getting to really know the holiday bites
The first edition of holiday bites by the iii was welcomed into the world on November 24th at approximately 9am. Each bundle of joy is approximately 0.7oz, and creators and consumers all seem to be happy and healthy.
These lil babies were recipe tested and carefully curated with quality ingredients that even your real child could pronounce.
To me, it's critical that we all have an understanding of what we're truly eating on the daily, which is why I want to give you some insight into the ingredients and the sourcing - for those who have already enjoyed their batch, for those who are somehow still rationing their batch, or perhaps for those who are still inclined to order one. Here we go:
FLAVOUR #1: CANDY CANE
These bad boys have been the best seller thus far. Given the peppermint flavour, they are predictable but still somehow still give the tastebuds a delightful surprise - adults and kids alike.
meet the team
organic rolled oats, organic cocoa powder, almond butter, local unpasteurized honey, organic coconut oil, crushed candy cane, organic peppermint oil, sea salt
the three stars
i. Maison Orphée Raw Virgin Coconut Oil
The fresh flavour of Virgin (unrefined) coconut oil gives the holiday bites a natural sweet finish in and amongst the peppermint fireworks. Purchased from Zero Waste Bulk, Maison Orphée is a Canadian company with high standards of processing. Nutrients of the coconut are preserved through the process of extracting, drying, cold-pressing and filtering the fresh pulp, each of which are critical steps to avoid damage to the oil.
ii. Local Organic Unpasteurized Honey
I attend the Kitchener Market religiously, but never have I ever purchased a three kilogram tub of honey. Well, folks, there is a first for everything.
Some argue "sugar is sugar," and while there are similarities between table sugar, pasteurized honey and unpasteurized honey, there are also differences worth noting: the presence of antioxidants, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties as well as trace amounts of amino acids, minerals, vitamins and enzymes. Pasteurization and heavy processing on the other hand, is a process that destroys the yeast by applying high heat to extend the shelf life.
iii. Simply Organic Peppermint Flavour
Sure, it's a team effort but the peppermint oil is where the flavour punch is packed, allowing me to use less candy cane (keeping sugar at 4g/bite) without sacrificing flavour. In fact, the second-smallest quantity of all the ingredients but makes perhaps the biggest impact. I know it's a different context and all, but like Marcus Stroman alludes to: "Height (or size or volume, in this case) doesn't measure heart."
FLAVOUR #2: GINGERBREAD
Perhaps this flavour isn't the most ordered of the two but those who love them, reaaaaaally love them. With a more unique flavour profile, the gingerbread holiday bites are somewhere between eating a classic gingerbread cookie and eating the dough itself.
meet the team
organic rolled oats, almond butter, local maple syrup, organic blackstrap molasses, organic medjool dates, organic cinnamon, organic ginger, organic cloves, organic nutmeg, sea salt
the three stars
i. Organic Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses has a slight bitter, robust flavour and contains worthy health components like calcium, magnesium and iron. In fact, one gingerbread bite contains about 5% of your recommended daily iron, a common deficiency. I mean, I could put a cup of spinach in there for the same iron content, but I felt like it wouldn't go over quite as well. Blackstrap molasses, it is.
ii. Maple Syrup
As I was making one batch, something seemed off. The colour was there, the smell of gingerbread was there, but the texture was missing. As I went through my list, I realized I had forgotten the maple syrup. I poured it in, turned on the food processor and watched as the gooey goodness began to unfold. In large part, the maple syrup is ultimately what brings the dough-like consistency. And hey, here's a bonus side note: between the 3 unique natural sweeteners in the gingerbread bites, there is still only 5g of sugar per. That is half of what you'll find in a timbit, and a third of a mini pack of skittles.
iii. Allllll The Spices
I don't have a lot of experience making gingerbread cookies, but after some review of critical spices, I made the choice to include cinnamon, ginger spice, cloves and nutmeg. Many classic recipes include some, but most don't include them all. This flavour combination was my second recipe test, and it's safe to say the 'testing' phase ended there.
SOURCING OF THE GOODS
Like I said, I want you to trust what you're eating, therefore I also need to trust the ingredients I choose - which is why I've sourced most of my goods from local vendors at the market or Zero Waste Bulk, a local waste-free grocery store. Over 70% of the dollars I've spent for product has supported small local businesses in the Waterloo Region, and I only hope to continue to find more ways to increase this number while maintaining or improving the quality of the product. This is just the beginning, folks.
THANK YOU To everyone who has supported me with one, two or six orders (you know who you are) of the first edition of the holiday bites, it's been a treat. Well, actually, it's been about a thousand of them...so far. Today and tomorrow is your last chance to get your orders in before Santa Claus comes to town. You can select your fave flavours here.
Lastly, Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all you wonderful humans! Cheers to creating new memories for the rest of 2019, and to working towards bigger, better and bolder things in 2020 🌟🌱🍽️🌿