The Noble Pineapple


photo by Ian Britton

As a child, I have fond memories of eating fresh sweet juicy pineapple on the beaches of Southern Spain. Young gypsies were selling it, walking on the hot sands yelling "brrrrrrrrr pina!". I still love scoring a beautiful fragrant pineapple :-)

While visiting Mexico last winter, we would buy it from women selling it at the side of the highways, who would offer it to you as you crept over the massive speed-bumps designed to slow-down vehicles near towns. The women included a little pouch of chili spice to sprinkle on the fruit: I highly recommend eating fresh pineapple with chili spice!

Recently, I've rediscovered pineapple and have been enjoying it almost every day. First, it's a gorgeous thing, and I love spotting a particularly nice one at the fruit stand, bringing it home, and then staring at it for a day or two. Next, cutting it up is quite satisfying and easy to do - my partner usually gets to do this. Finally the booty: sweet fragrant juicy fruit! Besides being awesome tasting, pineapple is very healthy, full of vitamin C, manganese, and the enzyme bromelain that helps you digest protein - this is why it's particularly good with fish and meat.

Bonus: the noble pineapple happens to be the food of the week on the world's healthiest foods.

I will post some super pineapple recipes next...

Fat Tuesday!


New Orleans Mardi Gras maskers, c. 1915, scanned from old postcard. Note women carry whips to fend off any unwanted attentions. (Wikipedia)

It's Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day, the last day of Carnival! I'm putting on something sparkly and frying up some pancakes tonight :-)

  • Festive pancake recipes:

Awesome Almond Buckwheat Pancakes - a personal favorite
Swedish Pancake - a lovely giant pancake you bake
Dee's Oatmeal Pancakes Recipe - these sound great
corn and bacon pancakes
- yes, bacon in pancakes is awesome! (get oganic)
Oatmeal Bacon Pancakes - Irish recipe, sounds yummy

  • Pancakes for hardcore healthy eaters + gluten-free:

Super Pancakes (for one or more) - packed with nutritious filling whole grains
Carolyn's Breakfast Pancakes - "...we have had this breakfast EVERY SINGLE DAY for the past 2 years"
Protein Power Pancakes - quick easy gluten-free sugar-free breakfast for one
Gluten Free / Sugar Free / Lactose Free Pancakes - the name says it all
Delicious Gluten-Free Pancakes - this has great reviews

experimental matcha nori shortbread


Been getting extra-experimental in the kitchen these days: dietary restrictions = inspiration! The challenge: make a splendid unique cookie without: sugar, gluten, nuts, eggs. I came up with these fun little matcha nori shortbread cookies. Still working on them - next time I'd eliminate the nori as it became quite chewy compared to the nice crumbly cookie. These were made with: brown rice flour, tapioca starch, matcha tea powder, organic butter, black sesame seeds and xylitol - an interesting naturally-derived "sugar" that won't spike blood sugar levels, feed candida, or cause cavities - still testing baking with this sweetener...

Are Plastic Water Bottles Safe?

This is a guest post by healthy lifestyle crusader and writer Bonnie Penner. Thanks for sharing this important information Bonnie!


Which Plastic Water Bottles Don't Leach Chemicals?

Choose your water bottles very carefully in order to prevent chemicals in the plastic from leaching into your water. Plastic water bottles are very convenient for carting water around when we are on the go, as they don't break if we drop them. However, it is worth paying attention to the type of plastic your water bottle is made of, to ensure that the chemicals in the plastic do not leach into the water. If you taste plastic, you are drinking it, so get yourself another bottle.

Beautiful Burfi

Not too long ago, we ventured out east - east Toronto that is - and scored these gorgeous rich decadent Indian sweets.

Here's what's in the photo, starting in the upper left and going clockwise: carrot halva, caramel? burfi with pistachio and silver leaf, pistachio burfi, chocolate burfi, saffron burfi, almond burfi. Yum! I especially loved the carrot halva and the mysterious caramel-flavored silver leaf fudge.

Burfi (aka barfi) is basically Indian fudge, that's generally made with milk, ghee, sugar, nuts, chickpea flour, and spices. Interesting fact: most recipes don't contain eggs, and most are gluten-free - though this doesn't make these sugary-dairy-rich sweets health-food ;-)

Check out these (mostly) traditional Indian recipes for fudge (burfi, barfi), halva, and egg-free cakes.

Bonnie's Health Info Group

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Bonnie Penner online, and have since joined her incredibly informative "Health Info Group".

Bonnie is passionate about healthy living, and loves sharing her research on contemporary health topics like: plastic water bottles, Teflon pans, parabens, and artificial sweeteners... important stuff that isn't exactly mainstream knowledge yet. She says:

"...health is my passion and when I can make a difference in someone's life I feel great. I have seen too many people suffer, in my opinion needlessly, from health related issues only because they did not know any better."

If you're interested in receiving Bonnie's "Health Info Group" emails, send her an email and request to be put on her list: jjpenner@uniserve.com It's free to join, and she does not advertise or sell email addresses.

On a related note, I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm going to start having guest contributors submit content to the site. I've asked Bonnie, and she has agreed to let me post her write-up on plastic water bottles (coming soon).

Thank you Bonnie!

2 Super-Healthy Quick Breads!



Super-Healthy Banana Bread
"...whole-grain perfectly spiced banana bread: gluten-free, sugar-free,
dairy-free and flavorful with no unnecessary sugar or fat."

delicious links & bookmarks + tag clouds

Hooray for web 2.0! My fabulous partner just added a new and incredibly useful addition to pattycake: delicious links. (Note the lovely tag cloud.) Learn about del.icio.us social bookmarking if you're curious, or want your own account. Speaking of tag clouds, I also have a new tag cloud that shows all of my blog tags.

Fun stuff :-P

Chocolate + Salt

Fine milk chocolate + sea salt? Awesome. I'm not even a milk chocolate fan, but this was great. Similar to salted caramel...

(Tosh visiting from Berlin brought us all exotic chocolate bars: sweeet! danke :-)

...and this recipe for caramel-dark chocolate truffles with fleur de sel looks awesome!

Dirty Dozen


Healthy organic apples growing on a Swiss farm I visited this summer.

Ever hear of the Dirty Dozen? Not the film, but the infamous list of produce types, rated by which ones have the most pesticides and chemicals. The list, put together by the EWG, actually shows 44 foods and each one's pesticide load. Needless to say, these chemicals are very unhealthy. Here's how we can eat less of these toxins (from Food News):