All posts by Tamara Green and Sarah Grossman

Sarah Grossman and Tamara Green are holistic nutritionists and the co-founders of The Living Kitchen in Toronto. They combine their nutrition knowledge and love of cooking to develop healthy recipes. Their cookbook The Living Kitchen (Appetite by Random House) is now available.

Here’s How to Organize Your Tupperware Drawer Once and for All

Our Tupperware drawers used to stress us out. Seriously. Just opening them up and seeing the chaos that lurked inside was enough for us to toss leftover food away instead of packing it up — it was so wasteful, we know! The thought of spending more than 10 minutes in an archeological dig to find a matching top and bottom was too much of a feat. It’s like trying to find a matching pair of socks while sifting through an enormous pile of clothes in the dryer: it’s frustrating, it wastes time and there are far better things to be doing. So, we came up with a system that now has our Tupperware drawers looking glorious. Now we proudly package up leftovers anytime, looking at the orderly drawers with awe and admiration. This system will change your life. OK, maybe it won’t change your life, but it will change the function of your kitchen, which will inevitably make you calmer and a little bit happier.

Step 1: Empty it Out
Take a deep breath and open the drawer. Take every single item out of the drawer: all lids, all containers and any other random objects that might be stashed away in there. Make sure to look behind the drawer to see if any lids or containers have fallen back there. Have a clear space ready to transfer all the items onto, like a section of the countertop, the kitchen table or even a clean space on the floor. This is the messy part.

Step 2: Partner and Purge
Often times food storage container drawers will be filled with mismatched lids and containers that are just a waste of space. Start finding partners by stacking all of the same-sized container bottoms together. Push all the lids to the side and work on just the containers first. You will inevitably have singles of some containers or ones that are incredibly large or small, don’t stack these ones with the others, just place them to the side. Once you’re done, move onto stacking all lids that are the same shape and size and ensure they have a matching bottom container. Simply count the number of bottom containers and matching tops to see if the numbers add up.

Now, for the purge. If you have lids with no matching bottoms or bottoms with no matching lids, recycle those, unless you have another use for them. If you have containers that are stained, broken or just plain gross, recycle those too. If you find any other items that are not food storage related, find their appropriate home (that may very well be the garbage).

Step 3: Tame the Lids
In a food storage container drawer, often times it’s the lids that like to go rogue and crazy. It’s time to tame them by placing an elastic band around the stack of ones that are the same shape and size. Then organize them into storage containers that will fit into your drawer. You can find these online or at any kitchen store or dollar store. If your drawer doesn’t have room for the storage containers, you can lay the lids on top of their matching bottoms, but they must be contained with an elastic band.

Related: The Leftover Chicken Recipes You’ll Look Forward to Devouring

Step 4: Clean the Drawer
Before the organized containers can go in, give the drawer a good clean and wipe down. You don’t know what dust, crumbs or yuckiness have been living in there.

Step 5: In With the New
Start putting the stacks of container bottoms into the drawer. If some of the single ones are big, place them in first and stack similarly shaped ones inside of it. Do the same with smaller singles and stack those into similarly shaped larger ones. Make space for the storage containers of lids or place the matching lids on top of their partnered bottoms.

Step 6: Beam With Pride
You did it! You now have a chaos-free Tupperware drawer that is actually user friendly! Aren’t you excited for packing leftovers and snacks now? Your job is not done though — now it’s time to pass this article along to those who desperately need it, you know who they are.

Related: 35 Weeknight Meals That Taste Even Better As Leftovers

Step 7: Maintenance
This is the most important step of them all. Once all your food storage containers are washed and clean, you must put it back properly. Let us repeat. You must put it back properly! That means you don’t just toss it back in the drawer, you stack it where it needs to go. You don’t throw your cutlery all willy-nilly in a drawer, you spend time organizing it into sections. Similarly, you don’t throw your clothes in a drawer, you spend time folding it first. Take this same care and a bit of extra time with your Tupperware drawer. And if you are someone who just throws cutlery in a drawer — we need to talk. Happy organizing!

Ready to use up your leftovers? These fried mashed potato balls and this pasta frittata with salad will help you reinvent the wheel.

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How to Prep Slow Cooker Freezer Meals to Get Through the Week

Slow cooker freezer meals are a must for any family and for the budget-savvy home cook. Often referred to as “dump meals” or “dump bags”, what makes it easy, is that you thaw and simply dump the contents of your freezer bag into your Crockpot. Then you let it do its thing as you go about your day. And when it’s dinnertime: your delicious home-cooked meal is ready to devour. This style of cooking awards you some precious time back, and it also happens to be kind to your wallet. Win, win.

To make perfect Crockpot freezer meals, there are a few tips and tricks to getting it just right. You don’t want to end up with a stew that’s way too soupy or vegetables that are mushy and unappetizing. Here’s what you need to know!

Related: These Budget-Friendly Microwave Recipes Are Total Time-Savers

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Get the Right Meal Prep Equipment

Before you start planning which meal to make, you need the right equipment: a slow cooker, freezer bags, a permanent marker and labels (although these aren’t entirely necessary). We recommend buying name-brand freezer bags that are sturdy. The ones that have the slide lock are the easiest.

Always Label Your Freezer Bag First

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to make, it’s important you label your freezer bags. Do not attempt to label once the food is in, not only will the bags be too hard to write on, but the marker often won’t work, or the label won’t stick because of the moisture released from the ingredients inside.

This surefire labelling method will help you remember what you froze, how long it’s been in your freezer and how to cook it. First label what the meal is, for example: “Chicken Tortilla Soup” or “Turkey Chili” and write down the date you made it. Then label it with ingredients that need to be added before cooking as well as cooking instructions. For example: add 1/2 cup broth before cooking, set on high for 6 hours.

Label it with instructions on how you’re going to serve the meal once it’s ready – so you know which ingredients you need to have on hand before slow-cooking. If it’s a chili, maybe you want to serve it with avocado, fresh cilantro and some grated cheese. If it’s a curry, you might want to serve with toasted coconuts, peanuts and fresh mint. Or if you’re making chicken tortilla soup, you will certainly need to have tortillas on hand to crisp up and top your bowl.

Related: This Clever Trick Will Prevent Freezer Burn for Good (And Major Food Waste)

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Time-Saving Tips for Freezer Meal Prep

Take your time chopping up all ingredients first and prepping the sauce or marinade before packing. It’s best if all prep work is done before for efficiency and for easy clean-up. Usually prepping for slow-cooked meals only takes 15-20 minutes.

Some savvy home-cooks like to make several different freezer meals at once, so they’ll prep four different recipes first, then pack all of the bags and freeze. This will usually take a whole day to do.

Some slow cooker recipes call for sautéing or blanching the veggies, or browning the meat beforehand. We’ve found these steps to be unnecessary. Just toss everything in, uncooked.

How to Pack Freezer Bags

To avoid big spills and messes in the kitchen, stand the bags upright to pack. You can buy special baggy rack holders online, or simply place the bag in a big bowl so it won’t fall over as you’re adding the ingredients.

No matter the meal, you can add the ingredients to the bag in any order. Some people prefer veggies and beans at the very bottom, sauces and marinades in the middle, and meat on top; but, once in the slow cooker, it will all meld together.

When closing up the bags, press them firmly to ensure all the air is released. Then lay the bag flat in the freezer (this allows for easy defrosting, and it doesn’t take up as much of your precious freezer space).

Related: Can I Freeze This? How to Freeze Fruit, Cheese, Leftovers and More

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Do’s and Don’ts for Slow Cooker Freezer Meals

If you’re making a meat Crockpot meal and your chicken, turkey, lamb, pork or beef is already frozen, don’t defrost it before adding it to your bag. You never want to defrost raw meat and then freeze it again.

Slow-cooked meals tend to release a lot of liquid, especially if you’re cooking lots of veggies. You don’t need to add as much broth or water as you think; otherwise, you’ll end up with a soupy texture and diluted flavour.

Most dairy products need to be added to the slow cooker the day of cooking and shouldn’t be frozen, for example: milk, cream, sour cream and cheese.

If your recipe includes pasta, add it the day-of, don’t freeze beforehand. Pasta tends to get very, very mushy, so unless you’re making a baked ziti, add the pasta 15 minutes before cooking time is up.

Be careful with veggies that get too mushy, like broccoli, asparagus or leafy greens. Add those towards the end of the cook time to preserve some texture. If you don’t mind mushy veggies, then you can add them in with the rest of the ingredients.

Related: 10 Tasty Uses for Leftover Food Scraps to Reduce Food Waste

How to Thaw and Cook Crockpot Freezer Meals

Always thaw the freezer meal first before adding it to the slow cooker… this is important for food safety. You can defrost the freezer bag by placing it in the fridge the night before. The meals tend to store well in the freezer for 3-4 months.

Depending on how much time you have, most meals need to be cooked for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.

The Best Crockpot Freezer Meals to Make

The best meals to make in the slow-cooker are soups, stews, curries, chilis, daals, meatballs, ribs, brisket and roasts. We don’t recommend slow-cooked fish, seafood or pasta dishes.

There you have it: the ins and outs of making Crockpot freezer meals for any weeknight dinner!

Looking for some tasty slow cooker dishes to try? Start with our most popular slow cooker recipes.

Published September 1, 2018, Updated April 11, 2020

Not Your Average Tuna Salad: Refresh Pantry Cooking With This Oh-So Garlicky Dish

As many of us begin our venture in pantry-style cooking, two go-to canned items are always tuna and beans. But, instead of a lackluster tuna or bean salad, we paired them together and created something that’s vibrant, fresh and oh-so garlicky. You’ll already have the majority of these ingredients in your pantry or fridge, and if you’re missing something and can’t get your hands on it, swap it for what you do have, or simply leave it out. The garlic chips are really the star of this dish anyways, and every kitchen has a supply of garlic, right?

Tuna Salad With Tomatoes, Basil, Beans, Kale and Garlic Chips

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 can tuna, drained
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
5 cherry tomatoes, halved or ¾ cup chopped tomato
½ cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 small shallot or ¼ red or yellow onion, slivered
3 cups kale, chopped
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp sea salt
A few cracks of pepper


Directions:

1. In a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil over medium. Add in the garlic slices and toss around until they become brown and crisp, this will only take a few minutes.

2. Place them on a towel to drain some of the oil and dry up. You can save the oil that’s left in the pan and use it for dressings or sauces.

Related: 3-Ingredient Salad Dressing Combos That Will Save Your Lunch and Dinner

3. Put the tuna, chickpeas, tomatoes, basil, shallots and kale into a bowl.

4. Whisk together 2 Tbsp of oil, along with the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pour over the ingredients in the bowl.

5. Top with garlic chips and enjoy.

Cooking with more pantry staples lately? Try these creative canned salmon recipes and macaroni dish ideas.

No-Bake Chocolate Crunch Brownies That Taste Indulgent (But Are Actually Good For You)

This seemingly decadent treat truly has it all: a fudgy brownie, a crunchy rich chocolate topping, a good smack of nutty peanut butter, and they’re actually healthy! These no-bake vegan brownies are easy and quick to make, and it will probably take you just as little time to eat them. Yes, they’re a sweet treat, but they also boast some superfood ingredients to fuel your body with high-quality sources of both protein and fat. Not to mention, they taste absolutely incredible.

No-Bake Chocolate Crunch Brownies


Prep Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients:

Filling
2 cups cooking dates, honey or medjool dates, pitted
2 cups walnuts
3/4 cup raw cacao or cocoa powder
Pinch of sea salt
2 Tbsp water, added gradually

Topping
100 g dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped
1/2 cup natural or organic peanut butter
1 cup puffed crispy rice cereal or puffed crispy quinoa
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

1. Choose your date of choice.  If you are opting for cooking dates or honey dates, soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes to rehydrate them, then discard the water.

2. Add the walnuts into the food processor and pulse using the “s” blade until a crumble forms. Then add the dates, cacao powder and sea salt, blending so that it forms into a “dough”.  Add 1 Tbsp of water at a time through the feeder hole as the food processor is running. You don’t want the “dough” to be too wet, but you do need enough water for it to adhere together.

3. Once the “dough” is sticky enough to form a ball, remove it from the food processor and place it in an 8 inch square pan that’s lined with parchment paper.  Use your fingers to press the dough into the pan so that it’s spread out and even, then immediately place it in the freezer.

4. While the brownies are chilling and hardening, start making the topping.  Melt the chocolate chips, coconut oil and peanut butter in a small pot over medium heat. Continue to stir with a silicone spatula until all is velvety and melted together.  Once smooth, fold in the crisp cereal of choice.

5. Remove the brownies from the freezer and pour the chocolate peanut butter crunchy topping over.  Use a spatula to get an even layer.

Craving more good-for-you dessert recipes? You’ll love these satisfying sweet treats that feature hidden veggies.

This Chocolate Tahini Coffee Granola Will Make You a Morning Person

It just might be the case that three of the very best ingredients in the world are tahini, chocolate and coffee. So naturally, we were committed to finding a way to stir them all together into one delectable healthy breakfast that can’t be beat. Enter this creamy, flavour-forward granola with a kick of coffee and cacao powder. These three ingredients marry well together because they heighten each other’s bitterness, sweetness and richness, making this granola such a treat. Sprinkle it onto yogurt (or a non-dairy equivalent) for added texture and creaminess… and while you’re at it, double the batch.

Related: Bright and Beautiful Breakfasts That’ll Get You Excited for Spring

Healthy Chocolate Tahini Coffee Granola Recipe

Servings: 6 ½ cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup almonds
1 cup pecans
1 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup rolled oats
¼ cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
⅓ cup ground decaf coffee (or caffeinated if you want an extra kick!)
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
½ cup tahini
¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup coconut oil, butter or avocado oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. If you like, you can roughly chop the nuts and seeds by hand or in a food processor.

3. Place a saucepan on medium heat and whisk together the tahini, maple syrup and coconut oil until velvety.

Related: How to Make Oat Milk 5 Ways (And Why It’s the Best Non-Dairy Option)

4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry, and mix until well combined.

5. Spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet. Use two baking sheets if needed, as you don’t want to overcrowd the granola.

Related: Healthy High-Protein Oatmeal, Dressed Up 3 Delicious Ways

6. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring at the 15-20 minute mark (we stirred at 20 minutes) then allow to cool for at least 10 minutes so the granola has the opportunity to harden.

7. Enjoy with dairy or non-dairy yogurt or milk, or by the handful.

Keep morning meals a priority and whip up a batch of these healthy loaded breakfast cookies or nourishing pancakes made with “green banana” flour.

No-Knead Olive Za’atar Bread That Looks Fancy (But is Super Easy)

Trust us: This no-knead bread recipe will make you feel like a professional baker. The secret? It’s a super simple, fool-proof recipe that you really can’t mess up, unlike other breads out there. While it does require a bit of time to allow the dough to rise, all good things take time, right? After that, you’ll be off to the races. You can flavour this bread however you please, but we find the combination of our favourite Middle Eastern spice, za’atar, with salty kalamata olives is the perfect marriage of flavours. 

We chose spelt flour because that’s our preferred healthy flour of choice, but you can use a combination of whole- and unbleached-wheat flour, or AP flour. When made only with whole-grain, the bread will be dense, so we recommend combining a light or unbleached variety to give it airiness and levity. Now go impress yourself and your friends, and get baking!

Related: How to Make the Perfect Sourdough Loaf (Bread Baking for Beginners)


No-Knead Olive Za’atar Bread Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Proofing Time: 6-18 hours
Bake Time: 75 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups light spelt flour
1 cup whole spelt flour
1 ½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp za’atar
½ tsp dry active yeast
1 ½ cups room temperature water
¼ cup coarsely chopped kalamata olives

Directions:

1. Place dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, including the yeast.

2. Make a small well in the middle of the ingredients, and pour in the water. Mix slowly to incorporate, then fold in the olives. A shaggy dough will begin to form. Do not over-mix. 

Related: Conquer Brunch With This Make-Ahead Veggie Strata and Sourdough Bread

3. Once the dough mixture is shaggy, cover the bowl with a towel and let rest anywhere from 6-18 hours. The longer you wait, the better the dough.

4. After the resting period, the dough will have doubled in size.

5. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Place a large oven-safe pot with a tight lid into the oven. We prefer a dutch oven. Leave it there for 30 minutes. 

Related: How to Make Everything Garlic Bread Knots

6. While the dutch oven is heating up, take the dough out of the bowl and place it onto a floured surface. The dough will be very sticky, so be generous with the flour. Begin to roll it into a ball, but remember, this is no-knead, so there is “no need” to start pounding it or folding it. Simply round it into a ball and leave it alone.

7. Lightly oil the bowl and place the dough back into the bowl. Cover it with a towel and let sit for the remainder of the 30 minutes that your pot is heating up.

8. After 30 minutes, remove the pot from the oven (it will be hot so be careful!). Remove the lid and place a piece of parchment paper into the pot and drop the dough in. Put the lid back on and bake for 30 minutes.

9. Once the 30 minutes is up, remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes.

10. Then, take the freshly baked bread out of the oven and place it onto a cooling rack. You will be so impressed at how artisanal it looks, not to mention that you actually made it yourself, from scratch!

11. Enjoy with butter, ghee, olive oil or on its own.

Now that you’ve conquered bread from scratch, pair it with one of these healthy Middle Eastern recipes you’ll make on repeat.

Middle Eastern Sumac Chicken with Date Syrup, Lemon and Pecans

We love easy Middle Eastern dishes that look like you put a lot of effort into them when you didn’t, and this is one of them. If you’ve never cooked with sumac before, this is the perfect recipe to start. You can find it at most conventional grocery stores in the international aisle. It has a natural tangy, lemon flavour with a vibrant purple colour, that pairs really well with other citrus fruits, like roasted lemons. Roasting a lemon only amplifies the fruit’s juiciness and sweetness, transforming it into a little yellow flavour bomb. Topping the chicken with fresh herbs brightens the dish, while the date syrup rounds out the meal, and the toasty pecans add crunch. You’ll be greeted with a delectable combination of textures and flavours with every bite. Not to mention, this dinner staple is easy on the eyes, making it a reliable repeat when entertaining.

Related: One-Pot Chicken Dinners Ready in 30 Minutes or Less

Sumac Chicken with Date Syrup, Roasted Lemon Wedges & Pecans

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 70 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ lemon, squeezed
1 heaping Tbsp sumac
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tsp date syrup
½ tsp sea salt
1½ lbs chicken thighs (or 4 chicken thighs)
1 leek, diced or 1 red onion, quartered
1 lemon, sliced into wedges
½ cup pecans
Fresh parsley or cilantro, roughly chopped
Date syrup

Directions:

1. Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, sumac, garlic, date syrup and sea salt in a big bowl. Place the chicken in the bowl, get it covered in marinade and let it sit for 30 minutes, if you have time.

2. Preheat oven to 400ºF. In your roasting pan, scatter leeks around the bottom and place the chicken inside. Then scatter the lemon wedges around.

Related: I Cooked With 6 Trending Spices to See if They’re Actually Worth the Hype

3. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, add in the pecans to toast. Broil for 3-5 minutes to lightly crisp the chicken.

4. Take everything out and finish with a scatter of fresh cilantro or parsley and a big drizzle of date syrup.

For more ideas, these healthy Middle Eastern recipes are worth making on repeat. And for an on-theme dessert, might we suggest this halva ice cream cake (with a waffle cone crust!).

7 Healthy Food Mistakes That Are Making You Bloated

It’s happened to many of us: you pride yourself on eating healthy – you drink superfood smoothies, eat dark leafy greens or a hearty chickpea salad, and still, somehow, a swollen belly pops out, forcing you to unbutton your pants and sit in bloated discomfort. Bloating isn’t as surprising when you consume foods you know aren’t good for you, but it can be an incredibly frustrating feeling when you do your best to eat healthy.

The gut is made up of billions of microflora that maintain your health – they support the immune system, help with weight loss, prevent disease and uplift your mood. Bloating is usually associated with poor digestion, bad diet, and an overgrowth of unwanted bacteria in the gut, but sometimes even healthy eating habits can lead to that unwanted protruded belly. Here are the top seven healthy culprits triggering a bloated tummy.

1. Cruciferous Veggies

It’s common knowledge that cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, are some of the most nutritious and antioxidant-rich foods, but they also have a bad rap for inducing a bloated belly and embarrassing gas. These veggies contain raffinose, an indigestible carbohydrate that passes through the digestive system without being broken down. When it reaches the large intestine, bacteria feed on it, releasing gas and causing a bloated belly.

This isn’t a reason to remove these veggies from your diet. Sometimes lightly steaming or cooking these vegetables make them more digestible and easier to chew, so they can break down further. Populating the gut with good bacteria through fermented foods like kimchi, kefir or sauerkraut can also help.

2. Superfood Smoothies

Smoothies are an easy way to get powerhouse vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and fibre all in one quick drink – but, sometimes when all of these ingredients combine together, a distended belly is the result. For some, combining fruit and protein or fruit and fat is a digestive nightmare.

To make your smoothie more gut-friendly, try adding fermented protein, fermented greens powder, kefir, dairy-free coconut yogurt or digestive spices like ginger and turmeric.

Related: Healthy Smoothies to Boost Your Immune System

3. Beans, Beans the Magical Fruit

Everyone knows this rhyme because beans, like chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils and soybeans, are notorious for causing bloating and gas. Many vegans and vegetarians subsist on beans as an essential plant-based protein source. They’re also packed with heart-healthy fibre, minerals and vitamins, making them an optimal choice for any healthy eater. But, like cruciferous veggies, beans also contain raffinose, an oligosaccharide that remains undigested until it reaches the colon, when gas-producing bacteria feed on it, and voila, the bloat and gas duo begin.

Luckily, soaking dried beans overnight helps to reduce the gassiness. Cook them with seaweeds like kelp or kombu to increase their digestibility further.

4. Refreshing Watermelon

Watermelon may be a refreshing summertime fruit, but it’s also a bloating nightmare for some. You think you’re being healthy by skipping out on sugary dessert and opting for this juicy treat instead, but sadly, you may end up in a post-meal bloat-fest. Watermelon contains a variety of short-chain fermentable carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by the gut and then fermented by bacteria, causing unwanted abdominal bloating.

Try fruits like pineapple or papaya instead, which contain natural enzymes that help with digestion.

5. Whole Healthy Grains

Whole grains like whole wheat, spelt, kamut, rye and barley can be found in salads, wraps, bread and pasta. These fibre-rich grains help eliminate waste and toxins from the body, but they also contain gluten and fermentable carbs like fructans. If there’s an underlying gluten sensitivity, which many people have, these gluten grains can cause mild to severe abdominal pain and bloating. The gas-producing bacteria in the colon will feast on the fructans, also leading to bloating and unwanted gas.

Switch to gluten-free recipes (check out these delicious gluten-free dinner ideas) and grains like quinoa, rice or gluten-free oats as a healthy alternative that will beat the bloat. Or, try spelt, wheat or kamut in a sourdough or sprouted bread to increase the digestibility.

6. Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic are the base ingredients of most dishes, adding flavour and also immune support, but, like other foods on this list, they contain fructans that poorly pass through the small intestine and are then fermented by gas-producing bacteria in the colon, leading to bloating and flatulence.

Switch to other alliums like chives, or the green tops of scallions and leeks that are easier to digest. Use different flavours to build your dish like ginger, cumin or turmeric.

7. Drinking Too Much Water During Meals

Most people are dehydrated and, in an effort to consume more water, drink lots of fluids during meals. Drinking while eating actually dilutes important digestive juices, so food doesn’t get digested properly, which leads to bloating. Slowly sipping small amounts of fluids during a meal, drinking before eating or at least 30-60 minutes after a meal will help prevent bloating.

Not everyone will experience bloating from these healthy foods, but if you feel the bloat coming on, it’s usually a sign your gut needs some love and support. Remember to eat fermented foods full of good bacteria (think kimchi, kefir and sauerkraut), try a probiotic or eat a low FODMAP diet that limits bloat and gas-producing foods, like the ones mentioned above.

Looking for more gut-friendly tips and recipes? Here are the tastiest ways to eat more fermented foods along with the most flavour-packed recipes to boost gut health.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

How to Make Momos: South Asian Steamed Dumplings Filled With Chicken and Shrimp

We first fell in love with momos while travelling through Nepal. Momos are steamed dumplings traditionally from the Nepal and Tibetan regions. They’re warm, light, extremely flavourful and very filling (especially when you eat a ton of them, which you inevitably will). Here, we wanted to bring out the punchy Asian flavours that work on all the taste receptors: salty tamari, sweet sesame oil and honey, spicy ginger and sour rice wine vinegar. By combining shrimp and chicken as the filling, you achieve a lighter texture with a stronger depth of flavour.

Bunching up the momos into little packages is also half the fun. You can make your own dough, but for this recipe, we opted for pre-made wrappers from the grocery store. We find wrapping the dumplings to be a fun social experience if done with friends and family, or it can be quite meditative if you’re cooking alone. Achieving the perfect fold may take a few tries, but you’ll get there. For an easier alternative, make the classic crescent moon shape by folding the wrapper in half. Here, we went a little fancy and created a round version secured together with cinched pleats. Go ahead and try out these petite parcels of perfection for yourself!

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Shrimp & Chicken Ginger Tamari Momo Dumplings

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Wrap Time: 1 hour
Steam Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 45 momos

Ingredients:

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
½ small red onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
½ cup shiitake mushrooms (about 6 mushrooms)
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (cooked or uncooked)
1/2 lb ground chicken
1 egg
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp tamari
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
45 momo/dumpling wrappers

Directions:

1. Turn on your food processor, and as it’s running, toss in the ginger, red onion and garlic through the feeding tube.

2. Once these aromatic ingredients have had a few spins, add in the cilantro and mushrooms. Pulse until well chopped, then add in the shrimp until it’s minced into pieces.

3. Take out the mixture and place it in a large bowl. Add in the ground chicken.

4. Whisk the egg on one side of the bowl, or whisk separately and pour into the food processor.

5. Then pour in the sesame oil, tamari, rice wine vinegar and honey. Now begin combining everything so the entire mixture is well seasoned.

6. Take out the momo wrappers and cover with a damp cloth to keep from drying out.

7. Hold one wrapper in the palm of your hand. Have a bowl of water nearby, and wet the perimeter of the wrapper with your finger.

8. Place one tablespoon of filling into its centre. Slowly pinch the dough together, moving around in a circular motion, until the wrapper is securely closed into a parcel shape. Dip your fingers back in the water and pinch the top together.

9. Repeat the above steps for each momo. The first few dumplings may look messy, but practice makes perfect! *If you prefer to prep ahead, freeze the momos at this step, prior to steaming.

10. To steam, you’ll require a steamer basket, steamer pot or bamboo steamer. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Brush the steamer with oil, or if you’re using a bamboo steamer, line it with parchment paper or cabbage leaves, and brush with oil.

11. Place the momos inside the steamer. Don’t overcrowd them or they’ll stick together. Place the steamer onto the pot of boiling water. Cover with a lid and steam for 15 minutes.

12. Take out the dumplings and repeat until all the momos are steamed. Enjoy with tamari or your favourite hot sauce.

Still hungry? These Indian recipes are even better than takeout. You’ll also love these healthy dishes from around the world, and a must-try coconut shrimp taco recipe (trust us, it’s cheaper than taking a vacation).

Green Banana Flour is Here to Stay, And This Pancake Recipe Proves It

With the popularization of plant-forward, gluten-free and dairy-free eating, many are swapping their traditional beloved foods for more nourishing alternatives like “milk” made from oats, “yogurt” made from coconut, “cheese” made from cashews … and now “flour” made from green bananas! And, green banana flour is as its name suggests: green bananas are harvested and milled into a flour that is actually incredibly healthy for you.

The flour is rich in resistant starch, meaning it resists digestion and feeds the good bacteria in the gut. Since it bypasses digestion, banana flour doesn’t spike blood sugar or insulin after it’s consumed. It’s also grain- and gluten-free, not to mention environmentally friendly, since many green bananas aren’t suitable for export or sale; but they’re perfect for grinding into flour. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the texture and lightness of pancakes made from the starchy fruit – you may never go back to using other flours again!

Gluten-Free Green Banana Flour Pancakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: Makes 8 small pancakes

Ingredients:

Pancakes
¾ cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup green banana flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
2 eggs
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted + more for frying
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Toppings
Banana slices
Crumbled walnuts
Maple syrup

Directions:

1. Combine the lemon juice and non-dairy milk in a bowl and let it sit and curdle for 5 minutes.

2. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and sea salt.

3. After the 5 minutes are up, whisk in the eggs, maple syrup, cooled liquid coconut oil and vanilla.

4. Slowly pour the dry mix into the wet and fold the ingredients together.

5. Heat a griddle or frying pan on medium, melt coconut oil to coat the surface and then drop about ⅓ cup of batter down.  Allow to cook for about 3 minutes, you’ll see bubbles and the edges will begin to solidify, then flip for another 3 minutes. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn.

6. Once all the pancakes have been cooked, dress them up with your favourite toppings like caramelized banana slices, walnuts and maple syrup.

On a healthy baking streak? Try your hand at these 3 no-bake cookies (they’re healthy enough for breakfast!) together with this nourishing apple pie oatmeal bake. For more inspiration, here are 10 things healthy people eat for breakfast every morning.

The Sweetest Homemade Candy Heart Kombucha Gummies

This Valentine’s Day, make some sweets for your sweet! Creating your own gummies at home may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple, and only requires a few ingredients. First, you’ll need to find a silicone heart mould, which you can buy at a kitchen store or online, and then you’re ready to go. Infusing kombucha into gummies is a super creative way to support your gut health, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to devour healthy candy? Since these mini heart-shaped sweets are Valentine’s Day themed, we gave them a pinkish-red hue, so berry or rose flavoured kombucha is key. Once you whip up a batch, you’ll soon realize the world is your gummy oyster, where you can flavour and colour these little gems with a myriad of juices and fruits to your heart’s desire.

Homemade Candy Heart Kombucha Gummies

Prep Time: 40 minutes*
Fridge Time: 1-2 hours
Servings: 165 gummies

*The prep time may take longer depending how many moulds you have, since you may need to work in batches

Ingredients:

2 cups berry-flavoured kombucha
8 Tbsp grass-fed beef gelatin
1 ½ cup chopped strawberries (frozen or fresh)
½ cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup water

Directions:

1. Pour kombucha into a bowl and whisk in the gelatin until combined. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

2. In a blender, blitz the berries, maple syrup, lemon juice and water and pour into a pot.

3. Place the pot on the stove over low heat, then add the kombucha and gelatin mixture until it fully dissolves. Don’t heat too high or you will damage the live bacteria in the kombucha.

4. Use a gummy dropper, syringe or small spoon to pour the liquid into the moulds. Don’t attempt to pour it in with a measuring cup, we did this and it was too messy!

5. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until gummies have hardened. To store, place them in an airtight container for 5 days.

For more desserts that’ll give you major heart-eyes, make a batch of no-bake strawberry “cheesecake” bites, an easy stovetop s’mores dip or one of these sinful chocolate dessert recipes.

Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma with Nigella-Seed Cabbage Slaw

Traditional chicken shawarma is slow cooked on a vertical rotisserie spit (it’s delicious, but not ideal for home cooking). If you’re craving the same tender, Middle Eastern dish that can easily be made in your own kitchen, this is the recipe for you. The chicken is dressed up with warming spices like cinnamon, turmeric and cumin, and pairs perfectly with a light and airy slaw. The slaw is topped with the mighty nigella seed. It may look like a black sesame seed, but it gives off an amazing, nutty flavour that’s a cross between oregano and toasted onion. The slaw can also be made in about 10 minutes flat. How’s that for a quick and easy side dish?

Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma with Cabbage Slaw

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours up to overnight
Total Time: 2 to 8 hours
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Chicken Shawarma
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp sea salt
1 ½ lbs chicken thighs
½ cup veggie or chicken broth
¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Cabbage Slaw
2 cups purple cabbage, sliced
2 cups savoy or green cabbage, sliced
2 carrots, grated
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, squeezed
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
1 Tbsp nigella seeds

Directions:

Chicken Shawarma
1. Add the spices in a bowl to combine.

2. Coat the chicken in the spices, ensuring every crevice is marinated.

3. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and pour broth over top. Cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 6 hours.

4. When the chicken is done, roughly shred it into uneven pieces. If you want these pieces to be crisp, place them in the broiler for 5 minutes, or quickly saute in a pan with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil.

5. Place the shawarma on (or beside) the cabbage slaw and finish with a sprinkling of roughly chopped parsley.

Cabbage Slaw
1. While the shawarma is cooking, slice up the cabbage slaw. You can shred the cabbage and carrots in a food processor, using the grater attachment, or slice by hand, and use a box grater for the carrots. Both options work well.

2. Place the sliced purple and green cabbage, grated carrots and chopped parsley in a bowl.

3. Combine the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper) in a separate bowl. Pour the dressing over the cabbage, and toss well. Finish with a sprinkling of nigella seeds on top.

Continue your cooking streak with these satisfying slow-cooker chicken dinners. For something quick, this 30-minute Instant Pot curry dish can do no wrong.

This Beef and Bean Chili Contains an Unsuspecting Secret Ingredient

Chili is the perfect comfort food: it’s delicious in cold weather (or any time), it feeds a crowd, it’s festive during sporting events, it’s spicy and stew-y, and now, it’s chocolatey too! We believe most chilis are missing this key, secret ingredient. Pairing cocoa with an already rich chili only deepens the flavours, adding more sweetness and bitterness, while creating a velvety texture.  

Hearty Beef and Bean Chili with Dark Chocolate

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp oregano
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp sea salt
Few cracks of pepper
1 lb ground beef
1 red or yellow potato, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 sweet potato, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 cup broth
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 ounces (75g) dark chocolate (70% or higher)
⅓ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions:

1. Place a large pot or dutch oven on the stove, heat to medium, toss in the oil and then sauté the onion until translucent, about 3 minutes.

2. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Toss in the spices and mix around so they get nice and toasted.

3. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with your spoon, so it’s in smaller pieces that can brown. Mix it around so it gets coated in the spices. There’s no need to fully cook it yet, since the beef will cook further when it simmers in a few steps.

4. Toss in the potatoes, broth, diced tomatoes, kidney beans and dark chocolate, and give the whole pot a big stir. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 35 minutes. Re-season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve with fresh cilantro on top.

For more comforting recipes, this winter greens mac & cheese and these slow-cooker ribs with a red wine sauce will save you on the coldest winter days. You can also try these slow-cooker curry recipes.

The Realistic Clean Eating Meal Plan That Won’t Leave You Hungry

Happy New Year! It’s time to celebrate… but not with champagne or sugar cookies or elaborate cheese platters. While we don’t really believe in resolutions (because let’s face it, most set us up with unrealistic expectations) we do believe in starting the year off strong — and one of the best ways to do that is by assessing our eating habits. The good news? There’s no need to give up all those delicious dishes we crave or do away with fun cooking techniques. Healthy eating is about consuming foods that nourish our cells to boost energy, improve focus, increase mood and support immune health (here’s to no more winter colds!) — and who doesn’t want that? Follow this realistic meal plan as a simple starting point.

What to Keep in Mind for Every Meal

Breakfast

Morning meals should contain a healthy amount of protein and fat. This helps keep blood sugar levels stable to sustain energy throughout the day (and can aid in preventing diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer). Think: eggs and avocado, nuts, seeds, nut/seed butters, chia puddings and overnight oats.

Lunch

Salad and grain bowls make for the best lunches, because you can often re-purpose dinner leftovers to make them. Aim for a myriad of colour (phytonutrients provide veggies and fruit with their bright hues and health-giving benefits) and texture (like crunchy nuts and seeds paired with creamy dairy-free dressings) in every dish.

Dinner

Dinners can be more involved than lunches, but if you’re short on time, prep ahead: chop veggies the night before or make the recipe a few days ahead and freeze it (like these freezer-friendly recipes). Another tip: try to finish eating about three hours before bedtime so your body is able to fully digest the food before you hit the sheets.

Healthy Meal Plan: Day 1

Breakfast: Super Simple Morning Egg Sauté

 

 

 

 

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1-2

Ingredients:

2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, butter or avocado oil
1 cup kale or spinach, roughly chopped
½ zucchini, sliced into half discs
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
2 eggs
1 heaping Tbsp creamy tahini
¼ lemon, squeezed
¼ cup pecans, toasted
¼ avocado, sliced
Crack of pepper

Directions:

1. Heat a wide saucepan over medium, add the oil, and when it gets slippery and starts sliding freely around the pan, add the kale and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Toss around until veggies begin wilting.

2. Push the veggies to the side. If you feel the pan needs a bit more oil, splash a small glug in and crack the eggs in the empty space. Season with salt and pepper. After about 2-3 minutes, flip the eggs.

3. Grab a bowl and put the veggies on the bottom, place the runny eggs over the veg, then drizzle with tahini and lemon. Top with toasted pecans, avocado and pepper. Voila!

Lunch: Tuna Salad With Tomatoes, Basil, Beans, Kale and Garlic Chips

Salad with tuna and veggies

A medley of veggies that are probably already in your fridge with a chunks of tuna and delicious (and simple!) dressing. Get the recipe.

Dinner: Lentil and Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie

cauliflower-pot-pie

A vegan, veggie-packed warming dinner with loads of fibre to keep you full and feed the good bacteria in the gut. Get the recipe.

Healthy Meal Plan: Day 2

Breakfast: Morning Chia Pudding

The mighty chia seed delivers omega 3’s, fibre, protein and calcium to boost your energy levels. Trust us when we say it’s one of the best ways to start the day. Get the recipe.

Lunch: Clean Bean and Green Stew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 carrots, sliced into ½ inch circles
2 celery stalks, sliced
½ dried green or brown lentils
1 cup chickpeas (from can or previously cooked)
2 ½ cups veggie broth
1 cup kale or Swiss chard, roughly chopped
Small handful of parsley or cilantro, roughly chopped
Sea salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Place a large pot on the stove, turn to medium heat, add the oil. Swirl the oil around the pan, then drop in the onions. Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes until translucent and slightly browned.

2. Add the garlic. Toss for about 1 minute, then add the remainder of veggies and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Let the veggies cook for 5-8 minutes until they begin to soften, then toss in the lentils and chickpeas, season with a pinch of salt and pepper again and mix so everything gets combined.

4. Pour in the veggie broth, season one more time, bring to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

5. Once simmer time is over, add in the kale so it brightens and gets slightly cooked. You can also make a big batch of this stew in advance, because it freezes super well.

Dinner: Sesame-Crusted Salmon With Asian Greens and Tamari Dressing

Salmon is rich in healthy fats (omega 3’s) and when paired with calcium-rich sesame seeds, fibre-rich brown rice and phytonutrient-rich bok choy, you’re eating a meal that will nourish, replenish and detoxify. Get the recipe.

Healthy Meal Plan: Day 3

Breakfast: Veggie-Packed Breakfast Frittata

Eggs and veggies in the morning are the perfect combo for delivering nutrients and keeping blood sugar stable. Get the recipe.

Lunch: Quickie Grains, Greens and Beans Bowl

bowl with rice, chickpeas, greens, avocado and dressing

Vibrant veggies topped with a gut-loving fermented miso sauce that’s also rich in good fats and calcium. Get the recipe.

Dinner: Easy Tamari Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds chicken thighs, sliced into pieces
3 tsp tamari
2 crowns broccoli, sliced into florets
1 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 Tbsp brown rice vinegar or rice vinegar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp tamari
1 Tbsp maple syrup

Optional Toppings:
¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2-3 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions:

1. Slice the chicken into pieces, place in a bowl and pour tamari over top.

2. Place broccoli florets in a large pot with hot water. Steam them until they turn bright green and are still a bit crunchy in texture. Drain and set to the side.

3. Heat avocado or coconut oil over medium in a large pot or saucepan, then add the chicken. Stop yourself from constantly tossing the chicken around. You want it to cook on one side for 3-5 minutes, then flip and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Don’t worry if some pieces are not fully cooked through yet.

4. Take the chicken out of the pan, set to the side and add the onion, garlic and ginger all at once. Let them sauté for about 3 minutes, then add the chicken and broccoli back in.

5. Pour the liquids (i.e. vinegar, tamari, etc.) in a bowl, give a quick stir to mix, then pour into the pot. You could pour them individually into the pot but, we like the idea of them being fully combined first.

6. Toss everything around to coat in the delicious juicy liquids, then simmer until the juices begin to thicken and disappear, about 10-12 minutes.

7. You can serve with brown rice, brown rice noodles or as is. Whatever you decide, top with fresh cilantro, sesame seeds and green onions.

Looking for more inspiration to start the year off with a healthy bang? Here’s how a nutritionist meal prep every Sunday.

The Most Delicious Chocolate Babka With a Healthy Twist for Your Hanukkah Party

Babka is an extremely popular Eastern European Jewish dessert, and for good reason. Imagine eating pools of gooey, delicious chocolate alongside crunchy toasted nuts that have been swirled and baked inside a warm, slightly crusty loaf of bread – that’s babka. Obviously, bread + chocolate = two of the best foods on the planet, so it only makes sense to marry them together in baked form. You can also create babka with raisins or cinnamon (or both), but our preference is for chocolate, so we devised a healthy-ish version of the classic. We swapped out white flour and white sugar for more nutrient-rich ingredients – but you won’t taste the difference, scout’s honour! We recommend making a second loaf to ensure leftovers (this version is healthy enough for breakfast, after all).

Delicious Healthier Chocolate Babka Recipe

Servings: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 1 hour + 6-14 hours rising time
Bake Time: 40-50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

Dough
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 package or 2 tsp instant yeast
½ tsp maple syrup
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, diced into cubes
1 large egg, room temperature
3 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt
2 ½ cups spelt flour

Chocolate Walnut Filling
⅓ cup unsalted butter, cubed
½ cup coconut sugar
100 grams dark chocolate 70% or higher (approx. 1 chocolate bar), roughly chopped
¼ cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Syrup
½ cup water
½ cup coconut sugar

Directions:

Dough
1. In a saucepan, gently warm the almond milk, so it’s warm to the touch but not too hot. Take off the heat and add in the yeast and maple syrup. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy and foamy. If it doesn’t foam up, your yeast may have died or the milk was too hot.

2. Next, combine the dough ingredients by hand, or using a food processor or electric mixer with the hook attachment (we chose the food processor). Whichever method you decide, mix together the butter, egg, coconut sugar, vanilla and salt. In the food processor, pulse on low for about two minutes until the butter is creamy.

3. Gradually begin to add the flour, 1 cup to start. Pulse in the foamy milk-yeast mixture along with remaining flour until the dough comes together to form a ball. If the dough isn’t coming together, add more flour, starting with 1 Tbsp at a time. If it’s too dry, add water 1 Tbsp at a time.

4. Knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface or using your electric mixer for about 8-10 minutes, until the ball of dough is smooth and not sticky.

5. Place the kneaded dough in a bowl that’s been lightly oiled or buttered (so the dough doesn’t stick) and cover with a towel or beeswax/plastic wrap. If you can, refrigerate for 6 hours up to overnight. If you don’t have that time, let it rest in the warmest place in your kitchen for an hour, but overnight is best.

Filling
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the rest of the ingredients, except the walnuts, until the mixture is silky and smooth.

Assembly
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle, approximately 22 x 12 inches. Once rolled out, spread the filling evenly over top, you don’t need to leave a border. Then sprinkle the walnuts all over.

2. Starting from one side, begin rolling the dough into a long log, like you’re rolling up a tortilla or a yoga mat; then stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes (this will help with slicing the dough in the next step).

3. Remove the dough from the freezer and slice the rolled dough log in half lengthwise.

4. Place the two slices right next to each other with the chocolate insides facing up and make an “X” shape (the “X” should be right in the middle). Twist both sides over each other, like a braid or a rope. Place in a bread pan that’s been buttered and covered in parchment paper, you may need to fold it a bit more or squish it into the pan. Cover the babka with a towel and let it rest for 1 – 1 ½ hours so it can rise further.

5. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and bake for 40-50 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (unless it punctures a chocolatey area).

6. While it’s baking, prepare the syrup by combining the water and coconut sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for 4 minutes and whisk until the coconut sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool completely.

7. When the babka is out of the oven, generously brush the syrup over the top to help lock in moisture and create a glossy finish.

8. Gently remove the babka from the pan, slice and enjoy. Babkas also freeze remarkably well, so you can make several batches for other occasions.

For more festive recipes, try these 15 delectable Hanukkah doughnuts, plus the only dishes you need for a Happy Hanukkah.

Savoury Pumpkin, Feta & Sage Muffins You’ll Crave More Than Cornbread

It’s fall, so you know what that means: cue pumpkin everything! But instead of opting for all the sweet treats, think savoury for a change. We wanted to make a muffin that would stand up to its cornbread contender and taste equally full-flavoured with hints of sweetness. The marriage of pumpkin, feta and sage makes for a sweet, salty and earthy flavour that achieves just that. A quick tip: when buying pumpkin puree, grab the unsweetened, sugar-free stuff. And, if you like a little extra texture, you can always dice up about 1 cups’ worth of pumpkin or butternut squash, roast it and fold it into the batter along with the feta and sage for extra bite. Slather some butter on these when warmed, or eat them as is – either way, they make for the perfect addition to your autumn menu.

Savoury Pumpkin, Feta & Sage Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 9 muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
½ cup + 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp almond milk
1 tsp maple syrup
½ cup crumbled feta
2 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, milk and maple syrup). Then pour the dry ingredients into the wet bowl and mix to combine. Fold in the feta and sage.

4. Oil a muffin tin or add liners to them, pour about ¼ cup of batter into each muffin hole.

5. Top the muffins with pumpkin seeds and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Ensure the muffin tray is placed on the top rack of the oven to prevent the bottoms from burning.

We’re here to keep you salivating with these 20 perfect pumpkin recipes that aren’t dessert. Still craving sweets? Try these 30+ warm and cozy fall treats.

How to Make Keto-Style Stuffing for Thanksgiving (That Tastes Heavenly)

Sticking to a keto, low-carb or paleo diet throughout the holidays certainly does not mean missing out on all the Thanksgiving classics, like stuffing. And here’s the best part about our keto stuffing: it actually tastes like the real thing! Using a keto bread, either from the grocery store or homemade, still provides that wonderful moist, stuffing texture and nicely soaks up all the delicious, flavourful juices. Keto bread has become so popular that it’s available at most conventional grocery stores and almost all health food stores; if you can’t find it, check the freezer section.

Keto-Style Cauliflower Stuffing Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes (or 1 hour 45 if drying the bread)
Total Time: 70 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

4 cups (about 1 loaf) store-bought or homemade keto bread, sliced into 1 ½ inch cubes
¼ cup butter
1 large shallots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups cauliflower florets, chopped into ½ inch pieces
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
2 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
1 ½ cups beef or chicken broth
1 egg

Directions:

1. The keto bread must be dry or stale before you begin this recipe so it can soak up all the juices. If it’s not stale, dry it by placing the bread cubes on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and ensure the bread is not overcrowded. Bake in the oven at 250°F for 1 hour. Toss halfway.

2. Place a large, wide skillet on medium-high heat, add the butter, and as it begins to sizzle and melt toss in the shallots, celery, garlic and cauliflower, cook for 10 minutes until softened. After 10 minutes add in the herbs, salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Take off the heat.
3. Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter a casserole dish (9×13 works well but any medium to large casserole dish will do).
4. In a bowl, crack and whisk the eggs and stir in the broth.
5. Transfer the shallot mixture into a large bowl, fold in the dried keto bread, pour over the egg and broth mixture and stir to combine.

6. Place the mixture into the buttered casserole dish, cover it and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, uncover it and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

More reasons to do a happy dance at the Thanksgiving table this year: this keto cheesecake, these fudgy keto brownies and our collection of the best keto-friendly appetizers.

Indulgent Yet Healthy Apple Pie Squares with Date Caramel Sauce

Everyone loves a warm, gooey, flaky apple pie, especially come fall. We took the classic recipe and turned it into indulgently delicious squares. They also happen to be healthy for you: they’re filled with good fats, natural sweeteners, fibre and vitamin-rich apples, of course! A date caramel sauce is the finisher, as it gets generously drizzled on top for extra sweetness. You’ll fall so in love with the simple, healthy caramel sauce you may even want to double the recipe for it and spread it over toast, sliced apples or eat it by the spoonful.

Healthy Apple Pie Squares with Date Caramel Sauce

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 65 minutes
Servings: 8 squares

Ingredients:

Crust & Topping
2 cups almond flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
¼ tsp sea salt
⅓ cup coconut oil
1 egg
¼ cup roughly chopped walnuts

Filling
4 cups mix of granny smith and Fuji apples, peeled, cored & thinly sliced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

Date Caramel
6 medjool dates, pitted
½ cup warm water
2 Tbsp dairy-free milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Crust & Topping
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Make the crust. In a food processor, pulse the almond flour, oats, coconut sugar and sea salt using the “S” blade until combined.
3. Add the coconut oil and egg, pulsing until the mixture is crumbly like sand.
4. Take half of the mixture, place it to the side and mix in the roughly chopped walnuts (this will be used as the topping). The other half of the dough will become the bottom crust.

5. Oil a 7×11 baking dish (or put parchment paper down) and place half the dough into the dish. Push it down using your hands or the back of a measuring cup until it is evenly spread out. Poke a few holes with a fork for heat to escape.
6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden and remove.

Filling
1. In a bowl, mix together the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and coconut sugar.

2. Place a pot on the stove over medium-low heat and melt coconut oil. Add in the apple mixture and stir until apples begin to soften (this will take about 10 minutes). The apple juices should be mostly evaporated at this point. The longer you allow to stew, the softer and mushier the apples will become. If you prefer a chunkier texture, spoon the cooked apples over top of the crust and spread out evenly. If you prefer a smoother texture, mash the apples with the back of a spoon to create a paste, then spread evenly over the crust.

3. Take the remaining crust and disperse it over the apples in crumbly chunks. It should look rustic, so there’s no need to place it over gently.

4. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Take the dessert out of the oven when ready, allow to cool completely to room temperature before slicing into squares. Cut them into 8 even pieces.

Date Caramel
1. As the apple pie squares are baking, make the date caramel sauce.
2. Place all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender (if you have a mini blender or processor, use that instead) and blitz until creamy. If it’s too thick, add more water, about 1 Tbsp at a time.
3. Once the squares are cut and cooled, drizzle the date caramel sauce all over.

Make the most of your apple bounty with these Irresistible Apple Desserts for Fall, Our Easiest Apple Crisp Recipes and Anna Olson’s Best Apple Desserts.

Don’t Toss ‘Em! 5 Seriously Delicious Ways to Use Broccoli Stems

Food waste is a big issue here in Canada, yet there are plenty of easy, commonly overlooked things you can do at home to dramatically reduce your own waste footprint. For instance: finding creative (and tasty!) ways to eat the often discarded parts of fruits and veggies. Most people are quick to toss away leaves, peels, stems and stalks, when really, these are delicacies that can lend flavour, texture and vibrancy to so many dishes (proof: these delicious uses for leftover food scraps).

One of our favourite neglected ingredients is broccoli stems. Once peeled, they’re sweet and crunchy, and when cooked, they’re incredibly tender. Broccoli stems are also quite versatile: you can shred them into rice, spiralize them into noodles, blitz them into hummus or pesto, add them to broths, blend them into soups and even roast them into french fries! Read on to learn how it’s done.

1. Broccoli “Rice”

Broccoli rice can be used as a wonderful substitute for white rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice. Use it to make fried rice, add it to mac and cheese, bake it into a savoury casserole with other veggies, or simply add it to a salad.

Ingredients:
4 broccoli stems

Directions:
1. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the tough skin of the stem.
2. Run the stems along a grater, or if using a food processor, install the grating blade and run the stems through the feeder tube.
3. Squeeze out any excess moisture.

2. Broccoli Slaw

You may have seen broccoli slaw in ready-to-go bags at the grocery store, but it’s so easy and quick to make at home. Broccoli stems hold up in a slaw, they’re hearty and retain dressing really well so they don’t get soggy. Like any slaw, you can add whichever veggies you love and make different style dressings to go along with it, like soy sesame, yogurt dill or citrus and honey.

Ingredients:

Slaw
2 broccoli stems, julienned
2 carrots, julienned
1 cup sliced purple cabbage
½ cup roughly chopped mixed herbs (basil, mint, cilantro, parsley)

Dressing
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the outer tough skin of the broccoli stem and then thinly julienne it. If using a food processor, install the grating blade and run stems through.
2. Julienne the carrots, thinly slice the purple cabbage and roughly chop the herbs. You can also grate the carrots with the grating blade on the food processor.
3. Toss everything together in a bowl.
4. Whisk the dressing in a separate dish, then pour over the slaw. The slaw can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.

3. Broccoli Noodles

If you’re looking for low-carb options, broccoli noodles can replace traditional pasta (read: 10 satisfying weeknight recipes where veggies replace carbs). The best broccoli noodles are made using a spiralizer, but if this isn’t a kitchen gadget you own, opt for a veggie peeler instead!

Ingredients:
2 broccoli stems

Directions:
1. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the outer tough skin of the broccoli stem.
2. If using a spiralizer, run it through to create noodles, or use your peeler, and continue to peel until you have flat, long tagliatelle-style noodles.

4. Broccoli Hummus

When broccoli stems are lightly steamed, it takes the bitter edge off. The stems are also more mild in flavour than the florets, so the broccoli taste in this hummus recipe doesn’t overpower. Combining with other classic ingredients makes for a unique twist on an already fantastic snack staple. Smear it onto sandwiches, use it to dip fresh veggies and crackers, or have it act as dressing for pasta salad.

Ingredients:
3 broccoli stems
¼ cup tahini
½ lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove
¼ cup fresh parsley (optional)
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
2-3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the outer tough skin of the broccoli stem. Lightly steam until tender.
2. In a food processor, add all ingredients, except olive oil. Begin to blitz, then add 1 Tbsp of oil at a time through the feeder tube until creamy and perfectly blended. If the mixture is too thick, you can add a few spoonfuls of water as needed.

4. Broccoli Fries

This is one of our favourite ways to devour broccoli stems. They have a firm texture, which makes them perfect for roasting into a french fry. When roasted, the stems become slightly sweet, and soften on the outside, while the middle still retains its satisfying crunch. You can eat these as is or dip them into hummus, pesto or even ketchup.

Ingredients:
4 broccoli stems
1 to 2 Tbsp avocado oil
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
¼ tsp granulated garlic

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the outer tough skin of the broccoli stem, then slice into french fry shapes.
3. Place the “fries” on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic. Ensure the pieces are spread out so they have a chance to crisp.
4. Roast for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.

Don’t stop there. Here are 15 veggies to regrow in your kitchen, genius tips to make food last longer and the 10 most wasteful cooking habits to kick.

The 5 Best Sustainable Seafood Options to Eat (Plus Recipes!)

Seafood is a staple in the Canadian diet, but choosing sustainable options can be confusing. According to the Ocean Wise Seafood Program, sustainable seafood is defined as farming or catching species of fish in a way that ensures their long term health and the health of the greater marine ecosystem. Right now, 85-90% of the world’s fish stocks are over-exploited, so organizations like Ocean Wise, Seafood Watch and Marine Stewardship Council are working hard to ensure we make the right choices when it comes to our seafood, not only to preserve future generations of fish, but also to protect our oceans and our health. Here, we break down the best sustainable seafood for you to buy and start cooking.

1. Arctic Char (Farmed)

Arctic char may look similar to salmon or rainbow trout with its pinky flesh, but its texture is more delicate with a milder flavour. You can cook it simply with a little lemon, salt and pepper, or get creative and smear a rich miso glaze on top. Arctic char is farmed in indoor recirculating tanks in the US, Canada and Iceland, which are considered one of the most environmentally responsible designs. This method of raising fish ensures the water is treated and filtered, decreasing the risk of pollution, and minimizing any negative impact on other aquatic habitats.


Get the recipe for Pan-Seared Arctic Char with Miso Gastrique

2. Cod (Pacific)

Cod is a buttery, delicate option that’s often touted as the “not-so-fishy” fish (so seafood skeptics may find it more palatable). Cod was a large part of Canada’s history, but unfortunately, in the 1990’s the cod industry off the shore of Newfoundland collapsed, and the stocks were depleted. Now, the best cod to buy is caught just off the coast of Alaska, using either long-line, pots or bottom-trawl methods. All of these methods impact the ocean, either by damaging the ocean floor or harvesting non-targeted fish species, but these Alaskan cod fisheries are so incredibly well-managed that they ensure regulations exist to evaluate fish stocks and reduce negative impacts to the seafloor.


Get the recipe for 30-Minute Cod with Lemony Braised Fennel

3. Albacore Tuna (B.C. & Atlantic)

It may shock you to see tuna on our list of the most sustainable seafood, but tuna that has been pole or troll caught, using lines off the coast of British Columbia and the Atlantic, are great choices. These methods reduce the rates of by-catch (unintentionally catching other species of fish), and if non-targeted fish species are caught, they can be released. Fishing this way also prevents damage to habitats, since these methods don’t touch the ocean floor. You can find albacore tuna fresh, frozen or canned. It’s most commonly known as the “white meat” tuna, and it’s the heart of a delicious tuna sandwich.


Get the recipe for Albacore Tuna Crumpwich

4. Shellfish: Clams, Mussels, Oysters, Scallops (Farmed)

Shellfish are a popular part of Canadian cuisine, from seared scallops to steamed mussels and clams to freshly shucked oysters. They’re farmed mainly in Eastern Canada and British Columbia using the off-bottom method, meaning they use floating rafts, bags or suspended ropes to raise the shellfish. Off-bottom farming doesn’t touch the ocean floor, and there is minimal by-catch, if any, so it’s incredibly sustainable. Shellfish are also known as filter feeders, because they eat particles found in the water, which actually filters and cleans it, allowing other marine life to thrive.


Get the recipe for East Coast Summer Scallops with Pea Puree 

5. Sablefish (Alaska & B.C.)

Sablefish, also known as black cod, is a true delicacy. It’s buttery, velvety, mild and oh-so delicious, and luckily, it’s also sustainable. Sablefish is most commonly found along the pacific coast, especially near British Columbia and Alaska where the stocks are healthy. These fisheries are well-managed and have strong regulations that assess stocks, fishing levels, by-catch rates and restrict gear and entry in certain areas. This ensures there is no over-fishing or depletion of non-targeted fish.


Get the recipe for Roasted Sablefish in Dashi Broth 

Fore more handy pointers, we’ve rounded up the best chef-approved tips when it comes to buying and cooking fish.