Archive for the ‘Herbs’ Category

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)

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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!) 🙂

London Vegan Fair and Kitchen Buddy Nutrition Talks & Demos

August 23, 2014

Here is, a full, complete and updated version (for the 2nd time of writing as the first, perfect draft, ahem, did not appear to publish…)

The night before saw me finishing the hand-dipping of the organic apricots for the packets of Apricot Thins.

There was a hive of activity as stalls set up from everywhere inc Devon, Cornwall as well as local businesses. The Festival takes over the entire building (on 3 levels) and included a wide range of stalls and workshops on all subjects ranging from anarchism, to raw foods, to baby & children’s health.

My stall had a great position in the main hall with enough space and several chairs for people to sit & talk.
James Gorman, Award winning body builder and former Ice Skater and now director or EVOLVE! Campaigns dropped by and told me about his life as a nutritionist and animal rights advocate. An inspirational role model to us all… 🙂  Amazingly, he’s 67 yrs of age but looks at least 10 years younger; he has a very gracious demenour with an inspiring, positive and compassionate approach.  It was an absolute delight to meet and chat to him.

The Ginger squares sold out early and customers enjoyed cinnamon and sour cherry, orange, rose and Apricot thins; they received good feedback. Generally, there was so much sugar to be found though, in cakes and other sweets that some customers felt that they were too bitter! 😉 I felt flummoxed until someone pointed out the effects of the other stalls there; cake & sweets… health is important too u know

At midday my first session in the programme was a talk on Raw Chocolatier – the benefits of raw, sugar-free chocolate, which generated conversations around cacao types and the impact of raw nutrition, enzymes etc. The audience members (approx 25) enjoyed their Handmade samples of Classic Orange, Ginger chocolate and Apricot Thins tasters, made from 75% Fair-Trade Ecuadorian Cacao and Mediterranean Carob.

Immediately afterwards, followed the second session, with Superfood for Super kids – Smoothies. Dairy-free Almond Milk as a base for 2 fresh smoothie drinks; an energising and uplifting ‘Berry Burst’ and a ‘Cool & Calm’ green vegetable smoothie. We started out with a growing group and the room filled to 40 adults and children, and we looked at the ingredients for our recipes we were to use: Pre-soaked almonds for milk, fruit: bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and ground superfood leaf & root powders: passiflora (passion flower), alfalfa, barley grass and I poured 1 dsp flax\linseed oil.

Almond milk is often best made with pre-soaked almonds, in order that they are soft enough to remove the skins from. 2 4 yr olds, a boy & girl started to peel almonds, a few of which slipped a bit and flew around the room to begin with but we gathered the remainder together and each taking it in turns to operate the blender, we made a light frothy milk, followed by the ‘Berry Burst’ with the children taking it in turns to add fresh berries and oil and re blended it up again, to make a fruity smoothie which was very popular.

Finally, the children made a ‘Cool & Calm green vegetable smoothie using a remaining 100 ml Almond Milk, a banana (which we opened up bottom first – in chimpanzee style!) 1\4 cucumber, 4 handfuls of spinach leaves, 1 dsp flax oil and a teaspoon each of passiflora, alfalfa & barley grass powders. The result: a bright green drink which everyone loved, adults & children alike.
Nutrition Notes: Almonds are a rich source of protein, healthy fats and Calcium. Berries are anti-oxidant rich & also in vitamin C. Cucumbers contain cooling properties, sodium and are mostly composed of water, for adequate refreshment and hydration.
Other additions would also be Baobab for energy and Aloe Vera for digestion and skin clearing, healing properties.

During the course of the day, back at the stall, the Festival of Life team handed out fliers (inc Mary, Paz & Chris) Aniel shared a Saf stall in the upper foyer and Tim (from the new Juice Tonic bar) shared that we did not appreciate the alcoholic bar being present and felt it could be nice without it but appreciate that it is appealing to many vegans to have own ferments…

Memorable moments:
After a flying visit around, I enjoyed re-meeting up with Mark from the Third Estate eco clothing & footware shop, Gail & Graham at Braintree clothing, Will from Will’s Shoes, Sophie & Martin -Permaculture gardens in Oxfordshire) Alex Bourke ‘Vegetarian Guide’ with a new upcoming Paris Issue currently in print, an exchange on a new beige SpaRitual nail varnish, more rose and chai nut milks by Helen and the lovely Conscious Cake Caribbean couple! 🙂
A delicious Rainforest Creations wrap for dinner

Thank you to all the lovely, kind voluntary volunteers who took great care of all the customers whilst I was off hosting at my workshops, in my absence: Salim, Mary, Samantha, Chris K, James Gorman, and the lovely Festival photographer, Vicky Alhadeff from Happy Dogs & Cats (behaviourist) for taking many lovely pics during the children’s non-cookery Drink demos. You are all wonderful! 🙂

Rawfest UK Wild Food Walks: Foraging at the UK’s no. 1Raw & Living Foods Summer Festival

July 21, 2014

RawFestUK Wild Edibles food foraging 2014

Rawfest UK 2014 comprised of 3 days camping\glamping (4 if you’re a performer\crew) in the East Greenstead countryside; comprising of 1 large main field space with camping and a smarter ‘glamping'(glamorous camping… = individual bell-tent-yurts)plus all the marquees for workshops, talks, performances and traders selling all varieties of foods (Pure on Raw are the inventive & delicious main caterers, along with Rawgeous and Mama Tierra) and a variety of healers. There were other stalls selling Indian & Balinese jewellery, clothing and pictures, fermented products, hemp, coconuts, free imploded water, pea, sunflower & wheatgrass shoots & shots, Veggie power-vehicle oil and a selection of other raw foods (mainly desserts). Healers (Massage, Magic-Hat Reiki Facilities inc toilets, taps etc).

There evolved a busy & very varied programme of daytime & evening activities, including my daily Wild Food Foraging walks and talks (for those unable to attend at the practical times).

Next to the main field were a few others ‘Sacred Space’ designated by law, as they possess a similar energy field to that in Glastonbury areas. Walking into these areas felt so beautiful, many of the healing had set up their spaces in here, which felt utterly blissful, just being in that same area. My London friends and I had arrived last Thursday to set up, ready for campers & visitors on Friday, when fellow speaker & international visitor, Loren Lockman and I took a walk around the sacred space area, to look at the medicinal plant foods growing around there. The grass and plants felt like a soft, springy carpet under bare-foot; a delightful way to explore this open wooded countryside.

We identified the following medicinal & edible plants: Blackberries (to ripen over the coming months), Hazelnuts (edible, though still yet unripe),Self heal, growing in patches, all across the uneven lawn; its pretty, purple flowers, bright like bonnets against the bright green grass. Followed by clumps of Plaintain leaves; their seed heads standing up straight on their stalks, awaiting a ‘seed-pod shooting’ game.
A short, little Mallow bush, bearing pale pink blossoms and many seed heads. The group later found baby Sorrel leaves with a strong lemon flavour.
Several clumps of Nettles and Red and White Clover,.

Going into the next field on the right yielded a discovery of Plantago Major the wide-leaf Plantain with a stalk full of seed head, following a later (group) discovery of Wild Mint, clustered by Thistles and a baby Hogweed plant about to flower. A tangled clump of Cleavers grew around a few more mature Hogweeds.

Recommended further reading: In addition to Food for Free, I’ve also fallen in love with the ‘Wildflower Handbook & Key’ by Francis Rose (a huge thanks to the excellent & widely knowledgeable wildsman, Dougal, for his v.welcome suggestion).

Sadly, my copy of Richard Maybe’s ‘Food For Free’ that I’d leant out to one of the female walkers & her daughter has not been returned; if you have it, please contact me ASAP!

For further info on any of the above, please leave your comments below.
Pictures of our walks, to follow, courtesy of Loren Lockman, with grateful thanks 🙂

An unforgettable floral and feathery afternoon at Kew

July 8, 2014

This afternoon, a friend took me to visit Kew Gardens again, with the premise of viewing the art exhibition currently available to view by Marianne North and the garden shop for a plant present.
We began by visiting the Gin & Tonic section (only open at weekends) as part of the Plantasia exhibition and learnt that many medicinal plants are traditionally used in the drink.
We ate our packed lunch in the grounds; sprouted green lentils, avocado, linseed crackers and lettuce tacos with hummus, cucumber, mallow flower and freshly picked wild rocket from near my garden. For dessert: A fresh Chocolate Orange Cream.
We made our way towards the art gallery via the main lake and palm house; collecting a pine cone and Ginko Biloba leaves on the way as momentos….
the lakeside planting is so beautiful; vibrant red crocosmia highlighted by a mauve flowering plant. There is also a beautiful old fountain in the centre which adds a historical feel. We went into the Lilly house where we heard a tour guide explaining the pollination techniques of one of the grand lillies and how the Beautiful Lotus flower plants have leaves that allow the rain water to fall straight off (a lesson for life here, as was explained later, by an Indian doctor).
The Lilly pad leaves are huge by all standards and look like you want to jump into the pond and sit on them, like Alice in Wonderland! 🙂

Then we went into the main palm house to see more tropical plants: Coffee, Mangos, Bananas, Macadamia Nut and Neem, the natural anti-septic, anti-fungal (anti-everything-undesirable!) native from India. (Akin to the Australia Tea Tree). We met a couple of Indian Doctors who stopped to explain their personal experiences & benefits of Neem… now in their 60s\70s, they both experience perfect dental health (with no cavities… unlike their children) due to using Neem twigs as toothbrushes\floss extensively during their childhoods. Neem is so good for teeth and gums it appears, that it is still used today. Plus, the eldest said, the only place he knew where to get them from, is in Lewisham…  That’s handy, then! 🙂

They went on to talk about further natural herbal and gastronomic remedies: Coconut Oil benefits also include Cholesterol reduction, Turmeric uses inc. as a preservative and skin cleanser\detoxifier for conditions and Darjeeling tea beats coffee any time (but then, he would say that.. 😉 )  We sat in the humidity and talked about Ayurvedics and the ‘5 holy tree effect’ (for meditation inc Oak for air purity, Neem for medicine, banana for energy etc.)

Their parting words were concerning the beautiful, pink Lotus Flowers, growing in the Lilly house pond next door; that we should be like the Lotus, which sits tall above the water level; its roots stretch deep into the murky waters below. The plant lets the water from rain roll straight off its leaves; the message being to remain beautiful and unaffected – of the world but in the world. This is a Krishna based belief but has a direct reference and similarity to Christianity.

The heat rose to a level to warrant a breather outdoors.  Thanks to Dr Ghosh (whose son is an obesity GP specialist) 🙂

We moved onto the shop, which contains an amazing assortment of every seasonal vegetable, fruit and shrubs etc plus all lovely garden paraphernalia.  We found some nice presents in the form of plants for friends & family, a vintage floral print tea towel and magnet (a cook’s essentials…)   http://shop.kew.org/homeware/tea-towels-and-aprons  The delightful thing is that these images at Kew’s shop, match the very postcards which I’d purchased 5 months earlier at a postcard fair (which is now no longer in existance) but I have the postcards and soon a whole collection of inspired things for the home. (now on my b.day present list…)

Since the Marianne North botanical art exhibition was closing, we viewed the prints in the shop instead; a rich, vibrant, tropical mix of flowers and foods. (view) http://prints.kew.org/category/botanical-art/marianne-north I could almost smell the scent of the Red Hibiscus!

A quick trip to Miss M’s curious curiosities – Medicinal Plants at Kew – we learnt about the pharmaceutical properties and uses of the plants: from opium poppy – to morphine\heroine, meadowsweet to quinine (and how Oliver Cromwell had died without it).  A male peacock appeared and strutted his stuff with his plumage lying low, I stood, taking photos. Miss M remarked “Oh look, he’s leaving you a feather…” and sure enough, as he walked off, a feather dropped out and I ran to collect it, waving it proudly! “A feather!” I exclaimed. This day is now complete! (even though we had missed the real art… 😦 ) Feeling utterly delighted that I had a feather, given to me, directly from the bird (without any cruelty involved), we went home via the city; from floral tranquillity into commute-life humdrum.

kew peacock

Palm House @Kewkew 2 ph roof kew 7 ph oldest tree trunk kew ph 3 red berries kew ph 4 view kew ph 5 coffee kew ph 5 oldest tree kew ph 7 timeline

Medicinal plants wild food foraging Walk

May 27, 2014

The morning was wet but fortunately, the rain did not dampen our spirits and it stopped as soon as the group gathered at the station :). Our group comprised of G, an author & old ecologist friend. We’d first (& last met) in Switzerland circa 1991! After 22 yrs+ he’d trekked over to be part of our local foray. At the time, we’d briefly shared our mutual nature interests but hadn’t really had an opportunity to meet before now. He’d also travelled the furthest away, other than M & B, a young Czech couple! Add to this, S, a new local, completed our group.

Walking along the Embankment with our identification books, sheets and info, we found Cleavers (Galium aparine) for detoxing the Lymph and Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris)  for its leaves & white flowers. We collected Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium) and Elderflowers at the station and then, garlic \ hedge mustard from the community garden. Wild Food foraging rules: leave 2\3 of a plant intact, to continue to grow, so to pick carefully. Stay clear of anything suspicious or poisonous (Hemlock…) and to only collect from the healthiest parts of the plant.  Throughout the year, different species bloom and become more edible, so there is something usually at many times of the year. After a heavy week of rain, the cow parsley had bloomed early and gone to seed in some places and it is not unusual to find a rotation during the Spring\Summer\Autumn months. When one plant finishes it’s main season for leaves and stems, another is still present.

We took off along the route towards Mansfield park, admiring the neighbour’s broad beans & spiky artichoke plants  and then to a small patch of Chickweed (Stellara media) by the roadside which we did not collect from but noted for later. Another neighbour’s garden contained a Strawberry tree (Arbutus) yet unripe and on private land.

Shepherd’s purse and plantain (Plantago major) were in the former hospital site where the residential block is now situated. At the park, we found cherries ripening, Hawthorn (good for the heart; for love and to support cardiovascular concerns). The area is rich in diverse wildlife;  there is a pair of Mistle Thrushes, Goldfinches and long-tailed tits. There is another small patch of Chickweed (topical uses inc. for skin conditions) towards the Brownhill Rd entrance\exit by brambles for blackberries in the late summer \ autumn and more hawthorns. The chickweed makes a light, refreshing salad leaf.  Dandelions (Taxonomia) have a bitter flavour but are used in herbal medicine to support the kidneys as a diruetic. We walked around the perimeter and along a natural pathway found nettles (Urtica dioica) for iron, magnesium which helps female hormone balance and strengthens the immune system, elder flower, alkanet (prickly but with small, pretty deep blue flowers), jack-by-the-hedge (hedge mustard) and a variety from the rocket family. Along the back section by the ornate metal gate, there is a large Burdock and a few Mallows not yet in bloom (their soothing properties make them ideal for digestive and stomach settling purposes). Their pink, slightly floppy flowers, taste deliciously light, sweet and soothing.

Further along at the bottom\back of the perimeter is Yarrow (Achillae millefolium) which is used as a blood clotting agent, to prevent bleeding. It was used during the war (WW1 and earlier) to heal soldier’s wounds and to stem the bleeding. It is a long, green, feathery leaf, with a fronds texture.  Finally, we collected young, green, lime leaves from the trees bordering the edge of the woodland at the back, for canapes.  Then we took all our collection back up to St Swithun’s Church on Hither Green Lane.

Medicinal Plant Menu

Fresh Nettle Tea, Wild pesto, Courgette & Lime leaf Canapes, Mixed leaf salad, followed by Chocolate Orange Cream with Strawberries.

Others in the church came up to view our lunch and expressed great interest in the benefits to these foods.

We made a refreshing Elderflower water from immersing freshly picked elderflowers into a pot of water and the results were delicious.

“I was surprised how quickly a few elder flowers could flavour a glass of water so well and make it look so appealing!” G.Down

Elder flowers cluster from Mansfield Pk

Serves 6 glasses

Ingredients

4-5 clusters of Elderflower blossom

1 pt fresh water

2 slices of fresh ginger, grated or chopped

 

Method

1. Immerse the flowers on the stems in a container of water eg.a jug for half hr min.

2. Add the ginger pieces.

3. Serve into wine glasses. The flowers may fall into the glass but are harmless & edible.

4. Refill the container with fresh water and replace the stems once again, to produce another batch for later.

5. Stems may be used for up to 2-3 times.

lime leaf & courgette canapesLime Leaf & Courgette Canapes with Wild Pesto Dressing

Wild Food & Medicinal Forage Walk Participant responses:

“I did feel enlivened this morning, and I’d like to think yesterdays diet helped with that! Evidently works for you! I am certainly going to try and work some wild foods into my diet now 🙂 ” G.D.

London Permaculture Festival 2014

May 4, 2014

It’s just a couple of months away ’til the 4th Annual London Permaculture Festival. A one day event held at Cecil Sharp House, Camden, London NW1 7AY. Once again, I’m proud to be part of the volunteer publicity team on this special event day.

There will be workshops (intro and advanced), ‘how-to’ sessions, live music, films, a stalls market and a kid’s zone. Find more information at www.londonpermaculturefestival.com.

Tickets: £6 (waged) / £4 (unwaged) on the door

Join people from all over London and beyond to discuss, network and learn about creative solutions for a sustainable, healthy future.

This is a grassroots event, organised entirely by volunteers, if you’d like to help out with program planning, publicity or being part of the crew on the day, please contact Kayode at: info@londonpermaculturefestival.com

Wild Food Foraging Nature Walk

April 29, 2014

Tickets are now on sale for the guided Nature Walk on Sat 24th May.

Have you spotted the Green Events posters around the local area{Q}! 🙂

Visit http://www.ourhithergreen.com for more info.

Image

 

Nutrition Workshops Update

April 11, 2014

Kitchen Buddy’s upcoming Nutrition workshops plus Raw Chocolate: Healthy chocolate for weight-loss! History & medicinal powers.

Wild Food Foraging Walk & Lunch @Hither Green Festival Week on Saturday 24th May. Info & tickets here: http://ourhithergreen.com/

Smoothies and Raw Chocolate at the London Vegan Fair on 17th August. Info http://www.vegancampaigns.org.uk/festival/stalls.html

Also, locally at the Cat’s Protection League Fair on Sun 22nd June TBC

St Dunstan’s Craft Fair 21st June TBC.

 

Nutritional Therapy Clinic in Central London

April 9, 2014

I am now starting up a new Nutrition clinic space, holding Mid-week appointments slots for busy professionals who need treatment in Central London.

The lovely space at the London Natural Health Centre on Theobald’s Rd is situated 5-10 mins from either Holborn or Russell Square stations and offers a wide range of lovely looking therapies. See more of their details on here: http://www.londonnatural.co.uk/

I am going to be available to recieve patients generally for 1hr – 90 mins at the following times: from 10.30 – 6pm Tuesday – Wednesday.  To arrange an appointment, a patient may first contact me if they wish to discuss anything prior to the session and to receive a food diary and questionnaire to complete in advance of any treatment session, which is sent out by email.

Recent Patient Testimonials

“It’s the best breakfast I’ve had in a long time!” Kyra. Actress

“I stopped taking my digestive tablets; my digestion is much better and overall my fitness levels have increased. I can cycle further and have more energy; it’s really good.” Alistair

“I’ve lost 3 lbs in 3 weeks and I don’t feel bad for it; the food is really tasty and I’m making for my grandchildren too.”Anne

“I put out fruit and nuts onto the counter and now my little boy is eating better too.” A.R.

Please feel free to forward & circulate this to your friends & collegues.

Thank you. X