Hints & Tips

Go Vegan

With serious health conditions and chronic diseases plaguing the world, and the rising concern about the well being and sustainability of the planet, veganism is becoming a more popular choice for a more conscious healthy lifestyle. In fact, it has become a bit of a trend at the moment. Many celebrities, like Ellen De Generes, Alicia Silverstone and even Bill Clinton are huge vegan advocates, using their notoriety to spread the word about the joys of being a vegan. I am a proud…

Food Combining

Food Combining is based on the premise that the human body is unable to digest more than one concentrated food in one meal. A concentrated food is commonly defined as any food that is not a fresh fruit or vegetable: basically, starches and proteins. The enzymes required for the efficient digestion of concentrated starches such as grains and potatoes, need an alkaline environment in which to work. Whereas, protein-digestive enzymes require an acidic environment. Hence, if a concentrated…

The Body Ecology Diet

What is The Body Ecology Diet? Well, the best way to get a comprehensive answer to this question is to read what Donna Gates has to say. Grab a copy of her fabulous book, The Body Ecology Diet, and check out the Body Ecology website for further information and availability to a network of Body Ecology trained practitioners and devotees. But here is my humble overview and experience with the B.E.D diet, so that you can get a basic idea of how the principles might help you reach optimum…

Using Raw Coconut

Coconut has magical health properties. It is absolutely loaded with antibacterial and antiviral properties. It has lauric acid, which has a powerful antiviral effect on the body, and caprylic acid, which is a potent anti-fungal. Coconut is fantastic for boosting immunity and staving off illness. If I am around anyone who is sick, I consume huge amounts of coconut and it never fails me. I carry a packet of creamed coconut or sachets of coconut with me in my purse. Coconut is high in…

Natural Flavorings & Seasonings

Here is a list of my favourite natural flavorings and seasonings I use a lot in my recipes.I use vanilla many of my smoothies, desserts, and baked goods. It adds a depth of flavour that is beneficial in most recipes and just can’t be compared. For a strong vanilla flavour I will add a generous amount of vanilla extract. But vanilla is also a wonderful non-characterizing flavouring when added in small amounts. It enhances the flavour of chocolate, coffee, nuts and fruit beautifully. You…

Plant-Based Milks

There is a wide range of plant based milks available at health food stores and grocery stores including almond, coconut, soy, rice, oat, hemp, flax, and hazelnut milk. Every milk has a different personality depending on the source of the milk, how it is produced, and the additives and flavourings added. Even within the same source you will find a vast difference in taste, texture and quality. I find that a quick glance at the ingredient list on the packaging speaks volumes about the…

Nut & Seed Butters

Butters made from raw ground nuts and seeds can be used as plant based substitutes for butter, margarine, cream cheese and other spreads. They also help to satisfy any luxurious cravings for sweet sticky treats, but are far more nutritious than other indulgences. With a blender you can blend up raw nut and seed butters in minutes and get creative blending different nuts together with flavourings and sweeteners for pure luxury. Nut and seed butters lend themselves to sweet or savoury…

Sea Vegetables

I cannot rave enough about the wonders of sea vegetables. They are in a class of their own, and no other food group can boast a nutritional profile that is as rich or profound. Cultures all over the world have been harvesting ocean vegetables for centuries. The Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Russians, Irish, British, South Africans, Hawaiians and American Indians are just some of the groups that have traditionally used edible seaweeds for culinary purposes. The Canadians and Scots serve…

Gluten Free Grains & Pasta

These are some of my favourite gluten free grains and seeds. Brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, oats and quinoa are brilliant nutritional superfoods that pack a powerful punch; not to mention, being absolutely delicious. These gluten free grains are easy to prepare; and provide a wonderful bank canvas for flavourful inspiration -- spicy, sweet, tangy, fruity or salty. Whatever tickles your fancy. It is best to purchase organic products wherever possible, and store your grains in…

Gluten Free Flours & Baking Goods

Working with gluten free flours affords the bold cook a fabulous opportunity to play with a seemingly endless variety of combinations that can yield sensational results. However, due to the lack of gluten, it can be challenging to achieve the right structure, texture, kneadability and rise, that comes so easily with wheat gluten. But what gluten free flours lack in form and function, they make up for in nutritional density, that enable cooks to enrich recipes with a lot more goodness…

Raw Nuts & Seeds

Raw nuts and seeds are loaded with protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and healthy fats and oils. They are known to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, assist with heart health, bone density, regulate blood sugar levels, hormone levels. Nuts and seeds also have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, that help neutralize free radical damage and promote cellular renewal. They assist with colon health and encourage detoxification and elimination of…

Natural Sweeteners

Stevia is my everyday sweetener of choice and the healthiest natural sweetener. Stevia is a herb found mainly in South America and China. The Japanese have been using Stevia since the 70’s to sweeten all kinds of processed foods like gum, drinks, desserts and many others with great success. It is heat stable so is ideal for cooking. Stevia is alkaline, calorie-free, does not contain any sucrose, and does not alter blood sugar levels, which makes it fantastic for diabetics, or people…

Plant-Based Fats & Oils

The types of fats and oils we consume are vital to our overall health. I learnt a lot by reading Mary Enig and Sally Fallons fantastic book Know Your Fats. It is an illuminating read that has really guided my choices. There is a reason we crave fats and oils -- because they satiate us, insulate our bodies, and taste absolutely delicious. Good quality cold pressed and unrefined fats and oils are necessary for optimum health. But it is extremely important that they be of premium quality.…

Soaking Nuts, Seeds, & Grains

About fifteen years ago Steven Acuff introduced me to the teachings of the brilliant Sally Fallon. I purchased her landmark book, Nourishing Traditions and it literally changed my life and my health. One of the most valuable lessons I learnt was the health benefits of soaking and dehydrating or sprouting nuts, seeds and grains.I have not looked back. The following information is my interpretation of information I gathered from her teachings and from other raw whole food classes. Grab a…

Using Your Blender

"Hello, My name is Tess and I am a proud blending addict." The miraculous Blender is THE culinary gift from the time Gods to every cook – man, woman and child! These machines are designed to make our lives easier. Why not exploit them to their full potential. Blenders save time, mess and clean up; and if loved, last a very long time. There are hundreds of makes and models of blenders ranging from the very simple, standard low tech blenders, to the more expensive models with all of the…

Choosing a Blender

There are several things to consider when choosing a blender. What are you using the blender for? If you are just using your blender a few times a year for cocktails, you will need a blender with great ice crushing capabilities and you do not need to be concerned about other features. Whereas if you are a vegan, and you are going to be making plant based milks and grinding homemade flours you will need a blender with more power. How often will you use it? Basically, you get what you…

My Blender Recommendations

I LOVE my blender and use it at least 3 times a day to make all kinds of recipes. I am acutely aware that these machines are expensive. I used to recommend blenders in every price category. However, I would get emails from people who would purchase them, only to be disappointed, and then purchase a Vitamix. So I don't do that anymore. Remember, that you are not purchasing a kitchen machine, you are making an investment in your health. You can't put a price on that. To make your…

Cleaning Your Blender

Blenders are really easy to clean. I always recommend washing your blender right after you use it. That way, no food gets congealed in the carriage or the body. However, even if you leave your blender dirty -- with a little bit of soaking, you can still bring it back to life. **Note - some blenders claim to be dishwasher proof. I would not recommend using a dish washer. To preserve the longevity of your blender, I would always hand wash the carriage. Placing your blender carriage in…

Working With Knives

Knives are THE number one essential item in ANY kitchen. Save up and invest in quality. Sharp knives are safer and easier to use than cheap blunt knives. They have a well-balanced weight, and sharp edge that cannot be matched by the cheap varieties. Once you have had a “slice of the good knife” you will never go back; and wonder why you weren’t this sharp sooner! There are some fantastic brands, but I have been using my Global knives for years. They are lightweight, and look really…

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