This little sweetheart of a snack is right on point with maple syrup season here in Ontario.

You might be experiencing a bit of a sweet craving and looking for a healthy choice, or finding that you need a nutrient dense snack to help you sail through the afternoon.

Enter Maple syrup almonds. Yes, they contain sugar in the form of Maple syrup (and so, sadly not suitable if you are on a candida cleanse diet), but they are also loaded with health fat, protein, fibre, calcium and magnesium.

You can stick with straight up almonds, as in this recipe or you could substitute roughly 1/3 of the almonds with raw pecans or walnuts. Still need more variety in your snack? Mix these with 3-4 squares of 70-80% dark chocolate (I like Zazubean Nudie) and/or dried organic blueberries or cranberries and/or raw or roasted pumpkin/ sunflower seeds.


Maple Syrup Almonds

Preheat oven to 335 degrees F.

Toss 3 cups raw almonds with 1/3 cup real maple syrup.

Add 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil and toss to coat almonds.

Spread coated almonds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (FSC certified/ unbleached and chlorine-free).

Bake until roasted and syrup has thickened, approximately 18-20 minutes (stirring every 5-7 minutes).

Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle to taste with Himalayan pink salt.

Cool completely, and transfer to glass jars. (Jars in the picture are repurposed from Riviera yogurt containers, with matching lids. Jar size is approximately 1/2 cup.)

Store in refrigerator until ready to devour!

IMG_9639.JPGIf you aren’t already enjoying bone broth, now is the perfect time to bring health boosting and incredibly delicious and soothing broth into your life!
Did you know that bone broth supports proper digestion, heals leaky gut -thus improving food sensitivities and auto-immunity, improves connective tissue, reduces joint pain and inflammation (thanks to chondroitin sulphates, chondroitin and collagen supporting nutrients), contains important amino acids such as glycine (supports nervous system, detox, digestive health and wound healing), proline and arginine, contains nutrients important for health bones such as calcium and magnesium, promotes health hair, skin and nails, supports your immune system and inhibits infection (yes, chicken soup for a cold!) and promotes heating throughout your body!
Broth can be made of any type of bones that you like; chicken, turkey, beef, bison and wild game, lamb and fish (including fish heads) – seek bones from organically raised, pastured or grass-fed animals, and include collagen-rich choices such as chicken feet and turkey necks.
You can use leftover bones or get bones from your butcher or a local farmer.
  • Place bones in a pot. (roasting bones is optional, but will improve flavour)
  • Add 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar and enough water to cover bones.
  • Let stand for 20-30 minutes so the vinegar can leach the minerals from the bones/joints.
  • Optional; add 2-3 stalks celery, 2-3 carrots, 2-3 onions and 3-4 bay leaves for enhanced flavour and nutrition.
  • Bring to a boil, **skim the scum from the top and discard.
  • Reduce to a low simmer in the pot (or transfer to a slow cooker) and cook for roughly 18-72 hours. (chicken/turkey bones – 18-24 hours, beef/lamb/bison bones- 24-72 hours, fish bones – 8 hours)
  • If cooking in a pot, can turn off heat, keep covered and let sit overnight, then turn it back on and let summer all the next day.
  • During the last 10-3- minutes of cooking add herbs as desired. (ginger root/turmeric root/ fresh garlic – roughly 20-30minutes, fresh parsley/thyme herbs – roughly 10-15 minutes)
  • Let the broth cool slightly and strain.
  • Store in glass containers in fridge for up to 5 days and in freezer for up to 6 months (leaving a few inches empty in glass container to allow for expansion in freezer)

Enjoy 1-2 cups of health boosting broth daily, especially during fall and winter.

  • heat with Himalayan pink salt and drink from a mug/thermos
  • heat with ginger root (or add a ginger tea bag) and Himalayan salt for a warming and soothing ginger broth
  • heat with sliced ginger root/ turmeric root/ black pepper and Himalayan salt (and strain) for an anti-inflammatory powerhouse broth
  • warm with fresh parsley, lemongrass or any herbs of choice
  • use to make soup/stew or rice/quinoa pilaf (or replace in any recipe calling for broth)


IMG_9725.JPGBack in my early days at naturopathic college, I was introduced to a little gem of a restaurant, called ‘Juice for Life’ (now, Fresh). They made the most divine cold-pressed juice and smoothies that I had even known, and introduced me to the divine combination of quinoa/brown rice, with loads of veggies, plant based protein, delicious sauce and accents like herbs, lemon, nuts and seeds – behold, the ‘Fresh bowl’.

What was soon to become my favourite was their ‘Green Goddess’ bowl – brown rice topped with steamed broccoli and greens, grilled tempeh, toasted sunflower seeds and pickled ginger, bathed in tahini dressing and a their ginger/soy sauce.

Fast forward 18 years – Ottawa now has Pure Kitchen – a delicious restaurant, equally committed to vegetable prominent meals and game-changing quinoa/rice bowls. My bowl of choice comprising steamed broccoli and greens, falafel balls, sauerkraut and roasted sweet potato, on a bed of quinoa – and brought together by their ever smooth tahini dressing.

Building a quinoa/brown rice bowl can be as easy or elaborate as you’d like;

Step 1: Grab your favourite bowl – medium or large, with a wide mouth.

Step 2: Scoop in quinoa or brown rice (these can be prepared ahead of time and portioned in the freezer for greater ease)

Step 3: Add your favourite veggies – steamed, roasted, raw – or a combination thereof.

Step 4: Add 1-2 protein sources – this can be plant-based protein, such as roasted chick peas or hummus, legumes, tempeh, falafel, adzuki bean stew or black beans – or other protein, such as organic chicken, wild salmon or free run eggs.

Step 5: Garnish with superfood toppings as desired – fresh squeezed lemon, sprouts and microgreens, toasted nuts and seeds, raw hemp hearts, spouted seeds (I love Go Raw), sauerkraut or kimchi.

Step 6: Add 1-2 tasty sauces of choice. Do not skip this step! A great sauce will elevate your bowl to divine!

The sky is the limit in terms of your combinations! But here are a few samples;

*brown rice or quinoa + hummus, cucumber, avocado, parsley, lemon/lime, extra virgin olive oil, himalayan pink salt, grape tomatoes and your choice of protein (ie. roasted chick peas or free range chicken).

*brown rice or quinoa + avocado, shredded carrots, shredded beets and arugula, with toasted or sprouted seeds, tahini dressing and your choice of protein (ie. black beans or free range eggs).

*brown rice or quinoa + avocado, steamed greens and broccoli, sauerkraut, roasted root vegetables, microgreens, tahini dressing and your choice of protein (ie. grilled tempeh or wild salmon).

There are lots of tahini dressings our there, but when I made this one for my best friend, she said that it literally changed her life;-). From Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox;

Oil-Free Garlic, Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, Tahini and Almond Butter Dressing
Yield: About 1 1/2 cups

Here’s a dressing to get your raw apple cider vinegar on. It’s creamy from the beneficial sesame seeds (what tahini is made from) and almond butter—so absolutely no need for oil.

Put all the ingredients, except for the tahini and almond butter, in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the tahini and almond butter, and blend again until the dressing is thoroughly combined.

2 cloves garlic
1 Tbs. tamari
3 Tbs. raw apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp. high-quality sea salt
½ cup water
2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1⁄3 cup tahini (preferably raw)
2 Tbs. almond butter (preferably raw or unroasted)


Delicious, satisfying and heaping with nutrient density – hopefully these bowls will be life-changers for you – or at the very least, lunch/dinner changers.



“Social relationships, or the relative lack thereof, constitute a major risk factor for health—rivaling the effect of well established health risk factors such as cigarette smoking, blood pressure, blood lipids, obesity and physical activity” Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_8997I love the holiday season – spending time with family and friends and feeling all of that holiday love.

But sometimes enjoying all of this holiday love has us burning the candle at both ends- leaving us susceptible to viruses, colds and flu.

How do we show our immune system love, amid all of the holiday cheer?

  1. Sleep. Get your zzzs.
  2. Breathe. Stretch. Relax. Paint! Snowshoe! Anything that reduces stress for you.
  3. Keep up those good eating habits! Be sure to include a rainbow assortment of veggies (think Vitamin C and Beta Carotene!), fresh herbs, nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, homemade bone broth(!) – and remember to include a protein source with each meal.
  4. Check your Vitamin D level and consider supplementation through the winter if indicated.
  5. Do include a probiotic supplement or probiotic containing foods – Sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir and miso all fit this bill!
  6. Do include immune boosting foods such as onions and garlic, ginger, turmeric, raw honey (only if not pregnant) and mushrooms.
  7. Did I mention rest?
  8. And enjoy!

Wishing you all the very best for this holiday season and beyond!



Apple Crisp

Serves: 6



  1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine oil, agave and vanilla
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry
  4. Place apples in a 2 quart baking dish
  5. Crumble topping over the apples
  6. Cover and bake at 350° for 50 minutes on low rack
  7. When apples are soft and their juices bubble, remove cover and bake 10 more minutes to brown crisp

“Recipe from Elana’s Pantry by Elana Amsterdam”

Hemp Protein Granola Bars


1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped (or any other nut)
1 cup dates, chopped (or any other dried fruit)
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup hemp protein powder
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 ripe bananas
1/4 cup sunflower oil (or coconut, olive, walnut…)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
6 Tbsp. water

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
    2. In a small bowl, mix the chia seeds and water together. Set aside.
    3. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients.
    4. In a food processor or blender, mix bananas, oil, vanilla, and maple syrup (you can also just mash everything together with a fork). Add chia gel and pulse to mix. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
    5. Spread the batter evenly into a baking pan (mine was 9″ x 11″), and smooth out the top with the back of a spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Let cool completely, store in airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for longer shelf life. You can also freeze these – take one out half an hour before you want a perfect snack!

“Recipe from Elana’s Pantry by Elana Amsterdam”


Paleo Bread




  1. Pulse almond flour, coconut flour, flax, salt, and baking soda in a food processor
  2. Pulse in eggs and vinegar, until combined
  3. Transfer batter to a greased 5 x 3.5 magic line loaf panor 7.5 x 3.75 fox run pan
  4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes
  5. Cool in the pan for 2 hours
  6. Serve

“Recipe from Elana’s Pantry by Elana Amsterdam”



Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN

Recipe type: side, bread

Prep time:  10 mins

Cook time:  45 mins

Total time:  55 mins

Serves: 12 slices

A simple grain free walnut bread loaded with healthful fats, protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.


  • 1 cup homemade walnut butter (1½ cups chopped walnuts made into a butter or use store bought)
  • 4 whole eggs, beaten
  • ⅓ cup almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons whole flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoon dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, oregano (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Using your Vitamix or food processor make the walnut butter by pouring walnuts into the machine and blending until smooth. This can take up to 8 minutes, and scrape the sides every minute.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, mix the walnut butter, maple syrup, and 4 eggs in a large bowl until smooth. Next add almond flour, baking soda, optional dried herbs, and flaxseed until combined.
  3. Using coconut oil, grease a 5 x 9 inch bread loaf pan (silicon preferred).
  4. Spread the dough evenly into the bread loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes until a tester comes out clean.
  5. Take out of the oven once cooked and let cool for at least 1 hour before removing from the pan, further cool before slicing.
  6. Store: in the fridge for up to 1-2 weeks, or slice and individually wrap slices in foil and store in the freezer for a month.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 220 Fat: 20 g Carbohydrates: 6 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 160 mg Fiber: 2 gProtein: 7 g