DIY coconut yogurt

•1 can coconut milk
•1/4 soaked cashews
•2 probiotic capsules

•Blend the coconut milk and the drained, soaked cashews in a blender until completely smooth.

•Empty the probiotic capsules into the blender (just the powder inside) and blend for a second.

•Pour into a clean jar, leave at least 2 inches of space in case of expansion

•Cover with a clean cloth napkin or kitchen towel and secure with a rubber band.

•Leave on the counter, away from direct light, in a warmer place in the house. After 24 hours, check the taste and texture. If it’s to your liking place in the fridge. It will thicken as it cools. For a more sour taste leave on counter for up to another 24 hours.

Refrigerates well for about 2 weeks.

Recipe via @mamaeatsplants.
Photo courtesy of Sophi Robertson

Broccoli pesto

 Who doesn’t love pesto?! Its obvious companion is pasta, but this versatile sauce can be added to rice bowls, eggs, sandwiches + potatoes – it can even be used as a dip for your favourite crackers + veggies! This version uses broccoli for extra flavour + nutrition. Get your green on!



1 head of organic broccoli

½ c. basil leaves (packed)

⅓ c. olive oil

⅓ c. almonds, toasted in a dry skillet

2 tbsp. nutritional yeast OR parmesan cheese

2 cloves of garlic

½ lemon, juiced

½ tsp. Salt

Pepper to taste



First, heat up a large pot of water and chop up your broccoli into small florets. Cook your broccoli for 5 minutes until tender (but still firm) and drain.

Add your almonds to a food processor and pulse until you have small pieces. Add the rest of your ingredients and blend until you achieve your desired texture. Feel free to add some extra olive oil or water if you want it thinner/smoother.

Serve with pasta, veggies & whatever else you like!



Zucchini Banana Bread Breakfast Cookies

Cookies for breakfast > everything. These little gems are chock-full of healthy ingredients like oats, banana, zucchini + almond butter, and they taste like perfectly portioned bites of spiced zucchini bread! Breakfast-on-the-go (or after school/work snack) is officially sorted for kids and adults alike 🙂 Who says you can’t have dessert for breakfast?! Not us – ever.

1 c. oats
½ c. oat flour (grind oats in blender/food processor until super fine)
½ c. almond flour
½ tsp. Baking soda
½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. fairtrade Cinnamon
Pinch fairtrade nutmeg
1 ripe fairtrade banana, mashed
1 egg
3 tbsp. Coconut oil, melted + cooled
2 tbsp. Maple syrup
¼ c. almond butter
¾ shredded zucchini, thoroughly squeezed of excess moisture (use a clean tea towel!)
¼ c. chopped walnuts
⅓ c. raisins


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine your mashed banana, egg, coconut oil (make sure it’s melted + completely cooled), maple, almond butter + zucchini and whisk until thoroughly combined. Next, add in all of your dry ingredients (oats through nutmeg) and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined + smooth. Fold in your raisins and walnuts (if using).

Drop the dough by large spoonfuls on a greased/lined baking sheet and bake for 14 mins or until slightly golden brown on the bottom and edges. Store in an airtight container for a few days on the countertop, and freeze extras for snacking later on! Makes approx. 16 cookies.

Nutritional yeast

What bulk item at Karma do you think triggers the most questions of James Byrne, Karma’s bulk, meat, and cheese purchaser? I’ll give you a hint: Read the title of this article. Members are more curious about those bright yellow nutritional yeast flakes than any of the other bins and tubs of bulk products.

First of all, what is nutritional yeast? It is a single-celled microorganism called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which grows on and feeds from cane or beet molasses. The molasses provides a source of nutrient-rich food, filling the microbes with 18 amino acids and a selection of vitamins and minerals.

What are the health benefits of nutritional yeast?

It is a source of essential nutrients, soluble fibre (beta glucan), and minerals, as well as a more readily available supply of protein than meat. Nutritional yeast is popular with vegetarians and vegans as it provides vitamin B12, which otherwise is found only in animal products. One tablespoon of nutritional yeast contains 100% or more of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12.

The Engevita brand that Karma carries contains 71% protein by weight, which is impressive for plant food, and is an excellent boost for the brain, body, and muscles. It is low in sodium and calories, is non-GMO, and is free of added MSG and flavouring. This table details the nutritional values.

How is Engevita produced?

Engevita is derived from baker’s yeast, which is a waste product in the beer-making process. This variety is grown specifically on beet molasses. After harvesting, the microbes are heated to 100 °C, rendering them inactive. They are then dried and rolled with a drum into flakes.

Where does Karma obtain its supply?

Karma buys Engevita flakes from Grain Process Enterprises Ltd. in Scarborough. Engevita was developed by the food scientists at Royal DSM Food Specialties in The Netherlands in 2002. In 2006, the privately-owned Québec company Lallemand Inc. purchased the yeast rights and moved production to Estonia, where it is produced today.

To keep members satisfied, James orders a 10 kg bag of flakes every couple of months. That’s a lot of yeast considering 1 cup of the flakes weighs 60 g. Compare that with water, which weighs 236 g per cup.

How does one use nutritional yeast?

Those who are familiar with it know it for its strong flavour. It is often described as cheesy or nutty, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes. It is often used as a substitute for parmesan cheese in recipes. You can sprinkle it or stir it into dishes to add a hint of cheesiness. Nutritional yeast can also be used to thicken sauces and soups.

If using nutritional yeast is uncharted territory for you, maybe now you feel motivated to incorporate it into your cuisine for its nutrition-packed splendour. The Internet is the place to find recipes using nutritional yeast. Here’s one to get you started.


Dharma’s Kale Salad

Makes 1 to 2 servings

Author: Kimberly Snyder

Serves 2


1 bunch black kale
Pinch of salt
1 small avocado
Juice of a lemon
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
Cayenne pepper, to taste
2 handful sprouts, any kind
1 tomato, cubed
1–2 tbsp dulse flakes (seaweed flakes)
Handful of dill, parsley, or cilantro, or combination


1. Tear the kale leaves off the stem and place into a mixing bowl.

2. Add salt and tear into bite-sized pieces.

3. In a separate bowl, scrape out the avocado flesh and add lemon juice. Lightly mash and mix with a fork.

4. Add the avocado mixture to the kale and massage it into the kale with your fingers.

5. Stir in the nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, sprouts, tomato, dulse flakes, and herbs, and add a little more sea salt, if desired.


submitted by Barbara Walters

Photograph by Ela Lichtblau

Peanut-ginger cabbage slaw


It is a very wise + delicious idea to cover a mound of shredded veggies in peanut sauce and call it a day. This slaw features shredded cabbage, brussels sprouts + carrots with a zippy peanut-ginger-lime dressing – it’s creamy, crunchy and suuuuper addictive (you have been warned!). 🙂

Photo and recipe courtesy of Emma Kula.

½ head of organic purple cabbage
10 brussels sprouts
1 large organic carrot
⅓ c. natural peanut butter
2 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
½ large lime, juiced
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
Pinch of chilli flakes

Method: Shred up all your vegetables either by hand, on a box grater or using the grating attachment of your food processor. Add your veggies to a large bowl and set aside.

In a jar or bowl, combine all of your peanut sauce ingredients and whisk until smooth. It should be fairly thick, but add a little water if it’s too sticky.

Add your sauce to the slaw and toss thoroughly to coat. Serve alongside noodles, chicken, fish or whatever else you like – this slaw keeps very well for 3-4 days in the fridge.

The BEST Granola you’ll ever eat


Bold claim: this is the best homemade granola you will ever eat. This stuff is seriously delicious, and we promise that you won’t be able to stop returning to the jar for another handful (and that is NOT a bad thing). Best of all, these ingredients can be found in the Karma bulk section, so get your jars ready and stock up! Recipe is adapted from Oh She Glows, the lovely Toronto-based vegan recipe goddess.

Photo and adapted recipe courtesy of Emma Kula.


2 ½ c. rolled oats
½ c. almonds
¼ c. seeds of choice (sunflower, pumpkin, etc.)
2 tbsp. ground flaxseed
2 tbsp. coconut sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. sea salt
pinch nutmeg
1/3 c. maple syrup
¼ c. coconut oil
¼ c. almond butter
1 tsp. Vanilla


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all your dry ingredients (oats through nutmeg) in a large bowl and stir to combine. In a small saucepan, melt your coconut oil, then add in the maple syrup, almond butter + vanilla and whisk until smooth and combined.

Add your wet mixture to the dry and stir until completely coated.

Spread evenly on your baking sheet (make sure it’s a thin layer so it crisps up – divide between 2 sheets if needed!) and bake for 15 minutes. At this point, remove from the oven and stir it around a little, then return to the oven bake for another 8-10 minutes. Make sure to watch it as it burns easily! Once it’s very lightly browned around the edges, remove from the oven and let it cool completely for about 1 hour before transferring to glass jars for storage. This will keep for up to a month but I promise it won’t last that long!

Turmeric Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes


Stuffed sweet potatoes are a very cozy thing for these last cold days (spring, we’re seriously ready for you!) Turmeric-spiced chickpeas are tucked into baked sweet tater “boats” and topped with a luxuriously creamy tahini sauce – perfect for a simple lunch or dinner, and all of the components can be made ahead of time! Tahini can be purchased in bulk from our bulk section and the sweet potatoes are local! Yes, even at this time of year.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Emma Kula.

2 large local organic sweet potatoes
1 c. cooked chickpeas
1 tbsp. Avocado oil
1 tsp. Turmeric powder, divided
½ tsp. Salt, divided
Pinch of chili flakes
¼ c. tahini
½ lemon, juiced
½ tsp. Maple syrup
For topping: sprouts or finely chopped greens, pumpkin seeds, sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and pierce your sweet potatoes 6-8 times all over with a fork. When the oven is ready, place your potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 45-60 mins, turning halfway through, until they are soft and a fork is easily inserted into them. Slice each potato down the middle and set aside to cool.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add your oil. Add the chickpeas and half of your turmeric + salt and let everything saute for 6-8 minutes, or until the chickpeas are slightly browned and warmed through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare your sauce by whisking the tahini, remaining turmeric + salt, and maple syrup in a small jar/bowl. Add a bit of water as necessary to make it thin enough to drizzle.

When ready to assemble, scoop out the centre of your sweet potatoes to create little “boats” (set this sweet potato flesh aside to add to sweet or savoury bowls!) Divide the chickpeas evenly among the potato boats and drizzle with the sauce, then top with greens, seeds, nuts or whatever else you desire!

Raw Chia Morning Cereal

Raw cereal is a good way to start the day: not heavy like toast or greasy like croissants; not too sweet like doughnuts or muffins. Chia seeds can be a delicious and nutritious component of raw cereal.

When I was growing up, chia seeds were known only for growing fuzzy green “hair” on clay heads as decoration. Today we know that this tiny seed in the mint family is great for stabilizing blood sugar, consuming omega-3, and lowering cholesterol. Two tablespoons of chia seed have 7 grams of fibre, 4 grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, and 5 grams of omega-3. Plus, 3.5 tablespoons of chia seed provide as much omega-3 as 32 ounces of salmon!

Karma has the best price on organic chia seeds in the city. We sell them in the bulk section for about $26 per kilogram. As a cereal, chia is similar to flax.

When you add liquid, the seed expands and becomes thick and soft. You can add virtually anything to chia to make a hearty, healthy morning cereal. This recipe is only a guideline. You can omit or add different seeds, nuts, or fruits.

1 1/3 cup (250 g) organic chia seeds
2/3 cup (80 g) nuts (your choice)
1/2 cup (70 g) dried fruit (like figs and apple)
1/3 cup (40 g) raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup (30 g) raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 – 1/2 cup (25 – 50 g) flax seeds
1 – 2 tbsp. (10 – 20 g) raw sesame seeds
2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 – 2 tbsp. (20 – 30 g) maple flakes or maple sugar (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a big bowl and pour the mix into an airtight container. I like to use the Sopa or Sunflower Kitchen soup jars I’ve previously bought at Karma. Keeps for months. To make the cereal, it all depends on how much you like to eat. A little goes a long way. Try 3 tablespoons of chia cereal with 1/3 cup almond, rice, or soy milk.

Submitted by Siue Moffat

First published in The Chronicle (Fall 2013)

Maple Miso Adzuki Beans

I rarely know what to do with adzuki beans. They’re one of the easier beans to digest, but they’re not the prettiest, say, blended into a hummus. This, however, is a quick and tasty way to add some protein to a plate of colourful veggies (prepared however you fancy).

a splash of olive oil
1 large or 2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 1/2 c. cooked adzuki beans (or one can from Eden Foods, drained and rinsed)
a splash of maple syrup
a splash of tamari soy sauce
1 rounded tsp. unpasteurized miso paste (I use a mellow one) mixed into a splash of water

Heat the oil in a small-medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Mix in the beans, syrup and tamari, and cook until the beans are heated through. Turn off the heat and stir in the miso mixture. Serve hot.Makes 2 servings. (It’s gluten free and nightshade-free)

Submitted by Jae Steele
First published in The Chronicle (Winter 2010)

jae steele is a local holistic nutritionist and author of two vegan cookbooks: Get It Ripe and Ripe from Around Here. She has also been a working member of Karma since 2003. More information at HyggeMama.

Roasted vegetable medley

I love beets, squash, and sweet potatoes partly because of their colour, but also because at Karma I get to meet the farmers who grow them. This roasted vegetable dish is easy to make, and actually doesn’t need proper measuring—well, unless you’re the measuring type. Beets make your bowels happy as they are fibre-rich, and are also full of vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron.

6 sweet potatoes
1 bunch chives or green onions, chopped
1 c. maple syrup
5 beets, pre-steamed
1 butternut squash
5 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
3 red onions
3/4 c. olive oil
1 tbsp. garlic powder
2 red peppers
2 green peppers
1 tbsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. salt
1 handful tarragon
1 handful parsley

Preheat oven to 375° F. Peel and boil the sweet potatoes until soft. Mash and mix them with the maple syrup, chives, and 1 tbsp. each of salt and pepper. Spread them evenly in the bottom of a roasting pan. Scrub and chop up the beets and steam until about halfway cooked. Peel and slice the butternut squash into thin pieces. Chop the garlic and red onions. In a bowl, toss the beets, squash, garlic and onions with the olive oil, the rest of the salt, and the garlic powder. Throw the whole lot on top of the sweet potatoes and roast for 40 minutes. When you take out the pan, the veggies should be browning on top and the squash should be fully cooked. Throw in the peppers, tarragon, and parsley. Roast on broil for about 10 minutes or until the peppers are slightly brown. Enjoy!

Submitted by Sophie Muller
First published in The Chronicle (Jan/Feb 2010)