Simply Sustenance

Last week’s dinner marked the end of the first installment of the Healthy Roots challenge. It was a pleasure to work with Family Traditions on the event. Over the past eight months I have had the joy of working alongside an extraordinary grandmother with an incredible passion for cooking and feeding people. Her love and dedication to her family and community will forever be a source of inspiration.

Even though this installment of Healthy Roots has ended, what I have learned will leave a lasting impression on the food I make. It has been a fun endeavour to think about food in new ways. Working within a set of parameters has challenged my understanding of food and forced a creative exploration of its preparation.

Nature provides all the sustenance we need. It takes confidence to let ingredients be themselves. Food should not be complicated, it should be whole and authentic. Focusing on technique in the kitchen will help build the confidence to simplify.

This week’s recipe is maple syrup, seeds and nuts, deliciously embodying simplicity. Candying sugar is an easy process but takes some care as it can be dangerous, you can easily be burned. I recommend using a candy thermometer. You can find them anywhere you buy kitchen supplies.

Maple Candied Seeds and NutsIMG_20150325_162713

1 cup nuts and/or seeds

1.5 cups maple syrup

In a medium sauce pot, bring maple syrup to a boil and cook reaches a temperature of 250F or hard-ball stage. Be very careful, sugar at this temperature will burn you. Pour in nuts or seeds, stir with a wooden spoon until well incorporated. Immediately lay out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. While the maple syrup is still hot it will be pliable, letting you shape it however you wish.  Once cooled completely they can be stored in a mason jar or covered with plastic wrap.  Enjoy!

Note:  If you wish to have a less compact end result you can use more maple syrup