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    (0) CNF x Alvéole: Facts about Bees
    Community Natural Foods has some buzzing new employees. That’s right – we’ve got bees! In partnership with Alvéole we are now hosting beehives are each of our store locations. Thousands of bees will be pollinating the urban flora that surrounds us during these next summer months.
    (0) Natural Solutions to Help Reduce Seasonal Allergies

    Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever, occurs when the body’s immune system reacts to an external substance such as pollen, resulting in a range of unpleasant symptoms.  

    One in six Canadians suffer from allergies

    Typically, seasonal allergies are present from early spring to mid-fall season. April to June is when tree pollen is prominent, and June through July is largely grass pollen. The remainder of the summer months and heading into fall, it’s the dreaded ragweed that dominates.

    Seasonal allergies are not genetic but chances of having it are higher if you have a parent or sibling who suffers from seasonal allergies. Additionally, individuals with eczema and/or asthma are more likely to develop seasonal allergies.

    If you are allergic to tree, grass and ragweed pollen you’re likely the one carrying around a box of tissue throughout the warmer seasons.

    Why doesn’t everyone suffer from seasonal allergies?

    In most cases allergens include pollen, dust, feathers and mold. Seasonal allergies are largely triggered by pollen. Pollen is a fertilizing agent produced by male plants which are transported by insects, animals or travels through the air to eventually fertilize female plant counterparts. Along its travels, pollen may end up in the nose, eyes or mouth, wreaking havoc on those individuals who suffer from seasonal allergies.

    Typical symptoms of seasonal allergies include:

    ·        Runny nose and/or congestion “stuffy nose”

    ·        Sneezing

    ·        Itchy watery eyes

    ·        Itchy nose, roof of mouth, ear canal

    ·        Postnasal drip which may cause coughing

    There are options to help manage symptoms and reduce the occurrence

    Reducing the exposure to pollen is very important. Opting to stay indoors when pollen counts are at their highest, usually noon to mid-afternoon is helpful. Nasal irrigation such as a saline rinse help to remove pollen particles that have made their way into the sinus cavities.

    There are a variety of pharmaceutical medications that can be used to reduce symptoms but often come with drowsy side effects and need to be taken regularly. Natural health products are often sought out since they also help with symptoms without the drowsy effects.

    Here are a few natural ingredients that can help those itchy, watery symptoms:

    Quercetin: naturally found in onions and various produce is an antioxidant. This antioxidant can help reduce the histamine response cascade that results in the unwanted symptoms of hay fever.(i) You can read more about Quercetin here

    Rosmarinic acid: this natural compound was first discovered in rosemary but can also be found in perilla, sage and lemon balm. One study reported patients who were given rosmarinic acid reported less severe allergic symptoms, such as runny nose and itchy watery eyes. Also, this group had a reduction in inflammatory markers within their mucus compared to the control group. This study reported rosmarinic acid helped reduce both symptoms and inflammatory reactions that promote seasonal allergy responses in the body.(ii)

    There are many other natural herbs and compounds still being examined for their effect on seasonal allergies. Agents such as Vitamin C, Vitamin D, stinging nettle, N-acetly cysteine are just a few that are still being evaluated.

    Enjoying the warmer seasons without feeling congested and constantly sneezing is possible. Using natural products can be a great addition to hay fever symptom management.

     

    (i) Jafarinia M., Hosseini M.S., Kasiri N., Fazel N., Fathi F., Hakemi M.G., Eskandari N. (May 2020). Quercetin with the potential effec on allergic diseases. Allergy, asthma, and clinical immunology;16:36

    (ii) Osakabe N., Takano H., Sanbongi C., Yasuda A., Yanagisawa R., Inoue K., Yoshikawa T., (2004). Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effect of rosamarinic acid (RA); Inhibition of seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (SAR) and its mechanism. Biofactors;21(1-4):127-31.

     

    (0) The Benefits of Urban Gardens & Beekeeping
    An urban beehive is an unparalleled educational tool as well as a promoter of important attitude changes with respect to the environment. And, it can have a positive impact on the surrounding ecosystem! That’s why Community Natural Foods now have beehives at each of our store locations! The installation of a hive in an urban environment requires minimal resources, but brings a flood of direct and indirect benefits, notably social and ecological. The practice brings together city dwellers, allows the repurposing of an unused space, highlights a variety of issues related to the environment, industrial agriculture, pollination and greening while producing local, artisanal honey.
    (0) Is Grilled Food Carcinogenic?
    t’s summer – the lilacs are in bloom and in every neighbourhood you walk through, there’s a smell in the air of grilling! And with many spending more time in the backyard this summer, we wondered, is bbqing actually good for us, or is it possibly carcinogenic?
    (0) Non-Alcoholic Caesar

    Servings: 2

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

     

    Ingredients

    Celery Bunch, chopped into large chunks

    4 beefsteak Mans Organics tomatoes, chopped into large chunks

    2 tbsp horseradish

    1 tbsp Community Naturals molasses

    2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

    2-2.5 tsp hot sauce, or to taste

    4 tbsp fresh lime juice

    To garnish: celery stalks, ice

     

    Instructions:

    Juice the tomatoes, celery and horseradish together and strain out the pulp. Set the juice aside. Leave 2 stalks of celery out for garnish.

    Whisk together molasses and balsamic vinegar in a large mason jar or pitcher.

    Add horseradish, hot sauce, lime juice, salt and black pepper to the jar or pitcher.

    Add the tomato juice to the jar or pitcher and stir to combine.

    Divide into two cups and garnish with celery and ice.

     

    Benefits

    Fresh made juice is a great alternative to pre-made, bottled juice. This is because the nutrient content is way higher since it’s fresh. There’s also no sweeteners or preservatives. Don’t have a juicer? Not to worry, we found it just as effective to juice with a blender!

    Adding prepared horseradish is a great way to get a fermented ingredient into your belly! That pungent aroma is great for digestive health and reducing inflammation, plus it can assist with respiratory health.

     

     

    Looking for more mocktail recipes?

    Check some of the other great mocktail recipes we have!

    (0) Grilled Vegan Lentil Mushroom Burger

    Servings: 4

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook Time: 10 minutes

     

    Ingredients

    2 tbsp Gold Top ground flaxseed

    3 tbsp warm water

    1 medium onion, finely chopped

    6 oz Red Fox Farms mushrooms

    3 cloves garlic, chopped

    2 cups cooked lentils

    1/3 cup Highwood Crossing old fashioned oats

    2 tbsp Community Naturals arrowroot powder

    1 tbsp tamari

    1 tbsp Community Naturals tomato paste

    1/2 tsp dried oregano

    1/2 tsp dried basil

    1/2 tsp smoked paprika

    1/2 tsp salt (optional or to taste)

    1/4 tsp dried thyme

    1/4 tsp black pepper

    1 tbsp olive oil

    Garnish

    YYC Microgreens

    1 tbsp Flora Fromage herb and garlic spread (per bun)

    sliced tomato

    4 buns

     

     

    Instructions:

    If using dried lentils, cook 1.5 cup of dried lentils in 2 cups of water for 20 mintes until lentils are soft. Drain and set cooked lentils aside to cool.

    Mix the flaxseeds and warm water in a small bowl and set aside.

    Place the mushrooms and garlic into the food processor and pulse until they are finely minced.

    Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until they begin to brown, adding a splash of water if they begin to stick.

    Stir in the mushrooms and garlic. Cover and cook until the mushrooms soften, about 2-3 minutes, stirring often.

    Once the mushrooms have softened, transfer the mushroom mixture to the food processor and add the cooked lentils. Pulse until the lentils are just combined with the mushrooms.

    Add the flaxseed mixture and all remaining ingredients to the food processor and pulse to combine well.  The mixture should be more sticky than crumbly. If it seems too wet, add a little more oats.

    Scrape the mixture into a bowl and place in the fridge for 1 hour.

    Preheat the grill to 500F and place a cast iron pan or griddle on the barbeque. Add the oil to the pan.

    Shape the burger mixture into 4 patties, each about 3 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick.

    Place the patties on cast iron pan and cook until golden on both sides (about 4 minutes per side). Make sure they are firm in the middle but not burned.

    Remove the burgers from the barbeque and serve on bun with microgreens, sliced tomato and Flora Fromage spead.

     

     

    Looking for more grill recipes?

    Check some of the other great grilling recipes we have!

    (0) Grilled Veggie Salad with Toasted Bread

    Servings: 4

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook Time: 10 minutes

     

    Ingredients

    Dressing

    Bunch of Raftery Farms basil

    1 tbsp Drizzle Honey

    1 tsp mustard

    1 tsp sea salt 

    1 tsp pepper

    ½ cup olive oil

    ¼ cup balsamic vinegar 

     

    Salad

    2 slices of Corbeaux sourdough bread

    2 cups Deepwater Farms mustard greens

    1 pint Mans Organic cherry tomatoes, cut in half

    2 red peppers, halfed with seeds removed

    10 asparagus spears

    2 zucchini, cut in half length-wise

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    3 tbsp olive oil

     

    Instructions:

    Dressing

    Add all in ingredients to measuring cup and whisk to combine.

    Set aside.

     

    Salad

    Pre-heat grill to high.

    In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium on oven and stir in the garlic and heat for 1 minute.

    Brush the bread sliced with the garlic butter and place to the side.

    Toss red pepper, aspargus and zucchini in olive oil with the salt and pepper.

    Place the peppers, asparagus, zucchini and bread on the hot grill. Grill the bread for 2-3 minutes total and grill the vegetables 3-4 minutes on each side (flip once).

    Remove from heat and chop both the bread and the vegetables into bite size pieces.

    Add the mustard greens and tomatoes to a large salad bowl and top with grilled vegetables and bread.

    Add the dressing to the bowl and toss to combine.

     

     

    CNF Family Farms

    It is our commitment to independent family farmers that choose certified organic and other growing methods that ensure the soil and planet health is of first consideration. As much as possible Community Natural Foods buys farm direct produce and other products from local and family run businesses. We seek relationship that are like-minded with our ideas and goals as a company and as trailblazers and trendsetters in the natural foods industry.

    Man's Organics: Mans Organics is a family farm in Alberta near Coaldale, that produces both greenhouse and field crops, including the beautiful cherry tomatoes and zucchini used in this recipe. Sweet corn, melons, and rhubarb are available during the summer months, while cabbage and winter squash, including pumpkin, are available in the fall and into December.

    Deepwater Farms: Deepwater Farms started as a 400 square foot farm producing 30lbs of kale a week in 2018. They have sinced moved to a 10,000 square foot farm in Calgary and produce 200lbs of kale, mustard greens, arugula and salad mix. Deepwater Farms uses an aquaponics method of farming which means they grow their leafy greens and raise sea bass in a closed-loop vertical indoor farm. The fish waste is collected, upgraded, and used to fertilize the plants, which are grown indoors meaning we get the tasty leafy greens year round.

    Rafferty Farms: Similar to Deepwater Farms, Rafferty Farms is a vertical aquaponics farm near Okotoks, which means we can get fresh basil year round! They have been in operation since 2015, and expanded to a 7,000 square foot space in 2019, allowing them to be more innovative with their vertical farm. Growing vertically in long rows allows Rafferty to maximize their growing space and incorporate sustainable energy use, water capture and conservation.

     

    Looking for more grill recipes?

    Check some of the other great grilling recipes we have!

    (0) The Best Grilling Recipes for Summer

    We've compiled our favourite grilling recipes for the summer! Whether it's burgers, veggies, or even a pizza - the grill is a great way to cook outdoors.

     

    Grilled Vegan Lentil Mushroom Burger

    We are big fans of the Red Fox Farms mushrooms which is why they are the big feature in this recipe! The mushroom mix typically has unqiue mushrooms like oyster mushrooms and sometimes you might lucky to find Lion's Mane mushrooms in the mix which are great for brain health! Red Fox Farms is a local farm found in Strathmore. This recipe also incorporates lentils as a hearty protein source.

    Click here to get the recipe.

     

    Grilled Veggie Salad with Toasted Bread

    This veggie salad uses plenty of local ingredients like Rafferty Farms basil, Mans Organic zucchini and Corbeaux sourdough bread. This dish, also known as a grilled vegetable panzanella salad, is a twist on the Italian bread salad. It makes for a great addition to your summer dinners. 

    Click here to get the recipe.

     

    Kombucha Chicken

    Kombucha chicken?! Say what!? That's right, we've added kombucha (a fermented tea beverage) to our chicken marinade. We use local chicken from Sunworks Farm as well as one of our favourite local 'buch brewers, True Buch.

    Click here to get the recipe.

     

    Grilled Veggie Salad

    Another veggie salad, grilled to perfection. This recipe is vegan & gluten-free and makes for a great side dish to your veggie burger or grilled tofu. 

    Click here to get the recipe.

     

    BBQ Flatbread Pizza

    Who knew you could make a pizza on the grill? Enjoy this flatbread pizza on the grill when you need a quick dinner. You can whip it up while soaking in the sun! It features our local favourite basil farmers, Rafferty Farms and tomatoes from Mans Organic. 

    Click here to get the recipe.

    (0) Wild Tea Kombucha Probiotic Pina Colada

    Servings: 2

    Prep Time: 2 minutes

     

    Ingredients

    ½ cup coconut cream

    ½ cup frozen pineapple chunks

    ¾-1 cup Wild Tea Kombucha Pineapple Mojito Kombucha

    Couple handfuls of ice

    2 - 4 oz Rum (optional)

     

    Instructions:

    Add all ingredients to your blender. We recommend starting with ¾ cup of kombucha, add up to ¼ more if you need more liquid to blend.

    Blend until all ingredients are nicely combined, and all the ice is gone. 

    (0) Kombucha Float
    Cool down with these tasty ice cream float combos!
    (0) Kombucha Grilled Chicken
    Try this take on a marinade using kombucha !
    (0) Dan Clapson's Garden Variety Turkey Dinner

     

    Ingredients

    Poached turkey & broth

    4 cups good quality chicken broth

    ½ red onion thinly sliced

    3 cloves garlic

    1 cinnamon stick

    1 TBSP Drizzle honey

    ½ cup True Buch Root Beer kombucha

    2 Winter’s Turkey skinless turkey breasts

     

    Salad Dressing

    2 TBSP True Buch Root Beer kombucha

    1 TSP Drizzle honey

    2 TBSP cold-pressed canola oil

    ¼ TSP dried chili flakes

    Salt (to taste)

     

    Salad

    1 cup steel-cut oats

    ½ cups water

    1 teaspoon sea salt

    ½ cucumber, diced

    2 medium tomatoes, diced

    4 green onions, thinly sliced

    ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

    3 cups Deep Water Farms greens, loosely packed

    Sliced turkey breast

     

    Instructions:

    Poached turkey & broth

    Place first 5 ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Once bubbling, reduce to medium heat and let simmer for 15 minutes to allow flavours to infuse.

    Next, add kombucha and turkey breasts and let meat poach until full cooked through, approximately 10-12 minutes.

    Remove turkey meat from broth and allow to cool slightly before thinly slicing.

    Reserve broth, but skim off any impurities floating on top after poaching turkey meat.

     

    Salad Dressing

    Place ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt.

     

    Salad

    Place oats, water and salt in a small pot, bring to a boil and let cook until oats have an al dente texture, approximately 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

    Rinse well in a fine mesh strainer, gently press oats to remove excess moisture and then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

    Add remaining salad ingredients, drizzle with salad dressing and toss gently to combine.

    Season with salt as desired.

    Note: for the “hot” version of this dish, place approximately 1 cup of salad mixture in a soup bowl and pour hot broth overtop. Serve immediately.

     

    Dan Clapson is the proud Co-Founder and Creative Director of Eat North, a Canadian food media and events company. He’s also the Restaurant Critic for The Globe and Mail. Dan has contributed to many publications including Westjet Magazine, Ricardo Magazine, Air Canada enRoute, and more. His writing covers a wide range of topics from restaurant reviews to trend features, interviews and recipes.

    You may have seen him as a frequent guest on a variety of Calgary’s News programs, where he spreads his knowledge and expertise on the foodie scene and shows Calgarians how to whip up some killer dishes. When Clapson is not writing, eating, or traveling across Canada, he’s probably relaxing at a pub in Calgary with some friends or watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. We can’t wait to see you in action Dan. Good luck with our friendly Love Local CNF Cook-off!

    Give Dan a follow over at @dansgoodside & @eatnorth.

     

    Local Love CNF Cookoff

    We created the Love Local CNF Cook Off in an effort to support our fellow Albertans and their businesses. 4 local Chefs, Food Writers and Food Enthusiasts hit the kitchen and showed us what they’re made of! Using local ingredients found at Community Natural Foods, competitiors created tasty recipes that can be replicated at home.

    See who the other competitors were and the dishes they created! Click here