I collect tea. Yes, that’s right, I have an extensive collection of tea – loose leaf, pre-bagged, caffeinated, herbal, you name it, I’ve got it. Given my love of tea, I am excited to be featuring Shelby Kroach who is a registered nutritionist and the creator of a lovely local tea company, The Honest Leaf as an Inspirational Feature on LoveWildLiveFree! I interviewed Shelby about The Honest Leaf and had the wonderful opportunity to learn more about the benefits of tea from a nutritional standpoint. I’ve included that interview below along with Shelby’s deliciously rich recipe for vegan and dairy-free, homemade Nutella, made with wholesome ingredients.
I first met Shelby at the Gluten Free Garage annual Toronto event in November 2014. Her brand resonated with me as not only am I a big tea drinker, but, I am also a huge proponent of healing through foods. I absolutely love the concept behind The Honest Leaf tea blends as these teas are all wellness based and designed to support different functions in the body. Shelby has combined beautiful, organic and natural ingredients to create tea blends to help with boosting energy and the metabolism, detoxification and even sleep.
The following is a segment of my interview with Shelby. For the full interview please click Here.
What inspired you to create The Honest Leaf?
My goal when creating The Honest Leaf tea line was to bridge the gap between cool fun flavoured teas and health. I wanted to offer my clients/customers something that they could trust, without all the additives and flavourings that was geared towards their health.
What are some of the benefits of incorporating tea into a balanced diet from a nutritional standpoint?
Tea has so many health benefits, from providing the body with antioxidants to helping soothe an upset stomach. Teas have been used for thousands of years in many cultures as medicine. Herbal teas can also count as water intake. For those that need to bump up their liquids, this is a perfect option.
How can tea be used as part of a healthy bedtime routine?
The nature of tea in itself is very soothing and calming. Enjoying a cup of herbal tea before bed really helps to relax the body and the mind. Just try to have your tea early enough in the evening so that you aren’t waking up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night!
What are some ingredients to be wary about when it comes to tea?
I am always skeptical about flavourings. Artificial and natural. From a nutritional standpoint, I always want to put whole, natural ingredients into my body. When something has been processed or manipulated in some fashion, I tend to stay away from it.
“One of my all time favourite chocolate desserts when I was a kid was Nutella. Rich, creamy and full of hazelnuts! There’s just nothing better. But, with all the added sugar, milk and other “not so good for you” ingredients, I decided to give it up. But now, I have something even better! And it’s made with REAL, WHOLESOME ingredients.”
– Shelby Kroach, The Honest Leaf
Nutella, The Right Way
1.5 cups hazelnuts
1/3 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp unrefined, virgin coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1-2 tbsp water (to help thin out a little)
(Use organic ingredients)
- Pre-heat oven to 300*F. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
- Remove hazelnuts from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Then, put them in a cloth and rub off the skin. It should come off easily. Don’t worry it they aren’t perfect.
- Place hazelnuts in a food processor and process until it becomes a fine powder (like sand). Add in cacao powder and pulse together.
- Add remaining ingredients and process until well combined. About 5 minutes.
Enjoy the Nutella with a spoon, on toast or you can make Nutella truffle balls.
Nutella Truffle Balls:
Simply put Nutella into the freezer for 30 minutes. Then with a table spoon, scoop out little balls (form with your hands) and roll them in cacao powder. Pop them back into the freezer and you have truffles in no time!
Special thanks to Shelby Kroach of The Honest Leaf for her time and for sharing her recipe! All images in this post are courtesy of The Honest Leaf.