Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Coconut Flour Recipes

With more and more Canadians discovering gluten  and wheat intolerance, alternatives like coconut flour are becoming increasing popular. It takes some time and finessing to get the substitution just right, but coconut flour is light, flavourful and textured, making it a viable alternative to wheat flour.

Here's a couple recipes to try using Coconut Flour:

Coconut Flour Zucchini Bread


Particularly popular towards the end of summer, zucchini is also gluten-free, palo-friendly and GAPS-friendly. Have excess zucchini? No problem! Freeze this bread and enjoy it later.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 2-3 Tbsp. raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 cup (small or medium) zucchini, shredded finely
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or almonds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or line with parchment paper, set aside
  3. Shred your zucchini finely, and then use a nut milk bag or cheesecloth to squeeze all the moisture out of it.
  4. Mix the egg, honey or syrup, and banana together in a large bowl.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and zucchini, and stir until the batter is smooth.
  6. Stir in the nuts, if using.
  7. Pour batter into your greased loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Coconut Flour Pancakes

Probably the simplest recipe. this is also a go-to staple when you're just sick of eggs.

Ingredients
  • 4 eggs, beaten and set aside
  • 1 cup cream or coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • ghee, coconut oil or butter for cooking
Instructions
  1. Mix eggs, cream, vanilla together. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine coconut flour, coconut sugar, baking soda and sea salt. Slowly mix wet mixture into dry mix.
  3. Heat griddle or frying pan to medium heat.  Add ghee, coconut oil or butter. 
  4. Make pancakes using 2 tablespoons-1/4 cup of batter at a time (smaller pancakes are easier and will be less likely to fall apart when removing). Cook for a few minutes on each side. The pancakes should be slightly brown and dry on both sides.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Price on Coffee Beans Set to Increase Over Next Year

News out of Brazil that a drought might be impeding coffee crops has analysts predicting that coffee commodities will increase over the next year. Brazil, being the largest grower and exporter of coffee beans, affects the market as a whole. Exactly how much coffee bean prices will rise in Canada isn't yet known, but there is sure to be some change with an upward-trend.

While the price isn't expected to immediately the consumer/retail market, some predictions indicate that prices will rise as much as 25% over the course of the year. While the cost for a shot of espresso at home will only change $0.03-$0.04, peoples' daily habit will get a little more expensive.

One thing to watch for is companies substituting the lower quality robusta beans in lieu of higher quality arabica beans in their blends. While companies can't sell robusta as arabica beans, blends are mixes of different types of beans and seedy companies may attempt to make substitutions in order to save on costs.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Latte Syrups in Canada

Buying overpriced flavoured lattes from national coffee chains can get expensive real fast, real quick. Fortunately, you can make the same drinks right at home with flavoured latte syrups. Torani syrups can be added straight to a latte, mixed in, and achieves the same flavour that high-end coffee shops use for their drinks - at a fraction of the price. Simply combine the latte syrup with steamed milk and espresso (or a strong coffee) and mix!

http://buycoffeecanada.com/latte-syrup

Saturday, November 30, 2013

DIY Festive Holiday Lattes and Coffees

When the cold weather comes in, cafes know to break out the big guns - holiday flavoured drinks. It's almost a Canadian custom to grab a nice hot drink on the way in to work, something to keep you warm and get you ready for the day. One of the great things about winter weather is that the winter-only holiday flavours come out, giving us something delicious in addition to waking us up.

It's no secret that those drinks can be expensive though, national coffee shops regularly charge $4.00-$5.00 for beverages like Starbucks Holiday Drinks. Thankfully, many of them can be made from home - not only avoiding insane drive-through (or in-store) lineups, but also saving you beaucoup bucks. Costing an average of $0.50 per serving, these Flavoured Syrups from Torani give you the key to making your own coffee-shop style drinks right at home.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

torani-pumpkin-spice-syrup

Gingerbread Latte

torani-gingerbread-syrup

Peppermint Mocha

torani-perppermint-syrup

Chocolate Chai Latte

torani-chocolate-milano-syrup

Eggnog Steamer

torani-italian-eggnog-syrup

Creme Brule Latte

torani-vanilla-bean-syrup

With over 70 flavours available (plus 30 sugar-free), Torani syrups can make hundreds of different drinks that can help ween you off your reliance on cafes. The syrups cost a fraction (just 10%-20% sometimes) of what you pay at a coffee shop, adding up to hundreds of dollars per years in some cases.

Not only is it a money-saving way to enjoy festive drinks for yourself, but you can also serve the drinks to friends and family - offering the fully catered experience of a high end cafe over the holidays.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Health Benefits of Cacao Nibs as a Snack and Drink

Cacao Nibs are brokend own bits of cacao beans, which have been fermented and roasted to bring out the full flavour of one of nature's superfoods. They're typically added to protein shakes or smoothies, adding tons of antioxidants, but they can also be consumed as a snack food on their own or in trail mix.

The immediate pay-off from processed chocolate you buy in stores comes from it's high sugar content however - which provides an immediate mood boost until some of the more nutritious minerals and chemicals kick in. Real, unrefined cacao has a flavour of it's own - somewhat reminiscent of chocolate but more bitter than most expect on their first taste. Richer cacao beans such as the "Fine and Flavour" cacao at BuyCoffeeCanada.com will have a smoother taste than commodity-grade cacao typically found in a grocery store.

It's no secret that chocolate - dark chocolate - has health benefits, and these healthy attributes come from the Cacao bean itself.  Cacao is loaded with minerals like Magensium and Iron, is high in fiber and contains a number of different chemicals like Theobromine that have a positive effect on your health. Theobromine, like caffeine, has a mild stimulant effect, but tends to be absorbed by the body over 15-20 minutes as opposed to caffeine, which is closer than 5 minutes. Combined with the fact that it lasts 3-4 hours as opposed to 1-2 for caffeine, you get a steadier stream of energy and avoid that "afternoon crash" most of us are so familiar with.

Raw Cacao vs. Roasted Cacao
All the cacao beans are imported as "raw" beans, meaning they've gone through the picking and fermenting process - which gives the cacao it's chocolate flavour. While most beans are shipped overseas slowly in bulk containers, specialty importers like BuyCoffeeCanada have it air freighted so that the beans are as fresh as possible once they're received.

The roasting process is the optional next step - hardcore nutritionists insist on raw cacao beans, whereas most people are likely to enjoy roasted cacao beans because the roasting process brings out more flavour. Very little of the nutritional value is lost in the roasting process, and some insist on it in order to help kill off any bacteria that may still be present in the raw beans.

Most of the cacao nibs sold at BuyCoffeeCanada are roasted due to a more palatable taste.

Brewed Cacao
More recently, cacao powder has also become popular as a drink that is similar to coffee. It contains all the nutritients that regular cacao nibs or beans do, but in a beverage format. We're not talking about sugar-infused hot chocolate you find from a grocery store mind you - we're talking about the 100% cacao ground down to a fine powder that's brewed typically in a french press or espresso maker. You also get that little kick to jump start your day in the form of Theobromine, instead of caffeine. Anecdotally, we've been told it's a great way to get off the caffeine for a while and give your body a break from it, and could make you more sensitive to caffeine's stimulating effects after just two weeks.

We usually recommend people start by infusing their coffee with the cacao powder to become accustomed to the taste, which is entirely unique in itself. A straight cacao beverage doesn't taste like espresso or hot chocolate, and some people may be thrown off by it. Nevertheless, we've found most people develop a taste for it over time and take advantage of the numerous health benefits. For the true health-nuts, our cacao is organically grown according to organic practices, but does not yet have the certification to be officially labeled "Organic" by an agency - it's something being worked on at the moment.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

About Colombian Arabica Coffee Beans

Colombian coffee is one of the most well-known types of coffee in the world, and the third most popular, behind only Brazil and Vietnam. Coffee became the main export in Colombia in the mid-1800s and has remained a strong economic force for the country.

The Colombian Coffee Bean
Arabica is the coffee bean traditionally grown in Colombia, and today varietals such as Bourbon, Caturra, Typica, and Maragogype are grown. Subtle differences in flavor, such as sweetness, and fruity and floral hints and tones can be detected based on the region of the country in which they are cultivated.. Colombian coffee is a rich, aromatic, heavy-bodied beverage.

With altitude, some coffee varietals increase significantly in quality but production suffers as less fruit is produced. Plants flower almost year-round in Colombia due to the frequent rainfall, which results in two distinct harvest seasons, determined by the highest and lowest periods of rainfall. The use of mechanical dryers is necessary because of the moist environment.

Coffee Growers
The coffee growing regions in Colombia are mostly situated in the area of three north-south Andes mountain ranges that cut across the country. Most of the coffee is grown on small family farms, rather than in large industrial enterprises. However, the coffee industry in Colombia has an association that works on behalf of these small farmers to market the Colombian coffee bean worldwide, the Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC).

The FNC is behind the infamous "Juan Valdez", a fictional Colombian coffee grower used in advertisements and marketing materials to put a face on the small Colombian coffee farmer.

In more recent years, the FNC has promoted fair-trade, which has benefited the farmers and given them a better price for their harvest. Not all farmers are under the umbrella of the FNC. There are well over 30 independent cooperatives, at least half of which are also Fair Trade certified by the Fair Trade Labeling Organization.

The Future of Colombian Coffee
There are several factors currently hampering the coffee industry in Colombia, not the least of which is climate change. Coffee will only grow in certain conditions, and those perfect growing conditions are being threatened. With the rise in temperature and the changing climate, pests such as the coffee berry borer and diseases such as coffee rust fungus are taking hold in areas which previously were immune. Environmental issues such as pesticide overuse and deforestation are also taking their toll on this rich industry.





Looking for Colombian Coffees? Check out our selection at http://buycoffeecanada.com/coffee-beans/colombian-supremo-16-oz




Monday, September 2, 2013

Avoid the Pumpkin Spice Shortage in Canada

Every year there's some new coverage about how there's a Pumpkin Spice shortage, with coffee shops and online retailers running out of the much-loved fall flavour because of the spike in demand. It shouldn't be questionable to anyone why there's a huge demand, the spicy, warming flavour of pumpkin spice is ingrained in the memory of nearly all Canadians thanks for national coffee shops like Starbucks.

There are of course some tutorials online for making your own pumpkin spice simple syrup with ingredients like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and pumpkin puree. That may be attractive to some of the do-it-yourself crowd, but it takes trial and error to get the flavour just right and may end up costing more in the form of unusable syrup.

pumpkin spice syrup
Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup
The much simpler solution is to purchase the syrups online and have them delivered right to your door in Canada. By purchasing from a Canadian company directly, you avoid the expensive tariffs and duties that you would get from ordering from the U.S. It's never too early - as soon as September rolls around it makes sense to grab a couple bottles, which also make a delicious gift for anniversaries and birthdays.

Having the syrup at home is a great way to save money on expensive cafe pumpkin spice lattes, while allowing you to indulge more often. Heavier milk and even cream tends to bring out the subtle nuances of this complex drink, allowing you to enjoy every little bit of the flavour that has been carefully crafted over the years.

If Lattes aren't your thing, you could always check out Pumpkin Spice Flavoured Coffee - quick and easy to brew in a conventional coffee maker, or Keurig with a My-K-Cup attachment.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

- 1 ounce Pumpkin Spice Syrup
- 6 ounces Steamed Milk
- 2 Shots Espresso (or 4 ounces strong coffee)

Simply mix the syrup in with the milk and steam them together, then drop in the espresso or coffee! You can optionally top with whipped cream and some spices.