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Checklist of fun things to do in Autumn!

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  Pumpkins and early evening sunsets illuminating the skies with bursts of turquoise and pink. It can only be autumn holidays in England; a time for food and drink festivals offering melt-in-the-mouth pies and succulent seafood; enjoying long walks in leafy parks dusted with crunchy auburn, red and gold leaves, for scaring yourself silly on a ghost walk in honour of Halloweens and watching the skies come alive with firework displays. Autumn is also the perfect time for seeing England's wildlife in all its glory, from bird watching in a National Park to puffin spotting on the coast. Autumn flies by in a flash, so take advantage of the crips weather and beautiful foliage with this list of fun things to do in the fall!   The Great Outdoors:

  • Go apple picking
  • Go leaf-peeping
  • Get lost in a corn maze
  • Take a hot-air balloon ride
  • Collect colourful fall leaves
  • Go for a hike
  • Go for a hayride
  • Rent a cabin in the mountains
  • Plant bulbs in your garden for next spring
  • Run a race
  • Take a drive in the country
  • National Park
Nostalgic:
  • Eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich
  • Make a pinecone bird feeder
  • Buy something from a bake sale
  • Borrow a book from the library
  • Make rice crispy treats
  • Buy a new notebook
  • Jump in a pile of leaves
Eat and Drink:
  • Bake an apple or pumpkin pie
  • Buy winter squash and Brussels sprouts at a farmers' market
  • Eat a candy apple
  • Make butternut squash soup
  • Drink hot spiced cider
  • Roast vegetables for a tasty side dish
  • Eat a slice of warm pumpkin bread
  • Make a big batch of chili
Holiday:
  • Carve your own pumpkin
  • Make your kid's (or your own ) Halloween costume
  • Get spooked in a haunted house
  • Celebrate Oktoberfest with beer and sausages
  • Re-Watch your favourite scary movie on Halloween
  • Throw a Halloween party
  • Give out candy to trick o'treaters
  • Host a potluck Thanksgiving dinner
Just Because:
  • Breath in the cool,crips air
  • Tour a winery
  • Dig up your sweaters from storage
  • Learn to knit
  • Listen to the sound of leaves crunching under your feet
  • Start Christmas shopping
  • Build a bonfire
  • Collect pinecones and display them in a glass bowl
  • Attend a fall festival
  • Remember what you're thankful for

Here’s what you should know about Freeze Drying

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health, Uncategorized | 0 comments

  In case you haven’t noticed it yet; our Giving Tree fruit crisps are really special as they are freeze dried. Sounds pretty fancy, doesn’t it? And as most of you might ask yourselves what vacuum drying exactly is, we would like to explain this method to you a little but further today and make also clear why we chose to dry our fruits this way. By freeze drying fruits, these are dehydrated at a low temperature, which freezes the water inside and makes it as a result evaporate into gas. Thereby around 80 to 90 % of water are removed from of the fruit. To give you a more precisely idea of the immense evaporation process, listen up: after drying 7 to 10kg of fruits, there is only 1kg left. That’s when you actually notice how much water fruits contain!     While they contain up to 87% of water, vegetables can be even composed of 95%! So if you know that you are definitely not drinking enough water, you should at least try to eat more fruits and vegetables to get your body hydrated. Anyway, not only the water is an important benefit of fresh food, but also the high number of nutrients, especially vitamins! And while most of the dried fruits unfortunately lose many nutrients and are instead prepared with lots of sugar once they are dried, our Giving Tree fruit snacks still got all the nutrients and NO added sugar! Remember also that you should eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day, while the Giving Tree crisps are covering indeed one of these 5. So don’t hesitate to integrate a little pack of our Giving Tree Peach, Strawberry or Mango crisps in your daily diet and your body will be more than well provided.  

BBQ season is here – the perfect BBQ tips

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06.05.16

It's official. Summer is well and truly on its way, so it's time to dust off the barbecue and prepare to hot-foot it to the supermarket meat aisle.The sun is out and so thoughts naturally turn to eating - and cooking - al fresco.

Don't just throw a few boring bangers on the barbecue though: a simple marinade can transform even the cheapest cuts of meat, while vegetables like asparagus and peppers are also delicious when grilled.

British summers may be a bit of a running joke in terms of the weather, but we Brits certainly know how to make the most of whatever sunny days we are blessed with, and our love of a good barbecue is a prime example.

CLEAN AND OIL THE BBQ

Before and after every session, you should clean and oil your grill. Get it nice and hot to burn off any crud, then, using tongs, rub over with a kitchen towel dipped in a light cooking oil. This keeps your grill hygienic as well as helping prevent food from sticking to the bars.

GET IN THE ZONE

Set up your BBQ so you have two cooking zones, one directly over the flames for searing, the other cooler to allow the meat to cook through indirectly. You can cook anything from sausages and burgers through to whole joints of meat this way. With a charcoal grill, just pile your coals to one side. With a gas grill, keep the burners medium-high on one side and low-off on the other.

BE PATIENT

True BBQ takes time and patience. The meat is done when it's done – don't try to rush things. When grilling, learn to control your fire and keep the heat consistent. Keep a spritz bottle full of water handy and douse flames that start getting out of hand.

And definitely don't squeeze. Once you've put the meat on the grill, just leave it. You should only turn once or twice through cooking. Squashing burgers and steaks down on the grill just squeezes out all the lovely the juice and causes flare-ups.

LEAVE SAUCES 'TIL THE END

BBQ sauces and glazes have a high sugar content that will burn very quickly and go bitter. Cook your meat through and then glaze/sauce towards the end and allow to go sticky over indirect heat.

BUY A THERMOMETER

Overcooking is as sinful as undercooking. Invest in a good instant read thermometer – so you know the exact temperature of the meat – and take away the guesswork. You'll always know the chicken is cooked through and you'll be able to serve up the perfect medium-rare steak.

SMOKE IT OUT

Smoke is a seasoning so learn to add subtle smoke flavour to your food. Wrap woodchips up in a couple of layers of thick foil and pierce a few times before throwing onto the grill over the gas burners. With a charcoal BBQ, just throw the chips straight onto the coals and close the lid. Our favourite woods to smoke with are cherry, pecan and hickory.

GIVE IT A RUB

Meat, and meat alternatives benefit from a generous seasoning prior to cooking. This base rub will work well particularly on pork, quorn or chicken. Use this is a starting point to develop your own, according to the flavours you enjoy.

4tbsp paprika

2tbsp salt

1tbsp celery salt or garlic powder

2tbsp white sugar

22 tbsp brown sugar

2tbsp cumin

2tbsp chilli powder

2tbsp black pepper

1tbsp cayenne pepper or chipotle

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and store in an air tight container.

Finally what better to serve BBQ food than a delicious salad, see this recipe below..   jamie  
  • 1 kg Jersey Royals
  • 2 bunches of fresh mint
  • 1 red onion
  • 200 g cornichon
  • 250 ml red wine vinegar
  • olive oil

Method

Scrub the potatoes, pick and finely chop the mint, reserving the stalks, then peel and thinly slice the onion. Slice the cornichons into strips. Cook the Jersey Royals and mint stalks in a saucepan of salted boiling water for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and leave to cool in the colander (for the best flavour, avoid cooling the potatoes by rinsing in cold water). While potatoes are cooling, place the onion in a bowl, pour over the red wine vinegar and leave to marinate. Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, crush them slightly with your hands into a large salad bowl, drain and add the onions along with the cornichons and mint. Season, add a splash of oil and serve.  

Eating Disorders Awareness Week – Its importance to us..

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26.02.16

It's Eating Disorders Awareness Week this week, an international awareness event, fighting the myths and misunderstandings that surround eating disorders.The theme this year is eating disorders in the workplace. Beat (the UK's leading eating disorder charity) will be concentrating on the impact eating disorders can have in the workplace and highlighting what individuals, colleagues and employers can do to support someone's recovery at work.

In the UK, around 725,000 people are affected by an eating disorder, according to the charity Beat. Anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder as the most common illnesses. While women are more likely to suffer than men, 11 per cent of males struggle with such conditions. We received this heartwarming email a few months ago from a Giving Tree fan who shared with us her love with our snacks and how they have helped her in her recovery from Anorexia Nervosa. To know we have been able to contribute to this overwhelmingly difficult battle with someones eating disorder made us so happy. "Dear whom it may concern, I guess I just wanted to say thank you so much for making your products available - I'm currently in recovery for anorexia nervosa, and things like the fruit crisps have been so helpful with the process of introducing proper food back into my diet - they're the perfect size and feel healthy which is beneficial since eating still comes with a lot of guilt. There's nowhere near me that stocks them, but I order lots and lots online! I'm sorry for this really random email, I just felt I had to thank you. Thanks for taking time to read this, I really appreciate it." EDAW-2016

A story this week from the Telegraph describes the heartbreaking moment a 10 year old girl became anorexic and battled with deeply saddening weight issues. It truly highlights the influence of messages that 'healthy eating' can give off to younger children. Influences are everywhere, with social media filled with motivational images and videos of healthy lifestyles and exercise regimes. Schools are doing the right thing in installing into children the importance of healthy eating choices which by all means is a positive, however some crucial points to take out of this.. ‘Living healthily is about moderation not exclusion.’ Children need to be reminded that yes obesity is something that should be avoided and to ensure a healthy lifestyle, however not to be scared of occasionally enjoying a 'treat' whether that be the occasional chocolate bar or slice of pizza.

Teach your child that appearance is not the most important thing. ‘Talk about kindness and compassion rather than weight and shape as key values,’ says Alexia Dempsey (dietitian at Priory hospital) If obesity is your concern, ask your child if they really are hungry when they ask for food. Often we use food to combat boredom, says Dempsey. ‘Think about fluids, too. Dehydration can often be confused with hunger.’ And don't forget parents.. as important as it is to insure your children eat heathily and well, be careful with your own language and avoid always talking about your weight or complaining about body issues as these can easily be transferred onto your child.

Alongside this, many health bloggers and food fanatics are creating artistic and deliciously healthy looking recipes all over social media. However, the issue is so many of these recipes  are lacking in essential macro nutrients such as carbohydrates and essential fats. Many of the health bloggers and wellness coaches actually have no nutritional qualifications and therefore fairly concerning when they have such large followings and such an impact on followers.

We can't say that the media causes eating disorders; however, it is evident that the limited representation of beauty has lingering effects on the way we view our bodies.  Even Barbie, who was the pinnacle of unattainable beauty for the last 50-plus years with her tiny figure, is acknowledging the range and diversity of beautiful women now with a redesign consisting of three body shapes — tall, petite, and curvy — and seven skin tones. Although someone might not “look like they have an eating disorder,” it is important to note that eating disorders do not discriminate; you cannot tell anything about a person’s relationship with food based on their age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or even weight. Moreover, eating disorders are not just a “fad” or a “phase,” they are serious, potentially life-threatening conditions that affect a person’s health — emotionally, physically, and psychologically.

 The recovery statistics currently shows around 46% of anorexia patients fully recover, and 33% improving. Similar research into bulimia suggests that 45% make a full recovery and 27% improve considerably, a positive and promising figure that these disorders can be overcome with the right support, encouragement and understanding too.

x

London’s best FREE fitness classes

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05.02.16

Now January is over, the month of resolutions and making changes - we think it's important you keep up the good work and to encourage you we've sourced the best fitness classes in London - and most of all.. they're FREE!

Keeping fit shouldn't cost a bomb. These fantastic free classes mean keeping fit, having fun and also a great opportunity to meet new, likeminded people too.

Here are our favourites..

Lululemon Yoga

10.30am-11.30am each Sunday

Lululemon’s Covent Garden flagship is more than meets the eye with their fantastic fitness wear. Every Sunday, products are pushed back to form an impromptu yoga studio. Class styles vary, with each led by instructors from local yoga hotspots. Make sure you check out the link and book early though..these spaces don't last long!

londonpigeon

Nike+ Training Club

Nike+ Training Club, 6.30pm-7.30pm, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

Nike Home Run, the weekly NRC Home Run. Pick your pace. Pick your distance. Choose from a 5km, 7km or 10km run.

NRC coaches and pacers will help you to unlock some of London's most iconic sights on this social run. When you run with this crowd, there's a space for everyone, bring your friends and get ready to make a few more.

Find your next run through the link above, get ready to boost your running regime - ideal for beginners and intermediates

 image

 Asics Running Club - Beginners

ASICS Running Club – The store team offers a friendly running club open to runners of all abilities. Managed by professional and highly experienced coaches, the ASICS Running Clubs feature a number of scenic routes throughout London. We depart twice a week from the store in Jubilee Place:

Tuesday 6.30pm* (4k run beginners & intermediate)Thursday 6.30pm (7k intermediate)

*Accessible for all levels. Arrive at the store ready to leave at 6.30PM

Sweaty Betty Pilates Club 6.30pm-7.15pm every Tuesday

To become eligible for the class, you’ll need to become a member, which is simple enough – just ask one of the staff to sign you up for free! Remember to book ahead.. check out their stylish fitness wear too!

collageoffice

Sweat Shop 7pm every Monday for 5km run; 7pm every Wednesday for 8km run

Running doesn't have to be repetitive. Sweat Shop’s run clubs, held at branches across London, aim to make it more sociable and that bit more fun. The entry level distance is 5K – but a pace keeper at the back means you won’t be left lagging behind. Each session logged earns you a stamp which can be redeemed against products in store, like a cardio Boots card - woo freebies!

Night Skate From 8pm, every Friday Forget spinning, theres a new set of wheels taking over London. This adrenalin-fueled team skate whizzes through London in darkness every Friday evening. Skaters meet at Hyde Park (Marble Arch end) at 8pm , lace up, and then take to the streets. Roller past the iconic London sights and enjoy the scenery, don't worry though team wardens stay at the front to warn traffic! We will add though, you need to be able to skate at a basic level! Perfect for you adrenaline junkies

Easter-skate-2012-skating-Big-Ben

Sweaty Betty Frame Barre Club 12.30pm-1.30pm every Wednesday

Lunchtime session in East London means a hip ballet / conditioning class. Always a sell out so book ahead and try something new!

P.S  - Don't forget.. the perfect snack post exercise to keep you satisfied and curbing those sweet cravings. Our Giving Tree range - 7 different packs to try available in WholeFoods, Planet Organic, Ocado, Holland & Barrett and more...

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Check us out on our Social Media platforms..we LOVE to hear from you guys :)

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Healthy January Resolutions!

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07.01.16

January, the month of those revolutionary resolutions that we often can’t seem to truly keep! We all know how hard it can be to maintain resolutions and keep up the motivation and encouragement to continue.

Here at Giving Tree HQ we’ve all been discussing ours, and the same topic is brought up post Christmas..healthy eating and getting rid of those pesky Christmas pounds!

Weight loss isn't the most important factor though, we just all want to be a better version of ourselves inside, and out!

Over the festive period it is so easy to over indulge, with selection boxes up to our eyeballs, mounds of cheese and heaped bowls of crisps lying around the prezzies, it’s difficult to eat well and avoid the junk when you’re quite literally surrounded by it!

Not to worry though our lovely friends, as it’s not too late to swap that handful of naughty left over treats for a handful of Giving Tree fruit and veg crisps instead.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 12.42.40

We don’t want to be pushy but our snacks are really very yummy! We aim to provide the tastiest snacks for every age. Children love ‘em and they're the perfect size for lunch boxes or for the busy on the go health conscious consumer or even your granddad who may quite not believe you can now buy fruit AND veg crisps!

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And to help you along the way, our lovely stockists – Wholefoods and Ocado have Giving Tree on sale this month..so now there really is no excuse!

To set you going for the New Year here are two easy recipes to follow for the perfect snack for any time of the day!

Fruity Faces: (this one is great for the kids!)

Ingredients:

1 apple or pear (melon is also great too!)

1 bag of strawberry Giving Tree crisps

Method:

Simply grab your favourite fruit, we like to use apples or pears, carefully cut into even similar shaped pieces. Save the pips!

Now arrange into your favourite faces, perfect for children as a fun and easy way to get 2 of your portions of 5 a day!

Another favourite recipe of ours is one that is ideal for a snack at any time of the day..

Apple, Peanut butter and Yogurt swirl

Ingredients;

1 bag of Giving Tree apple crisps

Small bowl of low-fat natural, plain, unsweetened yogurt

Sprinkling of coconut sugar  or honey (optional)

1 teaspoon of crunchy, natural peanut butter

Method;

Take a bowl and pour a small portion of yogurt (150g approx)

Ensuring the peanut butter has been at room temperature take a teaspoon full (you can add a little more if you like!) and gently swirl into the yogurt evenly.

Add the apple crisps on top and sprinkle with coconut sugar..and hey presto - A filling, fruity and fun recipe for all ages and any time of the day!

apple and peanut b snack  

Grab yours now, and let us know what you think of them – we love hearing from you :)

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Crisp lovers!

Posted by admin in Givingtreesnacks, Uncategorized | 0 comments

11.12.15

We consume, in Britain, around 6 billion packets of crisps  annually - that's more than everyone else in Europe put together. Crisps are just part of our  diet. There is nothing wrong with eating crisps but  you must read the back of the pack to know what they put in your favourite crisps. Most of the well-known crisps include a huge percentage of oil and salt.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 14.45.20Eating one pack of potato crisps every day for a year, is like drinking 5L of cooking oil a year, scary,no? Don't worry Giving Tree snacks are the best combination of crisps and fruit & veggies without nasties.

Mixed Veggies Lifestyle

Our veggie crisps are not fried as the other crips in a market with a lot of oil. We use a new technology to fry them to allow the vegetables to absorb less oil. Vacuum-frying techniques retained more nutrients than their conventionally fried counterparts. The vacuum-fried food keeps 95 % of their vitamins; fried potato crisps typically only retain about 50 % of their vitamins.

Print

'Most of the benefits of vacuum frying from the low temperatures used and the minimal exposure to oxygen, which reduces the adverse effects on the oil quality, preserves the natural colour and flavour , decreases the acrylamide content and preserves nutritional compounds, such as vitamins and minerals. Vacuum frying is a good option to achieve high quality dried products with better colours and flavours due to the reduced oxidation, lower frying temperatures and much shorter processing times compared with other techniques' Source : International Food Research Journal (2015)

Give them a go, you can order them on OCADO.com

Ocado Insta

Christmas Hamper!

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26.11.15

WIN AN AMAZING HAMPER!
 To celebrate the christmas season, we collaborated with our sister brand Chi to offer you an incredible hamper worth £230. What’s included in the Christmas hamper ?

1.  NURTRIBULLET, THE SUPER FOOD NUTRITION EXTRACTOR WITH ALL THE ACCESSORIES.

Nutribullet

2. £100 WHOLEFOODS GIFT CARD

  Gift card

3. 6 BOTTLES (250ML) OF CHI RAW COCONUT WATER TO MIX IN YOUR SMOOTHIES OR JUST TO ENJOY ONE BY ONE.

Our raw coconut water is the most pure coconut water that you can find in the market. It is unheated with nothing added and nothing taken away. This means both the taste and nutritional content are unchanged. This product is also 100% organic, fairtrade and sustainable. Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 15.37.51    

4. FULL RANGE OF GIVING TREE

This innovative range of all-natural, preservative-free fruit and vegetable crisps undergo a combination of freeze-drying and vacuum frying to ensure maximum nutrients and superior taste. Rich in antioxidants, potassium and fibre, they are a convenient way of reaching your 5-a-day. Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 15.12.11

HOW TO ENTER ?

It is really easy, all you need to do: 1   Follow Chi & Giving Tree on Instagram or/and  Twitter or/and Facebook 2   Repost Chi Christmas hamper on Facebook or/and Instagram or/and twitter The competition will be running from the 20th November 2015 to the 18th December 2015  3pm, so good luck everyone! Here are the links : Chi Facebook:https: www.facebook.com/chibrands Twitter: @chicocowater  Instagram: @chicoconutwater Giving Tree Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GivingTreeSnacks/ Twitter: @givingtreesnack Instagram: @givingtreesnack Chi & Giving Tree Christmas Hamper T&Cs: Correct entries will be submitted into our prize draw, and a winner selected at random. The winner will be contacted via twitter or Facebook, or Instagram and must respond within 48 hours to receive their prize; otherwise a new winner will be selected. Open to UK residents only.

Freeze dried fruits vs Dried fruits

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30.10.15

Freeze dried fruit is a new category in England, we are so used to eating dried fruits for such a long time. What are  the differences? Which one is the healthiest for a snack? Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 12.49.22           Freeze dried  Fruits                                      VS                                                                    Dried fruits   In one hand the freeze drying is the process of removing almost all of a fruit’s water content. The benefits? Freeze dried fruit is surprisingly nutritious. Antioxidants found in fresh fruit are maintained through the freeze drying process and freeze dried fruits are  packed without added sugar. Freeze dried fruit is a convenient way to get your necessary amount of fruit on a day-to-day basis and it is often very cost effective. Freeze dried fruits do not take up a lot of space and they tend to be the fruit of choice for people who enjoy outdoor activities. On the other hand dried fruits are fruits that have had almost all of the water content removed through drying methods. The fruit shrinks during this process, leaving a small, energy-dense dried fruit. They are delicious and nutritious but fruit tends to contain significant amounts of natural sugars. The reason is because the water has been removed from dried fruit, this concentrates all the sugar and calories in a much smaller package.It’s often hard to find dried fruit that hasn’t been processed with added sugar.   GivingTree Comp 1 photo 2

Find the Giving Tree snacks at Planet Organic & Whole Foods!

HALLOWEEN COMPETITION

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15.10.15

Trick or treat?  TREATTTTT! Halloween night is coming in a few weeks! Are you going to a party or watch a scary movie with your friends? Either way you need YUMMY snacks.  Giving Tree and its favourite brands are here to provide you with all you need ;)

COMPETITION TIME

halloween giveaway 2015  

WHAT’S THE PRIZE INCLUDED?

Handmade popcorn in London that use natural ingredients. Their range contain over 40 innovative flavours (sweet or savoury). Healthy and delicious range that the whole family can enjoy. Preservative free, all natural, guilt free! 100% Raw organic coconut water, unheated, with nothing added and nothing taken away. This means both the taste and nutritional content are unchanged.

HOW TO ENTER?

It’s really easy, all you need to do:
  1.  Like our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram & Twitter and follow @chicoconutwater.
  2.  Share the Halloween  competition with the hashtag #joeandseph and #givingtreesnack.
The competition will be running from the 13th October to the 27th October 4pm, so good luck everyone! Here are our links: Facebook: GivingTree Twitter: @givingtreesnack Instagram: @givingtreesnack Chi’prize T&Cs: Correct entries will be submitted into our prize draw, and a winner selected at random. The winner will be contacted via twitter or Facebook, and must respond within 48 hours to receive their prize; otherwise a new winner will be selected. Open to UK residents only.