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Good

Gotta-have gadgets • Quenching your thirst

G R A C I O U S

Fall/Winter 2020

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Compliments of

Festive cocktails

Compass Distillery delights

Comfort Food to come home to

Chef Alain shares favourites

Fauxmage is fab

A "fresh start" for vegan cheese


FROM ATLANTIC CANADA

Superfruit PurĂŠe uses berries only grown in the Maritimes. Sobeys is proud to make this available to you in Atlantic Canada.

From this land to your family!


Good

Gotta-have gadgets • Quenching your thirst

G R A C I O U S

Fall/Winter 2020

L I V I N G

O N

T H E

E A S T

C O A S T

Festive cocktails STEVE SMITH/VISIONFIRE

Compass Distillery delights

Comfort Food to come home to

Chef Alain shares favourites

On our cover: Fresh Start Fauxmage Mac and Cheese. Photo by Steve Smith, VisionFire

Fauxmage is fab

A "fresh start" for vegan cheese

Contents

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Comfort food to come home to We cook because we love by Alain Bossé

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A fresh start and a fresh product I’m impressed! by Alain Bossé

A peek in our pantry

STEVE SMITH/VISIONFIRE

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Top 10 gadgets we can’t do without by Alain Bossé

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Quenching that thirst

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Raise a glass!

STEVE SMITH/VISIONFIRE

by Alain Bossé

by Maureen Tilley, PDt. BIGSTOCK/FASCINADORA

Cocktails for the holidays—or any time

How much harmful sugar is in your beverage?

Good Taste is a special insert in Saltscapes magazine, published by Metro Guide Publishing, 2882 Gottingen Street, Halifax, NS B3K 3E2. Tel: 902- 464-7258, Sales Toll Free: 1-877-311-5877 Contents copyright 2019/2020. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent of the publisher. PRINTED IN CANADA. G R A C I O U S

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Exciting WINES Rare SPIRITS Unique BEER

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DOWNHOME RECIPES

Comfort food to come home to We cook because we love

Story by Alain Bossé photography by Steve Smith/VisionFire

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riting a story for a magazine can be a funny process. Due to the time involved in the editing and publishing process we find ourselves thinking about Christmas while the rose is still on the bloom, so to speak. That’s how I came to be mulling over Christmas traditions on a beautiful hot summer day in August. I knew I wanted to make the base of the story about comfort food. And in particular about the comfort food that I looked forward to when I went home to my mother’s kitchen to celebrate the holidays. My thought process took a sudden turn when I walked into the kitchen to find Johanne poring over a stack of handwritten recipes along with a smattering of cookbooks. When I asked what she was doing, she replied that she was working out the menu for an upcoming visit from our son, daughter-in-law and grandson. “Oh, why go through all

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DOWNHOME RECIPES

the trouble,” I admonished. “We will just figure out the menu day by day.” I could tell by the look on her face that this was not going to fly. I assumed it was because Johanne is not a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person. She’s very detail oriented and likes to know what is going to happen each and every moment of the day. Quite the opposite of myself! But that was actually not the reason, and, as she informed me, this activity was not born out of stress but came from a place of love. “You see,” she explained to me, “now that Jock is 28 years old, I’m not the one who heals his hurts, I’m no longer the one he turns to when he’s feeling down or needs reassurance that everything is going to work out just fine. And while I’m sure he still likes to be tucked into bed, it certainly isn’t by his mother!” She went on to say that these roles had all been filled by another wonderful and caring woman, which is exactly the way it should be. So for her, preparing all of her

Dumplings Makes 12

1 ½ cups (375 mL) flour 2 ¼ tsp (11 mL) baking powder ½ tsp (2 mL) salt ¾ cup (175 mL) milk In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Use a fork to gradually incorporate the milk into flour mixture. Using two teaspoons, drop dough into hot fricot or stew, cover pot and cook for 15 minutes or until dough is cooked through. Note: Dumplings should be added to fricot during final 20 minutes of cooking time. From The Kilted Chef Acadian Kitchen Cookbook

Acadian Chicken Fricot Serves 4-6

1 5 pound (2 kg) chicken, bone-in, skin-on 10 cups (2.5 L) water 8 medium potatoes, peeled and diced 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 cup diced celery 3 carrots, peeled and diced 2 tsp (10 mL) chicken bouillon 1 tsp (5 mL) freshly-ground pepper 1 tsp (5 mL) summer savoury In a large pot, boil chicken in 10 cups of water until tender, approx. 60 minutes. Remove chicken, strain broth and reserve. Cool chicken and remove skin and meat from bones. Roughly chop meat and set aside. Return broth to pot and add potatoes, onion, celery, carrots, bouillon, pepper, savoury, and chopped meat. Add water to cover if needed. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 45 minutes.

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Discover the natural goodness of eggs

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DOWNHOME RECIPES

Mom’s Seafood Chowder Serves 4 to 6

2 tbsp (45 mL) butter 3 slices of bacon, finely diced 1 medium onion, finely diced 1 carrot peeled, finely diced 1 stalk celery, finely diced 2 cups (250 mL) cubed potato 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh tarragon 1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard 2 cups (500 mL) whole milk 1 can evaporated milk 2 cups (500 mL) water 1 large fillet haddock cut into 1 inch pieces ½ pound (500 g) cold water shrimp 1 pound (500 g) scallops, sliced 1 pound (500 g) lobster meat Salt and pepper to taste Melt the butter in a soup pot and sauté the bacon until it just starts to crisp. Set aside. Sauté onion, celery and carrot in butter/bacon fat until soft. Add in tarragon, and potatoes; cook until potatoes are tender. Add Dijon mustard and reserved bacon, whole milk, evaporated milk, water, lobster juice and haddock, scallops, lobster and shrimp. Cook over medium low gently poaching the fish. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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son’s favourite meals is now the ultimate act of showing how much she loves and cares about him. Is that how my mother felt when I came home for Christmas? I think perhaps it is. The reality for many of us though is that our mothers have hung up their aprons. Some are no longer with us, some have downsized and are now living in homes that no longer accommodate their large families, and others are simply

content to pass the duties on to the younger generation—preferring to be the ones who are spoiled for a change. And that’s how my perspective for the story completely changed. It made me realize that perhaps at this stage in life, “comfort food to come home to” is less about the comfort we receive and more about the comfort we give. And isn’t that what Christmas in general is all about? #stayinlove Johanne and Alain Bossé.


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PRODUCER TO PLATE

A fresh start and a fresh product I’m impressed!

By Alain Bossé photography by Steve Smith/VisionFire

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n 2016 Julain Molnar was looking for a “fresh start” after 30+ years in theatre. At the same time, she was looking for a dairy-free cheese alternative that was not only delicious, but healthy. When she couldn’t find what she wanted on grocery shelves around her, she decided she would make it herself! The rest is history. That same year Fresh Start Fauxmage had their first sale day at Riverview Country Market in Charlottetown. They sold out quickly and realized what was soon ahead of them. Their first year or two they had retailers coming to them; a rare and enviable position for a young business. Everyone was so interested in the new dairy-free cheese on the local scene!

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PRODUCER TO PLATE

Creamy Herb TwiceBaked Potatoes Serves 4

4 baking potatoes 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil 1 pk (180 g) Creamy Herb Fauxmage 2/3 cup (150 mL) oat milk ½ tsp (2 mL) dried dill ½ tsp (2 mL) dried parsley ½ tsp (2 mL) garlic powder 1 tsp (5 mL) salt 2 green onions sliced Ground pepper to taste

Fast forward a few years from that beginning and Fresh Start is now listed in Sobeys Atlantic, along with numerous mom and pop shops around the Maritimes; they are now heading into the Ontario market this fall (stay tuned…) But every Saturday you will still find them at the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market; this is where their heart is and always will be. When creating their Fauxmages, the aim is to replicate not only the texture and flavours of your favourite cheeses but also that feeling of comfort you have when eating it. They are always striving to create that perfect blend of taste and texture while keeping health top of mind.

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The new Everything Bagel Style is unlike any other cheese on the market right now. It has a creamy cashew base with a bit of sharpness and is topped with a custom blended Everything Bagel seasoning—as some like to say, it’s like a bagel in a bite!  Hillary Wood, the company’s business development manager and social media manager, says, “Sometimes the word vegan can be scary. Some people may think ‘I’m not vegan, so that product isn’t for me,’ but in reality as long as you’re someone who likes good-tasting food, our products are for you, regardless of diet!” “Fauxmage is eaten by many, many folks from different walks of life and

Preheat oven to 400°F/205°C Place potatoes on a baking sheet. Rub with canola oil and bake for 1 hour. Remove baked potatoes from oven and turn the oven to 350°F/180°C. Place Fauxmage in a large mixing bowl. With a sharp knife, cut baked potatoes in half lengthwise. Scrape insides of potatoes into bowl, try to be careful not to break the skin; leave a small layer of potato in place. Place potatoes back on baking sheet. Mash potato and Fauxmage together. Add oat milk, dill, parsley, garlic powder, the green onions, salt and pepper. Fill potato shells then return to oven for an additional for 15 to 20 minutes. Add your favourite toppings and enjoy!


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Fauxmage Mac & Cheese Stuffing Serves 2

Christmas Stuffing ½ ½ ¼ cup (50 mL) 2 tbsp (30 mL) 1 tbsp (15 mL) 1 tbsp (15 mL) 2 tsp (10 mL) 2 tsp (10 mL) 2 tsp (10 mL) 2 tsp (10 mL)

loaf of bread (cubed) onion (chopped) melted butter summer savoury garlic powder parsley onion powder oregano thyme rosemary

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease a 9 X 9 casserole dish. Chop the onions into small evenly-sized cubes. Cut bread into 4 strips vertically, then 4 strips horizontally to make small cubes. Transfer bread cubes into a large mixing bowl. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Slowly pour about 1/3 of butter over bread. Sprinkle about 1/3 of seasonings on the mixture, then toss to coat. Repeat this step until you’ve use all of the butter and seasoning. Pour stuffing into the greased casserole dish, cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove tin foil, stir, then bake for another 20 minutes, or until golden brown. You will be baking this again so don't let it get too crispy. Halifax’s exclusive parenting magazine

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Fauxmage Mac & Cheese Serves 2

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1 ¼ cups (300 mL) macaroni noodles (uncooked) 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter ¼ cup (50 mL) flour 1 cup (250 mL) almond milk 2 tbsp (30 mL) nutritional yeast 2 tsp (10 mL) pepper 2 tsp (10 mL) salt 2 tsp (10 mL) paprika 1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder 1 tsp (5 mL) onion powder 1 tsp (5 mL) mustard powder ½ cup (125 mL) Fresh Start Fauxmage Monk’s cheddar-style cheese While stuffing is baking, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl. In the pot you boiled the pasta in, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour. It should turn into a thick paste. Mix in almond milk, nutritional yeast, pepper, salt, paprika, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard powder. Whisk over medium heat until smooth and thick. Add in Fresh Start Fauxmage Monk’s cheddar cheese and stir over medium heat until fully combined. Pour cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce, stir until evenly coated. Recipe by chickpeaexpress.com

Assembly

1 ½ cups (375 mL) Fauxmage Mac & Cheese (see recipe above) 3/4 cup (175 mL) Christmas stuffing (see recipe p14) 2 sprigs of fresh Rosemary. 10 issues for only

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Divide Fauxmage Mac and Cheese between two small ramekins. Leave about ½ inch of space at the top. Top the mac and cheese with stuffing to fill ramekins. Bake for about 10 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Serve topped with a sprig of fresh rosemary.


that’s something we absolutely adore about our products,” Hillary says. “Seeing the excitement and relief on someone’s face when they try our Chili Lime after searching for a dairy-free cheese for years, watching a skeptical cheese-lover taste our Creamy Pesto melted on warm pasta noodles...it’s these moments that keep us so driven, focused and happily working hard to keep Fauxmage on top as the best dairy-free cheese you’ve ever tried.” In five years Julain envisions Fauxmage being readily available in Canada and in parts of the US. She and her team are always daydreaming about ways to expand their product line; the possibilities of plant-based options are truly endless. If you haven’t tried Fresh Start, this is the perfect time, and if you’re unsure how to use the products you can visit their website for a ton of fabulous recipe ideas. And with the holidays fast approaching, Hillary suggests that you can’t go wrong with a charcuterie board. Pop out a container of Fauxmage onto a board amongst other goodies. There is even a blog post on the website at www.freshstartfauxmage.com all about making the perfect plant-based charcuterie board. As well, their Faux Naturel makes a great base for dairy-free cheesecakes; the Creamy Herb is amazing on potatoes; and Monk’s Cheddar makes for a smoky, delicious nacho appetizer dip when heated on the stove with salsa. The versatility of Fauxmage is truly remarkable. Locally in PEI, they usually sell some specialty goodies at the farmers market and a couple of other small shops during the holidays. Their “Fauxlogs” are a big hit at holiday get-togethers. Fauxlogs are a twist on cheese logs and are their flavour base rolled in a variety of yummy toppings. You can also follow Fresh Start on Instagram for all the latest info, tips and new listings. G R A C I O U S

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DRINKS

Cocktails for the holidays—or any time Raise a glass! By Alain Bossé

STEVE SMITH/VISIONFIRE

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ompass Distillers was founded in June of 2015 and opened its door in October, 2017 by lifelong friends Graham Collins, Josh Judah & David LaGrand. All three share a love of quality craft spirits and started Compass Distillers with the goal to make world class spirits 100 per cent from scratch with as many local ingredients as possible. Compass Distillers produces a full line of spirits including vodkas, gins, rums, whiskeys and bitters. The vodkas, gins and whiskeys are all made using Nova Scotian grain from the Annapolis Valley, while the rums start as raw sugar and molasses sourced from Crosby’s in New Brunswick. Compass is committed to creating 100 per cent of their spirits from scratch without the use of any mass-produced product. All of their spirits start as raw ingredients; they mill, mash, ferment, and distill on site. This is rare in the distilling industry because of the higher costs to produce each spirit from scratch. They believe that this promise is what makes Compass Distillers stand apart from others in the industry. The distillery has been recognized for their efforts with many accolades including three Best In Canada wins at

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My Canadian Beef is... Festive

Bring some dinner-drama to your dinner table with Beef Wellington. It’s easier than you think if you follow the simple step-by-steps.

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Andrea Buckett Cooks shows how to make Beef Wellington. Scan to watch!


DRINKS

Yule Tides Nog Makes 1

Winner of the 2019 Saltscapes Holiday Greets The Harvest “Nog Off” 2 oz (60 mL) Compass Spiced Rhumb 1 oz (30 mL) Nog syrup (Equal parts brown sugar and water, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, vanilla) 2 oz (60 mL) whipping cream 1 whole egg

COMPASS DISTILLERS

Add all ingredients to an ice filled shaker tin. Shake well and double strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

the World Gin Awards 2020, three Double Gold medals from international spirits competitions, 10 Gold medals—with a total of 63 medals thus far. The distillery is also proud to have won Nova Scotia Distillery of the Year in 2018, Nova Scotian Product of the Year 2018, and New Business of the Year in 2019. Aside from producing outstanding spirits, Compass has also put great thought and care into their labels. Each is a piece of art designed by Halifax based artist, Alex MacAskill of Midnight Oil Print & Design House. It was extremely important to Compass that they hire a local artist for their design work. Alex MacAskill says, “Compass spirits each tell a story, and I try to design and illustrate the label in a way that highlights that story and compliments

the spirit itself. Whether it’s how the ingredients were sourced, using unique and uncommon flavours, or it’s a lesserknown spirits from other parts of the world or time periods, there’s always inspiration for beautiful imagery that can help illustrate Compass’ passion for the craft and attention to detail.” Being proudly Nova Scotian is so important to the brand: a lot of the label designs have allowed Alex to reference imagery and illustration styles that are historically significant to NS. They visually root the product here as firmly as it is physically rooted here. One of most unique products Compass produces is their Lobster Vodka. It actually started out as a bit of a joke. The distillers were talking about Mezcal Pechuga, a traditional Mexican

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spirit distilled with a chicken breast in the still. They thought it would be funny to try to make a similar spirit but with a Nova Scotian twist – instead of chicken they would use lobster! They were all impressed with the spirit that came out of the still. The base is 100 percent Nova Scotian wheat grown in the Annapolis Valley. On the nose you are reminded of brine & shellfish, the taste gives you an unexpected sweet and buttery flavour. It’s perfect for taking your classic Canadian Caesar to new depths. Their first batch of Lobster Vodka is sold out but I’m told there will be more to come! You can find their spirits on site at Compass Distillers at 2533 Agricola Street and shipping within Canada through their website at www.compassdistillers.ca. C O A S T

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DRINKS

The Queen Bee Makes 1

2 oz (60 mL) Gin Royal 0.75 oz (22 mL) lemon juice 0.75 oz (22 mL) honey syrup 2-3 dashes of 0range bitters

COMPASS DISTILLERS

Add all ingredients to an ice filled shaker tin. Shake well and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a dried lemon chip and pepper.

Mistletoast Makes 1

1.5 oz (45mL) Compass Vodka (infused with lemon zest and muddled cranberries) 0.5 oz (15 mL) Martini Bianco 0.75 oz (22 mL) lemon juice 0.75 oz (22 mL) Orgeat

COMPASS DISTILLERS

Add all ingredients to an ice filled shaker tin. Shake well and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a dried lemon chip, cranberry and rosemary, and dust the top with a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar.

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Their spirits are also available in select NSLC, ANBL, PEILC locations, other Nova Scotian sellers include Harvest Beer Wine & Spirits, Bishop’s Cellar, & Liquid Assets. Currently tours are available by appointment only in groups of six or fewer. Tastings are available through their bar during regular hours. Compass Distillers also offers a virtual tour & tasting option. All tours can be booked through their website www.compassdistillers.ca or by calling (902) 446-0467.


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Hope for a future without Alzheimer’s. Karen Brown prays for the day researchers discover why her healthy, active husband Wally would get Alzheimer’s. On behalf of Wally, Karen is eager to support this year’s Molly Appeal. 100% of gifts to DMRF’s Fall 2020 Molly will fund life-saving research in areas such as Alzheimer’s and other debilitating diseases like cancer and heart disease. “What gives me hope is that we could one day prevent and cure this devastating disease. Dalhousie researchers are working hard to do this.” Says Karen. “I am deeply impressed by their work.” For ways to give, and more of Wally and Karen’s story, please go to mollyappeal.ca. Please make your cheque or money order payable to:

I support medical research with my gift of: m$35 m$50 m$75 m$150 mOther $________

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GADGETS

A peek in our pantry Top 10 gadgets we can’t do without

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By Alain Bossé photography by Steve Smith/VisionFire

2020

will go down in history as one of the most challenging years ever. It forced us to reevaluate everything we thought we knew. The Kilted Chef team are usually travelling, participating in trade shows, festivals, doing catering and generally being the most social of butterflies. Like the rest of the world we found ourselves grounded for the unforeseeable future. To pass the time we started a 3pm (Atlantic) Facebook Live cooking show. We hoped that our family and friends might tune in and be entertained. The show took on a life of its own. People often tell us that the show helped them through a dark time; they did the same for us with their comments, questions and appreciation. One of the questions we’re most often asked is “where did you get that gadget that you used on the show?” Readers of Saltscapes will be familiar with our “gadget for the foodie in your life” series—here are the top 10 most requested gadgets from our show.

1. Bench scraper

Where to get it: kitchen supply store. This tool makes transferring chopped food into a pot or pan a breeze! The wide surface allows for moving large quantities of goods at a time. We also use it for scraping the counter after we have rolled dough, and as a tool to keep pizza crust and pie dough from sticking to the counter while we’re rolling it out.

2. Glass bowls

Where to get them: IKEA The secret to executing a great recipe is organization. There’s no better way to organize than set out a mis en place, which is just a fancy way of saying “prep” everything ahead! This not only allows you to stay

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3 organized and tidy, but it also ensures that you won’t miss any ingredients in your recipe. We use three types of bowls: small for spices and condiments, medium for oils and liquids, and large for chopped vegetables.

3. Knitted dishcloths

Where to get them: Your mother, your favourite aunt, or just about any craft sale, anywhere. We love these dish cloths for several reasons: it’s hard to pick one up without thinking of the person who took the time to make it for you. We love the nostalgia, the bright colours, and the fact that it’s just a great dishcloth!

4. Multi-sided grater

Where to get it: Any kitchen supply that carries Microplane brand kitchenware. Each side of this grater has a different size from very fine grate to large shred. The rubber handle and feet make it easy to grip and ensure that it doesn’t slide. Each of the four sides can easily be removed and used individually.

5. Dough cutter

Where we got it: Big Eric’s Restaurant Supply, Dartmouth, NS How many times have you tried to cut a pan of squares and ended up with different shapes, different sizes, and that little half inch piece at the end that doesn’t fit in anywhere? This tool is perfect for scoring all different types of baking: squares, oatcakes, cookies; and it even works for cutting lattice strips for pie.

6. Cooper Atkins thermometer

Where we got it: Vegadirect.ca The worst thing you can do is cut into a piece of meat, a chicken, or a turkey to see if it’s done. Valuable juices are lost. A good quality thermometer inserted at the right point (which is always the thickest part of the meat) will tell you exactly what stage the cooking process is in.

7. Ninja blender

Where we got it: Costco When I got this blender, I wasn’t sure that I would love it. We’re fortunate to


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6 have some very high-end blenders in our kitchen and I wasn’t sure how this one would compare. It blends just as well as others that I have paid much more for. I love the fact that the blender stick has blades in 3 different positions: it chops at the bottom, the centre, and the top at the same time. The canister is very easy to clean and the suction cups on the bottom of the machine ensure that it does not move while running.

My favourite sauce is Blues Hog; several flavours available but my personal go to is Original and I love their Meat Church line of rubs. They’re one of the few rubs that have managed to get the salt content just right. I’m also including a silicone mop brush for basting and slathering as well as a grill mat in my barbecue package. The mat is perfect for grilling fish, vegetables, or smaller items like shrimp and scallops.

8. BBQ condiments and accessories

Where to get: any restaurant supply store Just about everyone has a basic potato peeler in their kitchen. It’s a very functional tool, and sometimes gets used

Where we get them: barbecue shops. For those who love to grill all year long BBQ accessories will never be a miss.

9. Vegetable peelers

for other tasks. It’s perfect for chocolate curls when garnishing desserts, or for making zucchini strips for vegetable lasagna. But if you want to make julienne strips of carrots or cucumbers for salads, fresh rolls, garnishes, or any other application you can think of, you need a julienne peeler. Even I am surprised at how much I reach for this tool!

10. Measuring plunger

Where we got it: Pampered Chef Measuring out sticky foods such as peanut butter, molasses, or even soft butter can be a messy endeavour. That’s where this handy measuring tool comes in. Simply adjust the plunger to the correct measurement desired, add your food item, then simply slide it out and into your bowl, no muss, no fuss!

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Fall for these Meatballs

Featuring the Maritime’s Own Superfruit Purée!

School’s in! That means cooler weather, helping the kids with homework and getting delicious, easy dishes the whole family will enjoy on the table quickly. We think our Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs fit the bill and they’re ready in half an hour using Superfruit Purée’s all-fruit Wild Blueberry & Cranberry Purée. Superfruit Purée only uses berries from Maritime growers and Sobeys is proud to carry their products throughout Atlantic Canada. Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs Recipe Prep time: 10 min Total time: 30 min Serves: 12 Ingredients: • 1 pkg (600 g) Sensations by Compliments Sterling Silver® Chuck Beef Meatballs • Scant 1 ½ cup (348 mL) Superfruit Wild Blueberry Cranberry Purée • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) smoky barbecue sauce • 1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper, or to taste Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Place meatballs on parchment-lined baking sheet; bake in oven 15 to 20 min., or until browned. 2. Meanwhile, combine purée, barbecue sauce, maple syrup and cayenne pepper in large saucepan set over medium-high heat; bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium. Stir in meatballs. Cover, stirring occasionally, another 8 to 10 min. until meatballs are tender. Tips: Garnish with finely chopped parsley, chives or green onion. Once cooled, portion leftovers in resealable containers for a quick meal another day. Nutrition: Per serving (1/12 of the recipe): Calories 250 Protein 9 g Total fat 8 g Sat fat 3 g Cholesterol 25 mg Carbohydrates 35 g Fibre 0 g Sugars 26 g Sodium 460 mg


NUTRITION

Quenching that thirst

How much harmful sugar is in your beverage? By Maureen Tilley, PDt. BIGSTOCK/SAM WORDLEY

Registered Dietitian & Author

I

t’s common knowledge that water is the best source of hydration. On the other hand, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) may provide hydration but are some of the unhealthiest options we can consume. Despite this, they are the top culprits of excessive sugar intake in Canadian adults and children. They have been linked to chronic disease such as heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, cancer and dental cavities. The issue is not only their high sugar content but, unlike food, they provide no sustenance to fill us up, resulting in extra calories in our daily intake. The recommended daily limit for added/free sugar from all food and beverage is no more than 5-10 per cent of your daily calories (varies among health organizations). At five per cent, that’s nine teaspoons (38g) for men, six teaspoons (25g) for women, and three to six teaspoons (12-25g) for children depending on their age. A can of cola has nearly 10tsp (39g) of sugar. Getting a sugar fix on occasion is not a concern but the more frequent and excessive the intake, the

greater the risk of health complications The beverages (and foods) you choose are a personal choice but that should be based on informed decisions. The abundance of products and misleading marketing makes it challenging to figure out what’s in your drink. A beverage may claim to have zero calories, no added sugar, no artificial sweetener, naturally sweetened, but this only tells part of the story. If the beverage is sweet, it’s likely coming from concentrated fruit, other “natural” sugar sources or low calorie/ artificial sweeteners. Note that sugar is sugar regardless of the type—from agave to syrups to honey. Check the ingredients and nutrition label. The label states sugar in grams, for a quick conversion—4g sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar. Check the serving size too; an ‘individual’ bottle of juice may be listed as multiple servings per bottle. The ingredient list will state added low calorie sweeteners and sugars (more than 61 types!) in their many forms. Sugar often ends in ‘ose’ such as sucrose, fructose, glucose. Certain beverages may

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have high fat milk or cream. Check the % Daily Value—anything above 15 per cent is considered high in fat. There are mixed messages on how much water we need a day—from eight cups, to drink when thirsty. Being thirsty is a sign that we’re already dehydrated. Most research recommends that an average women needs 11.5 cups a day and average man 15.5 cups a day. This includes about 20 per cent of fluids from foods therefore we need to drink 9.5 cups and 12.5 cups respectively. Children’s needs depend on several factors including age, gender and weight. Keep in mind, fluid needs can vary (more or less) depending on activity level, weight, climate, altitude, and certain medical conditions. Severe dehydration (and overhydration) can be very dangerous and life threatening, but even mild dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, dizziness, impact mood, memory and concentration. Thirst and dark coloured urine can indicate dehydration but this isn’t always the C O A S T

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BIGSTOCK/BEATS Smoothies blend the whole fruit, which includes the fibre and can be a convenient and tasty way to get your fruits and vegetables.

case for everyone. Young children and the elderly may have a weakened sense of thirst or are too preoccupied. Medical conditions, medications and certain vitamins/minerals can cause dark or bright coloured urine. It’s best to sip water throughout the day to keep hydration stable. What if you find plain water boring or you just want some variety? We know some of the heavy sugar hitters include pop, fruit punches and cocktails, lemonade and fancy sweetened coffees. What about other beverages like milk, sport drinks, sparkling waters, 100 per cent juice, coffee/tea? Can jazzing up your water make it more enjoyable?

Caffeinated beverages

There are mixed messages whether caffeine hydrates or dehydrates. The truth, caffeine has a mild diuretic effect (makes you pee) but it’s offset by the high water content, which actually contributes to your daily water intake. Black coffee and tea have little to no calories but it’s the added (by you or the manufacturer)

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high-fat cream and sugar that adds up. For example a large double/double coffee doesn’t have just two teaspoons of sugar and cream but nearly 8tsp sugar and 6tbsp of cream (15g fat). A large vanilla cappuccino tops you up at 14tsp sugar and 5tbsp cream (12.5g fat). Energy drinks provide a dose of sugar with more than 13tsp (54g) per 16oz can. The amount of caffeine per serving (not necessarily per can) varies but typically is equivalent to a cup of coffee. The recommended daily limit for caffeine in a healthy adult is 400mg per day or 4-5 8-oz cups of coffees (less for pregnant, breastfeeding women, and adolescents). Too much caffeine can elevate blood pressure, cause irregular heartbeat, insomnia, nervousness and irritability. Individuals who are caffeinesensitive may feel side effects from much less. Low-calorie beverages (LCB), aka diet beverages, contain few to no calories and sugar but still have a sweet taste from added artificial or naturally derived low-

calorie sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and stevia. Too good to be true? They may make a better choice than excessive intake of SSB, but the safety of regular and long-term intake of LCB remains inconclusive. Studies have shown potential side effects include weight gain, diabetes, stroke, dementia. The American Heart Association reviewed all existing research and came to an overall consensus that intake of LCB should be minimal, especially in children where the evidence is even more limited. LCB may be helpful as a transition beverage from sugar-sweetened to nosugar beverages like water if going cold turkey is too challenging.

Milk and alternatives

Cow’s milk contains only natural sugars unless it’s sweetened flavoured milk. If milk is not consumed in excess, the sugar content is not a concern. Choose lowerfat milks like skim or 1 per cent. It’s also packed with calcium, vitamin D and a is source of protein. Milk alternatives are usually equivalent in nutrients except


NUTRITION

they don’t contain protein (except soy milk). Milk is a good thirst quencher while also building strong bones. Like most things, more is not better. Stick to recommended two to three servings a day from all milk and alternative sources. Sport drinks and vitamin waters tend to have less sugar than pop and juice and provide electrolytes, but unless you’re doing endurance exercise for an hour or more, they are unnecessary. Vitamin and mineral enhanced waters are a sugary multivitamin. If you’re not getting enough nutrients from your food, you’re better off taking a supplement pill that doesn’t include added sugar. Best to speak to your healthcare provider to determine if supplementation is necessary. Fruit juice, juicing, smoothies 100 per cent fruit juice may have no added sugar, but the natural sugar content is about equivalent to pop. Removing all the

There are mixed messages whether caffeine hydrates or dehydrates. The truth, caffeine has a mild diuretic effect (makes you pee) but it’s offset by the high water content, which actually contributes to your daily water intake

bulk (aka the fibre) from many oranges results in a concentrated sugary beverage. There are vitamins and minerals, but at a fraction of the sugar content, eating a fruit is more filling while meeting your vitamin needs. If you enjoy juice, the recommendation is to limit to four ounces of juice a day. Smoothies blend the whole fruit, which includes the fibre. They can be a convenient and tasty way to get your fruits and vegetables. But keep in mind, there are healthy and less-healthy ways to make a smoothie. Blending up fruits versus eating them whole makes it easy to drink a lot of fruit but that can also come with a lot of sugar. Balance and variety is a good approach by including lower sugar fruits and vegetables like berries, melons and spinach versus all high-sugar fruits like bananas, mango, pineapple. Make it filling by adding a serving of protein from Greek yogurt or milk or an unflavoured protein powder. Use milk, a

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DRINKS NUTRITION

Heading Deck

BIGSTOCK/FASCINADORA

By Alain Bossé photography by Steve Smith/VisionFire

Cut up fresh or frozen fruit/vegetable such as berries, melons, cucumber, citrus fruits.

milk alternative or water instead of juice as the liquid. Premade smoothies are often marketed as a healthy choice but can contain a lot of juice and added sugar with little whole fruit. Makes sense why a medium smoothie contains upward of 13tsp sugar and little to no fibre and protein. Check the nutrition info. Bubbly/seltzer/sparkling waters are all the rage right now. You can get unflavoured or with a variety of fun flavours containing little to no sugar. They are a good way to stay hydrated and a great fizzy alternative to pop. You can also purchase an at-home soda maker. They are often cheaper and better for the environment than individual cans and bottles. One CO2 cartridge will carbonate 60L of water and empties can be traded in for refills at many local stores. There’s been concern about the acidity from carbonation causing tooth decay. Fortunately, the bulk of the research shows this has minimal effect on teeth making them safe to consume regularly.

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Bottom line: unfortunately, there’s no secret beverage that’s going to be as sweet and flavourful as SSB with the same health benefits as straight up water Water: How to jazz it up

Get fancy and creative. Add any combo of cut up fresh or frozen fruit/vegetable such as berries, melons, cucumber, citrus fruits. Fresh herbs and spices like basil, mint or ginger also provides an extra fresh flavour. Refrigerate the infused water for several hours or overnight for full flavour. This has visual appeal as well. For a quick infusion option or for soda water, squeeze or muddle the ingredients

to extract the flavours into the water. Strawberry, ginger and lemon water anyone? A quick Google search will give you tones of creative combos to try. • Make ice cube combos with mixtures of pureed/chopped fruit and fresh herbs and pour into ice cube trays for a convenient and flavourful chilled water. • Fruited, black or green tea bags—the tea will infuse even in cold water, just let it steep until it’s reached desired flavour. Tea bags are convenient to have on hand at all times. • Still need a little sweetness? Add a splash of juice, sugar or sweetener. Then you control the sugar content as opposed to the manufacturer. Bottom line: unfortunately, there’s no secret beverage that’s going to be as sweet and flavourful as SSB with the same health benefits as straight up water. If you’re up for the challenge, gradual change is best. Even downsizing your sweet beverage and/or replacing one a day with water can be beneficial. You may also be surprised how you can retrain your taste buds so that water quenches that thirst and palate.


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Good Taste Fall/Winter 2020  

Food & Lifestyle

Good Taste Fall/Winter 2020  

Food & Lifestyle