Culinary Capers: Cooking Inspiration at Thrifty Foods

Recently a  budget-conscious friend who is retired from her career advised us that food at the Great Canadian Superstore is 15% cheaper than at other stores.  We believed her.  It is true you cannot beat the overall cost savings at this big box store.  Although if you know your prices you can find sales at the other grocery chains that will match or beat Superstore prices.  So it does pay to compare.  Shopping at smaller chain stores such as Thrifty Foods is also a pleasure because there are carefully chosen product lines, high quality produce and meat and superb customer service.

While visiting Thrifty Foods recently I found three complimentary magazines full of nutrition and health advice.: Thrifty Foods Fresh, Melt by Tre Stelle cheeses and Alive. (Look for them by the cashiers, Customer Service desk and the exit.)  The recipes in these magazine are appealing and the photography makes the food look delicious.  Just this past Christmas we tried one of the sweeter suggestions in the Fresh magazine.  Our two year old toddler twins were able to take part in their first real cooking experience under their grandmother’s guidance.  (Tip: She melted the chocolate in advance and worked with one child at a time.)  

The clusters are decadent, yet not too high in calories and are delicious. At least that is what everyone who is trying them here in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island are saying.  The recipe for these dark chocolate cashew fruit clusters is available online.  JUST in case the link disappears, here is the recipe:

Dark Chocolate Cashew Fruit Clusters

The chocolate needed to make these sweet treats is available in chunks in the Thrifty Foods bakery department.

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  A few minutes

Makes: 20 to 24 clusters

350 grams dark Belgian chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 cup unsalted, roasted cashews

1 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup currants

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over simmering water.  Stir and heat the chocolate until just melted.  Remove from the heat and mix in the cashews, cranberries and currants.  Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the mixture on the baking sheet, ensuring they don’t touch. Refrigerate the clusters until set. Store in a tight-sealing container at cool room temperature. If stacking, be sure to layer the clusters between parchment paper.


Instead of dark chocolate, make these clusters with milk or white chocolate. In place of cashews, use whole almonds or pecan halves in the clusters. Try dried cherries instead of the dried cranberries.


Per Serving: About 128 calories, 1.6g protein, 6.5g fat (2.8g saturated), 16.8g carbohydrate, 1.7g dietary fibre, 0mg cholesterol, 2mg sodium. %RDI: 1% calcium, 5% iron, 0% vit A, 0% vit C, 4% folate

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Alive Magazine (Complimentary copies of Alive are also available at Whole Foods and Choices.)

Thrifty Foods

Tre Stelle online (325 recipes are available on their website.  They also have a Facebook page.)

We’d love to hear from you so don’t be shy! You can comment about this posting using the comment function below or visit us at our Facebook page.

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