It's been a test kitchen morning today. I wanted to play with the tropical flavour of coconut, because at this time of year when my world is usually engulfed in snow and cold, a hot drink that connects with the tropics goes a long way to warming my heart.
Hot Cocoa is not hot chocolate. It's a darker flavour, not as sweet, and more richly decadent then the stuff you buy in a can from the grocery store. It's typically made with cocoa, steamed milk, and sugar. Today I thought I'd try coconut milk and stevia. I don't know much about stevia except that it's thought to not influence blood glucose levels, which is a pretty compelling reason to use it if you need some sweetening in your drinks.
I also played with a Vanilla Coconut Latte and a Chai Coconut Latte this morning. I think I'm done with fancy hot drinks for today! But if you're just getting started and want to try these out in your kitchen, here's a link to get them for yourself.
It's the last week before Christmas! Enjoy your time, and try to carve out a little time for yourself amidst all the hustle and bustle.
Garlic is a superhero. Not only are entire food festivals produced that spotlight garlic (which in itself is worth celebrating!), it is also a nutrition-packed powerhouse.
Today I've got a guest post from Ryan, owner of The Backyard Basket. Our businesses are a natural fit to work together, though of course you are welcome to work with each of us as before. I asked him to write to let you know a bit more about his philosophy. Welcome, Ryan!
The most difficult part of eating healthy and having a great relationship with food is to sift through the information overload we are fed everyday when we walk into a grocery store. Buzzwords like Fibre, Protein, Trans Fat Free, 100 calories, etc, often take up the landscape when we are looking to make healthy meal choices. Enter the partnership between The Meals Maven and The Backyard Basket.
The Meals Maven designs great healthy meal options and The Backyard Basket executes these meal options by delivering the best ingredients in the right portions, all pre-cut, to your door.
Recipes can be very difficult to follow or execute as you often have to buy more of a certain ingredient than you need, you need to understand how to prepare the raw ingredients into the correct form for cooking (ie chopping onions) and then follow every direction closely to create a great meal. Additionally, our busy lifestyles only allow a small window of time to get our meals made and then take our kids out the door to a sport, piano lesssons, etc. By pre-portioning all the ingredients and chopping all the vegetables/meats for each meal, we help you skip the grocery store and the tears that come with chopping onions.
All Natural Ingredients vs Processed Foods
All the ingredients we prepare are all natural and free of artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. If you can’t pronounce it, it will not be in our food. Science shows that a whole food diet of natural ingredients can help reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, risk of heart disease, risk of diabetes, reduction of eczema and overall better health. By focusing our attention on providing a balanced meal plan with all natural ingredients, we are helping provide the best fuels to help prevent the health issues above while creating a great food relationship.
When we look at cultures around the world, our western world is the most heavily influenced by Big Food Industry. They market their products with claims of high fibre, added protein, low calories. However, the reality is that these products will have no balanced nutrition and will often be full of sugars, preservatives or artificial flavours that only make the food taste good and get the consumers addicted while big food makes more money.
The best example of this is milk. We all see the commercials that sell us on the health benefits of milk…high in calcium, vitamin D, Vitamin A. The reality? Vitamin D and A are added to the milk during the pasteurization process and a serving of broccoli (100g) has more calcium than milk.
We feel the best ingredients are the ones that do not need any packaging to sell us on the benefits. Walk through the fruit and vegetable section of your grocer and you will notice they don't need to do much to sell these items. No claims of vitamins, protein, fibre, etc. These are the types of food we use to develop our meal plans to make you feel the best you can.
EAT BETTER LIVE BETTER
Ryan Sieben, B.Comm