Canada Day’s Strawberry Maple Panna Cotta

Happy 150th birthday Canada!

Indulgent, simple and 150% Canadian-approved, this patriotic dessert features fresh seasonal strawberries and sweet local syrup.

Canada day.jpg

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No matter where in the world you are, Canada is likely infused into your daily cuisine.

Supplying around 91% of the world’s population of Maple syrup that drizzles its way over your sizzling Sunday pancakes and 90% of the world’s blueberries which boost your daily antioxidant intake. And then, from the humble origins of coastal P.E.I., comes Canada’s own “Lentil Hunter”chef Micheal Smith (yes, truly! ūüôā ), who travels the globe scouting the most delicious lentil dishes knowing that Saskatchewan is the largest exporter of lentils in the world.

From breakfast to dinner, all across the globe, there is reason to LOVE this country (and every excuse to celebrate!).

Strawberry picking

 

Currently in Canada.. it’s strawberry season! And the inspiration for this bright, light and creamy panna cotta.

HOLISTIC HIGHLIGHTS [Canadian edition]

  • Seasonal Strawberries – June-July.
  • Local maple syrup
  • Vegan
  • Paleo
  • Refined sugar-free (with syrup-free option :: see notes)

Most strawberry varieties will only be harvested to the end of the weekend. It’s the optimal time to make use of this vibrant red berry. But as blueberries come into their peak in July (and the need to replicate the Canadian flag is no longer a necessity) blueberries will make for a great topping too!

strawberry panna cotta

RECIPE

~ CANADIAN STRAWBERRY MAPLE PANNA COTTA ~

Strawberry Layer

*** Note : this recipe represents the bottom layer. Double the recipe for a top layer of strawberries or simply slice fresh berries for presentation.

  • 1 tsp gelatin
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 3/4 cup sliced strawberries

Strawberry layer.jpg

Creamy Vanilla Panna Cotta

  • 1 15 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 ¬Ĺ tsp grass fed gelatin
  • 1-2 TBSP maple syrup (or setvia to taste)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Strawberry layer ::
    • In a saucepan over low heat, warm the water and sliced strawberries until they soften and form a “sauce”. Remove from heat, stir in gelatin until dissolved. Add to the base of your ramekins and let sit one hour.
  • Panna Cotta ::
    • Whisk together coconut milk +¬† gelatin and let sit (to “bloom”) for five minutes.
    • Add vanilla, syrup, sea salt and whisk on medium heat until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Note: do not boil here.
    • Allow to cool (about 10-15 mins), pour over the set strawberry mixture and leave it to set in the fridge. This should take a minimum3-4 hours.
    • Add an additional strawberry layer or top with freshly sliced berries.

panna cotta

Notes:

  • Coconut milk is quite sweet on its own. If you wish to make a sugar-free version, simply add a pinch or a few drops of stevia to taste in place of the maple syrup.

Here’s to a new month, new post (the first of the year!) and a brand new favourite “go-to”.

While we take off for strawberry picking (the last of the season) and tonight’s vineyard festivities of food and fireworks, one thing’s for sure: today will be a day dedicated to ALL the red & white foods. Cue on the strawberries, coconut and panna cotta ūüôā

In our truly Canadian way, happy Canada d[EH] !
Suzanne Eden

3 Hacks Of Holistic Independence & Canada Day’s Crowd Pleasing Summer Aspargus Salad

From cooking all of our own meals since we were freshmen, to reading nutrition books over novels and being the ones to eat salads out of mason jars, stick fruit in our BPA-free water bottles and ask for salt lamps and aloe plants for our birthdays, as holistic junkies, we all know a little something about independence!

 

canada day

American or not, independence is something we can all celebrate! And when adopting a unique lifestyle, there’s almost guaranteed to be encounters with some negative feedback from others now and again. HECK, that’s just fine! Anyone else’s opinion has nothing to do with you and whether they keep it to themselves or are overtly open in voicing their opinions, it is your right to choose the lifestyle that suits you! And for the record, I’m behind you 110% ūüôā

But it’s also important to mention the other side of the coin. It can be all too easy when you are feeling amazing, to wish this lifestyle on others, but everyone’s path is theirs to follow and they have as much right to live their life as they choose, as we have the right to live ours. So while we wait for our friends and family to all hop aboard the holistic lifestyle with us (or they may never get there and that’s okay too!) celebrations can get tricky. What can we eat when navigating BBQ’s strewn with mayo potato salads, unknown sources of meat burning on the grill, beers over kombuchas and dairy desserts?!

 

Here are 3 hacks to holistic independence:

1. Bring your own holistic swaps that mimic the standard dishes

  • Try to mimic dishes as much as possible which serves several purposes:
    • It allows you to avoid feelings of deprivation. Ever been to a BBQ and watched everyone else savouring a juicy burger and felt the cravings sink in? Bringing your own allows you to feel included in what everyone else is eating while knowing that the quality of your beef is something you can feel good about.
    • I also come with my own condiments such as mustard that are easy to stick in my purse and are free of sugars and food dyes.
    • As for dessert? Dark chocholate is an easy treat to stick in your purse and enjoy later.

2. Know the secret phrase that works for every question

  • This phrase is dynamite. You may have all of the scientific “facts” in the world backing you up but there will always be people who have other ideas. Afterall, nutrition in itself, is always changing and evolving and I’m sure you’ve been lead astray at some point too. But there is one thing that no-one can argue with and that’s how you¬†feel.¬†
  • So when others question you, simply, happily and firmly state that you eat what you enjoy and what makes you feel good.

3. Share your food

  • Of course, you can pack your own food that may be completely different from others, but I find that this can too often upset the host/hostess. They want everyone to enjoy the food, too! Though I pack my own mustard and bring my own beef, I do so discreetly, explaining ahead of time what I’m doing and quietly sneaking it to them in the kitchen so that it doesn’t draw much attention. Unless someone asks, I certainly don’t feel this the time to make a statement about nutrition. So while I do bring some of my own things, I also bring a large dish that everyone can enjoy! This is usually a salad, and lots of it, to fill up on.
    • Holistic life hacks: worried that there won’t be enough for you to fill up on? Sneak your own serving into your bag. No one will notice but you won’t have to worry about everyone loving it so much that you have nothing to eat.

 

Now the question that arises! What does a holistic foodie bring that everyone can enjoy?

SALAD!

Always  a go to, salads are bound to show up at any event, but creative salads are the ones that will be more than just a side dish and asked for time and time again.

crowd pleaser

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Summer Asparagus Salad

Adventure level: 1/5

Serving size: 4 (multiply for the crowd)

Light and fresh with local, in season asparagus, oven roasted for big flavour (as opposed to grilling) and rich in nutrients, this salad was our Canada Day crowd pleaser!

Ingredients

  • 1¬† 1/2 pounds asparagus (cut in half or 3/4s)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil (or more olive oil)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
  • Himalayan salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small garlic, minced
  • 4 large roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1/3 cup organic olives (green or black), sliced and pitted
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil

 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Toss asparagus & onion in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (for higher heat stability) with salt and pepper to taste and roast for 6-8 minutes until they begin to go tender.
  • Remove from oven adding the minced garlic, 2 TBSPs of the balsamic vinegar and return to the oven for 4 minutes or until the vinegar is no longer runny.
  • Toss in a bowl with capers, olives, olive oil, and a little more balsamic if needed.
  • Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Let it chill for 30 minutes in the fridge before serving.

Simple and delicious, this one is sure to go over well and is extremely versatile. You can add soon to be in season cherry tomatoes, quinoa for a more filling salad, mint leaves for additional flavour, chicken so that you can take a pass on the BBQ’d meat, you name it!

With a delicious and nutritious day to celebrate all the glory of your holistic independence,

Suzanne Eden

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