Healthier Apple Crisp

Healthier Apple Crisp

Why you’re going to love this recipe:

  • This is the perfect easy apple dessert recipe that doesn’t require any fuss with making pie dough.
  • It’s the perfect recipe to use up any of those Fall apples from apple picking. 
  • The crisp topping is like a crunchy oatmeal cookie that is high in fibre and protein.
  • This crisp stores well in the fridge for 3-4 days so it can be enjoyed again and again! (If it lasts that long.)

Tips for best results:

  • Use honeycrisp, granny smith, Macintosh or Cortland apples for best results.
  • Don’t forget to peel the apples! Apple peel will be tough in the crisp and will make it less enjoyable. 
  • Use quick oats if you prefer a smaller crumble in your topping, or rolled oats if you prefer a chewier/nuttier texturein your topping.
  • Use room temperature coconut oil or butter. This will give you a more crumbly dough and will result is a delicious crisp topping. 
  • You do not need to cover this crisp while baking. Make sure to bake it in the middle rack of your oven.


  • 4 apples, peeled and cut into slices
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup oats (gluten-free if needed)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil,room temperature (can sub butter or vegan butter)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F 
  2. Mix the apples, lemon juice, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a bowl. 
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, almond flour, coconut sugar and salt. Using fork or your hands, mash the coconut oil or butter into the dry mixture until its well incorpoated and forms small clumps. 
  4. Layer the apples in an 8×8 inch baking dish then sprinke the crisp topping on top of the apples.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown on top. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

Recipe from Choosing Chia.

Ditch the Beef Jerky, it is time for Mushroom Jerky

Ditch the Beef Jerky, it is time for Mushroom Jerky

That is right, Mushrooms. Did you know edible mushrooms are among some of the healthiest foods on the planet, and considered a superfood? They are known to boost the immune system, have great protein, and fiber. They are not only packed with antioxidants, but a great amount of nutrients such as B vitamins, selenium, potassium, and copper. They are prebiotic and great for your gut. The list goes on and on.

Mushrooms are nothing new to humans, we have been using them for thousands of years to treat hundreds of aliments medicinally. The ancient Egyptians said they were known to keep the body youthful. After all it is 2020, and after a year like this, we could all use a little youthful pick me up! 

Besides all the great health benefits, what about just eating them for pure enjoyment? Because they can taste great! Que, Mushroom Jerky. Instead of grabbing for your standard beef or turkey jerky, why not try Pan’s Mushroom Jerky. But wait it gets better.

Mushroom jerky is guilt free in more ways than one. Mushrooms compared to Beef or Turkey jerky, have fewer calories and little fat. So, consuming the entire bag (which you will want to because they are THAT good), won’t break the scale, and immediately send you into a juice fast for the next week.

Not only is it guilt free for your body, it is better for the planet. You will be reducing your carbon footprint by grabbing a plant-based jerky opposed to a meat-based jerky. With four flavor options, grab a bag of Pans Mushroom Jerky today at

Organic Chocolate Banana Muffins

Organic Chocolate Banana Muffins

Organic Chocolate Banana Muffins

Yields: 12 muffins

Prep Time:10 mins

Cook Time:20-25 mins


  • 1 ½ cups organic all-purpose flour 
  • ¼ cup unsweetened organic cocoa powder 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder 
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda 
  • ½ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt 
  • ½ cup organic coconut palm sugar
  •  ¼ cup organic apple sauce
  • ½ cup organic avocado oil 
  • 1 egg (or egg substitute if making vegan)
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 2 large very ripe organic bananas, mashed 
  • One semi-sweet chocolate chip atop each muffin (optional)


  • Step 1  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin tin with paper liners, or lightly oil cast iron muffin tin. 
  • Step 2  Combine organic flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
  • Step 3  Whisk organic coconut sugar, applesauce, avocado oil, egg, almond milk (or coconut milk), and vanilla extract together in a separate bowl. Stir into flour mixture until just moistened. Fold in bananas. 
  • Step 4  Divide batter among the muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Place one chocolate chip atop each muffin cup. 
  • Step 5  Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Tips: You can use real milk instead of milk substitutes, coconut oil (melted first) instead of avocado oil. 

Altered recipe. 

Why eating in season is important and its surprising benefits

Why eating in season is important and its surprising benefits

Ask any gardener how their produce compares to store bought and they're likely to tell you that there is no comparison. Remove all that grow-and-tell pride and there's still a remarkable difference in the taste and nutrients of something that was grown to full ripeness and picked fresh. In fact, store bought varieties are often either picked before ready and allowed to ripen on their journey to your grocer, or they're picked and preserved up to months on end in low oxygen storage so as to keep from spoiling. And for that reason, fresh is always best. 

Understandably, we may not be able to control the time between when it was picked and when it ends up on your table, at least directly anyway.  We have much more control over the distance the food travels to get to your table. 

But a self-sustaining garden may be a lofty idea. That doesn't mean you can't eat local though. And eating food that was grown locally gives you a better chance of eating it at its peak freshness (when the nutrients are still in tact). Since deterioration starts as soon as crops are harvested, homegrown and locally grown produce that gets to your table fast offer more nutrients than produce that travels over time and distance. In fact, vitamins and antioxidants in some types of produce may be more than 100 percent higher in local crops versus imported ones.

Besides the health benefits you can gain by eating in season, seasonal foods typically taste better. Plus, foods that are produced in season are better for the environment and easier on your wallet.

Better for your health

Foods that are grown and consumed during their appropriate seasons are more nutritionally dense. In a study monitoring the vitamin C content of broccoli, it was found that broccoli grown during its peak season had a higher vitamin C content than broccoli grown during the spring. 

Better for the environment

Stop in at local farmers market and you'll be able to figure out what's in season near you. So eating those foods means that they didn't have to travel as far to get to you. The associated fuel emissions and transportation costs are minimal (hint: those costs aren't passed on to you, either).

Better for your wallet

Think back to Economics 101. Remember supply and demand? When a fruit or vegetable is in season, there is typically an abundance of it. That in turn brings the price down. Better yet? If you grow your own, the associated costs to produce that food are even lower, and your plants will help you determine what's in season. 

How to energize your home with biophilic design

How to energize your home with biophilic design

Let's start with the basics, like defining it. If you haven't heard of biophilic design, you certainly aren't alone -- but you may be more familiar with the concept than you realize. It's a set of principles that aim to improve our connection with nature as a way to reduce stress, help focus, and even support immune response.

It involves making the most of the sensory elements of nature, such as the feel of fresh air and the sound of water. It’s also about introducing natural materials, colors, textures, patterns and even technologies that evoke a feeling of nature, and remembering that our homes need to have spaces that energize, stimulate and connect us with each other, while being calming, relaxing and restorative.

Ultimately, it's about using nature to make your home a place to recharge.

The biophilic design craze has been fueled by a host of scientific studies that indicate that being closer to nature, whether that’s in the form of houseplants or natural light, is beneficial for your health. A landmark 2019 study found that children in Denmark who had been exposed to more greenery had 55% less mental health problems later in life compared to those who weren’t exposed to nature.

And just because we love statistics, here's some more benefits of biophilic design;

  • Office design: productivity can be increased by 8%, rates of well-being up by 13%, increases in creativity, with reduced absenteeism and presenteeism
  • Hospitality design: Guests willing to pay 23% more for rooms with views of Biophilic elements
  • Education spaces: increased rates of learning 20-25%, improved test results, concentration levels and attendance, reduced impacts of ADHD
  • Healthcare spaces: post-operative recovery times decreased by 8.5%, reduced pain medication by 22%
  • Retail: the presence of vegetation & landscaping has been found to increase average rental rates on retail spaces with customers indicating they were willing to pay 8-12 % more for goods and services.
  • Homes: can become more calming & restorative, with 7-8 % less crime attributed to areas with access to nature and can command an increase of 4-5% in property price.

If the jury's still out, we encourage you to give it a try for yourself, and let us know in the comments section if you are able to notice a difference.

What Fruits & Veggies Have The Most Pesticides? The 2017 Dirty Dozen List Is Here

What Fruits & Veggies Have The Most Pesticides? The 2017 Dirty Dozen List Is Here

Every year, the Environmental Working Group researches the conventionally grown fruits and veggies that contain the most pesticides, sharing the results with the public through Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen Lists. Last year, strawberries were found to be the “dirtiest” produce source. Read on to find out how things are looking this year.

Strawberries remain at the top of the 2017 Dirty Dozen™ list of EWG's 2017 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, with spinach jumping to second place in the annual ranking of conventionally grown produce with the most pesticide residues.

EWG's analysis of tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly 70 percent of samples of 48 types of conventional produce were contaminated with residues of one or more pesticides. USDA researchers found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples they analyzed. The pesticide residues remained on fruits and vegetables even after they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.

"Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential no matter how they're grown, but for the items with the heaviest pesticide loads, we urge shoppers to buy organic," said Sonya Lunder, an EWG senior analyst.

Lunder said it's particularly important to reduce young children's exposures to pesticides. The pesticide industry and chemical agriculture maintain that pesticides on produce are nothing to worry about, but doctors and scientists strongly disagree.

"Even low levels of pesticide exposure can be harmful to infants, babies and young children, so when possible, parents and caregivers should take steps to lower children's exposures to pesticides while still feeding them diets rich in healthy fruits and vegetables," said Dr. Philip Landrigan.

Landrigan, Dean of Global Health and Director of the Children's Environmental Health Center at Mt. Sinai, was the principal author of a landmark 1993 National Academy of Sciences study, Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. The study led to enactment of the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act that set safety standards for pesticides on foods.

For the Dirty Dozen list, EWG singled out produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues. In addition to strawberries and spinach, this year's list includes nectarines, apples, peaches, celery, grapes, pears, cherries, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers and potatoes.

Each of these foods tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and contained higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce. Pears and potatoes were new additions to the Dirty Dozen, displacing cherry tomatoes and cucumbers from last year's list.

Key findings

  • Nearly all samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.
  • The most contaminated sample of strawberries had 20 different pesticides.
  • Spinach samples had an average of twice as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop. Three-fourths of spinach samples had residues of a neurotoxic pesticide banned in Europe for use on food crops—it's part of a class of pesticides that recent studies link to behavioral disorders in young children.

By contrast, EWG's Clean Fifteen™ list of produce least likely to contain pesticide residues includes sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower and grapefruit. Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods and tests found low total concentrations of pesticide residues on them.

"From the surge in sales of organic food year after year, it's clear that that consumers would rather eat fruits and vegetables grown without synthetic pesticides," said Lunder. "But sometimes an all-organic diet is not an option, so they can use the Shopper's Guide to choose a mix of conventional and organic produce."

2017 Dirty Dozen List

1. Strawberries
2. Spinach
3. Nectarines
4. Apples
5. Peaches
6. Pears
7. Cherries
8. Grapes
9. Celery
10. Tomatoes
11. Sweet bell peppers
12. Potatoes

2017 Clean Fifteen List

1. Sweet corn *
2. Avocados
3. Pineapple
4. Cabbage
5. Onions
6. Frozen sweet peas
7. Papayas *
8. Asparagus
9. Mangos
10. Eggplant
11. Honeydew Melon
12. Kiwi
13. Cantaloupe
14. Cauliflower
15. Grapefruit

* A small amount of sweet corn and papaya sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically modified produce.

Basic Chia Pudding Recipe

Basic Chia Pudding Recipe
Let's talk chia seeds. We've covered the numerous benefits of this ancient superfood before, but everyone should have a basic chia seed recipe in their repertoire. It requires very little effort to prepare and is so versatile! You'll understand why we're so obsessed.

Chia seeds can absorb 9 times their weight in liquid, but for making chia pudding we like to stick with a 1:6 ratio (You can always adjust it to vary the consistency, but for this recipe we're going for a tapioca like viscosity).

For a single serving, you'll need:


3 Tablespoons of chia seeds

1 cup of liquid*

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon sweetener (this is optional! but you could try maple syrup or honey)

*The liquid is up to you and will vary based on preference and dietary restrictions. We'd recommend plant-based milks like almond, cashew and coconut milk.


  1. In a bowl or mason jar, mix together chia seeds, milk, maple syrup and vanilla. If you’re using a mason jar, you can put the lid on and shake the mixture to combine everything. You may have to scrape the sides to get the seeds back into the liquid.
  2. Once the chia pudding mixture is well combined, let it sit for 5 minutes, and give it another stir to break up any clumps of chia seeds. Cover it and put the mixture in the fridge to “set-up” for 1-2 hours, or overnight.

    To adjust the consistency, just add more chia seeds, stir and refrigerate for another 30 minutes or so, or add more liquid to thin it out.
  3. When ready to serve, divide the mixture between two bowls, top the pudding with berries, nuts, seeds, yogurt, or not. You're in charge here, use your imagination.
  4. Want to make more? Maintain that ratio when doubling or tripling the recipe and it will set up the same as a single batch.
Now it's your turn. Use this as a launching point and make some wonderful creations. Is it breakfast? Dessert? You decide!

Why trace minerals are missing from our diets

Why trace minerals are missing from our diets

The need for trace minerals

Our bodies require minerals to function at optimal level. Ideally, these minerals would be obtained from our food sources, but modernized farming practices and processed foods have stripped these vital nutrients from our diets. And while trace minerals are needed only in small amounts, they are still a critical aspect of our overall health.

Traditionally, eating fresh grains, fruits, and vegetables grown in nutrient-rich soil has been the primary supply for a full spectrum of trace minerals.

The problem

Unfortunately in today’s world, naturally occurring, nutrient-rich soil is becoming increasingly rare. Eons of vegetation growth and aggressive modern farming techniques have brought many of the earth’s minerals to the surface where they have been washed away.

Synthetic fertilizers are routinely applied to farms and fields where minerals have been depleted, but provide only enough mineral substance to support basic plant life. Numerous trace minerals essential to human life don’t get replenished.

What can you do?

Above all else, making sure you are eating a healthy and balanced diet is the number one way to insure you are getting the right amount of trace minerals. But even when we eat the right foods, making a conscious effort to always eat healthy may not be enough. Adding trace minerals to your diet can help keep you healthy and make sure all of your trace mineral needs are met.

What are trace minerals?

We have all heard about how our bodies need certain minerals like calcium and magnesium; however, it’s not often that we hear about how we also need trace minerals. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium are known as macro minerals. Macro minerals are needed by the body in large amounts and trace minerals are the minerals that we need in very small amounts

Trace minerals are an essential part of any diet. Unfortunately, many people fail to get these much-needed nutrients from their everyday diet. All-natural foods often lack the nutrients we need, since modern farming techniques have brought these minerals to the surface, where they are washed away.

Trace minerals are a 100% natural element; they cannot be manufactured or created in a laboratory. Instead, trace minerals are only found in foods or all-natural supplements. Some examples of trace minerals are selenium, vanadium, germanium, and iodine.

In addition to eating a well-balanced diet, individuals can improve their health by supplementing with all-natural trace minerals. This ensures that you are receiving the proper amounts of trace minerals in your diet, especially since food alone is often not enough to fulfill this need.

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