City Girl Meets the Combine

The following post is from guest blogger Michelle J. Kwan.  Michelle attended Be Well Camp with us in the fall of 2013.

Here’s what she has to share with us about her experience plus her very own Apple Cake recipe that was inspired by the tour.

A New View

Canola Harvest in field | www.canolaeatwell.comAs someone who grew up in suburban Toronto, Ontario, visiting the farming community in Russell, Manitoba was quite an eye-opening experience for me.

The big blue sky, fresh, crisp air and vast acres of wheat and canola are a sharp contrast to the multiple vehicles on the city roads and houses neatly arranged in the suburban lifestyle.

Combine Cruising

Michelle Kwan Combine | www.canolaeatwell.comDuring the tour with #BeWellCamp, I never dreamed I would be able to drive a combine.

A city girl with no skills in operating farming equipment, it was a wonderful opportunity to get to drive a combine during harvest season!

The trust and hospitality from the Orsak family to invite us to experience their family farm was immensely appreciated.

Harvest Inspiration

Apples in the Orchard | www.canolaeatwell.comAs an avid baker who got to experience a taste of harvesting canola, I could only think of what to bake with fresh canola oil.

Combined with the fall harvest of one of my favourite fruits – apples! I came up with an Apple Cake recipe (below).

I personally like to keep the skin on the apples for extra fibre and nutrients, but you are welcome to peel them before dicing.

Eat Well…Michelle

Apple Cake

Apple Cake Recipe |

2 cups diced apples (about 2 apples)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (reserve 1 tsp for apples)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp orange zest (from the two oranges)
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325ºF. Oil and flour a 9×5” cake pan.

Toss apples in 1 tsp cinnamon and set aside.

Combine flours, baking powder, salt, remaining cinnamon and orange zest and set aside.

In a large bowl, whip eggs until frothy. Add canola oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla extract; mix well.

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until thoroughly combined.

Fold in the apples with cinnamon. Pour into prepared cake pan.

Bake for 50 minutes. Cool on rack for 5 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely.

Michelle Kwan in Wheat |


Michelle J. Kwan is a Nutrition Professional with a creative twist! She’s also a TEDx speaker, beagle owner and food lover.

Follow Michelle @NutritionArtist.

Michelle attended the Manitoba Canola Growers Be Well Camp in the fall of 2013.

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