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These Gluten Free Rainbow Twinkies with Strawberry Protein Cream Filling are the better-for-you version of everyones beloved childhood treat!

Okay, raise your hand if your parents had no qualms about putting a daily pack of Twinkies in your lunch? I feel like parents today are so anxious about food and nutrition they wouldn’t DREAM of sending any of that “toxic” “garbage” to school with their kids, but HEY, we all turned out pretty okay. Any treat in moderation is A-OK, but why not make them at home so you can control the quality of the ingredients AND add sprinkles?! Sprinkles make EVERYTHING better. Hello, my beloved Gluten Free Rainbow Twinkies with Strawberry Protein Cream Filling. I definitely don’t have to be a kid to want to inhale you.

How to Make Gluten Free Rainbow Twinkies with Strawberry Protein Cream Filling

So this recipe is surprisingly easy but it does require you to have a Twinkies silicon pan. I ordered mine on Amazon for legit like $10 but if you don’t have one, you can easily use a mini muffin tin. No biggie.

The batter is completely gluten free so I use coconut flour as my base. While it can be a bit tempermental, and requires more eggs and moisture to make it work, I like it because it’s really rich in satiating fibre. To lighten mine up without too much sugar or fat, I add unsweetened apple sauce and protein-rich Greek yogurt. I also whip up a few egg whites to make my Gluten Free Rainbow Twinkies super fluffy and light! Oh and we can’t forget our RAINBOW factor!! You have two options. You can fold them in if you like a streaky rainbow look, or you can sprinkle the bottom of the twinkies pan with sprinkles before you add your batter so you get a big rainbow patch at the top. Either way, it’s colourful and fun and that’s what we all love about these Gluten Free Rainbow Twinkies.

Next, let’s talk filling. Because a twinkie without a cream filling is just a muffin. To make mine a little healthier, I mix strawberry light cream cheese with more protein-packed Greek yogurt and then carefully poke my piping bag into the bottom of the Gluten Free Rainbow Twinkies to add little pockets of goodness. OMG you’re going to die when you bite in.

So, mommas, tell me- would you put THESE Gluten Free Rainbow Twinkies in your kids lunches without a worry? Did you grow up eating twinkies? Leave me a comment below about your twinkie memories!!

Gluten Free Rainbow Twinkies

These Gluten Free Rainbow Twinkies with Strawberry Protein Cream Filling are the better-for-you version of everyones beloved childhood treat!

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup plain 2-4% Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tsp rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/2 cup  plain 2-4% Greek yogurt
  • 6 tbsp light strawberry cream cheese
  • 2 tsp rainbow sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spritz two twinkie silicon pans with cooking spray. Set them on top of baking sheets.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the coconut flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the honey, apple sauce, almond milk, yogurt, whole eggs and vanilla.
  4. Finally, in one more bowl, beat the egg whites until they reach a soft peak consistency.
  5. Add the wet to the dry, then once combined, fold a bit of the whipped egg whites to the mixture to just incorporate. Then fold the rest of the egg whites in, along with 1 teaspoon of the sprinkles.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining sprinkles onto the bottom of the twinkie molds, then fill about 2/3 of the way with the batter. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Grease the baking sheets and then carefully unmold the twinkies onto the baking sheets, rounded side up. Bake for an additional 7-10 minutes until just lightly golden brown. Cool completely.
  8. Meanwhile, mix together the yogurt, cream cheese and sprinkles and transfer to a piping bag with a star tip.
  9. Once the twinkies are cool, carefully insert the tip into the bottom of the twinkies in a few places and fill with the yogurt cream cheese. Enjoy!

The post Gluten Free Rainbow Twinkies with Strawberry Protein Cream Filling | Healthy Copycat Recipe appeared first on Abbey's Kitchen.

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These Mini Egg & Hot Cross Buns Trifle are the perfect way to indulge this Easter holiday. 

When I say the words “hot cross buns” I immediately think of two things. First, Easter (which quickly makes me crave those addictive Cadbury mini eggs). Second, that ear worm of a recorder song we were all forced to play in preschool. Hot cross buns. Hot cross buns. One a penny, two a penny… ugh. As annoying as that is, it doesn’t detract from how delicious fresh hot cross buns are, at Easter or really, any time of year.

And while you could be a hero and bake your own, things tend to get far too hectic for that come holiday time. Easter is one of those major food holidays where your kitchen to-do list is already overwhelming, you might as well get some help from the store. My Easter tradition always involves a stop at my local COBS Bread to pick up some of their baked-from-scratch Hot Cross Buns.

They actually have three varieties- the traditional with raisins, currants and spices, the Cranberry Orange, and the Chocolate Chip.  I had the pleasure of trying them all the other week for their Hot Cross FUN Day, which is an annual event to celebrate their best selling bun.

Honestly, I love them all, and they would all work well in this recipe, but I’m a sucker for the chocolate chips. And if you ask a child, I can guarantee you they’ll say the same.

So this recipe was born because I admittedly bought too many delicious COBS Hot Cross Buns and being a family of two, we just couldn’t eat them all before they went stale. Sure, I could have made bread pudding, or French toast, or even a crazy grilled cheese, but I had another fun idea. Why not a decadent, over the top Easter TRIFLE!

Total disclaimer here folks, this is not one of my typical Abbey’s Kitchen low-cal recipes. This is a HOLIDAY recipe, and holidays deserve to be a bit sassy.

Speaking of holiday sass, obviously I couldn’t resist working in some Cadbury mini eggs. I think these are everyone’s guilty pleasure in life and like hot cross buns, are an iconic Easter staple.

The result? Oh boy. Let’s just say my hubby made a lot of friends bringing trifle to work. Can we pretend it’s Easter and eat hot cross buns and mini eggs every day?

What are some of your favourite things to do with Easter hot cross buns and Cadbury mini eggs? Leave me a message below with some of your ideas! 

Mini Egg & Hot Cross Buns Easter Trifle

These Hot Cross Buns Trifle are a perfect way to indulge during the Easter holiday. 

  • 6 cups frozen strawberries (sliced)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/4 cup lemon curd
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 6 COBS Bread Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns (cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup Mini eggs (coarsely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup mini eggs (whole)
  1. In a saucepan, heat the strawberries, sugar and water over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until strawberries are tender and the sugar dissolves completely. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. In a large bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks.
  3. In another bowl, whip the cream cheese, lemon curd, and icing sugar until combined.
  4. Add a bit of the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture to lighten it, then continue to mix in the remaining cream. Set aside.
  5. You can serve this in 8 individual glasses or one large trifle dish. Layer 1/2 of the hot cross buns along the bottom of the glass(es). Then working around the edges, add a layer of sliced strawberries around the glass. Fill the interior of the sliced strawberry “ring” with half of the strawberry sauce. Add a 1/2 of the cheesecake filling and all of the chopped mini eggs. Repeat with another layer of hot cross buns, strawberries, strawberry sauce, cheesecake and garnish with the whole mini eggs. Indulge!

Disclaimer: This recipe was developed in paid partnership with COBS Bread, however, as always, all opinions are genuine.

The post Mini Egg & Hot Cross Buns Easter Trifle appeared first on Abbey's Kitchen.

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These delicious vegan recipes are perfect for sharing with family and friends this Easter long weekend!

Spring is here and lent is over! Usually, that means indulging on everything—especially those chocolate eggs. But Easter doesn’t have to be a repeat of Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

As much as I’d love to indulge on ALL of the chocolate bunnies, eggs, and other goodies that I could get my hands on, I thought I’d change it up this year. To help you welcome spring and all it has to offer, I’ve put together a collection of 45 vegan Easter recipes that include appetizers, salads, brunch, mains, side dishes and dessert! Some are variations to traditional Easter dishes, while others feature the beautiful colours and greens that are in season, like asparagus, peas, radishes, and carrots. Whether you’re hosting a party at home or looking for dishes to bring to a potluck, it never hurts to give these vegan recipes a try. These recipes are sure to make colourful additions to your Easter spread, as well as offer a delicious, plant-based option to the table!

Best Vegan Easter Recipes Appetizers Cream of Asparagus Soup (GF) – Rhian’s Recipes

Creamy Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip – Vegan Blueberry

Hummus Carrot Patches (GF) – Jessica Spiro Nutrition

salads Lentil, Beet and Cherry Salad (GF) – Abbey’s Kitchen

Kale Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette (GF) – Fried Dandelions

Lentil Salad with Roasted Baby Carrots & Red Onion (GF) – Quite Good Food

Springtime Asparagus Salad with Lemon Hemp Dressing (GF) – Grateful Grazer

Spring Pea & Radish Farro Salad with Lemon Mint Vinaigrette – Jessica Levinson

Spring Veggies with Tahini Turmeric Dressing (GF) – Food Pleasure and Health

Low FODMAP Cherry Tomato & Forbidden Rice Salad (GF) – E.A. Stewart

brunch Wild Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie (GF) – Amy Gorin Nutrition

Frittata (GF) – Sunnyside Hanne

Strawberry Sunrise Scones – Healthy Happy Life

Carrot Cake Waffles (GF) – Strength & Sunshine

Granola Cups with Banana Cream (GF) – Tasting Page

Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes – The Stingy Vegan

Asparagus and Tomato Tart with Cashew Ricotta – Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen

Super Berry Soy Chia Pudding (GF) – Sharon Palmer

Easter Pull Apart Bread – Euphoric Vegan

Gluten-Free Hot Cross Buns – Strength and Sunshine

Hot Cross Buns – Delightful Adventures

side dish Rosemary Lemon Chickpeas from Scratch (GF) – Veganosity

Asparagus with Cauliflower Cashew Cream (GF) – Tasting Page

Oven Roasted Maple Glazed Carrots (GF) – Trish Kowper from Infinitebalance

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Curious about intermittent fasting for weight loss benefits? We go through the evidence based pros and cons of this popular fad diet.

Intermittent fasting is among a variety of diets right now that has stood the test of time. Even though intermittent fasting has been around for a while, it has gained some momentum over the past year so we set out to review the most recent evidence on the topic and whether intermittent fasting will yield the best results for weight loss and your health.

What is Intermittent fasting?

As you can probably guess from the name, Intermittent Fasting involves a fast, but it’s the “intermittent” part that sets this fast apart from the annual religious fasts you may have partaken in at some point in your Intermittent Fasting. In most intermittent fasting diet regimes, you have a smaller time window when you can only eat (usually fewer than 8 hours), and you fast for the remainder of the day. These fasts are longer than a typical “overnight fast” (when you’re sleeping), and range from 16 hours to a maximum of 1.5 days (but usually no more than 24 hours).

Intermittent Fasting was introduced as a more accessible diet, since the typical Continuous Energy Restriction diet was becoming too difficult to follow because of its total restriction. With Intermittent Fasting, you are restricting food intake, but only on certain days, and on other days you would have the freedom to eat and meet energy requirements, so this diet was seen as a WAY more flexible approach to dieting.

Many have claimed that Intermittent Fasting diets that involve prolonging this fasted state have a multitude of health benefits such as improving glucose homeostasisboosting energy, increasing growth hormone (GH) production, reducing inflammation decreasing oxidative stress, lowering triglyceride (TG) levels (here and here) and blood pressure, increasing and protecting brain function (herehere) increasing resistance to age-related diseases like immune disorders, cancer, heart disease, stroke, eye disease, Alzheimer’s (herehere) and promoting longevity!

But are all of those Intermittent Fasting claims true?

Well, a lot of those claims have been made based on animal studies. And of course, although rodents like Ratatouille are clever ones, a rat’s body and a human’s body don’t work the same way, and it’s harder to conduct those studies on humans due to many influencing factors. The ones that do exist out there are pretty limited, but do show some exciting results that puts IF out there as a possible approach to benefiting human health as well! But it is important to mention that sometimes these studies had mixed results, so we can’t make super clear cut conclusions.

Types of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting is seen as an umbrella term, because there are a variety of types of fasting. This also makes it difficult to study Intermittent Fasting because it’s harder to compare diets when they are executed in different ways.

Generally, Intermittent Fasting involves restricting calories 1-3 days a week and then being able to freely eat on ad libitum days (days where you can eat as you wish or without restriction!).

The most popular Intermittent Fasting programs include: Alternate-day fasting, Whole-day fasting and Time-restricted feeding. Let’s take a looksy at each.

1. Alternate-day fasting

This type is the most-studied form of INTERMITTENT FASTING, which requires alternating between feeding and fasting days. On a typical fasting day, there is 1 meal at lunch that consists of approximately 25% of caloric needs based on the individual. This form of fasting involves “modified fasting” which has different durations/periods of fasting from anywhere between 30-40 hours based upon the individual’s schedule.

2. Whole-day Fasting (herehere)

Compared to alternate-day fasting, this kind of fasting may seem “more extreme” to some because out of 1 to 2 days per week, you need to either severely restrict your calories or completely abstain from food. This is commonly known as the “5:2 diet” in which the 5 represents the number of ad libitum days you eat normally, and the 2 represents the number of non-consecutive days you have to restrict calorie consumption to 25% (500-600 calories) of your total daily energy expenditure calories.

3. Time-restricted Feeding

This is the most “lenient” (if you want to call it that) type of Intermittent Fasting that requires you to fast for a specific number of hours each day. A very popular form of this time-restricted feeding program consists of an “under-eating” phase that lasts for 20 hours, followed by an “overeating” phase lasting for 4 hours that takes place every 24-hour period. This form of fasting is followed as a type of routine.

Of course, it’s important to consider both the PROS and CONS of something like Intermittent Fasting, so let’s go through them together.


Results in several human studies have found that alternate-day and whole-day Intermittent Fasting has been associated with a significant DECREASE in body weight, body fat, and waist circumference both short and long term, but has also been frequently observed in some time-restricted  Intermittent Fasting studies.

In a 2016 systematic review, all of the studies reviewed experienced weight loss, however they noted that individuals tended to lose MORE weight earlier on in the study compared to the final follow up point. This likely due to the study’s dropout rates, and whether Intermittent Fasting is a diet that can be sustained in the long term. We’ll discuss that in a bit.

On top of that, in a more recent 2017 systematic review and meta-analysis, weekly Intermittent Fasting interventions were JUST AS EFFECTIVE as Continuous Energy Restriction (CER) for weight loss. This proved that it was not necessary to starve yourself every single day, and with a more flexible diet like Intermittent Fasting, you could yield the same weight loss results. One thing to keep in mind when analysing these results, is that many of these studies are short term so whether individuals were able to keep that weight off, is unclear.

Diets that continually restrict calories are known to reduce body fat, but ALSO something called Fat Free Mass (FFM – basically everything other than fat). This is no good, because that means you are losing lean muscle mass. However, studies have shown that with sufficient protein intake and resistance training, Intermittent Fasting may help to retain lose fat mass while RETAINING MORE of their lean mass (aka. our fat-burning lean muscle!) compared to daily calorie restriction-type of diets. However these results have not yet been proven in long term studies. You may also be thinking: wouldn’t it be difficult to exercise on fasting days. You may be right! We’ll discuss that in a bit.

Also, Intermittent Fasting may help improve the symptoms of individuals with asthma by lowering airway resistance, oxidative stress and inflammation.

Not to mention, researchers found improvements in insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis. In a 2017 systematic review, a few studies were able to report a reduction in percentage body fat and HbA1C with an Intermittent Fasting diet compared to a continuous energy restriction diet. On top of that an Intermittent Fasting diet can lead to significant DECREASES in total cholesterol and LDL (the artery-clogging, BAD cholesterol!), blood pressure and triglyceride levels, which is super important for preventing and reducing the risk of various diseases – notably, cardiovascular disease (in normal weight, overweight and obese individuals)! (hereherehereherehere).

2. BRAVO to Increased Brain Functioning!

Other studies have explored the powerful effects of this time-restricted diet on cognitive performance (such as memory), which has been found to be beneficial especially for athletes whether they are exercising or at rest (herehere). A 2017 systematic review found that weight loss in general is associated with improvements in cognitive function among overweight and obese people.

3. No calorie restriction and No change in diet?!

That’s right! You can still eat the same number of daily calories and don’t have to take away or change the actual foods you eat (even though we believe you would reap MUCH BETTER results for your health with a whole-food, well-balanced diet from each of the 4 food groups).

4. It’s Simple.

This eating pattern is easily implemented and for those who like routine, it can be adhered to fairly easily (compared to the traditional calorie restriction that may be hard to follow in the long-run)! For some people, it may be easy to incorporate into your current routine and you don’t have to worry about limiting the types and amount of food you eat on feasting days.  For example, did you know that the common “Time-restricted feeding” type of Intermittent Fasting is often unintentionally practiced by those who skip breakfast and do not eat after an early dinner each day?

5. Larger portions in a shorter period of time

Some people may like this part a lot because you get to consume more food at once, leaving you feeling more full and satisfied, and you wouldn’t have to worry about eating later (because you probably wouldn’t even be hungry!). In a way, Intermittent Fasting can actually help prevent you from the typical binge on food at night after not eating all day at work, or the sooner-or-later binge-eating resulting from those calorie-restricted diets that are difficult to keep up with for long run.

CONS of intermittent fasting: 1. Interference with the SOCIAL aspect of Eating

Eating is very much a social activity. When you think about it, all of our celebrations, milestones and special occasions revolve around food and the enjoyment of eating with the people we care about. Since this new style of eating is very different from the typical daily eating patterns of most people, it may interfere with your social hangouts which usually involve tons of food. This is because of the shortened time frame you have for eating and it can be difficult for you in social gatherings where everyone else is eating and sipping on beverages, making you awkwardly stand out from the crowd. Not to mention, you might be missing out on those late night romantic dinners, home-made family suppers, birthday dinners, lunch meetings with your boss and co-workers, and maybe even sharing a meal with your spouse and kids. Not so fun.

2. Getting HANGRY, Low in Energy & Unproductive

We are all well-aware that life is unpredictable and can throw something at you out of the blue! So when changes to our agenda occur, we might get hungry and be much less productive, especially if you are used to eating lots of snacks or meals throughout the day, and all of sudden can’t. In a 2016 systematic review, a few studies found that some Intermittent Fasting participants experienced minor adverse physical ailments including: feeling cold, constipation, headaches, lack of energy, bad temper and lack of concentration. For those of us who are gym-goers, we might not even feel like we will have the energy or motivation to be active and do the things we actually like! However in a 2017 review, a 12-week trial found that Intermittent Fasting did not appear to limit an individual’s ability to exercise. Again, this was a short term study, so whether you can maintain your exercise habits on Intermittent Fasting is still unclear. Studies on breakfast consumption have shown positive outcomes such as promoting cognitive and academic performance as well as weight-loss maintenance in various individuals. Getting enough fuel throughout the day can help keep us in good spirits, energetic and productive.

3. Feasting = BINGE!

Since you only have a limited amount of time reserved for eating, some people may take the “Feasting” periods as an opportunity to eat more calories than they really need. When you’re hungry, or you anticipate a period of fasting coming up, it can be very tempting to go hog wild at the first sight of food. If the fasting element IN Intermittent Fasting were to create some sort of caloric deficit, it’s very possible that the feasting period easily undo it. Let’s also remember that the foods we choose to eat can have a significant impact on our health. This binging strategy of the diet reminds me of the It Fits Your Macros diet, where it focuses mainly on how much calories and not the type of calories. Check out my rant on why calories are not created equal HERE and why we should be thinking about quality over quantity.

4. Digestion Issues

Some of us may experience digestion problems with these larger portioned-sized meals that we consume within a shorter amount of time. Larger volumes of food translates to more time needed to digest, which causes additional stress on your GI tract, leading to indigestion and bloating. This can have huge implications for those with IBS, who already have a more sensitive gut, inflammation of the GI, and disturbed bowel movements, and are therefore they are more susceptible to cramping, abdominal pain and bloating. Especially with IBS, you may already have difficulty obtaining all your nutritional requirements due to the uncomfortable symptoms that come along with it. That’s why people with digestive issues are recommended to eat at regular times, take time when eating, and not skip meals in order to have regular bowel functions.

5. No Difference in Results of Calorie Restriction? (hereherehere)

So I know we just mentioned one particular study that showed greater lean muscle retention with INTERMITTENT FASTING, but the reality is, the research here is mixed. Other studies have found no huge difference between continuous calorie restriction and fasting on parameters like weight loss, fat mass, fat-free mass, glucose homeostasis, cardioprotection, and reducing appetite. Many of the recent reviews have not found that one strategy is better than the other, and at the end of the day both yield short term weight loss. It is also difficult to compare these strategies because of the different study methodologies and study duration. Clearly we need more research, longer term studies and a larger sample size with a more diverse group of participants.

6. Unclear Impact on Heart

For cardiovascular markers such as total cholesterol, some mixed results were also observed in alternate-day intermittent fasting, in which both LDL (BAD cholesterol) and HDL (GOOD cholesterol) increased, while triglyceride levels decreased. However, other studies show that total cholesterol and LDL decreased (herehere) or HDL remained the same. In an animal study, alternate day fasting reduced total plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations. Clearly we need more human studies on Intermittent Fasting.

7.It isn’t for everyone!

If you have a medical condition, it is the best to avoid this type of fasting because it may have the opposite effect on your health. For instance, those who are diabetic or hypoglycemic need glucose throughout the day and going without can have dangerous effects. If you are one of those people who feel nauseous or just don’t feel great going too long without eating, Intermittent Fasting may not suitable for you. It’s also important to note that if you have ever had a history of an eating disorder – Intermittent Fasting is definitely not for you. Since Intermittent Fasting causes you to eat more food in a..

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These Vegan Gluten Free Rice Krispies Easter Eggs are coated in a Homemade Vegan White Chocolate that is easy for the whole family to decorate with different colours, sprinkles and candies!

I was raised pretty much agnostic, so Easter to me wasn’t about a trip to church, it was about a massive sugar high. Our local park hosted a massive Easter egg hunt where all of the kids had to fight it out for chocolate. We also, of course, did round two at home, and I always thought it was hilarious when we would find a rogue mini egg months later.

Well, if you haven’t noticed, I’m loving the Easter recipes right now. I just made Mini-Egg Protein Pancakes and OMG they are good. I don’t know if it’s part of “nesting” as a new momma-to-be, as I look forward to some of the traditions my parents had for me, or if it’s just that I love the pretty Spring colours. Either way, I was pretty jazzed when I came up with these Vegan Gluten Free Rice Krispies Easter Eggs. These are ALMOST too pretty to eat- almost being the operative word!

How to Make Vegan Gluten Free Rice Krispies Easter Eggs

This starts with our rice krispies treats that we all love and adore so much. I make mine a little healthier by combining brown rice cereal with nutrient-dense almond butter, coconut and flaxseed for some Omega 3s, fibre and protein! This totally helps me justify the extra sprinkles on top!

Next we make our homemade vegan white chocolate! While you could use store-bought white chocolate if you’re not vegan, to make your own, you’ll just need some cocoa butter, coconut oil, powdered sugar and of course, vanilla!! Then you just have to colour yours using natural food dyes and decorate to your little hearts delight!

Tell me these Vegan Gluten Free Rice Krispies Easter Eggs are not ADORBS!! I mean, let’s be real, if you let a child do this, they probably won’t be so detailed, but they will be JUST as delicious, and ultimately, that’s all that matters.

Now, I want to know what some of your family’s Easter traditions were growing up? Did you have an Easter Egg hunt? Would you consider making these Vegan Gluten Free Rice Krispies Easter Eggs as a new tradition? Leave me a comment below with your thoughts!

Vegan Gluten Free Rice Krispies Easter Eggs with Homemade Vegan White Chocolate

These Vegan Gluten Free Rice Krispies Easter Eggs are coated in a Homemade Vegan White Chocolate that is easy for the whole family to decorate with different colours, sprinkles and candies!

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 1/2 cups brown rice cereal
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
Vegan White chocolate:
  • 2 cups cocoa butter (finely chopped)
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Natural food colouring
  1. In a small saucepot, heat the maple and almond butter until hot, soft and bubbling.
  2. To a bowl, mix the cereal, coconut and flax. Add the maple almond mixture and stir until well coated.
  3. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. Shape the cereal mixture into eggs, insert a skewer or popsicle stick and place on the silpat. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, place a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add the cocoa butter and coconut oil and stir until melted.
  5. Transfer to a standmixer, and slowly add in the powdered sugar. Add in the vanilla and divide into four bowls.
  6. Add natural food colouring to the four bowls.
  7. Holding onto the popsicle stick or skewer, dip the eggs into one of the bowls of white chocolate. Transfer to the silpat. Continue, alternating colours, with the other eggs.
  8. Transfer the remaining white chocolate to piping bags and pipe designs on the eggs. Add sprinkles and candies to your liking.
  9. Transfer to the silpat and to the freezer for 5 minutes to set up. Once set, you can remove the popsicle stick (or leave it on for easy eating!) Enjoy!

The post Vegan Gluten Free Rice Krispies Easter Eggs with Homemade Vegan White Chocolate! appeared first on Abbey's Kitchen.

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These Gluten Free Almond Cherry Chocolate Meringue Cookies with Dairy Free Chocolate Ganache are perfect for your Passover seder or any time of year!

Passover is a-coming and for my Jewish brothers and sisters that means 8 days of constipation. Lol Okay, and it means a lot of great things too, like celebrating the Israelites liberation from Egyptian slavery! It also means a SUPER amazing massive meal (aka. the seder) – if you’re lucky you get two nights of that eating in a row!

Okay back to that constipation. I’m kinda joking, but also, kinda not. During the 8 days of Passover, we refrain from eating any risen grains, legumes or peanuts (hence the backing up issue) and also don’t mix dairy and meat products. Eggs are considered neutral (pareve) so they’re cool to mingle with anyone else on the plate. So if you get tasked with making dessert, it can be a little tough. No grains means you’re definitely going gluten free, but also since we tend to eat a meat based dinner, dairy is off the table too. Eggs again are fair game.  So for this Passover, I decided to make these beautiful Gluten Free Almond Cherry Chocolate Meringue Cookies sandwiched with a Dairy Free Chocolate Ganache. They’re absolutely divine for Passover, but honestly, a beautiful dessert any day of the week.

How to Make Gluten Free Almond Cherry Chocolate Meringue Cookies

Making meringue requires very few ingredients, but a bit of time and patience. It takes about 40 minutes for these babies to bake off, but when they’re done, they’re an absolute dream. I personally like my meringues with little shaved almonds inside which give them an addictive crunch to balance out the marshmallowy interior.

These Gluten Free Almond Cherry Chocolate Meringue Cookies are flavoured up with a little maraschino cherry juice but you can totally skip this if you want to let the vanilla aroma shine.

Cherries + almonds are BFF’s with chocolate so I HAD to turn these into meringue sandwiches with a decadent chocolate ganache. Okay, so truthfully, I would say everyone is BFFs with chocolate, you really can’t go wrong no matter what you add to these meringue cookies. I make a simple dairy free chocolate ganache by melting down some dark chocolate and beating it up with rich coconut cream. It’s hard to not just eat that stuff out of the bowl.

These Gluten Free Almond Cherry Chocolate Meringue Cookies are easy to make ahead and can be stored in an air-tight container until you’re ready to indulge. They will definitely be a huge hit at any Passover seder, but will for sure become a recipe you’ll bust out any time of year. Make ahead dessert = the BEST for entertaining.

Now, tell me what are some of your go-to Passover friendly desserts? Have you tried making these Gluten Free Almond Cherry Chocolate Meringue Cookies? Leave me a comment below with your thoughts!

Gluten Free Almond Cherry Chocolate Meringue Cookies

These Gluten Free Almond Cherry Chocolate Meringue Cookies with Dairy Free Chocolate Ganache are perfect for your Passover seder or any time of year!

  • 4 room temperature large egg whites
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 tsp maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 tsp artificial vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sliced raw almonds
  • 300 g dairy free dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 1  cup coconut cream
  1. Reduce the oven temperature to 250°F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with a silpat or a greased piece of parchment paper. Using a standmixer,  beat the egg whites, salt and lemon juice at low speed until foamy.
  3. Increase the speed to medium, and add the sugar one tablespoon at a time until glossy and firm peaks form. This can take about 8 minutes. Beat in the cherry juice and vanilla. Gently fold in the almonds.
  4. Drop in two-tablespoon balls (about 2 inches apart) on the baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes, just until very lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to fully cool and harden.
  5. Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a glass bowl set over a saucepot with an inch-high of simmering water. Allow to melt fully, then transfer all but about 1/4 cup of the chocolate to the stand mixer. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly to room temperature, then add in the coconut cream. Beat until very smooth and creamy, like cake frosting. Transfer to a piping bag.
  6. To assemble drizzle the tops of the cookies with the residual melted dark chocolate. Pipe a generous dollop of the ganache onto one of the cookies and add the other as a sandwich. These cookies can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for two days.

The post Gluten Free Almond Cherry Chocolate Meringue Cookies with Dairy Free Chocolate Ganache for Passover appeared first on Abbey's Kitchen.

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DISCLAIMER: This post was developed in sponsored partnership with McCain, however, as always, all opinions are genuine.

I discuss the top potato myths like do potatoes make you fat and look at the research on why potatoes can be good for your health. 

Let’s call it like it is- we love to dichotomize foods as good and bad. Kale, good. Candy, bad. Quinoa, good. Pizza, bad. While good foods and bad foods tend to come in go, potatoes have been in the dog house since the big Atkin’s craze of the 1990s. Regardless of the anti-carb movement though, the average Canadians eat 71 kg of potatoes a year, so clearly we like our spuds. But is there any need to fear potatoes (or carbs in general, for that matter)? Should Canadians be digging in without guilt or cutting back? I take a look at the research to debunk the top potato myths and look at the biggest misconceptions about potatoes.

POTATO MYTHS and Low Carb Diet Debunked | Dietitians Eat French Fries | Feat. Diet Debbie - YouTube

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Potato Myth 1:  Potatoes make you gain weight and spike your blood sugar because they’re full of carbs!

I’ve talked about this before (many, many times)- carbs are not the enemy. In fact, our brain solely functions on carbs and we need a minimum amount of it to keep our thinking sharp. Carbs don’t make us fat, and cutting out carbs doesn’t make us skinny. Research suggests that low carb diets are no more successful than high carb diets in weight loss. (In fact, studies suggests that no diets are successful in the long term but that’s a whole other blog post in itself.) Back to the point, one determined that there was not convincing enough evidence to suggest an association between intake of potatoes and risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

As for the blood sugar response, yes, potatoes are higher on the glycemic index (GI) which means they do raise your blood sugar levels and insulin levels. Since insulin promotes fat synthesis, in theory, yes, foods that are high GI (like potatoes) should make you gain weight and foods that are low GI should make you lose it. But again, studies haven’t been able to find a difference in weight management with higher vs lower GI diets. In the real world, we don’t (usually) just eat a plate of mashed potatoes all on its own. By sticking to a moderate portion (about 1 cup) and pairing it with protein like chicken or steak, and fibre (like veggies), we can slow down the blood sugar response and have a more balanced beautiful plate.

Potato Myth 2: If you peel potatoes, you lose all of the nutrients!

Don’t be dramatic. Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium (yes, more than a banana), B6 and carbohydrates. They pack about 110 calories in a small (5.3 oz) potato, which to me, is pretty good no matter how you slice it. The only thing you’re losing out on by peeling those potatoes is the fibre, and not by much (down from 2 g to 1 g). In other words, it’s not a make or break scenario if you can’t stand eating the peel. So if you’re family is craving potatoes in a pinch, the peeled and frozen McCain Superfries are still a good pick.

Potato Myth #3: Sweet potatoes are “good” but white potatoes are “bad”

Ah yes, here we go with the good food vs bad food dogma. Here’s the scoop- both sweet potatoes and regular white potatoes have their redeeming qualities, so you can (and should) switch it up to get a more balanced nutrient profile. Let’s take a look at how they compare per 100 g serving:


Sweet Potato 90 calories  vs White Potato 92 calories (aka. the same damn thing)


Sweet Potato 3 g  vs White Potato 2.1 g

Vitamin A

Sweet Potato 384%  vs White Potato 0%


Sweet Potato 5%  vs White Potato 3.5%

Vitamin C

Sweet Potato 33%  vs White Potato 16%


Sweet Potato 6%  vs White Potato 5%


Sweet Potato 4%  vs White Potato 6%

So, in conclusion, they aren’t that different. Yes, sweet potatoes have a lot more vitamin A, and white potatoes have a bit more iron, but at the end of the day, they are far too similar to occupy opposite ends of the “good food/ bad food” spectrum.

Potato Myth #4: Frozen potatoes are heavily processed and made with lots of crazy additives, preservatives and weird ingredients you can’t even pronounce!

Cool your jets. I know we love to think that everything “processed” made in a lab, but if you take a closer look at the ingredient panel of your frozen potatoes, you may be surprised. Take a look at McCain’s Superfries (something I know I personally was raised on) for example. The ingredients are pretty short and sweet if you ask me – just potatoes, canola oil, sea salt, sodium phosphate (to retain natural colour), and colour. McCain’s process is very simple – just wash, peel, cut, cook and freeze. What you see is what you get – it’s all coming from the nutritious potato. As a dietitian, I’m all for encouraging families to take whatever short cuts or steps they need to help them serve balanced meals. And if making a quick convenient side dish to serve with a simple main is the catalyst to a family meal, I am 100% for it.

Potato Myth #5: Frozen Fries are LOADED with Trans Fats, Saturated Fats and Sodium that Cause Heart Disease

While I love myself a good fresh baked potato, or a buttery bowl of mash, I certainly have no qualms about taking a short cut from the store and enjoying some frozen potatoes in moderation – especially with regards to heart health. We know that foods high in trans fat and salt are linked with heart disease, and while the research is still a bit controversial when it comes to saturated fat, the guidelines still suggest we enjoy it in moderation. Either way, McCain’s Superfries, for instance, are all trans fat free (a fat known to be linked to cardiovascular disease), and low in saturated fat (just 0.3 grams per serving). They’re also surprisingly low in sodium, with just 4% of your daily recommended amount in one serving. I also know that McCain is working hard to reduce sodium and fat wherever it can without compromising quality and taste. Also, as previously mentioned, potatoes are also rich in potassium which actually works in opposition of sodium to promote a healthier heart.

Ultimately, I’m not telling anyone to go and eat fried foods all day, I’m just trying to take the taboo away from people enjoying food and emphasizing that all foods have nutritionally redeeming qualities and can be enjoyed in moderation. And potatoes, for one, are definitely not the “bad” food they’ve been made out to be.

Now tell me, what are your thoughts on potatoes? Were you raised on frozen potatoes? What’s your favourite way to eat potatoes? Leave me a comment below with your thoughts!

Disclaimer: This post was developed in paid partnership with McCain, however, all opinions are genuine.

The post Do Potatoes Make You Fat? | This and Other Potato Myths Debunked appeared first on Abbey's Kitchen.

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DISCLAIMER: This post was developed in sponsored partnership with Findus Fish, however, as always, all opinions are genuine.

I share my how to make the fastest easiest fish dish you’ll ever eat thanks to the exciting launch of Findus fish in Canada! 

If you’re like most Canadians, you’re probably not getting your 1 to 2 servings of fish each week. Okay so I bet a lot of you are reading this thinking “hey, I’m not actually getting any fish at all! “ Hey, I don’t judge! One of the big reasons I find people struggle is that they’re honestly afraid of overcooking or ruining a beautiful filet. I hear you, fish can be a delicate little beast! The good news is that one of the beloved European frozen fish company, Findus fish, has finally made its way across the pond to Canada and it’s making getting that nutritious fish fuel easier than ever!

How to Make the Fastest Easiest Fish Dish You’ll Ever Eat

Okay so here’s the instructions on how to make these Steam Delicious fish. Um… just put a pack into the microwave, set the timer for 4 minutes and press start. That. Is. It. Honestly, I could stop the blog post now so you can run out to grab a box, but I want to tell you why this product is currently saving my sanity.

If you’re not familiar with this trusted European brand, Findus fish is completely MSC certified, and has earned the global recognition of the “Gold Standard” in 100% seafood sustainability. That means you know you’re not only doing your body something really good getting by getting your fish fix, but you’re also doing the environment a favour, too!

This has been a HUGE saviour for me here in my final trimester when I’m practically asleep by 6 PM and have no interest in standing LITERALLY barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen trying to put together a healthy meal.

One perfect filet of fish + some quickly sautéed veg + batch cooked quinoa = a healthy meal on the table in under 10 minutes. That’s a mom win right there.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be over at Sobey’s (one place they’re sold here in Ontario) stocking up for when baby arrives in a few weeks.

I’m super pumped to now have found this tasty find, and would love to know what your go-to quick meal solutions are as I prepare for D-Day (aka. delivery day).

How do YOU make the fastest easiest fish dish for your family?

Have you tried these new Findus fish filets?

Would you be more of a Lemon Parsley or Chive and Herb fan?

Leave me a comment below with your thoughts!

Disclaimer: This post was developed in paid partnership with Findus fish, however, all opinions are genuine.

The post How to Make the Fastest Easiest Fish Dish You’ll Ever Eat appeared first on Abbey's Kitchen.

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This avocado chickpea salad sandwich is loaded with a ton of colour, crunch and nutrition! It’s the perfect vegan chicken salad swap!

Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad or whatever other mayo-laden salad you could dream up were staples growing up. I was always a bit skeptical of them all because the texture weirded me out, but as an adult, I can’t help but totally love them all. But let’s be honest- we’re not all spring chickens anymore. I can’t always justify all of the fat, calories and salt packed into your typical chicken salad sandwich.

SO I set out to make a better for you vegan chicken salad swap – the avocado chickpea salad sandwich. Seriously, if you say chickpea salad sandwich fast enough, no one will even know the difference. Your waistline, however, will.

Dig Into This Avocado Chickpea Salad Sandwich

This avocado chickpea salad sandwich is so simple to pull off and really comes together with whatever veg you’ve got in your fridge. I mix together mashed ripe avocado with canned chickpeas, lemon and a little hot chili. It’s kind of like a lazy guacamole. This vegan chicken salad swap is awesome all on its own, but let’s not stop there.

Then, I load this avocado chickpea salad sandwich right up. Sliced ripe heirloom tomato, microgreens, shredded cooked beets and shredded carrots. Seriously- could you imagine a more beautiful sandwich?

Now, if you’re in the mood for chicken salad, will this do the trick? Probably not. It’s really not the same, just a take on the concept. But I kind of like the supple texture of the chickpeas with the creamy mildly sweet flavor of the avocado. It’s lighter, brighter and holy hell, it’s good with all the fixins’.

What would you put on your avocado chickpea salad sandwich? Leave me a comment below with your favourite sandwich toppers!

Avocado Chickpea Salad Sandwich

This avocado chickpea salad sandwich is loaded with a ton of colour, crunch and nutrition! It’s the perfect vegan chicken salad swap!

  • 1 can no salt added chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp hot chili pepper (finely minced)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices whole grain sprouted bread
  • 1 large heirloom tomato (sliced)
  • ½ cup sweet microgreens
  • ½ cup shredded carrot
  • ½ cup cooked and shredded beet
  1. In a bowl, mash the avocado until fairly smooth, add in the lemon juice, hot chili pepper, and chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. To assemble the sandwich, layer the slices of tomatoes on one slice of bread, add the microgreens, the beets, the chickpea salad and the carrots. Slice into the bad boy and enjoy!

The post Avocado Chickpea Salad Sandwich | Vegan Chicken Salad Swap appeared first on Abbey's Kitchen.

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These Mini Eggs Gluten Free Protein Pancakes will become a hit for Easter brunch and every day after that!
 Guys, let’s talk about EVERYONE’S official guilty pleasure- Cadbury mini eggs. NO, this post is not sponsored, and YES, I wish it was so that I could have a stockpile of mini eggs in my pantry right now. Seriously, I decided to make this recipe just so that I would have a legit excuse to expense a family sized bag of these bad boys. And while I have no qualms about popping these back by the handful a la carte, I figured they would be even more appreciated in these wickedly delicious Mini Eggs Gluten Free Protein Pancakes. Delicious for a healthy Easter brunch option, but honestly, delicious any day of the year when you can find those eggs!!
How to Make Mini Eggs Gluten Free Protein Pancakes
So as you guys know, I’m kinda obsessed with better for you protein pancakes.  I’ve made ones for St. Paddy’s Day and Valentine’s Day and so much more. I HAD to whip out my base recipe for Easter too!
These Mini Eggs Gluten Free Protein Pancakes essentially start with a combination of oats, cottage cheese and egg whites. I guess this is what fitness models and people like that would call “clean eats”. I call it a great base for Mini Eggs!!
 Next, I figure, we need some stacking support, so I made a delicious chocolate cashew mousse sweetened   naturally with dates.
Obviously, then we top the whole thing off with more mini eggs, berries and maple and OMG, get your face right in there.
Mini Eggs Gluten Free Protein Pancakes- WHERE HAVE YOU BEAN ALL MY LIFE?! Excuse me while I stock up on these mini eggs at the drug store so that I can whip up a batch for the hubs and I in the middle of November. Seriously, there is no need to reserve all the best things in life for one month.
Now, lovelies, let me know- what are your thoughts on mini eggs in general? What are your thoughts on these bad ass Mini Eggs Gluten Free Protein Pancakes?! Leave me a comment below!!

Mini Eggs Gluten Free Protein Pancakes

These Mini Eggs Gluten Free Protein Pancakes will become a hit for Easter brunch and every day after that!

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free oats
  • 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup mini eggs (crushed)
Chocolate Mousse:
  • 2 cups cashews (soaked in water overnight)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup dates (soaked in hot water)
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
To serve:
  • Mini eggs
  • Fresh berries
  • Maple syrup (if desired)
  1. In a blender or food processor, puree the oats, cottage cheese and vanilla. Mix in the egg whites, salt, and baking powder. Fold in the crushed mini eggs.
  2. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, spray with a spritz of vegetable oil and add 1/4 cup of batter at a time.
  3. Meanwhile, add the cashews (drained), almond milk, vanilla, dates and cocoa powder to a high power blender. Puree until very smooth.
  4. Layer the pancakes with the cashew cream, mini eggs, and berries, and serve with maple syrup, if desired.

The post Mini Egg Gluten Free Protein Pancakes | Healthy Easter Brunch Recipes appeared first on Abbey's Kitchen.

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