Ghostly Pumpkin Spiced Halloween Smoothie

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie with Ghost WhipSo many wild and wonderful things happening in our family right now! My baby sister just had an epic wedding back in Toronto last weekend where I danced most of the night away not caring if anyone was watching. Her new extended family – which is now also our new extended family – is a blast to be around and do they ever make GOOD food!!! Nothing like having a father-in-law who is a chef AND works at gluten-free bakery. Score baby sister – especially your gluten-free wedding cake – I had two pieces it was so good! And gurl – did you ever make me cry with your speech?!?! I’m glad it all came together for you and you were happy with your day.

We had lots of fun there within the chaos of traveling with two kids on a completely different time zone schedule. Let me tell ya though, within moments our hatred for that city and it’s traffic came back in full strength! The feeling when we landed in Vancouver, gathered our luggage and drove back to our house all within 30mins…priceless.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie & Ghost WhipMy big sister is expecting her 2nd child after 4 years of trying to get pregnant! YAY! She is looking stunning and I can’t wait to have another little munchkin in the family to smother with hugs, kisses and my big auntie love! Can’t wait for her and pray for a healthy baby…I’m guessing boy…but healthy either way please. :)

My oldest brother introduced me to his girl – and man – I could not be happier for him! I don’t want to say much about this one – I just hope my family didn’t (and doesn’t) scare her away! Dad, I’m mostly talking to you…She’s a keeper! :)

To see how well my nephew is doing with being home schooled is exciting. I’m so proud of my brother and my sister-in-law for being brave enough to make that decision.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie with Ghost WhipAnd me? Well, isn’t there always something new and exciting when I show up here to the blog (aside from clean & delicious recipes…)? I am back to work after my maternity leave and have started a whole new job with a whole new company. I challenged every day in this new role. It is both exciting and nerve-racking all at the same time. I come home from work everyday and I love my babies even more and appreciate our moments of laughter to the fullest. Like I’ve said before, I am not a stay at home mom and could never see myself in that role full-time. It’s just not me. I am grateful to live in a country where a year maternity leave is the norm and to have found a company to go back to where there is long-term growth. It’s a very exciting time indeed!

Ghostly Pumpkin Spiced Halloween Smoothie
 
Slightly adapted from my earlier version of Pumpkin Spiced Vegan Protein Smoothie
Ingredients
  • ½ cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 serving Vega One Vanilla Chai
  • 1 cup ice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp fresh ginger
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • GHOST TOPPING (OPTIONAL)
  • 175ml small can of full fat coconut milk, chilled in fridge over night
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Place all smoothie ingredients in a high powdered blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into tall glass and top with optional topping.
  3. FOR THE GHOST TOPPING (OPTIONAL)
  4. Separate coconut water and solidified milk into two separate bowls. This should be fairly easy after the can being in the fridge over night.
  5. With a hand mixer, whip the solidified full fat coconut milk with the vanilla until a whip cream consistency.
  6. Dollop the whip on top of the pumpkin spiced smoothie to look like a ghost.
  7. Place two mini chocolate chips on it for eyes. Happy Halloween!

 

Quinoa, Blueberry & Buckwheat Waffles – Gluten-Free & Sugar-Free

Quinoa Blueberry & Buckwheat Waffles

‘Never say never’ and ‘don’t be so quick to judge’ are two things I have quickly learned as a parent. You never know what the situation is with a parent and child is and why they use certain parenting methods. Or as I like to call them, my methods of manipulation (which mostly revolve around the use of chocolate and potty training…). But all joking aside, there are some parents who are desperate to get their kids to eat anything whether it is the most nutrient dense food for them or not.  What do I mean my nutrient dense? This term means you are choosing foods that have the most bang for it’s buck – a balance of fiber, protein, carbohydrates & macronutrients. In other words, you are looking at foods for their nutrient content and getting the most out of that.

Quinoa Blueberry & Buckwheat Waffles

So, how do we do that without feeling like we are getting nothing but lentils, hemp seeds and spinach? Especially when all we want to do on a Sunday morning is eat waffles and bacon? Well, instead of buying the pre-made waffles from the store made with processed enriched white flour, which will simply add calories to your Sunday brunch instead of good nutrients, why not try making these Quinoa Blueberry & Buckwheat Waffles?! Full of protein, essential amino acids, fiber and magnesium – all things our bodies need more of, this is a small change that your kids will eat and you can feel good about. My inspiration for these waffles came from the breakfast cookies that Leanne has been cooking up over a Healthful Pursuit like these Gingerbread Quinoa Breakfast Cookies.

Quinoa Blueberry & Buckwheat Waffles

A few notes, hints and tips on this recipe:

1. Buckwheat is not a wheat and is gluten-free. It is the fruit of a plant that is related to rhubarb. This is my first time cooking with this and I am very pleased with the way it turned out. I chose a light buckwheat flour as sometimes the taste of buckwheat can be overwhelming – it’s very nutty. I also thought it would be more pleasant to a child’s taste buds. Not only is it high in protein, it is full of magnesium, which aids in the absorption of vitamins and nutrients. It also helps with muscle cramping (Epsom bath anyone?) so great for women at that certain time of the month.

2. Do not substitute another gluten-free flour for this recipe and expect it to turn out. I tried several and they did not cook through out. Think mushy waffles instead of crispy, light flaky ones. If you are not gluten-free but want to try this and don’t have buckwheat on hand, whole wheat flour should work, although I have not tried it.

3. Save time and cook your quinoa the night before. If you’ve forgotten to, cook it and cool it down quickly in the freezer for a few minutes.

4. This is sweetened with applesauce instead of using any sugar. You are welcome!

5. Make a double batch and freeze one batch putting parchment paper between each waffle for easy separation. This makes a quick breakfast for the kids through the week and you simply need to toast in toaster.

STAY TUNED! My next few posts will have ways you may never had imagined of adding nutrients to your food AND it tastes good! Subscribe to my blog by clicking on the button at the top right of the page. You can also follow me on Facebook, twitter and Pinterest! Share if you like what I dishing out! I thank you for it!

Quinoa, Blueberry & Buckwheat Waffles - Gluten-Free & Sugar-Free
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk of your choice (dairy or non-dairy)
  • ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil, or other liquid vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour (I used light, which is slightly less nutty tasting)
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your waffle iron to low heat according to the manual's instructions.
  2. In a high powered blender, place eggs, milk, apple sauce, pure vanilla & coconut oil and blend until well mixed.
  3. Add quinoa to the blender and blend until quinoa is no longer visible. On my blender the setting is 'liquify' and only takes 60 seconds. Yours may be different.
  4. Add buckwheat, baking powder and sea salt and blend until well mixed. Batter should be nice and thick now.
  5. Pour batter into heated waffle iron adding 5-6 blueberries to each waffle before closing the lid. For best results, cook slow and low for about 5 - 8 mins until the waffles are golden. Carefully remove waffles from iron and serve immediately with you favourite fruit and maple syrup on top. Repeat the cooking portion until batter is gone. Makes approx 12 large waffles.
  6. Freeze any unused waffles by layering parchment paper between each waffle and sealing in tight bag. Toast to reheat when desired.