No Bake Chocolate Paleo Bites

Healthy Snacks | July 10, 2016 | By

Paleo No Bake Chocolate Bites

Paleo No Bake Chocolate Bites

Protein bites are quick and easy snacks with short ingredient lists and big, yummy flavour! Each of these rich chocolate morsels contains 11g of metabolism boosting fat and only 2g of sugar. Looking for other bite sized snacks? Try my Tahini Chai Bites or No Bake Fudge Bites!

No Bake Chocolate Paleo Bites
Yields 14
The best chocolate-y paleo energy bites filled with chocolate chunks and healthy fat.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  2. 2/3 cup almond flour
  3. 1/2 cup coconut flour [1]
  4. Pinch salt
  5. 1/4 tsp baking soda [2]
  6. 1/4 tsp stevia powder
  7. 1/3 cup + 2tbsp coconut oil
  8. 1 tbsp maple syrup
  9. 2 tbsp water
  10. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  11. 1/4 cup of choco chips [3]
Instructions
  1. Combine all the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
  3. Roll dough into 14 even sized balls.
  4. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Notes
  1. [1] You could substitute another gluten-free flour like brown rice.
  2. [2] No, this isn't a mistake! Baking soda adds a great cookie-esque flavour without the need for baking.
  3. [3] I like to use Lily's stevia sweetened baking chips!
All in Beautiful Balance http://allinbeautifulbalance.com/

Purple Corn + Sweet Potato Muffins

Muffins | July 3, 2016 | By

Purple Corn and Sweet Potato Muffins

Someone gifted me a bag of non-gmo purple corn flour from the Canadian farm, Against the Grain. It sat in my cupboard for a few months but today I finally took it down and decided to put it to good use. I searched all over the internet for recipes using purple corn flour and all I could find were tortilla recipes. So, I decided to get creative and make my own purple corn muffins!

I didn’t have any old bananas but I did have a few jars of organic pureed sweet potato by PC Organics, which was the perfect ingredient to sweeten and moisten these muffins. As you know, I don’t eat a lot of grains, but I’m all about balance and not putting a title on the way I eat, so sometimes I eat grains and that’s okay. Another recipe containing grains that I LOVE are these No Bake Sunflower Energy Bites. Now, go get your wooden spoon and make these colourful muffins!

An important note about corn: make sure that you choose organic, non-GMO corn products since corn is often a genetically modified crop. For more information on GMO’s visit nongmoproject.org.

Purple Corn and Sweet Potato Muffins

Purple Corn + Sweet Potato Muffins
Yields 12
A moist, lightly sweetened gluten-free purple corn muffin that pairs perfectly with homemade jam and grass-fed butter.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup organic purple corn flour
  2. 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  3. 1 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 1 tsp cinnamon
  7. 6 Tbsp coconut sugar*
  8. 1 cup sweet potato puree (bottled baby food works best)**
  9. 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  10. 1/4 cup avocado oil
  11. 2 organic eggs
  12. 1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combine, but don't over mix!
  5. Add 1/4 cup amounts of batter to 12 greased muffin tins.
  6. Bake muffins for 25 minutes or until centre is firm.
Notes
  1. *You could also use organic cane or date sugar. Feel free to reduce the amount slightly.
  2. **I used PC Organics baby food puree.
All in Beautiful Balance http://allinbeautifulbalance.com/

Mashed Salmon & Plantain Chips

Healthy Snacks | July 1, 2016 | By

Mashed Salmon & Plantain Chips | All in Beautiful Balance

Mooove over milk! There’s a way better source of calcium that wont cause inflammation, mucous production or digestive upset.

Can you guess what it is? Keep scrolling to find out👇🏼

Salmon Dip | All in Beautiful Balance

Have you guessed yet? Well.. it’s actually canned salmon with bones! 

Yes, that’s right – 1 can of wild pink salmon including the bones has close to 600mg of calcium and over 35g of protein! Salmon, along with other fish are a great source of anti-inflammatory omega-3. I know, you’re concerned about the bones, right? What’s lovely about canned fish is that it’s sitting in water, which allows the tiny bones to get really soft. Mash the fish up with a fork and I promise you wont notice them at all! 

I love snacks that are quick, easy, and of course nutritious. Canned fish is a single ingredient, totally affordable and packed with nutrition. I always keep a few cans on hand for a quick snack or salad topper. I love to throw in some high quality mayo and scoop up the mash with a grain-free plantain chip (make sure to avoid vegetable oils here too).  Make sure to be mindful of BPA in the cans, any additives like salt or flavours, and the quality of the fish (farmed versus wild).

I’d love to hear what some of your favourite quick, healthy snacks are!

Salmon Mash | All in Beautiful Balance

Mashed Salmon Dip
My favourite easy protein-packed paleo snack.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can of wild salmon (with bones)
  2. 1 heaping tbsp Primal Kitchen Mayo
  3. Salt + pepper to taste
  4. 1 tbsp green onion, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Drain liquid from can and add salmon to a small bowl. Remove skin if desired but keep the bones!
  2. Add mayo plus salt + pepper to taste.
  3. Mash the salmon until bones have completely disappeared.
  4. Serve with crunchy plantain chips.
Notes
  1. Please use a high-quality mayo made without vegetable oil.
  2. I like to use Raincoast canned salmon, they do not add BPA to the lining of their cans.
All in Beautiful Balance http://allinbeautifulbalance.com/

Unbalanced – A Story of Hormonal Struggles

Lifestyle | June 27, 2016 | By

All in Beautiful Balance

As stated in a previous post, I was prescribed oral contraception for irregular cycles at age 15. Keep in mind that “the pill” stops the body’s natural cycle and causes an artificial period each month. Many women are prescribed the pill to cover up symptoms of hormonal imbalances such as acne, irregular cycles, painful periods, and PMS. Even though the pill gave me the false sense of security that my period would arrive each month, I’d had enough of the unpleasant side effects and decided to stop taking the drug at age 21. 

For an entire year after stopping the prescription I didn’t get a period. For some ladies that may seem like a dream; a whole years worth of periods gone. Not only is it far from a dream but it is completely unnatural (it can commonly take up to six months for cycles to return). I had an ultrasound to rule out fibroids and polycystic ovarian syndrome and everything came back normal. I had a blood test done to measure hormone levels and things seemed fine. We couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting a period. However, I was experiencing what many other women have dealt with when coming off the pill; all the symptoms that were there before taking the drug were still an issue. 

As someone who tries to seek the most natural route for healing, I of course discussed the situation with my Naturopath. She had a strong feeling that my stress levels had a lot to do with the imbalance. I was also eating a vegan diet at the time, which we discovered was not the healthiest diet for me. We worked out a treatment plan and I took some much needed time to nourish myself. I started eating organic grass-fed meats and taking hormone balancing herbs like vitex and ashwaghanda. I made a conscious effort to meditate. No cycles changed to a period every other month. It wasn’t perfect but it was something.  

I realized that I was not the only woman struggling with this issue. Women would tell me that it was “normal” for them to skip a few periods. I heard stories of women coming off the pill and not having a period for years. Women around me were being diagnosed with PCOS, infertility, fibroids and endometriosis. I was not alone in my hormonal struggles.

I believe in empowering women to make the right choice for themselves and I urge them to understand the lasting effects of the pill. To know that we are bombarded on a daily basis by endocrine disrupters and xenoestrogens. Plastics, pesticides, canned foods, cleaning products and even cash register receipts contain hormone-mimicking chemicals that pose a risk to women’s health. 

At age 23 my cycles are still not normal, lasting anywhere from 37-50 days. I am always trying to cultivate balance in my life, but I have to work extra hard when it comes to my hormonal health. It is not normal to go months without a period, to feel depressed and anxious all the time. Don’t allow symptoms to simply be covered up with prescription drugs, find the answers. As women we deserve to thrive. We deserve to ask the tough questions of our health care providers. WE are strong, amazing women and WE deserve to live a beautifully balanced life!

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Dessert | June 5, 2016 | By

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Chocolate Quinoa Cake
A simple protein-packed chocolate cake made without dairy or gluten!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  2. 4 large eggs
  3. 1 large ripe banana
  4. 1/4 cup sustainable palm oil
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 1/2 cup maple syrup
  7. 1 cup cocoa powder
  8. 1/4 cup coconut flour
  9. 2 tsp baking powder
  10. 1 tbsp Dandy Blend or espresso powder
  11. 1/2 tsp salt
  12. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  13. 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a high powered blender or food processor add the eggs, banana and cooked quinoa. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. Add the quinoa mixture and stir until well combined. Fold in optional chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into 9" greased baking pan and bake for 40min or until centre is firm.
  5. Cool cake on wire rack and top with optional chocolate*. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
  1. *I melted Lily's stevia sweetened baking chips (vegan + gluten-free) using double boiler. You could use any organic chocolate of choice.
All in Beautiful Balance http://allinbeautifulbalance.com/

Easy Vanilla Chia Pudding

Healthy Snacks | May 29, 2016 | By

Easy Vanilla Chia Pudding

Easy Vanilla Chia Pudding

Easy Vanilla Chia Pudding

Easy Vanilla Chia Pudding
A rich sugar-free chia pudding to keep you feeling full!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (400mL) can organic full-fat coconut milk
  2. 1/2 cup water or coconut water
  3. 1/4 cup chia seeds
  4. 5-10 drops liquid stevia*
  5. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl and place in fridge for several hours - chia will gel and pudding will be extra creamy!**
  2. Store pudding in an airtight container for up to a week.
Notes
  1. *I like to use NOW organic liquid stevia.
  2. **I stir the mixture a few times while it's thickening to stop the chia from clumping.
All in Beautiful Balance http://allinbeautifulbalance.com/

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Squares

Dessert | May 2, 2016 | By

Chocolate Coconut Squares

Welcome to my first post in over two weeks! Life has been hectic and I haven’t had much time in the kitchen. No worries because I am back with a real gem of a recipe. Let’s be honest, a dessert that requires no baking and is topped with melted chocolate is a winner in my books.

I’ve mentioned in several other posts how much I love sunflower seed butter, and I’ve also used it in my No-Bake Sunflower Energy Bites. It’s nut-free (make sure to check labels), Canadian made, nutritious and extremely affordable. What’s not to love?

Chocolate Coconut Squares

As for the awesome chocolate layer, I’ve used organic chocolate chips sweetened with stevia. The brand of stevia sweetened chocolate that I once loved started adding dairy to their chips, which I just wasn’t cool with. Then I discovered Lily’s baking chips, which is both vegan and gluten-free! Using any high-quality dark chocolate will do however.

When purchasing shredded coconut make sure that you read the ingredient list. Watch our for added sweeteners and sulfites, especially if you’re purchasing coconut from a bulk bin. Not familiar with lucuma powder? Check out my quick post about this natural, low-glycemic sweetener.

Now, get your butt in the kitchen and make these!!

Chocolate Coconut Squares

Chocolate Coconut Squares
Yields 16
A delicious no bake square coated in chocolate - vegan, paleo, nut-free
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  2. 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
  3. 2 tbsp lucuma powder
  4. 2 tbsp coconut oil
  5. 1 tbsp maple syrup
  6. 1 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1 tsp vanilla
  8. 3 tbsp milk alternative or water
  9. Pinch sea salt
  10. 2/3 cup chocolate chips*
  11. 2 tbsp coconut butter
Instructions
  1. In a food processor combine all ingredients except chocolate and coconut butter, pulse until well combined.
  2. Add the dough to a 8" parchment-lined square pan. Evenly press the dough into the pan.
  3. Place the pan in the freezer until firm, about 20min.
  4. Meanwhile, place the chocolate and coconut butter in small metal bowl placed above a saucepan of boiling water (use double boiler if you have one), this will stop the chocolate from burning. You can also use the microwave, but I'm not such a fan.
  5. Place the melted chocolate on top of the firm squares and spread evenly.
  6. Place the squares back into the freezer to allow chocolate to harden, about 20min.
  7. Cut the squares into desired serving sizes and keep in freezer for several months (they never last that long however).
Notes
  1. *I used Lily's stevia sweetened baking chips (vegan + gluten-free)
  2. I used Giddy YoYo lucuma powder
All in Beautiful Balance http://allinbeautifulbalance.com/

Grain-Free Beet Brownies

Dessert | April 16, 2016 | By

Grain-Free Beet Brownies

Grain-Free Beet Brownies

Grain-Free Beet Brownies

Grain-Free Beet Brownies
Yields 14
A grain-free, naturally sweetened brownie made with gorgeous red beets.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup cocao powder
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill coconut flour
  4. 2 tbsp Bob's Red Mill tapioca starch
  5. 1 tsp cinnamon
  6. Pinch sea salt
  7. 1 1/2 cup beet puree*
  8. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  9. 1/3 cup maple syrup
  10. 2 large eggs
  11. 1/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)
  12. 1 batch Vegan Drizzle (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Sift the coconut flour, tapioca starch and cocoa into medium bowl. Add remaining dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry and combine. Add chocolate chips if using.
  5. Add batter to a 9" square baking pan. Bake for 40min or until toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool on wire wrack, top with optional vegan drizzle and enjoy!
Notes
  1. *I boiled 3 large beets until soft, removed the skin and pureed in a blender. Keep any leftover puree for smoothies.
  2. Tapioca starch and tapioca flour are the same thing.
All in Beautiful Balance http://allinbeautifulbalance.com/

Cilantro Chicken Burgers

Mains | April 10, 2016 | By

Cilantro Chicken Burgers

Cilantro Chicken Burgers

Cilantro Chicken Burgers
Yields 4
A simple tangy burger that's perfect atop a salad or a whole grain bun.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1lb organic ground chicken
  2. 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  3. 1 tbsp dried basil
  4. 2 tbsp lemon juice
  5. 2 clove garlic, minced
  6. 1 tsp sea salt or 2 tsp kelp
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 350°F
  2. In a large bowl combine all ingredients.
  3. Form mixture into 4-5 even sized patties.
  4. Place on lined baking sheet and cook for 25-30min.
  5. Alternatively, you could barbecue these guys too.
Notes
  1. I like to freeze these and have them for lunches throughout the week - simply thaw in the fridge overnight!
  2. See below for an image of the kelp powder that I like to use.
All in Beautiful Balance http://allinbeautifulbalance.com/
Kelp is awesome because it’s wonderfully salty and contains minerals like iron and calcium. Kelp is also a great source of iodine, something that our diets often lack.

All in Beautiful Balance

Why Your Working Lunch Just Ain’t Workin’

Lifestyle | April 3, 2016 | By

All in Beautiful Balance

If you work a job that entails endless hours spent at a desk, then you know your desk often becomes your kitchen table, grooming station, social hangout and sometimes even a napping spot. So what’s so bad about eating your peanut butter sandwich at your desk? Plenty (including the peanut butter sandwich). 

Eating really should be done in a calm environment where your main focus is chewing, swallowing and digesting. You may have heard about proper sleep hygiene; no tv in the bedroom and dim lighting. You’ve probably also heard that the bedroom is meant for one thing only (okay, maybe two). Interrupting your sleep routine with the bright lights of a cell phone or tv can dramatically effect your quality of sleep. I think it’s time that we start practicing the same thing when it comes to our work space.

Eating at your desk as you type away on your computer or chat on the phone is taking your bodies focus away from digestion, which can lead to bloating, heartburn and constipation.

You deserve that 30min break to sit, breath and chew. The less you chew your food, the longer it will take to digest and the longer food sits in your stomach the higher the chance that it will
begin to putrefy. Food that putrefies (rotting) in your stomach will cause gas to buildup, leading to flatulence, bloating and heartburn.

So, much like we need proper sleep hygiene, we need eating hygiene too. Take your lunch outside to a picnic table or bench, head to the cafeteria if your building has one. Bring a small table into your office if you have the space and designate it as your lunch table. If you are working with minimal space like a cubical or shared area then turn off your monitor and hide the keyboard. Why not lay down a bright placemat too! 

Forgoing a lunch break may feel more productive and make you seem like the crazy workaholic in the office, but it is only hurting your health in the long run. Taking the time to eat a healthy lunch that’s filled with fiber, healthy fats and blood-stabilizing protein will boost mood and feed working minds. So, take off the headset, push away the keyboard and nourish yourself!

 Fun Fact: Even plants are being used as a tool to bring nature into the office and increase productivity