Tag Archives: fruit

What’s in Season? Your Guide to Canadian Fruits and Vegetables

Crisp lettuce and juicy tomatoes in your favourite salad. A ripe peach fresh from the farmstand. Sweet, earthy leeks in a creamy soup. Is your mouth watering yet? As Canadians, we have a plethora of seasonal produce at our fingertips throughout the year and knowing what and when to buy seasonally empowers home cooks with the best local flavours possible. Whether you are looking to shop local or support Canadian farmers across the country,  make food shopping a breeze all year round with our Canadian seasonal produce guide covering January to December.  Grab your tote bags and get shopping – bounty awaits!

What’s in Season in  Winter

The dead of winter brings the blahs for most of us. Winter fare, however, can be quite inspiring. Think warm soups and stews, gorgeous roasts with luscious mashed or roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash and rutabagas. Fry onion rings and add sauteed garlic to everything. Braise cabbage or roll it around meat and rice filling for cabbage roll perfection. Dream even bigger with a moist, cream cheese frosted carrot or parsnip cake (yes, parsnip cake!) or rich, dark and dreamy chocolate beet cake. With dishes like these, winter won’t seem long enough!

potatoes-white-red-in-basket

What’s in Season in December

Pears, Brussels Sprouts, Rutabagas, Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Red Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Pears

What’s in Season in January

Rutabagas, Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Red Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Potatoes

Related: The Best Ingredients to Cook With in Canada This Winter (Plus Recipes)

What’s in Season in February

Rutabagas, Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Red Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Potatoes

What’s in Season in March

Rutabagas, Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Red Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Potatoes

What’s in Season in Spring

As the seasons change, so does the fresh produce. Asparagus arrives in April in British Columbia, May in the rest of the country, continuing into July towards the East Coast — along with fiddleheads, radishes, spinach and later peas, beans, cauliflower and broccoli. We begin to see fresh lettuce and radicchio, along with celery and fennel in British Columbia, following in July in the rest of Canada. Fruit also begins with outdoor rhubarb, as well as strawberries and cherries in May, continuing into July. Make the most of these months with light pastas, simple salads, pies, tarts and where weather allows — a little grilling.

asparagus-cooked-sauce

What’s in Season in April

Asparagus, Radishes, Fiddleheads, Spinach, Fava Beans,  Rhubarb, Peppers (greenhouse), Tomatoes (greenhouse)

What’s in Season in May

Asparagus, Radishes, Fiddleheads, Spinach, Rhubarb, Kale, Salad Greens, Morel Mushrooms, Arugula, Swiss Chard, Green Onions, Peas, Cherries

Related: Our Fave Spring Dishes That Celebrate Seasonal Vegetables

What’s in Season in June

Asparagus, Radishes, Spinach, Rhubarb, Kale, Salad Greens, Arugula, Beets, Lettuce, Green Onions, Gooseberries, Saskatoon Berries, Strawberries, Broccoli, Celery, Swiss Chard, Garlic (Fresh), Peas, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Zucchini, Fennel, Cherries

What’s in Season in Summer

As summer hits, things kick into high gear with seemingly unending produce options. Stone fruits like peaches, plums, apricots and later nectarines burst onto the scene, tending towards an earlier arrival in British Columbia, soon ripening across the country and finally arriving in the Atlantic provinces in September. Berries also arrive this time of year, making it the perfect opportunity for crumbles, preserves and general good eating. Melons are now in full bloom, begging to be soaked in summery sangrias, wrapped in prosciutto and added to salads. And early pears and apples make their way onto the scene in late August, rounding out fruit season. Vegetables like homegrown corn, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and rapini are now in their prime. It’s also the start of leek and eggplant season in August.

fresh-strawberries-in-a-basket

What’s in Season in July

Gooseberries, Saskatoon Berries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Currants, Cherries, Blackberries, Apricots, Nectarines, Green Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Celery, Swiss Chard, Cucumber, Garlic (Fresh), Leeks,  Lettuce, Green Onions, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes (New), Radishes, Rhubarb, Salad Greens, Spinach, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips,  Zucchini, Beets, Peaches, Watermelon, Kale

Related: Summer Weeknight Dinners Ready in a Snap

What’s in Season in August

Raspberries, Currants, Cherries, Blackberries, Apricots, Apples, Crab Apples, Blueberries, Gooseberries, Melons, Nectarines, Pears, Plums, Prunes, Strawberries, Artichokes, Green Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Celery, Swiss Chard,  Corn, Cucumber, Garlic (Fresh),  Leeks,  Lettuce, Green Onions, Parsnips,  Peppers,  Potatoes (New), Radishes, Rhubarb, Rutabagas,  Salad Greens, Shallots, Spinach, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips,  Zucchini, Beets, Eggplants, Grapes,  Peaches, Watermelon, Kale, Pears

What’s in Season in Fall

We end our big season on a high note with pumpkin, leeks, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, crabapples and the continuation from August of muskmelon and grapes. We begin to crave in-season apples and pears — and as cool weather approaches, so does the need for warmer dishes. Back indoors, get set for roasting, holiday feasting and all of the apple desserts.

fall-apples-on-a-cutting-board

What’s in Season in September

Cranberries, Apples, Crab Apples, Blueberries, Grapes, Melons, Pears, Plums, Prunes, Artichokes, Green Beans, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Celery, Swiss Chard, Corn, Cucumber, Garlic (Fresh), Leeks,  Lettuce, Green Onions, Onions, Parsnips, Peppers, Potatoes (New), Pumpkin, Radishes, Rutabagas, Salad Greens, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnips,  Zucchini, Beets, Eggplants, Nectarines, Watermelon, Kale

What’s in Season in October

Cranberries, Apples, Crab Apples, Pears, Quince, Artichokes, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Celery, Swiss Chard, Corn, Garlic (Fresh),  Leeks,  Lettuce, Green Onions, Onions, Parsnips,  Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rutabagas, Salad Greens, Spinach, Turnips, Beets, Eggplants, Kale

Related: Our Most Popular Fall Recipes on Pinterest

What’s in Season in November

Cranberries, Pears, Quince, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower,  Leeks, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rutabagas, Turnips, Apples, Beets

What’s in Season in Canada Year-Round

Don’t forget about options available regardless of the season. Take mushrooms, for instance, which are grown year-round and across the country. In addition, many greenhouse farms are using methods that help cut down on waste and reuse water, soil and energy, producing year-round. Cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and lettuce are excellent greenhouse-bought options in winter when local outdoor choices have dwindled so you can enjoy a taste of summer, whatever the weather.

mushrooms-crimini

Published May 5, 2018, Updated April 7, 2021

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

These Quick and Tasty Guava Tarts Will Be Your New Favourite Dessert

If you’re looking for the perfect treat to enjoy these last few weeks of summer — this is it. These guava tarts are my remix of a traditional Cuban guava dessert, pastelitos guayaba y queso. The pastries are super simple, flaky and so delicious. I used puff pastry to save time, but feel free to step it up and make your own puff pastry from scratch. I topped these treats with some fun island-inspired icing and added citrus to the cream cheese filling. I loved the results — hope you do too!

Quick Guava Tarts

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 to 12

Ingredients:

2 eggs
250 grams cream cheese (1 block)
1 ½ Tbsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
1 package of puff pastry (400 grams)
200 grams guava paste (½ of standard 400 grams block)
1 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp icing sugar
1 Tbsp mango nectar (or juice)
½ tsp hibiscus powder

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Separate one egg yolk from egg white and set aside. In a large bowl, combine room temperature cream cheese, one egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix well and set aside.

Related: 12 Brilliant Ways to Use Puff Pastry

3. Unroll thawed puff pastry. Each sheet is usually split into 3 sections; cut in half to create 6 sections. If you’d like to make the tarts smaller, cut the puff pastry into two sections to make 12 tarts.

4. Cut guava paste into thin slices and place on each puff pastry. Add a large spoonful of cream cheese filling on top of each piece of guava.

5. Beat 1 egg and water to create an egg wash. Brush the pastry edges with egg wash and top with remaining puff pastry. Press down on edges to seal, then use knife to cut a few slits on top of each pastry.

6. Put tray in the freezer or fridge to chill for 15 minutes.

7. Then brush the top of pastries with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.

8. If you want to top with icing: mix icing sugar with mango nectar until you achieve the consistency you desire. Lightly drizzle on top of cooled pastries. Then mix hibiscus powder into remaining icing and drizzle the mango hibiscus icing for a pop of colour and flavour. Enjoy!

Like Eden’s guava tarts? Try her sweet potato blondies or easy Ethiopian mushroom tibs recipe.

Sugar Detox: Nutritionist Explains How to Reset Your System (And Fight Cravings!)

Although some cleanses rely on fasting and calorie restriction as the primary focus, that often isn’t the healthiest approach. The main aspect to focus on during a sugar detox is keeping the body well fed and hydrated. Sugar imbalances hormones, mood, energy, blood sugar and suppresses the immune system. It’s well known that sugar feeds bad bacteria, and it has even been compared to cocaine because it’s so addictive—yikes!

It’s now time to crush that sugar habit once and for all. Follow this 3-Day Sugar Detox and you will start feeling the effects immediately.

What to Focus On:

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Keeping the body properly hydrated encourages oxygen to flow freely throughout the body. This allows you to be more attentive, alert and focused. Water itself is a powerful detoxifier because it assists the kidneys and colon to eliminate waste. Hydration means drinking water (not coffee, caffeinated teas or energy drinks). Although these drinks are comprised of water, they can also be dehydrating for the body. Drink 6-8 glasses (250mL) of water per day. Don’t drink water with meals because it dilutes stomach acid and leads to poor digestion. Add a squeeze of lemon into your water for added benefits and some flavour.

Related: 10 Foods That Can Help Aid Digestion

2. Protein & Fat Are Your Friends

Eating tons of sugar creates a cycle of low blood sugar and intense “hanger” (hungry + angry). One way to break the cycle, besides eliminating sugar, is to eat meals that contain tons of good protein and fat (nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, etc). Protein and fat are more difficult to digest, making you feel full for longer periods of time.

3. Taste the Rainbow

Focus on eating colourful foods. When you eat vegetables and fruits in a rainbow-bright assortment of colours, you are getting a whole array of antioxidants and phytonutrients that all have specific jobs to keep the body healthy, skin vibrant and eyes strong. Again, this detox is not about deprivation, so when you’re hungry, eat! Just make vegetables the star of the plate.

Related: A Nutritionist Reveals 10 Best Natural Foods for Dewy, Glowing Skin

4. Prepare Yourself

The key to any good detox is to be prepared. Look over the menu below and see which ingredients you need to buy, and which foods you need to prep ahead of time. Prepping lunches the night before is a great way to save time in the morning. It’s only 3 days—you can do this!

3-Day Sugar Detox Plan:


Day 1

Wake Up: Drink Lemon Water (250mL)
Breakfast: Celery, Cucumber & Kale Smoothie
*Add a scoop of protein powder or nut butter to increase fat and protein content
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Morning Snack: Chia Pudding Cup
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Lunch: Salmon and Greens with Cumin Dressing
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Afternoon Snack: Hummus with Sliced Carrots, Cucumbers & Celery
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Dinner: Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts with Wild Rice, Artichoke & Kale Salad
Water Break: Hot Water with Lemon

Day 2

Wake Up: Drink Lemon Water (250mL)
Breakfast: Blueberry Ginger Kale Smoothie
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Morning Snack: Handful Roasted Spiced Almonds
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Lunch: Thai Glazed Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Afternoon Snack: Apple with 2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Dinner: Oh My Chickpea Goodness Burger (no bun) with Gluten-Free Tabbouleh Salad
Water Break: Hot Water with Lemon

sheet plan chicken dinner with sweet potatoes and fennel


Day 3

Wake Up: Drink Lemon Water (250mL)
Breakfast: Green Smoothie
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Morning Snack: Handful of Strawberries and ¼ cup Almonds
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Lunch: Citrus Roasted Tilapia with Greek Quinoa Salad
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Afternoon Snack: Guacamole with Sliced Veggies
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Dinner: Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggie Dinner
Water Break: Hot Water with Lemon

Looking for more healthy recipe inspiration? Here’s how a nutritionist meal preps every Sunday, plus 20 healthy meal prep ideas to get you through the week ahead!

Celebrate Mom With This Epic Mother’s Day Brunch Waffle Platter

Your Mother’s Day plans may look a little different this year: whether you’re celebrating in person or virtually, we have an epic, inspiring, gorgeous spread that screams “we love you, mom!” It’s a beautiful brunch platter, similar to how you would construct a cheese or charcuterie board, but this time, it’s centred around waffles. The batter in this recipe calls for gluten-free buckwheat flour (one of our favourites) but you can easily swap it for spelt, whole wheat or all-purpose if that’s what you prefer or have on hand. Now, it’s time to learn how to make the sweetest morning spread for that special lady in your life. (Don’t forget the card!).

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Power Waffles

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes per waffle
Total Time: 14 minutes
Servings: 3 waffles

Ingredients:

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch sea salt
1 egg
¼ cup melted coconut oil
1 cup dairy-free milk (or milk or water)

Related: These Waffle Recipes Will Make You Jump Right Out of Bed

Directions:

1. Plug in your waffle iron.

2. Mix the dry ingredients into a bowl.

3. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

4. Pour the dry into the wet and whisk until a batter comes together.

5. Once the waffle iron is hot, scoop about ⅓ cup batter onto the iron, close it and let it cook for about 3 minutes. Or whenever your waffle maker tells you it’s ready! Ours has a handy green light that lets us know the waffle is cooked.

Select Your Toppings

This is where you can let your creativity shine, adding your favourite toppings and bringing as much colour and texture onto the board as possible. If you have little ones, include them in the process too, let them pick their favourite ingredients to cascade around the board.

Remember to include both sweet and savoury toppings and to cut everything into bite-sized pieces (or put out knives so they can be sliced!). You want this to be captivating for the eye but you also want everything to be edible. We once went to a party where they placed whole apples on their charcuterie board — who was going to chomp on a whole apple at a party?! Be realistic and mindful of portion size.

Related: 20 Simple Make-Ahead Brunch Recipes That’ll Still Impress

Here are examples of toppings we think would be amazing, but just choose a few, there’s no need to go overboard.

Fresh Fruit and Veg: Apples, pears, mango, pineapple, bananas, kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, purple and green grapes, oranges, radishes, carrots, cucumbers, capers, olives, cherry tomatoes with feta, fresh basil or mint leaves.

Protein: Hardboiled eggs or soft-boiled eggs in cups, sausage or bacon, lox or smoked salmon, cheese (like gouda, goat, crumbled feta).

Pantry Items: Dried fruit (like mango, dates, raisins, craisins), chocolate chips or cacao nibs, coconut chips, roughly chopped nuts (like pecans, almonds, cashews, walnuts), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, granola.

Spreads/Syrups: Maple syrup, honey, peanut butter, almond butter, tahini, jams, chocolate spread, yogurt.

Assemble Your Board

1. To assemble the board, get all of your ingredients ready first, including waffles, toppings and the dishes you want to place ingredients in, like small bowls, cups and spoons.

2. Find a big board and start with the waffles, place them in different areas around the board and stack a few to create levels.

3. Next, add the fresh fruit in small piles around the board. You can also mix some of the fruit together.

4. Then, add in the protein, if you’re using any. Find open spaces and add some cheese over here and a few eggs there. If you’re using lox or something that’s very overpowering and you don’t want it to touch the other ingredients, place it in a bowl or on a plate and then onto or next to the board.

5. Fill the gaps with the pantry items like dried fruit, nuts and seeds.

6. Finally, add the little cups or bowls of syrups and spreads. These can be on the board or beside the board depending on how much space you have. Remember to include appropriate knives or spoons with the dishes.

7. If you still feel like it’s not complete, add a bit more colourful fruit, which will most definitely seal the deal.

Want more recipes that’ll impress mom? Whip up a batch of fudgy sweet potato brownies or lemon meringue cupcakes.

strawberry-jam-what-to-do-with-fruit

10 Brilliant Ways to Use Fruit That’s Going Bad

Spring and summer are full of bright and fresh flavours, especially in the fruit department. Beautiful berries are calling our name, melons are at their ripest, baskets of juicy peaches and nectarines are readily available, and perfect plums take us well into the fall.

That’s probably why it’s so easy to overstock on some of these offerings—especially as we tell ourselves we’re going to eat better, lighter and fresher.

So what do you do with that big batch of berries once it’s starting to get mushy, or that basketful of peaches that’s starting to bruise?
Well we have a few ideas!

raspberry-smoothie

1. Blend up a Smoothie
The best part about ripe fruit is that it’s usually sweetest. That makes it a great natural sweetener for your next power breakfast smoothie. Can’t use it all at once? Freeze washed and prepared fruit in airtight containers or plastic bags and enjoy summer-inspired smoothies long into fall. Try this recipe for a Raspberry Refresher Smoothie.

how-to-make-fruit-popsicles

2. Freeze Fruity Popsicles
Turn that fruit into a natural popsicle that’s loaded with flavour and good-for-you ingredients. Puree ripe fruit in a blender until smooth then either pour directly into popsicle moulds or mix in some Greek yogurt or milk for a creamier treat. Learn How to Make Summer Fruit Popsicles.

cornmeal-pancakes-with-blueberry-sauce

3. Whip up Pancakes
Who doesn’t love fresh fruit on top of their stack with a little maple syrup? So why not alter your recipe and incorporate a fruit puree either on top or in the actual batter? It’s a great way to use aging fruit while switching up your weekend breakfast routine. Try The Pioneer Woman’s Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup.

Citrus-chicken-with-raspberry-barbecue-sauce

4. Make a Marinade
We don’t often think of mixing meat and fruit, but some fruits actually make for great tenderizers. Chicken and pork can always benefit from a little fruity marinade; in fact we pretty much consider them a match made in heaven. Try Citrus Chicken with Raspberry Barbecue Sauce.

spinach-and-strawberry-salad-with-warm-bacon-vinaigrette

5. Toss Together a Summer Salad
We’re fans of fruit in our salad, especially when you play around with the flavour profiles. Peaches and steak go great with arugula and goat cheese, while strawberries, spinach, toasted pecans and chicken are a classic match. Riper fruit adds an unexpected sweetness that really livens up your plate. Try Valerie Bertinelli’s recipe for Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette.

Summer Berry Sangria

6. Shake up a Fruity Cocktail or Boost Water with Flavour
Muddled fruit adds infinite flavour to regular old booze like vodka and gin. Create a signature cocktail (bonus points if you can mix in some fresh herbs too) for your next barbecue, or just stick to regular old sparkling water if you want to go easy on the drinking under that hot sun. Try this Summer Berry Sparkling Sangria.

ree-drummond- strawberry jam

7. Jam Out
There’s nothing quite like fresh jam, is there? When done correctly it keeps forever and makes for great gifts. Jam is a terrific way to use up fruit that’s about to expire, especially if you want to liven up plain old toast or cookies. Try The Pioneer Woman’s Strawberry Jam.

plum-cheesecake galette

8. Fill a Pie
We’re always fans of pie, no matter what the season. If you’ve got extra fruit, go ahead and whip up a few to freeze for later. Or, if you’re in the mood for a single serving of pie flavours, cut up some fruit into a bowl, add a little cinnamon and microwave it for a minute or so. Or try this Plum Cheesecake Galette.

Berries-Romanoff-Parfait-bobby-flay

9. Jazz up Your Yogurt
Know those “fruit-on-the-bottom” yogurts you buy? Yeah, they’re loaded with cornstarch and other added sugars. Why not whip up a healthier, fruity yogurt on your own? Muddle or blend your fruit and stir it into plain Greek yogurt. Add a little granola or chopped nuts for some extra crunch. Try Bobby Flay’s Berries Romanoff Parfait.

Raspberry Peach Fruit Leather

10. Make Fruit Leather
This works best if you have a food dehydrator, but you can do it with a regular old oven too. These “fruit roll-ups” are perfect for children and adults alike, and make for a perfect snack to-go. Try Anna Olson’s recipe for summer Raspberry Peach Fruit Leather, subbing in ripe fruit for the frozen stuff.

Too much fruit? Learn how to Get Rid of Fruit Flies for Good.

ripe cherries bowl

How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies In Your Kitchen Once and For All

It’s inevitable. No matter how clean you keep your kitchen, how many fly swatters you invest in or how many times you make sure your window screens are shut tight, at some point over the summer, you’re bound to deal with the pesky little gnats known as fruit flies.

Before you throw in the towel – or throw out the fruit – there are a few strategies and solutions for dealing with these annoyances right away. Here are our top tips and tricks for eradicating fruit flies in the kitchen, for good.

Related: Foods You Can Still Eat After the Expiry Date

Ripe cherries

Wash Produce Immediately 

What causes fruit flies?  While some of these bugs travel in through window cracks and screens, it’s most likely that they’ve come in with your actual fruit and vegetables. Most of the time they’re undetectable (they can grow from an egg to an adult in about the span of a week, and procreate rapidly), which means that washing all of your produce as soon as you get home from shopping is an important step in avoiding them all together.

Related: Foods You Should Be Washing But Probably Aren’t

Don’t Feed the Fruit Flies

While we know you’re not purposefully inviting these gnats to an all you can eat buffet in your kitchen, it is helpful to make sure that any food scraps and drippings are cleaned up straightaway, and that you avoid leaving out empty cans of beer or bottles of wine. Take out the garbage, compost and recycling every day, and be sure to eat fresh counter fruit in a timely manner so the unwelcome guests don’t have anything to feed on.

Related: Hearty Sheet Pan Dinners That Make Clean-Up a Breeze

Pump Up the Air Conditioning

Fruit flies thrive in warmer climates, which is why they come out to play during the summer months and why they die off come winter. Keeping your home at a cool, regulated temperature could potentially help to keep these pesky flies at bay.

red apples

How to Make Fruit Fly Catcher

Once you’ve got fruit flies, how do you actually get rid of them? They’re often too numerous to just swat out, and that just gets messy. This is where some of the brilliant DIY concoctions come in handy. Here are a few of our favourite, chemical-free solutions.

– Place a piece of cut-up fruit in a small bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Poke a few holes in it with a toothpick. As the bowl fills up with flies, place it in the freezer to kill them off, dump it out and start again.

– Pour a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar in a mason jar and cover the top with plastic wrap, securing it with a rubber band. Poke a few holes in the jar with a toothpick so the flies can get in, but not out. Eventually, they will succumb to the liquid. If you’re out of apple cider vinegar, try leftover wine or beer, a mashed up banana or overripe fruit instead. Rather than using plastic wrap, make a cone out of a rolled up piece of paper, leaving a small opening, and place that in the mason jar with the point down.

– In a medium saucepan, simmer 1 pint milk with 1/4 lb raw sugar and 2 oz ground pepper for 10 minutes or so. Pour this mixture into shallow bowls with a drop or two of dish soap (this helps the flies stick to the mixture) and place around the house.

– Mix a few drops of lemongrass essential oil with hot water in a clean spray bottle. Spray windowsills and doorways (and any actual flies you see) to leave a gnat fighting, fresh scent around your house.

Hopefully, you’ll be fruit fly-free in no time. Happy hunting!

Looking for more kitchen tips? Try these 10 Time-Saving Kitchen Cleaning Hacks and How to Freeze Fruit, Cheese, Leftovers and More.

honey-lime-chicken

Make This Super-Juicy BBQ Chicken Before Summer Turns to Fall

Chicken on the barbecue is hands down one of the easiest and tastiest meals grilling season brings. But as summer nears its end, it can be hard to make this staple shine with fresh, new flavours. Luckily, this recipe gives a bright and refreshing twist to the standard chicken dinner. Finish off your chicken on the grill with a honey-lime glaze and then get even more into the groove of summer by serving it with one of these seasonal, fruity and fresh salsas.

honey-lime-grilled-chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: about 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
4 chicken breast or 6 chicken thighs (skin on or off, boneless or bone-in)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
1/2 cup honey
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Fresh lime and cilantro for garnish

Directions:
1. Preheat grill to medium high.
2. Season chicken with salt, pepper and olive oil
3. In a small bowl mix honey, lime zest, lime juice and soy sauce.
4. Place chicken on the grill, skin side down if using skin-on pieces.
5. Once chicken is golden, flip and continue to grill on the other side until chicken is almost cooked through, about 10-15 minutes depending on cut and whether bone is in.
6. Brush grilled side with honey-lime mixture. Close cover. Continue to brush every 2 minutes until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 160°
7. Serve chicken with lime wedges, cilantro and fresh fruit salsa.

chicken-lime-grilled--salsa-1

Pineapple, Orange and Cumin salsa
Heat 1 tablespoon of cumin in a dry pan set over medium-high heat. Once fragrant and toasted, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 cup of thinly sliced red onion. When onions are soft, add 2 tablespoons of orange marmalade and stir. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 cups of chopped fresh pineapple. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Makes about 2 cups.

Mango Salsa
Combine 1 diced mango with 1/2 cup each of diced red pepper and cucumber. Add in 2 finely sliced scallions, the juice and zest of 1 lime and then season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Makes about 2 cups.

salsa-2

Peach and Avocado Salsa
Dice 2 peaches, 1 avocado and 1 small tomato. Mix together with fresh lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Looking for more ideas? Try our 12 Tantalizing Grilled Chicken Thigh Recipes.

Fruit Bruschetta

Fresh, Fruity Bruschetta to Sweeten Your Summer

Bruschetta is a crunchy Italian appetizer that celebrates summertime tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and olive oil, all of which is spooned over crispy, toasted bread. With all of that goodness packed into one bite, it’s no wonder it’s so popular!

While tomatoes are lovely, the concept of bruschetta is open to interpretation. Instead of the standard tomatoes, we put some of summer’s best stone fruit in the spotlight, creating three scrumptious, tomato-free bruschetta using peaches, cherries and apricots. Enjoy one, two or all three of these sweet-meets-savoury creations for a bright, stunningly beautiful alternative to typical tomatoes.

peach-bruschetta

Peach and Radish Bruschetta
Thinly slice 2 ripe peaches and place in a medium bowl with 2 thinly sliced radishes, 1 Tbsp thinly sliced green onion and 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves. Toss in 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix and let peach mixture stand for 10 minutes. Garnish toasted crostini with peach mixture and serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10.

cherry-bruschetta

Cherry and Chive Bruschetta
Pit and slice 2 cups cherries and place in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup minced fresh chives, 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix and let cherry mixture stand for 10 minutes. Smear extra-smooth ricotta on toasted crostini and top with cherry mixture, spooning over residual cherry juices. Serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10.

Apricot-Basil

Apricot and Basil Bruschetta
Slice 2 cups ripe apricots and place in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup sliced red onion and 1/4 cup finely chopped basil. In a small bowl whisk 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar with 2 Tbsp apricot jam and microwave for 30 seconds. Toss apricot mixture with jam mixture and let stand for 10 minutes. Top toasted crostini with apricot mixture and garnish with crumbled feta. Serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10.

Don’t get us wrong, we still love tomatoes! Here are our finest fresh tomato recipes for summertime and beyond.

Anna Olson’s Summer Fruit Flan

The minute the weather starts warming up, I start dreaming about the fresh fruits to come: First rhubarb, then strawberries, then cherries — and finally, apricots, raspberries, blueberries and peaches all at once. To get you ready for summer baking, I thought an elegant, classic fruit tart would be ideal. This fruit flan uses a cookie-like tart base with a sweet vanilla pastry cream filling and you get to be creative with the fruit on top — any summer fruit would make this a truly show-stopping dessert.

Anna Olson's summer fruit flan

Summer Fruit Flan

Servings: 8 to 10

Ingredients:

Pastry
½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
¼ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
2 oz white chocolate, chopped

Pastry Cream
1 cup milk
2 eggs
¼ cup sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Assembly
4 cups seasonal summer fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, Blueberries, apricots or peaches, in any combination
3 Tbsp apple jelly

Directions:

1. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Stir in the egg yolks and vanilla. Stir in the flour and salt until the dough comes together. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, until firm.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Knead the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface to soften enough that it can be easily rolled. Dust the pastry a little and roll it out to just over 11-inches in diameter and just under a ¼-inch thick. Line a 9-inch removable-bottom fluted tart pan and trim the edges. Chill the pastry for 20 minutes in the fridge or 10 minutes in the freezer.

3. Dock the bottom of the pastry shell with a fork and bake it for 16 to 20 minutes, until just the edges are golden brown and the centre of the shell is dry looking. Cool completely before filling.

4. Keep the baked tart shell in its pan. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl placed over a pot of barely simmering water, stirring until melted. Brush the bottom and sides of the cooled tart shell to coat and chill the shell while preparing the pastry cream.

Related: Anna Olson’s Best New Dessert Recipes

5. Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepot until just below a simmer. Whisk the eggs, sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk half of the hot milk into the egg mixture, then pour this entire mixture back into the pot with the remaining milk. Whisk the custard constantly over medium heat until it thickens and just begins to bubble, about 3 to 4 minutes. Strain the custard into a bowl, stir in the vanilla and butter until melted and cover the bowl with plastic wrap so the wrap directly covers the surface of the custard. Cool the custard to room temperature, then chill for at least 2 hours.

6. To assemble the tart, spoon the custard into the tart shell and spread it evenly. Top the custard with the fresh fruit, creating an appealing design.  Melt the apple jelly over low heat, and then brush it over the fruit.  Chill the tart until you are ready to serve.

Note: The tart can be stored chilled for up to a day.

Watermelon-Fattoush-Salad-feature-image

3 Delicious Ways to Use All That Leftover Watermelon

There is nothing better than a cold, crisp slice of watermelon on a hot sunny day. Biting into sweet, refreshing fruit that leaves juice dripping down your face is one of the quintessential moments of summer.

Unless you’re having a seed spitting contest, chances are, you won’t eat the whole melon in one sitting. Watermelon loses its fresh texture when it’s been in the fridge for a few days, getting soft and mealy. To make the most of this seasonal melon, you’ll need to think beyond the standard wedge. Don’t feel burdened by this extra large fruit; instead, try one of these recipes to savour those watermelon leftovers.

Watermelon Fattoush

Watermelon Fattoush Salad
Watermelon and feta salad is old news. Replace it with this fresh and flavourful summer salad. Drizzle pita with olive oil and za’atar and toast until crisp. Break the pita into bite-size crackers. If you don’t have za’atar, just use some sesame seeds and salt. Cube watermelon into 1-inch chunks and toss with sliced cucumber and some finely sliced red onion. Mix the pita, onion, cucumber and melon together with some parsley leaves. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Slice halloumi cheese into 1/2-inch slices. Grill it over high heat until crisp and then top the salad with it.

watermelon basil lemonade

Watermelon Basil Lemonade
Muddle 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves with 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice. Blend 3 cups watermelon with 1 1/2 cups cold water. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer and transfer to pitcher. Mix in the basil and lemon mixture. Pour over ice and garnish with fresh basil, lemon and lime slices.

watermelon pops

Watermelon Kefir and Kiwi Popsicles
Blend two cups of chopped watermelon with 1 cup kefir, the juice of one lime and 1 tablespoon of honey. Slice 2 kiwis into 1/4-inch slices. Divide kiwis into 6 popsicles molds and then pour in the watermelon mixture to fill. Place in freezer until frozen through, about 4 hours.

Looking for more marvelous melon? Try these Refreshing Watermelon Recipes.

Guilt-Free, No-Bake Breakfast Cheesecake Tart

Turn yogurt and granola into a delicious no-bake breakfast cheesecake. High in protein, calcium, fibre and healthy fats, it’s a fresh and tasty take on breakfast. Light, crispy oatmeal crust topped with a sweet cheesecake filling, this dessert-worthy breakfast is perfect for those humid summer days when hot oatmeal is out of the question. Top with fresh fruit, chopped nuts and a drizzle of honey and your off to the races.

Yogurt-Breakfast-Tart-11

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Freeze Time: 8 hours
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Granola Crust:
1 cup large-flake oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour or light spelt flour
3 Tbsp raw turbinado sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 tsp salt

Filling:
1/3 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp powdered gelatin
2 cups unsweetened plain yogurt (Balkan-style or Greek-style)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup well-shaken coconut milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp orange zest, more for toppings

Toppings:
Fresh fruit of choice (orange slices, pitted cherries, berries, etc.)
Chopped nuts of choice
Honey

Yogurt Tart Plain-1

Directions:

Crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, coconut oil, cinnamon and salt. Mix in coconut oil until combined. Press crust mixture into prepared pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until fragrant and dry on top. Cool completely in pan.

Filling:
1. Add orange juice to a small skillet and sprinkle over gelatin. Heat over medium until gelatin has dissolved and a few bubbles begin to break on the surface, about 1 minute. Reserve.
2. In a large bowl, whisk to combine yogurt, maple syrup, coconut milk, lemon juice, vanilla and orange zest. Slowly whisk in gelatin orange juice mixture.
3. Pour into cooled crust and refrigerate for at least 6 to 8 hours, preferably overnight, until set.
4. Cut into large squares or triangles and top with fruit, nuts and honey.

Yogurt-Breakfast-Tart-8

Looking for more nutritious and delicious breakfast ideas? Watch this video for 3 creative oatmeal variations or try this recipe for vegan strawberry cheesecake bites.

spring galette

Say ‘Goodbye’ to Winter with These 5 Springtime Galettes

After a long winter of root veggies, we can’t help but get excited over the beautiful bounty of spring produce nature brings. Asparagus, rhubarb and fresh peas are among the first delights of the season, and that’s a delicious reason to celebrate!

You don’t need to make an elaborate meal to harness the goodness of these spring flavours. A simple galette is an easy and excellent way to make the most of spring. These five, no-fuss recipes will have you and your guests overjoyed to officially say ‘goodbye’ to winter.

Spring pea and leek galette

For The Pastry:

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp or more cold water

Directions:
1. In a food processor, mix flours, salt and sugar. Add in butter and pulse until butter is evenly dispersed into pea-size pieces. Add vinegar and pulse. Run the food processor as you add water 1 tsp at a time through the spout on the top. Dough will come together into a smooth ball.
2. Roll out on a floured surface until dough is between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Refer to recipes below for shape.

Leek, Pea and Egg Galette:
Chop 3 leeks into 1/2-inch rounds. Heat 2 Tbsp butter in a large pan. Cook leeks in pan with 1/2 tsp of salt until fragrant but not soft, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Roll out dough into a 12 inch circle. Toss leeks with 1/2 cup freshly shucked peas. Place mixture in the centre of dough leaving a 3-inch border from the edge. Create a 3 inch divot in the center of the mixture. Crack an egg inside the divot. Fold the edges over mixture and brush pastry with heavy cream. Sprinkle fresh thyme and ground pepper over pastry, egg and leeks. Bake on a lined sheet tray in a 400°F oven until pastry is golden brown, about 35 minutes.

spring--asparagus-tart

Asparagus and Lemony Ricotta Galette
Trim 1lb of asparagus and blanch. Roll dough into a 12×8-inch oval. Mix 1 cup of extra smooth ricotta with 1 tsp of lemon zest. Spread mixture into centre of dough leaving a 3-inch border around the edge. Toss blanched asparagus with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange asparagus spears side by side over ricotta. Fold over edges of dough and brush with heavy cream. Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese over pastry and asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Bake on a lined sheet tray in a 400°F oven until asparagus is bright green and pastry is golden, about 35 minutes.

Fig and orange galette

Fig and Orange Marmalade Galette
Roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Quarter 3 cups of black mission figs. Microwave 1/4 cup of orange marmalade for 20 seconds. Gently toss figs in marmalade to coat and place in the centre of the circle, 3 inches from the edge. Fold over edges of dough onto figs. Brush dough with heavy cream and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of turbinado sugar. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake in a 400°F until pastry is golden, about 35 minutes.

strawberry rhubarb galette

Strawberry Rhubarb Almond Galette
Roll out dough into a 12-inch circle. Mix 1 cup of quartered strawberries with 2 cups of sliced rhubarb, 3 Tbsp granulated sugar, 1/4 cup almond flour, 1 Tbsp of corn starch, and 1/2 tsp salt. Place mixture in the centre of dough leaving a 3-inch border around the edge. Fold over edges and brush with heavy cream. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp sliced hazelnuts over pastry and filling. Bake in a 400°F oven on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment until pastry is golden, about 35 minutes.

pear-galette

Pear, Lavender and Black Pepper Galette
Slice 3 small ripe pears in half. Remove core with a spoon then place pears cut side down on surface. Slice the pear halves vertically being careful to leave the top 1 inch uncut. Roll out pastry into a 12-inch circle. Place pear halves cut side down in the centre of the dough.
Press on pear halves gently until they fan out. Brush 1 Tbsp of melted butter over pears then drizzle 2 Tbsp of honey. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of lavender and season with black pepper. Fold over edges of dough and brush with heavy cream. Bake in a 400°F oven until pastry is golden, about 35 minutes.

Looking for more spring dishes? Try our 40 Fantastic Spring Cake Recipes.

3 Easy and Delicious Desserts Using Frozen Fruit

It’s that time of year again; the days are short, the wind is bitter cold and, to make things worse, most of our favourite fruit isn’t in season.
If you’re craving a fresh, fruit-filled dessert, avoid the pricey, less-than-tasty fresh berries at your grocery store and turn to your freezer.

Frozen fruit is preserved at its peak, making sure that it’s perfectly sweet and juicy. While you’re used to popping it into your morning smoothies, why not transform them into amazing crumbles, turnovers and sundaes? Follow our easy tips to make these three quick and tasty desserts right at home.

frozen cherry turnovers

Cherry Turnovers: Thaw one sheet (half of a 450g package) of puff pastry; cut into 6 rounds. Pat dry 1 cup thawed frozen sweet black cherries to remove excess liquid. In small bowl, combine cherries, 2 tsp cornstarch and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Divide cherry mixture and place in centres of pastry rounds. Brush water around perimeter of each pastry round. Fold pastry in half to enclose filling, pressing edges of pastry to adhere. Using fork, seal pastry. Bake in 400°F oven until pastry is puffed and golden.

Berry Crumble: Thaw frozen fruit of your choice, such as peaches, berries or rhubarb. Thoroughly pat fruit dry to remove excess liquid. Combine fruit with a little sugar, vanilla extract and a squeeze of lemon juice; scrape into oven-proof dish and set aside. In separate bowl, combine 1 part brown sugar to 1 part flour. Stir in a dash of cinnamon. Using your fingers, rub in 1/3 part cold cubed butter to create a mixture that resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle crumble mixture over fruit. Bake in 375°F oven until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden.

Homemade Sundae: In saucepan, combine frozen fruit such as raspberries, strawberries or cherries with a couple Tbsp of sugar and a splash of water. Bring to boil; simmer, stirring occasionally, until fruit breaks down and mixture is sauce-like. Stir in a squeeze of lemon juice. Spoon sauce over vanilla ice cream; top with dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with toasted chopped almonds.

Looking for more bright ideas? Try these 20 Life-Changing Freezer Hacks.

10 Food Scraps You Should Never Throw Away

Many of us are stuck in the conventional ways of food prep  throwing out rinds, tossing away stems and peeling off skin. Without knowing it, we’re discarding the best parts of fruits and veggies. In fact, some of the least thought about pieces have the most nutrition and flavour. Next time you’re cooking, make use of these nutritious fruit and veggie scraps.

888_keep-fruit-veggies

1. Apple Skin
Apple skin is often the first to go when using this fruit for cooking or baking. However, the skin actually has slightly more nutrition than the flesh. Rich in insoluble fibre, soluble fibre and vitamin C, these nutrients work to clean out the digestive system, remove toxins and waste from the body. The skin is also rich in quercetin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can reduce inflammation in the body. Most recipes call for removing the skin, but try leaving the skin intact — you may be surprised by the outcome!

2. Orange Peel
Most of the orange’s incredible nutrients actually lie in the peel and the pith, which is the white stringy part around the flesh. The pith contains a herperidin, which has been shown to lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and inflammation. The pith and peel also contain pectin, known as a fruit fibre, which helps to keep the body full while suppressing hunger. When peeling an orange to eat, remember to keep the pith layer on, and use leftover orange peel in baked goods, zested on chicken or fish and tossed into smoothies.

3. Fennel Fronds
Fennel is a delicious bulbous vegetable that tastes just like licorice. The fronds actually contain just as much nutrition as the bulb; however, they are often discarded along with the leaves and the core. The whole fennel plant is rich in vitamin C with potent anti-inflammatory compounds. The fronds, leaves and core should be kept to flavour soup stocks, baked goods and even fermented foods like sauerkraut.

4. Kale Stalks
While people love the nutritious leafy green, most tend to discard the stalks and only make use of the leaves. The stalks are loaded in insoluble fibre, which acts like a bristled sponge cleaning out the walls of the digestive system. Eating various parts of plants — leaves, stalks or stems — also provides the body with a mixture of different phytonutrients. Use kale stalks in soups, juices, smoothies and chop them finely to put in salads or sautees.

5. Cilantro Stems
When using herbs, we tend to only use the leaves and throw away the stems or roots. Cilantro stems and roots carry nutrition while also providing bold flavor and texture. This tasty herb helps control blood sugar and free radical production. The stems and roots are best used blended into soups, stews, salsas, guacamole and can even be juiced.

6. Broccoli Leaves and Stalks
Broccoli leaves and stalks are usually the first to go but they make a versatile, delicious and nutritious ingredient. The stalks have a ton of fibre, which is important for keeping the body regular. The leaves contain beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, antioxidants and folate, which supports red blood cell production. It’s no wonder broccoli leaves are being touted as the next kale! Use them in salads, steam them, sauté them, juice them and toss them into smoothies.

7. Celery Leaves
When eating celery we rarely think about celery leaves. Celery leaves look like a lighter version of flat leaf parsley and most of the time they are tossed away. The leaves have vitamin C, potassium and calcium which all work to support the immunity, healthy skin, the kidneys and control blood pressure. Celery leaves are perfect in soup stocks and great for juicing.

8. Beet Greens
Most people throw away the leafy greens that come with bunches of beets. These beet greens are very similar to Swiss chard in colour, flavour and nutrition. These greens contain a phytonutrient that keeps eyesight strong and prevents degeneration and cataracts. They also boast an array of vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein. Beet greens can be used for soups, sautées, smoothies, juices and salads.

9. Watermelon Rind
Watermelon is always a go-to snack in the summer, but the rind is usually left in the compost bin, with the white flesh intact. Citrulline, the nutrient in the white flesh is super powerful at fighting free radicals, preventing cancer and improving blood circulation. Some people even believe it to be a natural Viagra! Next time watermelon is on the table, remember to eat the white part too, or blend it up with some lime and mint for a refreshing beverage.

10 Cucumber Skin
The dark skin of cucumbers is often peeled off and tossed out, but the it contains more nutrition than the flesh. Cucumber skin contains vitamin K, which supports proper bone health and healthy blood clotting. If using the skin, wash the cucumber really well since it is often coated in a wax to prevent bruising during travel. Add to your smoothies, salads or make it into a cool soup.

Easy Homemade Blueberry Pop Tarts

One of the best parts about being a kid is eating copious amounts of sugar-filled breakfast foods. Chowing down on six bowls of cereal used to be a perfectly acceptable option.

Nowadays, we opt for healthier morning meals, but once in awhile we get nostalgic for the early morning sugar rush from our childhood.

So I’ve decided sugar is totally OK in the morning if you just take a little time to bake something from scratch. Enter: homemade pop tarts. Mini pies with icing that you can eat with one hand. These easy-to-make blueberry-filled, lemon-iced pastries are a perfect treat in the AM. The best part is that you can feel like a kid again, without actually being one!

homemade-pop-tarts-3

Blueberry Pop Tarts with Lemon Glaze

Makes: 12 pop tarts

 

Ingredients:

Dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg (plus 1 egg to seal tarts)
2 Tbsp ice water

 

Filling:
3/4 cup blueberry jam
1/2 cup blueberries

 

Icing:
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Lemon zest for garnish

homemade-pop-tarts-5

 

Directions:
1. Begin by making the dough. In a food processor combine flour, salt and sugar. If you don’t have a food processor you can do this by hand. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add egg and water and pulse until dough starts to come together. Be careful not to over work the dough.
2. Remove from processor and shape dough into two rounds. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Remove one disc of dough from the fridge and roll into a large rectangle that is roughly 6 inches by 12 inches. Cut the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces.

homemade-pop-tarts-6
5. Place 6 squares on one of the prepared baking sheets. Place 1 Tbsp of blueberry jam on the center of each square. Top with 3 or 4 blueberries. Roll out other piece of dough and cut into 8 equal-sized squares as above.
6. Beat 1 egg in a bowl and using a pastry brush, brush around sides of each square. Place another square on top to form your pop tart. Use a fork to seal the edges. Poke a few holes in the top of the dough to let steam escape. brush egg wash on top of tarts.
7. Place the baking sheets in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking. 8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove pop tarts to a cooling rack, let cool completely before icing.
9. To make icing, whisk lemon juice with icing sugar. If you want a thinner icing add a bit more lemon juice. Place a dollop of icing on each pop tart and sprinkle with lemon zest.

homemade-pop-tarts-2

*Substitute any kind of jam or fruit inside your pop tarts to make different variations.

Blueberry Grunt

Easy East Coast Blueberry Grunt

The best summer desserts are simple, satisfying and bring out the best in the season’s bounty. That’s why this easy, steamed East Coast treat is the ultimate summer indulgence. Beautiful Canadian blueberries are topped with dumplings steamed in sweet berry juice. This stove-top dish is thought to be an early adaptation of an English steamed pudding recipe. Some say the ‘grunt’ comes from the sound the dumplings make while being steamed, others say it’s the bubbling berries. But one thing’s for sure; once you serve this delectable dessert, the only sound will be guests gobbling this classic summer confection.

Blueberry Grunt

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
4 cups (600g) frozen blueberries
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice

For the Dumplings:
1 ¾ cup flour
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup shortening
1 cup milk

For the Maple Whipped Cream:
1 cup 35% whipping cream
3 Tbsp maple syrup

1 mint sprig for garnish

Blueberry Grunt

Directions:
1. In a large skillet or wide saucepan, combine and stir blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until berries soften, about 3 minutes.
2. Make dumplings by whisking together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add shortening and rub in with fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like fine meal. Add milk and stir just until combined.
3. Drop 1/4 cup spoonfuls of dumpling batter on top of blueberry mixture in pan. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until dumplings have steamed and are firm to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. While dumplings are steaming, make maple cream. Combine cream and maple syrup in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until cream is stiff.
5. Scoop blueberry grunt into bowls and serve topped with maple cream.

Looking for more delicious recipes? Try our 10 Great Canadian Desserts.

Upside-Down Cherry Cheesecake Jars

Picnic Perfect Upside-Down Cherry Cheesecake Jars

Sour cherries have a short season beginning in June and ending in August. The plump ruby red gems are a delicious way to celebrate summer. The pucker-inducing stone fruit are more tart than their more common counterpart, but add the perfect balance to this creamy no-bake cheesecake.

In this recipe, a sweet-tart topping made of sour cherries is layered with a smooth and creamy cheesecake mixture with a hint of almond. To top it off, crunchy graham crumb streusel is sprinkled over top. Close the lids and bring these jar cakes along to your next picnic, and enjoy all the layers of red and white deliciousness with shear Canadian flavour.

Upside-Down Cherry Cheesecake Jars

Prep Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 min
Makes: 6, 8-oz Jar Cakes

Ingredients:

Graham Crumb Streusel:
1/3 cup graham cracker crumb
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup butter, at room temperature

Sour Cherry Sauce:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp.cornstarch
2 cups sour cherries
2 tsp lemon zest

Cheesecake Filling:
½ cup sour cream
1 250 g brick cream cheese
3 Tbsp honey
1 tsp almond extract

Upside-Down Cherry Cheesecake Jars

Directions:

Graham Crumb Streusel:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment.
2. In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumb, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Work the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingers until pea size clumps being to form, about 1 minute.
3. Pour the mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
4. Bake until mixture is golden brown and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Once cooled, break any big clumps into crumbs.

Sour Cherry Sauce:
1. Combine 1/3 cup sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan heated over medium.
2. Add in cherries and cook until tender and sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Add in corn starch and cook until dissolved, about 1 minute.
3. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest. Let cool.

Cheesecake Filling:
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or using a hand mixer, beat sour cream with cream cheese, honey and almond extract on high until smooth and fluffy.
2. Cool in fridge for about 1 hour. Transfer mixture into a piping bag.

Assembly:
1. Pipe one layer of cheesecake mixture into the bottom of each jar. Spoon a layer of sour cherry sauce over the cheesecake mixture. Continue this pattern leaving a 1/2 –inch of space at the top of each jar.
2. You can finish with a cheesecake layer or a cherry sauce layer. Sprinkle graham streusel over top layer of each jar cake.

Tip: If you cannot find fresh sour cherries, they can be replaced with frozen.

How to Keep Fruit Fresh

How to Keep Summer Fruit Fresh Longer

As summer stretches into long, balmy afternoons and ripens to a peak, so does the fruit in the fields and orchards. Suddenly the market is brimming with sweet, juicy nectarines, ruby red strawberries, and plump indigo blueberries. And then, poof! As quickly as they appeared, they’ll be gone. If this brief, dizzying moment of plenty sends you into a buying frenzy, you’re not alone. Once you’ve carried home your weight in peak-ripeness apricots and raspberries, how do you keep them from turning to mush before you can devour every last one? Here’s how to extend the life of your precious summer bounty.

How to make fruit last longer

Keep it cool.
Refrigerate all berries and ripe stone fruits as soon as you bring them home.  Once they’ve reached their peak, the heat (even room temperature) will cause spoilage, quickly. Perfect strawberries can go bad in a single afternoon on the counter.

Keep it dry.
Humidity is the enemy. Don’t wash your fruit until ready to eat, and store on paper towels or a clean dish towel to absorb any excess moisture. Keep it on a shelf in your fridge, not in the crisper drawer — unless you have one you can program. The standard fridge drawers offer a higher-humidity environment suited to vegetables, but unfriendly to fruit.

Give it space.
Ripe fruit is soft and injures easily. Don’t leave raspberries piled into the box they came in to be mushed under their own weight, and don’t cram juicy nectarines into a produce bag where they bash and bruise each other senseless every time you rustle them. Whenever you damage the flesh, you create an opportunity for mould.

How to Keep Fruit Fresh

Give it air.
If fruit is packed tightly, there is little air circulation, which means more humidity and faster rot. Store ripe stone fruit like peaches, plums and cherries in a shallow bowl in the fridge. Gently transfer fragile berries to a wide container lined with paper towels, keeping them in a single layer or close to it. Leave the container lid slightly ajar to let excess moisture escape.

Wash in acid.
If you’ve brought home apricots or strawberries that are still slightly under-ripe, try giving them an acid bath. Swish any whole (never cut), firm fruit in one part vinegar to 10 parts water. The solution kills off any mould spores already on the fruit, potentially increasing its longevity.

Looking for more tasty recipes? Try one of our 36 Strawberry Desserts to Celebrate Summer.

Farmer's Market Sign

Insider Tips on Scoring Deals at the Farmers’ Market

As asparagus, ramps and fiddleheads begin to sprout through freshly thawed soil, Canadians are eager to taste the first delicious harvest of the season.

Soon, farmers’ market season will be in full swing, so we caught up with market insiders Dina Rock and Kim Antonius for their insight on how to score at farmers’ markets this season.

farmers-market-sign

1. Think in season and within reason.

“First off, I know that when a lot of people go to the farmers market they might be thinking that they’ll find a deal because they’re cutting out the middleman,” says Fairmount Park Farm Market founder Kim Antonius. But she warns that isn’t necessarily the case. “Food isn’t always less expensive at the farmers’ market than it would be at your local grocery store,” she says. Grocery stores buy in massive quantities from distributors who import cash crops from warmer climates, and the local produce you buy at a farmers’ market may end up costing the same — or even a little more — than what you’ll find in big box stores. This year, however, Antonius speculates that the high American dollar may allow local markets to be more competitive.

Dina Rock, owner and chief pickling officer at Mighty Fine Brine, is also a regular farmers’ market vendor. She cautions shoppers against the temptation to bargain with farmers and artisans. “People who work in the local food movement in Canada do it mostly out of a passion for our community, our growing season and our environment,” she says. “We live in a place where we’re subject to the elements and limited in the amount that can be produced. So our incomes are already tremendously challenged. You would never walk into a Starbucks and say, ‘Can I get a discount on that latte?’ So to say, ‘I know you toiled on your farms and were up since 5 a.m. harvesting these beautiful pears…but can I get a discount on them?’ That’s frustrating. This is how people make their living — don’t try to discount that.”

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2. Fresh is best but good things can come to those who wait.

Still, there are opportunities to score at the market, particularly if freshness and nutrition are priorities. “The fresher the produce, the higher the nutrients it has,” says Antonius .“So when you’re buying something that was picked that morning, or the night prior, it has more nutrients in it than something that has been shipped from California…the other thing is that it’s so fresh, it lasts longer.”

Of course fresh, local, seasonal fruits and veggies is what the market is all about, but consider waiting week or two into the season before scooping up the latest crop. “Ramps are finally available,” notes Rock. “They’re going to be at their most expensive because they’re available right now… Wait a week or two, so that that fever pitch has died down a little bit.”

Fresh Strawberries Market

3. Get friendly with your farmers and vendors.

Rock will dole out deals from time to time — when customers buy a lot at once, she’s liable to toss in an extra goodie. But like all good things in life, the best deals are earned. “For me it comes down to building relationships,” she says. If Rock has brought something special to the market or is in the mood to trade, her regular customers — the ones who take the time to get to know her and her business — will hear about it first.

As you get to know farmers and vendors, Antonius suggests asking them to add you to any email lists they might have going. That way you’ll be the first to know about bumpers and seconds, the rare crops that farmers might sell at discount.

“One of my favourite bumper crops are fava beans,” says Antonius. “They’re amazing when they come, but they don’t last very long. If you learn how to preserve or freeze them, then you can buy larger quantities of them for less and have them when they’re out of season, too.”

Preserving is also a great way to deal with seconds; slightly damaged or ugly produce. Most farmers don’t bother bringing their seconds to market, but are often happy to part with imperfect produce at a lower rate if they know you’ll be there to buy it.

At the end of the day, even shoppers who prefer their transactions swift and silent will benefit from choosing from the farmers’ market. “Your dollars are investing in Canada’s farmland,” says Antonius. “It’s really exciting to think of yourself as a purchaser, but also an investor.”

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Cory Vitiello on How to Make Fruits and Veggies Last

By night, you may know Cory Vitiello as an expert on Chef in Your Ear, but by day, he’s a popular Toronto chef and restaurateur. He’s also a serious purchaser of fruits and vegetables. Produce is important at his Toronto restaurant, Flock, which is just as famous for its fresh salads as its antibiotic and hormone-free rotisserie chickens. “We probably go through $20,000 worth of produce in a week,” says Cory.Cory Vitiello

Here, he shares his tips for which fruits and veggies will last the longest, how to store them for optimal longevity, and what to do with them when they’ve started to wilt. These tips are a great starting point for getting the most from your fresh goods, but as always, trust your senses and don’t consume food that looks or smells off.

Apples
Last for: up to 3 months in the fridge.
Store apples in the warmest part of the fridge in a sealed bag, says Cory. Apples tend to absorb flavours, so avoid putting them next to fragrant items like cheese. If they’re starting to overstay their welcome, peel them, cut them into slices and toss them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. From there, you can “use them for smoothies just like you would bananas,” says Cory.

Tip: A plastic bag helps keep apples (and bananas) well segregated from other produce; apples release ethylene gas, which can cause premature ripening in nearby produce.

beets-raw-wholeBeets
Last for: 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
Although beets last quite a while in the fridge, they tend to lose their sweetness over time. Cory recommends keeping them at room temperature as long as possible to maintain optimal flavour. As long as they’re firm — “I mean very firm, you should not be able to bruise them” — they can be stored in the pantry. “If you’re looking for a nice salad beet, you definitely want to use the firm, fresh ones,” says Cory. When the skins start to get leathery, move them to the refrigerator, or better yet, roast them. “Keep the skins on — you don’t have to peel them. Just give them a good scrub and roast them with your apples that are about to expire.”

Cabbage
Lasts for: up to 2 months in the fridge.
“Cabbage is probably one of the most underrated vegetables,” says Cory. “As long as it’s stored in the fridge, you’re golden.” Peel off wilting outer layers to reveal crisper leaves below, and don’t be afraid to branch beyond coleslaw. Cory likes chopping a cabbage in half, dicing it against the grain, and stir-frying: bonus, cooked cabbage goes nicely with your roasted or sauteed aging beets, apples and carrots.

carrots-orange-yellow-purpleCarrots
Last for: 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
Trim the green tops off carrots and store them in water with their skins intact so they stay fresh and juicy. “I like to leave the skins on, scrub them down and roast them whole,” says Cory. “I love that rustic, natural look on a carrot. What I don’t like is a perfect carrot stick on a plate. I think that looks tacky and 1980s.”

Celery
Lasts for: up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
When the base of celery goes limp, do like “everybody’s mom” and cut the base off, and revive celery sticks in a cup of water in the fridge. Or simply remove the flimsy outer stalks to reveal the heart, “which is the best part anyway.” And don’t forget to use the inner leaves — Cory likes to toss his in fresh salad as he would with other herbs. “It’s really nice, tender and sweet.”

Garlic
Lasts for: 3-6 months.
“All garlic will age to a certain point, but you want to keep it in a dark place, in a paper bag,” says Cory. Keep it away from fruit to avoid flavour transfer, but you’ll know it’s nearing the end when it starts to sprout. To use up a bunch of garlic at once, peel and roast in olive oil on low heat until just browned. Store the roasted cloves submerged in olive oil in a jar in the fridge.  “Use it for pasta, sauces, anything you’d use garlic for — it’ll last for a month after you roast it,” says Cory.

Onion and Shallots
Last for: 2-3 months.
Like garlic, onions and shallots are best stored in paper bags in a dry, cool place, encourages Cory. Sprouting will indicate that they’ve started to turn; as with beets, if they start to wrinkle or can be easily squeezed like an orange, cook them. Whether you roast them for a dip, caramelize them for burgers or at them to soups, “any kind of cooked preparation is fine,” says Cory.

pomegranatePomegranates
Last for: 3 -4 weeks in the fridge.
Pomegranates can last quite awhile as long as they’re intact. Once you remove the seeds from the fruit, however, they need to be eaten within a couple of days. “The seeds have an incredibly short shelf life and will lose their juice, go pale and won’t taste as sweet,” warns Cory. He suggests sprinkling them on your morning yogurt, or trying them in salads. If you crack into your pomegranate and find some of the seeds are brown and slimy, don’t eat them, but do go ahead and pick out the good ones.

Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
Last for: 2 – 3 months.
These famously long-lived staples are good to eat until they start sprouting, says Cory. Like beets, the starch and sugar levels will fluctuate according to storage methods. “If you store them in a cool, dark place,” says Cory, “that will prevent the sugar levels from building up. Then you’ll get a nice, dark roasted potato, and not a limp one that tends to burn quickly or is flimsy when you fry it — that’s because of too much sugar. When you store them in the fridge, they build up too much sugar.”

Winter Squashes
Last for: up to 3 months.
“This is definitely one of the most versatile and longest lasting ingredients,” says Cory. “It takes a long time for winter squash to break down. I like eating winter squash raw — I’ll peel and shave it really thin on a mandolin or vegetable peeler, and it gives a really nice, unique crunch in a salad. But when in doubt, just roast it whole — cut it in half, smear with butter and some spices.”

watermelonWatermelon
Lasts for: 2-3 weeks in the fridge
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen an expired watermelon,” says Cory. But if you’re looking to use up your watermelon quickly, he suggests scooping out the flesh and tossing it in the blender with your favourite tea. “Watermelon iced tea is the ultimate summer drink,” he says.