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Tips for Feeling Great in 2020

Happy 2020! To start this new decade, we’ve gathered a few tips for feeling on top of life this year (and beyond!) from Tina Lau, our resident baker and content creator, as well as a UBC graduate with her B. Sc. degree in Nutrition.

As we usher in a new year, it is often a time for personal reflection and goal setting, with the topic of health and wellness being one of the top categories of focus for people. 

Here at Flourist, we are passionate about sharing knowledge and empowering people to cook and bake more at home. We asked Tina, a working mom with a young family, to share her most helpful tips for staying on track. Tina encourages us to remember that whole lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight and to focus more on making small, positive steps in the right direction. 

Choose More Whole Grains

Whole grains are a high source of fiber, minerals, vitamins, protein, and antioxidants. Reach for more whole grains products including bread, Farro, Quinoa and try incorporating whole grain flours into your baking repertoire.

Whole grain flours provide a wide canvas of textures and flavours to your baking, not to mention a more robust and delicious flavour. Like most of us here at Flourist, Tina likes to substitute 100% whole grain flours for conventional all-purpose flour in her favourite cookies and cakes. For an even more pronounced flavour, Tina recommends to let your cookie dough rest overnight before baking to allow more time for the flavours to meld together and also for the bran to soak up more moisture so the dough is well hydrated.

Choose More Legumes

Choosing more legumes, including beans, lentils and chickpeas are fundamental to healthy home cooking in 2020. They are a rich source of fiber, protein, B vitamins and minerals. Not sure where to start? Tina suggests adding legumes to the meals that are already in heavy rotation in your household. Try mixing in creamy pinto beans into your favourite taco filling, toss chickpeas together with your go-to pasta dish, or add steamed lentils to your salad. 

Batch Cooking and Freezing 

This involves carving out time during the weekend but will certainly set you up for success over the course of the week. Having ingredients prepped and cooked in your fridge makes packing lunches and making meals much easier to pull together. For lunches, Tina likes to have ingredients for a grain bowl at the ready in the refrigerator. If you need inspiration on building a grain bowl, you can read more about it here.

Freezing batched cooked legumes such as Chickpeas, Black Beans or Navy Beans and whole grains such as Wheat Berries or Farro makes it possible to add them to a meal in a pinch. Batch cook a large pot of beans or grains and after cooking and cooling, divide into smaller Ziploc bags or containers for freezing. When you need them, pull them out of the freezer and place in a bowl of hot water to thaw. 

You can find comprehensive Cooking Guides for all of our Flourist whole grains and beans here

Feeding Kids

There are so many things to be said about feeding kids and expanding their palettes to include a variety of whole grains and beans. We can explore this topic more in the future but for now, Tina's top tip is the same as for legumes, by slowly adding them to your existing meals. Her kids' current favourites are black bean tacos, cooked lentils in lasagna and cooked chickpeas in roasted vegetable soup. And whenever in doubt, these Black Bean Brownies are always a hit.  

Here are a few of Tina’s top recipes to start off your new year: Marcella Hazan's Tomato SauceBest Ever French Lentil Salad, Pot of Braised Beans (and ways to use them).

Got a tip to share with us? We're all ears! Happy New Year from all of us at Flourist!  

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