Spring Smoothie Bowl

As the days get warmer, you might start to crave cooler foods. A vibrant smoothie bowl can brighten your day and give you a boost of energy before heading outside to enjoy the spring weather. Smoothie bowls are a fun twist to your regular smoothies —it’s meant to be eaten with a spoon! It is also a great way to get in extra fruit and vegetables into your day. 

Serves 2

Smoothie Bowl

½ – 1 cup milk (or fortified soy beverage)

2 cups frozen mixed berries (for a more tropical flavour, use frozen mango and/or frozen pineapple)

2 frozen sliced ripe bananas

1 cup spinach 

Optional Toppings:

You can add any combination of toppings to your preference. Here are some ideas: shredded coconut flakes, granola, fresh or frozen fruit, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend. Scrape down the sides as needed and continue to blend until smooth and thick. You can add some more milk until desired consistency is reached. Scoop into bowls and add your favorite toppings. Serve immediately or keep in the freezer for up to 1 week.

Recipe by Joy Wong (5th year UBC Dietetics student)

No Sugar Squash Apple Muffins

These moist muffins are packed with fibre from whole grains, squash, apples and pecans. Although they don’t have any refined sugar, they do have a few tablespoons of molasses which provides some sweetness as well as minerals like calcium and iron. This is a great recipe to double so you can freeze some for easy breakfasts or packed lunches.

Makes 1 dozen

2 eggs

¼ cup plain yogurt

½ cup olive or avocado oil

3 Tbsp blackstrap molasses

¾ c cooked/pureed or canned squash (e.g. butternut, pumpkin)

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup whole grain flour

1 cup rolled oats

¼ tsp baking soda

1.5 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

1 apple, diced or grated

½ cup pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F and prepare a muffin tin by greasing or lining. In a large bowl, combine eggs, yogurt, oil, molasses, squash and vanilla. Mix well. In a smaller bowl, combine flour, oats, soda, powder and spices and mix well. Stir this gently into the liquid mixture, being cautious not to over-mix. Fold in the apples and pecans. Spread evenly into 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes then remove from tin and cool a little longer.

 

By Nicole Fetterly, RD

Oatmeal Everything Cookies

By Nicole Fetterly, RD

These cookies can be a great addition to a balanced lunch or even eaten as a quick breakfast, as they are packed with fibre and protein. Get the kids involved in making a big batch for the freezer before school starts and save on the cost and packaging of all the processed snacks and bars.

Makes a lot!

2 cups sugar (or substitute half honey or maple syrup)

½ cup blackstrap molasses

1 cup butter

½ cup nut or seed butter (check on allergen restrictions in your child’s classroom)

½ cup plain yogurt

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

5 cups oats

2 cups whole grain flour

¾ cup white flour

1.5 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 cups nuts or seeds (e.g. pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts)

1 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375F. Cream together the sugar, molasses, butter and nut butter in a large bowl or an electric mixer. Add the yogurt, egg and vanilla and mix well. Add the oats, flours, baking soda and salt and stir until just combined. Add the nuts, seeds, dried fruit and chocolate chips. Take a large spoonful (an ice cream scoop works well) and form into a ball then flatten into a patty. These cookies do not spread much so try to get them flat without breaking them apart. Bake on ungreased baking sheets for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

Whole Grain Zucchini Muffins

It’s the time of summer where local zucchini is dominating gardens, markets and grocery stores. Besides making zoodles, stuffed or grilled zucchini or dehydrating into chips, zucchini is a great addition to baking as it provides so much moisture. Consider making a double-batch of these healthy, whole grain muffins to freeze some for easy snacks or breakfast on-the-go!

Makes 12 muffins

½ cup olive oil

½ cup maple syrup or honey

2 eggs

2/3 cup plain yogurt, kefir or buttermilk

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1.5 cups zucchini, grated

2 cups whole grain flour

½ cup toasted walnuts or pecans (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 375F and grease or line a regular 12 cup muffin tin. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and maple syrup or honey. Add eggs and beat well. Add yogurt, cinnamon, baking powder, soda and salt. Stir in zucchini then the flour and nuts if using. Do not overmix. Divide evenly amongst the muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Quinoa Breakfast Hash

It can be easy to get into a breakfast rut and rotate between two or three options exclusively. Here’s a new idea to shake things up and it works exceptionally well as a hot and hearty camping breakfast. Variations are endless, like being completely plant-based and substituting black beans and avocado for the cheese or swapping the veggies for your family favourites. Add a fried egg on top for added protein if desired.

Serves 4

1.5 cups quinoa, pre-washed (the package should say, otherwise rinse a few times and drain)

3 cups water

¼ tsp salt

1 small red onion, diced

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried basil or oregano 

2 tsp soy sauce

2 cups shredded spinach

½ cup cubed or shredded cheese

Soak the quinoa in the water overnight in a medium-sized pot. In the morning, add the salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer until water is fully absorbed (~5 minutes). Meanwhile heat a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium-low heat. Add oil then onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes until onion is softened. Add garlic and sauté quickly, approximately 1 minute, then add the cooked quinoa and herbs. Cook, stirring frequently, until quinoa starts to crisp and turn a bit golden on the edges. Add soy sauce and spinach. Stir frequently until water is evaporated from spinach. Stir in cheese and cook until just melting. Serve immediately.

Shakshuka

Originally a North African dish, this is a recipe our Generation Health program assistant, Paneet, tried making for the first time during isolation. It’s great for a leisurely weekend breakfast or even a dinner, served with crusty bread and salad or steamed green beans. It can also be adapted to your taste by adding fresh or roasted red pepper or eggplant, different herbs like parsley or cilantro and even spice like hot chili flakes.

Serves 4

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large (798 mL) can peeled tomatoes

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

8 eggs

½ cup feta, cubed or crumbled

1 bunch basil

Preheat oven to 375F. In a large, oven-proof skillet, heat oil on the stovetop over medium low heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and saute 1 minute then add the tomatoes, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often and breaking up larger chunks of tomato to form a thick sauce, approximately 15 minutes. Create 8 wells (small indents) in the sauce and gently crack one egg into each one. Place in oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, until eggs are mostly set. Top with feta and bake another 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and top with torn basil leaves. Serve 2 eggs in sauce to each person, with toast or crusty bread and veggies like salad or steamed green beans.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Whole Grain Banana Bread

When bananas get a little brown to eat out of the peel, simply pop them in the freezer to save for making banana bread (or smoothies!). You can freeze them in the peel or peeled in a freezer bag. By using whole grains, healthy fats and less sugar, banana bread is a treat you can feel good about eating regularly, for breakfast, snack or dessert. Consider doubling this recipe, but cook as two separate loaves. You can save one in the freezer or share it with a friend!

Yield: 1 loaf

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup maple syrup or brown sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup plain yogurt

1 cup mashed ripe banana

¼ cup flaxseeds (whole or ground)

½ cup rolled oats

1 cup whole grain flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Whisk olive oil and syrup or sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and whisk well. Stir in the yogurt and mashed banana. In a blender, grind flaxseeds and oats into a flour. Add flour, soda, powder and salt and blend for a few seconds. Pour this mixture into the egg and banana bowl and stir until just combined. 

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan then bake for approximately 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from pan and cooling completely. Slice and serve or freeze whole.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Feel the Beet!

It’s Valentine’s Day and you want to show your love without focusing on candy and chocolates. What’s the answer? Beet it! One of the most colourful vegetables in the world, the pink hue of beets can bring the Valentine’s spirit to any meal. Here are a few ideas to try:

Breakfast:

  • Pretty in Pink Smoothie: add one or two peeled beets to a smoothie made with raspberries or strawberries and yogurt, kefir or milk. Hemp hearts can add extra protein, fibre and healthy fats.
  • Pink Pancakes: peel and grate a beet and add to the batter of your favourite whole grain or potato pancakes.

Lunch: 

  • Love Soup: make borscht, a traditional Russian beet soup. Add other veggies like potato and carrot to mellow the flavour for those new to beets and consider pureeing it for a smooth texture. Serve topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and fresh dill.
  • Beet Hummus: add roasted beets to your favourite hummus recipe (or save time and use store-bought). Serve with veggies for dipping and whole grain pita or crackers.

Dinner: 

  • Valentine’s Mash: add a peeled, chopped beet to your potatoes as you cook them and watch the magic of them turning pink! Serve with beautifully pink wild salmon and pickled red onions.
  • Beet Bowls: add grated beet to your favourite grain bowl, along with other cooked and/or raw veggies and plant-based protein like smoked or baked tofu, tempeh, edamame, nuts or seeds.

Dessert:

  • Okay, maybe we do need a little sweet treat on Valentines! Healthify it with whole grains and beets in mini Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes. Colour the cream cheese frosting with beet juice made by grating and squeezing beets rather than artificial food colouring.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

What’s in the Fridge Frittata

Although this recipe mentions greens and carrot, so many different veggies can work, especially those lingering leftovers (e.g. raw veggies from a crudités platter, roasted roots, broccoli, mushrooms or green beans—the possibilities are endless). It’s a great way to use things up and make a quick, healthy meal. It can be served warm for breakfast, lunch or dinner and is also delicious cold on a sandwich with mayo, mustard and lettuce.

Serves 4

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 bunch of red chard or other leafy greens
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cracked pepper
1 carrot, peeled and grated
8 eggs, beaten
2-3 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped (e.g. parsley, dill, rosemary)
¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled (or another favourite)

Preheat oven to 350F. Heat a large oven-safe skillet on the stovetop on medium low heat.  Add oil then onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring until softened. Meanwhile stem chard and chop stems and leaves separately. Add chopped stems to the onion with the salt and pepper. Stir for another 5 minutes, then add the shredded chard leaves (or any cooked veggies you’re using up). Stir often to help the water evaporate and wilt the chard. Stir in the grated carrot and then add the beaten egg. Tilt the pan to spread the egg over all the veggies. Top with cheese and herbs. Cook 5 minutes and then bake in oven 10 more minutes, until puffing up. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then slice into wedges.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD