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Monday, January 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Let infused food warm you up this winter

This is the time of year when our wardrobe turns to sweaters and boots, and our appetite turns to pumpkin spice, peppermint and other warm fall/winter-y comfort food. And if you’re into cannabis, you may want to consider trying comfort edibles.

While it’s easy to think first of traditional treats like cookies or brownies, infused soups, pasta dishes and other heartier items may be appealing, especially if you lack a sweet tooth.

Even though most local cannabis retailers generally stock more of the sweet stuff, most of them also are including items to spice up your own recipes, including oils, butters, and well, spices.

“One of the very first products I came up with at Blue Roots was infused sea salt,” said Stephanie Lamb, local foodie, self-proclaimed “infusion innovator,” blogger, chef, and research and development guru at Blue Roots Cannabis in Airway Heights. “It gives you the versatility to turn anything into an edible without adding oils.”

Limiting the use of oils is important to people with dietary restrictions or those trying to eat healthy, as most foods already have fat or oil in them. Depending on what you are cooking, or your preferences, there are different forms of cannabis that work better with different recipes.

For instance, Lamb doesn’t like the strong taste of marijuana.

“When I see people dumping an ounce of cannabis in a cup of butter, I know it’s not going to taste good,” she said.

For people like her, distillate, an odorless, tasteless extract of cannabis obtained using high heat, works well in some recipes. Other recipes taste better if a fatty source of marijuana is used.

“In soup I use oil or canna butter,” Lamb said. She has also made infused pasta and says it was a big success.

If you are making something with flower and will be able to taste the weed, Lamb recommends a couple flavor combinations that she says go really well together. For savory dishes, she suggests citrus or acidic flavors; for sweets, Lamb says while marijuana complements gingery flavors.

Lamb’s tip, if you do try your hand at making your own edibles, to start by researching dosing.

“You don’t want to have a bad experience with a 100 milligram brownie. … Most people know how many glasses of wine they need to feel the desired effect, and cannabis is the same way.”

She suggests looking online for sources and calculators that guide how much pot to use in cooking or baking.

“The internet has everything … there are plenty of online places that have the basics of how to infuse and other (cannabis) options out there besides flower.”

Some websites she follows include sousweed.com and jeffthe420chef.com. Lamb documents her own recipes on Instagram (@LilacCityLamb) and her website, eatdrinkweed.com.

Lamb is also talking with a local restaurant about putting on a CBD-infused dinner sometime this winter. CBD is a natural compound found in cannabis that helps with pain relief and relaxation but doesn’t provide intoxicating effects.

If you don’t want to do the work to infuse your own ingredients but do want to make everyday foods into edibles, there are lots of options. Many recipes call for olive oil. Sativa Sisters in Spokane Valley and other stores sell infused olive oil at $30 for 400 milligrams.

Canna butter is also widely available for recipes that call for butter, which can be purchased or made.

No matter what kind of edible you are making, keep in mind that the THC can cook off if not cooked properly. Then you’ll just be having non-infused food.

“I try not to cook over 350 degrees for more than 20 minutes,” Lamb said. This is because THC is “activated” by heat, which provides the high you get from cannabis. Activate it too soon before eating and the effect is lessened, leaving you more sleepy than anything.

If you just don’t have time to cook your own creations, or cooking isn’t your thing, there are also pre-prepared options.

The American Baked Co. sells an infused tomato basil soup mix that only requires you to add hot water. Smokane on east Sprague in Spokane carries American Baked Co. products or go to americanbakedco.com for more information.

Another option is Infuse Your Noodle, a box of 10 10-milligram packages of seasoning mix that makes ramen into an edible.

“You just swap the packet that comes with the ramen for the infused one,” said Ty Krohn of Pend Oreille Cannabis in Ione. “I’ve also got seasoning salt you can put on anything for $15.”

Another favorite this time of year is apple cider and you can even find it infused with cannabis. Happy Apple Ciders, made with Washington apples, can be bought at Lovely Buds on north Division in Spokane.

Infused coffee is also available at many local pot shops, including K cups to put in your single-cup coffee maker. Because what’s better than combining the two things that make your day better?

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