Ricki’s Raves 6: Autumn 2016 Edition

I’ve decided to start a little series called Ricki’s Raves, in which I share some of my favorite items (both food and non-food alike) that I truly love and use all the time. Today, I rave about the products I’ve been enjoying since the beginning of autumn over here. But of course you can use them all year-round!  

Ricki's Raves


It’s hard to believe we’re already well into Autumn (especially since we’ve been enjoying summerlike temperatures here in the Toronto area this week!). Still, the leaves are turning and I’ve been thinking about warming meals, comfort food, and all things pumpkin.

I’ve been enjoying some new products, some of which I discovered a couple weeks ago at the Canadian Health Food Association trade show here in town. Today, I’ll share some of the products I’ve fallen in love with. Hope you love them, too. 

Breville’s  “The Boss” Blender 

High powered blender review on rickiheller.com

[The Boss about to transform raw ingredients into a delicious green smoothie.]

What it is

Okay, people, this ultra-high powered blender from Breville is a game-changer! Designed to be super-easy to use with a multitude of settings so you can blend virtually anything you’d like, The Boss is Breville’s answer to any blending needs in a sleek, simple to use and powerful machine.

Why You’d use it

candida diet green smoothie on rickiheller.com

In today’s world, “green smoothie” is a familiar term, and more and more of us are concerned about what goes into prepared and processed foods. So, we’re making our own! This blender will not only allow you to make incredibly smooth green smoothies (as their site says, you’ll have “green smoothies you don’t have to chew”), but also a multitude of other smooth and blended homemade foods, from silky smooth soups (which can be made and heated right in the blender) to creamy nut butters, sauces, crushed ice and even homemade mayonnaise.

Wherever you’d want something blended, The Boss will help you along.

What I love about it

The Boss is a gorgeous piece of engineering and design. As it’s a beautiful appliance to look at, you’ll want to keep it handy on the counter. It’s also designed with every convenience and feature to make your blending quicker, easier, and healthier.

Case in point:  the ProKinetixTM blade and bowl system has three different sized and angled blades so that they can pulverize virtually any combination of ingredients into a fine, smooth texture with a silky mouthfeel (50% smaller particles than traditional blending, according to the site). This also allows us to more easily absorb more nutrients from the food, and the blade assembly is designed to keep the food evenly heated, thereby preserving the nutritional integrity of the ingredients.

Using the blender is a breeze, with clear controls and individual buttons for specific blending needs, from soups to green smoothies to ice creams. If you prefer, you can use the manual speed dial, so that you retain complete control over how fast, and how long, the blender works. There’s even an auto-clean setting to make cleanup a snap. Accessories include a tamper for blending solid ingredients (like nuts) and spatula to scrape clean the blender walls without having to open the top.


Retail price for The Boss in Canada is $599.00 CDN; it sells for $399.95 USD in the US.

How I use it. . .

Candida diet, sugar-free Alkaline Lime Smoothie

I make green smoothies, of course! (Recipe above is the Alkaline Lime Smoothie from The Blender Girl). No more kale grit in your morning smoothie. . . everything came together speedily and smoothly.

I also use the blender whenever I need something quickly mixed or pulverized. Below, I had run out of crushed tomatoes for a recipe, so quickly “crushed” them in The Boss.

Breville The Boss blender review

Nut butters, anyone? The Boss is perfect for blending up homemade nut butter, which is so much healthier than store bought. Pictured below is my Blissful Raw Cacao-Coconut Spread (my version of “Cacao Bliss”).  The Boss makes coconut butter, too!

Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Vegan Cacao Coconut Spread on Rickiheller.com

Finally, I also make all my ice creams in the blender, and The Boss makes that job easier  as well. With Canadian Thanksgiving just past, I whipped up a lovely batch of Cranberry Ice Cream last week:

Candida diet, sugarfree, dairyfree CRanberry Ice Cream in the Boss Blender

Chickapea Chickpea-Lentil Pasta

What It Is

Candida diet, grainfree Chickapea pasta

Chickapea Pasta is a gluten-free and vegan pasta made from only two ingredients: chickpea and lentil flours. It’s available in all the traditional varieties you’d expect (fusilli, penne, and shells).

Why You’d Use It

Whether you’re celiac, allergic to gluten, on an anti-candida diet or just want to eat more plant-based protein, Chickapea is a great way to enjoy all the taste and convenience of conventional pasta, without the grains!

What I Love About It

The flavor and texture of Chickapea is outstanding. It cooks up just as quickly as any other pasta, looks the same, and tastes the same, in my opinion. I loved cooking it slightly al dente and allowing whatever sauce I’d made soak in and soften the pasta a bit more. I found the flavor to be mild and neutral, just like I remember “regular” pasta to be.

Chickapea is gluten-free, of course, but it’s also certified organic, non GMO, kosher and vegan. And the nutritional data is off the charts!

Because it’s made from chickpea and lentil flours, both high-protein plant-based flours, Chickapea serves up a whopping 23 grams protein per 85 gram (about a cup) serving! So even on my laziest cooking nights when I made a simple aglio e olio pasta sauce (basically oil and garlic–with a little parsley thrown in), I didn’t worry one teeny tiny bit about not meeting protein needs for that meal. If you do add protein to the pasta, you’ll have an absolute powerhouse of a protein-rich dish.

To add to the healthful profile, one serving also provides 11 grams (over 30%) of your daily fiber needs, 40% of iron, magnesium and thiamine, 30% vitamin B12, 100% folate. . . plus much more.


One box of Chickapea Pasta retails for around $5.99 CDN in Canada, and $4.99 USD in the States.

How I Use It. . . 

I loved re-creating some of my favorite pasta recipes using Chickapea. This recipe with chard, garlic, ginger and walnuts was originally made with soba noodles. I thought this new version was stellar:

candida diet, sugarfree, grainfree pasta with chard, garlic and walnuts recipe

And for my lazy-day, quick-as-lightning aglio e olio pasta (here with homemade broccoli slaw), it’s simply perfect:

candida diet, glutenfree pasta dinner

Holy Crap Cereal

grainfree, sugarfree, candida diet Holy Crap cereal

What It Is

Canadians will know well the story of Holy Crap Cereal--an early contestant on the reality show Dragon’s Den (the original show that spawned Shark Tank in the US). Their product, a grain-free, superfood-based breakfast cereal was a huge success with the dragons, who invested in the company. The rest, as they say, is history, and Holy Crap is now the most successful business to ever come out of the show; plus, the cereal can literally be called “out of this world” ever since it accompanied Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield to the International Space Station during his 5-month stint in 2012.

Why You’d Use It

We all want to eat more real, whole foods. But what do we want beyond that? Convenience! Holy Crap offers both, with packaged cereals that can go with you anywhere and provide you with incredible nutritional value. It’s a great way to incorporate a hearty, filling, nourishing breakfast into your day, knowing you’ve already consumed a hefty portion of your daily nutritional requirements.

What I Love About It

grainfree, candida diet, sugarfree Holy Crap cereal

[A bowl of Skinny B cereal, with added fresh berries.]

What’s not to love about a highly nutritious cereal that’s organic, non-GMO, certified gluten-free, vegan and kosher? As a group, the cereals are all also very high fiber with a good dose of protein (the Skinny B contains 7 grams or 28% of your daily fiber in a 2-tablespoon (30 ml) serving; along with 6 grams of protein, 10% of daily calcium needs and 15% daily iron).

I also love that Holy Crap is ready-to-go and portable. Many of you may be familiar with my own almost-instant, grain-free porridge mix, which I often bring along when traveling. However, if I’m in a hurry or just feel like a change, Holy Crap is a perfect cereal to take on the road with me, so I always know I’ve got at least one healthful, ACD-friendly meal with me at all times (I use the Skinny B flavor, which is entirely ACD-friendly).


In Canada, a bag of Holy Crap costs about $9.99 CDN per bag; in the US, it’s $10.40 per bag.

How I Use It. . .

candida diet, sugarfree, glutenfree holy crap cereal

I love to use Holy Crap as a quick breakfast or lunch when I’m in a hurry and want something filling and nourishing. For some fun variations, I add my own berries, nuts or seeds (above, I added goji berries and pumpkin seeds). The HH is a huge fan of the Holy Crap Plus Gluten-Free Oats variety (which I hope they make sugar-free soon!).

Simply Protein Bars

candida diet, sugarfree, grainfree Simply Protein bars

What It Is

Simply Protein Bars are the original bar from Simply Protein, a company that produces several high-protein snacks. Simply Protein Bars are light, crunchy snack bars that are both high in protein and low in sugar, while also high fiber, grain-free and vegan.

Why You’d Use It

If you’re looking for a high-energy, high-nutrient snack that tastes great without a lot of fat or sugar, go with The Simply Bar. As the website tells us, these bars have “the most protein for the least calories” (and the grammar geek in me wants to respond, “that should be ‘the fewest calories’!).  Either way–you’ll consumer fewer calories than from other energy bars, with high fiber and the lowest sugar content (the amount of sugar in the bars is always lower than the amount of fiber).

Add the fact that Simply Bars are perfectly portable, and you’ve got an ideal choice for most of us.

What I Love About It

Anyone who’s read my blog over the years knows that I’m a huge fan of Simply Bars. I love that most bars have an average sugar content of one gram (ONE gram!) while offering up 15 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber (28% of your daily requirement). All that in a little bar that contains only 150 calories.

As someone dealing with candida, the choice of sweeteners is important to me, too–and Simply Bars are sweetened with vegetable glycerine, a byproduct of coconut oil, that’s extremely low glycemic and anti-candida friendly.

That said, these bars do contain soy crisps. I know that some readers have strong feelings about these (and I’ve heard from those readers, believe me!). If that’s the case for you, please don’t buy them.  As someone who’s totally fine consuming soy on occasion (my Recipe Index even has a “Tofu and Tempeh” category), I’m okay having a bit of processed ingredient in my convenience bar. And while I don’t consume Simply Bars regularly, I’m glad to have the option available to me on those occasions when I do.


Simply Protein Bars will run you around $2.79 CDN each (a box of 15 is $41.85) in Canada; and $1.66 US each ($24.99 for a box of 15) in the USA.

How I Use It. . .

candida diet, sugarfree, grainfree simply protein bar

[One of two new flavors, Chocolate Coconut!]

For me, Simply Bars are an integral part of my travel routine. I love that I can pack one bar for each day of my trip and know I’ll be getting a generous serving of protein on the go. I either eat them straight up as a snack, or crumble them into granola or other cereal.

Want to know what else I love? Find the entire collection of Ricki’s Raves posts here. 

Disclosure: Some or all of the products in this post have been sponsored by the companies listed, but opinions are always my own. Links in this post may be affiliate links. If you choose to purchase using those links, at no cost to you, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.

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  1. I’ve never had chick pea pasta, but I’m intrigued! Looks tasty and high protein!

  2. Legume pastas are really the best allergy-friendly pasta out there! The taste is just phenomenal! I have so many favorite brands now (and make my own!)

    • I feel exactly the same way, Rebecca. They are soooo delicious, and totally guilt-free. I love making my own, too, but am pretty lazy about it, to be honest. Enter Chickapea! 🙂

  3. I’ve been hooked on chickpea pasta lately!

  4. What a great roundup of new products! Definitely put some new things on my radar to look for when shopping!

  5. Ooooh, the Breville Boss! I’d love to know how it compares to Blendtec. Sounds/looks excellent! Nice roundup, Ricki, these posts are always fun!

  6. Hi Ricki,
    Love you on BT and great to find your blog! Thanks for all the healthy tips and great finds.
    Huge fan of Chickapea Pasta here and I’m having great fun developing new recipes for this fantastic company!
    Following 🙂

  7. I know it’s supposed to be about how well it works, but I like the look of that Breville Blender, too! And that pasta is right up my alley. I’m a big fan of the bean and lentil pastas.

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