There are pros and cons to shopping at Whole Foods. In terms of buying groceries, you’ll likely spend $100-$200 more than you would at another grocery store, such as Albertsons, Sprouts or Ralph’s. But when it comes to finding niche health food items such as organic grass-fed Bison meat, local wildflower honey, Reishi mushroom powders, hemp protein or an array of cookbooks and health-oriented literature– the “Whole” can be a great resource.
While waiting in the check out line last week, I scanned the magazine rack. The usual yoga, meditation, and veganism publications sat on the shelves. Just as I looked away, the cover-art of a magazine on the bottom row caught my eye. The title of the publication read Kitchen Toke.The magazine sat halfway behind a display basket of organic soap, making it easy to miss.
“Could it be?” I thought to myself, as I scrolled through my mental dictionary/thesaurus thinking of what else the word “toke” might mean. I picked up the 95-page mag, and was greeted by the rest of the title: Kitchen Toke: Cooking With Cannabis.
My eyes widened in sheer amazement as I flipped through the thick-papered, beautifully designed publication; not because a cannabis cooking magazine exists, but because Whole Foods (a very corporate business) is on board with promoting a cannabis-friendly lifestyle. I impulsively purchased Kitchen Toke for a staggering $17 (I didn’t look at the price beforehand, or it may have derailed the moment.) But I’m thrilled I did because it’s loaded with fascinating information– from recipes to profiles to trend stories. Also, supporting journalism has never been more important. How else will we preserve our intellectual well being?
The best part about Kitchen Toke is how well the stories read and content flows. It’s similar in style to Food and Wine or Bon Appétit. Although a number of cannabis publications exist, it’s common for the professionalism to lack in some way. Kitchen Toke is polished, bringing a level of respectability to the cannabis journalism space that heretofore was missing. The photos are stylized and captivating, too, making it impossible not to get hungrier with the turn of every page. The biggest mistake I made was reading Kitchen Toke on an empty stomach, something I’d recommend not to do.
“Expect us to be the definitive source in [the cannabis food and culinary] arena, which is particularly important when credible and accurate information is not always in great supply,” reads the editors note. “When the facts change and the truth shifts, we’ll be here to help.”
Right now the cannabis industry is profoundly unstable. From ever-changing laws to lack of research to politics and lobbyists gone mad, it’s hard to know what information is accurate and truthful. That’s why cannabis journalists are of vital importance: they’re the distributors of facts, news, and information to the public. Moreover, the food, beverage and culinary sector of the cannabis industry is severely underreported, despite being a subculture that blends food and science to create delicious medicated masterpieces.
Along with drool-worthy recipes, such as Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Lemon Pesto or Spinach and Feta Canna-Borekas, the inaugural issue of Kitchen Toke also incorporates stories with important themes, like seniors using low-dose cannabis foods for pain management. One feature is about Illiana Regan, a renowned Chicago-based chef who makes cannabis-infused vegan food for her mother, Sandie Regan, who suffers from neuropathy. “[Regan ] roasts a spaghetti squash long enough for its noodles to curl from the soft yellow flesh at the touch of a fork,” Mike Sula writes, depicting the meal Regan made for her mom and him. “She sweats down some garlic and onions in a saucepan, chops a few of the seasons last great tomatoes, and then simmers it all with four ounces of melted butter steeped [with] Silver Lights flower.”
The senior demographic is often overlooked in this new wave of cannabis, despite being the generation who’d arguably benefit the most from it. Moreover, Baby Boomers are targetted by Big Pharma; a troubling reality because we’re taught from a young age to always trust our doctors. Not to mention, a lot of seniors express apprehension toward using cannabis because thousands of products exist today that didn’t 50 years ago. The brainwashing that occurred during the Reefer Madness-era didn’t help either. Thus, stories about the creative ways to use cannabis–via spaghetti squash, for instance– educate about pain management and normalize cannabis-use by portraying it as a lifestyle.
The quarterly mag also incorporates articles on how to utilize hemp to make foods, like bread, more nutritious. Did you know hemp flour can improve the color and flavor of bread, and add 27.4 percent more protein and almost 500 percent more fiber? We didn’t either.
Kitchen Toke is an outstanding highlight of cannabis journalism. And, the fact it’s sold in Whole Foods is a true sign of the cannabis-friendly times. In celebration of the melting stigma, here is a recipe featured in Kitchen Toke:
Sticky Maple Butter Cinnamon Weed Bread
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3⁄4 cup maple syrup, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon cannabutter
- 1⁄3 cup toasted walnuts, crumbled
- 2 canisters prepared cinnamon roll dough
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or nonstick spray
In a small saucepan, heat maple syrup and stir in butter to melt and incorporate. Pour half of the mixture in a 9-inch bundt pan greased with butter or nonstick spray and sprinkle with half of the nuts. Layer with one roll of the cinnamon buns. Pour the remaining maple syrup mixture on top (reserving 2 tablespoons) plus the remaining nuts and layer with remaining roll of dough.
Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove, place on a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto serving plate and brush non-sticky areas with remaining maple syrup mixture. Makes 8 servings, each about 4 mg THC. Enjoy!