CSL Loves | Our Favourite Food Products of 2013

By CSL Staff
December 29, 2013

 

 

bestof2013_food

1. Madhava Natural Sweeteners Coconut Sugar
Founded in Colorado in 1976 by Bart Utley, Madhava Natural Sweeteners (a Sanskrit word meaning “Born of Honey”) originally produced honey.  MADHAVA COCONUT SUGAR We were thrilled to test out this unrefined sweetener made from the flower bud of the coconut tree (packed with minerals magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, B vitamins, and amino acids). It lent a dark rich colour to our baked goods, and a subtle flavour boost. Plus, it’s a breeze to substitute in cookies, cakes and brownies (just replace the amount of white sugar one for one). Now that’s sweet.
www.madhavasweeteners.com (From CSL’s Spring 2013 issue)

2. Higgins & Burke Peppermint Tea
This century’s old company is well-known for its tea and hot chocolate. Among an array of delicious black, flavoured black, green, herbal, rooibos and white teas with flavours like Chai and Orange Spice, the Peppermint Tea stands out as our absolute favourite. An outstanding and comforting brew that, unlike other peppermint teas we’ve tried, is strong and soothing. Sip throughout the day to give water a boost, invigorate your mood or to settle your stomach. Made from Oregon peppermint, this caffeine-free cup is a joy.
www.higgins-burke.com (From CSL’s Spring 2013 issue)

3. Harmonic Herbs
MEET A NEW CROP OF FARMERS: WHO Committed to sustainable agriculture, plant diversity, and herbalism, Gord Steinraths and Kathleen Van Ihinger farm 15 acres of land that has been in Steinraths’ family since 1906. WHAT Harmonic Herbs provides local seeds tailored to the climate, geography and conditions of Alberta. During each growing season they experiment with new varieties of vegetables, herbs
and flowers to be sold. Much of this is documented in photographs on their website. WHY WE’RE OBSESSED We liked that the great range of seeds, everything from the über-trendy sea buckthorn to classic kale, are locally grown for city gardeners. HOW THEY’RE GREEN packaging and labels use recycled and recyclable materials. Seeds, many of which are heirloom varieties, are open-pollinated, a key factor in biodiversity. WHERE Available at Community Natural Foods and at www.harmonicherbs.com
(From CSL’s Summer 2013 issue)

4. W!ld Ocean (Spot Prawns)
GONE WILD Concerned with the state of our oceans, former biologist turned founder of W!ld Ocean fifish, Zachary Semeniuk, takes the plunge into truly sustainable Canadian seafood Frozen versus fresh, what’s the difference? The fish is caught then flash frozen, ensuring impeccable quality of product and retaining the nutrient value. Why fair trade? W!ld Ocean is committed to developing relationships with small producers, offering a high quality to both the consumer and the fishermen, conserving fish stocks for future generations and a sustainable economy Sourcing W!LD products are Ocean Wise recommended, obtained from some of the most sustainable fisheries in the world, including Haida Gwaii and Juan de Fuca B.C. The seafood is procured directly from fishermen participating in highly selective, sustainable fisheries, using the most eco-friendly fishing methods such as hook and line and trap. Why CSL likes it? We were able to get spot prawns (usually only available at high-end restaurants) in season as well as hard to find fish like lingcod. Each product that CSL tested was pristine and flavourful. What we made? We tried a variety of preparations (grilled, baked, fried) and the fish was moist, and sweet. Our dishes included spot prawn laksa, halibut in a hazelnut romesco sauce and seared sablefish with polenta.
wildoceanfish.ca (From CSL’s Summer 2013 issue)

5. Eden Organic Tart Cherry Juice
Mighty Cherry: This mouth puckering tart little cherry may help muscle soreness and help you sleep better Avid runner? Joint pain? Need more rest? According to research, the compounds in tart cherries (anthocyanins), may decrease inflammation and have effects similar to that of aspirin. In addition, Montmorency tart cherries are known to have significant amounts of melatonin (13 nanograms per gram), the horomone that helps our bodies get rest. Eden Organic Tart Cherry Juice is one of the only 100% Montmorency tart cherry juices on the market with no additives, and not from concentrate. After drinking a glass, CSL testers found a marked difference in their sleep patterns, and reduced muscle stiffness after a long workout.
www.edenfoods.com (From CSL’s Summer 2013 issue)

6. Gosling’s Old Rum
THE HISTORY Hailing from Bermuda, for over two centuries, this family owned company is the only to blend and bottle on the island. THE RUM Dark rum made from molasses and aged American oak bourbon casks. THE LOOK The cola coloured spirit has strong legs in the glass. THE TASTE On the tongue, syrupy silky smooth rum with hints of chocolate, dark caramel and subtle hints of smoke. This exquisite rum makes a wonderful gift. Savour while watching the sun set or preferably, by the beach.
www.goslingsrum.com (From CSL’s Summer 2013 issue)

7. Zico
CRAZY FOR COCO: The craze in premium hydration these days? Coconut water. Replace nutrients, balance electrolytes, and restore potassium after a hard workout with the water sourced from young green coconuts. Founder of Zico, Mark Rampolla first came across coconut water after a trip to Costa Rica in the 1990’s. After starting Zico, Rampolla helped popularize the drink when he started selling to yoga studios in New york, from where the trend spread internationally. Adding to the original, Zico has introduced two new flavours- Chocolate and Latte. Available in 414 ml bottles, 330 ml tetra pack and 1L Tetra.
zico.com (From CSL’s Fall 2013 issue)

8. Emile Henry Mortar & Pestle in ‘Cerise’
A beech wood handle and slick glazed inside surface make pounding ingredients a breeze. $49.99;
www.browneretail.com (From CSL’s Winter 2013/14 issue)

9. Castillo De Canena Smoked Arbequina Olive Oil
The arresting cyan bottle scribbled with a once upon a time tale is redolent of fireside barbecues. This extra virgin olive oil is imbued with the smokey taste of organic oak, birch and beech woods. We love it in mashed potatoes, or for poaching salmon. use it as a foolproof shortcut to the addictive flavours of barbecue. (250 ml, $22.60, www.qualifirst.com)
(From CSL’s Fall 2013 issue)

10. Mario Batali by Dansk 4-quart Chianti Saucier
3 Ways To… use this pot: Great meals to make use of the heat retaining qualities of this kitchen must-have
BRING ON THE HEAT This heavy Mario Batali by Dansk™ 4-quart Chianti Saucier heats up very quickly because of its solid cast iron base coated in enamel and retains the heat. The long handle is far enough away, however, to be comfortable to the touch (when using on the stovetop). The rounded shape makes for easy stirring and whisking ensuring that sauces are not lumpy, and is great for boiling. WHAT CSL MADE: Traditional crawfish boil with corn and potatoes.
AMP UP FLAVOUR The pot is perfect for sautéing – caramelizing onions takes little time; mushrooms take on a deep golden colour
quickly; and it is easy to get brown bits at the bottom of the pot (a chef’s favourite for creating instant flavour in soups and sauces). WHAT CSL MADE: Sauté mushrooms in a thyme and port
sauce with puff pastry.
MAKE A CHANGE The pot transitions from stovetop to oven and is safe for gas, electric, induction, and ceramic top ranges. This means that you can begin braising on the stovetop and finish off in the oven. Best of all clean-up and maintenance (no seasoning required) are easy. WHAT CSL MADE: Braised lamb with Mediterranean garbanzo beans and
rice.
www.dansk.com (From CSL’s Fall 2013 issue)