Familiarise yourself with Organico’s speciality rice selection

risotto
Cultivated for your pleasure

I’ve said it before – the folk at Organico foods are impressive.

They always seem to bring quality, authenticity and and a sense of fairness to the table.

You are spoilt for choice with their range of organic Mediterannean foods, and now they’re offering a choice of speciality rice.

For example have you heard of Nerone Rice (or Black Rice)? By legend it is known as ‘Forbidden Rice’, because it was apparently reserved exclusively for the Chinese Emperor and his family (because of its nutritional and aphrodisiac properties!)

The wholegrain rice has a fragrant aroma and texture, best used for seafood or hearty vegetables mixes and casseroles.

Then there’s Essenza Rice. Essenza means ‘essence’ of fragrance. The aroma from the rice can be smelt even as its storks ripen in the field. As a long grain variety it is suitable for general cooking, especially with casseroles, sauces, curries or cold rice salad.

Organico’s Wild Red Rice is characterised by a tender, aromatic flavour which keeps longer after cooking. It is also rich in mineral salts, particularly selenium, antioxidants, iron and proteins and is easily digested – so it has gained a ‘superfood’ or ‘supergrain’ reputation.

Try this wholegrain rice with vegetable mixes, in a pilaf or with spicy and strongly flavoured dishes.

Finally, there’s Carnaroli Rice, the ‘king of risotti’. It’s regarded as the best risotto rice because the grain is compact and absorbs well without losing much of its starch. This means the rice draws in all the flavour of the ingredients and liquids but keeps its texture well.

Risottos are not difficult to make. The main thing to remember is do not boil the rice separately. But to help you Organico have also put together three quick and easy risotto meals using the Carnaroli grain:

Buon appetito!

If you’re looking for less expensive coconut oil…

It seems like everyone in the health business is getting into coconut oil.

With all the competition you’d expect it to be knocking the price down, but that doesn’t seem to be happening very much.

Refined coconut oil is cheaper than virgin coconut oil, but if you want something the flavour and smell of coconut then it’s better to go for virgin.

coconut oil
Organic coconut oil

One virgin brand which doesn’t cost the earth is made by Raw Health. As an organic raw food company, they have good credentials in paying attention to the quality of their food, yet the price is lower then anything else I’ve seen so far.

So it’s worth investigating.

Do yourself some good with a Little Miracle

If you want to maximise the antioxidants and energy you get from tea, Little Miracles might be a good place to start.

Little Miracle tea leaves from Sri Lanka, are well known for their high quality tea leaves whether that be black, green or white iced tea – all organic and blended with ginseng and acai.

Little Miracles
Do yourself some good

Once the green tea has undergone both minimal oxidation and further processing it holds a high level of antioxidants. As a result, more of the original plant substances survive in this herb, such as those known as polyphenols. It is then mixed with pomegranate to give you a refreshingly healthy natural lift.

Black tea is a variety of tea that is more oxidized than the green and white varieties, and thus carries a lower level of natural antioxidants whilst having a higher level of natural caffeine. For sweet satisfaction the tea is then blended  with peach in addition to the ginseng and acai.

With the white tea, selected buds are harvested at a far more immature stage. They are then gently processed in order to prevent oxidation or further fermentation, thus retaining the delicate taste and natural benefits of pure white tea and mixing it with cherry.

Tips for cooking rice pasta

Amisa are doing it again.

The organic firm, famous for their healthy food for dietary needs, are now introducing a range of gluten free pastas. – Highly appropriate for Coeliac Awareness Week.

organic rice pasta
Tips on cooking rice pasta

First up there’s some appetising wholegrain rice fusilli and penne.

The trick with cooking rice pasta is to include some olive oil and salt in your water.

Then, when you add the pasta at boiling point, stir immediately to separate the pasta and keep stirring until the water is bubbling again. This stops the pasta sticking together.

After this turn the heat down to a simmer and stir every half a minute. Fortunately rice pasta cooks quickly so this won’t take long.

Finally, when you’ve finished cooking, drain the water off as soon as possible to prevent overcooking.

That’s it!

Amisa also have some golden corn and rice pastas in the form of fusilli, rigatoni and spaghetti. Fortunately, this cooks just the same way as normal rice pasta.

 

Coeliac Awareness Week: Biona Organic Rice Bread – Review

Today marks the start of Coeliac Awareness Week.

Watch Catriona doing the first review of one of our Top 10 gluten free breads: Biona Organic Rice Bread.

 

Nutrition? We’re packing it

If you’re on the hunt for nutritious food then try teff flour.

GoodnessDirect priovides not only the brown teff, but it’s organic too.

Teff is nutritious because it provides for fibre than any other grain. It is also full of minerals with 17 times more calcium than wheat or barley.

Goodness Prepacks supply lots of organic ingredients for your kitchen cupboard, from roasted organic buckwheat to whole organic cashew nuts and everything in between such as organic bran flakes or organic black turtle beans.

Amazing low calorie biscuits and gluten free biscuits from Doves Organic

Doves quinoa and fig biscuits
Amazing new biscuits using quinoa and fig

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…

 

If you find wheat difficult try sourdough bread

sourdough bread from tortoise bakery

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.

(See Research on Non-Dietary Therapies for Coeliac Disease, Coeliac UK, January 2013)

The taste and texture is less bland, more wheaty and chewy. Some say it has a creamy mouth-feel and the crust is always excellent.

As for nutrition, the natural fermenting process means that sourdough bread  actually becomes more nutritious than the grain from which it is made. Protein in increased, as is vitamin B12 and iron.

So step up Tortoise Bakery which will deliver sourdough bread nationally via GoodnessDirect.

I’ve just tried their Pumpkin & Sunflower Seed loaf and, believe me, it’s marvellous.

But there are many more styles of sourdough from Tortoise Bakery, all of them are organic and vegan and made with a commitment to a very ancient art of of bread baking.

Vegan hot chocolate flakes from Plamil

Now this is good news!

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…

plamil hot chocolate
Rich and smooth, vegan hot chocolate

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.

The flakes are currently available from GoodnessDirect in four different varieties (all gluten free): organic chocolate, organic mint chocolate, organic chocolate with orange and sugar free chocolate flakes.

Italian crackers you can be proud of

croccantini
Beautiful Italian crackers

You can always taste quality.

Organico’s Croccantini are a perfect example.

Literally tiny artisan crackers, these perfect treasures will have you ‘wowing’ from the first bite.

Crisp, pleasant and bristling with flavour, these organic mini flatbreads come in 3 simple flavours: classic, chilli and rosemary.

There’s not much more to say, except…

“Wow!”