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Nutritional Yeast – A Vegan Pantry Staple

Nutritional Yeast is a deactivated yeast.  It cannot be used to leaven bread or brew beer. Instead it can be used to add a nutritionally packed creamy flavour to your food. It is also referred to by many as “nooch”.

Nutritional Yeast is a strain of yeast known as Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. Like all yeasts it is a member of the fungi family. It is typically grown on a sub straight of molasses or cane sugar. The yeast is harvested from the growing medium, washed and dried with heat, which “kills” or deactivates the yeast (stops the growing process).

Nutritional yeast has the benefit of being a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that the body can not produce. This makes it a huge hit with vegans who are always on the hunt for good plant based protein sources.  In addition to protein, nutritional yeast also contains a full complex of B vitamins, including thiamine, folate, B6 and niacin all which help with energy production. It also has the benefit of being low in sodium and fat and its gluten free.

Nutritional Yeast is used as a condiment similar to parmesan cheese by many vegans and non vegans alike. It creates a uniquely cheesy texture and taste. You can add nutritional yeast raw to smoothies or salads, or sprinkle it over popcorn, stir into soup or toss into pasta.

When shopping for Nutritional Yeast at The Granary, look in the fridge! The fridge keeps it staying fresh and flaky for an extended shelf life.

 

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

Three Simple Steps to a Healthier You

It’s the beginning of another new year.  That time of year when people set unattainable resolutions with big plans to drop all their extra weight, eat healthy forever, exercise regularly and become a new person.  Most of us have done it, most of us have failed. This year I encourage you to take a new approach. First and foremost, get off the scale and get the numbers out of your head.

This year make health the goal, feeling great the goal, more energy the goal – losing a few pounds will just be the side effect.

There are some simple small things you can add to your daily life without making a huge lifestyle shift. While big goals are good, little goals are better. Try adding these three simple tips to your daily regime. You will see your shift to a healthier lifestyle start to happen without even trying.

Start Your Day with a Glass of Lemon Water

Each morning drink a glass of water with enough lemon juice to make the water cloudy. Do this first thing, before coffee, before breakfast on an empty stomach.  This simple habit has many benefits. Not only does it help you increase your water consumption (which is always a plus) it also,

  • Cleanses & detoxifies the liver
  • Alkalinizes the body, making it less acidic 
  • Aids in digestion and bowl health
  • Improves skin appearance – by cleansing the liver!

Make this ritual as easy as possible by buying pure squeezed lemon juice like Santa Cruz Organic Pure Lemon.

Eat Protein at Every Meal

Without dwelling on calories, food choices, or a specific “diet” make sure you are consuming a protein source at every meal including breakfast (which of course is the most important of the daily meals!).  Protein has many benefits,

  • It is a macronutrient that stimulates the metabolic rate (=fat burning)  
  • Protein balances blood sugar and keeps insulin hormone levels in check.
  • It fills you up for longer and reducing food cravings aids in fat burning.
  • It helps repair and build healthy muscle tissue 

Good protein sources are quick, easy and plentiful and include eggs, fish, chicken, nuts, seeds, yogurt, lentils, beans, chia, hemp, quinoa, soy, protein powders and more

Breath….and again

Everyday – at some point during your – while waiting for a friend, while sitting on the couch, watching a pot boil or standing in the shower, take 1 minute to be with your breath.  Close your eyes and inhale deeply through your nose filling your diaphragm with air.  Exhale slowly, imagining stress, toxins, worries and more exiting your body.  Continue breathing in slow deep breaths a minimum of 5 times.  While practicing this try to clear your mind of thoughts, thinking only of your breath as it travels through your body. Deep breathing is an easy, inexpensive activity with many positive effects.  Deep breathing can…

  • Calm your nervous system
  • Help manage stress and stressful situations
  • Improve digestion
  • Boost Energy

There are many small steps that can be taken to improve overall health. Some are simple, some require a bit more time and commitment.Health is not dependant on weight – but rather has many factors including physical, mental and spiritual.  All of which require daily thought and attention.

Health is not something that you succeed or fail at, it does not have an end destination, Health is a lifelong journey with many detours. Your health is something that is incorporated within who you are. Make improving your health a daily goal.  What can you do today to improve your health? What can we do to help?

 

Back to School, Back to Routine

The days are getting cooler and the leaves are starting to change colour, marking the beginning of fall and another school year. Lazy summer days are over and it’s time to get back to school and back to routine. We’ve put together a list of essential supplements to include in your morning routine to keep your energy up while adjusting to the busy fall season.

1. Fish Oil

Fish oil contains DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) an essential Omega-3 fatty acid, which is very important when it comes to brain health. Nerve-cell membranes in the brain, which are responsible for all of our cognitive functions, are made up of fat. By supplementing with healthy fats, specifically DHA, you can keep these membranes limber in order to maintain and even improve cognitive function.

Studies indicate that DHA can help improve attention, focus, memory and the efficiency of information processing, which are all important factors when returning to work or school.

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2. Probiotics

It’s no secret that probiotics, or the “friendly bacteria”, are important when it comes to digestive health, but these microorganisms do more than just maintaining and replenishing intestinal flora, they are also a powerful immune booster.

Immunity starts in the small intestine, where up to 80% of the immune system is produced. Therefore the health of your small intestine is directly linked to the health of your immune system. This fall you can beat back to school bugs, while improving your digestive health, by supplementing with probiotics.

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3. Multivitamin

No matter what age, it’s always important to ensure that we are receiving adequate levels of nutrients through our diet. This is especially important for children, who are at risk of developing negative effects on brain development if they lack the proper nutrition. If you’re a picky eater or you’ve encountered one, you know it’s not always possible to ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need through your diet, which is where a multivitamin comes in.

By including a multivitamin in your back to school routine you can not only instil healthy habits in your kids, but you can ensure that they’re getting the right nutrients to support bone health and immunity, while improving cognitive function and increasing their energy. Don’t forget to take your own multivitamin as well!

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4. Greens

Greens pack a whole lot of nutrition per serving and are an important part of a healthy diet. Not only are they full of minerals and vitamins, especially the dark leafy ones, they also contain powerful antioxidants.

Everyone knows it’s important to get enough greens in your diet, 4-6 servings for children and 7-10 for adults, but sometimes it’s difficult to meet these recommendations. If you’re not getting enough greens try adding a Greens supplement to your diet. Disguise it in a simple fruit smoothie, the perfect breakfast for providing the energy needed for a long day at school at work.

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5. Protein

Protein, which is made up of amino acids, is essential for repairing, building and maintaining cells in the human body. Protein is essential for growth and development during childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy.

Make sure you’re getting enough protein by adding it to your morning smoothie in the form of a powder. With a variety of flavours and a smooth texture you’ll hardly notice it while ensuring that you’re getting enough protein throughout the day.

 

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Foodie Friday: Sesame Edamame

Foodie Friday

As the store expands, so does our product selection! A couple of new products are already on our shelves, and one that we’re super excited about is MacKellar Farms’ Edamame!

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Edamame is considered one of the top ten “super foods” in the world, and we’re not surprised. Edamame, which is actually just a young soybean, is high in iron, protein, fibre and all of the essential amino acids. MacKellar’s edamame is special because it’s Canada’s first locally grown edamame. The majority of edamame consumed in North America is grown and processed in China. When you buy from MacKellar Farms you can be certain you’re getting the freshest, certified GMO-free edamame around, all while supporting a local farming family! You can find out more about MacKellar Farms here.

Here’s a simple, tasty and healthy Edamame recipe that is perfect as an afternoon snack, or a side with lunch or dinner.

Sesame Edamame

Ingredientsedamame
  • 3-4 cups (app. 1 lb) of MacKellar’s Edamame in Pod
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add edamame and boil for about 6 minutes, until the beans are crisp and tender.

While the beans are boiling, mix the olive oil, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and salt together.

When the beans are done cooking, drain the water and run cold water over the beans to cool them down. Drain well and pat off excess moisture. Next toss them in the dressing and top with the sesame seeds.

Hint: If you’re new to edamame don’t eat the pod! Hold the pod by the stem and slide the beans out with your teeth before discarding.