There is usually a time in everyones life, however health conscious we are, and with the best will in the world, where we are presented with a compelling reason to take antibiotics. The decision to do this, can be a hard one, especially for those of us whose health is already compromised. It can be upsetting and disheartening when you have spent time and energy building up a healthy microbiome only to take antibiotics and feel like you are going back to square one. Read More
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made from whatever vegetables are in season with the addition of salt and spices and then fermented. It is so popular in Korea that it is eaten with almost every meal and is very much a part of their cultural and national identity.
It took me a while to convince my husband that kimchi was going to be the new and healthy addition to our meals. His meal in particular, because unlike me, he has a passion for chilli jam and Jamaican hot sauce. He was quite skeptical at the thought of something new taking the place of these much loved condiments. He has since become a kimchi convert, which makes me happy, knowing that he is eating something not only extremely tasty but with enormous healing potential to boot.
There is no doubt that sprouted seeds and legumes are really good for you. They are an incredibly nutritious and delicious food that can have an amazing impact on your health. I wanted to concentrate on broccoli sprouts because of all the seeds, these are the king. They are also one of the easiest to sprout, taking only a few days, and are a relatively small chore considering the huge benefits you will get. Even if you don’t have green fingers or a garden this is something which ensures you are getting a fresh raw nutrient dense food. It is also a fun activity to do with children!
These little sprouts are giants when it comes to the nutritional compounds and enzymes they contain. Broccoli sprouts contain a chemical called sulforaphane, which is a powerful anti oxidant and is one of the most potent substances for detoxifying the body. When the sprouts are chewed a compound called glucoraphanin produces sulforaphane which enhances the bodies ability to remove pollutants. A study by John Hopkins medical university has shown that broccoli sprouts can detoxify the body of common pollutants such as benzene and acrolein which you will be exposed to in heavily polluted areas such as a the petrol station or being around smokers. Read More
As I write this I am waiting for the arrival of my first grandchild. My daughter is only 27 years old but I have been nagging her for years to have a baby. I know this isn’t normal or responsible, but luckily she is! I am on tenter hooks, ready to spring into action and drive to London to be with her for the birth. I’ve been thinking of snacks to take with us, partly for her, to keep her strength up, but also for me. I’ve been told bananas are good, they provide slow release energy, are easy to digest and full of potassium. They are convenient and easy to carry, but I’m a bit nervous they will squish in our bag and no one wants to eat a brown squidgy banana, especially in mid contraction!
I’ve also been hearing pretty amazing things about dates. It seems these succulant jewels are power packed with goodness for pregnant women. A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology concluded that eating 6 dates daily during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy “significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable, but non significant, delivery outcome” this is one of those incredible moments where old wisdom meets new scientific research. Read More
The once wild and lawless lands of Cudden Point, where smuggling was a way of life, are situated in the most south western tip of Cornwall. Here lie hidden coves tucked into the edges of the sea and protected by the shelter of Mounts Bay. This dark and rich landscape, with its secretive history, combined with the treasured black rice of this post, made me think of all the summer holidays I have spent here with my children. The Forbidden black rice of this porridge echoing the colour of the black slate shoreline. Its an exotic and rare ingredient, like smugglers contraband brought in under cover of darkness from far off countries.
Now that my two elder daughters have left home I still meet in this beautiful and mysterious place, with my friend Cathy, her two children, and my son and niece every summer. We spend our time, making memories, and building on customs and traditions that grow as every summer passes. Even at the height of summer it is a demanding and challenging holiday and not one for sissies. A storm can whip up out of nowhere and tear your tent away and even when the sea looks calm, the strong undercurrents in the sea can snatch you out to sea when least expected. The weather can feel quite extreme and dramatic at times, but when the sun is shining and you watch your children gaining confidence as they jump higher off the rocks at each passing year, it is heaven on earth. Read More
This a very simple and easy sauerkraut to make which doesn’t need any fancy equipment, it can be made in a large kilner type jar and with just a sharp knife and a cutting board. There are also only 3 ingredients, cabbage, salt and dill. Even if you omit the dill it will still be delicious. The addition of dill though gives the finished result a wonderfully clean and fresh taste which I love.
First of all do not be afraid! When I first got interested in the idea of fermenting I was quite nervous, making sauerkraut went against everything that that we are taught about health and safety. The thought of food being left on our kitchen counters for days on end at room temperature was very scary. As long as certain procedures are followed there is nothing to be afraid of. Make sure everything you use is clean. Wash hands, utensils and your jar. Straight out of the dishwasher is good. The salt to cabbage ratio is also important, 3tbs of salt to 5lbs of cabbage. You can halve this amount if you want less. Also the most important thing of all is that your cabbage stays submerged beneath the brine. Use the freshest cabbages, preferably organic. Also remember that preserving vegetables in this way has been practiced for thousands of years. Read More
I was shown how to make it by my friend Flos. she also gave me my first batch of kefir grains, but thats another story. I remember Flos making it for her children’s birthday parties, a simple one for the kids and a more grown up one for the adults. I always thought that was so clever, just two bowls and everyone happy. Somehow in my household everyone has always wanted something different and sometimes it feels like I run a mini restaurant. One bowl meals are always a challenge here. Read More
This dressing is very simple to make and uses Turmeric which is one of my favourite spices. I find that having a jar of this dressing on hand is an easy way of getting this incredibly healthy ingredient into our meals everyday. A huge salad of some sort is always a part of whatever we eat in this house and it tastes great when poured over lentils or quinoa and roasted vegetables.
Aside from it being delicious there is also a more important reason for making this golden spice part of a salad dressing, turmeric is very good for you! Read More
When I was a little kid we spent a lot of time in France during our Summer holidays. This was in the 1970’s and food at this time in France tasted very different to food we were given at home in England. For a start the milk in France at that time had a very odd flavour that we didn’t like it at all. I think it must have been something to do with how they pasteurised their milk, because years later when we spent our summers in France with our own kids the milk tasted fine. The plus side of French food was that we would get to eat fresh baguette, warm from the boulangerie with unsalted butter. It seems funny to think that unsalted butter was such a novelty to us, but it was. These were simple pleasures, and the combination of the creamy unsalted butter and warm fresh bread was divine. The other thing we found incredibly exciting was the discovery of Nutella. It was a huge treat, almost as good as Butterscotch Angel Delight. Amazingly, Nutella was something which was not available in London at that time, (my son refers to this as the olden days, much to my annoyance). For us, Nutella was a seasonal summer time treat that you could only buy in France. Read More
Trill Farm lies nestled in a sheltered valley, surrounded by rolling hills and woodlands just up the road from me in East Devon. It is a 300 acre mixed organic farm which the owner Romy Fraser runs as an education centre and hosts a community of small businesses complementing each other and making use of the amazing resources the land has to offer.
I’ve done a few courses here over the past few years and have always come away feeling both inspired and grateful. When the opportunity came to do a day course on preserves and fermenting with the new chef in residence Chris Onions I leapt at it.