But it’s so quick to make, it’s low in fat and you can flavour them with pesto, saffron, garlic, anything.
So I’m delighted to learn that Artisan Grains are offering a Pearl Couscous (slightly larger rounder grains often treated as a delicacy), and a Tri-Colour Couscous made up of golden couscous, tomato infused couscous and spinach infused couscous.
But Artisan Grains’ passion for natural grains doesn’t stop there. They also supply Royal Quinoa (again, larger than your average quinoa grain) and GoodnessDirect are soon to take on their Chia Seeds (a high energy and very nutritious grain) and Greenwheat Freekeh (a nuttier tasting toasted grain).
I’m very excited about some new biscuits from Doves organic.
Why? Because they’re experimenting with quinoa and figs for their biscuits and flapjacks.
The result is Chocolate Chip Cookies at only 47 calories a biscuit (which lower than your average digestive!) … and it’s laced with chocolate and honey.
Did I mention that quinoa is a superfood? ‘Cos it is now for me!
They’ve also created some Figgy Flapjacks with whole pieces of luscious fig.
But their genius has taken the organic bakers one inspired step further. They’ve combined the two to make some amazing gluten-free Fig & Quinoa Cookies which are beautifully baked and taste golden. (No chalky, fake biscuit taste here. No nuts, dairy or any other major allergens either.) Rumour has it more quinoa cookie flavours are around the corner…
Sourdough bread is different from your average loaf…
The natural process which makes them rise without yeast enhances their flavour, increases their nutrients and makes them more digestible.
In fact trials were suggesting that those with a wheat or gluten intolerance may be able to eat sourdough without any side effects. But analysis suggests the gluten level is still too high to be safe for coeliacs.
Now that the warm weather’s here, how about some luscious cheese and berry pastries to enjoy at a picnic or evening soiree?
These dainty little pastries are great to hand round while warm from the oven, just remember to offer tiny paper napkins for sticky fingers.
Raw filo pastry dries out very quickly so keep the pastry covered until the very last minute. Unfold the sheets, take the top one off to use each time then recover the stack again.
Makes 24 Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes
270 g (9 ½ oz) pack of 6 frozen filo pastry sheets, defrosted
225 g (8 oz) Brie, cut into 24 pieces
225 g (8 oz) strawberries, about 12, each thickly sliced into 3
24 mint leaves
75 g (3 oz) butter, melted
Few rocket leaves and extra sliced strawberries to garnish, optional
1) Put one of the filo sheets in front of you and cut into eight rectangles, brush lightly with the melted butter then separate the pieces slightly. Add a second piece to four of the rectangles so that the second layer of pastry is at an angle to the first to make a star shape.
2) Add a piece of brie, a mint leaf and slice of strawberry to the centre of each then fold the edges of the pastry up and over the cheese stack, pinching just above the strawberry to make a little purse shaped parcel. Transfer to a baking sheet.
3) Repeat with the remaining sheets of pastry and filling ingredients. When all the parcels have been shaped brush the outsides with the remaining butter.
4) Bake in a preheated oven 180°C /350°F /Gas Mark 4 for about 10 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a serving plate; garnish with rocket leaves and extra strawberry slices if liked.
Bite into a chunk of Seed & Bean chocolate and enjoy the sweet intensity that follows.
At least that’s what hits you with the Extra Dark Chocolate Mandarin & Ginger bar. I can’t speak for some of the other flavours, Rich Milk Tangerine, Extra Dark and Rich Milk Sicilian Hazelnut & Almond (yet).
However, I’m sure it’s bound to be as exotic and fulfilling as my Mandarin & Ginger experience.
The cute thing is these organic and fairtrade Seed & Bean bars now come in small bar sizes of 32g each.
And, if you believe small is beautiful, then you’ll love knowing that Seed & Bean also ‘grow’ their wrappers, making them from eucalyptus trees in Cumbria, so they are compostable and biodegradable.
In fact Seed & Bean are the UK’s only 100% Accredited Chocolate Company.
When you’ve had your dinner an hour ago, but you’re still hungry.
You really shouldn’t… The chocolate is calling. It’s a choice between that, some yucky leftovers in the fridge or bloating out on a bowl of unnecessary cereal.
Another choice would be to grab a bar or bowl of Eat Natural’s healthy ingredients (they do both healthy cereals and cereal bars).
Taking an ‘allow nothing dodgy’ approach to life, Eat Natural’s latest high fibre creations mix carbs and crunchiness with nuts, seeds and possibly fruit to give you a truly satisfying snack experience.
You gotta love Eat Natural for what they do. Take their Almonds and Apricot cereal for example: lots of sweetness, crunchy toasted oats and a little shredded coconut and honey.
Or sample Brazils and Sultanas with its added pumpkins seeds. There’s even a crunchy fruit-free Nuts and Seeds version featuring a range of almonds, hazelnuts, linseed and sunflower seeds.
The simple rule is, when you’ve gotta snack, give yourself a healthier choice.
Plamil, makers of dairy free chocolate, have an exciting new product!
(And I’m not talking about their new sugar free strawberry and banana flavour chocolates!)
They’ve only gone and brought out these gorgeous packs of vegan hot chocolate – and they’ve done it in style…
Add 6-8 teaspoons of chocolate flakes to some simmering soya milk and you have a luxurious non milk cup of cocoa.
Plamil’s dairy free hot chocolate flakes are exceptional, and not just because of their decadent taste. They’re at least 70% organic cocoa so they taste rich and smooth, but they can also come sweetened with xylitol, which means no added sugar.