All things yummy

photo courtesy of the Thug Kitchen Cookbook

Foodie Fridays: Watermelon Hibiscus Coolers

Foodie Friday

The days have been getting warmer and it’s a nice reminder that summer is almost here! You’re probably looking forward to patio time, barbecues and cool treats. While we can’t get you the first two, we do have a recipe from the Thug Kitchen Cookbook that may satisfy your cravings for something icy and refreshing. You’ll even benefit from all the awesome health properties of Hibiscus that we talked about earlier in the week.

Watermelon Hibiscus Coolers

Ingredients

photo courtesy of the Thug Kitchen Cookbook

photo courtesy of the Thug Kitchen Cookbook

  • 6 cups of cubed watermelon (ideally seedless)
  • 1 1/2 cups of brewed hibiscus tea, cooled
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of agave nectar or your preferred liquid sweetener

Instructions

Freeze your watermelon for at least an hour. When it’s nice and frozen, grab your blender and fill it with the watermelon, along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Give it a taste, and add more sweetener if that’s what you prefer. Enjoy your cool, refreshing Watermelon Hibiscus Coolers!

cc licensed flickr photo by  Meal Makeover Moms

Smoothie Saturday: Green Ginger Peach Smoothie

If getting your 10-15 servings of fruits and vegetables a day is a challenge, I would highly recommend whipping up a smoothie. Today we’re sharing a recipe for a green ginger peach smoothie, with spinach, to help you reach that goal.

cc licensed flickr photo by  Meal Makeover Moms

cc licensed flickr photo by Meal Makeover Moms

 Why do we love this smoothie?

There are a ton of health benefits in this smoothie combo!

  1. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein, and choline.
  2. Ginger has been used for ages to help with digestion. More recent studies show that it’s a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
  3. Peaches are just awesome. If you can find fresh local ones, even better. They are a reliable source of antioxidants and are rich is several vital minerals.
  4. Raw honey is a powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It may also reduce ulcers and help other gastrointestinal disorders.

Ingredients

  • 2 handfuls (or more) of spinach
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) of grated ginger
  • 2 cups (frozen or fresh) of peach slices
  • 2 teaspoons of raw honey
  • 1 1/4 cup of water

Instructions

Throw everything in a blender and blend until smooth! Throw in a handful of ice to make it even thicker or add some more water to thin it out.

cc licensed flickr photo by anjuli_ayer

Foodie Friday: Simple Blueberry and Strawberry Crumble

Foodie Friday

The other night it hit me, a strong craving for something sweet. While I usually keep a stash of chocolate in the cupboard, it was all gone, and I definitely wasn’t leaving the house. I checked the pantry and found all of the ingredients necessary for an awesome crumble! After a quick search on Pinterest, I found a recipe on Pinch of Yum and tweaked it a little. I used what I had on hand and it turned out great!

So if you’re craving something sweet, and have a little time to kill, try this recipe for Blueberry and Strawberry Crumble! It’s simple, pretty healthy (for dessert) and tastes even better for breakfast the next morning 😉 Plus, chances are you have all the ingredients already, and if you don’t making a sub is easy!

Simple Blueberry and Strawberry Crumble

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup of almond meal
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened, flaked coconut
  • a pinch of salt
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • 1/4  cup of coconut oil (melted if not already in liquid form)
  • 1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
  • 4 cups of fresh or frozen fruit (I used 2 cups of frozen blueberries and 2 cups of frozen strawberries)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If your pecans aren’t already in pieces, chop them up. Throw them in a mixing bowl along with the oats, almond meal, coconut, salt and cinnamon.
  2. Add the coconut oil and maple syrup and mix well! *HINT* Try not to taste any of this mixture, because I promise you, that when you do you won’t want to stop. Yup, it’s that good.
  3. Grease a baking dish (again I used coconut oil) and throw your frozen  or fresh fruit into the dish.
  4. Top your fruit with the oat mixture (if there’s any left).
  5. Throw it in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the crumble on top is a golden brown
  6. *OPTIONAL* I topped mine with some more coconut and threw it in for another 5 minutes. The toasted coconut on top was delicious.
  7. Let it cool, and then enjoy! If there’s any left over, stick it in the fridge and save it for the next day. It tastes just as good, if not better!
  8. *OPTIONAL* Add a scoop of icecream or a dollop of greek yogurt

 

So, will you give this recipe a try? What fruit combination is your favourite? We think that blueberry and peach would taste great!

Foodie Friday: Sesame Edamame

Foodie Friday

As the store expands, so does our product selection! A couple of new products are already on our shelves, and one that we’re super excited about is MacKellar Farms’ Edamame!

mackellar

Edamame is considered one of the top ten “super foods” in the world, and we’re not surprised. Edamame, which is actually just a young soybean, is high in iron, protein, fibre and all of the essential amino acids. MacKellar’s edamame is special because it’s Canada’s first locally grown edamame. The majority of edamame consumed in North America is grown and processed in China. When you buy from MacKellar Farms you can be certain you’re getting the freshest, certified GMO-free edamame around, all while supporting a local farming family! You can find out more about MacKellar Farms here.

Here’s a simple, tasty and healthy Edamame recipe that is perfect as an afternoon snack, or a side with lunch or dinner.

Sesame Edamame

Ingredientsedamame
  • 3-4 cups (app. 1 lb) of MacKellar’s Edamame in Pod
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add edamame and boil for about 6 minutes, until the beans are crisp and tender.

While the beans are boiling, mix the olive oil, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and salt together.

When the beans are done cooking, drain the water and run cold water over the beans to cool them down. Drain well and pat off excess moisture. Next toss them in the dressing and top with the sesame seeds.

Hint: If you’re new to edamame don’t eat the pod! Hold the pod by the stem and slide the beans out with your teeth before discarding.

Tuesday’s Ten: Ten Gluten-Free Flours and Starches

Tuesday's Ten Logo

In recent years gluten-free diets have become very popular. Our shelves are full of great gluten-free products, and if you haven’t tried them you should, but don’t be afraid to bake your own gluten-free foods at home! If you’ve ever wanted to bake something but wasn’t sure what to use as a substitute for traditional wheat flours, then this post is for you. Even if you know what you’re doing when it comes to gluten-free baking, keep reading to find out more about your favourite flours.

Think that gluten-free flours are only for those with celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities? Think again. Even if you’re not gluten-free, this post is worth a read. These flours are not only high in fibre, protein and other nutrients but can give the taste of your baked goods a new twist.

1) Sorghum Flour: Sorghum is one of the most widely produced grains, and is a major food source in Africa and India. It’s higher in protein, lower in fat and is similar in nutrient-content when compared to corn. Sorghum is also high in insoluble fibre, allowing it to be digested slower keeping you full longer. The flavour is bland.

2) White or Brown Rice Flour: Although they can be used interchangeably, brown rice flour has a higher nutritional value than white rice flour. The brown rice flour is higher in fibre as well. Both flours have a grainy texture and a slightly nutty taste.

3) Tapioca Starch/Flour: Made from the root of the cassava plant, tapioca starch or flour (yes they’re the same thing!) is a light, fine, soft white flour. It is a good thickening agent in gluten-free baking and may add a chewy texture.

4) Potato Starch: Not to be confused with potato flour, potato starch is made by extracting just the starch from the potato. It is a fine white powder that has a light potato taste, undetectable when used in recipes. It is often used as a thickener.

5) Arrowroot Starch: The root of the arrowroot plant, a perennial herb, is ground into a powder to make this starch. Arrowroot starch is a tasteless, fine powder. It is high in fiber and easily digested. Typically it is used in thickening recipes. It is a useful substitute for cornstarch, if you have a corn allergy.

6) Buckwheat Flour: Despite its name, buckwheat is not actually wheat, or a grain. The flour is made by grinding the seeds that are found on the plant. This flour is a great source of fiber and other nutrients, and has a strong nutty taste.

7) Quinoa Flour: Quinoa flour is an amazing source of protein, fiber, calcium and iron. The grain is ground to make flour, which will add a nutty taste to baked goods.

8) Oat Flour: It’s important to make sure that if you’re baking with oat flour, that it’s certified gluten-free. Although oats alone do not contain gluten, cross-contamination is common. High in nutrients similar to oats, it adds a light, slightly sweet taste to your cooking.

9) Coconut Flour: This flour is made from dried, ground coconut meat. It’s high in fibre, protein and healthy fats. This flour is heavy compared to other flours and adds a light coconut flavour to your baking. It tastes great in any recipe that includes chocolate.

10) Almond Flour: Commonly called almond meal, this is simply ground almonds. You can look forward to all the benefits that you would normally get from almonds in this flour, including the high-levels of protein. It has a nutty taste and may add moisture to your baked goods.

If you’re wondering what flour to substitute in your recipes, try a blend! You can refer to these Gluten Free Flour Formulas for a bunch of recipes.

So, are you new to gluten-free flours, or are you a seasoned professional? Which flours are your favourite? Do you buy your own flour or make your own?

Beet-Salad-Top

Warm Beet & Kale Bowl

I was looking for recipes to post this week and although it is spring, the weather still needs to catch up to the calendar! Here is a fresh, colourful but warming dish to keep you looking ahead to fresh garden produce and the sunshine of spring. This is also a great salad to detox with.  Beets and Kale are both great detoxifiers that are full of antioxidants and nutrients.  It is gluten free and (if you omit the goat cheese) dairy free too.   It is from one of my favourite cookbooks – Joyous Health.  Joy McCarthy has some great tips, recipes and lifestyle tricks to get you eating and living well.

3 medium beets, washed, (peeled if not organic), chopped into bite size chunks
Half sweet onion, chopped
2 tbsp organic coconut oil or grapeseed oil
6 large kale leaves, washed, remove from stems, ripped into chunks
1/2 cup hemp seeds or cooked quinoa
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt & ground black pepper to taste
Optional: Sprinkle goat cheese on top just before serving

 

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F. Place beets and onion in a baking dish with oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until fork tender. Check it at 45 minutes to make sure you don’t overcook it.
When the beets are almost done, place the kale onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes at 350F.
Once all your ingredients are cooked, place them into a large bowl and mix together. Sprinkle with cooked quinoa (great to use leftovers) or hemp seeds.

63

Apple Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup cranberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
1 cup vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
10 cups mixed salad greens, rinsed and dried
2 Red Delicious apples, cored and thinly slicedDirections

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread the walnuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted.
In a food processor, combine the cranberries, vinegar, onion, sugar, and mustard. Puree until smooth; gradually add oil, and season with salt and pepper.
In a salad bowl, toss together the greens, apples, and enough of the cranberry mixture to coat. Sprinkle with walnuts, and serve.

Lunch box and books

Healthy Lunches for Back to School, Thinking Outside the Sandwich

Written by Registered Holistic Nutritionist Kendra Reay.

I can hardly believe it is that time of year again to start thinking about back to school lunches. Below you will find 5 nutritious lunch ideas that go beyond the ever-so boring sandwich. All of these recipes have passed the taste test of my toughest client, my 2 year old son. Recognizing time (or lack there of!) is a huge factor in the mornings, these lunch ideas, for the most part, are based on the night before dinner leftovers. My strategy is always to double my dinner recipe and send everyone (myself included) with it as their lunch the next day.

When thinking about lunches or feeding your children in general, the goal is to establish good eating habits, as this will set them up for the rest of their life (no pressure!). This doesn’t need to be complicated, avoid refined sugars, flours, and high-fat, fried fast foods. For older children it may become challenging as outside influences such as other children or t.v. are inevitable. Offer wholesome foods. Avoid bribing. Offer the foods they need and be a good example yourself! Children need a lot of nourishing foods to provide them with the nutrients they need for growth. While physical growth may be a little slower during ages 2-10 years than in infancy or adolescent years, mental growth is quite rapid. During the middle years the average child will gain between 5-8 pounds and grow about one-half inch per year, provided they have the nutrients they need. Don’t forget about physical activity too. As insurance to prevent nutrient deficiencies, many parents choose to supplement with a good multi vitamin and mineral as well as Essential Fatty Acids.

Be sure to check out the Granary for many of the ingredients in the below recipes as well as the variety of reusable lunch containers including wide mouth thermoses. We also have a great selection of supplements for children.

Lunch Mains – Check out our recipe section for more details
Red Bean Chili with a Cornmeal Muffin
Squash Mac n’ Cheese
Fish Cakes with Yogurt Dip
Black Bean Burritos
Soba Noodles Stir Fry

Snacks – Veggies n Hummus
Homemade granola bars
Muffins (homemade)
Fresh Fruit
Yogurt
Brown Rice Pudding
Corn Chips n Salsa
Hard boiled Eggs
Homemade Popcorn

Drinks – Water (plain or sparkling)
Homemade Iced herbal teas, sweetened with honey

83

Preserving the Harvest

How do You Preserve the Summer’s Bounty?

Summer in Canada is a wonderful time of year. Warmth and green begin to surround us. It is also a bountiful time as gardens and markets begin to fill be ripe delicious produce. Part of the dilemma in Canada is how do we keep the mouthwatering goodness of summer for the cold long days of winter? Preserving the harvest by freezing, dehydrating or canning creates endless opportunities.

I have to admit last year was a bit of a flop for me, my garden failed and I put away very little for the winter. This year is a new year and I am determined to fill the freezer with fresh beans, corn, peas and more! I also have many empty jars waiting to be filled with jams, pickles, relish and salsa. If you have a favourite recipe to preserve the harvest I would love you to share it with us!

This is my favourite strawberry jam recipe I have used for years. It comes from “The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving” by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard. (you can pick up a copy at Read’s Bookshop here in Carleton Place!) It takes a little planning but very little energy and doesn’t heat up the kitchen on those hot days! It contains no added pectin or Certo and because of the shorter cooking time it retains its colour and fresh flavour. For best results make sure to use a few under ripe berries with green tips to up the natural pectin content.

-Mix 4 cups strawberries with 4 cups sugar and let stand for 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
-Place mixture in a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
-Add 1/4cup lemon juice and boil rapidly for 5 min.
-Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 24 hours
-Bring berries to a full boil on high heat and boil rapidly for 5 min stirring constantly
-Remove form heat and ladle into hot canning jars and process in hot water bath for 10 min
Makes 2.5cups and recipe can be doubled

800px-Pesto_being_processed

Celebrate Summer with Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic scapes are the long, curly, stringy, flowering stems from the top of the garlic plant that are usually cut off to ensure the plant’s energy goes into making the delicious garlic bulbs bigger. You may recognize garlic scapes from the farmers market or maybe you have more than what you know what to do with of your own! Whatever you do, do not throw these nutritious, delightful scapes away. Scapes are more delicate and have a milder flavour than garlic. They can replace garlic, onion or scallions in other recipes. They are a great source of fibre, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and selenium. Further, current research supports the role of garlic in enhancing immune function and improving health. Garlic is also being studied extensively for it’s potentially protective role from the development and progression of cancer and heart disease.

Garlic scapes work as a substitute for both the basil and garlic in traditional pestos. The garlic scape pesto can be spread on bread or crackers, served over pasta, on pizza, in salads, as a dip, the possibilities are endless.

Be sure to swing by The Granary to check out our extensive selection of nuts, seeds, oils and spices and get started on your pesto.

Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes, chopped
1/2 cup of any nuts or seeds (pine nuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin, sunflower seeds or a combination of a couple)
1/2 cup of olive, flaxseed or Camelina oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/4-1/2 water
fresh pepper to taste

Combine the first 5 ingredients and blend in a food processor. You may need to scrape the sides down with a spatula part way through and blend again until an even paste is formed.
Add desired amount of water (more will make it creamier) and blend again.
Add pepper to taste and enjoy!

Makes 2 cups and will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks or can be frozen for a few months.