Things I’m Loving Lately

I sometimes tend to dwell on the negatives. I’ve been working on it, though. To hold myself accountable, I thought it might be fun to start a monthly series on things I’m loving! Here’s the October edition.

Pumpkin Spice Everything: 

I never really understood the buzz around pumpkin spice until relatively recently. Now, I just can’t get enough. I had a few coconut milk pumpkin spice lattes from a local cafe last fall, but found them to be overly sweet. I went to the internet found a few PSL recipes online, including this one from Oh She Glows. It’s outta this world delicious, and I often have a jar of the syrup on hand in the fridge throughout the fall for whenever the craving strikes.

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Lately, though, I’ve really been loving this cashew pumpkin spice latte from Ashley at Fit Mitten Kitchen. On weekday mornings, it’s enough to lure me out of bed at 6 a.m. I’ll make one of these and enjoy it in the window seat as the sun rises. It’s the perfect “first breakfast” to hold you over until mid-morning. I also made Ashley’s Whole Grain Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bundt Cake for Thanksgiving the other week and it received rave reviews all around- so moist and subtly spiced with notes of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg.

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Breakfast

I fell into a bit of a breakfast rut for awhile, eating toast with peanut butter and banana for days weeks on end. Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. I just knew that my morning meal needed a shake-up. I’ve long admired Robyn (also known as The Real Life RD) for her healthy and hearty breakfasts which often include eggs, toast with avocado and/or nut butter, so I decided to try it. Game changing, if I do say so myself. I’ve never considered myself to be a savoury breakfast gal, but I have found the combination of eggs, toast, avocado, and some greens to be so satisfying and energizing. My new favourite by far! We usually buy this amazing organic sourdough bread from the farmers’ market, but I use Silver Hills sprouted grain bread and bagels in a pinch.

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I also made these amazing spelt and sweet potato cinnamon rolls from the Blissful Basil cookbook on the weekend. I highly recommend. Unlike your average cinnamon roll, these are made healthy with whole spelt flour, sweet potato, maple syrup, and coconut sugar. They still taste indulgent enough, though. I ended up using organic ghee instead of the coconut oil that is called for and it made them so rich and satisfying. Ghee is basically butter with the milk solids strained out of it- so it’s pure fat and liquid gold. Perfect for high-heat cooking, too, as it remains stable at high temperatures!

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Fall Running

All of the hot summer runs that I suffered through make fall running so worthwhile and rewarding. Distances that seemed so challenging just a couple of months ago now feel (almost) effortless. I did a 19 km run commute yesterday to end off my marathon training on a high note and took it nice and slow. I stopped to take a few photos along the way. Pure bliss! It started raining partway through but I didn’t care; running in the rain is my favourite. Plus the pathways are much quieter now without many cyclists, so you can really just get into the zone. It’s so peaceful out on the pathways and I am often overcome with a sense of enorphin-induced gratitude for this form of movement that I’ve been fortunate enough to have fallen in love with. IMG_0160.JPG

Well, that’s all for today, folks! Marathon weekend is coming up and I’m getting a little bit worried over my lack of nervousness. I guess it comes along with running the distance for the first time- I have no baseline to compare myself to. Qualifying for Boston isn’t really a goal of mine this time (although I’m not going to lie- running under 3:30 is my sky-is-the-limit goal that I’d be elated to achieve on my first attempt). I just want to enjoy every step and soak up the experience of covering 42.2 km on my own two feet! We have plans to eat all of the food and drink all of the beer afterwards, which I am looking forward to just as much as running the race. I’ll probably do a post about my marathon experience next week, so stay tuned for that.

Until then, have a wonderful week. Hopefully you are enjoying lots of yummy food and moving your body in ways that feel good to you!

 

 

 

Maple Cinnamon Sunflower Seed Butter

I love my nut and seed butters. They are a quick and easy source of energy and so versatile, too! Perfect on everything from toast to baked sweet potatoes, in dressings and sauces, and in baked goods, they are packed with healthy monounsaturated fats and minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc.

Store-bought versions are great in a pinch, but what if I told you that making your own will save you money, reduce packaging waste, and allow for greater flavour and nutritional value? Yes, it’s true, and the only thing separating you from seed butter bliss is a handful of ingredients, a heavy duty food processor, and about 20 minutes?

This maple cinnamon sunflower seed butter recipe is perfect for fall, and puts Canadian maple sugar to good use! If you have never had maple sugar, now is your chance! It infuses this butter with the dreamiest notes of sweetness and maple (just don’t use maple syrup, as liquid sweeteners can cause nut butters to seize and harden!).

This seed butter goes best on toast with raspberry chia seed jam, muffins, baked sweet potatoes, oatmeal bowls, and chia pudding, or eaten straight off of a spoon.

It makes a generously-sized batch that is sure to last you several days. I find myself making it over and over again (when I’m not making Oh She Glows vegan Nutella, that is 😉 ). Whatever you do, don’t allow another day to pass you by without homemade nut or seed butter in your life. ❤

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Maple Cinnamon Sunflower Seed Butter 

Makes 1 3/4 cups (425 mL)
Time: 12 minutes roasting + 15 minutes prep

Ingredients: 

3 cups raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup maple sugar
2 tbsp cold-pressed sunflower seed oil (sub coconut oil in a pinch)
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F (160 C). Spread the seeds onto a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast for 12 minutes, or until seeds are golden and fragrant.
  2. Spoon the toasted seeds into a heavy-duty food processor and process for 5 minutes. Add the maple sugar, oil, salt, and cinnamon. Process for 10 more minutes, stopping the food processor to scrape the bowl as necessary, until the sunflower butter is silky and smooth. Err on the side of over-processing, as the extra time will result in the most luscious spread!
  3. Pour the seed butter into a 500 mL glass jar with an airtight lid and store in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.