Summer Rolls With Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

written by Tamar Saskin

This is a recipe for summer rolls and rice wraps with veggie wraps and delicious almond ginger dipping sauce

We’ve always loved summer rolls for their refreshing, crisp veggies and the sweet-salty dipping sauce. The best part about summer rolls is that they require no cooking and are an easy vegan and gluten free snack or lunch to prepare.  We decided to fill our rice wraps with cucumber, carrots, basil, red pepper, purple cabbage, and baby spinach but you can really use any fresh veggies you have in your fridge and experiment with adding in other fresh herbs that you like, such as mint and cilantro, or even add in some marinated tofu, tempeh, shrimp or chicken for additional protein. Our dipping sauce is made with almond butter and ginger for some plant based protein and delicious flavours to infuse with the veggies.

Spinach is a wonderful leafy green packed with iron, vitamins and minerals. We always recommend keeping a box of baby spinach in the fridge because it’s an easy way to add greens to just about anything: wraps, salads, omelettes, soups and smoothies. Spinach contains Vitamin K, fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and thiamine. Spinach is a good source of iron, making it wonderful vegetable to include in your diet if you’re vegan and not eating animal products.  The iron found in spinach is more absorbable when it’s cooked, as opposed to eating it raw (so make sure to saute your spinach or add it to a soup if you want to eat more iron). Spinach also contains small amounts of an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid which plays a role in balancing glucose levels and increasing insulin sensitivity.  Spinach contains our favorite green pigment chlorophyll, which gives plants their beautiful green color and has been studied for its potential role in cancer prevention.

Purple cabbage adds wonderful color to these summer rolls, along with many more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  Being a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, purple cabbage is a great food to include in your diet to get sulfur-containing glucosinolates, the compounds that have been studied for their role in cancer prevention and supporting the liver in breaking down toxins. Purple cabbage is a good source of vitamin C, which is always helpful for your immune system.  

We hope you’ll give this recipe a try and make these summer rolls as an appetizer, for a snack or for lunch.  They are best eaten fresh when made, but if you need to prepare them in advance you can place a damp paper towel over them to prevent the rice paper from dying out.  The sauce will stay fresh for several days when stored in the fridge.

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Summer Rolls With Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

½ English cucumber, sliced in matchsticks
1 carrot, sliced in matchsticks
12 basil leaves
½ red pepper, sliced in thin strips
2 cups of purple cabbage (or red cabbage), slivered/sliced thinly
½ box of baby spinach

Dipping Sauce:
3 Tbsp of almond butter
2 tsp of tamari
1 and ½ tsp of maple syrup
½ tsp grated ginger
1 tsp of lime juice
½ tsp of toasted sesame oil
¼ cup of water

Directions:

For the Summer Rolls:

  1. Chop all the vegetables in thin slices.

  2. Fill a deep dish or saucepan (that’s 2 to 3 inches deep) with hot water.

  3. Place each sheet of rice paper in hot water for 10-15 seconds to soften slightly.

  4. Remove the rice paper from the water and place it flat on a plate or cutting board.

  5. Place the vegetables in the center of the rice paper.

  6. Roll the rice paper to form a wrap (roll over the edge closest to you, then fold in the left side, then the right side, then roll over completely).

For the Dipping Sauce:

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir, except the water.

  2. Slowly add the water as needed and mix until smooth (you may need more or less than ¼ cup of water).

This is a recipe for summer rolls and rice wraps with veggie wraps and delicious almond ginger dipping sauce

Strawberry Coconut & Cherry Popsicles

written by Tamar Saskin

these are strawberry coconut and cherry popsicles that are vegan and dairy free and also sugar free

Looking for a delicious refreshing popsicle recipe to rescue you from this summer heat? Try these nutritious strawberry, coconut, cherry popsicles! They are delicious and do not take long to prepare, the hardest part is resisting the temptation to eat them while waiting for them to freeze fully. There are only two layers to the popsicle, the strawberry layer and the coconut layer. Then we threw in some sliced cherries to add some additional health benefits and delicious flavour, as well as to create some contrast with the colors.

Besides the delicious flavour of strawberries, these berries also have a lot of nutritional benefits. First of all they contain anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that is responsible for the beautiful color of strawberries and is also a type of antioxidant. Another flavonoid and antioxidant, quercetin, is found in strawberries and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Strawberries are also a good source of fiber and potassium which are both important nutrients for heart health. They have a low glycemic index making them a wonderful sweet berry that won’t impact blood sugar as much as other fruits do.  Strawberries are a good low-sugar snack that we recommend for anyone that has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes or if you’re following a low-sugar diet or even the candida diet (if you are not strictly eliminating all berries). Lastly, strawberries taste delicious and are easy to incorporate into your diet. They can be added to salads, smoothies, popsicles, or enjoyed on their own with a little squeeze of lemon juice (a simple and yet delicious combo).

Cherries have a delicious tart yet sweet flavour as well as many health benefits. Cherries are an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants.  Cherries, like strawberries, have a low glycemic index so they won’t spike your blood sugar level in the way that sugary desserts do.

We hope you will give these delicious popsicles a try during the summer- it's such a lovely recipe because it's sweetened with low-glycemic fruits and can be made completely sugar free by using monkfruit sweetener instead of maple syrup or honey.  Alternatively, you could even omit sweetener all together and simply use fruit and coconut milk.  These popsicles are also vegan and dairy free, making them friendly for everyone.  We promise you won’t regret it!

 

these popsicles are dairy free and sugar free and made with coconut, strawberries and cherry.  This popsicle recipe is so easy.

 

Strawberry Coconut & Cherry Popsicles

Coconut layer:
¾  cup full fat coconut milk (from can)
1 ½ tsp monkfruit sweetener, honey or maple syrup

Strawberry layer:
1 1/2  cups frozen or fresh strawberries (if using frozen berries, add ½ cup of water)
1 tsp lemon juice

Cherries:
6 cherries, sliced in thin pieces

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the coconut milk with sweetener of choice in a bowl.

  2. Blend the strawberries and lemon juice in a high-speed blender until smooth and liquid.

  3. Slice the cherries in thin pieces (you’ll need to remove the pits).

  4. Pour the strawberry liquid into 6 popsicle molds, filling them ½ way.

  5. Then pour in the coconut milk over top of the strawberry liquid (it will mix in slightly with the strawberry liquid).

  6. Place some slices of cherries into each popsicle mold.

  7. Place the popsicles in the freezer for 1 hour.  

  8. Then carefully stick wooden sticks into each popsicle.  Place back in the freezer and freeze for 3-4 hours, until solidified completely.

 

these popsicles are dairy free and sugar free and made with coconut, strawberries and cherry.  This popsicle recipe is so easy.

Blueberry Watermelon Kombucha Slushie

written by Tamar Saskin

this is a blueberry watermelon kombucha slushie or slushy recipe

written by Tamar Saskin

Boiling hot this summer and looking for a healthy cool down that you can make in less than 5 minutes? Try this yummy summer slushy. The consistency is just like a slushy, sip it with a straw or eat it with a spoon and enjoy a treat with no added sugars or sweeteners.

Kombucha is naturally fermented, so it has a bubbly, carbonated taste that’s pretty subtle when combined with watermelon and blueberries.  We wanted to find a creative way to incorporate kombucha into this recipe so that you can get the health benefits of fermentation- it’s a great source of probiotics and gut friendly bacteria that support digestion. Some research has also been done to understand the antioxidants found in kombucha, which can help reduce inflammation and help protect cells from damage. Kombucha is a good source of B-vitamins, particularly vitamin B12 which is an important nutrient for mental health. There are so many different companies that make kombucha these days so just make sure that you read the label and choose a brand that has a lower sugar content.

We’ve also used blueberries in this slushie recipe. Although blueberries are small, they contain a large amount of nutrients, in fact they they have the highest level of antioxidants of all commonly used fruits and vegetables.   These antioxidants help protect our cells from damage, by neutralizing free radicals that otherwise could cause DNA damage. Multiple studies have shown that blueberries protect against DNA damage which helps prevent cancer. Blueberries also contain fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese.

This slushie is delicious and requires little to no effort to whip up quickly in the blender. Let us know if you give the recipe a try!

 

Blueberry Watermelon Kombucha Slushie

2 cups watermelon, cut in cubes
¼ cup kombucha (you can use any flavor that you like)
1 cup frozen blueberries
4 medium sized ice cubes

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend into a slushy smooth mixture forms. You’ll want it to be thick, so you can add additional ice cubes or frozen fruit, if needed.

this is a blueberry watermelon kombucha slushie or slushy recipe

Peach, Rhubarb and Blueberry Galette (grain free, paleo)

written by Tamar Saskin

This is a gluten free galette that is also paleo and grain free as well as made with peaches, rhubarb and blueberries.

This time of year we absolutely love using local, in season produce and have combined some of our favorites into this grain free, paleo galette recipe. The crust is gluten free and filled with peaches, blueberries, and fresh rhubarb from the market. Making a galette is easier than making pie, especially if you like the rustic appearance of dough folded over juicy, baked fruit.  You can eat this for dessert or even as a snack or for breakfast, since it’s packed with nutrients and low-glycemic.

Rhubarb is an excellent source of fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin K (which helps support strong bones) and manganese. Rhubarb also is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin A, which is an important nutrient for skin health as well as contains vitamin C and lutein which are both needed for healthy eyesight.  Its fiber content supports digestion and is a great plant food to include in your diet to help make sure that waste is being removed properly from the body. Most importantly, rhubarb also contains a pigment called parietin which studies have shown to potentially aid in fighting cancer and research is being done to see if parietin can effectively be used as a  cancer drug. Besides all of the nutritional benefits of rhubarb, it adds a delicious, tart flavour to this galette.

Both the crust and filling are sweetened very lightly with coconut sugar. Coconut sugar, one of our favorite sweeteners to use in baking, is a healthy alternative to white sugar since it’s unrefined.  This means it contains vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, and B6. Since coconut sugar is made from dehydrated coconut sap, it also contains calcium, magnesium, potassium (400 times more than regular sugar), zinc and iron.  The biggest reason that we love coconut sugar is because of its low glycemic index, that comes in at 35, as opposed to the high glycemic index of white sugar at 68. This means that coconut sugar will not spike your blood sugar in the way that white sugar and other refined sweeteners do.  Since peaches are naturally sweet, we don’t need to use a lot of coconut sugar in this recipe, but a little bit helps make the rhubarb taste sweeter. If you have other fruit on hand, you could always try subbing in different types of berries, nectarines, pear or apple instead. You also could omit the coconut sugar completely if you are on a low-sugar diet and want to simply enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit. We hope that you’ll give this gluten free, paleo and grain free galette recipe a try!

This is a gluten free galette that is also paleo and grain free as well as made with peaches, rhubarb and blueberries.

Peach, Rhubarb and Blueberry Galette (grain free, paleo)

Crust:
2 & 1/3 cups almond flour
¾ cup tapioca flour
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
Pinch sea salt
¼ cup butter, cut in cubes or ¼ cup softened coconut oil
1 egg

Filling:
3 peaches, sliced in cubes or slices
4 stalks of rhubarb, diced
½ cup blueberries
2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp tapioca flour
1 Tbsp coconut sugar

Directions:

  1. Mix together the almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut sugar and sea salt in a small bowl.

  2. Then pour this mixture into a food processor.  Add in the butter or coconut oil and pulse the food processor to make a crumbly mixture.

  3. Then add the egg and pulse until a dough comes together.  Be careful not to overblend the mixture.

  4. Take the dough out of the food processor and form into a ball.  Place between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin (or wine bottle) until it’s thin.

  5. Preheat the oven to 350.

  6. Prepare the fruit and rhubarb and toss together in a bowl with lemon juice, tapioca flour and coconut sugar.

  7. Pour the filling into the center of the dough and fold the edges of the dough in toward the center, so there is about 1 to 2 inches of dough covering the filling.

  8. Keeping the galette on the bottom piece of parchment paper carefully slide the parchmet paper onto a baking sheet.

  9. Bake for 30 minutes, until the center is bubbling and the dough is cooked.

This is a gluten free galette that is also paleo and grain free as well as made with peaches, rhubarb and blueberries.

Superfood Gluten Free Cherry and Dark Chocolate Cookies

written by Tamar Saskin

These gluten free cookies are vegan and made with dark chocolate, cherries, oats, cacao nibs, maple syrup, molasses, hemp seeds and flax seeds

Calling all cookie lovers! These gluten free and vegan cookies are extremely delicious and rich in fiber, protein, and low in sugar, making them nutrient dense. We’ve sweetened these cookies with only whole food sweeteners, maple syrup and blackstrap molasses, and a little bit of dark chocolate and cacao nibs make them extra delicious. There is a quarter cup of both ground flax and hemp seeds in the recipe. Ground flax is high in omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber (which will keep you feeling full for longer).  A cookie that keeps you full and is guilt free!?!

Hemp seeds are rich in two essential fatty acids called linoleic acid ( this is an omega 6) and alpha linoleic acid (this is an omega 3).   These essential fatty acids can support the body’s immune response and help with reducing inflammation, which can potentially help with inflammatory conditions like eczema. Hemp seeds are also a great source of vitamin E, iron, magnesium, calcium and 25% of their calories come specifically from protein. We used ¼  cup of hemp seeds in these cookies, which means there are 22 grams of protein in them. Hemp seeds contain all essential amino acids and are therefore considered a “complete” protein. This is very rare for plant based foods as many of them (besides hemp seeds and quinoa) lack all of the essential amino acids.

The next important ingredient in this recipe is pumpkin seeds. They add a little crunch and a large amount of nutrients to the cookies. There is 1 cup of pumpkin seeds per batch. Pumpkin seeds are full of essential nutrients and minerals including iron, zinc, and magnesium. Consuming foods such as pumpkin seeds that are high in the antioxidant vitamin E can reduce inflammation and help protect your cells. Studies have shown that eating pumpkin seeds can lead to cancer prevention for breast and prostate cancer.  Pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium, which is essential for so many processes in the body including your heart health, muscle relaxation and good sleep. Most importantly, they are very easy to add to your diet. Pumpkin seeds can be eaten on top of salads, in granola, or even in delicious desserts like these cookies. Check out the recipe below we hope you enjoy them!

These gluten free cookies are vegan and made with dark chocolate, cherries, oats, cacao nibs, maple syrup, molasses, hemp seeds and flax seeds

 

Superfood Gluten Free Cherry and Dark Chocolate Cookies

One batch makes about 24 big cookies

2 ¼ cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups gluten free flour (we used 1 ½ cups oat flour and ½ cup buckwheat flour)
¼ cup hemp seeds
¼ cup ground flax
1 cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup chia seeds
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt

¼ cup blackstrap molasses
½ cup maple syrup
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 ½ cup unsweetened coconut beverage

½ cup chopped dark chocolate bar
½ cup cacao nibs
1 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another.

  3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to fold together.  Fold in the chopped chocolate, cacoa nibs and dried cherries.

  4. Line 2 big baking sheets with parchment paper.

  5. Use a ⅓ measuring cup to scoop the dough and flatten it until it is approximately an inch thick.

  6. Bake cookies for 25-35 minutes or until lightly browned.

  7. Cool and then store in fridge.

These gluten free cookies are vegan and made with dark chocolate, cherries, oats, cacao nibs, maple syrup, molasses, hemp seeds and flax seeds

Watermelon Chia Popsicles

Written by Tamar Saskin

these watermelon popsicles are made with chia seeds, banana and baby spinach.  They are vegan popsicles and fruit-juice sweetened only

Feeling too hot during the summer and need a refreshing snack? Don’t worry, Living Kitchen has got your back!  These vegan watermelon chia seed popsicles are absolutely delicious and refreshing. They are designed to look like a watermelon using different fruits and veggies.

The bottom layer is made with watermelon, lemon juice and chia seeds. Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein, fiber, fat, calcium and magnesium. More importantly, they are loaded with antioxidants and are high in Omega 3 fatty acids. In fact, chia seeds contain more Omega 3 fatty acids than salmon, gram for gram!  Chia seeds also contain a lot of calcium, in fact more than most dairy products gram for gram. This means that they are an excellent alternative to dairy for vegans, and anyone following a plant based diet, for calcium and bone development. Chia seeds are easy to add to your diet and can be included in almost anything to increase the nutritional value of the food. The chia seeds in these popsicles don’t just  add nutritional value, but also a little crunch, basically hidden goodness!

The middle layer of the popsicles is made of coconut milk and monk fruit (or you can use honey instead of monk fruit). The bottom layer, intended to look like the watermelon rind, is made with spinach, banana, and coconut milk. Popsicles are a delicious way to disguise your greens and get them into your daily diet! Spinach is an excellent superfood. It is a great  source of iron, especially for those following a plant based diet who miss out on iron from meat. Spinach also contains calcium and magnesium, minerals that are important for bones and help with maintaining blood pressure. Spinach also contains the green pigment chlorophyll. A 2013 study showed that chlorophyll is effective at blocking some carcinogenic effects.  Spinach also contains Vitamin A, which can help with healthy skin and hair, and is rich in vitamin C, which is critical for building collagen, a protein that’s responsible for giving skin strength.

There are many other healthy ingredients in these popsicles, but enough about the health benefits, these popsicles are absolutely delicious! Get to your kitchen and make yourself some delicious popsicles while this hot weather is still going on. This recipe is completely dairy free, paleo friendly, gluten free and suitable for almost any type of diet.

These watermelon popsicles are made with chia seeds, banana and baby spinach.  They are vegan popsicles and fruit-juice sweetened only

Watermelon Chia Popsicles

Watermelon Flesh Layer:
2 cups watermelon juice (around 3 cups of chopped watermelon blended)
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp lemon juice

White Watermelon Rind Layer:
¼ cup full fat coconut milk (from can)
1 tsp monk fruit (you can use honey instead)

Green Watermelon Rind Layer:
1/3 cup full fat coconut milk (from can)
1/3 cup baby spinach
¼ cup of chopped banana or 2 tsp of monk fruit

These watermelon popsicles are made with chia seeds, banana and baby spinach.  They are vegan popsicles and fruit-juice sweetened only

Directions:

  1. Add the watermelon and lemon juice to a blender and blend until smooth and liquidy.

  2. Stir in the chia seeds.

  3. Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds (filling ¾ of the way full).

  4. Place the popsicle sticks in and freeze for about 3 hours to set.

  5. In a bowl-mix together ¼ cup coconut milk with monk fruit or honey. Set aside

  6. Rinse out the blender and add the 1/3 cup coconut milk, baby spinach, monk fruit or banana. Blend until smooth and creamy.

  7. Remove the watermelon popsicles from the freezer and pour a thin layer of the coconut milk mixture over top (don’t fill up completely). Place back in the freezer or another 30 minutes.

  8. Then pour the green coconut mixture over top to fill up the popsicles completely. Place back in the freezer until solid.

These watermelon popsicles are made with chia seeds, banana and baby spinach.  They are vegan popsicles and fruit-juice sweetened only