New Year Paleo Almond Flour Cookies- 3 Ways

paleo almond flour cookies 3 ways, chocolate chip, cinnamon raisin, thumbprint berry, gluten free, Toronto nutrition, The Living Kitchen

2016 is here and we are looking forward to sharing another year of delicious food, healing, and personal growth with you.  We have been cooking up a lot of new recipes, a new menu, and a new website, all of which are launching this month.  We can't wait to share this wealth of goodness with you soon!  

In the meantime, if you are craving something sweet and nourishing this January, try out our easy recipe for Almond Flour Cookies- 3 Ways.  You can make these cookies as Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies, Almond Flour Cinnamon Raisin Cookies, or Almond Flour Berry Thumbprint Cookies.  This recipe is great for anyone eating a low-carb diet and a low-sugar diet, while increasing healthy protein and fat intake.  Whether you are are conscious of your carb and sugar intake because you are facing diabetes, cancer, hormonal imbalance, digestive imbalance, or another health condition, this recipe still makes a delicious dessert. 

paleo almond flour cookies recipe, chocolate chips, cinnamon raisin, thumbprint berry, gluten free, Living Kitchen, toronto

Almond Flour Cookies- 3 Ways

2 cups almond flour (if you are not paleo, you can use 1.5 cups almond flour and 1/2 cup quick oats)
4 tsp coconut sugar
4 Tbsp coconut oil (butter or ghee), softened
1 organic egg
pinch of sea salt

3 Different Ways:
1. Chocolate Chip Cookies: 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate bar (or chocolate chips)
2. Cinnamon Raisin Cookies: 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/3 cup raisins
3. Berry Thumbprint Cookies: 9 tsp strawberry or blueberry jam (only sweetened by fruit)

1. Mix together the almond flour, coconut sugar, pinch of sea salt and oats (if using).
2. Mix in the softened coconut oil with a fork or with your hands, to make a crumbly and soft mixture.
3. Beat the egg and fold in.
4. If making the Chocolate Chip version, fold in the chocolate.  Then form into 18 small cookie balls.  You can press the cookie balls down lightly before baking.
5. If making the Raisin version, fold in the raisins and cinnamon.  Then form into 18 small cookie balls.  You can press the cookie balls down lightly before baking.
6. If making the Thumbprint version, form the batter into 18 small balls.  Press the center of each ball down, forming a small dip in the center of the cookies.  Add 1/2 tsp of berry jam in the center of each cookie.
7. Bake the cookies on a baking sheet at 350 for 10-12 minutes (be careful not to burn).

Cancer Recovery & Soul Warming Soup

squash soup, ginger, coconut, garlic, onion, carrots, cancer recovery, vegan, toronto, nutrition

Creamy squash soups are popular, but they are not all made with nutritionally healing ingredients.  In fact, some squash soups that you'd find in the grocery store or restaurants are made with a base of white potatoes or have sugar added to sweeten them.  We suggest that you read the ingredient label on any pre-made soup or ask about the ingredients at a restaurant and make sure that it contains only items that you know are healthy.

This soup recipe is so easy and affordable to make.  The ingredients are all in season right now as fall is upon us, which means you can get them from a local farmer, even better!  

The key to making this a cancer recovery soup, is adding ingredients that support the immune system and sooth the digestive tract.  Butternut squash and carrots are easy to digest and provide minerals and vitamins.  Ginger root, onions and garlic are nature's natural powerhouse remedy- antimicrobial and antibacterial.  Ginger also helps reduce nausea and is great if your tummy is sensitive and upset. 

The best part about this soup, is that it can be shared with friends and family, as it is comforting for anyone who needs some extra warmth and nourishment. 

Cancer Recovery & Soul Warming Soup

squash ginger carrot coconut soup, garlic, onions, toronto, nutrition, vegan, meal delivery

1 butternut squashed, chopped in large cubes (cut the skin off)
5 large carrots, chopped in large pieces (peel if they are not organic)
2 inches fresh ginger root
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can coconut milk (optional)
4 cups of vegetable broth or filtered water (or 5 cups, if you are not using the coconut milk)
sea salt to taste
coconut oil or olive oil

1. Saute the onions, garlic, and ginger root in a large pot with coconut oil or olive oil.
2. Add the squash and carrots.
3. Add the vegetable broth and coconut milk, or water.
4. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
5. Blend in blender until creamy and smooth (or use an immersion blender).
6. Season with sea salt. 
7. You can always add some extra water or broth, if you find the soup to be too thick.

Chocolate Almond Butter Cups, The Best Sugar Free Dessert

almond butter chocolate cups, peanut butter, stevia, healthy version of peanut butter cups

Chocolate and peanut butter (or almond butter) is one of our favourite combinations, classic.  You really can't go wrong when the two flavours are combined, except when they are loaded with lots of sugar.  

We encourage all of our clients to reduce their sugar intake and eliminate it if possible, especially if they are going through cancer treatment.  Sugar is one of the main causes of inflammation on a cellular level, which makes cells more susceptible to disease, chronic conditions, and cancer.  Sugar also leads to an imbalance in the digestive tract because yeast, parasites, and bad bacteria all flourish on sugar.  The good bacteria inside the gut helps to prevent an overgrowth of these critters, however sometimes this delicate balance can be thrown off by too much sugar consumption.  Not only does this interfere with proper digestion but can lower immunity and reduce absorption of nutrients.

And that is why this recipe for Chocolate Almond Butter Cups is wonderful!  You can make this recipe with peanut butter, just try to use organic peanut butter as it is healthier and less likely to contain mould than butter made from regular peanuts.  This recipe is also rich in protein and healthy fats!

almond butter chocolate cups, peanut butter, stevia, healthy version of peanut butter cups

Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

This recipe can easily be made in half, if you want fewer cups.  This makes approximately 24 mini chocolate almond butter cups.

Top Layer:
1/2 cup almond butter
4 Tbsp coconut oil
pinch sea salt 

Bottom Layer:
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup raw cacao powder (makes this treat rich in minerals like iron and magnesium)
4 Tbsp coconut oil
4 drops of stevia (or more depending on your sweet tooth preference)

Other supplies:
mini muffin tray

1. Make the bottom layer first by lightly heating coconut oil and almond butter in a small saucepan.  Stir together until blended.
2. Remove from heat and stir in the cacao powder and stevia.
3. Pour an equal amount into 24 mini muffins (lined with muffin liners or the silicon nonstick mold). 
4. Place in freezer for 10-15 minutes, until frozen.
5. Make the top layer by lightly heating coconut oil and almond butter again in a small saucepan.  Add a pinch of sea salt.
6. Carefully pour an equal amount over each of the chocolate layers in the muffin tray.
7. Return to freezer until solidified. 

End of Summer Patio Dinner

end of summer patio dinner salad, cherry tomatoes, bocconcini

Happy September 1st!   The end of summer is nearing, but there is still plenty of time for eating dinner outside in the setting sun and enjoying the bounty of local produce that is in season.

We always recommend eating dairy in moderation because it can cause congestion, inflammation, and irritate the digestive system.  However, we do love cheese, particularly when it's organic, local and raw.  Consuming cheese made with organic raw milk is the best choice if you are going to eat dairy, because many of the beneficial bacteria, digestive enzymes and healthy vitamins are destroyed when milk is heated during the pasteurization process.  The enzymes in raw milk actually help the body to properly digest it.  When milk is homogenized, the fat molecules are mechanically broken apart creating a smooth liquid. This prevents the fat molecules and liquid milk from separating and forming a layer of cream on top. However, when these fat molecules are altered they become much smaller and are no longer digested normally.  Instead, they can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream.  The small fat molecules are often carrying small protein molecules, which then also bypass digestion and go directly into the bloodstream.  This can lead to inflammation in the arteries, as the body reacts, recognizing the small fat and undigested protein molecules as foreign substances.

Unfortunately, it's not always possible to find cheese made from raw, organic milk, which is why we suggest limiting dairy intake.  Once in a while, it is still important to let yourself enjoy the foods that you love!  The following recipe uses an organic, local bocconcini cheese, as well as other local vegetables that are in season here in Ontario.  If you do not have access to a farmer's market, you can replace these items with produce from your grocery store!

End of Summer Bocconcini and Greens Salad

bocconcini summer salad, local tomatoes, local greens, raw milk, raw dairy

10 small bocconcini cheese balls
4 cups local, organic salad greens mix (if you are able to shop at a farmer's market)
1/2 cup local, organic cherry tomatoes (if you are able to shop at a farmer's market)
large handful fresh, local, organic basil

1 lemon, juiced
2 - 4 Tbsp olive oil
sea salt to taste

1. Rinse off the tomatoes and chop in halves.
2. Chop the bocconcini in halves.
3. Rinse off the basil and chop finely.
4. Add all ingredients to a bowl.
5. Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over top with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Simple Easy Almond Flour Banana Pancake Bites w/ Buffalo Ricotta

gluten free, paleo, almond flour banana pancakes

It can be challenging to figure out how to make fluffy pancakes when you are no longer eating regular flour, or even gluten free flour.  Many of our clients eat grain free diets (or they eat grains a few times a week, but not at every meal) because they feel so much better without the bread, rice and muffins.  However, this doesn't mean that they are 100% carb free.  There are still plenty of healthy sources of carbohydrates to provide their bodies with proper fuel, including sweet potatoes, parsnips and other starchy vegetables, fruit, dates, and of course some healthy sweet treats once in a while.  

This recipe is a great alternative to pancakes made with grains, especially if you are looking for something that is high is protein to keep you feeling sustained for longer than a breakfast low in protein and high in carbs.  

Note, you could always leave out the ricotta if you don't eat dairy.  If you are looking to ass extra fat and protein into your diet, using organic buffalo ricotta could be an option for a special treat occasionally. 

This recipe is paleo and gluten free friendly.

Almond Flour Pancake Bites w/ Buffalo Ricotta

1 banana, mashed well
1 egg
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup almond flour

organic buffalo ricotta

1. Mix together all of the ingredients until blended and smooth.  It's easy to use a food processor to combine everything quickly. 
2. Heat a good frying pan with a dash of coconut oil.
3. Add a Tbsp size spoonful of batter to the pan to make your first pancake.  Let cook for a few minutes until beginning to solidify on the bottom side.
4. Carefully flip the pancake and cook on the other side for a few minutes.
5. Make more pancakes with all of the batter.
6. Serve with the buffalo ricotta and raspberries.