Salt Spring Island weekend (of food).

IMG_5555A few weekends ago, I spent some time on Salt Spring Island, one of the Southern Gulf Islands between Vancouver and Vancouver Island.  It goes without saying that it was a spectacular location…like almost all of BC and Canada in general..but I might be just a tiny bit biased for the West Coast.

Since I was there overnight I thought I would jot down a few places that were safe to dine while I was touring the island.

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What? A dairy-free Croissant?

Dairy-free croissant - Edible Flours

Dairy-free croissant Edible Flours

That’s what everyone asks when I tell them about these dairy-free croissants I discovered at Edible Flours. I’ve been slowly working my way through the many allergy safe treats that this vegan bakery has to offer.  I’ve written about their cinnamon bun, their cake, and their apple danish in previous posts.

Let’s dive into the details of the dairy-free croissant.

I decided to try the croissant because I was craving a cinnamon bun, but the bakery was sold out for the day.  My fault really for leaving it for so late in the afternoon to go get one! My plan b ended up being the croissant.  Sitting there in the baked goods showcase… like a “real” croissant…all golden brown and flakey looking.  It was calling my name.

Upon closer inspection, there were actually two kinds that day – the “regular” non-dairy version, as well as a gluten-free one.  Since I am not allergic to gluten, I chose the regular one. On the ingredient card, it said that the croissant was dairy-free and non-soy.  I can’t remember all the other ingredients, but they were all allergy-safe for me.  No dairy, eggs or nuts.

I literally ran all the way home with the paper packet so that I could tuck into it.  Once I got home, I popped the croissant into the oven to give it a bit of a warm-up to crisp it up a bit, and put the kettle on for tea.

Just a few minutes in the oven, then this! Looks yummy right?  It was.


the flakey goodness inside…

Now I have absolutely no way of knowing what a “real” full butter filled croissant tastes like, so my thoughts about this non-dairy version have nothing to be compared to.  So you’ll just have to believe me when I say that this was a pretty tasty treat.  In my mind, I think a real croissant would be light, flakey and airy in texture.  Not greasy or oily, yet rich tasting.  That is how I judged the non-dairy version.

It was as I thought it would be.  Light, and flakey on the outside. The taste was not oily or greasy, it was perfect.  It didn’t taste like butter, obviously, but it was still a nice light flavour to it. Savoury, but not salty. I am not even sure how to properly describe it.

I was pretty impressed with it.  I put it on my “must try again” list.

And the next week, I did.

I learned my lesson from the sold out cinnamon buns, so the next weekend, I pre-ordered 6 croissants to make sure that I would not be disappointed.

Test number two was going to be sharing these with “non-allergics” to get their take on the non-dairy croissant.

This batch of croissants didn’t quite look the same as the first one.  This batch of croissants was oddly huge in size, and a bit pasty looking (I didn’t take a photo).  Not golden brown and nicely shaped like the one pictured.  So I wasn’t sure if these were going to taste the same.  I put them in the oven again for a few minutes before trying them, and to my delight they still tasted the same as the first one.

I handed a few off to the non-allergics. They were also impressed with the croissants. They said that it wasn’t buttery like a real croissant, but texture wise it was pretty close to the real thing.  As for the odd size and colour of these croissants.  It was probably due to the bakery leaving them a bit too long to proof.  But as we all know, looks aren’t everything, its what’s inside that counts.

Edible Flours also offers other variations of dairy-free croissant.  They include a gluten-free version, a chocolate drizzle version, and a (vegan) cheese version.

The dairy-free croissant from Edible Flours, gets a 10 out of 10 from me. It really IS that good.  Go try it (even if you’re not allergic).

“Ice Cream” Treats

IMG_4724The weather has turned…less rainy, and the sun is out more often, so my thoughts are turning to cool treats for Spring and Summer.  Dessert of any kind, for me, has always been a challenge.  Although living in Vancouver, things are changing.  There more options now, with healthier eating, and more people turning to non-dairy or vegan diets.  I’m not a vegan, but I appreciate the options these places provide for those of us with food allergies.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

IMG_4136I’ve once again been delinquent in posting in the past couple of months.  I have been busy spending the fall and winter outside enjoying the lovely winter we’ve been having in Vancouver.  So far the snow up in the mountains has been spectacular, with perfect conditions and crystal clear blue bird days.  Its hard to not to want to be out there, rather than inside writing a blog post.


However, no excuse really.  So here’s some of the places that I’ve had the opportunity to try out in the last few months, and I promise to write about them all soon:

  • Glowbal – the new one at Telus Garden.
  • Wildebeest – all I can say is whoa…that was good.
  • Mosaic Grille – breakfast edition.
  • Edible Flours – more baked good delights.

Bistro Verde – Bacon and Steak Edition

Bistro Verde at Nordstrom

Bistro Verde at Nordstrom – Breakfast view of the Art Gallery

Nordstrom recently opened in Vancouver to huge crowds.  You’d think that these people had never seen a department store before.  I decided to give it a few weeks to settle down before setting foot inside the store. A few weeks after opening, the store is still pretty insane on weekends. I went on a weekend, and lived to tell about it.  My credit card wasn’t overly happy after the experience, but the Nordstrom reputation for customer service is in tact.  The lady that helped me in the Shoe Department was outstanding. If you’re in need of shoes (and who isn’t), ask for Li Ming in Women’s shoes. Nordstrom Vancouver apparently has over 450 pairs of shoes in size 5 and under. I suspect that I will be visiting often.

So what does shopping have to do with dining out with allergies you ask?  With the new store opening, Nordstrom has also opened Bistro Verde,  a full service restaurant inside the store.  Continue reading

Apple Danish Heaven

Galiano Island, BC

Enjoyng summer on Galiano Island, BC

Hello readers.  Did you miss me?  It has been quite a gap between posts.  I’m sorry.  I’ve enjoyed the spectacular summer that we’ve had here on the West Coast. Now that it’s officially Fall, the days are getting shorter, and the weather is getting cooler.  I suspect my indoor time will increase and I’ll have plenty of time to post a few things.

When I think of Fall, I think of apples, weird right?  These days we get apples all year round, but for some reason I always enjoy them more in the Fall.  Although, I do have a slight allergy to raw apples.  When I eat certain varieties, I get a tickle in my throat and an itchy palate. I still haven’t figured out which ones are the worst ones for my allergies, so I rarely eat them raw.  However, the apples that come from my cousins apple trees out in Langley seem to be okay for me to eat.  Not sure why though. Could it be the type of apple, or that they are organic with no pesticides?  I have no idea.  But when my cousins send me apples, I always enjoy them.

Did you know that one of my favourite things to eat is apple pie?  Non-dairy, egg-free pastry of course.  I cannot resist a nice apple pie with flakey pastry, perfectly cooked apples, and just the right amount of cinnamon, sugar and lemon.  Although don’t get me wrong…I am not the baker in this scenario.  My mom bakes me apple pie. Lucky me!

Apple Danish from Edible Flours

Apple Danish (and doughnut) from Edible Flours

Getting to the point of this post…One day I happened to go in to Edible Flours, because I felt like one of their cinnamon buns (which I’ve posted about before, here).  They didn’t have any cinnamon buns, but they did have some apple danishes that looked interesting.  I thought at first they were mini, square apple pies.   But no!  Apple danishes. Of course I had to try them.

The photo isn’t the best, but that’s because soon after this photo, I basically devoured all of them.  Yes.  ALL four (in the photo, there’s one hiding under the doughnut). In my defense the apple danishes weren’t that big, so eating four wasn’t too hard.🙂

So what do the apple danishes taste like?  One word.  Delicious. The pastry envelope was excellent.  Many flakey layers, and crispy and light. The apple filling was perfect too.  Not overly sweet or sticky,  and not overly spiced with cinnamon.  The apples were nicely cooked too (not mushy (overcooked), or spongy (under-cooked).  The small amount of sweet glaze on top provided the perfect amount of sweetness. This is probably the BEST dairy and egg free dessert I have eaten.

But what about that lonely doughnut you ask?  It is a doughnut shape, but I wouldn’t say it’s like a “normal” doughnut.  I found that it was too dense, but at the same time it was really moist (not in a good way).  I felt that the chocolate icing on top was what gave the doughnut a taste.  The icing was too sweet for my.  Not sure if I would try it again.  Perhaps I might like the other flavours better.

If you’re looking for dairy-egg-nut free treats, check out Edible Flours.  Not all of their products are nut free, so please read the ingredients that they provide for each item.  The staff are so nice, they will answer all of your allergy ingredient questions.  The bakery is vegan, so I’m pretty sure that the dairy and egg would not be a problem. I’ve also written about their birthday cakes.