Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Slice of Nelson

I love to leave, because I love to come back. I love the experience of missing people, places and comforts, and returning to them with a new appreciation.

Going home this summer was my first chance to really miss Nelson, and all the aspects of my life here—a fun job, amazing food, a comfortable home, and friends!!

One of those friends is Darby Jack. She's a local entrepreneur, single handedly filling the void left by Live Food Bar with her amazing raw sweets. Sweet Summer Raw Confections can be found at the Kootenay Co-op (where we both work!).

Last week, she came over and made a mess of my kitchen. I got to take pictures and eat cake, with great appreciation


Darby Jack, owner and operator of Sweet Summer Raw Confections in Nelson, B.C.

I live underneath Elephant Mountain, on the shores of Kootenay Lake, in a two-bedroom mountain refuge with my partner Will and our canine progeny: a dainty princess-like Maltese named Muppet and a crotchety 7-pound Yorkie named Buster.

Raw cooking has always fascinated me, and I am a lifelong advocate for animals and cruelty-free eating. I particularly love the way whole ingredients magically come together to create healthful, flavour-rich desserts.

After studying under renowned raw chef Mark Reinfeld in Portland and working as a raw cook at Cafe Bliss in Victoria, I’ve decided to create my own line of decadent desserts. Nelson has been an amazingly supportive community in this endeavour, and has great resources for young business owners. I’m really excited for things to continue to blossom.


An Earl Grey and lemon cheesecake topped with young coconut whipped cream. I threw in some sweet, ripe strawberries too for a colourful surprise when the cake is cut.

This cake should be served on it’s own or with a few dried lemon slices and perhaps a drizzle of honey. Enjoy it in your favourite nook, blanket in lap, with a slumbering canine curled at your feet. Obviously a cup of hot tea is necessary.


I’ve been making cakes using beautiful, fresh berries and fruit all summer so I’ve been looking forward to exploring fall flavours. I’m really feeling pumpkin, plums, cranberries, and warm spices right now.

I’m in love with hot, lemony tea inside on a cool drizzly day so earl grey seemed perfect for an autumn cheezecake. I added some little strawberries to pay homage to the last fruits of summer and to cut through the Earl Grey colour like autumn leaves against a grey sky.

The young coconut whip cream’s pillowy-soft, creamy peaks pair perfectly with this cozy time of year.




  • 2 cups fresh young coconut meat 
  • 2 cups soaked cashews 
  • 1/2 cup honey- or to taste 
  • 1/3 cup cacao butter- melted 
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil 
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter 
  • 1 cup coconut milk, almond milk or coconut water 
  • 1 tsp. powdered vanilla 
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 


1. Blend everything in a high speed blender.
2. Allow cream to sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours, until set.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Keep Jumbo Wild

Some friends and I hiked Jumbo last week, and it was spectacular—wild flowers everywhere!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Green Hemp Milk

I would have thought I'd have my opinion on milk figured out by now, but I don't.

And because I cannot decide if my image of the good life involves domesticated mammals, I am trying to limit my dependence on their products. Just in case.

I've dabbled in other nut milks, but hazelnuts and almonds seem to be in a lot of trouble these days, so I've been shying away from them.

Hemp milk has been a pleasant alternative. The process is quick and easy, and the milk has a nice, mild flavour. I also feel better about the sustainability of hemp products.

I add vanilla and salt for flavour, and spirulina or chlorella for fun and colour...and health, I guess. Mostly, I use hemp milk in tea and hot chocolate, but I have used it for making pancakes and some baked goods, without issue. It's good for cold drinks too, like chocolate milk!

I'm going home to Ontario in a few weeks, to kiss my dogs, my family and the warm lake water! 

Happy Summer!!!!!!

Green Hemp Milk
(makes 1 ½ -2 cups)

  • 50 grams hemp hearts
  • 1 ½ -2 cups water
  • 1 tsp spirulina or chlorella powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • honey to taste (optional)

1. Blend all ingredients together.
2. Strain through a fine sieve.
3. Store in a sealed container in refrigerator—it will keep for a few days.

  • Straining is optional, especially if you have a good blender. I don't have a good blender, and I find it separates less in my tea when I strain it.
  • I give the hemp pulp to my dog as a treat. She loves it, and, according to a quick Google search, all of the ingredients are quite good for her.
  • I only add honey if I intend to drink it on its own (vs in a sweetened tea).
  • I haven't had my milk go bad yet, but I also haven't kept it for more than 3, maybe 4 days.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bliss Balls

Remember when I used to keep a blog?

Because to write an explanation for the absence would be too difficult and sad, I'll instead write out this recipe for an easy, sweet snack.

There are a millions versions of bliss balls, but this one is inspired by those sold here in Nelson, BC (where I still live!), because they are the greatest. They are rich and sweet, and the best part is the crunch from the nuts and seeds.

I'm sure it won't be another year until my next appearance, but summer is here, the outdoors are calling, and for the first time in years and years, I live in a house with a yard in which to lay, and a garden in which to work. Yippee!

Until next time!

Bliss Balls
(makes about 12 balls at 35 grams each)


  • 150 grams raw almond butter
  • 65 grams tahini
  • 60 grams honey
  • 60 grams shredded coconut
  • 60 grams raw sunflower seeds
  • 50 grams raisins
  • 25 grams sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp spirulina (or more)
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1. In a medium sized bowl, combine almond butter, tahini, honey, spirulina and salt.
2. Mix in remaining ingredients.
3. Portion, roll and store in refrigerator.

  • The dough consistency is soft. If you find it too soft, add more shredded coconut, or even coconut flour. Try a tablespoon at a time until you get a consistency you like.
  • I sometimes substitute some or all of the almond butter for peanut butter, without too much of a flavour difference.
  • Pretty much everything else is also substitutable—pumpkin seeds for sunflower seeds, chlorella for spirulina, chocolate for raisins...

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