These might tide you over as we await more cannabis-infused fine dining opportunities
Edibles hit the shelves across Canada this winter, but restaurants are essentially prohibited from selling cannabis-infused foods. As far as I can tell from my scouring of the Cannabis Act, it doesn’t expressly say that restaurants or food service providers can’t sell infused dishes, but it creates the conditions that render the idea next to impossible. Why can I cook with alcohol, but when it comes to cannabis, my hands are tied?
Additionally, in order to sell pre-made, packaged edibles, you must be federally licensed and the product must not need refrigeration or freezing. It has to be shelf-stable, and it has to come in child-proof packaging. Plus, it must be labelled extensively with a health warning, nutrition label and potency information. Basically, the rules completely exclude restaurants from being able to showcase the power of this amazing plant.
Some entrepreneurs across Canada are doing their best to circumvent the rules by hosting cannabis-friendly dining events on private property with special permission, or they encourage participants to BYOB — or “bring your own bud” experiences, if you will.
To me, it seems ridiculous and unfair that food service providers should be excluded from the lucrative new cannabis market in Canada when alcohol is so widely commercially available and socially accepted. If an adult can walk into a restaurant or bar and order an alcoholic drink to go with their meal, why can’t they walk into the same kind of place and order an infused salad or dessert?
Hopefully, the government will make an exception for restaurants someday soon, so that Canadian patrons and business owners can seize this opportunity to become world leaders in the recreational cannabis and tourism market.
In the meantime, here is my recipe for my special super food Valentine’s Day: Infused chocolate clusters. Try these and stay happy and chilled out with your loved one on this special day!
Cannabis-infused chocolate super food clusters
- Small baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Food processor
- 1/2 cup melted infused coconut oil
- 1/2 cup raw agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 cup raw cocoa powder
Method: In a blender, combine infused coconut oil, agave and cold water. Blend on high till smooth. Add cacao powder and blend until smooth and shiny, you may need to stop the machine once and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides. Transfer mixture to a deep mixing bowl and set aside.
- 1 cup shredded coconut, divided
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 2 tablespoons mulberries
- 2 tablespoons goji berries
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Method: In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process 1/2 cup coconut, almonds, mulberries, goji berries, chia seeds, vanilla and salt until broken down and no large pieces remain. Transfer mixture to bowl with raw chocolate sauce along with remaining 1/2 cup shredded coconut, stir to incorporate all ingredients well.
Assemble your clusters
Using two spoons, drop pieces approximately one tablespoon in size onto prepared baking sheet. Freeze for one hour or until hard and crunchy. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to two weeks.
Written by Doug McNish, Plant Food