Blueberry Scones

August is a lovely month to visit the farmer's market, there is an abundance of local produce on offer, including blueberries! These small blue powerhouses pack in a lot of flavour, are anti-inflammatory and contain high levels of antioxidants. One of the phytonutrients blueberries contains is resveratrol, which is found in high levels in grapes and has received a lot of coverage over the past few years in articles promoting the benefits of wine consumption. It appears that blueberries are beneficial for those of us who decide not to imbibe but still want to reap the benefits. The World's Healthiest Foods also points out that blueberries are low on the glycemic index and also contain fibre, a very good combination when it comes to regulating blood sugar levels. I'm a big fan of Dr. Michael Gregor and his NutritionFacts.org website. He has a page featuring a series of short and…

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Fresh Herb & Nut Pulp Crackers

I created these crackers because I was trying to make use of leftover nut pulp and kale stems. We eat kale frequently and while I often thinly slice the stems and add them to various dishes, this week I found myself with an abundance of leftover stems. I also wanted to make use of leftover fresh basil we purchased at the market over the weekend. I am dating myself perhaps when I suggest these crackers would work well as a choose your own adventure (anyone else remember the books back in the 80's?) but I would suggest that this recipe works well with several different variations. The almond and basil I've included below is a lovely combo, but walnut and tarragon, pecan and chives and perhaps hazelnut and arugula would be lovely alternatives. If nuts are not a possibility, ground sunflower seeds would be an excellent substitute, paired with basil…

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Chocolate & Cherries Three Ways

Nothing calls for ice cream quite like the warm, humid days of summer! This week's market trip supplied us with another batch of gorgeous, spray-free cherries and I was inspired to pair them with chocolate, a classic and delicious pairing. If you are curious about the benefits of cherries, you can check out the links in my recent Cherry Chopped Salad post. Raw cacao is another powerhouse ingredients, chock full of magnesium and seratonin, among other benefits. Cacao pods are not grown locally but I am happy to be able to purchase raw cacao in bulk here in Halifax at The Tare Shop. When I went to pour my base into our ice cream maker, I found that the recipe left me with exactly a cup of the chocolate cherry mixture leftover. I combined the base with chia seeds, and we ended up with a second, equally delicious snack while…

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Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

As a plant-based family, we typically use coconut in lots of different ways. Coconut oil works as an excellent substitute for butter when it comes to baking, and is also our go-to oil (along with avocado) when it comes to high heat cooking. It also works well for body care, specifically as a make-up remover and skin moisturizer. Coconut milk functions as an excellent replacement for milk and coconut water is an extremely hydrating beverage. We use shredded coconut in a variety of different recipes, including the quick and easy coconut milk recipe below. Coconut has gotten a bad rap over the years due to the fact that it is a saturated fat. There is some argument that because coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides it has a positive rather than negative effect on your cholesterol levels as it causes an increase in HDL levels. Like anything else, consuming large amounts…

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Cherry Chopped Salad

We have been in the midst of a summer heatwave and I have zero desire to turn on the stove or oven at the moment. As a result, I find myself reaching for recipes that require no heat and are quick and easy to pull together. Salads top the list, you can pair some lettuce or greens with a delicious vinaigrette, add a few different toppings and you are good to go. It's also a wonderful way to make use of the abundance of fresh greens available this time of year. My trip to the Halifax Brewery and Seaport Markets this weekend provided lots of seasonal inspiration for this delicious salad. The main focus of this salad comes in the form of cherries, which were in abundance at the market this week. I make a point of chatting with the vendors I purchase my fruit and veggies from and was…

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Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Panna Cotta

We are in the midst of strawberry season here in Halifax, and I couldn't be happier! Strawberries bring me right back to my grandmother's garden, we would pick berries and then spend the afternoon mixing and rolling out pie dough. My grandmother was a complicated woman, she had a difficult life and mental health issues, a combination of factors that made some of our interactions challenging. That being said, my memories of cooking with her are all positive and I am often amazed at the power the combination of a few simple ingredients has to bring people together. I spoke about the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen a few posts back, it is essentially a list that is revised every year, indicating which crops have the highest levels of pesticides. Why bring this up now? Because my superfood ingredient of the week, the mighty strawberry, just happens to be at…

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Cheesy Risotto with Basil and Garlic Scape Pesto
Seasonally inspired vegan and gluten free risotto, using garlic scapes and basil

Cheesy Risotto with Basil and Garlic Scape Pesto

I adore garlic. If I had to pick one food I couldn't live without, garlic would be it. It is delicious pickled, sauteed, roasted, I even tried it raw once, although I am not sure that was such a fun experience for everyone around me afterwards! In addition to being crazy delicious, garlic also contains some very powerful health benefits. According to the World's Healthiest Foods, garlic is full of antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory and contains sulfur compounds that assist with detoxification. In addition to being antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal, garlic also contains blood-thinning properties and can be beneficial for cardiovascular health. When garlic is chopped or crushed it releases an enzyme called alliinase, which is then able to mix with a compound called alliin, resulting in the anti-cancer phytonutrient called allicin. Eaten raw, the benefits of allicin are readily available to the body. While I am a fan of raw…

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Seasonal Superfood: Harukei Turnip

I get really excited about heading to my local farmer's market pretty much all the time, however the experience is all the more exciting in the midst of summer, when local produce is varied and extremely plentiful. Some crops are also very fleeting – I spent time this week planning out a delicious asparagus and tarragon risotto recipe, only to show up at the market and discover that I had missed this delicious crop by a week. So perhaps the moral is, get when the getting is good, as you never know when your last asparagus crop will be available? This is a bit of a scarcity mindset, but it does make you appreciate what you have, when you have it. Our family has made many shifts and changes over the past 10 years, in an attempt to reduce our footprint on the planet. One of those shifts has been…

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Rose, Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote

This spring I find myself gravitating to all things rose. When it comes to baking and beverages, I use rosewater. As a word to the wise, it's very potent and I have found that a little bit goes a long way; I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of feeling like I am eating perfume! Rosewater is a lovely addition to homemade lemonade, if I am making a big pitcher I usually add about 1 tsp of rosewater or orange blossom water to jazz it up a bit. This compote makes excellent use of fresh spring produce, like rhubarb and strawberries, but you can mix the fruit around, to fit the season you are in. I haven't tried it yet, but I suspect a blueberry maple version of this recipe would be lovely, with orange blossom water, instead of rosewater. I found my rosewater in a…

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