Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Hemp Protein Loaves

This hearty loaf may not be much to look at, but it's taste is amazing! You may be well acquainted with hemp already, or you may be reading this wondering, what does she mean by hemp... really?... in food?


Hemp is actually becoming quite popular these days. It has a nutritional value that is off the charts. Let me tell you why...
Hemp is an extremely nutrient rich whole food. It is also one of the purest sources of raw plant based proteins. As a plant, this means that hemp is also extremely alkaline forming unlike many other proteins that come from meat, fish, eggs or whey which can be acidic to the body overtime. So for athletes and busy/active people, hemp is an amazing form of sustaining and nourishing energy. The protein present in hemp is also complete -containing all 10 essential amino acids which makes it ideal for vegetarians, vegans or anyone seeking an alternative source of protein. Hemp also contains balanced healthy fats - both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. This makes hemp an excellent natural anti-inflammatory as well as providing the body with healthy oils for skin, hair and nails. If this isn't enough already... hemp is also easy to digest (because it contains it's own natural enzymes), contains a high levels of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, fibre and chlorophyll. So if this isn't a superfood, I don't know what is!

There are so many ways that hemp can be consumed - whether it is as a seed (also know as hemp hearts), in a powder, as a flour or mixed in a blend- you can even by "hemp ice cream". There are many options to choose from for your first go at hemp!

I usually start my day off in the morning with a hemp smoothie. I use Vega's smoothie infusion, mixed with some organic fruit, rice milk and agave nectar. I sprinkle hemp seeds on salads or use them in baked or raw desserts and I use hemp flour to make delicious baked items like these high protein, low carb, gluten free loaves. They are hearty, filling and delicious. You can eat them in the morning or enjoy them after a good workout.

So if hemp is new to you, it may take some getting used to a gritty texture, nutty flavour and a greenish look. But it is worth it and your body with thank you for it in the end!


Hemp Coconut Mini Loaves

1 cup hemp flour (Hempola Brand)
1 cup coconut flour or coconut meal
1 teaspoon each baking soda and baking powder
1 organic egg or 1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water for vegan option
1/2 cup organic apple sauce or pureed apples
1 banana
1/4 cup maple syrup
6 tablespoon virgin coconut oil


1. Add oil, maple syrup, and salt to mashed banana and beat until well mixed.
2. Add egg or flax and vanilla and mix well.
3. Add remaining dry ingredients and nuts. Mix until just blended.
4. Pour into greased mini loaf pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
5. Allow to cool on baking rack.

Monday, April 6, 2009

PASSOVER those cookies please!

Passover, the Jewish holiday celebrated this time of year is known for its traditional recipes and ingredients that have been used for centuries. The premise is to make savoury and sweet recipes that do not "rise". In this case, many families have become accustomed to purchasing either pre-packaged "kosher for passover" treats or making their own "unhealthy" desserts. In which case, many of the ingredients are either full of fat, sugar and other processed ingredients that are tasteless and unsatisfying - (not to mention the digestive back up that comes along them).
I want to assure you that you don't have to settle for bland desserts and cookies during Passover- there is another way!

All that is required is a little creativity and knowledge of what grains and alternative flours can be used and what other natural ingredients can be put together to make delicious treats that are not only comprised of butter, eggs, sugar and matzah!

So, I got a little crazy in the kitchen concocting all sorts of amazing passover cookie recipes. I wanted to prove to my own family that passover desserts can not only taste great, but also have some amazing nutritional properties (protein, fiber and heart healthy fats)!

I took some traditional cookie recipes and modified the ingredients by using almond flour, quinoa flour and amaranth flour as the main ingredients. (For the record these are not only kosher for passover, but are also gluten free!). Then I used natural sweeteners like agave nectar, maple syrup and brown rice syrup and oils such as grapeseed, organic canola or coconut oil and then some added in some fun ingredients like nuts and seeds, chocolate chips, coconut and naturally sweetened raspberry jam.

It is simple and may even save you some money to make your own treats this year! So enjoy and have a little fun in the kitchen. Then pass-over your own healthy and delicious cookies to everyone in your family!

Passover Friendly Jam Dot Cookies


1 cup almonds, ground to fine meal
1 cup quinoa flour
1 cup amaranth flour
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup melted coconut oil, sunflower, canola oil
½ cup maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
Raspberry or Apricot Jam


Preheat oven to 350, line 2 baking sheets with Parchment paper.

1. In medium bowl, combine almonds, both flours and cinnamon. Mix well to combine.
2. In separate bowl, blend oil, maple syrup, and sea salt. Add to nut mixture and stir to combine.
3. Roll into walnut sized balls. Place on baking sheet and press down with thumb.
4. Fill indentation with jam and bake for 15-20 minutes.