Another order came!

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Another order came!, originally uploaded by bad bad magpie.

Stumbled across this on Flickr – a real pleasant surprise. Thanks ‘bad bad magpie’

We had a great time at the Allergy and Gluten Free Show

It was really wonderful to meet you
It was really wonderful to meet you

The Allergy and Gluten Free Show was a great experience for us. It was really encouraging to chat with you at our stall (thanks for popping by). And it was pleasing that you weren’t shy in sharing your questions, knowledge or your frustrations about living on a restricted diet.

It was also good to hear how delighted you were with the range of different special diet products all on one shelf and we were very glad to answer your queries and receive your suggestions.

Of course the great thing about shows like these is sampling the new products, and we’ve got some answers there: I’m pleased to say the new Nairn’s gluten free porridge and muesli will be on our shelves soon and you can already order Kara’s dairy-free milk from us – a coconut milk suitable for anyone with lactose intolerance, or for vegans for that matter. And we want to look into some of the other unique foods we saw there too.

It goes without saying, we look forward to the next show!

In the meantime, if you do have any further questions please feel free to email us or give us a call on 0871 871 6611. Otherwise, happy shopping with GoodnessDirect.

Oregano, a herbal solution to candida

Did you know oregano is also a healing herb?

Research has looked into its ability to fight MRSA and a compound of oregano, carvacrol, is used to treat candida, a fungal infection.

Oregano: healing herb
Oregano: healing herb

Higher Nature now produce oregano oil in capsule form (30caps and 90caps bottles) as it is believed that the carvacrol content may support healthy bacterial flora for the stomach and intestines and bring comfort in digestion.

Oregano also has antioxidant properties and has been used to treat respiratory and bacterial complaints like bronchitis for centuries.

The benefits may also include a healthy immune system, respiratory tract, liver and heart, normal blood pressure, and strong, elastic blood vessels.

Dorset Cerals – Simplicity in a box

The best ever description of Dorset Cereals’ muesli has to be “yoghurt’s soul mate”.

Yoghurt's soul mate
Yoghurt's soul mate

Maybe you could think of others?

While most people will still, no doubt, just splash milk over the top there are lots more things you can do with muesli…

You can bake it into soda bread, slab it out as a base for a cheesecake, or add it as a tasty topping to apple crumble, make it into chocolate slices or morph it into flapjacks or muesli bars (oops, Dorset’s have already thought of that one).

I guess all this misses Dorset Cereals point though – they simply are what they are: good cereals made from natural ingredients, no additives and loved by vegetarians our fair isle over.

There is some experimentation, Dorsets do have a great range including a low fat flake version which is only 101 calories per bowl, mmmmm and a chocolate granola, and some extra tropical varieties.

But basically with Dorset’s you get exactly what it says on the box: “unadulterated breakfast pleasure”.

Now if you want to go a little more wild with it, it’s up to you…

Pasta galore! In more flavours than you could possibly think – recipe below

Forget fish and chips or curry, pasta is the nation’s favourite when it comes to choosing what to cook.

In many UK homes Italian food is served 2-3 times a week with “spag bol” in top position as the most cooked meal.

Pasta - everyone's favourite meal
Pasta - everyone's favourite meal

Imagine pasta salad with sun-dried tomatoes, rocket and walnuts; or goats cheese and honey ravioli; or creamy spinach and asparagus fettuccine – it all sounds soooo delicious, but if you have a friend with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) it’s immediately off the menu.

Still, IBS sufferers can eat pasta if it’s not made from traditional durum wheat. Biona have spaghetti, fusilli and tagliatelle all made from spelt, a more ancient grain which doesn’t effect people with IBS.

In fact pasta can be made from corn, rice, kamut, buckwheat, amaranth, millet or quinoa; vegetables are often used in pasta too.

Using other types of pasta also means a bigger range of flavour: nutty or sweet, firm or rich in texture. Choose the right kind of pasta and you really can amplify how your dinner will taste.

Here’s a buckwheat pasta recipe called Pizzoccheri – it’s a great comfort food.

125g butter
1/2 teaspoon of dried sage
2 cloves of crushed garlic
2 medium potatoes, cubed
300g dried buckwheat pasta
1 small savoy cabbage
100g brie sliced
100g grated mature cheddar
50g grated parmesan
salt and pepper
a pinch ground nutmeg

1. In a small pan, melt the butter together with the cloves of garlic and the sage. Keep on a low heat so it does not burn.
2. Cook the pasta in boliling water for about 15 minutes (buckwheat pasta takes longer then normal pasta).
3. At the same time boil a second pan of salted water. Shred the cabbage leaves and blanch for 1 minute. Drain and place in a large serving dish. Keep the pan of water.
4. Add the potatoes to the same water and boil until very tender (about 10 minutes). Drain and add to cabbage.
5. When the pasta is cooked to al dente. Drain and toss in with the cabbage and potatoes. Mix in the cheeses.
6. Pour the butter over the top of the pasta and season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Gluten-free pasta

When it comes to gluten-free the Italians are well educated about Ceoliac disease. All Italian children are tested for gluten intolerance by the time they are 6.

We get a little benefit of their know-how with companies like Buontempo who price their gluten-free pasta at very competitive prices. And our very own Doves, the British purveyor of organic and gluten-free flours, has an organic gluten-free pasta range where the pasta is made in… well Italy, obviously.

There are so many pasta companies out there who are worthy of a mention. Barkat, for example, is a special diet company who have just introduced it’s own gluten-free macaroni.

The best thing to do is to type ‘pasta‘ into the GoodnessDirect search box and then use the brand guide on the right to check through the different options.

Ceoliac Awareness Week – Win The Comple Guide to Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Cooking

To highlight Ceoliac Awareness Week (10-16 May) I’ve got 5 copies of The Complete Guide to Gluten Free and Dairy Free Cooking to give away.

Inside there are 200 recipes to accompany advice on allergy sensitivity, nutrition and, of course, cooking yummy food.

I think the author, Glenis Lucas, has covered a wide range of cooking situations in this book. And this is your chance to do so too – so if you want to win send me an email (with your name and address) and I’ll put your name in the draw.

This year’s campaign is all about highlighting how restaurants and the catering sector will be effected by the new law concerning gluten-free food. If you eat gluten-free why not have a chat with your favourite restaurant chef about the challenges of cooking foods without gluten.

All the benefits of wheatgrass in a bottle

Don’t you love it when some clever fella invents something to take all the hard work out of an issue? Over in Germany a drink is currently being developing which is high in Omega 3, that means people who cannot consume fish (like me) will have another rich source of this essential fatty acid.

Wheatgrass Cocktail
Wheatgrass Cocktail

It’s tenuous to connect this breakthrough with Rabenhorst’s array of healthy drinks, but I hope they take on the idea.

Already the producers of organic drinks of cherry, cranberry, beetroot and prune juice, the traditional company are now making a wheatgrass drink. That means you can get all the benefits of wheatgrass: purer blood, less toxins, less eczema and psoriasis, improved digestion and lower blood-pressure – all in a cup without having to squeeze the wheatgrass yourself – and they’ve mixed in green-tea and spirulina for a delicious healthy breakfast drink.

Rabenhorst have been producing quality fruit juices for over 200 years and last year won an international award for innovation in beverages.