Tag Archives: maple syrup

Shamrock Smoothie

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

shamrock smoothie

SHAMROCK SMOOTHIE (inspired by Kriss Carr’s Greensicle Smoothie)

  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 2 small oranges, peeled
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 large handful organic kale leaves
  • 4 organic romaine leaves

Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Cheers!!

May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrock.

May your heart be as light as a song.

May each day bring your bright, happy hours.

That stay with you all year-long.

Maple-Glazed Apples (with spiced non-dairy yogurt and buckwheat granola)

I rose this morning to a beautiful winter’s day and to the sweet sound of my 10 year-old strumming “Jingle Bells” on her guitar. Ahhh, I am so thrilled she loves to practise. 😉

Over a hot cup of chai tea, I decided to go through my binder of old recipes. I came across this one which I thought was a perfect dish for celebrating our first Sunday of Advent.

maple-glazed apples

I used to make this a few years ago with unsalted butter, non fat yogurt, and a low-fat granola. Like most recipes, this one can easily be made without all the dairy and be just as tasty, if not better.

Today, I used a wee bit of coconut oil, yoso coconut yogurt (a carrageenan-free, non-dairy yogurt), and an adapted version of Laurie Sadowksi’s tasty and wholesome Raw Cacao Buckwheat Granola.  So delicious!


  • 4 spartan apples, cored, and each cut into 8 slices
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 tablespoon organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup yoso creamy cultured coconut (plain unsweetened) yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat granola

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Place apples, 3 tablespoons of maple syrup and melted coconut oil in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Toss until well coated.

3. Roast apples for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are crisp and tender.

4. Meanwhile, whisk yogurt, spices and remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup in a small bowl.

5. Spoon roasted apples into a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with granola, then drizzle with spiced yogurt.

*Note on the granola: I have made Laurie Sadowski’s granola recipe a few times now and love it. In my latest version of her recipe, I substituted raw almonds for hazelnuts, added dried cranberries, and eliminated the cacao and cacao nibs. My kids enjoy eating a bowl with my homemade almond milk, but I prefer eating the large clumps as an afternoon snack.

As I write this, it’s early afternoon and the snow has been flying since dawn. Our tree is lit (soon to be decorated) and my daughter is busy putting together our advent wreath. My plan is to spend the afternoon pouring over, once again, all the amazing vegan dishes at last month’s Virtual Vegan Potluck. Tonight I will make my final decision and vote for my favourite dish in each category. (December 2 is the last day to vote). Have you checked it out, yet? If not, you must! (uberdish brought a side dish – herbed spaetzle with beet puree!)

Banana-Chai, Chia and Sesame Seed Crackers

I am so excited to share these raw, vegan and gluten-free snacks with you! If you are like me and love a good cup of Chai tea on a chilly November morning, then you will love these slightly sweet and spicy crackers.

banana-chai crackers


  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or agave syrup (optional)*
  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds, soaked for 4 hours and rinsed
  • sea salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper

Using a food processor, blend bananas, spices and syrup. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and add chia seeds, sesame seeds and salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour batter evenly on Paraflexx lined dehydrator trays. Set dehydrator to 112 degrees Celsius and dehydrate for approximately 12 hours.

I served these crackers to my kids this morning for breakfast.  You may want to try pairing a few with a pear and almond smoothie.  🙂

*If you have been following me for some time, you’ll know that I have a tendency to sweeten some of my dishes with pure maple syrup. Maple syrup is one of my choice sweeteners because it is full of vitamins and minerals. I also adore its distinct flavour. I live in the heart of Ontario’s Maple Sugar Capital, so I am very fortunate to have this heavenly sweetener at my fingertips.

However, if you are at all concerned with using maple syrup because of its high glycemic index then you can certainly leave it out. My previous attempts at these crackers did not contain maple syrup or any other sweetener. They were good, but I found that maple syrup highlighted the chai flavour of these crackers perfectly.

“For the Road” Raw Balls


This post is going to be short, but sweet.  I made these for a very long car trip that I will be taking tomorrow morning.   I thought these tasty fudge-like morsels would be a perfect pick-me-up for my long haul.

For the next 3 weeks, I will be away from my computer, so I will not be making any posts.  Instead,  I will be engaged in some kayaking, snorkeling and some all around good outdoor fun with a few very adventurous family members.  Reading is definitely in order.  I packed the newest addition to my library, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition. 🙂

These raw balls were inspired by Alicia Silverstone’s Raw Balls. They are quick and easy to put together and are forgiving if you desire to get “creative” in the kitchen.  If you don’t like getting your hands messy, then ask the kids to do it!

For the Road Raw Balls

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • a little less than 1/2 cup raw carob powder
  • a little less than 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • some shredded unsweetened coconut on a plate for rolling

In a food processor, process almonds until coarsely ground. Add the dates and pulse a few times. Add the carob powder, maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla, and salt. Process until the mixture is thick and smooth. Add the cashews and sunflower seeds and pulse a few times. I like the cashews and seeds to remain in chunks.

Roll the mixture into approximately 12 balls with your hands. Roll the balls on a plate of shredded coconut. Place balls in a sealed container in the freezer until hardened.

These may be my breakfast. 😉 See you in 3 weeks!

Vegan and Gluten-free Rhubarb Muffins


Tart and tangy and absolutely delicious!  This is the recipe I promised you last week.

I found this recipe for vegan and gluten-free rhubarb muffins at Whole Life Nutrition.  I had just returned from The Almonte Farmer’s Market with a beautiful bundle of rhubarb stalks and the desire to bake something not-too-sweet.  Tom and Ali were absolutely right when they said that “these little gems won’t last long after being baked”!

Next to the 2 cups of chopped fresh rhubarb, this recipe had me at cardamom.  I have always loved the unique flavour of this herb which can be found in chai drinks and curry dishes.

This recipe from Whole Life Nutrition offers the baker in your house some ingredient choices.  This is what I used – brown rice flour, potato starch, melted organic virgin coconut oil, maple syrup, and grated orange peel.   The recipe also suggests using blueberries should you not get your hands on some fresh rhubarb.   A fruit choice I will be sure to try in August when the blueberries are at their peak. 🙂  Gosh, I love this time of year!!

Almond Butter and Applesauce Muffins


I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and energetic after a very relaxing March Break.  We didn’t get away to any sunny or luxurious destination (well, does Toronto for one night count?), but we did savour some lazy afternoons at home with the kids.  I think we even had a couple of days where we didn’t get dressed ’till after noon. 🙂

Since it was unlikely that I’d get called to work on the first day back to school after a week break, I decided it was a great day to do some baking.

This muffin recipe came to mind when I was looking for a muffin that contained no gluten, no eggs, no dairy, and no sugar.  Those of you sensitive to gums like xanthan or guar, will be pleased to learn that this recipe contains absolutely no gums.  However, you will find baking soda in this recipe.

The ground chia seeds holds these muffins together nicely and thanks to the applesauce in this recipe, there is no need for any added oils.

These muffins are sweetened with our good ‘ol maple syrup.  They have the perfect amount of sweetness, in my opinion.  Also, these muffins are a little higher in protein than most due to the almond flour, almond butter and ground chia seeds, not to mention the additional  fiber boost.  You gotta love that!


  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds (grind whole chia seeds in a clean coffee grinder)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup creamy natural unsweetened almond butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a muffin pan for 12 with paper liners or lightly grease pan with coconut oil or vegan butter. (I like to use IF YOU CARE BAKING CUPS because they are unbleached and made from recycled board).

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  In a small pot over medium heat, whisk together the milk, applesauce, almond butter, and maple syrup until the mixture is warm and smooth.  Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and stir.  Pour batter evenly into muffin cups or greased muffin pan.

Served with a delicious smoothie,  these muffins make a great breakfast treat.  No guilt in giving these to the kids!

Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts


I love this time of the year. 🙂 The maple sap is flowing and the sugar shacks are open!!  We recently purchased a jug of local maple syrup from Lindsay’s Maple Syrup in Pakenham, Ontario.  I used their syrup to create a sweet and tangy glaze for these often overlooked vegetables.

This recipe comes from Brendan Brazier’s book, “Whole Foods to Thrive”.   Brazier suggests tossing in some roasted and peeled chestnuts to create an ideal holiday dish.  The holidays have long come and gone, but I decided to add the chestnuts anyways.  Maple syrup and chestnuts together? How can you not love that combination?!  You can certainly leave them out, though.


  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup chestnuts, roasted and peeled
  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large roasting pan, saute the chopped onions in coconut oil over medium heat.  Once onions are soft, add the Brussels sprouts, chestnuts (if desired), thyme, salt and pepper and stir well.  Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and roast for about 15-20 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, mustard and apple cider vinegar.  Remove pan from the oven and pour mix over Brussels sprouts.  Return the pan to the oven and continue to roast until the sprouts are tender (10 minutes, or more).

Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy!

Friday Night Freezer Fudge


My grandmother used to make the most amazing dish of chocolate fudge.  As a child, I would bring a chair up to the stove and eagerly watch her add the sugar, butter, and milk.  At the right time, it was poured into a large casserole dish and I would get the honours of licking the spoons and pot clean.  Over the course of what seemed liked forever, we would run to the fridge to see if it had hardened.  When it finally did, we would sit at the kitchen table giggling and laughing and savoring every last bite.

My grandmother died just a couple of years ago.  I miss her terribly.  My aunt recently gave me a large cardboard box of all her journals.  Nearly every day, for well over 30 years, my grandmother sat down each night and wrote about her day.  I have spent many evenings this past month reading all her entries.  I have to laugh – many of her afternoons were spent making fudge!

It only seemed fitting that I end the week and celebrate the beginning of March Break (a special time when I would stay for extended periods with my grandmother) with a good batch of chocolate fudge. 🙂

This is a recipe for a quick and easy melt-in-your-mouth freezer fudge.  It contains no dairy and no refined sugar.  I used Ani Phyo’s Lavender Chocolate Bars recipe from her book “Ani’s Raw Food Desserts”.  I eliminated the lavender flowers – wrong time of the year for those!  I opted out of the topping of sliced almonds.  I was just too anxious to eat a piece and, frankly, it was just too late to slice those almonds!  As well, I substituted the agave syrup for maple syrup.  After all, I live in the maple syrup capital of Canada.


  • 1 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds (optional)

In a food processor, chop almonds and raisins and transfer to a mixing bowl.  Combine the coconut oil and maple syrup in a food processor or high-speed blender.   Add the cacao and almond butter and process slowly until well mixed.  Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl with almonds and raisins and mix with a spoon.

Spread the mixture onto a 9 x 13 dish lined with parchment paper.  Top with sliced almonds, if you wish.

Place dish in the freezer to chill until solid.  This takes about 15 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.  Keep fudge in the freezer, as it softens at room temperature.  It will keep for a month or more in the freezer.  Mine just doesn’t last that long!

If you get it all over your hands and face, you’re eating it too slowly.

Candied Pumpkin Seeds and Walnuts

This year I struggled with finding something for the men on my Christmas list.  I was tired of wrapping up gloves, ties, motor oil, and aftershave.

I recall back in October, I made a dehydrator full of candied pumpkin seeds.  I really had to stop my husband from devouring them in one sitting. So, this weekend I decided to fill my dehydrator with candied pumpkin seeds and walnut pieces.  The men on my list will each receive a jar full of these crunchy and heavenly sweet snacks.  A healthy gift of good protein, antioxidants, zinc and Omega 3s.

One of my favourite raw food books is “Raw Food Real World” by Mathew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis.  (This book is signed by Sarma herself, having met her at The Seed in NYC last Spring! You see, I don’t get all giddy and star struck over rock stars. Rather, I find myself adolescent-like when I meet vegan chefs!)  I followed Mathew and Sarma’s recipes for candied pumpkin seeds and candied walnuts with a couple of minor alterations.



  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds, preferably soaked for 4 hours or more, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 maple syrup powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Toss all ingredients very well in a medium bowl.  Spread on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 112 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 24 hours, or until dry and crisp.

If you are using an oven instead of a dehydrator, bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour and a half until dry and crisp.  * Check seeds and walnuts often, as time may vary.


CANDIED WALNUTS – follow recipe above

Fill glass jars or containers with candied pumpkin seeds or candied walnuts or a mixture of both.  Reserve a wee bit for yourself, as these nuts and seeds are awesome thrown in a mixed green salad.