This February is Heart Health Month! As we all know, food has a beautiful way of bringing people together. The stories and memories behind the meals we prepare pull on our nostalgic heartstrings. In honour of Heart Health Month, we have asked our Ambassadors to share the recipes that make their heart happy, and we would love you to do the same. Share your photo, recipe and stories using #SpudHAPPYHEART as we nourish our community together.
This is one of my favourite recipes to enjoy in the winter, as it’s full of heart healthy whole grains and plant based good-for-you fats. I always feel best when I incorporate whole grains into my daily eats, and especially on colder mornings in the dead of winter. Whole grains are proven to be great for maintaining a healthy weight, and offer a wonderful nutritional profile when eaten in their natural, whole form. Cook up a big batch of Farro in advance and breakfast can heat up while you get dressed.
WINTER FARRO BREAKFAST BOWL:
1/2-3/4 cup cooked GRAIN Farro
Half an apple, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Cashew Chia Pudding (see below)
1/2 cup Cashew Milk (see below)
1 tbsp cocoa nibs
1 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
1 tsp coconut butter (optional)
2 Chopped pitted Medjool dates (optional)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Maple syrup or coconut sugar, as desired
1 cup raw cashews
2 cups water
1 tsp vanilla extract, or to taste
1/4 cup maple syrup or 3 pitted dates, or to taste
Combine all of the ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Once the cashews are all blended and the mixture is creamy, add 3-4 cups of water to dilute and stir well. Refrigerate for use through the week.
Combine 1 cup of cashew milk with 3 tbsp chia seeds in a jar and stir well – and if making a larger batch simply multiply these amounts. Stir the mixture every minute or so for 10 minutes until the mixture is set. It will thicken more every time you stir. Cover and refrigerate for use throughout the week.
The best shortcut is to have your Farro cooked and ready in the fridge, I like to cook a decent sized batch at the start of the week and keep it on hand for quick use. Same for your cashew milk and chia pudding, if they are all ready, getting breakfast ready is a breeze!
To start, combine the Farro, apple, and water in a medium saucepan. Heat until boiling and turn the heat down. Cover and let the mixture heat (stirring here and there) for 5-6 minutes while you prepare the rest. Once the Farro is hot and the apple has softened, serve in a bowl with the coconut butter (put this on right after it’s heated so it melts easily), followed by chia pudding, seeds, remaining toppings, and extra cashew milk and sweetener as desired. This recipe serves one, and is easily multiplied.
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Shira McDermott is a Vancouver-based entrepreneur with a focus on food developed from almost 25 years of working in the grocery and foodservice industries. She is the co-founder of GRAIN (Vancouver Magazine’s 2016 Supplier of the Year), a dry goods company focused on supplying restaurants and consumers with premium, 100% traceable dry goods grown by Canadian farmers. She is also the creator of the award winning, vegetarian food blog In Pursuit Of More, which was named ‘Best Food Blog’ by Taste Canada in 2016, and runs Metier Agency, an independent marketing agency that provides communications strategies for consumer brands. She is also a wife and mother of two.