What did we do before chocolate?
Well, there was sugared almonds and marzipan. We also had sugarplums, gingerbread, toffee and licorice.
One classic sweet seems to have lasted through the centuries and it’s basically a cake of roasted almonds and honey. The Spanish call it Turrón and the big advantage is that it is naturally dairy and gluten free. It is also low in cholesterol and, as such, offers a healthier sweet alternative.
Turrón from the artisan family business, Coloma Garcia
Coloma Garcia make an award winning turrón which makes an ideal Christmas treat. Their recipe involves orange honey blossom for a sweeter more sublime taste and softer bite.
There are more varieties to come too: with crunchy and glazed versions.
We are often asked about Manuka Honey. What is Manuka? What is the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF)? What is Non-Peroxide Activity, NPA? So here we have, from the horse’s mouth – Rowse Honey an updated definition of Manuka Honey.
03 December 2013
In the UK, Manuka is now the most well-known mono-floral honey, it is widely recognised and bought for its perceived health benefits derived from its antibacterial properties. This is why consumers are prepared to pay a significant premium vs. blended honeys. In the absence of approved health claims consumers need to be reassured as to Manuka’s authenticity, NPA (Non-Peroxide Activity) we believe is the only credible way of achieving this.
Manuka initially came to the attention of the UK consumer through the publicity of the work done by Professor P. Molan which identified an anti-bacterial property within Manuka. Professor Molan developed a test to measure the strength of this property. The term NPA was attached to this property in order to differentiate it from other honeys along with a rating e.g. 10+.
The level of NPA varies between different samples of Manuka honey. Genuine NPA Manuka has the presence of methylglyoxal (MGO) which is then converted into the activity rating system characterised by a number e.g. 5+, 10+, 15+. There is no difference between the UMF and Rowse NPA rating. Both NPA Manuka honey and UMF Manuka honey are tested in the same way i.e. presence of MGO.
In recent years a number of products have come onto the market playing on the word Manuka and in most cases attaching a rating to the product in an effort to lead the consumer to think that what they are buying has Manuka’s antibacterial property. In the UK we call these TA (Total Activity) honeys as they may have a level of peroxide activity and in some cases do not.
Rowse NPA Manuka Honey is sourced exclusively from New Zealand. We test each and every delivery at source before purchase in New Zealand, and on receipt at Rowse Honey in Wallingford Oxfordshire, to guarantee its NPA rating, ensuring that retailers and consumers receive what they pay for. Given the issues around Manuka’s definition, we have decided to fund and become a partner in a project with the UMF Honey Association and the NZ Government, the “Manuka ID Project”.
* UMFHA (Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association) is a trade association and to be a member amongst other requirements you have to physically pack the honey in New Zealand. Based in Oxfordshire, Rowse doesn’t meet the geographical requirements so even if we wished we are unable to use UMF on our label. UMF is a registered trademark associated with NZ packers under the umbrella of UMFHA.
**Definition Based on Pollen Count
While the industry in Europe takes pollen count into consideration in identifying mono-floral honeys there is general acceptance that pollen has flaws particularly in relation to Manuka. The main issue is that bees will take pollen & nectar from the source that is most plentiful at the time and therefore it does not mean that this source is the same. Manuka and Kanuka pollens are indistinguishable. The consumer buys Manuka for its antibacterial properties and not its pollen content.
Whenever my little brother visits we always get in the Nutella, some Coke and a pack of croissants.
No one else in the house eats these things, so it’s his special stash kept just for when he visits. It’s the same at my other brother’s house, I’ve seen it in their cupboard, a lonely chocolate spread waiting for my younger brother’s visitation – he probably has stocks of chocolate hazelnut stored all over the country.
Chocolate Spread for grown ups
But from now on I may have to disappoint him. I’ve just discovered Traidcraft’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread which I believe tastes richer than the alternative.
I’m not alone. The Cook Vegetarian review says,
“[It] beats your standard choc-nut spreads hands down as it is utterly delicious and also quite complex – it begins chocolately, then releases its sugariness, and finally unleashes a wonderful intense hazel nut flavour.”
So if you fancy a chocolate spread with a difference, especially one that openly promotes ethical values, try the Traidcraft Fairtrade version.
There could be disappointed younger brothers everywhere.
Magnesium is a really important nutrient for our bodies.
But did you know that 51% of teenage girls have a magnesium deficiency?
This is usually down to a poor diet through eating too many processed foods, though magnesium counts are also low among women who have particularly heavy periods.
Magnesium helps balance our hormones which is particularly useful for helping women through their monthly cycle. It also helps our bodies absorb vitamin D which we are also often deficient in.
Wassen supplements, especially for women
Wassen are a group who make a number of supplements helpful to women. Magnesium OK comes with folic acid and vitamin D to support women in their reproductive years. It is gluten and dairy free. In particular the supplement combines magnesium and zinc with vitamin B6 which all work to enable maintenance of hormonal balance.
Research has shown that a natural magnesium supplement could reduce premenstrual mood changes, significantly improve symptoms associated with fluid retention (including weight gain and bloating) and help treat PMT and premenstrual migraines.
Other Wassen products include Coenzyme Q10, Selenium and Silica.
Posted in Coeliac (Gluten-Free), Complementary Health, Dairy-Free, Women's Health
Tagged B6, deficiency, Folic Acid, Magnesium, monthly cycle, pmt, Vitamin D, Zinc
All natural Rooibos Tea
Sometimes you just need that special drink that touches the spot.
More often than not, it’s a cup of tea or maybe coffee in the morning.
But at other times, especially if you have a sniffle, tickly throat or need to calm your tummy down, then it should be a Rooibos Honey Lemon & Ginger.
Rooibos, otherwise known as Red Bush Tea, is touted for it’s own antioxidant rich health benefits, but the additional ginger helps with digestion while honey and lemon soothe the throat – places where potential illness often seem to linger.
For a caffeine free health boost try Tick Tock’s harmony of Rooibos, Ginger, Lemon and Honey.
The other day I was talking to an American (you know how particular Americans can be about their food).
He was trying to find a place to buy Paterson’s Oatcakes – no other oatcakes would do – it had to be Paterson’s.
For him they were superior in flavour to every other oatcake he’d tasted. Paterson’s, of course, would agree; they’ve been perfecting their oatcake since 1895.
Paterson’s – perfecting the oatcake since 1895
Without compromising in taste, Paterson’s have now switched to use sunflower oil to make an even healthier, lower saturated fat oatcake.
The result is an oatcake that is high in fibre but low in sugar, containing only 2.4% saturated fat.
I imagine my American friend will be whooping with joy.
Another innovation is an addition to the Paterson range – a triangle oatcake with a thicker, crunchier texture – making a more filling wholegrain nourishment for your evening snack, suitable for sweet or savoury toppings (particularly cheese or soup).
Smoothies are great, but here’s a tip: try to avoid making them too sweet. Doctors are worried about the increased risk of tooth decay and diabetes.
It seems a preference for lots of sugary fruit can detract from good health rather than add to it.
There’s lots more for smoothies besides bananas
There are many alternatives to the popular banana as a main ingredient for smoothies. Try using low fat greek yoghurt (as long as it has no added sugar) or, surprise, surprise, frozen spinach, for a creamier result.
Here’s another tip: superfoods for smoothies are easily available – Creative Nature have a big range of the most nutritious powdered foods for you to try. They’re organic and ethical in their dealings.
They stock a big range – just let your imagination take you away… useful foods such as apricot kernals, spirulina, goji berries, hemp and much more. Powerful foods sourced from remote regions of the earth where the soil is still nutrient rich and a belief in healing foods still abounds.