It’s the beginning of berry season! Oh how lovely it is to swap out my bags of frozen berries for fresh berries.
To celebrate berry season, I’ve made my favourite banana bread and stuffed it full of fresh strawberries and blueberries. This Berry Banana Bread is kept moist with my secret ingredient (pssst – sour cream!!), and each mouthful is bursting with berries.
To be fair, it’s not berry season in my backyard yet – for that, we’ve got another month or two to go – and by “backyard” I mean my potted veggie garden on my rooftop deck 😉 . It’s been an unseasonably cool Spring here in the Pacific Northwest, so my strawberry and raspberry plants only have buds so far!
I grew up on an island in the pacific northwest, on the coast of British Columbia, Canada. Taking a ferry to the mainland (where I live now – in the city of Vancouver), through an archipelago of mountainous, treed islands was a regular occurrence – sometimes you could even spot whales!
The ferry passes through a grouping of islands called the Gulf Islands, and one of those islands is Salt Spring. Salt Spring Island is very small in comparison to the island I grew up on, with a tiny town, rolling hills of farmland, artisans, hippies, rocky beaches, and a very, very laid back lifestyle. (It’s a lovely place to vacation! You should go!)
Salt Spring Island has an incredible, incredible farmer’s market during the spring and summer – one of my favourite vendors is Salt Spring Kitchen, who sell artisanal preserves.
Last summer I picked up their Blueberry Basil Jam which has become a favourite to pair with a sharp cheddar cheese and cracker. The sweetness of the berries plays off a hint of refreshing basil – it’s a lovely sweet-savoury combination.
This pairing inspired me to re-create the same flavours in a Blueberry Basil Smoothie! I’ve added fresh basil leaves to a classic blueberry smoothie, creating a refreshing twist in this healthy breakfast smoothie.
Ribbons of cinnamon! Oh how I love thee, cinnamon!
There’s a lot of cinnamon in this loaf – the more the better, in my opinion! Cinnamony batter is layered with generous sprinkles of cinnamon sugar, creating visible “ribbons” of cinnamon flavour explosions throughout the loaf.
I’ve been obsessed with breakfast bowls lately! They are such a simple way to combine so many flavours into one delicious bowl – and then you have the best excuse to load up on all your favourite toppings. I’ve been eating tons of oatmeal bowls and rice pudding bowls sprinkled with my favourite fresh fruits, crunchy granola, chopped nuts, drizzles of homemade jam… the toppings are the best part, really 😉
But for this recipe, the toppings definitely come second. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl tastes like DESSERT in a bowl. The first time I made this recipe and dunked a spoon in my blender to give it a taste, I actually audibly breathed, “OHMYGOD” and forced a spoonful into J’s mouth so he could taste it too.
In Nordic countries, rice pudding is a popular breakfast. With all their cold, dark winters, those tough Nordic people really know their cozy breakfasts!
It’s been a slog getting through the last of Winter here (wait a minute, it’s supposed to be “Spring” now, isn’t it?!) – we’ve had endless days of non-stop rain. The sun shone one day last week and I felt like a brand new person! I’m hoping this Breakfast Rice Pudding with Quick Almond Granola will help get me through…
Are you team pancakes or team waffles?
Normally I’m team waffles. But these buttermilk pancakes are so light, fluffy, and smothered in the sweetest sticky triple berry drizzle that I may just change my mind…
Did you know that the term “flat as a pancake” has been around since 1611? (I hope you never had that terrible phrase directed at you!) Even our stone age ancestors were eating pancakes. It’s true.