vegan egg nog affogato


A lazy Sunday afternoon, sun shining on the glistening snow, baby’s napping, the Christmas tree is lit and my healthy egg nog is getting brewed up.  A little bit of rum for the holidays and my new adult colouring book: a sublime Christmas holiday afternoon.

After my last post, I got so many requests for my healthy egg nog recipe, so I thought I would share.  The cashews lend a mellow flavour and a creamy texture.  Add all the traditional flavours, with a couple newbies….what a treat! My favorite way to serve it?! Warmed with bit of rum, over a scoop of vegan ice cream (I use this one), Affogato style.  So here it is, a quick post to share the love…then I need to get back to Christmas festivities with my fam 🙂


vegan egg nog affagotaDSC_1172-2







vegan egg nog


Egg Nog Affogato

Makes 3 cups before rum


1 cup raw, unsalted cashews, soaked overnight in water to cover *

2 cups pure filtered water

1 cup full fat coconut milk

5 Tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon vanilla powder

3/4 teaspoon true cinnamon

1 + 1/8 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon clove powder

pinch of salt

Cognac and Rum at your discretion 🙂

Vanilla Ice Cream like this vegan one 



Rinse the cashews in clean water and transfer to a high speed blender.  Add 2 cups of pure, filtered water and blend on high until a “milk” as formed.  Strain through a mesh bag or cheesecloth into a clean container. You can keep the cashew “meal” in the freezer for baking at a later time.  Rinse out the blender and then transfer the cashew milk back into the blender. Add the coconut milk, honey, vanilla powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove powder, and salt.  Add rum, or cognac and rum for a holiday treat 🙂

Enjoy cold, at room temperature, or gently heated and poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  


*I prefer cashews as they yield a smooth and creamy consistency and a mellow flavour.  However, feel free to experiment with  other bold nuts like hazelnuts and brazil nuts.  



Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. The joy of giving a present and seeing someone’s face light up, the generous man who buys a homeless stranger a pair of boots in the blistering cold, the woman who takes her children to the soup kitchen to show them the true meaning of Christmas, the overzealous coffee barista who makes extra special latte art for the stressed out father. Everyone seems to give a little more. It’s a time for friends and family to get together more than they normally would, and show their gratitude for their love and friendship through the ritual of gift-giving. 

Over the past few years, giving homemade Christmas gifts has become something I really enjoy. It might be cliché but it’s so true: this season really is all about love. So why am I making gifts instead of buying them? To me, giving a homemade gift feels more sentimental, more genuine. I become more present in the moment and in the season. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, or take a lot of time, you feel the love with each gift you make and you hope the recipient does too. And that’s what food is to me: love.





In honor of being more genuine and more present this holiday season, I want to share three edible Christmas gifts that will work for anyone on your list, even the pickiest of eaters. I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate?! As a Holistic Nutritionist I am always looking for ways to sneak in a bit of nutrition into my food so I’ve come up with three healthy, easy, and thoughtful options. First, an immune-boosting pear and fennel chutney, a perfect accompaniment to a cheese board, a roasted pork loin, a curry, with yogurt and granola, or even on top of hummus. Next are the chocolate barks, an easy way to hide superfoods like rose water, schisandra, ginger and nuts. Last, I wanted to include a super-simple infused olive oil. You can add pretty much anything to these oils, such as chili peppers or pink peppercorns, but I opted for a festive rosemary and crushed garlic variety. 



The holidays are also a time for community and what better way to show my appreciation for my community than to partner up with our local magazine “Dote”.  You can find these recipes and some ideas for diy wrapping over on Dote Magazine’s blog.

Here’s to relaxing a bit more this holiday season and being more present instead of buying more presents. Happy Holidays!




  • Brooke @ Chocolate and Marrow - I love this post so so much, Anise! Your photos are seriously stunning.

    And I agree wholeheartedly about food, and the season, being about love. I don’t exchange store-bought gifts with most people in my life, preferring instead to do things that are “experiential” and/or homemade. The problem for me with homemade food is that I only ever seem to think of cookies! I love your ideas for bark, chutney, and infused oil–brilliant! Now I better get to work…

    Happiest of holidays to you and your family!ReplyCancel

    • Love & Garnish - Sorry for the late response! The holidays got the better of me! I had so much fun with these photos…pulled out the tripod and it paid off! Hope you had a wonderful holiday season!ReplyCancel

  • Bee - Great ideas, Anise! And I absolutely agree with Brooke about the beautiful images. Love the styling and composition. I’ve given out more homemade edible gifts this year thanks to a holiday gifts class that I took and the chocolate party that my friends hosted. It’s definitely a lot easier to create multiple packages of gifts with the help of a dozen other bakers and candymakers! Happy holidays!ReplyCancel

    • Love & Garnish - Aw thanks so much Bee! And so sorry for the late response! The holidays got crazy around here!! I will have to try a baking party next time to make mounds of gifts! Great idea!ReplyCancel


maple roasted sunchoke and cauliflower soup with chestnut mylk and roasted oyster mushrooms

I am a huge Christmas nerd: the parties, the music, the charitable festivities, the food…oh, the food! I start getting excited for this time of year right after my birthday, which is in September! “Elf”, “A Christmas Story”, “Dirty Santa” (don’t judge!!) and “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation” are on repeat by Thanksgiving and my healthy version of eggnog has its place in my fridge.  Along with the holidays come parties, and I love hosting. One of my favorite appetizers to serve is a soup, presented in mugs, so everyone can walk around and mingle….all with an extra hand for a glass of vino.

maple roasted sunchoke and cauliflower soup with chestnut mylk and roasted oyster mushrooms maple roasted sunchoke and cauliflower soup with chestnut mylk and roasted oyster mushrooms
homemade chestnut mylk nut milk

 DSC_9610maple roasted sunchoke and cauliflower soup with chestnut mylk and roasted oyster mushroomsIn honour of the season, I’m over at Pure Green Magazine’s blog this week as a Community Leader for the Holiday edition of their “Pure Green In Season Cookbook”.  You can find me chatting about my biggest kitchen fail, how I try and make sustainable choices around Calgary’s short growing season, my lack of a green thumb, and my love for seasonal, organic, and local foods.  You’ll also find the recipe for this bomb-ass, rich and decadent (and gluten/dairy free!) soup HERE.

I’m honoured to be alongside the other talented community leaders this go around: Sophie of The Green Life, Shelly of Vegetarian Ventures, and Betty of Le Jus D’Orange.  As community leaders for Pure Green Magazine’s “Pure Green In Season Cookbook”, we hope to inspire you to submit your favorite late fall or holiday dishes to their community cookbook.  Submissions are open until December 15 and you can find all the deets here.  You can also tag your seasonal dishes on Instagram with #pgminseason….I can’t wait to see what you got! 

Happy Holidays! xoxo




maple roasted sunchoke and cauliflower soup with chestnut mylk and roasted oyster mushrooms
maple roasted sunchoke and cauliflower soup with chestnut mylk and roasted oyster mushrooms



  • John - You don’t even post the recipe. Not that I would want to cook something that looks like sewer water anyway.ReplyCancel

    • Love & Garnish - I am sorry the photos disturbed you so: “sewer water”? You mentioned the recipe wasn’t posted, however, this was a recipe for Pure Green Magazine and was posted on their site, for which I gave the link. I hope your having a better day!ReplyCancel

  • kate | vegukate - What a beautiful, dreamy way to use seasonal ingredients!ReplyCancel


warm winter brussels sprout and butter bean salad pomegranate pine nuts leeks


There is no better smell than sautéed leeks on the stove. It reminds me of family gatherings of holidays past and warm meals being prepared with love by Grandma as the air chills the windows from outside. American Thanksgiving crept up on me this year since we were away last week, but I really wanted to share this recipe.   Canadian Thanksgiving is in October, but I never pass up an opportunity to use food as a way to gather…. to come together and celebrate each other and our blessings.  

warm winter brussel sprout and butter bean salad pomegranates leeks pine nutswarm winter brussels sprout and butter bean salad with pomegranates pine nuts leeks

pecan tahini dressing
It was just the four of us this year at our table: my husband and I, Knox, and of course Harvey at our feet.  My quick, healthy menu consisted of a homemade cranberry sauce (easy peezy…just cranberries, maple syrup, fresh ginger, and a bit of orange juice), this bomb ass Brussels sprouts dish, Kale and Caramel’s Shaved Kale, Fennel and Asian Pear Salad, free range, local roasted turkey breast, and mashed potatoes with celery root (I can’t make mashed potatoes without parsnips or celery root! It adds so much flavour!).  And of course, don’t forget the vino!!  As I looked around the table, I couldn’t believe all that has happened since our last Thanksgiving. As any mother would say, I am beyond thankful for the biggest blessing of my life: my little boy.  He brings such joy to my life…sometimes I don’t know how I got so lucky.

Cheers to another year of many blessings! Hope you all had a bountiful Thanksgiving!!





warm winter brussel sprouts and butter bean salad with leeks, pomegranates and pine nuts

Warm Winter Brussels Sprout and Butter Bean Salad with Pecan Tahini Dressing

Serves 4 as a main; 6 as a side

Inspired by Green Kitchen Stories



1/3 cup pine nuts

½ a fresh pomegranate

1 lb of brussel sprouts , 4 cups

1 leek

1 Tblsp ghee or coconut oil

1 can of butter beans, drained and rinsed or dried butter beans*

salt and pepper to taste


2 Tablespoons pecans

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 1/2 Tblsps fresh orange juice

1/2 Tblsp tahini

1/2 Tbsp maple syrup

1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp dijon mustard



Prepare the dressing: In a food processor, grind the pecans and olive oil until a paste forms.  Add the orange juice, tahini, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard.  Pulse until well combined.  Set aside. 

Toast the pine nuts: in a large skillet, toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes until toasty and fragrant. Stir frequently, being careful not to let them burn. Set aside.

Remove the pomegranate seeds: cut a pomegranate in half. While holding half in your hand, cut side down, bang the skin with a wooden spoon, releasing the seeds into your hand. Pick out the white membrane and set the pomegranate seeds aside.

Prepare the brussel sprouts: trim the brussel sprouts by cutting off the stubby end and removing the outer leaves. Cut each brussel sprout in half, lay each half down on a flat surface, and slice thin into shreds. Set aside.

Cut off the dark green portion of the leek. Slice the leek in half length-ways, then slice thin. In a large skillet, combine the leeks, ghee or coconut oil, and sauté for 2 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add the brussel sprouts, half at a time, and sauté for another 2 minutes.

Add the brussel sprouts and leeks to a large bowl. Stir in the pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, and butter beans. Toss with the dressing.


*If you would like to use dried butter beans, pick through the beans and remove any dirty or damaged beans. Soak the beans over night in fresh water (3x the amount of water to beans), and remove any “floaters” (these won’t cook properly).   In the morning, rinse off the water, and add beans to a large pot with more fresh water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1.5 hours.  Add salt then cook for another 1-1.5 hours or until tender. Drain and use as you would canned beans.




It’s quite ironic…I’m sitting on the beach, watching the waves softly lap in and out, sipping on some coconut water and writing a blog post about pumpkin bread.  Not something that typically comes to mind at the beach.  However, if you follow my Instagram, you can see I worked hard on this pumpkin bread over the past few weeks….too hard not to share the recipe.  It was another one of my crazy baking challenges: “I’m going to make the best damn pumpkin bread with whole grain flour instead of white flour, coconut oil instead of butter, and coconut sugar and date paste instead of white sugar.  And it’s going to be unbelievable.”.  Well, after the 2nd, then the 3rd, 4th, and 5th try, I was starting to wonder if this was ever going to happen.  My husband came home from work one day and says “What’s up with these things?? Are you making one every day?!”.  “Well, not intentionally!!”, I said! I tried everything: fresh vs canned pumpkin, different combinations of flour, beating the coconut sugar with the eggs instead of adding it to the dry ingredients, instant coffee vs strong brewed coffee….the list goes on.



I finally inlisted the help of a fellow Holistic Nutritionist/Chef and she suggested date paste.  Of course! This is how I make my banana bread…what was I thinking?! I also realized that brown rice flour was lending somewhat of a grainy texture so swapped it out for oat flour.  This seemed to do the trick and what developed is what you see here: A moist, perfectly spiced, pumpkin coffee bread with dark chocolate and nut crumble topping.  It has more of a texture like a cake…but who would complain about that?!

With American Thanksgiving approaching and the abundance of fresh pumpkins back home, I can’t think of a better time to share this recipe…


spiced pumpkin coffee bread with dark chocolate


Spiced Pumpkin Coffee Loaf with Dark Chocolate 


Serves: as many want to enjoy! Makes one 9″ x 4″ loaf



Sugar and Spice Nut Topping:

(optional; can also top with plain nuts, seeds, chocolate, etc.)

1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, crumbled

1 1/2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds

2 Tablespoons maple syrup

1 Tablespoon coconut sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder


Dry Ingredients:

1 cup oat flour

½ cup almond flour

½ cup arrowroot powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons true cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla powder

1 ½ teaspoons fresh grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon cardamom*

¼ teaspoon clove powder*


Wet Ingredients:

1 cup canned pumpkin puree or fresh pureed pumpkin

6 Tablespoons date paste

1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar

2 free range organic eggs

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1 teaspoon fresh orange zest

50 grams or 1/2 bar organic, dark chocolate, cut into chunks

4 oz decaf, strong brewed coffee

*These two spices are nice additions if you can find them.  If not, this recipe will still taste great!



1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.  
2.  In a small bowl, mix together all “nut topping” ingredients and set aside.    
3.  In a medium-sized bowl, sift all dry ingredients together.  Set aside.
4.  In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the pumpkin puree and date paste.  This may take a few minutes.  Set aside.
5.  In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs and coconut sugar until well combined.  Add the pumpkin and date paste, melted coconut oil and orange zest.  Stir to combine then gently fold in the chocolate.
6.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently mix to combine well; stir in the coffee then pour into the loaf pan.  Top with nut and spice topping.
7.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  
  • Brooke @ Chocolate and Marrow - Girl. This looks absolutely amazing! I love all of the different ingredients…and have SO been there with the multiple tests. When you get it right, though, that’s just something truly special.

    And these PHOTOS! Don’t even get me started. I want the half pumpkin in a frame in my house.