Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Adding CBD to Your Routine? These Foods Can Help Boost the Benefit

When it comes to taking cannabidiol products with your daily routine, most people would recommend doing so with foods that are capable of increasing the overall bioavailability of the product. Bioavailability is the body’s ability to properly absorb and experience effects of certain types of drugs - it is the reason why some medications are recommended to be taken with food, and why some others tend to cause nausea and a stomach ache when taken alone. 

In the case of CBD, there are plenty of ways to help boost the overall bioavailability alongside the product. Considering the many touted health benefits, it is no wonder why weed edibles and many other products are so popular. Here are just some foods that can help boost the benefit.

The perfect spices
First and foremost, for those who want to make the full use of cannabidiol, it would be a good idea to make use of specific types of spice that can be sprinkled on your food - in some cases, it might even be used on tea. Water soluble cannabidiol products can be mixed with turmeric tea, for example.

In the case of spices on food, the aforementioned turmeric, as well as the use of rosemary and black pepper can make it much easier to absorb the effects of CBD products. When you consider how common it is for food products to have the above spices, it is quite easy to incorporate and reinforce the effects of CBD.

The impact of emulsified fats 
When it comes to general foods that can help provide a reinforced effect for CBD products, emulsified fats would be one of the ideal foods to utilize. For example, chocolate is an excellent choice for those who want a stronger effect and more bioavailability, as well as mayonnaise.

Going nuts for CBD
If you want an even stronger effect when you enjoy chocolates, you can go for chocolates with nuts such as almonds and the like, as nuts are known to help boost the overall effects of cannabidiol products. Sweet treats generally taste even better when paired with tea, so one of the best ways to make use of a CBD edible, oil, or any other similar product, would be to take turmeric tea, and chocolate with nuts.

The healthy fats found in fish
Nuts are known to have healthy fats, which is why many other products with healthy fats are effective in bringing out the full potential of CBD. Those who are fond of fish will have plenty to enjoy when making use of CBD products, as it is undoubtedly a meal that is not only healthy, but can also improve the many touted health benefits of cannabidiol.

When it comes to food and CBD, the two go together extremely well. There are so many examples of excellent food products that can increase the bioavailability of CBD products that it is quite easy to make the most out of the situation.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Cabernet-Salted Vanilla Caramels

These rich, buttery caramels are kissed with Cabernet infused sea salt for a grown up twist.

I have many fond memories associated with caramels. My grandfather was a die-hard Werther's addict, and many an afternoon he would come to pick me up from school and sneak me a piece before we would get home. As the years went on, these caramels became the everlasting memory I have of him. 

Now, I don't know what grandpa would have thought about these homemade caramels - they are soft, not crunchy, and are definitely a different flavour experience than those gold-wrapped morsels - but nevertheless I really enjoy this confection. I seem to always make some form of my wine-infused salt each year (Cabernet is what is usually consumed, hence what usually provides the dregs for me) and I wondered what effect it would have on a double-vanilla, buttery caramel base. I found a recipe for a small batch on Dessert for Two and tried it out once... only to lose all the caramels to company (and a few to a caramel apple pie) before I took a photo. So the next time I doubled the batch and swapped out the corn syrup for honey and added a vanilla bean in addition to the wine-y salt. Cause you know... excess.

I think I hit the jackpot! The floral honey and vanilla pod really added a complexity to the sweet caramel, while the salt added a tiny bit of bitter tannin as well. The batch also doubled beautifully, which is generally rare with candy. The only downside was wrapping every... little... piece. If you make a full pan, definitely enlist some free (or candy-paid) labour to help - children would easily volunteer I think! Keeping the candy cool while you wrap it really helps, I suggest a stone board or even a cookie sheet over ice packs to keep it firm. After they're wrapped, a cool place is best for storage (I used the fridge and it worked fine). At least, until you eat them!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

PCB Jam - Toast Topper #91

When Ontario produce is abundant (and relatively cheap!) It's jam making time! This batch is full of peaches, cherries and blackberries, promising Summer in every bite.

Wow - this is what happens when life shoves things to the back burner - or in this case, the drafts folder! Luckily, this jam is so good that I make it almost yearly, so please forgive the shoddy photo but enjoy this Toast Topper!

I make no secret of the fact that I love freezing my produce when it's at it's peak in the Summer, or if I can't get out to the farmer's market (like - ahem - this year), purchasing my berries and stone fruit conveniently IQF. For me, you can't beat the flavour in the middle of the Winter, since here you're lucky to find anything but mealy apples that are $3 a pound by the time November rolls around! That said, I am also completely guilty of buying too much fruit when it's on sale and thus, overburdening the freezer (especially when it's competing with cookie dough, turkeys, stock and pies). When I start getting attacked by bags of it when I open the door, I know it's time to break out the large pot, the pectin and the canner and get preserving.

This jam is perfect in it's simplicity, not needing spices or extracts to make the flavours pop. Rather, the sweetness of the peaches and cherries is balanced by the blackberries, which also add a tiny bit of texture (because I'm lazy and don't strain seeds). This jam also comes together lightning-fast, meaning that you need to make sure your waterbath canner is almost boiling and your jars are sanitized before you start the process. If canning isn't your thing (and I'll be honest, I haven't done any this year), fear not - you can keep a jar unopened in the fridge for a month or so or freeze it for up to six (use a plastic container though, broken glass is no fun!).

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Norwegian Butter Cookies

You can't beat a great butter cookie - and these Norwegian Butter Cookies are some of the best! Using a high-fat European style butter is crucial here since you taste it in every bite, and the tiniest bit of almond extract rounds out the whole thing. Beware, they are addictive!

It's generally held in my family that the best butter cookies belong to my mom - no ifs, ands, or buts, if we buy butter for baking between November 1st and January 1st, its almost exclusively earmarked for shortbreads. However, the type of butter we buy for those perfect cookies is (almost hilariously) specific, and pedestrian. I am not kidding - the fanciest we get for those cookies is the ubiquitous grocery store staple butter, if not the "no name" discount brand. We have tried "fancier" or more expensive brands, but none of them work quite right.

That said, I am a sucker for gourmet ingredients every once in a while, and when I was at the farmer's market last year (yes, pre-COVID) I splurged on a $6, 8-oz brick of high fat, European style butter. I originally planned to make croissants with it, but life and school and work got in the way and I wound up tossing it into the freezer and admittedly forgetting about it. Only when our fridge freezer's door guiderails broke and we had to de-bulk the baskets to try and lighten the load did I "rediscover" it - still in it's own little zip-top bag and foil wrapping. Since the holidays are coming nigh (though I think I am dangerously overloaded with cookie dough at the moment) I decided to try out another recipe from my mom's Reader's Digest Recipes from Around the World (the one this lovely loaf and these cookies came from) for Norwegian Butter Cookies.

Now, what makes these Norwegian, I cannot tell you. Is it the almond extract? No clue. What I can assure you is that there are absolutely no trolls or maelstorms in these tender, decadently rich yet simple cookies! You absolutely taste the butter in every bite, so unfortunately skimping on the quality / butterfat will not do you any favours here, and because they are so spartan in their ingredient lists it really is key to make sure every single ingredient is the best it can be. It sounds ironic to be harping on quality ingredients when there is also shortening in the ingredients list, but I believe that it's inclusion (and I used a good quality, non-hydrogenated brand) helps the cookies from becoming too flat or greasy. The cookies I made are not lily-white either, as the vanilla I used is naturally dark and I opted for unbleached flour, but when it comes to taste who cares?

I will have far more cookies coming to the blog in the next few weeks, but suffice it to say these are some of this year's favourites! 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Apple Onion Rosemary Jam - Toast Topper #90

Apple Onion Rosemary Jam is sweet, sour, savoury and an excellent condiment alongside cheese and crackers or topping roast beef. No pectin and very little sugar needed - it all comes from the produce!
Are you a condiment person? I, for one, was always a huge fan of spicy, tangy accompaniments to a traditional Sunday roast dinner, and if I was at a party with a platter of cheese and relishes - heaven! My mom is also a fan of sweet-sour-savoury condiments, especially things like chutney. So, while our family gatherings this year have been quite scaled back, it just means that I don't have to share everything I make! (Just kidding, I love to share).

This jam was inspired by a cheese board spread I saw in the local wine store's magazine, where they had a little bowl of onion jam alongside oozy Brie and sharp Cheddar, toast points and crackers. I still had a bounty of apples hanging out in the fridge and I always have onions in the pantry, so I gave it a go with a recipe I found on Just a Pinch. I added a pinch of rosemary that I had dried from this summer's herb garden, which really lent a savoury note to the mixture and played off the sweet apples and brown sugar well, in addition to the garlic and black pepper. 
It is worth noting this is a small batch recipe - it only makes two cups or so - but because there is no pectin to mess around with it is fairly scale-able. It is also a weapon to have in the fridge or freezer all year round, since while it's great on roast beef it would also play nicely with a hearty beef burger or even a grilled cheese sandwich. Whatever you feel needs a pop of flavour, this will suffice!