Posted in family, food, loreeebee.ca

Lockdown Life Spawns a Recipe Book

What have I been doing during our latest lockdown? Nothing too exciting, as is the point of said lockdown. Advised to stay home and socially distance ourselves from loved ones and not so loved ones alike, there is not much else to do. Grocery shopping has become an event on my calendar. Although a warm vacation would have been great, I have found other things to keep me busy.

When all the local gardens are frozen solid and covered in snow, the part of my brain focusing on my landscaping/gardening business switches over to freelance writing. I have a few projects on the go in that department, specifically a cookbook from recipes originating from my maternal grandmother at the farmhouse I have mentioned a few times.

Social media, namely Facebook, has been a great tool to rekindle connections with my many cousins on that side of my family. I believe there are thirty something of us first cousins, and many more second and third cousins! This adventure is going to create quite the collaborative cookbook.

I volunteered to spearhead the project, appointing myself as chief collator, sorter, editor etc. Many of these recipes were handwritten (of course no one had any other method of transcription back in those days) by my Grandmother, back in the 50’s. Her short forms, terminology and unique cursive writing often have me guessing.

So, when my eldest granddaughter is busy with her online school classes, or during any other spare time I find (who doesn’t have spare time these days??) I am typing furiously, trying to get the recipes ready for publishing.

I have chosen Lulu, a self-publishing, online platform for this recipe book where copies are only printed as they are ordered. That way I do not have to pay anything in advance, worry about deliveries or store unsold copies. When I am done, I simply send a link to my extended family members and they can order copies as they wish. All proceeds from the sale of this recipe book will be donated to the Pleasant Valley Cemetery, located just down the road from the family farmhouse, where many generations of this family are laid to rest.

Posted in food, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Keep your Blood pH Alkaline

photo credit

Alkaline vs Acidic

The pH level of a substance is the measure of potential hydrogen on a scale of 0 to 14.  On this scale, a measurement of less than 7.0 is called acidic and greater than 7.0 is alkaline.  In this way pH is used to  measure acidity versus alkalinity in everything from the soil in your garden, and the water in your swimming pool, to the blood cells in your body.

Why is alkaline better than acidic?

Why is it so important to keep your blood pH on the alkaline side?  Basically because extensive research has shown that an alkaline Ph increases the amount of oxygen in your blood.  This is a good thing since the lack of oxygen in your blood cells causes disease.

When our blood becomes too acidic we enter a state of acidosis.  Even a slight deviance from the ideal pH of 7.4 can cause problems, starting with loss of energy and concentration, tiredness, even exhaustion.  Long term effects include acid build up in our organs, loss of muscle mass and loss of bone density when the calcium that is stored in our bones leaches from the bones to try to compensate for the acidosis.  Bacteria and viruses thrive in acidic conditions causing bodies in acidosis to be vulnerable to disease.  Acidic toxins we ingest from food, water and even the air that we breathe produce disease-causing free radicals.

An alkaline pH, on the other hand, is believed to have many healthy benefits including boosting metabolism, slowing the aging process, slowing bone loss in menopausal women, neutralizing acid, helping your body absorb nutrients better, and preventing disease by removing the free radicals that your body does encounter in day to day life.

How do we ensure our blood pH stays alkaline?

So, how do we go about alkalizing our blood cells?  The easiest way is to monitor what we eat and drink.  Chlorinated tap water is acidic, and although most city water is alkaline to prevent acid corrosion in the pipes, toxic chemicals are used to make it alkaline.  Mineral water is alkaline due to the addition of health promoting minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium potassium, iron, zinc, nickel and manganese.  Ionized water is adjusted mechanically to make it more alkaline.

Many brands of mineral and ionized water are on the market today, ready to drink, or you can purchase a system to ionize tap water yourself, ranging from a small, inexpensive stick you put in a water bottle to a more extravagant under the counter unit.

In the food category many common food items and ingredients such as sugar, flour, and protein from animal sources such as dairy products and meat cause our blood pH to slip into the acidic zone.  Remember, it is the effect the food has on your body after digestion that makes it acidic or alkaline.  For example, lemons are acidic in taste, but one of the most alkaline foods.  To keep your body feeling and looking its best, choose foods from the alkaline side and reduce foods from the acid side as listed in the following chart from Vitafountain.com

keep your blood pH alkaline

Conclusions

You can keep track of your blood pH by testing your urine or saliva with these simple pH test strips.

Some people believe the alkaline food theory is just another “fad diet” encouraged by the alkaline/ionized/mineral water companies.   As usual, I encourage you to be the judge; try it for yourself, especially the simple, no cost, no risk, food chart version.  Be sure to let me know what you think and how you feel.

Posted in food, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca, recipes

Calorie Cutting Hacks for Classic Recipes

photo credit: Nicole Michalou and Pexels

Do you love classic recipes, but dread consuming the calories they are usually laden with? Me too. Over the years I have learned to substitute many calorie-rich ingredients out for healthier options, without sacrificing the taste or presentation.

Creamy Sauces

I learned to substitute the cream in many recipes because my stomach can never handle the high-fat content in cream. Instead, I use almond milk, but you could substitute in any other nut milk. I call them milks, but technically they are not milk, they have no dairy in them. I have yet to try the cashew version, but plan to soon. Not only will you not notice a lack of creaminess, but the fat in nut “milks” are a healthy type of fat.

For example, I make chicken alfredo with either fettuccine or penne pasta using a can of mushroom soup diluted with almond milk instead of the half and half or full-fat cream called for in most alfredo recipes. If the recipe calls for salt, omit it as the canned soup is salty enough, especially when parmesan cheese is an essential ingredient. Otherwise, your favourite recipe can stay the same.

Another idea is to use unflavoured, unsweetened, low-fat Greek yogurt instead of the sour or other cream called for in saucy dishes and casseroles such as stroganoff or pasta. Regular yogurt also works, but the Greek version is generally thicker, resulting in creamier sauces.

Gravy or Soups

Every time I roast meat, I add minced or a few cloves of garlic and several slices of onion to the bottom of the pan. This trick creates rich, golden-brown, flavourful “drippings” that can be used immediately for gravy, or frozen for future use in soups, stews, and sauces.

I keep a bucket in my freezer for such use, each new addition forms a layer. The fat rises to the top of each layer and is easily removed when thawed for use. Soups are especially tasty when a mixture of the layers are used as broth. The only problem is that no two batches of your home made soups will ever be identical.

This method eliminates the salt, sugar, and other unhealthy calories and ingredients that come in the canned or packaged supermarket broth, gravy, soup or stew.

Desserts

Similar to the creamy sauces, satisfyingly rich desserts can be made with almond (or other nut) milks instead of full fat, whipping or half and half cream. Except of course unless whipping the cream is required for volume. These milks don’t whip well.

Silken tofu and soy milk in equal parts, plus a bit of vanilla can be blended together and then whipped to replace full fat whipping cream. This is also a great dairy-free option for your favourite creamy dessert.

Not only does sugar increase your caloric intake, but it also adversely affects your body in other ways. There is lots of research linking kids’ poor, even aggressive behaviour and/or poor concentration to increased sugar consumption.

So, how can you eliminate or at least reduce these bad effects? Simply cut back on the sugar amount called for in recipes, or use a sugar alternative. Stevia, a plant-based sugar alternative, can be used in many desserts to cut calories as well as the glycemic index of your treats. Foods with a high glycemic index cause our blood sugar levels to rise dramatically after their consumption, an unhealthy treatment of our body, especially over time.

In less sweet recipes, such as muffins, simply use more fruit instead of the oil or fat called for in the recipe. Extra (naturally sweet) fruit also means you can reduce the amount of granulated sugar you add to the mixture. For example, applesauce is amazing in muffins. It adds a natural sweetness and keeps the muffins moist. I have also used low fat, unsweetened yogurt in muffins with great success. You may have to play around with the amounts of the substitutions to achieve your perfect muffin, but it can be done. Just make small batches until you discover your favourite.

Conclusions

With colder weather upon us, it is natural to crave and request comfort foods more frequently. To get even more enjoyment out of your favourite classics, experiment with alternative ingredients to make the recipes lighter and healthier, but still satisfying.

Just imagine, using these tips will allow you to consume your favourite classic meals or treats, with less guilt!

Your waistline, bathroom scale and your overall health will thank you.

Posted in food, guest post, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Boost Your Brain: 5 Vitamin Supplements that Help Aid Memory

This article was originally published at iveeapp.com, adapted for a guest post here on Loreeebee.

The benefits of vitamin supplements are incredibly far-reaching. They can help aid bodily functions such as digestion, metabolism, and immuno-response. Researchers continue to support the belief that vitamin supplements play a large role in longevity. When combined with a proper diet, adequate sleep patterns, and daily exercise, a noticeable impact on life quality can also be achieved with vitamin supplements.

So what about memory? Can these tablets really boost cognitive function? Well, yes and no. One of the most common symptoms of aging is memory loss. As of 2020, roughly an estimated 5.8 million Americans aged 65 and older live with Alzheimer’s dementia. If scientists were able to slow the onset of Alzheimer’s with the use of vitamin supplements, over 200 thousand fewer seniors would be diagnosed per year. So, in that respect, vitamin supplements act as a preventive measure.

Five supplements that boost memory

1. B-12

Researchers have studied the correlation between B-12 and B complex vitamins and cognitive function for a long while. They have found that having a B-12 deficiency could lead to troubles with memory in the future. According to the Mayo Clinic, having an adequate amount of B-12 can lead to improved memory. Still, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that higher intake leads to more benefits. However, there is evidence that regular B-12 consumption can slow the cognitive decline of seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when combined with omega-3 fatty acids. 

B-12 deficiency is most common in those with bowel or stomach issues, strict vegans, and diabetics. Getting enough B-12 should come naturally. Certain foods such as fish and poultry contain high levels of the vitamin B-12. Dairy products and certain vegetables such as mushrooms also offer high levels of B-12. 

If you do not eat foods rich in B12, you can supplement your diet with vitamin B12 in a jar! and get the same benefits.

2. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another supplement that has shown to slow cognitive decline. Like vitamin B-12, this vitamin has proven to be more effective in older people since they are more at risk for memory loss. According to a 2014 study done by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMMA), “Among patients with mild to moderate [Alzheimer’s], 2000 IU/d of alpha-tocopherol [the vitamin E supplement] compared with placebo resulted in slower functional decline.” 

Vitamin E deficiency is rare, but it does occur. It is most apparent in those whose diets lack fat. Good sources of vitamin E include foods such as:

  • nuts
  • seeds
  • dark-colored fruits, such as blueberries, avocados, and blackberries
  • vegetables, such as spinach and bell peppers

Whether you get your daily dose of vitamin E from your diet or a jar of supplements, make sure you do!

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for efficient brain function as well as keeping our bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. We obtain Vitamin D mainly through the sun’s rays. The vitamin isn’t found in many foods, but it is abundant in certain fatty-fish such as trout, salmon, and tuna. Vitamin D supplements are great for everyone, but especially for those who spend a lot of their time working from inside. Being deficient in vitamin D can have negative effects such as raised anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue. 

If you cannot get outside to obtain your daily dose of vitamin D, supplements are available.

4. Fish Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids are extracted directly from fatty fish like sardines and salmon. Fish oil can play a vital role in optimizing brain function. That’s because fish oil contains the same fatty acids found in the cell membranes of human brain cells. Preserving healthy brain cell membranes can have a massive impact on how our brain develops as we age. Not only is fish oil excellent for the mind but it is also great for muscle recovery as it decreases muscular pain and shortens recovery time after a workout.

Fish oil containing important omega 3 fatty acids is also available in supplement form if fish will never make it into your diet.

5. NAD+ Treatment

Yes, we know that NAD+ is not a vitamin, but its potential to optimize brain function is worth noting. NAD+ is a compound that is produced naturally in the body but as we age, our NAD+ levels decrease. The rate at which our NAD+ levels decrease is directly related to increasing biological age. So as we age, we lose NAD+ and we lose energy, our skin ages, and we experience some form of memory loss or mental fatigue. NAD+ supplements are available at certain vitamin shops, but one of the most effective methods is NAD+ treatment through an IV.

If IVs are not your thing, NAD+ is also available in supplement form. You have no excuse to avoid it!

Conclusion

Though these nutrients are not the “end all and be all” for cognitive decline, having a consistent intake of the vitamin could slow symptoms, especially for seniors and those already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other mental diseases. The easiest way we can prevent the onset of these illnesses is to take care of our bodies. Good sleep patterns, a good diet including vitamins, and daily exercise are things we can do daily to increase the quality of life and longevity. 

If you are not keen on introducing supplements to your diet, try incorporating foods that contain the specific vitamins instead. That is my preferred way to achieve a healthy diet. I do so by concocting a variety of smoothies that contain healthy, fresh vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables. Make the choice based on your lifestyle, but be sure to incorporate the vitamins into your diet.

Posted in food, guest post, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Sweet Tips for Better Kids Treats

This article was originally published on PyureOrganic.com, modified as a guest post here on Loreeebee…

Kids are back in school, and while this school year might look a little different, one thing that hasn’t changed is the snacks they love. Whether your kids are heading to the classroom or learning their lessons from home, they’re going to want something to eat at the end of the day. 

Kids love sugar, but unfortunately, sugar doesn’t always love them back. Sugar is a multi-billion-dollar industry, but it’s not the healthiest ingredient for kids or adults. Sugar intake contributes to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer and a host of other problems for kids later in life. 

Luckily, Stevia is a great alternative to sugar. Stevia is a plant that can be made into a fine powder that is 350 times as sweet as sugar, but contains none of the negative side effects that sugar does. 

The best part? Stevia has a very low glycemic index – meaning your kid won’t get that spike in blood sugar that can cause them to act wild then crash. 

Is Stevia safe for kids? 

The short answer: absolutely – if you choose the right product!

Stevia can actually be a better choice for your kids, especially if you’re using it instead of processed sugar. It matters, however, which stevia brand you choose. Not all Stevia is created equal! 

Stevia is a highly sustainable plant that is part of the sunflower family. It’s native to South America, but there are more than 250 species of stevia worldwide. Pyure Organic is the number one organic Stevia brand in the country, and it’s easy to see why. We focus relentlessly on quality, using a single-source, high-quality species and only use the very sweetest part of the Stevia leaf. We avoid chemicals, additives and any artificial processes that would make Stevia something you’d want to avoid. We’re also certified organic and non-GMO project verified. 

Pyure Organic’s mission from Day 1 has been to make stevia taste great. That’s good news for parents; kids won’t even know the difference when you swap stevia into their favorite after-school treats.

How to swap sugar for Stevia in your recipes

Swapping sugar for Stevia in your kids’ treats depends partly on the recipe, and partly on the Pyure product that you’re using. Pyure products are a great substitute for table-top sweeteners, liquids, extracts and bulk Stevia blends. Substitute Pyure Organic Sweeteners for all or part of the sugar your recipes call for using the easy conversion chart below:

easy conversion chart

For baking pros, note that in some instances you may need to adjust your recipe to account for the loss of mass associated with the reduction of sugar.

Great ideas for kid’s treats

Every kid has a sweet tooth, as do many adults. Here are some recipes for tasty treats you can make using Stevia.  They won’t notice the difference.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is keto-friendly and only takes about 15 minutes to put together! Check out Pyure Organic’s tasty peanut butter chocolate chip cookies here

Tropical Splash Popsicles

Even if summer is over, your kids will love one of these refreshing snacks at the end of a long school day of concentrating and learning. Check out this fruit-filled recipe here

Pumpkin Spice Bars

Perfect for autumn, or any other time, these bars are guilt-free, with none of the processed, artificial flavoring found in many coffee chains’ pumpkin spiced lattes. The frosting is a bonus! Get the recipe here.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Whipped Cream

If kids are allowed to bring birthday treats to school, these cupcakes are a great option! They’re sugar-free, using Pyure Organic All Purpose Stevia Blend and Pyure Organic Liquid Stevia Blend, but the class will never know it. Get the recipe here

Spiced “Sugar” Cookies

These cookies make great holiday – and every day – treats, with nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice in addition to Pyure Organic All-Purpose Stevia Blend. Check out the video for how to make spiced “sugar” cookies here

Conclusion

We have tons of recipes that use stevia in place of processed sugar.  Read more and explore our products. We’ve even got brownie mix and chocolate chip cookie mix for those days when you’re not inspired to test out a new recipe, or don’t have the ingredients on hand to make treats from scratch.

I have not yet tried these Stevia products, but do admit the idea of using a sugar alternative does appeal to me, especially with Christmas baking on the horizon. I will keep you posted!

Posted in food, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca, nutrition

Best Smoothie Ingredients

Customize your smoothies to suit your needs and your dietary restrictions.  Pick and choose the ingredients you like to eat or drink.  This will make your custom smoothies easier to swallow, literally.  These ingredients may vary with age too.  For example, seniors may add ingredients that combat arthritis, but the younger generation might not yet care about arthritis. I recently started adding frozen beets to my smoothies as I read they are good for my circulation.

Vitamins & Minerals

Everyone needs vitamins and minerals, regardless of your age. Do your research to see which ingredients contain the vitamins you are deficient in. For example, if you need vitamin B12, use milk or yogurt as your base.

Add Creaminess

Bananas add creaminess and sweetness as well as vitamins B6 and B12, potassium and magnesium. If you are on a calorie restriction however, bananas are not usually recommended as they have a high glycemic index.

Avocados add creaminess too with the added benefit of good (omega 3) fats, fiber, and many vitamins including folate and vitamin K.

Berries are Terrific

Berries are antioxidants and add fiber to your smoothies. Most are also high in vitamin C. Raspberries are very seedy though, so can make your smoothie not so smooth. Blueberries and/or strawberries are terrific. Buy them frozen to keep them easily accessible and their nutrients fresh.

Dark Leafy Greens

If you don’t eat enough dark leafy greens, throw some in your smoothie. They are loaded with vitamins such as A, C and K as well as folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Most are also antioxidants too. Don’t use too many at once though, or your smoothie will get too sludgy. Been there, done that!

Add a Boost of Protein

Protein is always a nice addition to provide even more nutrition to your smoothies. I use hemp hearts and collagen in mine. As well as a good source of protein, collagen is purportedly good for my arthritic joints as well as my aging skin. Protein powder works too and helps keep your smoothies smooth.

Green Tea

Add a few cups of green tea to your smoothie to boost your antioxidant level and reduce cholesterol, body fat, tooth decay, bad breath, and blood pressure. Green tea also gives you a caffeine boost.

If green tea is not your thing, add milk or almond milk for the liquid necessary to blend all the chunkier ingredients.

Spice it Up

Spices such as turmeric, curry powder, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin etc. add flavor and many health benefits. Most are antioxidants, and help to combat inflammation and even cancer.

Conclusion

Tweak your own ingredient list so your smoothie is both tasty and healthy. That way you will continue to concoct and drink them. They make a great start to your morning or a hydrating and healthy boost any other time of day.

Posted in food, gluten-free, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca, wheat-free

Gluten-Free Pizza, my Journey to Find the Best

Since I was diagnosed as wheat intolerant way back in 2011, I have been searching for the best gluten-free pizza. After all, pizza is one of the things I miss most about avoiding wheat. It’s been a journey, but I think I have discovered my favourite.

The winner is, (in my world) Daiya Foods, a plant-based (yes, even the cheese) company serving up a variety of dairy-free foods. Their products are not all gluten-free, but I bet they are all delicious. Their focus is on dairy-free foods, with a long list of choices including cheese cake, yogurt and even cheesy macaroni!

I first discovered Daiya Food’s gluten-free pizza at my local Sobeys store here in Kanata. I purchased the fire-roasted vegetable version and was not disappointed. In fact I have purchased it quite often. I like to keep at least one in my freezer for a quick snack or meal. Although my husband is not wheat or gluten intolerant, he has been commenting on just how good my pizzas look compared to his regular, gluten-full version.

I have since found other varieties (at Loblaws) and tried the mushroom and roasted garlic flavour most recently. With only two toppings, I prefer it to the fire-roasted vegetable version that I found a bit too top heavy. Both have thin crust, which bakes up perfectly crispy, not cardboardy or tasteless like some other brands I have tried.

gluten-free pizza
Gluten-Free Pizza from Daiya Foods

A little research on my part found Daiya’s website where I discovered all their other diary free, plant-based products, including the sure-to-be-delicious other gluten-free pizzas. Not fond of meat on pizza, but a topping lover, my next choice will be the margherita style. Although, the plant-based pepperoni or sausage on their meat lovers, pepperoni and supreme pizzas may be tastier than the meat they mimic. Maybe I will have to give them a chance.

A bonus for all you dairy intolerant folks, the cheeze shreds on these pizzas are hard to believe they are not the real thing. They melt beautifully and taste delicious. Soy-free, dairy-free and gluten-free, but I promise you won’t notice.

I have heard great things about Daiya cheese sauces too, although I have never personally tried them.

I am not sure if my earliest purchases were of the “new, improved recipe” indicated on these boxes, but I will enthusiastically vouch for the two (going on three) of these I have tried!

Posted in food, loreeebee.wordpress.com

Hallowe’en Cookie Fun for Grandkids

With Hallowe’en fast approaching, I made and decorated cookies this week with my two granddaughters. I used a basic sugar cookie dough and royal icing, (both from Food Network Kitchen) sprinkles, googly eyes and a toothpick for decorating.

Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • beat together 3/4 cup unsalted butter and 3/4 cup white granulated sugar until fluffy
  • beat in one (slightly beaten) large egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  • add 2.5 cups all-purpose flour that has been blended with 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • mix until dough is smooth
  • divide the dough into two discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. I had mine in the fridge for two days. Let warm slightly before rolling out. Cut with cookie cutters
  • place two inches apart on parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets (or baking mats)
  • bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, just until bottoms start to brown

Royal Icing Recipe

  • beat together 4 cups confectioners (icing) sugar, 1/4 cup meringue powder, and 1/3 cup water
  • divide into containers, with amounts in each container depending on how much of each colour you need
  • add food colour as desired.
  • the recipe said to add water bit by bit until the right consistency was achieved to use piping bags and tips. I simply used a knife and spread the icing on like butter or cream cheese on a cracker, then smoothed it out with a wet knife. My icing was refrigerated overnight though, so that probably made it stiffer.

The eldest (seven) helped make the cookie dough earlier in the week on one of her online school breaks. The next day we cut out the shapes, baked the cookies and made the icing…

hallowe'en cookies

As we ran out of time, (school does come first) that day, we decorated the batch designated for her family the following day…

hallowe'en cookies
Jack’o’lanterns, spiders, ghosts and bats

My younger granddaughter (two and a half) decorated her batch today.

It was fun, and interesting, to see their different creative styles. Of course the seven year old was much more particular about how the cookies should look. The younger was more interested in sampling the icing!

hallowe'en cookies
Posted in food, guest blog, health and wellness, loreeebee.ca

Kick Your Sugar Habit

The following is another guest post from Pyure:

It’s not breaking news — sugar is bad for you. 

It’s fattening, promotes tooth decay and puts you at risk for a myriad of diseases.

What you may not know, however, is that sugar has been clinically proven to be addictive, producing symptoms typically associated with substance abuse, including cravings, tolerance and withdrawal. 

In fact, one study showed that given the choice, lab rats choose sugar over cocaine.

So, don’t beat yourself up if you’ve been trying to go cold turkey, but have been coming up short. 

How to Kick Sugar Cravings

Try these realistic sugar-cutting tactics and see if you get better results.

  • When it comes to empty calorie sugar bombs like soda and cake, make them special treats rather than everyday snacks.
  • Before making a purchase, get in the habit of eyeing the nutrition label for sugar content — you’ll be amazed at what products unexpectedly contain sugar.

Tips to Kick Your Sugar Habit

For a sweet fix at work, opt for fresh fruit or the occasional juice. As your taste buds adjust to your reduced sugar diet, these guys will taste all the more sweet!

  • Get in the habit of exercising, even if it’s just once a week to start. 
  • Physical activity stimulates the same pleasure receptors as sugar!
  • When sweetening your morning coffee or tea, opt for Pyure Organic Stevia for a zero-calorie, zero-sugar alternative that tastes great.

Look, when it comes to cutting out sugar, we know it’s easier said than done. But with realistic goals, manageable steps, and a little sweetness from Pyure, you’re well on your way!

Posted in cottage life, food, lorieb.wordpress.com

Giant Puffballs, AKA Calvatia Gigantea

Recently we discovered a few giant puffballs on our cottage property. This is not the first time, but it has been a few years since the last (and first) time.

Over the years we have discovered lots of other mushroom varieties here at our cottage, but have been leery on consuming most of them. My cousin assured us the morels we found were indeed deliciously edible, not to mention well sought after.

I vaguely recall treks as s small child with my father to forage for the unique and tasty puffballs. I’m sure my older siblings have clearer memories, will have to remember to ask them.

The largest puffball this season was the size of a soccer ball, in fact we made sure to clarify the difference to our two-and-a-half year old granddaughter. Otherwise she would give it a good boot!

Remembering how fast they turn from spongy firmness to soft and punky, we decided to harvest the largest one. By the way, the cut surfaces of edible puffballs are white and smooth with no gills visible.

Hubby chopped a portion up, sauteing it in butter and garlic. I had fancier ideas, adding three slices to the barbecue grill with our dinner steaks.

Brushed with olive oil (to prevent them from sticking to the grill) and garlic, they toasted up nicely. Topped with salsa and cheese, they evolved into delicious appetizers..

Yummy!!

We have a few more to come. Soon. Does anyone have any other recipes or ideas to share?