Archive for the ‘Food & Drink’ Category

Lent: Natural Sweeteners on the shelves to substitute as alternatives to sugar

April 2, 2015

It feels poignant to me to write about sugar substitutes at this time, when, I am acutely aware that in under a week’s time it appears that half the population will gorge and double their average weekly Chocolate intake in a single day; Easter Sunday arrives!

However, for the few  of us who have essued the dark stuff since before March (feels almost like 1989…ie a long time!) this is a time for presents in my family, over excessive gifts of sugary sweet confectionary.

We love to Celebrate Easter in my family but since some of them are unwell, diabetic, on medication or simply seeking to not become unwell\overweight etc, we have universally chosen to celebrate rather more demurely, with small Easter gifts to bring great joy instead. I now like my new Easter\Spring shoes and Tea (which I have since becoming less interested in cooked foods, discovered an interest for, later on in life! 😉 )

For those who ‘shouldn’t’ have sugar (inc.most if not all of us…) here is a run down of the chosen alternatives available on the shelves…

  1. Agave – ALERT! I have rarely ever used it as it is a highly refined product (not a ‘nectar!’); v.sweet syrup or powder. I have found it to be a strong stimulant. When I recently asked the Store Manager at Planet Organic in Westbourne Grove, he agreed “it is too much” he stated; “it is simply too much for our system to handle”. Which does he prefer, I enquired {Q} “Date Syrup, Coconut Palm Sugar and Syrup…” He replied
  2. Date Syrup
  3. Sweet Freedom (fruit blend mix) Syrup
  4. Stevia: Syrups and powders (though still processed & refined) pref. natural state ground green leaf. Huhis ndreds of times sweeter than sugar cane or beet. 🙂 My Brighton based colleague grows it in his flat…
  5. Xylitol: Birch Tree sap
  6. Jaggery (conscious foods): I’ve never tried this Indian\Asian sugar but I hear from the followers that it is v.good, with extra vitamins & minerals (so they’d say…)
  7. Coconut Sugar and Nectar \ Syrup: 2 of my all time current favourites: for sweetness and the effect isn’t overly stimulating at all 🙂
  8. My favourite is: Yacon Syrup: I watched these being planted out and sown down out in Monkton Wild Court in Dorset many years ago on a Wild Raw Food Retreat I held over a weekend. These are like the gold of the tuber world! 🙂 Very nice (yet v.expensive in comparison…)

So if you are baking or making sweet creations this weekend (or ever) care to think about the substitutes which can be used instead of the standard sugar, which overly stimulates the pancreas, adrenal glands and overly numbs us as a result (not least robbing us of our vital nutrients).

I am seeking a healthier world view on all these areas, since I quit eating sugar back in 2003 and have rarely eaten it and no chocolate in general since Lent began. I am seeking also to find the best options for alternatives and to utilise them in my own and commercial foods. Less is most definitely, more! 😉

Happy Easter for the Kitchen Buddy friends & crew! 🙂

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Raw Chocolatier debut on SKY TV!

March 25, 2015

Florentine hearts

I few weeks ago, a researcher from Islam TV contacted me to attend an interview about my Raw Chocolatier, live on air. How very excited I was! They whisked me off to the studio within a couple of hours and I spoke about the great benefits to sugar-free and dairy-free Raw Chocolate.  Here’s our interview link from the day:

http://www.kitchenbuddy.eu/artisan-foods/raw-chocolatier/press-coverage/

NEW Recipe Book publishing 2015!

March 11, 2015

green juice 600kb

No, not totally my own work, but a collection of recipes from global Raw Chefs, from around the world, inc Gabriel Cousens MD. My ….. feature alongside those of many other world-renowned teachers, from whom inspiration has been gained. ‘Through the Raw Food Galaxy’ explores a whole range of new recipes from chefs around the world, who have contributed their work for this project.

The ‘Gourmet Makery’ www.gourmetmakery.com group in Germany contacted me last year and the photos are being sent off to them for inclusion in their publication, this week! 🙂

My contributions include a Rejuvenating Spring Green Juice, Spiralised Courgette noodles with fresh tomato sauce and pesto dressing.

More news soon!

International Women’s Month Events

March 6, 2015

International Women’s Month Event March 2015

I am delighted to have been invited to present & demonstration on Women’s Health (Teens – 25yrs), in conjunction with Torridon Rd Library, in Lewisham, SE6.  The FREE event is on: Tuesday 24th March, 7 -9 p.m. BOOKING ADVISABLE

My special recipes for the night include a Vibrant skin Revitaliser Juice and a Chocolate Orange Mousse Cream. Suitable for Vegans, Coeliacs & nut allergies.

“Now is a time to replenish our skin and other organs, inside and out. Whether it’s a ‘Dry’ January or another form of ‘detox’ or simply finding the right ratio of work, rest & play, for you, we have a special treat in-store for all our new and existing customers ”

Kitchen Buddy Founder, Theresa Webb BA.DipNT (CNM)

More Raw in Retail

March 4, 2015

Just noticing that Planet O are now going this way too… http://www.planetorganic.com/5daysraw/

London Eco projects

March 4, 2015

seeds for a swapping in the

South London Seed Swap organised by Lewisham Gardens (Anne-Marie at the helm)

This proved to be a lovely afternoon, out at the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, with dozens of enthusiasts bringing their bulbs and seeds into the garden, to share, swap and exchange. I selected a range of veg, herbs and flowers to take in for my swap and as exchange, selected a range of others including; 2 varieties of kale, cress, swede (we shared out a pack), 2 types of cauliflower and lettuce, peppers, tomatoes (as a result of hearing Mihail from the nursery discuss his tips), plus basil, echinacea, 2 varieties of sunflower and half a dozen other flowering annuals 🙂

There were also a series of excellent workshops; demonstrations to educate on new skills. We learnt how to hold and twist a bouquet of flowers, to form the perfect jug, from every angle, by Sharmini, a local seasonal florist who designs the floral arrangements for the garden museum in Lambeth. She very carefully showed us how to add different colour stems and place them at angles which appeared to me odd, at first, plus foliage, but when all fully combined, yielded the prettiest of bouquets. She shared, too, her trick to displaying stems in a wide neck vase: place scelloptape in a criss-cross pattern across the top, to keep them in their place, to prevent them from falling over.seed swapping day Lewisham Gardens

Next up was Mihail from Dig this Nursery; a heath shop, plant nursery & cafe by New Cross ‘Venue’ club… it has recently moved there, from opposite New X Gate area (by the Hobgoblin Pub). Now they are in their new home and teaching us here, how to best sow our tomato plants; in to the smallest containers first, prior to planting into slightly larger pots, then into hanging baskets (in order to avoid slugs etc) or raised beds etc. This makes a lot of sense; to develop the roots gradually and to master the stems first.

Finally we learnt about Wildlife Gardening from Alison, who’d driven all the way up from Kent (where it had been snowing-proper) to teach us about easy ways to attract all sorts of wildlife & engage us with a nice quiz! 🙂

We left feeling v.happy (though I’d have felt happier had I not had a flat back tyre & had to walk, all the way home, to SE6…)

WM garden trowel

The V&A have launched a William Morris design range of garden tools; inspred by his paintings & art work, there’s a torch, tape measure, scissors, secateurs and hammer\screwdriver multi-tool (all of which I am much enamoured by) and I recently bought myself a garden trowel, in a ‘Daisy’ print design. It is both stunningly beautiful and utterly practical; Morris would approve, himself. 🙂 Re- the recent exhibition at the NPG in London; on his life & work 🙂

Other news: I recently attended an Introduction to Permaculture Course based at Stepney City Farm, which is a super-fab place to hang out, at the best of times. We enjoyed the course enormously; it was justthe right mix and balance of fun, studious design efforts & planning out projects that was needed. Plus we turned compost heaps and were left to roam the farm to develop our senses of this environment.

primula potSpring has sprung! My colour-co-ordinated Primula plant pots, in the kitchen (matching the blind!) 🙂

A ray of hope for January ‘Blues’; Case study Treatments & Special Offer

January 26, 2015

Following a ‘Blue’ themed party at a friend’s house on Saturday, to cheer us up from ‘Winter Blues’ l am adding my very own Seasonal speciality; a Special Offer for all those who felt the pinch a week ago, on the unpleasantly titled ‘Blue Monday’, as it was deemed the day which many may have abandoned their health aims & left their New year’s resolutions by the wayside…

This time of year is ideal for beginning our own, personal challenges to conquor and to find some assistance to assist us in these, where necessary.

Recent Case Study: I have spoken to 2 patients in both my Central and South London Clinics, who wish to have just that; support during times of their lives when their health issues are really crying out to be addressed and can be ignored no longer. Both had been prescribed medications through conventional means, though neither had proved effective.

A 1 hr consultation each later and both patients feel satisfied to accept the Naturopathic approach to their Treatment Plans complete with wholesome, easy to follow, individualized recipes sent to them post-session by email.

A new beginning could be just what the doctor ordered & if this is timely & relevant reminder for you, please take advantage of our Special Offer for January 2015.

An initial Naturopathic Nutrition Consultation for 1hr at either my Central or South London Clinic for the price of £64.00 (* 20% saving on standard clinic fees) (90 mins appts by practitioner discretion)

Home Visits from £50.00 (within London)

FREE 15 min consultation available NOW! 

For further details and appointments, please contact the clinics directly, or myself via email or phone (or message me on my blog here)

Friday and Saturday afternoons http://www.healthwisetherapy.com/

Weekdays (Mainly available Wednesday) www.londonnatural.co.uk

Alternatively, visit my main website www.kitchenbuddy.eu for all other routes of inquiry.

** Sessions may vary in length and duration, depending upon the individual medical & symptomatic conditions treated and assessed.

DISCLAIMER 

This information is for guidance only and is not to replace medical appts or advice. This therapeutic approach is unable by regulation, to claim to treat or lay claims to ‘cure’ any diagnosed or undiagnosed disease or condition.

Theresa Webb BA Dip NT. has enjoyed enabling many patients to experience better health through Naturopathic Nutrition appts for over 6 years and qualified from College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2013. She has attended several clinics and also works from home visits, out of regular clinic hours.

Contact experienced Nutritionist Theresa for a non-obligation FREE 15 min consult now! 

Seasonal Beverage: Dairy & Alcohol Free Egg-Nog!

December 23, 2014

smoothie 'egg nog' in glass

I must confess to never having actually ever drunk ‘Egg-Nog’ – a blend of egg, milk and alcohol (I presume…) but I do rather like this alcohol-free version, which is what I’ll be making to drink over the Christmas period and holiday Season.

For those considering giving up or reducing their alcohol over the New Year, this Dairy-Free version is equally, if not more delicious as the original! Plus, it contains ‘Rose-root’ Rhodiola which has the added benefits of calming and de-stressing effects! Find it though a good local natural remedies or herbalist shop.

Ingredients (Organic wherever possible)

Almonds

1\2 Pt fresh water

1 Banana

1\4 tsp Grated\Ground Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Ginger (to taste)

1\4 Rhodiola Powder (Russian Rose Root)

1\4 tsp Vanilla bean powder or 1\2 bean pod (or 2-5 drops of a natural essence)

Method

1. Soak the Almonds in water overnight or for at least 20 mins minimum; soaking removes enzyme inhibitors surrounding the nut, which makes digestion easier and also allows the skin to be peeled off more easily!

2. Drain away the water and refresh in hot water (to make the skins peel off easier). The skins become easier to rub off; using your thumb and forefinger (and any other way!) press the almond skins to release them and discard. Keep the almonds to one side.

3. Using a blender, add the almond and process together with the fresh water, to make a milk consistency.

4. Keeping the pulp (or strain, if preferred) add all the remaining ingredients into the blender and blend for 60 seconds until creamy, frothy and light.

5. Pour into a glass(es) and serve. 🙂

Nutrition Note: Rhodiola is a pale pink, rose flavoured powder with adaptogenic and calming properties, to calm, soothe, relax and de-stress! Ideal for the holiday season ahead! 🙂

Warm Wishes for a Very Happy Christmas and Healthy and Prospersous New Year 2015 ahead.

Theresa x

wreath on front door star dec 2

Restaurant & Guide Book Reviews

December 10, 2014

Birthday pic joe and Graham bday meal henri & Andrew

This month’s Funky Raw magazine features my 2 reviews on a Vegetarian Paris Guide (& the local Calabash Pop-Up, previously featured here). It’s a bumper issue!

The mag & food info is on here: http://www.funkyraw.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=541

The Guide Books can be purchased here: www.veggieguides.com

An excerpt reads … ‘By the time I’d read half way through, I was feeling a) hungry, from all the delicious looking photos of the dishes in Paris and b) wanting to go on another visit to Paris!

Who would like to go out to visit Paris for a few of these places mentioned?’

The Ecology, Environment and Eating your words in London

November 23, 2014

Saturday morning, I casually interviewed our local farmer’s market assistant trader, Jackie, from Whitegates Farm & Nursery. She is every inch a convert to organic gardening and growing but later in life (some might suppose…)  owing to being brought up in a concrete jungle, in Brixton (South London), she said & her accent hasn’t changed… What’s more she hasn’t eaten fresh produce from a supermarket in 4 yrs and buys her toiletries elsewhere, as to find the brands which are free-from SLS.  and she explained that she’s amazed by just how different the fresh produce tastes! She finds it amazing how much better the home-grown carrots taste by comparison to the supermarket ones; “Flavour versus no flavour!”

Since it’s now Autumn, there are a great array of squashes & patty pan (small squashes, masquerading as miniature pumpkins) but a distinct lack of Horesradish, which was due to the weather. The strong-flavoured roots grow far further down into the soil and owing to the heavy rain, it had become very muddy and somewhat difficult to remove, given the time he (the farmer, Mike) now has, since he began to run the stall weekly and has to dig up more carrots too.  This really brought home the whole farm-to-fork concept of gardening.

Consider the alternatives; whereas  the supermarket culture has us examining our veg all year round, here is a farm where many products are grown, seasonally and annually, only to be directly affected by the weather… of course. It’s much  more easy and practical to pull up several bunches of carrots, than to spend the same time pulling up a single horseradish root, for a few pence more…

As a result of her working for the farm,  Jackie’s friends and family have all become more chemically conscious; she is a marvelous example and  activist (with a v.small ‘a’) for all things eco.

Go & visit them for the farm fresh fruit and veg http://www.weareccfm.co.uk (Manor House Gardens)

A round-up of this week’s other activities…

This week it’s all about food relating to community, cost of living and climate change \ the Earth at large, concepts.

Starting on Tuesday – Our monthly London Permaculture Publicity group meeting held at the South Bank, which is looking gloriously festive with lots of new food stall huts, complete with a maze made out of the type of things I’m not mentioning ’til next month, being as it’s not yet even the month of December … it’s all very pretty. Lola & I went on a little walk about; there is a Scandinavian theme bar area, complete with sofas and rugs and all with a great view of the river from upstairs.

Stefan Gates Food Matters Excel

Wednesday: took the DLR over to Food Matters expo at Excel Centre  – in time to join the audience for a panel discussion\debate with Prue Leith CBE, an MP, an Oxford Uni Prof and a food historian. All debating their views on how to eliminate childhood obesity and malnutrition: A combination of free meals for all, school influence, improving school dinners, banning packed lunch boxes and changing legislation. This was excellent to see a panel of such eminent authorities putting their views forward. I thought they were all great if not a little far fetched. I didn’t think any are totally plausable in current UK political climate. What govt. is willing to make cuts to subsidise these proposed desired changes? It was rather like an ‘If I ruled the world’ type of exploration.

Onto another exploration of another kind altogether… ‘feeding 9 million +’ read  the blurb on the board, which looked like the most interesting demonstration of some type of food related cookery. An area of research close to my heart & head for campaigning to reduce\eliminate farming of livestock. This was Stefan Gates, author, tv presenter and weird chef (but in a kind of exciting, very active way…) An adventurer and explorer (as he prefers it). He started out by handing round marshmallows and traditional lolly pops to the gathered audience – the public duly popped them into their mouths and onward he went. We watched as he shared video clips from his travel series where he eats many (revolting) things inc animal penises (in China) then he filled a huge long plastic bag with dry ice and explained that it represented how much methane gas a cow emits throughout  a day\annually; which incidentally, is lots (see above). He explained how reducing our meat consumption might help to reduce this gas and instead, suggests we eat insects… & he & his ‘grub’ chums promptly handed round fried crickets which half the audience tasted, whilst the remaining half (moi y inclu) looked on in silent disbelief…

Next, he proceeded to crush beetles into a pestle and mortar as if to illustrate that we, humans, have eaten insects, just unknowingly. The crushed beetles were added into a big vat of water, which duly turned pink; Cochineal \ E120 \ Red food colouring. And the trick? He explored how this innocent sounding food colouring actually ends up into marshmallows and lolly pops, which the audience had gamely eaten earlier. Except myself, for precisely that same reason…. (& the sugar… & the gelatine…)

Thursday – Monty Don; ‘Down to Earth’.  Sadly, I missed the great Monty Don speak about his gardening career locally this week at Blackheath Halls 😦  His twitter account is full of great joys to read though, so I can recommend that as at least a small alternative…) it sounded v.inspiring from what I could tell by the other tweets… I need to find out what I’d missed.

Friday – a UCL talk on Climate Change by @ClimateGeorge; author of a book entitled (something like): ‘Are our brains wired to deny climate change’ ie I think not, it makes sense for us to be ‘wired’ towards sustainability, I felt.  A long & deliriously comic talk, at times, about how the nation should be discussing this topic, why it isn’t, why it should care more, as seen through the eyes of a fossil-fuel activist (ie focused in this fashion; as his ‘lens’).  He went to Brussels to speak to EUMPs there, before I got a chance to ask him a question about his eating habits re-meat & methane production in general. Met some interesting people at the cloisters afterwards though inc. political editor & film maker.

Despite the style of talk, I’ve since discovered that his wife, Annie, writes an exceptionally lovely blog here: http://kitchencounterculture121.wordpress.com/

With thanks to @hedgehoghugh for connecting us together on this matter 🙂

Meanwhile great news in the ‘News’, well, Time Out (which is the news we’d sometime rather read and isn’t so much that but more up-to-the-minute-London-life info) and The Final Word pg columnist, Giles Coren; not known, I’d have previously thought, for his pro-eco stance in the world but here he is, in an article, debating the nations’ love of …. coffee… and milk!  It’s not one that I can understand, personally, since I detest it; its flavour and that of honey (aka ‘bee vomit’ – reinforces adventurer, Stefan Gates!)

To quote him verbatim; ‘and you don’t even like the taste. So you drown (it) in a pint of hot milk and call it a ‘latte’ and … mope wordlessly to work, suckling like a giant toddler on quantities of warm cow’s milk that are healthy only for other cows,newly born and then only for a matter of weeks, delivering levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) that in adult humans will grow you at best a fat belly and at worst, it is argued, give you cancer…’  

Whoah! Wow! The restaurant critic that is GC has come out as a cow-caring consumer! 😉 Whatever next..? he’s read enough about the dairy industry to learn that it isn’t all hunky-dory to go consuming milk, willy-nilly and is taking up a gauntlet to educate his latte-loving readers. Well done GC & TO, for almost daring readers to become coffee & dairy-free 😉

Back to the great outdoors and the Burgess Park Glengall Wharf Garden: On Saturday, I cycled and bussed over to Burgess pk (off Old Kent Rd) for the main meeting of the London Permaculture Network. There is a lot going on here at this garden and we held a v.productive meeting to discuss future plans and expansions 🙂

Finally, as if that wasn’t enough, the BBC has a good link to a foraging article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30015052