Dried fruit, Ginger & Cashew Energy Balls

Dried fruit, Ginger & Cashew Energy Balls – Candy Coated Culinista

Need an afternoon pick me up instead of going to the coffee shop for a coffee; try this energy balls.

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 3 ½ oz unsalted cashews
• ¾ oz raw sesame seed
• 3 oz dried apricots
• 3 oz golden raisins
• 3 oz dates, pitted
• 1 cup puffed brown rice
• ½ of fresh gingerroot, peeled & grated
• 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
• 2 tbsp Manuka honey

Assembly
1. Toast cashews and sesame seeds in separate dry non-stick pan over medium-high heat and let cool.
2. Remove 1 ½ oz of cashews and crush in a food processor and place on a plate.
3. Add remaining cashews, sesame seeds, apricots, raisins, dates and puffed rice in a food processor until finely chopped.
4. Peel and finely grate ginger and add spices and process.
5. Then add honey and process for 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Add more honey if necessary to help mixture bind; just be patient.
7. With wet hands divide into 16 portions and roll into balls.
8. Drop into ground cashew dust and store.

Tips
• Will keep for up to 2 weeks in an air-tight container.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
These energy balls are spiced so well and have a great after kick of ginger. I was worried for a bit that the mixture wouldn’t come together; but I just divided my batch in half in the food processor. These energy balls were well received and especially since no additional sugar was added, this was a real happy treat. I gave this batch away as a gift and I can’t wait to make a batch for myself in the New Year.

Dried fruit, Ginger & Cashew Energy Balls – Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw - Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw – Candy Coated Culinista

Exploring Queen Street West again I went in a saw what Belmonte Raw had to offer. I usually wouldn’t have gone in but since I went to Greenhouse Juice Co. I am more eager to try other juice bars. Also since I knew I was going to be heading home with a bunch of unhealthy cookies, I should start off on a good foot. Belmonte Raw’s motto is cleanse, nourish, indulge & learn. They specialize in nutritious whole foods and juices, cleanses, raw foods and even have raw food making classes.

Today I had.
Refresh Juice – Carrot, apple, beet, lemon, ginger – It promises to be sweet, spicy, tangy and robust and it was. Benefits – Maintain healthy blood pressure, circulation, and aids in preventing cardiovascular issues. I am really fond of beet juice, I have always liked beets when prepared correctly and its sweetness is reminiscent of normal juices and I like that a lot.

Trail Mix – Cranberries, gogi berries, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, raisins, walnuts, hemp seeds & sunflower seeds. I don’t usually eat trail mixes because they tend to have granola or chocolate or marshmallows in it and those are all a no for me in my trail mixes. I want my trail mixes hearty and healthy; as I prefer them to be sweet from dried fruits and not candy. I wasn’t fond of the hemp hearts as they were so tiny and make the mix hard to eat on the go but it all tasted great together, and I think I will start making my own trail mix.

This cost around $20 but each bottle requires a $2 deposit and if returned you will receive your money back or put towards your next purchase. Once again eating healthy or raw doesn’t come cheap but it sure is tasty and you feel good about yourself.

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw - Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw – Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw - Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Belmonte Raw – Candy Coated Culinista

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup - Candy Coated Cullinista

French Onion Soup – Candy Coated Cullinista

A rich vegetable broth, served with artisan whole wheat bread sounds delish right? I have been practicing my knife skills and I thought making French onion soup would be a good idea after having a cutting board full of onions and my eyes full of some almost forming tears.

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 2hrs & 45min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• ¼ cup vegetable margarine
• 1 onion, sliced lengthwise
• 1 sweet onion, sliced lengthwise
• 1 red onion, sliced lengthwise
• ½ tsp sea salt, to taste
• 900ml vegetable stock
• Ground black pepper, to taste
• Artisanal bread, cut into thick slices

Assembly
1. Slice all the onions the lengthwise and then slice a few into half.
2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat and melt the margarine until it’s foamy.
3. Add in all the onions and coat with the margarine.
4. Add in the sea salt and mix.
5. Lower the temperature to medium-low and let onion mixture brown for 45 minutes, stirring frequently until they have turned a dark brown.
6. Pour in the vegetable stock and let boil for 5 minutes.
7. Finally turn down the heat to low and let simmer for 2 hours. (Cook longer if desired)
8. Season with black pepper and serve immediately with a few slices of artisan bread.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
My knife skills are improving; granted I am slower when I use the proper cutting form but I will speed up over time. Until the onions broke down the whole place smelt like onions and made my eyes burn. I’m not sure if I would make this again just based on this even if the soup tasted great. It was a lot of watching and waiting for some soup. I may try a version in the slow cooker and see if that is a possible way to make French onion soup. I have never had French onion soup before, but I was told by Mr. C. that it tasted like it should (he isn’t a fan of French Onion soup though). I always wondered why this soup could cost anywhere from $7 to $10 in the restaurants, but I never realized how much onions and time was put into this dish. Typically beef broth is used and topped with cheese, but I wanted to make a totally vegan option and I used vegetable margarine vs. butter.

Healthy Diaries – Greenhouse Juice Co.

Healthy Diaries - Greenhouse Juice Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

Healthy Diaries – Greenhouse Juice Co. – Candy Coated Culinista

Place: Greenhouse Juice Co.
Location: 5 MacPherson Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 1W7 (Between Rosedale & Summerhill subway stations)
Phone: 416-546-1719
Hours: Monday-Friday: 7:30 am – 6 pm, Saturday: 8 am – 6 pm, Sunday: 9 am – 6 pm

I had an early morning errand to run and knew Greenhouse Juice Co. was in the area. At 7:45am I went in and I asked a very helpful associate to explain to me and suggest to me some juices. She explained that the juices are cold-pressed, which makes the juices nutrient packed, raw and unpasteurized. I was even gave me a few taste samples to help me decide what I wanted to purchase and when I made my selections I was given a menu for next time and I was on my way to work.

My selections were:
Deep Roots – $8-250ml or $11-500ml – beet, carrot, apple, celery, lemon
Benefits – Lung kidney & liver cleansing, bone strengthening, heart healthy, antioxidizing
Rabbit Run – $7.50-250ml or $10.50-500ml – carrot, apple, ginger
Benefits -Immunity & metabolism boosting, anti-inflammatory, stress reliever
Tumeric – $5.50 for a shot
Benefits – anti-inflammatory, antioxidizing

These juices were really healthy and tasty and I could detect all the ingredients in each juice. I didn’t care for the turmeric at all even though I know the health benefits are great. I poured half a shot into my deep roots and it overpowered the whole juice. Turmeric is very pungent to me and also gave me a stomach ache and I didn’t even consume that much. I have heard others get the same reaction to turmeric also and maybe I have to build up a tolerance, or for me I’ll just stay away as I prefer my raw healthy juices to be less spicy.

I do find that it’s too overpriced as I could make it at home, but doing the cold-pressed process is what makes it a little different and attributes to the price. However, if you’re on the go, don’t have time to juice vegetables at home or own a cold-press juicer it’s worth it just not all the time. Each juice comes in glass bottle which probably helps to increase the price; but I expect no less than a glass bottle. To me the whole idea is to be healthy and having plastic bottles wouldn’t be healthy to the environment, or our bodies.

Keep in mind that these types of juices have a very short shelf life but that’s to be expected, so don’t purchase too many at once and also arrive early as there is a tendency to run out of those popular flavours before the end of day. Next time I will try the nut-milks and keep in mind that it’s not cheap eating healthy for sure.

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