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!

mango cilantro smoothie, a minor vent and a few boston pictures

Happy weekend dear readers!

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To be honest, as I write this I am not feeling my best. I got results from my doctor the other day and despite our best efforts, my iron levels have not improved, in fact they have gotten worse somehow and my B12 levels aren’t great either, despite taking supplements. He’s ordered a whole new panel of tests for me to get done because we’re clearly missing something. This is so frustrating especially since those silly iron supplements have been making my stomach upset for a month and a half. I have been doing everything right. I eat loads of greens, have given up coffee and take my supplements. It’s disheartening too because my doctor isn’t really asking me how I feel about anything or asking about my diet. All his messages are relayed through a nurse. To add to that he’s not able to see me again for more tests until the end of August. Until then he hasn’t given me any suggestions, I’m just supposed to sit here. I am a little lost as to what I’m supposed to be doing and feel like I’ve been hung out to dry. It’s like I’ve been slotted into a category which has a pre-determined, step-by-step process assigned to it, rather than being considered as the individual I am. We all have different lifestyles and bodies so shouldn’t approaches to health be more personalized? I know my health issues do not even come close to what many people have to deal with, but I can’t help but be a little disheartened. Have any of you experienced situations like this with your health and/or your doctor?

While my journey towards solving my energy and digestive issues has hit this hitch, I’m trying to remain positive! I’m going to continue seeking out dietary sources of iron (but I’m stopping those pills) and start taking regular digestive enzymes and probiotics. Clearly my body is having difficulty absorbing nutrients for some reason or another so I’m going to to support it best I can. I’ll also try and stay active, but honour how I’m feeling and take rest days as needed.

I’m also trying to keep optimistic and I’m hoping the power of positive thinking works wonders.

=)

Oh Barney, so wise!

Listening to this adorable song has been helping loads too :)

Ok, that little vent is now OVER! No more wallowing in self-pity, I promise.

The real purpose of today’s post is to share with you a new smoothie recipe! Inspired by this Snappy Cucumber Mango Salad by Daily Bites, it packs quite the flavour punch!

This is definitely an interesting and intriguing smoothie, one that invites you to discover new components each time you sip! The ingredients list might seem a little out there compared to other fruit smoothies but I promise it totally works.  The cilantro gives it an Indian-inspired flavour, the ginger adds a little kick and the cucumber and lime keep everything fresh!

In addition to having all sorts of crazy flavour, this is also incredibly detoxifying and will help aid digestion. Cilantro has a detox effect on the body where it binds to heavy metals like mercury and helps remove them from the body. It is also produces digestive enzymes and stimulates digestions through peristalsis (the movements and contractions of the stomach). Mango produces digestive enzymes as well and ginger is a great stomach soother.

I hope you all give this smoothie a chance! Coriander lovers only though ;)

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Mango Cilantro Smoothie (Vegan, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free, Raw)

This smoothie is a little sweet, a little savoury with a definite kick. Perfect for hot summer days, or even cool summer nights.

  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup cucumber (quartered and sliced)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp coconut water (or more to desired consistency, could also use plain water)
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp agave (might need a little more if you are using water)
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • pinch sea salt

Throw it all into a smoothie and blend. Serve with a cucumber slice for a cocktail feel!

I am submitting this recipe to Allergy Free Wednesday and  Wellness Weekends.

Now before I go, I owe you guys a few pictures from the Boston trip I took last month! I’m a little late on these so please forgive me!

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where the declaration of independence was read

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Pride celebrations

awesome patio set! i can imagine having a tea party here

vintage market garden party furniture :)

hand ring holder

more of the market

creepty statues on the way to Sam Adams

crazy sculptures near the Sam Adams brewery

so many trees all over boston. i think it's why my skin stayed so good there- clean air!

so many trees all over Boston! I think that’s why skin stayed so clear here. Usually when I go to a big city I get flare-ups.

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a pretty church

more Harvard

Harvard campus- so green!

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pretty flowers in the Public Gardens

again

enjoying the moments- staring at the clouds

another one! So cute

Hmmmm: cute frog statue outside a playground in the Boston Common

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Beacon Hill

IMG_4346bathroom doors! women

His and hers bathrooms at the Thinking Cup Coffee Bar

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We loved Boston :)

And with that, I’m heading to Montreal for a couple days. See you all back here soon, and enjoy your weekends!

lime cornmeal pancakes with ginger infused syrup

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it’s important to start it off right! I know some people who think that means breakfast needs to be some tasteless bran cereal or plain oatmeal, or a variety of … Continue reading