VanCity’s Two Newest Vegan Food Products!

By Jennifer Browne

Vancouver’s amazing. It’s this beautiful, energetic, buzzing, talented city that steals your heart and never gives it back. Personally, I get particularly excited about food, so whenever a new, fabulous restaurant opens, or a locally-produced food product makes its way into my face, I’m happy and proud to live here.

And both of those things happened this week!

I visited new storefront in Yaletown and met Chris White, owner of Nice Vice Creamery, which is scheduled to open in late 2015/early 2016. I was also privileged enough to try the brand new, dairy-free Greek yogurt by Daiya Foods. (Which is seriously yum.)

Here’s the low-down:

Nice Vice

Nice Vice Creamery

Without giving away too much (you’ll need to attend the grand opening to see exactly what makes this creamery insanely cool), I will say that I have NEVER tasted non-dairy ice cream as good as this. Ever.

I’m addicted.

With incredible, edgy flavours like Buzz’d, Chocoholics Anonymous, and Tripped Out Tropical, I feel it’s fairly safe to say that this crazy (v)ice cream will rule the world. (Or Vancouver, anyway.) More to come on Nice Vice Creamery later; I promise.

Just…get hungry.

Daiya Foods

Greek Yogurt by Daiya Foods

Ok, so I’m not usually a giant fan of non-dairy yogurt. Although I’m a major proponent of non-dairy alternatives and eat about vegan about 80% of the time, I’ve never found a yogurt that I like that wasn’t real, 100% dairy.

I guess I’m a yogurt snob.

BUT: this week, Daiya sent me some Greek yogurt to try, along with a million other products that I’m super stoked about. I always use their cheese shreds, but I am now sitting pretty on a whole slew of vegan alternatives to cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.

I’m like a kid in a…health food store? Candy store doesn’t make sense. I don’t know. I’m happy.

Ok?

This yogurt is so good, that I tweeted a picture of it immediately. Honestly. Check out my Twitter account. (@jennifer_browne) It’s creamy and thick and there is NO WAY anyone would know it wasn’t real Greek yogurt. In fact, my very picky children totally ate a bunch of it and I was so sad to see it go. I was pretty sure I had it locked down. Thinking about it actually makes me feel a little pouty.

Anyway, keep your eyes and ears open for buzz about these two, new, local yummy things. There will definitely be more here on the grand opening for Nice Vice Creamery in the near future, and we won’t be the only ones talking about it.

Trust me.

Happy Weekend, Vancouver!

Sexy Juice: Cleansing Vancouver from the Inside Out  

By now, if you don’t think juicing is sexy, we think you might be doing it wrong.

Vancouver, meet Sexy Juice.

This great cold-pressed juicery has been in Abbotsford for awhile, but just recently scored store front in Vancouver’s laid-back Kitsilano neighborhood. Why is that good for us? Because Sexy Juice rocks. What makes this juice line so special and set apart from the rest of the pack?

Their cleanses!

Having experienced these suckers for ourselves, the verdict is in: when it comes to cleanses, Sexy Juice beets no one. (See what we did there?) We wanted to share what makes their cleanses special, and what exactly you’re consuming when you commit.

Sexy Juice offers one, three, and five day cleanses. Each day, there are six different juices, and they’re designed specifically to work with your body at particular times of day. Juices are cold-pressed the day of pick-up or delivery, and contain only pure and wholesome ingredients (including chia seeds!).

Let’s bring on the juice:

No. 1: Good Morning, Sunshine!

GMS

“Anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, heart healthy, improves absorption of nutrients, and protein rich.”

This yummy juice consists of pear, kale, spinach, lime, lemon, parsley, and ginger. It’s delicious, and completely non-offensive for a green juice. SO many of us are nervous about the idea of drinking green veggies, but this juice will dispel all the rumors and keep you coming back for more.

Good morning, Sunshine!

No. 2: Cleaning Service.

Sexy Juice

“Anti-oxidant rich, improves brain function, and anti-inflammatory.” 

Very tropical tasting, this juice has carrots, celery, turmeric, lemon, orange, pear, and ginger. Again, it’s delicious and easy to drink. The turmeric makes it more interesting than other juices of this type, but considering that the spice is known to fight inflammation and even stunt cancer cell growth, we happily chugged it down.

Cleaning Service literally cleans you from the inside out.

No. 3: Oma.

OMA

Fights inflammation, prevents and improves high cholesterol, enhances skin quality, and is anti-cancer.” 

This juice is so fantastically yummy, that you’d never know it contained red cabbage or beet. Also hiding in there? Dill, apples, celery, and carrots. Oma, indeed.

No. 4: The Energizer.

TE

“Immunity booster, aids in digestion, heart-healthy, omega-3 rich, regulates blood sugar levels.”

This one has the chia seeds. And pineapple. And apples and coconut. So…sugar. But not awful sugar; natural sugar that gives you a little boost just when you need it. You know—for that afternoon slump that many of us hit. Fight back with The Energizer.

No. 5: V Eight.

V8

“Promotes glowing skin and hair, encourages strong mental health, lowers blood pressure, vitamin rich, helps prevent cancer, boosts the immune system, and anti-inflammatory.” 

Exactly what you think it is, though not your average V8: eight different fruits and veggies (though heavy on the veggies), including tomato, apple, parsley, ginger, celery, carrots, lemon, beet, cayenne pepper, and sea salt.

Although admittedly not our fave (the tomato isn’t our thing, but we get the nutrient-factor, so we’re definitely willing to drink up), the juice itself is still tasty and fresh and therefore delicious.

No. 6: Vanilla.

VAN

“Alleviates anxiety, promotes healthy bones, promotes a healthy heart, and vitamin rich.”

This juice is actually homemade almond milk. Designed to fill you up a little better before bed, the milk is delicious and tastes amazing after consuming nothing but juice all day. It consists of almonds, dates, vanilla bean, and sea salt.

Bottom line? This Vanilla ain’t that vanilla.

After completing a Sexy Juice cleanse, your body will feel better, your mind will be clearer, and you’ll feel fabulous knowing that you’ve just infused your cells with genuine nutrition. So check out Sexy Juice (both in Abbotsford and Vancouver), and get your sexy on one sip at a time.

Abbotsford Location (The Lab):104-2602 Mt. Lehman Road Abbotsford, BC

Vancouver Location (The Lounge): 108-1529 W 6th Ave, Vancouver BC

*All media from www.sexyjuice.ca.


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

 

Wines of Portugal

The Venue: The Secret Location YVR

Monday was fun. While my husband toiled at his desk, elbows deep in paperwork (sorry, Dave!), I had the privilege of pretending to know how to drink wine (as opposed to guzzling it, which is what I think I normally just do).

It was a good thing I had some pretty great company to listen to my amateur questions and answer them humbly. Eight fabulous wines, paired with six incredible dishes, in a fabulously decorated dining room called the Secret Location—now that’s a good Monday.

At about the same time I began realizing that I probably shouldn’t drink all of the wine and perhaps should pour some into the buckets that were made available to us (which I eventually began doing, but only because I had an hour’s drive ahead of me), I, along with about 30 others, began a two-hour master class into the world of Portuguese wines.

And I learned stuff!

Wines of Portugal

wop

The landscape of Portuguese wines has changed over the last 20 years. Although the industry is still steeped heavily in tradition (every home has a small vineyard—it’s part of Portuguese culture), it’s in the middle of modernizing.

20 years ago, only 22% of Portuguese wines were exported, and now that number has climbed to 46%. Presently in 11 markets around the globe, the United States is the industry’s biggest importer, with France coming in second, and Canada currently ranking fourth.

There are 10 major Portuguese varieties on the market today, including (but obviously not limited to) Alvarinho, Fernao Pires, and Encruzado. The most planted grape in Portugal? Tinta Roriz.

The Menu

Sandeman Casks

As I mentioned above, there were eight different wines to pair with six outstanding dishes created by the chefs at the Secret Location. As a near-Vegetarian, my menu was different from the majority of attendees’ (no bison short ribs for me!), but equally as tasty and visually appealing.

So let’s get to it: these were the wines I was forced (ha) to drink:

Casal Garcia Branco – Vinho Verde

This was a four-ounce greeting glass, and although I’ve honestly never found whites as appealing as reds, I loved this particular choice: crisp, light, and no aftertaste. At about $10.99 a bottle (yes—you read that correctly), this beautiful wine will definitely be purchased by this pleasantly surprised girl.

Presenting lime notes and a clear appearance, this wine is representative of the Minho Region.

Mateus Rosé Original – Rosé

This wine was a familiar one—it’s my father-in-law’s absolute favourite. Although I’ve always found it too light for me, and I still feel that way, it paired lovely with the aperitif—a beautiful salad made with braised red cabbage, squash, endive, and more.

The chilled, “slightly sparkling” wine has a slightly fizzy finish, and sells for about $16.99 at the liquor store.

Wines of Portugal

Vale Do Bomfim – Douro Red & Periquita Reserva – Vinho Regional Red

The appetizer that paired with these two wines was a visual treat: handmade gnocchi with a parmesan crust and edible flowers.

Seriously.

The Vale Do Bomfim was one I had actually tried before, and it’s a gorgeous red. (I highly recommend!) It’s ruby red with the aroma of fresh fruit, flowers, and spices. This red retails at about $17.49.

The second wine—the Periquita Reserva—is soft and balanced with a medium-long finish. Retailing around $15.79, this wine would pair excellently with duck and truffle.

Duas Quintas – Douro Red Crasto & Quanta Do Crasto – Douro Red

Although the food that paired with these next two wines was to die for, I want to focus on the drink. The two wines listed above (the fifth and sixth of the afternoon) were incredible, full-bodied, deep, beautiful selections.

The Duas Quintas 2012 is a bright garnet colour, and both elegant and silky on the palate. Retailing at about $15.79, this is a total find if you want to impress dinner guests. It pairs well with red meat and strong flavours.

Also pairing well with red meat, the Quanta Do Crasto consists of berry aromas and floral notes. At 14% alcohol, the $17.49 bottle delivers some major bang for your buck.

Pedra Cancela Selecao de Enologo – Dao Red

This heavy and delicious wine was paired with a dish the chef called ‘Peaches and Cream,’ which consisted of a gluten-free waffle, braised peach slices, a corn cream, a sweet popcorn, and edible flowers. With an intense ripe plum aroma and hints of cocoa, this absolutely gorgeous wine retails for about $17.99.

Again, YUM. Did I mention the wine was delicious?

Sandeman Porto Ruby – Port Wine

Lastly, of course, was a port. And obviously, it was paired with cheese. Amazing cheese. Although port itself has never been my favourite (I find it too strong, and something to sip, which I’ve already explained isn’t exactly my forté), it was the perfect flavour to compliment a heavy blue cheese.

Extremely rich and aged for at least 2-5 years prior to being filtered and cold-stabilised, this port retails at just under $20 a bottle.

And that was that!

So all in all, I learned a lot about wine (both in general and Portuguese), ate a lot of amazing food, and had kept great company for about three hours in downtown Vancouver. (One Water Street, to be exact—the heart of Gastown.)

So next time you peruse the liquor store looking for that perfect bottle, check out the wines of Portugal—you won’t be sorry.


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Craft Beer

Since the province is currently sitting pretty on the Craft Beer Bandwagon, we thought we’d join everyone. The only problem? We knew NOTHING about craft beer—until now.

In a recent interview with Josh Vanderheide, owner of East Abbotsford’s Field House Brewing Company, we learned a lot. The following information comes from Vanderheide, who hopes to open his doors to the thirsty public and encourage the East Fraser Valley to embrace what he calls “growler culture” late this year, or early next.

Without further adieu, here’s what you need to know (but probably don’t) about craft beer:

Craft Beer is Not Expensive.

Most craft beer is the same price as regular beer. Sure, there are more expensive beers out there that are aged in barrels or have unique organic ingredients, so there is a reason when you see a higher priced beer. But most are comparable to ‘big beer companies.’

Not all Craft Beer is ‘Hoppy.’

Craft Beer

A lot of people think that craft beer is all about hops. There are lots of great hopped beer styles, but there are also so many great styles and new ones coming to the marker all the time. If you don’t like your first craft beer, it might just not be your style—try another, and we promise you will find one that you like.

The Way it’s Made.

The best thing about craft beer, is that almost any brewery will walk you through the process of how beer is made. It’s pretty interesting, and you can’t get that from the big breweries.

Growlers are Awesome.

People in Vancouver know about growlers, but it hasn’t reached everyone out in the Fraser Valley and beyond. It’s the best way to get beer fresh from the brewery in an environmentally friendly and stylish bottle that can be re-used.

“We’re looking forward to bringing growler culture to the East Fraser Valley.”

Opening a Brewery is Fun, but Hard!

Craft beer

It’s very technical, and involves lots of engineers and experts along the way. You have to be ready to work really hard, and build a great network of people to help you out and teach you things very fast as you go. When everything comes together, it’s an incredibly rewarding and uplifting experience, and one that we’re eager to share with our fellow craft beer-enthusiasts.

Cheers!


 

*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

Back-to-School Breakfast Ideas by NutraCleanse™

We can’t believe we’re writing this already, but back-to-school is just around the corner! It’s the last day of August, and the Vancouver weather is looking a little grim. We want to make your day brighter, so we decided to provide you with some easy and healthy meal ideas: 3 recipes for quick and easy back-to-school breakfasts by NutraCleanse™.

Here are several great options that work well for busy mornings:

Smoothies

A smoothie is always a go-to because it can be blended up and taken on the road as you head to school or work.

Smoothie

Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are awesome because they can be prepared the night before, and are ready to go in to morning. If you make them in a mason jar, they’re also easily portable.

Fibre

Nutrient-Dense Muffins

Finally, baking up a batch of muffins on the weekend makes an easy breakfast that can be grabbed as you’re running out the door.

Wholegrain Muffins

No matter what you go for, it’s ideal to get a mix of both protein and fibre to keep you going until lunch time. That’s why adding a supplement like NutraCleanse™ is great, because it makes it easy to get a dose of many different nutrients at once. Primarily composed of ground flaxseed, NutraCleanse™ is a fabulous source of fibre, which lends you energy and a happy, healthy gut.

To see exactly what we’re talking about and reap some recipe rewards, read more HERE.

To get the recipe for the cover photo (Beet Pancakes by Tanya R. Loewen), check out Baby Nosh: Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Goodness for Baby’s Food Sensitivities.

To watch Jennifer Browne on BT Vancouver talk about back-to-school breakfasts using chia seeds and NutraCleanse™, see below:

 


 

*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

5 Weird Wellness Trends for Fall 2015

Being trendy isn’t always easy, but these trends don’t require work. Food is the focus, and we’re 100% IN. Check ’em out!

fast food

The Health-Conscious Drive-Thru

Let’s be honest: this one is pleasing. Weird, but pleasing.

Instead of the usual drive-thru fare of burgers, fries, and milkshakes, many fast-food restaurants are making an effort to offer vegan alternatives! There’s also been a recent rash of paleo, GMO-free, and gluten-free offerings.

A&W is offering beef raised without hormones and antibiotics, and Chipotle is completely non-GMO. The American chain Veggie Grill is 100% vegan, and now we feel we’ve seen it all.

(But we haven’t, because this trend is just getting started…)

gum

Plastic-Free Chewing Gum

Yep—you read that right. If you didn’t know that most conventional gum contains synthetic plastic, you’re definitely not the only one. The new trend? Gum that actually contains gum. Like, from trees. Real ones.

Try Glee Gum or Chicza Mayan Rainforest Gum.

Chipotle

Junk Food Companies Clean Up

Following in the footsteps of their drive-thru counterparts, junk food companies are hopping on the health bandwagon. In February 2015, Nestle announced that they are planned on dropping all artificial colours and flavours from their products, and one month later, McDonald’s pledged to source chickens raised without antibiotics important to human health.

(Which is nice, but, ummm…how about all antibiotics? We think McDonald’s was far too specific with this particular pledge.)

Other announcements earlier this year included Chipotle’s full line of non-GMO food (first American restaurant chain to do this!). Now you can get fast food without feeling guilty, because you can justify them more easily. You know, to yourself.

farm

Online Farmers’ Markets

We actually love this one. Have no time to get your own butt to the market? That’s okay—a small handful of local companies will now do this for you. Green Earth Organics and SPUD are two Vancouver-based, online retailers who deliver farm-fresh produce straight to your front door, from West Vancouver to Hope, BC.

Wow.

Black-Coffee

Coffee Gets a Make-Under

Say goodbye to your full-fat Starbucks mocha Frappuccino, with their whipped topping and (approximately) 7 million calories. This season’s new trend is simple: black is the new black. (Black coffee, that is.)

With little calories and the posh and polished look only those who unapologetically sip black coffee deserve, you can be on trend while you suck up your caffeine.

Being on trend never felt so easy!


 

*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

Baby Food Revolution: 5 rules that are changing

Until recently, there were a ton of rules when it came to feeding your baby her first foods, and it seems that we all just accepted these rules and followed them without question. In the past few years, however, experts have been questioning these old-school rules and making a great case for throwing out that old rule book to make room for common sense and deliciously nutritious fare.

Jarred, mushy peas used to be totally cool for baby, but today’s babies know that bland, old applesauce is just unacceptable. Can you imagine eating hospital food for a whole year? Because that’s what we imagine old-school baby food must taste like to babies: old, cold, and super boring.

So, what exactly are we talking about here?

The following 5 rules are changing quickly, and your baby may be lucky enough to benefit from them. Check ‘em out:

ONE.

Old Rule: Spices are a no-no, because a baby can’t handle them.

New Rule: Spices are totally necessary! How is your baby supposed to ever love different flavours if she’s never introduced to them? Do you want to be that family who goes for Indian and whose kids are eating plain, white rice? Or do you want you kids competing for the curried vegetables?

We want to encourage you to take your family on a culinary walk on the wild side, and introduce your baby to exotic flavours—the earlier the better. 6 months is not too early for a little ginger or cardamom.

TWO.

Old Rule: It’s perfectly acceptable to buy pre-packaged baby nosh—in fact, that’s just how it’s done.

New Rule: Homemade baby food is where it’s at. There are waaayy more nutrients in fresh and mindfully created food produced by you for your own baby. It’s also cheaper, and more environmentally friendly. (Say goodbye to all those glass jars.)

THREE.

Old Rule: No nuts for baby under the age of two.

New Rule: You can introduce nut products (like almond milk) as young as 9 months. Experts agree that by slowly introducing former allergens like nuts early, and a little at a time, you can prevent an allergy situation that could occur by tossing your toddler a peanut butter sandwich on his second birthday.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report in 2008 showing that there is no research to back up the old allergy rule.

Pediatrician Frank Greer, former chairman of the AAP’s Committee on Nutrition, says “There is no evidence that delaying the introduction of these foods beyond 4 to 6 months prevents food allergies.”

If your baby is showing signs of being sensitive to external factors (like displaying eczema), then this is the exception to the new rule. Eczema and asthma often signal a possibility of allergies to other things, so in this case, nuts should still be put in hold for a bit longer. If you know you have a sensitive baby and aren’t sure what to feed her, check out Baby Nosh: Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Goodness for Baby’s Food Sensitivities.

FOUR.

Old Rule: Feeding your baby only a few different vegetables is sufficient.

New Rule: Feed your baby different vegetables constantly. Eat the rainbow. Your baby should be introduced to several varieties of roots, squashes, beans, whole grains, fruit, and everything in between. Peas and carrots aren’t enough—get crazy.

FIVE.

Old Rule: Babies need a daily breastmilk replacement (or 4 or 6!) until they’re two.

New Rule: Babies need breastmilk or formula until they naturally wean (around a year or so), and then can totally stay hydrated on water, fresh-pressed juices, and milk alternatives, such as almond, coconut, rice, and hemp milk. There is no need for cow’s milk ever, and unless your baby is very underweight, she does not need commercially-prepared formula past that first 12 months.

So what are you waiting for? Your baby is hungry and tired of living according to old rules. Let’s shake them up a little, get brave and maybe a little wild, and create space for growing a healthy palate on your little one.

Wanna know why conventional baby food looks gross? ‘Cuz it’s gross. Let’s make it better.

 


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

Top 10 Best and Worst Summer Foods

By Jennifer Browne

In my 34 years on this planet, I’ve discovered that the whole you-won’t-gain-weight-in-the-summer-because-it’s-hot-and-you-don’t-have-an-appetite thing is a LIE. You know why? Because there are a lot of foods out there that we associate with summertime that are not good for us.

Like, at all.

Plus, extra heat generally equals increased water retention. So whoever started that whole skinny summer rumor is a big, fat, liar.

Or maybe a skinny liar.

Whatever. The whole point of this weird rant is this: don’t assume you’ll lose weight in the summer. Unless you are consciously making an effort through lifestyle recalibration that includes a proper diet and adequate exercise, you’ll sit exactly where you are or maybe even gain a few.

*Ahem. (That was directed at myself.)

Here’s the silver lining: while there are many unhealthy summer foods out there, there are just as many healthy ones. So, without further adieu, here is my list of 10 best and worst summer foods:

Iced frappuccino

Top 5 WORST

Carnival crap. You know these foods. I’m talking about corn dogs, deep-fried doughnuts, and stuff that’s covered in powdered sugar. Do not eat these things if you’re looking to lose a couple pounds.

Iced frappuccinos. These summertime drinks are extremely high in calories, and contain no nutritional value. Often weighing in at close to 500 calories for the equivalent of a Starbucks size grande, they are a total coffee-lovers mistake. Instead, try an iced-latte made with organic soy or almond milk. For the same size as that iced frappuccino, these contain only about 150 calories.  

Potato salad. Sadly, most recipes contain a ton of mayo, which is practically 100% fat. Look for lower-calorie recipes, such as Angela Liddon‘s Asparagus and Potato Salad. These usually use heart-healthy extra-virgin olive oil instead of mayonnaise.

Cocktails. I know. It’s practically sacrilege to avoid these on a patio during the months of June-September, but they pack a lot of calories. High in sugar, the average margarita contains between 200 and 500 big ones, and unlike an iced latte, you usually don’t have just one. Ouch.

Freezies. These aren’t high-calorie, but they’re full of artificial colours, flavours, and sugar. Make your own frozen treats instead, by blending fruit and coconut water, and filling your own molds. For a few recipes, click HERE.

Watermelon

Top 5 BEST

Watermelon. With very little calories and a ton of water, watermelon is refreshing, hydrating, and appealing to all ages.

Corn on the cob. (Sans butter.) Try grilling your corn on the cob with a brush of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Make sure it’s organic, because upwards of 90% of corn grown in North America is genetically modified. Again, this is something that generally appeals to all ages, and kid-friendly, healthy food is where it’s at.

Infused water. Summer is HOT, and you need extra fluids (non-alcoholic) to replace what you lose through perspiration, alone. Throwing some peppermint leaves, cucumber slices, orange slices, or berries into your water can make you feel as though you’re enjoying a cocktail.

A zero calorie cocktail. Let that sink in. Adios, margarita.

Salads—all kinds. Whether it’s a bright and fresh garden salad for lunch or dinner, or a summer fruit salad for breakfast, salads are a fabulous way to inject yourself with fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Eat up.

(But not pasta or potato. Stay away from anything with mayonnaise as a main ingredient.)

Grilled fish. Ocean-wise, sustainable seafood is what you want to be grilling for a healthy, omega-3 rich meal. Try wild and fresh BC salmon, and avoid farmed products. Simply squeeze a lemon over top, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve with capers for a low-calorie meal option.


 *If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

Incredible Edible Flowers

Eat Your…Flowers?

More frequently, we’re seeing a trend towards edible flowers. The first time I ever consciously purchased edible flowers was at an Epicure party, and I got hooked. Decorating food with flowers? Yup—that’s right up my alley.

Many of my favorite vegan cookbooks contain recipes with beautiful blossoms and pretty petals, including my last purchase, My New Roots, by Sarah Britton. (If you’re looking for a really fun and inventive plant-based recipe book, I highly recommend you give this one a try.)

But what has lately peaked my interest, is the fact that we actually all eat a lot of flowers, all the time. We may not know we’re doing it, but we are.

Common Flower Foodstuffs

fresh artichokes

Without totally realizing it, you probably consume a lot of flowers. Common flower foodstuffs include:

Artichokes. Yup, artichokes are flowers.

Chamomile. You knew this, but most people don’t think of chamomile tea as tea made from dried flowers. Guess what? It is!

Beer. One of the main ingredients in beer is hops. Turns out, hops are flowers. Not so manly anymore, huh? (I’m sorry.)

Capers. This one blew my mind. Capers, the little salty green things that are totally delicous on salmon, are actually pickled nasturtium buds. Crazy.

Saffron. And you thought roses were expensive. Am I right?! Saffron comes from crocus flowers.

Vanilla. Vanilla comes from the seedpod of an exotic orchid. I had no idea.

See how much we’re learning? If it were up to me, I’d give us mini-degrees in floriculture. (A real thing, by the way.)

How to Forage Edible Flowers

Foraging flowers

Here are a few general rules when attempting to forage your own flowers:

  • Only eat flowers if you know they’re organic. This means either growing your own, or plucking them wild from a field in no-man’s-land.
  • If you’ve never eaten a particular flower before, eat one first, wait awhile, then proceed to eat more if you’d like. Be aware of any sensitivities you may develop after.
  • Never forage flowers from the side of the road. These poor blooms are toxic—petrochemicals and roadside herbicide is pretty much guaranteed to live on them, and through them.
  • Know what flowers you’re foraging. Some parts of the flower may not be edible, let alone palatable. Do some research before spending your time picking.
  • Become familiar with common edible flowers. These will be easy to cook with, because there will be existing recipes that include them. If you’re new to the world of edible flowers, you might want to start here.
  • If you’re purchasing them, make sure your flowers are bought in a refrigerated produce department of a grocery store, not in a flower shop. Flower shop flowers have usually been treated with chemicals that make them last longer.

How to Incorporate Edible Flowers Into Your Diet

Edible Flowers

  • Buy a new recipe book that features edible flowers.
  • Ask the produce manager or someone at the farmer’s market about cooking with flowers.
  • Google the term “edible flowers” and learn what you can.
  • Be open to new ideas and flavours.
  • Start small; begin with one flower species at a time.

Add Some Flower Power

edible flowers

Not sure what dishes can be transformed with a few flowers? Try these:

  • Cakes and cupcakes
  • Garden salads
  • Fruit salads and parfaits
  • Cream-based desserts, such as crème brûlée

Experiment (and have fun!) with edible flowers. xo


 

*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU byFresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.