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Wholly Canadian Blog

Saturday, September 01, 2018

It's Autumn season and I'm thinking about Spring

Saving Seeds. . .

The air has a nip in it, and some leaves are already turning that familiar hue. . .autumn is nearly upon us.  It's that time of year when I start thinking about spring. . .well, sort of.

Now is the time to save seeds for spring. I intentionally don't pick a few pods of my beans and peas so they dry on the plant, and then once they dry, I pick the pods and save the seeds for the following spring. I also harvest the seeds from my peppers, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes for the following spring.

Dried heirloom beans on the vine Harvesting the seeds Placing them in  package for next spring: "Littlefield special"

I mainly grow heirloom or heritage seeds. . .What's so special about them? Let me tell you.  But before I do, let's just clarify a few terms. Sometimes people get their botanical jargon regarding seeds, mixed up. So let me quickly explain:

Heirloom/ Heritage seeds: These are old strains of seeds, some dating back centuries, that have been passed down by a family or community. Let's take a cucumber for example: When you aquire heirloom cucumber seeds, you plant the seed, and the cucumbers that you harvest serve a dual purpose: 1) to eat and be nourished; and 2) save seeds for the following year. Basically, the saved seed, when planted the following year, grows true. Meaning, it grows the same variety as the parent plant. It continues to reproduce its own.

Hybrid:A hybrid seed is a result of cross-pollination. Again, let's take a cucumber as an example. A seed company might desire the taste of one strain and the early sprouting of another strain of cucumber, and thus, cross-pollinate them to receive the benefits of both. (Kind of like cross-breeding dogs) While the hybrid has obvious benefits, and is still natural, it's seed will not grow true. Meaning, it's seed will either exhibit characteristics of one of its parents, not produce any fruit, or may not grow at all. (I've tried!)

GMO (Genetically modified organisms): GMO is different than a hybrid plant--hybrid occurs in nature all the time. Genetically modifying a plant is infusing a synthetic gene in a seed so as to produce some kind of characteristic perceived as beneficial.  It might infuse a chemical-resistant gene in a seed so the crop can be sprayed with a herbicide or pesticide, and then the resulting plant becomes resistant to the chemical where it would have died otherwise. Or it can be infusing synthetic genes in a seed to increase shelf life, appearance, etc. My family doctor, after giving me a lecture about Vitamin C, told me about a GMO apple that has an infused fish gene in it so as to prolong shelf life and prevent browning. {Ever notice that apples you eat now don't get brown as quickly as the one's you had for lunch as a kid?} Now the reason she told me about that, is because those apples have 40% less Vitamin C than their natural counterparts. Crazy! I since then did some researach and found out that there's a lot of "fishy food" in the produce aisle (go ahead and do your research)! You see, GMO food is generally not modified for nutrition, its modified for utilitarian purposes.  When I eat my food, I want it nourish me in its natural God-given form. To say it simply, I want nourishing food. (Side note: You can understand, why I as a  Canadian, want my food in the supermarket to be labelled if it is GMO. It should be a basic right to know)

Heirloom cucumber on a vine Harvesting the seeds Saving seeds for next spring and drying on a plate: "Improved Long Green"

This is why I feel so privileged to participate in growing heirloom seeds and saving seeds. . .

1) Nourishment & Quality: When I'm saving seeds and growing them, I'm growing food for what it was intented--to nourish me wholly. For example, the beans that I grow are rich in magnesium, folate, iron, phosphorus, thiamin and iron. They're not genetically modified and altered for some utilitarian reason, no, they're potent with life-giving nutrition.

2) Rhythm of Life: I'm connected to history when I save seeds. Seed saving is something that my ancestors practiced. They brought seeds over when they emmigrated to Canada because of the inherent connection to life. There were no seed catalogues neatly tucked into their mailbox early February. No, they had to ensure they had saved seeds from the previous year, or they would perish. Seed saving is a practice that has nearly been lost, or perhaps better said, it's a intuition we have buried {no pun intended}.  This is skill or intuition that I want to nurture within my child as he grows. This is something I want him to know before he's 18. My desire is that when the autumn air arouses his senses, he's thinking about more than acquiring a pumpkin-spiced latte, he's thinking about participating in a rhythm of life. . .

3) It encourages localism: Local food is grown for full flavour, nutrient content, and preservation of heritage seeds--encouraging biodiversity. Whereas "travelled" food is grown based on its efficacy in production and growth, how well it travels, and its appearance when it hits the market. (You can see how the need for GMO becomes apparent here.) In fact, these utilitarian factors influence the choice of food available at a conventional supermarket negating the value and potency that real and historically-rich food offers. Conventional travelled food is pre-selected for consumers based on criterion devoid of factors that would naturally influence food selection. For example, a green pepper in the supermarket will be bred for its aesthetic qualities like colour, shine, and how well it travels--but not nourishment! These restrictive criterions discourage biodiversity. Small farms and gardens have the privilege of growing history-rich heritage seeds, sharing seeds, encouraging biodiversity, and employing sustainable practices that encourage beneficial insects, birds, and microorganisms.

4. It's the path of simplicity. It is simple. Not covenient.  In my journey I am discovering that a great deal of true joy is rooted in simplicity.

Heirloom Tomatoes on the Extracting the seeds Drying the seeds. Once dry I place in my labelled envelope: "San Marzano"

Do I save save seeds from all my plants?

No, I'm a semi-novice. I save seeds that are visibly apparent and require little skill, e.g. cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, peas, peppers, squash, cilantro, etc.  I don't save seeds of radishes, lettuce, carrots, etc where the seeds are more delicate. I'm sure I could learn, but I'm content with my current rhythm of simplicity--it suits me in my busy stage of life.  I purchase the more delicate seeds from companies that have sustainable gardening practices.

How do I harvest/save the seeds?

Believe it or not, I've never researched this. I just follow my intuition on this.

  • I simply extract the seed from the matured (make sure it is really ripened) pod or fruit.
  • I let the seeds fully dry on a plate or paper bag (depending on the size of the seed) in a dark cupboard. I've also heard some say that tomato seeds need to be fermented. So do your research on tomato seeds. I've been able to grow tomotoes without the fermentation process.
  • Finally, I place the dried seeds in a labelled envelope for the following spring--storing them in a cool dry place.
  • Not sure if that's correct, but it works for me!

A Few Other Notes:

  • Tomotoes are a great plant from which to save seeds as they self-pollinating, meaning they don't cross pollinate with other tomatoes.
  • If you grow cross-pollinating heirloom plants, make sure to grow them apart from each other, so you keep your heirloom strain pure.

Where did I aquire my heritage heirloom seeds?

So glad you asked. . .

I've been patronizing Heritage Harvest Seeds (located in Carmen, MB) for the past number of years. They have some of the best selections of heirloom seeds in North America. I enjoy browsing their online catalogue and reading the history behind the seeds. Seeds really tell an amazing story! When I read about them, I always want to be part of the story. . .

I also patronize Sage Garden Greenhouse (located in Winnipeg, MB).  My spring cannot officially begin until I breathe in the scent of all their herbs. . .it's intoxicating. I love that place!  Sage Garden Greenhouse is the only Winnipeg garden centre that uses 100% natural fertilizers and 100% non-toxic pest management on all the plants they grow.  They sell seeds, herbs, vegetable plants, wild & native flowers, and much more.

Heirloom Spaghetti Squash Extracting Seeds for next year Drying seeds in a paper bag. Once dry, I store in my small envelope: "Spaghetti Squash"

Will you be saving any seeds this fall? If so, what kind? Tell us your story. . .

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 12:00 AM 2 Comments

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Butter, Sourdough Crackers. . .And a SOURDOUGH COURSE coming to Winnipeg

Are grains your friend or foe?

Are you looking to maximize nutrition and minimize your food budget? 

(Hint: sourdough products make the minerals and vitamins bio-available to you in a way that conventional bread cannot. . .they especially increase Vitamin B (the kind that is very helpful to manage stress!)

Click here for a course coming to Winnipeg. . .

This afternoon we had a delightful treat in our home. . .homemade sourdough crackers with a slice of organic pastured butter (yes, I did say slice and butter in one phrase), with garden-fresh heirloom tomatoes and chiffonade basil.

It's almost difficult to absorb all that goodness in one bite. . . yum!

So here's the story:


We eat sourdough spelt crackers in our home. . .one more aisle we can skip in the grocery store. {grin}Why sourdough? Ever find that your stomach aches or feels bloated after eating grains?  Well, that's the grain's phytic acid (a natural membrance around the grain). Not only does does the phytic acid make digestion difficult, it also prevents you from absorbing the nurtrients. The solution? Well good ol' fashioned wisdom: soaking /sourdough

I decided to give these crackers some natural flavor: I added dehydrated basil from my garden, Canadian feta cheese, and local garlic I purchased at a farmer's market, to the crackers. . .it's a Mediterraean-Canadian love affair. Instead of using an oil, I used a traditional fat tallow that I rendered from pastured beef suet. 100% Canadian ingredients. Love it!

This cracker is a real winner for our family. At 18 months my first baby was introduced to grains, and was ready for his first cracker. (He brushed off the basil and tomato and went straight for the cracker. . .and then he tasted the butter!)

Want to make these crackers and learn how to make sourdough crackers, bread and more for your family?.

Click here for a course coming to Winnipeg. 


I enjoy my Canadian butter that is produced the way nature intends it . . .This week I reached out for Organic Meadows butter. It's particularly special this season. . . want to know why? Because it's pastured! When Canadian weather permits, the cows are out in the sunshine and eating fresh greens in the pasture, making a creamy, nutrient-dense milk for us. When our grandparents grew up they didn't call pastured cows eating natural food, organic. No, it was just the way it was done. Unfortunately, that traditional praxis is now unique. . .

Quality butter is an investment. Nutrition and taste far outweigh the cost.  I recently read, don't ask why organic food is so expensive, ask why cheap food is so cheap.

Butter is a basic staple in traditional food. It's only in recent times that vegetable oils have become the "go-to" in cooking, and it's not for nutritional reasons.  Olive oil, butter, and traditional fats (tallow and lard) have traditionally been used for cooking through the centuries.  However, a recent industry shift has encouraged "vegetable" oils. . .but not because of nutrition, but because of efficacy in production and cost.  But you see there's a huge problem in that paradigm.  When we cheapen food, and make decisions devoid of food's purpose, it becomes fuel. Yet, food is not fuel. When food is viewed as fuel we begin to cut corners. . .

No, food's purpose is nourishment and enjoyment (I could write a whole article on how nourishing pastured butter is, and how heavenly it tastes).  I choose real butter for the same reason I grow real food. It would seem, given recent articles on the come-back of butter, that the pendulum is swinging again. This is why traditional food is such a rich and deep well in which we can dip into era after era--the facts still remain the same: Real food is good food.

When doing some research about Organic Meadows, I realized that one of their Manitoba dairy farms is close to where I grew up! In fact, many years ago, when local neighbours could still buy raw milk from the farmer, my parents used to purchase milk from that farm. As I was spooling through those dusty memories, another one came to mind. The "Mrs." of that farm, many years ago, also had a hair studio in her home, and that is where my late-mother took me for my first perm in Grade 8!  My school pictures look more akin to the hair of the cabbage-patch cornsilk dolls. . .but it was fashionable!  Ah the memories that rise to the top when biting into a slice of butter {pun intended!}

Heirloom Tomatoes

I topped my crackers with heirloom tomatoes and chiffonade basil from my garden.

See this post on what makes these tomatoes so special.

Want to eat real food? Interested in lowering your gluten while still enjoying real Canadian grains?  Wholly Canadian is offering traditional food courses with a special emphasis on incoporating local and fair-trade foods.

Sign up now, as space is limited.

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 3 Comments

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Get your Hands Dirty this Spring: Heritage Harvest

Are your fingers itching to get into the dirt? Are you craving that earthy smell? Do you find yourself yearning to rub your fingers against young seedlings and breathe in the smell of spring?

If so, you're not alone. Canada, despite our northern growing season, is home to some of the world's most avid gardeners. Perhaps it's because we understand the growing season is short, and we maximize each day of sunshine.

Despite living in Manitoba, February through April, my fingernails begin to look earthy. . .because it's planting time (well, indoors anyway).  I'm a farmer's daughter, and so signs of spring mean so much more to me than pulling out my shorts.  The longer days, the shifting of the sunset to the northern skyline, the return of the geese, the melting of the snow, the spring rains. . .means that another seasonal cycle is about begin. And I want to be a part of it!

And spring means planting time! Moreover, I want to teach my little one why spring is significant . . . and it's connection to life. #whatIwantmykidtoknowbefore18

For numerous years I have turned to Heritage Harvest Seeds (located in Carman, Manitoba) for my seeds. But not just any seeds, heirloom seeds.

I wrote about why heirloom seeds matter here. If you're new to this, or need a refesher, check out our post for seed terminology that many find confusing (e.g. the difference between heirloom/heritage, hybrid, GMO).


Let me tell you what makes Heritage Harvest Seeds so outstanding. . .

I asked them a few questions to give Canadian gardeners a chance to appreciate what they provide.

What products do you provide?

Heirloom vegetable, flower and herb seed: no GMO's, untreated, non hybrid seed

What's your mission?

To preserve rare and endangered heirloom seed and provide high quality seed to our customers

Why should Canadians buy from Heritage Harvest Seed?

Heritage Harvest Seed has one of the best selections of rare heirloom seed in North America. All of our seed is non GMO, untreated and non hybrid. We are a mail order business and ship seed across Canada

Where can Canadians purchase your product

Mail order business. Check us out online, or request a paper catalogue.


Why did you choose Wholly Canadian to feature your products?

Because Wholly Canadian promotes Canadian local businesses like ours.


What does local living mean to you?

Local living is very important to us, we love knowing that what we are eating is free of chemicals and grown locally.


Heritage Harvest Seeds sent me some seeds. Here's some of what I'm growing this year:

Tomatoes: Manitoba Tomato & Farthest North Tomoto

Vegetable: Doe Hill Pepper, Beit Alpha Cucumber, & Golden Zucchini

Herbs: Old Ukranian Dill, Lettuce Leaf Basil, Parsley, Sorrel

Beans: Mennonite K Triple A, Mennonite Purple Stripe, & Early Riser Bean

Fruit: Gnadenfeld melon

Flowers: Forget Me Not, Larkspur: Giant Imperial, & Morning Glory: Grandpa Ott’s


Many of these seeds would make great Mother's Day Gifts {hint, hint}.  Heritage Harvest was also featured in our Best of Canada's Valentine's Day gift guide.


What are you growing this year?

Make sure to check out Heritage Harvest Seed for your quality heirloom seed purchases.

Get your fingers dirty & support local business. . .support Canadian business!

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 2 Comments

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Baking: No Need for New Year's Resolutions

Christmas Baking that does NOT require New Year's Resolutions

This year I had a toddler to inspire me with my Christmas baking. . . he loves helping me, well, I mean tasting.  We use our Mama's helper stool, and then he "helps" his mama. Every ingredient I pull out, he sweetly says, "Mama, I love honey," or "Mama, I love cocoa," or "Mama, I love butter". . .hoping I will give him a spoon to lick. But our joy was not just in the preparation. . .

We made our Christmas cookies with some neighbors and community members in mind. . . but not just people we knew, we kept in mind the faces of farmers we had never met--both Canadian and farmers in far-away-lands.  All our ingredients were either local or fair-trade. What a delight to think that the joy went further than our eyes could see, further than our tastes could savour, and beyond the gratitude of our loved-ones. 





Here's what we did. . .


Upgraded Egg Nog Cookies: 

We took a simple egg nog recipe  and upgraded it to include some traditional & wholesome ways of preparing food.


"Cow Pies": Unbaked Cookies & Probiotic-infused

  • wholly nourishing organic oatmeal grown by Manitoba farmers: grown by Deruycks (We soaked & dehydrated oatmeal we had prepared earlier--See why  soaking grains is so important to optimize digestion & health, and why some nutrients only become available through this ancient food preparation method) 
  • Camino fair-trade cocoa
  • homemade kefir milk (see how we make kefir milk in this course or order your milk kefir grains here) made from Stoney Brook Creamery unhomogenized milk. . .
    • How's that for adding probiotics in Christmas baking.  Oh, so necesssary to combat all the viruses this winter!
  • raw Manitoba honey by John Russell
  • fair-trade Level Ground coconut oil
  • Canadian processed Nuts To You peanut butter


Sunbutter Thumb Prints

  • organic spelt sourdough (see how to make sourdough baking in this course)
  • homemade organic sunflower butter (We soaked & dehydrated the oats--See why  soaking seeds is so important to optimize digestion & health, and why some nutrients only become available through this ancient food preparation method)
  • homemade strawberry jam from Manitoba strawberries we purchased in summer at Jardin St Leon
  • Luna Farm farm fresh eggs
  • fair-trade Level Ground unrefined sugar


Decadent Fudge: Good-for-you-Fats

  • fair-trade Level Ground coconut oil
  • Canadian processed Nuts To You peanut butter
  • raw Manitoba honey by John Russell
  • Camino fair-trade cocoa
  • sprinkled with wholly prepared nuts: (We soaked & dehydrated the nuts--See why  soaking nuts is so important to optimize digestion & health, and why some nutrients only become available through this ancient food preparation method)

And then we packaged these in some used Christmas tins we picked up a thrift store.

What joy it was to think local, fair-trade, used (tins) for our Christmas Baking . . . (Click here for a post Why this matters)




Intersted in learning more about preparing food in a naturally wholesome manner that will optimize your health for the New Year?  Click here to learn about some of our upcoming courses:


We'll be preparing some festive drinks in our next "Bubbly & Creams" course!


How have you incorporated community into your Christmas traditions? Share with us . . .

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 11:22 PM 0 Comments

Thursday, July 16, 2015

DIY: Diaper Spray made with Canadian Love

So we're in baby mode at our house (read about our baby-love here), and of course with all that baby-love comes that dirty business of diapers.  

My baby is currently three weeks old, and we're back to using cloth diapers. (See why we cloth diaper here).  And if you already cloth diaper and are laundering diapers anyway, you may as well use cloth wipes which work best with a diaper spray solution.  So this morning I concocted a diaper spray that I am so excited to share.

This diaper spray is easy to make!

By the way, even if you don't cloth diaper, you can still use this spray with cloth wipes. Start with what is manageable for you. Not to mention, that using cloth wipes is so much more effective in clean-up than using disposable wipes which often just don't have the pick-me up of cloth fibre. . .and simply wipe the "mess" around.


  • 2 cups tea--chamomile or lavender and/or both:
    • 1 cup chamomile tea--I used Manitoba-grown Blue Lagoon organic chamomile tea
    • 1 cup lavender tea--I used Quebec-grown Bleu Lavande tea
      • read about why I use lavender tea instead of lavender essential oil here
  • 1 Tb. raw honey--I used Manitoba-made John Russell honey
  • 2 Tb. Canadian-grown oil--I used Manitoba Harvest hemp oil
  • 2 Tb. castile soap--I used Canadian-made Green Beaver castile soap that is made with locally harvest organic sunflower oil instead of imported olive oil
  • 4-8 drops of naturally antiseptic essential oil--I used Quebec-grown & distilled Aliksir Poplar Balsam essential oil.
    • read about my journey with discovering true Canadian-made essential oils here



1. Make the two cups of tea. Steep for desired strength. I used one TB of loose tea, or 1 tea bag per cup.

2. Allow the tea to cool slightly. While still warm (but not hot) add the honey.  You don't want heat to destroy the raw enzymes of the honey & the beneficial components of the essential oil.

3. Once the honey is dissolved you can add the remainder of the ingredients. Stir. Pour in a spray bottle (preferably glass).

4. Use this spray with resuable cloth wipes.  Shake well before each use.

Makes 2 cups. Store in dark glass bottle away from the sun.


What makes this Diaper Spray so Canadian-esque & Special:

  • Healthy bums make happy babies!
    • This diaper spray is free of  harmful ingredients & preservatives found in diaper wipes. Have you ever read the ingredients used in disposable wipes? Crazy!  Note: if you can't pronounce the words you probably shouldn't be putting on your baby.
    • Beneficial ingredients to promote healing--ingredients that are read-able & familiar! Feel good everytime you spray your baby's bottom. Not only does this diaper spray clean that bottom, but it also encourages healing:
      • Hemp oil--contains fatty acids that nourish & moisterize the skin
      • Lavender--naturally antiseptic with antifungal properties; speeds up healing
      • Chamomile--effective in soothing skin and is an anti-oxidant. Both lavender & chamomile are used to treat eczema
      • Honey--naturally antiseptic and loaded with enzymes and nutrients
  • It's a sustainable approach for living.  Instead of buying box after box of diaper wipes which end up in the landfill, simply use this spray with cloth wipes.
  • Saves $$$. Yup, that's important when living with a tight budget.
  • It boasts only local/Canadian ingredients--one component of our proposal for Wholly Canadian living.  Supporting Canadian farmers & Canadian business is possible even in the nursery {grin}.




For an all-purpose Canadian household disinfectant spray check out this recipe. Very handy for cleaning those nursery "spills" & "sprays."

If you missed our previous posts about what we packed in our baby bag to get ready for the baby, and how we prepared our nursery--make sure to check it out!

And our course if you know of a baby on the way or have a baby in your life, make sure to check out "Canada's BEST Baby Registry"--for gifts filled with true love that are either made locally or fair-trade.


Posted by Wholly Canadian at 5:57 AM 1 Comments

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Suro Elderberry Syrup: Get Naturally Well

Today we're so thrilled to share one of favourite products: Suro Elderberry Syrup. You may remember us sharing about this product in our monthly top picks of January 2015.

Health and Wellness

My family has been using the syrup for a number of years, but before we share why we love them, join us in a conversation we had with them.

What products do you provide?

We specialize in Canadian elderberries and elderflowers. We have an elderberry orchard in southern Quebec where we grow our own elder bushes from which we make our products. SURO products are certified organic and contain no preservatives or additives.

Elderberries are known for their anti-viral properties while elderflowers are known for their
diaphoretic and expectorant properties. So, elderberries are a great ally to ward off colds and flu while the flower helps with symptom relief.

SURO Orchard

Syrups:We have 2 syrups: an adult formula and an alcohol free
formula for children. Unlike many other elderberry products on the market,
our syrups have a very short list of wholesome ingredients that are easy
to read and are free of glucose, water or preservatives. They combine the
benefits of elderberries, elderflowers, raw unpasteurized honey, propolis
and in the adult formula, echinacea. They are ideal at the onset of
colds, cough, sore throats and the flu.

Our slogan for our syrup is so tasty, so potent so SURO!

Respitory Tea: We also offer a respiratory tea called SURO-BREATHE. It's
a blend of 17 organic herbs that are expectorant (including lots of elder
flowers), emollient (including plantain and marshmallow root) and are good
for your immune system. This product is great for anyone suffering from
chest and sinus congestion such as seasonal allergies, chronic bronchitis,
the end of a cold or from asthma. The combination of plants aims at
opening the air passages and helps get rid of congestion.

Herb Extracts: We also offer single herb extracts from elderberries or from
elderflowers. This is great for herbalists who prefer making their own
formulas. They can use our brand to get the benefits of Canadian
elderberries. The elderberry extract is great for preventing cold and flu.
The elderflower extract can be used in case of fever or mild congestion.

Chaga: We offer Canadian Chaga which is harvested wild in
Quebec. The chaga chunks can then be made into a tea. Chaga is great to
help the body's own immunity.


What's your mission?
Our mission is to help people stay healthy and regain good health with high quality products. The products we offer are products we would feel comfortable giving to our own families. We want to promote a healthy lifestyle with top quality ingredients.


Why should Canadians buy from your company?

  • Canadian-owned: SURO is owned and operated by Canadians. Sylvain Mercier,the company's president, started SURO using Dr Jacinthe Desmarais' formulas (Jacinthe is Sylvain's wife). The products are therefore very pure and close to nature because they were made for family and friends. Although they are now manufactured in large quantities and sold across Canada, Sylvain has taken care to keep Dr Jacinthe's family formula intact without any fillers or additives. Sylvain is now joined by Lawrence Tomlinson, long time employee and now partner in the company. Lawrence started working for SURO as a student at age 14. Although his studies led him to a different career, he loved the passion and values of SURO.

  • Certified Organic: Our products are certified organic which is a plus and is rare in this category. Our syrups and tinctures are 100% Canadian, which is why we find it important to meet with the producers of our primary ingredients such as the apple cider vinegar and honey.  In the case of SURO BREATHE, we search for Canadian ingredients as well.

  • Premium Product: When customers use our products they are encouraging many Canadian families AND buying a very high quality product. In the case of our syrups, we use the whole berry and do not add water. Because of this, our products have a very long shelf life, 3 to 4 years from the day they were made. Most people use them up before that time but it's a good thing that you don't have to throw away your bottle when you are feeling back to normal. No waste:).



Where can Canadians purchase your product?
Our products are available in most large chain natural health food stores, local natural markets,  and select pharmacies. We have a store locator on our website where Canadians can look up the different stores closest to them.

You can search by postal code.


Why did you choose Wholly Canadian to feature your product?

  • Wholly Canadian's website is very appealing for various reasons. We like the way the website is presented. It is very educative while also encouraging Canadians to buy Canadian. This is exactly what we are all about.
  • We learned about many products that we didn't know about by reading Wholly Canadian. Not only were they great products, but they were also Canadian. That is very important to us. Quality and Canadian. 


What does local living mean to you?
It means encouraging businesses around us first. We like to find suppliers that are as close to us as possible. We are always proud to say that we help provide jobs for Canadians by hiring them and also by buying equipment and ingredients from Canada. When Canadians use our products, they are contributing and supporting many families that live from their land.

Local living is living from resources around us; whether they are human resources or natural resources. We also believe that in naturopathy, you will have greater results using plants that grow around you.

Product Review:

Suro sent us three products:

1. Adult: Organic Elderberry Syrup

2. Kid's Forumula: Organic Elderberry Syrup


Adult FormulaKids Formula

3. Suro Breathe

Colds and flues are an inevitability in our Canadian climate. I try to refrain from drug medications, and whenever possible look to God-given natural remedies. . .one of them being elderberries. We have successfully fought several colds with Suro Syrup. I just purchased the kid's syrup for baby's cold this last winter, and never once needed any other medication. I appreciate the simple ingredients (elderberries, elderflower, honey, and apple cider vinegar). Nothing fancy, but it works.

SURO BreatheI had never tried the Suro Breathe until recently. Being pregnant at the time with a spring cold, I didn't take this herb-based syrup internally, but used it externally and received some relief that way. I have to say that a plugged nose at night, and the subsequent parched mouth, can make one go batty. A few sleepless nights like that in a row inhibit the much-needed rest for healing.

Are you suffering with spring allergies? 

Are you exhausted because you can't breathe well at night?

Try, this natural remedy of Suro Breathe. It works by quickly relaxing bronchial passages, clearing mucous and opening up airways. It soothes and heals inflammation and irritation.

What continues to amaze me is the quality Candian products on the market that work! 

Suro syrup is a product that Canadians can be proud of, and more importantly feel naturally good about consuming.

Get well naturally and support local!  Each spoonful of Suro Syrup is 100% Canadian--supporting Canadian producers.

In my journey of local living, that "mouthful" says a lot!

Colds and flues are an inevitablity of winter. I try to refrain from drug medications, and whenever possible look to God-given natural remedies. . .one of them being elderberries. We have successfully fought several colds with Suro Syrup. I just purchased the kid's syrup for baby's cold & cough last week, and never once needed any other medication. I appreciate the simple ingredients (elderberries, elderflower, honey, and applecider vinegar). Nothing fancy, but it works.SURO Kid's Syrup

Dark purple with a rich blackberry-raspberry flavour, American elderberries are also superior in their health properties. They have been scientifically proven to have 2 to 3 X the concentration of antioxidants, vitamin A and vitamin C than cranberries and blueberries. Academic research consistently links elderberry consumption to numerous health benefits, including strengthening the immune system because they demonstrate their ability to inhibit viruses.

- See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/Blog/post.cfm?Title=Suro%5FElderberry%5FSyrup#sthash.RK0MLubc.dpuf


Colds and flues are an inevitablity of winter. I try to refrain from drug medications, and whenever possible look to God-given natural remedies. . .one of them being elderberries. We have successfully fought several colds with Suro Syrup. I just purchased the kid's syrup for baby's cold & cough last week, and never once needed any other medication. I appreciate the simple ingredients (elderberries, elderflower, honey, and applecider vinegar). Nothing fancy, but it works.SURO Kid's Syrup

Dark purple with a rich blackberry-raspberry flavour, American elderberries are also superior in their health properties. They have been scientifically proven to have 2 to 3 X the concentration of antioxidants, vitamin A and vitamin C than cranberries and blueberries. Academic research consistently links elderberry consumption to numerous health benefits, including strengthening the immune system because they demonstrate their ability to inhibit viruses.

- See more at: http://whollycanadian.ca/Blog/post.cfm?Title=Suro%5FElderberry%5FSyrup#sthash.RK0MLubc.dpuf
Posted by Wholly Canadian at 6:00 AM 4 Comments

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Birthday Party with a Local Flair: I Cho Cho Choose You

Wholly Canadian's little guy. . .just turned two. A birthday party was in order.

Theme of the Party? Trains (He's enamoroued with trains).

Underpinnings of the Party? Simplicity & a local flair

This party would not induce Pinterest envy; and that's fine with me {smile}. But it brought tons of joy.


So here are some ideas for those wanting to add some simple local flair to their birthday parties.

1. Food:

I made pizza buns. I mixed local meat with italian sauce and local cheese. I served it on some homemade buns made with local grains. Voila! A very tasty and healthy entree.

I purchased my meat from All Natural Meats in Manitoba using their elk garlic sausage & pepperoni. Delicious!

Choosing natural meat is critical for children's development . . .so it's a worthy investment.

All Natural Meats. Buy Local. Buy Fresh. Buy All Natural Meats.


2. Cake:

I made a cake with Canadian-made, Comensoli's gluten-free cake mix . . . a delicious cake that just happens to be gluten-free!  This was the first cake (of many to come) that I decorated without help from my sister. . . and I really enjoyed the challenge!  There's something about creativity under pressure. . .{grin}




3. Party Favours

Simplicity often means less is more. I didn't want to go to the dollar store and buy a loot bag brimming with cheap stuff, so we simply gave away two items.

a) Sugar Cookies made with nut flour and sweetened with Canadian maple sugar:

b) And train crayonsCrazy 4 Crayons sponsored this giveaway which proved to be a big hit! Hailing from Calgary, Trish Skinner, makes crayons in so many creative shapes and moulds, e.g. owls, dinasours, princesses, mermaids, animals, vehicles, castles, sea shells, robots, etc.

Obviously we chose the train crayon!  These crayons are a great idea, as they are both pragmatic and fun.  Parents appreciate a party favour that does not clutter the house. 

Check her out for your next party! Crazy 4 Crayons



4. Simple games:

We played simple games like running and crawling races (treats at the finish line helped the little guys understand the goal), duck duck goose (okay that was a bit complicated for 2-year-olds who couldn't understand why they had suddenly get up and run the opposite direction), and sang some action songs.

While waiting for the pizza buns we read the classic story "The Little Engine that Could"




5. Second-hand outfit:

I found a pair of pinstripe engineer ovealls on ebay that suited their second owner.  Buying used is one of Wholly Canadians' core tenets.


6. Nap time!

So after the games, eats, and gifts it was nap time--for all involved! 


7. Birthday Gifts:

In addition to some generous gifts from his friends, our little guy received two gifts at home:


1. "Helper Stool"

I had this stool custom made to fit our (okay, my) needs. We have a small pedestal sink in our bathroom, so it was getting difficult to lift him up to wash his hands. I wanted a safe stool that he could climb, and that was easy for me to move.

I had the handles on this stool custom-made at my height (yup, this pregnant mama deserves some perks), and the stool has castors (wheels) at the back which are activated when the stool is tipped. This makes for easy moving.

We purchased this stool from Ed Hiebert in Winnipeg who can be reached via email.



I also had this stool made at only 12" inches in width, because we have a small house, and I wanted it take the least amount of real estate.

This little guy loves his stool!  If I tell him it's time to wash his hands, he gets excited and always says "With stool?" "Yes," mama says, "with stool." And then he carefully climbs up by himself (he's a cautious guy) and says "Oh do" which means "I do." "Yes," mama says "you do." 

The last few weeks he's been my "helper" in the kitchen. It allows me time to make meals and have him feel a part of this prep. His prep, however, is mostly playing with toothpicks and trying to get them back in their container. It works for me!


2. Kid's Table made of Barnwood!

The second gift he received is also a pragmatic gift, but a great deal of fun!  Created by and sponsored by Prairie Barnwood, this kid's table has become invaluable for our little home.  I wanted a small table that would function as a daily snack table, extra table when friends come over, and a craft table. The drawer (which is accessed on both sides of the table) is mama's secret weapon for a quick clean-up.  It hosts a variety of treasured items and crafts.


Made in Morden, MB with Canadian-made barnwood, this table is a wonderful addition to our little home. The workmanship is top-notch.

It is displayed with two second-hand stools (one of which used to be a Mennonite milking stool that I found on kijiji, and the other at a thrift store).

Looking for some unique but sturdy furniture filled with goodwill? Check out Prairie Barnwood, and start drooling.

We've featured them previously and you can read about it here. . .

Why Local?

Why employ a community-orientation in your birthday parties?

    • It's intentional: many of the ingredients and items used to celebrate this birthday were  local, fair-trade, or used . . .few good things of life are accidental. I'm always reminded that acts of goodwill and kindness are intentional. . .and this is a "life message" I want to pass on to our little guy.
    • It Brings Joy! The party was rooted in community & goodwill. . . rather than buying what is "cheapest for me," it thinks "we". . . giving way to a true joy
    • It's a part of being in a story. . .Life is a story. It's a chain of moments that create a "life story." How is your "story" being told?  We've read countless stories to our little guy, but I want him to grow up remembering he's part of an incredible story. . .


For a good resource on why this matters see "Why Localism"

What birthday party gifts and ideas have you implemented that are full of goodwill?

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 8:34 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Naosap Wild Rice: More than Gourmet

Naosap Organic Wild Rice sent us some wild rice & wild rice flour to review. . .and what a treat!

I decided to try out one of her recipes with the product we received. But before I share a wild rice burger recipe, I thought it would be helpful for Wholly Canadian followers to get to know Naosap a bit better.

I asked Tracy, the owner, some questions. . .

What products do you provide?

Our main product is our certified organic, non-gmo verified Canadian, lake-grown wild rice. We do also offer wild rice flour, wild rice linguine and gift baskets.

What's your mission?

Our mission is to get wild rice into as many homes as possible.  While many view wild rice as a gourmet food, we believe it should be more of a staple based on its nutritional content.  It is also more economical than most people realize as wild rice triples itself when cooked, compared to "regular" rice which doubles itself.

Why should Canadians buy from your company? What makes you unique compared to your competitors?

We are unique because our family-based business is rooted in sustainability and quality. Harvesting wild rice is indeed an art that is not easily learned. My husband and his brothers have over 30 years experience harvesting; they know how to get the highest quality of wild rice. Because Naosap Harvest ONLY uses Anderson Brother's green wild rice for processing, we have the optimal control over the quality of our product. Our long summer days of sunshine produces a long, dark kernel that is sought after. Our customer service is second to none and we pride ourselves on that.

What does local living mean to you?

Local living is eating, working and "playing" using as many local resources as possible.

Where can Canadians purchase Naosap organic wild rice?

Wholly Canadian chose the above dish, Naosap organic wild rice, as baby's first rice dish at 18 months. See this post on why.

I decided to make Naosap's wild rice burgers that are both vegan and gluten-free.  But I did it with a twist incorporating:

See our adapted recipe here:

You have got to try this recipe with Naosap's wild organic rice!

It's power-packed! What amazed me most is the amount of protein wild rice has. . .boasting 7g of protein in a 1/4 cup. That's what makes these burgers so great. . .they're vegan with a healthy does of protein! You can feel good giving your family these wild rice burgers.

I'm also looking forward to trying the wild rice pizza crust recipe.

Naosap wild rice is simply one of Canada's great products.

My encouragement for Canadians is to re-think rice as Canadian. . .and choose local.

Have you tried Canadian wild rice?

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 46 Comments

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Cream always Rises to the Top

The last few years I've been on a quest for wholly natural food. Real food. . .

  • food like my grandparents produced on their farm
  • food that comes from animals that lived in a natural habitat suitable to Canadian weather just like my grandparents would have given them. . .outside in the summer, inside in the winter
  • food that comes from animals that ate real food themselves. . .food that is historically rooted in tradition (GMO free & checmical-free)


You see, I'm not after an (organic) label, I'm after wholly natural food

Can you see the difference in colour between these two whipped creams? Neither have any sweetener in them; they were simply whipped.  One is from coventional cows that lived inside a barn; and one from pastured cows that grazed outside this summer. Which appeals to you? Snow-white cream? Or buttery-yellow cream?

But now most wholly natural food is labelled as organic.

While a great deal of conventional food is GMO and chemical-laden--not because any organization is aiming to feed Canadians this, but because consumers are demanding cheap food. . .food that is cost-efficient, travel-friendly, has prolonged shelf-life, etc. This is why I am now buying a great deal of organic--I just want wholly natural food. I want real food.

Don't ask why wholly natural food is so expensive, ask why cheap food is so cheap. . .

I want my apples to rot on the shelf after a few weeks versus GMO fish-infused apples with pro-longed shelf-life & reduced Vit C. I want food that encourages bio-diversity. I want food that comes from seeds that are naturally derived. I want food that doesn't put farm workers at risk--chemicals that have poison signs and are sprayed on food seems like a strange practice.


Harmony Organic cream:  We purchase this at Organza Market in Winnipeg because it is: 1)Canadian, 2)un-homogenized, 3)and grass-fed in season (I don't know of any dairy company that can boast these three for their cream). And the colour, oh, the colour it is such a rich buttery-yellow.  Note: This cream is nearly 3x the price of conventional cream; which is why we budget accordingly, and savour every spoon.

I'm particularly after grass-fed meat, dairy, and meat. Why?

Because of Vitamin K2.

Vitamin K2 is found in animal products, as opposed to K1 which is found in leafy greens. But here's the clincher. The eggs, dairy, and meat we consume only contain natural Vitamin K2 when it is . . . you guessed it . . . grass-fed (or pastured).

"Grass-fed" or "pastured" isn't a sought-after label of some idealistic dream. . .eating grass-fed products is critical for normal health.

However ever since the 1940s, farmers realized that livestock could be cheaply fed a diet of grains fortified with synthetic vitamins A and D, and could thus survive without ever having to see the sunlight.

Weston A Price Foundation, an educational organization committed to ancient wisdom in food and farming, states that vitamin K2 is synthesized from the chlorophyll ingested by cows, chickens, or pigs when grazing in lush green pastures. This means that they must be in the sunshine to get it! When animals are left confined to dark spaces without movement and fed processed grains, there is little chance for K2 to be created.

Why the concern about Vitamin K2?  Well, research indicates that Vitamin K is vital:

  • for the utilization of minerals,
  • protects against tooth decay,
  • supports growth and development,
  • is involved in normal reproduction,
  • protects against calcification of the arteries leading to heart disease,
  • and is a major component of the brain.
  • Vitamin K2 works synergistically with the two other “fat-soluble activators” that Price studied, vitamins A and D. Vitamins A and D signal to the cells to produce certain proteins and vitamin K then activates these proteins.

Got children? Vitamin K2 is esesntial for normal bone & neurological growth! Grass-fed animal products should not be luxury foods. . .they weren't for my farming grandparents.

So which cream appeals to you? The conventional cream? Or the grass-fed cream?


Look for the words "pastured" or "grass-fed."

Labels that say cage-free or free-range are not sufficient. These labels cannot be correlated with grass-fed/pastured, thereby, Vitamin K2.

For example, eggs that come from a carton that state their chickens are solely fed a vegetarian diet, don't get my purchase. Why? Because chickens are not naturally vegetarian. Chickens, like many other birds, when living in their natural habitat eat mice, insects, etc. "Cage-free" eggs come from chickens that while they live free of a cage, are contained indoors year-round and fed a vegetarian diet--and then are marketed as a "natural" choice. Indoors means no Vitamin K2.

My Manitoba supplier of free-range pastured eggs? Check them out: Luna Field Farm.

As Canadians we're also fortunate, that Canada Organic has standards that mandate farmers to pasture their animals seasonally, in order to receive their organic certification.

I have also found many farmers that are not organically certified, but have similar high standards of pasturing their animals. The key it to get curious; and contact the farmer!

My grandparents on the farm would't have labelled real food as organic; they simply practiced traditional wisdom.

Cultured cream, a type of clotted cream. Served on a brownie made of fair-trade chocolate, and Manitoba oats, pastured eggs, & honey.

But grass-fed cream & milk is not where the goodness stops in our home. . .we culture our cream. Using dairy kefir grains, we culture sour cream, sweetened clotted cream, and kefir cheese.

All of these creams and cheeses are laden with probiotics--the good bacteria that lines your gut and builds up your defenses against flues and diseases.

A healthy gut belongs to a healthy person.

So get your gut healthy!

A healthy gut also aids in weight management.

Wild rice burger on traditional sourdough bread laden with traditional kefir cheese

Interested in taking a course on cultured creams and cheeses? See our upcoming class in Winnipeg.

Want to give your family an immune boost? 

Interested in making rich creams and cheeses that are full of probiotics right in your kitchen?

Want to get the synergestic benefit of cultured food rich and real ingredients rich in Vitamin K.

Register nowSpace is limited.



Which cream appeals to you?

As they say, the cream always rises to the top. . .

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:54 AM 38 Comments

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Wheels on Bus go. . .to the Farm!

Last week Friday was one of those days that made me so proud not only to be Canadian, but a Manitoban.

I travelled with Food Matters Manitoba, on a bus tour to visit two local farms. Food Matters is a registered charity that partners with northerners, newcomers, farmers and families to harvest, prepare and share good food. They engage Manitobans towards healthy, fair, and sustainable food for all.

Firstly, we visited Blue Lagoon organic farm. They grow a variety of organic fruits, herbs and vegetables, as well as raise pastured poultry.

When we first got off the bus, we were greeted by Lori Ann, the lady of the farm. My first impression of her was that she belonged in a children's story book. . . her bubbly personality and the kindest big blue eyes were akin to the grandmas you read about in storybooks!  We rode about on a hay wagon taking in the sights of their farm in a drizzle of rain (good thing I was wearing my Canadian-made Taiga rain jacket to keep me dry) and observed the vast efforts this farm took to upkeep.

I especially enjoyed seeing the turkeys and chickens that are moved about in their mobile cages everyday onto fresh alfafa.   Overall, I was overwhelmed with the amount of efforts this family puts into keeping this farm going. . .sun up to sun down. I'm sure if you calculated a farmer's wages per hour, it would be mere coins. When I asked her what got her up in the mornings, ie. why do this?. . .she responded with a story of when she used to teach school (it didn't surprise me she used to be a school teacher), and seeing the types of food children had in their lunches. . . and knowing she wanted to make a difference in the type of food that was available in our province.  Once again, I am convinced that passion (not monetary) is the fuel for a lot of our small and or/organic Canadian farms.

That day I tasted my first patty pan squash from Blue Lagoon organic farm, and loved it! A few weeks ago, I purchased their homegrown chamomile tea at a local farmer's market to make some homemade diaper spray for baby's bum. . .stay tuned for upcoming recipe {grin}

I previously wrote about asking the right questions, i.e.

Don't ask why organic/natural food is so expensive, ask why cheap food is so cheap. . .

The farmers on this tour exemplified that. . .

Then our bus took us to Zinn Farms. They specialize in pastured pork, poultry, rabbits, and goat meat.  And we sure got a whiff of farm-life. Wow! It's ever so healthy to be reminded of what farm-life is all about. {grin}

I've become accustomed to thinking of beef and chickens on the pasture, but never thought of pigs out on the pasture.  But of course, it make sense. Wild pigs naturally graze in the forest. This extra effort (of pasturing) is what sets this farm apart from other pork farmers--delivering quality meat the way nature intended it.

Free-range pigs at Zinn Farms

They gave us a sample taste of some of their sausages, and to say it simply, they are mouth-watering. I'm not sure I have ever had such a good breakfast sausage before. The hot italian, and souvlaki sausages were right up there too.  So I bought some of each {smile}.  My family enjoyed the breakfast sausages this last Sunday brunch, and tonight I put souvlaki sausages in broth with fresh garden carrots for a quick soup.  And served it with homemade sourdough crackers.  A nutrient-dense meal undergirded with localism and goodwill. It can't get any better than that.

Local organic spelt grain made into homemade sourdough crackers. Want to learn how to make traditional foods like these crackers. See this course coming to Winnipeg!

Why buy local?  Why take efforts in supporting these farmers?

Well, there are so many reasons. I wrote about some here. This farm tour simply solidified my passion for supporting local. We all win when we purchase from our "neighbours." And as I've mentioned previously, this paradigm is rooted {pun intended!}in goodwill that gives life to joy.

A few other hightlights of the day were meeting fellow Manitobans on the bus tour, who represent microcosms of goodwill that make our province great!

  • I met Kalynn Spain, from Small Farms Manitoba--who helped organize the farm tour. Small Farms Manitoba is an online space for farmers who consider themselves to be underrepresented by provincial commodity groups--featuring a farm directory that creates a synergistic provincial energy.  Looking for local vegetables or meat grown in Manitoba? Use her directory to help you locate it from a farm near you! Kalynn, a young female farmer herself, farms her own chickens and pigs and is quite simply an inspirational model for women.
  • Laurel Gardiner, acting chair of Food Matters. What a wonderful conversation we had over sausage! It's amazing what good food does. I loved hearing about her new grandaughter and the blessing she is to her family. I also found out that she is a cousin to Tracy, owner and farmer of Naosap Wild Organic Rice, who recently collaborated with Wholly Canadian by sponsoring our wild rice extravaganza giveaway. Check it out here!
  • Kreesta Doucette, exective director of Food Matters, whose gentle spirit and strong leadership were so evident in her speech. I didn't get to chat much with her, but if the bus tour exemplifies what Food Matters is doing, I say a job well done!
  • Anna Levin, who works with North End Cooking Classes, an extension of Food Matters, provides cooking classes to North End youth. It was such a joy meeting Anna and hearing about what she and her fellow colleague, Lissie, are doing within our city.
  • And of course, enjoying this bus tour with my friend, Lynne. . .a type of friend that everyone needs when beginning new ventures. . .

The whole day was a narrative of re-shaping Manitoba stories through food. . .

See our Wholly Canadian page for permanent links to Food Matters & Small Farms Manitoba.

As our tour ended, I told Kalynn, wouldn't it be great to have an organized farmer's market on wheels. . . It's great to support farmer's markets and enjoy the visual and tasty delights that fill our senses while meeting the faces of the farmers most often hidden from us when we purchase food. But it's quite another thing to purchase food straight from a farm. It provides a well-rounded sensory experience and appreciation that is second to none. But that's not all. It was a huge blessing for the farmers we visited. Instead of hauling their produce within their limited time & financial constraints, we came to them. . .

So as our Manitoba garden markets wrap up for yet another season, here's to enjoying and dreaming about real food and real farms all winter long. . .

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 42 Comments

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Nice! It's Sweet Rice for Canadian Babies

As per historical tradition, we waited until after a year to introduce our baby to grains. 

Historically babies refrained from grains until at least a year (note: molars can be an indication of readiness for grains) because babies do not have  sufficient digestive enzymes to digest grain. The enzyme, amylase, necessary to digest grains, is generally produced after a baby is a year old. Historically, babies were not fed grains until at least a year, despite ancient people's lack of knowledge about this enzyme. Talk about intuitive wisdom! Yet it's interesting how current North American conventional practice encourages grain as baby's first food, and ironically, many adults then suffer with irritable gut issues later on in life.

Read more about preparing grains and the gut issues that surround improperly prepared grains

Organic sourdough spelt bread.  Gentle on baby's tummy. Gentle on mama & papa's tummies.

At 18 months we started baby on his first grains. We started him out with mama's sourdough spelt bread and sourdough granola. He is loving it! Of course, like all kids, he liked to lick mama's homemade jam off of the toast. {It made me giggle} Then he started biting into the bread, and devoured his first slice.

sourdough granola spelt

Organic sourdough granola (spelt & oat) ready to serve! So nourishable and easy to digest.

After his introduction to spelt sourdough,  I decided it's now time for rice. But not just any rice! Canadian-grown rice. For serveral years, we have been patronizing Naosap Harvest organic wild rice. They are on the edge of the Canadian Shield, surrounded by boreal forest.  Naosap's organic wild rice is grown in the pristine, isolated lakes of northern Manitoba, Canada.   So of course, his first rice had to be Manitoba rice. I love re-thinking of rice as Canadian. Yes, rice does grow in Canada!
I decided to make his first dish a treat. In fact, it's a treat for the whole family!

A wild rice dish laden with a "clotted-honey" cream. . .and topped with fruit and a dash of fair-trade cinnamon. Yum! And it's a super nutritious dish laden with antioxidants, probiotics, protein, minerals, etc!



  • Wild Canadian rice
  • Organic cream--as close as you can get to real cream the way nature delivers it.
  • Milk kefir grain
  • Raw honey--always wait until baby is a year to introduce raw honey
  • Fruit--Canadian-grown, fresh or frozen
  • Fair-trade cinnamon


Step 1: Wholesome Preparation 

1. Soak wild rice with water & apple cider vinegar. Click here for a guide.

2. Culture your cream with a milk keifr grain for 24-24 hours. (Note, you cannot use a water kefir grain for this.) Cream is already heavenly. Now add probiotic strains to it, and you've got a match made in heaven!

Step 2: Putting it together

1. Cook your soaked rice according to grower's instructions--you will need 20% less cooking time and less water

2. Strain the milk kefir grain from the now "clotted" cream

3. Blend in some raw honey into the cream--per taste.

4. Generously top the rice dish with the "honey-clotted" cream.

5. Add some seasonal or frozen fruit.

6 Sprinke some fair-trade cinnamon on top


I used:

Care to learn more about traditional foods?

Want to deliciously eat your way to health?

  • Interested in learning more about sourdough?  Want to turn grains from a foe into a friend! Want to lower your gluten intake? Check out these learning opportunities!

Register soon!

baby eating rice for the first time

18 months. Eating rice (Naosap Harvest wild rice grown in Manitoba) for the first time. . .and loved it!

Baby eating his Wholly Canadian rice-dish using his Mally Bib in his second-hand high chair. We love this made-in-Canada bib for so many reasons . . . especially the pocket. I put pieces of dried fruit in it as treats. That little extra time it takes in digging out his treat, gives mama few extra minutes.  It's to the point now that when I put on his bib, he immediately checks the pocket, hoping against all hope that there might be a treat! {It always makes me giggle}

We chose the bear bib, because right from pregnancy, we always called him "Baby Bear."  So here's to "Baby Bear" enjoying his first rice. . .


What's your favourite traditinally-prepared dish?  Let us know!

Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:00 AM 1 Comments

Friday, September 05, 2014

Preserve & Serve--Local Style

This year I've had the most joyous time putting away preserves! Care to know why?

I'm employing the ancient practice of lacto-fermentation/ culturing. No canner. No heat. No sweat!

I just simply place my veggies in a jar with whey & salt. I let them cutlure for a period of time, and then place them in a fridge or cold room. Simply put, this is traditional food. . .this is the way my great grandmother would have preserved her food prior to modern conveniences.

Traditional Foods are becoming a part of my rhythm. Are you interested in learning more about Traditonal Foods?

made in canada cucumbers

These jars of pickles tell a story. . .through two aspects of Wholly Canadian's shopping paradigm of goodwill:


Firstly, local. My garden: heirloom cucs, onions, cabbage leaf to hold the cucs down, and oak-leaf to keep the cucs naturally crisp.  Garden marketJardins St-Leon Gardens--I purchased some cucs, dill, and garlic at this local garden market. 

(Side note: anyone know if one can obtain mustard seed grown in Canada?) 

cucumbers made in canada


Secondly, used. All my canning jars are from MCC thrift shops. All my jars are made in Canada.  Canada no longer makes glass jars, so these vintage jars are are a real keeper. Instead of using the rust-prone snap lids, I use the original glass tops along with the rubber rings. While the first objective of preserving food is to nourish my family during the long winter months, I also am so amazed how much I enjoy the beauty of preserves. During these last 24 hours I have marveled over and over again at God's gracious bounty towards us when I look at the simple beauty on my kitchen counter.


Lacto-fermented veggies are not only a simple way of preserving food, but is also nutrient-dense compared to canning.  Did you know that canning destroys the nutrients in food, whereas culturing food increases enzymes? You are eating live food! But not just live, but also rich in probiotics--the kind of stuff that makes your gut healthy! And a healthy gut belongs to a healthy person!

  • Interested in adding some traditional food skills in your diet?
  • Care to unearth some practices your great-grandmother would have used in her kitchen? 
  •        Want to deliciously eat your way to healthy?

Right now Wholly Canadian is offering two traditional-food courses

1) bubbly drinks and creams for the whole family; and 
2) sourdough: goodness gracious grains!

Space is limited, so make sure to register soon!

made in canada cucumbers


Back to Jardin St-Leon Gardens. . .

The customer service their is top notch. Each person (and I've been there countless times), is so friendly, and they look like you are doing them a favour if you have a question! I always drive away amazed because we live in a day and age when pleasant customer-service is the exception. I recently took my father there,  and he was of course  pleasantly rewarded with many friendly youthful smiles and chit chat. He really hit it off with a young male personnel when discussing apple pastries. {It made me giggle}.

I just bought a case of peaches from Jardin St-Leon Gardens that I want to put into the freezer--but only after blanching the peaches. My mother-in-law is going to come over and show her tried-and-true method of blanching peaches. A few years back, I put peaches in the freezer without blanching and without a syrup. I thought this treatment was for those who wanted extra work. Ha! Mush in the freezer. . 

Well, I was deciding how many peaches to purchase while talking with a few Jardin St-Leon employees, and a young gal really impressed me with her customer service by offering me a variety of options for pick-up, ordering organic, etc. As she rung me through, she chatted with my baby in the cart, and then offered to help me to my car with my purchases. I asked her what her name was, and she said, Jen. So Jen, here's to you!

Update: Here's a pic of the peaches. . .blanched and in a light honey syrup ready for the freezer!

What's the name of your favourite garden market?

Posted by Proof Reader at 7:00 AM 13 Comments