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Calming Chocolate Date Bark

A Sweetly Ayurvedic Approach to Calming the Nervous System

The approach of Autumn brings not only a change in weather but also a shift in lifestyle pace. From an ayurvedic (ancient Indian medicine) perspective both of these things increase vata energy, which has the characteristics of movement, and deficiency. This no-bake, easy to make, lunch box treat is sure to keep you nourished and grounded as September begins. They do have nuts though so will not work for elementary school lunch box treats, but that just means more for you!

I am aware that dates are not an exciting snack food for everyone, but this date bark is waaaay tastier than it sounds. It kind of reminds me of a snickers bar (but better!). Nutrient dense dates provide fuel for increased the activity as back-to-school season ramps up. The addition of almond butter and almonds adds a nervous system calming effect. As if that wasn’t enough of a reason to whip these up, the chocolate will increase the dopamine, serotonin and endorphins in your system. [1]


Medjool Dates (must be Medjool)
Almond Butter (or your favourite nut butter)
Crushed Almonds (or other nut)
Melted Dark Chocolate
Himalayan Rock Salt
*Prepare an amount to fit the size of chosen pan

How to make

  1. Wash and destone enough medjool dates to cover the bottom of a wax/parchment paper lined pan.
  2. Press the dates open side down with hands or a kitchen tool
  3. Spread a layer of almond butter over the dates (I have seen peanut butter used, almonds are the best ayurvedic choice for nervous system calm. I am sure any nuts or nut butter would work).
  4. Crush almonds and sprinkle over the almond butter.
  5. Melt dark chocolate and spread a layer over the crushed almonds.
  6. Sprinkle Himalyan rock salt over top
  7. Put in refrigerator overnight
  8. Enjoy!

[1] Astrid Nehlig, Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Mar; 75(3): 716–727, National Library of Medicine, Published online 2013 Feb 5


Massaged Kale and Goat Cheese Salad

Massaged Kale & Goat Cheese Salad

For many kale is known as a vegetable eaten mostly because we are told it is good for us. I will admit that I too used to feel this way. At least I did until I was introduced to massaged kale salad. Up to that point if I found that Kale had somehow made its way into my refrigerator, I usually made it into Kale chips. Which are yummy but can’t really be called a full meal, despite the fact that I may have done just that once or twice.

Why massage the Kale? Because the salt and vinegar soften the tough Kale leaves making them the perfect texture for a salad. Add the sweet dressing to take away the bitter flavour of the kale and this super food vegetable becomes as tasty as it is good for you.

There are many health benefits to eating kale, and before I share a few, I want to point out that this salad is so delicious that once you try it you will probably no longer care about the health benefits.

And for those who hate recipes with wordy preamble, feel free to scroll down to the recipe now.

Kale is from the same family as cabbage and brussel sprouts. Studied benefits include management of blood pressure, boosting digestive and bone health, and even protecting against cancer, heart disease and diabetes. These powerful health benefits are the result of Kale being an abundant source of fiber, antioxidants, calcium, vitamin C, K, potassium, iron, and many other nutrients.

Massaged kale makes a great barbeque side salad because of it’s ability to “store sunshine” in the form of chlorophyll. This molecule helps to remove the cancer-causing carcinogens that result when animal products are grilled at high temperature, before they are absorbed by the body. [1] If you are not a meat eater you can easily make this into a full meal size salad to enjoy as you celebrate Summer with any non-vegetarian friends. I would suggest you make a large full bowl of salad for yourself, and another for everyone else, because my experience is that the meat eaters suddenly become Kale fans when this salad is brought out!

Talk to your doctor or dietitian if you have any specific health issues, or if you are concerned about adding Kale to your diet. Those with kidney stones, take certain blood thinners, or for other health related reasons may need to limit Kale in their diet.[2]

Massaged Kale Salad Recipe


¼ cup Olive Oil

1 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tbs Maple Syrup (or to taste)

1-2 tsps Lemon (or lime) juice

1-2 tsps Dijon Mustard

Fresh ground Salt & Pepper to taste

Kale (10-12 large leaves chopped into salad size pieces)

Goat Cheese (to taste, leave out if vegan)

¼ Thinly Sliced Spanish Onion

Optional Topping Suggestions:

Candied pecans or walnuts



Wash and dry the kale pieces well (pat dry or use a spinner). Whisk the top 6 ingredients in the bottom of a large salad bowl till well mixed. Add Kale and massage the dressing into the leaves. Toss in the goat cheese, apple slices and Spanish onion (along with any of the optional toppings). Serve!

According to ayurveda, India’s ancient system of medicine, the health benefits of a meal are a combination of many different things, one of which is the state of mind of the chef. From this perspective, how could a salad lovingly massaged into life be anything but body and soul nourishing?


[1] Medical News Today, What are the Health Benefits of Kale, Medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D., Nutrition — By Megan Ware, RDN, L.D. on January 17, 2020

[2] Mayo Clinic Health, Speaking of Health, March 17, 2023





Eating Tumeric for Medicinal Benefits? Don’t Forget The Pepper!

This Golden Powerhouse of Healing Needs a Little Help From a Friend.

Since ancient times, the Indian science of ayurveda has used turmeric for a multitude of healing purposes. Its popularity in the west has also risen dramatically in recent years as modern-day scientific studies confirm that this spice is indeed as effective a healing substance as its centuries-old reputation purports.(1)

Tumeric is an eye catching spice that is displayed in eastern markets in glistening golden piles. It is also readily available in western supermarkets. Both the turmeric root, as well as its powdered form, are used in food and remedies.

Eating turmeric in golden tea recipes, juices, or sprinkled on food is a great idea, however if you have been using this spice on its own, you may not be reaping the many health benefits that it is known for. Turmeric is bursting with compounds that have potential health benefits but it is actually very poorly absorbed into our bloodstreams. To increase the bioavailability of the medicinal properties of turmeric (curcumin), it is ideal to pair turmeric with other foods that aid absorption, such as black pepper.

Black pepper is one of the best ways to help maximize absorption into the bloodstream because it contains piperine. This substance has been shown to increase absorption of curcumin by as much as 2000 percent! (2)

There are many reasons to consider incorporating turmeric (and pepper) into your diet. Studies show that turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory (3) and anti-oxidant (4). It is good for your heart (5), your brain (6), has been effectively used to regulate moods (7), and ease arthritis (8). In fact the study link in this article shows tumeric to be MORE effective than the anti-inflammatory drug also included in the study, with the added benefit of having no side effects! I suspect the benefits listed here are just the tip of the iceberg. Scientists continue to deepen our understanding of the health impact of this incredible spice with each new study. It is obvious that the ancient Indian ayurvedic healers knew what they were talking about.

For years I have been drinking turmeric tea, and giving it to my kids in all kinds of remedies, however my new favourite thing is breakfast tumeric juice shots. If you have a juicer this is a great way to add curcumin to your diet without having to dig up new meal recipes, or change the flavour of your current favourite foods (however I do recommend you try adding it to your cooking, it is yummy!).

The photo above has a recipe for the breakfast shots I juiced up for my family to shoot back yesterday as they were going out the door. You can use any combination of ingredients to suit your taste.

Just don’t forget the pepper.



1. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2013 Jan-Jun; 4(1): 3–7. Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview.
Monika Nagpal and Shaveta Sood1

2. Planta Med. 1998 May;64(4):353-6. Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers.
G Shoba 1, D Joy, T Joseph, M Majeed, R Rajendran, P S Srinivas

3. Altern Med Rev. 2009 Jun;14(2):141-53. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research. Julie S Jurenka 1

4. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:105-25. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin.
Venugopal P Menon 1, Adluri Ram Sudheer

5. Int J Cardiol. 2009 Apr 3;133(2):145-51. The protective role of curcumin in cardiovascular diseases.
Wanwarang Wongcharoen 1, Arintaya Phrommintikul

6. PLoS One. 2012; 7(2): e31211.Published online 2012 Feb 16. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031211. Curcumin Enhances Neurogenesis and Cognition in Aged Rats: Implications for Transcriptional Interactions Related to Growth and Synaptic Plasticity.
Suzhen Dong,# 1 , 2 Qingwen Zeng,# 1 E. Siobhan Mitchell, 3 Jin Xiu, 4 Yale Duan,# 1 Chunxia Li,# 1 Jyoti K. Tiwari, 5 Yinghe Hu, 1 , 2 Xiaohua Cao, 1 , * and Zheng Zhao 1 , *

7. Phytother Res. 2014 Apr;28(4):579-85. Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial.
Jayesh Sanmukhani 1, Vimal Satodia, Jaladhi Trivedi, Tejas Patel, Deepak Tiwari, Bharat Panchal, Ajay Goel, Chandra Bhanu Tripathi

8. Phytother Res. 2012 Nov;26(11):1719-25. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis.
Binu Chandran 1, Ajay Goel

Healthline has a great article that links to many more studies. Find at this link to 10 Proven Health Benefits of Tumeric and Curcumin

A New Year’s Chocolate Re(solution)

The Solution to Mastering your New Year’s Intention? Make it This Easy!

20170114_1337250This year I have decided to eat more chocolate. Well actually not more. Anyone who knows me, also knows that I have actually been pretty unrestricted in this area for some time now. What I have decided to do is upgrade my stash. You might assume that I am talking about eating dark chocolate, and that would be true, however my usual chocolate is already 70% cocoa solids, organic & free trade. In fact I am fond of telling anyone who questions the magnitude of my consumption that eating this chocolate is one of the ways that I serve humanity, because altruism is, you know, just my thing.

This year though, I am stepping it up and making my own chocolate using raw cacao (not cocoa). This is something that I had been thinking of doing for some time now, but this year I was inspired to finally take the plunge when the talented Alison Nixon gave a chocolate making workshop in my area and I realized how easy it was to do this!

Why cacao and not cocoa you may ask? Cacao has many times more antioxidants than regular cocoa. It is also super high in magnesium, fibre and zinc. In fact if you crave chocolate it may be because you are low in magnesium and cacao would be the ideal way to top you back up! This doesn’t mean that regular cocoa isn’t good for you, but it is different from cacao in that it is heated at high temperatures and as a result loses a lot of its original nutrition. Cacao is the “raw” form of the same bean, but is cold pressed instead of roasted, retaining its living enzymes and making it much more nutritious.

OK, so now you know that it is good for you, but the real reason to eat this chocolate is that it is so yummy, and so creamy! Plus you can make it as sweet or as bitter as you like. The recipe below is similar to the topping of Alison Nixon’s Raw Chocolate Love Bar recipe that was included in the What’s Left to Eat Cookbook that she co-authored. I changed it up a bit but used her portions. This recipe combines the two great loves of my life, chocolate and matcha.


Raw Chocolate Matcha Medallions

  • 250g Cacao Butter
  • 1 ½ cup (140g) Cacao powder
  • ½ cup (50 grams) raw cane sugar (Grind it up super fine in your mixer first) Other sweetener options such as honey, brown rice syrup, etc work as well.
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (or whatever extract flavour you like)
  • A pinch of Himalayan salt (or sea salt)
  • Matcha and cane sugar mix. Use as much of either as you would like in your topping mixture. Other options are also tasty. Sea salt sprinked on top once they are half set is another favourite. Also popular in my home was raisins, nuts, pumpkin seeds, gogi berries, or anything else that makes you excited.


  1. Chop the cacao butter into small pieces.
  2. Heat a few centimeters of water in a shallow saucepan on low heat. Place a small metal bowl in the water and melt the cacao butter inside the bowl. This ensures that the butter doesn’t get over heated. Make sure that no water (not even a drop!) gets into the bowl. Avoid boiling the water so steam, etc doesn’t make its way into your butter.
  3. Pour the melted cacao butter, cacao powder, sugar and salt into your blender for one minute.
  4. Pour the chocolate into non-stick mini muffin pans. Just a centimeter high. If you want to make bars, or bark, line a flat pan with parchment paper and pour a thin layer on the bottom of the pan. I used a flat bottomed bread pan to make large size bars. A larger pan is also fine if you are going to crack it up to make bark.
  5. Add your toppings
  6. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

*Cacao butter and powder and be bought at most health food stores. I used Organic Traditions bags and got two recipes worth of butter. The powder can be added to cereal, etc and the cacao nibs are a super bitter nibble that some like to snack on as well. 

How to Make Ghee (Clarified Butter)

ghee newsletterI was introduced to ghee when my mother and I were on our first Indian backpacking trip. Mom had some scratches on her legs that were getting sorer and more worrisome by the week. We were staying at an ashram and the morning prayers had just been done with a purifying fire ritual. When our teacher saw my mother’s legs he exclaimed, “That has to be treated now!” He promptly pulled some burnt, ghee-soaked, coals out of the ceremonial fire ashes, ground them between his fingers, and explained that the holy healing properties of ghee, further purified by fire and morning prayers, would be the most powerful remedy possible. We were doubtful, but had already tried all of our travel pharmaceuticals, and so she rubbed this black, greasy powder all over her angry wounds. As you are probably by now expecting, the cuts promptly healed and disappeared. It was only later that we learned, in addition to being an integral part of traditional Indian healing practices, ghee is also an Indian cooking staple.

Ghee is clarified butter. It is heated carefully until the milk solids separate and is then strained into a translucent yellow oil that has a yummy, buttery, slightly-nutty flavor. Ghee has a very high smoke point, making it an ideal cooking oil because you can cook it at a higher temperature than many other oils without losing its health benefits.  It is also rich in fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D and E.

Ghee can be bought in supermarkets but is very easy to make at home. I love the buttery smell it makes in my kitchen, as well as the satisfaction of pouring the glistening finished product into mason jars. While many are intimidated by the idea of making their own ghee it is actually a pretty simple process. Just follow the steps below to make this tasty health elixir and cooking oil.

You Will Need:20170314_081849

  • A medium size sauce pan (with a heavy bottom if possible)
  • A stirring spoon
  • A fine sieve
  • Enough cheesecloth to form several layers
  • A large measuring cup with a pouring spout (optional)
  • 454g (4 cups) of unsalted butter (organic if available)


  1. Cut the butter into cubes.
  2. Melt the butter on Medium heat in the sauce pan.
  3. When it begins to bubble excitedly
    turn heat to medium-low.
  4. The ghee will slowly bubble more
    quickly, the bubbles will get bigger and bigger, and eventually you will see the milk solids separating and floating to the top. Depending on the quality of your pot you may need to stir occasionally.
  5. Eventually the milk solids will sink to the bottom and a
    white layer will form on the top. When you separate this top white layer yo20170314_081831u will be able to see all the way to the bottom of the pot. The ghee will have become translucent.
  6. Continue to cook until a second energetic boiling begins. The bubbles will start again as clear small bubbles, as originally seen on the first boil. At this point the ghee is ready to be removed from heat.
  7. Arrange the cheese cloth in many layers in your sieve and place over a large measuring cup, or another pot.
  8. Pour the ghee through the cheese cloth to leave just the clear translucent ghee in the receiving pot.
  9. Pour into mason jars and leave only lightly covered at room temperature until it cools. It will take a day or so before the ghee solidifies.
  10. You can keep this is your cupboard for a few months or store in the refrigerator for longer.

Pumpkin Pie or Pudding? You Decide

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This pumpkin pie recipe does not include any wheat, dairy, or sugar. And before you click your back button I’d like to add that it is also the creamiest pumpkin pie you will ever eat.

The creaminess comes from full fat coconut milk (so yeah, unfortunately you still can’t eat the whole pie), the sweetness is a result of juicy medjool dates, and oats are used as the binder. The perpetual presence of these three ingredients in my cupboard, along with my autumn ritual of keeping a container of muffin cup size baked pumpkin portions frozen in my freezer made this a super easy bake for me. While you could eat this pie filling as pudding (I did this morning), I would switch a few things up if pudding were your goal.

In addition to being tasty this recipe is a beautiful ayurvedic example of balancing ingredients for autumn. The pumpkin, and dates are grounding foods. Combined with the warming spices they work to balance the excess of vata energy that can build up at this time of year. Read on for the recipe.

Creamy Pumpkin

Pie Filling Ingredients

Pumpkin puree (14oz can or weigh what you have pre-cooked yourself)

1 can full-fat coconut milk (14oz)

1/4 cup rolled oats (3 tbs oat flour/or your flour of choice.)

8-10 medjool dates (or sweeten to taste with your favourite sugar)

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon

A pinch each of nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, ginger (or a little more of each. Season to taste. Use pumpkin pie spice if you prefer)

1 tsp salt

Crust Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour (I used oat flour)

1 tsp salt

6 Medjool dates

1/2 cup ghee

Water (add as needed a spoonful at a time)

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375. Crust: Blend dates and ghee into creamy mixture. Add flour and salt mixture until combined. Remove to bowl adding water if needed. Press into pie pan. Filling: Blend all ingredients in a blender/vitamix/food processor until smooth. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 25-30 min. It may look like it isn’t fully done. That is ok. It firms up nicely in the refrigerator. Whipped Topping: If a topping is desired scoop the cream out of a can of coconut milk leaving the watery portion behind. Mix the cream with a tsp of vanilla and desired amount of honey (I keep the watery portion for other recipes). If you keep your can of coconut milk in the refrigerator the milk and cream separate more easily.

Pumpkin Pudding Instructions: Yes, you could save a bowl of your pumpkin pie filling to snack on later but the BEST pudding involves mixing equal amount of pumpkin puree, coconut cream (separated from the milk as above), tsp vanilla, 4-6 dates (to taste), all the pie spices above to taste. Mix all in Vitamix/blender. Cool in refrigerator to set. I have been whipping this up for breakfast ever since the supermarket filled with pumpkins.

*If baking your own pumpkin use a pie pumpkin, or a buttercup squash, or kabocha. The carving pumpkins are wetter and not so tasty.

Coconut Green Tea Ice Cream

A Dairy Free Antioxidant Blast!

I honestly wasn’t much of an ice cream lover until I lived in Japan for a few years and discovered the matcha (powdered green tea) version. The bitter and sweet flavour balance completely changed my relationship with this creamy dessert. Once back home though I discovered matcha ice cream to be both difficult to find, and often without the intense matcha flavour that I loved so much. That, and the fact that I eat very little dairy these days, meant I hadn’t enjoyed matcha ice cream for some time. That recently changed when I realized that I could probably make it myself with things I always have in my cupboards, mainly matcha, coconut milk and maple syrup.

My kitchen has been a mess of bowls and green tea powder ever since I began trying to work out a method of making this without an ice cream maker. The recipe below is my current work in progress. Who knew that making ice cream was a bit of a science. This recipe actually doesn’t have that many ingredients and it has turned out to be pretty creamy and tasty.

Matcha is known to be packed with anti-oxidants, and coconut milk is often touted for its MCT oil benefits so I guess you could call this a healthy ice cream. It is so yummy that I didn’t require that designation, but I will admit that it makes me feel less guilty about having a second bowl.


2 cans of Coconut milk (Just the thick creamy part- not the watery portion)
4-5 tbsp Maple Syrup (or use your favourite sweetener and adjust to taste. I prefer it on the less sweet side so stop at 4tbsp)
2 tbsp Matcha (more or less depending on how much bitter flavour you enjoy)
2 tbsp vodka (this stops the mixture from freezing too hard)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum (I left this out once and it still seemed to work, but it is supposed to decrease ice crystals, so I suspect its value increases the longer your ice cream is in your refrigerator. Mine got eaten way to fast for that to happen! This ingredient is available in most grocery stores it seems. I have also read that egg yolk is also a natural emulsifier so may also do the trick. )
A pinch of salt

Directions: Place all ingredients in the refrigerator overnight. Also put your bowls/pans in the freezer overnight (this helps to decrease crystallization of the mixture). Once ingredients and bowls are cooled scoop the thick creamy portion of the cans of coconut milk into a blender (I use a vitamix). Then add all the other ingredients and blend. Pour into a cold metal bowl. Place in the refrigerator to cool. Pull mixture out every hour or so for a quick mix with a hand mixer etc. That should make it creamier. Serve when it is firm enough to scoop. I found this to be the creamiest and tastiest version when I was serving the day I made it.

Storage: The ice cream seemed to get really hard when kept overnight so I decided to spread extra mixture in the bottom of a frozen bread pan (a shallower spread decreases the ice crystals). Once frozen I tipped it out of the pan, sliced it into ice cream sticks, and wrapped them in parchment paper for easy portions. Then I would take it out and let it soften in a bowl for 10 minutes or so before eating.

Popsicles: This seems to work really well because the mixture freezes kind of hard and this is an easy way to pull out a portion. Yum!

Ice Cream Maker: I don’t have one. This probably makes things easier. I wouldn’t know. Those who have one can follow whatever you usually do for making ice cream I would guess.

Green Tea: I used high quality drinking matcha because that is all I had in my house. I probably could have bought an ice cream maker with the cost of all the top grade matcha utilized in figuring this recipe out. If you are buying matcha you could look for cooking grade matcha since most people use that for baking matcha sweets etc with good results. Matcha should be used when fresh. The flavour changes when kept for long periods and it’s bright green colour fades.

Coconut Milk left Overs: I just couldn’t throw it out. So I made a new batch of ice cream with it. I just followed the same process above and added a bit more stabilizer (guar or xanthan gum). It was a bit icier but worked well for popsicles.

Summer is coming to an end so don’t wait to try these out. Of course you could just turn up the heat and eat this throughout the fall and winter. I probably will.



Fantastical Fiddleheads

Finally! After years of missing the short two week window that fiddleheads remain curled in the lovely (and tasty) shape that they are named for I finally caught them tentatively rising above the earth!

I have loved these deep green coils since I first tasted them in vegetable soba noodle dishes served in the Japanese mountains in springtime. Despite growing up frolicking in fern patches as a child, I had no idea that people ever ate them. My small town ancestors were suspicious of their safety. Which it turns out has some validity since they do need to be a specific kind of fern (the ostrich fern), and even then have to be boiled for 15 minutes, or steamed for 10-12 minutes before they are safe to eat. Having no internet to consult I guess Nana wisely chose to err on the side of caution.

If you plan to go foraging remember that only fiddleheads from the ostrich fern is edible. Do your research or consult an experienced forager before picking your own. Fortunately you can also find them in season in your local supermarket.

According to Health Canada ostrich fern fiddleheads contain vitamin C, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids, making them a great way to boost your nutrition in the Spring with a locally sourced ingredient.

Ensure you clean as much of the brown scales off them as you can, and rinse in cool water a number of times before following the cooking guidelines above. Wash your hands after handling them as well. Cool them under running water after boiling/steaming. You can freeze them once they are cooked properly for up to a year.

Once they have been cooked add them to anything that works with veggies. Some compare their flavour to asparagus. I have so far added them to quiche, omlettes, sansai soba noodle soup, and the spicy Korean veggie dish known as bi bim bap (mixed veggies and rice). I have not done so yet but plan to add them to pasta sauce. You can also saute them as you would any other vegetable, and eat as a side dish.

The mid to late Spring opening time of the ostrich fern varies a little depending on your climate. I am writing this at the end of May in far eastern Canada. Keep your eye out at your local supermarket as they may source ostrich fern fiddleheads locally when in season.



Heart Calming Avocado Pudding

Balance your heart, mind and body with this anxiety soothing, immune boosting, avocado pudding. It just might be the thickest, creamiest and tastiest way fuel your cells this Season!

From an ayurvedic perspective anxiety is an imbalance of vata energy. The rich avocado, almonds, and coconut milk in this recipe work to nourish and soothe the nervous system by grounding overactive vata.

Because it is cold and flu season, the spices and sweetener were chosen specifically to support the immune response (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, honey). And finally, to pack an even more powerful wellness punch, our star ingredient is the adaptogen, ashwaganda. This powdered root provides a normalizing effect on our physiology, further lowering the stress response.

Savor this nutrient dense pudding as I have been enjoying it lately, with the brilliant green color of the avocado on display, or add cocoa (and possibly more sweetener) to transform it into a chocolate pudding that the kids might be more likely to try. However my 12 year old did give this green version two thumbs up!


1 medium size avocado
1/2 cup coconut milk
10 almonds (plus a few to crush on top)
1/4 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, & ashwaganda
2 tbsp honey (or your sweetener of choice to taste)

To make combine all ingredients in blender until creamy. Pour into dish, top with cinnamon, crushed almonds, and candied ginger bits.

This recipe made two small jam jar servings (see top photo). I probably could have easily served them into three.

*Ashwaganda powder can be found in St. John’s at the Health Food Shop on Stavanger Drive, and probably most of the other health food shops in your area. Just call ahead and ask. Support your local wellness shops. We want to ensure they will be there for us for a long time to com!


Calming Adapotgenic Tea

An Elixor to Melt Stress and Help You Sleep Better

Adaptogenic Ashwagandha Tea

Whether you need a daytime calm infusion, or a nighttime sleep-ease this warm soothing drink is for you.


Most of the ingredients in this mixture of ayurvedic remedies can probaby be found in your kitchen already. Dates, almonds, and healthy oils are easy to find and great options to ease stress and anxiety year-round. However, in the winter months when cold temperatures and dry air bring vata energy even more out of balance, the impact of this beverge is needed even more. For added calming impact I have also added the herb Ashwagandha to this recipe.

This is where you may need to leave your house and pop out to your closest health food store. Ashwaganda is also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry. It’s botanical name is withania somnifera. It has been used medicinally in Ayurveda for centuries. Recent studies indicate it can play a role in decreasing anxiety, stress, and sleep disorders. Much research is also currently being done on its’ antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, immune-enhancing, thyroid balancing, and many other effects (Braun & Cohen, Herbs & Natural Supplements, 2015).

This herb is known as an adaptogen, meaning that it supports our immune and neuroendocrine processes by adapting to the current needs of the body to promote balance! This ability to create a non-specific response depending on our unique requirements is one reason why it helps us decrease anxiety and cope with stress so effectively. It brings us “back to the middle” and at some point we all need little of that.


Adaptogenic Tea Ingredients:
1 tsp ashwagandha powder
1 date (or your favourite sweetener, honey, agave, etc to taste)
2-3 almonds (can skip if you are using nut milk)
1 c hot water (or warm almond/nut milk)
1 tbs of coconut oil/ghee or combination of both (optional, but adds creaminess and brain feeding oils)
¼ tsp vanilla
Pinch of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and sea salt (all optional)
*If I feel like a chocolate version I add 1 tbs of cocoa powder. You may need more sweetener.

Combine all ingredients at high speed in your vitamix or smaller blender.

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