Merry Gluten Free, Grain Free, Soy Free, Lactose and Peanut Free Christmas!

Any holiday or special event surrounds food. Try inviting people over and then not serving any food or drink (leave me out of this experiment please as someone who is 21 weeks pregnant will not appreciate lol) – it would feel awkward or even come off as rude. This is because the food we serve acts as a beacon of our love and friendship and is savoured with every mouthful. Layer this act of love with tradition and it adds a depth to the meaning of the season.

What does Christmas smell like in your home? What does it taste like? In my family with strong eastern-European influences our home is filled with leftse (potato flat bread), shortbread cookies, gingerbread, perogies, turkey, stuffing called nachinka, the list goes on. Over time my family members have developed intolerances which are not allergies. Nonetheless, they have severe and painful reactions if consuming the ‘alien’ food as I like to call it. Some family members have decided to avoid certain foods by choice with milder consequences to ingestion.

To this I say, bah-humbug.

Over the past 2 weeks, I have reflected upon my bah-humbug-ness and concluded that it is due to selfishness that I feel this way. It is my own sense of wanting to show love and maintain tradition that is not allowing me to embrace my family’s new needs. As a dietitian I certainly have the skills to overcome the challenge of preparing for my family – I just don’t want to.

To this I say, get over myself.

It’s a new day! My shortbread and gingerbread obsession has been suppressed and replaced with a new sense of enthusiasm as I scour my cookbooks. I leave you with a couple of recipes that are sure to make my family feel loved and, perhaps, start new traditions in our homes. Have a wonderful holiday season everyone!

Relaxing Chai Tea Latte

  1. Whisk together 1 cup almond milk + 1 cup water
  2. Warm over medium high heat 3
  3. Add ¼ tsp cinnamon and fresh ginger, pinch cloves, pinch nutmeg, 2 cardamom seeds, ground pepper
  4. 4 tsp sugar or honey (increase/decrease to taste)
  5. Steep in your favourite black tea 6. Simmer to taste. Allow at least 20 minutes to let flavours mingle. Yes, I just said mingle!

Thanks to CS for this recipe!

Fruit and Nut Bars

  • 1 1/4 cups almonds, raw
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, raw
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 cups coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup cocao nibs
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, finely chop 1 cup of the almonds to a flour-like consistency.
  2. Using a knife or a food processor course chop the remaining almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  4. In a saucepan, mix coconut oil, honey, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Stir on low heat until thoroughly mixed. Add to dry ingredients and mix.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and press mixture into the pan. Sprinkled with chia seeds. Keep pressing until it is firmly packed.
  6. Freeze for 30 minutes then cut into rectangles. Store in the freezer.

http://eatwholebevital.com/nut-and-seed-snack-bars/