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5 Local, Healthy Products At Choices Markets For Your Next Dinner Party

local and healthy, choices markets, dinner party, fall dinner party, menu ideas

You know you’ve reached the West coast of Canada when you see Choices Markets pop up on city street corners and in suburban plazas. Widely recognized and well-established, the Choices brand represents a healthy, fresh and local focus. Consumers trust that when they walk out of one of the 11 conveniently located stores, they are carrying a reusable cloth bag full of goodness.

In the Lower Mainland, the rains are already upon us, the leaves are preparing to dazzle with their vibrant fall colours and food enthusiasts are switching out their barbecue recipes for indoor dinner party menus. With the help of these local, organic and healthy products found in the aisles of your favourite Choices store, your next gathering will be delicious and nutritious.

Pulse Kitchen Vegan Cheese

As your friends trickle through your doorway, out of the rain and into your cozy home, inevitably they will make their way to your kitchen island where conversations take place as the main meal simmers nearby. They also know this is where your platter of cheese, crackers and grapes is usually found. To mix things up and wow your guests, switch out the dairy for Pulse Kitchen Vegan Cheese – Cashew Kind of Blue or Cashew Cheddar. Made with nuts and chickpea miso, these ‘cheeses’ contain a powerful protein punch. Best of all, their cheesy flavour pairs well with everything you would normally serve on your platter.

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Spread ‘Em Kitchen Dips

If we say ‘chip’ and you say ‘dip’, this is your match made in heaven. Traditional dips just don’t measure up to this company’s mandate to serve nutrition-dense food that pleases the taste buds while nourishing the body. You can use Spread ‘Em Kitchen Dips just as they are to accompany raw veggies or spread on crackers. Or use them in recipes to create delights like this jalapeno ranch dressing for your salad. For more inspiration on how to spread ‘em and serve ‘em, check out their beautiful Instagram feed.

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B.C. Garlic

At the heart of many international cuisines is this odd-looking bulb, a cluster of cloves that contain an aroma you would recognize anywhere. Sizzling in olive oil, roasting in the oven, or raw and minced, B.C. garlic is an important start to your main meal. You can choose the variety of garlic based on what you are using it for: Chesnok Red is a full flavoured, purple stripe variety with a rich mellow taste and is perfect for baking or roasting. Yugoslavian is one of the hottest of the porcelain variety and is great for storing. It has an earthy flavour you can enjoy every day. Not sure which one is best? Ask the staff at Choices Markets. And while you’re at it, ask them to show you their B.C. organic sturgeon from Northern Divine. This mild, boneless fish tastes great with a simple garlic lemon sauce.

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Better With Ice Cream

Ice cream does not disappear with summer; in fact, a scoop (or two) with a warm slice of apple pie is a classic fall dessert. Don’t rule out this frozen treat at your next party, especially when it’s Better With! Made with real cream and traceable ingredients, you can feel good about serving dairy from ethical farms using sustainable practices. Find a selection of flavours at your local Choices Markets: strawberry, coffee, caramel, vanilla and even a classic cream. If you want to get fancy and go beyond the usual, check out their recipes for some unconventional ways to eat ice cream!

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Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Tea

Post-dinner conversation in the living room pairs perfectly with a cup of Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf tea. But wait: is it coffee or is it tea? It’s very much a tea, as Vancouver duo and co-founders Max Rivest and Arnaud Petitvallet will tell you. It just happens to be made from the leaves of the coffee plant. Wize Monkey is a company steeped in social responsibility; the impact of what they have created, and their partnership with a Nicagarua farm has been life-changing for members of that community. Coffee bean harvest season is only 3 months long but the leaves can be harvested the other 9 months of the year. This means year-round income for coffee families; they do not have to move to find work and children can remain in school. And in exchange, a lightly sweet, full-bodied caffeinated tea can be enjoyed by Choices Markets consumers.

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Taslim Jaffer
Taslim combines her love of writing and social change by telling the stories that build bridges among people. Her motivating forces are her 3 children and her INFJ personality. Taslim is a regular contributor to Huffington Post Canada and Yummy Mummy Club, and a columnist for Peace Arch News. She has romantic notions of travel writing across European countrysides and historic African towns but her heart belongs to Surrey, B.C. You can connect with Taslim on Twitter and Instagram @taslimjaffer.
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