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Digestive Enzymes vs Digestive Bitters – Which Should You Choose?

Digestive Enzymes or Digestive Bitters
Is your digestion system working optimally? Even though we eat every day, most of us do not know what normal digestive function looks like. How do you know if your symptoms are a result of your body digesting food, or the opposite? Digestion is the process of breaking down food so that your body can used the nutrients for various organ functions. When you eat, the food travels from your mouth through the esophagus, and into the stomach. It will move through the small intestine and large intestine (colon) before exiting via the anus. But that’s not all – your pancreas, liver and gallbladder all play important roles in your ability to digest and absorb the nutrients properly. When digestion issues occur, it may be a sign that one of these organs need extra support. Normal Digestive Sensations Having 1-3 easy bowel movements per day Bloat or gas after eating foods high in sulfur (ex: onions, beans, garlic, lentils, asparagus) Feeling fullness after a large meal Abnormal Digestive Sensations Feeling bloated after only a few bites of foods Nausea after eating Bloat or gas after every meal Acid reflux Stomach pain or cramping Mushy or lumpy stool Solving Abnormal Digestive Symptoms If you are experiencing abnormal digestive symptoms on a regular basis, you may want to consider supporting your digestive system strategically. From a holistic perspective, taking digestive bitters and digestive enzymes before meals are popular options. Digestive Bitters Digestive bitters are a blend of herbs that will simulate digestion – everything from the production of stomach acid, to stimulating the liver, to producing your own digestive enzymes to break down food. Our bodies have bitter receptors in the mouth, so when you taste these herbs, digestive juices and enzymes receive a kickstart and run more smoothly. As a result, symptoms like bloating, gas and indigestion can be eased. These tinctures consist of bitter herbs soaked into organic alcohol, creating a potent extract. You only need 1-2mL of this tincture before meals to experience amazing effects! Unlike digestive enzymes, digestive bitters can be taken long term because the body will not become dependent on them. Digestive bitter blends: St. Francis Canadian Bitters 100mL, Botanica Digestive Bitters 50mL Bitter herbs: dandelion, artichoke, chicory root, gentian root, licorice, burdock Digestive Enzymes While digestive bitters encourage your body to make its own digestive enzymes, you may choose to supplement directly with a blend of digestive enzymes. Enzymes are responsible for chemically breaking down food in the digestive tract in order to be fully absorbed. The pancreas makes many of these enzymes naturally and sends them to the intestines, where most of the absorption occurs. However, certain health conditions such chronic pancreatitis, can interfere with this production. Without sufficient enzymes, you cannot absorb nutrients, even if you have a healthy diet. For those who have poor digestion or malnutrition, digestive enzymes can be supplemented to help your own enzymes. The main types of enzymes are amylase, lipase and proteases, which break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins, respectively. Some blends may also include hydrochloric acid (HCl), making it a great option for those that experience heartburn due to low stomach acid. Digestive enzyme formulas can also contain ox bile, which is needed to break down fats. People who have had their gallbladder removed will have difficulty storing bile, and may want to supplement with a digestive enzyme containing extra bile. There are many formulas available – finding the perfect one will depend on your specific digestive needs. It is important to take digestive enzymes before or right after eating, so that they have time to break down the food. It is not recommended to take these enzymes long-term, as it can affect your body’s ability to produce its own. Instead, use them when digestive symptoms are flaring up, or to combat a deficiency caused by a specific health condition. Digestive enzyme formulas: Enzymedica Digest Gold 45 Capsules, NOW Super Enzymes 180 Capsules A Permanent Solution? While both digestive bitters and digestive enzymes offer relief from digestive issues, they are not a primary treatment. They can be used to boost the digestive process, but if symptoms persist, please consult your primary health practitioner. Author Grace Tien is a dietetics and holistic nutrition grad. She creates sustainable, delicious meal plans to help clients with their health goals. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram.

Healthier Sugar Alternatives – Do They Exist?

sugar alternatives
Take a moment and think about this: how many high-sugar foods do you eat in a day? Protein bars, cereals, smoothies, juices, lattes, kombucha…not to mention obvious ones like cookies and cake. Many of these foods are part of our daily diet, even among the “healthiest” nutritionists and dietitians. While it may seem unfathomable to cut out all these foods in the name of health, we have some good news for you: sugar is not the enemy! Cutting out all these delicious foods is not necessarily healthy. There are so many options for sugar these days, and healthier alternatives do exist. Why sugar-free options are not the solution    If you have a way of getting that sweet taste without consuming sugar, would you make the switch? You may be familiar with some popular artificial sugars (sugar-free options), such as maltitol, erythritol, aspartame, Nutrasweet, Sucralose, Splenda and Acesulfame K. When they first came out onto the market, sugar-free alternatives were all the rage. After all, they provided that sweet taste without any calories. They were deemed safe for diabetic patients and those who were cutting sugar out of their diet for health reasons. The truth is, sugar-free options are called “sugar-free” because they are made from artificial substances that your body does not recognize. Your body cannot digest it, so it passes straight through the digestive system. And while these artificial sugars do not stay in the body, they can wreak havoc while passing through the digestive tract. These toxic compounds have been linked to changes in the gut microflora, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, increased inflammation and even insulin resistance. Healthier sweeteners to try On the other hand, natural sugars are easy for your body to digest, and are often filled with other minerals and vitamins that are nutritious. Yes, this means that your sugar can be healthy too! Coconut sugar Also known as coconut palm sugar, coconut sugar is made from the sap of the coconut plant. It contains many minerals like zinc, iron, calcium and potassium, as well as polyphenols and antioxidants. Unlike white sugar, coconut sugar has a low glycemic index and will not cause a huge blood sugar spike. Best options: Ecoideas Coconut Sugar Organic 454g, One Earth Coconut Sugar 1.5kg Raw honey Unpasteurized (raw) honey is a powerhouse of nutrients. It is traditionally used for its medicinal effects for wounds, colds and infections. Raw honey is antibacterial and antifungal – you can use it to kill pathogens, topically or internally. It works great as a cough fighter or to soothe sore throats. Even if you’re not sick, adding a teaspoon to your cup of tea tastes delicious! Best options: Dutchman’s Gold Raw Honey 1kg, One Root Raw Wildflower Honey 1kg Maple syrup Pure maple syrup is another natural sugar that contains many minerals. It is a rich source of manganese, riboflavin (vitamin B2), copper and calcium. You can bake with maple syrup, or add it to your coffee every morning. However, please note that commercial pancake syrup and pure maple syrup are very different. When looking for a good quality maple syrup, check the ingredients and make sure “maple syrup” is the only ingredient in the list. Bonus points if it comes from a farm! Best options: Canadian Heritage Organic Maple Syrup 250ml, Benefits by Nature Maple Syrup Organic 1L Incorporating sugar into a healthy lifestyle Sweets and desserts may be the first foods that people tend to cut out when starting a new diet. But once you cut out all sugars, this diet is very difficult to maintain. Temptations are everywhere. Donuts at work, birthday celebrations, your best friend’s baking…there will be countless others. It is for this reason that cutting out all sugars is not a long-term solution. Sugar can be part of a healthy lifestyle – it’s all about which options you are choosing! Author Grace Tien is a women’s health holistic nutritionist. She helps her clients optimize their nutrition habits so that they can get rid of afternoon slumps and live each day full of energy. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram.

Why you should keep ginger chews in your purse

Why you should keep ginger
When you think about your daily purse essentials, you probably think of having your phone, wallet, keys, lip balm…but have you thought about keeping something for emergencies when you’re not feeling well? Some might call it being over-prepared, but you can’t predict the next time you start to feel a little run down or under the weather. It’s the worst when you’re out of your house and unprepared to start treating your symptoms right away!   The solution? It’s as simple as keeping a few ginger chews in your bag. Ginger is the perfect herb to keep on hand for many unpleasant occasions. Not only is it anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial, but you can also often find them as sweet-tasting ginger chews or candies. This means that your ginger stash can be part of your emergency medicine bag as well as your go-to snack option. What’s so good about ginger chews? Soothes nausea Whether you’re in your first trimester of pregnancy, feeling carsick, or just eating something that has gone bad, ginger is the best remedy to keep on hand for these uncomfortable symptoms. Ginger contains active compounds that relax the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract, blocking the body from producing more nausea-inducing chemicals. It is extremely effective and has even been recommended by doctors to help chemotherapy patients deal with nausea. Relieves period pain As a powerful anti-inflammatory herb, ginger can protect against the inflammatory chemicals that cause period pain. Having a small number of inflammatory prostaglandins is normal, but in the cause of extreme period cramps, there is usually an overproduction of inflammation. Ginger is one of the most studied herbs to decrease inflammation and alleviate period pain. Its effectiveness has even been compared to that of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Aleve and Advil. Reduces bloat Have you ever felt your tummy stick out after a large meal? Feeling bloated after a big meal is common and normal, but bloat and indigestion can occur even if you are not completely full. This uncomfortable feeling of stomach distention can feel leave you feeling tight and unable to go about your daily life. Although some carbonated drinks are known to cause bloat, sometimes you don’t know the cause of your bloat until after you have already eaten. To decrease the chances of unwanted bloat from creeping up, stock up on ginger chews. With ginger in your purse, you can rest assured that your digestion system will be running smoothly, even when you are eating unfamiliar foods at restaurants. Ginger has a calming effect that soothes the digestive tract, alleviates gas and improves blood circulation, making your bloat disappears faster. Fight the first sign of a cold or flu Many cold and cough medicines contain ginger as an ingredient, but why not go straight to the source? As soon as you feel your first sniffle or scratch in your throat, ginger can be used to fight the infection. Ginger chews and crystallized gingers have enough ginger content to exert their antiviral and antibacterial properties. You can also boost your immune system by opting for fresh ginger shots or sipping on hot ginger tea as soon as you suspect an illness. Best options for ginger chews: The Ginger People Gin Gins Chewy Ginger Candy Original 128g Best options for crystalized ginger (candy): The Ginger People Organic Crystallized Ginger 112g Still not convinced about the benefits of ginger? Even though you can buy ginger in capsule form, finding it in chewable or candy form is tastier. The best part of keeping ginger in your purse is that it comes in delicious options. If you tend to want to chew on gum or eat something sweet when you’re bored, ginger candies or chews can help settle that craving while providing you a boost of immune health. Since the ginger is a little spicy, it’s hard to eat more than the recommended serving! Author Grace Tien is a women’s health holistic nutritionist. She helps her clients optimize their nutrition habits so that they can get rid of afternoon slumps and live each day full of energy. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram.

Is your smoothie healthy? 3 ways to make sure your smoothie is as nourishing as you think it is

3 ways to make sure your smoothie is as nourishing as you think it is
While we’re enjoying the last of the hot weather, long days and cold drinks, it’s a good time as any to make sure we are enjoying them to the fullest. There’s something about summer that just makes smoothies taste more refreshing, so here at Healthy Planet, we will be making them as much as we can before the warm weather ends. However, not all smoothies are healthy, despite what their advertising and claims may tell you. With these simple tips, you can rest assured that your smoothies will taste delicious and while nourishing your body with essential vitamins and minerals.   3 simple rules to make a healthy smoothie  Use coconut water or water instead of concentrated juice Many smoothie makers add concentrated juices to their smoothies to make up the bulk of the flavour. But the concentrated juices they add may contain added sugars and preservatives that you may not be aware of. The safest bet is to ask for or use coconut water (no sugar added, it should be slightly sweet naturally) or just plain water. If it is a good combo of fruits and vegetables, you shouldn’t taste much of a difference. Rather than relying on concentrated juice, opt for smoothies with frozen fruit as the main flavour. Unsweetened coconut water option: Blue Monkey Organic Coconut Water 1L   Add at least one source of fat in your smoothie Having lots of fruits in your smoothie isn’t the end of the world, but if your smoothie is only made up of fruits, your blood sugar may quickly spike and drop. If you’ve ever felt hungry or tired right after drinking a “healthy” smoothie, you may have experienced a blood sugar roller coaster. In order for a smoothie to have some sustenance, you need to add a little source of healthy fat. This helps slow the absorption of sugar into the body, so you stay full longer and still get that yummy flavour. Healthy fat options to add to your smoothies: ¼ avocado 1 tbsp nut butters 1 cup coconut milk ½ tbsp chia or flax seeds Do not replace a whole meal with a smoothie unless absolutely necessary Ideally, your meals involve some chewing action. Your digestion thrives when you take the time to chew your food properly, and even though you might not feel it, a smoothie containing lots of fruits and vegetables still requires optimal digestion so that you absorb all the nutrients. The process of chewing helps your digestive system release digestive juices and enzymes, which are needed to break down the foods in the smoothie. You can eat a little snack with your smoothie, or take the time to chew your smoothie, at least in the first few bites. It makes a big difference in how you digest it! How to keep smoothies a part of your healthy routine Even though smoothies should not replace meals, if you’re on the go and a smoothie is the only thing you have time to drink or eat, it’s better to have a smoothie than skipping a meal! Make sure you are adding in a source of healthy fat and protein to get the same optimal nutrition you would get in a regular meal. With strategic planning, you can up-level your smoothies and make them work for you! Author Grace Tien is a women’s health holistic nutritionist. She helps her clients optimize their nutrition habits so that they can get rid of afternoon slumps and live each day full of energy. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram. 

Spring Chickpea Salad

Healthy Planet is back with @sabrinavirdee and dropping yet another healthy recipe for the family. The ultimate side dish or a stand alone star, the Spring Chickpea Salad can be used in any setting! Lunch, dinner or a snack, you choose! #livelifehealthy⁣ Spring Chickpea Salad⁣Serves 4-6⁣INGREDIENTS⁣1 can of Kidney Beans drained and rinsed⁣1 can Black Beans drained and rinsed⁣1 can Corn drained (fresh corn if possible)⁣1 can of Chickpeas drained and rinsed ⁣½  Red Bell Pepper diced⁣½  Orange Bell Pepper diced⁣½ medium Red Onion finely diced⁣½ cup fresh Cilantro finely chopped ⁣2 Jalapenos seeded and finely chopped  (optional⁣)1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar ⁣¼ cup Olive Oil ⁣½ tsp Sea Salt⁣¼ tsp ground Black Pepper⁣   ⁣DIRECTIONS⁣1. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients and toss to combine. Taste and adjust as necessary until the flavors really pop—I usually add another teaspoon or two of vinegar.2. Cover and chill to marry the flavors—preferably overnight or at least 2 hours. Serve in individual bowls as is, or with a protein of choice!⁣⁣OTHER FUN WAYS TO ENJOY! ⁣1. Top with avocado’s for some healthy fats ⁣2. Pile it onto nachos or serve it as black bean salsa with tortilla chips.⁣3. Use it as a filling for burritos or quesadillas (leaving as much of the liquid behind as possible)⁣   Recipe created by: @sabrinavirdee

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies!⁣⁣Who doesn't love something sweet from time to time? What if we told you that not only can you satisfy your sweet tooth with INSANELY moist chocolate brownies, you can do it guilt free!⁣⁣@sabrinavirdee dropped off this recipe that is FOR SURE going to have the family cleaning their dinner plates in anticipation. Don't take our word for it, but a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream pairs up pretty well with a warm Brownie! Let us know what you think below! It's Brownie Time! #livelifehealthy⁣⁣ Fudgy Black Bean Brownies⁣INGREDIENTS⁣1 15-oz can Black Beans rinsed and drained⁣3 large eggs (local if possible)⁣3 tbsp Coconut Oil ⁣1 tsp Vanilla Extract⁣
¼ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder⁣
⅔ cup Coconut Sugar ⁣½ tsp Baking Powder⁣¼ tsp Salt⁣½ cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips ⁣ ⁣DIRECTIONS⁣1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees2. Puree black beans in a food processor, until a rough paste. ⁣3. In a large bowl, mix together the bean puree, eggs, oil, and vanilla. ⁣4. In a separate bowl, combine cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt⁣5. Add the dry ingredients to the black bean mixture then stir in chocolate chips.
⁣6. Grease an 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan and pour in batter and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges are visibly cooked and the center doesn’t jiggle much when you shake the pan (a toothpick may still come out a little gooey, that’s fine!)⁣7. Allow brownies to cool before cutting.⁣ Recipe created by: @sabrinavirdee

Mango & Coconut Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Mango & Coconut Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie!⁣⁣The change of season is here! Longer days, warmer temperatures and a sense that the world is slowly getting back on schedule. @sabrinavirdee is rolling out a delicious treat that can be enjoyed anytime of the day. By adding natural ingredients along with a bit of love, you will be cooling down in no time with a cold smoothie in hand! Add Kaizen Naturals Vanilla Protein Powder and help build muscle, repair tissue! Check out past recipes to put together a full day of eating, snacking and enjoying time with your loved ones and friends! #livelifehealthy⁣⁣Mango & Coconut Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie⁣Serves 1⁣INGREDIENTS ⁣1½ cups Frozen Mango ⁣½ cup Frozen Pineapple ⁣½ cup Coconut Milk ⁣1 tsp Turmeric Powder⁣1 cup of Cold Water⁣1 scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder *optional ⁣⁣DIRECTIONS1. Add all your ingredients into your blender and mix until you have a smooth and creamy consistency. Add more water for desired thickness! Enjoy!⁣ Recipe created by: @sabrinavirdee

Pecan Pie French Toast

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Cass. I am a Holistic Nutritionist obsessed with creating healthier favourites for both myself and my followers. I am known on Instagram as @the_nourishingproject, check it out if you want to see more of my favorite creations. I am a sucker for all things baking, making, creating and of course styling and taking photos of these creations before I indulge in what I have created. I love finding a normally high sugar/processed, but delicious recipe and transforming it into a nourishing treat/meal with nutrient dense ingredients and of course, lower sugar! Raise your hand if you’re favourite meal is breakfast?! (Immediately raises hand).  I have always been a pancake and waffle lover, but believe it or not, I had my first French Toast about 2 years ago. I know, I know, who am I? I always thought French toast was puzzling, but what’s not to love? Soft inside and crispy outside, cinnamon, maple syrup and you can pretty much make any flavour you want. Today I chose PECAN! If you love French toast, pecans and coconut whipped cream then you are in for a treat. This is the perfect recipe for any morning, weekend or holiday brunch. Christmas is just around the corner, just saying!  Step inside my kitchen and enjoy making and eating this dish as much, or even more than I do! Be sure to make extras to throw in the freezer and then reheat in the toaster for a quick, satisfying breakfast or snack. The best part about this is you can make it sweet or savoury. Today, I’m feeling sweet. So Let’s get started and fire up the pan!   Ingredients: Coconut Whipped Cream 1 can coconut cream unshaken and refrigerated overnight or for at least 6 hours. (insiders tip, lay the can upside down in the fridge so all the cream sits at the top when you open it!)  ¼ cup gluten free tapioca flour  1 tsp organic vanilla extract  French Toast 6 slices gluten free bread of choice (any bread is ok, I just love gluten free bread!) 6 organic eggs (local is always the way to go if possible!) ½ cup + 2 tbsp coconut milk  1 tbsp ground cinnamon pinch of ground sea salt  Pecan Pie “Syrup”  1 cup organic chopped pecans 4 tbsp organic canadian maple syrup 2 tbsp organic coconut oil 1 tsp ground cinnamon Directions: Coconut Whipped Cream Open can and carefully scoop the top layer of coconut cream from the can. If you skipped the refrigerator step, do yourself a favour and put it in the fridge! The top layer should be solid, this is what will make the whipped cream. Transfer solid layer into a chilled mixing bowl. Keep the remaining liquid from the can for later. I like to freeze them into an ice tray and use them in smoothies and even soups/curry’s. Whip the coconut cream until smooth, using an electric mixer. You can also refrigerate the mixer ahead of time. Whip for 1 minute. Add rest of the coconut cream ingredients to bowl and continue to whip until soft peaks form. Cover & putstore in fridge. French Toast Lightly oil a large pan over medium heat with coconut oil. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, cinnamon and sea salt Dip each slice of bread into the egg mix, making sure the full piece is covered/soaked in the mixture. Pan fry each slice of bread until egg coating is cooked, I find the time varies considering how much egg mixture the bread has soaked up, so be sure to check. Serve French toast on a plate and cover with pecan pie “syrup”. Pecan Pie “Syrup”        1.   In a small pot, mix together syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon and chopped pecans. Over medium heat, cook until warm. Pour over French toast when cooked. Tips on how to store: Refrigerator: Store in airtight jar or container, glass is best (I find the taste changes in plastic after 2 days). Use up within 3 days. Reheat in toaster.  Freezer: Store in airtight jar or container, freezer safe glass is best. Good for up to 2 months depending on your freezer quality. Reheat in toaster. *I like storing mine in a freezer safe glass container in the freezer. I will then take out a few at a time (or more) and keep in the fridge (glass container as well) for easy access. I highly recommend reheating the French toast slices in a toaster or oven. Toaster is fastest.  Follow @healthyplanet for more Health & Wellness recipes! from yourself. You can also follow me @the_nourishingproject on Instagram for pastmore Health & Wellness Recipes Happy sweet eatin’ from yours truly, Cass (@thenourishingproject)

Maple Crumb Harvest Salad

  Welcome back to my little corner of foodie love! For those of you who are checking in for the first time, let me introduce myself. My name is Cass, I am a Holistic Nutritionist obsessed with creating wholesome, healthy and nutritious recipes to share with friends and family. I have been fortunate enough to team up with Healthy Planet to share my love for creating (and eating) nutritious favourites for you and the rest of the Health & Wellness Community. I hope you love these recipes as much as we do! Let me know what you think in the comment section and enjoy!   Fall is here to STAY! If you’re looking for ways to incorporate seasonal flavours into your dishes then look no further, you have found it. My Roasted Squash Harvest Salad happens to be the perfect lunch or side dish to add with any meal. This may seem like a complex dish, but it is seriously so easy to prep and everything can be done while the squash is roasting in the oven. Perfect! Created with mixed greens, heirloom tomatoes, celery, red onions, quinoa and lastly the star of the show, roasted White Swan Squash dusted with my signature pecan-walnut “cheese” crumb topping! I know some people steer clear from the squash family because they are not an easy vegetable to prep, but trust me when I say, it’s all worth it in the end. Squash can make any Fall dish come to life. My Favourite part are the different varieties of squash to choose from and the many ways you can incorporate them into your meals!  Salads can get a bad rep because we tend to eat themprepared the same way Every. Single. Time!! Well, this is it, no more boring salads! My Harvest Salad is the perfect seasonal dish and sure to leave you feeling satisfied. As long as you have a leafy green, healthy fats, protein, colour and crunch…you can make any salad fun.  The Maple Crumb Harvest Salad is loaded with delicious Autumn flavours and is packed with tons of nutrients. My favourite part? The orange-maple-walnut dressing and pecan-walnut crumb topping. Seriously, who doesn’t love the sound of that? Convincing the family to eat their greens has never been easier!    Maple Squash Prep 2 white swan squash (or a similar squash), cut in halves, peeled and seeded (pictured squash is not peeled – but can be easily peeled off after baking)   4 tbsp EVOO  3 tbsp Canadian maple syrup    1. Preheat oven to 400 F 2. Mix EVOO and maple syrup in a small bowl and glaze over the squash halves 3. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes until tender throughout 4. Cut each squash into thinner wedges to place on top of the salad Orange-Maple Walnut Dressing   ½ cup walnuts   ¼ cup Canadian maple syrup  4 tbsp EVOO 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar ½ tsp each: ground black pepper, garlic powder, sea salt 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice   1. Combine all ingredients except EVOO in a food processor or blender until thoroughly combined, ensuring the walnuts are pureed and no longer chunky. 2. Add EVOO through the feeding tube while food processor is still running 3. Add 1 tbsp water at a time if needed to reach desired consistency 4. Transfer to glass jar and store in the fridge    "Cheesy" Pecan-Walnut Crumb ¼ cup walnut  ¼ cup pecan 4 tbsp hemp seeds  2 tbsp nutritional yeast ½ tbsp. garlic powder ¼ tsp sea salt   1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulsate. Make sure not to over pulse as we don’t want the            mixture to form a flour-like consistency, rather chunky/crumby 2. Transfer crumb topping into a bowl 3. Coat each squash piece in the bowl with the bowl, making sure one side of the squash is covered with crumb topping.    Salad Prep Washed Mixed Greens (enough for 6 people) 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (follow directions on box to cook)  1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion 1/4 cup chopped celery sea salt and ground black pepper to taste   In a large mixing bowl, add your washed greens, diced red onion, chopped celery, dressing, room tempeture quinoa, sea salt and ground black pepper to taste, toss and coat lightly. Start with less dressing and ad more if needed. Once your greens are coated, transfer to your favourite salad dish ( a long narrow serving dish works best for presentation, but any salad dish will do). Once transfered, coat 1 side of your roasted squash with the "cheesy" crump up and lay length wise! Add a few pinches of the crumb to the top of the salad for an extra crunch!    Follow @healthyplanet for more Health and Wellness Recipes from yours truly! You can also follow me @the_nourishingproject for past Health and Wellness Recipes! Happy Harvest, from yours truly! The Nourishing Project    

No Bake Pumpkin, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Everybody’s favourite season has arrived! Why not FALL in love (pun intended of course – I’ll work on it) with health conscious seasonal recipes while we have the time!  For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Cass. I am a Holistic Nutritionist obsessed with creating healthier favourites for myself, friends and the Health and Wellness Community.  I am a sucker for all things baking, making, creating and of course photo styling my creations before I demolish whatever it is I have made. Join Healthy Planet and myself as we create some unforgettable recipes that will certainly keep you coming back for me. Enjoy! If you love pumpkin, cookie dough and a guilt-free way to eat the entire batch of something you have created, then you have come to the right place!  Even as a child I ALWAYS loved cookie dough, this lead to my love/hate relationship with cookie dough. My friends and I would always go to the store, grab a tube of cookie dough and sneak it into the basement to eat it, RAW! Yum…but, not very nutritious. Growing up there weren’t many “healthy alternatives” for treats like cookie dough in a tube. Not only are these filled with grams and grams of sugar, they also have absolutely zero nutritional value to them. So what if I were to tell you, you could revisit your childhood, sit on the couch and snack on RAW HOMEMADE COOKIE DOUGH that will satisfy your sweet tooth without all the sugar! I say heck yes! What about you? Check out my recipe below and enjoy the guiltless snacking! Ingredients 3 cups Bobs Red Mill GF Oat Flour 20 large pitted organic medjool dates (soaked 20 minutes before) 4 tbsp organic pumpkin puree – add 1 tbsp afterwards until well mixed like sticky dough 3 tbsp Nuts to You Cashew Butter 3 tbsp organic raw honey 1.5 tbsp Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice  ¼ cup Lily’s Sweets Chocolate Baking Chips Directions add oat flour and medjool dates in a food processor or blender blend until dates are chopped up  add pumpkin puree, raw honey, cashew butter, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice blend until you get a nice dough ball. You may need to add more pumpkin puree if too dry or more oat flour if too wet. Scrape down the dough from the sides as it may get stuck, this is ok. Blend until combined, we want all the ingredients to be thoroughly mixed so each ball tastes the same! Repeat steps 4-6 until you reach ideal consistency/cookie dough texture Add chocolate chips in last to avoid chocolate melting/balls turning brown Remove from blender/processor and roll into balls (the fun part is you can choose the size) – I like to make a variety as your needs can change depending on cravings. Added bonus: feel free to roll the balls in cacao powder, melted chocolate, maca powder, etc for an added nutritional kick Tips on how to store Refrigerator – store in air tight jar or container, glass is best (I find the taste changes in plastic after 2 days).  Freezer – store in airtight jar or container, tempered glass is best. Good for up to 2 months depending on your freezer quality. I like storing mine in a tempered glass container in the freezer. I will take out a few at a time and keep in the fridge for easy access. Follow @healthyplanet for more Health and Wellness Recipes from yours truly! You can also follow me @the_nourishingproject for past Health and Wellness Recipes! Happy sweet eatin’ from yours truly!
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