photo cred Cat A staple that I can't live without is honey.  In my past life I used to consume those yucky artificial sweeteners which do even more yucky things to your body (they actually promote weight gain rather than weight loss). Now it's all about honey, well, in moderation, of course. Did you know that honey doesn't have to be pasteurised? Actually it's better if it's not because pasteurisation kills all the nutrients and live enzymes and slows down the crystallisation process. But yet again, we consumers have been brainwashed by marketers to think that honey can only be clear and runny. 'Tis not so my friends. Do yourself a favour, find a local honey supplier or at least make sure the honey you buy is "unpasteurised" or "raw".  That way if you're going to indulge in some sweet let it do double duty and let it give you an extra bang for your buck.

Photo Cred Lisa I made Cat's favourite raw pie for her birthday party! It's an easy no-bake pie that you can make with only a food processor, though a blender gets the strawberry filling extra creamy. The recipe makes two 9" pies, makes more sense to do two at a time as they freeze well and then you'll have them on hand to impress your peeps. Crust 3/4 cup raw almonds OR mix and match nuts/seeds OR pulp from nut milk 3/4 cup raw hazelnuts 1/2 cup coconut flour 10-12 large medjool dates, pitted In a food processor blend nuts and coconut flour well, add dates and process until the mixture becomes a stiff but pliable dough. The dates will incorporate easily if they're room temperature. Divide dough in half and press into the bottom of the pie tin and up the sides with your hands or a spatula. Pop the crusts into the freezer while you make the filling. Strawberry Filling 1 pint strawberries (OR 2 pints to decorate) 2 bananas 3/4 cup pine nuts OR sunflower seeds 1 tbsp organic vanilla 2 tbsp psyllium husk powder* 1/4 cup honey Blend all ingredients, except psyllium husk, until filling is smooth and creamy. Add psyllium powder and fully incorporate. Slowly pour filling into pie dishes, making sure not to over fill. Chill pies in fridge or freezer, once they've had about 30 mins to set you can decorate the top of the pies with sliced strawberries. *Psyllium husk powder can be found at your local health food store, it's used in this recipe to thicken the pie filling. If you don't have access to psyllium you can serve the pie frozen.

20120725-085430 I've been playing around with the corn and blueberry side salad from a few weeks ago, and I've nailed it down as a hardy lunch or dinner main. Kale, Corn & Blueberry Salad 6-7 kale leaves, chiffonade 3 cobs of sweet corn, husked & shaved 1 pint blueberries 1-2 med tomates, seeded & chopped 1 cucumber, sliced 1/4+ cup fresh cilantro, chopped In a serving bowl combine ingredients, set aside. Chili Lime Dressing 3 tbs fresh lime juice OR lemon 1 tbs unpasteurized honey 1/2 tsp crushed chilies 1/4 tsp ground cumin 1 clove garlic, minced 1/8 cup cold-pressed olive oil 1/8 cup flax oil Mix ingredients well either by hand or in a blender. Add to salad, toss and enjoy all that summertime goodness! This will make at least 4 servings, it's great option for lunches Monday to Friday!

Photo Cred Lisa Ontario summer produce is in full swing and are salads amazing right now. My go-to dressing is usually olive oil, ACV and unpasteurized honey, simple and delicious. Last night one of my favs was coming for dinner so I decided to spice it up a touch and was very please with this combo: Chili Lime Dressing 3 tbs fresh lime juice OR lemon 1 tbs unpasteurized honey 1/2 tsp crushed chilies 1/4 tsp ground cumin 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tbs+ finely chopped cilantro 1/3 cup organic, cold-pressed olive oil Enjoy over any salad combo, especially good with fresh, cut from the cob, corn, tomatoes and greens!