Love authentic Italian? You’re in for a treat

Recently I visited a local Italian place, The Sovranno Caffe, a wonderful little place and well worth a visit.

Surrounded by the melodious tones of tunes from the 1950s and sips from  a Nutella enhanced mocha I was reminded me how much Italians care about their food. (It was the mocha that convinced me.)

If you take a quick look at the organic company Organico they will show you the same thing.

The ethical company have a huge range of Italian and Mediterranean delicacies: garlic sauces, pasta sauces, artichokes, balsamic vinegar, capers, olives, grissini, sun dried tomatoes, pickled chillis… the list goes on.

organic pasta
You’re in for a treat

But it’s the organic pasta that impresses me the most. Organico make big bags of artisanal pasta – that means the pasta is made by hand. You can see the quality just by looking at it.

If you’re a fan of pasta you’ll recognise names like Conchiglie, Fusilli, Amorosi, Strozzpreti, Pacchari, Orecciette. These refer to the Italians’ ingenious and expressive love of small and large pasta shapes.

In the end The Sovranno Caffe and Organico have some great things in common, above all, they’re not afraid of authenticity and integrity, and that will win them friends everywhere.

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Win a bumper hamper of Booja Booja Easter Eggs

Booja Booja are generously offering 3 hampers to win for this Easter.

Booja Booja
Easter Eggs like no other

How could anyone not prepare for Easter without considering Booja Booja’s exquisite vegan chocolate truffles? Not only do they taste magnificent, the packaging is beautiful too. The cases are hand-painted by artists from Kashmir as a boost for the troubled community and all their chocolate is vegan.

Just so you can think about them a little bit more Booja Booja have arranged this competition. For a chance to win one of three hampers (like the picture above) all you need to do is send us an email with your name and address and the lucky winners will be picked at random at the end of this Thursday 21st March 2013 (UK address only).

You can also put together your own special hamper from our Easter shelf using the GoodnessDirect hamper service. But don’t forget to consider Booja Booja, the variety of flavoured truffles they produce is truly delightful.

Rude Health granola leaves the competition spitting dust

honey nut Granola
Most people haven’t eaten 7 wholegrains in their whole lives

If you’re trying to win a competition for best breakfast then you’ll be hard pressed to beat Rude Health.

Their Honey Nut Granola, for example, has been tuned up and tweaked to perfection, carrying 7 different wholegrains: buckwheat, barley, wheat, spelt, oats, rice and rye. That’s a lot of horsepower (well you can argue with the horse that munches it.)

Plus, the freshly roasted nuts, honey and date syrup keeps the whole cereal tasting so sweet you’ll get to feel good and have enough fuel to transport you to lunch and back. No refined sugars here, or salt, just high octane fibre.

People will be wondering what you had for breakfast, literally.

Beauty secrets for men?

A few days ago, I mentioned a new yet ancient Mediterranean beauty treatment called Aphrodite.

Well, it turns out there’s a masculine version of the brand called, appropriately, Appolon.

Apollon olive OilShaving Gel
Brings out the Adonis in you

Now, you wouldn’t expect men to be hunting for beauty secrets, but they do like practical things which work. So, knowing that a combination of organic olive oil and wild herbs is good for the skin and hair is useful. The A and E vitamins in olive oil help repair and renew skin, while its antioxidants have a natural ability to nourish cells back to a healthier state.

So, consider these products if you hope to look a little more like Adonis:

 

Kara Coconut Milk is now called Koko and there’s a new strawberry flavour

The bad news is the succesful brand Kara Coconut Milk has changed.

Koko Strawberry
A new strawberry flavour for dairy free kids

But, don’t worry, it’s only their name.

They are now called Koko – which I guess is a sensible move towards greater brand recognition.

Better still they’ve added a new flavour. Now you can try Koko Dairy Free Strawberry in addition to their plain Coconut and Chocolate flavours.

In case you didn’t know: coconut milk is a great dairy free alternative to regular milk. As a milk it contains 65% medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which (unlike saturated animal fats) are not readily stored in the body but are digested and used as energy by the body. Around 50% of these MCFA’s are made up of lauric acid which is the main nutrient in breast milk.

Of course, ‘good fats’ should be considered an important part of a balanced diet, as they contribute towards healthy cell function.

Easy Superfood Chocolates – vegan or dairy free recipe for Easter

Our friend chef and nutritionist, Christine Bailey, has come up with this brilliant but simple chocolate superfood recipe for Easter. Take a look…

Superfood chocolates especially for Easter
Superfood chocolates especially for Easter

My children love making homemade chocolates and as they follow a  dairy free diet this is a perfect way to create something scrummy and healthy for Easter. I love to cram in lots of superfood powders too – these are a great way to energise and nourish your body.  You could also mix in some other flavourings too – such as mulberries, goji berries, crystallised ginger or chopped nuts.

For more of my great healthy treats why not get my new Ebook – Paleo and Gluten Free Treats available from my website shop www.advancenutrition.co.uk

Makes about 20 chocolate   

100g raw cacao butter
2tbsp coconut oil
4tbsp raw cacao powder
2tbsp lucuma powder
2tsp maca powder
2tbsp raw honey or sweet freedom
1tsp super greens powder

1. Melt the cacao butter and coconut butter very gently – you can do this in a pan or over a bowl of simmering water.  Stir it as is dissolves.
2. Whisk in the remaining ingredients until smooth.  Pour into chocolate moulds and place in the fridge to set.

(Recipe copyright Christine Bailey MSc, MBANT, CNHC Qualified Nutritionist and Chef)

Experience the luxurious beauty secrets of ancient Greece

olive oil soap
Beauty secrets from ancient Greece

In the Mediterranean there’s a traditional way to look after your hair and skin.

In Crete and Greece at least they use olive oil and wild herbs.

Women from the Minoan Civilisation would brush their hair with olive oil to keep it soft and shiny. Athletes used the oil to massage their bodies to relax their muscles. Even today it is advised that newly born babies are bathed with  olive oil soap to avoid skin problems.

Aphrodite’s olive oil bodycare products will give your skin a strong and healthy, radiant look. The range includes body butter, facial scrub, eye cream, soaps, shampoo and conditioner – all using organic extra virgin olive oil.

Natural beauty secrets, practiced for centuries, will not be far away.