Holistic Gift Giving Guide🎁

The holiday season is upon us, which means holiday baking, parties with friends and family, and the dreaded stress of gift giving! Don’t let the thought of giving gifts stress you out! This time of year is about cheer, joy and celebration!

Follow our gift guide and give your loved ones an earth-friendly, health promoting and special holistic gift.

1. Natural bristle skin brush – dry skin brushing is a great way to detox and rejuvenate your skin. 5 minutes a day can have your skin looking bright and firm for the holiday season and year to come. Give the gift of health! A great brand is EcoTools.

2. Spa treatment – pure and simple, a natural spa offers a number of amazing natural facials, sure to make anyone feel special. Give the gift of pampering.

3. David’s tea holiday gift set – a variety of delicious tea resembling all favourite holiday flavours. Perfect for the tea lover in your life.

4. Pure and Simple Be Smooth: Lip Kit – filled with a variety of natural, chemical free lip balms and oils perfect to get those holiday kissable lips.

5. Bees wax candle – conventional candles burn off a number of harmful chemicals. Bees wax candles emit a wonderful natural sweet scent and actually help cleanse the air, what a treat!

6. Rume bags – a variety of earth friendly reusable bags – from grocery bags, to lunch bags and even makeup bags. Great way to help mama earth and still stay fashionable.

7. Green Beaver Cranberry delight body wash and cream – skin is our largest organ and absorbs everything put on it. Most creams and lotions contain a number of cancer causing chemicals and can cause adverse skin reactions. This festive product is free of harmful chemicals and smells delicious.

8. Sammy scarves – fashionable, colourful, and hand woven these scarves are the perfect gift for the conscious fashionista. Can be purchased at 889 yoga boutique.

9. Karma organics nail polish – chemical and cruelty free nail polish, perfect for any girl in your life. The beautiful, vibrant colours allow you to express yourself without being exposed to harsh toxins normally found in nail polish!

10. Satay jewellery – this handcrafted yoga inspired jewellery features sterling silver, gold, and semi precious gemstones. It is individually designed to add that special touch. Everyone loves a little jewellery, especially around the holidays! Can be purchased at 889 yoga boutique.

Don’t let the holidays stress you out! Gift giving can be fun and help the earth at the same time!

Advertisements

Baking substitutes: bake allergy free

With the holiday season on our door steps, the mass amount of baking is quickly approaching! Baking is fun and creative but can become very stressful when trying to make your favourite desserts allergy free! Lucky for you I’ve got some great tips to help your allergy free baking experience be stress free!

Gluten free flours:
Brown rice flour: more nutritious than white rice flour with a slightly nutty taste. Great multi purpose flour as it works well for any type of dessert! Combine with a starch (such as tapioca or potato) to help with texture and binding.

Coconut flour: grain free option great for bars, cookies or scones. Recipe might require additional liquid as this flour tends to absorb more liquid. Mix with other flours if baking cakes/cupcakes which have a lighter, fluffy texture.

Quinoa flour: high in protein with a strong nutty flavour. Great for denser baked goods, such as cookies or biscotti.

*when working with gluten-free flours you must use guar or xanthan gum to help replace the gluten-especially when making cakes, loaves or cupcakes.

Eggs:
•1 Tbsp ground flax or chia seed combined with 3 Tbsp water. Forms a slightly thick and sticky product which acts as a binder taking the place eggs. Great for brownies, cookies, scones and breads.
•mashed banana – 1/2 banana replaces one egg. Great for cakes, cookies, loaves and muffins.
•Baking soda and vinegar- vinegar reacts with the baking soda helping to act as a binding agent. 1/2 Tbsp vinegar and 1 tsp baking soda.

Butter:
•can use vegan butter substitutes which easily replace dairy butter one for one.
•Avocado: great in icings and creamy baked goods (pudding and cheesecake like cakes and pies). Might want to add cacao powder to disguise the green hue.
•Fruit/vegetable purée: apple sauce along with pumpkin or sweet potato purée work great in brownies, scones, cakes and cookies. They help keep baked goods moist without added butter or oil.

Milk and Buttermilk:
•almond milk is great for one to one replacement. You can also use rice or coconut milk if baking nut free.
• 1 cup dairy free milk combined with 1 Tbsp vinegar replaces buttermilk. Provides that tangy taste as the vinegar begins to curdle the dairy-free milk.

Allergy free baking doesn’t have to be stressful when you have the right knowledge and a little patience!

Happy Baking 🍰🍩

Dinner in 30: Easy Penne Pasta

There is nothing better than a warm bowl of creamy pasta on a cold fall evening! Comfort food truly makes any gloomy day better! Last night I embraced the brisk weather and made a giant batch of veggie penne for the family.

20131105-171844.jpg

Ingredients:
~ 2 (248 g) boxes of penne pasta ( I used gluten-free)
~ 1/2 white onion, diced
~ 1 red pepper, diced
~ 1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
~ 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
~ 1 Tbsp grape seed oil
~ 1 can tomato sauce
~ salt and pepper to taste
~ Parmesan cheese

Instructions:
• Dice onion and pepper and roughly chop spinach and parsley
• Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to box directions
• In a large skillet soften onion in 1 Tbsp oil on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stir to keep from browning. Add in peppers, season with salt and pepper and continue cooking for 5 more minutes.
• Pour in 1 can of tomato sauce in the skillet with the onions and peppers. Heat through on medium heat.
• Add drained pasta and spinach to sauce and toss to coat
•Shave Parmesan to taste and sprinkle with parsley
*Bon Appetite!

Chicken salad sandwich

Today’s lunch was a quick and easy chicken sandwich with leftover rotisserie chicken. Loaded with healthy fixings it is a fantastic way to use up last nights chicken leftovers!

20131104-135229.jpg

Ingredients:
• toasted bread
• 2 cups finely chopped rotisserie chicken (can pulse a couple times in a food processor)
• 1 green onion, diced
• 1 small – medium pickle, diced
• 1 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1 avocado
• 1 1/2 Tbsp mayonnaise
• juice of half a lemon
• salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste

Instructions:
• in a mixing bowl mash together all ingredients except for the chicken and bread.
• fold in chopped chicken and scoop onto toasted bread.

* makes 4 sandwiches

Rotisserie Chicken
• put half a lemon (cut in quarters) along with thyme sprigs into the cavity of the chicken.
• tie legs together with kitchen string and place bird on a roasting rack in a roasting pan.
• cook at 425 for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes reduce heat to 375 and continue cooking for 50 minutes (internal temp should read 170F). Baste with herb butter every 15 minutes. Place under broil for a few minutes if the skin needs to be crisped up.