1. <b> Vegetable of the month! </b>
Pronounced<em> hee-ka-mah</em>, and common in Latin American cuisines, jicama is a root vegetable that looks like a beige turnip and tastes like a cross between turnip and pear. Look for small to medium ones with smooth, unblemished skin. It’s best served raw, so simply peel, slice and sprinkle with sea salt. We love it in <a href="https://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/refridgerator-or-chilled-foods/prosciutto-and-jicama-rolls/" target="_blank">jicama and prosciutto rolls</a> and <a href="https://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/vegetarian/jicama-corn-and-pepper-salad/" target="_blank">jicama, corn and pepper salad</a>.<br /><br /><p><a href="https://www.chatelaine.com/ingredient/jicama/" target="_blank">Get all the recipes</a>.</p><div> </div>
2. <b> Secret spices </b>
<p>When Jaswant Kular’s daughters moved away from home, they kept calling her for recipes. Eventually Jaswant, a nutritionist originally from India, made spice blends for her girls so they could easily recreate their best-loved dishes. Now you can take them home too. Our favourite is the tadka masala, a combination of 20 spices, onions and garlic that shortens prep time and delivers delicious results.</p><p>Spice blends, from $6, <a href="http://www.jaswantskitchen.com/" target="_blank">Jaswant's Kitchen</a>.</p>
3. <b> Milk en vogue </b>
Photo, Erik Putz.
<p>We first noticed it at our local hip coffee shop: milk in glass bottles with a buttery layer sitting on top. Then we started seeing it everywhere: unhomogenized milk. Considered closer to its natural state, non-homo milk has a clean, sweet taste that has even non-milk-lovers drinking a chilled glass every day. And what to do with that delectable dollop of thickened cream that floats on top? We suggest spreading it over a freshly baked scone.</p><p>Unhomogenized milk, $5 per litre, <a href="http://www.ebymanor.ca/" target="_blank">Eby Manor</a>.</p>
4. <b> Going meatless </b>
<p>Although her new cookbook is devoted to vegetables, Liana Krissoff understands that while many of us aren’t strict vegetarians, we’re now eating less meat. The book is divided into seasons and offers flavour-packed recipes for whatever is abundant, like <a href="https://www.chatelaine.com/ingredient/vegetarian-for-a-new-generation/" target="_blank">roasted broccoli with pomegranate and tahini</a> and <a href="https://www.chatelaine.com/ingredient/vegetarian-for-a-new-generation/" target="_blank">roasted carrot salad with spicy lemon dressing</a>.</p><p><em>Vegetarian for a new generation</em>, Liana Krissoff, $28. </p>
5. <b> Hugo & Nate caramels </b>
Photo, Sian Richards.
<p>Swoon! There’s no better word for our reaction to these exquisite caramels. Rich and buttery soft with complex butterscotch flavours, they’re easily the best we’ve ever tasted. The candies are made in small batches in Kitchener, Ont., using only the best-quality ingredients. We could go on and on . . . but the proof is in the eating, so do yourself a favour and get some right away!</p><p>Fleur de sel caramels, from $10, <a href="http://www.hugoandnateconfections.com/" target="_blank">Hugo & Nate Confections</a>.</p>