Any time is good enough for Green & Black’s organic cocoa

organic fairtrade green & black's hot chocolate cocoa

It’s always a good time for a cocoa.

I know it’s not winter yet, so why am I constantly feeling in need of a hot chocolate drink?

It probably does have something to do with the recent drop in temperature, but I don’t need much excuse to enjoy a good cup of cocoa. I’ll happily slip a little chocolate powder into my morning cup of coffee just to get me started!

However, there are some cocoa powders which deserve to be enjoyed just as they are, especially Green & Black’s Organic Hot Chocolate Drink.

Green & Black's organic Cocoa

Almost a delicacy! Green & Black’s organic Cocoa

Whether you’re drinking it with hot milk or using boiled water the taste is luxurious, full of depth, rich and very chocolatey. It’s not too sweet which allows for other subtleties of flavour with the tiniest bitter bite that every cup of cocoa should have.

The short list of ingredients is another hint of the chocolate’s quality, as is the fact that it is fairtrade and organic. But, if you’re a chocoholic like me, you probably don’t need much reason to grab yourself a jar of this upmarket cocoa. Simply promise me that you won’t waste it in your coffee.

Taste the exotic with Goldenberry Juice

goldenberries

Goldenberry aka the Ground Cherry

Some people can’t get enough of these: Physalis  - the sweet goldenberry that bursts with flavour in your mouth.

I’ve read one addict describe it as “a cross between mango and butterscotch candy.” While I wouldn’t go that far, the fondness many have for their exotic sweetness is reflected in names such as ground cherry, Inca berry, cape gooseberry and Chinese or Japanese lanterns.

Whatever name you prefer, the paper-leaf cased jewels have more fibre than prunes and more potassium than bananas. They’re high in antioxidants and vitamins and they grow surprisingly well in the UK.

Better still, the goldenberries make a wonderful light juice which is not only light on calories but tastes good too.

Goldenberry juice

Healthy and delicious Goldenberry Juice

Celebrity professor, Dr Oz wrote that,

“Goldenberries are my number one recommendation for those looking to lose weight. The goldenberry is loaded with B vitamins that are essential for maintaining a healthy metabolism. This superfood will be sure to help you whittle away any unwanted fat!”

You can read positive reviews of Terrafertil’s Goldenberry Juice and dried fruits on their Twitter page.

Grown to perfection in the Andean Mountains of South America, Terrefertil work in a sustainable partnership with local farmers to ensure that investment goes back into their communities and you get to ensure the same magical taste.

Find your new passion with Terrafertil’s Goldenberrry Juice.

 

Help for vegan chocolate lovers

Being a chocoholic and a vegan isn’t easy.

There are lots of dairy-free chocolates out there, but if you want something that doesn’t taste too oily or bitter, then the choices begin to thin out a little.

One chocolate brand offers us hope! Conscious Chocolate.

Raw Conscious Chocolate

These heroes of the raw chocolateer community have stayed true to the same high standards since their first hand-made bars were introduced 10 years ago. Since then, they’ve refined the flavours, but continue to use quality, organic, raw and usually wild ingredients to give you the best melt-in-your-mouth chocolate experience.

Some folk even say it’s the healthiest chocolate bar around, and there’s chocolate for every crisis whether you need a Love Potion, a Mint Hint or you just want to be Wild At Heart.

And, no, it’s not too sweet or bitter. Conscious Chocolate has a soft, elegant flavour, something like eating a solid bar of truffles.

Healthy Vegan Chocolate?

Raw cocoa is recognised as a superfood with its antioxidants, magnesium, iron and calcium, so Conscious Chocolate uses preserves the nutrients by using sun dried, rather than roasted cocoa in its ingredients.

In addition to being vegan, Conscious Chocolates are gluten-free, soya-free, low GI and free from refined sugars. The chocolate makers fiercely defend the benefits of the agave syrup they use, reminding us that their chocolates have less calories because agave is doubly sweet.

What is certain is that Conscious Chocolate remains a premium chocolate bar – something your tastebuds will thank you for and, with a huge range of flavours to choose from, chocoholics won’t be disappointed.

Know the story behind your Fairtrade tea

When you relax with that first cup of the day, do you know what you are drinking?

One Acre tea has a story hidden behind the name.

fairtrade teas from cafe direct

Garden teas from Fairtrade farmers

Every sip you drink is seeped in the care and cultivation of a garden-farmer somewhere on the Bushenyi Hills of Uganda, around the Rungwe volcano in Tanzania or the down Rukuriri Valley in Kenya.

Each farmer looks after land no bigger than a half a football pitch, which means every leaf on every bush has been carefully nurtured to bring you the best cup of tea you can enjoy in the morning.

Not surprising when you realise that the fairtrade tea brand, CafeDirect, ensure that 50% of the profit goes back into the farmer’s pocket.

It also means the tea is distinctive. The Ugandan tea is rich in colour and full of character; the Tanzanian leaf benefits from fertile soil to produce deeper flavour; and the highland climate of the Kenyan tea is bright and not too strong.

There’s a craftmanship in these teas that you can taste, which is why they have such unique packaging – One Acre want you to know that you’re drinking quality.

To see CafeDirect’s entire range of teas, coffee and cocoa, visit GoodnessDirect.

 

Not all gluten-free pasta is equal

We’re not boasting. But some gluten-free pasta is better than others. And some people think this is the best gluten-free spaghetti around…

organic quinoa gluten-free pasta

Better than normal spaghetti

I know, you may well say spaghetti is just spaghetti but, if you’re up for trying new foods then I think you’ll appreciate the bite and taste of BioFair’s organic gluten-free version.

Some even say it is better than normal spaghetti.

The difference is the use of the superfood quinoa mixed with rice flour. In my opinion, the magic touch comes from the high protein content in quinoa, which gives it a more enjoyable mouth-feel. The cooked result is certainly not over-starchy, as you’ll find with many gluten-free pastas. Another advantage is that it’s suitable for those who have to stay corn free (or just can’t stand the taste).

For an enjoyable meal, serve it with sautéed tomatoes, aubergine, red onion, sweet pepper courgettes and mushrooms, tossed in truffle oil or worcester sauce.

You’ll find Biofair Fair Trade Rice Quinoa Spaghetti on the non-wheat pasta shelf at GoodnessDirect.

 

 

For healthy packed lunches – try Coconut Water

Soon, summer will be over and the kids will be back into the school routine (Yay! er… I mean, ‘poor things’.)

But what about all the school rules on drinks? It seems at times that the only drink schools will allow is water. However, many do still permit fruit juice, milk or squash.

Vita Coco coconut water

A healthier choice

Choosing healthy packed lunch drinks

The trouble with these options are that often children don’t like to drink water or milk, while fruit juice is full of sugar and squash often full of preservatives. So what do you do?

Vita Coco believe they have a healthier answer with a coconut range aimed at children. Their coconut water has no added sugar, no artificial colourings and preservatives and is never made from concentrate.

Instead they mix pure coconut water with water (36%) and grape juice (25%). The result is a fruity drink at only 22 calories per 100ml - half the calories of apple juice and far less than orange juice. Two flavours are available in 4 pack or 16 pack boxes: Coconut water with apple & blackcurrant or Coconut water with mango & pineapple.

Making the right choices for your child’s lunchbox means is important. By picking healthier options you can make sure your children get all the nutrition they need. For some great ideas, visit NetMums’ Lunchbox page and try out Vita Coco from GoodnessDirect.

Cinnamon & Ginger Brown Rice Puff Cereal (gluten free)

Cinnamon Ginger Puffed Rice Baked Cereal

Brown Rice Puffs fromBrown rice puffs cereal Big Oz have been my recent breakfast inspiration. They are simple, nutritious and gluten free. I do like them just as they are but thought, with a little mixing and matching I could cook up something to inspire my mornings.

Quantities

Note: I’m a bit of a fan of the American way of volumetric cooking and so for ‘try it and see’ recipes of my own I use a small mug I have in the kitchen as a rough guide and am little vague on quantities. So just select your own cup or small mug and use the same one throughout and it will taste great.

These quantities should last you a working weeks worth of breakfast:

Ingredients:

1.5 cups puffed brown rice (I used Big Oz Brown Rice Puffs)
1 cups rolled oats (gluten free or not as you need)
0.5 cup sunflower seeds
0.25 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground ginger
0.5 teaspoon sea salt
Optional  – add coconut sugar or stevia, or Sweet Freedom for sweetness

What to do:

+ Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
+ Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
+ In a small bowl mix together maple syrup, coconut oil, and coconut sugar.
+ Heat on the hob or microwave for 1 minute or just until everything is melted.
+ In a large mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients.
+ Pour wet mixture in the large bowl with all the dry ingredients and stir until everything is coated.
+ Pour onto the baking tray and spread evenly.
+ Bake for 10 minutes, take out, stir, and check continuously
+ Continue baking until golden brown.
+ Cool for 10-20 minutes.
+ Store in an airtight container
+ Serve with the milk you prefer or as a snack.