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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.

 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.

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Ingredients

2 large ripe bananas

3/4 c. coconut oil

½ c. honey or maple syrup

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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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Squash and Chickpea Vegan Curry

SQUASH AND CHICKPEA VEGAN CURRY

Recipe by Blythe Kingcroft. 

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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!)

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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.

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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

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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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

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.

Dried Banana
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Ceylon Cinnamon
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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

Cacao Nibs
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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

Vanilla Rice Pudding

VANILLA RICE PUDDING

Recipe by Lindsay Pleskot. 

See the original recipe on her blog here

Violet Rice
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Get ready for a treat! As a major bonus it’s also breakfast approved,  which is how I’ve been enjoying it this week. Throw on some fresh berries (maybe some coconut cream…) and a handful of nuts to balance it out with some fiber, antioxidants and protein and you’re set for one awesome morning!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Violet Rice

  • 2 cups + 1/2 cup sweetened vanilla almond milk

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

  • 2 vanilla beans (seeds from one, the other placed in rice cooker whole)

  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

  • Pinch of sea salt

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METHOD

  1. Add all ingredients except the 1/2 cup of sweetened almond milk to your rice cooker.

  2. Once rice cooker turns off, ad remaining 1/2 cup of milk and stir to combine. This will give a nice rich, creamy consistency.

  3. Serve warm with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.

Enjoy!

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Note - You can substitute the almond milk for any milk of choice. If it is unsweetened, add approx. 3 Tbsp of a sweetener of choice (suggest honey, or maple syrup). You can also use just one or the other of the sweetened or unsweetened vanilla almond milk. If you use all unsweetened, again, you may wish to add a sweetener of choice. If you opt for all sweetened, you will end up with a slightly sweeter pudding

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

Fair Trade Vanilla Rice Pudding Recipe
Fair Trade Vanilla Rice Pudding Recipe

Quinoa Pancakes

QUINOA PANCAKES

Recipe by My Awesome Foods (Hilary Shearing)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of cooked Quinoa
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 tbsp of Ceylon Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 eggs

METHOD

Smash up your banana super good. Add egg, cinnamon, vanilla and fold in the cooked quinoa. Lightly grease your pan with the coconut oil and spoon about 1/4 cup of the mix for each pancake. Make sure they are thin like pancakes. When they start to get "bubbles", they are ready to flip! Cook them on a low/medium heat so you don't burn them.

Enjoy!

Quinoa Pancake Recipe
Quinoa Pancake Recipe

Tracey's Coffee Cake

TRACEY'S COFFEE CAKE

Recipe by Tracey C.

Enjoy with your favourite Level Ground coffee!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup Cane Sugar
  • 3 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled & cut into chunks, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon

Topping

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 cup Cane Sugar
  • 1 T Cinnamon

METHOD

Combine flour, cane sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Create a well in the centre. 

In another bowl, beat egg until frothy. Mix in milk and vanilla. Pour into well. Stir just enough to moisten. Pour into greased 8x8 inch cake pan. Push prepared apples into batter.

Topping: Mix butter, cane sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over top.

Bake in 350 F oven for about 40 minutes or until it begins to shrink from the edges of the pan. 

Fair Trade Coffee Cake Recipe
Fair Trade Coffee Cake Recipe

No-Bake Coconut Cream Pie

Recipe by Peter Tiessen

This no-bake pie will be a knock-out punch at any dinner party, and great for any holiday! At my house I've got only one rule when it comes to pie...I don't share.

Yields: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

Cane Sugar
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Coconut Filling

Nutmeg
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  • 2/3 cup Cane Sugar

  • 2 1/2 T cornstarch

  • 1/2 t salt

  • 2/14 cup coconut milk

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 Vanilla Beans, scraped

  • 2 T coconut oil

  • 1 cup coconut ribbons

Cream Topping

  • 2 cups whipping cream

  • 1 Vanilla Bean, scraped

  • 1/4 cup icing sugar

Ceylon Cinnamon
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Gingersnap Crust

Vanilla Beans
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  • 3/4 plus 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 cup Cane Sugar

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 t baking powder

  • 1/2 t salt

  • 2 t grated fresh ginger

  • 1 t Cinnamon

  • 1/2 t Nutmeg

  • 1/2 t Cloves

  • Cane Sugar (to coat)

Cloves
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METHOD

  1. For gingersnaps, preheat oven to 350 ºF.

  2. Cream butter and sugar together until smooth. Stir in molasses and beat in the egg. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add to butter mixture and stir just until blended. Shape spoonfuls of dough into balls and roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and press flat with the palm of your hand. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until edges are lightly browned and remove from baking sheet to cool.

  3. For crust, grind cooled cookies finely and measure out 2 ½ cups of crumbs. Melt remaining ½ cup butter and stir into crumbs. Press into a 9-inch springform pan and chill in freezer until ready to fill.

  4. For filling, begin by lightly toasting the ground coconut. In a separate heavy-bottomed saucepot stir sugar, cornstarch and salt together. Whisk in coconut milk, whole eggs and egg yolks. Heat custard on low heat, whisking constantly for 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium and continue whisking until custard thickens and becomes glossy, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Stir in vanilla, coconut oil and toasted coconut and stir until melted and incorporated. Let cool on the counter for 5-10 minutes then pour into pie shell. Cover the top of the custard with plastic wrap to avoid a skin from forming. Allow to chill completely before topping with cream, at least 4 hours.

  5. For cream topping, whip cream to medium peaks, and whisk in sugar and vanilla. Top coconut custard with whipped cream and garnish with additional coconut flakes. To remove from the springform pan, run a small palette or paring knife around the edge to avoid tearing of the crust.

  6. Enjoy!

Coconut Cream Pie
No Bake Coconut Cream Pie with Fair Trade Ingredients