Mindful Munchies

Legalization of cannabis has been a wonderful thing for many of us—a chance to indulge and celebrate the end of prohibition!
As many of you know, cannabis consumption has been known to influence and increase appetite. It triggers the release of a hormone called Ghrelin, which is also known as the “hunger hormone.” Ghrelin is released by the stomach and in turn sends a signal to our brains that it is time to eat.
As a Holistic Nutritionist who loves to snack, I thought it would be a great time to share some of my healthier snack substitutions so that you, too, can have them as a staple in your munchie repertoire when hunger hits. Having healthy snacking options is a simple shift that is not only good for your body, but a sustainable move in the right direction! Whether you're at your desk experiencing a 4 p.m. energy slump, at home vegging out in front of Netflix (which is where many of us find ourselves at the moment) or you're under the *influence* and craving something fulfilling but also sneaky healthy, here are some simple new recipes and substitutions for the age-old munchies that are packed with nutritional benefits.
Baked Zucchini Crisps with Coconut Tzatziki

2–3 zucchinis (sliced thinly or with a mandoline, if you have one)


Zucchini is a nutrient-dense vegetable that makes a great potato chip substitute. Zucchini is high in fibre, which helps regulate blood sugar, and it contains manganese, which is a trace mineral that aids in the breakdown of protein and carbohydrates. I’m always looking for dairy substitutes and coconut yogurt is one of my favourites. It's filling, probiotic-rich and provides the body with a good, clean source of fat that our bodies use for fuel instead of storing.


Slice zucchini into rounds and use a cloth to pat off excess moisture and set aside.


In a separate bowl, incorporate almond flour, coconut flour, salt and pepper. Coat each zucchini round in the flour mixture and space out on a non-stick baking sheet or pan covered in parchment paper.


Bake at 375 for 20 minutes (checking on them halfway through and flipping crisps if they're browning too quickly).


While the crisps are in the oven, you can mix together the tzatziki.

Mix together coconut yogurt, grated garlic, grated and strained cucumber, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper until fully incorporated and set aside in the fridge.


**If you have extra, this is a great dip to use later with crackers, pita or veggies or even spread on a sandwich. (Will keep in the fridge for 5–7 days.)

Grain-Free Superfood Nachos

Siete cassava flour tortilla chips


I fell in love with Siete grain-free tortilla chips because they are crispy like corn chips but are grain-free and less inflammatory. They contain ground chia, which has brain-healthy fats, avocado oil, coconut flour and cassava flour. Cassava contains resistant starches that feed good gut bacteria, aid in reducing inflammation and promote healthy digestion. Cassava is also high in dietary fibre. Adding colourful vegetables and seeds amps up the nutrient-dense love to an otherwise cheesy and carb-loaded munchie snack. I love the addition of pumpkin seeds especially because they are rich in antioxidants and a good source of magnesium—a natural muscle relaxant and stress reducer—and they are incredibly high in zinc! We all need more zinc in our lives right now.


In a shallow baking dish, pour a layer of tortilla chips and then sprinkle with cheese or dairy-free cheese of your choosing and add some sliced hot peppers. Add a second layer of chips, sprinkle with cheese and then spread out your remaining toppings (minus the avocado and lime), followed by your seed mix.


Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 degrees until cheese is melted and veggies are cooked through and top with sliced avocado and lime. Eat nachos dip-free or grab your favourite store-bought salsa and enjoy!

Rosemary Popcorn

1 bag of popped sea salt popcorn (I used Boom Chicka Pop, which is non-GMO—corn is one of the most genetically modified crops in Canada, so it’s important to look for non-GMO when reaching for popcorn)


Why not find a way to enjoy your popcorn with a healthy, immune-boosting twist? Everyone could benefit from a comforting munchie staple and, during this uncertain time, let’s boost those immune systems! Lemons are very high in vitamin C, which is alkalinizing and has anti-viral properties. Rosemary is also a great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that help to improve blood circulation and boost your immune system.


In a cast iron pan, add all ingredients except popcorn. Cook down butter and oil and bring ingredients to a simmer. (It makes your house smell amazing.) Simmer for 5 minutes to incorporate and intensify the lemon zest and rosemary flavours. Let cool for a minute or two.


Grab your favourite big bowl and, once it’s cooled slightly, pour mixture into bowl. Add your popped popcorn to the bowl and toss to coat all the kernels. (I find this keeps them from losing their popcorn crunch.) Top with black pepper and enjoy!

Madison Makepeace: CNP (Certified Nutritional Practitioner)
In-House Nutritionist at Lemon Water Wellness Clinic
Instagram: @holistic_hints