Can We Eat Healthier in Winter?
“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon”
– Doug Larson
Comfort Food in the Winter
We’ve had a chilly winter, even by Canadian standards! As the mercury drops, we have a tendency to reach for comfort foods. Looking at the bleak and frigid weather outside, all we want to do is curl up and be cozy! Your body and brain are demanding carbs and fat for warmth, and between the winter darkness and the freezing temperatures, it’s hard to say no to them.
In the winter, we always end up reaching for foods that make us happy quick. It’s unavoidable and not the end of the world, especially when teamed with a hit of extra-healthy nutrients to keep us feeling our best. Microgreens pack more nutrition per pound than any other food you could grow at home! They give you a much-needed energy boost, and their nutrients and vitamins will keep you and your family feeling healthy until spring.
Buying microgreens at the store comes with a price that could make them impractical. Growing your own is cheap and easy, making this a simple way to cheat winter blues! All you need is a South-facing window, a container, some potting soil, and, of course, some seeds.
Our Favourite Grow-At-Home Tricks
Microgreens are common garden plants grown normally but harvested before they’ve matured, so you won’t need to bother with any fancy seed mixes or designer names. Most varieties sprout in 2-5 days, so it doesn’t take long to start reaping the benefits of your microgreens.
The best results will come from common varieties that you’re already familiar with. Look for broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mustard, sunflower, cilantro, or chia. If you buy bulk packs and keep the extra seeds in the fridge, you can keep lots of homegrown treats handy, even on the coldest days.
All you’ll need is a container with some drainage. You could use an old container or even repurpose a milk carton.
Mason jars are a popular container for growing – their size and shape make them ideal environments for sprout growth. Avoid anything painted on the inside to keep your seeds and food clean. Add a few inches of soil and you’ll be ready to plant!
Sow your seeds thickly. The guideline is that the seeds should be one seeds’ width from each other. This shouldn’t be a complicated chore, simply sprinkle them on, making sure they don’t pile up anywhere. Cover your seeds with a layer of potting mix that is also the width of the seeds.
Water your improvised garden gently until it comes out the bottom. You’ll want to keep the soil evenly moist for a few weeks as your seeds sprout and grow a few inches. The best time to harvest is when your plants are a few inches high, so you can leave an inch at the bottom (you might even get another crop as a bonus).
There are so many choices for microgreens that there’s an option for every vitamin and nutrient. These little plants can pack up to 40x the nutritional value per pound than their mature plants. If you grow an assortment of varieties you’ll be able to get everything you need to feel healthier in the winter.
If you want Vitamins C, K, and E, some great options that taste great are red cabbage, garnet amaranth, daikon radishes or red radishes. Alfalfa and red wheat are also two of our favourites. Cilantro will give a boost of lutein and beta-carotene for eye and skin health. Arugula tastes delightfully peppery and has a generous serving of calcium. For expecting moms, the folate in chard helps keep pregnancies healthy. For growing microgreens with the kids, Mung Beans are a great choice as they’re easy to grow, and most kids like the taste of them as well.
But if you’re looking for a simple place to start, here at Oakridge Garden Centre, we carry West Coast Organic Sprouting seeds, 100 grams for $3.49, which is a super affordable option for this type of project.
Staying healthy this winter doesn’t have to be a chore. Instead of saying no to every craving for comfort food, try using microgreens to boost your health and immune system. Growing microgreens at home is easy – and a little spot of vibrant green sprouts at home can be quite the winter pick-me-up, as well.
This winter we got to work creating a new space for the café. The idea was to expand on our existing menu and offer an all day dining experience! Along with our Coffee favourites and staple Baked Goods (all made fresh right here at Oakridge!) we have brought in a Breakfast & Lunch/Dinner menu and even a Beer and Wine Bar! Offering fresh-made selections like our Breakfast Panini, Cashew Chicken Wraps and Oakies Sliders – all made with fresh & local ingredients.
We love to support and shop local – which means that we are able to offer some very special products in our store and now also in our Café! We are lucky to have some pretty amazing resources available to us right here in Steinbach – our bread is made in store by our wonderful DeeDee (who is also responsible for all those amazing desserts!) and also brought in from Old Church Bakery. We are also very fortunate to be serving our meat selection from Earls Meat Market, both of these are located on Main street! Our honey comes from local Honey Farmers – and we now offer only local Manitoba Beer!
One of the most exciting parts (& our new favourite!) is the Beer and Wine Bar. Now you can have a cold one with your favourite menu item or sip a glass of wine and catch up with friends!
Come in and see all the changes that have happened around here. Now open Monday – Saturdays for breakfast (served from 9am-11am), lunch and dinner (available from 11am – close). We look forward to serving you soon!
Don’t worry – not everything has changed! We still have your favourite coffee available fresh all day!
Christmas shopping has begun! Not only can the stress of the busiest shopping season of the year get you down, but sometimes finding the perfect gift for the right person can be the hardest part!
Luckily here at Oakridge we are surrounded by many wonderful things, all that make excellent gifts – to help you out a bit this season we have chosen 6 unique gift ideas for those tough recipients on your list.
One of the highlights of the holiday season is the wonderful decor and a well placed arrangement can really add Christmas cheer to a room. For the outdoor lover or someone looking to add green to their space (but keep it low maintenance), one of our handcrafted fresh pine and cedar arrangements may be the place to look! We have a wide selection of creative pieces pre-made or you can talk to one of our wonderful staff and they can custom design for that special person. With pricing that fits most budgets there is sure to be a special arrangement for everyone!
Finchberry Soap in Ultra Violet
This gluten-free, vegan friendly and preservative free bar looks just like a delicious treat! Here in the gift shop we are now happy to offer Finchberry handcrafted soaps! Perfect for the person (maybe a teacher or a hardworking student) on your list who deserves a little extra pampering with these luxury soaps. Not only are these bars a treat for your skin but also a delight on the edge of any bathtub! And bonus that these soaps will keep your bathroom smelling amazing for months!
FitKicks on vacation
Is there a guy on your list that you are having trouble shopping for? For that active living or adventurous man on the go, perfect for travel, exercise, on the beach and water sports – FitKicks will be a hit! “With a pair of mens lightweight FitKicks, available in navy or black, guys will also find it easier to be more active as part of their everyday lives, from taking the stairs to walking to the store, all in comfort and style.” We Carry FitKicks for women as well!
Whether you know a fantastic baker or a cook we have the perfect kitchen accessories to add to any kitchen! If your looking for a little gadget to make life in the kitchen easier or to jazz up some counter space there is something for everyone. Beautiful unique aprons and tea towels to mixing bowls and espresso cups. Anyone your shopping for from the timid to the experienced in the kitchen – we can help you to find the perfect gift!
Milkhouse Candles in Victorian Christmas, White Cedar & Spice, Peppermint Pine Needle
Milkhouse Candle Company proudly boasts the cleanest burning candles on the market. Made without the use of artificial dyes, make these candles the perfect accent to any room. With their wide variety of scents, there is sure to be a perfect match for that special person on your list. For anyone with concerns on what they are burning in their home, these candles are made of pure beeswax and natural soy wax, staying away from the harsh chemicals and carcinogens that many worry about in paraffin candles. Woodsy to sweet treats; there are many scents to choose from to find a favourite!
What better gift to give to someone on your list then the gift of time together! Here at Oakridge we offer many wonderful treats and homemade lunches full of fresh ingredients! Treat someone you love to a coffee date (and maybe sneak in one of our fabulous seasonal cheesecakes) or send them a gift certificate, available in any price denomination, so they can treat themselves! With so much to offer there is sure to be something on their list they will love!
In conjunction with New York Fashion Week, the PANTONE Fashion Color Report provides a comprehensive overview of fashion designers’ use of color in their spring 2017 collections. This Spring and Summer season has us seeing colours inspired by nature, our top three colour picks for Spring/Summer 2017 (that you will be SURE to see here at Oakridge) include:
A soft blue hue that is very reminiscent of the ever popular this season light denim wash. This colour has cropped up for us in many of the collections we carry – anywhere from the fabulous line of Dex denim pants – to the wonderfully soft Tencel blouse from French Dressing. This shade pairs with almost any colour combination, which makes it on the very top of our Spring/Summer want list!
Pale Dogwood 13-0107
An obvious choice for spring is in the soft pastel hues. This shade of pale pink is unobtrusively subtle – without being overtly “bubblegum” – it is an easy wear for any lady. Anywhere from accessories (like this beaded necklace from the beautiful Island Import jewelry line) to Soya Concept’s knit sweater that makes perfect transition to spring by pairing with a flowy skirt or white French Dressing capri. This is a colour that we are sure to see many place for all the seasons this 2017.
Typically reserved for fall palettes the army green is going strong this year and is by far one of the standout colours of the spring/summer season. This colour can be treated as a neutral – easily pairs with many colour combinations and when paired with a pastel like Pale Dogwood – can instantly tone down your look. The pale pink and army green is a major combo this season – like our Dex flowy army short and Mystree lace trim tank.
All in the Details
In this Spring/Summer season we have seen a surge in the focus on the details. Whether it is subtle detail like a lace trim or hanging tassel or the more ornate like crochet tops or off the shoulder ruffles – even a plain tank top or t-shirt is dressed up by a peak of lace or a peplum hem.
Denim is IT
Denim is everywhere this Spring and Summer – denim tops, shorts, vests and jackets – denim is the IT piece in your 2017 wardrobe. The focus has been on the lighter side of the denim scale – with jeans leaning towards the softer distressed shades. The undone denim look has become very popular as of late – hems that are let out, distressed washes and of course the ripped look – there is a denim look for everyone!
This season has brought about the massively popular Tencel fabric in many of the styles that we carry here at Oakridge. Described as more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen; Tencel is an eco-friendly, man made fiber from the cellulose of wood pulp. This material is economical in its use of energy and natural resources, and is fully biodegradable – for those of us who are conscious of the contents of our clothing. It is touted as more absorbent then cotton, in turn making it anti-bacterial and excellent for those with sensitive skin.
All of our coffee comes from a micro roaster called Fratello Coffee Roasters, based in Calgary, Alberta. We order our coffee from our Winnipeg distributor two weeks in advance and Fratello roasts it – sends it to our distributor and they deliver it directly to us! This way we get coffee that is freshly roasted with amazing flavour and aroma. Fratello focus is on the ideal of “Direct Trade”, referring to “purchasing practices of coffee roasters who choose to form direct relationships with the farmers they buy from.” Buy doing this it allows them to be very specific about the coffee that they are buying, also allows them to see the direct impact that buying from that particular grower has on the
communities that they want to influence.
We carry three different kinds of drip coffees a Dark Roast, a Medium-Light roast, and a Decaf roast as well as an Espresso and a Decaf Espresso.
Our Dark Roast is called Dixie Voodoo. It has a dark spiced aroma with a deep earthy flavor and a long smoky finish. It’s a staff favorite for sure and a must try for the ultimate coffee lover
The Light-Medium Roast is called Outlaw. Mild citrus and tobacco aromas complement a syrup body with white chocolate flavors and a clean finish.
Our Decaf coffee is called Colombia; it has a nutty aroma with a dark chocolate taste, a heavy body that finishes very clean. A natural decaffeinated coffee used to create a smooth alternative to our caffeinated options.
The Espresso that we use is called Godfather. It has thick caramel aromas, with milk chocolate and sweet flavors. Well balanced body with a lingering caramel aftertaste. Our Decaf Espresso is called Calypso it is also naturally decaffeinated and it is a full bodied decaf with hints of dark chocolate. With a Very smooth finish.
One of the greatest things to note about Fratello coffee is that it’s grown with the Rainforest Alliance seal. The Rainforest Alliance is a growing network of people who are inspired and committed to working together with farmers across 70 different countries to achieve their mission of conserving biodiversity and ensuring sustainable livelihoods. They maintain mandatory regulations for their workers to make it a safe work environment, as well as environmental standards to ensure farm land can be used for future generations. They aim to re-balance the planet by building strong forests and healthy communities around the world.
Fall is upon us and we are so excited to kick off our new menu items. We have always felt like we didn’t offer enough options – but our space is so limited here. We want everything to have exceptional taste and be fresh made to order whenever possible. That being said – We want your feedback as well. Whatever your experience at Oakridge, all of our staff would love to hear about it! Our New Menu items include: Bagel with cream cheese and jam, Berry loaves with New Bothwell cheese, fresh fruit cup and yogurt with granola. For lunch we are now serving a fresh salad of the day and a Sausage Bisquit Meal which includes the usual Mennonite staples!