Whole Foods Living
Calling All Chocolate Enthusiasts!
Date Added: July 1, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Whole Foods Living
Calling all chocolate lovers, consumers, enthusiasts and the like!
Is that you?
I sense yes?
Recently I had the privilege of cooking up a storm for our June Mid-Week Getaway guests – brunches and dinners and, oh yes, desserts as well. If you’ve visited Shanti, you probably look forward to our delicious vegetarian meals more than the yoga, am I right? Just teasing. But maybe not. In the kitchen one afternoon, I got my hands muddy with chocolatey goodness and whipped up a batch of these beautiful (and gluten free!) chocolate cherry brownies. The recipe called for raspberry, but we had some charming cherries on hand, so I got spontaneous and luxurious.
Double Chocolate Brownies
2 1/2 cup of ground almond
1/2 cup of brown rice flour (I used quinoa flour)
2 tablespoon of melted coconut oil
3 tablespoon of coconut sugar
2 heaped tablespoon of raw cacao powder
3 tablespoon of date syrup (I used maple syrup)
1 cup of almond milk
75 gr of dark chocolate (I used vegan chocolate chips)
400 gr of fresh raspberries (I used frozen cherries)
Start by preheating the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
Click here for instructions on how to put these beauties together. Pure decadence. Pure vegan and gluten free gorgeousness. Namaste.
At the end of our Mid-Week Getaway, I also had the privilege of hosting an event in the yurt on our grounds on the evening of June 23rd: Earth Medicine: Chocolate Movement Meditation. Incoming sacred Guatemalan cacao…
Let me paint you a picture…
We chopped up this 1 pound brick of pure, rich, organic and ceremonial cacao all the way from South America, dissolved it in a big pot of boiling water, flavoured with sea salt and maple syrup, and head straight to the yurt…
We begun in seated meditation with Monsoon Point playing in the background, and were guided gently into a receptive state to allow the sacred cacao medicine to work through us, encouraging her to work with us. We allowed the sweet vibrations of our Tibetan singing bowls to permeate our spirits and slowly, as we transitioned into a very earthy, tribal set of music, we opened up and let it all go…
Thirty or so of us got the chance to experience the magic of cacao in sacred and safe space, together in community, alongside some of the beautiful musical findings of DJ Liz Diaz of Conscious Dance Parties Toronto. People came from Kingston, from the Island, from Toronto, and as far as Ottawa for this ecstatic gathering, coming together to celebrate the summer solstice in the best ways possible – with dance, and with chocolate! Ah, the pleasures of Life… So sweet.
It was such incredible energy here at Shanti. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be here offering these gifts, these opportunities, for movement and for connection. Quickly after settling back after final relaxation, everyone began to inquire about the next gathering. Stay tuned for more information on this one, and check in with my website at http://subtlesubstance.tumblr.com/
Namaste, blessed ones, and hey, happy Canada Day to you! What are you grateful for?
The gifts of this country.
Spiced Banana Bread (Gluten Free)
Date Added: May 18, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Uncategorized,Whole Foods Living
This recipe is far too delicious & nutritious not to share with our readers… Shanti Sous Chef Mike recently whipped up four loaves of the best gluten free banana bread known to mankind for our guests (and staff!). This recipe was found in a new Shanti kitchen favourite by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre called The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook: A Complete Nutritional and Cooking Guide for Healthy Living.
SPICED BANANA BREAD
Makes 1 loaf
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup arrowroot powder (we used tapioca flour)
1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
…and I would recommend pinches upon pinches of cinnamon, too!
5 large organic eggs (veganize it by substituting with 5 flax eggs: 5 tbsp flaxseed + 25 tbsp water)
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 medium bananas)
1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil (and more for greasing the pan)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE MAGIC…
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat an 8.5 x 4.5-inch bread loaf pan with coconut oil.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In another mixing bowl, beat together the wet ingredients with an electric mixer. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and beat together.
3. Pour batter into prepared and greased pan and bake for approximately 50 minutes. Cool for about 20 minutes in the pan, then loosen the sides with a knife, and turn over onto a wire rack, allowing to cool completely.
Divide up some healthy slices, share with friends over tea, and even double, or shall I say triple the recipe to enjoy all week? Freeze a batch for next week? Delicious served with nut butter and good conversation!
Snack well, be well,
The Shanti Family
How To Step Into Spring & Break The Stress Cycle by Francesca Durham
Date Added: | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally,Living with Yoga,Shanti's Retreat Offerings,Uncategorized,Whole Foods Living
When your stress levels reach an all time high, listen to your body because it knows when to feed your soul. Quiet time to decompress, gain clarity and perspective is necessary for healthy conscious living.
Staying calm and peaceful for most people is not an issue. However, staying focused day after day, meetings, deadlines, multi tasking, flexing between projects, emails, relationships and constant technology interruptions will eventually take their toll. There comes a time when you need to disconnect from it all, break the stress cycle, and return to a place of inner peace.
When’s the last time you invested in yourself? Well, there’s no time like the present to do just that. My recent discovery of Shanti Retreat located on Wolfe Island, a Ferry’s ride across the water from Kingston, certainly left an impression. More important, it reminded me how necessary it is to take care of oneself. The best way to break the stress cycle so you really can step into Spring starts with listening to the call for R&R. Shanti retreat makes a perfect weekend or mid-week getaway.
Run by co-creators Wendy and Darin, Shanti is a hidden gem on the island. I learned this tranquil retreat is frequented by many clients who return year after year. And, the staff are some of the kindest most warm hearted people you’ll ever meet.
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Just remember, it’s never to late to step into Spring. What matters most is believing wholeheartedly you’re worth it.
by Francesca Durham
Infused with Fusion Wellness
Date Added: April 24, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Green Living,Living with Yoga,Shanti's Retreat Offerings,Whole Foods Living
What a magical full moon weekend retreat here at Shanti. After the recent fullness of Mother Moon, guests this weekend of Cobourg’s Fusion Wellness for sure feel the gentle afterglow. This weekend’s offering was truly a tour and journey through the chakras. Last night’s yoga practice in the yurt, lit mystically, we explored the upper chakras through inversions to the body, promoting a fine tuned mind body soul connection.
It was beautiful to witness how open everyone was this weekend, especially since only 1 of the guests this weekend had been here before – Tera, one of the facilitators, who was at Maria Carr’s weekend last year, who will be here this coming weekend hosting her annual Shanti offering. All guests, of all ages and walks of life, had this sense of curiosity and willingness to be open to the gifts of the offerings. Contentment and satisfaction; everyone departing with a smile, a sweetness in their eyes.
Chefs Landon and Mike graced the Shanti kitchen with their presence yet again this weekend with some delicious eats and treats. Last night they presented us with our infamous Shanti Cheesy Nut Loaf (in our cookbook!), alongside honey roasted carrots and pickled beets, both from Okee’s Farm on Wolfe Island, roasted green beans and slivered almonds, and a delicious mixed green salad with our favourite Shanti house dressing – everybody’s true love. Dessert? Sweet and citrus bliss balls last night, and before that, our second round of chocolate and sea salted almonds. We’re slowly working these into perfection, let me tell you.
Guests were gifted a variety of different beads through the weekend, each colour bead corresponding to each chakra’s colour, and this morning before our blueberry hot cake brunch, everyone got to create a mala bead bracelet, arranging their beads in unique ways as a take home, a reminder, of this weekend’s blessings. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, white….
Thank you, Fusion, and we will see you this time next year!
Brussels in the Belly! Fall Quinoa Salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cranberries
Date Added: October 17, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally,Uncategorized,Whole Foods Living
Get harvesting! You know your bellies are calling for some Brussels. Though commonly unpopular among kids, you and yours will absolutely love them in this perfect and wholesome autumnal dish.
Yield: Serves 4 – 6 Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 20 mins
12 Ounces Brussels Sprouts, Trimmed and Quartered
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Salt and Pepper
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Dry Quinoa
½ Cup Chopped Pecans, Toasted
½ Cup Dried Cranberries, Chopped
1-1/2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced Finely
1 Tablespoon Grainy Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spread the Brussels sprouts on it.
Drizzle with the olive oil and salt and pepper and toss to gently coat.
Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until browned and tender.
Toss once during the roasting time.
While the brussels sprouts are roasting, bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to simmer, and cover.
Cook the quinoa for about 15 minutes and remove from the heat.
Let the quinoa sit for a few minutes then fluff with a fork.
In a small container with a lid or a canning jar (my favorite for mixing dressings), add all dressing ingredients.
Tighten lid on and shake well.
In a large bowl place the quinoa, Brussels sprouts, cranberries and pecans in.
Give the dressing one quick shake again and add while gently tossing to coat well.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
If your children grew up on raisins, substitute the cranberries for a couple handfuls of raisins. This is an incredible and complete dish for all to enjoy. For an additional oompf, toast up the pecans (or walnuts, for added creaminess) on the stove, perhaps with a dash of sea salt or brown sugar if you’re feelin’ it! This dressing is to die for, too. You could go all out and even try it with some real Canadian maple syrup tapped right from your parents’ trees or from your nearest sugar shack. Spend a day at the shack all bundled up and come home to unwind warmly to this beautiful dinner for the family. If you don’t already, you will soon love the Brussels.
An Autumnal Embrace; Sensing the Seasons Change at Shanti
Date Added: October 10, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally,Uncategorized,Whole Foods Living
Autumn has come. Let’s embrace these moments of transition, shall we? During this time, our natural surroundings invite us to come back inside, to go deep within the center of our being. Slowly, slowly, the air is becoming a little bit more crisp, the sun is rising and setting just a little bit later each day, and the geese are preparing for their winter stay in the southern states. I invite you to take a moment now to look outside, to be still, and to sense into the slow changes unfolding all around you, both in nature and in your life. Breathe with these beautiful times. We are blessed to experience such changes.
A good friend of mine really taught me to embrace this season the last time autumn arrived at our doorsteps. Her childhood took place primarily outdoors, and so her love of feeling the cold come across the land eventually rubbed off on me, and for this I am so grateful. It happens – summers end and winters come, but right in the middle we are given this great gift. For her, the fall is always a time to reflect on the summer’s seeds that had blossomed, and to weed out and let go of anything that no longer serves, making space for the inner journeying that winter calls for. It’s also a time for a lot of apple picking!
Here on Wolfe Island, the changes in season are truly stunning! We are fortunate enough to have our own permaculture garden that produces right up until the end of our Shanti season at the end of November. We’ve got our kale still with us, some squash coming through, and Brussels sprouts searching for our bellies. We like to do autumn right! Good home cooked meals eaten fireside with our Shanti team, hot chocolates, walks in the wind, and big, cozy socks for it all. You too can embrace this season – just dress warmly, brew so many pots of tea and be sure to gather loved ones to cook hearty harvest fall meals with. Don’t forget to breathe in these beautiful temperatures and colours, remembering to smell the scent of every falling leaf, freshly reddened.
By Andrew Burrows
Shanti’s Recipe: Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Date Added: October 7, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Whole Foods Living
Late summer sees an abundance of many delicious offerings from nature. Most notably guests at Shanti have been enjoying eggplant parmesan prepared with tomatoes, basil and garlic from our own organic permaculture garden and eggplants and onions from Wolfe Island’s Okee’s farm.
This classic Italian comfort food will keep you warm as we head into fall.
15 roma tomatoes
2 large eggplants
3 white onions
4 cloves of garlic
Handful of fresh basil
Handful of fresh rosemary and thyme
Splash red wine vinegar
1 cup spelt flour
3 organic free range eggs, beaten
3 cups breadcrumbs, we like to use spelt
2 cups fresh Parmesan
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 375 o. Halve 15 Roma tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes.
Cut two large eggplants into ½ inch thick disks, rub with salt and leave to rest in a colander. This draws the water out of the vegetable and will prevent the eggplant becoming soggy during cooking.
To prepare the tomato sauce, start by sautéing 3 chopped onions with a generous handful of chopped rosemary and thyme in olive oil. When the onions have softened, add in 4 cloves of crushed garlic. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and your roasted tomatoes straight out of the oven. Leave to simmer on a low heat and season as necessary.
Meanwhile prepare 3 dishes for coating the eggplant. Flour (gluten free flours such as buckwheat work just as well), 3 beaten eggs and finally a bowl of breadcrumbs. Pat each eggplant disk dry with paper towel, coat first in flour, dip in egg, shaking off excess, and finally coating in breadcrumbs.
We like to bake the eggplant, instead of frying it as it is traditionally done at this step. These will be baked on 375o for around 30 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden and a knife can easily pierce the centre of the eggplant. It is best to flip the slices over half way through baking to evenly cook them.
While the eggplants are baking the sauce can be taken off the heat and blended.
Grate 2 cups of fresh parmesan (mozzarella will also work well) and tear up a handful of basil leaves.
Remove the baked eggplants from the oven. Cover the bottom of a 9×13’’ pan with sauce, some basil and then layer eggplant and cheese on top.
Finish with a covering of sauce and return to the oven to bake for around 20 minutes until the cheese has melted.
Enjoy with roasted vegetables or a lightly dressed salad and share with loved ones.
We ate it up so fast that there was no time for step by step photos, but we will be sure to capture it next time!
By Sheran Owens, Shanti Cook 2015 season
Behind the Scenes: Shanti’s infamous Granola
Date Added: August 29, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Whole Foods Living
Shanti is known for its delicious food, prepared with love and awareness. One of the most popular dishes, which you are guaranteed to enjoy during a retreat at Shanti, is the Maple Pecan Granola. We serve the granola with homemade yogurt or banana oat milk as a part of our breakfast and brunch!
photo by http://www.lesbonheurs.fr/
This recipe, along with many brunch items, main dishes, salad dressings and desserts, is found in Shanti at Home, our first cookbook published in honour of the 10th anniversary season. The cookbook can be purchased here, on the website’s homepage, and includes shipping!
Shanti’s Maple Pecan Granola
2 cups rolled oats
1⁄2 cup pecans
1/4 cup dried cranberries (or any dried fruit like figs, prunes, apricots, peaches, cherries)
1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1⁄2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp vanilla extract
PREHEAT oven to 275° F. Line Baking sheet with parchment paper.
IN A LARGE BOWL, combine oats, pecans, cranberries, raisins, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt.
IN A SEPARATE BOWL, combine maple syrup, ginger and vanilla.
ADD maple syrup mixture to oat mixture and combine well.
SPREAD granola in a thin layer on baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes to prevent burning. Cool completely and store for up to a week in an airtight container.
Makes 4-6 servings
Best enjoyed with yogurt or your choice of milk and fresh seasonal fruit.
Classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookies…with a twist!
Date Added: June 8, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Whole Foods Living
It’s almost a guarantee that oatmeal raisin cookies will win over a crowd. They have this nostalgic quality to them and taste good, not matter your age.
The Shanti kitchen team prepares these cookies to sell as nutritious and delicious snacks during afternoon free time. This past weekend, Shanti’s newest volunteer, Isabelle, suggested that we add lemon zest to the cookies…and let’s just say there is no turning back.
We used cranberries in this batch, but feel free to stick to the classic raisin recipe or any dried fruit that you enjoy.
2.5 cups spelt flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp bakin soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1.5 cups dried raisins or cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda and powder, and salt in a large bowl. Toss in dried fruit, nuts, and cinnamon.
Mix the coconut oil (room temperature), maple syrup, vanilla and lemon zest thoroughly in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until all the flour has been absorbed.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet. Bake for 13 minutes.
Enjoy out of the oven or allow to cool.
Makes 25 giant cookies, or more if smaller.
Inspired by Jae Steele, in Ripe from Around Here
By Lacey Budge
How to Grow Your Own Micro Greens
Date Added: May 19, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Green Living,Living Seasonally & Locally,Whole Foods Living
What you’ll need:
- Flat, draining, seedling tray
- organic potting soil and sheep manure
- organic micro green seeds
1. Mix 1 part sheep manure to 3 parts potting soil in a clean pail
2.Spread your mix approximately 2-3 inches deep in the seed tray; making sure it is fairly level.
3. Spread an even coat of seeds onto mix of approximately 4 – 6 seeds per square inch.
4. Soak the seeds with a light mist (small watering can works well)
5. Sprinkle a light coating of mix on top to barely cover seeds. Add another light sprinkle of water to moisten the top mix.
6. Keep out of sun at room temperature for 3 to 4 days until you see them start to germinate.
7. Put indoors in full sun, and water as needed (usually morning and afternoon).
8. In 3 to 4 weeks, the true leaves appear (which will be the second set of leaves). Cut micro greens at base of stem with scissors
About the Author
Mike is in charge of everything outdoors at Shanti, especially the garden. He enjoys planting and harvesting from Shanti’s permaculture garden, and sharing the bounty with the guests. His interests include off grid living, tiny homes, construction and relaxing vacations!