Written By Pam Durkin Food Shops / Health Mar 20, 2017 4 Nutritious & Delicious Eats + Enter the Draw to Win SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestThis has been a long winter and I—like all of you I am sure, have literally been jonesing for some warm weather and sunshine. As usual, I have been consoling myself with some sublimely nutritious and delicious eats and I can’t wait to tell you about them. Don’t forget to enter this month’s giveaway. (for contest details see below) And now, it’s time for me to get all Julie Andrews on you and reveal a “few of my favorite things” from this week’s grocery excursion.Blue Monkey Organic Coconut WaterIt seems drinking coconut water is “de rigueur” among health-conscious foodies. Yes indeedy, the active lifestyle tribe can be seen downing the bevvie everywhere from the gym to the office lunchroom. At risk of losing my street cred as a “healthy hipster” I must confess I am a rather recent convert to this wholesome practice; but now that I’ve embraced it, I’m all in—I love me some coconut water! My go to brand is Blue Monkey Organic Coconut Water. Why Blue Monkey you ask? Blue Monkey Organic Coconut Water is 100% pure organic coconut water from young coconuts—it’s not made from a reconstituted concentrate, as, unfortunately, many brands of coconut water are.In addition, it contains no added flavors or sweeteners and it’s not pasteurized which means it’s still alive and chock-full of coconut water’s beneficial enzymes, minerals and antioxidants. Plus, it’s just so dang refreshing and delicious! Furthermore, it boasts a plethora of electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium, rendering it the perfect “hydrating” post-workout drink, and it’s also a superb medium for whipping up smoothies and cooking grains. Say what—cooking grains? YES—if you haven’t done so yet, try making your morning oats or millet with coconut water—the beverage lends a subtle, oh so delightful “tropical” flavor to whole grain dishes. I get my Blue Monkey Organic Coconut Water at Victoria’s “healthy grocery institution” – Lifestyle Markets. I suggest you join the tribe and try a can for yourself, you won’t regret it.Kind Oats and Honey with Toasted Coconut Granola BarsIf you’ve been reading this blog since its inception, you know that I’m a bar girl—food bar that is. And as a lover of bars I have been searching for a healthy and tasty granola bar for some time. Until now, I haven’t really been able to find anything that met my standards and “passed the bar exam.” Sadly, the vast majority of granola bars on store shelves are teeming with sugar and unhealthy refined oils and thus they tend to be cloyingly sweet and not at all palatable. However, I am happy to report, my fine foodie friends, I finally found just the granola bar I was looking for while perusing the food aisle at my neighborhood London Drugs. (London Drugs is such a pleasantly surprising source of nutritious nibbles—who knew?)Kind Oats and Honey with Toasted Coconut granola bars meet all my criteria for a great granola bar—they’re low in sugar and fat, a good source of fiber and they contain a unique blend of super-food, nutrient-dense, gluten free whole grains. (oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa) What’s more, they have a super chewy “crunch” and a delicate nutty flavor that is positively addictive. Another redeeming feature—with 22 grams of whole grains per bar, these crunchy little squares make it easy to meet your daily requirements for whole grains. Why is that important? According to new research published in the American Heart Assocations’s journal Circulation, eating at least three servings of whole grains every day could lower your risk of death. If avoiding the grim reaper is high on your priority list—or heck you just want a damn tasty granola bar—make haste and head on over to London Drugs and grab yourself a box of these scrumptious bars.Fiordifrutta Organic Wild Strawberry Fruit SpreadI loathe strawberry jam—said no one EVER! I confess, I too am among the wordwide legion of strawberry jam lovers, but like many health-conscious consumers I lament the amount of sugar found in most commercially prepared jams. In addition, I am not fond of the citric acid, and other additives that can be found in the vast majority of jams, even those one finds on health-food store shelves. I mean, really, can’t anyone make a natural, subtly sweet, preservative-free jam bursting with real fruit flavor the way my mother used to? YES dear readers—it seems they can. Just when I was beginning to lose hope of ever finding such a wonderous concoction, I found precisely what my palate and tummy have been yearning for at Ageless Living Market. Fiordifrutta‘s Organic Wild Strawberry Fruit Spread contains but 3 ingredients—strawberries, wild strawberries and apple juice and it’s intense fruity flavor will make you sigh with delight.In case you didn’t know—the flavor of wild berries is much more pronounced than that of their cultivated cousins, and studies reveal they contain more health-enhancing vitamins and phytochemicals too. If this doesn’t convince you to try this scrumptious product, consider this—strawberries are teeming with a disease-fighting flavanoid called ellagic acid that has been shown to have powerful anti-cancer properties. Oh and ladies—it also prevents collagen destruction and inflammation—two factors in the development of wrinkles. While all the spread’s healthy virtues are indeed impressive, what really made me a fan is it’s aromatic taste and versatility. It’s jazzes up plain Greek yogurt, vanilla ice cream and other desserts, renders nutbutter sandwiches veritable gourmet treats and elevates the flavor factor of morning smoothies or pancakes. To elevate your own nutritious nosh I suggest you visit Ageless Living Market soon and pick up a jar—before I buy them all, that is.Raincoast Trading Wild Pink SalmonI am something of an oddball when it comes to my salmon preferences. I actually prefer canned salmon to fresh (Spring Salmon being the exception) and, perhaps even more weirdly, I prefer canned Pink Salmon over Sockeye. There I’ve said it—I’ve outed myself as a freakish foodie—a veritable fish philistine. Allow me to explain. I find canned Pink Salmon more moist than its deeper hued cousin and I also find that it holds up better than sockeye when I make fish cakes. What’s more, I just think it tastes better—sweeter, milder, somehow. As for the canned vs fresh thing—well I like to eat the bones and skin and with canned salmon that’s no problemo. Why eat the skin and bones you may wonder? Again, I just like the taste AND I want the extra calcium from the bones and the double dose of omega-3 fatty acids the skin provides. The latter have been shown to help prevent heart attack and stroke and according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine,omega-3 fats also promote longevity. My love for canned salmon has, over the years, led me to try many different brands of the seafood and I can honestly say I recently found one that is exceptional—leagues above the others—Raincoast Trading Co.‘s Wild Pink Salmon.As its label says, “this is not your typical can of seafood.” How is it different? The salmon, caught in the Pacific Northwest from sustainably certified fisheries, is packed in a BPA free can with no added water or oil. In addition, it is not bleached or pre-cooked, as many other canned seafoods are. Equally as important to me—it just tastes fantastic. It makes the best darn salmon sandwiches that have ever passed these lips. I get my Raincoast Wild Pink Salmon at Cook Street Village’s hub of health—Mother Nature’s Market. If you want to “swim to first place” when it comes to healthy eating, I highly recommend you pop open a can of this marvelous stuff for yourself. (Ps. Watch out for the grand opening of Mother Nature’s Market’s new Sydney location—a little birdie told me it will be happening in early May!)GROCERY FINDS GIVEAWAYThanks to the generosity of Lifestyle Markets, London Drugs, Ageless Living Market, and Mother Nature’s Market we are giving one lucky reader a chance to win each of the items mentioned. To enter to win simply……Send us an email (email@example.com) with the subject line WILD SALMON and share it on Facebook and you will be entered in the draw. Be sure to include your name and email address. Good luck. Contest closes Midnight, Monday, April 3, 2017Terms: (prizes must be picked up within one week of contest end date or will be donated to charity. Open to Greater Victoria residents only. SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Pam Durkin ... Read More You may also like Artisan / Food / Food Shops March 14, 2014 Ten Years of True Grain Bread “The original Cowichan Bay Bakery and its Okanagan sister location celebrate a decade of baking made from freshly milled, local, organic ... Read More Artisan / Epicure at Large / Food Shops / Holidays / Reporter February 1, 2013 Sweets for Your Sweetie DESSERTS There’s no shortage of delectable indulgences available for you to enjoy within the city’s restaurants, bakeries, and speciality shops, ... 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