Love the fresh taste of Mediterranean fruit in these organic preserves

It’s not surprising that this is Italy’s favourite pure fruit spread.

Fiordifrutta is a delicious taste of fresh organic Mediterranean fruit with no added sugar.

Each jar is filled with one-and-a-half kilos of sun ripened fruit, which is cooked at a low temperature to preserve the fruit’s nutrients and taste. Plus no extra sugar means lower calories and a lower GI rating.

And now an Italian chocolate spread too
What is more, the company behind the brand, Rigoni di Asiago, have produced an organic chocolate hazelnut spread called Nocciolata. It’s creamier and more flowing than your average chocolate spread with a richer hazelnut flavour. Warm it up and drizzle it over your evening dessert.

For Fiordifrutta flavours to try see below:

Enjoy the sweet taste of Mediterranean fruit
Enjoy the sweet taste of Mediterranean fruit

■ Organic Mediterranean Pink Grapefruit Fruit Spread
■ Organic Sicilian Citrus Fruits & Bergamot Fruit Spread
■ Organic Sicilian Lemon Fruit Spread
■ Organic Adriatic Peaches Fruit Spread
■ Organic Wild Highland Blueberries Fruit Spread
■ Organic Wild Summer Berries Fruit Spread
■ Organic Wild Summer Raspberries Fruit Spread
■ Organic Sunkissed & Wild Strawberries Fruit Spread
■ Organic Mediterranean Figs Fruit Spread
■ Organic Italian Riviera Apricots Fruit Spread

Why is coconut so healthy?

Recently I wrote about coconut palm sugar. If you’re into health food you can’t have failed to notice that the coconut has become more and more popular lately.

Two impressive claims spring to mind. Coconut water can be taken intravenously (don’t try this at home, but it was found to be useful by soldiers during the Vietnam War). Secondly, coconut oil is the closest food in nature to a mother’s breast milk.

Healthy food from the coconut
Healthy food from the coconut

Other interesting benefits are said to be that it speeds up the metabolism, it’s high in dietary fiber, it helps lower cholesterol, it’s low Gi, it helps those with digestive problems, it provides quick energy, it boosts the immune system.

One company that has capitalised on being able to  providing organic and fairtrade coconut is Tiana. They make coconut flour, oil, milk and sugar which all count as particularly beneficial if you are trying to cut out similar more mainstream foods from your diet.

Tiana’s flour, for example, is gluten and wheat free, the coconut milk is dairy free and while the coconut oil is not fat free – there are still loads of dieters who say it helps them lose weight.

Amisa’s gluten free pizza bases and porridge – made with love

Those brilliant people at Amisa have been in the lab again.

Now they’ve brought out a gluten free pizza base with a deep soft texture to it. It’s made of rice flour, corn starch and buckwheat flour and because it’s also egg free that makes it vegan too.

Tastes like it's made with love
Tastes like it's made with love

Not only this but the innovators have been developing their own gluten free porridge using ELISA tested oats. Porridge is great for this time of year and Amisa have developed an apple & cinnamon version as well as an original.

They’ve also used the oats  for a new muesli which includes cranberries and strawberries as well as sunflower seeds and linseed.

Amisa Organic make a range of cereals, crispbreads, cakes, bread, biscuits and crackers. Not only that, they taste like they’ve been made with love, so they’re definitely worth a mention during Food Allergy and Intolerance Week.

Have you heard about chia seeds?

Have you managed to get your hands on any chia seed yet? The first time I tried some I could actually feel the grains expanding in my stomach!

There are numerous health claims about chia seeds (the latin name is Salvia Hispanica), most specifically that it is very high in Omega 3 and fibre, is a good source of complete protein, antioxidants and phytonutrients (they’re also gluten free).

Apparently, an ounce of chia seeds provides eight times more Omega 3 than an ounce of salmon! It has five times as much calcium as milk, twice as much potassium as bananas, three times the antioxidant strength of blueberries and three times more iron than spinach.

I think it was the high fibre effect I could feel volumising inside of me. Notably, chia seeds are believed to helpful in losing weight, because they help fill you up, reduce your appetite and help control your blood sugar levels.

The problem is that chia is only allowed to be used in foods as 5% of the finished product. This is because they are a relatively new food in Europe, having originated in South America where Aztecs would eat it before going on a long journey.

A bread mix with chia seed
A bread mix with chia seed

Chia Bia now sell the chia seed as part of an organic Whole Wheat Yeast Bread Mix and Soda Bread Mix. The Raw Chocolate Company also sell Chia Seeds unprocessed.

There’s a lot more research to be done into chia seeds, particularly their health benefits and whether they are safe to be consumed in large quantities, but they are very popular in the Americas.

There again, you could always grow your own…

A homemade raspberry ripple ice cream recipe – with no added sugar too!

Here’s a fab recipe for Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream made with yoghurt and no table sugar!

It’s sweetened with Sweet Freedom natural sweetener which has 25% fewer calories than sugar. The low GL means there’s no sugary highs and lows as with sugar or honey and this makes it a good choice for diabetics.

Raspberry Ripple made with Sweet Freedom natural sweetener
Raspberry Ripple made with Sweet Freedom natural sweetener

(Makes approx 850g)

300ml Milk
1 Vanilla Pod
4 Medium Free Range Egg Yolks
100g Sweet Freedom Natural Sweetener
300ml Natural Yoghurt
150g Raspberries
50g Sweet Freedom Natural Sweetener

1. Pour the milk into a pan, split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the milk.  Add the pods and heat the milk until it is hot but not boiling.  Take off the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
2. Whisk together the Sweet Freedom and egg yolks.  Bring the milk up to the boil and pour onto the egg yolks, whisking continuously.  Return to the pan and cook, stirring continuously, until the custard thickens slightly.  Don’t allow the custard to boil as it will curdle.  Sieve into a clean jug and stir in the yoghurt.  Cover the surface with baking parchment and leave to cool then chill until required, preferably overnight.
3. Blend together the raspberries and Sweet Freedom then sieve to remove the seeds.
4. Pour the chilled custard into an ice cream maker and churn until it is thick and creamy.  Spoon a layer of the ice cream into a freeze proof container then drizzle with some raspberry puree.  Repeat with the remaining ice cream and raspberry puree then freeze until required.
5. Don’t forget to transfer the ice cream to the fridge a little while before serving to allow it to soften slightly.

The recipe is sweetened only with Sweet Freedom, the Great Taste award winning sweet syrup made 100% from fruit. As well as being a delicious ‘foodie’ syrup that boasts customers such as Raymond Blanc it also has 25% fewer calories than sugar and the low GL means no sugary highs and lows as with sugar or honey. For this reason it’s also a good choice for diabetics.

For more healthier sweet treat recipes visit Recipe courtesy of Suzie Banks

Nairn’s use the purest oats possible for their Gluten-Free Instant Porridge

What better guarantee can you get of gluten free oats than farmers who walk the fields to remove any foreign grains which might contaminate the produce?

As coeliac farmers themselves, the family that supplies Nairn’s oats understand how vital pure oats are. They clean down the machinery and test every truckload of oats coming in or out of their farm.

100% wholegrain oats are great for a healthy start, they are high in fibre and full of sustained energy, to keep you going for longer.

And, now that Nairn’s have made them instant, it’s an immediate start as well. The easy-cook sachets are ready in a few short minutes, which leaves you ready to face the day.

You eat 75% of your chewing gum. What’s in it?

Did you know that when you finish with your chewing gum it is one 1/4 of the size you started with?

That means you eat 75% of it… but what are you eating?

The same stuff that gets made into the tyres on your car: synthetic polymers. A lot of gum uses unnatural ingredients for its base.

Peppersmith doesn’t. This intriguing little company have taken gum back to before the dirty days of putting plastic in your food. Instead, they use chicle, a natural and sustainable rainforest gum, which all gum used to be made from.

A chewing gum with no artificial ingredients
A chewing gum with no artificial ingredients

They also use high quality Black Mitcham Peppermint grown in Hampshire, and wood sugar taken from beech trees. There’s no artificial flavours, colours, preservatives or anything, and especially not aspartame. (The gum is also vegetarian, gluten-free, and good for diabetics and it’s made in a nut-free environment.)

The result? The dentists like it because wood sugar (xylitol) actively fights plaque and the public love it because of the quality of the peppermint.

Plus, each box comes with these dainty little papers so that you can wrap your chewing gum up once you’ve finished with it, leaving you to conscientiously dispose of the other 25%.