Healthy Chickpea Spread with Sundried Tomatoes

Recipe for Healthy Chickpea Spread with Sundried Tomatoes and Cilantro

Hands down, the Middle East is one of my favourite regions in the world to visit. Sleeping on rooftops, shopping the magical bazaars, and sampling the amazing cuisine. Just as you would be served a bread basket here at home, some creamy hummus and fresh made pita is the Middle Eastern way of welcoming you into their restaurant. Their hummus is rich with flavours that we could only hope to replicate. I think this may be partially due to their top quality olive oils that are equally aromatic as they are rich in flavour. So what do I do when when I can’t replicate their delicious hummus – create a ‘chickpea spread’ instead. This oil-less Healthy Chickpea Spread with Sundried Tomatoes knows that will always be overshadowed by it’s creamy hummus cousin, but coming in second isn’t so bad either.
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As I grow older (and wiser), I can start to appreciate the presence of fruit in salads. Where the sight of strawberries in a salad used to make my stomach churn, I can now appreciate the surprise burst of sweetness from a blueberry, or the tartness from an apple in a salad. This April the veggie stands are showcasing beets, kale and apples. When these seasonal delights are jazzed up with a little bit of fresh dill and a simple vinaigrette style dressing, an exciting springtime dish is created.
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Ever thought about what’s in season in March? There is no question that Spring has arrived- the flowers are out in full force and the winter jackets have been put back into storage. But even though the cherry blossoms are in bloom, not much is being harvested from the veggie gardens at this time of year. Luckily, last years parsnips, carrots and beets have been kept cold in cellars for us all winter so we can still enjoy last seasons bounty while we wait for the new years crop.
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Steel-Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana

Steel Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana

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 leave some of us a bit short on our protein needs – so no better place to start improving on this than with breakfast!

“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. Thirdly, oats are packed full of beta-glucans which are known for their cholesterol lowering abilities. Oats are also useful in helping to manage blood-sugar levels. 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 soy milk make this a great high protein breakfast.

Steel Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana

And so how are they a healthy alternative to pancakes? To me, anything with peanut butter, banana and honey with a starch 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

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This a great way to start your day. Steel-cut oats, organic soy milk and peanut butter are all sources of protein to help get your metabolism going. 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 sauce pan. 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 the are nice and creamy. Remove them from the heat and add in 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 air tight 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: Serve with fresh banana, and add 1/4 cup of raw pecans or walnuts and a handful of fresh 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

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I think I was born in Japan in another life. For me, nothing compares to Japanese cuisine – always so light, healthy and tasty, and always an emphasis on seasonal eating. There is also the admirable focus on omega-3 rich sources such as seaweed and oily fish, as well as pickled vegetables and fermented soy products such as miso. With the residents of the island of Okinawa in Japan exhibiting a life expectancy amongst the highest in the world, maybe we should be paying more attention to the basis of Japanese cuisine.
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Another year 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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8 Common Fermented Foods You Probably Have At Home

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Recipe for Vegan Protein Packed Hemp Seed Pesto

Pesto in autumn, I hear you ask? Thanks to my container gardening course last spring, (see Container Gardening – 8 Edible Plants To Grown Indoors) I’ve managed to grow basil indoors, and it has been thriving up until now! What else better to do with the last basil leaves of the season than to make a pesto? This Protein Packed Hemp Seed Pesto offers more protein than your standard pesto, and also uses cost effective walnuts in place of pine nuts. But the real twists lies in what makes this vegan version just as tasty, if not more, than it’s parmesan counterpart.
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