Dairy free chocolate now available in snack size bars

Moo Free's dairy milk chocolate alternative now comes in an even smaller size
Moo Free chocolate now in an even smaller size

My wife eyed up the new Mini Moo chocolate bars.

Delight spread over her face.

There’s nothing better than something you love being delivered in an even smaller package.

The thing about Moo Free chocolate is that, not only is it Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Wheat Free, Vegetarian and Vegan. According to our Slimming World calculations it’s also a lighter calorie chocolate bar.

However, what my true love has not noticed is that these new smaller versions of Moo Free chocolates are not yet available in her favourite flavour: Milk Choc with Caramelised Hazelnut Nibs.

What you do get is a choice of 3 snack size bars of either Rosie’s Crunchy Hunny-Comb, Mungo’s Juicy Sultana Bars or Hammy’s Original dairy free.

But, given the popularity of Moo Free’s highly successful rice milk alternative to dairy milk chocolate, I have no doubt that the hazelnut flavour will be soon to follow.

And my wife will be shouting with joy.

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Is red quinoa really better than white quinoa?

Red quinoa, white quinoa
What’s the difference between red and white quinoa?

This is an honest open question…

I’ve heard some people say that red quinoa is better than white quinoa, but I keep looking and looking and can’t find anything to support this?

So does anyone know something I don’t?

Quinoa grain is popular because it is very nutritious. It’s a great source of vitamins & minerals and is a source of complete protein – that means it’s a choice food for vegetarians and vegans, but it’s also gluten free, so anyone who is coeliac can eat it too.

The only difference I can find is that red quinoa has more bite to it and has a stronger flavour. It doesn’t soften as easily as white quinoa. But what this means is that different colours of quinoa perform better in different meals, red quinoa might be better in tabouli salads or as a side dish when serving fish, but white quinoa is more useful if you want to make porridge, thicken a soup or add it to a casserole.

Quinoa salad
Quinoa is worth trying if you are vegetarian, vegan or gluten free

Quinoa is very versatile. BioFair use organic, fairtrade quinoa to make gluten free pasta, and turn the grain into all sorts of quinoa variations: pops, flakes, flour or muesli. But the quinoa fans out there (who must know something more about quinoa than I do) will relish the news that BioFair not only sells white quinoa but also the more rare red version, and mixes both with the even more obscure black quinoa for a tricolor option.

Which leads to my next question: does any know how black quinoa differs from the red white varieties?

Fruity nibbles from Biona!

When you want organic vegetarian groceries, think Biona. They’re always creating new products to try. Here are some of their latest nibbles:

Pure Oaty Crunchy Granola – If you believe breakfast should always taste wonderful and be super healthy you need Biona’s Oaty Granola on your shelf! The high fibre in oats helps you feel fuller for longer and slowly releases energy for you throughout the day, and they also help to lower cholesterol, aid digestion and assist with bowel function.

Get started with a healthy cereal
Get started with a healthy cereal

Granola tastes great with so many options too. You can scatter in some fresh fruit, or add a dollop of honey or natural greek yoghurt. You can have a different flavour each day of the week, making for ultimate taste bud satisfaction!

Forest Berry Muesli – Here’s another organic breakfast for you. It is overflowing with fruitiness: sultanas, apples, prunes, raspberries, blackberries and red currants; so it’s packed with flavour to please your pallet! Plus the addition of cinnamon into the recipe is inspired!

Blueberry Cookies – Moving on from breakfast to our mid-morning tea break (we always need one), what biscuits will we have with our tea or coffee? Blueberry filled organic cookies sound good right? The crunchy wholegrain biscuit mixed with the smooth texture of mellow fruity flavoured blueberry jam makes this one tough cookie to beat! These are simply perfect for dunking, crunching and snacking on the go.

Raspberry Cookies – If blueberries don’t quite pick your fancy then no worries! Biona also offer a raspberry filling! Nothing beats the taste of raspberry jam, except raspberry jam between two wholegrain biscuits!

Raisin Coconut Cookies– These artisan, hand-crafted cookies have been baked using freshly windmill ground flour. The combination of coconut and raisins is simply mouth-watering while the sliced almonds on the cookies give an added crunch to the texture.

Tea-time snacks with lots of fruitiness
Tea-time snacks with lots of fruitiness

Canna Biscuits – Also hand-crafted, I found these biscuits rather intriguing. Made with hemp flour and raisins the choice of name is a bit of fun. They are very light in texture and delicately sweetened with malt syrup. Perfect for those of us who are lacking a sweet tooth.

Apricot Waffles – These are simply ingenious! When you warm them up over a cup of tea they go all gooey and lush! The combination of the smooth apricot centre and soft waffle will blow your mind.

Fun times with easy vegetarian cooking

It’s National Vegetarian Week this week! (Monday 21 May – Sunday 27 May 2012)

It’s intended to be a fun celebration of meat-free food and everyone is welcome to join in. One of the official partners of the week is Amy’s Kitchen – the brilliant innovators of convenient and tasty natural vegetarian meals, designed for busy people who appreciated good food.

Their Rice Mac & Cheese is especially popular but, this week you may want to sample some of their new recipes, such as Country Vegetables and Pasta in a Cheddar Cheese Sauce.

Amy's Kitchen - tasty, convenient and just like home made
Amy’s Kitchen – tasty, convenient and just like home made

Also there’s a Mexican Tortilla Bake, Black Bean Enchilada and Vegetable Pot Pie. And, with a nod to India, as the home of vegetarian cooking, a Vegetable Korma and Indian Mattar Paneer.

Food like this makes being a vegetarian easy…

Amy’s Kitchen foods taste good because they’re made as you would make in your kitchen if you had the time, with real ingredients and no additives. Fruits, vegetables and grains are grown naturally without the use of harmful chemicals and no meat, fish, poultry or eggs are ever used in any product.

In addition to the frozen foods Amy’s Kitchen offer tinned goods too with soups like Cream of Mushroom or Split Pea and chilli meals with a medium or spicy option.

Love food, love olives, love Olives Et Al

Have you ever gone exploring on market day and come across a stall which sells lots and lots of olives?

Did you ever want to sample all of them? Well now, you have the chance to purchase all those olives online…

Love food, love olives
Love food, love olives

Olives Et Al have made olives their passion. Using the finest ingredients and original recipes they have created a gorgeous range of olives you can store in your kitchen all for yourself. All the olives are sold marinating in jars of oil infused with herbs and spices, to achieve inspiring flavours that bring to mind cultures from around the world. There’s no need to refrigerate them as the oil preserves the olive. In fact, within reason, the longer you keep them, the better they taste.

And no artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives either, as you find with so many olives nowadays.

How about gathering a collection of the following…

  • Aussie Olives – Kalamata Olives cured in a sweet but tangy mix of Vinegar, Oil and Brine with a nudge of chilli.
  • Classic Olives – Sicilian olives with chilli, garlic bay & pepper.
  • Moorish Olives – Fully ripenend olives with cumin, coriander & cardamom in extra virgin olive oil.
  • Pistou Olives –  A French recipe of green olives with basil & garlic in extra virgin olive oil.
  • Pitted Green Olives – Fully matured olives in extra virgin oil, perfect for salads, breads or pizzas.
  • Pitted Kalamata Olives – Naturally ripened Greek olives in an extra virgin oil infused with Herbes de Provence.
  • Oak Smoked Kalamata – Kalamata olives gently smoked over oak chippings then steeped in extra virgin olive oil.
  • Sunshine Olives – A Greek recipe of mixed olives marinated with rosemary, garlic & sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Verde Olives – Greek olives with lemon, coriander and garlic for a fresh, zesty taste.

You can use the oil for your cooking too, so it’s a real investment in culinary wonders, ready to transform simple into scrumptious.

I’ll leave the last words to Olives Et Al:

“We love food as much as we love life itself. We don’t believe in doing things by halves. If something doesn’t look, taste and smell divine, and feel great in your mouth, then we just won’t make it. It’s as simple as that. But don’t take our word for it, put us to the test. You will not be disappointed but be warned, there’s no going back.”

You’ll never believe what you can do with watercress

Who knew that you could buy watercress burgers?

Watercress is the kind of food you grow on your window sill as a child. But apparently it’s also versatile and tasty enough to make into paté, sausages, savoury mousse, or soup.

Cresson Creative's Watercress Sausages
Cresson Creative's Watercress Sausages

Well, we knew about the soup already but watercress burgers? Cresson Creative have brought together an award winning range, bursting with flavour and texture.

All handmade in the heart of Hampshire using quality ingredients, all preservative free and (with the exception of their watercress and smoked trout mousse) fully endorsed by the Vegetarian Society.

Still got any doubts? Their watercress sausages are mouthwatering and meat free made with watercress, breadcrumbs, mature cheddar cheese, onion, garlic and seasoning. Sounds good to me.

And, just to tease your imagination a little more… How about trying some watercress and walnut paté or Moroccan style vegan watercress burgers?

Ready for an organic night in?

Simple question: how many organic vegetarian ready meal brands can you think of?

Any at all?

It you’re going to eat a ready meal it helps to know that it’s good quality food and not processed rubbish.

Organic fast food. Why not?
Organic fast food. Why not?

Natural Cool have been providing organic fruit and veg like fruit berries and peas for a while now. However, recently they moved into creating quick ready meal dishes like their vegan chilli non carne and vegetarian lasagne bolognese, both without meat and both organic.

Natural Cool also offer a variety of potato options and they’ve begun making pizzas too! All organic, so you know they’re good.

Perfect for an easy, quality Saturday night in.