New Eco-friendly washing up liquid from Sweden

washing up

Opt for eco-friendly washing up liquids

Most people in the UK still choose to wash up by hand rather than use a dishwasher.*

So, if you prefer to put on the Marigolds, you might appreciate knowing which washing up liquids are the most eco-friendly.

Bad news

Here’s the rather unshocking news… Think of a leading brand of washing up liquid and it probably isn’t that good for the environment.

Dishing up the dirty, a report by the Ethical Consumer website surveys the best and the worst environmentally washing up liquids.

Everyone wants their washing liquid to effectively clean the dishes but we also want something that won’t damage the environment.

When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, it’s best to have a liquid that uses plant-based materials which are biodegradeable and good for your skin. A concentrated formula that cuts through grease and still last a long time is just as important.

If You Care Natural Dish Liquid is a new and very concentrated eco-friendly washing up liquid, made with plant cleaning agents. It is non-toxic and designed to have minimal impact on our rivers.

Good for your hands?

The good news is that If You Care’s liquid is also naturally good for your hands. Both the Lavender and perfume free versions are hypoallergenic. But if you have any doubt, the Swedish company also make ethical washing up gloves made with fairly traded rubber.

There’s lots more If You Care cleaning and cooking products to choose from. For an ethical kitchen, see the whole range at GoodnessDirect.

*Mintel Dishwashing Detergents report – UK – April 2011

Coconut Butter the easy way

If you love experimenting with baking or prefer to use dairy-free ingredient then you’re bound to have heard of coconut butter.

Or, it could simply be that you love it in your smoothies or use coconut butter as part of a paleo or vegan diet.

You may be none of these things, but it should still intrigue you to know that Biona Organic have named their new product Coconut Bliss.

why is coconut butter so good?

organic coconut butter

Enjoy as a spread, in cooking or in a smoothie

It’s no surprise. Coconut Butter is so tasty people eat it straight off the spoon. Doctors have even suggested coconut butter is a good thing to feed to babies. The coconut’s rich supply of Lauric acid, one of the main nutrients in human breast milk, helps protect the child against fungal and viral infections and builds a natural immunity.

It works for adults too. But most will love coconut butter for its heavenly taste.

You can do anything with coconut butter you might do with peanut butter or almond butter. Make fudge with it, mix it into mashed potatoes, stir in some cocoa and spread it on toast, even drizzle it melted over ice cream. For more ideas, check out the blog 25 ways to use coconut butter.

And if you’re confused about the different forms of coconut ingredient The Ultimate Guide to Everything Coconut blog will tell you more. There’s a really useful guide to the difference between coconut butter, oil, milk, cream, water, nectar and flour.

making coconut butter is possible but…

It is possible to make coconut butter from desiccated coconut but you need a powerful blender to do so. When you need some organic coconut butter quick, Biona’s Coconut Bliss spread is perfect for the job. Just pick up a jar from GoodnessDirect.

A cup of coffee kisses – coconut mocha style

If you’re a fan of Coco Cafe Latte, then you’re going to love this…

cafe latte mocha

Creamy and chocolatey Vita Coco

The first time I came across the concept of an iced coffee coconut latte I couldn’t wait to try it.

The drink is smooth and luxurious, like a healthy milkshake and espresso mixed up in one. As it’s low in calories with a little caffeine boost, Coco Cafe is my first choice if I need a drink on the move.

How could anything like this be improved? Add chocolate, of course!

Vita Coco Mocha Coco Cafe is the latest innovation from the coconut water company. It’s just as blissful as the original Coco Cafe Latte and testament to how popular the drinks are proving to be.

If you haven’t already, I recommend you try it before being bedazzled by all the wonderful choices… rumour has it that there’s a vanilla version out there somewhere too.

The clarity of this honey is amazing – raw, cold extracted, organic

I don’t normally get excited about honey. But you have to see the colours in these honeys in real life to truly appreciate them.

raw organic cold extracted honey

Never heated above the temperature of the hive

Perhaps it is because they are raw – never heated above 42°, or perhaps it because they are organic, but each bottle of Raw Health’s squeezy honey simply resonates with colour, like glasses of fine wine.

Raw Health say they never heat the honey above the temperature of the beehive which is even less than 42°; it is never pasteurised and they cold extract their honey meaning it keeps all of its nutrients, colour and, most importantly, taste.

Some even say that the taste of cold extracted honey is alive. It has a vibrancy about it we never get to taste in poorly processed honeys.

If the colour of Raw Health’s Pure Blossom, Acacia Flower, Tropical Forest and Maya honeys are anything to go by… then you are in for a wonderful new experience.

The secrets of centuries of wisdom in your perfect cup of tea

Strange isn’t it…

Thousands of years of Chinese wisdom have gone into the development of the perfect cup of tea.

And all we Brits do is stick it in a bag and pour on some boiling water.

The full extent of our Western understanding seems to be whether we add the milk first or last (read The Guardian’s latest report – it’s actually quite interesting).

Birt&Tang take a different approach. The recipes for all their teas are Chinese secrets, but they are developed to suit the modern Western lifestyle.

perfect teas from Birt and Tang

Chinese wisdom for the Western lifestyle

So, the tea makers blend green tea with dandelion for detox, ginger and pu’er for stimulation, mulberry and liquorice for health and chrysanthemum and lily for relaxation.

There are plain recipes too, such as the Oolong tea, made simply from gently roasted tea shoots and developed over centuries to aid weight loss. It has nothing of the complexity of the other blends yet it reflects that same genius of the Orient, creating a perfect tea, midway between green and black.

All the teas are made with 100% natural products using organic ingredients where possible. Yet in the end, what makes Birt&Tang’s tea so attractive is that, while each mysterious flavour is an alternative to our traditional tea, all of them are designed to meet you in your everyday need.

Flavoured, nutritious seeds – more snack, less salt

As a meat eater, I often feel slightly guilty when I see my vegetarian wife scattering nuts and seeds on her lunch.

Do you ever feel the same?

There’s always this nagging feeling that my food should be more nutritious. Instead of snacking on high salt, high sugar, fatty foods, the humble seed offers a power packed alternative.

Seeds have lots of health benefits and can even boost your immunity. They are full of minerals like iron and zinc and, even though they are full of energy, they are low in saturated fat.

nutritious snack food Superseed

Far more nutritious than most other snacks that come in a tube

So, when you’re reaching for that next snack, try Superseeds – little clusters of snack heaven fused together with natural exotic flavours. Each mini-bundle of seeds is bursting with taste and cries out for you to pop it in your mouth. Plus, they’re totally guilt free, being 100% organic, raw and vegan (and gluten-free, of course).

There’s a variety of flavours to try (with some interesting names too):
■ Feel the Heat, Smoked Paprika & Cayenne Pepper Seed Mix
■ Meet Your Maca, Peruvian Maca Seasoned Seed Mix
■ Mega Omega, Japanese Tamari with Linseed & Sesame Seed Mix
■ Raw Cocoa Boost, Chocolate & Coconut Seed Mix

Superseeds make a great alternative to all the salty, sugary, fatty foods out there. Keep a pack of nutritious seeds in your drawer and you need never feel guilty again.

Get excited about breakfast again with free-from granola

Do you ever get bored with breakfast cereals?

The sheer tedium of eating the same thing every day? If you’re on a free-from diet then the options are even more limited.

So, thanks to Big Oz for making free-from breakfasts a little more exciting.

Their gluten-free and dairy-free range now includes luxury granolas.

granola free from cereal from Big Oz

Make it a good day

The Topical Fruits Granola mixes honey baked oat cluster with coconut, mango and pineapple pieces and the Red Berry Granola includes raspberries and strawberries.

Breakfast needn’t be a trial when you have something to brighten up your day.

As free-from cereal makers, Big Oz make a lot more besides granola, from organic buckwheat flour to corn puffs, so take a look at their range and discover more free-from excitement to begin your day.