Sheryl Jesin

Fitness, food, family, fun and more!


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Recipe – Vegan Gluten Free Crustless Pumpkin Pie

A few weeks ago it was American Thanksgiving, and I kept seeing pumpkin recipes popping up all over the internet. Pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin muffins and so on and so forth. When I was at Whole Foods last week, I spotted cans of organic pumpkin on sale. I decided to pick up a few, and experimented with a pumpkin pie recipe.

While pumpkins are best known for their decorative purposes at Halloween, they are a surprisingly super source of nutrition. Pumpkins are high in carotenoids, vitamin A, vitamin C and fibre. Did you know that pumpkin flesh contains L-tryptophan, a chemical compound that triggers feelings of well-being and happiness?

The next time you are at your local grocery store, pick up a can of pumpkin puree, and make this recipe. It is a dessert you can feel good about eating.

Recipe – Crustless Pumpkin Pie – Vegan, gluten free, soy free

Ingredients:

2 tsp cinammon

1 tsp. dried ginger

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/3 cup oat flour

2 tbsp corn starch

1 – 15 oz can of pumpkin puree

1 cup coconut milk (I mostly used the solidified cream from the top, with a little bit of the liquid)

1/2 cup maple syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together cinammon, ginger, sea salt, oat flour and corn starch.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, coconut milk, and maple syrup.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix well. Ensure all lumps are gone.
  5. Pour into an 11 inch glass pie plate.
  6. Bake for 35 mins.
  7. Remove from oven. Middle of the pie should be set.
  8. Cool on wire rack.

I served this pie topped with a bit of coconut cream, drizzled with maple syrup, and dusted with cinnamon. It was a hit with everyone in the family, including the kids.

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Gluten free, dairy free, soy free banana chocolate chip muffins

I love baking healthy muffins, because they are such a quick and portable breakfast or snack.  I’ve been experimenting with gluten free versions for a while now.  Some are a real flop, and only I end up eating them.   Others are decent, and Benjamin and I will eat them.  I know that they are good when Dylan and Jake say that they like them.

My latest version of a banana muffin was a hit with everyone in the family.   I hope you try this recipe.  Let me know what you think!

Recipe – Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins – gluten free, dairy free, soy free (can be vegan)

Recipe modified from Smitten Kitchen’s Crackly Banana Bread

Ingredients

3 large over ripe bananas

1 large organic egg (for vegan version, substitute 1 tbsp flax meal + 3 tbsp water)

1/3 cup virgin coconut oil, or olive oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 cup oat flour

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup buckwheat flour

1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix wet ingredients in Vitamix until smooth (bananas, egg, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla).  [If you don't have a Vitamix, you can mash the banana by hand with a fork, and mix well with other wet ingredients.]

Mix baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, flours, and chocolate chips in a large bowl.  Pour in wet mixture.  Mix until combined.

Grease muffin tins well with grapeseed oil.  Pour in mixture to fill cups.  This recipe makes 12 muffins.

Bake until golden brown, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

I think that these muffins are the most delicious warm from the oven, especially when the chocolate chips are melty and gooey – I devoured a few of these right after I made them.  These will keep well in an airtight container for 3-5 days (if they last that long!)


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Recipe – Mixed berry oat bars

I often find myself looking for a quick snack during the day or just before a run.   Something that doesn’t take any time to prepare and something that I can eat with one hand while I’m holding a toddler or chasing a four year old.

In the past, I used to buy granola bars or other snack bars to have on hand.  One of these bars that I used to purchase is the Nutrigrain bar by Kelloggs.  I haven’t eaten one of these in years, but I decided to look up the ingredients.  I was curious, and here’s what I found:

CRUST: WHOLE GRAIN OATS, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN B1[THIAMIN MONONITRATE], VITAMIN B2 [RIBOFLAVIN], FOLIC ACID), WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SOYBEAN OIL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, SUGAR, CALCIUM CARBONATE, WHEY, WHEAT BRAN, SALT, CELLULOSE, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, SOY LECITHIN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, WHEAT GLUTEN, NIACINAMIDE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, CARRAGEENAN, ZINC OXIDE, REDUCED IRON, GUAR GUM, VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE), VITAMIN B1(THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE) , VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN), FOLIC ACID. FILLING: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, GLYCEROL, APPLE PUREE CONCENTRATE, SUGAR, STRAWBERRY PUREE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BLUEBERRY PUREE, SODIUM ALGINATE, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, RASPBERRY PUREE CONCENTRATE, CITRIC ACID, MALIC ACID, METHYLCELLULOSE, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, RED 40, BLUE 1.

I cringe now when I look at that list.  A few things stand out – high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavour, Red 40, Blue 1.  I can’t believe I used to regularly ingest such awful ingredients.  And how many times can sugar be listed in the ingredients?  I counted 5.  That is atrocious.

Here is my answer to the Nutrigrain bar.  It is free of refined sugars, refined flours and also free of gluten (if using GF oats), dairy and soy.  It is quick and easy to make and it is something you can feel good about eating.  Oh yeah – it’s also delicious.

Recipe – Mixed berry oat bars 

Adapted from Choosing Raw

Preparation time – 10 minutes

Baking time – 30 mins

Makes 8 squares

Ingredients:

1 cup oats, ground into flour using a food processor, magic bullet or Vitamix

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 tsp. baking soda

pinch of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

3 tbsp. maple syrup

1 medium apple, cored

1 tsp. vanilla

3 tbsp. shredded dried coconut, unsweetened

10 almonds

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. water

1 organic egg

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 cup raspberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together ground oats, rolled oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Blend the maple syrup, apple, vanilla, coconut, almonds, olive oil, water and egg together in a food processor or Vitamix until smooth.
  4. Mix together wet and dry ingredients.  Stir in berries.
  5. Place in a 8×8 glass baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake at 350 for 30-35 mins, until edges are turning golden brown.
  7. Cool on a rack and cut into squares or bars.
  8. Eat and enjoy, knowing you are nourishing your body with healthy, whole foods.  Be thankful that you are not eating a Nutrigrain bar.


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Recipe – Baked Oatmeal with Apple and Banana

Had a bit of fun again in the kitchen last night, this time with baked oatmeal.  I’ve been wanting to try a baked oatmeal dish for a while.  I thought it would be a good late night snack and a quick and easy breakfast before Dylan heads off to school in the morning.  (The La Leche League leader in me also thinks that baked oatmeal would be a great dish for a new mom – can be made ahead of time and easily warmed up for a quick breakfast.  Plus, oatmeal is supposed to boost milk supply.)

I was perusing through Angela’s Oh She Glows blog and came across a great recipe  - Fruity Baked Oatmeal with Crunchy Almond Topping.  I decided to give it a try, and made a few changes based on what I had on hand at home.  I am truly amazed at how amazingly delicious it turned out!  (Although I shouldn’t be surprised – Angela’s recipes are all outstanding!!)  It is creamy, yet dairy free.  It is satisfying, comforting and so delicious!  I just may have a new favorite breakfast recipe…

Recipe – Baked Oatmeal with Apple and Banana (Vegan, can be gluten free with GF oats, soy free)

Ingredients:

2 and 2/3 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup Ruth’s Chia Goodness (I used chocolate because I had some extra on hand.  You can substitute with plain chia seeds if you like!)

2 large bananas, sliced

2 apples, chopped

2 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

3 1/2 cups water

4 tbsp maple syrup

1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Topping:

1/2 cup raw walnuts

4 tbsp rolled oats

2 tbsp coconut sugar

2 tsp maple syrup

1 tbsp Earth Balance (can substitute with coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or water)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix together oats, Chia Goodness, banana, apple, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.  Add water, maple syrup and vanilla.  Stir well.  Pour into a 2L baking dish.  Set aside.

Chop walnuts.  Add in oats, coconut sugar, maple syrup and Earth Balance.  Mix well.  Sprinkle over oatmeal mixture in baking dish.

Bake for 25-30 mins.  It will be done when the water has been absorbed and topping is golden brown.  Serve warm, and ENJOY!  Makes 8 servings.

I had three (small) bowls of this immediately after I took it out of the oven.  I figured why not – it is full of wholesome ingredients, and I with the half-marathon training I am doing, I can use the extra carbs!

Have you ever tried making baked oatmeal?  What are some of your favorite oatmeal toppings?


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Recipe – Carrot Cake Spelt Muffins

I can’t seem to get out of the kitchen these days.  Every night, once the kids are tucked into bed, I tell myself that I will organize a drawer (ya right),  just veg out on the couch and watch TV or go to bed early!  Instead, I always end up back in the kitchen cooking or baking!

Last night’s experiment was muffins.  I went a little crazy at Whole Foods last week and bought a few new flours to play with – spelt flour, brown rice flour and chickpea flour.  I used the brown rice and chickpea flours to make some cookies that were just OK.  Definitely not blog worthy.  Last night I opened up the spelt flour and 45 minutes later, I had a delicious muffin in my hands!  The muffins were certainly worth writing about!

I’m on the fence as to whether or not spelt agrees with my tummy.  I definitely prefer it to traditional wheat.  Whole grain spelt is high in protein and fibre, and contains more nutrients than traditional wheat.   It is a good source of calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, iron and manganese.  So for now I eat spelt, but not huge amounts of it, and my stomach is not protesting!

This recipe is not super sweet – there is just a 1/4 cup of maple syrup.  I find that the sweetness of the raisins and carrots are enough.  You could substitute the coconut milk for another milk of your choice – I had some left over from another recipe that I needed to use up, so I used it in these muffins.  I based this recipe on Marni Wasserman’s Spiced Carrot Ginger Muffins.

Recipe – Carrot Cake Spelt Muffins (Sugar free, dairy free, soy free)

Ingredients:

2 cups spelt flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinammon

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 cup coconut milk

2 organic eggs

4 tbsp grapeseed oil

2 medium carrots, grated

2 tbsp grated ginger

1 cup raisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (spelt, baking soda and powder, cinammon).  In a separate bowl, mix together remaining ingredients.  Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mixing as you go.  Do not over mix.  Stir until just combined.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins (either greased, or using muffin cups). Bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes.  Remove from tins and cool on a rack.  ENJOY!

These muffins were moist, light, fluffy and I was really impressed by how high they rised in the oven!  The kids loved them and so did I!


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Recipe – Almond butter tahini oat cookies

I was recently given a lovely assortment of Mum’s Original products to test out from the friendly and passionate team at Borden Communications.  I truly felt like I hit the jackpot when I picked up my package!  It contained:  hemp hearts, chia, goji berries, oats, cacao powder, cacao nibs, coconut flour, coconut sugar, banana powder, rock salt, and quinoa.  Yup – pretty much all of my favorite super foods.

I was in the mood to test out a few of the products, and found a recipe online for Teff Almond Butter cookies.   I decided to swap out a few ingredients with some of the Mum’s Original products I had on hand, and the following recipe was born:

Recipe – Almond butter tahini oat cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1 1/2 tsp. Mum’s Original chia meal

1 cup Mum’s Original oat flour

1/2 cup Mum’s Original coconut flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinammon

1/8 tsp. Mum’s Original Himalayan rock salt

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp. vanilla

2/3 cup almond butter

1/3 cup tahini

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees celcius.

Mix apple sauce and chia in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Combine flours, salt, and baking powder in another medium sized bowl, and set aside.

Warm the almond butter and tahini for about 25 seconds in the microwave.  Add to apple sauce mixture.   Stir in honey, and vanilla.

Make a well in the dry ingredients.   Add in the wet ingredients and stir to combine.

Scoop out a small amount of dough with a small spoon and roll into a ball using your hands.   Place on a prepared cookie sheet.  Flatten the ball with the tines of a fork.  Bake for about 10-13 minutes, until set.

The recipe will make approximately 24 cookies.

Delish!

I decided to stir in some Mum’s Original coconut cacao nibs to half of the dough.  It added a bit of a crunchy texture and some delicious chocolatey flavour!

These cookies will satisfy your sweet tooth, and will also fill you up, since they are full of protein, fibre and healthy fats.   I found that the cookies had a fudge like texture, and a delicate flavour, similar to halvah.

I highly recommend that you hop to the store, pick up some Mum’s Original products and try this recipe out.   You won’t be disappointed!

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