November 22, 2013
This is a recipe I created in the summer for my good friends who were taking part in the Rideau Lakes Bike Tour, riding their bikes from Perth to Kingston, Ontario and then back the next day.
Our cottage is right along the route, so I met my cycling friends at end of our cottage road, and flagged them down as they were nearing my makeshift tea and cookies stand set up in the back of our pickup truck. After a quick refuel with my Powered-Up Oatmeal Cookies and a cup of tea they were off.
These cookies are fantastic to refuel after exercise and are a healthy and delicious pick-me-up snack any time of the day.
They are gluten-free, although you can use any type of flour you want, and I used chia seeds as opposed to eggs to add extra kick of healthy fat. They’re sweetened with maple syrup and banana, and super easy to make.
Preparation Tip: I used a hand-held wand blender to combine the oil, maple syrup, soaked chia seeds, vanilla and banana. This ensures everything is well combined and I think it helps to make the cookies nice and moist. You could also use a stand blender to combine everything.
Donna’s Powered Up Oatmeal Cookies
(gluten free and vegan) Makes one dozen cookies
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked gluten free rolled oats
- 3/4 cups All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour (or brown rice flour)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted (you can also use safflower, canola, or other neutral oil)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tbsp soaked chia seed
- 1 ripe medium-sized banana
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl -
- Combine oil, maple syrup, vanilla, chia and banana in a blender or using a hand held wand blender, make sure to blend it well enough that there’s no chunks of banana.
- Place rounded spoonfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 7-10 minutes, until light golden brown. Remove from oven and let the cookies finish baking on the cookie sheet for about 5 more minutes.
- Makes about one dozen cookies
Soaked Chia Seed
In a small jar combine 1 tbsp chia seed and 1 cup water, stir and in about 30 minutes you will have a gel. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. You cad add soaked chia to smoothies or oatmeal or use as an egg replace in baking, 2 tbsp replaces 1 egg.
November 12, 2013
It all started with our wonderful yoga teacher Elaine who, at the young age of just 25, is already someone to look up to. Elaine has founded Soul Shakti, an organization with the goal to educate and empower disadvantaged women in the slum areas of India with the tools and knowledge to improve their physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. How can you not be inspired by that?! One of Soul Shakti’s programs is to send one of these women to an Ashram in India to do her Yoga Teacher Training. That way, she will be able to help Elaine teach yoga and carry on her legacy when Elaine comes back to Canada.
Here at Elation Centre we all know how empowering the journey of Yoga Teacher Training is, and that’s why we decided to do this Shakti Festival to raise money to enable one woman in India to get the chance to live this wonderful experience!
- 2pm: Donna leading a Power Yoga Class to live music by Elation teacher Ellen Francis. Donation $20.00
- 3:30pm we will have a bake sale followed by a vegan bake-off with the chance to win a 10-class pass!
There is lots of ways for you to help!
You can join Donna’s Power Class for a minimum donation of $20, you can contribute baked goods for the bake sale (they don’t have to be vegan!), or you can just buy some of the delicious baked goods! Every dollar will go directly to Elaine and this wonderful cause.
If you want to have a chance to win the 10-class pass though, you have to submit your favourite vegan recipe, and our jury will then decide who gets the Blue Ribbon (and the 10-class pass of course!)
But why does is have to be a vegan bake-off you ask ??? Well, the main reason why Yogis tend to eat a vegan diet is compassion, seeing the divinity in every creature. At first glance you might say, ‘but it doesn’t hurt a cow to be milked’, or ‘what’s wrong with eating an egg that the chicken would have laid anyways?’. But if you take a closer look on how those animals are treated, you might think twice about having your milk and cookies at night.
But apart from the compassion factor, there are medically proven health benefits on skipping dairy and eggs. You will consume less cholesterol and saturated fats and instead add more fibre and ‘good’ fats to your diet.
And now you will ask me ‘But how on earth can I bake some decent cookies without my stick of butter and my 2 eggs?’.
It’s easier than you think! There are lots of vegan options to replace those crucial ingredients. Cows milk can obviously be replaced by soy, almond, rice or oat milk and the stick of butter can be switched for some healthier oil or vegan margarine. Replacing eggs might seem a bit more difficult, but even there you have lots of vegan options like mashed banana, apple sauce, silken tofu or ‘flax eggs’ to name just a few. For a very detailed list of dairy and egg substitutes and how to use them in your recipe, check out this great website: http://www.theppk.com/vegan-baking-the-post-punk-kitchen-shows-you-how/
And if making your own recipes vegan still seems too daunting of a task for you, just recipe section and you will find vegan recipes (like the one below)!
So go ahead, get baking and when you have found a yummy finger-licking good recipe, submit it to our vegan bake-off for the chance to win a 10-class pass!!!
Click here for more information on the Shakti Festival. We hope to see you there!
Pumpkin Spice Cookies
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups spelt, wheat flour, or rice flour (use 1 tsp Xanthan gum if using gluten-free rice flour)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups rolled oats (not instant!)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (made fresh or canned without any additional sweetener or spices)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (PC brand chips are vegan)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put maple syrup, molasses, oil and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a blender, use a fork and beat until combined.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, oats and spices until fully mixed and combined. In a small bowl, combine pumpkin puree, ginger and maple syrup mixture. Blend until smooth.
- Add wet mixture to dry mixture and combine just until the dough is uniform. Add nuts and mix just to incorporate. This dough may be a little more moist than traditional (butter and sugar-based) dough you may be used to.
- Take 2-tablespoon amounts in your hand and form into cookie shapes, about 1/3 inch thick. Place on a cookie sheet with ½ to 1 inch between each.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, until edges are brown and tops are dry and solid.
- Let cook 1-2 minutes on baking sheets and transfer to a cooling rack.
Note: These are perfect to indulge in after a yoga class, hike, run, or a cold bike ride home from work. Some substitutions you can try are using different types of squash (delicata or buttercup would be great) or sweet potato. Substitute chocolate for raisins, dry cranberries or nuts – or a combination of nuts, fruit and chocolate!
October 9, 2013
This stew just oozes fall comfort food, loaded with warming spices such as cinnamon, cumin and ginger (you could also 1/4 tsp of nutmeg), and sweet root vegetables.
Fall is a time to settle into routine, to get grounded and slow down; a simmering stew with earthy spices and root vegetables encourages us to sit down and take time to savour our food.
This is so simple to make you won’t believe it, it is done in 30 minutes, including chopping time, and leftovers are even more delicious!!
Ninja Tip: The recipe calls for cooked quinoa, if you don’t have any, you can add 1 cup of rinsed uncooked quinoa to the stew and cook it with everything else!
Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin Stew
- 1 medium onion, small dice
- 2-3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger finely grated
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3-4 dates, pitted + chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped (1/2 inch pieces)
- 3 cups diced pumpkin, peeled + chopped
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
- 3 cups vegetable stock (or more, depending)
- 1 yellow pepper, stemmed and chopped (1/2 inch pieces)
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (or see Ninja Tip in the notes above)
- 2 cups kale, torn into pieces
- salt + pepper to taste
- Add all ingredients, except cooked quinoa and kale, to a big soup pot. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to simmer and cook partially covered for 20 minutes. Note if using uncooked quinoa, add 1 cup at this point.
- Add cooked quinoa and kale and simmer for 5 more minutes
- Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste
- Makes 4 large serving
October 8, 2013
Ah fall is here, and so are a series of blog post recipes from our wonderful Elation Centre members.
This one is from Erin. We met years ago through training for 5km races through marathons, and actually her mom, dad, husband, sisters all run and we’ve all trained together over the years. Erin also is a recent ‘grad’ of the 5-Day Cleanse, and has become something of a Smoothie Guru.
This smoothie replicates the flavours of a pumpkin pie with no added sugar or fat like the pie will give you + added protein from the chia and protein powder.
My favorite Protein Powder is Sunwarrior, it’s 100% raw sprouted brown rice, easy to digest, alkaline, an amazing 30 grams of protein and with only 70 calories this stuff is amazing!
This is the perfect smoothie for breakfast, post run or yoga and the perfect compliment to our beautiful fall weather. So good please try it!!!
Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie
created by Erin Waterfall – Smoothie Lover, Runner
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée, homemade or try Farmer’s Market brand
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon raw almond butter
- 1-2 tablespoons chia seed
- 1/2 – 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice blend
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
- Almond Milk to thin
- 4 or 5 ice cubes
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy
May 16, 2013
Many of the recipes I create are from ingredients I have already available in my fridge. Like all of us with busy lives, usually it’s getting close to dinner time, I’m hungry and need something fairly quick to make and full of nutrients and flavour. It also have to be a dish that both my husband and I enjoy and gives him enough dense nutrients to keep him, not just me, full and fueled – he weighs about 60 more pounds than me and works out a few hours per day so he’s got a pretty high metabolism.
This is a recipe that you can easily build up with more ingredients. For us it was a main dish salad as I added some chopped baby spinach, and you could also add some chickpeas or tofu. This is also a perfect salad to bring to a BBQ, or add some chicken or shrimp; the great thing is this is a recipe that will serve the needs of many hungry people – vegan or not
The sauce was simple to make and adds lots of healthy fat to help keep you full, and the golden colour is beautiful. Sorry no photo, I ate it all and forgot to take a picture!
I used two ingredients that may be new to you:
- Braggs – which is a natural source fermented soy sauce, no wheat or gluten, this is available at all health food stores and well stock grocery stores, you can substitute with Tamari or Soy Sauce
- True Roots Sprouted Rice and Quinoa – I bought this at Costco and love it, the grains are sprouted allowing for faster cooking time and easier digestibility. Of course you could substitute with regular brown rice or quinoa or even wild rice.
Sunshine Rice Bowl
Brown Rice Blend + Sliced Veggies + Golden Sauce = Glow From the Inside Out
- 1 cup True Roots Sprouted Rice and Quinoa Blend*
- 1 ¾ cups water
- 2 medium sized carrots grated
- ¼ small fennel sliced thin into matchsticks
- ½ large red pepper sliced thin
- 1 Portobello mushroom, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp Braggs
- ½ bunch parsley, minced
- ½ cup thin sliced sun dried tomatoes
- Cook the True Roots Rice and Quinoa blend in the 1 3/4 cups water, according to package directions. Meanwhile slice veggies. Marinade mushroom slices in Braggs for 5 minutes, drain.
- Combine all ingredients, including cooked rice blend in a big bowl, stir to combine, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Top individual servings with a dollop of Sunshine Dressing
* option, cook 1 cup brown rice or 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water according to package directions
- 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Juice 2 Lemons
- ¼ – ½ avocado (more avocado = thicker sauce)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ – 1 Tbsp. ground turmeric (depending on your taste)
- 1 Tbsp. raw local honey
- pinch of Himalayan sea salt (to taste)
Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender or Magic Bullet blender.
April 8, 2013
A big, big congratulations to our Yoga Teacher Training Graduates! Our course started in October and it has been an intense, emotional, joyful and life-affirming journey for all of us. When we started the message Caroline and I gave to our students was ‘you are training not just to become a great yoga teacher, you are training to become a great yogi.’ These wise words were shared with us by our teachers, Yogi Vishvketu and Chetana Panwar, and they have fueled our path for these many years.
Our new graduates are indeed, great yogis, they teach and live with joy and enthusiasm and have a passion to nurture and educate their students and share their love for the many, many gifts of yoga.
Both Caroline and I are so blessed to be leading these trainings and we highly encourage you to contact us if you even have a faint idea that the Elation Yoga Teacher Training program may be right for you.
Each weekend of the training we enjoyed amazing food during our dinner break, and this past weekend the feast was outstanding, a beautiful pot luck and treats and tea with all our family and friends who came to the ceremony.
Here is a recipe shared by Andrea (I added the chocolate chips), these are treats worthy of our amazing new teachers. Namaste
Banana-Granola Yogi Bars
Makes 12 bars
- 1/2 cup any seed/nut butter (sunflower, peanut, almond all work well)
- 2 bananas, mashed (frozen works and mashes very easily too)
- 1/2 cup whole almonds (for nut free, replace with any seed combo of same quantity)
- 4 large Medjool dates, pitted
- 1/4 cup dried cherries, cranberries or dark chocolate
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips (PC brand is vegan)
- 1 cup rolled oats (use gluten-free if needed or quinoa flakes)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line wide loaf or square pan with parchment paper (or grease well with coconut oil).
- In a small pot gently heat nut/seed butter with mashed bananas. Stir until well-combined. Set aside.
- Coarsely chop the almonds, dates, and cherries in a food processor (chopped by hand works fine too). Add in the coconut flakes and process another second or two. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the pumpkin seeds and oats. Fold in the nut butter mixture.
- Press the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Let cool before cutting into bars.
March 27, 2013
Spring is in the air Passover and Easter are time for celebration, gratitude and new life.
Spring also means our 12-Day Cleanse is right around the corner, with the first meeting on Thursday April 4th.
This is a wonderful time of year to lighten our diet, open the windows and let in new air, and to take time to reconnect with ourselves and nature. With the holiday weekend approaching, let’s all commit to time outside, eating healthy meals (with chocolate of course), rest, and appreciating friends and family.
My mom has been in the hospital this week, with bronchitis and low sodium resulting from dehydration, she is home now and the importance of family is top of mind for me. We had planned a trip to Florida this weekend, we’ve put that off to a later date and will spend a quiet Easter in Ottawa.
So as a result I am here this Friday and in gratitude to this new season upon us, my mom’s health and all our amazing students, I am offering a FREE YOGA CLASS. Friday, March 29th, 7:00 – 8:00am. Everyone is welcome, we can hold about 30 people, when capacity is reached I will close the doors.
Come and Celebrate, express gratitude and be part of a wonderful and uplifting community on Friday morning.
Post-Yoga, here is super fast, delicious and nutrition smoothie, bursting with spring flavours. Enjoy
- 1 banana
- 10-12 small strawberries
- 1/2 cup mango or peaches
- 2 heaping tablespoons hemp
- 1 cup or more Almond/Coconut milk
Blend and feel the spring sunshine!
March 7, 2013
As most of you know by now – I love Kale. I love how much nutrients are packed into this humble veggie, I love how it stands up to the steaming rice bowl salads I love to make, as opposed to the ‘wiltiness’ of spinach.
Here is a recipe that I fall back on time and time again. Of course you could use other veggies such as grated carrots, beets, zucchini, butternut squash, but the technique is the same. A big bowl of rice, topped with steamed veggies and on top of that a delicious sauce.
The tahini-miso sauce I make is super easy and super nutritious. Miso is a fermented soy paste, loaded with good bacteria and good for your tummy. You can leave it out if you don’t have it on hand.
Kale, Sweet Potato and Rice Bowl
- 1 bunch of kale, washed, stems removed, and cut into thin strips
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bit-size pieces
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 large red pepper, diced small
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 1 tsp. low-sodium tamari
- Salt and pepper to taste
Tahini Miso sauce ingredients:
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 2-4 Tbsp. water
- 6 Tbsp. tahini
- 2-3 tbsp miso
- 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder or 1 garlic clove, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped walnuts or slivered almonds
- Dried cranberries (unsweetened)
- Diced avocado
- In a large pot, cook rice according to package instructions, remove from heat and keep covered.
- While rice is cooking, place sweet potato in a steam basket and cook until just tender, approximately 5-8 minutes.
- As soon as you take the rice off of the burner, add the red pepper and onion and kale, on top of the rice, cover the pot and let sit for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, transfer the rice and veggie mixture into a large bowl, add tamari and stir.
- To assemble the bowl, divide rice mixture among 4 plates, then the sweet potato. Add additional toppings of walnuts, dried cranberries, and avocado if desired. Drizzle the bowls with 2 tablespoons of tahini sauce each.
*Any remaining sauce can be stored for up to one week. The tahini sauce is also great on a salad or over mixed steamed vegetables.
February 13, 2013
Valentine’s Day is upon us – and we might as well start the day off right with, yep you guessed it Chocolate!
Not just any chocolate will do, make sure you purchase some Raw Organic Raw Cacao powder for these yummy desserts below. Raw Cacao has not been heated and retains all the antioxidants and beauty minerals that can get destroyed with heating and processing. Raw Cacao is available at all health food stores. It’s taste is far superior to processed cocoa.
OK onto the recipes
While a bowl of chocolate and strawberries may be a bit too rich for breakfast (and then again maybe not), how about a strawberry and chocolate smoothie inspired by one of my very best friends. See the recipe below.
Then at lunch hour or perhaps mid-afternoon, how about our sinful tasting but oh so nutritious berries with chocolate, you can find the chocolate mousse recipe here. This is a go-to recipe for everyone at Elation Centre, kids, adults absolutely everyone loves it.
For supper, more chcolate of course. You can keep it simple with these quick and easy Chocolate Haystack no-bake Cookies, this is one of my favourite recipes, I usually have a batch stored in the freezer
For a more decadent dessert I found this wonderful Chocolate Cheesecake recipe developed by Megan at detoxinista.com, it is made with a pecan and cocoa crust, cashews in the filling make it nice and creamy and she sneaks in some zucchini along with cocoa of course and maple syrup. This look divine!
Tip: you can also use Megan’s crust recipe with the chocolate mousse, and voila you have Chocolate Mousse Pie!
Molly’s Chocolate Smoothie with Strawberries and Banana
- 6 strawberries
- 1 banana
- 3 tbsp raw cacao
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 ice cubes
Blend and Enjoy!
January 18, 2013
Here is an updated, cleanse-worthy version of the Kale and Red Cabbage Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette, posted here.
This version has the added goodness of steamed sweet potatoes and shaved beets, but no tomatoes, corn or beans and no oil, which are off limits for the Cleanse. It is so quick and easy to make and loaded with anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals to help support and cleanse your liver, your body’s major organ of detoxification.
You can juice fast, you can detox, you can cleanse, which are all amazing and will leave you feeling clean, fresh and focused, it does take time, preparation and commitment to follow a cleanse and if it’s not in the cards for you right now – clean eating with fresh whole foods will give your body love and support.
We made this salad last night at our Cleanse meeting, and it was a huge hit – definitely a keeper for everyone. Enjoy
Kale Salad with Red Cabbage, Beets and Cumin Vinaigrette
serves 2 – 4 people, depending if it’s a main dish or side.
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 bunches of Kale, washed, dried, middle stem torn out, shredded in to thin strips
- 1/2 small head red cabbage, shredded
- 1 beet peeled and grated or use a spiralizer and turn it into long thin strips
- 1 sweet potato, peeled, diced small and steamed for no more than 3-5 minutes
- 2 avocados peeled and diced
- 1/2 bunch cilantro coarsely chopped
- top with raisins or dried cranberries and hemp seed
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp maple syrup
To make the salad
- Put the chopped kale in to a big bowl, add the lemon and salt, and get your hands into the bowl and massage the kale for about 3 minutes, it will wilt down to about half it’s original volume.
- Add the remaining veggies, combine the vinaigrette ingredients and toss lightly.
- Sprinkle with raisins or cranberries and hemp seeds
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.