For dieters: Japanese zero-calorie Konnyaku

Sometimes, writing about food can be very challenging.

zero calorie Konnyaku is great for a weight loss diet

Zero-calorie Konnyaku is a Japanese delicacy

For example: How do you describe that packet of biscuits you’ve been too busy enjoying to make any sensible notes about (it’s happened).

Or what about something you’ve tasted that is disgusting but you really need to say something nice about it? (I am diplomatically honest.)

And then there are the foods you haven’t a clue where to begin writing about…

Japanese Konnyaku or Konjac is just such an example. It’s a traditional low calorie gluten free delicacy according to one source, but not being schooled in the Japanese art of cooking I can’t imagine. Lovers of sushi will know it immediately or if you’ve been to a Wagamama restaurant you may recognise the name as it’s often served as noodles.

However, rather than try to convince you how delicious it is, I’d rather direct you to a wonderful blog (with far better pictures) written by Chichi Wang who knows exactly why Konnyaku makes such a good meal, especially if you’re on a diet.

If you’re already sold on the stuff, and the zero-calorie food must have its merits, then you’ll be eager to know that GoodnessDirect have both brown and white blocks of Konnyaku made by Yutaka, as well as Shirataki noodles, again in brown or white.

Let me know what you think. I’m off to locate a Japanese restaurant.

Good nutrition starts with muesli for breakfast

If you’re not taking multivitamins where do you get your minerals from?

Truth be told, vitamins are fairly easy to come by but, for minerals, it’s a little more tricky. Try taking this test to see how well you are doing.

I fail miserably when it comes to eating nuts and seeds which is a shame considering how plentiful source of copper and zinc they are.

Muesli is a great source of vitamins and minerals at breakfast time

Good nutrition starts at breakfast with a bowl of muesli

One solution may be for me to have a daily bowl of muesli. Take Dorset Cereal’s new Lighter Crunch muesli for example. Their new Tasty Toasted Hazelnut & Brazil Muesli comes with hazelnuts, almonds and brazils and their Tasty Toasted Raspberry and Apple includes sunflower seeds in the ingredients.

The lighter texture and crunch means you won’t spend all your time chewing; so you can munch through a bowl in the same way you would corn flakes or bran flakes.

Plus, it saves all the hassle of adding sugary toppings to your ‘healthy’ porridge. In fact, muesli is more nutritious; all you have to do is decide if you feel a little fruity or nutty each breakfast time?

BREAKFAST RESEARCH

Don’t just take my word for it. According to the research paper “Is Muesli a Healthy Breakfast Choice?” by dietitian, Dr Carrie Ruxton, muesli is an excellent source of key nutrients which are often too low the UK diet (particularly including iron, potassium, zinc, selenium, vitamin E and folate).

Dr Ruxton writes: “Muesli is surprisingly rich in many valuable nutrients and can deliver a veritable cocktail of vitamins and minerals to start the day. The iron content was a beneficial result as up to 40% of women in the UK don’t eat enough iron in the diet, putting themselves at risk of fatigue and poor concentration. Starting the day with muesli could be a good way to top up on iron before a day in the office or school”.

 

 

Calling all Vegans – Complete Protein sources here

If you’re a vegan, did you know that a peanut butter sandwich is a fantastic combination for a source of complete protein? (Provided you use wholemeal bread.)

Or how about rice and peas, or humus and pita bread?

Most vegans know that protein is abundantly available in lots of foods, however the real challenge is to make sure you mix up your daily menu to get the range of proteins into your diet. It’s easy to just rely on tofu but there’s lots more out there, especially if you mix and match.

Quinoa  - a vegan and gluten free source of complete protein

Quinoa is a great vegan source of  vitamins, minerals and protein

Give Quinoa a Try

Quinoa (keen-wa) is well known as a complete protein and is super nutritious, but few use it because they don’t know how to cook it properly (the secret is to rinse and soak first).

Fortunately, you can use Express Quinoa which comes ready to eat hot or cold. (For hot, simply pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes.)

Naturally gluten free and organic, Alice & Oscar’s Quinola Mothergrain make both a quick-cook red & white quinoa or black & white quinoa to try – depending on how you like your quinoa to taste. They also have the individual quinoa grains available in nutty red, crunchy black or smooth white for those who know they can cook up a proper dish of quinoa without any trouble.

Discover them all at GoodnessDirect.

 

Organic feminine hygiene – healthier by nature

If you’re looking for healthier and more eco-friendly purchases for your bathroom cabinet, it’s worth knowing about Natracare.

They were the creators of the world’s first certified organic cotton tampon and they’re still just as passionate about the availability of ethical sanitary products for women today.

All Natracare products come with a soft 100% certified organic cotton cover, allowing the skin to breathe and avoid irritation. They are always chlorine free, free from plastics, perfumes and biodegradable.

natracare organic cotton sanitary pads for feminine hygiene

Organic and natural hygiene

Natracare’s new “Ultra Extra” sanitary pads offer a whole new level of performance and protection. The pads slim line shape and convenient, individually wrapped paper pockets are discreet and practical. Each pad is double layered for extra absorbency and comfort combining a natural absorbent core and a soft cushioned layer.

Another new addition to their range is the Long Panty Liner. With extra length for added coverage it is ideal for those who require more protection. The Long Panty Liners also come individually wrapped, making them convenient when on the go.

For more of Natracare’s 100% organic solutions visit GoodnessDirect.

New Montezuma chocolates include vegan and gluten free options

For all you Montezuma’s Chocolate fans out there, the British chocolatiers have some new flavours to try.

New Montezuma chocolates including vegan or gluten free options

From the outside the most exciting thing are the names… A piece of “Peeling Amorous” anyone? But it’s when you unwrap the chocolate bar that the fun really begins.

Covering the spectrum from white to dark, Montezuma’s proudly introduce:

  • Charlie’s Luck – A vegan dark chocolate with spiced peanuts, made all the more intriguing by the use of ginger and chilli, also gluten free
  • Open Sesame – Milk chocolate flavoured with caramelised sesame and sunflower seeds offers a more rounded, slightly nutty mouth-feel for your chocolate moments
  • Peeling Amorous – the humourously named white chocolate bar with a zing of lemon and sour cherries is even more loveable for its gluten free credentials

The creators of these chocolates are obviously having too much fun and it’s only merciful that you join them in their chocolate madness.

Favourite celebrity ketchup is gluten-free & organic

How can something so simple as sharing a bag of chips result in an argument?

Okay, it was more of a friendly debate, but the people in my office were certainly split over the subject.

The all-important question was: Which ketchup tasted better with chips – the everyday supermarket ketchup or Mr Organic’s premium ketchup?

I’ll immediately declare my interests and say that I prefer Mr Organic, but some of my (ahem…) colleagues really do prefer a lifeless, high sugar, vinegary sauce for their chips.

Me? I like to taste real tomato when I dip that chip… And I’m not the only one…

organic tomato ketchup

For connoisseurs of ketchup

Rumour has it that a certain campaigning celebrity chef has started buying Mr Organic Tomato Ketchup for his restaurants around the world. That’s not surprising when you consider that Mr Organic use 5 times more tomatoes in their bottles than certain leading brands – organic tomatoes of course.

Now, to add fire to the debate, Mr Organic have introduced a Chilli Ketchup and a Smoky Ketchup. They’re still Italian, still very ethical and certainly more delicious than those boring mainstream brands, and they’re gluten free.

For more Italian organic sauces, oils, pestos and pasta, and even cans of quality baked beans, check out Mr Organic at GoodnessDirect.

 

Qcumber – the coolest of Summer drinks

Qcumber summer drink

Be cool with a Qcumber drink this Summer

There’s a reason why they say ‘as cool as a cucumber’…

Not only can a few slices act as a cooling balm to overheated skin, it can freshen your breath or even cure your hangover.

With all those lifestyle benefits it’s not surprising that someone’s innovated Qcumber sparkling water, the newest party drink for the Summer of 2014.

Enjoy it as a mixer with gin or even on its own – some say it tastes like a non-alcoholic Pimms or a slightly intense Elderflower cordial.

Made only with natural ingredients, including cucumber of course, Qcumber is pretty low in calories too making it the ideal summer drink.

With a glass of Qcumber in your hand you’ll not only be refreshed you’ll feel unique. Try it in it’s Original flavour or with a hint of mint.