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Five unique desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth in Toronto

There are so many options when it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth in Toronto. Thanks to a solid mix of culturally diverse and ethnically-diverse foods, Toronto is home to a global array of sweets. Women’s Post recommends these five unique desserts to try in the city.

Bubble Tea – Taiwan

I’m still amazed when I meet someone who has never tried Bubble Tea before. This magical treat comes in many versions and variations — from creamy iced milk-tea to fruity light teas, all with added tapioca (the bubbles) or substituted for chewy coconut or lychee jelly bits. At some places, there is the option of adding pudding or grass jelly. Bubble Tea originated in Taiwan and there are Taiwanese shops or specialty bubble tea stores almost on every street corner in Toronto. Try places like ChaTime or CoCo Fresh Tea and Juice.

Going for Chatime classics or the new twilight drink in the middle? #chatime #delicious

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Halo Halo – Philippines 

After always hearing about this popular Filipino dessert, I finally got my hands on one this summer. Its principle is rather similar to a snow-cone, but this isn’t just any ordinary shaved ice treat. Traditional halo-halo comes with shaved ice, evaporated milk, various fruits, boiled sweet beans, shaved coconut pieces, custard, and a topping of ice cream. You can also get unique flavours like ube or mango. When I had my halo treat, I was lucky enough to get it from a Filipino food-truck called the Crane Express. But check out other Filipino restaurants in the city that may offer this treat as a dessert.

Austrian Cheese Bun- Austria

Austrian Cheese Buns are a speciality treat made of homemade bread often filled with a sweetened cream cheese. The Guschlbauer is a traditional Austrian brand that dates back to 1919 and they opened their first North American location in downtown Toronto this summer. The buns are made fresh daily and the cream cheese is imported from Australia and New Zealand. The buns take almost three hours to prepare as they are carefully crafted with five layers of melted cream cheese. It’s almost like a cheesecake infused in a soft pillowy bun. Try flavours like original, mango , strawberry, chocolate and even sweet potato.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXENSjngZ0F/?taken-by=guschlbauerto

Nitrogen Ice-cream- United States

Regular ice-cream is just so passe, (just kidding)  but if you are looking to try a unique take on ice cream , try some nitrogen ice cream. While Dippin’ Dots was once poised to be the future of ice-cream, many creative innovations have come along. This innovative way of preparing the dessert involves infusing the creamy ice cream base with liquid nitrogen to whip up your frozen treat in seconds. Try places like Lab Sense or Cool N2 Canada. You can get traditional flavours like mango, strawberry triple Oreo or try something wild like Super-Frozen Cheetos!

This is the taste of summer sunshine ☀️ #cooln2downtown #nitrogenicecream

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Uji Matcha Tiramisu- Japan

This tiramisu is a twist on the classic Italian dessert, but it’s sure to not disappoint. Essentially you’re trading your espresso for some matcha green tea. This matcha cake will combine layers and flavours you did not think possible. The Cheese Garden in North York offers traditional Japanese treats, and recently they launched the Uji Matcha Tiramisu to celebrate their one year anniversary. The tiramisu comes with a top dusting of matcha straight from Uji, then a layer of melted cream cheese followed by layers of matcha flavoured lady fingers. This creamy and cheesy treat will only be around for a limited time.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaaNk8nF02k/?taken-by=cheesegarden_ca

Did we miss your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!

4 tasty ways to stay hydrated

Was your New Year’s resolution to drink more water? If the answer is yes, you may be hitting your wall. After all, water tends to taste like…well nothing. It’s just a wet liquid that you consume out of necessity. But, it has so many benefits that it’s hard to ignore. It helps with digestion, weight loss, and fatigue — not to mention its actually necessary for your body to function (we are made of 50-60 per cent water after all).

But, how do you get over that darn taste hurdle. How do you make water more bearable? The answer, my dear readers, is the following: infuse it! This is the best health trend of 2017, in my opinion.

Infusion is made of a combination of fruit, vegetables, and herbs in cold water. As the chosen water addition “brews”, it releases nutrients and flavours. There are special infuser water bottles that you can purchase, but it works just as well if you put the add-ons directly in the water.

Still confused? Here are four combinations for infused water that will help you keep your hydration goals:

Cucumbers and Mint: Yes, cucumbers are basically water with a crunch, but they have a distinct refreshing and hydrating taste —just ask all of the spas that include cucumber water as a treat in their lobby. Cucumber also has anti-inflammatory properties so it can help your digestion. Already feeling a bit bloated? Add some mint to your water. It adds a natural sweetness while easing and calming an upset stomach. Not to mention it will make you feel like you are drinking a mojito – minus the alcohol.

Berries and Fruit: There aren’t a lot of medicinal benefits to infusing your water with berries. Sure, there may be a few anti-oxidants released, but not enough to make a difference in your health. However, berries and fruit can add a natural sweetness to your water that you can’t get with vegetables. Fruits like pineapple or cantaloupe will make you feel like you are drinking water on the beach. Just make sure to take off the skins. Have your heart set on berries? Try a mixture of Strawberries and blackberries.

Lemon and Lime: Adding lemon or lime to your water creates a powerful detox effect. It also helps activate your metabolism in the morning if you drink it before breakfast. Try freezing slices of lemons and limes to use as ice cubes. Lay them flat on a cookie sheet and freeze overnight. Then put them in a freezer bag so you can quickly grab them for your water bottle. Just make sure to put a piece of parchment paper underneath so the citrus doesn’t absorb the metallic taste of the cookie sheet.

Herbs and Tea: Not interested in sweet-tasting water? Maybe it’s time to try something a little unconventional — the savoury water. Add a hint of rosemary, basil, or lemongrass into your water for a unique taste. These herbs don’t have a lot of nutritional value, but they can be a nice refreshing change from the citrus water you get at health stores. If you want to get really fancy, combine a herb with your lemon or fruit water. Rosemary goes well with lemon and basil adds another level of flavour when combined with berries.

Do you infuse your water? Tell us what you use in the comments below!

Recipe: What’s the deal with breakfast bowls?

Healthy habits may develop slowly, and it starts by planning out your meals.

As a big breakfast fan, I love the idea of breakfast bowls. They look so pretty on Instagram and on Pinterest — but when it comes to actually making it, I find myself lazy and cheap. How do you make something so beautiful so early in the morning? And what is a “breakfast bowl” anyway? Women’s Post seeks to answer some of those questions below:

Superfood it up

This is the one pictured most often in articles about breakfast bowls. It is also the option that requires a real investment — both financially and mentally. first of all, most bowls have a quinoa base. Cook the quinoa (rinse first), by placing 1/2 cup of the seeds in a pot with 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of coconut or almond milk. Cook like you would rice, until the liquid is gone and the quinoa is fluffy. If you don’t want to do a quinoa base, try a chia seed and yogurt base. Top with superfoods like merjool dates, golden raisons, shredded coconut, goji berries, pepitas, sunflower seeds, flax, and more chia seeds. Add nutmeg and cinnamon, as well as berries or nuts to your liking.

Smoothie bowl

This one seems like a waste of a bowl to me. Essentially, you make a smoothie and then put it in a bowl and top it off with superfoods and fruit — chia seeds, coconut, and berries for example. You then proceed to eat the smoothie with a spoon. Personally, I make a smoothie for breakfast only when I’m on the run. I can put all these good things IN the blender (chia seeds, berries, granola, flax, ect.) and drink it on the bus. Why on earth would I want to make it into a bowl?

I think the answer is obvious: for the Instagram likes.  Am I right?

Savoury twist

Sometimes breakfasts can be a bit too sweet. Try making a quinoa base and topping it with nuts, hardboiled or poached eggs, some sausage, and avocado. Not feeling like the extra carbohydrates? Try exchanging the quinoa base for greens like kale or spinach for a breakfast salad-type of thing. Top with sprouts, sweet potatoes, or other light-vegetables that are easy on the stomach. Add some nuts for extra protein and a light homemade dressing with lemon juice, oil, and spices.

Want to satisfy a sweet craving?

Try making a chocolate chia pudding and topping it with fruit. This pudding can be quite filling, so half a cup is plenty.

In a bowl, whisk together one to two cups of milk (or almond milk) , 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1/4 cup cocoa, a sweetening agent (I use agave or maple syrup), and some vanilla. Refrigerate overnight in the bowl or divide into jam jars for portability. You may have to experiment with the ratio of chia seeds and milk until you reach a consistency you like. Top with fresh strawberries, bananas, or blueberries. Or go crazy and choose all three!

While these “bowls” are picturesque, I’m not sure if they are worth the time (and money) it would take to make them. I’m more then happy with my regular smoothies and granola-yogurt combinations — which by the way, is the exact same thing as these “bowls”, but without the expensive superfoods.

But, what do you think?

Have you made a breakfast bowl before? Let us know what you put in it in the comments below!

5 Fruit Smoothies To Quench Your Thirst

Summer is here! With the warm weather tickling our fancy for a cold, summer drink, we couldn’t resist putting together these smoothie recipes for you to try. The colours will excite you, the taste will please you, and the satisfaction will complete you. What are you waiting for? Grab your blender and try out these 5 smoothie recipes now!

 

watermelon-frosty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watermelon Frosty
serves 2

2 1/4 cups frozen watermelon cubes
1/2+ cup water
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 large lemon, squeezed
1 fresh banana

Directions: Add all ingredients to the blender – plus 1/4 cup of water. Start blending. Add more water as needed to blend. Add as little liquid as possible to keep your frosty thick and “frosty!”

 

 smoothie 1 FINAL

Basil- Lime Delight

Serves 4 

1 lemon peeled, sliced and seeded.

2 limes peeled and halved

1/4 cup sugar or sweetener of choice

6-7 fresh basil leaves

3 cups ice

1 cup water or apple juice

Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender and secure lid. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to high. Blend for 90 seconds. Garnish with fresh basil leaf or lemon wedge.

 

 Blueberry-Smoothie-Marla-Meridith-IMG_4652

 Very Peachy BlueBerry

Serves 3-4

1/4 cup Stewed Peaches

1/2 cup frozen Blueberries (plus extra for topping)

1 tablespoon Lemon Juice

3/4 cup unsweetened Almond Milk

handful of Ice

Stevia, Honey, Agave or Maple Syrup to taste

Fresh Mint for garnish

Directions: Stew peaches by cutting them into pieces and placing them in a saucepan with a few tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil then simmer. Mash them against the side of the pan to release juices. Simmer about 6 minutes. Let the peaches chill in the fridge.

Blend all ingredients together. Sweeten to taste if needed. Garnish with mint and frozen blueberries.

 

mango_pineapple 

Mango Tango Pineapple-o

Serves 2

1 cup chopped fresh pineapple

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen mango, peeled, cubed, and frozen

1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup cranberry-pomegranate-cherry juice

Directions: Blend all ingredients together. Sweeten to taste if needed. Garnish with mango chunks and one slice of pineapple.

 

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If you’re up for a challenge or have some extra time (and fruits) laying around, try this layered smoothie to leave a lasting impression on your friends- and their tummies! 

Dare to Layer

Serves 4

10 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed

2 tablespoons honey

12 ounces unsweetened lemon-lime sparkling water

5 kiwis, peeled

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 cup roughly chopped cantaloupe

4 kiwi slices, for garnish

 Directions:

1. In the basin of a food processor or blender, combine raspberries and honey. Pulse or blend until pureed. Strain raspberry puree through a fine mesh sieve and discard seeds. Mix in lemon-lime sparkling water and set aside.

2. Combine the peeled kiwi and lime juice in the clean basin of a food processor or blender. Pulse or blend until pureed. Set aside.

3. Add the cantaloupe in the clean basin of a food processor or blender. Pulse or blend until pureed. Set aside.

4. To layer your drink, gently spoon equal amounts of kiwi puree into each of four bowls or glasses. Repeat with cantaloupe puree and raspberry puree. Garnish with kiwi slices.

 

Happy blending!

 

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