Blueberry Ambrosia Sauce

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I’m SO excited about today’s recipe! This little household in Peg City really enjoys blueberry sauce. I decided to create my own and healthier version of it, and I ended up loving it so much that I was eating it with a spoon! It’s the coconut oil and vanilla extract that never fail me. They give this sauce such a soft and heavenly flavor, and then the lemon zest waltzes in and spices things up just enough to bring the senses back down to earth. Can you tell I’m a little obsessed with this recipe?

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I have been making my new favorite oatmeal-pancakes recipe by Tastes Better Made from Scratch. These pancakes are so delicious, healthy, and packed with proteins. They are quite filling, and make an excellent choice for breakfast. I love how little effort it takes to make these pancakes. They are also easy to rewarm (I just pop them in the microwave), allowing you to make some extra in advance for a quick breakfast on a busy morning. If you want to make these pancakes exceptionally good, top them with some fresh banana slices, and my warm blueberry ambrosia sauce. Trust me, both of these recipes are to die for!

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I’m sure this blueberry sauce would also taste great on other desserts like waffles, crepes, and cheesecake. Did I hear someone say CHEESECAKE!? It has got to be my all time favorite dessert. Oh and lets not forget ice cream! This recipe would make an excellent vanilla ice cream topping. Can I hear a YES!? 

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Warning! Change of topic. Erika’s spaghetti noodle brain is at work. I just wanted to say how much I love spring blossoms. They are definitely a huge highlight for me when spring rolls around. What probably makes them even more special, is the fact that they don’t hang around for very long.

Now how did I get my hands on these gorgeous babies? Well, if you must know, I snagged them on our way to our car after our friends’ wedding. There it was, standing on the golf club yard, this gorgeous pink tree, calling out my name. I knew I had to have one branch for a food photo-shoot. I broke it off, thanking the tree (that was a lie), took it home and nurtured it with some fresh water, and went to bed.

After several hours of sleep they still looked beautiful, so in the morning I got busy making the blueberry sauce and setting up for a photo-shoot. Yes we eventually ate the pancakes. Of course when you shoot pictures of food, the food has often cooled off by the time you eat it and you have to re-warm it, or just eat it cold.

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This blueberry sauce brings me back to the summer of 2001. My family and I made a road trip all the way from Chihuahua, Mexico to British Columbia. Now for some background information, blueberries are not something that I grew up buying in Mexico. First of all, I don’t remember them being sold in many places, and if they were sold somewhere they would have cost a fortune (with a little exaggeration)! So when we visited BC that summer, we stayed with my uncle and aunt and their children. Behind their house was a chicken barn, and behind the barn was a blueberry field with rows of blueberry plants. I remember joining my aunt and together filling a whole ice cream bucket with small blueberries. They were SO very delicious! It’s amazing how much flavor and deliciousness are packed into our little blue friends! 

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I hope you try this recipe and love it as much as I do. Wishing everyone some down time this weekend. Try to do at least one thing that will make your heart feel full. Sometimes it’s the little things that re-energize and inspire us anew. Maybe it’s a short walk in nature, a coffee date with a friend, reading a chapter in the book that has been neglected for a few weeks, baking your favorite cookies, watching an inspirational movie, or anything else that fills your cup.

This week I had one day where I just felt so peopled-out after some frustrating incidents at work. We had planned to go to the gym in the evening, but we waited until it was kind of too late and not worth going anymore. I knew my body and mind were screaming for some down time. We decided to just stay in. I filled my bathtub with warm foaming water, asked Kevin to take the puppy and close the bathroom door, and watched a movie. I wanted to be completely by myself. If I leave the bathroom door open, I get frequent visits from my pup. It’s actually super cute, because she always stands up and peaks over the bathtub, waiting for me to come out. But this time, I needed it to be just me, to re-energize my body and mind. 

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HAPPY FRIDAY TO MY LOVELY READERS!

Cheers! -Erika

Blueberry Ambrosia Sauce
Serves 4
This delectable sauce is where blueberries, lemons, and coconuts meet to create a heavenly flavour. Pour it over dessert-like foods, such as pancakes, cheesecake, ice cream, crepes, and waffles.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups frozen blueberries
  2. 1/3 cup water
  3. 1 tsp lemon zest
  4. 1 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with some water
  7. 1 tbsp coconut oil
  8. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  9. 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Add the first three ingredients to a small pot. Bring to a boil on medium high heat.
  2. Turn down to medium heat. Add the pure maple syrup, salt, and the cornstarch (mixed with a little bit of cold water). Stir until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in the coconut oil, vanilla extract, and the freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  4. Serve over your favourite dessert-like dish.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

Energy Bites

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Hello friends! Look who decided to resurface! I’m finally attempting to get back into this blogging thing. I’m realizing how much I’ve missed it. I’m just going to be honest. Things got really crazy for a while there. You know when everything decides to happen around the same time and you just get overwhelmed and can’t do everything? Well, that’s what happened. We said goodbye to some special people in our lives, said hello to some wonderful newborns, participated in a church play, and did some washroom renos (can’t wait to show you the upgrade!). So I decided I was going to take a break from blogging. Before I continue with this snack post though, I just feel the need to say how thankful I am for God’s love that is beyond understanding, for his presence in difficult times, and for the countless amazing and thoughtful friends that Kevin and I have.

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Now on to some delicious things! I made these soft, chewy, delicious energy bites yesterday. I had made them a while ago and didn’t measure out or write down the amount for each ingredient. I played around with this recipe again yesterday, and I think they turned out even better than the previous time. I made sure to write down the ingredients this time because I made them specifically so that I could share them with you!  

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This recipe is very forgiving. As long as you add enough quick oats to thicken the paste enough to form balls, you can really add any ingredients that you love. You could add in shredded coconut, flax seeds, cranberries, other dried fruit… the list goes on.  

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These energy bites make for a really great post-workout snack combined with some cold milk. Eating carbs and proteins within 15 to 20 minutes after a workout, helps restore glucose levels in the muscles and immediately starts repairing muscle tissue. One of the perks of having a phys-ed teacher for a husband, is kind of having my own personal instructor. 😉 Speaking of the gym, along with everything else, my body has been feeling a little neglected for the last month. Does everyone else find it so difficult to go to the gym on a regular basis? If not, please do share your secrets! I find it very difficult to go back to the gym after an extended break. Once I’m on track it usually become easier though. Anyways, I WILL go to the gym today, I promise. 

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I hope you enjoyed this post! If you make this recipe, let me know what you thought about it. Feel free to share the link! Happy weekend to you all!

Cheers! -Erika 

Energy Bites
Yields 34
These chewy and delicious energy bites make a great post-workout snack along with some cold milk!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups pitted dates, soaked
  2. 1/2 rounded cup of peanut butter
  3. 2 tbsp coconut oil
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  6. 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  7. 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  8. 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  9. 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  10. 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  11. 1 tsp cinnamon
  12. 1/3 cup raisins or chocolate chips
  13. 1/2 cup white melting chocolate
  14. 1/2 cup milk or dark melting chocolate
  15. 1 tsp coconut oil, divided
  16. Cocoa powder
  17. Sea salt
Instructions
  1. Add the pitted dates to a glass bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for about an hour or until they have softened. Drain off most of the water, setting aside about a 1/4 cup.
  2. Add the first four ingredients to a food processor (or blender), along with the 1/4 cup of water. Process or blend until a thick and smooth paste begins to form. Empty the paste into a medium sized bowl.
  3. Add the pecans, sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds to a small non-stick frying pan, and roast them on medium-high until golden brown, stirring constantly. Add them to the date paste.
  4. Stir in the seeds with a wooden spoon, along with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. Take about one tablespoon of the mixture at a time and roll into a ball. Repeat this with the rest of the mixture. Place balls on the wax paper as you go.
  6. Add the white and dark melting chocolate to two separate glass bowls. Add 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil to each bowl. Melt both chocolates in the microwave, stirring every fifteen seconds or so.
  7. With a spoon dip and roll the balls in the chocolate until fully coated. Place back on the wax paper.
  8. Add a few grains of sea salt to the dark chocolate balls, and sprinkle the white chocolate balls with some cocoa powder. Leave some of them uncovered. Place cookie sheet in the freezer until chocolate hardens.
  9. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

Basil-Splashed Strawberry Mocktail

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Perhaps if I post enough summery recipes, the cold front will go away. Oh Winnipeg, you are full of surprises. Not a dull moment with you! Shifting between shorts-weather, to umbrella/rainboots-weather, to  toque/mittens-weather within a few days, takes a spontaneous spirit, that’s for sure. But we love you. Who says you can only drink a refreshing cold drink on a hot day anyway? So here it is: The Basil-Splashed Strawberry Mocktail! You will only need a few ingredients: grenadine, some fresh and ripe strawberries, the juice of two key limes, two basil leaves, club soda, and a little bit of sugar.

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This is the perfect weekend-drink for kicking up your legs and soaking in some Vitamin D, while reading a book, listening to your favourite music, having a good heart-to-heart conversation with that awesome friend of yours, or simply taking some time to just be. The latter seems to be an increasingly difficult thing to do, as we are becoming so used to continuously being stimulated by all our electronic devices. So take some time to breathe in that fresh air, and allow yourself to become aware of the beautiful creation around you. Feel the breeze on your face, here the birds singing their song, feel the sun kissing your skin (or in my case, the cold air biting your face!).

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I’ll share a quick hack here that I make use of ALL the time! If your blender has a removable jar base, chances are that it fits perfectly onto a normal sized canning jar! You simply fill the canning jar with whatever ingredients you want to blend, put on the seal ring, the blade, and the jar base, pop it upside-down, and blend it. How cool is that, right!? It basically works just as well as a magic bullet. I always use this method for making smoothies, because the canning jar doubles as your drinking glass, and  therefore you have fewer dishes! It’s a win-win situation!   

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I made this drink a few times trying to get it right, and learned the second time that the drink actually looks a lot prettier if you add the ingredients in a specific order (not pictured). It creates a beautiful layered effect if you begin with the grenadine, then the strawberry puree, followed by the club soda. This allows the rich color of the grenadine to stay at the bottom, with a lighter and creamier red on top. But if you don’t care about the presentation, and just want to drink it already, by all means ignore my words. You want to mix everything before drinking anyways, as the grenadine is what sweetens the drink!  

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And if you’re like me, you will most likely make a mess during the whole process. But that’s okay, as long as you’re making the drinks with love!

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Wishing everyone a great start to the week! Hoping you experience something that puts a smile on your face! 🙂

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Basil Splashed Strawberry Mocktail
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 8 strawberries
  2. Juice of 2 key limes
  3. 2 basil leaves
  4. 1 sprinkle of salt
  5. 3 ice cubes
  6. 2 tbsp. grenadine (1 per glass)
  7. 2/4 cup chilled club soda (1/4 cup per glass)
Instructions
  1. In a blender, blend the first four ingredients until a smooth puree forms.
  2. Add the ice cubes and blend once more until smooth.
  3. Add some sugar to a saucer. Rim two cocktail glasses by taking one of the squeezed limes and running it around the lip of each glass, then dipping them in the sugar.
  4. Divide all ingredients between the glasses in the following order: grenadine, strawberry puree (pouring it through a fine mesh sieve to avoid seeds), and finishing off with club soda.
  5. Garnish with limes or strawberries and serve promptly.
Notes
  1. Stir before drinking.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/