Category Archives: Ancient Grains

Delicious Canadian Classics at Maple Roch

Greetings, lovely food enthusiasts of Summerland. Before we begin the tour of What We Ate in March, please save the date for our Vegan/Raw Vegan Potluck on April 19 at Purple Hemp on Victoria Street. Start time: 6pm-ish. RSVP: Join the Facebook event or email me at to let me know you’re coming. We’ll have the opportunity to meet some of the health practitioners at Purple Hemp and learn a bit more about the company. Notes for this event: If your dish is gluten free, please include a label to help our friends with celiac know which dishes they can safely eat. As always, remember your Tupperware for leftovers!

This month we enjoyed a spectacular Canada-inspired potluck at Maple Roch’s beautiful new store on Victoria Street. Our hostess was the one and only Mirjana, who made us maple-spiked Caesars and let us be among the first to sample the maple syrup that was recently tapped from Summerland trees. We discovered this was to sweeten us up for Mirjana’s Really Hard Canadian Food Quiz. I scored a whopping three points. Download the quiz to learn some interesting Canada Food Facts.

As always, I missed out on some photos, including LeeAnna’s Mars Bar Smartie Squares (Because Mars Bars are Canadian!) You’ll just have to imagine the chocolate gooey goodness punctuated with nubbins of sweet smartie.

It’s worth noting that this meetup marked the first time a hair dryer was used as a warming tool. Challenged with refreshing the meltiness of the cheese for her Deconstructed Bacon Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onion Marmalade, Dorthea deftly employed the hair dryer to achieve ideal cheesy softness. I hope the next time a cheese sandwich needs heating someone will carry on Dorthea’s boldness and attempt the Sam method.Onward with the rest of the treats!

Jan’s Saskatoon Berry Tarts. What a treat to eat Saskatoons out of season. They were just sweet enough, just tart enough, and absolutely lovely.

The recipe for Jan’s Saskatoon Tarts. Click to see a larger version.

Lorraine’s Beef Is Canadian! Swiss Steak. Rich gravy = extremely tasty.

Kim’s Red Fife & Barley Winter Salad. Part of why I love the whip round is it gives a chance to tell the stories of our culinary adventures. Kim is a natural storyteller and I love hearing the tales she brings to go with her creations. This time we learned how wheat made its planting debut in 1005, and how in 1842, David Fife began growing Red Fife (which has its origins in what is now Western Ukraine) in Ontario. She shared that barley was first grown in Newfoundland in 1578 and that in 1668 the first brewery opened in Quebec City. Commercial crop production of barley began in 1812. Mmmmm…delicious food knowledge.

Jean’s “Maple” Maple Cookies. Jean is extremely good at this kind of crisp-yet-buttery style of cookie, as those of you who experienced her tea bag cookies at our Victorian High Tea meetup back in 2014 can attest to. Click the photo to relive the recipes of our tea party adventure.

Jean also whipped up a batch of Maple Cream Puffs. As one does. Don’t you just want to pick one up and eat one right now? I do.

Tangy alert! Victoria’s Cranapple Maple Baked Beans. Vegan and gluten free, it was very hearty and warming. I must try this for myself.

Val’s Maple Coffee Cake. This cake had presence. It was a splendid match with my cup of breakfast tea the next morning.

A full cup of maple syrup went into Janice’s Maple Bread Pudding. Comfort food of the gods.

Welcome back to Summerland, Beth! And thank you for bringing Chocolate Truffle Balls spiked with maple. These were also nice with a cup of tea. Click the recipe below for the larger image.

Sophia’s Smoked Salmon Mousse with True Grain 9-Grain Crackers. A quick recipe when you’re pressed for time but want something decadent. Click the photo for the recipe.

Don, who says he could happily live on salmon, paired his marinated salmon dish with a lovely 2017 Tangle Tree Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa. I hope no one wants any more of the wine, as my sources tell me Don has scoured the valley for the remaining bottles.

Laura’s Barley & Corn Casserole. I feel healthier every time I look at this photo. Also very nice with red wine.

We didn’t have any Nanaimo Bars, but our Canadian Classics challenge was enhanced when Chantelle revealed she’d brought Butter Tarts.

And that’s what we ate in March. I hope I didn’t forget anything. A wonderful time was had by all. Thanks again to Mirjana and to Maple Roch for hosting our wild gang.  See you at Purple Hemp for Vegan night!

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Filed under Ancient Grains, comfort food, meetups, Recipes

Ancient Grain Adventures Report!

The quote of month for March goes to our youngest baking club member Rylee. We were all sitting down with our first rounds of glorious food when Rylee frantically nudged her mom and pointed out the awesome lack of a queue for early seconds. “Now’s the best time to go!” The second best quote of the month also goes to Rylee, who fell quite madly in love with Dianne’s Spelt Focaccia and was loading the pieces into her Tupperware at the end of the evening. When gently reminded by her mom that they were going on a big trip the next day and wouldn’t be able to eat so much, the young foodie quickly adapted. “Okay, we’ll just have two each.” This young lady is obviously one of us.

2 On Camera

Erick from ET2media hung out with us for the evening. Thanks, Erick!

Summerland Baking Club

Our youngest member and fearless extras gatherer is bottom left.

3 Digging in

Before I crack on with the Ancient Grain report, our next will be Thursday, April 28th at Dianne’s house (email me for directions) and the theme will be “Early Spring Offerings.” Something tells me there’s going to be some asparagus in our collective futures.

Below I have posted photos and any recipes that I have. Some of them I have forgotten who made them. At this stage however I think most of you have grown used to my somewhat haphazard style of “organizing” things. Thank you to those who gathered up all the recipes and note cards at the end of the evening, knowing full well that I would likely lose them if you didn’t.

Wild Rice, Lentil and Emmer Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Who made this one again? It was delicious!

Wild Rice Salad

2 cups (500ml) cooked wild rice
2 cups cooked Emmer kernels
1 cup (250ml) lentils (French green or beluga), cooked or sprouted
1 cup cranberries
2 Tbsp (30ml) hemp hearts

Zest of 2 oranges
2 Tbsp grainy mustard
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Canola oil
3 Tbsp honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss rice, lentils, emmer kernels, cranberries and hemp hearts together in a bowl. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients in separate bowl and then toss over salad. Season with to taste.

Lisa’s Volou Vorst

So awesome. So decadent. So. Much. Excellent. Bacon.Volou Vorst

Incredible Quinoa Salad (Whitewater Cookbook)

This was a favourite of many and I don’t think there were any leftovers. There is a recipe online here that I think may be the right one.

Quinoa Salad

  • 2 cups multi-coloured quinoa, cooked and cooled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups micro kale or julienned regular kale
  • 1/2 red onion, diced finely
  • 1 cup corn kernels, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 papaya, peeled, seeded and diced


  • 1/2 papaya, peeled, seeded and chopped roughly
  • 2 limes, juice of both, zest of one
  • 1 tsp ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup liquid honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. A hand-held wand blender works well too.

Toss quinoa with salt, turmeric, paprika and cumin in a large salad bowl. Add kale, red onion, corn, red pepper, cilantro and papaya. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture and toss gently until well combined.

Jean’s Homemade Chocolate Digestives

Digestives are such an amazing comfort food. These would be perfect with a cup of strong tea. Digestive Biscuits

Tina’s awesome Hummus
I don’t have the amounts but the delicious secret everyone went away with was buttermilk!


  • Chickpeas
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Tahini
  • Buttermilk
  • Salt
  • Paprika

Jan’s Chocolate Quinoa Cake
This was very decadent! Jan adapted the recipe from two sources: Oh She Glows and She included red quinoa, duck eggs, butter, coconut cream, coconut powder, sugar and milk.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Denise’s Sweet Potato, Spelt, Kamut & Hemphearts Biscuits

Am I right – Denise were these yours? These would be excellent with soup.

Sweet potato spelt kamut biscuits

Chantelle’s Vegan Gingersnap Cookies
Vegan and gluten free and somehow still tasty! Find the recipe here.
Gluten free ginger biscuitsTama’s Italian Bean Stew with Kale & Quinoa
Comfort Food Alert!Italian Bean stew with kale and quinoa

Wendy’s Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Topping


Anyone else have two pieces of this? I loved how the top was kind of caramelized.

Kim’s rather glorious ancient grain crackers

I very much appreciate all the work that goes into these dishes, dishes I often would never be brave enough to try myself. Ancient Grain Crackers

Dianne’s Sourdough Spelt Focaccia

Spelt Focaccia

The infamous focaccia that young Rylee couldn’t get enough of! Luckily, she did save a few pieces for the rest of us.

Pumpkin Loaf  -Another tasty gluten free option!
Gluten free pumpkin bread

Val’s Chocolate Quinoa Cake
Quinoa Chocolate Cake
This cake looked as lovely as it tasted.
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/3 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease two 8-inch round cake pans; line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper – this cake is very moist, and it will make removing them much safer.
In a blender, combine the milk, eggs and vanilla; add the cooked quinoa and the melted butter and blend until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the blender and pulse until well blended.
Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pans before running a thin knife around the edges and inverting them onto plates. Frost if you like, or serve dusted with icing sugar.
I added a tablespoon of instant coffee to the cocoa, I some of the guests identified it and said it added to richness.

Laura’s Vegetarian “Meatloaf”Vegetable loafThis reminded me of the Glazed Lentil Apple Walnut Loaf from Oh She Glows. I had two servings because yummy.

Lory’s Bulgur, Black Bean, & Mushroom Enchilada Casserolebulgar mushroom and blackbean enchiladas

Oh, this was lovely. The smell is heavenly and it would be a great dish to serve to company. Or yourself. Serves 6 to 8 (or yourself if you’re really, really hungry).


  • 15 small or 10 large Corn Tortillas
  • 1 cup uncooked Bulgur Wheat
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 lb. White or Brown Mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (28 oz.) can Mild Enchilada Sauce store bought or homemade (recipe follows)
  • 1 lb. Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded

Optional Toppings (always say yes to optional toppings):

  • 1/2 cup halved Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 Tbsp. crumbled Cotija or Feta Cheese
  • 1/8 cup chopped Cilantro leaves
  • 1 Avocado, diced
  • 2 Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 small Jalapeno, sliced into rings

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine bulgur with 2 cups cold water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes until cooked.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and brown on one side for 60 seconds. Stir and continue to cook until soft, three or four minutes. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl.

3. Once the bulgur has cooked, fluff with a fork and transfer to the large bowl. Add the black beans, ¼ of the enchilada sauce, and ½ of the shredded cheese. Fold together with a spatula.

4. Pour another ¼ of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 13” x 9” baking dish. Arrange five tortillas to cover the bottom (you may need to cut into quarters). Spoon half of the filling over the top and press down with a spatula. Pour another ¼ of the enchilada sauce over the top.

5. Arrange another five tortillas in the dish to create a second layer, followed by the second half of the filling and another ¼ of the enchilada sauce.

6. Arrange the final five tortillas over the top of the dish, then pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top. Spread the remaining shredded cheese over the top of the dish. Cover with well-greased foil and bake 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another five minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Let rest fifteen minutes, top with desired toppings, and serve.

Sophia’s Kamut Berry SaladKamut SaladThis is really nutritious and cheap to make. I think it will be my summer go-to salad recipe. It was supposed to have pomegranate but I couldn’t find any.

I did it! This blog post has taken me two weeks to finish. There are probably many, many errors. But I doubt anyone has read down this far anyway so nevermind. Oh, I’m very tired.


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Baking with Ancient Grains #2

Finally – a follow-up post of ancient grain deliciousness. Also, we made the paper! If you missed it, here we are in all our baking glory.

Summerland Bakers

So far I have tried out Lisa’s pizza recipe using a quinoa-based crust, and it was fantastic. It is now my new pizza recipe for a quick mid-week meal – super filling and very healthy. In this second batch of recipes, there are a few recipes I’m still missing, so you’ll just have to enjoy the photos!

Barley Pilaf

From Jan: Auntie Irma’s Barley Pilaf – Summerland version

2 cups of pot barley, rinsed twice in cold water
• Heat a large skillet. Put the barley into the hot skillet to dry & roast
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 Tablespoons butter
• Add the oils to the skillet and turn on the heat
1 onion, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
• Add the onion and pepper to skillet and sauté for 2 minutes
1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of fish sauce, or something salty
1 Tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar, or something sour
A dash of Frank’s hot sauce, or something spicy
Course ground black pepper
• Add flavour-making things to the skillet & mix evenly
• Put the barley mix in a well-greased casserole dish with a snug fitting lid, or a Dutch oven.
4 cups of water
• Rinse the skillet with the water
• Add the water to the barley in the casserole; put the lid on
• Bake for 90 minutes* at 325 degrees F
• Add more liquid as it cooks; ¼ cup, periodically. Use broth or water

*Cook time will depend on your casserole dish; keep the lid on.

Larry CookiesJennifer’s “Larry Cookies”

These are named after Jennifer’s colleague Larry (surprise, surprise), who often brings them into work. She substituted ground spelt flour for the regular flour.

1 cup soft margarine (non-hydrogenated)
1.5 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Cream together until light and fluffy. An electric mixer works wonderfully.

2.5 cups flour
2.5 cups oats (1.5c quick oats + 1c large flake oats)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet or milk or butterscotch)

Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Scoop onto cookie sheets using a size 30 scoop. Flatten slightly. Bake at 325’F until barely golden brown on the edges. Remove from oven, cool for five minutes then transfer to cooling rack to finish cooling. Freeze.

My optionals were:
1/2 cup hemp seeds, 1 cup coconut, 1/4 cup of flax seeds, the rest of your craisins and sunflower seeds (1/4 cup each?) I reduced the flour by 1/2 cup in order to accommodate optionals.

1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans or hazelnuts)
1/3 cup ground flax
1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, figs, and/or apricots)
1 cup flaked coconut

Note from Jennifer: Play with the amount of flour if you don’t like the product – too much makes them dry and hard to put out – too little makes them flat and greasy.

spelt bread

Diana’s Bread with Ancient Grains
1.25 cup warm water
2.5 tsp yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 cup spelt flour
2.25 cup unbleached white flour

Combine the flours, gluten, water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixed. Knead with the dough hook until you have an elastic dough. Add the salt and olive oil and continue kneading until both are fully incorporated.
Form the dough into a ball, drizzle with additional olive oil, and return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size – about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet. Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and turn out the dough.

Knead the dough briefly, then shape it into a ball. Place it, seam-side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size – about 40 minutes.

Slash the loaf as desired, then bake until nicely browned, about 35 minutes.

Remove the loaf to a rack to cool completely before slicing.

Read more:

This is what I followed by added an extra raising at the bowl and plastic wrap stage. The second rising at this stage was about 45 minutes (did not take as long as the first).

spelt bulgar kamut breadAl’s Ancient Grains Bread

1.25 cup warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp sea salt
1.5 tsp lemon juice
1.5 Tbsp grapeseed oil
3 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
2.25 cup spelt flour
.33 cup buckwheat flour
.33 cup bulgur flour
.33 cup kamut flour


NOTE: buckwheat, bulgur and kamut flour were all ground freshly from grain in a Blendtec blender.

Add water, yeast and honey to bowl and mix. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes.

Add sea salt, lemon juice, oil and gluten to bowl and mix.

Add 1 cup Spelt flour to bowl and mix in.

Gradually add the rest of all the flours and mix together to form a dough ball.

Let rest and rise for 10-15 minutes in a warm place (about 29 C or 84 F)

Punch down, put into oiled loaf pan with corn meal sprinkled on bottom (to avoid sticking) and let rise again until dough has topped the pan by about an inch.

Bake in preheated (350 F) oven until done (about 25-30 minutes)

chocolate chip breakffast cookies with farroVanora’s Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies with Farro

Before you attempt this recipe, Vanora has compiled some tips for cooking with farro.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 3 dozen of cookies

From Vanora: These are a combo between a soft cookie and a muffin top. They are sweet, but not too sweet, packed with chocolate chips and farro for a chewy bite.

1/3 cup uncooked Tuscan Fields Pearl Farro
1/2 cup diced cold butter
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup sugar in the raw
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In a small saucepan add the farro and 1 1/2 cups of water and boil for about 20 minutes until cooked.
Drain and leave to cool completely.
When the farro is cold, heat the oven to 400F.
Line 2-3 cookie baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a food processor add the butter, applesauce and sugar and blend for about 2-3 minutes until creamy.
Add the baking soda, almond extract and oats and keep pulsing, slowly adding the boiling water through the feeding tube.
Turn the food processor off and add the flour. Pulse until just combined.
Place the batter into a mixing bowl and add the cooled farro and chocolate chips – with a spatula, fold them in.
Using a medium ice-cream scoop, drop cookie dough on the prepared sheets.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the top is firm to touch and slightly golden.
Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheets before placing them to cool completely on wire racks.

Kim’s Ancient Grain batards

I don’t have the recipes for the incredible flavourful breads that Kim shared with us last month. I regretted not snagging extra pieces to take home. For dedication (3 days in the making and several different flours used!), attention to detail, flavour and display, I think we can agree that Kim deserves the “Star Baker” accolade for April. A wee reminder of

Ancient Grain BreadAncient Grain BreadsA reminder of some of the other delicious bakes we enjoyed:

Leah’s Quinoa Chocolate Cake (we really demolished this one):

Chcoolate Quinoa Cake

Judith’s Einkorn Bread (Todd reported that True Grain is working toward a new bread using Einkorn in the near future)

Einkorn bread

Kim L’s Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Hemp Cookies (The recipe is borrowed and is a secret- sorry!)

chocolate chip peanut butter hemp cookies


Jo’s Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins:

vegan spelt banana chocolate chip muffins


Wendy’s Breakfast Cookies With Red River Cereal (Quote: I don’t know if it’s ancient grains, but it was in my cupboard for a long time)

Breakfast Cookies with red river cereal


And finally this lovely loaf of spelt and Sundried Tomato Bread, which I loved!

spelt sundried tomato bread


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Filed under Ancient Grains, Bread, cookies, Healthy bakes, Recipes