Manuka Honey and Cider Vinegar – a winning combination

manuka honey and cider vinegar
Healing combination

Some people would swear by cider vinegar for treating weight loss, rheumatism, blood pressure and more.

Others will tell you that manuka honey is the elixir of life, its antibacterial and antioxidant properties can be used to treat complaints internally and externally.

So, why not combine them together?

The wonderfully named Picklecoombe House are doing just that with an active 5+ Manuka Honey & Cider Vinegar.

I’m looking forward to hearing what folk are going to say about this!

You’ll be surprised how much health-power is packed into a drink of Dr Oats

Dr Oats
Heart power in a smoothie

I was dubious at first.

But where other recipes had failed, this version of the drink was a roaring success?

The key ingredient?


It is reckoned that just 3g of oat beta-glucan will lower cholesterol – the key factor in heart disease. So I’ve seen several drinks companies to try mix oats into their drinks to make them healthier.

In myopinion Dr Oats smoothies succeed where others have failed because their drinks aren’t gloopy, and they don’t taste like you’ve swallowed a foreign object. Instead they are made simply with fruits and oats. No added sugar, no fruit concentrate or anything else artificial. The taste is fruity and refreshing and it counts as 2 of your five a day.

They boldly claim that a small drink has the same cholesterol lowering power as a bowl of porridge. Can’t be bad, especially if you don’t get on with porridge.

You can try Dr Oats in 3 flavours.
Dr Oats Apple, Berry & Oat Drink
Dr Oats Orange, Passion Fruit & Oat Drink
Dr Oats Mango, Pineapple & Oat Drink

A noodle so low in calories… it’s a miracle!

What do you call a noodle you can eat any amount of and not worry about calories?

Low carb pasta Shirataki Miracle Noodles
Only 5 calories in 100g of noodles!

A miracle!

Which is why the Japanese Shirataki noodle is branded as Miracle Noodle. It’s made from a root vegetable which is why it has enough natural fibre to leave you feeling full without piling on the the carbs.

It cooks really quickly too. All you need to do is drain it and boil it for 1 minute, then mix with your favourite sauce. Alternatively you can pan roast them in a skillet for a minute to give them slightly more bite.

In addition to being carb-free, big plus point however is that they are generally allergen free with no gluten, wheat or soya to trouble anyone with an intollerance.

Shirataki Konjac has been known and used in Asia for over 2000 years. It is also known as Moyu or Juruo in China, and Konnyaku in Japan.

New ice cream flavours for the summer

ice creamIce cream…

It tastes of summer.

But how about something new?

Would you venture a taste of coconut ice cream? It can only taste of the tropics after all… It’s a flavour that has led to awards for Bessant & Drury’s. The luxury ice cream makers have made this Dairy-free ice-cream with the finest real fruit and highly nutritious coconut milk.

A truly delicious treat to enjoy without a moment’s guilt

The coconut milk gives Bessant & Drury’s a rich, creamy, smooth texture – yet it still has less than half the fat of dairy ice-cream. As well as being deliciously dairy-free, Bessant & Drury’s is also vegan, and free from gluten, soya, egg, cholesterol, additives, colourings and preservatives.

Bessant & Drury Dairy Free Ice Cream
A new ice cream taste for the summer

It comes in four flavours: Strawberry, Vanilla, Chocolate and Lemon.

Bessant & Drury scooped the coveted Innovation Award as the Free From Awards in April this year and is now shortlisted for The Grocer New Product Innovation Award.

Introducing Lucy’s Oatmeal Cookies

Every so often you hear stories of mums who have set up businesses inspired by their love for their children.

Lucy’s Cookies are the latest star in this field. Dr. Lucy Gibney discovered her child had severe food allergies and began creating recipes they would enjoy. With the benefit of her medical knowledge she developed a delicious alternative cookie that can be enjoyed by almost anyone, with or without intolerances or allergies.

The cookies taste so good you wouldn’t believe they were made for a special diet. They are free from a number of allergens, including nuts, dairy, eggs, wheat, and gluten – that makes them perfect for vegans and kosher diets too.

Lucy's Gluten Free Cookies taste really good
Lucy’s Gluten Free Cookies taste really good

Available in a range of flavours the cookies are just what you’d expect from an American biscuit: crunchy, sweet, full of flavour and, thankfully, fairly light in the calorie department too.

You can choose from chocolate, chocolate chip, oatmeal, gingersnap, maple bliss, cinnamon and sugar cookies.

So what are they made of? The ingredients are a blend of gluten-free oats, garbanzo, potato starch, tapioca, sorghum and fava flours; plus other allergy friendly ingredients like soya milk.

It’s such a relief to find biscuits which not only taste as good as mainstream treats, but better.

You can find lots more gluten free foods at GoodnessDirect – just click on the link.

The lowdown on linseed

Linseed is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

It makes a useful alternative to fish oil as it is believed to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. However, it is not yet conclusive that linseed can help with arthritis as fish oil can.

Linseed is a very rich source of lignans which have antioxidant properties. Lignans are of great interest to the medical world at the moment as it is thought that they may be able to help control certain diseases.

The seed is also great for those who need more dietary fibre. It can be taken with yoghurt, breakfast cereals, milk, fruit juice or sprinkled over soups, vegetables, salads or desserts.

Linusit are proud to be producers of high quality linseed (or flaxseed). It is available in both organic and premium  seeds and is cherished for its high nutritional value. It’s also gluten and lactose free and a great source of omega-3 for vegetarians and vegans.

Heard of krill oil or red yeast rice? They may just bless your heart

If you didn’t know it’s British Heart Month. We don’t often think about protecting our heart but heart disease is the number one killer in the UK.

It’s important to consider your diet, have a good level of fitness, and keep an eye on your blood pressure. The British Heart Foundation is an excellent first point of reference for facts and advice.

There are also some interesting new supplements that have come onto the market.

The first is Red Yeast Rice. This contains a naturally forming statin found in fermented rice. As a food it is used for red colouring in Peking Duck but it has also been used in Chinese medicine for centuries.

Following a successfully study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, it has been concluded that red yeast is very useful for lowering cholesterol, but  it only may help according to the NHS.

It sits here on my desk as a product called Rice Pure in capsule form and the description says “May help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.”

The other item is Krill Oil. The description here says “A potent source of Omega 3”.

In fact it’s 48 times richer in Omega 3 than regular fish oil and it has a sustainable source to boot. It’s taken from shellfish in the clear waters of the Antarctic.

Omega 3 has been found to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and improve heart health overall, so Krill Oil looks  like a promising product. I’ve also heard that you don’t get the same smelly breath and after-taste effect as from fish oil which is a definite plus.