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Healthtree Gourmet Kitchen serves up certified goodness

Healthtree Gourmet Kitchen serves up certified goodness

Healthtree Gourmet Kitchen sunshine juice

It’s a dream come true – fast food that’s healthy for you! Healthree’s Gourmet Kitchen makes healthy meals from scratch, catering to a wide variety of diets including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and raw.

Here you’ll find the West Island’s only certified organic juice bar, serving up delicious organic juices with names like Sunshine, Vitality and Refresh – there’s a Chunky Monkey too. Certified organic by Ecocert Canada, Healthtree juices had to meet high standards before being labelled Ecocert certified.

Start your day with a muffin and a juice – great coffee is available too (organic, fair trade and shade grown, it’s the best coffee by far)! For lunch and supper, choose from Gourmet’s wholesome soups, a colourful array of nutritious salads (you can try several in one serving), vegetarian rice wraps with peanut butter sauce, tortilla wraps full of chicken and vegetables, lasagne and more.

Even desserts here can be healthy. Gluten free brownies and cookies taste just as good as the originals and Gourmet’s raw Heartbreak Brownie will have you convinced healthy can be delicious. For a nutritious, satisfying snack, the raw pecan bites are perfect for a mid-morning or afternoon break.

Carved out of a seemingly full store, the Gourmet Kitchen quickly became a favourite with customers and a focal point for new customers exploring the store. Gourmet meals are made with fresh ingredients from the store such as the fruits and vegetables in Healthtree’s 100% organic produce section. Their kitchen only uses produce from the store and if it’s not organic, it’s refused at the door.

Organic production is based on sustainable principles that are healthy for people, animals and the environment such as using natural ingredients, protecting fresh water sources, ensuring biological diversity and maintaining soil fertility for years to come.

To be certified organic, a product must meet the following criteria:

  • No synthetic pesticides
  • No synthetic preservatives
  • No chemical fertilizers
  • No hormones or antibiotics
  • No genetically modified organisms (GMO’s)
  • Humane treatment of animals
  • Preservation of ecological integrity

Here’s how certification works. Ecocert Canada awards certification by item so rather than providing organic certification to Healthtree’s Gourmet Kitchen as a whole, Healthtree has to send their Gourmet items to Ecocert instead. The kitchen passed Ecocert inspection and is qualified to create organic dishes but the Ecocert Canada seal only applies to the items they have inspected and approved. Once approved, Healthtree has to always make it that way; if variations of the recipe are desired, then each of those variations has to be certified separately. Confused yet?!

It’s all about accountability and tracing food back to its source. Organic food has to be received in shipping, entered into the inventory tracking system, put in a dated bin and used in a dated recipe. Upon inspection by Ecocert Canada, they have to be able to check it back to the invoice and go back to the supplier to verify the sale and so on, to go right back to the source to ensure its organic.

If Healthtree can’t get an organic ingredient for one of their Gourmet recipes, they will use a product that is produced with organic practices, but hasn’t yet been certified organic. On each Gourmet label, the ingredients are always listed and organic ingredients are identified with a star.

The bottom line is ingredients you can see and goodness you can trust. Healthtree’s Gourmet meals are as notable for what’s not in them (preservatives & chemicals) as what is in them – fresh, natural and organic ingredients… and love! Come in to Healthtree and taste how great healthy fast food can be.