POST ‘Maple in the County’….were you here??

It’s Maple in the County!

Today and tomorrow there are 12 County sugar bushes participating in the maple festivities…so get out and have fun!  I have the Brummell Family Farm syrup available in the Pantry…a relationship begun 6 years ago and going strong 🙂  Brad and Annette are third generation I believe and they boil down their syrup with wood, using no de-foaming agents.

The U.S. Environmental Working Group has now published their annual ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of conventionally grown (not organic) fruits and vegetables that have the most pesticides.  This year, the list is: strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, celery, tomatoes, sweet peppers, potatoes…and hot peppers are an additional item identified.  If you are choosing to maximize the nutritional value and minimize the pesticides it is strongly recommended to buy organic produce.  Here is the link for more information:

This week’s recipes are for gluten-free pancakes to go under that maple syrup!

Gluten-Free Coconut Corn Flour Pancakes (credit to
1 cup organiccorn flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup ground flax seed meal
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (any type including coconut milk!)

Mix flours, flaxseed, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Add eggs and milk.  Spray or lightly butter the frying pan (I used a bit of coconut oil)  and make the pancakes as large or small as you like.  Makes about 12 medium pancakes.

Another favourite GF pancake recipe was shared by a Pantry customer and here’s the link:

Stay safe and have a great week.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

End of Winter Deliciousness

Since I send out a weekly email called The Pantry News, I decided to compress a bit of the writing and re-post the email via my blog….so here’s the first one! 🙂

Hello March…spring is coming but it sure is COLD today!! spinach-lentil-stew2.jpg

The above picture is Spinach Lentil Stew, a vegan dish that is found in the Pantry freezer and one of the recipes that will be offered at the upcoming Plant-Based Diet Workshop.  The March 21st date is almost full, so I have plans to offer it again late April/early May!  I’ve also had a request for the Pantry Crackers & Almond Bread workshop on a different weekday evening, so that will happen on Wednesday, April 5th.

What’s NEW this week? (besides a delivery of Pinehedge kefir?) The sap is running in the County and the Brummell Family Maple Syrup has arrived in the Pantry!!  Full litres and half litres are available 🙂 FYI Maple In The County is March 25/26th this year….see you then!!

A spice that has been requested quite a lot recently is Chipotle and it is finally on the shelf.  The other ‘new’ item is kelp seaweed noodles.  The are sold in a package, ready to eat, with no preservatives.  A quarter of the package provides 15% of the daily recommended amount of calcium and has 1 gram of fibre.  I’ve made a nice salad with these and the package has an intriguing recipe for a soup. Something else to try!!

This week’s recipe is for one more soup since it’s still mighty cold out there 🙂

Squash & Seaweed Soup
2-3 cups squash, cooked (I’ve used butternut, acorn, buttercup)
1 – 1 1/2 cups cooked organic white beans
1 cup (about 30g) dried seaweed (alaria is good, also arame)
3-4 Tbsp of lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon is enough)
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp powdered organic ginger
2 Bay leaves (optional)
6 cups of water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
2 tsp organic curry powder
¼-1/2  tsp of  Celtic sea salt to taste
1 tsp toasted Sesame Oil
1 small can coconut milk
Cook the squash ahead, either roasting or steaming.  Scoop out the ‘meat’ and keep in the fridge for a day or 2 as your time dictates.
Soak overnight and cook the beans ahead also….make extra for bean dip or to have with salads. J
Cut the seaweed into small pieces with scissors.  Re-Hydrate in water for about 20 min. Drain, then soak in lemon juice before adding.
In a large soup pot on medium heat, add the coconut oil, onions, garlic, ginger & bay leaves and cook for about 5-10 min.  Add squash & seaweed. (Drain some or all of the lemon juice if you like- I leave it in)  Sauté on low heat for a few minutes.  Add water & bouillon cubes, simmering for about 10 min.  Add coconut milk & sesame oil. Blend & serve alone or with rice.

In Health and Happiness,

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Hello October …Cranberry Dumpling time !!

Here’s to October …more sun, rain and 🍁

Upcoming Pantry Holiday Closure:

Closed Thanksgiving Sunday October 9th – Monday October 17th (re-opening Tuesday Oct 18th at 9:00 a.m.)

I am looking forward to taking a week off to spend with family and friends and to re-charge the battery 😊  Thanks so much for your continued support!!

Yesterdays’ delivery included Pinehedge kefir.  The organic golden flax seeds have arrived, a fresh batch of Pyramid gut shots have been delivered and the Manitoulin wild caught whitefish is still available.  I also now have whole blanched almonds for those upcoming holiday recipes….

More local apples have been delivered including the first pickings of Northern Spies….great for pies!!  There are still plenty of MacIntosh and Empires too. 🍎

This weeks recipes include one of my favourite Thanksgiving desserts, Cranberry Nutmeg Dumplings.  (See below) The other recipes are also for baked goods….something about this cooler weather makes me hungry for muffins and scones!!  I’ve made Blueberry Lemon Scones for the Pantry today too 😊

Have a great weekend everyone,


Cranberry Nutmeg Dumplings.JPG

Cranberry Nutmeg Dumplings

¾ cup spelt flour

½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¼ cup organic cane sugar

2 tsp organic baking powder

¼ tsp Celtic sea salt

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1 egg (or 1Tbsp ground chia seeds and 3 Tbsp water -let it sit a few minutes)

1/3 cup milk (any type)

3 Tbsp oil (coconut if you have it, melted)

3 cups fresh cranberries

1 ½ cups water

¾ cup organic cane sugar or 1 tsp powdered pure stevia or ¼ cup organic raw agave nectar

2 Tbsp arrowroot flour

In a large saucepan over high heat, mix cranberries, whatever sweetener you have chosen and water. Cover and cook until cranberries begin to pop, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and blend in arrowroot flour. While cranberries are cooking, make the dough.

In a medium bowl mix together flours, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In another medium bowl, beat egg with a fork until fluffy. Add milk and oil. Add flour mixture and mix well with fork into dough.

Drop dough by spoonfuls on top of bubbling cranberries (you should get about 12 dumplings). Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook, without lifting lid, 12 minutes. Makes 6-12 servings, depending on portion size. This is not a sweet dessert but it is delicious….sweet ‘toppings’ can be added 🙂

Gluten-free Note: I would try ¾ cup of my blend, ¼ cup arrowroot starch, ¼ cup sweet rice flour and 1 tsp guar or xanthan gum. (I have not yet made these gluten-free, so please let me know how this works :))

(Credit note: original recipe from June Johnston’s Cookbook via The Toronto Star)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Hello Everyone 😊

It’s nice to feel the heat and not be quite so concerned about the lack of rain, albeit the situation is still critical here.  It’s also hard to believe that the long weekend is the weekend after this one!!

Pantry Hours THIS Weekend:

Saturday – 9:00 – 5:00

Sunday – 11:00 – 3:00

Labour Day Weekend Pantry Hours:

Saturday – 9:00 – 12:00 (Closing early to attend a family function Sat/Sunday)

Sunday & Monday – CLOSED

The Reachview organic greens have already come and gone from the Pantry porch today!  (Perhaps there will be a surprise delivery today) The Blue Wheelbarrow has delivered some nice field tomatoes and cucs and there are some beets and cherry tomatoes too.

What is NEW on the porch are some lovely, large, blemish-free, no spray crabapples from Milford…only $1 /lb!!!  I’ve roasted some with coconut oil & cinnamon for you to try and Marilyn (the owner of the tree) has supplied us with some hot crabapple jelly to sample too!  This recipe and the mango/crabapple chutney that I made a couple of years ago are both below.

Inside the Pantry everything is pretty much ‘stocked up’ including the Pinehedge kefir. 😋

Have a relaxing final weekend of August everyone!! 😎

Penny DSCN3637.JPG

Pantry Crab-Apple & Mango Chutney

4-5 cups washed, stemmed crab-apples

3 medium sized ripe mangos, peeled and chopped roughly

1 medium sized onion, chopped

¾ cup organic cane sugar

¾ cup filtered water

¾ cup organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar

½ tsp organic ginger powder

2-3” Ceylon cinnamon sticks

½ tsp organic ground cumin

½ tsp organic ground coriander

½ tsp organic turmeric

3-4 whole green cardamom pods

Put all ingredients in the crock-pot, stir and cook on low for about 8 hours. Remove the cinnamon sticks and mash with a potato masher. Cool and keep in the fridge or freeze for longer storage.

This amount fits nicely in a medium-sized crock-pot. Quantities are pretty flexible for both the main ingredients and the spices. If you like it hot, you may want to include a bit of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Garlic is also an option….go with your tastes!

*Note…there will be some ‘bits’ of the core that you may need to discard when eating, but I don’t find this troublesome, much easier than coring the crab-apples!


Hot Crabapple Jelly

8 cups of crabapples

3 cups white sugar

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more or less to taste)* This is optional.

Red wine vinegar (also optional)

Remove stems and blossoms of crabapples, cut in halves or quarters. Barely cover with water, bring to a boil with the pepper flakes, then simmer approx. 10 – 15 minutes until apples are soft. Strain through 3 or 4 layers of cheesecloth lining a colander which is set on top of a large pot – I use a dutch oven. Cover apples with a dinner plate, weighed down with a large full can. It is ready when dripping has stopped, but can be left overnight. You should have 4 cups of clear liquid to use for 3 cups of sugar. If it is a bit less, top up with a little red wine vinegar or just adjust sugar proportionately. Bring clear juice to a simmer, cook about 10 minutes. Stir in sugar, continue simmering until thickened and ready to “set”. If you have a thermometer 220 – 222 degrees. I just use a small plate and spoon chilled in the freezer, for testing a drop. Fill sterilized jars, leaving ¼ “ headspace.

*I cannot use fresh hot peppers (allergies) but there is no reason why you could not. Perhaps ¼ cup of chopped peppers which could be cooked with the apples?

This condiment is fantastic with almost any kind of cheese, and it also works with pork or chicken.

Have fun, Marilyn

Note from Penny: for those of you who have used (or are interested in using Pomona Pectin, this pectin will thicken the crabapple jelly with any amount of ANY sweetener….it is available in the shop and well worth trying !!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Curried Chickpea Surprise

Hello Everyone,

Here’s hoping for more rain!!  The delicious bags of greens have continued to be available from Reachview Organic Farm as have greens, beans and beets from the Blue Wheelbarrow.   The garlic is a-plenty from Tansy Lane and this week Honey Wagon Farm supplied the porch with large kohlrabi.  These are great chopped or shredded in coleslaw and stir-fry dishes.

The blueberries are available most days, thanks to Little Highbush in Waupoos.

I will continue to be open on Sundays 11:00-3:00 for the month of August.
Inside the Pantry, the fridge is well-stocked with Pinehedge kefir, Pantry salads, Pyramid sauerkraut and more.  I now have organic black quinoa in bulk and will continue to carry the 3-colour, red and white as well.

The recipe this week is for a delicious chickpea salad with a curry dressing.  Thanks to a Pantry customer for sharing this one…on to YOU!!  The salad has joined the list of organic Pantry salads.  It is gluten-free, organic and can easily be vegan. 😋


This recipe was brought in last week by a loyal Pantry customer and it is delicious! The recipe is from Bonnie Stern and she calls it Curried Chickpea with Dried Fruit, Nuts and Seeds.
I will often have it available to purchase in the Pantry. (You can easily made a double batch :))

2 cups cooked chickpeas*

½ cup currants *(Bonnie uses raisins
½ cup dried (organic are SO MUCH BETTER) apricots*, chopped

½ cup coarsely chopped, toasted raw cashews*

½ cup shredded coconut*

¼ cup sunflower seeds*

¼ cup pumpkin seeds* (I used part regular organic and part Austrian pumpkin seeds)

Optional- cooked whole grain rice or quinoa (about 1 cup)

½ cup mayonnaise* (I have used both an organic mayonnaise and a vegan-both great!)
1 ½ tsp curry powder* (use more if you like a strong curry flavour)

1 tsp honey* (agave or maple syrup could also be used I’m sure)
1 Tbsp lemon juice*

3-4 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1. Combine chickpeas with currants, apricots, cashews, coconut, sunflower seeds and

pumpkin seeds (also grain if including)

  1. Whisk mayonnaise with curry powder, sweetener, and lemon juice
  2. Combine dressing with the chickpea mixture. Blend in cilantro and green onions.

Enjoy!! Makes 4 servings


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Summertime in The County!

I hope that you are enjoying this gorgeous summer weather….yes it has been a bit too hot for some and YES, we need rain desperately, but I feel fortunate to live here and enjoy the heat for what it is.

July & August Store Hours:  M – F 9:00 – 5:00; Saturday 10:00 – 5:00; Sunday  11:00 – 3:00 Closed:  Civic Holiday Monday, Aug 1

This week on the Pantry porch there are certified organic salad bags from Reachview Farm, as well as a variety of greens, beans, sugar snap peas and purslane (samples available if you haven’t tried it!) from the organic practice BlueWheelbarrow Farm.  And Rose from Tansy Lane popped in Friday to promise fresh garlic very soon!!

Inside the Pantry the cassia buds have arrived (some people make a type of pickles with them) as well as the pickling spice, and alum.  The celery seeds are on order….due to arrive in a few days.  It’s almost pickling season in the County!

A fresh case of Pinehedge kefir has arrived as well as more Pyramid sauerkraut.  The latter goes very nicely with the variety of Pantry salads in the fridge.  Yesterday I made the Organic Chick Pea Citrus Salad and there are 2 other types to choose from….the early bird….  The Deep Dish Chocolate Quinoa Cakes sold out Friday as did the Pantry crackers yesterday….more are now ‘on the shelf’.

Recipes this week include the favourite Mighty Grain Salad (Note: this recipe requires tasting and often more spices, oil, lemon juice) and the Banana Oat Bran Muffin recipe that is easy, healthy & delicious!

Mighty Grain

‘The Stop’ Mighty Grain Salad

2 cups cooked grain (use a combo or choose- bulgur, couscous, wheat berries, quinoa)

3 Tbsp oil (olive, grapeseed, canola)

3 Tbsp acid (vinegar, citrus juice)

3-4 tsp total of spices you like (cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, curry powder)

sea or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cups finely diced vegetables (peppers, cucumber, celery, carrot)

1 small handful each of scallions and herbs (parsley, chives, fresh cilantro, dill etc)

about 1 – 1.5 cups cooked beans (kidney, black, chick peas, white) (rinse if from a can)

handful of toasted nuts or seeds (pumpkin, pecan, almonds) (toast for about 7 min in 350 oven)

handful of dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, raisins)

1 small handful crumbled goat cheese

Place cooked grains in a large bowl and add oil, acid, spices including salt and pepper. Add all other ingredients and toss well to coat evenly. Add cheese, mixing lightly.

With Love from Penny’s Pantry ………Enjoy!!!

(The Stop is a community hub food bank in the west end of Toronto and this recipe is from their cookbook entitled Good Food for All)


Banana Oat Bran Muffins

(credit to: 2peasinapod blog for original recipe)

2-1/4 cups oat bran
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cups milk (I use almond milk)
2 bananas, mashed
1 large egg
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1/3 cup chocolate chips or raisins (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. (400 convection) Line a standard muffin tin with paper cups.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oat bran, baking powder and brown sugar. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the milk, mashed bananas, egg and agave nectar.

3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Fold in the walnuts. (And chocolate chips or raisins if using) Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Bake until the muffins are lightly browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 12 to 15 minutes.

4. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

With Love from Penny’s Pantry ………Enjoy!!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Welcome to June already!! Emoji

After an extra long cold spring, this weather is a treat…however we do need some rain to help the ‘garden grow’ Emoji

Last week when I mentioned the new items available in the Pantry I forgot to include organic hempseed oil.  Someone ‘out there’ requested this high omega-3 oil, so I’ll see you soon along with anyone else who would like some.  There are limited bottles of Pinehedge kefir left this week and the next delivery will be next Friday, June 10.

This week I’ve been busy preparing organic salads to-go including the very popular Best Ever Lentil that I made twice already this week!  This salad has been so popular that although I do not circulate the recipe, I will soon be preparing the dry ingredients (including all 9 spices) in a kit form.  I’ve also re-stocked the freezer with Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup and have made the Sweet Potato & Greens Salad (with a curry/cashew dressing) for today.  More Pantry crackers and Pantry Pineapple Squares too!!  It’s all good, as they say. Emoji

I made the Vegetarian Rhubarb Stew this week and I cooked more lentils than the recipe required (I used about 2/3 cup dry ).  I also found it to be a bit sour and added just a little maple syrup after it was cooked.  It was a nice change and delicious on top of short grain rice!

This weeks recipes include a couple of nice salads (the Israeli couscous one has gluten), a muesli recipe and a delicious gluten-free, vegan dessert.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!   PennyDSCN1395

Brown Rice and Adzuki Bean Salad

(from Chez Piggy Restaurant, Kingston )

1 ¼ cup adzuki beans, rinsed

1 ¾ cup brown rice

2 ½ cups water

2 ¼ tsp miso

2 Tbsp light sesame oil

3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

3 cloves garlic, chopped

¼ cup rice-wine vinegar

¼ cup each diced celery, carrot, red bell pepper and diced red onion

¾ cup sliced scallions

½ cup chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)

2 Tbsp rice syrup (or substitute 1 ½ Tbsp maple syrup or honey or agave nectar)

½ cup tamari

¼ cup toasted sesame oil

¼ cup sesame seeds

1 ½ tsp mirin (Mirin is rice wine or sweetened saki –use sherry as an alternative)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add beans and cook until tender. (about 45 min) Drain and chill.

Rinse rice. Place water in a pot, bring to a boil Add rice and miso, return to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, simmer for 35 min. Let cool, then chill.

Heat light sesame oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet, add ginger, garlic and vinegar. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add celery, carrot, red pepper, onion and scallions. Cook until tender. Toss vegetables with beans and rice. Combine remaining ingredients and toss with bean mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 8.


Israeli Couscous Salad

(contributed by Doris from: Eat Clean Diet Cookbook 2, Tosc Reno )

1 sweet potato (recipe is to peel and dice into ½ cubes, I just scrubbed it well, removing any black spots and diced)

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil (has a higher flashpoint than olive oil) or Eat-Clean Spray if you have it

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees, coat sweet potato with oil or spray pan liberally and bake for 10-12 minutes, until just soft and lightly browned. Set aside.

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

1 1/3 cup Israeli couscous

2 cups boiling water (increased from 1 ¾ in recipe with the large couscous balls)

1 bay leaf

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom large saucepan, add the couscous and stir to coat over medium/high heat, stirring for about 3 minutes to brown couscous. Slowly pour in boiling water and bay leaf, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally until couscous is cooked but not mushy. Fluff with a wodden spoon.

Zest of 1 orange

1/3 cup orange juice (use the same orange if you like)

¼ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup cranberries (recipe calls for cherries if you have them)

¼ cup dried currants

Put the above 5 ingredients in a small pan and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let sit until fruit is plumped up, about 3 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid.

Add the sweet potatoes and drained fruit mixture to the couscous. Add ¼ cup chopped scallions (I used red onion and it was also nice) some chopped parsley, sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Add about half of the reserved fruit juice/dressing and 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add more of the reserved fruit juice more to the taste and moisture you like.

Muesli Recipe (credit to


  • 4 1/2 cups rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

  • 1/2 cup wheat bran

  • 1/2 cup oat bran

  • 1 cup raisins

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds


  1. In a large mixing bowl combine oats, wheat germ, wheat bran, oat bran, dried fruit, nuts, sugar, and seeds. Mix well. Store muesli in an airtight container. It keeps for 2 months at room temperature.


No-Bake Fruit Cheesecake

(credit to Leanne Vogel for original recipe- gluten-free, vegan)


2 cups + 2 Tbsp finely ground walnuts

1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil

2 Tbsp agave or coconut nectar

1/8 tsp Celtic sea salt

Process crust ingredients until ground & mixed well but not smooth. It should be a coarse texture when finished. Press evenly into a 9” pie pan. Put in the fridge while making the filling. (I find that it does crumble a bit when serving, so you could make it in individual dishes for a nicer presentation)


2 cups dried cranberries (sweetened with organic sugar)

200ml orange juice

1 Tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup chopped dates

Bring to a boil and simmer for 6-9 minutes. Set aside to add to rest of filling later.

2 2/3 cups soaked raw cashews (4 hours or longer)

¾ cups lemon juice

1/3 tsp Celtic sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

¾ cup raw unpasteurized honey

¾ cup melted virgin coconut oil

1 ½ Tbsp organic orange zest

1 ½ cups cranberry/orange mixture

Blend cashews in food processor until smooth (add 2-3 Tbsp water if needed).

Add remaining ingredients and continue to blend in processor. (If the food processor is not large enough, the cranberry/orange mixture can be mixed in after, in a bowl.

Spoon filling onto cold nut crust and smooth top. Dessert may be decorated with individual cranberries and/or walnut pieces. Keep in fridge covered for up to 24 hours. Freezes very well too.




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment