ginger cherry & peach oat parfait

morning sunshine :)

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how’s everyone doing today? while it’s friday (the 13th….) and that means the weekend for most, i’m working all day tomorrow so while i can’t quite share in the positive energy that friday brings, i know that when other people are happy, my work day is easier, which makes me happy. so yay for friday anyway!

i got a couple requests after my what i ate wednesday post for the oat parfait i posted. ask and you shall receive! i’ll make apologies ahead of time- pictures aren’t the best since when i made it i wasn’t planning on posting the recipe. but as i was eating it, i was enjoying it so much, i just had to offer.

i made the parfait up with 2 goals in mind:

  1. use up some of the many cherries I purchased this weekend. i’ve been eating big bowls multiple times a day and just loving it. but i figured i should try and incorporate even a few of them into a recipe
  2. incorporate a source of iron- this is a goal for pretty much every meal i have now (for reasons why see this post)

what seemed like the easiest source to incorporate with the cherries for breakfast was blackstrap molasses. i’ll always remember the first time i tasted it. i had just taken a vegan cooking class to help me learn how to prepare some vegetarian dishes (i wasn’t quite vegan yet) and my teacher said one of the breakfasts she enjoyed most was peanut butter and blackstrap molasses on toast. i figured if she ate it all the time it had to be good! so i went and bought myself some, didn’t smell it or taste test it or anything but instead smeared it liberally onto my toast and took a huge bite. i’m guessing i looked something like this:

let’s just say i didn’t touch the stuff for a while after that.

since then though, it’s become one of my favourite natural sweeteners! it has a wonderfully rich taste, almost like deep brown sugar. there is a slight bitterness to it, but since i tend to like my sweets on the less-sweet side (does that even make sense??) i really like this aspect. in fact, i should probably try it on toast again, i’d probably like it this time!

brands of blackstrap molasses vary, so try a couple to find one you like. i think this may have been my problem in the whole toast debacle. the brand i like is wholesome sweeteners which is sweeter than others i’ve tried.

Organic Blackstrp Molasses

now what’s so great about blackstrap molasses? well it’s actually a by-product of sugar production and is rich in vitamins and minerals contained in the sugar cane plant including iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin b6 and potassium. obviously, what interested me the most was the iron! 2 tbsp of blackstrap molasses has about 7.2 mg of iron! that’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

what’s also great about this parfait is that it includes sources of vitamin c- the cherries and peaches! absorption of iron is enhanced when consumed with vitamin c-rich foods. so it’s really important to make sure you get some in!

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now that you know why you should eat it, you probably would like to know what you want to eat it. this parfait has a quick chia cherry ginger jam (whoa that’s a mouthful) that is left in the fridge overnight so the flavours can meld. the oats are soaked overnight to make digestion nice and easy and then in the morning they are mixed with some coconut yogurt, blackstrap molasses, tahini and a little stevia which complements the ginger in the cherry jam beautifully. add in some chopped peaches and this breakfast is ready!

it’s also very easy to make too- you just need to get your jam made and oats soaking the evening before and then assemble in the morning. the hardest part is pitting the cherries- the fact that you have to do this is probably the only thing i dislike about fresh cherries!

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ginger cherry & peach oat parfait (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free)

the ginger in the cherry jam compliments the blackstrap molasses perfectly which the tahini provides and earthiness that ties everything together. chopped peached add some brightness for a beautiful and delicious breakfast!

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats + 2 tbsp oat bran, soaked overnight in water and a little lemon juice (for why this is important check this post). you could also just used 6 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 recipe quick chia ginger cherry jam (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp non-dairy yogurt (i used so delicious plain coconut yogurt)
  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses (start with less if you are new to it’s flavour)
  • 3/4 tbsp tahini
  • stevia to taste (1 used 2 drops english toffee stevia)
  • diced peaches
  • granola/buckwheat groats to top (for some crunch)
  • a dollop of yogurt and a cherry to finish

prepare your cherry jam the night before. also, soak your oats overnight then in the morning rinse them well.

mix the oats with the yogurt, molasses, tahini and stevia.

spoon about 1/3 of the oats into a bowl or glass, top with 1/2 of the jam and diced peaches. do this one more time. finally top with the last 1/3 of the oats, peaches, sprinkle with granola/groats, finish with a dollop of yogurt and make it feel extra special by adding a cherry on top!

quick chia cherry ginger jam (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, raw)

this makes only what you need for the parfait but definitely feel free to make more!

  • 1/4 cup diced cherries
  • 1/2 tsp agave
  • 1/2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/8 tsp ginger

pulse a couple times in a blender/food processor or just mix everything together, mashing with a fork a bit. let sit in the fridge overnight so the flavours can intensify and meld together.

i’m submitting this post to wellness weekends!

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mmm check out them layers!

now i’m sure you all noticed, but this post has no capital letters in it. i really like the look of lowercase letters, much more so than uppercase. so i decided to write this post just how i like it. fun no?

questions for you all!

  • any big plans for the weekend? none for me! i’m working then hopefully sunday will be restful with a lazy brunch and lounging in the sun
  • do you have any weird little quirks when it comes to writing? i tend to even write lists, journal entries etc. entirely in lowercase- looks so much nicer to me!

want a hint for what’s coming up next?

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have a great weekend!

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wiaw- mad about cherries and quickie workouts!

Good day friends!

Wow it seems like the weeks are going by faster and faster. I could SWEAR I just posted my last What I Ate Wednesday post. But no, here we are again, for another round of drooling over each other’s pictures of food. And, since Jenn, the lovely girl behind What I Ate Wednesday has made the theme for this month fitness, I’ll also be sharing what workouts I’ve been enjoying!

Before I get into that though, just a quick little update on health-related issues mentioned in my last couple posts (1 & 2)- I have bought a couple books to read and bought a new iron supplement that came highly recommended from some bloggers and readers. I also got back on track with other supplementation that I slack on at times including vitamin D and omega-3s. Anything I discover or any changes I make, I will make sure to keep you posted on!

And now with out further ado I bring you…

Peas and Crayons

What I Ate Wednesday- Mad About Cherries and Quickie Workouts!

These are my eats from Monday, July 9.

Pre-breakfast

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warm lemon water as usual, also had my omega 3s, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

Breakfast

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I had the day off so breakfast wasn’t another green smoothie! I instead made an oat parfait that included some quick cherry jam, peaches, ginger oats with blackstrap molasses and tahini (for iron), coconut yogurt and buckwheat groats. YUM. I can post the recipe if you’re interested!

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so obsessed with cherries right now!

Morning Tea

Amaretto

I went and ran some errands (got myself a liquid iron supplement, did some foodie pen pal shopping!) and got some iced Amaretto Herbal Tea from David’s Tea. I forgot to take a picture of it prepared but here’s the tea itself! Lightly sweetened with agave it was delicious.

Workout

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

Did Level 3 of this DVD. I’m almost done the 30 days! I have to say I have definitely seen changes since starting this. What’s even better, each workout is only 20 minutes. It’s a hard 20 minutes though!

Post-Workout Smoothie

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No lunch today since my workout was strangely timed. But I did have this awesome green smoothie post-workout made with Maqui powder and it was sooo delicious!

Afternoon Snacking

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I was making a batch of this Chocolate Cherry Almond Granola up with added chocolate chips and while I didn’t actually eat any of it, I did snack on some of it’s ingredients some chocolate chips.

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I saw some almond milk yogurt at the store the other day and I got so excited! I’ve never seen them at my store before!

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I hate to admit it, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I probably should have known better than to buy the cherry flavour. While I love cherries, I hate cherry-flavoured things. It tasted kind of fake, was really sweet and was kind of lumpy even after I stirred it forever! I have another flavour so we’ll see how it compares!

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yes this whole plate was my dinner. There’s actually a lot of veggies under the pasta so I swear it’s not as much as it looks like! I made this House Dressing by Chef AJ on the recommendation of Somer. Oh man, that is good stuff, so tangy! I served it on a simple romaine salad with some orange cherry tomatoes I found at the grocery store. With that is steamed broccoli, parsnips and spinach with brown rice pasta and a veggie dog. I don’ eat those very often, but I had bought some to take to a barbeque and have leftovers. I wish I didn’t like them as much as I do!

Snack

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A bowl of cherries. Have to eat them as much as possible before they’re gone! And I know I said I was going to try and stop snacking after dinner, but I figure a bowl of fresh seasonal fruit isn’t so bad right?

And now for a couple of my favourite workouts lately!

Lori and Michelle at Purely Twins have made this 5 minute plank workout that is so tough and challenging. You can really feel it toning your abs and it works your entire body! As I am writing this, they posted how they are starting bridge work to complement the planks. I’ll have to start that soon!

Good quickie workout for when you only have a few minutes

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Some great Yin Yoga poses to help release tension. It was hard for me to get into the mindset of holding simpler poses for a long time, but it feels so good after!

In addition to these workouts, the ladies at Purely Twins have inspired me to do my own challenge! In particular, since I had so much fun challenging myself to hold plank, I am going to try and work on my wall sit!

I did my first one of the challenge yesterday and got to 2 minutes. I’m going to keep working on this and hopefully update you on my progress!

Peas and Crayons

As you can see I’ve been pretty obsessed with all things cherry lately. What will I do when this beautiful fruit is no longer in season??

Have a lovely day everyone!

wiaw # 18: rainy day snacking

Hey there friends :)

It’s Wednesday, so you know what that means! It’s time for another What I Ate Wednesday!

But before I get into that, I just thought I’d do a brief little summary on my experience with Alex’s Sugar-Free Challenge that ended in June. I’m a little late, so I apologize!

All in all, it was a very rewarding, eye-opening experience. I didn’t realize just how many foods I eat on a daily basis that include added sweeteners of some kind! Even health foods! I kept finding myself reaching for stevia for my tea, wanting to eat snacks that had agave in them, even my favourite hot sauce has sugar. It really showed me how easy it is to take in sweeteners without even noticing, leading to us craving them more and more and eating them more subsequently. I like to think I resent my taste buds a little- I’m more than happy to pass on the stevia in my drinks when not needed and I’m going to try and experiment with using dates more often.

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With sugar-free eats like my chia seed breakfast porridge and date-sweetened banana bread, going without sweeteners wasn’t all that bad!

That being said, I am very happy to reintroduce stevia, agave and maple syrup back into my life :) I received a bunch of cool products recently from food swaps that contain these ingredients and I have been itching to try them! I am trying to keep it all in moderation and was doing really well until today. I was in a very snack mood and just kept eating little bits of everything! I think it was the rainy weather.

With that, I now bring you my What I Ate Wednesday for this week! Jenn has proposed a new theme for this month…

Peas and Crayons

Fitness!

I wish I had known this was coming! My posts on pre and post workout snacks would have fit right in here! But oh well, hindsight is 20/20 right? If you missed those posts, definitely check them out, lots of good tips in there!

So for this week, I’m going to let you in on what I’ve been currently doing for exercise and then next week I’ll try and have something a little more solid planned.

So with out further ado, here are my eats from yesterday…

Pre-Breakfast

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My usual warm lemon water to stimulate digestion and detoxify the body. I’ve started taking an omega-3 supplement which I also take now as well as my usual iron.

Breakfast

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A green smoothie- I know shocker right? In the mix are a banana, blueberries, spinach, avocado, cucumber, flax seeds, maca powder and spirulina and some Perfect-Fit Protein Powder given to me by Suzi. I like this powder, but I find I can only use half a packet or it’s way too sweet. I think Sunwarrior has spoiled me ;) On top are sprouted and dehydrated buckwheat crunchies, blueberries, raspberries and a Better’n Peanut Butter sauce I made by adding water to the Better’n PB.

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I am in love with this stuff! Thank you so much Shelby for sending it to me! It has 100 kcal for 2 tbsp and is made with peanuts, defatted peanut-flour, sugar and salt. So not the healthiest nut butter out there, but not the worst either. It’s such a nice treat!

Snack

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A little bit of this Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa Midnight Crunch bar that was given to me by Shelby again. It’s so good! It’s really good quality chocolate, has awesome crunchy bits through it, and is fair-trade and organic! Definitely try this bar if you see it!

Lunch

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Lunch was leftovers from a dinner I made on the weekend- Quinoa with Kale, Raisins and Chickpeas. Recipe to come tomorrow. This wasn’t actually the plate I ate, but this picture was so much nicer.

Workout!

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

This is what I’ve been working on lately. I have had this DVD for a long time, but never put myself through 30 days of it. I decided that a program with a specific length that was easy to follow would be really good for helping to get me out of my extended funk of fatigue and lack of motivation. Plus, Jillian Michaels has a way of keeping me motivated like no one else! Now I haven’t been following it perfectly everyday for 30 days, but have been supplementing this with some other things. Some days I’ve done yoga instead for which I do either…

Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown

another Jillian classic, or…

Slim Calm Sexy Yoga: 210 Proven Yoga Moves for Mind/Body Bliss

I use sequences from this book as well as sequences of my own devising for a more relaxing, meditative workout. It’s always good to have balance!

Anyway, I’ve done a total of 22 of her workouts from the 30 Day Shred with yoga and rest days interspersed. I’ll be sure and give a review on it when I’m done.

Post-Workout Snack

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A variation of my post-workout recovery smoothie. This one brought back my love affair with Vanilla Sunwarrior (I had given it up for a while since it contains stevia) and oh how I missed it! Served in my new cup! I am in love with these, especially because actual mason jar lids fit.

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some ginger pear white tea was had….

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as was some home-brewed kombucha! I first mentioned I was starting this here and guys I’ve finally gotten it to the taste and tanginess I like. I’ve decided to do the continuous batch method of brewing so all I have to do is pour a cup of kombucha out and replace it with a cup of the tea base. This way I’ll always have kombucha around :)

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my “fermentation station” as I like to call it. Yes I’m nerdy that way ;) Here’s where both my kombucha and sauerkraut work away!

Dinner

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Dinner was a snack type plate with a leftover black bean burger wrapped in lettuce, a pickle, some tomatoes and some tortilla chips. I won a giveaway hosted by Jennifer at The Foodery and it arrived today- these chips were part of it :)

Finally….

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One of my almost raw maple walnut cups for dessert!

And that concludes my 18th What I Ate Wednesday!

Quickly before I go- Happy 4th of July to all my American readers and fellow bloggers!

Have a great day everyone!

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