Pure maple syrup is an addictive indulgence that most people pour over pancakes and waffles but like any whole food, the quality and taste of maple syrup varies greatly. Starting with healthy maple trees and an agreeable climate (night temperatures in the 20’s and sunny days in the 40’s, which is why Canada and the northeast are the primary sources of maple syrup), good harvesting processes, and a commitment to not use additives makes for a good syrup but the single greatest factor affecting the taste of maple syrup is the time in which the maple sap is harvested during the season. Harvest early and the syrup is light golden and mild while a later harvest produces a darker amber and a more refined maple syrup. Read more
Big, moist organic jumbo raisins are hard to find. Most organic raisins are small and can be used in most recipes where they will absorb moisture and plump up. But, out of the bag, they almost seem inferior to those big huge raisins preserved with sulfur dioxide that are found on most grocery store shelves. Read more
Ten years ago a black bean brownie wouldn’t have done it for me because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Back then my favorite brownie was made with a Ghiradelli boxed brownie mix blended with melted unsalted butter and eggs (yes, I am ashamed to admit this).
Fast forward a few years when I tasted a black bean brownie sold in a cafe called Fresh in Des Moines, Iowa. Moist and chewy with a deep dark chocolate flavor, the black bean brownie was simply delicious but I didn’t attempt to make my own until recently when I realized that it was time to figure out how to make a delicious but nutritious (key word) alternative to traditional brownies. Read more
If you’re the least bit health conscious, then you’re probably a label reader which also means when looking for ready-made sweets, you search for alternative ingredients to refined sugar, corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup. So, when you see brown rice syrup listed as an ingredient in energy bars or other treats, you may be somewhat satisfied thinking you’re making a wiser choice. But, you need to think again because brown rice syrup has been called out for having “high” levels of arsenic – a chemical element that is often used in the production of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides (and in the feed for poultry and pigs to prevent disease). Read more
Pumpkin Butter Bread is a rich, moist bread with hints of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, mace and clove that give the bread depth and flavor. The recipe calls for using two types of pumpkin – pure, unadulterated organic pumpkin (with no additives) and Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter (made of pumpkin, sugar, lemon juice, pecans and spices) but you can substitute additional pumpkin for the pumpkin butter. Despite its name, there are no butter, eggs, or dairy ingredients in Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter meaning this quick bread is plant-based (vegan). Read more
Look no further than Lancaster, Pennsylvania where organic, non-GMO whole grain flakes are packaged for Shiloh Farms.
Spelt, barley, and kamut flakes look remarkably similar to rolled oats but have subtle nutty flavor differences which can liven up and energize a variety of breakfast and snack foods. Delicious alone or combined with each other and oats, whole grain flakes make a nutritious and delicious hot cereal or mid-morning pick-me-up. Simply cook according to the package directions (5-20 minutes) or add as is to a homemade muesli recipe (click here for a fantastic not too sweet muesli recipe). Read more
A nut grown under makes for a milk above the rest.
Milkadamia is one of the newest and most creamy non-dairy nut milks on the market. Made of filtered water, macadamia nuts, calcium phosphate, pea protein, natural flavors, locust bean gum, sea salt, sunflower lecithin, gellan gum, and vitamins A, D, and B12, Milkadamia has all the good ingredients and none of the bad stuff. Read more
Cinnamon Roll Bread is wildly different and wildly delicious homemade bread with no added sweeteners. A nutrient dense no-knead loaf, Cinnamon Roll Bread is very easy to make and requires no bread baking experience to make a loaf that looks like a professional baker’s creation.
The secret to the nutty cinnamon flavor and moist texture of this bread is a single 1.75 ounce packet of Wildway Cinnamon Roll Instant Hot Cereal made with walnuts, ground flaxseed, cashews, coconut flour, pecans, cinnamon, dried dates, and vanilla bean. Read more
Finally you can enjoy creamy, almond milk yogurt made with vanilla beans, California peaches, mouth-watering strawberries, wild Maine blueberries, or simply on its own as delicious plain yogurt.
Giving up dairy products sometimes means giving up a few long time favorites. For me, one of those favorites was yogurt. Although picky about yogurt (a small “milkerie” – a dairy and cheese maker – in Schonreid, Switzerland makes the most delicious creamy yogurt in the world), the thought of never having that slightly sweet, tangy creamy treat again left me momentarily sad. Call it yogurt grief. Read more