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Matcha Obsessed! Green Matcha Iced Tea

Within the last 8 months or so I have been absolutely matcha obsessed!

My matcha green tea has been a part of my daily ritual for a while now and I have been enjoying every sip along the way, guilt free (even if it’s been breaking the moderation “rule”).

Earlier this year I learned that I have a severe sensitivity to black tea… yes black tea… coming from the girl who’d drink at least one chai a day you can imagine this was not good news. I had to stop drinking black tea and find a much healthier alternative. I drink a ton of herbal teas (which are great and alkalizing for the body) however, I needed another substitute. Most recently the matcha green tea has been my go-to drink of choice and it’s been doing just the trick!

If you are wondering what matcha is, it’s a fine green tea powder originating from the Japanese culture. We all know the benefits of regular green tea so does matcha green tea top it? Let’s find out:

The 3 Main Health Benefits 

 1. Antioxidants

Matcha green tea actually has three times the amount of antioxidants than regular green tea. Wowzers! This is mostly due to the fact the entire leaf is ingested opposed to the steeped tea leaves alone, which means higher amounts of the good “stuff”. Also, I love that it comes in powdered form because I don’t have to worry about the hidden chemicals used on the tea bags, like chlorine. 

2. Catechins

Matcha green tea has catechins, which are forms of antioxidants called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg). These EGCg’s are antioxidants known for their cancer fighting properties.

3. L-Theanine

Another factor is the high amount of L-theanine present in matcha green tea, which has been shown to relieve stress and increase mental alertness. L-theanine produces dopamine and serotonin- our feel good hormones! This could be why I am so addicted to this satisfying drink!

How to Enjoy it

I love matcha green tea lattes with almond milk, but you can also enjoy this health filled powder with hot water, by adding it into your smoothies or by baking with it. I have made some delightful green tea matcha cookies! The options are limitless…

For a cool down drink this summer, try a matcha green tea over ice!  

Green Matcha Iced Tea
Serves 1
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Total Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tsp Green Tea Matcha Powder (more or less depending on your preference)
  2. 2-3 cups spring water
  3. 1 tsp raw honey (optional, stevia or coconut sugar work too)
  4. Ice
Instructions
  1. Pour 1 tsp. of matcha powder into a bowl.
  2. Fill the bowl up with water.
  3. Whisk the powder and water mixture until all the clumps have dissolved.
  4. Keep it sugar free or add in a teaspoon of honey for a sweeter taste and continue to whisk.
  5. Fill a cup with ice and pour the matcha mixture into cup. More water can be added if needed.
  6. Viola! All done!
Holistic Wellness https://holisticwellness.ca/
Where can I find it?

This increasing popular ingredient has become much more widely available. There are a ton of brands out there now making matcha. A few brands I am familiar with that I would definitely recommend are DoMatcha, Pure Matcha and Eden. Go to the tea aisle in any health food store and you’ll see several matcha green tea options. Many Asian grocers also carry the tea and typically at a cheaper price.

 What about quality?

Good quality matcha is bright spring green in color. The brighter the green indicates the higher antioxidant levels and usually a much better flavor as well. Some of the brands out there add in cane sugar to sweeten it and sometimes even flavouring. Stay away from those ones and go with the purest organic matcha you can find.

 Now, go get your matcha on!

Stephanie xo

 

 

 

 

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Chocolatey Black Bean Brownies

Image 2Simple, easy, and mess free!

These brownies are so easy to make. Pile all your ingredients into a food processor and viola! You’ve got delicious brownie batter made from BLACK BEANS!

Yes…ya heard right! These brownies are made with heart healthy, fibrous black beans. I was shocked at how moist they were! They are absolutely delicious and will become a new dessert staple of mine 🙂

I’m prepping for a Women’s Seminar next week and need to introduce them to easy and simple ways to prepare gluten free goodies, minus all the expensive gluten free flours out there. Let’s face it, almond flour, coconut flour; as much as these are staples in my baking, they can be quite costly.

So if you need a chocolate fix that won’t break the bank, make these brownies!

Black beans are packed with protein and fiber, two key macronutrients that help to keep you fuller for longer. This is also beneficial for balancing blood sugar levels.

“One cup of black beans provides over 4 grams of soluble fiber, and this is precisely the type of fiber that researchers have found especially helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Decreased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and myocardial infarct (MI, or heart attack) have both been associated with increased intake of soluble fiber from food” – WHF.

In just 1 cup of black beans, you’ll get a super dose of magnesium, B1, folate and iron. All nutrients essential for your health. Not to mention the extra magnesium and antioxidant boost you’ll get from the added cacao powder!

Now let’s get backing!

Gluten Free Chocolatey Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients:

1 14oz. can black beans (I use Eden Organic)
3 organic eggs
½ cup of cacao powder
½ cup coconut oil, softened (room temp)
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup of dark chocolate chips
1 tsp ground vanilla bean or vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of baking soda
½ cup roughly chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F
and grease a brownie pan with coconut oil.
2. Add all ingredients except walnuts to a food processor and puree to create your batter.
3. Add batter to brownie pan and gently stir in walnuts.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

 

Other ingredient options:

– Add 1/3 cup dried cherries for extra sweetness

– Try using ½ cup maple syrup instead of coconut sugar

– Butter works well instead of coconut oil

– High quality cocoa powder can substituted for cacao

– Top with toasted coconut flakes

 

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Valentines Day Treats for Your Sweetheart

Valentines Day treats do not need to be unhealthy.

Avoid the unnecessary sugars, unhealthy fats, and poor quality chocolate (cacao is the way to go!) and make your valentine something sweet in your own kitchen!

I love this recipe (adapted from Doug McNish Eat Raw Eat Well cookbook). It’s loaded with heart healthy fats (bonus…February is heart health month!), tons of minerals from rich cacao powder, and lots of antioxidants from sweet raspberries.

It’s simple to prepare and chances are they won’t last long!

Raspberry Cacao Hemp Heartsraspberry

Ingredients:

1.5 cups shelled hemp seeds (soak for 30 minutes, discard water)
2 cups organic raspberries (I used frozen)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup filtered water
1/4 cup melted coconut oil (melt over low heat till liquid)

Directions:
In a blender or food processor, combine hemp seeds, raspberries, cacao powder and maple syrup. Blend until smooth. Add water and coconut oil and continuing blending until smooth. Spread into a baking dish and freeze for 1-2 hours. Remove from freezer and let sit for 10 minutes to bring to room temperature. Cut into squares or hearts using a cookie cutter.

Looking for other Valentines Day recipe inspirations?

I’ve got you covered!

Check out my:

Chocolate Lover’s Massage Butter

Dark Chocolate Goji Bark

Almond Butter Cups

Enjoy!

 

Happy Valentines Day 🙂
Samantha xoxo

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Cinnamon Berry Crisp-Wheat Free & Dairy Free too!

‘Tis the season for blueberries! And boy do I love blueberries!

I’ve got pints galore of these blue little gems stocked up in my fridge. From pancakes, to muffins, salads and smoothies, I add these antioxidant rich berries to just about anything!

Blueberries are ranked as having the highest antioxidants among most fruits and 1 cup serving can provide a serious nutritional disease preventing boost! In fact, blueberries can help to improve memory and boost cognitive function. Plus they are great for your eyes, heart and skin- helping to keep those wrinkles away!

I decided I needed a sweet treat the other night and couldn’t resist whipping up a simple and delicious berry crisp! I added in raspberries to the mix (another berry you’ll always find stocked in my frozen) to give this treat an extra antioxidant boost!

Loaded with vitamin C and quercetin, red raspberries are great to have on hand this time of year as they help to diminish the release of histamines, which helps to minimize allergic reactions!! So for all of you suffering with environmental allergies this time of year, get yourself some of these delicious berries!

This dish is great for dessert or even better for breakfast topped with mixed nuts and seeds and some fresh almond milk!

Now….let’s get cooking!

Image 2Cinnamon Berry Crisp

Ingredients:

3/4 cup wheat free oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup coconut flakes
2-3 tsp cinnamon (or more if you like)
2 tbsp dried cherries (optional)
2 tbsp coconut sugar or sucanat
1/4 cup softened coconut oil
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Combine topping ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add berries to a baking dish and pour topping over berries. Bake for 30 mins, or until you’ve reached your preferred ‘crispness’ of oats. Serve alone, or on top of coconut bliss ‘ice cream,’ like I did!!

Happy Baking!

 

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

 

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Curried Butternut Squash and Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins for Meatless Monday

I love curry! And although I’m not a master at making a true homemade curry blend, I opt for an organic curry powder that always does the trick; especially when I’m short on time! This delicious and aromatic dish takes no time to cook and is perfect served over leftover brown rice or quinoa for a quick weeknight meal! Aside from being delicious, curry contains a high dose of antioxidants, mainly from turmeric, the spice that lends curry its beautiful golden colour. Turmeric, which contains Curcumin-the most active constituent of turmeric, is a potent anti inflammatory, a powerful antioxidant, improves liver health and aids in digestion. I recommend sprinkling turmeric powder on your eggs, add it to your spice rubs, add it soups and stews and saute your veggies in it for an extra kick!

Curried Butternut Squash
Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds butternut squash
2 tbsp organic butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced or grated ginger
1 tbsp organic curry powder
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
1/4 cup chopped scallions for garnish
1 lime, quartered, for serving
salt and pepper

Directions
1. Cut both ends off squash and cut into 2 sections. Peel squash using a knife, being careful not to take off to much of the flesh. Scoop out seeds and stringy pulp with a spoon. Cut squash into 1 inch chunks.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and ginger, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the curry powder and stir until it becomes fragrant, just 1 minute or so.
3. Stir in squash, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle boil. Cover and cook, stirring once or twice until the sqaush is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
4. Garnish with cilantro, scallions and serve with lime wedges.

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins
Ingredients

6 tbsp coconut oil, melted & cooled
1 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1/2 cup almond milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups Bob’s red mill gluten free all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups wild blueberries

Directions
1. Insert oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400ºF. Insert liners in muffin cups.
2. Whisk together coconut oil, brown sugar, milk, and egg in a bowl until combined well. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add milk mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries gently.
3. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until golden brown, approximately 25 – 30 minutes.
4. Toothpick test: muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the centre of muffin comes out clean

Enjoy the YUMMY goodness!
Happy Monday!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

 

 

 

 

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The Amazing Olive Leaf!

I pretty much love olive anything! Olive oil drizzled on my veggies, olives tossed in a delicious salad, but did you ever stop to think about the amazing health benefits of the Olive Leaf?!? It is definitely gaining much popularity as it offers incredible immue boosting properties perfect for the cold and flu season. But there’s more to this beautiful plant than you may think! It’s the Leaf that holds all the magic!

Here’s the low down:

  • Olive Leaf contains loads of minerals and vitamins, such as: selenium, chromium, iron, zinc, Vitamin C, beta-carotene
  • Olive leaf contains a rich source of phenolic compounds, such as: oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, rutin, luteolin, catechin and apigenin. Ok…really..what’s up with these crazy words?! These phenolic compunds are plant metabolites that have strong antioxidant capabilities. And we know all about antioxidants…right?? Antioxidants help protect against oxidative damage in our bodies. Think of oxidative damage like rust. Imagine having your cells and tissues rust?! Yikes! Not a pretty sight! Antioxidants help to prevent or combat oxidative stress/damage and keeps that ‘rusting’ in check!
  • Rutin, catechin, and luteolin exert antioxidant effects almost 2 times more than Vitamin C and E!
  • Olive leaf contains anti bacterial and anti viral properties. In fact, it can directly penetrate infected cells and STOP viral replication!
  • Olive leaf is a whole body tonic- helping to strengthen your immune system at the first sign of weakness.

Some of my favorite Olive Leaf products:

  • AOR – Olive Leaf Extract
  • Barlean’s Olive Leaf Complex (an oil, great for smoothies!)
  • KI Immune Defense (contains astragalus, shiitake and olive leaf)
**Always consult with your ND, MD or Nutritionsit before beginning a new supplement regime

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate Greens Shake with Amazing Grass Greens Superfood!

A greens powder isn’t very appealing to most people….but if you add chocolate in the mix, then I’m sure you’ll be a little more intrigued!! I’m lovin’ the chocolate greens from amazing grass! Not only do I get a yummy chocolate boost, but I get the amazing benefits of wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella, broccoli, acai, maca, acerola cherry…..and the list goes on and on!! This product is definitely a great way get an antioxidant and mineral boost for the day. I made a delicious chocolate smoothie the other day with this product, so I just had to share the recipe with you…..

Ingredients

1 cup Almond Milk (vanilla or natural)

1 tsp-1tbsp Almond Butter

1 scoop Amazing Grass Chocolate Greens Superfood

1 banana

Blend and Enjoy!

* You can even add a scoop of vanilla or chocolate protein powder for an extra boost!

 

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