patty's blog

Trinity Bellwoods Farmer's Market

Last week, I scored all these wonderful locally produced goods at the Trinity Bellwoods Farmer's market: smoked sheep-milk cheddar cheese, red pepper mushroom raw seed crackers, savoury cheddar spelt crackers, wildflower honey, royal jelly face cream, carrots, lettuce, and parsley. I hadn't been to this market since last year, and was happy to see it growing with more new vendors selling topnotch delicious fare.

...and then I met a lovely woman (Ashley) who gave me one of her delicious homemade vegan apple muffins, and a talented raw chocolatier who let me sample a couple of his new rich chocolate creations. Sweet :-)

Lauren's Maize Cakes

Roasted Corn for Sale.   Photo: Lauren Classen

It's corn season here in Ontario! The perfect time for a guest post by my good friend Lauren Classen, who's currently working in Malawi Africa with local youth, finding out what their eating habits are. Lauren is also a very creative, resourceful, and fabulous cook! She wrote the following post and recipe in April, the start of Malawi's corn season. Enjoy :-)

Lauren with the locals, preparing food in Malawi, Africa

It's green maize season here. As everyone eagerly (and hungrily) awaits the drying and eventual harvest of this year's crops (due to start in May), their storage containers often empty already for quite some time, the availability of green (not-yet-dried) maize is a very exciting time!  Malawians love to give gifts of food and I think the hungry season is embarrassingly painful because they simply have nothing to give... so now that the maize has grown big enough to eat (though most of it will still be saved until it is completely dry and can be used to make a maize flour), I have been overwhelmed with generous donations. In an effort to make sure that these precious gifts don't go to waste in my glutinously well-stocked kitchen, I made up this appetizer the other day, modifying Costa Rican 'choriadas', a common Costa Rican treat in the green maize season there, thought I'd share. Our maize is sweeter than the maize here. Ideally, you'd actually use the maize that we, sadly, use for cattle feed in Canada. If the maize is really juicy, then you can do this omitting both the milk and the additional wheat flour - especially if you want to make the thin ones that I like for breakfast...

Recipe: Maize Cakes

Pretty Malawians Girls.   Photo: Lauren Classen

Thank you Lauren!

sweet snack

One of may favourite snacks/breakfasts:
rice cakes + nut butter + cocoa nibs + honey + cinnamon

...particularly delicious with almond butter, fairtrade raw organic cocoa nibs, local honey, and very fine cinnamon :-)

Wheat-Free Date Nut Scones

Not too long ago, I made a hearty date nut loaf inspired by quick-bread recipes from The Best-Ever Wheat and Gluten-Free Baking Book. My creation was really tasty, but a bit too crumbly - and then my lovely partner said: This would be great as scones... A few adjustments, and voila!

Recipe: Wheat-Free Date Nut Scones

These classic drop scones are delicious, filling, healthy, and easy to make: no rolling-out required. Packed with whole grains, flax, nuts, dates, and kissed with spice, they make a wonderful breakfast or snack. Superb hot out of the oven with butter, or with some fine sharp cheddar cheese...

Classic & Toasted Coconut Granola

I'm a big fan of granola. There's something about sweet crunchy oats that's almost addictive... I generally find the store-bought stuff way too sweet (maybe that's why it's addictive), or too oily, or both - so after many experiments, I came up with this granola recipe that we love around here:

Recipe: Patty's Classic Granola & Delightful Variations
This is a lovely simple aromatic granola. You can make your own delightful variations from this basic recipe.

Variation: Toasted Coconut Granola
In my opinion, the most delightful variation of Patty's Classic Granola :-)

Health Notes: This recipe is vegan and gluten-free (if you use gluten-free oats). It has less fat and sugar than most store-bought granola (especially if you make the lower-sugar option) and is full of healthy fiber from oats and flax.

I Love Bananas

I love bananas. (I love them so much that I'm working on a related project...) Here are some delicious healthy banana recipes I'm looking forward to trying:

Quinoa And Banana Pudding Recipe

This healthy not-too-sweet pudding is a great alternative to rice pudding.

Banana Bread Loaf
A high-protein gluten-free almondy banana bread.

Grilled bananas with toasted almonds
A delicately spiced sweet Indian dish.

Banana-Mango Ketchup

Spicy Banana Ketchup
Banana ketchup is a favourite condiment in the Philippines. These recipes both sound amazing.

Vegan Banana Nut Ice Cream Recipe

Rich and wonderful.

Carmalized Banana With Rum Sauce Recipe
This looks way too good ;-)

Let me know what some of your favourite healthy banana recipes are!


Over the past few months, I've noticed the ancient Mesoamercian chia seed popping up everywhere. Remember the chia pet? Well, it's the same seed, and it happens to be a super food, high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Chia was one of the most important foods for the Aztecs and Mayans. I bought the raw seeds, and started drinking chia fresca, a Mexican drink simply made by mixing about a tablespoon of raw chia seeds into a glass fruit juice or water, and letting it sit for about 10 minutes so that the seeds become gelatinous - the result is a drink that's both refreshing and satisfying.

Where this nutritious little seed really shines for me, is as a hot breakfast cereal.  A good friend gave me some Chia Goodness to try - and I loved it. Inspired, I came up with this tasty combination of nuts, seeds, and fruit that's become a house favourite:

Recipe: Instant Hot Chia Cereal

Besides being tasty, filling, and nutritious - it's super-quick to make: just add hot water. Another bonus: you can customize the recipe with your favourite nuts, seeds, and fruit - fun!

Instant Hot Chia Cereal before adding water.

Foods that help prevent sunburn

Just read this great entry on one of my favourite sites: How can my diet help protect me from sunburn? Enjoying these foods + responsible sun exposure = a healthy tasty summer:

  • olive oil
  • tomatoes (tomato paste)
  • papaya
  • strawberries, raspberries, cherries
  • oranges, lemons, limes
  • bell peppers
  • broccoli
  • dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, romaine...)
  • mushrooms
  • fish
  • green tea

Sounds a bit like a Mediterranean diet, no?

Ginger Miso Peanut Butter Cookies

The combination of miso and peanut butter is one that's intrigued me for a while. I've experimented with different versions of miso peanut butter cookies for some time now... and recently: miso, peanut butter, and ginger - wow! The combination of sweet, savory, and spicy is pretty awesome :-) A Japanese take on classic peanut butter cookies:

Recipe: Ginger Miso Peanut Butter Cookies

Health notes: These addictive exotic treats just happen to be dairy-free and gluten-free. Packed with peanuts, these cookies have a substantial amount of protein, minerals, and healthy fat. Ginger is great for the immune system and digestion, and cinnamon has a bunch of health benefits, including the ability to help moderate blood-sugar levels. These cookies are really sweet, and by sweet I mean delicious *and* sugary, though they're not as sugary-sweet as traditional peanut butter cookies.

sweet & tart links

Check out these lovely sweet & tart recipes I found while perusing the web. All 3 are packed with flavour, and are naturally gluten-free:

Rhubarb, Raspberry Clafoutis
Lemon Polenta Cake
Wheat-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

Local rhubarb is almost ready... here!