These breakfast pops are the perfect way to start a summer day. The surprise addition of homemade granola embedded in the pop takes this from a snack-time treat to a filling breakfast to fuel the day ahead. Incorporating fermented foods, such as yogurt, into our diet helps to enhance the body’s absorption of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Customize these breakfast pops with whatever combination of fruit you have on hand.
Start by making granola. In medium-sized frying pan, bring coconut oil and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup to a boil over medium heat. Stir in oats, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, ground flaxseed, hemp hearts, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring often, until granola is toasted, golden brown, and fragrant, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove frying pan from heat and allow granola to cool to room temperature in pan. Once cooled, granola may be stored in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
To make popsicles, in medium bowl, with rubber spatula, fold together yogurt, chopped berries, vanilla, and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup. Divide mixture among 9 - 3 oz (90 mL) popsicle moulds. Top each popsicle with about 2 Tbsp (30 mL) granola and gently press into yogurt mixture until just submerged. Reserve any remaining granola for another use. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours or overnight. Unmould and enjoy. Yogurt pops will keep in freezer for up to 1 week.
A tribute to the bounty and beauty of nature, this chocolate bark is studded with nuts, seeds, and berries and flavoured with the warming spices of ginger and cinnamon. Adding sweet paprika and chili also gives an interesting kick to a winter favourite. Cut back on the red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy version. Chocolate contains tryptophan—an essential amino acid—that helps our brain produce serotonin. Eating chocolate is a delicious way to get a mood boost, which can help lift our spirits when sunlight levels are low. Food of the Gods In the taxonomy of plants, the cacao plant, from which chocolate is derived, is called Theobroma cacao. Theobroma comes from Greek for “food of the gods.” Cacao comes from the Mayan word for the plant.
Up your omega-3 intake with these easy-to-make salmon parchment pockets. The sockeye fillets are first rubbed with a marinade of juniper berries, citrus zest, and garlic before being enclosed in parchment. Juniper has a strong and piney flavour and lends a unique tang to this dish. It also contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to capture the juices that arise during steaming. No mortar and pestle? Crush juniper berries by laying them between two sheets of parchment and bashing them gently with a rolling pin.
Escarole is a bitter green that stands up to heat and is suitable for grilling, braising, or using in soups. In this salad, it’s broiled with radishes before being dressed in a sweet, garlicky dressing that cuts the bitterness. Escarole is high in folate (vitamin B9), important in red blood cell formation, and vitamin A, important in immune function and eye health. Like kale and other cruciferous vegetables, it’s also very high in vitamin K, which assists in blood clotting. Bitter green substitutes If you can’t find escarole, use frisée (also called curly endive), mustard greens, or radicchio. Romaine also stands up to heat well and makes a good substitute, but it lacks the characteristic bitterness of the others.
In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. In fact, kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fibre and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavour the squash. Know your squash You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish-orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting to help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.