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...


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.

Candida, Xylitol, & Spiced Pineapple Oat Cookies

I was recently on a moderate version of the candida diet (a.k.a anti-candida diet). It's a particularly difficult diet, as you need to "starve the yeast" (candida) in your system by NOT eating sugar (refined, natural, sweet fruits...), yeast, refined flours (including starches), mushrooms, fermented food (tofu, cocoa, tea), vitamins/supplements with yeast (like most B vitamins), most dairy, alcohol, vinegar (except apple cider vinegar), nuts/seeds (because they often have mold on them)... The hardest part for me was not eating nuts!

Super pancakes (for one or more)

"Super" because they're packed with nutritious filling whole grains and
are awesome tasting. Have a couple of these and a fruit smoothie and
you're set for the day!

Recipe: Super Pancakes

Carolyn's Breakfast Pancakes

My cousin sent me her recipe for super-hearty pancakes - here's what she says:

"A friend of mine gave me the basic instructions for this pancake, but I have modified as we have had this breakfast EVERY SINGLE DAY for the past 2 years, excluding weekends. Saves time, $$ and fills you up until lunchtime. Previously (in my bagel and cream cheese days) I was starving by 10:30. No longer."

Recipe: Carolyn's Breakfast Pancakes

Sounds great - thanks Carolyn!