All posts by Jeff Fidler

coffee drinks from around the world

Coffee Drinks from Around the World

Discover Exciting Coffee Drinks from Around the Globe

It’s time to travel the world and explore the wide range of fascinating coffees and coffee-based drinks that come from all corners of the globe. With a history stretching all the way back to the 10th century, coffee is well-established as one of the most popular and universally loved drinks around the world, and it’s not hard to see why.

Aside from the energizing effects of the caffeine in coffee, the flavour of the drink can be altered and customized in nearly countless ways. Many coffee lovers enjoy it in its simplest form, with just hot water and ground coffee. Others prefer their coffee mixed with other ingredients like milk, cream, sugar, syrups, cocoa, cinnamon, and many other signature flavours. The different methods for making coffee are just as diverse as the ingredients. In this article, we explain some of the most common methods for making coffee, as well as some of the most popular coffee drinks that come from a diverse range of cultures.

Common Methods for Brewing Coffee

Drip Coffee Maker

This is the standard coffee maker that you’ll find in almost every kitchen, hotel room, and restaurant across North America. It consists of a water reservoir, basket-style filter for holding the ground coffee, and a glass or metal carafe to hold the brewed coffee. In a drip coffee maker, water is heated and then dripped in to the basket filter to mix with the ground coffee. The brewed coffee then drips down in to the carafe and is then ready to serve.

Espresso Machine

Invented in Italy back in the late 1800’s, espresso machines use steam pressure to force the hot water through firmly-packed fine-grind dark roast coffee, producing a single ‘shot’ of rich, espresso coffee. Espresso machines often include a milk steaming wand to aid in the creation of steamed and frothed milk for drinks such as cappuccino. Operation of an espresso machine requires a bit more experience than some of the other coffee brewing methods, as you need to learn how fine the coffee grinds should be, and how tightly to pack them, without being too fine or too packed, to make a good quality shot of espresso.

French Press

Also known simply as a coffee press, the French press was invented in the early 1900’s. This simple device looks like a simple pitcher, in which coarsely-ground coffee is placed in the bottom and boiling water is then used to fill the pitcher. The lid of the French press includes a plunger with a metal filter screen affixed to the bottom. The coffee is usually steeped for about 4 or 5 minutes, at which time the plunger is pushed down to contain the ground coffee at the bottom of the pitcher and the coffee can then be served.

Turkish Method

This method originates in the Ottoman Empire, making it one of the oldest known methods for making coffee. It uses coffee that is ground very finely and, unlike the other methods we’ve shown here, the grounds are actually left in the coffee when it is served. Often, some sugar is added to the coffee and water as it is boiled in a special type of coffee pot called a cezve. Once the mixture of water and ground coffee begins to boil, about 1/3 of the coffee is poured in to the cups and the remainder is then returned to the heat to boil again. Once the remaining coffee in the pot boils, it is used to top off the cups and is ready to serve.

Popular Coffee from Around the World

Drip-brewed Coffee

Drip coffee can be served black, without any additional ingredients, or can be customized with sugar, milk, or cream to suit individual tastes. Drip coffee is available in many different styles of roast ranging from very dark to very light, as well as in nearly countless flavours like hazelnut, French vanilla, and caramel.

When sweetening their coffees, low carb dieters should ensure to only use sugar-free sweeteners to help keep their carb counts low as they enjoy a morning pick-me-up.

Espresso

The majority of espresso drinkers take theirs without any additional ingredients in either a solo (single shot) or doppio (double shot). Because of the way espresso is brewed, it has a higher concentration of caffeine than other brewing methods, but is usually served in smaller portions, making the caffeine content generally on par when looking at individual serving sizes. One of the distinguishing characteristics of espresso is a slightly frothy layer on the top called the ‘crema’, which is the result of the brewing process. Sometimes, a bit of whipped cream is added to espresso to create a variation called espresso con panna.

Cappuccino

This popular Italian coffee drink starts with a fresh double shot of espresso and tops it with steamed and foamed milk. Some cappuccino lovers add sprinkles of cinnamon or chocolate powder to the top of the milk foam for added flavour. Cappuccino is very popular around the world, especially thanks to the rapid global expansion of major specialty coffee shop chains.

Café au Lait and Caffè Latte

While these two drinks may seem like the same thing, there is a slight difference between them. Both are made with hot milk, but Café au Lait generally uses strong drip-brewed coffee while Caffè Latte will use shots of espresso. Much like cappuccino, these drinks are extremely popular and trendy around the world. These drinks are also often mixed with flavoured syrups like vanilla, peppermint, mocha, hazelnut, pumpkin spice, and many others. Low carb dieters should take care to choose only sugar-free syrups to add flavours like these to their coffee drinks.

Irish Coffee

Although the term ‘Irish coffee’ has become rather generalized and commonly refers to any coffee drink with alcohol, the traditional Irish coffee is a specific type of coffee cocktail with defined ingredients. It begins with hot, black coffee and then adds Irish whiskey and brown sugar and is finished with a topping of thick cream.

Frappé

This interesting creation originates in Greece and is served cold, either with cubed ice or blended. This is the most recently developed coffee drink on our list, and was the invention of an instant-coffee representative during a trade fair in Greece during the late 1950’s. It uses instant coffee, water, and sugar and is then shaken or blended with ice to create a rich, frosty coffee drink that is wonderful to enjoy on a hot summer day. Much like lattes, frappés have been heavily modernized by major coffee chains and are available in a wide variety of flavours and styles.

Conclusion

Coffee is the way people around the world start their day, and it’s been so for hundreds of years. As you can see from the wide array of coffee making devices and methods, as well as the diverse range of coffee drinks that have been crafted over the years, coffee lovers take their passion very seriously.

For low carb dieters, coffee is perfectly suitable as long as you take care to choose alternative sweeteners to traditional sugars and syrups. Fortunately, there are plenty of sugar-free sweeteners to choose from so you can have your coffee exactly the way you want, any time you want.

We hope that you’ve found this article interesting, and that it gives you some fun facts to share with friends the next time you meet up at your favourite coffee shop!

find veg at the right time of year

Find Seasonal Veg at the Right Time of Year

The Easy Guide to Finding Seasonal Vegetables

Have you ever been frustrated in the produce aisle of your grocery store because you just can’t seem to find a good quality head of lettuce? Or maybe the green beans are not looking as fresh as they did last month? This is due in large part to the fact that as the seasons change it affects the quality and freshness of the vegetables available across the country. Although you can always find the basic vegetables like lettuce and carrots year-round, there are always times of the year when you’ll find them to be at their freshest and highest quality.

In order to ensure you’re getting the best vegetables to stock your kitchen, there are a few things that you need to know. First, it’s important to know the types of vegetables that are sourced from local farmers, since these will always be the freshest due to the short distances they need to travel before they hit the shelves. Of course, this also means that they aren’t going to be available from those same farms all year long, especially in Canada. While southern farms in North America can easily grow crops 365 days a year, Canadian winters prevent it and greenhouses can only do so much.

Because of this, it’s helpful to know the best times of year for vegetables at your grocery store so that you can find those that have traveled the least amount of distance and have been stored for the shortest amount of time. In this article, we’ve gathered together a list of the most common and popular vegetables that you’ll find at supermarkets across the country and categorized them by the season in which they are harvested and shipped for maximum quality and freshness.

This information should help you find the best vegetables and assist you as you plan your weekly meal schedules. However, it should be taken as a general guide, as the freshness of the produce at your local supermarket may differ from those in other parts of the country.

Spring Vegetables

Once the snow melts and things start growing again, your local market will likely see a vast improvement in the freshness and quality of a wide range of vegetables that they stock year-round. These are generally some of the fastest vegetables to grow, and as such can start growing in northern climates much earlier in the year.

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Artichokes
  • Fennel
  • Radishes
  • Watercress
  • Chives
  • Rhubarb
  • Green onions

Summer Vegetables

Once summer hits and the growing season is in full-swing across the country, the breadth of fresh vegetables provides a lot more choice and variety at your local market. During the summer season, you’ll find that all the greens are much fresher, as well as a wide range of root vegetables, herbs, and stalks.

  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Rutabaga
  • Summer squash
  • Zucchini
  • Mustard greens
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Bok choy
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes

Autumn Vegetables

After the long, hot summer, the vegetable selection will once again shift at your local markets to include those that require a longer growing season. Generally, these include gourds and squash, potatoes, and other larger and more dense vegetables.

  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Pumpkins
  • Chili peppers
  • Corn
  • Leeks
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Onions

Winter Vegetables

While it may seem strange to list vegetables that are ‘in season’ in the winter, there are many vegetables that are still being harvested until late in the year, especially in the southern parts of Canada that experience more temperate climates.

  • Sweet potatoes and yams
  • Rutabagas
  • Pumpkins
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Turnips
  • Winter squash
  • Parsnips
  • Beets

Other Factors to Consider

While this guide is intended to provide a helpful basis for you to understand when the optimum time of year is for certain types of vegetables, the reality is that there are many unpredictable factors that determine the freshness and quality of the produce that you’ll find at your own local market. Unexpected snowstorms, heatwaves, or droughts can drastically affect these trends across the country or in specific areas. Also, the larger supermarket chains will likely be sourcing their produce from a wide range of suppliers that can be located all across the globe, based on who has the best price, the largest supply, or the best quality at any given time.

Due to these other factors, there are a few things to keep in mind when at the supermarket that can help account for some of these unpredictable elements. Most produce sections will list where the vegetables were sourced, either on the pricing placard, with stickers on the vegetables, or on the cartons that hold the different vegetables on the shelves. Check the location on them and you’ll be able to see how far they traveled to get to your shelf. Chances are that a bag of grapes sourced from California is going to be fresher than those that came from somewhere in South America.

Again, it bears repeating that these are not rules that are set in stone. If your supermarket keeps Ontario vegetables on the shelf for three weeks and then gets a shipment from Texas that was picked last week, sometimes travel distance matters a lot less. Nevertheless, these tips should help provide a good foundation for your vegetable hunting trips through the produce aisle.

If you’re hungry for even more tips, we’ve also compiled a list of vegetables that are the best choices for low carb dieters, due to their low carb counts. Check out our article on the best fruits and vegetables for low carb diets.

Conclusion

When it comes to cooking delicious and healthy meals for your family, we know that you’ll always get the best results from the freshest ingredients, and that includes the vegetables you use. We hope that with this information, you will be better equipped to track down fresher and better-quality vegetables on your next trip to the grocery store. After all, a little patience and persistence when you’re moving up and down the aisles can really pay off once you start peeling, chopping, slicing and dicing to help you create a wonderful meal full of fresh flavours.

how to cook bacon

Great Cooking Guide for Perfect Bacon

How to Cook Perfect Bacon Each and Every Time

Bacon is the kind of food that gets people really excited. It’s got a million uses in all different kinds of cuisine. You can find it virtually everywhere in the world, and is popular at breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll see a mountain of it at breakfast buffets, and find it wrapped around beautiful filet mignons at the fanciest steak restaurants. It’s always the first thing you’ll find gone off of your kids’ plate at breakfast on the weekend, and when asked if you want bacon on your burger, the answer is inevitably going to be ‘YES!’. Bacon is just plain delicious, and there’s no two ways about it. You’ll even find bacon flavouring in just about everything, from dips and salad dressing to barbecue sauce and snack chips.

However, there are plenty of differing opinions out there on what makes the best bacon. That’s why we’ve put together this guide for you. Making bacon perfect every time usually takes a bit of practice, but with this collection of tips and tricks, you’ll become a pro in no time.

Here, you’ll learn about the different kinds of bacon, and how you can adjust your cooking style to end up with either chewy bacon or crispy bacon, and every kind in between. We’ll teach you a cool trick to avoid grease splatters, and how to use either a frying pan or your oven to get great results every time.

Let’s start by looking at the various types of bacon, and how they differ.

Guide to Bacon Types

The most common type of bacon that you are all probably familiar with goes by many different names. You’ll often find it referred to as smoked bacon, American-style bacon, or slab bacon. While they are all made with the same basic process from pork belly, there are still some variations between them. American-style bacon is the most generic term for the thin slices of salty fried bacon that you can find pretty much anywhere. Smoked bacon adds additional flavour by being smoked with such woods as Applewood or hickory. Slab bacon is simply a large section of bacon that has not yet been sliced in to thin strips and is usually found at specialty butchers, allowing you to select your desired slice thickness.

The next most popular and common type of bacon is known as either Canadian bacon or back bacon. This type of bacon is made from the back tenderloin of the pig and has a consistency and flavour that is more similar to ham. This type of bacon can also be rolled in peameal prior to being sliced, and then is typically referred to as peameal bacon.

Pancetta is an Italian version of bacon and is close in appearance and taste to American-style bacon. It is generally seasoned with a blend of spices including peppercorns, cloves, and salt. Pancetta is common at most deli counters and is also popular as a cold deli meat.

Frying Pan or Oven?

Just like there are different kinds of bacon, there are also different methods of cooking that you can choose from. The two most popular and effective ways to cook bacon are by using a frying pan on the stove top, or a rack in the oven. Both work very well and allow you to produce bacon anywhere on the range of chewy to crispy. In general, the frying pan offers speed and convenience when cooking smaller amounts of bacon, whereas the oven allows you to cook much larger quantities simultaneously. At the end of the day, depending on your preference and how much bacon you need to prepare, either method works just fine.

Pan Frying Bacon Method

The best frying pans for bacon are wide, flat and heavy. Cast iron is the preferred choice of many bacon chefs, but they aren’t essential. Any good quality pan will do a fine job. You’ll want to lay your bacon out in the pan while it’s still cold, and make sure not to crowd too many slices in at one time.

The key to cooking bacon is to remember ‘low and slow’. You want to cook your bacon on low temperature and take your time. A pan that’s too hot will result in bacon that’s too crispy or even burnt in some places, and very chewy in others. You want to aim for consistency, so keep the temp low and the time slow.

Frying bacon in a pan also requires frequent attention and lots of turning. Every pan and stove will have variations in temperature along the surface, and not all bacon will have exactly the same meat-to-fat ratio or the same thickness, so each slice will cook at a slightly different rate. Move things around in the pan with a good set of kitchen tongs to ensure that the whole batch is cooking consistently as you go.

If you’re cooking up multiple batches of bacon – i.e. the amount you need to cook won’t all fit in the frying pan at once, then you’ll want to tip out the grease in between batches. Be especially careful when pouring bacon grease out of a hot pan, as unexpected splatters can be very dangerous. Be sure that no grease has dripped down the side and on to the bottom of the pan before you place it back on the stove to begin the next batch, as this may cause a grease fire.

When determining when the bacon is officially done, keep in mind that it will continue to cook for a short time even once it’s been removed from the pan, so gauge your crispiness or chewiness accordingly to ensure that the final product suits your taste. When in doubt, it’s best to take it off early to avoid overly crunchy and dry bacon. Place the cooked bacon on to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the excess grease, and cover with aluminum foil and place in a warm (220F) to keep warm until your batch of bacon is all done.

How to Stop the Splattering

One of the minor annoyances of cooking bacon is the inevitable popping and splattering of the grease. However, there’s a simple trick that expert bacon chefs are sharing to help prevent splattering. All you need to do is simply place a small amount of water in the pan when it’s still cold. You don’t need much to have this trick work. Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan once the bacon has been laid out is all you need. As the pan heats up, the small amount of water will help render the fat that will come from the bacon as it cooks and keep it from popping and splattering.

Or… get a good splatter guard lid. Made of a mesh, or screen-like material, they splatter guard lids avoids condensation from forming on the lid as it can breathe, and it catches all of the grease splatters during the cooking process.

Oven Cooking Bacon Method

Cooking bacon in the oven is extremely easy and works great for very large batches when you need a lot of bacon for big family breakfasts or if you need a large amount to use for other recipes.

Preheat your oven to 400°F and spread your bacon out on a baking sheet. Line the sheet with foil first followed by parchment paper for easier clean-up. If you prefer your bacon to be on the crispier side, you can use a raised metal rack on top of the baking sheet to provide more air movement around the bacon and allow the grease to drip down on to the sheet away from the bacon as it cooks.

Average cooking times for bacon in the oven range from 12 to 20 minutes, depending on your preferred level of crispiness or chewiness, and the thickness of the bacon slices. In general, we recommend that you check the bacon at around the 10 – 12 minute mark to gauge progress, and adjust your timing accordingly.

Conclusion

Well now, we expect that you’re already planning your next batch of bacon, so we’ll keep this ending short and sweet. Making great bacon isn’t complicated, but like most other kinds of cooking, it does require the right method and a chef that’s willing to pay attention in order to get the best results. After all, isn’t great bacon really worth the effort? We definitely think so!

how to clean fresh fish

How to Clean & Prep a Freshly Caught Fish

Summer Grilling Tips: How to Clean and Prep a Fresh Fish

There’s a certain thrill that you get from reeling in a big fish. For many anglers, catching their dinner for the first time feels like something of a rite of passage, and hearkens back to simpler times. Going fishing with the intent of catching your dinner can be an exhilarating experience, filled with highs and lows as the unpredictable nature of fishing puts your skill and patience to the test. However, when you do reel in that beautiful fish and you know you’re going to eat well tonight, your mind may turn to how to actually cook it and make a good meal out of it.

Fortunately, the process of cleaning and preparing a fresh fish for cooking isn’t overly difficult. There are a few guidelines that you will want to keep in mind, some tools you’ll want to have handy, and a few tips and tricks to help make things even easier. Pretty soon you’ll be a seasoned pro at preparing a perfect fillet or steak from a freshly cleaned fish.

Before we get to the steps on how to prep your fish, there are a couple of important things we need to cover…

Know the Fish & Follow the Rules

First and foremost, one of the most important things to know about catching fish to eat is that there are some rules that you need to follow that have been set by federal and provincial governments in order to protect you, as well as the environment, from any negative effects such as contaminants, wildlife and fish population control, protected species, and more.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with these rules, which can easily be found online. For example, here is the Guide to Eating Ontario Fish for 2017/18, which is easy to follow and contains plenty of helpful information for Ontario sport fishing enthusiasts.

In addition, you’ll need to ensure you have purchased a fishing license. There are several different tiers available depending on how many fish you want to keep, and how often you’ll want to get out fishing this summer.

Check out the Ministry of Natural Resources website for details on what license options exist, and for the rules of fishing here in Ontario (download the PDF doc). Be sure to take a few minutes to fully read the latter, as it’ll save you from hefty fines for not obeying seasons, and other fishing rules designed to protect the environment.

Now that you’re aware that there are some essential rules of fishing, how do you know whether the fish you were lucky enough to have caught is actually going to make a good meal? It’s true that some fish just don’t make for a very pleasant meal, so it’s important to know what you’re working with before you invest too much time and effort in to planning a big dinner around a fish that should have probably just been thrown back.

The variety of fish in your area will be different than those found in other areas, but there are plenty of resources that you can refer to that help you know what types of fish to expect in certain areas of the country. For example, this interactive map from the Government of Ontario can help you determine where to find certain species in the province.

If you have questions about the best local fishing spots or what you’re most likely to catch in certain areas, pop in to your local tackle shop or outdoor gear supply store and ask the staff in the fishing section for advice. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

Some of the most common types of freshwater sporting fish in Canada that are also ideal and popular for eating include:

  • walleye
  • perch
  • bass
  • pike
  • trout
  • salmon
  • and other panfish, which are all lighter fish with lower fat content.

Depending on the fish you catch, you may have to have a couple of meal ideas in mind to pick from that will best suit different types of fish.

Tools You’ll Need

While you don’t need a ton of supplies to clean a fish, there are a few essentials that you will want to have close at hand before you begin.

Ice Chest or Cooler – To make sure your fish stays as fresh as possible, you’ll want to store it in ice until you’re ready to clean it. As well, you’ll want to keep your fish fillets or steaks chilled and on ice until you’re ready to cook, so a spare cooler designated specifically for fish, and filled with ice is very important if you are away from your kitchen fridge.

Filleting Knife – This long, thin knife needs to be kept very sharp in order to produce the best results. Since fish meat tends to be a bit more delicate than chicken or beef, a dull knife will cause the meat to rip and tear, resulting in a rough-looking fillet.

Large Cutting Board – Having a stable surface that gives you a comfortable amount of space to work with makes cleaning the fish and preparing your steaks and fillets much easier. You’ll want a solid cutting board that won’t slide or slip while you work.

If you’re staying in the wilderness, either camping or in a cottage, where a bear encounter is possible, then it’s extremely important that you NOT clean your fish close to your tents, or cottage.

Bears have an incredible sense of smell and the smell of a messy fish cleaning station can lure them in. So make sure that you do a full clean up when you’re done, getting rid of all the scraps in bear proof rubbish receptacles.

How to Clean a Fresh Fish

Start with the fish resting on its side with the belly facing you. Begin by inserting your fillet knife so it just pierces the skin slightly above the anal opening of the fish.

Cut the belly of the fish in a smooth, steady motion towards the head, making sure not to insert the knife too deep in to the body in order to avoid cutting in to the intestines and other organs.

Spreading the body open, pull all the organs and entrails out of the fish, including the anus of the fish which should be cut away from the body using your fillet knife.

Once the innards of the fish have been completely removed, thoroughly rinse the fish inside and out. At this point, you are ready to cook the fish whole, or cut it up in to either fillets or steaks, depending on how you intend to cook and serve it.

To cut the fish in to steaks, use a large, sharp kitchen knife to cut the fish into steaks, starting just behind the head and gills. Fish steaks are usually cut about 1” thick on average, but this is entirely up to you. Thicker steaks can be trickier to cook without drying them out, so be careful not to get too carried away with making a super-thick fish steak.  Salmon and Trout are well suited for steak cuts.

To cut the fish in to fillets, you start at the tail, leaving just enough for you to hold onto. Then using a slow back and forth motion, while trying to keep the knife as close to the backbone as possible, you work your way towards the head of the fish.

Once you’ve got your fillet separated from the fish, you can remove the skin at this time if you prefer. Simply place the fillet skin-side down on your cutting board and run the fillet knife under the meat and stay close to the skin as you cut.

This is why it’s important to have a proper filleting knife – long, thin and SHARP!

This method is used for a variety of fish types, and is particularly well suited for pickerel/walleye, perch and even bass.

There are tons of great videos on YouTube about how to fillet a fish. Each type of fish requires a slightly different technique, so do some specific searches using the type of fish you’ll be catching.

Now you’re ready to start cooking your fresh fish! The only question you have to answer now is how are you going to do that? You could keep things simple by adding a little bit of oil and fresh lemon juice, or kick things up with this delicious No Salt Gone Fishing Rub from Summer Kitchen.

Check out all the other interesting spices and seasonings you can select from at The Low Carb Grocery. Whatever you choose to do with your fish, we are sure that everyone at your table will appreciate the effort you put in to the meal.

Conclusion

As you can see, cleaning a fresh fish isn’t really all that tricky. Plus, what you’ll find is that the taste of a fish caught fresh with your very own rod and reel is unlike anything else.

There’s a great sense of pride and satisfaction that comes with being able to catch, clean and cook your own dinner, and it’s a great way to connect on a more personal level with nature. Many families enjoy fishing together, and it’s a wonderful way to add a new level of adventure to your next camping trip.

We hope that you’ve found this information helpful, and that you have a lot of good luck the next time you cast a line.

adventure gear for summer

Products for Your Outdoor Adventures this Summer

Awesome Gear for Your Next Outdoor Summer Adventure

Summer is here and if you’re anything like us, you’re anxiously awaiting your next big outdoor adventure! Before you head out the door, however, you’ll need to make sure that you’re geared up and ready for the challenge. That’s why we’ve gathered together this list of some of the coolest outdoor gear that is sure to make your next summer getaway even better.

In this article, you’ll find handy gadgets, high-tech apparel, and essential equipment to make this summer exciting and memorable as you head outdoors to experience new things and expand your horizons.

Living a healthy lifestyle means getting plenty of exercise and fresh air and reducing the stress that builds up from our day to day routines. Whether your preferred outdoor activity is heading to the water for an early morning fishing trip, checking out some new local trails, or heading out in to the wilderness for a camping trip, you’ll find something here that will help take your adventure to the next level.

Let’s take a look at this awesome gear!

Osprey Skarab 18 Hydration Pack

For hikers and trail runners, staying hydrated is critical, but can be a challenge on long excursions. That’s why hydration packs like the Osprey Skarab 18 are so great. It’s got a big reservoir and plenty of handy storage for the rest of your gear, like your GPS, protein bars, first aid kit, keys, and more. Pack this bag up, fill the reservoir with fresh water, and head out for a great day on the trails!

Ascend Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak

It’s time to head out on the water for a quiet morning of fishing with this cool kayak from Ascend. Unlike the more aggressive sporty designs of whitewater kayaks, this boat is designed for comfort, stability, and utility. The Ascend 10T Sit-on-Top kayak comes with integrated storage compartments, dual rod holders, and non-skid surfaces. Go catch your dinner, and then follow our handy guide on How to Clean a Fish for the definitive angler experience!

Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder GPS

Speaking of fishing, why not give yourself an advantage over even the smartest of fish by gearing up with the latest in fish finder technology from Garmin. The Striker 4 fish finder includes an integrated high-sensitivity GPS so you’re never lost, and a handy portable carrying case that is ideal for smaller boats like canoes and kayaks. This gadget will ensure that you always find the best places to drop your line and drastically increase your chances of landing a legendary catch.

The North Face El Rio II Sandals

Good quality and comfortable footwear is something you need no matter what activities you decide to fill your day with, and sport sandals like the El Rio II from The North Face definitely fit the bill. Available in both men’s and women’s sizes, the El Rio II sandals are lightweight, comfortable, and great for all-day wear around the campground, beach, or boardwalks. Quick-drying materials, plenty of adjustability, and support in all the right places mean these sandals are perfect footwear on land or on the water.

GoPro Hero5

The original extreme action camera is still the best! GoPro continues to lead the way in sports cameras that are super-tough and shoot amazingly high-quality video. Document all your exciting summer adventures in stunning 4K resolution with the GoPro Hero5. Accessorize it to suit your style of adventure with waterproof shells, head mount straps, flexible tripods, and extra batteries to ensure you don’t miss a single exciting moment.

Mountain Warehouse UV Rash Vests

Even though we all want to spend as much time as possible soaking up the warm sunshine, you’ve got to be smart about sun protection. Sunscreen is essential, but you should also consider picking up some of these UV Rash Vests from Mountain Warehouse for the whole family. Available in men’s, women’s, and kids styles and in a variety of colours, these UV-blocking vests provide extra sun protection and help to provide a bit of extra insulation when taking a dip in those cool Canadian lakes and rivers.

Therm-A-Rest Slacker Double Hammock

In our opinion, every summer day should involve some hammock time to relax and chill out. Of course, hammock time is always better when you’ve got someone to share it with, isn’t it? We recommend picking up one of these awesome Slacker Double Hammocks from Therm-A-Rest and spend some quality time doing absolutely nothing at all in a hammock that’s big enough for two. After a long day of adventuring, you deserve to watch the sun set while swinging in the warm summer breeze.

Summary

Well, what are you waiting for? Summer adventure awaits! We’re sure now that sunshine and hot weather are here, you’re probably just as excited as us to get out there and start exploring. Just be sure to pack some healthy low carb snacks and energy bars to make sure you stay powered up and energized for a day full of outdoor activities with the whole family.

Now, get out, get active, and have fun this summer!

sugar free frozen treats

Sugar Free Frozen Treats to Enjoy This Summer

Top 7 Fun Sugar Free Frozen Treats to Chill Out with This Summer

If you’re feeling the heat of the summer and need something fun and fresh to cool off, we’ve got a great list of frozen treats that are perfect for the low carb lifestyle.

These interesting and unique creations are all sugar free, so you can enjoy them without any guilt or worry that you’re setting your daily diet progress back. But don’t think that just because these recipes are sugar free that they will let you down when it comes to taste.

We’re sure that you’ll agree that these are some of the best tasting chilly treats that you’ve ever had, and the whole family is definitely going to love them after a day of playing in the sun.

Now, let’s start things off by taking a look at the first frosty treat!

This particular recipe is intended for the adults, since it includes alcohol. However, it can easily be made alcohol-free to make it suitable for all ages, and it tastes just as yummy. Margaritas are the kind of drink that just goes perfectly with a sunny patio, and these ice pops bring that experience in to a new form that is just the thing you need to beat the heat.

These are easy to make from only a few ingredients, and once you taste them we bet that you’ll be wanting another batch pretty soon.

We absolutely love ice cream sandwiches! They’re one of those kinds of treats that just remind us of long summer days of hanging out with friends back when we were kids. This unique twist adds even more refreshment by infusing them with the great taste of peppermint!

It’s easy to make these in batches and then keep them in the freezer when you have a craving for ice cream, or simply want to have them on-hand for when the kids deserve a special treat after a long, hot day of summer fun.

You just know from that title that this is going to be a good one. The smooth ice cream mixed with crunchy coffee and chocolate bits is a perfect harmony of flavours and textures that will knock your socks off. Some people are wary of trying to make ice cream from scratch, but it’s actually a lot easier than you’d expect. Plus, you have the added assurance of knowing that it’s 100% sugar free.

Give this delicious recipe a try for a special dessert this coming weekend.

You don’t hear a lot about ice cream floats these days, and we can’t understand why. These classic frozen treats are incredibly tasty and very easy to make. This is a grown-up version of the good old root beer float and uses vanilla flavoured vodka along with vanilla ice cream and vanilla root beer to create a scrumptious drink that can also double as a decadent dessert.

Making some of these up at the end of a backyard barbecue with friends is sure to get you a standing ovation from your guests.

We’re going to lighten things up now with this recipe. Although we love ice cream unquestionably, sometimes you want something a bit more subtle to cool off with. This recipe is a wonderful blend of the light sweetness of watermelon and the fresh taste of iced herbal tea and puts it all together in a fun snow cone that is sure to put smiles on everyone’s faces.

Use your preferred sugar alternative as a sweetener, and you’ve got a perfect low carb summer treat.

If you’re looking to keep things simple and easy, you can always pick up some Cool Whey Protein Ice Cream when you may not have the time to make your own from scratch. Cool Whey is perfect for low carb dieters thanks to its low carb count and added protein.

Made from only the finest ingredients, this ice cream is also gluten free and diabetic friendly.

If you loved Creamsicles when you were a kid, you know just how tasty those orange and vanilla treats were. Here, you can get that exact same flavour in a frosty, sugar free blended drink that will have you falling head over heels. It’s creamy, smooth, and all kinds of delicious.

It uses orange essential oil to bring the unmistakable flavour to the drink without the sugar that you’d find in orange juice.

Conclusion

If you’re thinking that the time has come to move beyond your usual sugar free frozen ice pops and start experimenting with some new and exciting flavours, then we’re sure you’ll agree that this list is a great way to start!

There’s definitely something for everyone here, and we’ve barely scratched the surface. There are plenty of other tasty frozen treats that you can pick up here at The Low Carb Grocery that skip the sugar and deliver a ton of great taste.

We hope that you’ve found these recipes interesting, and that your family and friends enjoy cooling off with them this summer.