Holiday Recipes – Turkey Rub, Cranberry Sauce, Gingerbread Cake & Peppermint Cocoa balls

Here are some yummy holiday recipes compliments of Dr. Haarsma and Dr. McCarthy.

Spice Rub: Try the following spice rub on your holiday turkey this year to add flavour without adding unhealthy fats.


Prep Time 5 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoons ground coriander


  • Combine sugar and spices.
  • Store in an airtight container. Stir or mix well before using.
  • Can be used to season poultry, pork or organic tofu
  • Carefully loosen and separate the skin covering the breast and thigh meat of a whole turkey or chicken by sliding your fingers between the meat and the skin. Use a few tablespoons of the spice rub, and using your fingers, push it beneath the loosened skin, evenly distributing the rub onto the meat. The spice rub trapped beneath the skin seasons the otherwise bland meat, while the meat is kept moist.Source:

Cranberry Sauce – Serves 6-8

Skip the canned stuff this year and make your own cranberry sauce! Leftovers are perfect over pancakes, on vanilla ice cream or atop a muffin.

Prep Time 3 minutes; Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 1-12 ounce bag of organic cranberries
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp orange zest (use an organic orange)
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or ½ tsp cinnamon)
  • 1 star anise (or 1 pinch of anise seeds)


      • In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
      • Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the cranberries have burst, stirring occasionally.
      • Remove the cinnamon stick and star anise and discard/compost.
      • Remove from the heat. Let cool or serve warm.


      • If using star anise or anise seeds, place them in a tea filter for easy removal after cooking is completed
      • This sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator
      • Try this sauce spread over pancakes, atop a muffin or over ice cream

Adapted from

Gingerbread Cake with Maple-Cashew Sauce – Serves 8-12

If you choose to indulge in any gingerbread this holiday season, the following gingerbread cake recipe will not disappoint! Any leftovers can be frozen and enjoyed passed the holidays…if any pieces make it that far!

Prep Time 10 minutes; Cook Time 30 minutes


Wet Ingredients

      • ¼ cup ground chia seeds
      • ½ cup warm water
      • ½ cup melted coconut oil, plus more for greasing the baking dish
      • ½ cup maple syrup
      • ½ cup blackstrap molasses
      • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients

      • 2 cups brown rice flour
      • ½ cup arrowroot powder
      • 2 tsp baking powder
      • ½ tsp baking soda
      • ½ tsp sea salt
      • 2 tsp ground ginger
      • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
      • ½ tsp ground cloves


      • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 4-6 hours, then drained
      • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup
      • 2 tsp vanilla extract
      • 2-3 tbsp water


      • Pre-heat oven to 350o
      • Oil an 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish.
      • In a small bowl, whisk together the ground chia seeds and the warm water. Set aside for about 5 minutes.
      • In the meantime, combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
      • Add the chia-water mixture to a blender along with the other wet ingredients and blend smooth.
      • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well with a wire whisk.
      • Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes.
      • To make the sauce, place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
      • Let cake cool for about 10 minutes. When ready to serve, slice the cake and drizzle each piece with maple-cashew sauce.

Recipe from the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook

Peppermint cocoa balls:
Dry Ingredients:
1¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup + 1/8 cup cocoa or carob powder
pinch of sea salt
Wet ingredients
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1-2 Tbsp tahini
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp peppermint flavour
Mix dry ingredients together and wet ingredients together and combine.   Take tablespoon amounts and roll into balls.  Leave as they are or roll in chia seeds.  Place in the freezer for at least 20-30 before serving.

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