Canada Days & Camp Fires // The Holistic Swap In The Roast Of The Marshmallow 

Happy Canada Day friends!

From my birthday and that of nearly every member of my family, June has been a busy month of Gemini’s and tonight’s birthday celebrations kick-start July with fireworks over the beach and bonfires over fire pits.

When you think of campfire food, is a marshmallow one of the first things to make a “pit” stop in your mind?

If so, I have the perfect swap for you!

Pineapple.
Superior to marshmallows in just about every way.

The case? They are naturally tart and sweet (without being a slap to your sweet sensing taste buds),  caramelize in the hot embers of your fire pit (without turning into a dangerous flaming ball of sticky sugar) and retain their juicy interior so as not to leave a chalky taste in your mouth that warrants a gulping jug of water before you can proceed to speak again.

pineapple

We devoured this pineapple Friday night at the first bonfire of the season to commence the time of BBQs, campfires and today’s Canada Day celebration where this is the perfect holistic swap for a sweet and healthy treat.

So why do we have such a strong association with these sweets? Tradition. When it comes to kids and nutrition, I’m a big marshmallow and many of the things we do with food come from habits that we develop as children. In developmental psychology we call this the critical period. This is a time when development is rapid and where what we are taught is critical to forming habits we often carry through our life. This follows closely in the development of our children’s bodies and though we often think kids can get away with eating more junk food during this time (signs of nutritional deficiencies don’t show as prominently until later years) this is a period of rapid growth and development of their bones, organs etc. The early years are when we want to focus on developing healthy bodies and healthy habits alike.

 camping

I, personally, have so many fond memories being gathered around a fire in our campsites and roasting marshmallows to eat off a stick or squash between graham crackers and chocolate for s’mores. But the pineapple we roasted over Friday night was  soft, sticky and sweet but also juicy and I can only imagine that if I was brought up eating this around a campfire, I wouldn’t have wanted anything else. It’s a simple change for a new tradition and with Canadians consuming an estimated 51-53 g of sugar per person per day, according to the 2014 nutrients study, it’s a needed change.

 

 Marshmallow Vs Pineapple

  • Every 100grams of the average marshmallow contains around 58 g’s of sugar!
    • 100 g’s of pineapple contains around 10g
  • The ingredients for marshmallows include: sugar, glucose syrup (more sugar), invert sugar (even MORE sugar), artificial flavourings, colourings, dustings of corn starch (often GMOs and one of the top food allergens)
    • Pineapples are a whole food with no need for an ingredient list.

 

Random FACTS of kindness; does your tongue go numb from eating pineapple?

  • Though it’s important to rule out a food allergy, pineapple contain the natural digestive enzyme bromelain which breaks down proteins and is used in many digestive supplements. This powerful enzyme is what makes pineapple easily digestible but may also be responsible for irritating your tongue and mouth.
  • Cooking and heating deactivates these enzymes to reduce or alleviate this side effect.

 

Whether youre kids are doing the roasting or you are, instead of getting stuck with gooey fingers and crumby graham crackers,  “stick” to this new, sweet tradition for the summer with 100% pure pineapple!

 

Roasting tonight over beaches and bonfires,

Suzanne Eden

 

 

 

Suzanne Eden

Into the Wild : A Tent Pitching Food Diary

When I was a child, camping entailed rustic bacon and eggs with toast for breakfast, canned alphagettis, hotdogs and of course; toasted marshmallows! So what does one pack when wanting to eat healthy on a camping trip? This was the question we faced this past weekend when a group of fellow holistic nutritionists and myself decided to celebrate the completion of our diplomas by packing our bags and venturing into the woods. From being rained out, to broken phones, to my car breaking down on the highway (I believe this was my sign that I’m destined to remain in the wilderness), it was no shortage of an adventure and be-it that we are all holistic nutritionists, there was no shortage of good food either! We each pitched in to bring a meal and I documented it all to share. Here is our holistic camping food diary:


Day one – Into the woods:

Beach day snack:

  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple and later:
  • A tray of veggies

Beach day snacks

Dinner:

  • Antibiotic and hormone free organic chicken
  • Grilled asparagus and veggies
  • Light, summer salad

Day 1 dinner

That night we feasted on the flames of our first campfire equipped with the company of our neighbors.

Firefly

Day 2 : Into Muddy Territory:

We awoke to the soothing puttering of rain and (what I would call) the sweet, musty smell of damp earth. Having no picnic table shelter, we piled into the 6 person tent for this breakfast of overnight chia soaked oats, bananas & oranges.

Chia seed breakfast

You wouldn’t think it to be messy, but with all of us crammed into tight sleeping quarters, I came out with chia smeared on my pillow and orange juice across my sleeping bag, making for a rather… tasty sleep that night.

The rain piled half of us into a car and out into town to hunt down a tarp and the other half (including myself) to hold down the site and, naturally, eat some more delicious food! We split healthy, homemade banana muffins and later left trails of egg shells around the site from these soft-boiled eggs.

Soft boiled eggs

 

I’m afraid to say that by the time the tarp was hung and lunch was prepared, my ravishing hunger got the best of me and I forgot to take a photo! Here’s what it consisted of;

  • Crackers & hummus
  • Tortilla chips & guacamole
  • Cabbage salad
  • Quinoa salad

And another delicious snack: raw, unsalted, organic sunflower seeds.

Sunflower seeds

Dinner:
Homemade pizzas grilled with humus, tomato paste, mushrooms, peppers, spinach, and a little goat cheese as options

The night closed with round two of campfire card games and roasting free range, hormone free, organic, filler free hot dogs over the fire. And what would a camping trip be without a little fire wood stealing scandal? Our prime suspects being: 1) the suspicious girls who sent one to seemingly distract us in conversion as a diversion for the others to steal our firewood or 2) our neighbours befriending us, only for utter betrayal in the end. In either case, we kindly informed the park rangers to be on their best lookout for stolen wood. They seemed to confirm option one with a knowing head nod at the girl’s description signaling recognition. Case closed.

Day 3 – a little bump in the road:

Breakfast:
Banana muffins and chia seed bagels with nut butter and raspberry jam.

Chia bagels

With the weekend over we ended up with a lot of food to take home including my marshmallow substitute: roasted pineapple over the fire!

But the adventure hadn’t ended just yet. Not long onto the highway my steering wheel seised and we made a quick pull over to the shoulder. A nice CAA driver and some sweet mechanics later and I was back on the road! Much to my direction impaired self (and the assistance of directions over the phone) I made it home without getting lost (once I made it out of the small town) and came home to find my beautiful vegetable garden bursting with berries and peas before headed to a BBQ.

Holistic health may be tricky at times and call for you to think out of the box, but it is more than doable and absolutely delicious! Alphagettis over guacamole and humus? Not a chance. Not only delicious but if planned right, it’s easy, involves minimal clean up, and leaves you feeling light, fresh, and ready to take on anything and everything the wilderness has to offer you!

“The more we connect to our true nature, the healthier we’ll be”

To your next holistic venture into the wilderness,

Suzanne Eden