Dr. Lani Nykilchuk
Naturopathic Family Physician
Here's a great way to get a multi-mineral without taking a supplement.
By combining certain herbs (or pesky weeds as they are often referred to) with organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother) you can make a great tonic. Use the vinegar as you would regularly (on salads) or take 1/2-1 tsp daily with a bit of water.
Herbs you can consider (alone or in combination):
Make sure you are harvesting them from a location that is free of contamination and that you correctly identify your plant.
Depicted here is chickweed vinegar. You can identify chickweed by the white flowers and fuzzy stems.
Herbal vinegar making requires very little skill but a little bit of patience.
Method: harvest your herb - fill up a mason jar with your herb, then cover in organic apple cider vinegar. Cover with a plastic lid or cheese cloth (so it does not corrode) Give it a shake daily and let it sit for 6 weeks, at which point you can strain out the herb and keep your vinegar for future use.
Enjoy. Your body will thank you!
Here is a great recipe that can be made in less than an hour. Packs tons of nutrients and flavour! Great as a snack or add an egg or another protein to make it a complete meal - breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The yam wedges are special because they are cooked without oil. This means extra healthy fats can be added to the mash. Healthy fats are great for us but fats generally don't handle heat well, so when we can avoid them in this context, it's a bonus.
Avocado and Pea Mash
ingredients: (can double the recipe if required)
1/2 cup frozen peas
a few sprigs of mint
small bunch cilantro
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
optional: extra greens- spinach works well - add a handle.
combine all ingredients in a bowl and whizz with a hand blender (or use food processor). Top with a little extra olive oil, if desired
Crispy yam wedges
1 large yam - chopped into wedges
spice blend: 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp powdered garlic, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp oregano, salt and pepper
boil water in large pot, set yams in steamer and steam for ~ 7 minutes until slightly soft. In the meantime, set oven to 425 degrees. Once steamed, set yams on baking tray and thoroughly coat with spices. Bake for 25-30 minutes - depending how crispy you like them.
Delicious Turmeric Fudge
Turmeric is an amazing herb with anti-inflammatory properites. The important thing to note is that it needs to be paired with the right carriers so it is easily absorbed by the digestive system. The two molecules that aid this process are fat and black pepper (piperine). This recipe brings these three ingredients together along with chocolate and coconut oil to create a delicious fudge. The turmeric flavour will remain in a very subtle way but what will come through most is the rich chocolate creaminess. I highly recommend this as a treat and a great way to get some turmeric into your diet.
1 cup dark chocolate (100g bar)
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup turmeric
black pepper 1/4 tsp
cinnamon 1 tsp
pinch cayenne optional
note: can add or substitute powder- ashwagandha, maca
can give or take turmeric to desired taste and consistency
In a sauce pan melt chocolate and coconut oil. Once melted, add your powders - turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper. Once mixed together and smooth. Place in a freezer safe glass container lined with parchement paper - pour evenly into container and allow to cool on the counter and then to harden in freezer. Cut into cubes or desired size/shape. Store in freezer or fridge to make them last ;)
Reference/credit: Bevin Clare, RH. This recipe is based on her detox fudge. Check her out!
Quick tips to support a healthy immune system:
1. Maintain a healthy diet.
Aim for at least 8 servings of vegetables daily!! It may seem like more than you can consume, but trust me you can get there and it really does a body good!
Include deep coloured fruits and vegetables- leafy greens and berries are essential for a healthy immune system since they are high in various vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants.
Use plenty of immune boosting ingredients in your cooking including garlic, ginger, onion, turmeric, rosemary, thyme and cayenne.
Drinking warm lemon water in the morning is a great immune boosting way to start your day. Organic lemons are best.
Include fermented foods in your diet to boost beneficial bacteria in your gut. Options include yogurt (homemade is best), sauerkraut (without vinegar), miso, kimchi, tempeh, natto, kefir and kombucha.
Include healing soups, stews and warm drinks in your diet, such as:
2. Incorporate stress management techniques.
When cortisol (our stress hormone) stays high for too long our body goes into a long term “fight or flight” response. This can lead to burnout and our immune system becomes depressed leading to a higher likelihood of catching the latest cold or flu being passed around.
Ensure you give your body time to rest both during the day and allow time for a long rejuvenating sleep every night!
Practice deep breathing- even 5 minutes a day can go a long way!
Talk to your ND if you'd like more immune system support. Prevention is the best form of medicine.
These muffins are adapted from a Nourishing meals recipe found in their amazing "Nourishing Meals" cookbook.
These muffins are absolutely delicious and even if you are not avoiding gluten, dairy or eggs you will still enjoy them. They use buckwheat flour which is rich in flavanoids, Vitamin C and magnesium. Buckwheat typically has quite a strong flavour but it blends really nice with the banana and walnut.
Banana Walnut Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
3/4 cup walnuts chopped
1 1/4 cup gluten free ground oats *
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups mashed banana (~ 4-5 ripe bananas)
1/2 cup sugar (coconut sugar prefered)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk (coconut, almond, rice... any variety works)
* can omit and use all buckwheat flour instead.
preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use muffin cups or grease muffin tin.
whisk together all dry ingredients
in a seperate bowl, combine wet ingredients - start with banana then milk.... if wet ingredients seem to thick once combined you can add a bit more milk.
combine wet and dry ingredients. Fill each muffin cup - should make 12 full sized muffins
Bake for 20-30minutes. Let cool.
Enjoy as a snack or as part of a breakfast with fruit.
Why does breakfast have to be sweet except when we decide to have an omelet, tofu scramble or sausage and eggs.
Here is a new spin on your regular oat breakfast - make it savory. Add herbs and spices, olive oil, veggies and greens.
I’ve added quite a few ingredients to this recipe but don’t shy away from it because of this. Use what you have available and be creative.
I’ve been enjoying this fare all week and I can’t tell you how satisfying it is. I was first introduced to this recipe by a friend of mine and it really blew me away. Hope it does the same for you!
Savory Breakfast Oats
1 cup organic rolled oats
1 tsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper- diced
1 green onion- chopped
~1/2 cup arugula
1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1/2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
greek yogurt(I suggest pasture fed cow or goat)
~1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 lemon juice
kalamata olives 3-4 chopped
hot pepper sauce to taste
Cook oats as per directions ( a quick trick is to boil water, add your oats to a bowl and then add boiling water to just cover the oats. Let sit covered ~ 5 minutes)
While oats are cooking....
sauté - green onion and red pepper in a tsp of olive oil - can add rosemary, thyme, oregano to taste.
toast -seeds ~ 5 minutes low heat in toaster oven.
Place oats in a bowl, top with arugula, add a quick drizzle of olive oil and the juice of a 1/4 lemon, then add the sautéed vegetables, a dollop of yogurt if desired, olives, parsley, toasted seeds and a dash of hot pepper sauce if desired.
Summer of 2015 will be one to remember. It’s been HOT and dry. Cooking is not the activity of choice when the heat is on. Here is a nutritious and delicious option, it takes a moment to prepare and if you have a garden going what a great way to use up some of your bounty. Don’t feel restricted to the above list of greens and herbs... zucchini would be great, as would kale, chives... just a few ideas.
If you would like your gazpacho to look really red add a little tomato juice. I like the orange glow this recipe gives off though.
Creamy Tomato Gazpacho
3 large heirloom tomatoes roughly chopped
1 half large english cucumber
1- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
small handful basil - large stems removed
small handful parsley - large stems removed
1 cup arugula or spinach
1 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
1-2 Tbsp apple cider or white balsamic vinegar
salt to taste
Add all ingredients to blender and blend till desired consistency ( I left mine on the chunkier side)
Serve with crusty bread, grilled fish or prawns, prosciutto, cheese, olives, tortilla chips...
I like preparing this dish at the beginning of the week. It makes a nice dinner and can be a great lunch either warm or cold with a side salad.
It offers lots of flavours and is packed with protein, some slow carbs and lots of veg. What more can you ask for?
Salmon and Oat Bake
Adapted from Alive Magazine (Nov 2012)
Serves 4 - 6
2 cans of wild pink or sockeye salmon (~ 450g)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup rolled oats
1 large carrot grated
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup parsley- chopped
1/2 cup greens - chards/kale -chopped
1/2 lemon- juiced
1 Tbsp- grated or prepared horseradish
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350
Mix all ingredients together
flatten into greased 9 x 9 pan
bake for 30-40 minutes or until salmon is crispy.
Serve with side salad or sauerkraut.
I have been drinking this concoction all Summer long. It’s so refreshing and delicious.
It’s also a great smoothie to have through the Fall season since it’s full of immune supportive ingredients.
Sweet Liquid Greens
1/2 cup apple juice ( I like Santa Cruz Apple Juice)
1/2 cup water
1/2 lemon juice
1 thumb of ginger peeled
1 stick celery
1 small cucumber
1 bunch greens- spinach, kale, chards (whatever you have on hand)
optional: 2-4 tbsps of chia seeds, flax seeds or hemp hearts
Add all above ingredients to high powered blender and blend till liquified.
This is a quick and delicious meal. Anchovies and spot prawns are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and have a lovely salty flavour.
Simple ingredients make this a delicious but nutritious meal.
Spot Prawn Pasta
3- 4 anchovy fillets
1 lb spot prawns- washed and deshelled
4 tomatoes- roma or campari -diced
1 bunch parsley (stems and leaf)
1 Tbsp olive oil and/or butter
1/2 lemon- juice and zest
3 cloves garlic- minced
pinch of chili flakes - for extra heat if desired
salt and pepper to taste
grated pecorino romano cheese (sheep milk) on top if desired.
bring water to a boil and cook pasta to desired consistency.
In deep pan sauté starting with garlic, chilies, oil and anchovies for about 5 minutes. Add chopped parsley stems, tomatoes, spot prawns and lemon juice and cook till desired tenderness and spot prawns are fully cooked. Finish with S+P, parsley leaves and cheese on top if desired.
Note: if you're not an anchovie fan, these can easily be omitted from the recipe without loosing flavour.
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