Grocery Store Tour with Upbeet Nutrition’s Melissa Baker

photo (58)Last night, the Cedar Cottage Food Network and Vancouver Public Library – Kensington hosted our first Guided Grocery Store Tour, where Registered Dietitian Melissa Baker led participants around PriceSmart Foods in order to gain a clearer understanding of food labels, healthy choices, and budgeting tips.

The tour was a success and everyone walked away with valuable new information to guide their future shopping trips. This was thanks in whole to Melissa who kept the tour fun and interesting.

A few good tips I walked away with:

  • Variety is key! Switch up the foods you buy to vary the nutrients the body receives from them.
  • Olive oil has a low smoking point, which doesn’t make it a great choice for cooking. Try grapeseed, coconut, or rice bran oil instead.
  • You can buy fresh turmeric the same way you’d buy fresh ginger root. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and a mild taste, so it goes great in many meals.
  • Letting a clove of garlic sit for 5-10 minutes after crushing it releases the alliinase enzyme, which has valuable cardiovascular, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancer properties.

Check out Melissa’s blog, Upbeet Nutrition, for recipes and food news.

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Special events coming up in the community

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The Cedar Cottage Food Network is proud to be a part of the following events in the Kensington-Cedar Cottage neighbourhood over the Family Day long weekend:

Lunar New Year Celebration at Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House – February 8th:
Among the other festivities, the CCFN will be hosting our mobile produce market that day as usual. Except to see a larger variety than usual as we’re expecting to be busy!

Family Day at Trout Lake Community Centre – February 10th:
The CCFN will be taking over the kitchen at Trout Lake, holding various cooking demonstrations. Family Day event attendees can wander in and out of the various rooms at the community centre, sampling food and participating in all the activities. We’re most excited about the musical finale that’ll wind up the day.

Hope to see you there! 

Grocery Store Tour – January 29

GroceryTour2The Cedar Cottage Food Network and the Vancouver Public Library (Kensington branch) are organizing a Guided Grocery Store Tour, taking place at 6:30pm next Wednesday, January 29th.

Before we go as a group through the PriceSmart at Knight and Kingsway (conveniently located next door), we will have a discussion about nutrition labels, meal planning, and budgeting. A registered dietitian will then teach us how to wisely navigate a grocery store, looking for the best deals and healthy food options.

Sign up by e-mailing cedarcottagefoodnetwork [at] gmail [dot] com, calling the library, or visiting them in person. Spots are limited so register today!

Market produce available – January 18

The fresh fruits and vegetables that will be available at the Brant Villa and Culloden Court mobile markets this Saturday are as follows:

  • Gala apples (BC grown)marketday
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Navel oranges
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower (the new ‘it’ vegetable for 2014, apparently!)
  • Cucumbers (BC grown)
  • Red lettuce
  • Mushrooms (BC grown)
  • Red nugget potatoes (BC grown and organic)
  • Grapefruit

The Tasting Kitchen at Culloden Court will feature some of these veggies and fruit in recipes that are simple enough to make at home. Try it out and maybe you’ll find a whole new appreciation for grapefruit salad or cauliflower pizza crust!

Happy shopping!

Waste not: stale bread

As we’ve learned earlier, food waste is a growing problem in Canada. Another frequently wasted food item is bread. Bread can go dry, stale, or mouldy in a matter of days, depending on storage. It can be inexpensive, so some families might not see too much of an issue in throwing out half a bag.

Photo courtesy of closetcooking.com

Photo courtesy of closetcooking.com

There are plenty of ways to prevent this from happening. Here are just a few ideas to help use up what’s left:

  1. French toast. Stale bread is necessary for a good French toast. Dredge your bread in a mixture of egg, milk, a teaspoon of sugar, and cinnamon for a breakfast treat. After cooking, top with icing sugar, maple syrup, and/or peanut butter for protein.
  2. Croutons. Cut your bread into squares and pop them in the oven for a bit before adding them to your favourite salad or soup.
  3. Breadcrumbs. Simple enough if you have a blender or food processor. Perfect for the final layer of a casserole or for bulking up hamburgers or meatloaf.
  4. Bread pudding. Doesn’t this one sound good?
  5. Grilled cheese sandwiches. A timeless classic which doesn’t require fresh bread either.

When storing bread, make sure the bag is tightly closed. When the best before date is nearing, store your remaining bread in the freezer. Or try this “refresh your bread” trick.

First markets of 2014 – January 11

For the first markets of the new year, we’ll have the following fresh vegetables and fruit for sale at Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House (10am-12pm) and Orchard Park (2pm-4pm):

  • Apples (BC grown)
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Mangoes
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Red onions (Washington grown)
  • Mushrooms (BC grown)
  • Yams
  • Baby bok choy
  • Daikon
  • Cauliflower (organic)

Visit the Orchard Park Tasting Kitchen to see some examples of ways our featured vegetables can be prepared.  See you on Saturday!