This post marks the first in a series of product profiles that we plan to publish on the London Drugs blog, exploring the talented people producing some of the exciting Canadian products on our shelves.
22-year-old founder Tara Bosch launched the confectionary company Smart Sweets in 2016, and in doing so, shook up the candy world. If you picked up a bag of her treats at your local London Drugs, you may have wondered in fact whether you were getting candy or a health product.
You’re getting both.
Bosch set out to create a treat that wasn’t loaded with the usual amount of sugar. Where a 56-gram bag of Skittles contains 43 grams of sugar, Smart Sweets contains just 2 grams of sugar per 50-gram pouch (not to mention 24 grams of fibre and 5 grams of protein). It’s a sweet snack that you can feel a little better about enjoying.
An up-and-comer in the business world, Bosch has already been on the popular TV program Dragons’ Den (earning praise from all the judges) and has been honoured in the Pitch for the Purse contest as well as in the most recent BCBusiness 30 under 30 issue.
“It was amazing to see and hear the stories of how people’s lives have been impacted by sugar. There is no better time to be part of the wellness industry in Canada as more and more people are realizing the impact that food, specifically sugar, has on our body and are eagerly waiting for options to be innovated so they can make smaller, smarter choices in their daily lives,” says Bosch.
“It was so cool to see people who watched our episode reach out and share their stories about how they are kicking sugar, too. Smart Sweets has the opportunity to make a massive impact in people’s lives. At the end of the day, it’s about being able to feel good about enjoying the foods we love, and life’s too short not to be able to eat candy everyday.”
When asked where Bosch sees Smart Sweets going from here, the entrepreneur doesn’t balk. “Smart Sweets is revolutionizing candy consumption. Tackling one of the largest and most concerning problems hidden in our everyday foods, we are driving innovation through creation of the first candy products that kick sugar naturally … We want to empower people to live their best lives by giving them the choice to kick sugar.”
Bosch’s dream of seeing Smart Sweets take up space on shelves across the world–including shelves at London Drugs, of course–just may become reality. We wish her the best.
Smart Sweets is currently available in stores across Canada, including London Drugs. The product will be launching in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2018.
At Hanukkah, Jewish families celebrate an ancient miracle, when one day’s worth of oil lasted for eight days. It’s not a surprise, then, that oil-based cooking is an inspiration for this holiday’s decadent feature dishes. But whether you celebrate Hanukkah or not, these must-try comfort foods are sure to warm your belly and satisfy family and friends on any cold winter night.
Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Your favourite breakfast foods (hashbrowns and pancakes) have combined into one glorious stack of onion-y dinner goodness. Making these is a family affair: They don’t taste right if there aren’t half a dozen people crammed into your kitchen hand-shaping the patties, fighting over flipping duty or trying to sneak a bite. Load them with sour cream, applesauce, or caviar if you’re feeling fancy.
With all of the pre-dinner shmoozing (read: chatting) that goes on at family events, waiting for that meat course can be tantalizing. Likewise, preparing this mouthwatering masterpiece requires a long-game strategy—we’re talking 3-4 hours in a good roasting pan—but it’s worth the wait. Bonus: This dish can be made in advance and stored in its braising liquid up to 4 days before your party. Extra marinating time, anyone?
This globally recognized treat has a special place in Jewish tradition. It’s easy to fry up a batch in your own kitchen using a cast iron frying pan. Customize with different jams, or swap the milk and butter with coconut milk and coconut oil to make them dairy-free. These treats are best enjoyed fresh. (This also serves as justification for eating several. Right now. You’re welcome.)
Noodle Kugel is an ultra-comforting casserole, and it’s unbelievably simple to make. This creamy dish is lightly sweetened, which might seem surprising at first, but have a little faith…it’s a must-have at Jewish holiday gatherings for a reason. Serve it warm or cold next to your main. Adding raisins and a dash of cinnamon is highly recommended.
Challah is a type of braided egg bread that’s traditionally shared on the Jewish sabbath. After it rises, each braid loop forms a scrumptious little bun that can be broken off the bread is passed down the table. Move aside, dinner rolls! This moist, luscious loaf is the perfect complement to any hearty meal.
These flaky spiral crescents are made with a special cream cheese dough, and can be filled with dried fruit, chopped walnuts, chocolate, poppy seeds or whatever else your heart desires. Consider them a timeless treasure. They’re found in Jewish bakeries and cafes all year round, but rugelah-lovers will find any excuse to bring them out, and nobody ever argues.
In old Jewish tradition, money (“gelt”) was given out at Hanukkah. Nowadays, most families distribute chocolate coins wrapped in gold or silver foil. They’re often store-bought, but personalized gelt can be made at home if you’re crafty. Prefer white chocolate? Try mixing in some matcha powder for added flair.
Very lucky kids get a Chocolate Surprise Gelt Cake at Hanukkah. These cakes typically have a hollowed out core filled with (you guessed it) chocolate gelt. One slice reveals the spoils, and havoc ensues! For a less messy but equally delicious option, people with a sweet tooth can chop up the gelt and use it for cake layers. In the spirit of the holiday, some recipes call for olive oil in place of the eggs and butter.
The days are colder, the nights are longer, and we’ve fallen back, ending Daylight Saving Time. Time to start planning for the holidays! Do you know what gifts you’re going to get for your loved ones this year? We’re here to help.
Throughout November and December, we’ll be posting holiday gift guides for everyone on your list, with a wide range of gift ideas and price points on each. From showstopper items to smaller stocking stuffers, we’ve got you covered.
We’re starting our holiday gift guides with ideas for the home cook in your life. Whether you know an adventurous chef or a young person just learning the basics, you can’t go wrong with kitchen-y gifts. Everyone needs to cook!
Here’s our guide to buying the perfect kitchen goodie for the home cook on your list.
The Crock-Pot Express 8 in 1 Multicooker is an outstanding gift for the home chef. It’s a convenient way to make delicious, hearty fare that will nourish an entire household. The bonus? It does all the work while you’re out preparing for the holidays or relaxing with a good book.
This particular model is an 8 in 1 wonder appliance, with settings for rice cooking, yogurt making, and more. Include some recipes with your gift so the recipient can get started with it right away–we’ve got a list of 3 sensational crock-pot recipes right here.
Chances are your foodie friend loves coffee just as much as they do cooking. But do they have all the tools needed to make a truly great cup of coffee? A real chef will appreciate a grinder to grind their own beans to the perfect coarseness for their coffee maker of choice.
Do they need a new coffee maker? Why not a cold brew coffee maker to make delicious cold brew at home! If they love design as well as functionality, this beautiful Bodum pour over coffee maker with a classic cork band will look gorgeous on their shelves. And for those that would prefer to spend their time cooking rather than making coffee, a Keurig K-Cup machine to make the perfect cup every time with no effort on their part. Help them end their dinner parties with just the right amount of coffee, and without stress.
Chances are, the home cook in your life has a solid set of pots, pans, and knives, but those good reliable basics may need some upgrading. Non-stick coating wears off and pans get scratched–it happens to the best of us. This Gotham Steel 10 Piece set is made with stainless steel, and the cooking surface is scratch resistant and oven safe. If your friend is a little more traditional, you can’t go wrong with a good cast iron skillet.
Even if they have a good set of kitchen basics, no home cook worth their salt can resist a beautiful new tool that’s good for cooking and serving. Think colourful enameled cast iron dutch ovens, cookware classy enough to go from oven to table, and quintessential white CorningWare dishes.
The best part about being a cook is that there’s always a cool new tool to try. Specialized utensils, gadgets designed to make a job easier, or niche appliances would make great gifts for the kitchen connoisseur in your life. Add some tools to their toolbelt!
It can seem overwhelming trying to find something that they don’t already have, but if you pick something related to a recent food trend, you’re generally good to go. Think spiralizers, cupcake carriers, and milk frothers.
Or go the other way, and pick up tools that will always be useful: multi-blade herb scissors, a knife sharpener, or an egg poacher. This knife mat will corral their blades and keep them sharp, while this covered bowl with included serving set is perfect for bringing to parties. No matter who you’re buying for, there’s a gadget out there for them.
For more gift-giving advice for the home cook on your list, speak to an LD Expert today. To make a purchase, visit London Drugs in-store and online. We’ll be back next week with a gift guide for kids (and parents). See you then!
See all of our 2017 Holiday Gift Guides here:
Excess kitchen equipment can take up valuable cupboard or counter space, but there are a number of amazing kitchen tools that are worth the extra real estate. We’re highlighting five kitchen appliances here that will make family dinners easier, as well as fantastic recipes for you to use with them. Bon appetit!
The wok isn’t your typical frying pan. It’s a particular type of round-bottom cookware that can be used to stew, braise, poach, boil, steam, pan fry, deep fry, and stir fry. It’s almost a pot and a pan in one dish, but the distinct shape makes it easy to toss food around with a spatula and it heats better than a flat pan. It’s simply the best tool for stir-fries, which make super quick weekday meals.
Indoor grills bring the flavour of the summer inside, all year long. Instead of struggling with coals or barbecuing in the rain in the fall, turn on your indoor grill. It has a more even cooking temperature than an outdoor grill and is dead simple to use. Everything tastes better grilled.
The rice cooker sounds like it’s only good for one thing–cooking rice–but it’s far more versatile than it seems. You can also use it to make curry, oatmeal, soup, polenta, and tons more. Surprising, but delicious! We’ve listed recipes here that go beyond the classic use, although rice cookers do make cooking a side of grains pretty darn simple as well.
Slow cookers are for the perfect tool for someone who wants a meal ready to go by the time they get home. Prep in the morning, set it, and forget it. You’ll come home after a long day with your house smelling amazing and dinner waiting.
If your kitchen space is truly at a minimum, don’t fret. The Instant Pot is an amazing kitchen appliance that basically combines many features from the previous tools into one: it’s a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, and more. It even makes yogurt! And it uses much less energy than many stoves. Easy, simple, and environmentally friendly.
Do you love your Instant Pot or your rice cooker? Find all of these kitchen appliances at your local London Drugs in-store or online.
We are well into #PSL season, as you’ve probably gathered from your Instagram feed. (That’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season, for you non-coffee drinkers.) Luckily for foodies, there is so much more to this versatile autumn gourd than just coffee shops and Thanksgiving pie, so we’ve put together some of our favourite pumpkin recipes to help you celebrate everyone’s favourite fall flavour.
This hearty, savoury dish has a surprising hint of sweetness from the pumpkin that will warm up any cool fall night. Double the recipe and save for a freezer full of leftovers to enjoy throughout the season—it’s no secret that chili is always better the next day (or week, or month). Don’t forget the chipotle sour cream!
Pumpkin for breakfast? Of course! Inspired by traditional Indian cooking, these healthy and simple pancakes are also known as besan ka puda. Ingredients can be substituted to make custom flavours, as well as vegan and gluten-free options. Perfect for getting you out of that breakfast rut.
Even the people who aren’t into the whole #PSL thing will find it hard to pass up a nice, hot bowl of velvety, spiced pumpkin soup. Top with pecans or goat cheese, throw on a pair of fuzzy socks and a cable knit sweater, and you’ll be a Pinterest board come to life. A fall classic.
Got a craving for a creamy pasta dish, but trying to cut down on the fat? We’ve got you covered. The richness of the pumpkin in this recipe takes the place of the loads of cheese traditionally found in a baked pasta dish. Comfort food level: EXPERT.
Pumpkin and curry go together like a pile of leaves and a jumping toddler. Skip the take-out and instead whip up this spicy crowd-pleaser, even if you’re short on time. You can pour this delicious concoction over your favourite rice, vegetables, or tofu, or whichever combination of the three satisfies your current craving.
We hope you hung on to the innards of your jack-o’-lantern, because these crunchy snacks are a fall must-have. Packed with iron, magnesium, fibre, zinc, potassium, healthy fats, protein, and tryptophan (which can boost your mood and help you sleep), vegans and vegetarians have been using pumpkin seeds for years as a natural source of nutrients. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavours: soy sauce, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg – time to get creative!
Yes, it sounds strange on paper, but we promise this will be on your top 10 list of best pizza EVER. Mild and creamy havarti cheese is the perfect flavour accompaniment with the veggies in this dish, and a fun change from mozzarella. Don’t skip the sweetened onions step—they’re the secret ingredient that will put this dish over the top into OMG territory. Meat eaters and vegetarians alike will be instantly addicted, and gluten-free foodies can use their favourite GF crust.
Looking for an alternative to your pre-packaged veggie burger option? Try these quick and healthy pumpkin patties. Spices can be dialed up or down to your preference, and toppings are open to creative interpretation. Don’t get boxed in by the bun—these baked, crunchy beauties can also be tucked into a super-healthy lettuce wrap or crumbled on salads. They also freeze nicely, so they can be made ahead of time. Future you will heartily thank present you.
Who doesn’t love a trip to the Cheesecake Factory during a visit south of the border? Well, someone did us all a favour and broke down their creamy, decadent pumpkin cheesecake recipe, and now we’re here to share it with you. (Yeah, you’re welcome.) Next to the prevalent pie, this modern classic is a fall dessert staple. Pro tip: replace white sugar with brown sugar for a deeper, richer taste.
Tuck into these perfectly pleasing pumpkin recipes and enjoy all that fall has to offer. Happy eating!
Autumn is in full swing, and with it comes the changing colours, crisper air, and a desire for comfort food. There’s nothing better than having your crock pot simmering away on your kitchen counter with a delicious soup just waiting for you to enjoy.
October is the month where we pull out our crock pots and those old favourite recipes we love. Maybe some are passed down through the family, or others you’ve only tried recently. But why keep those recipes to yourself?
We’d love to hear what your favourite crock pot meal is and put some of those great recipes into action. Plus, share the love with others!
Also, here are some of our favourite recipes to make for an easy Crock Pot dinner!
Who can go wrong with a delicious cheesy baked spaghetti in the Crock Pot? Try this fool-proof recipe from The Magical Slow Cooker or share your very own recipe with us in the comments below!
Sometimes all you need is chicken soup and a good book on a crisp fall day. This classic Crock Pot recipe from The Black Peppercorn will soothe your soul – but we also want to know what else you would add to it!
Meatballs are a crowd favourite and oh-so-easy to whip up in the slow cooker. Try this tasty recipe from Well Plated and tell us in the comments below what you would pair your meatballs with!
Hosting a group of people for Thanksgiving is a lot of work, and while many hosts are happy to spend the occasion with friends and family, they deserve a hearty thank you for their efforts. Show your appreciation for a Thanksgiving meal by bringing a thoughtful host gift. We’ve got 4 Thanksgiving Host Gift ideas to start with. Happy Thanksgiving!
If the host of your Thanksgiving is particular about their dinner, then why not bring food for the next day? This is especially nice if you’re staying with your hosts – it’s the type of thing one might overlook in the uber focused prep shopping. Put together a nice collection of the makings for turkey sandwiches. A nice loaf of bread (or two!), a quality jar of mayo, and some nice lettuce is plenty – but if you want to turn it up a notch, consider this gourmet turkey sandwich recipe. Cream cheese, sprouts, and sunflower seeds? Sound delicious, and super thoughtful.
Breakfast for the next day is probably the last thing on your host’s mind, so we love the idea of prepping it for them. This apple pie overnight french toast is ideal because it can be prepped in advance and takes no work the next day. Use a disposable tin foil pan to make cleanup a snap! Just make sure your host will have space in their fridge for the pans – or take responsibility for some creative rearranging.
If you’re crafty in the kitchen, it’s always a good idea to bring homemade goods as a hostess gift. Whether it’s pickles, salsa, or jam, it is a lovely gesture to bring a non-perishable homemade gift. With this and the chocolates listed below, it’s important to stress that the items are a gift – so there’s no need for them to share with their guests.
No time to cook or can? No problem. This simple fudge recipe is a literal “set it and forget it” slow cooker recipe. All you need is milk chocolate chips, whipping cream, honey, white chocolate chips, and a bit of vanilla and sea salt, and a few hours for the chocolate to cook and cool. But if you don’t have time? No problem. Check out our extensive chocolate selection in store or online.