Chocolate Chip Cookie & Peanut Butter Bars Dessert

I am loving this new creation: a combination of chocolate chip cookie dough, with a lavish layer of chocolate and peanut butter drizzle on top! No baking required, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Dairy-free and Peanut-free, too.  These are made using soy peanut butter (Wow Butter), but could also be made with any nut butter that is solid at room temperature.

I will post pictures the next time I make these – they went too fast the first time around! Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookie & Peanut Butter Bars

Prep time: about 20 minutes.

Cookie Layer:

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2-4 tbsps Swerve (or other sweetener such as erythritol or xylitol)
  • 4 tbsps Wow Butter (or other nut butter of your choice)
  • 1 cup Lily’s sugar-free chocolate chips
  • optional: 2-4 tbsps water (helps if you are using a blender instead of a food processor)


  1. Line a 9×9″ pan with waxed paper. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine sweetener, chickpeas and nut butter. Blend until smooth. You may want to add a small amount of water if you are using a blender. Use as little water as possible to get a smooth mixture.
  3. Add chocolate chips and stir them in. Press the dough into your wax-paper lined pan, and put in the refridgerator to cool.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Drizzle layer

  • 3 tbsps coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp nut butter of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsps cocoa powder
  1. In a microwave safe measuring cup, melt the coconut oil and nut butter. (You can also do this on the stove on low heat).
  2. Once the oils are melted, stir in vanilla and cocoa powder until blended.
  3. ‘Drizzle’ the mixture over your cookie layer. Set in refrigerator until hardened (About 60 minutes).
  4. Cut into 12 bars; wrap and store in the fridge or freezer.

If you like your cookie bars on the firm side, you can keep them in the freezer (I find them tastier this way). Other wise they will last in the fridge for about a week.

This is a great high-energy snack for kids because of the healthy fat content. And a great low-sugar, high fiber treat for adults, too!




Menu – Picnics & Plantwalks

Delicious, gourmet menu options created fresh for our picnic by the chefs at Sunterra market.  Tasty herbal elixirs are included in the picnic.

To submit your lunch order, please email with your name and choice of lunch from the menu below, along with Vegan, GF or other dietary restrictions.

Don’t forget to register for the picnic & plantwalk!

Vegan and Gluten-free options are marked with a V or GF. Orders must be received a minimum of 4 days before the event (or I will order you a yummy gluten-free vegan lunch!).

  • Gourmet Boxed Salad, Cajun Chicken & Avocado (GF)


  • Gourmet Boxed Salad, Chicken Pad Thai


  • Gourmet Boxed Salad, Chipotle Chicken & Tortilla

  • Gourmet Boxed Salad, Salmon & Goat Cheese (GF)


  • Gourmet Boxed Salad, Seasonal Quinoa (GF, Vegan)


  • Gourmet Boxed Salad, Southwest Flank Steak with Corn Salad (GF)

Balsam Poplar Love

I went out to the harvest grounds today to take advantage of the break in freezing weather. Glorious sunshine sparkling on 2-foot high snowfall, and the relative balminess of -8 degree air were not my primary motivations – I was Poplar Scouting!

This year will be a prolific season for the balsam poplar tree. While the trees appear lifeless, nestled snugly under thick coats of snow, their roots and heartwood are busy flowing and creating. On each tree, little buds boast golden drops of precious resin, the color of marigold petals.

I took many pictures but none of them did justice to the excitement I feel each year when the poplar trees herald the first whispers of spring.

(If anyone wants to teach me to take pictures of tiny buds against a snowy background I will trade you some balsam honey…)

There are still 2 weeks until the Balsam Harvest – it seems the sap flows earlier and earlier every year. This season we will have the marvelous Rebecca Smith, ClH, along with us. Rebecca is a former apprentice wrote her thesis on the Poplar family, and is an advocate for protecting the poplar trees of Calgary.

I’m also excited to be preparing our medicines outside this year, with an open fire crackling beside us, and hot herbal teas for warmth. Sharing the wonder of nature’s medicines and the honoring of the trees is a special blessing that brightens and shakes me every winter!

AHA Herbal Show, Swap n’ Sale at the 3rd Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017
Market on Macleod Atrium (7711 Macleod Trail SE)

A showcase for local herbalists, healers, gardening enthusiasts, botanists, mycologists and others who wish to share information/examples/displays related to nature or herbs with the community. Vendors can purchase booths for sales or marketing, and a swap table for gear, books and seeds will be organized.
Everyone is welcome to enjoy this event! AHA Members receive a free booth for the promotion of their business or display of whatever inspires them as a herbalist. Please contact to register for your free member’s booth or for more information. Also check out the Facebook event page. Specially-priced advanced tickets for the Alberta Herb Gathering 2018 will be available, as a fundraiser for the Gathering.

The History of Loom-Woven Metis Sashes

There is no way to describe how much I love my new loom! It’s a simple, honest tool that makes weaving so fun and fast. Although you can’t get that traditional, finger-woven look with a loom project, you can at least make a full sized sash in about 20 hours instead of 300.

The most famous Metis sashes now-a-days are woven with looms, specifically the Red River Sash pictured below. It is probably the most recognizable emblem of Metis culture in Canada (although some Easterners will tell you that it is a French Canadian invention, to which I must say, they are about half-right!).

(C) Winnipeg Free Press

Interestingly enough for Canadian history nerds, this most common of emblems is a debutante on the scene of traditional Metis sashes. Voyageur and other similar sashes were originally woven only by hand.

The story that was told to me is this. In the old days, women would weave beautiful handmade sashes and trade them to the Hudson’s Bay Company, who would sell them. Everyone wanted one of these sashes, and if they didn’t have a weaver in the family you could head on over to your nearest HBC trading post and buy one. Trade was brisk!

The talented women who made the sashes were grievously underpaid, making today’s equivalent of pennies-per-hour for their gorgeous handiwork! When the women decided to band together and demand more money, so the story goes, the Hudson’s Bay found that loom weavers could produce a similar-looking sash in a fraction of the time, and were willing to accept less money than the finger-weavers. The finger-weavers were replaced (Progress, you old tyrant!).

And that is the story of the cheaper-to-produce, but still beautiful, red river style sash as told to me.

Definitely a loom sash can be a work of art, but will always lack the craftsmanship of a finger-woven sash, which is quite possibly worth its weight in gold.

Meanwhile, as I wait for my next finger-weaving teacher to appear out of the mists of the ages, it’s nice to have a loom to be creative with. I’ll post more projects as I learn, and eventually I’ll post a pattern for the red river style sash that you can use at home on your own loom.


Plant Appreciation Picnic with the Alberta Herbalists Association

Sunday August 20, 2017, 12-4pm Bowness Park, NW Calgary 

Register Here

Join the Alberta Herbalists Association members and friends at Bowness Park for an afternoon of family friendly picnic’ing and plant appreciation! August is the perfect time to meet your local wild edible and medicinal herbs, and expert Herbalists will be on hand to teach you.

Bring yourself a picnic lunch and join in the fun! Learn from 3 different experts by following along on a Herb-walk, they will be sharing traditional and evidence-based knowledge about the wonders of plants. This is a great opportunity to build networks and create community with herb enthusiasts in our community.

All ages welcome! There will be some activities for everyone. Please bring water, frisbees, picnic blankets, umbrellas, or whatever else you need to be comfortable and have a great time in the August shade. Don’t forget to bring a cup so you can sample the delicious herbal iced teas!

Kalyn Kodiak will be there with Metis Fingerweaving bracelet-making station so you can make a souvenir to take home with you! Contact for more information.