Quick Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

 

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

It is summer! And strawberries!

I think of parfaits as breakfast food, typically because all its ingredients (yogurt, granola, fruit) are associated with breakfast. But this was a nice, super quick dessert on a hot night. I love yogurty desserts like this: crunchy granola, sweet fruit, cold gooey yogurt. It is so healthy, yet desserty at the same time! Of course, if you wanted to indulge you could sub the yogurt with ice cream. And you can layer it with whatever fruit or granola or cereal you desire. Though berries are the best choice. I just happened to have some fresh local strawberries from W&A Farms on hand, and some yogurt and granola. Just layer, and repeat. 

Parfaits are fun to make! You can dress it up pretty fancy Gourmet-cover-shot style, but I think it will turn out pretty decent looking even if you’re just throwing things together randomly and messily like I did here. Just find a pretty glass. You can’t really go wrong. Great for entertaining when time (and skill) are limiting! 😉

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Ladner Village Market

  

Ladner Farm Market

 

Ladner Market

 

Drove down to Ladner on Sunday to check out the Ladner Village Market, held 10AM-4PM, every other Sunday until September. It is one of the biggest open air markets around, and spans several blocks, so naturally I was excited about going, despite having to wake up early on a Sunday to get there just before 10AM. The market had already opened and there were quite a few people already, and not long after I had arrived the music started! Early birds!

 

music

music

 

It wasn’t even 10:30AM and there was already a huge line-up in front of the Fieldstone stand (I knew they would be here, it was the first stand I looked for. The same two friendly ladies are working here as when I went to the Steveston Farmer’s Market last weekend 🙂 ). The line up was so long that it blocked the next stand over, and we were told to nicely shuffle over and not stand in the way. Hahaha. 

 

Fieldstone

Fieldstone

After standing in line for a bit we got a parisian baguette and a cranberry and currant loaf:

Cranberry and currant

Cranberry and currant

 

Since I didn’t really have breakfast I found that in a little under an hour I had already nibbled through half of the cranberry loaf. I liked it: it was whole grain, and had a lot of dried fruit in it. The crust was hard and tough, and the crumb was dense but not too moist. The bread itself was not sweetened, just kind of like a regular loaf of bread. There was a similar cranberry loaf out for sampling at A Bread Affair‘s stand that day (they were also at Steveston), and that one I found to be sweeter and softer and more like a fruity bread (Fieldstone’s is more like a bread, with some fruit. If that made any sense at all).  

 

Stopped by the Granola King‘s little tent. I’m not sure if this guy is Granola King but he sure looks the part! And was really nice and friendly too! I have never tried their granola before, but there were several samples out and they were all great! All their stuff is natural and have no preservatives, or added sugar. 

granola king

granola king

 

So I bought a small bag of the hazelnut hemp heaven (because it just sounded so… hmm… exciting!)  and some almond butter which the King also graciously shared on a bit of apple. I liked it a lot and even though I could get natural almond butter at the supermarket for cheaper I decided to get a small jar here. More on the granola in another post.

Hemp heaven and almond butter

Hemp heaven and almond butter

 

More cheese from Little Qualicum. This time I tried their raspberry Fromage Frais – it was really really good! Definitely get some if you’re passing by here.

More cheese?

More cheese?

 

There were many craft stands here. My favorite was the canned planes one:

canned planes... plane cans. Recyclables

canned planes... plane cans. Recyclables

 

There are also the usual jams and preserves and some dried fruit stands. Some coffee places. I didn’t find there to be a whole lot of produce (for the size of the market). There was the one Okanagan cherry stand, one large tomato stand, some strawberries/berries, some carrots and potatos and such. Nothing too out of the ordinary. And for some reason there was a lot of garlic. The produce wasn’t that cheap either, so I didn’t buy any.

 

Some produce

It got busy really fast! All the dogs were out in full force too! There was pretty constant entertainment and music, there were tons of people, the sun was shining… So it felt very summery and festive. What I really liked about this market- even though there wasn’t as much produce as I had wanted- was its size compared to the others. It takes up several streets. There are also more food stands (pizzas, gyros, hotdogs, the mini donut truck, not to mention all the bakeries), so you could grab a decent lunch/snack/dessert while strolling around. I ended up having lunch at the awesome Taverna Gorgona though, that will be in a later post! 

Ladner Market

Ladner Market

 

Ladner Village Market

@ the Ladner Village on 48th Avenue, Delta

Sundays 10AM-4PM
June 08 & 22 – July 13 & 27 – August 10 & 24 – September 7

Breakfast cereals were created by doctors

Flax Plus

The first breakfast cereal was created Dr. James Caleb Jackson in 1863; it was called Granula. Granula was made from heavy grains of Graham flour rolled into sheets, baked, dried, then broken into bits. This early version of today’s granola was dense and difficult to chew. Not exactly breakfast friendly.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg ran a sanitarium for health and diet reform called Battle Creek. In 1895, he created a cereal called Granose (flakes made from wheat) as an easily chewable breakfast for his patients. Granose was a flop , because JH was not exactly business savvy.

But one of his patients – Charles William Post – was, and stole his idea. The first successfully marketed cereal was created by Post, a patient at the sanitarium who left to found his own cereal company. Post created the cereal beverage Postum (now sold by Kraft) in 1895 as a coffee substitute. Two years later he created the cereal Grape Nuts (which contains neither grapes or nuts. Grape sugar is the sweetener.)

John Harvey’s younger brother, Willie Keith Kellogg, was a book keeper at the sanitarium. He was the business savvy one who couldn’t stand by and watch his brother’s creation be stolen by Post. And so Willie Keith goes off and created his own cereal company in 1906, which eventually became the Kellogg’s Company as we know it today.

I love flaked cereal – it is a staple. It is a breakfast thing, and it is a snacky thing. But I am no fan of Kellogg’s stuff. Unfortunately, the world of marketing had WK turning the wholesome, healthy cereal that his brother created into something so frosted that kids are bouncing off walls after their morning dose. I’m sure that’s not the idea that John Harvey had in mind. And that is definitely not what I like in my bowl. Luckily, there are those who like to stick to the basic principles.

One of my favorite cereals is Nature’s Path Flax Plus. It’s a crunchy, thickish, flaked cereal – organic, very high in fibre (like, very), with 500mg of Omega-3 per serving. Like most bran flakes, it is only very slightly sweet (but it is sweeter and toastier than, say, very bland All Bran), so it goes well with dried fruits and stuff. I buy them in the giant jumbo 1kg version and go through it in a few days. But – if you have eaten this cereal quite religiously over the past while, you will no doubt know that they changed something in it a couple of months back (I’d say around the Fall of 2007): The flakes are now crunchier, a bit harder, and maybe a tad sweeter. There are more dark flecks on it. I also remember seeing one less ingredient (something like rice flour). And for those of you who are counting, you’ll notice that the calories per 3/4 cup serving has increased by — *gasp* — 10! Yikes! Better get off that couch to change the channel! Hahaha.

Anyway, it is a very minor change, and Flax Plus still has the same “personality”. But the difference to me is noticeable, it just tastes a little different. It’s as if your morning coffee was just a little over-roasted or something. I just wonder if anybody out there noticed the change, and likes it (or dislikes it). It’s still a great cereal, and if you’re looking for upping your fibre it’s better than stuff like All Bran, since this also has Flax in it. You can also get Flax Plus with raisins. 🙂

# 3 on my best cereal list (1 and 2 being Nature’s Path Spelt and Kamut.)

Nature’s Path Flax Plus

Sugar sugar: Quaker’s Corn Bran Squares, Nature’s Path Oaty Bites

I like cereal. I wouldn’t say I’m big on it because I don’t try a whole lot of different stuff, but there is always a box or two on my shelf, and I eat it everyday. I try to explore a little bit, but many of the normal cereals out there are so crappy and sweet and contain all this shit in it, so I am limited to mostly organic stuff that is low in sugar. I think cereal is the kind of food where a lot of people have their favorites and stick with it for quite a while anyway.

Corn Bran Squares

When I was a kid Kellogg’s Corn Pops was one of my favorite breakfast cereals. It didn’t matter that they were so damn sugary they gave me headaches, I just “gotta have my pops”. These days, most cereals out there are way too sweet for me. I just opened a box of Nature’s Path’s Oaty Bites, for example, (because I have tried a lot of their products and liked them, dammit), and the sugariness of it was just too much to bear. It was like super honey overload, except it was sugar cane and not honey they had used as the sweetener. I ended up giving the box to someone (a poor grad student) at work the next day. (She didn’t find it overly sweet, and is apparently enjoying it.)

Surprisingly, at the same amount of sugar per serving (6g, the high end for me, my typical for a breakfast cereal is about 3g) is Quaker’s much less sweet Corn Bran Squares. I like the flavor of corn, but Corn Pops are just out of the question now, and plain puffed corn cereal is really bland. These Corn Bran Squares were a pleasant surprise.

Being your typical cereal fare, there was a pretty unexpected 5g of fibre per serving… from the bran I am guessing. That’s more fibre than a lot of the pricier “healthy, whole grain” organic stuff out there. The squares are hollow inside, but thick-walled and puffy, and crunchy. The taste is a bit reminiscent of Corn Pops. It is still quite sweet, but not so much I can’t handle, and you can definitely tell that the corn flavor is there. They’re really good to snack on without milk because of their nice, large size, not like loose flaked-cereal. An awesome alternative to Corn Pops (which have no fibre, more than twice the amount of sugar (14g), and contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oil).

Nature’s Path Heritage Granola – Raspberry

Heritage Granola

I’ve been blog-lazy lately, yes. Haven’t been doing much in the kitchen either. I have however been doing a little cereal-exploration. Today’s feature is Nature’s Path’s Heritage Granola. I love Nature’s Path‘s cereals. They are organic, healthy, not sugary, and most use minimal ingredients without additives. And they taste great. I stock my pantry with boxes and boxes of their Flax Plus, Spelt, and Kamut flakes whenever they go on sale. Hm, stock would be an understatement. I go through a box in two days.

Granola is not my type of go-to cereal because it is on the sweet side, and has too much stuff in it sometimes. But then, sometimes that’s just what you need. I tried their Heritage granola with raspberries. It’s quite packed: oats, spelt flakes, quinoa, puffed rice, and uh… dried raspberries. You can never expect much from cereals that claim they have “fruit”, so I was not surprised to see the large raspberries on the box and got little red dots instead. Typical. It’s not bad, not too sugary either, and has a nice balance of different grains. This particular pack seemed quite crushed and powdery, but maybe it was just that box. I prefer Nature’s Path’s Ginger Zing granola though, because the ginger really comes through without being too much, and I like ginger.

General Mill’s Oatmeal Crisp

Oatmeal Crisp

Didn’t buy this because of the claims of “healthiness”, but thinking it might actually be a crispy cereal. Turns out both “oatmeal” and “crisp” are misnomers. Though there was, surpisingly, a bit of almond flakes present. First of all – UGH! This was WAAAY TOO SWEET! Tastes like wheat bran flakes, with little oat-ness to it. In my opinion it had more of a hard crunchiness than light crispiness, so “Sweet Wheat Crunch” rather than “Oatmeal Crisp” would have been a more appropriate name. Won’t buy it or any other versions of Oatmeal Crisp again.