This summer I went to a cottage located 1 hour and 30 minutes north of Toronto. I was determined to continue my raw vegan journey while on vacation. It took some worthwhile thought and careful planning. Although I am not allergic to soy products, or gluten, I didn’t want to feel lethargic on vacation, as I felt on trips in the past, because of lack of healthy rawesome food choices and options. Here are my top 5 tips for a raw vegan cottager.
1. Take the Scenic Route
Purchase a map or a good GPS before the trip to find all of the back roads to the cottage. This will increase your chances of stumbling on a farmer’s market or local vegetable and fruit stand on the side of the road. While taking a trip one morning to a beach close to the cottage, we drove through a small town called Elmvale. To my surprise they were having a farmer’s market in the middle of the town square. I was so happy that we decided to stop and purchase some kale, blueberries, golden beets, sugar snap peas, and parsnips from a Verified Local Farmer and his wife who own Sugar Spring Farms on Orr Lake Road.
It’s a lot of money to certify a farm as organic and so I would rather purchase from a farmer that is verified local than buy produce from an organic farmer that may have their produce shipped from another country, and rippened on a truck. For dinner, I made us some parsnip and golden beet soup. Yes, I brought the blender. Hmmm, my hairdryer or my Vita Mix? It’s a no brainer!
2. Bring Everything and the Kitchen Sink
In a small town I couldn’t be sure that some ingredients would be readily available, so I brought what I thought would be the essentials, raw chia seed, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, chestnuts packed in water, shredded coconut, coconut vinegar, himalayan sea salt, home grown sprouts and almond milk in mason jars. On the second day of our trip we went to the supermarket I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was a whole isle dedicated to gluten free products. I even found that the local produce in the supermarket was cheaper than the prices in Toronto. This makes sense, since the local farms do not have a far distance to ship their products.
3. Let your senses guide you
On the second day at the cottage I was walking the grounds of the cottage and noticed a most delectable aroma. I looked down and to my excitement there was big beautiful basil plants growing between the morning glories, roses and milk thistle. I was so pleased and decided to pick some to make a pesto for the raw pizza that I had thawing in the fridge.
Just remember not to attempt to eat any wild mushrooms that you might find!
When I looked more closely I also discovered tomato, zucchini, green onion, and parsley plants. Luscious grape vines surrounded their deck as well. I love wine grapes. There is a sweet, yet sour taste to them and a texture that melts in your mouth. I was in raw vegan heaven!!
4. Do your Research
Before travelling to the cottage I inquired with the owner about whether there were any organic stores in town. It just so happens that there was a little store called The Karma Project that is a little hidden and I might not have discovered had I not inquired. The Karma Project had local organic produce for sale, as well as homemade Jewellery and clothing. The owner made Carrot Cake Jelly, Green Goddess Dressing, Mushroom Ketchup and Lemony Sunflower Seed Dip to name a few, and also sells them at the farmers market that takes place in town on Saturday. I bought the mushroom ketchup and we enjoyed it with dinner.
5. Enjoy the View
Each morning I took the opportunity to wake up early, make an energizing breakfast and enjoy it while sitting on the deck. I would watch the sun rise as it glistened on the lake, listen to the sounds of the birds, the chipmunks rustling in the trees, and the fish jumping to feed in the water. It was breathtaking!!!
My Chia Power Breakfast Blend is one of my favourites and kept my energy up for a long 2 hour scenic run in Awenda Park.
My Green Cottage Smoothie also fully nourished my body for the swimming, kayaking and trail walking ahead.
Remember, it is important to take the scenic route, celebrate the surprises and take time to indulge in a raw vegan kind of way! I can’t wait to try camping and discover how I can indulge in raw vegan delights without the luxuries of home!!