Raw Ginger Bites (Vegan and GF)

stack of four raw ginger bites biscuits with stack of four more biscuits in background

Ginger is one of my kitchen staples and I appreciate its versatility as a kitchen spice for both savoury and sweet dishes. Although I have heard many words to describe the flavour of ginger such as “hot, zesty, biting, sweet, warm”, it can generally be relied on to add a spiciness, juiciness and pungency to cooking. Ginger is available in several forms including fresh, dried, pickled, preserved, crystallized, and powdered and can be used in many different ways.

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Gingerbread and Cranberry Chocolate Cups (Vegan and GF)

two stacks of two gingerbread and cranberry dark chocolate cups with holly decorations

Throughout history, winter solstice festivals have been held across the world to celebrate the changing seasons and to mark the longest night of the year and rebirth of the Earth. Interestingly, it is these solstice rituals that mark the origin of baking cookies and treats for holiday festivities such as Christmas.

Since it was often necessary to feast before the winter famine, the solstice celebrations tended to revolve around food. In addition, the festivities and food often had an emphasis on the Earth itself and tended to incorporate natural foods such as nuts, berries, and spices.

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Christmas Mincemeat (Vegan and GF)

two jars of mincemeat with holly and Christmas decorations

Growing up in England, one of my strongest associations with feasting at Christmas includes mince pies! These days I make my own mincemeat and tend to experiment with different variations every year. Although the recipes generally include a mix of fruit, dried fruit and spices, one of the beauties of modern mincemeat is that it is extremely flexible and forgiving.  Some years, I have been ambitious enough to make candied peel from scratch. Not this year, however! Still, regardless of how it evolves, mincemeat with its distinct taste and aroma will always be a holiday favourite of mine.

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Triple Layer Tahini or Caramel Bars (Vegan and GF)

stack of 3 tahini bars decorated with piece of holly

With the definition of treats being “anything that affords much pleasure”, what’s not to love about them?  Treats have always been a part of the human experience and have been used for a variety of reasons including celebrating special occasions, a reward for a job well done or even as consolation for something lost.

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Apricot and Peanut Recovery Bars

two stacks of apricot and peanut bars

After any endurance activity the body needs time to recover so it can reenergize itself for next time.  For the body to recover more quickly, choosing the right post-workout foods is important. This is one of the challenges I face as I rarely feel like eating after strenuous activity. However, these tasty apricot and peanut butter bars provide a great mixture of tasty ingredients which help kickstart the recovery process.

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Apple and Blackberry Crumble (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Bowl of apple and blackberry crumble (vegan and gluten free) and ice-cream with serving dish of crumble in background.

One of my favourite desserts from childhood is the classic crumble with either an apple and blackberry or rhubarb base.  Where I grew up there was an apple tree and large rhubarb patch at the bottom of our garden as well as several local areas to pick blackberries. Back then, all these fruits seemed abundant and were basically ‘free for the picking’. These days I seem to have fewer opportunities to forage and am always amazed to discover how supermarkets wield a relatively hefty price tag for these same items today!

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Oat and Apple Biscuits (Vegan and Gluten Free)

What comes to mind when you think of a biscuit? My guess is that it probably depends on where you live!  Having grown up in one country and then lived most of my adult life in another, I have found there are several words that are used quite differently in each country. One of these is the humble biscuit!

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One Bowl Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins (Vegan and Gluten Free)

close up of three chocolate pumpkin muffins with two pumpkins in background

It is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and this is traditionally a time for gatherings to give thanks and share a feast. However, the act of giving thanks and expressing gratitude around harvest time is nothing new.

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Cranberry and Almond Vegan Breakfast Bars

close of cranberry and almond vegan breakfast bars

Mid-September marks the start of the cranberry season in British Columbia and the harvest of the first berries. Red fields of ripe cranberries is a feast for the eyes and, as the majority of cranberries are harvested between September and November, for the next few weeks masses of cranberries will be seen floating in the bogs around the lower mainland and Vancouver Island.

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Vegan Fig Rolls as Healthy Snacks or “Fuel Food”

Image of three fig rolls or fig newtons stacked

I have always considered Fig Rolls (UK) and Fig Newtons (North America) as a relatively healthy choice in the world of commercial cookies and biscuits. As easily digestible carbohydrates, they have also been a tasty favourite as “fuel food” for sports. However, they still fall into the category of processed food and so I was pleased to come across a naturally sweetened, gluten free, no-bake alternative to these popular commercial treats.

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