Producer in the Spotlight: Ocean Spray

If you’ve tasted our Ruby Dried Cranberries, you’ll know that these delicious tart morsels make the best snacks, salad toppings, and yogurt mix-ins. Our Ruby Dried Cranberries are brought to you all the way from Ocean Spray, a company with an 85-year long history of growing quality fruit across the USA.

Ocean Spray was formed in 1930 by three cranberry growers with a simple love of cranberries. Led by lawyer and grower Marcus L. Urann, the three began coming up with new and innovative products made from cranberries. Since then, the Ocean Spray cooperative has grown to more than 700 grower families all across North America, many of whom operate farms that have been in their families for generations. Thanks to their expertise and dedication, Ocean Spray has grown into the trusted brand they are today.

The cooperative’s first product was jellied cranberry sauce, followed by original Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail hitting the shelves in the early 1930s, beginning a long tradition of quality, innovation, and success. The rest, as they say, is history.

As a Grower-Owned Cooperative Ocean Spray prides themselves on the high quality and most importantly the safety, of their products. For more than 85 years, Ocean Spray farmers have been growing cranberries and grapefruit that are GMO free.

At Ocean Spray, caring for the land runs deep. Ocean Spray is committed to managing their business in a way that minimizes their environmental impact, from conserving water, to reducing energy use, and cutting unnecessary waste and product packaging. 

Try their dried cranberries in our retail store, or order wholesale for a whole range of dried fruit products and cranberry concentrates.

5 Ways to Enjoy Almonds

There are so many ways to get your daily serving of almonds as these versatile nuts can be made into a salad, eaten whole as a snack, or even blended into a spread or beverage. Almonds are among the healthiest of tree nuts. Just a handful of nutrient-rich almonds a day helps promote heart health and prevent weight gain, and it may even help fight diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer's.

Almonds are rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium, and a significant source of protein and fiber. One 23-almond serving packs 13 grams of healthy unsaturated fats, and just 160 calories! Here are five of our favorite recipes to try.

Almond butter is a great healthy alternative to peanut butter. All you need is almonds and a food processor, and you'll have a creamy spread to eat with toast and waffles, or spoon onto apple slices for a midday snack.
Homemade almond butter by Detoxinista 

Almond milk is an excellent dairy alternative for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant. As an added bonus, almond milk has a delicious mild nutty flavour. Try this recipe which gives the almond milk an extra kick with vanilla and cinnamon.
Vanilla-cinnamon almond milk by oh she glows

Raw almonds are delicious on their own, but this spiced almond recipe will blow your mind. This recipe turns ordinary almonds into irresistible morsels that will be the hit at any cocktail party.
Spiced almonds by the Food Network 

Need a simple gift idea for Mother's Day? These chocolate almond hearts make the perfect present for any nut lover. In just twenty minutes, you'll have a box full of heart-shaped almond treats to impress Mum!
Chocolate almond hearts by Southern Living

Slivered almonds add just the right amount of crunch to any salad, while giving you an added protein boost to keep you feeling full longer. Try this delectable strawberry spinach salad recipe that has just six simple ingredients.
Strawberry spinach salad by Southern Living 

Why We Love Superfoods

Superfoods like blueberries, salmon, kale and quinoa have been more popular than ever, thanks to the great nutritional value and health benefits they promise. Whenever you feel like opening a bag of potato chips instead of having a handful of almonds as a snack, remember these wonderful benefits and you might just change your mind.   

Superfoods help your body fight free radicals. Superfoods like berries are rich in antioxidants, which destroy the free radicals that can damage the cells in your body. This protection improves your health and reduces your risk of disease.

Superfoods can strengthen your immune system. The nutrients and phytochemicals present in many superfoods keep your immune system strong so you’re less likely to fall sick.

Superfoods help you maintain a healthy weight. Superfoods like oats which are high in fiber and low in calories allow you to enjoy more of them without adding many extra calories. Others like almonds are rich in protein, fiber, and good fats that keep hunger at bay.

Superfoods may help reduce the risk of cancer. Some studies have shown that the nutrients, fiber, good fats, and phytochemicals found in certain superfoods like berries, walnuts and garlic can lower the risk of several types of cancer.

Superfoods can keep your heart healthy. Those same nutrients, fiber, good fats, and phytochemicals also protect your heart by reducing inflammation and keeping blood vessels healthy.

Superfoods help maintain your youthful complexion. The antioxidants in superfoods reduce damage to your skin, and many foods are rich in vitamin C that keeps connective tissue strong. This combination leads to beautiful, healthy skin.

5 Ways to Enjoy Chia Seeds All Day

Nutrient-dense and packing a ton of energy boosting power, these organic chia seeds are tiny superheroes of the food world. Chia seeds are a super versatile ingredient that can be added to all kinds of dishes and beverages. Here are five different recipes to take you from breakfast to dessert, so you can get your fill of chia throughout the day.

1. Breakfast: Triple Berry Chia Detox Smoothie

Thick, creamy and naturally sweet, this delicious smoothie combines chia seeds with bananas and berries for a filling, healthy breakfast. Just one serving fulfills half of your daily fibre requirement and gives you 80% of Vitamin C you need to boost your immunity for the day.  

2. Beverage: Coconut Chia Pineapple Drink

With just three simple ingredients – coconut water, pineapple juice and chia seeds, there’s no excuse to not try this super refreshing tropical drink. All you need to do is mix the ingredients together and let the chia seeds expand for 15 minutes. Easy-peasy!

3. Snack: Quinoa Chia Seed Protein Bars

This recipe packs so much goodness into one convenient bar. With chia seeds, quinoa, flax seeds, almonds and rolled oats, you’d hard pressed to find a healthier snack that you can eat on the go. Bonus: It’s gluten-free, dairy-free and free of artificial ingredients and preservatives that you might find in store-bought granola bars.

4. Tea time: Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf with Chia 

This cake is so delicious you won’t realize how good it is for you. With lemon, chia seeds, coconut oil and yogurt, a slice of this loaf is warm, comforting and wonderful with a cup of afternoon tea. 

5. Dessert: Honey Lime Chia Fruit Salad Dressing

If you’re looking for an easy, fuss-free way to incorporate chia seeds into your diet, this is the recipe for you. Nothing could be simpler and more refreshing than this sweet and tangy dressing – perfect with your favourite fruit for a light dessert or snack

 

4 reasons to buy in bulk!

4 Reasons to Buy Groceries in Bulk

 Pantry

Is bigger always better? In the case of healthy pantry staples, the answer might just be a resounding 'yes'!

 

From oats to raw nuts to chia seeds, we give you four reasons to ditch those tiny supermarket packets in favour of something a lot more substantial.

 

1. Stretch your grocery budget

There's a good reason why everyone loves a warehouse grocery store -- it's a sure way to make your money go further! Why buy a small handful of cashews for $3.99 when you can get four times the amount for $10? When it comes to saving money, buying larger quantities of groceries is a no-brainer.

 

2. Reduce your environmental footprint

Buying one large bag instead of many smaller ones means less packaging and less waste that ends up in landfills. When you buy groceries in bulk, you can feel good in more ways than one, knowing that you've reduced your environmental footprint.

 

3. Save precious time

Save yourself multiple trips to the supermarket -- not to mention money spent on bus fare, petrol and parking -- by stocking up on staples. Since so many pantry staples are non-perishable and keep well, buying more at one go leaves you more time to spend on fun weekend activities, rather than at that long line for the cashier. For bonus points: buy online to avoid the supermarket completely! 

 

4. Eat better

Bulk buying leads to healthier food choices. When you have a big jar of quinoa in your kitchen, chances are you'll get your creative cooking juices flowing and turn it into whole host of delicious, healthy meals for yourself and your family. Way better than finding an empty pantry and having to fill up on instant noodles and their tiny packets of MSG.

Get More Fibre in Your Diet

We all know that dietary fibre — found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes — can prevent or relieve constipation. But fibre has so many other health benefits as well, from lowering cholesterol levels to helping us maintain a healthy weight. Here’s why we all need more fibre in our lives.

Fibre helps regulate bowel movements and maintain bowel health.

Dietary fibre decreases your chance of constipation. A high-fiber diet may also lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon.

Fibre can lower your cholesterol levels, and boost your heart health.

Soluble fibre found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. High-fibre foods may also have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.

Fibre helps control blood sugar levels.

For people with diabetes, fibre can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fibre may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Fibre can help you achieve a healthy weight.

High-fibre foods tend to be more filling, so you're likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer. High-fibre foods also tend to take longer to eat and to be less "energy dense," which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.

Here are some great tips from the University of California, San Francisco on how to take simple steps to increase your fibre intake. 

Here are our Fiber rich foods

Oat Ginger Crisps

Brought to you by Health Can Be Fun

This recipe serves 12

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Per Serving

Energy

77.8kcal

Carbohydrates

8.1g

Fat

4.5g

Protein

1g

Sodium

34.6mg

* Adapted from HPB website

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp coconut or nut oil
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp wheat/atta flour
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp low fat milk or soy milk
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • A pinch of clove
  • A drop of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Stir all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  3. Spoon 12 pieces of dough at drop on parchment paper.
  4. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, until they get slightly dark around the edges.
  5. They will be soft when they are warm, once cooled to room temperature, they will become crispier.

 

Healthy Cooking Tips:

  1. Coconut oil are high in medium and short chain saturated fatty acids, which slightly healthier than other long chain saturated fat. However, they are flavourful and should be consume in moderation.
  2. Oats are high in dietary fibre that aids in digestion and able to reduce blood cholesterol absorption. 

 

 

 

 

Cranberry Oat Crumble Muffin

Brought to you by Health Can Be Fun

Cranberry Oat Crumble Muffin

This recipe serves 4-6

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

 

Nutritional Information

Per Serving

Energy

273.5kcal

Carbohydrates

36.9g

Fat

11.5g

Protein

5g

Sodium

245.5mg

* Adapted from HPB website

 

Ingredients:

Muffin 

  • 120g wheat flour
  • 5g baking soda
  • 50g unsalted butter (soften)
  • 50g maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 60g low-fat milk
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • Oats (optional)

 

Oats Crumble

  • 20g unsalted butter (cold and cubed)
  • 10g maple syrup
  • 20g wheat/atta flour
  • 20g rolled oats

 

Directions:

  1. 1. Line up muffin cases in a tray.
  2. 2. Preheat oven at 180 degrees.
  3. 3. Oats crumble: Rub the cold butter with the dry ingredients till they look like rough sand texture. If the butter mixture is too soft, put in the refrigerator for 20mins.
  4. 4. Cream the butter with both sugars. Add the egg and combine well.
  5. 5. Add 1/2 portion of the dry ingredients (flour and baking soda). Mix well.
  6. 6. Add the milk and add the last 1/2 portion of dry ingredients. Mix well.
  7. 7. Fold in the cranberries. Do not over mix.
  8. 8. Scoop the mixture into the muffin case and fill it 3/4 full. Spring the oats crumble generously on top.
  9. 9. Bake the muffin for 20-25mins or check the muffin with a satay stick. If the stick comes out clean, it is done.

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