Toiletry range friendly to your kids, and the earth

It makes sense that by caring for the earth we should be caring for the ones we love most.

Simple ideas like that can revolutionise your life.

When you buy something to keep a baby clean it must never be dangerous to a child. And it’s logical that what we use for our children should never be a threat to the environment either.

That’s why, as much as possible, Earth Friendly Baby’s creams and wipes come from natural sources. Ingredients harvested from plants are chosen because they work in harmony with your body, and the earth. Artificial colouring or synthetic fragrances don’t get a look in.

A child’s bubble bath should be fun for everyone, including your peace of mind.

A baby cream should soothe and calm and bring inspiration to your conscience.

A child friendly handwash should keep germs at bay and help kids think about the world around them.

That’s the way a sensible life works.

Earth Friendly Baby and Kids products are made to help your family get the very best out of life – at a price everyone can afford.

The Vegetarian Society Awards 2010 – Short List

Here are the nominations for the Vegsoc Approved 2010 awards. Results are out in October. Good luck!

Best Convenience Food

Fry’s Vegetarian range (
Goodlife Fruity Falafel Burgers (
• Holland’s Cheese and Onion Pies (
Macsweens Vegetarian Haggis (
Quorn Mince (
Redwoods Ready to Eat Lincs Style Sausages (

Best Store Cupboard Ingredient

Doves Farm Baking Ingredients (
• Hendersons Relish (
• Marmite (
• MH Foods Parmazano (
Plamil Egg Free Mayonnaise (

Best Sweet Treat

Byron Bay Cookies Dotty (
• Deans of Huntly Traditional Shortbread (
Goody Good Stuff Sweets (
• Millions Sweets (
Swedish Glace Dairy Free Dessert (
Styles Slim Ewe Iced Dessert (

Best Beer

• Batemans XXXB (
• Cairngorm Brewery Black Gold (
• Cobra Premium Beer (
• Grolsch (
• Highgate Davenport Old Ale (
• Marble Brewery Manchester Bitter (

Best Breakfast Product

Dorset Cereals Chocolate Granola (
Kara Dairy Free Coconut Milk (
Linda McCartney Sausages (
• Rude Health Muesli Range (
• V Pud Vegetarian Black Pudding (

Best Home and Garden Product

• ACDO Pro Washing Powder (
• Astonish Range of Cleaning Products (
• Benevo Range of Pet Food (
• V-dog (
• Vegetarian Nosh For Students (book) By Joy May
• Vita Mix Blender (

Best Health and Beauty Product

Earth Friendly Baby Range (
Hay Max Hay Fever Remedy (
• Lush Soap Range (
• Montagne Jeunesse Face Tonics (
• NATorigin pencil eye liner (

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Get your oats gluten-free – with Nairn’s

I remember how excited people were.

A quality gluten-free breakfast
A quality gluten-free breakfast

The oat company, Nairn’s, were showcasing their new gluten-free Porridge Oats at the Allergy and Gluten-Free Show.

Visitors couldn’t get enough of them!

And there was a gluten-free Muesli and Luxury Muesli too… (all guaranteed gluten and wheat-free with the Crossed Grain logo.)

Now we’ve got them in stock at GoodnessDirect I’m hoping shoppers will snap them up like hot oat-cakes.

It’s worth mentioning that other companies, like Alara, have been making gluten-free muesli since the 1980s.

They have also brought out a Luxury Porridge, featuring millet, buckwheat and linseed (but no oats).

So, now that Goldilocks can have her porridge ‘just right’ again, I’ll have to hold a competition to see which breakfast you think tastes best!

Lemon and vanilla cupcakes – Gluten-free recipe

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to visit an American style Diner in Chelsea called Corgi’s Deli (on Fulham Road). The place was filled with cakes and patisseries and stunning interior design – the kind of place where you would be proud to take your mother. They did a really good cup of coffee, but what was most appetising was the enormous array of cupcakes they had on display.

Cue a conversation with my friend about cupcakes – ‘they’re really fashionable at the moment, didn’t you know?’ ‘But they’re just fairy cakes, we’ve always made them?’ ‘Yes, I know, but a friend sent me one as a gift the other day, it was very sweet and well decorated.’ ‘Aren’t they a bit more like muffins?’ Maybe, but the saying goes that you eat a muffin, because you believe it might be healthy, you eat a cupcake out of love.

And the debate rages on… But I thought you’d enjoy this fai… er cupcake recipe that I found.

Makes 12

Cake ingredients

Frankly irrissistible and made with love
Frankly irrissistible and made with love

125g (4oz) unsalted butter
125g (4oz) caster sugar
125g (4oz) gluten-free self-raising flour
2 medium eggs
3tbsp milk
1/2 tsp salt
Few drops of vanilla extract

Buttercream ingredients
2 medium egg whites
150g (5oz) caster sugar
100g (3½oz) unsalted butter
Few drops of vanilla extract
2tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
Few drops lemon essence

12-hole muffin tray
12 paper baking cups
Large piping bag, fitted with specially shaped piping tube eg. star or petal shaped

Preheat oven to gas mark 5 or 190°C.

1. Melt the butter and pour into a bowl with the sugar, flour, eggs, milk, salt and vanilla extract.
2. Beat the mixture into a smooth batter, use an electric hand whisk for good results. (The mix may appear a runnier than a usual cake mixture but don’t over-whisk as this produces holes inside the cakes.)
3. Line the tray with cases and spoon the mix into the paper baking cups.
4. Bake the cakes in the centre of the oven for 18-20 mins (or until they’ve risen and are a light golden colour).
5. Take the cakes out of the oven. After they have cooled a little, transfer them to a wire rack to cool properly.
6. To make the buttercream you need to mix the egg white and sugar in a bowl placed over the top of a pan of hot water. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely (about 3 minutes).
7. Remove the bowl from over the pan and whisk the egg whites until stiff.
8. Gradually whisk in the butter and then, using a gentler speed, the lemon juice, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, then the vanilla and the lemon essence. The mixture may appear to separate, but once it is all added, keep whisking at a high speed until it’s light and fluffy.
9. Fill the piping bag with the buttercream and pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake.
10. Keep the cupcakes cool until you serve them. (Best eaten within 2 days of making – not suitable for freezing.)

If you want you can decorate the cupcakes with icing sprinkles. – These can be made by piping thin strips of coloured icing onto greaseproof paper using a very small size writing nozzle (no.2). Then leave the icing to dry and break it into short sprinkle type lengths.

Turkish Delight – good or evil?

A good friend of mine swears blind that Turkish Delight are evil!

“After all,” he quips, “the White Witch used them to tempt Edmund in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!”

Cue animated discussion – he couldn’t be more wrong in most people’s minds, Turkish Delight is far too delicious and won’t turn the neighbourhood into a winter wonderland.

But Turkish Delight still runs the risk of being evil in the minds of most Vegans or Coeliacs.

That’s because, if it’s a cheap Turkish Delight, it typically contains gelatine which vegans refuse and a variety of other ingredients (like glucose syrup) are suspect for coeliacs.

A traditional Turkish Delight however should leave you free from those concerns. Delights such as those made by Koska are created from only natural ingredients, they are GM Free and Gluten Free, and suitable for vegan and kosher diets.

As a family firm Koska has been using the same original recipe for over one hundred years!

Their sweets come with pistachio, rose & lemon flavour, hazelnut & coconut or mixed flavour.

So you, like Edmund, can indulge to your heart’s content – just don’t freeze out the rest of us when you open the box.

Close to a cure for coeliac disease?

The exact triggers of coeliac disease have been discovered.

Three out of the four subtances which trigger the immune response in coeliacs have been identified by a team of Australian and UK researchers.

The team had to work out which of a possible 16,000 gluten fragments were actually causing sickness. Now that they have detected the most poisonous suspects out of a round up of 90 toxic gluten elements. This means that they can start working on treatments and a possible cure.

Cake could soon be back on the diet
Cake could soon be back on the diet

It is estimated that 1 in 30 people in the UK, particularly women, live on a gluten-free diet. That’s a huge number of people who constantly avoid toast for breakfast, cake in their lunch and pasta for dinner.

Coeliac disease can be kept under control, however it is not easy – almost half of coeliac patients still suffer damage to their instensites five years after beginning to eat gluten-free.

We’re not talking about an overnight cure. Appropriate medicine may not be available for the next ten years. But with this breakthrough an end is in sight.

A potential therapy is now in development, experimenting with exposing people to very small amounts of the toxic fragments. The results of the trial should be available in the next few months.

New breakthrough: Super-food broccoli can beat cancer

Broccoli really can help you defeat cancer.

Scientists have pinpointed the amazing chemistry which enables broccoli to help overcome prostate cancer, according to a report in the journal BioMed Central, Molecular Cancer.

The chemical called sulforaphane in broccoli (and other greens like brussels sprouts*) counteracts a genetic fault that can lead to prostate cancer, in effect it dampens the effect of cells which could trigger cancerous growth.

It's official, broccoli beats cancer
It's official, broccoli beats cancer

The research laboratory at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich commented,

“This may explain how diets rich in broccoli, the dietary source of sulforaphane, can reduce the risk of incidence of prostate cancer and the progression of localised prostate cancer to more aggressive forms of this disease.”

Research is ongoing as to how sulforaphane may inhibit breast cancer too.

Prostate cancer effects 36,000 men a year – it is hoped that this scientific breakthrough will lead to new medical treatments.

Broccoli extract can already be bought in tablet form as Comvita Broccoli Extract – this contains glucoraphanin which the body makes into sulforaphane.

* Sulforaphane is found in brassicas like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, bok choy and rocket. (For those interested in sprouting seeds, it is also reported that sulforaphane is 20 times more concentrated in broccoli sprouts than in the mature vegetable.)

The traditional goodness of the countryside – Organic milk

Everyone agrees that Organic milk is better for you, even the cynics.

If you drink milk from organicly reared cows, you get over two thirds (68%) more Omega 3. And everyone also agrees we’re desperately lacking in Omega 3 in the UK.

Omega 3 is important for keeping the heart, mind and body healthy. But if you’re vegetarian or can’t eat fish, then your source of Omega 3 is greatly reduced.

Milk, the way it should be
Milk, the way it should be

Daioni (that’s Welsh for goodness!) are the first makers of organic flavoured milk in the country.

They’ve built on their success in promoting healthier milk to shoopers in the UK. After all, not only do you get more Omega 3 from organic milk, you also get 50% more Vtiamin E and 75% more of the nutrients for vitamin A. It’s recently been found to reduce eczema in children too.

Now Daioni produce lunch-box cartons of organic milk with a splash of strawberry, chocolate or banana. A brilliant way to easily boost your children’s health.

Let’s face it. People always used to drink organic milk. It’s only when artificial pesticides were introduced that this practice stopped, not only did our health suffer, but the countryside suffered too.

So let’s get into healtheir milk for a healthier future. It just makes sense.

— If you want more information you can read about OMSCo’s campaign to ‘Break The Habit‘ on non-organic milk.

Win a box of Plush chocolates – gluten free and luscious

Win a box of Plush chocolates
Win a box of Plush chocolates

I know that you’ve been making an effort to save those pounds…

But I’m afraid I’ve got something a bit too tempting for you.

Maybe you’ll forgive me when I tell you it’s a chance to win a box of Plush Rum Truffles. I’ve got 10 boxes to give away!

Plush chocolates are fairtrade and gluten-free and indescribably luscious.

All you need to do to enter is email me with your name and address and I’ll put your name in the hat. Competition closes on 29/7/10.

Ice Creams Dairy and Non-Dairy

One of the best things about my job is the free ice cream that occasionally gets delivered to my desk by those nice lads from the freezer department. (Well, you wouldn’t want me talking about food I hadn’t tasted would you?)

This week’s special was a ‘Cappuccino organic ice cream’ with little chunks of chocolate – a sweet coffee flavour delightfully punctuated with dark chocolate morsels. I’m afraid I didn’t wait long to note down all my (*cough) professional observations.

The cappuccino ice cream, made by Cream O’Galloway, is just one of a big range of fairtrade and organic iced sensations – as well as the normal flavours they’ve created strawberry pavlova, elderflower, honey & ginger and banana & choc chip genius desserts as well.

Non dairy ice creams
Non dairy ice creams

Check our online ice cream cabinet for lots more dreamy ice creams for those hot summer days.

Non Dairy Ice Cream

But what if you don’t eat dairy? You don’t have to miss out on delicious after dinner desserts.

Booja Booja, who make amazing vegan chocolate truffles, also make some pretty astounding non dairy ice creams called ‘Stuff in a Tub’.

Other makers include Swedish Glace and Toffuti who make lovely dairy-free and gluten-free flavours. Enjoy a scoop of after dinner mmmm without the fuss.

And I’m excited to say we’re going to stock Worthenshaws Coconuka and Coconice in the near future…

Pop your head into our non dairy freezer section to see if there’s anything to catch your fancy.