Hazelnut Cocoa Bites

Hazelnut Cocoa Bites

Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie

After consulting with a health care professional, such as their family doctor, naturopathic doctor, nutritionist or dietitian, many individuals with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) turn to a low-FODMAP diet. This is a specific type of elimination diet, which aims to remove certain small-chain carbohydrates from your diet to reduce IBS symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea – with a success rate of up to 86% (1).

A low-FODMAP diet restricts consumption of most grains and dairy, many fruits, and all legumes… choosing a healthy snack may seem difficult. But, this hazelnut cocoa bites recipe provides a tasty snack while containing all low-FODMAP ingredients!

Hazelnuts are filled with nutrients and antioxidants that support and protect many of our body’s systems. Specifically, hazelnuts are considered to be heart healthy. Studies of individuals with consistent hazelnut consumption show a reduction in their bad cholesterol (LDL) while their good cholesterol (HDL) levels remained the same (2).

Cocoa powder is produced by crushing cocoa beans and removing the fat content. While cocoa powder is most famously associated with the production of chocolate goods, research shows that cocoa powder alone can have a positive impact on blood pressure. Molecules within the cocoa powder react with molecules in the blood to expand blood vessels, ultimately lowering blood pressure (3). These have mainly been studied in healthy adults, and more studies on long-term effects are still needed.

Moderation is key while on a low-FODMAP diet because while many foods, including hazelnuts and maple syrup, are low-FODMAP in small quantities, the amount of FODMAPs gets higher and higher the larger a portion size that’s consumed. So, be sure to watch the serving size while enjoying this delicious snack!

 

References

  1. Nanayakkara, W., Skidmore, P., O’Brien, L., Wilkinson, T., & Gearry, R. (2016). Efficacy of the low FODMAP diet for treating irritable bowel syndrome: the evidence to date. Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology, 9, 131-142. doi: 10.2147/CEG.S86798
  2. Orem, A., Yucesan, F., Orem, C., Akcan, B., Kural, B., Alasalvar, C., & Shahidi, F. (2013). Hazelnut-enriched diet improves cardiovascular risk biomarkers beyond a lipid-lowering effect in hypercholesterolemic subjects. Journal of Clinic Lipidology. 7(2), 123-131. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2012.10.005
  3. Ried, K., Fakler, P., & Stocks, N. (2017). Effect of cocoa on blood pressure. Cochrane Database System Review. 4(4). doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008893

 

Hazelnut Cocoa Bites

This hazelnut cocoa bites recipe provides a tastysnack while containing all low-FODMAP ingredients!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsps Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tbsps Maple Syrup
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Spread hazelnuts even on the baking sheet and cook in the oven for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly toasted and fragrant.
  • Remove hazelnuts from the oven and place in a clean kitchen towel. Rub the hazelnuts with the towel to remove the skins. Place skinned hazelnuts in a food processor to chop well. On a small plate, reserve a small handful of the chopped hazelnuts.
  • Add the cocoa powder, maple syrup and salt to the hazelnuts and process until the dough comes together.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl of the food processor. Roll the mixture into 1” balls, using slightly damp hands to prevent the mixture from sticking. Roll each ball into the reserved chopped hazelnuts.
  • Place in a covered container in the fridge for approximately 20 minutes to allow the balls to harden slightly. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition Per 1 Serving:
 
Calories - 122
Sugar - 4g
Fiber - 2g
Carbs - 7g
Fat - 10g
Protein - 3g
Acai Bowl

Acai Bowl

Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie

Acai berries have recently become a popular superfood.

While this berry is small, it is packed with nutrients, antioxidants and many health benefits. This recipe capitalizes on its bold flavour to create a bowl perfect for breakfast or lunch!

Acai berries are high in antioxidants which help prevent the body from free radical damage. Free radicals are made by the body through natural molecular processes and introduced into the body through environmental toxins. If free radicals are not neutralized in the body by antioxidants, they can cause damage and ultimately lead to disease. By neutralizing free radicals due to the high antioxidant content, acai berries help to protect the body against diseases such as cancer and diabetes (1). To learn more about the many benefits of acai berries, check out our acai berry article.

In addition to utilizing acai berry powder, this recipe contains many other healthy fruits. This is helpful as a diet rich in a wide-range of fruits provides a variety of fibres that help diversify the gut microbiome (2).

Kiwi is a particularly important food to highlight when discussing digestive health. Kiwi has been shown to have a positive impact on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms such as abdominal discomfort and constipation. This ability is attributed to its high-water content and rich fibre content (3). Kiwi also benefits the gut microbiome. It contains the proteolytic enzyme, actinidin, which assists with the digestion of protein (3). 

The fruit in this recipe aren’t the only elements assisting with digestion. The hemp seeds and chia seeds are also high in fibre content. The fibre in these seeds simultaneously feed the good bacteria in your gut and add bulk to your stool, helping you easily pass waste (4). 

When a bowl is this colourful, this nutritious, and this easy… it is too good not to try!

 

References:

  1. Florence, T. (1995). The role of free radicals in disease. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Ophthalmology. 23(1), 3-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.1995.tb01638.x
  2. Holscher, H. (2017). Dietary fiber and prebiotics and the gastrointestinal microbiota. Gut Microbes. 8(2), 172-184. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2017.1290756
  3. Richardson, D., Ansell, J., & Drummond, L. (2018). The nutritional and health attributes of kiwifruit: a review. European Journal of Nutrition. 57(8), 2659-2676. doi: 10.1007/s00394-018-1627-z
  4. Slavin, J. (2013). Fiber and prebioitics: mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients. 5(4), 1417-1435. doi: 10.3390/nu5041417

 

Acai Bowl

Acai berries have recently become a popular superfood. While this berry is small, it is packed with nutrients, antioxidants and many health benefits.
Prep Time 7 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 31 servings

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup Oats
  • ¼ cup Almonds crushed
  • tsps Coconut Oil
  • tsps Raw Honey
  • 2 Bananas
  • 2 cups Frozen Berries
  • 1 cup Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup Almond Milk unsweetened
  • 2 tbsps Ground Flax Seed
  • 2 tbsps Chia Seeds
  • 2 tbsps Acai Powder
  • 2 tsps Cinnomon
  • ½ cup Strawberries sliced
  • ½ cup Blueberries
  • 1 Kiwi sliced
  • ½ Nectarine chopped
  • 1 tbsp Hemp Seeds

Instructions
 

  • First, prepare the granola on the stovetop by toasting oats and crushed almonds at medium-low heat for approximately 5 minutes. Add coconut oil and honey. Stir to evenly coat ingredients for another 2-3 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and set aside.
  • Place banana, frozen berries, spinach, almond milk, ground flax seed, chia seeds, acai powder and cinnamon into a blender. Blend well until smooth.
  • Divide fruit mixture evenly into bowls. Top with strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, nectarine, hemp seeds and granola. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition Per 1 Serving:
 
Calories - 402
Sugar - 30g
Fiber - 15g
Carbs - 60g
Fat - 17g
Protein - 10g
Blueberry Turkey Breakfast Sausages

Blueberry Turkey Breakfast Sausages

Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie

Symptoms including bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea are all too familiar to an individual with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

For the management of IBS, a type of elimination diet, called the low-FODMAP diet, has shown success in improving these symptoms.

FODMAP is an acronym for short-chain carbohydrates that the human body has difficulty digesting, and therefore can lead to IBS symptoms. Recent studies suggest that up to 86% of patients find relief from these symptoms on a low-FODMAP diet (1). To learn more about low-FODMAP diets, stay tuned for our next blog post! Remember, it is important to talk to a health care professional, such as your family doctor or naturopathic doctor to rule out any more serious conditions within your digestive system. 

In the standard American diet (SAD), wheat is the biggest contributor to FODMAPs in the diet (2). It is typical for a SAD breakfast to contain wheat-based items such as cereal, bread, bagels, or baked goods. When these items are eliminated during a low-FODMAP diet, making breakfast can seem challenging. This recipe provides a flavourful, quick, and filling alternative to start your day! Plus, these breakfast sausages can be made in batches and frozen, to be heated in a toaster oven or pan for those on-the-go mornings.

Many fruits are considered high-FODMAP foods because they are high in fructose, a natural sugar. However, blueberries are low in fructose and are therefore safe to eat in moderate quantities on a low-FODMAP diet. Blueberries were also recently listed as one of our top 10 brain superfoods in this article

This recipe includes extra-lean ground turkey which, in addition to being a low-FODMAP food, is considered a heart healthy choice compared to other ground meats. It contains lower levels of saturated fats, which is a known risk factor for cardiac disease (3). Turkey also contains the amino acid tryptophan which is the building block of neurotransmitters that help us feel happy, sleep well, and reduce cravings. 

With garlic and onion both being high-FODMAP foods, it can be difficult to replace the flavour infusion these ingredients provide. Ginger is a wonderful low-FODMAP flavour alternative incorporated into this recipe. Ginger also has the added benefit of having anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (4), and an affinity for soothing the digestive system.

 

1. Nanayakkara, W., Skidmore, P., O’Brien, L., Wilkinson, T., & Gearry, R. (2016). Efficacy of the low FODMAP diet for treating irritable bowel syndrome: the evidence to date. Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology, 9, 131-142. doi: 10.2147/CEG.S86798

2. Dunn, S., Datta, A., Kallis, S., Law, E., Myers, C., & Whelan, K. (2010) Validation of a food frequency questionnaire to measure intakes of inulin and oligofructose. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 65(3), 402-408. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2010.272

3. O’Keefe, J., & DiNicolantonio, J. (2018). Effects of dietary fats on blood lipids: a review of direct comparison trials. Open Heart. 5(2). doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2018-000871

4. Mashhadi, N., Ghiasvand, R., Askari, G., Hariri, M., Darvishi, L., & Mofid, M. (2013). Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence. International Journal of Preventative Medicine. 4(1), 36-42. 

 

    Blueberry Turkey Breakfast Sausages

    This recipe includes extra-lean ground turkey which, in addition to being a low-FODMAP food, is considered a heart healthy choice compared to other ground meats.
    Prep Time 10 mins
    Cook Time 15 mins
    Total Time 25 mins
    Servings 2 Servings (4 patties)
    Calories 211 kcal

    Ingredients
      

    • 8 ozs Extra Lean Ground Turkey
    • tsps Italian Seasoning equal parts mixture of dried basil, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried thyme, and dried rosemary, do not use Italian Seasoning mixes with garlic, onion, or other high-FODMAP ingredients
    • ½ tsp Ginger peeled and minced
    • tsp Sea Salt
    • ¼ cup Blueberries
    • tsps Coconut Oil

    Instructions
     

    • Combine the ground turkey, Italian seasoning, ginger and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined.
    • Fold blueberries into the mixture.
    • Divide the mixture into 4 equal parts. Using your hands, shape the mixture into patties, approximately 4-inches in diameter.
    • In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the coconut oil. Cook sausage patties in the pan for approximately 4-5 minutes on each side, until the patties are fully cooked through. Serve and enjoy!

    Notes

    Nutrition Per Serving (2 Patties):
     
    Calories - 211
    Sugar - 2g
    Fiber - 0g
    Carbs - 3g
    Fat - 13g
    Protein - 21g
    Quinoa Kale Fritters

    Quinoa Kale Fritters

    Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie

    These Quinoa Kale Fritters are perfect for lunch or dinner. They are delicious served hot off skillet or frozen and reheated later in the week.

    Plus, these fritters have the perfect ingredients, including kale, eggs, and quinoa to keep your thinking skills sharp!

    Kale is a part of the cruciferous vegetable family which includes broccoli, spinach, and brussels sprouts. These vegetables are known as a strong support for your liver in the detoxification process, but they also contain nutrients that are important for your brain. Vitamin K is one such nutrient, which plays a role in building important fat cells in the brain. These fat cells allow your neurons to communicate with each other more effectively. (1) When our neurons can communicate effectively, we notice the difference in thinking skills such as memory, and attention!

    Eggs are another brain-boosting superfood. Egg yolks are filled with choline, which is used to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is known to be important during thinking tasks such as utilizing memory and attention. When choline levels are high, our brain uses it to make acetylcholine which enhances our thinking skills. (2) Studies of individual’s performance on memory tests and choline levels demonstrated that higher choline levels correlated with better cognitive performance. (3)

    While quinoa isn’t the first ingredient that comes to mind as a brain-boosting superfood, it definitely has properties to help support brain health. Quinoa has high levels of amino acids, including tryptophan, which are used to build the neurotransmitters our brain uses to communicate. (4) Quinoa is also high in iron. Iron supports the oxygen-carrying molecules in our blood, helping oxygen reach all of the cells in our body, including brain cells, for top performance. (4)

     

     

    1.  Ferland, G. (2012). Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions. Advances in Nutrition, 3(2), 204-212. doi: 10.3945/an.111.001784
    2. Haddelmo, M. (2006). The Role of Acetylcholine in Learning and Memory. Current Opinon in Neurobiology, 16(6), 710-715. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2006.09.002
    3. Nurk, E., Refsum, H., Bjelland, I., Drevon, C., Tell, G., Ueland, P., … & Vollset, S. (2013). Plasma free choline, betaine and cognitive performance: the Hordaland Health Study. The British Journal of Nutrition, 109(3), 511-519. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512001249.
    4. Filho, A., Pirozi, M., Borges, J., Sant’Ana, H., Chaves, J., & Coimbra, J. (2017). Quinoa: Nutritional, functional, and antinutritional aspects. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 57(8), 1618-1630. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2014.1001811

    Quinoa Kale Fritters

    Prep Time 5 mins
    Cook Time 40 mins
    Total Time 45 mins
    Servings 6 servings

    Ingredients
      

    • ½ cup Quinoa
    • 1 cup Water
    • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil divided
    • 2 Eggs whisked
    • ½ Sweet Onion diced
    • 3 Garlic cloved, minced
    • Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
    • 2 cups Kale Leaves
    • cup Oats
    • cup Almond Flour
    • 1 Avocado peeled and sliced
    • 1 Lemon juiced
    • 1 tbsp Yellow Mustard

    Instructions
     

    • Begin by cooking the quinoa. Place quinoa and water in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat down to low. Allow the quinoa to simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and set aside.
    • While the quinoa is simmering, heat half the coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion for approximately 5 minutes until it begins to caramelize and turn a golden colour. At that point, add kale and stir for1-2 minutes until just wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
    • In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs. Add quinoa, kale/onion mixture, garlic, salt and pepper to the egg mixture, stirring well to combine. Set aside and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
    • Add the oats and almond meal to the egg mixture. Combine well.
    • With clean hands, form the mixture into six even patties and place on apiece of waxed paper.
    • Heat the remaining coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Use a flipper to transfer the fritters from the wax paper to the frying pan. Fry the fritters for approximately 6 minutes per side or until golden brown.
    • Serve as a side dish with a dip of your choice, as a hearty addition to a salad, or topped with your favourite burger toppings. Enjoy!

    Notes

    Nutrition Per 1 Serving:
     
    Calories - 218
    Sugar - 2g
    Fiber - 5g
    Carbs - 20g
    Fat - 13g
    Protein - 8g
    Pesto Baked Egg

    Pesto Baked Egg

    Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie

    This fun breakfast recipe is the perfect way to boost your brain function in the morning. While this breakfast is low in carbohydrates, the eggs and kale are bursting with choline and vitamin K, which are important nutrients to keep your thinking skills sharp. In fact, in our upcoming article, Top 10 Brain-Boosting Foods, both eggs and kale were listed as foods beneficial to supporting brain health.

    Egg yolks are a wonderful source of choline, which is a main component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Neurotransmitters are what our brain cells, neurons, use to communicate with each other. Acetylcholine, specifically, has been shown to play an important role in memory. So, by extension it is important that our body has a sufficient supply of choline to make this neurotransmitter to help us remember all the things we need to! (1)

    Kale is a cruciferous vegetable rich in nutrients! Research has shown that individuals who have higher levels of vitamin K, achieved through consuming their leafy greens, have less memory challenges than those with lower levels of vitamin K. (4)

    Other hidden gems in this recipe include garlic and olive oil, which act as immune system supports and antioxidants, respectively, while adding a delicious flavours!

    For added benefit, try switching your store-bought pesto, for our home-made nutrient dense Holy Basil Pesto. This pesto recipe is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, which is another great way to support brain health. It also has adaptogenic properties, meaning it helps individuals adapt to stress, which is key whether recovering from a brain injury, or just coping with the challenges of everyday life.

     

    References

    1. Haddelmo, M. (2006). The Role of Acetylcholine in Learning and Memory. Current Opinon in Neurobiology, 16(6), 710-715. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2006.09.002
    2. Nurk, E., Refsum, H., Bjelland, I., Drevon, C., Tell, G., Ueland, P., … & Vollset, S. (2013). Plasma free choline, betaine and cognitive performance: the Hordaland Health Study. The British Journal of Nutrition, 109(3), 511-519. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512001249.
    3. Ferland, G. (2012). Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions. Advances in Nutrition, 3(2), 204-212. doi: 10.3945/an.111.001784
    4. Nurk, E., Refsum, H., Bjelland, I., Drevon, C., Tell, G., Ueland, P., … & Vollset, S. (2013). Plasma free choline, betaine and cognitive performance: the Hordaland Health Study. The British Journal of Nutrition, 109(3), 511-519. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512001249.

     

    Pesto-Baked Egg

    Prep Time 5 mins
    Cook Time 15 mins
    Total Time 20 mins
    Servings 4 servings

    Ingredients
      

    • 1⅔ tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 2 cups Kale Leaves thinly sliced
    • 2 Garlic Cloves
    • ½ tsp Sea Salt
    • 4 Eggs
    • ¼ cup Pesto
    • ¼ cup Cherry Tomatoes

    Instructions
     

    • Preheat oven to 350*F. Pour 1 teaspoon of olive oil into each of four 6-8 ounce ramekins.
    • Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add kale, garlic, and sea salt, then cook for approximately 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until kale is wilted and garlic is tender.
    • Divide garlic between ramekins, then crack 1 egg into each, taking care not to break the yolk.
    • Top with pesto and bake 10-15 minutes, or until the egg is set.
    • Remove from oven, and top with sliced cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!