Crisps that make you proud to be British

What is it about crisps? Some people can’t get enough of them. And to be honest, even I’m excited about the Furrows crisps produced by Tyrrell’s.

Mouth-fulls of flavour
Mouthfuls of flavour

But then, I always did like big chunky crisps that are full of flavour, something you can get your teeth into. And Tyrrell’s are quite particular about this – they’re potato chips not crisps, something to do with the way they’re cooked (in other words they’re unprocessed, more full of flavour and less fattening).

Whether you love or hate crisps, (my wife adores them. I can take or leave them,) it’s difficult not to like Tyrrell’s.

However they’ve managed their marketing, they always seem to succeed in making you proud to be British! Perhaps it’s the mythology of their independent stance, perhaps it’s because they invest in familiar British flavours like Mature Cheddar & Pickled Onion and Sea Salted Furrows, or maybe it’s all those good old black and white photos they put on the front of their chip bags.

Tyrrell’s are at once nostalgic, humourous and made with excellence – the kind of things we like about being British.

…I’m just waiting for them to do something to celebrate the marriage of Will and Kate, I’m sure they won’t be able to resist!


Become an artisan bread maker

Have you ever fancied becoming an artisan bread maker?

I recently came across a website stuffed with information about the ancient art of bread making. It’s called The Fresh Loaf.

Doves Farm Original Dry Yeast has been specially created for use in

Try making your own bread
Try making your own bread

artisan bread making. It is packed into a handy resealable tin so you can measure out exactly what you need and keep the yeast airtight in your cupboard.

With dry yeast it is activated in the same way fresh yeast is by whisking into a sugar and water solution, then leaving for 15 minutes before adding to flour.

Doves Farm Original Dry Yeast was shortlisted for the Vegetarian Society Awards in 2010. It is vegetarian and vegan, and is perfect for gluten free bread making.

A sophisticated Easter collection of chocolate eggs from Green & Black’s

Never go shopping with me! I always take ages to make up my mind. So when you’ve got mountains of Easter Eggs to choose from, I can get a bit befuddled. What is certain is that it’s got to be top quality chocolate, and Green & Black’s are right at the top of the list.

Green & Black’s themselves have a big range of chocolate Easter eggs. Such a large range in fact that it is still difficult to make that final decision.


Real 'chocolatey' chocolate
Real 'chocolatey' chocolate

But once I am decided and ready to eat, all that will remain is to break through the hard, extra thick “chocolatey” chocolate shell and onto the Green & Black’s accompanying bars.

“Chocolatey” chocolate
When referring to Green & Black’s there is just no other way to describe it other than “chocolatey” chocolate. I’m sure you know what I mean. It is an indication that Green & Black’s organic chocolate is high in cocoa butter.


Now, if you want your family and friends to be in on our “chocolatey” chocolate secret you can send them an egg for Easter. Green & Black’s eggs have the most lovely packaging too making the recipient feel very special. They are definitely too good to hide.

All Green and Black’s Easter products are made with organic ingredients so you can’t go wrong. Treat yourself and your friends to a indulgence this Easter. Green & Black’s have been the No. 1 luxury egg brand for the last 2 years. It’s not surprising that it’s a range that gets my vote.

Check out the ultimate gift eggs!
Easter egg Gift collection
Thick dark chocolate egg with bars

Then the classic choice of Green & Blacks first class normal Easter eggs…
Milk chocolate egg 110g
Dark chocolate egg 110g

Thick shelled butterscotch egg
Thick shelled dark chocolate egg
Thick shelled Maya gold egg

Thick shelled Milk chocolate egg

Simple, but indulgent mini eggs. Perfect for added alongside your easter gift.
Milk chocolate mini eggs
Dark Praline filled mini eggs
Butterscotch milk chocolate mini eggs

How often do you floss your teeth? Take our survey

Do you floss?

(Why does this always sound like a chat-up line?)

I’ve arranged a poll. The reason is that I’ve got some AloeDent Dental Floss in front of me and I can’t really speak about it from experience.

Probably because I’ve flossed about 3 times in my life. I’ve just never got into the habit. I know that they say it’s a good idea for preventing heart disease (FACT) and that it’s going to help if I feel romantic, but somehow flossing just doesn’t do it for me.

So I’ve arranged a poll to ask your opinion. This floss, by the way, is going to be better for you because it has natural ingredients in it like Aloe Vera (a medicinal plant) and Beeswax.

Here’s the poll…

If you need oily fish for Omega 3 where do vegans stand?

With all this advice about Omega 3 and eating oily fish, where do vegetarians and vegans stand?

Well, given that the recommended dose of Omega 3 is 4g a day, you only need about a tablespoon of Flax Seed (Linseed) Oil per day to be doing well.

Bu the other thing you need to do is cut down on regular oils such as sunflower or corn oil as the high Omega 6 in these oils knocks out the work of Omega 3. Fats higher in monounsaturated fat, such as olive or rape seed oil are more suitable.

There are many ways to enjoy healthy oil
There are many ways to enjoy healthy oil

But isn’t a tablespoon still quite a lot? Well it goes really nicely with cereal, yoghurt or ice cream, and you can always drizzle it over salad or rice, pasta or potatoes. The important thing is that you don’t cook it as that destroys the beneficial fats.

Redwood, an award winning company which makes lots of vegan and vegetarian foods, has bottled Flax, Hemp and Seed Oil to provide you with the goodness you need. Flaxseed is one of the richest sources of Omega 3, while Hemp offers both Omega 3 and 6 at the perfect ratio. Hemp also provides Vitamin E and A and a range of minerals.

Redwood’s Seed Oil amazingly combines flax, sesame, pumpkin, borage, wheatgerm, pomegranate and seabuckthorn for all their nutritious properties – far too many to mention here in brief!

Other options for Omega 3 are green vegetables, tofu and walnuts, so with a bit of flaxseed in your diet, you really have nothing to worry about. The provision of Omega 3 isn’t quite so high in these, but they still make good sources of this brain enriching nutrient.

Here are the winners of the Free From Food Awards 2011

Lesley Cutts, GoodnessDirect manager was judge at the Free From Food Awards 2011. She had a great time tasting all the different food.

The awards were announced last week – a selection of the top products from 100s of free-from foods in a diverse range of categories.

Lesley says, “The quality of the food improves each year. It’s close competition and in some cases it’s quite difficult to decide. But it’s great that the awards happen and that more profile is given to free-from and special diets. It’s a great step forward for the industry and those who suffer from dietary restrictions.”

You can read all of the judges comments on the Freedom Food Awards website. We should highlight that specialist niche foods such as RAW foods might not be well represented here, as they are still pushing their way into the market,

Here are the winners and runners up.

FAIR Trophy for the best free-from food 2011
Winner: Doves Farm – Gluten and wheat free white self-raising flour blend
Runner up: Delamere Dairy – Goat’s butter
Runner up: Dietary Specials – Brown Ciabatta rolls
Runner up: Doves Farm – Batter mix and Biscuit crumb

Innovation Award
– Sponsored by Livwell
Winner: Mamma Cucina gluten, wheat, dairy and egg-free vegetable quiche
Commended: Le Sojami Dairy Free Speciality Basil Alternative to Soft Cheese
Commended: Moo Free Praline Chocolates

Dairy and/or lactose free animal milk, butter and yogurt
– Sponsored by Swedish Glace
Winner: Delamere Dairy – Goat’s butter
Highly commended: Delamere Dairy – Semi-skimmed goat’s milk
Highly commended: Woodlands Dairy – Organic sheep milk natural live yogurt
Commended: Lactofree – Semi-skimmed dairy drink

Plant (soya, rice,oat, nut, potato) ‘milk’, spread and ‘cheese’
– Sponsored by Delamere Dairy
Winner: Hain Celestial – Rice Dream
Winner: Le Sojami – Fresh soya paté with olives
Highly commended: Essence of Eden – 100% Organic premium coconut oil
Highly commended: Good Hemp – Dairy-free alternative to milk
Highly commended: Organico Real Foods – Isola Bio spelt drink
Commended: Le Sojami – Dairy-free speciality garlic and mixed herbs alternative to soft cheese
Commended: Tesco – Sweetened soya alternative to dairy milk

Breakfast cereals
– Sponsored by Tesco
Winner: Nature’s Path – Organic Mesa Sunrise
Highly commended: Hale & Hearty – Organic Choco Jungle Cereal
Highly commended: Juvela – Fibre flakes
Commended: Eat Natural – Buckwheat Muesli
Commended: Juvela – Special Flakes with red berries
Commended: Nairns – Oat muesli
Commended: Nairns – Porridge oats
Commended: The Living Food Kitchen – Raw buckwheat granola

Breads and bread mixes
– Sponsored by Tesco
Winner: Dietary Specials – Brown Ciabatta rolls
Highly commended: Marks & Spencer – Made-without-wheat brown seeded bread
Highly commended: Tesco – FreeFrom fresh brown rolls
Commended: Glutafin – Select gluten-free fresh brown bread

Pasta and pizza bases/mixes
– Sponsored by Produced in Italy
Winner: Hale & Hearty – Quinoa and rice penne
Highly commended: Morrisons – Freefrom fusilli
Highly commended: Rizopia Organic brown rice spaghetti
Commended: Farabella – Gnocchi
Commended: Rizopia – Organic brown rice lasagne

Foods manufactured for food service
– Sponsored by Lactofree
Winner: Doves Farm – Batter mix
Winner: Doves Farm – Fairtrade biscuit crumb
Highly commended: Red House Foods – Chicken grill for schools, bread crumbed and battered
Highly commended: Seagreens – Mineral salt
Commended: Doves Farm – Sponge and muffin mix
Commended: Doves Farm – Fairtrade sweet biscuits

Ingredients: flour, stock, pastry, sauces
– Sponsored by Asda
Winner: Doves Farm – Gluten and wheat free white self-raising flour blend
Highly commended: AWT – Gluten-free vegetable stock cubes
Highly commended: Dietary Specials – Frozen shortcrust pastry
Commended: The Black Farmer – Sweet and spicy tomato sauce
Commended: Tideford Organics – Ragu a la Bolognese

Savoury pies, flans, pizzas and ready meals
– Sponsored by Genon Laboratories
Winner: Look What We Found – Spiced lamb meatballs
Winner: The Black Farmer – Premium pork sausages
Highly commended: Honeybuns – Little savoury tart
Highly commended: Look What We Found – Beef and pork meatballs
Highly commended: Musks – Gluten-free sausages
Commended: Fletchers of Auchtermuchty – Original venison sausages
Commended: The Black Farmer – pork, onion and chive sausages

Savoury biscuits and snacks
– Sponsored by Goodness Direct
Winner: Clearspring – Organic rice cakes – Sea vegetable and tamari and Tamari and black sesame
Highly commended: Darling Spuds – Sea salt and Modena balsamic vinegar potato crisps
Commended: Conscious Foods – Mumbai masala munch
Commended: Hale & Hearty – Superbly spiced vegetarian cassava crisps

Scones, sweet tarts and brownies
– Sponsored by the Food and Drink Innovation Network
Winner: Go Free Foods – Chocolate and almond brownies
Highly commended: Morrisons – FreeFrom treacle tart
Highly commended: Sugargrain – Fresh raspberry and white chocolate brownie
Commended: BlueBasil – Gluten-free classic chunky chocolate brownie
Commended: Honeybuns – Snowy Hills cake bar
Commended: Peace of Cake – Blueberry muffin

Sweet biscuits and cookies
Winner: Pourtoi – Raisin chocolate chip cookies
Highly commended: Kent & Fraser – Spicy ginger crunchy cookies
Highly commended: Trufree – Chocolate fingers
Commended: Marks & Spencers – Caramel pecan crunch square

Cakes and cake mixes
– Sponsored by Mrs Crimble’s
Winner: Marks & Spencer – Almond frangipane traybake
Highly commended: Christine’s – Hot toddy cake
Highly commended: Steph’s FreeFrom Cakes – Battenburg
Highly commended: Sugargrain – Zesty lemon polenta cake
Commended: Eat Me Organic – Chocolate delight cupcake
Commended: Sugargrain – Spiced carrot cake with fresh orange icing
Commended: The Cake Crusader – Lemon drizzle cake

Puddings, sweet pies, desserts and cheesecakes
– Sponsored by Hale & Hearty
Winner: BoojaBooja – Stuff in a Tub Hunky punky chocolate
Highly commended: EasyGlut – Crème caramel mix
Commended: Finax – Shake’N Bake Pancake mix

Chocolate and sweet snacks
– Sponsored by Tesco
Winner: Go*Do – Chocolate bar
Winner: Conscious Food – Ginger crunch
Highly commended: Celtic Chocolates – Caramel flavoured choices
Highly commended: MooFree – Chocolate pralines
Highly commended: Tesco – Choc ‘n’ Orange bars
Highly commended: Castus – Be Fruity fruit bars with fig
Commended: Plamil – No-added sugar coffee chocolate
Commended: Pourtoi – Luxury chocolate selection
Commended: Morrisons – FreeFrom fruit and nut bars
Commended: Pack Tunch – Pinapple and coconut snack bars

Christmas products
– Sponsored by Genius Gluten Free
Winner: Sainsbury – FreeFrom Christmas pudding
Highly commended: Livwell – Iced Christmas cake
Highly commended: Mrs Crimble’s – Stuffing mix
Commended: Hale & Hearty – Christmas pudding
Commended: MooFree – Christmas advent calendar
Commended: Sainsbury’s – Freefrom iced Christmas cake

Gluten-free beer
– Sponsored by Asda
Winner: Green’s – Bottle Refermented Blonde Ale
Highly commended: Mongozo – Premier Pilsener
Highly commended: Green’s – Bottle Refermented Dark Ale
Commended: Estrella Damm – Estrella Daura ABV 5.4%
Commended: Green’s – Premium Golden Ale

Vegan salad days are over, here comes the vegan gourmet range

There was a time when, as a  vegetarian or a  vegan you were left out. There were little or no street food options. You were the ‘hassle’ when your friends went out or threw a party.  I mean how many peanuts could you you really eat? The humous? And the dreaded lentils of course!

Over the years a group of specialised food producers have created what can be called a reasonable variety of stuff to buy in the shops. Yes, we’ve come along way from the sad and bland vegan salad days but it still feels like we’re a long way away from the ‘good stuff’.

Ready in 5 minutes - gourmet Vegideli
Ready in 5 minutes - gourmet Vegideli

But here is some news for vegan and vegetarian gourmets that will make them scream with unbridled pleasure…

The Redwood Wholefood Co have been pretty much mopping up every award going with their passionate innovations for long ill-treated vegans and vegetarians. They have been creating great foods, big in taste, big in ingredients, big in attractive packaging, big in range.

Now they have hit a further winning spot for those of you who do not want to come home tired and take pleasure in toiling an hour in the kitchen. Want a meal in 5 minutes? Then start stocking up on Redwood’s latest additions to the Vegideli range.

Try the vegan Chicken Style Madras Curry (capturing the essence of Southern India, seasoned with finest Indian spices carefully blended) to give your evening an exotic experience.

Como el color de España? then a vegan  Sausage and Chrizo style Casserole should transport you there. Capturing the authentic taste of Spain and packed with robust flavours, this is hearty and wholesome, making it a popular choice for the whole family.

Se amate lo spirito italiano? then grab the Vegan Chicken style Cacciatore , which literally means hunter. A classic dish, the kinder approach is to ‘hunt’ down the very best Italian flavours  and herbs to create this truly delicious casserole with that special home cooked taste.

The vegan and veggie gourmet is truly here. Ready and waiting in your larder!