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Cherry Season, 3 Ways

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When certain fruits or vegetable come into season, underneath all of the welcome back party feelings, a part of me starts to panic. It’s a bit like when you start worrying about going home on the first day of your vacation. What if I don’t get the chance to take full advantage of it before it leaves us again for another year?!

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(A cherry pitter, although niche, is indispensable for the short cherry-filled weeks. They also work for pitting most olives.)

The summer is full of this strange, delicious seasonal produce anxiety. I find the only way to remedy it is to properly roll around in the local bounty. Eat lots of it as is, while you transform the rest into culinary creations to be appreciated both later that day and later that month, when it has abruptly stopped showing up to the farmers markets.

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The Salt Conundrum (Seaweed Salt)

Of all of the foods that are considered ‘bad for your health’, the one I find the most challenging to avoid is not chocolate. It isn’t refined sugar or bacon either. It doesn’t even have a flavour all its own, but selflessly gives a small boost to all other flavours. It is salt, the high heel shoes of the culinary world. Much like heels, salt needs to be used in moderation. If you use it too often, your taste buds adapt, and you will require more salt to avoid your food tasting bland (or feeling short in a pair of flats….).

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By avoiding processed foods and cooking from scratch, you are able to avoid added sodium (and so much more). Clearly we are big proponents of cooking from scratch, here at TCCK, but we also want the food you make to taste delicious, so that you WANT to eat it. How else are you going to get all of those cancer-crushing, bio-available nutrients into your body?

So maybe small amounts of high quality, mineral-rich, additive-free sea salt would be ok. Derived from the cleaner oceans of the world, where the air is warm enough to evaporate the water off naturally, so that no de-mineralizing boiling needs to take place.

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Grain-free Falafel

Having just spent a couple of weeks in parts of Europe where the food, is smooth, rich, mild, and temperate, I need a change of (flavour) scene. It was all so delicious, but now I crave spices, herbs, bitter, tart, and a little bit of aggression. I hope you do too.

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Hello falafel! I indulged in a couple of Maoz moments while I was away, to counter some of the delicious but rich and thematic everyday fare (Maoz -a veggie falafel stand that has a tendancy to pop up exactly when you need it, all over Europe). This is where the inspiration is coming from this week (in part, because I couldn’t wrap my head around Crushing Cancer Croissants. Yet.)

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The healthier, Crushing Cancer version of the falafel is baked at a low temperature instead of fried, refined oil-free (all of the fats are whole fats, derived from nuts and seeds), and gluten and bean-free. Everything on my site is naturally gluten-free, (we are looking to lower inflammation, not cause it, right?) and the lack of beans in this recipe is good news if you have trouble digesting them, but the culinary reason that I am using almonds, pumpkin seeds and flax in place of the mighty chickpea is that they create a firmer texture with a bit of crunch (we are looking for crunch from somewhere other than the deep fryer).

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Fermented Cabbage & Golden Beet Sauerkraut

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While working in a small upscale French restaurant 10-15 years ago, someone accidentally ordered 4 litres of pre-peeled garlic. It promptly started to go off from a lack of use, and stink up the walk-in, and I remember worrying about the smell attacking the rest of our mise en place and fruit, cheese etc. A fellow cook who I worked with had spent a few years working in South Korea, and she was the only one embracing the fermented garlic cooler-stench wafting around our small kitchen. She had eaten her fill of (intentionally) fermented foods while there, and loved it enough for some rotten garlic in our walk-in to be causing her nostalgia. I found this hilarious yet oddly intriguing at the time, and have never forgotten it. Little did I know….

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Fermented is now the new green, which is great for people like myself, (enthusiastic, but needs to see it happening to fully understand it, as opposed to reading about it in great black and white detail a trillion times while absorbing nothing) because there are now plenty of colourful pictures and videos out there happily spinning our right-brained minds into action.

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