Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix + Oatmeal Topper

This Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix recipe is sponsored by iHerb

Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix - Use this trail mix on your oatmeal, on your roasted squash salad, or on top of your smoothie bowl

In autumn we all take a deep breath out, our memory box filled with summer adventures and good times, and we slowly make the transition into winter. For me, autumn is time to turn the oven back on to prepare meals for family and friends, and also start trialing holiday recipes and edible gifts. In our busy lives, we can all appreciate a versatile dish, something that can be used in multiple ways. That’s why I created this Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix and Oatmeal Topper because that’s exactly what it is. As a trail mix, it can be enjoyed as a quick and filling afternoon snack, or perhaps given to friends or coworkers as a holiday gift. As a meal, it tastes great added to your warming bowl of oatmeal or sprinkled on your next roasted winter squash salad. I’ve included more ideas below on how to enjoy this tasty holiday essential pumpkin spice trail mix, and some tips on how to maximise the nutritional quality.
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Blueberry Kefir Post-Workout Snack

Recipe for High Protein Blueberry Kefir Post Workout Smoothie

Every day there is new research emerging on the importance of our gut and resident microbes. From influencing the risk of diabetes to obesity, and anxiety to depression, we know that our tiny little microbes rule our world and we are just starting to understand how to keep them happy. Kefir is a fermented milk drink which contains a large number of beneficial bacteria; aiming for at least one fermented food a day is a good habit to get into and helps ensure a healthy colony of good bacteria is residing in our gut. Alongside the beneficial bacteria, this Blueberry Kefir Post-Workout Snack also has the perfect ratio of carbohydrates and proteins for a post-workout snack. By offering a quick refuel and a load of beneficial bacterial this post-workout snack really can be, and should, enjoyed at any time of the day.
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Hemp Milk Recipe – A Better Alternative

Hemp Milk Recipe - A Better Alternative

If you haven’t already heard, the new Canadian Food Guide draft is out and it’s down one food group – dairy. With more and more people becoming environmentally conscious, dairy has taken a back seat. There is a growing number of milk alternatives available – rice, almond, buckwheat, quinoa, soy just to name a few, though each pre-packaged milk alternative comes with its pros and cons (see Milk Alternatives – Finding The Best One For You and Almond Milk – Is It Worth Going Nuts For? ) Hemp seeds have been back on the Canadian market since 1998 and are only just being introduced to Australia and New Zealand. If you haven’t considered hemp milk yet now is the time! This homemade Hemp Milk Recipe is packed full of protein and essential omega-3 fatty acids. Bonus points for simplicity – no straining required.
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Steel-Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana

Simple Steel-Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana - Vegan GF

Healthy alternative to pancakes! Good source of protein! Now that I have your attention, let me elaborate on my bold statements. Nutrition Science is an interesting field in that it is ever evolving and recommendations are continuously being improved upon. One area that is under review is our current daily protein recommendations. We won’t know for awhile, but there is some speculation that they are about to be increased. Nevertheless, following a plant-based diet can sometimes leave some of us a bit short on our protein needs – so no better place to start improving on this than with breakfast. This recipe for Simple Steel-Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana offers 15g of protein per serve, which can get you well on your way to meeting your daily protein requirements.

“Steel-cut oats have double the amount of fibre and protein as traditional rolled oats, with 4g of fibre and 5g of protein per serve”

What makes steel-cut oats so special? Firstly, you can make a big batch of them on a Sunday night and have breakfast ready for the rest of the week. They taste great cold or re-heated; simply double the below recipe and add more milk or milk alternative in the morning to thin it out. Secondly, they are the least processed type of oats. The grouts are simply hulled, toasted and then chopped into 3-4 little sections, rather than flattened like the traditional oats we are familiar with. Thirdly, oats are packed full of beta-glucans which are known for their cholesterol and blood-sugar lowering abilities. Lastly, steel-cut oats can help us meet our daily protein needs. This is important for muscle synthesis, immune function and overall good health. The addition of peanut butter and organic soymilk or homemade hemp milk (see Simple Hemp Milk recipe) help boost the protein content even further.

High Protein Simple Steel-Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana - Vegan, GF

Current protein recommendations are 0.8g of protein per kilogram of ideal body weight per day. For the average women this may be around 50-60g and for men 60-70g. There are many facters that determine if a higher protein intake is required including age (muscle synthesis decreases with age), activity level, and health status. If you would like to figure out your exact protein requirments speak to a Registered Dietitian or another health care professional. For most people, aiming for at least 15-20g of protein per meal is a good start.

And so how are they a healthy alternative to pancakes? To me, anything smothered with peanut butter, banana and honey with a is as good as pancakes. You will just have to give’em a try and see for yourself!

Steel Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana


This a great way to start your day. Steel-cut oats, organic soymilk or hemp milk, and peanut butter are all great sources of protein to help get your metabolism going in the morning. Double the recipe so you will have breakfast pre-prepared for those busy work weeks.

2 Servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Ready In:

Ingredients for Steel Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk or fortified milk alternative (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked, steel-cut oats
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 frozen banana*
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp whole flaxseed, (option to grind)

*I prefer frozen banana because they are always available in my house, and are much sweeter. A very ripe, non-frozen banana would do just fine as well.

Method For Steel Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana

  1. Bring water and milk or milk alternative to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once boiling, add the steel-cut oats and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash the banana and add it to the oats. Continue to cook on a reduced heat and simmer uncovered for about 15-20 minutes, making sure to stir often.
  3. You know the oats are finished when they are nice and creamy. Remove them from the heat and add the peanut butter, honey, cinnamon and flax. Give it a good stir to ensure everything is well blended.
  4. This dish is great as leftovers for the following morning. Simply store in an airtight container in the fridge, and in the morning add a splash of milk or milk alternative and eat cold or heated.

Make it vegan: Use maple syrup in place of honey
Add more protein: Add 2 tbsp of hemp hearts per serving
Make it gluten free: Check for certified gluten-free oats
Make it 50% raw: Add 1/4 cup of raw nuts and fresh berries
Consider food miles: Use Canadian grown oats. Omit the banana and replace with apple, pear or berries

Nutritional Information

Made with soy milk

Calories: 295
Total Fat: 5g
Saturated Fat: 1.9g
Sodium: 120mg
Carbohydrate: 40g
Fibre: 7.8g
Sugar: 17g
Protein: 15g
Calcium: 200mg
Iron: 2.6mg

High Protein Cottage Cheese Omelette with Kale and Mushrooms

High Protein Cottage Cheese Omelette  with Kale

Another year is done and dusted. No better time than now to reflect on what an amazing year it has been. Everywhere around us we see people becoming more conscious of the food we eat, and the effects it is having on our health and our planet. We are increasingly asking for more Sustainable Seafood options, we are also demanding to know more about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in our food supply, and we are opting for dietary options that don’t promote environmentally unsustainable farming and agriculture. We should be proud, these are big steps in the right direction.
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Overnight Oats with Dehydrated Summer Fruits and Hemp Seeds

Overnight Oats with Dehydrated Summer Fruits and Hemp Seeds

Towards the end of spring a crazy, extroverted, bundle of energy entered our lives. He came with the intention of not hanging around the city for long, but ended up coming back again and again and again. After spending a few short weeks biking down the West Coast of America, surviving off porridge, wild berries, and other peoples generosity, he came back to Victoria with crazy tales and a thirst for life. He loved this city and the city loved him.
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Breakfast Chia Seed Pudding with Wild Rice, Maple Syrup and Almonds

With the day of celebrating mothers just around the corner, I thought I would share this recipe inspired by my grandma. Grandma Marie is of the Tsimshian people, an Aboriginal community on the Pacific Northwest Coast. Now in her 70s, she has recently transformed her diet. She is now healthier than ever and looks amazing!
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Breakfast in Jar: Toasted Muesli with Nuts, Seeds and Dates

Healthy Toasted Muesli and Nuts, Dates and Seeds

I love the multiculturalism that Victoria has to offer. For me it is best reflected in the array of restaurants and cafés serving cuisine from all around the globe. I have recently started helping out with workshops at ICA (Inter-Cultural Association) in Victoria. In our last workshop we talked about ‘Canadian’ breakfasts. What do new immigrants to Canada think Canadians eat? Frosted Flakes, Corn Flakes, Corn Pops, Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms…
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Breakfast Bircher Muesli with Cinnamon, Honey and Grapes

If your like me and give the snooze button a workout before rolling out of bed in the morning, then listen up. There is a way to enjoy a delicious breakfast in the morning, without having to do ANYTHING. And by anything, I mean anything in the morning…. By putting away 5 minutes of your time the night before, whether it be between TV commercial breaks, facebook profile creeps, or ab crunches it will be well worth it come morning time.
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Healing Breakfast Smoothie with Berries, Banana and Cacao

Healing Breakfast Smoothie with Berry Banana and Cacao from Ingredients Apple Cafe, Victoria BC

I love Victoria and its bountifulness of amazing eateries. I am continuously inspired by all the fresh, local, healthy fare that is waiting for you around every corner. This weekend a friend took me to an unassuming spot for lunch; a health food store with a tiny organic café inside, Ingredients Health Food & Apple Café.
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