Fresh Fruit Salad

Nothing says summer like fresh fruit. I like to serve fruit salad at brunch as a side dish or for dessert after a big dinner. Sometimes I add a scoop of fruit salad on top of coconut yogurt or chia pudding to serve to my kids for breakfast. They love it!

The best thing about fruit salad is that you can totally mix up the fruits and it’ll still be delicious every single time. I often substitute pear for apple and swap peaches for strawberries or nectarines. Grapes add a nice crunch to fruit salad too. I usually pick whatver is in season or on sale! Pumpkin seeds provide an amazing source of zinc and many other minerals because these seeds grow underground, within the mineral-rich soil.

My only rule with making fruit salad is that you have to use a variety of colours to not only make it look more beautiful but also to provide the body with a wider range of phytonutrients. More colours = more health benefits to the body. Eat the rainbow, my friends!

Leave a comment below if you tried this Fresh Fruit Salad. I’d love to hear what you think of it and any variations you tried!

Fresh Fruit Salad

Prep Time10 mins
Course: Breakfast
Keyword: Breakfast, Side Dish
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 pear, chopped
  • 2 peaches, chopped
  • 2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 pinch lime zest rub the skin from the lime on a cheese grater to get a pinch of zest
  • shredded coconut top with desired amount of shredded coconut

Instructions

  • Wash the fresh fruit. Cut the peaches and pears into small cubes.
  • Add the chopped peaches and pears to a mixing bowl with the blueberries.
  • Add the pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, lime juice and pinch of lime zest.
  • Gently mix the fruit salad to evening coat it with the dressing.
  • Sprinkle shredded coconut on top and enjoy!

5 Amazing Superfoods

I’m sure you’ve heard the word “superfood” all over town, and seen it plastered on items in the grocery store. But what is a “superfood”? I’m glad you asked! It’s nothing more than a term used to describe a food that is ultra nutrient dense. Below are 5 of my favourites that I use regularly in my house. I’ll tell you how I incorporate them into my meals and snacks to kick the nutrient profile up a notch!

  1. Raw Cacao Nibs
    • These little brown nibs are loaded with magnesium. They are actually one of the highest food sources of magnesium – an essential mineral we could all probably use more of. They may also act as an aphrodisiac. I like to add cacao nibs to my coconut yogurt for a chocolatey, low caffeine crunch. They can also be added on top of a smoothie or used for baking in place of chocolate chips. My favourite brand of raw cacao nibs is Giddy Yoyo (not sponsored or affiliated).
  2. Nutritional Yeast high in B vitamins.
    • The first time I saw nutritional yeast, I thought it was fish food and was hesitant to try it. But, I gave it a chance and quickly became obsessed. It has a nutty, cheesy flavour to it. It’s not really like anything I’ve ever tasted before. Nutritional yeast, or “nooch” for short, is one of the best food sources of vitamin B12 – making it a great addition to a vegan or vegetarian diet! I like to add it to savoury foods, like on my scrambled eggs, mixed into soups, on top of pasta in place of parmesan cheese, or sprinkled on a rice cake on top of hummus. My favourite brand of nutritional yeast is Bragg (not sponsored or affiliated).
  3. Chia seeds
    • Don’t underestimate these tiny warriors – they are small and mighty. Chia seeds are an awesome source of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and fibre. They are a great way to help keep your digestive tract moving. I often make chia seed pudding, I mix them into yogurt, or I add 1tbsp of chia seeds to my smoothie. I actually don’t have a favourite brand of chia seeds. I’ve been happy with several brands. I just look for ones that are organic ones and non-GMO.
  4. Bee Pollen
    • This superfood is the newest addition to my pantry of the bunch. Bee pollen is a great source of protein and B vitamins. I like to eat them with breakfast to help give me a boost of energy to start my day. They taste great mixed into yogurt with berries, on top of toast with nut butter, or simply sprinkled on to fresh fruit. My favourite brand of bee pollen is Beekeepers Naturals (not sponsored or affiliated).
  5. Hemp Hearts
    • I find hemp hearts to be the most versatile superfood from this group. They pair well with sweet and savoury foods. I use them in a variety of ways. I add them into smoothies, mix them into soups and yogurt, sprinkle them on salads or eggs, or add them to fresh fruit. Hemp hearts are high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They are also an awesome source of non-animal protein, as well as manganese and magnesium. My favourite brand of hemp hearts are Manitoba Harvest (brand ambassador).

There are tons of amazing, nutrient dense foods out there, AKA “superfoods.” What are your favourite superfoods? Tell me below!

Starting from the top going clockwise – nutritional yeast, chia seeds, bee pollen, hemp hearts, cacao nibs.

Twisted Tabouleh Salad

I’m a huge fan of simplicity and efficiency in the kitchen. With 2 young kids at home, I don’t have time to be in the kitchen for hours creating elaborate meals. But, I also don’t cut corners when it comes to creating nourishing meals.

Quinoa is one of my absolute favourite foods to eat. I’m a serious carb lover, and I love that quinoa hits the carb-loving-spot, without the gluten, plus the protein! Quinoa is rich in minerals, such as manganese, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium. It’s also a good source of fibre, folate and zinc. Parsley is the true star of the show here. I don’t feel like it gets enough credit for how nutrient dense it is. It’s loaded with vitamin K, C, A, folate, and iron. It is an antioxidant powerhouse!

Another thing I just love about this salad is that it’s very easy to make adjustments to and it’ll still be delicious. Avoid adding the feta cheese to make it dairy-free. If you don’t like mint – no problem! Swap it for cilantro, dill or another fresh herb. Chickpeas don’t do it for you? Sub in kidney beans, navy beans or black beans instead. You will not be disappointed!

If you’re planning to make this, I recommend making the quinoa the day before or a few hours before to allow it enough time to cool. It doesn’t need to be cold, but room temperature at the least. If you’re in a pinch – cook the quinoa and spread it out on a large plate, then pop it in the fridge or freezer to cool faster.

Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think of it. Happy eating my friends!

Twisted Tabouleh Salad

I love this well-rounded, versatile salad because it can be prepared as an appetizer, side dish or main course.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Recipe, Side Dish
Author: andreagracewellness

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa cooled to room temperature
  • 1 can chickpeas (398mL) rinsed well with cold water
  • 1 cup curly parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leave, chopped remove leaves from stems
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 10 grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese I prefer goat’s or sheep’s feta
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fine pink salt or sea salt add more to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, sea salt, and ground black pepper to create the dressing.
  • Then add the chickpeas, quinoa, curly parsley, mint, green onions, tomatoes and feta cheese to the bowl with the dressing.
  • Gently mix the salad until dressing is evenly coated.
  • Eat immediately or cover and place in the fridge to consume later. It should last for 2 days in the fridge before getting soggy! 

6 Ways to Improve Digestion

The digestive system is one of the most complex systems in the body. There are numerous factors that contribute to a healthy, regular digestive system. Some of the most common digestive disturbances people experience are bloating, irregular or infrequent bowel movements, heart burn, indigestion, loose stool, cramping and more. Addressing the root cause of your digestive imbalance and healing your gut is essential in order to achieve optimal health. Here are a few ways you can slowly change your habits to improve your overall digestive health. 

1. Drink water away from meals. Drinking too much water during a meal can actually dilute your digestive juices which can interrupt or slow down the process of digestion. It would be better to drink a glass of water slightly before a meal instead. If necessary, take small sips of water while eating, instead of chugging a whole glass. Staying well hydrated throughout the day is essential for optimal digestion.  

2. Take a Probiotic daily. A multi-strain (human-sourced) probiotic supplement is incredibly beneficial to the digestive system to strengthen gut flora and intestinal health. A probiotic will also contribute to a stronger immune system. Try to incorporate probiotic foods into your diet daily, such as kimchi, miso, kefir, tempeh, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Speak with your Nutritionist or Naturopathic Doctor to find out which probiotic supplement is best for you.

3. Eat slowly. Eating quickly is the fastest way to bloat and potentially overeat. When we eat too quickly, our stomach doesn’t have time to signal the brain that we’re satiated, which often leads to over consuming food. Chew each bite very well before taking another one. The more we chew our food, the easier it is for our body to digest that food and absorb nutrients from it.

4. Walk after eating. Going for a walk 10-15 minutes after eating is a great way to encourage optimal digestion and can help to regulate blood sugar levels.

5. Stimulate your digestive system. First thing in the morning, drink a glass of water with 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar and/or juice from half a lemon, on an empty stomach. Work your way up to this dose. You can begin with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and slowly increase the amount, according to your personal tolerance. 

6. Avoid eating when stressed or distracted. This is a big one that I think many of us are guilty of. When the body is under stress, it produces stress hormones that focus on managing that stress, not on digesting food properly. If you’re feeling very stressed or upset, spend a few minutes taking deep breaths before your meal to calm down, ground yourself, and to prepare your mind and body to eat. Many people eat while they are watching TV, driving or walking around. When we do this, we aren’t paying attention to what we are eating, how much we eating and how quickly we are eating. All of these things effect the way our body processes food. Aim to sit down in a calm environment, with minimal distractions, while engaging all five of your senses.