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Happy anniversary, Canada — and canola!

This is a year to celebrate our own ‘Made in Canada’ crop

If you’re still pondering new year’s resolutions, a good one for 2017 would be spend more time learning more about our wonderful country’s history, geography, culture and its innumerable accomplishments.

2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation. It’s a year for plenty of parties, festivals, and commemorations.

Canadian agriculture is reaching an important milestone of its own this year too. Fifty years ago marked the beginnings of the canola industry and this one and only ‘Made in Canada’ crop, named as a contraction of ‘Canada’ and ‘ola,’ meaning oil.

The first growers’ association formed in 1967. In the decades that followed canola transformed our agricultural landscape, becoming a highly profitable crop grown by Canadian farmers, and the world’s healthiest cooking oil.

We’ll be learning a lot more about this extraordinary agricultural achievement in 2017. The canola industry has partnered with the Ottawa-based Canada Agriculture and Food Museum to launch a new travelling exhibition — Canola: A Canadian Story of Innovation. It begins its national tour at the Canola Council of Canada’s Good As Gold 50th convention in Winnipeg on March 7 to 9. A long-term exhibit is also expected to be developed and opened this year in Ottawa.

The exhibition and related educational programs will explore the science and stories of ingenuity behind canola’s development, cultivation and the future of this versatile crop. It will also explore ongoing research behind its health and nutritional qualities, and the genetics and agricultural practices related to this crop.

“Canola has an amazing innovation story to share. As a fourth-generation family farmer, I am thrilled this exhibition will celebrate our canola story and bring agriculture a little closer to all Canadians,” said Brett Halstead, president of Canadian Canola Growers Association and canola farmer from Saskatchewan in a recent news release.

Of course, it will deepen our understanding of canola at our dinner table too.

“When visitors have the opportunity to learn from our farmers, hear their stories about growing ingredients for our recipes and food for our tables, a deeper farm-to-food connection is made,” adds Ellen Pruden, the education and promotions manager with Manitoba Canola Growers and widely read blogger with Canola! Eat Well for Life.

Canola Eat Well (canolaeatwell.com) is where to find posts by Ellen and her colleagues including their What We’re Lovin’ recipe collections, links to the television program “Great Tastes of Manitoba,” plus many more canola-inspired meals, snacks and baking.

A new year is when we make a fresh start in our lives. Let’s eat to live well, so we can celebrate all of 2017’s milestones ahead.


Barley Lentil Soup

This soup is packed with the vitamins, nutrients in the onions, spinach, garlic, parsley and tomatoes. Combined with protein-rich lentils and fibre-packed barley, this soup is a healthy choice any time of year.

  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3 c. pot barley
  • 6 c. sodium-reduced chicken or beef stock
  • 1 can (19 oz./540 ml) lentils drained and rinsed
  • 2 c. chopped fresh spinach, packed
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped

Pour canola oil into a large saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for four to five minutes until onion softens. Stir in barley and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until barley is cooked. Stir in remaining ingredients and heat through, about 5 minutes.

Serves 6.

Nutrition analysis: Calories 200, Total Fat 3 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 85 mg, Carbohydrates 33 g, Fibre 10 g, Protein 12 g

Source: Canola Eat Well


Apple Bundt Cake

Bundt cakes are a classic and comforting dessert. Also known as tea cakes, bundt cakes are baked in a ring shape and are great for taking along to potlucks, office parties and picnics because they’re so versatile. This recipe combines the savoury and comforting tastes of apple and cinnamon. Enjoy it with cup of tea or on its own.

  • 4 c. apples, cored, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 c. canola oil
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. orange juice

In medium bowl, mix apples with sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. In large bowl, beat together canola oil, sugar and eggs until well mixed. In third bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to the canola oil and egg mixture, alternately with the orange juice, beating on low speed after each addition, just until combined. Pour 1/3 batter into greased bundt pan, followed by 1/2 the apples, 1/3 batter, 1/2 apples and the final third portion of the batter. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour or until cake is golden brown and a cake tester comes out of the centre of the cake cleanly. Cool cake on rack for 10 minutes then invert onto a rack to cool completely.

Source: Canola Eat Well

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About the author

Reporter

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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