Raw bars just got better

Nakd Rhubarb & Custard

Last week I wrote about some new Scottish fruit and oat bars, known to be healthy for their unprocessed ingredients.

nakd are a Welsh company who have been doing it for ages…

The main difference being nakd’s raw ingredients tend to be a mixture of fruit and various nuts.

RAW WARS?

If there’s any sense of a ‘raw war’ between the two nations then the Welsh have just upped the ante with a new Rhubarb & Custard flavour.

I don’t know about you, but the flavour appeals simply because of my schooldays spent saving up pennies to buy my favourite sweets from the corner shop, especially the hallowed Rhubarb & Custard flavour!

But there’s not one bit of added sugar or syrup here, simply 100% natural ingredients. The bars are vegan, dairy free and gluten free with a soft, chewy texture that will fill you up till your next meal and most likely count towards your 5 a day too.

nakd make lots more flavours too, such as mocha, ginger bread and apple pie, but, if you’re not convinced by my nostalgic excitement over childhood flavours, read this feedback and weep…

“Hi, I’m another person who normally never bothers to write to companies, but I felt compelled to this time. The new Nakd bars are just fantastic. How did you manage to come up with something that tastes even better than chocolate?!!! I’m as far away as you can get from a health food junkie, but given the choice of pretty much any other biscuit, cake or sweet I’d choose one of the new bars every time. The flavours are brilliant. I expected to like one or two but, having tried the sampler pack, I’m happy to say that I love all of them. Thank you!”

Nutritious dairy free milk drinks

Italy is notable in its production of free from foods.

One such example is Isola Bio, makers of organic drinks: milks made from grains, nuts and soya. As such they are dairy free and gluten free.

Organic coconut and rice drink
The refreshing taste of milk and coconut

They boast that their method of making grain and nut milks maintains all the flavour and nutritional value of the original ingredients.

Recently they started combining their rice milks  with other non-dairy milks to create new refreshing flavours. The coconut and rice milk works particularly well in this way, while the almond and rice has a smoother flavour and the hazelnut and rice offers a deeper more mellow beverage.

But finally, for the chocolate lovers, there’s also a rice and chocolate drink, which comes in lunch box cartons for a sweeter experience.

Meusli bars have gone cute

Cereal Bars have gone cute
Cereal Bars have gone cute

Eat Natural, makers of cereals and cereal bars with “nothing dodgy” added, have gone one step further.

They’ve started making cute little bite size bars filled with fruit and nuts and wrapped in a chocolate or yoghurt coating. (They’re gluten free and veggie too.)

Those Eat Natural people keep bringing out so many new flavours enjoyably packed in new and different ways I can’t keep up.

But since a picture says a thousand words I thought I’d leave you with this Eat Natural video…

The best chestnuts in the world? St Dalfour think so…

Hmm, Christmas… it’s not here yet, so maybe I shouldn’t get my bah humbug on yet either…

The thing is when you think of chestnuts you tend to think of Christmas and, as amazing as they are for many other meals besides, it’s difficult not to mention one without referring to the other.

St Dalfour Whole Chestnuts
Totally natural chesnuts from St Dalfour

And if you’re looking for quality chestnuts St Dalfour are the height of reliability. St Dalfour’s packaging means the chestnuts are kept tender, plump and succulent with no preservatives whatsoever.

“They are the best chestnuts in the world.”

It’s a big boast, but St Dalfour dare to say it. Hand picked, all natural, low in fat and cholesterol, straight from France. That’s St Dalfour.

Christine’s Cashew and Pear Millet Porridge (gluten free recipe)

gluten free porridge

This is a wonderful creamy porridge, designed by nutritionist Christine Bailey, using the whole millet grain rather than flakes.

It’s perfect as a gluten free option and the addition of the nuts provides protein to help stabilise blood sugar levels. You can even make this the night before and heat it up in the morning if rushed for time.  Top with additional fruit, nuts and seeds and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon if wished.

Serves 4

125g (4½oz) ¾ cup millet
750ml (26floz) 3 cups water
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced
150ml milk or milk alternative
50g/1¾ oz/ 1/3 cup cashew nuts
4 dried apricots
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp raw honey
1tbsp ground flaxseed

1. Put the millet and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Add the pear and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Set aside.
2. Put the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
3. Pour the nut mixture into the millet and mix well. Serve hot or cold. Top with additional fruit, nuts, seeds and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon if wished.

Storage: This can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 day. To reheat, place in a saucepan with some extra milk and simmer, stirring, until warmed through.

Christine is a qualified nutritionist and chef and author of numerous healthy recipe books.  One of her specialisms is digestive health and cooking for people with allergies including those sensitive to gluten and dairy.  When she’s not writing recipes she advises clients and companies. For additional gluten free recipes why not book on to one of Christine’s cookery days or purchase one of her e-books online (See www.advancenutrition.co.uk)

Snacks with style (and smotherings of chocolate…)

We all know we should be eating more berries for health, but it’s so much easier when they’re coated in chocolate.

Landgarten are an organic company producing stylish and tasty snacks which just happen to be gluten free and fairtrade too.

Landgarten
Love berreis? You’ll love Landgarten

Whether its cherries, raspberries, hazelnuts or ginger there is something here for everyone to try… there’s goji berries, cranberries and berries mixed together They taste delicious, and are great for sharing whether it’s over a dinner party or watching a movie.

Landgarten also smother chocolate all over other snacks too like pumpkin seeds and soy beans (they do non chocolate versions too but er.. why would anyone want a non chocolate version?)

Landgarten
When did fairtrade & organic get so stylish?

Dark chocolate you can spread – utterly delightful

Spreadable dark chocolate
Spreadable dark chocolate

With the popularity of dark chocolate increasing, it’s not surprising that we should now start to see dark chocolate spreads appearing on supermarket shelves.

If you want organic chocolate spread, then a good place to start is Biona who make a dark chocolate spread without hazelnuts but with a little vanilla flavouring instead.

There are hazelnuts in Biona’s milk chocolate spread though, so if you are a hazelnut freak you need not miss out.