Lotus in Ottawa

In case you missed it, last week I was featured on CTV Ottawa’s Morning Live show and on Ottawa’s Rogers’ Daytime Show. It was a pleasure sharing some of my favourite Lotus Fine Foods inspired recipes, including oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, ice-cream sandwiches and yogurt parfaits.

To learn how to make some delicious snacks and desserts your family and friends will love, watch the segment below and follow up with the full recipe here. Take a picture of the recipe if you end up making it, we’d love to share it on our social media streams.

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Gluten Free in London UK

gluten free itsuOn my most recent visit to the UK, an old friend was raving about this amazing quinoa, yogurt and fruit breakfast he enjoys several times a week. Being the queen of quinoa, I had to look into this. I found my new favorite gluten-free fast food chain in London. Pod Foods was set up in 2006 and has several locations in the city of London. The food is extremely tasty and they have lots of gluten-free choices. The foods does not contain additives, preservatives or colouring. The food is served in compostable packaging and each Pod has its own compost. Pod has several great gluten-free salad options. They serve the best gluten-free brownies London. I was pleased with the gluten free in London UK I had found!

As I walked around London, I kept seeing Itsu signs everywhere. There are two flagship restaurants, in Chelsea and Knotting Hill. Itsu also has 37 other shops. What was it? Not a coffee bar, sandwich bar or a sushi bar. They must be a sort of health food bar? Health food bar? Low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie and even several gluten free recipes. The mantra is health & happiness. Health because it’s light and nutritious… happiness because it’s not rabbit food. I had a hard time choosing between the GF tuna & salmon junior sushi at 3.99 with calories 165 / sat fat 0.7g or if I was hungry enough for the GF omega 3 salmon supreme at 5.99 with calories 367/sat. fat 2.4g. You can also find great skinny “no carb salad”.

Overall, I was pleased with my gluten free finds in London UK. I can’t wait to come back and find more! If you have any gluten free recommendations in London, please pass them along by posting them in the comments section. Cheerio!

LA Times article points to gluten free diet’s growing numbers

gluten free dietAn interesting article appeared in the LA Times this week which valued the gluten free market at $4.2 billion dollars annually. It went on further to say that 2 out of 10 people or roughly 18% of the population are following a gluten free diet. Staggering numbers considering that more than 15 years ago the incidence levels were calculated to be 1 in 300,000.

Clearly a good percentage of the increase are individuals trying new ways to feel better and live healthier lifestyles. The rise of the ‘Paleo’ diet is the newest trend to point those toward a gluten free alternative and many in the spotlight – celebrities and athletes alike – are helping to grow this trend.

Check out the article by clicking here.

Gluten-Free Breakfast Cookies

You need:
2 eggs
½ cup sunflower oil
1 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ gluten free oats
1 cup Lotus FIne Foods Cranberry & Cinnamon quinoa granola
¼ cane sugar
¼ maple syrup
¼ walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly coat baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

Mix together the oil, eggs, sugar and maple syrup. In another bowl stir the dry ingredients together. Combine the dry and wet ingredients. Spoon dough onto prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes.

Why Quinoa?

Quinoa Protein

Technically, quinoa (KEEN-wah) is classified not as a grain but as a type of seed. Quinoa provides a complete protein, making it especially valuable for those who prefer to reduce or completely eliminate animal protein from their diets. It contains all the essential amino acids, including lysine, which is crucial for growing and repairing body tissues. One cup of quinoa provides 9 grams of protein which is one more gram than a medium chicken egg.

Migraine Protection

Its high magnesium and riboflavin (B2) content make quinoa an excellent nutritional ally for migraine sufferers. Magnesium prevents the migraine pattern of constricting and rebound dilating of the blood vessels. Migraine sufferers who consume more magnesium in their diets have reported fewer headaches. Riboflavin’s ability to promote cellular energy production has a beneficial effect on energy, brain and muscle cells metabolism, providing further protection against migraine attacks.

Cardiovascular Health

Magnesium’s ability to relax blood vessels also means eating foods high in this mineral helps reduce hypertension, heart arrhythmia and ischemic heart disease.

Digestion and Detoxifying

This seed-like grain has prebiotic properties, feeding the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract. Since it is easily digested, your body can readily access the vitamins and minerals it contains. Quinoa also provides a good source of insoluble fiber, promoting healthy elimination processes, helping maintain colon health and preventing the formation of gallstones. The folate and vitamin B in quinoa also boost the liver’s ability to eliminating toxins from the body. People at high risk for cancer, as well as those with high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease are often advised to eat more whole grains, yet if they have celiac disease or other forms of gluten sensitivities, they must steer clear of many popular grain products. Quinoa is gluten-free, so those who cannot tolerate gluten can eat it.


Quinoa also offers nearly half the daily minimum requirement for manganese and is a good source of copper and zinc. These minerals are necessary to the synthesis of the superoxide dismutase (S.O.D.) enzyme, an important antioxidant. The S.O.D. enzyme eliminates free radicals which can cause oxidation damage in the body. It not only slows the effects of aging, but may help eliminate cancer cells. Several vitamin companies offer S.O.D. supplements but quinoa enables your body to produce its own natural enzymes.

Quinoa is a delicious and versatile alternative to other grains and can be used to make everything from nibbles to main courses, salads and even great desserts. A good friend recently gave me a spectacular cookbook:

Quinoa – The Everyday Superfood 365 by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming

There are 170 recipes in this book to get even the most reluctant Quinoa initiate excited.


Welcome to Lotus Fine Food’s Blog!

It is an exciting day at Lotus Fine Foods – not only it is the launch day of our website and blog but as we write this, the first delivery of our two new fantastic granolas (Coconut & Cherry and Cranberry & Cinnamon) are at the distributor and ready to ship to our new customers! Because it is our launch date it is fitting to take the time in this first blog to say thank you and there are many to share. The launch of the Lotus Fine Foods Granolas is a culmination of several years of hard work with the input of many experts – not only from the food industry but also legal and business experts who have helped shaped what we will deliver to you over the weeks and months to come. Family and friends have provided invaluable input and have been very willing tasters on the many, many test batches as we worked hard to come up with the perfect blends of taste and nutrition. The packaging experts, the food stylists and the production specialists have all been so supportive of this new venture, sharing their many years of experience. And then there is our new distributor – Neal Brothers Foods – that was so willing to take on our new products. Neal Brothers have been busy spreading the news with their customers. We can’t wait to tell you where you can find the granolas next. We are not taking a breath – we are busy working hard on new products that will make the way on to the store shelves. Be sure to visit our blog often to get updates on new deliciously, nutritious products from Lotus Fine Foods.