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Raw Carrot Cake Balls

Quick, easy and delicious. These No-Bake Carrot Cake Balls pack a nutritional punch but satisfy the sweet tooth. Enjoy as a snack or as dessert. Make them nut free and freeze for a quick lunch box treat your kids will love.

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup unsweet coconut for rolling

6 -7 dates (Medjool are the tastiest!)

3/4 cups walnuts (Substitute sesame or pumpkin seeds to make it nut free)

1/2 cup grated carrots

1/4 cup hemp seeds

1/4 honey (maple syrup can work too)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

Reserve the 1/4 coconut in a shallow pan for rolling finished balls. Place the remainder of the ingredients in a food processor and process until fully combined. The mixture should be firm enough to form 1 inch balls. Roll balls in reserved coconut and reiterate for a few hours. Store in airtight containers in the fridge up to 7 days. Can also be frozen for up to 60 days.

High Protein Banana Bread Muffins

Lets face it, we don’t always want to make a smoothie and wash the blender! Try this easy muffin recipe for a simple, high protein snack that’s perfect when your on the run.

  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 3/4 cup egg whites (or 2 eggs)
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 2 scoops Whey Protein Powder (Chocolate, Vanilla or Unflavoured all work great!)
  • 1/4 cup baking stevia OR 1/2 cup sweetener of choice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, or line tin with papers.

Place all of the ingredients in a blender (or food processor) and blend until mixture is smooth.

Divide mixture evenly between 12 muffin tins.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

For information on protein read How To Pick a Protein Power

Tuesday’s Ten: World Health Day Special Edition

  5 TuesdayHappy World Health Day 2015

  Sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), World Health Day has been around since 1950. Each year, on April 7th, WHO celebrates by bringing awareness to various global health topics. This year, the topic is Food Safety. 

You may be wondering why Food Safety is such a big deal. What you may not have known is that more than 200 known diseases are transmitted through food. Hepatitis, E. Coli and Salmonella are just a few examples. It’s a problem in both developed and developing countries, creates a strain on our health care system and even hurts the national economy and development of international trade.

Luckily, most foodborne illness is preventable with proper food handling techniques. Follow these 5 Key Tips to ensure your own Food Safety, provided by WHO.

1) Keep Clean

This ensures that microorganisms that you may encounter during your daily activities do not contaminate your food.

  • Wash your hands before handling food and often during food prep
  • Wash your hands after using the washroom and before eating
  • Wash and sanitize all surfaces and equipment used during food prep
  • Protect your kitchen from insects, pests and other animals
  • Clean all surface (including your hands) that come into contact with raw meat or poultry

Hint

  • Try singing “Happy Birthday” twice while washing hands to ensure you’ve washed them long enough

2) Seperate Raw and Cooked Food

Raw foods, especialy meat, poultry and seafood and their juices, can contain harmful microorganisms. These can be transferred to other foods during preperation or storage, resulting in cross contamination.

  • Seperate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods
  • Use seperate equipment and utensils for handling raw foods, this includes knives and cutting boards
  • Store food in containers to avoid contact between raw and prepared foods

Hint

  • Store meat, poultry and seafood below cooked or ready to eat foods to avoid cross contamintaion
  • Store food in containers with lids

3) Cook Thoroughly

Proper cooking can kill almost all harmful microorganisms. Cooking food to a temperature of 70 ºC will help enure it’s safe for eating. High-risk foods that require special attention include minced meats, large joints of meat and whole poultry.

  • Cook food thoroughly, especially meat, poultry, eggs and seafood
  • Bring foods like soups and stews to a boil to make sure they’ve reached 70 ºC.
  • Make sure that the juices from meat and poultry are clear, not pink.
  • Use a thermometer if you’re not sure
  • Reheat cooked food thoroughly

Hint

  • When using a microwave make sure your food is cooked through, as microwaves can leave cold spots and cook food unevenly

4) Keep Food at a Safe Temperature

Microorganisms multiply very quickly when sotred at room temperature. By storing foods in the fridge or freezer or heating them up you can slow, or even stop, the growth of harmful microorganisms.

  • Don’t leave cooked food at room temperature for more than 2 hours
  • Refrigerate cooked and perishable foods as soon as possible
  • Keep cooked food piping hot before serving
  • Know when to get rid of food, don’t keep it too long in the refrigerator
  • Do not thaw frozen food at room temperature

Hint

  • If you use a microwave to thaw food, make sure to cook it promptly. This method of thawing can leave hot spots where bacteria can grow
  • Leftovers should not be reheated more than once
  • Thaw food in your refrigerator or other cool location

5) Use Safe Water and Raw Materials 

Raw materials, including water and ice, may be contaminated prior to cooking. Toxic chemicals may be formed in damaged and mouldy food. Take a preemptive step by taking care when choosing raw materials. Remember to wash and peel certain fruits and veggies as well.

  • Always use safe water or treat it to make it safe
  • Select fresh and wholesome foods
  • Choose foods that are processed safely
  • Wash fruits and vegetable, especially if eaten raw
  • Take note of expiry dates

Hint

  • Safe water is not only important for drinking, but must be used for washing fruits and vegetables, cleaning cooking and eating utensils and washing hands

So, how many of these key tips are you already following? Hopefully the answer is most of them, but theres always room to improve, especially when it comes to your health.

Source

World Health Organization (WHO). “Five Keys to Safer Food Manual.” 2006. who.org. PDF. April 2015.

Tuesday’s Ten: Ten Gluten-Free Flours and Starches

Tuesday's Ten Logo

In recent years gluten-free diets have become very popular. Our shelves are full of great gluten-free products, and if you haven’t tried them you should, but don’t be afraid to bake your own gluten-free foods at home! If you’ve ever wanted to bake something but wasn’t sure what to use as a substitute for traditional wheat flours, then this post is for you. Even if you know what you’re doing when it comes to gluten-free baking, keep reading to find out more about your favourite flours.

Think that gluten-free flours are only for those with celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities? Think again. Even if you’re not gluten-free, this post is worth a read. These flours are not only high in fibre, protein and other nutrients but can give the taste of your baked goods a new twist.

1) Sorghum Flour: Sorghum is one of the most widely produced grains, and is a major food source in Africa and India. It’s higher in protein, lower in fat and is similar in nutrient-content when compared to corn. Sorghum is also high in insoluble fibre, allowing it to be digested slower keeping you full longer. The flavour is bland.

2) White or Brown Rice Flour: Although they can be used interchangeably, brown rice flour has a higher nutritional value than white rice flour. The brown rice flour is higher in fibre as well. Both flours have a grainy texture and a slightly nutty taste.

3) Tapioca Starch/Flour: Made from the root of the cassava plant, tapioca starch or flour (yes they’re the same thing!) is a light, fine, soft white flour. It is a good thickening agent in gluten-free baking and may add a chewy texture.

4) Potato Starch: Not to be confused with potato flour, potato starch is made by extracting just the starch from the potato. It is a fine white powder that has a light potato taste, undetectable when used in recipes. It is often used as a thickener.

5) Arrowroot Starch: The root of the arrowroot plant, a perennial herb, is ground into a powder to make this starch. Arrowroot starch is a tasteless, fine powder. It is high in fiber and easily digested. Typically it is used in thickening recipes. It is a useful substitute for cornstarch, if you have a corn allergy.

6) Buckwheat Flour: Despite its name, buckwheat is not actually wheat, or a grain. The flour is made by grinding the seeds that are found on the plant. This flour is a great source of fiber and other nutrients, and has a strong nutty taste.

7) Quinoa Flour: Quinoa flour is an amazing source of protein, fiber, calcium and iron. The grain is ground to make flour, which will add a nutty taste to baked goods.

8) Oat Flour: It’s important to make sure that if you’re baking with oat flour, that it’s certified gluten-free. Although oats alone do not contain gluten, cross-contamination is common. High in nutrients similar to oats, it adds a light, slightly sweet taste to your cooking.

9) Coconut Flour: This flour is made from dried, ground coconut meat. It’s high in fibre, protein and healthy fats. This flour is heavy compared to other flours and adds a light coconut flavour to your baking. It tastes great in any recipe that includes chocolate.

10) Almond Flour: Commonly called almond meal, this is simply ground almonds. You can look forward to all the benefits that you would normally get from almonds in this flour, including the high-levels of protein. It has a nutty taste and may add moisture to your baked goods.

If you’re wondering what flour to substitute in your recipes, try a blend! You can refer to these Gluten Free Flour Formulas for a bunch of recipes.

So, are you new to gluten-free flours, or are you a seasoned professional? Which flours are your favourite? Do you buy your own flour or make your own?