Vanilla Bean Banana Bread

Vanilla Bean Banana Bread

Recipe by Blythe Kingcroft

Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 50-55 mins. Yield: one loaf.

This moist banana bread gets all its good flavour from the fragrant cold-pressed coconut oil and the rich taste of real vanilla bean. If serving as a dessert, it pairs best with whipped vanilla butter, vanilla cashew cream, or vanilla whipped cream (just mix vanilla beans into any of those to make your own!) and fresh, seasonal strawberries.

Coconut Oil
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 Gluten-free note: For GF restrictions, I recommend using brown rice flour. It holds the loaf together yet produces a nice crumb, while adding good fibre, protein, and moisture. Our house goes back and forth between all-purpose flour and gf brown rice flour, depending on what’s in our cupboards.

Ingredients

2 large ripe bananas

3/4 c. Level Ground coconut oil

Vanilla Beans
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½ c. honey or maple syrup

Ceylon Cinnamon
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1 tbsp palm sugar

3 Level Ground vanilla bean pods

1 egg

¼ c. sour cream or yogurt (dairy-free will work too)

1 c. flour of choice

½ tsp Level Ground Ceylon Cinnamon

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

½ c. lightly roasted walnuts

Method:

1.     Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.     Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

3.     Slice your vanilla pods down the middle to open. Using a small spoon or butter knife, scrape the beans from each pod and place in banana mixture. Beat with an electric hand mixer until vanilla is well distributed.

4.     Add coconut oil and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds to one minute.

5.     Add honey or maple syrup, plus one tablespoon of palm sugar. Beat on medium speed for 30 seconds to one minute.

6.     Add egg. Beat for one minute.

7.     Add sour cream or yogurt. Beat for 30 seconds to one minute.

8.     In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and mix with a fork or whisk.

9.     Add dry ingredients to batter and beat on low speed for 1-2 minutes, scraping sides with spatula as needed to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet batter. After 2 minutes, your batter should have the consistency of thick cake batter—not too runny but nice and moist.

10.  If adding chocolate chips, fold them into your batter with spatula now.

11.  Using your spatula, spoon half of your batter into an 8”x5” loaf pan.

12.  Gently fold in lightly roasted walnuts. Mix nuts around with a spoon, and cover with your remaining batter. Make sure all walnuts are covered sufficiently with batter, or they may burn in oven.

13.  Sprinkle top with a light dusting of cinnamon and a healthy dusting of palm sugar.

14.  Bake for 50-55 minutes. Test loaf with a knife at 45 minutes to ensure sure you don’t over bake your loaf, as home ovens vary. But ours always needs 55 minutes!

15.  Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing. 

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PINEAPPLE SCONES

Pineapple Scones

Recipe by Kathy Neufeld

INGREDIENTS

Cane Sugar
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  • 3 cups unsifted all purpose flour
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup Level Ground organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup butter 
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup chopped Level Ground dried organic pineapple 
  • 1 egg, beaten
Dried Pineapple
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METHOD

  1. Place butter in freezer for 15 minutes.
  2. Soak the chopped pineapple in the milk.
  3. Turn the oven to 375F. 
  4. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and sugar. 
  5. Grate the cold butter into the flour mixture and toss with your fingers to combine. 
  6. Stir in the milk, pineapple, and egg. 
  7. Place spoonfuls of batter on greased cookie sheet. 
  8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes 

Enjoy! 

(Thank you again to Kathy Neufeld for sharing this lovely recipe). 

Fair Trade Pineapple Scone Recipe
Fair Trade Pineapple Scone Recipe
Fair Trade Pineapple Scone Recipe
Fair Trade Pineapple Scone Recipe

Pakoras

Sarah's Pakoras

Recipe by Blythe Kingcroft

Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 20-25 minutes. Makes approx. 20 pakoras.

One summer, fresh out of our undergraduate degrees, I shared a brightly-lit apartment with one of my best friends, Sarah: vegetarian cook extraordinaire and dinner party wizard. She taught me how to make pakoras in our very narrow kitchen to the soundtrack of Al Green’s Greatest Hits, and we served them to guests with homemade chutney (recipe below) and minty-mango gin fizzes. I’ve been making them ever since. The crunchy seeds in these pakoras add the nutrients that an active vegetarian needs, but even more so, imitate the crisp and crunch of a real deep-fried pakora. They are unparalleled when cooked in Level Ground’s aromatic, flavour-rich coconut oil—I know of no satisfactory substitute for this. Serve hot and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

Coconut Oil
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Black Pepper
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  • ¼ cup Level Ground coconut oil (+ lots more to add as needed for frying)
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped fine
  • 1 medium-large bunch spinach, chopped or torn
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ½ tsp Level Ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 large pinch chilli flakes or cayenne (add more if you love spice)
  • ¼ heaping tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup water
Turmeric
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METHOD:

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  1. Chop onions. (We chill ours before chopping to minimize crying!)
  2. Chop or tear spinach until pieces are small—almost bite size.
  3. If there are any other vegetables you’d like to add, do so now (finely chopped bell pepper, small pieces of cauliflower, or sprouted mung beans are all great options!)
  4. Mix chickpea and rice flours with turmeric, cumin, chilli flakes, pepper, and salt.
  5. Mix vegetables and dry ingredients together in one large bowl.
  6. Add your roasted seeds. Mix.
  7. Add water. Mix well with fork. Ingredients should clump easily. The flour should turn into a thick paste and hold the veggies and seeds together. Add more water if needed, 1 tbsp at a time.
  8. Place paper towel on a large cooling rack. (You are preparing a place for your finished pakoras to sit and be salted after exiting frying pan.)
  9. Add ¼ cup coconut oil to large frying pan, or more if your pan is larger. You are trying to imitate the effect of a deep fryer, as much as possible, so the more oil the merrier. (Though be careful of spitting oil!) Your oil should be thick—just under ¼ inch high. Heat oil to just under medium (4 on my oven).
  10. Add heaping (really heaping) tablespoons of pakora mix to frying pan. Let fry for several minutes, until bottoms are a deep golden brown. Flip, and let fry on other side. Watch, checking bottoms every minute or so. (Don’t leave your pakoras’ side while frying! As the pan and oil gets

Chutney

Prep time: 5 mins. Cook time: 15 mins + long rest while you make your pakoras.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 chopped ripe mango
  • 1 small handful raisins
  • 1.5 tbsp chopped red onions pickled in apple cider vinegar
  • 1 dash each of turmeric, cumin, cardamom, chilli, pepper, coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp honey (or sugar if vegan)
  • 1 cup water

METHOD

  1. Place all chutney ingredients in small frying pan or saucepan, bring to boil over medium heat. Stir.
  2. After a few minutes, lower heat to a simmer and let chutney sit covered for 10 min, checking occasionally and stirring if necessary. Do this until chutney reaches desired consistency (should be the viscosity of a compote, or a jam that hasn’t yet set).
  3. Turn off heat and keep chutney covered, on the element you just turned off, until you’re ready to serve.
  4. Five minutes before serving, turn heat to low for 3-5 minutes to warm up chutney.

 

 

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(Thank you to our friend Blythe Kingcroft for the recipe & photos). 

Chia Pudding 3 Ways

Recipe by Lindsay Pleskot

Find the recipe on her blog here

Banana Cream Pie
 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup coconut milk or vanilla almond milk (regular, not unsweetened)
  • 1 banana
  • ¼ cup chia
  • 2 Tbsp Level Ground Trading cacao nibs
  • ¼ cup Level Ground Trading dried bananas
  • 2 Tbsp shredded coconut (I used sweetened, can use unsweetened if preferred!)

METHOD:

  1. Add milk, banana and chia into a blender and blend until smooth. Divide between 2 small jars or containers. Top with cacao, dried bananas and coconut and enjoy immediately or throughout the week!

Note:  If you don’t have or want to use a blender – In a small bowl, mash banana with the back or a fork until a thick paste is formed. Add the milk and chia seeds and stir to combine well. Divide into containers and add toppings.

Chia Pudding Recipe

Golden Milk

INGREDIENTS:

METHOD:

  1. Add milk, chia, turmeric, ginger, and pepper to a small bowl or jar and whisk with a fork or shake to combine all ingredients well. Divide between 2 small jars or containers. Top with desired toppings and enjoy immediately or throughout the week!
Chia Pudding Recipe

Red Dragon

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup coconut milk or vanilla almond milk (regular, not unsweetened)
  • ¼ cup chia
  • 1 small cooked beat, skin removed
  • 2 Tbsp Level Ground Trading dried dragon fruit and/or dried pineapple

METHOD:

  1. Add milk, chia and beet to a blender and blend on high until beet has completely blended in. Divide between 2 small jars or containers. Top with dried dragon fruit and/or pineapple.
Chia Pudding Recipe

(Thank you again to Lindsay Pleskot for the lovely recipe & photos - see the original on her blog here).

Cacao Nibs
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Dried Banana
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Turmeric
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Ginger
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Black Pepper
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Dried Dragon Fruit
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Chia Pudding Recipe
Chia Pudding Recipe
Chia Pudding Recipe
Chia Pudding Recipe

Squash and Chickpea Vegan Curry

SQUASH AND CHICKPEA VEGAN CURRY

Recipe by Blythe Kingcroft

Cardamom
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This yellow-orange curry is slightly sweet in nature—because of the cinnamon, squash, and violet rice—and can be adjusted to accommodate your desired spice level. The acid in the tomatoes cuts the sweetness beautifully and the coconut milk (full fat for best results!) balances out any spice to create a rich, protein-packed vegan dinner.

INGREDIENTS

Turmeric
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  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large pinch chili flakes (or two, if you like a lot of heat!)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes, strained
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash (raw)
  • 19oz can chichpeas, drained
  • 14 oz. coconut milk (full fat!) 
Ceylon Cinnamon
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Serve over a bowl of Violet Rice.

 

METHOD

1.     Following instructions on the package, begin cooking rice. Add a heaping ¼ tsp of salt to rice water. (Note: this rice is sticky and slightly sweet, which complements the curry’s natural sweetness well. If you prefer less sticky rice, use Level Ground’s Long-Grain Heirloom Rice.)

2.     Grate ginger and garlic. Set aside.

3.     Measure cumin, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, chili flakes, salt and pepper into one bowl. Mix. Set aside. This is your curry!

4.     Cut up onion into one-inch pieces, or smaller if preferred.

5.     Add coconut oil to your pan, and heat it over medium-high heat (6-7 on my oven).

6.     Add onion, grated ginger and garlic. Stir. After a few minutes, add spices. Keep stirring until onions are a little translucent and showing signs of sticking. When this happens, add ½ c. water. Cover and let it boil down, about 5-7 minutes. Your onions should be nice and soft, and evenly coated in the colour of the spice.

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7.     Add butternut squash and enough water to cover onions and squash (approx. ¾ cup, maybe more). Cover, let boil down for 10 minutes at medium temp (approx 5 on my oven). Check halfway; you may need to add more water. After 10 minutes, check softness of squash with a fork. You should be able to pierce it easily by now.

8.     Rinse chickpeas. Add and stir gently. (At this point, your squash will be soft enough that vigorous stirring could turn it to mush.) Let sit 3-4 minutes.

9.     Strain diced tomatoes. Gently stir in tomatoes and coconut.

Violet Rice
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Coconut Oil
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10.  Cover and let sit 5 minutes. Taste. Want it spicier? Add more chili and/or pepper. Taste bland? Add more salt to bring out flavour. Want it sweeter? Add a bit of cinnamon. Go easy when adding spices at this stage, as a little can go a long way.

11.  Cover again and let sit for 5-10 more minutes, depending on how thick you like your curries. This will produce a good bowl curry: something between a soup and a stew, with enough liquid that a plate won’t do.

12.  Add cooked rice to bowls. Spoon generous amounts of curry on top. Top with pinch of flake salt, pinch of chilis, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!

(Thank you to our friend Blythe Kingcroft for the recipe & photos). 

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Vegan Curry Recipe
Vegan Curry Recipe

How to Brew: French Press

METHOD #1: LEVEL GROUND'S FAVOURITE METHOD

Ethiopia Medium Coffee
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Recipe: 55g coarse grind coffee, 1L of water

 

METHOD:

  1. Add ground coffee into press
  2. Add water, just off the boil. Pour water in with lots of turbulence, saturating the grounds
  3. Stir with a non-metalic spoon
  4. Place the lid on, and press just below level
  5. Let stand for 4 minutes
  6. Press. Pour. Enjoy!

 

Check out our video instructional below!

METHOD #2: SCAA RECOMMENDATION

Recipe: 40g medium-coarse grind coffee, 672g (mL) of water

Tanzania Dark Coffee
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Method:

  1. Preheat your french press with hot water
  2. Place freshly ground coffee in press
  3. Start the timer & begin pouring hot water into the press
  4. Completely saturate the grounds with all the water. Stir.
  5. Place the lid with the plunger up on the press
  6. When the timer is at 2 minutes, remove the lid & stir the coffee again
  7. Using two spoons, skim the oils & remaining floating grounds off the top of the brew. This will produce a cleaner cup & will stop the coffee from extracting
  8. Place the plunger back on top & press down slowly
  9. Decant into your favourite mug.
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How to Brew: Aeropress

METHOD #1: LEVEL GROUND'S FAVOURITE METHOD

Warning: we use the inverted method. There is no reason to be afraid of it. Let's conquer that fear together! 

Peru Medium Coffee
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Recipe: 1 1/2 scoops ground coffee, enough water to fill the aeropress

Method:

  1. Put the top chamber inside the bottom chamber, and turn over. (It should look like the photo above.)
  2. Add 1 1/2 aeropress scoops of ground coffee (or 3 tbsp) *it's a really, really good idea to use the funnel to add the coffee. If grinds get into the top, step 6 might get tricky!
  3. Fill with water to just above the #1 and just below the rim.
  4. Wait 30 seconds, then stir.
  5. Fill with water again up to #1. Set timer.
  6. Screw lid (with pre-wet filter in it) to the top chamber. (*We hope you used the funnel in step 2, or this could get awkward.)
  7. When timer reaches 2 minutes, turn over* and press. 

*Turning over is really just like pouring from a regular spout. Turn it confidently, and you will have no problem.  

 

METHOD #2: SCAA RECOMMENDATION. 

Recipe: 33g fine grind coffee, 113g (mL) of water

Method:

  1. Place filter in Aeropress & preheat by pouring hot water through it.
  2. Add coffee to bottom chamber of Aeropress & place on scale; tare scale to zero with cup underneath the Aeropress.
  3. Start timer and add 113g (mL) of water.
  4. When all the water has been added, stir the slurry (coffee & water mixture).
  5. When timer reaches 1 minute, stir slurry, add top chamber and press like mad.

This will produce a concentrated drink that can be enjoyed on its own or can be diluted with equal parts hot water to produce a more American-like beverage. 

How to Brew: Chemex

METHOD #1: LEVEL GROUND'S FAVOURITE METHOD

Recipe: 5 tbsp (35g) medium grind coffee, 600mL hot water

Method:

French Roast Very Dark Coffee
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  1. Place filter in Chemex with the 3 layered side towards the spout.
  2. Preheat the Chemex and filter by pouring hot water through them
  3. Pour out water, replace filter & put ground coffee in filter
  4. Place chemex on scale and tare to zero
  5. Start timing, and pour about 80g (mL) of water over the coffee. Gently stir the grounds to make sure they are all saturated
  6. Wait 30 seconds while the bloom de-gases and the grounds soften in the hot water (this is how the flavour comes out!)
  7. Add 200g (mL) of water, gently stir to agitate the grounds
  8. Wait ~45 seconds
  9. Add 200g (mL) of water, gently stir to agitate the grounds
  10. Wait ~45 seconds
  11. Add remaining water, 120g (mL)
  12. When all the water has been poured over, remove the filter and compost. The entire process should take 4-5 minutes
  13. Enjoy with friends!  

 

METHOD #2: SCAA RECOMMENDATION. 

Recipe: 41g medium grind coffee, 672g (mL) of water

Method:

  1. Place filter in Chemex, make sure the 3 layered side of the filter is towards the spout
  2. Preheat the Chemex and filter by pouring hot water through them
  3. Pour out the water, replace filter & put ground coffee in filter
  4. Place everything on scale and tare to zero
  5. Start timing and pour 80g (mL) of water over the coffee, make sure to saturate all the grounds thoroughly
  6. Allows the bloom to de-gas for 30 seconds before adding more water
  7. Continue to periodically and slowly pour water over the coffee, keep the filter halfway filled with water during the brewing process
  8. General brew times are between 4-5 minutes
  9. When all the water has been poured over the grounds and the filter has begun to drip slowly, remove and discard the filter
  10. Give the Chemex a swirl and share with friends
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Tropical Treat Granola

TROPICAL TREAT GRANOLA

Recipe by Lindsay Pleskot. 

See the original recipe on her blog here

Besides giving you a mini morning vacation to start your day off with some zen, these fruits are packed with nutrition. Mangos are high in Vitamin C (start stocking up to ward off cold and flu season!) and pineapples contain a special enzyme known to aid digestion. The perfect dessert to finish off a meal! 

INGREDIENTS

Coconut Oil
16.00
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Dried Mango
6.99
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  • 3 cups of rolled oats
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp honey
  • ¼  cup chia seeds * optional but I like them for a bit of extra fiber and nutrients!
  • ½  cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½  cup coconut pieces, coarsely chopped
  • ½  tsp salt
  • ½ cup of Dried Mango
  • ½ cup of Dried Pineapple

METHOD

Dried Pineapple
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  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Add coconut oil and honey to a small microwave safe dish and microwave for 15-30 seconds (depending on how hard they are) or until melted. Whisk with a fork to combine and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, add chia seeds, pecans, walnuts, coconut, and salt to a medium size mixing bowl and stir to combine ingredients. Pour the coconut oil and honey mixture overtop and mix with a fork to coat ingredients well.
  4. Distribute mixture in a single layer,  between the two baking sheets, so it browns nice and evenly.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring after the first 10 minutes. Add the chopped fruit for the last 5 minutes of baking (if you put it in too soon it will overcook and just become an undesirable crunchy texture). **Baking time will differ depending on how brown you like it. (I like mine golden all over and baked for 17 minutes).
  6. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Store in an airtight jar.

Enjoy!

(Thank you again to Lindsay Pleskot for the lovely recipe & photos - see the original on her blog here). 

Tropical Treat Granola Recipe
Tropical Treat Granola Recipe
Tropical Treat Granola Recipe

Cheesy Rice Balls

 

CHEESY RICE BALLS

Recipe by Shaylin Brown

INGREDIENTS

Violet Rice
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  • 1 cup of Violet Rice
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese (we love Salt Spring Island)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup bread crumbs or panko

 

METHOD

Cook rice according to directions on package. Set aside. 

In a pan, saute garlic and onions in olive oil until translucent. Add rice and cheese. Stir until all ingredients stick together. Let cool.

Once cool enough to handle, roll into balls. Then, coat in egg and breadcrumbs or panko. Pan fry until golden brown (or for a little extra fun, try deep frying them!). 

Enjoy!

Cheesy Heirloom Rice Recipe
Cheesy Heirloom Rice Recipe
Cheesy Heirloom Rice Recipe

Tropical Fruit Muffins

Tropical Fruit Muffins

Recipe by Shaylin Brown

Yield: 1 dozen muffins

Cane Sugar
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Muffins:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups Cane Sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup rehydrated Pineapple
  • 1/2 cup rehydrated Goldenberries
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean
  • 1 tbsp butter

Toppings:

Ceylon Cinnamon
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  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/8 cup Cacao Nibs
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup Cane Sugar
  • 1 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon

METHOD

Rehydrate goldenberries and pineapple in a bowl of water (just enough to cover the fruit). Save a 1/4 cup of the fruit water to add to the mixture. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. 

Split open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add to the mixture. Combine egg, oil and vanilla. Cut pineapple into small chunks and add fruit to wet mixture. 

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until mixture comes together - don't overmix! Pour into muffin tins.

Topping: Mix oats, cacao nibs, butter, cinnamon and sugar until you get a mealy texture. Pour topping on top of muffin mixture in tins.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes.

Enjoy!

Tropical Fruit Muffin Recipe
Tropical Fruit Muffin Recipe
Tropical Fruit Muffin Recipe
Dried Pineapple
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Dried Golden Berries
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Vanilla Beans
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Roasted Acorn Squash and Potato Soup

ROASTED ACORN SQUASH AND POTATO SOUP

Recipe by Shaylin Brown

INGREDIENTS

Ginger
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  • 2 diced carrots
  • 2 stalks of chopped celery
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 large roasted acorn squash
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil 
  • 1.5 litres of chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • pinch Cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste
  • Coconut milk
Nutmeg
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METHOD

In a pot, sauté carrots, celery, onions, garlic and potatoes in the coconut oil until aromatic. Add roasted acorn squash, apple, chicken broth and spices. Cook until potatoes are soft. Blend with a hand blender. Add coconut milk.

Enjoy!

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup Recipe
Roasted Acorn Squash Soup Recipe
Roasted Acorn Squash Soup Recipe
Cloves
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Ceylon Cinnamon
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Black Pepper
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Green Tea Vinaigrette

green tea vinaigrette

Recipe by Peter Tiessen

Green tea has long been touted for its numerous health benefits and here this dressing borrows the subtle flavours of the tea leaves to meld with the crisp melange of Asian inspired ingredients. 

Yield: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

Green Tea
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  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp loose Green Tea (or one tea pyramid - no straining needed!)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup baby kale
  • 6 leaves romaine hearts, torn
  • 1 cup mint leaves, torn
  • 4 green onions, 1" pieces
  • 1/2 cup snow peas, julienned
  • 5 thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/3 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1 asian pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange zest, minced

 

METHOD

For the vinaigrette, in a small saucepot bring the rice vinegar to boil and remove from the heat. Add the tea leaves and allow to steep for 3 minutes, strain. Add the garlic, ginger and olive oil, whisking to incorporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the salad, combine all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add 1/3 cup of the vinaigrette, reserving the remaining dressing for a future use, and gently toss.

Enjoy!

Green Tea Vinaigrette Recipe
Green Tea Vinaigrette Recipe

Baked Lemongrass Risotto

BAKED LEMONGRASS RISOTTO

Recipe by Lindsay Pleskot. 

See the original recipe on her blog here

I love a nice creamy risotto, but all that standing at the stove and stirring! Not gonna lie, it has redirected me to another dish more than once . . . But I was redently reminded of my love of risotto! And when I made this recipe, I was seriously that annoying person saying Mmmm. Mmmmm! At every bite.

INGREDIENTS

Lemongrass Tea
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Coconut Oil
16.00
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  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced and divided
  • 1 1/2 cups Aromatic Rice
  • 4 cups Lemongrass Tea (brewed strong!) divided
  • 1 cup stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 large bunch of Dino kale, stems removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or stock
  • 1-2 Tbsp unsalted butter 
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • Black Pepper, to taste

METHOD

Aromatic Rice
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  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F with your oven rack in the middle position.
  2. Steep 4 cups of your strong tea and set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized Dutch oven (if you don’t have one you can do the stove top portion in a heavy-bottomed pan and then transfer to a lined baking dish for the cooking portion), heat 2 Tbsp of your coconut oil over medium high heat. Once heated, add shallot and cook until translucent, approx. 4-5 minutes. Add 2 cloves of your garlic. Cook another 2-3 minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  4. Add the rice and allow it to brown a bit, building flavor. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  5. Add 3 cups of your tea and 1 cup stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, remove from heat, and place in the oven with the lid on. Bake until tender, approx. 50 minutes. 
  6. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium-sized bowl, toss kale with remaining oil (melt for a few seconds in the microwave so it coats the leaves evenly) add garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly and lay out on the baking sheet.
  7. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, add the kale to the oven.
  8. Once rice is cooked and kale is tender with a bit of brown crispy edges, remove both from the oven.
  9. Pour the remaining cup of tea, parmesan, wine or stock, butter, salt, and a generous amount of pepper into the risotto mixture. Stir to combine well and let some of the liquids soak up, leaving you with a nice creamy mixture.  
  10. Top with kale and enjoy as a side dish or serve with fish, chicken or poached eggs to complete the meal!

Enjoy!

(Thank you again to Lindsay Pleskot for the lovely recipe & photos - see the original on her blog here). 

Baked Lemongrass Risotto Recipe
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Baked Lemongrass Risotto Recipe

Chai Spiced Pumpkin Pie

CHAI SPICED PUMPKIN PIE

Recipe by Peter Tiessen

Fresh spices make all the difference. This recipe plays with the spices that would make up a chai flavour. Here I have combined those flavours with a traditional pumpkin pie.

Yield: 1 pie

INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • pinch of salt

Filling

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup Cane Sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • pinch of salt

METHOD

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cold butter and 'cut' it into the flour using either your fingertips or a pastry knife until it resembles a course mixture (about pea size). Add the ice water and gently combine until a dough forms. Be careful not to knead the dough too much as you do not want to develop the gluten. Cover with a towel and allow the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Line your pie pan with the dough and gently press it into place. Trim any excess from the edges and 'dock' the pie shell.

For the filling, combine the pumpkin puree, sugar and eggs together. Whisk in the evaporated milk, spices and salt. Pour the mixture into the chilled pie shell.

Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 400ºF, then reduce the oven temperature to 375ºF and continue to bake for another 35-40 minutes. The pie should be 'set' but still jiggle in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature or until service.

Enjoy!

Chai Spiced Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Banana Cacao Coffee Smoothie

Recipe by Shaylin Brown

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp Cacao Nibs
  • 1/2 cup coffee (your choice - we love the classic Colombia)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup coconut milk

METHOD

Place all of the ingredients in your favourite blender/Magic Bullet/Vitamix. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Banana Cacao Coffee Smoothie Recipe
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Colombia Dark Coffee
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Banana Cacao Coffee Smoothie

Iced Coffee

ICED COFFEE 

Here's a delicious iced coffee recipe using our Espresso (or your favourite Level Ground coffee) and organic cane sugar. If you don't have an espresso machine, substitute espresso shots with your favourite Level Ground coffee brewed strong with a pour-over.

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  • 60 g Espresso
  • 500 mL water, just off the boil
  • 500 g ice
  • Cane Sugar, to taste
  • Milk or cream, to taste

METHOD

With boiling water, brew coffee using a "pour-over" method directly over ice.

Or

Brew for 4 minutes in a French Press, then decant into an ice-filled jug. Add organic cane sugar and cream (or milk) to taste.

Enjoy!

Iced Fair Trade Coffee Recipe
Iced Fair Trade Coffee Recipe

Energy Bars

LEVEL GROUND ENERGY BARS

Recipe by Peter Tiessen

These bars are easy to prepare and make a great snack to pack away for a last minute picnic, summer day trip or overnight camping excursion.

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Yield: 8 x 13 pan

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cup pitted dates
  • 2 1/2 cup puffed rice cereal
  • 2 cup quick oats
  • 2/3 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup dried Banana
  • 1/2 cup coconut ribbons
  • 1/2 cup Cacao Nibs
  • 4 T ground flax seeds
  • 1 T Cinnamon
  • 1 t organic pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup nut butter
  • 2/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 T Coconut Oil
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METHOD

Grease an 8 x 13 pan with the 2 T of coconut oil. Combine nut butter, honey and coconut oil into a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally. Then combine the remaining dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Once the nut butter mixture has warmed to incorporate the oil and honey, pour over the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly by hand and press firmly into the pan. Allow to rest for 3 hours prior to serving. 

NOTE: To make sure that the bars will hold their shape when cut, it helps to return to the pan every hour or so to continue to press the bars ensure a firm final product. Or if you can, cover the bars with plastic wrap and place the same size of pan on top and add some weights (canned tomatoes, etc.).

Enjoy!

Fair Trade Energy Bars

Ultimate Thai Pizza

ULTIMATE THAI PIZZA

Recipe by Peter Tiessen

In our house, we have adopted Saturday night as "Pizza Night". Over the years we have created numerous variations, but this one has easily become one of our favourites. 

Yields: 1 - 12" x 18X rectangular pan

 

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Dried Pineapple
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INGREDIENTS

Dough

  • 1 1/4 cup warm water (90-100°F)
  • 2 1/2 t instant dry yeast
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 T Za'toun olive oil
  • 1 t organic pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 t Black Pepper, freshly ground

Peanut Sauce

  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 T soy sauce
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • 1 t fish sauce
  • 2 T fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 green Thai chili or fresh cayenne
  • 2 t black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2-3 T water

 

Pan Seasoning

  • 1 t Za'toun olive oil
  • 2-3 T cornmeal

Toppings

  • 1 lbs thick cut bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 carrot, but into ribbons and rough chop
  • 3 green onions, cut into 1" lengths
  • 1/2 cup Dried Pineapple, torn
  • 1/2 cup torn Dried Mango 
  • 2 tbsp coconut ribbons 
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 t Za'toun zaatar
  • 1 large handful of fresh cilantro

 

METHOD

NOTE: To make carrot ribbons, use a vegetable peeler and peel carrot in one place (do not rotate as you would when removing the peel).

To make the dough, combine the yeast, honey and water together in a stainless steel bowl and whisk to dissolve. Cover with a towel and rest for five minutes. Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a large bowl, stirring to evenly distribute. Pour the yeast mixture over the flour, add the olive oil and stir to combine a rough dough. Turn the dough onto the countertop and knead for 10 minutes (or use a stand-up mixer, but I always prefer to make dough by hand). Roll into a ball and cover with a towel to rest for 1 hour.

For the sauce, combine all of the ingredients except the water and whisk to combine. Slowly add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency (the sauce should be smooth, but not runny).

After the dough has risen, punch down the dough to remove the carbon dioxide gas. IF you prefer a thin crust, cut the dough in half. You may wrap the remaining dough and freeze until future use. Or should you prefer a thick crust leave as is. Season the pan with the olive oil and brush to coat, then gently sprinkle the pan with the remaining cornmeal. Line the pan with the dough.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

For the toppings, heat a pan over medium-high heat and add the bacon cooking until firm, but slightly crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and allow to cool on a paper towel lined plate. Assemble the pizza, reserving the cilantro.

For a thin crust, bake for about 20 minutes or for a thick crust bake for about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with reserved cilantro.

Enjoy!

Ultimate Thai Pizza Recipe
Ultimate Thai Pizza Recipe

Iced Black Tea

ICED BLACK TEA

Recipe by Peter Tiessen

Almost nothing is more refreshing than a tall glass of iced tea on a hot summers day. This recipe is as easy as it gets and has become a staple in my home. The use of cold water in this recipe and steeping in the refrigerator provides a milder taste on the palate. The cold temperatures do not produce the traditional tannin rich flavor synonymous with tea beverages.

 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 T Black Tea
  • 1 L cold water
  • 1 T cane sugar

METHOD

Scoop the tea leaves into a 1 L mason jar and add the cold water. Screw the lid onto the jar and place it in the refrigerator for not less than six and not greater than 12 hours. Remove the jar from the refrigerator and pour contents through a fine mesh sieve and into another clean mason jar. Add the sugar to the tea and screw the lid on tightly. Gently shake the jar to dissolve the sugar. Return to the refrigerator until service or pour ice into glass.

Option: Pour loose tea leaves into either a reusable tea ball or compostable tea bag and steep as per above.

Fair Trade Iced Black Tea Recipe
Fair Trade Iced Black Tea Recipe