Showing posts with label fruit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fruit. Show all posts

HCafe Japanese Cafe and Daifuku Fruit Mochis (Toronto)


As the Uncle Tetsu chains expands across the GTA, their menu continues to multiply as well. The latest location, HCafé Japanese Café, is situated in the Emerald condominium at Yonge and Sheppard. The small retail store not only offers all the cakes (Japanese cheesecake, no-bake cheesecake, and zuccotto) and smaller pastries (rusks and madelines), but also a new line of mochi as well.


There’s the traditional mochis ($3.10), the wrappers made of sticky rice and filled with a flavoured paste and rolled in spice. You have to really like the herbal tastes of green tea to get the matcha one as the unsweetened dusting on the mochi is the first ingredient to hit the tongue. Instantly, the golden bitter green tea essence floods the mouth before you get to the sticky rice and finally the sugary red bean paste that mellows out the dessert.


For something sweeter, the black sesame incorporates ground seeds on top and a sizeable hunk of sweetened paste in the middle. It’s a safer bet for Japanese mochi newbies.


If you’re looking for a unique sweet, their daifuku fruit line ($3.54) of mochis are something to behold. The shell is made from sweetened glutinous flour, so the soft chewy cover is much lighter. Inside each lies a fruit:

Delicate cubed fresh peaches with whipped cream that’s the messiest to eat, but nice and light.


Frozen slices of bananas with the same cream, which if you leave half an hour starts to defrost and turns creamy. Whereas, the frozen kiwi takes a bit longer to melt, so if you’re like me and can’t wait long enough, it’s like biting into a fresh fruit popsicle - rather refreshing during the summer.


Finally, my favourite, a sweet strawberry encapsulated in a thin layer of red bean paste, which goes so well with the chewy mochi exterior.



Individually wrapped, they’re great for bringing to a pot luck or snacking on. The daifuku fruit ones are also surprisingly light, so good luck sticking with just one.


Disclaimer: The fruit mochis were provided on a complimentary basis. Rest assured, as noted in my mission statement, I will always provide an honest opinion.


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 4750 Yonge Street

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HCafe Japanese Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Simply Snacking: Taste of Nature Bars


Granola bars, cereal bars, breakfast bars … whatever you call them, they are generally: sickingly sweet, high in calories and keeps me full for about an hour. Or there’s the other end of the spectrum: where the bars are bland but chocked full of powders and additives that blending it with liquid will make a protein shake. Please, find me a recipe that makes sense!

Taste of Nature’s product is different and when two mini-sized ones arrived in the June Yummy Goody Box, it reminded me of why I like them. Firstly, it’s called a “food bar” and their bars contain just that: whole nuts, juice sweetened dried fruit and grains for texture/crunch without it being overwhelming. The well-balanced sweetness to the product allows it work as breakfast or a snack.

Secondly, the texture is appealing: a soft chewiness that has satisfied a cookie craving in a pinch. Taste of Nature says they make their bars in smaller quantities leading to quicker inventory turnover and a fresher product. I believe the claim, the bars do seem fresh – perhaps, it’s due to their manufacturing facility being just up the road from Toronto (located in Markham, Ontario).  

The bars are cold pressed, rather than baked, to help protect the ingredient’s nutrients. And the company strives to be environmentally friendly by partnering with green suppliers and recycling food waste for animal feed. All great practices that makes eating the food bar even more guilt-free.

My only complaint is that they’re difficult to find in a multi-pack box – they’re available at Whole Foods, but purchasing them as singles starts to become expensive. Plus, I’ve yet to find the mini-sized ones in stores - the perfect format for snacking on.


Regardless, I’m just happy to have discovered an alternative to the candy bars hiding beneath “great breakfast option” claims. Ah Taste of Nature … you taste good. 


How To Find Them 
 Website: http://www.tasteofnature.ca/
 Approx. Price:  $1.99 for a regular sized single

Simply Snacking: Prana's Machu Pichu Mix


Prana Machu Pichu exotic fruit and nut mix

Fruit and nut mixes are ideal for satisfying salty and sweet cravings while providing protein and vitamins. Prana’s Machu Pichu mix, part of the June Yummy Goody Box, introduced me to a whole new fruit - the white mulberry.  

White mulberries, according to Wikipedia, is generally found in traditional Chinese medicine and believed to treat constipation, diabetes and prematurely greying hair. Luckily, I’m not suffering from any of these ailments and instead enjoyed the mulberry for its chewy light sweetness. Its shrunken yellow brain appearance doesn’t look appealing but tastes delicious.

Aside from mulberry, the Machu Pichu mix also contained almonds, pumpkin seed, Brazil nuts, plump raisins, goji berries and goldenberries. All in all, a diverse blend of sweet, tangy, crunchy and chewy elements. I like that they don’t add sugar and salt to the mix, rather retaining the ingredient’s natural flavours. My qualm with dried fruit is they often have a weird sugary crust on it.


Prana, a Quebec based company, was co-founded by Marie-Josee Richer. After travelling across Asia and living three years in Goa, India she became a practicing vegan. When returning to Quebec, she and two other travelers wanted to bring the healthy eating lifestyle they developed to North America. Hence, they started Prana, a company dedicated to vegan and organic snacks.

The word Prana means “breath” and in yoga refers to the life force connecting the universe’s elements. Thank you Prana and Yummy Goody Box for connecting me to the white mulberry.

Nutritional information is available on Prana's website.


How To Find Them 
 Website: http://pranana.com/en/
 Approx. Price:  $4.99