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What's in Season Right Now? (Spring 2017)

chopped spring vegetables

Seasonality of what you consume is more important than ever. Not only are restaurants adopting the practice of creating dishes that use ingredients that are in season, but many grocery stores are also beginning to do the same.

One of the most important things you can do is to arm yourself with the knowledge of what's in season during certain months so you can make the most out of the produce.

In-season produce not only tastes better, but you're also supporting the local farmers and eliminating your carbon footprint by minimizing orders for items that aren't available in your area, but are grown across the world and have to be shipped.

Here's what's in season during Spring 2017. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Spring 2017)” »

We Were on The Marilyn Denis Show!

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Earlier this week, the Urban Cultivator Residential made its debut on CTV's The Marilyn Denis Show. Featured as one of the household appliances that you should be investing in, Marlyn and Ramsin Khachi, renowned design-build contractor, the two explore the benefits of some of the best kitchen appliances in the game right now.

"This is the way of things to come," Khachi tells Marilyn in the segment. "The cost savings in this are just buying food—you're growing your own herbs for salads and meals. They're so efficient, growing from days to weeks."

Watch the clip over at The Marilyn Denis Show site!

From Marilyn
"Easily grow Fresh herbs and microgreens right in your kitchen in as little as 5 days. Requires no effort- automatic lights and watering makes the process easy and effortless. We provide the seed and everything you need to grow.

The Urban Cultivator Residential lets you control what you eat- grow fresh, nutrient dense, organic microgreens year round. Microgreens can be used in salads, smoothies, juices and cooking."

Here's the Perfect Microgreen-Packed Dinner to Make for Your Valentine

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Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and as history has proven, getting a reservation at you and your significant other's favorite restaurant can be a bit of a struggle.

So why not stay in this year? Not only is making a meal from start to finish a great way to show that you care, but you can also ensure what goes into your dishes.

Featuring fresh herbs and vegetables, here are recipes to a multiple-course dinner—and even a cocktail—that will leave you and your date feeling good.

Happy Valentine's Day! Continue reading “Here's the Perfect Microgreen-Packed Dinner to Make for Your Valentine” »

Teff is About to Become Your New Favorite Grain

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Earlier this week, the New York Times revealed their list of food prediction trends for 2017. Along with sorghum, spirulina, and whey, the publication also names teff as one of 2017's next big food. So, what is teff anyway?

Originating from Ethiopia, teff (or Eragrostis tef) is a tiny ancient grain that's high in protein and important minerals like iron. Evidently, it's been around for some time, but it didn't catch on in North America until about two years ago, when sales soared after there was a renewed interest in ancient grains.

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In addition to being low in fat and sodium, teff is a very nutrient dense food that contains eight essential amino acids, calcium, copper, aluminum, manganese, phosphorous, barium, thiamin, and of course, iron. It's also rich with vitamin C, which is not very common within grains.

Teff can also help to control blood sugar level with its relatively low glycemic index that can help diabetics better regulate their sugar levels and athletes like runners fuel up before a big race. As well, like flax before it, teff can help improve digestion by regulating bowel movements.

Perhaps most importantly, though, teff has actually shown to improve symptoms associated with celiac disease if it was eaten regularly enough as well as iron deficiencies.

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Health benefits aside, teff is an incredibly versatile grain that can be eaten in a variety of ways, from being eaten whole to being baked into cakes. Its nutty flavor can help add dimension to any dish, lending itself very well to such things as breads, pancakes, and much more.

Now that you know a little more about teff, try these recipes and start incorporating 2017's superfood into your diet!

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Banana bread with teff and chocolate

via Oldways Whole Grains Council

Ingredients
1 cup teff flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon, stirring with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until well-blended, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, beating until blended.

Add the banana and vanilla, beating until blended. Beat in the water. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into an 9-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

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Teff brownies

via WildFlours gfg

Ingredients
1/2 cup coconut sugar or maple sugar
2 cups dark Teff Flour
1/2 cup Tapioca Starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbls cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
pinch nutmeg
pinch cardamom
2/3 cup softened coconut oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
Topping Ingredients (optional):

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup finely chopped sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
1 Tbls coconut sugar
1-2 Tbls melted coconut oil

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a glass baking dish (9×9) or square cake pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and mix well. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients except the coconut sugar with a whisk. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the oil, applesauce pumpkin puree and coconut sugar until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat again. Stop and scrape down the sides.Then beat again until the dough thickens slightly.

Spread the dough into the prepared pan using a spatula. Even it out so that it is level and smooth. Sprinkle with prepared topping if using.

Bake for 20 minutes (do not over bake). Let cool completely before cutting into bars.

Teff is just another thing to add to your diet so you can make 2017 your best year ever. A varied diet featuring microgreens and such grains will help you ace those goals.

And, considering the versatility of teff, adding it into your diet can be as easy as blending it into your morning microgreen smoothie!

Will you be trying teff out in 2017? Had it before and have a great recipe featuring it? Let us know in the comments section!

10 Ways to Help You Eat Better in 2017

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It's a new year, a fresh start, a clean state. There's no better time than now to create some new resolutions to help you have a better 2017.

Resolutions are hard to keep, though. It's easy to be disillusioned when you don't have the proper steps to achieve your goal. One of the hardest ones to keep is eating better.

In an effort to help everyone live better in the new year, we've set out some tips to help you eat better in 2017. No, it's not going to make your life miserable, and no, you will not only be eating grapefruits.

Here are 10 ways to help you eat better, without sacrificing all the good flavours that fresh food has to offer. Continue reading “10 Ways to Help You Eat Better in 2017” »

What's in Season Right Now? (Winter 2016)

Beets

Seasonality of what you consume is more important than ever. Not only are restaurants adopting the practice of creating dishes that use ingredients that are in season, but many grocery stores are also beginning to do the same.

One of the most important things you can do is to arm yourself with the knowledge of what's in season during certain months so you can make the most out of the produce.

In-season produce not only tastes better, but you're also supporting the local farmers and eliminating your carbon footprint by minimizing orders for items that aren't available in your area, but are grown across the world and have to be shipped.

Here's what's in season during Winter 2016. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Winter 2016)” »

The Best Winter Herbs to Grow (and Eat)

Herbs

The winter can be frustrating for some. There's fewer hours of daylight, the weather can be bone-chillingly cold, and you find yourself rotating between squash, brussels sprouts, and bread. It can get dull and repetitive.

But just because it’s colder, doesn’t mean you have to give up on your herb garden. Growing fresh food should be a thing you can do 365 days a year.

So, here are some herbs that do a little better in chilly weather—the perfect winter herbs to grow and eat. Continue reading “The Best Winter Herbs to Grow (and Eat)” »

6 Spooky but Fresh Recipes Perfect for Halloween

jack o lantern

Halloween is here, and everyone is busy putting together last minute Halloween costumes. Instead of simply serving buckets of candy this year at your Halloween gathering, why not make some deliciously ghoulish dishes instead?

Here are six spooky but fresh recipes perfect for Halloween, featuring herbs, microgreens, and vegetables. Continue reading “6 Spooky but Fresh Recipes Perfect for Halloween” »

Learn About... Flax

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"Learn About..." is a recurring post where we'll look at lesser known herbs, greens, etc., and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between!

leaves Continue reading “Learn About... Flax” »

What's in Season Right Now? (Fall 2016)

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Seasonality of what you consume is more important than ever. Not only are restaurants adopting the practice of creating dishes that use ingredients that are in season, but many grocery stores are also beginning to do the same.

One of the most important things you can do is to arm yourself with the knowledge of what's in season during certain months so you can make the most out of the produce.

In-season produce not only tastes better, but you're also supporting the local farmers and eliminating your carbon footprint by minimizing orders for items that aren't available in your area, but are grown across the world and have to be shipped.

Here's what's in season during Fall 2016. Continue reading “What's in Season Right Now? (Fall 2016)” »

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