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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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Top 3 Supplements YOU need to take!

Happy Wednesday!

Hope you are all enjoying the sunshine! Today, I wanted to share with you my top 3 supplement recommendations. It can difficult to decide what supplements you need to take and where to start. Hope these suggestions can help you start on the right regime to optimal health and wellness!

Have questions or feedback? Leave your comments below!

Thanks! 🙂

 

 

 

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

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Learning About Heart Disease Now Can Stop Heartache Later!

February is Heart Month! I just couldn’t let another week slip me by without sharing some heart health tips, and what better way to learn about this amazing muscle (yes…I said muscle) then to have my amazing friend and Naturopathic Doctor, Mary MacDonald share her tips….

The heart is a powerful muscle responsible for pumping blood to the entire body. In a healthy adult, the body contains 5 liters of blood circulated over and over through the body. The entire cycle takes about 60 seconds, during which time the blood carries oxygen and nutrients to all the cells in the body.

Get Moving: Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and most adults are not physically active enough to gain any health benefits. All healthy adults ages 18-65 should be getting at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity five days of the week.

An Ounce of Prevention: Know your blood pressure. Your heart moves blood through your body. If it is hard for your heart to move this blood, your heart works harder, and your blood pressure will rise.

Work on your Habits: Since the human heart’s job is to pump nutrient-rich blood throughout your body, if you smoke, take drugs, or drink alcohol excessively, you are giving your heart extra work.

Warning Signs: Many heart attacks cause completely different sensations!

  • Pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back again.
  • Pain spreads to the shoulders, neck, or arms. The arm may be tingling or numb.
  • Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, dizziness, weakness, fainting, sweating, nausea, or shortness of breath.
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Cold sweats, shortness of breath and lightheadedness
  • Feeling of indigestion & abdominal pain

Heart Healthy Foods

  • Healthy Fats: omega 3 and omega 9 fatty acids: healthy fish, olive oil and avocados
  • Walnuts: a recent study has found that eating 8 walnuts per day decreased the onset of inflammation & oxidation in the arteries and helped preserve elasticity & flexibility of the arteries.
  • Celery: recent research shows that 4 stalks of celery daily lowers blood pressure and helps high cholesterol by relaxing smooth muscles in the blood vessels themselves.
  • Garlic: improves blood circulation
  • Richly pigmented fruits: blueberries, blackberries, and pomegranate are high in bioflavonoids
  • Limit alcohol consumption to less than two drinks per day and even less for women
  • Limit sodium intake to ≤ 6 g salt each day

Thanks Mary for such valuable information!

If your interested in booking an appointment with Mary, please contact her at:
Mary MacDonald
l ND, BSc, BComm
Holly Pharmacy
611 Holly Avenue l At Derry Road
T: 905.878.9001

Health and Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

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The Miracle Mineral- MAGNESIUM!

Are you getting enough magnesium?

This incredible mineral is typically the one mineral most people are deficient in; and if you’re not eating enough green veggies, chances are you need Magnesium! Let’s take a look at what this miracle mineral is all about, and what it can do for you!

Magnesium is an essential macro mineral. More than half the magnesium in our bodies, approximately 67%, is found in our bones and teeth, 31% is found intracellularly in soft tissues, and about 1% of magnesium is in our bodily fluids. It is an essential mineral in our body, essential in human metabolism and is required for over several hundred enzyme reactions.

This essential mineral is also necessary for calcium and vitamin C metabolism, as well as potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. It is best to take magnesium between meals or at bedtime, as it requires an acidic stomach for best absorption. Some people may find loose stools when taking too much magnesium. I suggest you start at a low dose, approx. 100mg, and work your way up. I typically take magnesium before bed (around 400mg) to help with muscle relaxation and sleep.

Magnesium levels in the body are primarily controlled by the kidneys. The kidneys will excrete or conserve magnesium according to our bodies needs. How brilliant is that!

Important Functions of Magnesium for Physical and Mental Health:

Magnesium has been known to:

« Help with stress – it relaxes the skeletal muscles

« Helpful in relieving coronary artery spasms – which can lead to a severe heart attack. Magnesium has a great influence on the heart!

« Can prevent high blood pressure – adequate levels of magnesium help lessen calcium flow to vascular cells (which leads to tighter vessels/high blood pressure)

« Important for converting blood sugar into energy – ie. helps to burn fat!

« Essential for effective nerve and muscle functioning

« Keeps teeth healthy and strong

« Aids in fighting depression

« Helps prevent muscle spasms

« Helps prevent calcium deposits and kidney and gallstones

« Helps relieve menstrual cramps

« Supports daily detoxification

Best Natural Sources of Magnesium Are:

* DARK LEAFY GREENS – kale, spinach, rapini, swiss chard

* BEANS – green beans, black beans, pinto beans

* SEEDS – flaxseeds, mustard seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds

* VEGETABLES – summer squash, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets

* GRAINS – quinoa, buckwheat

* FISH – mainly salmon

* CACAO – yup! real, unprocessed raw cacao powder contains LOTS of magnesium. Try my Raw Chocolate Coconut Brownies or my Chocolate Matcha Amaze-balls to get a healthful dose of magnesium. 

As for supplements, I would look for Magnesium Bisglycinate. This type of magnesium is bound to an amino acid for better absorption and utilization by your body.

But, be sure your supplement DOES NOT replace eating whole foods rich in magnesium! Get an array of fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds and you’ll be feeling the benefits of magnesium in no time!

*As a note, Magnesium Bisglycinate does not typically loosen stools the way Magnesium Citrate does. If you are using Magnesium to help with constipation and bowel movements, look for Magnesium Citrate, not Bisglycinate. 

 

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