Poaching fruit in some kind of other fruit juice makes for a succulent, flavourful treat. Pears have a texture that holds up well and is transformed perfectly by poaching. They become extra sweet and velvety, plus they are neutral enough to take on other flavours well. I like to use bartlett pears that are just starting to soften, they should press in slightly to touch with a bit of pressure, but any variety can be nice. In the winter I usually choose orange juice, but as summer transitions into autumn there are still many juicy fruits available that can be juiced into a decadent poaching liquid. Giant freestone peaches are one of my favourites and they can produce nearly a full cup of juice per fruit. The only downside is that you need a good juicer to extract the juice, if one isn’t available then freshly squeezed orange juice is always a sturdy fallback option- it can be squeezed completely by hand or with a citrus press.Here I paired the poached pears with a really simple chia pudding but they are also very complimentary to oatmeal or yogurt bowls. To make this extra filling a handful of granola, nuts or seeds could be sprinkled over the chia pudding but chia pudding is always surprising satiating.
2 cups unsweetened vanilla cashew milk (or any preferred variety)
1 cup fresh peach juice (from 1 large or 2 medium peaches)
⅔ cup chia seeds
Place the milk in a medium sized bowl and whisk in the chia seeds. Let them plump up for around 20 minutes, but give it another stir around 10-15 minutes in to make sure the seeds aren't clumping. When there is around 10 minutes left for the chia pudding, pour the peach juice into a large skillet and place on the stove over medium heat. Leave for 2-3 minutes until the juice warms up.
Add in the pear slices and leave for 5 minutes. Flip and leave them in the pan for another 3 minutes, until they are softened through and the peach juice has thickened and reduced down almost all the way.
Remove the pears from the heat.
Portion out the chia seed pudding into bowls or jars. If serving right away- place a few slices of pear over the pudding. If meal prepping for later- store the pudding and pears in separate containers then plate together when serving.
Both components can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a couple days.
Adding some grains and/or legumes like quinoa and lentils to our salads helps to make them more hearty, a timely adjustment as the seasons change and temperatures drop. Including some tomatoes, tomatillos, herbs and a creamy dressing keeps it fresh, light and flavourful. Continue Reading →
A cruciferous vegetable like cauliflower and a dense legume like chickpeas are both very healthy and hearty ingredients that come together to create a filling dish. Salads like this can be made the night before serving or can last for a couple days to provide portable lunches. Continue Reading →
Smoothies can be as light or as decadent as desired. They can be filled with a myriad of superfoods or made from a few simple ingredients. This version is more of a dessert combination, made from only four ingredients- fresh nectarines, vanilla bean, cashew ice cream and cashew milk. The nectarines give it a sweet, summery flavour while the cashew ice cream and milk give it a velvety smooth, rich texture and the vanilla increases the decadent factor. Continue Reading →
Sitting on the kitchen counter and sneaking bits of raw chocolate chip cookie dough as my mom baked them is one of my earliest and fondest childhood memories. While her classic recipe is still my favourite, I try to make more nutrient-dense variations like this from time to time. Continue Reading →
Meal prep, or ingredient prep, is a valuable tool in regularly eating well. If you don’t enjoy leftovers it doesn’t take too much effort to create whole new dishes out of leftover ingredients. Any cooked whole grains can be transformed into a summer salad that is nourishing and satiating without being too heavy for hot summer days. Crisp ingredients like green apples and kohlrabi keep it light and some herbs and greens keep it fresh. Continue Reading →
Homemade soft serve can be made without an ice cream maker and just a couple ingredients. Blending thick coconut cream with really sweet fruit then freezing them in ice cube trays and blending once again creates a healthy, simple frozen treat. The only necessary tool is a high powered blender that is strong enough to crush ice.Pineapple is one of the sweeter fruits out there, especially when it is fully ripened, but a tablespoon or two of maple or coconut syrup (or any preferred sweetener) can be added to for those with a stronger sweet tooth. Though this is easy to make it does require some prep work. Chilling the coconut cream enough to separate and then freezing the coconut pineapple mixture each takes around 8 hours.Coconut cream is made from blending the meat and water of a coconut. The easiest way to obtain it is from cans of coconut milk. Place the can in the fridge overnight and when you are ready to use it flip it over, open it up and use a spoon to skim the thick cream off the top. The cold from the fridge makes the cream separate from the water and settle on the bottom of the can. Skipping the refrigeration period makes it pretty impossible to separate the cream from the water as it all blends together to create a milk. For people looking to make more dairy-free treats it’s a good idea to always keep a can or two of coconut milk in the fridge. I was inspired by some lemon and coconut gelato I had in Italy that were served in hollowed out lemon and coconut halves. The mass of a pineapple does lend to a more North American serving size but there are some smaller golden pineapples often available, which I used here, that are a more reasonable size.
1 cup coconut cream (place a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight, flip it over open it up and use a spoon to skim off the coconut cream concentrated at the top. Save the coconut water below for smoothies.)
4 cups pineapple, chopped
2 standard sized ice cube molds
Blend the coconut cream and pineapple until smooth. Pour into ice cube molds and freeze overnight, or for around 8 hours.
Place the frozen cubes into the blender and pulse until they are broken down and become a smooth, thick mixture.
There are few breakfast options more universal yet varied than bacon and eggs. Here I used thickly cut pancetta, a type of Italian bacon in a frittata, along with some leeks and a base of thinly sliced yams. Continue Reading →
Berry cups are a healthy and easy option for buffets or as part of a dessert platter. Simply fill muffin liners with berries and top with a complimentary dip. I mixed together plain Greek yogurt and hazelnut butter for a creamy, nutty option. Placing the dip on top makes it easy for people to take the whole thing at once and dip each berry in as they eat them. Continue Reading →
Skewing fruits is a way to make fruit salad into finger food, an easy option for summer get togethers or for snacks on-the-go. This definitely doesn’t require a recipe or specific measurements. They can be more uniform with the fruits in the same order or they can be more sporadic. Continue Reading →