Posts Categorized: Happiness is…

Ste. Anne’s Spa: gluten-free getaway

This is me in one of my happy places—the eucalyptus steam room at Ste. Anne’s Spa. The only thing I was more excited about at my most recent visit to Ste. Anne’s was the bakery. Whether sweet or savoury, there were so many delectable gluten-free baked goods! Ste. Anne’s, an inn and health spa, has been a popular getaway for relaxation and rejuvenation for years. Now it’s also become a destination for people who are gluten free because of its delicious and celiac-safe gluten-free offerings (however, not all of the meals are GF, so be sure to tell the staff about your dietary needs). And it’s all thanks to Ste. Anne’s Bakery. To find out more about this little bakery in Grafton, Ontario, read our interview below with Ste. Anne’s Bakery manager David Salazar.

 

“Our facility is certified by the Gluten Free Certification Program, so everything in the bakery is 100% gluten free. It’s been a dedicated gluten-free facility for a couple of years now. We use organic certified gluten-free flour, a formula we developed that we still work with. Some of the baked goods are also vegan. We’re trying to offer more vegan options because we’re getting a lot of requests for this now. The bakery is like a lab because we have to try one product several times until we feel it’s ready to share it with the rest of the world. There’s math involved, too, because you have to make sure to have certain ratios of protein to starch.”

 

“The bread is the most popular product we offer, then the granola, the cookies, and the rest of the cakes and desserts. We offer fresh-baked gluten-free bread every day. Our most popular varieties are the multigrain, which we call five-seed bread, the almond milk bread, and the herb and cheddar cheese bread. We also bake vegan bread and cinnamon raisin, which goes over so well with the kids! Many stores have gotten into the habit of only selling frozen gluten-free breads. Ours is sold fresh. We don’t use any preservatives, so we recommend keeping the bread on your counter for three to four days and then putting in the freezer if you want to keep it for a longer time.” [Click here to see where to find the bread in Toronto.]

 

“And focaccia! They serve the focaccia in the restaurant at the spa. [Editor’s note: I asked for seconds with my lunch.] We also create products for the spa—for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. When the executive chef comes up with an idea and says he’s looking for a new dessert and he saw this cake in Italy and can we do it gluten free, I meet with my team and we develop something. Right now we’re working on a recipe for puff pastry. It’s a huge challenge.”

 

“The granola is a real part of the Ste. Anne’s experience: a high-quality organic mix of GF-certified seeds and nuts seasoned with Ste. Anne’s honey butter and spices. That’s all we use. We let the ingredients speak for themselves.”

 

“Our baked goods have a unique taste because we use ingredients that we grow on our own property. A lot of flavours used in the bakery are from our garden, including the extracts—rosemary, rose, lavender. We try to use a farm-to-table practice, and we’re lucky that we have this property and the staff to help us produce a lot of fresh ingredients. The honey used in our bread is also from our property.”

 

“This is where the magic happens. What we have here is walnut-almond banana bread.”

 

“This devil sponge cake with chocolate buttercream and vanilla buttercream writing will soon say: Happy 50th Michelle!” [Editor’s note: Lucky lady!]

 

“Customers come to the bakery from all over the place, it’s not just spa guests. We offer lunch here—quesadilla, panini, empanada, quiche. We like to follow the requests of our guests when it comes to developing new products. Interestingly, a lot of them are not gluten free, they’re just looking for healthy choices.”

 

Ste. Anne’s Bakery is a Silver sponsor of #GFG17 and a new vendor we’re excited to welcome!
Find them opposite Neal Brothers Foods at the Wychwood (east) side of the Barns on May 28th.

CONTEST ALERT!
Fill out a ballot at Gluten Free Garage to win an All-Inclusive Day Spa for Two at Ste. Anne’s!
This deliciously relaxing getaway includes (per person):
$120 spa allowance, 3-course lunch, afternoon tea and complete use of the facilities.
Approximate value is $542.40

 

GF starter kit

 

  1. ITALPASTA gluten-free penne—made with a blend of corn, white and brown rice, buckwheat and quinoa—has the colour, flavour and texture of traditional pasta without any gluten but with all the taste. Fusilli, spaghetti, elbows and lasagna too! italpasta.com
  2. BLOSSOM BAKERY’s gourmet GF flatbread pizzas are savoury sensations made from scratch and topped with local produce and artisan cheeses. blossombakery.ca
  3. BAR APE lemon sorbet bar. Tastes like sunshine on a stick. bar-ape.com
  4. NEAL BROTHERS FOODS Srirachup kettle chips are a combo of sweet ketchup and spicy sriracha chili sauce. The ultimate snack food! nealbrothersfoods.com
  5. STEAMBOX DUMPLINGS are handmade with a combo of certified GF flours and filled with Ontario meat and poulty, quality vegan proteins and local produce. 12 flavours and counting! steamboxdumplings.ca
  6. JUST SHUT UP AND TRY IT Kimchi Kids is a mild and sweet spin on kimchi. Made with fermented purple cabbage, radishes and pears, it’s a rich source of probiotics. justshutupandtryitferments.com
  7. GRAIN-FREE JK GOURMET GG Bites are made primarily from sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, honey and organic coconut nectar. Paleo friendly and available in 9 flavours. jkgourmet.ca
  8. FIESTA FARMS. Toronto’s largest indie supermarket is the place to shop for all your GF groceries, from fresh produce to gourmet and artisanal local and imported GF foods. fiestafarms.ca
  9. TONICA KOMBUCHA fermented tea is batch-brewed and filled with natural probiotics and healthy enzymes. This sparkling bevvy is an incredible digestive aid and comes in seven flavours. tonicakombucha.com
  10. SORELLE AND CO’s pretty little lemon-glazed vegan donut is free from soy, nuts, preservatives and gluten! sorelleandco.com
  11. STE. ANNE’S BAKERY certified GF five-seed bread (sunflower, sesame, chia, pumpkin and flax) is delicious and nutritious any way you slice it. steannes.com
  12. ALMOND BUTTERLY BAKESHOP’s fresh-baked GF New York–style bagels are the real deal! Available in poppy seed or sesame. almondbutterfly.com
  13. FRESH “Easy Green” organic cold-pressed juice has cooling, de-stressing, digestive and detoxifying benefits and packs 12 servings of raw fresh produce. freshrestaurants.ca

memories of Bubby’s Chicken

 

In grade 8, when I made friends with the new girl at school, I discovered a culinary sensation.

Every Friday after school my BF Bonnie and I would race to her house and wait in her kitchen for the delivery. Her grandfather Jimmy would pull up in the four-door sedan to drop off the food that Bubby Katy and her sister-in-law Rosie had spent all day cooking and baking. Jimmy would shlep boxes from the car filled with still-hot home-cooked food from the old country covered in tinfoil for Friday night dinner. The women had cooked the meal and it was the same every week: chicken soup, goulash, chicken paprikash, Bubby’s chicken (breaded chicken strips) and Rosie’s squares (a dessert made from ground almonds and chocolate, referred to by those in the know as simply “Rosie’s”—to this day, I dream of Rosie’s). It was his greatest joy to drop off this food for his children and grandchildren (and his granddaughter’s bestie).

Bubby’s Chicken was everything: tender on the inside, crunchy on the outside, flattened and crispy-coated strips of chicken that had been cooked in a vat of oil and then patted dry with paper towel. I will never taste a chicken finger like that again.

Though I try.

more…

winter essentials

 

WINTER ESSENTIALS

Our list of 11 must-have products to keep you going all winter long. All are GF, of course! And all except for one are made in Canada.

(Clockwise from top left)

READ IT
GFF (Gluten-Free Forever) Magazine
. The gorgeous winter 2017 issue has six delish soup recipes to warm you up. We could eat up every issue of this quarterly magazine. gffmag.com (get $9 off the $35 subscription price with code winter17)

SAVOUR IT
Chocosol Traders
Luscious Coconut (70% cacao). Because chocolate and coconut. This stuff is the real deal. chocosoltraders.com

 HEAT IT UP
No.7 Mexican Hot Sauce.
Spice up your food and clear your sinuses with habanero or a variety of other hot numbers. no7hotsauce.com

 DRINK IT
Chaiwala Chai
Original Masala Chai. Boost your immune system and ease indigestion with this 100% natural chai blend of fresh ginger root, ground spices and organic honey. Learn how to make a hot chai latte at chaiwalachai.com

 SHOOT IT
Greenhouse Juice Company
Flu Shot Booster. This mini cocktail of immunity-supporting plants (oil of oregano, lemon, echinacea) and tinctures packs a flu-fighting punch. greenhousejuice.com

 RUB IT IN
Giddy Yoyo
Raw Love Butter. Slather on this body butter from head to toe to keep your skin soft and supple. Oh, and it’s edible and tastes like chocolate. shop.giddyyoyo.com

SEAL IT WITH A KISS
Sudsatorium
Great White North Lip Balm. Kiss cracked lips goodbye because this balm is the bomb. As per the packaging: “Heal lips the Canadian way with maple syrup, eh!” sudsatorium.com

 SPRAY IT
Beekeeper’s Naturals
Propolis Spray. A few spritzes a day keeps the doctor away—for colds, coughs, sore throats and inflammation. I swear by this stuff. beekeepersnaturals.com

 EAT IT
Bunner’s Bakeshop
Supersonic Cookies. The cookies that helped launch Bunner’s! Loaded with chocolate chips, cranberries, pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds, these GF vegan wonders are a must-eat any time of year. My fave mid-day treat with a cup of hot tea. bunners.ca

FACE IT
Aromacentric
Face It Oil. Just a few drops of this liquid gold hydrates and nourishes your skin so you shine. With essential oils neroli and jasmine, you’ll also smell divine. aromacentric.com

SIP IT
The Honest Leaf
Serene Tea. Make way for sweet dreams with this caffeine-free mint tea that takes the chill off and calms your mind and body. honestleaf.com

 

 

Fries before guys

Serving up some attitude with a side of fries.

Serving up some attitude with a side of fries.

 

Flashback to Gluten Free Garage in the fall of '14 with gluten-free girl Lily and her pal Axel going to town on some Hero Burger fries.

Flashback to fall 2014 Gluten Free Garage with gluten-free girl Lily and her pal Axel going to town on some Hero Burger fries.

 

This year Gluten Free Garage is hosting an unprecedented number of vegan and vegetarian vendors. But we know that there are many gluten-free carnivores out there who will be asking: “Where’s the beef?”

Enter Hero Certified Burgers.

You know what my beef is with Hero Burgers? Their french fries, which themselves are gluten free, are made in a shared fryer, so there is a risk of cross-contamination. Hence, my daughter, and everyone else with celiac disease, cannot have them. Which is a bummer, because Lil loves fries.

But I appreciate that Hero Burgers is very clear about this in their communications, because it keeps people with celiac and gluten intolerance safe. Also on the plus side, most of their proteins (except for the hot dog) and condiments are gluten free and they have gluten-free buns from O’Doughs that are warmed in a dedicated toaster. And, most recently, they added gluten-free naturally smoked beef bacon to the menu.

Click here for a full list of the gluten-free offerings at Hero Burgers.

Back to the fries. You may wonder why Lily is eating them in the above photos. Is it an act of gluten-free child rebellion? No, she knows how much it sucks to get glutened. It’s because at Gluten Free Garage the Hero Burgers food truck serves up fries—and poutine!—made in a dedicated fryer with fresh, clean oil. So Lily and her fellow celiacs get to order a side of fries with that!

GFG sponsor Hero Burgers / Photo: Lewis Mirrett

Keep on truckin’ / All photos by Lewis Mirrett

 

Hero Certified Burgers is a Silver sponsor of Gluten Free Garage.