Category: Uncategorized

Matcha Green Granola Bars

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I have to start off by saying THANK YOU.

I just came back from my cookbook tour in London, which is the very last trip I’m taking until the autumn. Now that I have some time to reflect, I have to say how deeply touched and grateful I am to all of you that have showed your support these past few months. Whether you’ve come out to an event, book signing, cooking class, reposted a recipe on your own blog, sent me a love note, or happy vibes through the ether, I have felt it all and will carry the collective experience with me always. I mean it. I am officially overwhelmed with love.

It’s been a very fulfilling time for me, but if I’m being honest, it’s also been a very challenging one. Being on the road and away from my sweet little family has been hard, despite being surrounded by so much goodness. My workload has also been full-on at the same time, so there hasn’t been much in the way of breaks, or breathing, or looking after myself at all. As someone who is perpetually beating the drum of balance, wellness, and self-love, I am beginning to feel like a hypocrite! And how can I expect to be the best I can be for everyone else if I can’t take care of my precious self?

So in the name of practicing what I preach, I’m introducing My New Roots Summer Lights again – all new delicious, healthy recipes, just without the lengthy article. As it takes an average of 20 hours to create a single blog post, shaving a few off of that will give me some time to regain a little more sanity in my life. And maybe even inspire some of you to do the same.

So. These granola bars. They are really, really yummy. Satisfying in all the ways that count; filling without making you feel full, and a salty-sweet flavor balance to make you feel like you’ve gotten everything you need. Maybe more. I have been relying heavily on these to fill the 11am / 4pm gap, avoid late night bad food decisions, and I’ve mowed down a couple (maybe more) for my personal favourite: breakfast-in-a-taxi/airplane/subway/train. Hey, at least I get to sit down.

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The matcha green tea powder is of course what makes the granola bars green. It has a lovely tea-like flavor (thank you, captain obvious), and a nice little bitter nuance that I dig. But because matcha is a bit of a specialty item that can be hard to find and so darn expensive, the you can of course omit it entirely. Maybe sprinkle in another kind of superfood powder if you have it (lucuma, maca, baobab, raw cacao), cocoa powder, or protein powder, or whatever else you’re in the mood for. The point is, these are flexible and simple, and a great granola bar base recipe for you to play with. Party on.

The brown rice syrup makes the granola bars ooey-gooey, but because it isn’t overly sweet, I poured in a few tablespoons of maple syrup for good measure. If you are not vegan, you could replace the maple syrup with honey, but I wouldn’t replace the rice syrup with honey because then these would be way too sweet. Just sayin’.

If your tahini is unsalted, add a little more salt to the dry ingredients – I promise that you want the salty-sweet thing going on here. And if you have an allergy to sesame, or feel like something different, use another kind of nut or seed butter instead – hazelnut butter would be divine, pumpkin seed butter too, or combo it up, wild cat! 

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So dear friends, I’m wishing you a very healthy, happy summer full of crazy adventures, (responsible) sun-worshipping, belly laughs, and of course, delicious food.

I love you!
xo, Sarah B




Inspirational Sunflower Seed Risotto

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Inspiration is a perplexing creature. As someone who relies on a constant stream of ideas to do what I do, having an endless supply is rather essential.

Of all the questions I am asked, the most common of them all is where my inspiration comes from.

The funny thing about this is, I can’t really give a straight answer because I get ideas from everywhere. Literally. Yes of course there are the obvious places like cookbooks, the farmer’s market, my vegetable garden, but I’ve had ideas strike me like lightening while listening to music, smelling a certain scent wafting on the breeze, the colours in a particular vintage dress. My main motivation for writing a cookbook actually came from a postcard I found randomly, which pictured a faceless girl picking wildflowers. Nothing to do with food. At this point I’ve learned that the most important thing for me is to put myself in the way of beauty as often as possible, keep an open mind, and not do discount any sources or ideas as weird, because the best things most often come out of the seemingly strange.

I will say that one thing that consistently brings me a lot of inspiration, is just talking to other people who really love food. Sometimes getting out of my head and into someone else’s, or at least hearing about their experience with a particular dish or special ingredient can help jumpstart a flood of ideas. For instance, the last time I was in Amsterdam teaching cooking classes, one of the attendees came up to me at the end of the day and told me about a very exciting meal she had eaten in Copenhagen, of all places. It was a risotto made out of sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds! At first this sounded totally bizarre, but then again, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this seriously inspiring idea ever since. I knew that sunflower seeds were about the same size and shape as grains of rice. They were nearly the same colour. But how would they taste? How would they become creamy? What is it like to boil them?

When I googled it, all the recipes called for a pressure cooker, which makes sense for those that aren’t familiar with the awesome power and health benefits of soaking. I knew that that spending the day in a warm bath would make the sunflower seeds totally relaxed and willing to tenderize in a sultry spa of caramelized alliums for dinner that evening. Also, I don’t own a pressure cooker.

So setting out to make this, I anticipated a week’s worth of trial-and-errors, a pile of dirty dishes and a lot of semi-edible sunflower seeds. But I treated the seeds very much like I would treat rice in a risotto and after one (one!) attempt, it was pretty darn near perfect. And pretty darn inspiring.

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To say that this recipe is totally surprising is an understatement. The sunflower seeds are tender and chewy, with just the slightest bit of tooth still left – not unlike the real deal. It’s remarkably simple to make with just a few common ingredients, truly delicious and deeply satisfying. You can make it suit any season as the seeds create a foundation to build upon no matter what time of year you’re enjoying. Since we are finally getting some lovely fresh spring produce here in Denmark, I chose to go that route. I found some beautiful young rainbow carrots, peas in their pods, white and green asparagus and some super fresh watercress. This would be equally lovely with sautéed mushrooms, roasted root vegetables, pumpkin or squash.

I am sure you’re wondering how the seeds get creamy from cooking, and the truth is they don’t – you’ll need to help them out a little. When cooking a rice-based risotto, starch emerges from the grains as they cook, and magically melds with the broth to create a velvety texture. To mimic this I simply blended some of the soaked seeds with equal parts water and added it back into the mix at the end of cooking, the results astounding. This makes the risotto rich and creamy without any starches or carbohydrates.

But what shocks me most of all is how darn flavourful the dish is with such minimal ingredients. The caramelized onions and garlic are really all you need (in this dish, as well as life, I wager) although herbs would be a welcome addition; dried ones during cooking or fresh ones stirred in at the end. My version uses watercress as a finishing touch and is totally lovely with its peppery bite, but I will leave the brilliant blank canvas for you project your own inspiration on to.

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Everyone Loves the Sunflowers
Easy-to-find, inexpensive, and nutrient-rich, sunflower seeds are one of my favourite additions to a number of dishes that I make, from breakfast to dinner and snacks in between. They are delicious toasted or soaked, blended up into seed butter or even milk!

Sunflower seeds are one of nature’s highest sources of vitamin E, the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E is important for overall health, as it functions as a free-radical neutralizer and prevents damage to fat-containing structures and molecules, such as brain cells, cholesterol, and cell membranes. When the fats in cell membranes become damaged, the function of the cell itself can be compromised. This is why researchers have studied whether diets low in Vitamin E are associated with many diseases associated with aging.

Sunflower seeds are so high in vitamin E, that just one serving of this risotto contains over 100% of your daily recommended intake!

Because sunflower seeds have such a high (and healthy!) fat content, it is best to store them in a tightly sealed glass container in the refrigerator. Keeping them cool will help preserve their delicate, nourishing oils, which can then in turn nourish you! They will also last much longer stored this way. If you purchase shelled sunflower seeds in bulk make sure to sniff the bin first: it should smell fresh and nutty, without any traces of sourness, which can indicate that the fats have become rancid. And always have a good look at the seeds to ensure that they are not discoloured or damaged.

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Where do you get your inspiration from? How does it come to you? What have you been inspired by lately? Tell me! Especially if it’s about food…

Wishing you an inspired day! Love always,
Sarah B

A Book Tour and a Full Heart

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Hi. It’s been a while.

I guess I should have expected that touring with my cookbook would be more than just totally life-affirming and amazing – turns out it’s quite a time-intensive thing, and in between gigs I find it difficult to much other than feed myself and rest! But I am not complaining, just explaining my absence. I could actually fill this entire post with my overflowing gratitude for everything that’s happened in the past few weeks. But I think some pictures would help tell the story – I once heard that each one is worth a thousand words.

I will take a brief moment however to say thank you. Everyone who has been a part of and engaged in this tour in some way has really put it all in perspective for me. It’s so strange how most of what I do is completely solitary, and even when I put a post out into the world, I cannot see who is reading, where, or that they actually cook the recipes. In a way, I like it this way – less pressure and responsibility for little ol’ me, because if I were to actually comprehend the scope of this I may feel slightly overwhelmed. But this project, my cookbook, finally being out in the physical world and me along with it, has shown me that My New Roots is so much bigger than I could have imagined. Meeting so many of you at book signings, lectures, cooking demos, and connecting through conversation across a dinner table, hearing your stories, how this little blog has touched you or changed your life in some way, feels like a miracle to me. And I am so, so humbled. I’ve received boundless inspiration through these connections, and proof that this isn’t just some teeny project anymore, but a veritable force. Much like literal roots this has grown silently under the surface, going deep and lateral and gaining enough life force before breaking through to where it receives the light it needs to thrive. That is what this tour is: a surfacing and a confirmation that we are building a powerful community of healthy people. I feel like every drop of energy I’ve put into My New Roots from the first day has just hit me like a spectacular tsunami of love.

A question I was asked a lot on tour was about the food blogging community, and whether or not I think it is competitive. Without hesitating, I always said “heck no!”, because my experience is quite the opposite. Among my peers I feel nothing but support, camaraderie, and celebration for one another’s achievements. When I asked fellow bloggers to review the cookbook, of course they said yes, because that is how we roll. I am honoured to post their gorgeous photos below, and share their perspectives on my recipes. So if you haven’t received a copy of the book yet, you can try out a number of the dishes from their posts! Thank you to everyone who participated. You are such an inspiring and talented bunch of people, and I am proud to share the blogosphere with you.

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Laura at The First Mess took a stab at making my raw vegan version of the Ben & Jerry’s classic and well-loved Chunky Monkey, and definitely one-upped me by adding a swirl of date syrup for a ripple effect. Nice one, Laura. You rock. Get the recipe here.

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Sara of Sprouted Kitchen tested and wrote about one of my favourite recipes in the book, Sunflower Sesame Seed Brittle, and one that I made many times on tour for readers to taste! You can read her post here.

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Emma from My Darling Lemon Thyme made my scrumptious Roasted Pumpkin on Black Rice with Tangerine Tahini Sauce. This sauce is boss, ya’ll. Pour it on everything! Check out the post and recipe here.

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Angela over at Oh She Glows made my scrumptious Banoffee Pie! A combination of banana, toffee, and coconut cream. Get the recipe here.

 

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Anya from Golubka wrote a great post about the Ghee-Poached Radishes on Dandelion with Smoked Sea Salt. This is a super simple and favourite recipe from the book. Get it here!

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Lane of Green Spirit Adventures made my Oyster Mushroom Bisque. Check out the recipe here.

If you’re making recipes from the book and want to tag them, here’s what I’m using: #MNRcookbook

And now for just a few highlights from the events in North America. Thank you again to everyone who helped put these together, and to all of you who came out to give me a high-five. It meant so much to me.

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The first event was dinner at the gorgeous The Old Third winery in Prince Edward County. We held the celebration in a century-old barn and I cooked with one of my long-time idols and inspirations, chef Jamie Kennedy. Check out this link for their site’s blog post and event video.

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A stunning dinner at Burdock & Co. in Vancouver. The meal was all spring recipes from the cookbook.

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My interview and audio-only cooking demo – an interesting experience! – with the incomparable Sheryl MacKay of CBC radio. Hear the program here, and skip to 35:45 to catch my segment. Enjoy!

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Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks hosted a My New Roots dinner right in the bookstore! A night to remember for sure.

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I did three televised cooking demos in Canada. Thanks to Global and CTV for their support!

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Book signing at the always inspiring Moon Juice in Los Angeles. I was high on green nut milk and all the love!

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Getting a tad silly with Jo and my Piña Colada Passionfruit Popsicles at Delish.com. I’ll post the video once it’s live. It’s a real hoot!

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Food52 invited me for lunch! I cooked my Ghee-Poached Radishes on Dandelion Greens with Smoked Sea Salt for lunch. 

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The Q&A and book signing at NeueHouse in NYC. Thanks to my gorgeous friend Pippa of Sous Style for the incredible night!

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Lastly, an interview at my all-time favourite station Heritage Radio Network in Bushwick, Brooklyn. And quite possibly the coolest recording studio of all time. I’ll post the podcast once it’s online!

 

So, I’m back in my kitchen now. A new blog post (a very rad one) is on the way and I know you’re going to love it. Stay tuned dear friends.

xo, Sarah B