Healthy Matcha Coconut Pops [Vegan + Sugar Free]

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A pure divinity blending two of my favourite things in the whole world: coconut + matcha!

I’m coo coo for (anything) coconut! Consumed in moderation, coconut milk can benefit your health and help fight and prevent infection. Coconuts are highly nutritious being rich in vitamins and minerals including iron, vitamin B, C, calcium and magnesium and contain powerful anti fungal and anti septic properties. It’s a perfect alternative to cow’s milk, soy milk and condensed milk as it’s lactose free and vegan. Coconuts can be a staple fat source for any diet since it’s high in saturated fatty acids and medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are easily burned as fuel by the body and may help increase metabolism. Plus, it’s super delicious and great for baking and cooking. In this recipe, I used Aroy-D‘s canned coconut milk which you can get at any grocery store or Asian supermarket. Unlike some of the other brands that contain guar gums and added stabilizers, Aroy-D only has two ingredients: coconut extract and water.

Now the second component of these creamy pops is the ever amazing matcha powder! Matcha is a part of the green tea family and very much a part of my life. I have a cup (or two or three) of David’s Tea’s matcha matsu tea everyday and have reaped a lot of benefits from drinking it. Cause the whole world knows that green tea is one of the best teas to consume, but matcha has taken it to a whole new level. It offers a variety of health benefits and even aids in weight loss and management. This green tea powerhouse is high in antioxidants, helps increase metabolism, detoxifies the body from toxins and naturally boosts energy levels and endurance. I’ve found matcha to be just as versatile as coconut milk and have used it in a variety of different goodies too just to add some oomph. 😉 However, just like coconut milk cans, not all matcha are made the same. Some brands, like David’s Tea, produce much higher quality grassy ceremonial matcha powders so make sure when making these pops, that you only get the best otherwise, you’ll be left with a really bitter mediocre taste. You deserve only the best.

Unlike 99% of popsicles and ice cream treats on the shelves, this one is simple, allergy friendly, vegan and free of additives, preservatives and refined sugars! If you’re like me and enjoy the rich taste of coconut, you won’t even need to add any healthy sweeteners. Keeping cool never tasted and felt so good!

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What you’ll need: 

1 can of full fat coconut milk (room temperature) – light should be okay, but I haven’t personally tried it) 

1/4 cup of non dairy milk (unsweetened vanilla almond milk or more coconut milk if you wish!)

3-4 teaspoons of quality matcha tea powder (do not use green tea leaves as the results might not be the same)

Healthy sweetener options: xylitol, stevia drops, vanilla bean pod – adjust to your healthy sweet tooth! 

In a large measuring cup, whisk coconut milk with smooth making sure there are no clumps. In another mixing bowl, mix about 1-2 tablespoons of non dairy milk with 3 teaspoons of matcha powder until smooth and mixed well. Pour mixture into coconut milk. Add desired sweetener (if any) and whisk until combined. If you want a much stronger matcha-ier taste, you can add the remaining teaspoon of matcha powder in a little milk until smooth and add to coconut milk mixture.

Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 4 hours until nicely firm. To remove from molds, run under hot water and gently pop them out.

Stay healthy, my friends! x

Hearty Chia Seed Pudding

Happy weekend everyone! 🙂

It’s a beautiful day in Toronto. The sun is shining, the sky is deliciously clear and the wave of summer vibes is here to stay! One of the best things about summer is feeling good about waking up in the mornings. Warm and sunny mornings allow you to start your day right, wouldn’t you agree?

And what’s the best thing you can do for yourself in the morning? Eating a healthy and scrumptious breakfast. It’s easy to grab a bowl of sugary cereal or oatmeal with some full fat milk but in my opinion, there are optimal and more nutritional meals you can have instead. If you want to start your summer day off right, you should eat right. Plain and simple. So after I have my glass of water and warm lemon water to wake my insides up from a good night’s rest, I opt for a chia seed pudding with hearty add-ons.

The recipe I’m about to share with you is vegan and free of yucky ingredients that we definitely don’t want in our breakfast. It’s also low in sugar, wheat and gluten free, high in anti-oxidants, rich in protein,  contains healthy fats and filling!

As you probably know, chia seeds are considered to be one of the many amazing super foods that Mother Nature has to offer to us. Despite their size, chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are loaded with fiber, protein and omega 3 fatty acids. It’s easy to use and consume – sprinkle them in salads, bake with them, add them to smoothies and juices and my favourite way: puddin-nize ’em! (I made that word up btw!)

Here are some fast food facts about chia seeds and why they should be a staple part of your everyday diet…

  • Provides a massive amount of nutrients with very few calories! Excellent for someone trying to lose or maintain their weight. It’s unique way of gelling with liquid helps to keep you full for hours. It’s also an excellent low carb food as most of the grams is fiber!
  • Ideal food to help balance blood sugar. It’s great combination of soluble and insoluble fiber combine to slow down your body’s conversion of starches into sugars. Eating chia with a meal or as a meal will help you turn your food into a constant, ready energy and fuel your body rather than giving you the ups and down cravings that weigh you down.
  • Chia is the richest plant source of Omega 3 fatty acids. By weight and gram per gram, chia has more omega than salmon!
  • Rich in anti oxidants (more than blueberries) and contains good quality protein!

So whether you want to lower your cholesterol or blood sugars, properly lose weight or have more nutritional foods in your everyday diet, chia seeds will help you do all of that. Did I mention they’re also gluten/wheat free and vegan? 😉

If you don’t like the taste of gelatinized chia seed (chia seeds with liquid), you can sneak them in your smoothies or juices for added nutrients. But seriously, you should try making a chia seed pudding! It’s perfect for a filling breakfast, mid day snack or even dessert!

Don’t underestimate tiny things!

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Here’s my yummy basic go-to recipe which can be easily customized to your liking:

1 1/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (homemade if you have!)

1/4 cup of organic chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract, flavouring or bean pod (alcohol free please!)

1 teaspoon of xylitol or some stevia (optional)

Add all of the ingredients in a glass jar or bowl. Give it a quick stir. If using a jar, cover with a lid and shake like crazy to mix it all up. If using a bowl, let sit in the fridge and stir occasionally. Refrigerate until it becomes very thick and pudding like. You can do this for a few hours or overnight. For me, 20 minutes does the trick; plus my stomach is impatient.

Top with super essentials: tons of organic blueberries (I like them frozen!), raspberries, raw almonds and half a teaspoon of organic cinnamon. If I want to satisfy my sweet tooth, adding unsweetened coconut flakes, carob/cacao powder or chips and coconut milk does the trick! Enjoy! x

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