Farmers Market Finds – Heartnuts

I go to farmers’ markets once and a while and usually find something fun or interesting or new, or just have a really good conversation with a person at the market. It’s easy to see the same people every week, be they vendors, or fellow market shoppers – some of us have similar schedules. On Mondays I want to go the the Sorauren Farmers’ Market, sometimes I can’t make it between 3pm and 7pm, but I try, even in the winter (they’re indoors anyway) – I’ll head over, and grab a coffee and walk around with a mug in my hand. This week I went and saw something new to me, and I thought they were pretty neat. They were Heartnuts at the Forbes Wild Foods table. Ever since we were in Georgia, and I got to try local pecans and peanuts, I’ve been a bit obsessed with finding local Ontario nuts (har dee har har). A conversation with an employee at Good Catch made me realize that peanuts grow around here (which means fresh boiled peanuts could happen again…) But anyway, when I see pecans or walnut like things, it piques my interest and makes me pay attention. Especially when it’s from a known-to-me local forager like Forbes Wild Foods. So there they were. Heartnuts. And what’s a heartnut? Well… a heartnut is a hybrid of a butternut and walnut flavours, and is originally from Japan. It has a smooth and lovely flavour, like walnuts, but without any bitter qualities.…

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Things I Love Thursday on Friday: Dufferin Grove Farmers Market, Brixton Grill, Lavender, Chocolate.

One of my favourite things to do on a Thursday is to try and make it to the Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market. Yesterday was one of those hot muggy days. It’s a feeling anyone that’s been to Toronto in the summer would have experienced. When I looked out the window, from my air conditioned bubble, it seemed grey. Maybe even cool. But all that changed the moment I walked out the door. Bam, here’s the weather. Hot enough for you? P.S. FYI There is also humidity. Of course, unlike many, I happen to really like this kind of weather. Coming from an extremely dry province, I almost feel like I don’t have to moisturize here. I can breathe through my nose with ease, and I love walking through the thick fog of summer. I might not be in the majority on this one, but I’m happy – especially because I’m also lucky enough to have air conditioning if I really need to escape. It was nice to take a moment and wander through the Market yesterday. I picked up JC’s first taste of Brixton Grill – you know, the delicious vegan BBQ stand. They’ve always got four options, sometimes a special, and I like how they always have a visual representation of their stuff available for people to order.

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Farmers’ Markets in Toronto – Trinity Bellwoods Farmers Market – Tuesdays 3-7pm

I often forget about the Trinity Bellwoods Farmers Market, because it’s so close to me, and it’s tucked away in the north-west corner of Trinity-Bellwoods Park (at Dundas & Shaw) We live only a block or two away, so it’s one of those things that’s so easy to do – it never happens. I put it in my calendar for this week (which is the only way to make sure something happens) and I’m so glad I did. The Trinity-Bellwoods Farmers’ Market happens every Tuesday between 3pm-7pm.

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Farmers’ Markets in Toronto – Sorauren

I’m getting increasingly more excited with the possibility of having fresh local produce, that I can paw through myself, and buy directly from someone that might have a connection to the source. I like talking to people about food, and some of my favourite folks are people that make food, and love making food. Last Monday I went to the Sorauren Farmers’ Market, nearly every Monday I go to the Sorauren farmers market, but this day was special. It was beautiful outside, and even at 6pm (when I arrived) the market was filled with this great energy. Maybe it was just me. I had a good day of collaboration, it was the day after a phenomenal vegan dinner at the Rusholme Park Supper Club, everything was coming up MeShell.

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Liberty Village Farmers Market. More vegan barbecue.

I went back to the liberty Village farmers market to investigeat the possibility of vegan baked goods… and my mission was successful. The kind folks at Round Plain’s Plantation (yes they have a website) make several vegan and gluten free items. Now I’m kicking myself for not grabbing one of the cinnamon danishes I saw last week. During the course of our investigeating, we picked up an orange date muffin. It’s vegan, gluten-free and sweetened with agave. We also picked up some zucchini, and skipped buying rhubarb this time since we have too much in the freezer already (i.e., it’s about time for me to bake something with rhubarb in it! Maybe today.) I’ve decided that my favourite food type is grilled. When I was growing up we didn’t barbecue much, and generally I’ve avoided BBQ’s at other peoples houses, but these days, if the weather is even remotely hospitable, I’d rather be eating something with grill lines on it. One of my favourite recent combos was grilled marinated portobello mushroom, with tomato and a piece of grilled eggplant on a kaiser roll (with veganaise on it).

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First Day in Toronto – Cruda Cafe, Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant, and a Vegan Danish Bakery

Well I got in to Toronto yesterday morning (5:30 am!) and one of my friends insisted that I stay with him and his wife (it wasn’t hard to convince me). It is so much nicer than sitting at a hostel. Usually I love hostels, but I think the morning would have been awful. I would have either had to stay awake until check in (at 4pm) or tried to beg for an early check in. Plus it’s so great to be with familiar folks. I’m glad I cancelled my reservation because I would have missed out on a lot! This trip was entirely too last minute for me and it’s upset my urge to plan quite a bit.  A couple places I know I would like to visit are the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) both of which I missed the last time I was in Toronto. And of course another visit to Naked Beach can’t be missed, just because it exists. After I finally woke up (at 11am) my gracious hosts took me over to St. Lawrence Market (92 Front Street E), which is open Tuesdays through Saturdays as a normal market, but on Saturdays it also becomes the venue for a Farmer’s Market and increases the number of stalls. So much great stuff to choose from. If you’re looking for heirloom tomato’s that’s the place to go. So much cheaper than the San Francisco and Edmonton Farmers Market, it was really surprising.…

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Farmers Market San Francisco and another visit to Souley Vegan

Since I was missing the Edmonton Farmers Market on Saturday, and had to fill that void so I walked over to the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer’s Market to check it out. It had such a huge variety of mostly organic items, and was full of people (a distinct combination of locals and tourists.) One cart had at least five different varieties of nectarines, with samples! Everything was super expensive though, even by my usual Edmonton farmers market standards. There are a bunch of other options in the city, and a lot of them are more economical, but not all of them have organic produce. Of course, my favourite part of the farmers market was actually one of the Ferry Building’s regular features, besides the beautiful view, there is a Pepple’s stand from the vegan donut folks in Oakland. Now, I’ve done the Ronald’s Donuts thing, and I can say they are probably my favourite donuts (tied with Sweetpea in Portland, OR.) But the Pepple’s people have cake donuts down perfectly. While it’s been over a decade since my last Tim Horton’s Donut, I still use them as a barometer of donuty goodness, and Pepple’s is there. It didn’t taste healthy, or “vegan”, but it wasn’t too sweet, and it had a nice texture and moisture balance. Considering this was just a stand, I bet getting them at the Oakland location would be even better. Maybe next time. Though, I did end up in Oakland again that night, I had…

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Padmanadi Brunch and Downtown City Market

After work this morning I hopped on the LRT, and sat at Credo Coffee with the other Early Birds waiting to swoop in on the Downtown Edmonton Farmers Market. I picked up a package of LimeGreens Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips, and they were such a hit with the family (and pretty much everyone that’s tried them.) J and I tried a cherry chocolate smoothie with hemp seeds, and it was delicious, such a nice flavour from the raw cocoa. Another beautiful day in Edmonton, and perfect for visiting the farmers market. We stared longly at the Eva’s Sweet Waffles cart hoping that one day there would be vegan options, but it wasn’t meant to be (not yet?) So instead (and preferably) it was time to try brunch at Padmanadi for the first time. I’ve heard about it, I’ve longingly stared at the menu for weeks, but just never got around to going there. Luckly J was game, and off we went. Brunch was AMAZING. The ham and cheese omelet, with veggie ham, mushrooms, spinach and cheddar style daiya cheese, wrapped up in multiple layers of bean curd sheet. I don’t think I can recommend that people try this enough. Yum. We also tried the Traditional Eggs Benedict, with tofu egg on an English muffin, veggie salami sausage slices, tomato, and hollandaise sauce. This was pretty darn delicious, and looked beautiful, but the Ham and Cheese omelet was hard to top. I am so glad we went to Padmanadi for Brunch, it…

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Edmonton’s Saturday Farmer’s Markets

Yesterday was a great example of how wonderful Edmonton is in the summertime. I woke up bright and early in the morning to make it to the City Center Farmer’s Market and was pleasantly surprised when upon looking out the window I saw something I hadn’t seen in a while… a clear blue sky and sunshine! The market was packed as it is every week, but there was a great energy throughout as everyone seemed so happy to be able to walk around without an umbrella. I took a seat at Credo Coffee for the first time and sipped slowly on a very nice soy café latte. They use Silk soymilk, and it seems to have a (in my opinion) nicer consistency than the one Starbucks uses after being frothed. For the first time since the farmers market started this year I left empty handed. It worked out for the best, considering my next stop ended up being the Whyte Avenue Art Walk and the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market. I had not intended on going to two farmers markets today, I didn’t even think of the Strathcona one when I went to the University area, but I’m happy with the way it worked out. The Art Walk covers one of Edmonton’s most popular avenues with art from a variety of artists for a few days. I really enjoyed seeing the diversity of styles from very traditional landscapes, to graffiti, to artists that experimented with different materials and patterns. I’m so glad…

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Yumfest at Edmonton’s Farmers Market and a visit to Breadland Bakery.

Earlier this week a friend and I paid a visit to Breadland Bakery, in Oliver Square. Every time I’ve tried to go there (all two times) it’s been closed. I’ve missed them by minutes. So it was nice to finally go in there, it’s such a nice place inside. They have a wide variety of vegan bread and buns as well as gluten free baking. I tried the wheat free foccacia and a vegan chocolate chip cookie. The consensus was that both items were fabulous. The gluten free foccacia was tasty, moist and flavourful, and lacked a “gluten-free” aftertaste. The Chocolate Chip Cookie was crumbly and chewy, but broke in half before I could grab a picture of it in all it’s glory. This was the best cookie I’ve had in a long time. Yesterday morning was another cloudy rainy early morning at the Edmonton City Center Farmer’s Market. Lot’s of great stuff as usual, but I went with a mission. I wanted to pick up a few products from LimeGreens since she tweeted about the availability of truffles and macaroons on Friday (isn’t technology wonderful?) I was actually surprised at the turn out at the market, but Edmontonians take their farmers marketing seriously, so despite the weather, lot’s of people were out shopping and taking advantage of all the fresh new produce that has arrived. I wandered around for a bit looking at what was available. I had to go back to Olga’s Nature’s Sense and get some coffee infused soap,…

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