After several months of Earth & City withdrawal, I got the chance to see Cassandra and Lisa again at Wychwood Barns this past Saturday, and just catching a glimpse of all their fresh and colourful food when I first went into the market made me so happy! Before and during the holidays, Earth & City were all over Toronto: at the Sorauren farmers’ market, at both CSI Lunchtime Markets, at Kensington Market’s Pedestrian Sundays, and The Stop farmers’ market at Wychwood Barns. While Pedestrian Sundays bid farewell for the year last October and Earth & City’s presence at Sorauren continued up until December, their food has been flying off the tables everywhere else.
Up until this point, I had only visited Cassandra and Lisa’s Earth & City at the Centre for Social Innovation locations and it had been months since my last trip. I was beyond excited to finally go to Wychwood’s saturday market and I was extra excited to get my Earth & City fix. Their raw vegan food has been nothing short of inspiring and delicious and I always look forward to seeing what the girls have in store each time I see them. Using fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and natural sweeteners, their mostly raw, vegan food is a throwback to traditional, classic non-vegan comfort foods like pizzas, burgers, taco wraps, brownies, and so much more. I feel so good supporting them and eating their food knowing they’ve put all their heart and effort into creating as many menu items as possible from scratch, from seasonal ingredients, and from products made by other local businesses like ChocoSol.
Earth & City had a number of favourites and staples on hand this past Saturday including their peanut butter thumbprints made from red-skinned natural peanut butter, raw cacao powder, and honey dates, and their spring roll wraps, coconut macaroons, and flatbread bundles and sandwiches. Along with these favourites, Earth & City brought the raw and vegan smackdown to the market with their sprouted veggie buckwheat pizzas and protein-rich nut burgers! Everything looked so delicious and amazing. Their sprouted buckwheat pizzas, made with sprouted buckwheat (read this article to learn more about sprouted buckwheat and how to make yoru own), flax seed, and dried oregano and basil are dehydrated overnight* so that they’re ready to be topped and served. Their pizzas were covered in sundried tomato sauce, red onion, sunflower sprouts, and plenty of mushrooms. The perfect cheeseless, vegan pizza!
Next to the pizzas were Earth & City’s vegan nut burgers. They looked so cute and so scrumptious. The burgers are made with raw almonds, sunflower seeds, and flax seed and are mixed with dried herbs, olive oil, and white balsamic (take a look at this article to learn more about what white balsamic is and how it differs from dark or regular balsamic vinegar). They are then shaped into patties that sit on a big, leafy collard green “bun”. Burgers are then topped with sundried tomato sauce and veggies! This time around, the burgers were piled high with lush green sunflower sprouts and they looked wonderful.
I had already made plans to go out for veggie brunch with my friend Wini after the market so sadly, I didn’t pick up anything savoury to eat. Trust that I will get around to inhaling everything Earth & City has to offer though. I did, however, take away one of their ultra fabulous frosted vegan brownies to save for the ride home at the end of my day and if vegan heaven existed (which I’m sure many of my veg friends will attest there is), I certainly went there via this brownie.
The brownies are made with raw, crushed walnuts and almonds, honey dates, organic raw cacao powder, and sweetened with organic raw agave nectar. The brownies are then frosted with organic coconut butter mixed with vanilla extract and fruit and/or veggie juice flavouring. This brownie is what sweet dreams are made of. It was a dense, moist, ridiculously creamy and flavourful explosion of chocolate and coconut with the slightly grainy texture of crushed nuts throughout. I am a coconut fiend and I was hit with the most glorious combination of cocout, cacao, and nuts. Chocolate and coconut is one of those underrated sweet combinations. Mint chocolate and chocolate peanut butter get so much love and this brownie is an ode (and a kick in the pants to the other two) to the heights that raw chocolate and coconut butter can take us. It was so rich and naturally sweet and just divine.
This was one very wonderful, memorable farmers’ market experience and now that I’ve been to Wychwood once, I’m never going to want to stop going, ever.
Earth and City appear at several farmers’ markets in the city (most notably the market at Wychwood Barns on Saturday and the CSI Lunchtime markets), as well as Pedestrian Sundays at Kensington Market. They do catering and orders, so visit their site and blog here for more information on their food, mission, and menu.