Prenatal Nutrition

Get Snacking: Date love with Daits - delightful natural treats

Prenatal Snack Dates

As the seasons get cooler we thought we would share some treat ideas! Dates are both delicious and beneficial prenatally - in one of our previous blog post we offered delicious ways of eating 6 dates a day. Some of those recipes require more ingredients than others -  for those days when you don't have all the ingredients on hand or you'd like an extra special treat we are happy to present you: Daits!

Daits was founded by Reem Aljarbou - a busy mama of two. Reem grew up in Saudi Arabia, where dates are a traditional staple of daily life. After relocating to Canada, Reem was surprised to find that none of the varieties of dates she loved were available here and so she began ordering shipments of her two favourite types of dates (Sukkari and Khalas). She would eat these plain or fill them with delicious and high quality ingredients, like nuts or nut butters. 

Healthy Prenatal Nutrition

Reem began sharing her date treats with friends and coworkers and everyone loved them!  Daits was born our of Reem's desire to share her family traditions with the rest of Canada and to offer a naturally sweet treat full of health benefits. 

Daits is located inside the Saks Food Hall at the Eaton Centre Pusateri's. You can find a treat for everyone in your family at Daits: plain dates pressed in their own juices or stuffed with almonds; protein bars (made mainly with dates and few other high quality ingredients); salted caramel date bars; and of course stuffed dates with whimsical names such as seeds of love (dates stuffed with walnuts, drizzled with honey, and sprinkled with fennel and nigella seeds), first dait (dates stuffed with roasted almonds, coated in almond butter, and rolled in crispy feuilletine), and cloud 9 (dates piped with peanut butter). 

If you (or someone you love) are in the mood for a delicious (healthier) treat, give Daits a try! We try it every week...

Love, 

The Spectrum Doula Collective

 

Thanksgiving Treats

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If you live Toronto you probably noticed that our autumn has been a little bit...odd. We are oscillating between extreme summer heat and cool crisp fall weather, which can be both confusing and frustrating for those of us that love all things fall (that's most of us at Spectrum Doula Collective). We are hoping this to change as we move closer to one our favourite holiday of the year: Thanksgiving!

Whether we are spending the holiday alone, with a few people, or a big crowd we always find ways to make Thanksgiving meaningful. A big part (maybe the biggest?) of this is, of course, the food! Cooking and baking (and canning and preserving and pickling) just feel so much better during fall. 

This year we are departing from tradition and playing around with variations on carrot cake as our main desert (because we know someone will invariably bring pumpkin pie anyway). Check our our recipe below:

SUPPLIES  An oven, 2 large bowls, an 8-inch square baking dish, a whisk, a spatula, a mixer (stand or hand held), measuring cups and spoons

CAKE INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

  • 3/4 cup can sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 cup milk 

  • 1 and 1/3 cup flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • pinch of salt

  • 1 tbs vanilla

  • 2/3 cup raisins

  • 1 cups grated carrots

FROSTING INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package of cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 2 tbs unsalted, softened butter

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/c cup amber maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat your pan with butter and dust it with some flour, knocking it around to cover most of the pan (from our messy experience, we suggest doing this over the sink).

Whisk together your sugar and butter, adding the eggs, milk, and vanilla once they're well combined. Sift in your flour, baking powder, and salt, whisking until combined. Add in the raisins and carrots, stirring with a spatula (or wooden spoon). 

Scrape the batter into your prepared dish and bake for about 35-40 minutes (or until a toothpick/cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean). Cool in the pan for 10-15 min, then transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool. 

While you wait, make the frosting! In the bowl of a stand mixer* fitted with a whisk add the cream cheese and butter, mixing them together. Add the maple syrup, mix until well combined. Add the salt, mix a little longer. If you frosting is a little soft, refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. 

Once the cake is cool, frost it and eat it! 

*you can do this with a hand held mixer as well! 

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We hope you enjoy this cake around your dinner table, surrounded by loved ones, and sharing all of the things you're grateful for! 

One of our favourite ritual to go along with dessert is giving everyone a piece of paper and a pen and asking them to write down several things they're grateful for. We then go around in the table, and everyone shared 4 of the things they've written down! 

Do you have a favourite Thanksgiving treat?

 

Get Snacking: Date Love - how to enjoy 6 dates a day

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A while back we wrote a blog post about the benefits of eating six dates a day during the last four weeks of your pregnancy. We’ve been sharing this article with our clients and we often get the question: how does one eat 6 dates a day?

Aside from eating them on their own (which is delicious and easy) there are infinite ways to play with dates. We thought we'd dedicate the month of August to our love of dates and share some more date recipes to spice up your routine!

An easy way to incorporate dates in your life is to throw them in a smoothie:

dates_smoothie

SUPPLIES  A blender

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup coconut water (or regular water)

  • 1 cut-up ripe pear

  • 1 handful baby spinach

  • ½ cup chopped roughly peeled cucumber

  • 2 tbs avocado (frozen or fresh)

  • 3 pitted dates

  • ½ tsp minced ginger (or more)

  • 2-3 basil leaves

  • Juice of half a lime

INSTRUCTIONS
Place all ingredients in a blender, blend, enjoy!

This yummy refreshing smoothie has 3/6 of your daily dates and really, you can add dates to any smoothie (just make sure to balance the sweetness if you’re sensitive to sugar). Enjoy a date-ful smoothie in the morning or as an afternoon snack when you need a little more energy!

One of our favourite ways to enjoy dates is by stuffing them and the possibilities are endless:

  • pitted dates stuffed with nut butter (almost, peanut, cashew, hazelnut) and drizzled with dark chocolate

  • pitted dates stuffed with nuts (almond, peanut, pistachio), coated in chocolate, and sprinkled with coarse grain sea salt

  • pitted dates stuffed with rose-water pistachio paste (pulse ½ cup unsalted shelled pistachio in a food processor, add 1-2 tsp of rose-water)

  • pitted dates stuffed with orange-apricot-nut paste (pulse ½ cup nuts - we find pistachios or almonds work best - in a food processor, add 2-3 dried apricots and ½ tsp of orange zest or ½ to 1 tsp of orange water)

  • pitted dates stuffed with feta and walnuts

  • pitted dates stuffed with brie and pecans

  • pitted dates stuffed with cheddar and basil

  • pitted dates stuffed with….

By now you are probably thinking of your favourite ingredients and how they may work with dates - we encourage you to experiment and have fun! If you find a particularly delicious combination, leave us a message - we’d love to try it out!

Love,

The Spectrum Doula Team

Get Snacking: Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Quick and easy healthy snacks whether it be during pregnancy, labour and postpartum (or for when kids are getting older) can be hard to find. This recipe is insanely easy, packed with protein and super transportable. 

But it's got nuts!?

If you or one of your children has an allergy to nuts, this definitely is not the recipe for you. If you're wondering if it's safe to eat nuts while pregnant or nursing babe, the most current research shows that your child's development of a nut allergy is not impacted by whether you eat or do not eat nuts throughout pregnancy and or while nursing. Yay!

Supplies

  • Parchment Paper

  • 8 x 8 in pan

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Rolled Oats

  • 1/4 cup Flax Seeds

  • 1/4 cup Hemp Seeds

  • 1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds

  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1/2 cup Almonds

  • 1/2 cup Pecans

  • 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries

  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup

  • 1 cup Peanut Butter

Directions

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir ingredients together (it might be easier to use your hands to mix all the ingredients together). Cut a piece of parchment paper big enough so the paper hangs over the edges of the 8 x 8 inch pan. Place mixed ingredients on the parchment paper and use a fork to flatten the ingredients to the edges of the pan and then place in the fridge for a couple of hours. Once chilled the Peanut Butter Granola should easily be cut into bars. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.

Enjoy!

Love the Spectrum team xo

Beyond the Bio: Meet Kira . . .

*Since writing this blog post, Kira decided to go back to school to be a social worker! We are thrilled that she will continue supporting people in her new career!

Kira is passionate about birth, reproductive justice and building body-positive spaces. She is a sensitive soul always rooting for the underdog, and a total goofball exactly when you need her to be - you definitely want to get to know this peanut butter loving lady (and if you're lucky she just might share one of her homemade birth snacks with you...!).

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What drew you to doula work?

An interest in reproductive justice and health initially drew me to the field. I became really interested in birth from a social justice lens and when I discovered what a doula was, it wasn't long before I was enrolled in my first training.

If you weren't a doula what would your alternate dream job be?

I'm so passionate about this realm of work that my dream job would totally be in the field. Both a dream and a job I hope to eventually have, I would love to offer perinatal mental health support.

What did you want to be when you were in elementary school?

I went through a LOT of phases. I can quite clearly recall wanting to be a designer, a journalist, a teacher... I'm sure my mom would have a few more to add.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

Columbia! I have spent a bit of time in Central America, and can't wait to start exploring South America. My godmother always used to talk about bringing me to Columbia (her home country) before she passed.

What would the perfect off-call day look like for you?

Hiding my phone in a closet, going to a yoga class, hanging out with some friends and a glass of wine (or three).

Favourite vice (or two) that you have no guilt about?

Peanut butter.

 

Name One Thing . . .

. . . you learned the hard way about birth early in your career:

That labour can be looong. I learned that even if a client tells me their labour has begun, to ask more questions and make plans accordingly, but not to call all my backups and drop everything until labour has been fully established.

. . . you look back on in your life that makes you feel proud:

I hope to look back on the relationships that I've created and feel proud of the love and care I put into them.

. . . that usually surprises people about you:

That I'm actually pretty introverted. I consider myself an introverted extrovert, so it's usually my extroverted personality that presents in social situations.

. . . that's always in your fridge or pantry:

Coffee, chickpeas, cheese, almond milk, peanut butter, CHOCOLATE... Enough food that when the apocalypse comes, I will be fully stocked for a year.

 

What's your favourite . . .

Colour

Blue

Animal

Sloth

Season

Spring

Toronto Cafe

The Common

Birth Book

The Birth House by Amy McKay (fiction) or The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin (non-fiction)