200 calorie Mug Cake for one

Mug Cake

Mug Cake

There is something special about making a cake for one, when you’re in the mood for something sweet and comforting but don’t want it to come at a big caloric expense, try making an individual sized treat!

Most mug cakes are full of sugar, oil and flour or even made with just protein powder making the mug cake taste rubbery; but not this one. Don’t get me wrong if your prefer to up your protein content you could swap out the cocoa powder for chocolate protein powder and should get similar taste.

This mini cake cooks in less than two minutes and is made with simple ingredients you likely have in your own cupboard. The recipe is dairy free and can easily be gluten free if you use gluten free oats.

Mug Cake 1

 

50 g egg whites
50 g banana (or half a banana)
5 g coconut flour
5 g cocoa powder (1 tbsp)
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 cups of quick cooking oats- Gluten free if necessary.

1. Place all ingredients into a bowl or food processor if you have one. I often use a hand blender since it is small batch.
2. Blend all ingredients until the oats looks like they are ground up.
3. Spray bowl or mug with some cooking oil and pour batter into mug/bowl.
4. Microwave for 1:30, depending on your microwave settings.
5. Remove mug from microwave; be careful the mug will be hot!
6. Enjoy with preferred toppings.

Calories per cake: 200
Carbs: 36 g
Protein : 11 g
Fat: 4 g

Mug Cake 2

 

Check out some of my other concoctions by following me on Instagram.

~ Stefanie

Alleviate the Winter Blues or SAD

Winter Blues

It’s early in the year and you don’t feel like yourself. January is for new beginnings and resolutions, right? One look at your newsfeed and it’s peppered with #NewYearNewMe hashtags that make you question whether your own energy levels are up to snuff. To someone suffering from the Winter Blues the New Year is a reminder of a long road ahead.

For those suffering from the Winter Blues, the cold months, and than lack of light discourage many people from making and keeping plans. When your couch seems more inviting than the gym, fatty, and sugary foods are more comforting than mom’s homemade soup. When even Netflix and Chill seems too ambitious, you need to ask yourself if you’re just feeling the post-holiday hangover or the Winter Blues. Continue reading “Alleviate the Winter Blues or SAD”

A Simple Trick for a More Satisfying Oatmeal

a more satisfying oatmeal

Do you ever get to the bottom of your bowl of oatmeal only wishing you had more?

Me too!

Do you ever think about ways to add more vegetables into your day?

Me too!

Well, this trick satisfies both!

I always like to tweak recipes to make them more satisfying but still healthy. After experimenting with adding zucchini to my oats with little satisfaction I wondered what other vegetable would yield a grain-like consistency like oatmeal.

Cauliflower, that’s what!

Since cauliflower is a go-to item in place of rice and other grains in the paleo community I figured it should do the trick since it is a rather hard, fibrous vegetable that has a mild taste when used with other ingredients. Cauliflower rice also packs only 35 calories per cup in comparison to 360 calories per cup of raw oats. That makes this addition a great way to add some bulk and nutrients to your oatmeal without adding too many calories.

When adding riced cauliflower to your oatmeal, start with a small amount then slowly increase the veggie content depending on your own preferences.

 

My Cauliflower Oats Recipe:

  • 1/3 Cup Gluten Free oats
  • 2/3 Cup riced cauliflower
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 1/2-1 Cup milk of choice
  • 1 tbsp or so of cocoa powder or protein powder.
  • Pinch of Salt

Directions:

  • Mash banana with a fork and set aside.
  • Cut and wash cauliflower florets and finely chop into rice sized bits with food processor.
  • Add rolled oats and cauliflower rice to banana.
  • Add milk of choice, salt and cocoa or protein powder.
  • Mix and microwave for 1 minutes, mix then microwave for another 30-60 seconds.
  • Enjoy with your favourite toppings!

 

a more satisfying oatmeal

 

Like this recipe? Comment below and let me know what else I can help you with.

~ Stefanie

3 Tips For Staying On Track While You Travel

Buy Snacks For Travel

I love to travel and I love to eat.

Dining as per the locals is my favorite part about traveling; there is nothing quite like saying yes to foods you can’t pronounce or identify when abroad especially when the cook or vendor detects your culinary curiosity.

It is no surprise that when I eat different foods (and normally too much) that my body isn’t used to; I experience some adverse effects like bloat, fatigue and grogginess. Instead, I try to eat one or two simple meals a day with light snacks which allows me to get an appetite going for a delicious, locally inspired dish.

By doing this I am able to enjoy my chosen city while keeping my health and wellness goals in mind.

I’m going to share 3 tips for staying on track (whatever your track may be) while traveling, my mini rule book not surprisingly starts off with “be prepared”, mainly in terms of breakfast and snack items.

Continue reading “3 Tips For Staying On Track While You Travel”

Volume Foods – Using Fruits and Vegetables to Feel Full

How To Fill Up On Fruits And Vegetables

I like to eat.

If I could eat plates of pasta or bowls of ice cream all day long I would be one happy lady.

Unfortunately, if I were to do this ALL the time even with an active lifestyle I would likely gain weight, feel fatigued and have digestive complaints.

So what does one do when they want to satisfy their frequent pasta, ice cream or pizza cravings without jeopardizing their health goals?

You start modifying your meals by making them more voluminous;
often times by adding fruits and vegetables to the dish. Finding ways to substitute volume foods into your diet is a good option to get more vitamins and minerals into your daily routine but is also great if weight loss is one of your goals.

For example; many people already swap out their spaghetti noodles with zucchini noodles or you will see recipes using grated cauliflower in place of rice. These are a few examples of volume foods!

Volume foods are usually low in calories but high in fiber meaning you can eat more of the item (compared to the original food) without ingesting a ton of calories, plus it can leave you feeling fuller. Most voluminous foods are vegetables and fruit as they are high in water and fiber. These foods make you feel more satiated as they take longer to digest. By adding these items into your meals you are eating more food at a lower caloric cost.

Volume Foods

I started to eat more voluminous foods when I was macro tracking my meals and had a low daily caloric allowance as I was training for a body building competition. Meaning, I had to stretchhhhh my food intake very thin in order to satisfy my macronutrient intake for the day in a filling and sustainable way – If I ate foods high in calories I would end up eating less because those items add up quickly when you are eating well below you maintenance levels (high in calories and fat in this case). I am no longer calorie counting but I do still try to fill up on nutritious foods in place of some items as I try to keep my goals in check.

Whether or not you calorie or macro-nutrient track or just like to stay healthy this is a great way to improve general health as many people could boost their vegetable intake, meaning more micro nutrients and fiber!

Here are a few of my favorite ways to add fruit or veggies to your dishes:

Spiralized Noodles: You can buy a spiralizer or use a cheese grater to make noodle-like zucchini ribbons to eat in place of your pasta or rice noodles. You can then sauté them a bit in oil and/or sauce or eat them raw. Alternatively, I like to spiralize carrots as well. Combining the two and making a peanut butter satay sauce is my favorite way to eat raw spiralized veggies. I often add these raw carrot spirals on top of salads. If you have a fancier spiralizer you could even make sweet potato noodles, spiralize and apple or cabbage if you have a flat blade.

Volume Foods - a great way to add vegetables

Black Bean or Edamame Noodles: Great substitutions for pasta if you want a high fiber and protein meal. Beans are full of fiber and have good amounts of protein.

Cauliflower Rice: If you grate or use a food processor on rinsed and dried cauliflower you will end up with bits of the florets that look like grains of rice! You can make a pizza with the riced cauliflower too! My current favourite way to use riced cauliflower is in my oatmeal. It is a great way to add veggies into a dish that can otherwise quickly add up in calories depending on your serving size. Try adding 1/3 cup of riced cauliflower to ½ cup of raw oats. Add milk or water, spices, maybe some chia or flax seeds and berries then heat up like normal. The riced cauliflower gets lost in the oatmeal texture, making it an easy and sneaky way to get more veggies in.

Nana Cream: Using almost frozen bananas with some milk, spices and other berries whizzed up in a blender or food processor makes this lovely icy, but smooth banana frozen treat.

cocoa nibs

Pumpkin/ Squash: All members of the squash family have a special place in my heart. Similar to the nana ice cream I used chunks of almost frozen cooked pumpkin (Kabocha is my favourite squash) mixed with some milk or water, salt, cocoa or spices and voila! A magical icy treat low in calories yet high in fiber and nutrients!

Again, if you’re looking to add more nutrients into your diet there are tons of ways to do so and I am just showing a few, but get creative and get in the kitchen and see what you can whip up yourself! If you’d like more examples from me, feel free to reach out!

Stefanie

What To Expect When You First Try Kombucha

Homemade Kombucha

Kombucha, for me it was love at first sip!

I was warned that this drink was lip puckering, vinegary and murky but my first reaction to Kombucha was pure bliss. The tangy and fizziness of this effervescent drink was thirst quenching as it satisfied my cravings for a carbonated beverage on a hot day.

No kidding. It reminds me of a slightly sour beer with some added nutritional benefits! Win-win!

Once I found out I can make this fermented tea at home I quickly signed up for a workshop and have been brewing my own batches in my cool dark pantry shelves for over a year now!

Homemade Kombucha
Here is a photo of three batches of home-made kombucha covered with a breathable lid. The middle jar has chunks of fresh ginger on the bottom, adding a zesty flavor to the original recipe.

Kombucha pronounced (KOM-BOO-CHA) is a drink that is made by fermenting sweet tea with a culture or yeast. The origin of this drink is still undetermined but whomever and wherever this tea came from it has left a lasting impression as the people of Japan, China and Russia continually drink this tea regularly as it thought to help promote longevity and wellness.

If you’ve ever bought a bottle of Kombucha you were likely a bit intimidated at first.

You probably saw the dark network of strands floating in your bottle, which are remnants of the SCOBY; similar to how you find “mothers” in apple cider vinegar which are really just a combination of beneficial bacteria, proteins and micronutrients.

These natural byproducts of Kombucha come from the SCOBY which stands for symbiotic community of bacteria and yeast.

Basically, the sweet tea you start with is converted to Kombucha from this SCOBY as it feeds off the sugar content in the tea. The sugar is converted into carbon dioxide and ethanol which explains why you have to be careful if you have an alcohol sensitivity as some brands contain more than trace amounts of alcohol. The SCOBY itself is thought to protect the jar of fluids from the outer environment, resulting in a drink rich in probiotics, as most fermented foods are.

How To Make Kombucha
Here is a photo of the strange “mother” in a bottle of store bought organic apple cider vinegar.

The SCOBY looks like an alien-pancake made of microbes that are translucent in colour until it is tinted brown from exposure to many teas over and over again. After some poking around it seems that the SCOBY itself has most of the probiotic benefits rather than the tea itself and this is why many people actually eat the SCOBY itself. When in the jar it floats on top of the liquid and is rubbery, a bit slimy and definitely alive. Watching a SCOBY slowly dance in your home-made Kombucha as it ferments is worth brewing a batch itself if not for its complex flavor profiles and probiotic benefits.

Last month I talked about sauerkraut (link to blog post) and all its glory praising it and other ferments for providing probiotics; living micro-organisms that help maintain a healthy intestinal tract by balancing out the harmful and helpful bacteria naturally found in your gut. Intestinal health is super important for overall health, impacting our energy levels, mood, digestion and weight.

Over many many years it has been used therapeutically as it is thought to help with liver and immune support, arthritis and digestive health to name a few. As much as I love all ferments some like Kombucha may not have as many superfoods capabilities as other do. There currently is no scientific backing on human data in favor of this drink in terms of having health benefits to the mentioned ailments. Due to this it is only responsible for me to advise people to take caution when experimenting with new items, like Kombucha. Also, children, pregnant women, those with yeast sensitivities and with a compromised immune system should refrain from drinking this tea and should consult a naturopath or doctor beforehand.

This drink is not for everybody but I personally think it benefits MY digestive health and most importantly it satisfies my cravings in a less caloric and more wholesome way. In comparison to pop and beer this drink has less sugar and calories adding up to 14g of carbohydrate per 8 oz serving compared to 22.5 g of carbohydrates for soda pop. I often drink my Kombucha in a beer sleeve or wine glass as I try to decrease my alcohol intake. I mix it with fresh juices or muddled fruit to give it a more exciting, non or low alcoholic party friendly drink.

Kombucha Scoby
Meet my SCOBY- his name is Bert and he is happily floating on the top of jar as the fermentation ensue’s beneath him.

I drink Kombucha because it works with my body, I love the taste, I enjoy the ancient traditions of its use and I simply love making my own ‘booch’. If you don’t fall into any of the categories mentioned above consider buying a bottle of Kombucha. Start with buying a bottle from a reputable brand and drink it slowly, maybe even an ounce or two one day to see if it jives with you. I have friends who say it makes them feel a little tipsy, or have a stomach ache so they are cautious with the amounts they drink.

If you end up loving the taste and light bubbles you will likely enjoy making your own brew. There are lots of comprehensive guides on how to make your own batch but the joy of mixing teas, adding flavors and watching my SCOBY come to life in my home makes me glad I bought my first spooky, dark and majestic bottle of Kombucha years ago.

Hit me up if you have any Kombucha questions!

Stefanie

Improve intestinal health with fermented foods!

Improve intestinal health

Want to improve intestinal health? Try making your own fermented foods!

First, some science:
Lactic acid bacteria are found on most plant matter (and even in our bodies) and it essentially eats up the natural sugars found in fresh vegetables and preserves the food while letting the good bacteria flourish. Now, it is important to note that not all fermented foods are lacto-fermented as different bacteria and yeasts are used to make different foods but many familiar ones such as yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi are lacto fermented – and all of them are rich in probiotics! If you’re looking for some gifts for your health–conscious friends or family members consider introducing them to the increasingly popular world of ferments!

Sauerkraut

Today we have the luxury of buying fresh foods daily, but what did folks do to keep their food from going rancid thousands of years ago?

They used fermentation as a preserving tool as it inhibits the growth of unwanted bacteria. Today these ferments are still culinary staples and are eaten daily, for example kimchi is a huge part of Korean fare along with other pickled vegetables like cucumbers and daikon. In Japan miso, pickled plums and natto are commonly consumed throughout the day. In Europe crunchy, slightly sour fermented cabbage is the bee’s knees! Not only do these foods offer fantastic, often tangy flavors they are also gut, immune and hormone boosting super foods.

Today, I’ll focus on sauerkraut and all it’s glory.

Sauerkraut along with other fermented foods are praised for providing probiotics, living micro-organisms that help maintain a healthy intestinal tract by balancing out the harmful and helpful bacteria naturally found in your gut. Aside from improving gut flora, fermented foods can increase the digestibility of foods, help balance stomach acid levels and provide additional micronutrients especially many B-vitamins.

If you are generally healthy but would like to improve intestinal health consider adding fermented foods into your routine or try to cycle with fermented foods instead. Not only will this save you lots of money but current studies show you receive more complex and varied beneficial bacteria and nutrients through food sources than from a probiotic pill alone.

Cheaper, more nutritious and fun to make?

Yes Please.

Before you go buying jars of sauerkraut to fill your family’s stockings, make sure you or your loved ones don’t have any sensitivities to yeast or bacteria. If you’re unsure you should contact your physician for any other concerns but generally speaking properly fermented foods are very safe. If you’re feeling up to preparing your own fermented foods you can do so with very few ingredients. You can make a few jars of simple sauerkraut with only cabbage, good quality salt and a jar. Do a quick Google search and you will find the most basic recipe that will say cut the cabbage, salt it, pack it and brine it!

Cabbage

If you’d rather buy your products you can do so at many local farmer’s markets. If you are doing so make sure to look for vegetables that are non-pasteurized and must say raw. The process of pasteurization kills beneficial bacteria and destroys the natural enzymes that help make that food digestible. Look for sauerkraut that is refrigerated and made with unrefined salt or cultures, not vinegar. You know that wine sauerkraut sitting on the shelf near the canned tomatoes, that isn’t want you’re looking for!

I enjoy eating my sauerkraut with eggs, on a sandwich with Dijon mustard and rye bread or even on it’s own. Start consuming fermented foods to health as it can indirectly or directly benefit other bodily systems. Keep an eye out for next month’s blog post on fermented foods! Let’s find a ferment that fits your lifestyle.

Stefanie