Our Test Kitchen's Jennifer Danter shares the culinary picks she's coveting this month.
1. Cool and Natural
See you later, sugar! Social Lite, a craft-cocktail brand, offers tasty coolers that aren't overly sweet—and it's one of the first to fully disclose ingredients. It's a short list: pure premium Canadian vodka, soda water and natural flavours, with no artificial ingredients or added sugar. The Lime Ginger is super crisp and refreshing, and the chill tang of the Lemon Cucumber Mint makes you happily pucker up.
2. Sweeten the Cause
This 100-percent-pure maple syrup is cleverly packaged to resemble a maple tree trunk with a tap as its pour spout. But that's not all. Maple syrup innovator Groupe 29 Février has launched the Don't Forget the Date campaign to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease. With each purchase of 29 Février Maple-in-a-Tree, the company will donate five percent to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. Choose from delicate Golden, rich-tasting Amber, robustly flavoured Dark and uber-bold Very Dark.
3. Nothing Fishy Here
With corporate transparency, food safety and sustainability on our radar, we all want to know what's in our grocery basket and where it comes from. Using Clover Leaf's unique online program, Trace My Catch, now you can. Go to cloverleaf.ca/trace-my-catch, enter the code found on a tin of Wild Selections tuna or salmon, then track its journey backward from the location of the cannery to the boat, fishing method, ocean and species of fish.
4. Iron Chef
Think your cast-iron frying pan is just for searing meat or flipping pancakes? Guess again! Montreal food writer Daniel Shumski has developed 53 delicious ways to prove this pan cooks just about anything to perfection. From recipes for crave-worthy chocolate chip cookies to shakshuka and even risotto, Will It Skillet? may become your new pantry staple.
Will It Skillet? (Workman) by Daniel Shumski, $22.
5. Butter Me Up
Finally, the lactose-intolerant can enjoy the taste of real butter. Natrel is the first company in Canada to market the product (available in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces), made with lactose-free cream and sea salt. We put it through its paces in the Test Kitchen, baking flaky biscuits and chewy brownies and slathering it on toast. The verdict? Deliciously difficult to tell the difference.