The Best Eeev-er 10 Minute Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Thats right, I said they are The Best. This is true partially beacuse they are made with wholesome ingredients – but much more so because they take such a little amount of time to actually bake! They are wheat free, dairy free, gluten free and one of the main ingredients in coconut oil.

Coconut oil is great for cooking and baking because it is resistant to oxidation at high temperatures. And, coconut oil gets bonus points for helping to kill pathogens and bacteria in the body (due to the Lauric Acid) and helping you to lose weight!

Recipe: 

Preheat oven to 350′

2 cups almond flour (or Almond meal)
¼ coconut oil (softened)
¼ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tbsp. coconut flakes (optional)
dash of cinnamon
1/3 cup chocolate chips (or ½ cup if you like 

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add in coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup – mix with hands into a dough. Add chocolate chips and stir. 

Use a tablespoon to measure out cookies on to a greased (coconut oil) cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 or until the bottoms are golden. Let cool (or not:) and enjoy!

Spelt Pancakes - Michelle Nutrition

Spelt Pancakes

I certainly understand that not everyone daydreams about food as much as I do – But, if you are looking for some food-spiration for tomorrow’s breakfast you should try these delicious (and nutritous) pancakes!

1 Cup Whole Spelt Flour
1tsp. Baking Powder
2 Cups Almond Milk
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
2-3 tbsp. Coconut Oil (for cooking)

Preheat the pan on low and grease with coconut oil. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and stir. Mix in wet ingredients and stir. Add a spoonful of the mixture to the heated pan and wait for the pancake to become bubbly on the top and sides before flipping. Top with bananas, fresh blueberries (while still in season!) and real maple syrup. They are pretty thin so you can use them as crepes as well. Mmmmmmmm, Enjoy! 

Peach Smoothie Recipe - Michelle Nutrition

Peaches & Dream Smoothie

A Simple and Delicious Smoothie Recipe using fresh Ontario Peaches!

‘Peach & Oats Smoothie’

– 1-2 Peaches Chopped
– Juice of 1 Orange
– 6” Cucumber
– 1.5 Cups Almond Milk
– 2 Tbsp Flax Seeds
– 1-2 Scoops Vanilla Protein Powder (I used Genuine Health proteins+ Vanilla)
– 1/4 Cup Oats (soaked for a few hrs to aid in digestibility)
– Dash of Cinnamon

Blend and Enjoy!