Archives for category: recipes

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Fleurbain Truffles

3/4 c old fashioned oats (pulverized in a food processor)

3/4 c macadamia and cashew nut-butter (or a nut-butter of your choice)

1/4 c cocoa

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp amaretto

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 c chopped dried cherries

1/4 mini chocolate chips

Mix together and form into truffles.  Store in the fridge.

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Damiana Joy+Love Liqueur

I brought this to a winter party a few years ago.  People found this drink both intriguing and fun.  Damiana is quite aromatic due to volatile oils.  The flavour of damiana can be subdued or enhanced with other foods associated with joy and warmth; cardamom, almond, vanilla, cherry, cinnamon and chocolate.  In terms of medicinal properties, one of my favourite summaries is from Rosemary Gladstar.  In her Family Herbal she states, “…it is completely restorative; it restores exhausted nerves, exhausted dreams and exhausted spirit.”  Though there is a folk history of use as an aphrodisiac, herbalists generally qualify this herb as a mild anti-depressant, particularly useful in what David Winston calls a stagnant depression.  The volatile oils act as carminatives that aid in digestion.

1/2 c damiana tincture

1/2 c amaretto

1/4 c chocolate sauce (I made my own from unsweetened chocolate, water, maple syrup, sugar and vanilla)

rosewater and vanilla to taste

Pour together and store in the fridge.  Could it be any easier?  Enjoy a small shot when desired.

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Cheers!

These photos were taken during the LAB Series which runs on Thursdays between 3-6pm. Next week, February 21st, Tammy Schmidt will continue in a similar vein demonstrating herbs used to lighten our spirits in the dark of winter.  We hope you are able to join us!

Fleurbain is at 460 St Catherine West, Unit 917, Montreal.

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nettle, hibiscus, rose and cinnamon

Combine 2 tablespoons nettles (Urtica dioica), 2 tablespoons hibiscus, 1 tablespoon rose petals and half a cinnamon stick in a teapot.

Pour boiling water over the herbs, put the lid on and let it steep at least 10 minutes.  This jewel-toned tea tastes divine if you allow it to cool over an hour or more.

Replenish the teapot with room temperature water as required and enjoy this refreshing beverage throughout the day.

Flavour is another reason for using weeds in food.

Herbalists like myself love to talk about the wonderful nutritional benefits to be discovered in common garden weeds such as lambs quarters, stinging nettles, dandelion, chickweed and many, many more.  The above link introduces you to how weeds make food more enticing in terms of taste.  If  herbalists are not so convincing when we go on and on about nutritious weeds, perhaps this article can convince you to try them for the flavour.  I still remember the first time I tried a weed as a gourmet food.  My neighbour, Eleanor, invited me over for lunch and she added chickweed to the salad.  This weed tasted fresh, cool and sweet.  The flavour reminded me of corn on the cob and it was simply delicious.

Do you cook with common weeds?  I would love to hear about it.

(A note to the nature newbies!  If you do not know how to identify plants, you should seek out experts who can introduce these plants to you.)

Thanks to Sarka, my good friend and the author of Wellness Intel, for passing along this article to me.  I do love it!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

English: Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica).

Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica)

English: Avocados (Persea americana) Français ...

Show your love with one of the world’s healthiest fruits, the avocado.

In two minutes flat, avocados are transformed into the creamiest chocolate pudding ever invented.  Don’t believe me? Just try it!

Chocolate Pudding that says I ♥ you! 

1 perfectly ripe avocado

4 – 6 tablespoons organic coconut milk

3 heaping tablespoons fair trade organic cocoa powder

2-3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

Just before serving, use a hand blender to blend all the above ingredients until smooth.  Serve in your style of glass, perhaps two martini glasses or in 4 tiny heart shaped bowls.  This pudding goes well with bananas, berries and truffles.

This is something I introduced to my family a few years ago. At first my family did not know what they were; they had so many questions! Why are these cookies so small? Are these cookies for humans? Uhhh, yes. After a brief explanation, these peppernuts have been a continuous hit. I decided to modify the recipe for my brother Tyler, because he seems to feel better on a gluten-free diet.

The original recipe was given to me by a sweet lady I know named Margaret Boldt from Osler, Saskatchewan. I think her recipe is the best because she is not afraid to use the right amount of spice.

Since rice flour is perfect for cookies, doing gluten-free is easy and advantageous with this recipe ; rice flour is sweet and it makes baked goods extra crunchy.

Gluten-free Peppernuts

2 cups of rice flour (brown or white)

1 ½ cups of gluten free flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

2 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cardamom

3 tsp star anise

1 tsp ginger

¼ tsp pepper

1 cup unsalted butter

1 ¼ cups brown sugar

½ cup molasses, honey or maple syrup

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix together the flours, baking soda, salt and spices.  In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar, then add molasses, eggs and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Shape into two flat discs and refrigerate in containers or Ziploc bags for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350’F.

On a gluten free floured surface, roll out a disc and form a long cigar shape.  Using a sharp knife, cut these into little peppernut shapes.  Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.

It usually makes the most sense to freeze something you are not going to eat right away.  These cookies keep very well for a long period of time in a sealed container that is placed in a cool location likely because they are dry and there is a high amount of anti-oxidant spices in them.

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal.

Last week I was interviewed for a documentary focusing on the cosmetic industry in Canada.  It was so much fun!  My basic message was that if we are concerned by what is in our cosmetics, we can use our creativity and empower ourselves to make our own.  Yes, there is much to do in terms of petitioning the government and helping to change laws that will allow for greater transparency.  We have gotta know what is in these products if we are to make informed consumer choices!  And people are getting the word out there, such as the folks at Femme Toxic or those who are putting together the documentary, Fairly Foul.  But, until we sort all of this out, if you want a really clean cream, facial cleanser, deodorant, etc., today, the fast and easy way of avoiding questionable chemicals in products is to make your own.  I want people to see that is not that hard to make your own stuff.  Your homemade products will be of excellent quality and you will know exactly what is in them!


Yes, people have their doubts!  Sometimes when I mention how easy it is to make your own stuff, people ask about safety in terms of freshness and bacterial contamination.  That is when I break the hard news that if you make your own products, you will be making some things every few weeks and other stuff every few months.  It is like food.  If you want a Twinkie for breakfast, go for it and buy enough for the year.  Each day grab yourself a Twinkie from the pile.  Yes, this is a safe breakfast, but not necessarily a beneficial one.  If you want some nutrition to fuel your day, you are going to have to find fresh food and prepare it in some way.  Great skin care products are somewhat similar.  Like our friend Deborah says, this is a bit like the Slow Food Movement.  It is the slow cosmetic movement.  It takes some effort, but it is more than worth it.

To address the safety issue regarding natural products, I like to encourage people to know more about what they are putting on their face.  It is a great idea to start a recipe file with two parts.  One part should be the recipes. Include the ones that you have tried and the ones that you want to try.  Record your experience, tweak your method.  It is like cooking and you will only get better at it with practice.  The second part to your recipe file should be a list of ingredients.  For each ingredient you can keep record of all sorts of fascinating information such as what it does and what benefit it is to your skin, why you add it to products, what products it is use in, where it comes from, where to buy it and even any folklore or history of use.  And, why not record what chemical constituents are also in it?  Anytime you read anything new about this ingredient, add this information to the file and record where you found the information.  Within weeks, months, or years, who knows, you might have enough to write your own book on the subject!   Most importantly, you are educating yourself on this subject!  And you will have a kick’n file that you can refer to at anytime.

For those who are interested, I offer a super introductory course on creating your own skin care products.  We make the products, we try the products and you take home enough products for approximately one month’s worth of skin pampering  Of course you take home the recipes, too.  The cost is $40, plus tax, per participant.  I am able to do this at our space, Fleurbain, and I am also available to come to you and lead the workshop anywhere within Montreal.

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

Fleurbain is at 460 St Catherine St. West, suite #917.

For more information, email me at fleurbain@gmail.com

kale chips - crisp, delicious and good for you!

Recipe to try this week: Kale Chips

What to do…

Wash and cut out the centre stem from 2 bunches of organic kale.  It is very important to take the time to cut out the centre stem or as they dry they will turn into little sticks that are difficult to chew.  (Everyone who attended the grand opening will know this one! …. Right???)  Cut the kale into chip sized pieces.  Save the kale stems for a stir-fry or soup.

Make a sauce in the food processor comprised of the following:

1/2 cup cashews
1 tbsp almond butter
1/3 c water
1/4 c nutritional yeast
juice from one lemon
a couple chunks of roasted bell peppers
2 minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp turmeric

Very saucy.

In a large bowl, use your clean hands to work the sauce into the kale chippy leaves, trying your best to cover all the leaves.

Transfer the kale chips to two pans and put them in the oven at 250’F.  If possible, use the convection bake setting.  Take them out to turn them a bit every 20 minutes, but officially they are not allowed to leave the oven until crisp!  Cool and store in an air-tight container.

Enjoy!

If you want to learn more about the nutritional benefits of kale, take a look here.

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

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