From Our Manitoba Harvest Hearts to Yours....

Girl Holding Dog at the Park in Summer

1.) Play With Your Four-Legged Friend
How could you not have an awesome day when it involves playing with your favourite four-legged friend? Lots of studies show that spending time with pets can help to reduce stress and anxiety and make you feel calmer. Owning a dog can also encourage you to exercise since they need to go for walks and love playing catch. Don’t have a pet of your own? Volunteer at a local animal shelter! You’ll feel great after spending time with the animals and giving back.

2.) Meditate in the Morning
Instead of checking your emails or social media accounts after you turn off your morning alarm, try taking five minutes to meditate. You don’t need any fancy equipment, you can just sit in a comfortable place, or stay lying in bed (just make sure you don’t fall back asleep). Then, take deep, slow breaths in and out and try to relax your mind and body. If you have trouble meditating on your own, there are lots of great apps that can help guide you through your mediation. One of our favourites is Take a Break – Guided Meditations for Stress Relief. Meditating will help clear your mind and make you feel relaxed and ready to take on the day.

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3.) Move Your Body
Starting your day with a workout is a great way to set yourself up to have an awesome day! After working out, you’ll feel more energized and get a dose of happiness-inducing endorphins! Any kind of exercise that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat is great. If you don’t have time to make it to the gym you can always go for a walk or run, or even just have a dance party in your living room!

4.) Connect With Someone You Love
Since we all live in such a digital world, we sometimes don’t make time for real human interactions throughout the day. Try calling your co-worker instead of emailing them, or better yet – invite them to eat lunch with you. Spending time with other people (especially ones you love) can make a positive impact on your day.

5.) Laugh Out Loud
We think laughing is an essential part of every day. Nothing makes you feel better than laughing out loud! Surrounding yourself with happy people that know how to laugh at themselves is a great way to guarantee a few laughs every day!

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6.) Go Outside
Now that the weather is warming up, it’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine! You’ll feel great after getting a boost of vitamin D, some fresh air and getting in touch with nature. It’s especially important to get outside if you work indoors for most of the day. Call up a friend (or leash up your four-legged friend) and go for an evening walk in the park!

7.) Listen to Music
Blasting your favourite tunes in the car or listening to your iPod at work is an instant mood-booster! Music is a great way to make any task more fun, even cleaning the house or mowing the lawn. Make a playlist of your favourite songs, press play and get ready to feel great!

8.) Give Thanks
Life moves so fast, it’s hard to enjoy all of the little moments that make us happy. Taking a few minutes to write down the things you’re grateful for can help you realize your life is awesome! This is a great thing to do first thing in the morning, right before bed or when you’re feeling a little down.

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9.) Accomplish Something
Sometimes nothing feels better than checking something off your to-do list. Getting an important task finished can be the perfect way to make your day great! Focus on getting the most important stuff done first and save the smaller tasks for when you’ve got extra time.

10.) Try Something New
One of the best ways to make your day awesome is to try something new! It doesn’t have to be something big like going skydiving (although that sounds pretty awesome), it can just be as simple as making a recipe you’ve never whipped up before. We recommend trying our Crustless Mini Quiches or Hempy Sweet P Quinoa Bowls, both these recipes are super delicious and a hit with the entire family. It might be scary, but you’ll feel so proud of yourself for getting out of your regular routine and trying something new.

We hope you try some of our tips and have a fantastic day! What are your favourite ways to make your day awesome?

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We’re 110% committed to quality here at Manitoba Harvest and because of this, we have officially partnered up with Bullfrog Power. This means that we are choosing 100% green electricity for our head office and manufacturing site. By doing this, we are reducing our organization’s energy footprint, supporting community-based renewable energy projects in our region and across Canada, and helping to lead the way to a renewably powered future.

At Manitoba Harvest, we take the triple bottom line approach of people, planet and profit, so Bullfrog Power, a fellow B Corp and industry leader in green energy, is the perfect company to partner with. Through this partnership, Bullfrog Power’s generators put 100% clean, pollution-free electricity onto the grid to match the amount of conventional power that our facilities use.

Across Canada, Bullfrog Power’s green electricity comes from a blend of wind and low-impact hydro power sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities, with 50% coming from this region. In addition, choosing green natural gas means that Bullfrog Power’s generators inject green natural gas onto the national pipeline to match the amount of conventional natural gas used by our bullfrogpowered head office and manufacturing facility.

Sourced from a unique, groundbreaking methane-capture project situated on one of Canada’s landfills, Bullfrog Power’s green natural gas is a climate-friendly alternative to conventional, polluting natural gas. Through this innovative technology, biogas is captured, cleaned up, and put into the national natural gas pipeline, displacing fossil fuel-based gas and reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

We’re proud to be working with Bullfrog Power to reduce our environmental impact, support new renewable energy projects, and educate on sustainable choices.

To learn more about Bullfrog Power visit www.bullfrogpower.com.

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MH_Salad-BroccoliHempPotatoe_Pin_2015-05-22The holiday long weekends have officially begun (happy Memorial Day weekend to our friends and family in the USA) plus summer is right around the corner (yay)! This means that potlucks and BBQs with family and friends are in full swing. I always find it hard to think of what to bring to a potluck. I usually end up picking up a veggie platter or baking some cookies, so for #FoodieFriday this week, I thought I’d get creative and make Broccoli Hemp Potato Salad, potluck size of course! Plus since it’s vegan, all of your guests will be able to enjoy it.

I was getting so hungry when the sweet potatoes were cooking and I was mixing the curry, cumin, and cayenne pepper together, it smelled so good. It tastes sweet, spicy and delicious! It also looks fantastic. The bright red pepper, vibrant orange sweet potato, and dark green broccoli make this dish look like a rainbow of flavour!

If you don’t have a potluck coming up and you can’t wait to try this recipe, you could make it as a side dish for supper! You can also cut the recipe in half if you only have a few people to serve. Trust me, if you make this dish your guests will be begging you for the recipe!

Broccoli Hemp Potato Salad
Yield: 10-12 servings 

IMG_0181Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 3 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 5 celery stalks, cut in half lengthwise and chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup cashews pieces
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Hemp Hearts
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp water

First, add cubed sweet potatoes to a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Then, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender (about 5-10 minutes). Make sure you don’t overcook the potatoes or they will lose their shape when you mix them with the other ingredients. Once the potatoes are finished cooking, drain and set aside. Then steam the broccoli florets until they are tender but still a bit crisp.

Next add the potatoes, broccoli, red pepper, celery, raisins, cashews and cilantro to a large bowl and gently fold to combine the ingredients. Then, in a small bowl, combine the vegan mayonnaise, Hemp Hearts, curry, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, olive oil, water and stir. Add the sauce to the sweet potato mixture and gently fold to combine all ingredients. You can serve this dish warm, room temperature or chilled.

That’s it! I hope you try this dish for your next get-together. What are your favourite potluck dishes to make?

From Our Kitchen to Yours…

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Since May is National Salad Month, we thought we’d share some of our all time favourite salad recipes with you! Salads are a great way to incorporate veggies into your meals, they are easy to whip up, and they are so versatile.

When it comes to salads, the possibilities really are endless! We love switching up what type of greens we use, adding different toppings like nuts, dried fruit, vegan bacon bits and chopped veggies, and whipping up healthy dressing options (like the king garlic hemp dressing we have on our website). Plus, we always make sure to sprinkle our salads with lots of Hemp Hearts!

SummerBerryGreen_SaladSalads are also great to bring to a potluck as a healthier option. Our Cajun Hemp Slaw is sure to be a big hit at your next backyard BBQ!

Instead of using plain lettuce, try using kale or spinach like in our Summer Berry Salad. It’s the perfect salad to make right now, since spinach is in season and strawberries are just starting to come into season. This salad (including the dressing) only uses eight ingredients so it’s quick to whip up when you’re in a rush.

 

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Another creative salad idea is to skip the greens all together and use beans instead! Our Mean Bean Salad is super delicious and really easy to make. All you need to do is combine garbanzo, soya and kidney beans and mix in some Hemp Hearts, hemp oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, celery, tomato, and red pepper. Then you just chill it and enjoy!

As you can tell, we’re big salad fans! What’s your favourite type of salad to make? Leave a comment below* and we’ll send you Hemp Hearts to use in your next salad creation!

*Hemp Hearts offer expires May 31, 2015

Bars-Vegan_ChocoChip_2015-05-15Happy Chocolate Chip Day everyone!! We’re happy it landed on a #FoodieFriday! Have you ever been making a big batch of chocolate chip cookies and wanted to eat the whole bowl of dough before the cookies made it to the oven? Well these Vegan Chocolate Chip Bars taste just like that except they aren’t full of butter and raw eggs! They are also super easy to whip up and require no baking!

Eating these bars made me feel like a kid again, sneaking a spoonful of cookie dough when my mom wasn’t looking, but you definitely don’t have to feel guilty about eating these treats!

To make these bars even better, I used my favourite coconut sugar from Big Tree Farms and some Hemp Hearts. You can make this recipe into bars like I did, or you can roll them into cookie dough balls (kids will love those). Either way, you’ll have a hard time eating just one! If you want some extra bars (they store really great in the fridge or freezer) just double the recipe.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Bars
Yield: 15 bars

IIMG_0146ngredients

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp coconut milk or your favourite non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup Big Tree Farms coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour or finely ground oats
  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup Hemp Hearts
  • 1/2 cup mini vegan chocolate chips

Instructions
First, melt the coconut oil by heating it in a pan or microwaving it in a bowl. Next, stir in the coconut milk, coconut sugar and vanilla until the mixture is well combined. Then, add the salt, oat flour, almond flour and Hemp Hearts and mix. After that, fold in the chocolate chips. Press the dough into a parchment paper lined 8×8 pan and refrigerate until set. Cut into small bars and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Thanks to who ever created Chocolate Chip Day for giving us an excuse to eat chocolate! I hope you love these bars as much as I did. What are your favourite ways to make treats a little healthier?

From Our Kitchen to Yours…

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Our fourth annual Mom Love contest was a huge success! We received so many inspiring stories and beautiful photos from everyone who entered. It was really wonderful to hear the incredible stories that everyone shared about their mom! Congratulations to our grand prize winner, Kelsey R. who shared the story of her mom encouraging her to start running. We love that they run marathons together and the photo of them in their racing gear is too cute!

We had SO many amazing entries for this year’s Mom Love contest that we decided to award two runner up winners as well! Our runner up winners are Cassandra A., who entered an amazing photo of her and her mom swimming with dolphins, and Michelle D., who shared the heart-warming story of finding a “faux” mom after her real mom passed away. Check out our winners’ awesome photos and inspiring stories below!

Winner
Kelsey R. – Biggest Fan
90761839For as long as I can remember, my mom has always been a runner. It’s her favourite hobby, her way of staying in shape and her way of dealing with any stresses that come her way. Growing up, I was just the opposite. I avoided any and all physical activity. After graduating from college a few years ago, I realized that I had gained quite a bit of weight, and after being diagnosed with high blood pressure, I knew that I had to make a change. My mom suggested running. I ran my first mile a few days later and it was such a struggle. I didn’t enjoy any part of it, yet my mom encouraged me to go out for another run a few days later. So I did. It’s been two years now since I ran recreationally for the first time. In the fall of 2014, I ran my first half marathon alongside my mom. She supported my first mile that I ever ran and has supported inspired mile since then. She really is my hero.”

Runner Up Winners
Michelle D. – Me and My Faux Mom at Her FIRST Red Sox Game!!
90473259My mom passed away in 2006. I was devastated. Shortly after, I met a little lady, who would become my faux mom. She is an amazing, kind, supportive, patient and loving person! We’re both big Red Sox fans, but she’d never been to Fenway — so for her birthday, I took her! We love to “thrift” (hit up thrift shops) and knit, but honestly, our favorite thing to do is just sit and chat and laugh. She has helped fill a big hole in my heart and I couldn’t imagine not having her in my life.

90382595Cassandra A. – Me and My Best Friend
“This is my mother and I in Cuba this year. I just found out that she is sick so we decided to go on a trip just her and I. My mom is more than just my mom; she’s my best friend, biggest supporter and has been there for me through thick and thin. She tells me the truth when I need to hear it and sends me kind words when I feel down. She is a strong woman who works hard, loves to try new things and loves her family more. I owe her for everything she’s done for me (put me through school, helped me during certain situations). Without her I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be here today. In this picture she was scared to get in the water with the dolphins. After minutes of convincing, she finally jumped in. It was on both our bucket lists and we got to accomplish this together. I will always have that memory and I think a trip together started a new family tradition.”

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s contest! The pictures and love for your moms was truly amazing!

Sometimes life can be busy and fitting in a workout can seem impossible. We all need a little motivation every once in a while and we’ve found ours for the week! The “Who Will You Be?” video from Dick’s Sporting Goods shows women overcoming obstacles that would usually stop them from being active and instead, choosing to get out there and get moving!

This video reminds us that we’ve got the power to choose whether we stay in bed or get up and go for a run, go to a yoga class, or fit in whichever workout we want. We can decide if we’re going to make fitness a priority or if we’re going to let our busy lives stop us.

It might not always be easy but it’s always worth it. We feel so much better when we make the time to be active. Watch the video below and let us know what you think!

Thanks Dick’s Sporting Goods for sharing this awesome video! We’re setting our alarm clocks extra early tomorrow. Will you?

Loaf-ChocoHempZucchini_2015-05-08Happy #FoodieFriday everyone! Today we made a super delicious Choco Hemp Zucchini Loaf that would be perfect as part of your Mother’s Day breakfast or brunch. It’s chocolaty and full of yummy Hemp Hearts! It also contains no refined sugar and it’s dairy-free and paleo-friendly, so regardless of your mom’s dietary restrictions this recipe is sure to be a hit!

The Choco Hemp Zucchini Loaf is super easy to make and it’s a good way to use the zucchini that’s hitting the farmer’s markets now that it’s in season! I suggest you whip this up Sunday morning so it’s nice and warm when you serve it to your mom. It also goes really great with a hot cup of coffee!

The best part of Mother’s Day is spending time with your mom or the mother figure in your life, and I think breakfast/brunch is the perfect time to catch up while you both enjoy some tasty treats!

We have so many really great breakfast recipes on our site, so I’ve compiled some of my favourites into a Mother’s Day menu your mom will love!

Healthy & Delicious Mother’s Day Brunch Menu
Coffee or tea
Razzmatazz Smoothie
Choco Hemp Zucchini Loaf
Crustless Mini Quiches
Fruit Salad with Hemp Hearts on Top
Greek or Coconut Yogurt with Crunchy Hemp Granola

Choco Hemp Zucchini Loaf
Yield: 8 to 10 slices

IngredientsIMG_0112

  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded (about 1.5 cups shredded)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup almond butter (or whichever nut or seed butter you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1/4 cup Hemp Hearts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. First, shred the zucchini using a food processor or cheese grater. Then, squeeze the zucchini between two paper towels to remove all of the liquid. Next, mix the zucchini with the rest of the ingredients until they are well combined and the mixture is a dark chocolate color. Pour the batter into one 8 x 4 inch loaf pan. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick poked into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let the loaf cool, cut it into slices and serve!

I hope you have a fantastic Mother’s Day spent with your mom and that she loves the Choco Hemp Zucchini Loaf as much as I did! What’s your favourite treat to make for your mom?

From Our Kitchen to Yours…

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Mother’s Day is the perfect time to spoil your mom and make her feel appreciated, but that doesn’t mean you have to empty your pockets buying expensive gifts or taking her out to pricey places. The best gift you can give your mom is spending time with her! We’ve come up with a few awesome Mother’s Day activities that don’t cost you a dime, and we picked out some easy and eco-friendly DIY gifts your mom will love!

Mother’s Day Activities That Don’t Cost a Dime

Plan a Picnic in the Park975a434a64fe9af9d22baf8147cbf98c
All you need to do is pack up a lunch full of your mom’s favourite foods and drinks (don’t forget your bag of Hemp Hearts), grab a blanket or some chairs for you both to sit on, and go to the park! She’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness and enjoy spending the afternoon in the beautiful outdoors with you.

Help Her Check Off Her To-Do List
This is one activity your mom will really appreciate! Moms always have a long list of things they have to do but that they don’t always have time for. Spend time with her while helping her get things done! You can help her clean the house, plant some flowers, organize things, whatever she needs help with. You could set up a nice spot for her to relax, drink coffee, and read her favourite magazine while you do the work. She’ll love it!

Make Her Breakfast or BrunchHemp_Pancakes
Going out for breakfast can be expensive and the restaurants are usually packed on Mother’s Day. Instead, why not whip up some of your mom’s favourite breakfast treats and serve them to her? We’ve got lots of tasty and easy to make recipes on our site, like our Hemp Pancakes or our Crustless Mini Quiches. You can also make her one of our delicious smoothies, as we have dozens of ideas to choose from. Whatever you decide to make, it’ll also be a healthier option than going out to eat, which to us, is a total win/win!

Go on a Hike or Nature Walk
Mother’s Day is the perfect excuse to go exploring outside with your mom! Find a new hiking trail or walking path, pack a few healthy snacks (we love our Sweet Cranberry Hemp Bars), and go enjoy nature. Walks and hikes are always a great chance to catch up, while getting in a little exercise too!

DIY Eco-Friendly Mother’s Day Gifts

Need an easy to make, affordable gift for your mom? We’ve got you covered! Remember when you were a kid and you’d make your mom a present out of macaroni, Popsicle sticks, glitter, glue and whatever else you could find? Well DIY projects have come a long way since then. These gifts look great, are cheap to make, and they use recycled materials so they’re eco-friendly too! Here are a few great ideas:

For the Nature Loving Mom – Upcycled Birdfeeder
This birdfeeder is the perfect gift for the mom who loves to sit outside and watch the birds! The birdfeeder looks so cute your mom will be shocked it’s made from a recycled orange juice bottle!

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For the Tech-Savvy Mom – Lotion Bottle Cell Phone Holder
This adorable cell phone holder is made from an old lotion bottle! It’s simple to make and will really impress your mom. She’ll think of you every time she charges her phone!

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For the Mom that Loves to be Pampered – Homemade Foot Soak
You only need four ingredients to make this foot soak! It’s great for moms who are on their feet all day or who love to be pampered. You can decorate an old mason jar and fill it up with the foot soak. It will look great and make your mom feel super relaxed!

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For the Photo Loving Mom – DIY Photo Coasters
These coasters are functional and adorable. Pick out some of your mom’s favourite photos, collect some old tiles and get crafting!

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For the Foodie Mom – Chalkboard Mason Jars
These jars are the perfect way for your mom to store her oats, chocolate chips, spices and other baking and cooking supplies. All you need to do is get some old mason jars and buy some chalkboard labels (they are available at most craft stores). Then you just stick the label on the jar and voila! You can also fill the jars with some baking supplies and spend the day making treats with your mom!

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For the Fitness Loving Mom – DIY Workout Shirt
This is the simplest gift, and one that your mom will really love! You can use her favourite old t-shirt to make this or you can use a new one. In just 20 minutes you’ll be able to turn an oversized gym shirt into an adorable workout top!

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We hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day and enjoy spending the day doing the things that you love with your mom! Don’t forget to enter our Mom Love contest, you could win an awesome prize pack for your mom worth $1,000! What is your favourite affordable Mother’s Day activity?

Guacamole - Blissful BasilHappy Cinco de Mayo everyone! At Manitoba Harvest we’re celebrating by making a batch of 5-Ingredient Perfect Guacamole from Blissful Basil. It’s super simple to make and it tastes incredible! All you need is an avocado, lime, and tomato, and some cilantro, garlic and sea salt. We’re going to add some delicious Hemp Hearts to ours (making it 6 ingredients) and we suggest you do too! 

6-Ingredient Perfect Guacamole
Serves 1-2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado, halved
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 1/4 cup diced plum or vine-ripe tomatoes*
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro**
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • sea salt, to taste (we use about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon large-flake sea salt)
  • 3 tbsp Hemp Hearts

Directions
Scoop the flesh of the avocado into a small bowl. Juice either 1/2 to 1 lime over the avocado (depending on how citrusy you like your guacamole — we like a full lime!). Use the back of a fork to mash the avocado and lime juice together. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic to the bowl and gently fold into the avocado mixture. Next add in the Hemp Hearts and stir until they are well combined. Season with sea salt, to taste. Serve with tortilla chips, veggie sticks, or your favourite dip-able snack.

Notes
*If you want to get real fancy, scrape the seeds from the tomato before dicing.
**If you dislike cilantro, fret not! Simply omit it altogether or consider adding in some finely-diced poblano peppers.

Recipe courtesy of Ashley Melillo from Blissful Basil

We hope you enjoy this delicious recipe and have a great Cinco de Mayo! What’s your favourite Cinco de Mayo snack?