Manitoba Hemp Heart Product Review

hemp2013111813503776569_lrgThis is my first product review for Confessions of Dietitian, so I thought I would post my comments on my blog, along with my pics.


Thank you for sending me the Hemp Hearts!

I used the sample product in my oatmeal to replace my usual serving of either walnuts or almonds. I really enjoyed the nutty taste, and I feel that hemp hearts make a good alternative to nuts. I liked the unique velvet texture of the hemp hearts I shall definitely use hemp hearts again.

image 2

 My overall thoughts on hemp hearts as a healthy product are pretty good. My main concern is that 170 calories for 3 Tbsp. seems high, but compared to other trendy super foods like ground flax (150 calories/ 3 Tbsp.), and chia (210 calories/3 Tbsp.), it seems about the same. I really like that the product packs 10 grams of protein in 3 tbsp.

I am always cautious of my consumption of nutrient dense foods, and if not measured carefully, hemp hearts (just like other nuts and seeds), may add up in calories really fast if just dumped on top of a salad, or in my case, oatmeal. I would recommend using hemp hearts sparingly in that you measure out a serving (just like butter or any other oil/fat).

Personally I am not a big fan of some of the marketing the company sent out. It kind of seems like they are pushing the product as a life transforming food product. It seemed a little over the top for me.

I do plan on purchasing more hemp hearts, and using them in my baking. I plan to add them to my granola bars, multigrain bread, and crackers. I also will be sending them with my 3 year old to day care, as she ate the entire second sample bag and wanted more. That was surprising.


I would rate this product 5 out of 5.

~ Susan

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83 Healthy Recipe Substitutions

914950b1bb50aa49a09d1219bec526b1Picture from

Here is an amazing list of healthy substitutions you can use while cooking and baking found while pinning on  The I have to admit, some of the suggestions I haven’t even tried yet…like #1 “substitute black bean puree for flour”…I am going to have to try that one.

I regularly swap out apple sauce for oil, use natural peanut butter for reduced-fat peanut butter, mashed bananas for fats and brown rice for white rice. The list is quite extensive, but most of the suggestions look suitable.

Hope you enjoy! Susan


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Salmon With Whole Grain Pilaf

salmon on whole grain pilafI love whole grains and I am always looking at new ways to incorporate them into the foods that I eat…and my family.

Sometimes straight up whole grains are sometimes really chewy, and may not be the same texture that your and your family are accustomed to with more processed grains.

Here is a recipe for using wheat berries (or hard wheat kernels) that kind of “sneaks” them in. I hardly ever cook single grains anymore. I am always mixing them in different combinations to add variety to our meals. This recipe incorporates wheat berries and brown rice. If you are trying to sneak them in, the trick is to match the type of brown rice to the size and shape of the wheat berry. I used short grain brown rice with wheat berries, which are approximately the same size.

Other trick that I have been adding to my grains is this dehydrated vegetable mix from the bulk barn. I love the added flavor and texture it brings to my dishes. Plus is it low in calories and doesn’t have added salt, sugar or fat, like most bouillon mixes contain.

Hope you enjoy!

 ~ Susan Watson, RD

Salmon With Whole Grain Pilaf

Makes approx. 4-5 servings (with plenty of rice left over for another meal).


  • 1 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 1/2 dehydrated vegetable mix
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 frozen salmon fillets
  • 2 tbsp of marinade or bbq sauce
  • 8 cups frozen vegetables


1. Add rice, wheat berries, dehydrated vegetable mix, and garlic powder into a rice cooker and add water. It will cook for about 30-40 mins.

rice mixHere is the nutrition facts for 1/2 cup off cooked whole grain pilaf (only).

Whole grain pilaf

2. Put frozen vegetables into the slow cooker, turn on for 20-30 mins.

veggiesteamer3. Thaw frozen salmon fillets in bowl of warm water for 2 mins. (just enough time to release the packaging from the salmon.

frozen salmon24. Put salmon on some tinfoil, and drizzle 2 tbsp of your favourite marinade or BBQ sauce. I found this one at (OrganicVille Sesame teriyaki) costco that uses agave nectar as a sweetener. Its low in calories, but a tad high in sodium. You gotta chose your battles some days :-) You can also just sprinkle some lemon juice, dill and black pepper on the salmon too.

sauce pic5. Cook salmon on the BBQ or in the oven at 380 degrees for about 20 mins.

6. When all items are done cooking, plate 2 cups of vegetables with 1/2 cup rice pilaf and 4-5 oz of salmon.

THE BEST thing about this recipe is that you can put all the ingredients into the baby bullet and make some amazing baby food! My little one loved it :-)

sam eating salmon



Posted in Back to Basics, Grains, Healthly Living, Healthy Kids, High fibre, Low Sodium, Uncategorized, Weight management | Tagged | Leave a comment

3 Quick Snack Ideas For Kids

kids cooking class

Had a great time leading a mini kids cooking class yesterday! The blender was a real hit with the kids! Found some great recipes from Eat Right Ontario – Get Kids In The Kitchen Cooking Contest.

Here are the ones we made yesterday: (Print copy)

Kids Cooking Class Recipes

Almond Butter Spiced Apple
Preparation time: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 serving

Almond butter is another nut option butter that has a rich flavour and source of protein. Look for it where other nut butters are sold. It has a subtle sweetness that tastes great with a tart apple and the zip of cinnamon and nutmeg on top.


  • apple
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL)  almond butter or Wow butter
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL)  ground cinnamon
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


1. Cut apple in half and remove core.

2. Spread each half with almond butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Banana Yogurt Jam Wrap Up

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 wrap

This is quick to prepare and kids can have fun mixing the jam and yogurt and rolling up the wrap. Perfect to tuck into your lunch or enjoy after school.


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) strawberry jam
  • 1 small whole wheat tortilla
  • 1 small banana


1. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and jam.

2. Spread evenly over tortilla and place banana along edge and roll up. Cut in half to serve.

Berry Smoothie


·       ½ cup frozen berries

·       1 cup milk


1. Place ingredients in blender and pulse until smooth. Add more milk if you want a thinner consistency.

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Hidden forms of sugar

Today I did a “Clean Eating” presentation for Niverville MOPS. Sugar was a big topic of discussion, especially with the new WHO’s guidelines…just remember that the guidelines are for “added” sugar…don’t stress about sugar found in your whole fruit (2-3 servings *1/2 cup per day of fruit is healthy)!

See this article for more info.

By: Health Reporter, Published on Thu Mar 06 2014

Finding the amount of sugar hidden in your food not easy




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How Clean Is Your Eating? …and no, we’re not taking about about scrubbing your vegetables or using soap on your salad!

Learn the basics to “Clean Eating” and transform the foods that you eat into foods that fuel your body!

Clean-eating-poster1If you have any questions, please email me.

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50 Healthy Gluten-free Snack Ideas

peppersIMG_8790Photo from: With Style and Grace

I found this great site that has some excellent Gluten Free snack ideas.

Check it out at With Style & Grace : 50 Healthy Gluten-free Snack Ideas


Posted in Gluten Free, Snacks | Tagged | 1 Comment