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

Enjoy the best in jams from St Dalfour

What happens when you combine fine gourmet cooking with unadulterated preservative free ingredients?

St Dalfour, the French food company have a good idea. They are dedicated to producing natural foods, so it’s no surprise how popular their products are in the UK, particularly the fruit conserves.

Rhapsodie de Fruit from St Dalfour
Rhapsodie de Fruit from St Dalfour

The 100% fruit spreads are rich with luscious whole fruit and sweetened only with grapefruit juice – not one artificial preservative or additive in sight.

Now, for your enjoyment, St Dalfour have put together a gift set ‘Rhapsody of Fruit’: Cranberry with Blueberry, Orange and Ginger, and Strawberry – all with no added sugar.

A trinity of the finest preserves, a combination of the simplist ingredients – all for your good pleasure.

Nutritious fruit when you want it

It’s difficult to express how delightful freeze dried strawberries are…

We find them in our cereals and snack bars, but usually they’re quite small. When you eat a whole one it tastes like you’re eating a sweet and yet it’s simply fruit.

Convenient, nutritious food when you want it
Convenient, nutritious food when you want it

However, freeze dried fruit is not like dried fruit. For example, there’s no added sugar which means the calorie count is lower and makes it a good healthy choice for people who need to avoid lots of sugar.

Neither are many nutrients lost in the process, freeze dried fruit still has a beneficial amount of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, which can benefit your body.

Elena are making pouches of both freeze dried fruit and herbs, which will bring a potent punch to any cooking or baking you may care to do; and, because they are lighter but sturdier than much fresh fruit, they are perfect for travelling with too.

Consider trying the following:Whole Cherries

Also there are herbs:


Healthy treats kids will find it hard to say no to

There’s definitely a rising trend in healthy snacks at the moment.

The latest innovation from Fruit Bowl are ‘Peelers’ – similar to cheese strings but made with fruit and guaranteed to appeal to children.

Fun peel-able strips of fruit
Fun peel-able strips of fruit

What will appeal to the parents is that they are made 100% from fruit – with nothing artificial added – an enjoyable option for your five-a-day. They are simply a combination of fruit purees with fruit juices, and absolutely no dodgy ingredients used – it’s all just fruit, in orange, strawberry and blackcurrant flavours – that makes them gluten free too.

Another of Fruit Bowl’s ideas are Fruit Softies, which are chewable lozenges of fruit in tropical or berry mix flavours. Again there’s nothing artificial just a concentrated fruit bursts that can fit in a child’s hand.


Mini fruit snacks you’ll love

Have you ever looked at baby food and thought, “I’d really like to eat that!”?

Handy fruit snacks from BuddyFruits
Handy fruit snacks from BuddyFruits

That’s the experience I’m having right now, but kind of in reverse. Because what I’ve got are some little treats which are aimed at adults, but I’m sure any baby would love to get their hands on them.

They are called Buddy Fruits and they come in little packets of fruity sweets and screw top pouches of pureed fruit.

The concept is the same for both, get some apples, mix with strawberries or organges or raspberries and mini-size them so that they fit into your pocket or a handbag.

Made of nothing but fruit each pack promises one of your 5-a-day servings and make a great alternative to unhealthy snacks.

Fruit juice should always be healthy juice so be selective about what you drink

If you want to know the truth about fruit juice, some juices are better than others. Many use poor quality fruit which won’t provide all the health benefits you expect and don’t taste like they should either.

Sunraysia sets its standards higher: nothing but juice from the best quality fruits, packed with real healthy benefits and tasting delicious. It’s made them a household name the world over.

Sunraysia drinks are designed to bless your body
Sunraysia drinks are designed to bless your body

As juice makers, Sunraysia are especially keen that you not only drink something tasty, but something that helps you feel happy. That’s how their blend of fruits and botanical extracts and sometimes vitamins too, are designed to bless you.

They don’t add any preservatives, artificial colours or artificial flavours – keeping it 100% natural so your body feels loved.

That’s the philosophy that goes into their Wellbeing Drink combining apple, cherry and beetroot to boost your immune system. It’s also why they make a Prune Juice naturally rich in anti oxidants, or carrot juice rich in beta carotene, and tomato juice rich in lycopene.

Sunraysia’s Pear, Apple & Vanilla Drink is designed to be soothing. Their Orange, Mango & Passion Fruit Drink contains ginseng and guarana to give you energy. And their Beetroot & Evesse apple juice promises betaine, to help maintain a healthy heart, and polyphenols to help improve blood circulation.

So many alternatives to alcohol…

A quick brainstorm comes up with lots of reasons why you might not want to drink alcohol – aside from the obvious alcohol abuse.

You might be trying to lose weight, or be on a fitness programme. There might be spiritual reasons or you may want to follow a healthier lifestyle.

You might be pregnant, on medication or have an ongoing illness.

Aside from anything else consuming alcohol washes vitamins and nutrients out of your system. There are benefits of course, alcohol has been enjoyed by many for centuries. But few people know the range of non-alcoholic drinks out there.

Breckland Orchard make various sparkling fruit drinks with special infusions such as Strawberry and Rhubarb or Cranberry and Rosehip. Other drinks companies offer their own specially made versions: Free Natural offer caffeine free drinks, Thorncroft promise no added sugar and Luscombe drinks are organic.

Another organic brand, particularly for the party feel are The Organic Collection’s sparkling fruit berry drinks. Rock’s are also an organic brand but they specialise in varieties of flavoured water.

Fentimans brew traditional tasting beverages such as cola, dandelion & burdock, jigger and ginger beer.

Fancy a bottle of bubbly?
Fancy a bottle of bubbly?

In fact there’s heavy competition between ginger drinks all round, with options like Gran Stead’s Ginger Wine, Great Uncle Cornelius Finest Spiced Ginger or Rochester’s Organic Hot Toddy and more.

Of course, there are many fruit juices as well. James White are are a notable bottled brand in this area.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning the popular Yorkshire Punch made with infusions of herbs and spices, and Rochester’s Mulled Berry or Rum and Raisin – just in case you’re looking for something with true Christmas spirit.

So many pleasurable drinks and you’ll be able to enjoy more than the odd tipple.

Afghan raisins? A fair play for peace

If trade can be the cause of war, perhaps it can also provide a cause for peace?

Fair trade groups are testing this theory by trading coffee from the Congo and olive oil from Palestine in the UK.

Now, after four years work, Tropical Wholefoods are exporting raisins from peaceful areas of Afghanistan.

The Guardian reports “Offering people decent prices for their produce can help to support jobs, improving living conditions for producers, their families and the local businesses they buy from, and diverting young men, especially, away from involvement in militias.” (Sarah Irving)

The Fairtrade raisins are from the Shomali region of Afghanistan and, along with apricot kernals from Northern Pakistan, are the latest in a string of senstional fruits sold by Tropical Wholefoods.

Fairtrade fruits bursting with flavour
Fairtrade fruits bursting with flavour

Shoppers appreciate the excellence of the foods. Banana chips which are chewy, apricot kernals flavoured in chilli, banana-type ‘Bogoya’ slices which taste so good you’ll finish the bag, and now Afghan raisins which were once reputed to be the best in the world.

You can enjoy them as organic fruit and nut snack bars too.

Fair trade is all about opening up an opportunity for a different kind of life – and if it brings peace then it’s fair enough.

Margarets – a dessert with less than 3% fat

You’ve never tasted frozen yoghurt like this before.

Last week we launched a competition to win six tubs in our newsletter, people went for it like crazy.

Award winning luxury frozen yoghurt
Award winning luxury frozen yoghurt

It’s not surprising. Four delicious fruit flavours, less than 3% fat, gluten free and no artificial colours or flavours (vegetarian too).

It took Margaret Salmon a long time to get it right (but it’s so smooth and guilt free, you’ll appreciate her effort). Crushed fruit is swirled through sumptuous Jersey and Guernsey milk and cream and then skillfully blended to  create a healthy and luxurious frozen dessert.

Fresh, indulgent and decadent Margaret’s Frozen Yoghurts are a world apart. One taste of mouthwatering mango, rampant raspberry, scrumptious strawberry,  or luscious lemon and you’re hooked.

Can sweeties be good for you? Well, yes, they can…

How chemical-free do kid’s sweets need to be?


That’s why two dads started by making their own and developed a recipe for sweets made simply of fruit, vegetables and plant sources.  Yummy Earth.

And they’ve gone one stage better:

Yummy Earth, good for kids
Yummy Earth, good for kids

They’re also organic, kosher, vegan, wheat-free, gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free. Even the colouring is natural – (although they have to get through a lot of Japanese purple carrots to achieve this!)

But the advantage is that 100% natural tastes 100% great! Real fruit ingredients means that whether you’re licking strawberry lollipops or chomping pomegranate candy drops or sampling their latest invention, you’re in for a real treat!

Or rather (ahem) your kids are.