Healthy Pomegranate Smoothie


This pomegranate smoothie recipe is loaded with healthy benefits that will leave you glowing from the inside out. Antioxidants galore!

The post Healthy Pomegranate Smoothie appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.


Grab this Pomegranate Smoothie for a ruby red beverage loaded with potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. It’s the perfect antioxidant-rich drink that you can sip this season to ward off the sniffles and capitalize on some seasonal ingredients.

two glass jars full of pomegranate smoothies topped with pomegranate arils and raspberries, sitting on a wooden cutting board.
Table of Contents
  1. Pomegranate Smoothie Ingredients
  2. How to Cut a Pomegranate for a Smoothie
  3. How to Blend a Pomegranate Smoothie
  4. More Ways to Use Pomegranate
  5. Healthy Pomegranate Smoothie Recipe
  6. Pomegranate Smoothie FAQs

I live for pomegranate season, like buy Costco-sized boxes every time I see them in stores kind of living. My family loves them as well!

I’m sure it’s the burst of juice you get when you bite into the arils as well as how versatile they are as a topping for a Fall salad, a bright addition to a vegan charcuterie board or a lovely flavor mixed into berry sangria. They are perfect for this Pomegranate Smoothie and I hope you get to enjoy this recipe at least once this year.

Today’s smoothie recipe is loaded with healthy benefits that will leave us glowing from the inside out. These antioxidant gems make an energizing pomegranate smoothie in just minutes.

labeled ingredients for a red fruit smoothie including frozen berries, red cabbage, pomegranate arils and goji berries.

Pomegranate Smoothie Ingredients

I added as many red ingredients as I could fit into this smoothie recipe resulting in a delicious, gorgeous red beverage that’s loaded with vitamins and minerals. Here’s what I’m blending today:

If you want to boost your smoothie and turn it into a meal replacement then add in 1 serving of homemade protein powder. It takes this smoothie from 5g of protein to 15g of protein as well as thickens the final product up a bit.

How to Cut a Pomegranate for a Smoothie

While we LOVE this great fruit and all the incredible benefits, how the heck do you get it open?! Pomegranates are a little weird in that we can’t just peel or slice to get to the juicy good parts.

Here is a short tutorial on how to de-seed a pomegranate:

Follow these steps for the least amount of mess and the biggest yield:

  1. Cut the fruit directly in half ‘hamburger style.’
  2. Holding the fruit seed side down over a bowl, use a wooden spoon or flat, sturdy spatula and whack the fruit.
  3. Repeat with the other half.
two glass jars of red fruit smoothie topped with raspberries and pomegranate arils.

How to Blend a Pomegranate Smoothie

While this smoothie may not have “leafy greens” it does have some leafy reds, so we’re going to do the 2-step blending method to get the best result:

  1. Blend cabbage, water, pomegranate arils and goji berries until smooth. If you aren’t using a high-powered blender then soak the goji berries first to soften them up a bit.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth. Since the berries have seeds you may need a longer blending time than normal. Stop and scrape down the sides of the container as needed.
  3. Pour into your fav glass and enjoy!

If you’re adding protein powder to this recipe then add it during step 2. You can also add in some yogurt (greek yogurt or vegan yogurt) to turn this smoothie into a meal replacement.

glass jar full of fruit smoothie topped with red fruits.

More Ways to Use Pomegranate

Since pomegranate has a lot of the same nutrients that berries do, you can swap them into any smoothie recipe that calls for berries: my raspberry smoothie would be a great one. You could also add them to this mixed berry smoothie with ease.

Pomegranate isn’t just good for smoothies; toss it into this mason jar salad or even use it as a delightful vegan pumpkin soup topping.

Don’t forget to rate + review this recipe once you blend it up!

pomegranate smoothie recipe

Healthy Pomegranate Smoothie

Try this pomegranate smoothie recipe to give your body an immunity boost and some great energy for the busy day ahead. It's loaded with antioxidant-rich ingredients like red cabbage, raspberries, pomegranate arils, strawberries, cherries and superfoods to bring you the best flu-fighters in one serving.
Course Smoothie
Cuisine Plant-Based
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 310kcal


  • 1 cup red cabbage chopped
  • ½ cup water chilled
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
  • ½ cup strawberries frozen
  • ½ cup raspberries frozen
  • ½ cup cherries frozen
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp goji berries optional


  • Place cabbage, water, pomegranate arils and goji berries (if using) into a blender.
  • Puree until smooth.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth.


  • Can substitute pomegranate arils with 1/2 cup pomegranate juice.
  • Use at least 1 frozen fruit for a refreshingly cool smoothie.
  • Swap out the cabbage for the leafy greens of your choice.
  • Feel free to add in some Antioxidant Smoothie Cubes for even more red foods.


Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 861mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 1079IU | Vitamin C: 122mg | Calcium: 239mg | Iron: 4mg

Pomegranate Smoothie FAQs

What fruit mixes well with pomegranate?

Pomegranate mixes well with so many fruits. You can pair it with citrus, berries, bananas and more! It also pairs well with a variety of squashes, so don’t be afraid to toss some pomegranate arils in your next dish.

Is it safe to blend pomegranate?

It is safe to blend pomegranate arils. If you aren’t using a high-powered blender then you may still get a few gritty pieces after blending, so feel free to pour it through a mesh sieve into your glass. If you are using a high-powered blender then there shouldn’t be any grittiness leftover from the arils.

Can we mix banana and pomegranate together?

Pomegranate goes well with a variety of fruits, including bananas. Toss some arils on your next salad, fruit salad or citrus platter. Mix it in with some butternut squash. Blend some in your next smoothie, or enjoy fresh and by itself!

The post Healthy Pomegranate Smoothie appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.

Yogurt Persimmon Smoothie


Try this creamy, refreshing Yogurt Persimmon smoothie to add a new, fun Fall fruit to your smoothie list. Delightfully festive and tasty!

The post Yogurt Persimmon Smoothie appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.


This easy smoothie will brighten your day! It’s made with just 4 ingredients + a dash of cinnamon at the end, and it uses a fun seasonal fruit called a persimmon. Try my Yogurt Persimmon Smoothie for a creamy snack. A smoothie like my Vanilla Bean Yogurt Smoothie or this lovely persimmon one is a great way to add extra protein to your day!

My son introduced me to persimmons after we found some at Trader Joes. He thought they were so bright and fun so we just had to try them. Once we figured out how to tell when they’re ripe (when the skin is almost translucent), we gave them a try… and were immediately impressed! They are creamy, super sweet and easy to eat.

glass full of orange smoothie topped with orange fruit, cinnamon and 2 paper straws.

Naturally I had to come up with a fruit smoothie recipe to showcase this incredibly beautiful fruit, so I paired it with a bright orange, some coconut yogurt and a bit of honey for a filling snack. This no banana smoothie recipe is a great option to blend this time of year.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients in a Persimmon Smoothie
  2. How to Make a Persimmon Smoothie
  3. Common Questions ABout A Persimmon Smoothie with Yogurt
  4. More Fruit Smoothie Recipes for Winter
  5. Yogurt Persimmon Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients in a Persimmon Smoothie

labeled ingredients for a persimmon smoothie including cinnamon, honey, vegan yogurt, orange and Fuyu persimmons.

This 4-ingredient smoothie with a dash of cinnamon is such a satisfying pairing of sweet, citrus and a bit of deep flavor from the honey and spice.

  • Vegan yogurt: I’m keeping this smoothie dairy-free with some coconut yogurt. Grab your fav version from the store or try making your own.
  • Orange: A lightly peeled orange adds a juicy, citrus flavor to this blend while also giving it vitamin C.
  • Fuyu persimmons: This type of persimmon should be fairly easy to find at the grocery store starting in October.
  • Honey: I love pairing honey with these sweet persimmons. Feel free to use the natural sweetener of your choice; maple syrup is a great vegan option.
  • Cinnamon: A dash of cinnamon at the end is the perfect way to finish off this festive drink. If you aren’t a fan of smoothie toppings then feel free to add it right into the blender to mix in with the other ingredients.

You can swap the yogurt with canned coconut milk and add in a dash of vanilla for a bit of warmth.

Pro Tip: Make sure those persimmons are ripe before you blend, as they won’t be flavorful and creamy if they aren’t!

How to Make a Persimmon Smoothie

Since persimmons may be a new-to-you fruit, especially if you aren’t used to tossing them into a smoothie, I added a recipe step on how to prep them (spoiler alert, it’s super easy). Here’s how I’m blending this 5-ingredient smoothie:

white bowl of persimmon slices on a white countertop next to whole persimmons.

Step 1: Since the skin of a persimmon is edible, start by washing the fruit well. Then remove the top stem and you’re ready to toss them into the blender along with the yogurt, orange (peeled) and honey.

blender container of orange smoothie sitting on a white countertop surrounded by fresh persimmons, a tea towel and a jar of ground cinnamon.

Step 2: Blend this mixture until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed to get the smoothest result.

pouring an orange fruit smoothie from a blender container into a glass sitting on a white countertop.

Step 3: Pour into a glass and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Enjoy!

If you thought the liquid was missing, it’s not. Oranges and persimmons are super juicy fruits so they act as both the liquid and the produce in this recipe. If you want to add in a few tablespoons of water to help your blender then go for it.

You can also add in a bit of coconut milk for a tropical tasting result.

Common Questions ABout A Persimmon Smoothie with Yogurt

What fruits go well with persimmon?

Persimmon tastes great alongside oranges, pomegranate seeds, grapes and apples. Since these are all rip in the same season, you should be able to easily find them all to toss into a fruit salad or smoothie!

What are the health benefits of persimmons?

Persimmons are great sources of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B6. They are full of antioxidants and can help boost heart health.

Can you eat the skin of a persimmon?

The skin of a persimmon is definitely edible! The skin is just a bit tougher than that of a plum, and tastes just like the custard-like flesh inside.

glass of yogurt persimmon smoothie topped with fresh persimmons and 2 paper straws, on a white counter surrounded by persimmons.

More Fruit Smoothie Recipes for Winter

I know it might be hard to think about sipping an icy cold smoothie during the Winter months yet hear me out. You might be surprised how much of a difference using room temp ingredients (aka no frozen fruits) or blending up some warm smoothies can make.

Seasonal ingredients make smoothies like this butternut squash smoothie or an apple pie smoothie taste heavenly, even warm! My kids love sipping a hot chocolate smoothie on a cold morning.

Or if you do just fine with cold ingredients then give a refreshing pomegranate smoothie or a festive fig smoothie a blend. Lean into the flavors of the season and have fun with your daily beverage!

Don’t forget to rate + review this recipe once you’ve made it; I can’t wait for you to try it!


Yogurt Persimmon Smoothie

I'm turning to persimmons this year for a festive, in-season persimmon smoothie that's ultra creamy and tasty. Just 5 simple ingredients— yogurt, orange, persimmon, honey and cinnamon,— to create a delicious drink that will help fuel your day.
Course Smoothie
Cuisine dairy-free
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 402kcal


  • high-powered blender


  • ½ cup vegan yogurt
  • 1 orange peeled
  • 2 fuyu persimmons ripe
  • 1 tsp honey
  • tsp cinnamon ground


  • Wash persimmons and remove stems.
  • Blend yogurt, orange, persimmons and honey until smooth.
  • Pour into a glass and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Serve immediately.


  • To make this recipe vegan, swap honey with maple syrup or the natural sweetener of your choice.
  • Since oranges carry so much water, you don’t need to add liquid to this smoothie. Yet if your blender blades have a hard time getting this smoothie liquified, then add just a bit of water to facilitate the blending process.
  • Use frozen persimmons or add ice to your glass for a refreshingly cool smoothie.
  • Feel free to add up to a cup of leafy greens.


Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 782mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 292mg | Calcium: 566mg | Iron: 9mg

The post Yogurt Persimmon Smoothie appeared first on Simple Green Smoothies.

Fall Margarita

Jump into the season with a fall margarita! The combination of tequila, fresh lime, and spiced apple cider syrup can’t…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Jump into the season with a fall margarita! The combination of tequila, fresh lime, and spiced apple cider syrup can’t be beat.

Fall Margarita

Here’s a fall cocktail to add to your list this season: the Fall Margarita! A spiced apple cider syrup infuses major fall nostalgia into this simple drink. Add fresh lime and tequila and it’s the season’s signature drink! Whip it up as a single drink, or make a big pitcher to share with a crowd. Either way, it’s a cocktail to impress!

Ingredients for a fall margarita

The fall margarita is a spin on the classic margarita, one of the world’s most famous cocktails. This iconic drink was mostly likely invented in Mexico in the 1930’s. Margarita means “daisy” in Spanish; the Daisy is a historic family of drinks with base liquor, orange liqueur (Triple Sec or Cointreau), lemon juice, and soda water. For the fall version of this drink, we substituted apple cider syrup for the orange liqueur and it works surprisingly well. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 ounces tequila reposado (or tequila blanco)
  • 1 ounce apple cider syrup
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • For the glass: kosher salt, clear ice, and cinnamon stick or apple slices
Fall Margarita

Making apple cider syrup

The apple cider syrup is what makes this fall margarita sing! Adding apple syrup to a cocktail waters it down, but apple cider syrup infuses apple and cinnamon flavor as well as sweetness. It’s the perfect glue that holds this drink together! Here are a few things to note:

  • It takes 30 minutes to make. Boil apple cider with sugar and a cinnamon stick for 30 to 35 minutes on the stovetop, until reduced and syrupy.
  • Make a batch in advance. This is an easy component to make in advance and refrigerate until serving. It stores up to 2 weeks refrigerated.
  • Make a double batch for a pitcher. If you’re making 8 drinks, make 1.5 times or double batch of the syrup! You’ll have leftover syrup, but the single recipe makes only ¾ cup.
Apple Cider Syrup

Notes on clear ice

Clear ice is the final component for the best Fall Margarita! It’s crystal clear ice that makes your drink look like it came from a fancy bar. Cut it into large, organic chunks to take your cocktails to the next level. Here’s how to make it:

  • Use a small cooler and 24 hours. Go to How to Make Clear Ice and make a batch the night before. Once you freeze it overnight, you can cut it into chunks.
  • Alternatively, use a clear ice tray. There are now many clear ice trays and makers on the market. Try this ClearlyFrozen Home Clear Ice Maker!

Make a fall margarita pitcher

Want to make fall margaritas for a crowd? Make a fall margarita pitcher! This simple blend of the ingredients makes 8 drinks and you don’t have to dirty a cocktail shaker. Stir the following ingredients together in a pitcher, then pour into the prepared glasses:

  • 2 cups tequila
  • 1 cup apple cider syrup (make 1.5 or 2 times the recipe below!)
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 3 handfuls ice

And that’s it! We hope you love this fall margarita recipe as much as we do! Make a big pitcher to share with friends and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Fall Margarita

More fall cocktails

We love fall drinks! Here are a few more fall cocktails to try:

Fall Margarita

Fall Margarita

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Syrup Prep: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink


Jump into the season with a fall margarita! The combination of tequila, fresh lime, and spiced apple cider syrup can’t be beat.


For the fall margarita

  • 2 ounces tequila reposado (or tequila blanco)
  • 1 ounce apple cider syrup (see below)
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • For the glass: kosher saltclear ice, and cinnamon stick or apple slices (optional)

For the apple cider syrup (makes ¾ cup)

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks


  1. Make the apple cider syrup: Place the apple cider, granulated sugar and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan. Bring to a low boil, then maintain a low boil for 30 to 35 minutes until reduced to ¾ cup. Use immediately or refrigerate until using (stores up to 2 weeks refrigerated).
  2. Prepare the glass: Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of salt.
  3. Make a single drink: Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 4 ice cubes and shake until cold.
  4. Serve: Strain the margarita into the glass with the salted rim. Fill the glass with clear ice. If desired, garnish with a cinnamon stick or apple slices.
  5. For a margarita pitcher (8 servings): Place 2 cups tequila, 1 cup apple cider syrup (make 1.5 or 2 times the recipe above!) and ½ cup lime juice in a pitcher. Add 3 handfuls ice and stir until cold. Pour into the prepared glasses.
  • Category: Cocktails
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Fall margarita

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

These pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are deliciously moist and cozy-spiced: the perfect baking project for the season! Here’s a baking…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

These pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are deliciously moist and cozy-spiced: the perfect baking project for the season!

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

Here’s a baking project for when you’re ready for fall-spiced everything: try these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins! These tall mounds of dough have a tender crumb and the perfect dose of pumpkin spices, with rich chocolaty morsels in each bite. They’re simple to whip up and the best fall treat for an afternoon snack, dessert, or even to gift to friends and neighbors! Here are all our secrets.

Ingredients in pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

There are infinite ways to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, but here’s what you’ll need for our family recipe. A hefty dose of pumpkin puree keeps them moist, and using both sugar and maple syrup gives a nuance to the sweetness. Using cinnamon and pumpkin spices is also key to the cozy-spiced flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Neutral oil
  • Granulated sugar
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Maple syrup
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin pie spices (purchased or homemade)
  • Flour
  • Chocolate chips
Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

Why pumpkin spice + cinnamon?

This pumpkin muffins recipe uses both pie spices and cinnamon. Are they both required? Yes! In the many pumpkin recipes we’ve developed, we’ve noticed it’s essential to have both for that classic “pumpkin” flavor.

Cinnamon brings in the sweet notes, and pumpkin spices bring in the spicy, cozy and more bitter elements. The combination of the two makes the best balanced flavor. We also use this trick in our pumpkin bars and pumpkin spice pancakes.

Keys to tall pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

It’s no fun to bake a batch of stubby muffins, and we love the look of a bakery-style muffin. These pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are tall and hefty, with beautifully-domed tops! Here are a few keys to how to achieve evenly-baked tall muffins:

  • Fill every other cup in two 12-cup muffin tins. This makes for the most even bake, as the muffin tops don’t grow into each other when baking. It’s not required, but helpful for perfect muffins.
  • Use a recipe that’s optimized for tall muffins, like this one! This recipe is optimized so you have plenty of batter; you’ll fill the muffin cups very full up to the top.
  • Baking at 400°F makes a taller muffin. Many muffin recipes baked at 350°F, but a slightly hotter oven makes a taller and fluffier muffin. This recipe also has a hefty amount of leavener (baking powder and baking soda), which makes for a good rise.
Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

Storage info

These pumpkin chocolate chip muffins store well over time, and become even more moist after storage! Here’s what to know:

  • Room temperature: Store up to 4 days at room temperature in a sealed container: they become even more moist over time!
  • Refrigerator: Store refrigerated for up to 1 week! Let them stand at room temperature for a few minutes before eating.
  • Freeze: Freeze in a sealable container and store up to 3 months.
Chocolate chip pumpkin muffins

More pumpkin recipes

These pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are a favorite baking project, but there are so many more fun things to make with this seasonal squash! Here are a few more pumpkin recipes to try:

This pumpkin chocolate chip muffins recipe is…


Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12


These pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are deliciously moist and cozy-spiced: the perfect baking project for the season!


  • ½ cup neutral oil
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • 1 ¾ cups [245 g] all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus ¼ cup for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a standard muffin tin with 12 muffin paper liners (or for the most even bake, place muffin wrappers in every other cup of two 12-cup tins).
  2. Stir the oil, sugar, pumpkin, maple syrup,  eggs, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin spices.
  3. Use a spatula to mix in the flour until a thick smooth batter forms, mixing just until there are no longer streaks of dry ingredients. Fold in 1 cup chocolate chips, mixing gently a few times.
  4. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin cups: the cups will be full to the top, using about a heaping ¼ cup per muffin. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips onto the tops of the muffins.
  5. Bake the muffins for 22 to 26 minutes, until puffed and the tops are golden and a toothpick comes out with a few clinging crumbs.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool fully, about 1 hour. Eat immediately or they taste even better the next day after storage in a sealed container at room temperature. Store up to 4 days in a sealed container at room temperature, refrigerated up to 1 week or more (allow to come to room temperature before serving), or frozen up to 3 months.
  • Category: Muffin
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Muffins
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, chocolate chip pumpkin muffins

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

North Indian-Inspired Butter Chickpeas

Most lovers of North Indian cuisine widely available in North America are familiar with Butter Chicken – the iconic dish that has captured the hearts and bellies of people the world over. In fact butter chicken is likely the most popular and recognizable Indian dish in our neck of the woods, and without a…

The post North Indian-Inspired Butter Chickpeas appeared first on My New Roots.

Most lovers of North Indian cuisine widely available in North America are familiar with Butter Chicken – the iconic dish that has captured the hearts and bellies of people the world over. In fact butter chicken is likely the most popular and recognizable Indian dish in our neck of the woods, and without a doubt my own personal gateway to the unique flavours of Indian cuisine. This dish was the inspiration for these North Indian-Inspired Butter Chickpeas!

When I was 13 or 14, my best friend’s mother, Annie (who I’ve mentioned before in my sushi post – a woman who truly opened my eyes to the world of food beyond hot dogs and hamburgers!), took the three of us to The Host, a famous, Toronto institution that has been running successfully for 24 years. I can still remember the feeling of walking into the space, the air absolutely swollen with mouthwatering scents I had never experienced before. We sat down at the table, covered in a crisp white tablecloth, and a basket of seed-flecked, paper-thin crackers was dropped off along with the menus. “Papadam” Annie said. I took one bite and the entire thing shattered into my hands, which made us all laugh, and the taste was delicious, even if completely unfamiliar. I had just tried my first cumin seed!

This primed my palette for what was to come, and Annie confidently ordered for the table. There were things I recognized, like rice, and flatbread (naan), but most of the dishes were alluringly mysterious, arriving in copper bowls, with colourful sauces and chutneys. Once she explained to put some rice on my plate as a bed for the curries, she handed me a bowl whose scent made my mouth water instantly. “Butter chicken” she told me. Well, I knew both of those ingredients very well, but not looking like this! “Is it spicy?” I asked. “Not spicy hot”, she replied. “There are plenty of spices in there, but I’d describe it flavourful”. I had trusted this woman to guide me through Japanese, Korean, Ethiopian, Greek, Macedonian, and Moroccan restaurant experiences so far, so I took a heaping spoonful of the butter chicken and spread it over the rice. 

It was love at first bite. The combinations of flavours, commingling in a sauce that was beguilingly rich and creamy, with huge chunks of perfectly tender chicken throughout was absolutely divine. It was tomato-y, but not overpoweringly so, and deeply aromatic with spices that I had certainly never tasted before. I savoured every bite of that butter chicken, along with chana masala, palak paneer, aloo gobi, and dal makhni. We ate naan, and samosa, and pakora and bhaji. It was a veritable feast that began my love affair with Indian food. Little did I know every corner of the continent, every family, every household brings a diversity and a uniqueness to what we generally label Indian food — there’s so much to explore!    

Butter chicken was invented in the 1950s, by a man named Kundan Lal Gurjal, who operated a restaurant called Moti Mahal in Delhi, the capital territory of India. Kundan had settled here in this Northern region of the country and started his business after escaping from political upheaval in another region of India. Moti Mahal was a success, and it served several delicious tandoori dishes, that came from their tandoor oven – a circular clay oven central to Punjabi cuisine. 

As the story goes, Kundan didn’t want his leftover tandoori chicken to go to waste, but he also didn’t want it to dry out, so he mixed leftover marinade juices with tomato and butter, added the chicken to it, and let it all stew – butter chicken was born! Although necessity was the mother of this invention, he likely had no idea that he had created an internationally-loved delicacy that would stand the test of time. 

I started eating a vegetarian diet when I was 16, and butter chicken was one of the foods I missed the most. I’ve cooked a lot of Indian-inspired food at home over the years, but I’d never taken a crack at a plant-based butter chicken until my mom served me a version with chickpeas…brilliant! It was a serious why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moment. 

One of the things that makes butter chicken so good, is that the chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices before cooking. This step accomplishes two things: one, it tenderizes the meat, and second, it seasons it. Because I was aiming for a weeknight dinner, I decided to skip this step with the chickpeas and just make sure that they were properly cooked and well seasoned before adding to the sauce. I also smashed about half of the legumes. This helped to increase their surface area, break up their tough skins, and allow the flavourful sauce to penetrate to the inner, absorbent centers. I also appreciated having the texture variation in the dish, making it more similar to the OG version.

Chickpea Party Tricks

We all know that chickpeas are fiber all-stars, providing 50% of your RDI in just one cup, (whoa!) but they have another party trick up their sleeve that I bet you didn’t know about. Two-thirds of the fiber in chickpeas is insoluble, meaning that it doesn’t break down during digestion, but instead moves through our digestive tract unchanged until it hits the large intestine. The fun starts here, where friendly bacteria (think probiotics!) go to town on said insoluble fiber and actually break it down to create short-chain fatty acids, including acetic acid, propionic acid, and butyric acid. These short-chain fatty acids can then be absorbed by the cells that line the wall of our large intestine and used for energy! How rad is that?! Butyric acid is in fact the preferred source of energy for the cells lining our colon, and with this bonus fuel comes greater potential for optimally active and healthy cells. This translates into a reduced risk of colon problems including colon cancer. So friends, invite chickpeas to your next dinner party – they’ll feed you and your colon cells. Can your pot roast do that?

Now let’s get cooking! For this dish I highly recommend cooking your own chickpeas from dried (I mean, have I ever NOT recommended that?! haha). For one, if you make the entire batch, you’re looking at around 4 cans of chickpeas, which is a lot  of waste produced. Second, if you cook the legumes yourself, you can control the amount of salt that you use, as high sodium levels are a concern for some people. Third, they taste way better. Trust me. And fourth, it costs a lot less – I likely don’t have to elaborate on that for you 😉 If you’re not sure how to cook beans from scratch, the full instructions are in this post, and a full video tutorial is up on my membership site, My New Roots Grow. If you’re especially interested in this dish, I’d love to invite you to the live, online cooking demo on Saturday, December 18th. Part of the Winter Radiance Retreat alongside Mikkala Marilyn Kissi, this recorded, one-day virtual retreat has so many wonderful seasonal goodies planned for you. Check it out and sign up here

The ingredient list for this recipe may look long, but half of them are spices, and the remaining ones are primarily pantry staples, making this the perfect thing to cook up when you don’t have a ton of fresh produce around (I’m looking at you, late fall, winter, and early spring!). Cilantro is optional, but such a delicious addition if it’s available to you. And I like to serve the dish with rice or naan, or both. A simple kachumber salad, made with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and lemon juice is a great accompaniment to butter chickpeas when those ingredients are in season. Pro tip: measure out two or more portions in separate containers of the spice mix when you’re making it the first time so the next time all you have to do is grab the blend instead of all your individual spice jars!  

And what about the butter?! Well, there isn’t any classic dairy butter here (although there is no shame in adding it!), instead I used cashew butter to achieve that crave-able creaminess. Some recipes for butter chicken call for whole cashews, which may in fact be easier for some of you to find than cashew butter. If that is the case, sub the cashew butter with whole, raw cashews that have been soaked for 4-8 hours, and add them to the pot with the tomatoes and coconut milk in step 3. If you’d like to know more about soaking and activating nuts, check out my article here. Get a load of that 2008 photography!


North Indian-Inspired Butter Chickpeas 

Author Sarah Britton


  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil preferably expeller-pressed or ghee
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch cayenne to taste
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 oz. / 796ml whole or diced tomatoes 1 large can
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup / 250ml full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml cashew butter
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 cups / 900g cooked chickpeas from 2 cups dried / approx. 4 cans
  • cilantro for garnish if desired
  • rice and / or naan for serving if desired


  • In a large stockpot over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garam masala, smoked paprika, cinnamon, black pepper, and cayenne. Stir well to mix with the oil, and stir frequently so it doesn’t scorch.  
  • Add the onion and salt, stir well to coat, let cook for 5-10 minutes until the onions have softened slightly. Add the garlic, stir well,  and cook for 2-3 more minutes. 
  • Add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and coconut milk, stirring well to incorporate. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. 
  • While the sauce is simmering, take about half of the chickpeas and smash them flat with the bottom of a drinking glass. This step is optional, but it changes the shape and texture of the chickpeas (see headnote).
  • Transfer the sauce to a blender, add the cashew butter and lemon juice, then blend on high until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired (if you’d like it spicier for example, add more cayenne). 
  • Add all of the chickpeas to the sauce and fold to combine. Bring a very light simmer, and let cook for 5 minutes to bring everything together, or up to an hour to let the flavours really develop, making sure to stir every so often so the bottom doesn’t scorch. 
  • Serve the butter chickpeas over rice with lots of fresh cilantro, and naan if desired. Say thank you and enjoy!


Serves 8-10

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do, and find the same satisfying coziness with each bite you enjoy. As we head into the darker, colder months of the year, I know I’ll be turning to these butter chickpeas to keep me warm and grounded, while picturing us at our stoves, connected in spirit over steaming pots and nourishing bowls. All love from me to you, Sarah B 

The post North Indian-Inspired Butter Chickpeas appeared first on My New Roots.

Wild Rice and Butternut Blessings

Hello friend. It’s been a while. I sincerely hope that these words find you getting by as best you can in this strange world we find ourselves in. Staying centered and grounded these days is no small feat, and I’m grateful to find myself here…

The post Wild Rice and Butternut Blessings appeared first on My New Roots.

Hello friend. It’s been a while. I sincerely hope that these words find you getting by as best you can in this strange world we find ourselves in. Staying centered and grounded these days is no small feat, and I’m grateful to find myself here again, with the energy and space to share. 

This post is actually two years in the making. The experience I’m about to tell you about deserves thought, healing, and humility, and though I made a delicious recipe, I needed ample time to learn from, and honour the situation. Almost like with rich decadent food, your body and mind needs time to digest emotion and experience, and over the past 20 months of intense turmoil, discovering and uncovering, and worldly change, there is no better occasion or cultural climate than this moment to share one of my life’s most potent experiences. I hope you’ll join me on the entirety of this journey and take the time to read and digest it for yourself too.

I welcome conscious comments and will receive your words gracefully and with humility in regards to my personal history and ask kindly that the inevitable missteps, mistakes, and / or insensitivities in my story shared below are highlighted with respect and with the intention of learning, inspiring community and healing, and are supportive of a better and more just future.  

The People

I’ll begin by introducing the people of the story that span many generations, many places of origin, and many cultures:

The Anishinaabeg – an Indigenous community made up of the Ojibwa, Odawa, Potawatami, Chippewa, Mississauga, Algonquin, and Delaware peoples who stewarded the Great Lakes Basin before and through the late 1600s.

A man named James Whetung of the Black Duck clan, Anishinaabe who has called this land home for his lifetime and the many generations before him.

My European ancestors who arrived in this same area (“Upper Canada” then, and what is now known as Southern Ontario) in the early-to-mid 1800s.

A young man named Mossom Boyd, my great-, great-, great-grandfather, who landed in 1833. He purchased 100 acres of land and cleared it himself in the hopes of building a prosperous life. After farming for a few years, he wasn’t making the income he’d hoped for, and sought work at a local sawmill, eventually taking it over, on the site which is now Bobcaygeon, Ontario.  

As Boyd continued to work the land, benefitting from the abundant natural resources, he experienced great success with his lumbering enterprise. He later went on to cut forests in great swathes across Ontario, then moved out west to Vancouver Island with his son, Martin Mossom Boyd, who eventually took over the business. Needless to say, the family’s enterprise had an indelible impact on the Canadian landscape and the Indigenous peoples.

Me, a white, privileged woman who benefits from this history in seen and unseen ways with a mission to inspire health to the people of this world through conscious choices. Here’s one of my many stories… 

My Family

I spent my summers in the Kawartha Lakes, just 12 kilometers upstream from the reserve where James lived and lives. My grandparents lived on the canal at the mouth of Pigeon lake, on the Trent-Severn Waterway. My grandfather owned a substantial portion of the land there (how we understand “owned” in our modern world), and a 1085-acre island just off the shoreline. 

I was a very lucky kid to have so much wild land to explore, play with, and learn from. To say I feel connected to nature, to the earth and water, to the elements there, would be an understatement. That forest and lake are inside of me, just as much as I am inside of it – I knew every rock, nook, cranny, and crevice. I knew the plants, the poison ivy, the lichen, the cedar; the shallow soil, dry and bare rocks, the limestone; I can evoke the alchemical aroma of it all in an instant. My hideaways along the shoreline in giant rock fractures were coated in moss and gnarled cedar roots, and there I would live in worlds of my imagination, connected to nature’s creations and its magnetic energy. The sensation of being there, on every level, is burned into my being. It is cellular memory.   

Mossom Boyd 1814-1883 / My father and I canoeing on Pigeon Lake / Fishing on Pigeon Lake, 1990

There is a museum in town, named after my great-great-great grandfather Mossom, honouring his vision and entrepreneurial genius (as our culture recognizes). This history was one to celebrate, an empire that spanned the country, a legacy to be proud of. We would visit the museum almost every summer when I was growing up, so that I could better understand where I came from.

These truths coexisted within me — nature and empire. As I began to see the complexities of this place that is deeply a part of me, I sought out a way to understand the same land, water, air, forest through the eyes, hands, and hearts of the people with a completely different history to the shared nature and to the empire of my lineage. 

The Whetungs

James’ family has been living with the land known as the Michi Saagig Anishinaabeg territory for approximately 4,000 years, dated by wild rice fossils found by geologists. This being the same land, that Mossom Boyd purchased 3,780 years later. 

When I drove up to Curve Lake First Nations to experience a wild rice (known as manoomin) harvest two years ago, I met James Whetung and his family. The man whose name I had heard before, but was admittedly afraid to come face to face with, as I had some idea of how my lineage had impacted his. At least I thought I knew.

When the group of us had all arrived and settled, James introduced himself, and told his story – the side that I had never heard before. “They cut all the trees, floated them down river using the highways of my people. They needed clearer waterways, so they dredged the lakes and removed the rice beds that had provided our food. The First Nations peoples were forcefully moved to reserves, and confined there, needing written permission to leave, and only in order to work for local farmers at slave wages. You had to be Christian to live on the reserve, and Natives were not allowed to practice their own spirituality or pass it on to subsequent generations. The people were starving.”

Listening to James, and hearing first-hand what his ancestors had gone through because of my ancestors, was heartbreaking, and it filled me with bitter shame and confusion. What was once a celebrated history of my family, became tainted and disgraceful. When he was finished, I raised my hand to speak, compelled to admit that I came from the family he was talking about. The lineage and industry that changed the landscape of his ancestors’ home. That I was deeply remorseful. He responded graciously by inviting me to canoe out with him to harvest manoomin.

He said that those on the reserves eventually were able to take the remaining rice seeds and plant them. By 1920, the yields were up but only until the 1950’s when destructive colonial farming practices began using chemicals (many of which still are in use today), which created chemical run-off causing imbalances in the lakes, soil, air, and water, further affecting the aquatic grasses; the nutritious, traditional food source.  

Wild Rice on Pigeon Lake

Canadian cottage culture took off in the area around this time as well, motor boat traffic increased destroying the rice beds, and leaked oil and gas into the water. Septic beds were added for sewage treatment, but none were regulated and leaching into lakes was a regular occurrence. In the years between 1950 and 1980, the Trent Severn Waterway underwent a weed eradication program using agent orange (a highly toxic herbicide) to “make swimming more enjoyable for the cottagers.”

Shortly after, James started planting seeds to feed his family and community despite the many cultural and environmental concerns out of his control. Wild rice as a traditional food source is highly nutritious and is known to help prevent diabetes — a huge problem within Indigenous peoples due to a forced disconnection from their traditional practices and nourishment sources.

James started sowing seeds on Pigeon lake, where his grandfather had seeded and harvested for many generations. He was healing his people, and as demand increased, he started to invent technologies to make his work easier and faster. The increased production meant that he could not only feed his community, but start selling his wild rice at local farmers’ markets. 

Unfortunately, not everyone is as enthusiastic about the wild rice increase in Pigeon and surrounding lakes. Since 2007, a group of cottagers have been fighting against Whetung’s seeding of wild rice, claiming that the shoreline is their property and that the rice beds impede recreational boating. They’ve gone so far as to form a protest group, called Save Pigeon Lake, which asks James to harvest without the use of a motorboat (he did this to increase efficiency) and to stop seeding the rice. 

Canada and Curve Lake First Nation are both signatories to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This Declaration states that “Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and develop their political, economic and social systems or institutions, to be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and development, and to engage freely in all their traditional and other economic activities” (Article 20). And further, that “Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of the sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora…” (Article 31). The rice beds run along the TSW in the tri-lakes area, which includes Buckhorn, Chemong and Pigeon lakes. Despite the concerns of waterfront property owners, Whetung says the land falls under Treaty 20 and is therefore not under the jurisdiction of the TSW, which is operated by Parks Canada. 

About James

“I’m going to keep doing what I am doing. Why would I stop? Our people have starved for thousands of years. This is food; this is a livelihood,” says Whetung. And personally, as an advocate for healthy food access for all, for a thriving world, and supported communities, I whole-heartedly agree.

For more about James and his community’s work, please visit the Black Duck Wild Rice website. I am deeply grateful for James’ time, energy, heart, perseverance, and spirit. This is a forever healing journey and one I intend to continue with the peoples intrinsically linked to my own family’s history here in Canada.

Wild Rice Harvesting and Preparation

Let’s talk about this beautiful offering, manoomin, or wild rice. Having always been drawn to this remarkable plant, I knew that when I moved back to Ontario, Canada, I had to learn more about it firsthand, and perhaps even how to harvest and process it. That is what led me to James and Black Duck Wild Rice. Every year around the September full moon, the manoomin harvest takes place, and he and his community welcome those who want to join and learn.


James taught us the traditional way, in canoes, all by hand. With two people per boat, one navigates and steers, while the other uses two long, thin sticks (bawa’iganaakoog); one to bend the rice into the canoe and the other to beat the grasses until the rice seeds fall into the hull of the canoe. Once you get the hang of it, it’s rhythmic and meditative, but still a physical and time-consuming ritual that requires community. As with most traditional food cultivation practices it’s a closed loop cycle, for whatever rice that doesn’t fall into the canoe to be processed falls into the water, planting next year’s crop at the same time!


Once on shore, the canoes are emptied by hand onto large sheets which are transferred to a cool dark place so the rice can cure. Two or three times a day for a week or so, the rice is turned and aerated, left to dry. 

Toasting / Parching

The rice was traditionally toasted in a cast-iron cauldron over an open fire. James showed me how to use an old canoe paddle to turn the rice constantly so as not to scorch it — its texture and scent slowly transformed. This takes about an hour of constant stirring with a keen eye on the fire so it remains at the perfect temperature for toasting. If you stop for even a second, the rice will burn. James could tell from the smell, and how the rice felt between his fingers when it was ready the mark of a true artisan, energetically connected to his craft. Nowadays, James uses a machine that he designed and built himself, that stirs the rice automatically over open flames and gets the rice toasty faster and with less manual labour. Toasting the rice increases the flavour, and helps preserve it. If properly toasted and dry, wild rice can last in storage for five years or more (a necessity to help balance the yearly ebbs and flows of the harvest). 

Dancing / Jigging

This was my favourite part of the process because it involved several people working together, and having the pleasure and honour of wearing beautiful, specially-designed moccasins just for this process. The toasted rice is put into another large cauldron (or sometimes a hole in the ground lined with leather cloth or a tarp) while three people sit around it, with our feet in the center. Once we had our soft shoes laced all the way up, we vigorously twisted and swooshed our feet around on the rice to loosen some of the chaff from the rice kernels — this was extremely hard work! We rotated through the group as people got tired, and eventually we were ready for the last step.


The danced rice is then turned out onto a large fabric sheet, with everyone holding the edge with both hands. Count to three and up the rice goes into the air, the breeze blowing the chaff away. This needs to be repeated countless times to separate the rice from the chaff completely. This is unbelievably time-consuming work and experiencing it first hand made me appreciate every grain so much more!

At the end of a grounding day of traditional work, you are gifted a few cups of cleaned wild rice. The appreciation I felt to see the yield of the countless hours by many people, not to mention the effort and contribution of this Earth truly became overwhelming. The experience solidified how food has the unparalleled ability to bring people together — requiring many enthusiastic, hard-working hands (and feet!) to get the job done, start to finish. At the end of the journey, everyone is rewarded with delicious food, straight from the Earth, her waters, her people. It is so simple, and so powerful.

Wildly Nutritious

Wild rice is not related to true rice nor is a grain at all in fact, but the seed of aquatic grass that grows along the shores of freshwater lakes in Canada and the Northern US. It’s a little more expensive than other varieties, as it is often harvested by hand. 

Wild rice is also, of course, wildly nutritious and is no surprise that Indigenous peoples made a point to cultivate this true super food. Containing high levels of protein, fiber, iron, and calcium, wild rice is also gluten-free. It is extremely high in folic acid, an essential B-complex vitamin lacking in many people’s diets. Just half a cup of cooked wild rice yields 21.3 mcg of folic acid – necessary for cardiovascular support, red blood cell production, brain and nervous system health, and of particular importance during pregnancy – where brown rice by comparison offers only 3.9 mcg. The niacin content of wild rice is also notably high with l.06 mg for every 1/2 cup cooked rice. Potassium packs an 83 mg punch, and zinc, which is usually available in trace amounts, registers 1.1 mg.

Wild rice is a wonderful alternative to any grain that you would use in either hot or cold dishes. My favourite is to enjoy it in veggie bowls, soups and stews, as well as hearty salads. Its rich, nutty flavour pairs well with other earthy-sweet foods like beets, sweet potato, pumpkins and squash, making it the perfect ingredient to add to your fall recipes, already full of abundance and gratitude. It lasts for about a week after cooking, so making a large batch at the beginning of the week will give you the honour to grace your meals with a serious boost of nutrition and spirit with every grain!

Wild Rice & Butternut Blessings

This recipe was born from the desire to combine the elements that James and I had a hand in growing: wild rice from his lake, and butternut squash from my garden, coming together for one beautiful meal. Stacking the squash rounds makes for a grand, dramatic, and eye-catching presentation where the simple ingredients are made into something very special. This would be the most stunning main dish for a harvest celebration meal, or even into the winter holidays. It has the perfect balance of flavours, textures, and nutrition, so you’ll feel satisfied on every level.

Try to find a butternut squash with a long and hefty neck. Since we are after nice big rounds, the longer your neck, the more rounds you’ll have! And try to source your wild rice from a local reserve or farmers market, if possible.

There are several components to this recipe, but I’ve written it in a way that you can juggle all the elements with seamless management of your time.   


Wild Rice and Butternut Blessings with Mushrooms, Toasted Walnut Garlic Sauce, and Sumac

Author Sarah Britton


  • 4 lb. / 2kg butternut squash about 1 large, try to find one with a long neck!
  • 1 cup / 175g wild rice soaked for at least 12 hours
  • 9 oz. / 250g mixed wild mushrooms or any mushroom of your choice
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • a couple sprigs fresh thyme and rosemary
  • ½ cup / 13g chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 batch Toasted Walnut Sauce recipe follows
  • 1 Tbsp. sumac divided
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • handful of walnuts for garnish if desired

Toasted Walnut Garlic Sauce

  • 1 cup / 125g raw walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
  • 4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 generous pinches of fine sea salt plus more as needed


  • Start by cooking the wild rice: drain and rinse the soaked rice well, place in a pot. Add 3 cups / 750ml of fresh water, a couple pinches of sea salt, then bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer. Cook until rice is chewy-tender – about 45 minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking, preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for 7 to 10 minutes, watching them carefully so they do not burn, until they are golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  • Turn the oven heat up to 400°F / 200°C. Give the butternut squash a good scrub, making sure to remove any dust or dirt. Leaving the skin on, slice the squash neck into rounds about 1” / 2.5cm thick. Place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with a little salt, and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, flipping once halfway through cooking, until the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven and drizzle with olive oil and a little more salt, if desired. 
  • While the squash is roasting, make the Toasted Walnut Sauce. Place the toasted walnuts, garlic, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup in a blender.
  • Blend on high, adding up to 1 cup / 250ml of water to thin the dressing as needed—you are looking for the consistency of melted ice cream. Season with salt. Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Lastly, prepare the mushrooms. Clean and cut the mushrooms as desired (I used king oyster mushrooms, sliced in half lengthwise and scored diagonally). Add a knob of your favourite cooking fat to a large skillet, and once melted add the mushrooms and a couple pinches of salt. Cook the mushrooms without crowding them, and do not move them about in the pan too much. You’re looking for a nice sear and that comes after the mushrooms have been in constant, direct contact with high heat. Once golden on one side, flip, and continue cooking until golden on the other.
  • In a large bowl, combine the wild rice and parsley. Drizzle a touch of the sauce and about ½ Tbsp. of the sumac, a few grinds of black pepper, and fold to incorporate.
  • To assemble, drizzle or puddle some sauce on the bottom of your serving plate. Add a round of butternut squash, followed by the wild rice mixture, a couple mushrooms, then repeat the layers of squash, rice, mushrooms. Drizzle remaining sauce over top, sprinkle with additional sumac and black pepper, and a handful of walnuts.
  • Say thank you and enjoy each bite, each grain.


Serves 4
Makes approximately 1 cup / 270ml of Sauce
In Closing

I would love to hear your thoughts about how we can better respect and heal our pasts culturally, together. I wanted to open up the conversation here, not try to offer some kind of “solution”. This is a complicated, complex, deeply layered issue that has deep roots, well beyond us here today. I feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to be in a canoe with James himself, to witness how to harvest with intention and gratitude. It felt deeply meaningful to be there with him, the place our two family lines have crossed in many ways for many years, finally converging in a peaceful, cooperative, and hopefully reciprocal way. This extends far beyond James and I, and takes many more hands and hearts. The first step of many, I am forever grateful to James for sharing the story of his family and community as it has been silenced for too long.

Thank you for taking the time to read this today. I’d also like to add for those who haven’t seen Canadian news over the past few months, that there has been uncovering of more extreme darkness in this country in relation to the Indigneous people of this land. The residential school system removed children from their Indigenous culture, communities, families, and ways of being. These Anglo-Saxon, Christian boarding schools are sites of mass unmarked graves where thousands of children’s bodies were found, taken from their families. There are many agencies working towards healing, remediation, and reconciliation in response to these unfathomable atrocities in our history. One of them is the Downie Wenjack Foundation, which aims to to aid our collective reconciliation journey through a combination of awareness, education, and action. This link will take you to their page about Reconcili-ACTION, and a list of ways to catalyze important conversations and meaningful change, recognizing that change starts with every one of us and each person can make an impact.

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