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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

Our Favourite Autumnal Treats..

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09.11.16

HEALTHY AUTUMN TREATS - SO SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS!

So Bonfire Night has been and gone, and we made some AMAZING healthy treats to tuck into! They were so simple to make, and so incredibly healthy too with our Giving Tree strawberry crisps and plenty of toppings. Recipe 1: Banana Choco Kebabs Method:
  • Cut 3 large bananas in half, and place a wooden skewer through each half.
  • Melt your favourite Dark Chocolate brand (we like 70% cocoa solids) and stir continuously, we added a little Chi Coconut Milk to make it extra creamy too!
  • Dunk bananas into the chocolatey bowl and let drip over a cooling rack (pop a plate underneath to collect any drippings!)
  • Now add your crushed Giving Tree fruit and your favourite nuts, seeds, grains and anything else you can get your hands on!
  • Leave to set in fridge for 3-4 hours and enjoy!
  screenshot-2016-11-09-13-28-41 Recipe 2: Sticky Choccy Apples  Method:
  • Cut 2 large apples in half, and place a wooden skewer through each half.
  • Melt your favourite Dark Chocolate brand (we like 70% cocoa solids) and stir continuously, we added a little Chi Coconut Milk to make it extra creamy too!
  • Dunk apples or drizzle in a fun pattern, into the chocolatey bowl and let drip over a cooling rack (pop a plate underneath to collect any drippings!)
  • Now add your crushed Giving Tree fruit and your favourite nuts, seeds, grains and anything else you can get your hands on!
  • Leave to set in fridge for 3-4 hours and enjoy!
          screenshot-2016-11-09-13-28-50

Back to School: What’s in your lunch box?

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06.09.16

Whether you are going back to school or university after a blissful summer or starting your first day at your new job, making your packed lunch does not need to be tedious and boring!

Snacks

Admittedly snacks are necessary to keep your day going. However before you reach to the chocolate think about the many other healthy alternatives you could go for...

Dark Chocolate 

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Satisfy your sweet tooth with dark chocolate! Known for its high mineral and antioxidant content, it is highly nutritious and can reduce levels of "bad" cholestrol. We like Green and Blacks 85% or Lindt's dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt!

Research has found that chocolate is good for the heart, circulation and brain as well as potentially beneficial for tackling today's major health issues such as autism, obesity and diabetes.

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Almonds

All nuts are full of antioxidants and healthy unsaturated fatty acids known to reduce cholesterol levels. However, almonds are especially popular due to its delicate and sweet taste. Whole almonds (with skins) provide the most heart healthy benefits and can lower the risk of weight gain as well as also helping to lose weight.

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Almonds are a source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium and high quality protein. Full of unsaturated fatty acids along with high levels of bioactive molecules (such as fiber, phytosterols, vitamins, other minerals, and antioxidants) which can help prevent cardiovascular heart diseases. Take a handful of almonds for a snack on-the-go or to nibble on to keep hunger pangs at bay before lunch time.

Nut butter is another alternative in your nut intake. Our favourite is Pip and Nut, which comes in many nut flavours!

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Spread some on toast with pieces of banana and honey

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or as a crunchy snack with celery sticks!

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Giving Tree Crisps 

Snack on our very own freeze dry crisps which are a lunch box filler. They are available in vegetable and fruit flavours to suit all tastes!

BACK TO SCHOOL_1  

Equipment

The water bottle

S'well water bottle 

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An incredibly aesthetically pleasing range of 100% stainless steel water bottles that holds cold and warm drinks. Keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and keeps drinks hot for 12 hours!

Available in different sizes: 260ml, 500ml, 750ml

The lunch box

Sistema are infamous in the tupperware world for their quality, practical and sturdy lunch boxes. Their unique sistema clips prevent any leakage and are therefore perfect for bringing to school or to the office! They are available in a range of shapes and sizes and are freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe.

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This Purple Geisha Bento Box is perfect for Japanese food lovers

  • Screenshot 2016-09-05 16.36.48The top, ‘hat’ section is an inverted bowl - perfect for miso soup.
  • The second ‘face’ level has a hermetic seal for storing stews or dressed salads without leaking.
  • The bottom ‘body’ level is a perfect container for buns, sushi or rice.

 The Coffee Cup

Help the environment by buying a reusable to take with you when you buy your daily coffee. More than 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away every year in the UK! A favourite is BYO cup £9.95

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Summer Comfort Eating Essentials

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22.07.16

Summer Comfort Food We all have moments where a home comfort meal makes us feel the world of good. Generally speaking, comforting food comes in the form of something which doesn’t always make you feel that great after consumption though, however with a few changes we can still enjoy these same comforts but with a healthy twist, and subsequently enjoy them guilt free.

CHIPS!

There are different kinds of chip eaters - whether you’re a sharer, an occasional enjoyer, a wrap them up and take them home to enjoy on your own kind of person, or someone who simply can’t get enough of them, a portion of the nation’s favourite shaped potato doesn’t ever go amiss. However, they aren’t always the healthiest option; the humble sweet potato though makes for an entirely different story. One of our absolute favourite home comfort alternatives comes in the form of sweet potato fries, and is a great way also of getting a wonderful amount of beta-carotene, fibre and hair, nail and skin nourishing goodness into your system without any compromise on comfort! Simply slice them, add a small drizzle of olive oil, herbs, and whichever flavourings take your fancy, and pop them in the oven - it really couldn’t be easier!

SPAG BOL

The perfect carby comfort food, try spirallazing your favourite vegetable, we like butternut squash, courgette or carrot and gently cook these in a drizzle of oil until softened. Serve with your favourite veggie packed Bolognese and a generous helping of reduced fat cheese, or a lighter cheese such as feta. Another great option is buckwheat or brown rice pasta, as they are completely gluten free as well as healthful and honestly taste just as good. Try mashing together an avocado, basil, lemon and pine nuts for a healthy creamy alternative too!

PANCAKES

Making for the perfect Sunday brunch option (or just whichever meal takes your fancy), it’s undeniable that these are some of our favourite go-to’s for an indulgent, home comfort-style meal. However, with the general ingredients for our favourite round indulgence being not extremely healthy, and therefore not something we generally indulge in on a daily basis, its important to recognise the ingredients which will make up for this so that we can do just that! Ingredients which are great for this include oats, banana, almond milk, medjool dates and more - all completely natural and make for a delicious, energy abundant treat whenever takes your fancy.

COOKIES

Try a cashew coconut cookies for a wonderfully crunchy snack with a slight Christmassy feel to them with the ginger and cinnamon element to them. As well as this, chocolate-banana oat cookies are a great alternative to our choccy childhood faves, with cacao powder and date syrup creating the flavours we all love and once again, oats and bananas the consistency. They really are great, and you can be rest assured once you smell them exiting the oven, it will be as though you have been transformed back to your childhood home treats once again. So enjoy your tasty summer comfort foods, on us!

Modern Dieting – balance is key!

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13.07.16

Put together by the Guardian, this article perfectly describes the issues of modern day dieting and the 'gospel' words of many un-qualified celebrity like role models which encourage clean eating and missing out crucial food groups from our diets..

It mustn't be forgotten that despite healthy cook books and advice being great for those interested in pursuing a healthier lifestyle and encouraging cooking rather than buying ready meals, to not take this advice so literally as balance is key!

"Every Sunday in the centre of Brixton, a group of Afro-Caribbean women of a certain age, gather on Atlantic Road to sing lustily about Jesus while wearing big hats. As a diehard atheist I am meant to have no time for organised religion. But the fact is they’re not harming anyone and they look very happy indeed.

If only all religions were so benign. If only all religions were so cheerful. But they are not. Recently a new kind of religion has arisen; one engineered for a godless age and specifically designed to make its devotees feel worse about themselves more often than they feel better. Like all religions it is based on hocus-pocus, misdirection and delusion. This new religion is called The Diet.

Yes of course diets have been around for centuries, promoted just as they are now through books. And for the most part they have always been stupid: the grapefruit diet, the red wine and steak diet, the kitten and stilton diet. I may have invented one of those. But generally they were functional. Do thing A and thing B and you will get result C. They didn’t work because like, pyramid investment schemes, they never do.

 madshaw

What the modern diet books have that the previous lot didn’t is a moral dimension. They are not merely instruction manuals. They are secular catechisms. There is an implication in these titles, written by young people with glossy hair and clear eyes who look like they think their farts smell only of peaches and peppermint, that if you don’t follow their plans you will not merely be fat. You will be bad. You will be a flawed person who through, lack of insight and moral fibre, has failed to reach their full potential in the way the authors have.

Well I wonder if I might be permitted to make a learned intervention into this noble discussion of the human soul, by saying this: sod off! Really, go away. Find something else to do. Take up boxing; it may involve hurting people but at least there are rules. In saying this I am only adding my voice to a growing choir. The brilliant Ruby Tandoh recently examined the speciousness of some of the faux-scientific thinking underpinning various of these works. A new blogger called the Angry Chef has been laying waste in superbly forensic style to the flaws in dietary advice and a general failure to understand the science of food and cooking. And Nigella has had a stab at the use of the phrase “Clean Eating”. Food does not have a moral aspect. Only the people eating it do.

But we need to go further and argue against one other element of all this: the use of guilt as if it were a weapon being wielded by a 14th-century pope. I am often asked what my guilty food secret is. I reply that I don’t have one. Because if I started feeling guilty, where would I stop? There are some foods that I like but which I know I shouldn’t eat too much of and that’s what I try to do. Guilt corrodes. Instead I go to the gym and watch what I eat, like any responsible adult. But I also make a point of enjoying what life has to offer. Food is just too much of a pleasure to be sullied by the stupidities of a bunch of swivel-eyed hucksters whose only real credential is the size of their Instagram following. Put that in your nutribullet and drink it."

mindful-eating

Summer Kitchen Prep Made Easy!

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06.06.16

It’s easy to let the healthy eating slide when the Summer months come into play, however it’s surprisingly easy to stay healthy with just a few simple pre planning tips. We use time as an excuse but when you consciously set aside a decent amount of time to mass prepare for the week (or longer), the time saved is brilliant, and you will be able to enjoy the sun without compromising on what you put into your body. From food to tupperware, and shopping to chopping, we have some of our top tips for prepping your kitchen for the summer months. Invest in tupperware, it's the backbone of eating healthy in the summer months, as without any, the excuses would multiply as to why we can’t stay healthy on the go or pre make as many healthy meals as possible. Investing in tupperware is a brilliant way of allowing you to prepare meals that can be stored in the freezer for as long as you like. Alternatively, tupperware is a great way to allow you to prepare things like carrot sticks and hummus as well as large salads, or even some raw treats you’ve prepared previously to take into school or work as a snack. We love Giving Tree snacks, especially broccoli and pumpkin with hummus and fresh vegetables like carrots and cucumber too. FullSizeRender Fruit at it’s ripest can be extremely expensive when it’s boxed up or packed in supermarkets, however if you plan ahead that you would like to have a certain fruit perhaps in 3-4 days time, then buying the whole fruit as opposed to the pre-prepared version will firstly be cheaper, and secondly be ready for you to chop up once you are finally ready to eat it, as opposed to feeling as though you have to eat it as soon as it’s bought. Try to head to supermarkets or market stalls selling fruit and veggies at the end of the day, as their ripest fruit will inevitably have to be sold or thrown away, so you will be able to buy the most delicious produce at a fraction of the price - score!! Dust Off That Smoothie Maker - having equipment like a smoothie maker (or blender) at the back of the cupboard does no one any good when wanting to create delicious and healthy drinks for the summer months, right? However if you make the blender a necessary part of your summer drinking routine, it can cut down so much time when you are wanting to get some of the good stuff into your system. Buying frozen berries and lots of bananas as well as throwing in some spinach or kale (for example) can create something extremely healthful, delicious, quick to make and filled with lots of energising goodness to keep you going all morning. They can be so affordable and really do allow you to get in a lot of goodness without having to invest in expensive equipment or ingredients. Plan Meals Ahead - if you know you will be in for four nights in a particular week, perhaps prepare something the Sunday before and allow yourself to be rest assured that the meals will be ready to eat without any thought having to go into it on your part during the week. Ensure you have all the ingredients ready to prepare something which you know you will want to eat in the summer months, and inevitably allow yourself a stress free week of healthy summer meals - it saves so much time and allows you to enjoy the meals you love without worrying about creating them in the week. Cool Blocks and Picnic Bags Tis the season for picnics, and without cool blocks and picnic bags, we end up with a soggy or warm concoction of food we earlier wanted but not so much once it’s been carried all the way to the park or house! It sounds obvious, but ensuring you have the necessities to keep your food and drink the way you created them is a luxury many don’t enjoy in the summer because of those small mistakes!   Screenshot 2016-04-14 15.54.03

National Vegetarian Week – the best of the bites!

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17.05.16

National Vegetarian Week is upon us, so why not try one of these delicious meat-free meals?

These dishes are full of flavour, texture and colour so you won't feel like you're missing out on anything at all.

For the Pasta and Cheese lovers..

Mac and three cheeses recipe

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS 1 x 410g tin of evaporated milk 200g cream cheese 2 tsp English mustard ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 350g macaroni 3 tbsp chi coconut oil 1 small garlic clove, crushed 175g  Comté or cheddar, grated 75g stilton, crumbled 500g green beans 1 tbsp chopped chives 45g  sourdough breadcrumbs 45g  pecans 150g sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

METHOD Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Whisk the evaporated milk, cream cheese and mustard well. Add the nutmeg and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Bring 3.5 litres of salted water to a boil, and add the macaroni, slowly, making sure the water is always boiling. Stir for a minute to stop the macaroni sticking together. Test after about eight minutes – the macaroni should be very al dente. Drain well and add to the cream-cheese mixture.
 Mix a tablespoon of coconut oil and garlic and use this to grease a deep 20 x 20cm (8 x8 in) baking-dish. Spread half of the macaroni on the bottom of the dish. Scatter on half of the Comté and all of the stilton, cover with another layer of macaroni and finish with the rest of the Comté. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.
Boil or steam the green beans until tender with a slight crunch – about five minutes. Drain, place in a bowl and sprinkle with the chives. Heat the coconut oil in a frying-pan. When hot, add the breadcrumbs and pecans and cook for two to three minutes, until crisp and golden. Add the beans and toss to coat them well. Serve the macaroni with green beans and, if you wish, a few tomatoes on the side.   cheesemac

Mushroom, spinach, and blue-cheese lasagne

This creamy vegetarian lasagne full of chesnut mushrooms is perfect served with a big salad and some fresh crusty bread

SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS 3 tbsp olive oil 2 x 250g packs chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 large clove of garlic, crushed 2 x 240g packs pre-washed fresh spinach 1 large jar ready-made white sauce (710g) 12 sheets ready-to-bake lasagne 125g blue cheese, crumbled
METHOD Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan, add half the mushrooms and fry until golden, about five minutes. Transfer them to kitchen paper, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and fry the remaining mushrooms, also transferring them to kitchen paper after five minutes.
Add the final tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and cook the onion and garlic for about four minutes, until soft. Add the spinach to the pan, cover with a lid and allow it to wilt for one to two minutes. Return the mushrooms to the pan, mix together and season.
Use a rectangular dish about 24 x 18cm and spread a layer of white sauce on the base. Place three lasagne sheets on the sauce followed by a third of the mushroom mixture, another layer of white sauce and some crumbled cheese.
Add another three sheets of lasagne and continue layering, finishing with the final three sheets of lasagne, a good covering of white sauce and a sprinkling of crumbled cheese. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until it is cooked through and the topping is bubbling and golden. Serve with a side salad or garlic bread.

Aubergine, pepper and yogurt stacks with coriander pesto

Serves four
3 red peppers chi coconut oil for brushing 2 large aubergines ½ lemon 8 heaped tbsp Greek yogurt sprigs of coriander to serve
For the pesto: 60g (2oz) coriander leaves 40g (1½oz) blanched almonds, lightly toasted 2 garlic cloves, chopped juice of ½ lemon 125ml (4fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil (not too grassy) 60g (2oz) feta cheese, finely crumbled 1 red chilli, halved, deseeded and finely chopped 1 green chilli, halved, deseeded and finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Halve the peppers and remove the seeds and stalk. Put into a small roasting-tin and brush with olive oil. Season. Roast for 35 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the edges of the flesh are slightly scorched.
Meanwhile make the pesto by putting everything, except the feta and chilli, into a food processor. Whizz to a purée. Season to taste, then scrape into a bowl and add the feta cheese and chilli.   stacks_2917851b
Bean chilli with chocolate and walnuts
SERVES 6-8
INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp chi coconut oil 1 large onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tsp cumin seeds or 1 tsp ground cumin 1 fresh chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (more if you like it hot) 1 tsp ground paprika 1 tsp dried oregano 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, seeded and finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 2 sweetcorn cobs (kernels cut off) or 150g thawed frozen sweetcorn 2 large celery sticks (use leaves too), finely sliced 150g  walnuts, very finely chopped 300g dried mixed beans, such as kidney, black-eye or borlotti, soaked and cooked (or 3 x 400g cans cooked mixed pulses, drained) 2 x 400g cans whole plum tomatoes 2 tsp sea salt 60g dark chocolate (minimum 80 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
to serve 120ml  plain yogurt 1 large handful coriander leaves, coarsely chopped Giving Tree broccoli and pumpkin crisps to dip and use as toppings too
METHOD Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan or casserole over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, spices and oregano and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spices smell fragrant and the onions are soft but not browned.
Add the peppers, carrot, sweetcorn and celery and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the walnuts, beans, tomatoes, 250ml (9fl oz) water and salt, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the chocolate and cook for a couple of minutes. Taste and season. Serve in bowls, garnished with a dollop of yogurt and chopped coriander with toasted corn tortillas on the side. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for three to five days.

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It’s all about the Yoghurt recipes!

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10.05.16

We are absolutely loving mixing up our breakfasts at the moment with lighter recipes now Winter is over it can be so lovely to have a breakfast that does't need to give you that warm feeling like porridge but instead yoghurt makes a great option too, and so versatile. If you are Dairy Free these are perfect for you and remember the non-dairy free yoghurt recipes, you can always substitute for the dairy free versions! 1. This recipe is DELICIOUS and especially good if you like fruit flavours. We used Blueberry yoghurt from The Coconut Collaborative, Giving Tree Strawberry Crisps and fresh banana sliced up. A sprinkling of chia seeds is also delicious and granola for an extra crunch. Coconut Collaborative is totally dairy free, gluten and soya free too!Screenshot 2016-05-10 12.28.25 2. Co Yo is so thick and creamy it feels like your being far too naughty to have this for breakfast, however with only coconut milk and dairy free again as well as no added sugars this is one of our favourites! We mixed the natural and raw chocolate yoghurts together to create a delicious breakfast with a drizzle of Pip & Nut Peanut Butter and our Giving Tree strawberry crips plus chia seeds!Screenshot 2016-05-10 12.30.22 3. Yorica - This creation is from the fantastic totally free from every allergen Ice-cream/Fro Yo store in Soho! This was violet and matcha green tea plus our Giving Tree crisps for toppings. We couldn't believe this was allergen free and so delicious!Screenshot 2016-05-10 12.30.32 4. A very simple yet super delicious recipe, simply use your favourite natural yoghurt add granola and crushed Giving Tree strawberry crisps or your favourite flavour! Screenshot 2016-05-10 12.30.42

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.  

Back to the basics – healthy food for everyone!

Posted by admin in Uncategorized | 0 comments

05.05.16

All year round healthy foods for everyone!

We are so often bombarded with contrasting information regarding foods and drinks we should or shouldn’t be consuming, however once things are made simpler and we get rid of some of the complicated ingredients and recipes, and take it back to basics with some simple ingredients and foods that are fairly easily accessible.

COCONUTS

It’s no secret that coconut oil and well, everything coconut, is the what everyone is going mad for!  There are so many brilliant uses for this lovely nut including coconut milk, cream, water, oil and the meat itself. Coconut holds many beauty properties, doing wonders for your skin in turn, and absolutely creates the most deliciously healthy flavour when used in cooking. Coconut cream is brilliant for baking, while coconut water is filled with electrolytes, hydrating you no end, and coconut milk is a wonderful alternative to cow’s milk. Try Chi coconut oil, 100% organic, raw and cold pressed!

oil

GREENS

OK, so we all know that including greens in our diet is good for us, however it’s not necessary for you to sit with a bowl of spinach and expect to thoroughly enjoy munching your way through it. There are so many ways you can include greens in your daily diet, in pasta sauces, casseroles, in a smoothie, or even just stripping things back to basics and enjoying them as part of a colourful salad, this is one of the most important ways for anyone who refrains from eating meat and fish to get in a good source of protein in their diet. Try Giving Tree broccoli crisps as toppings for salads and soups as well as a healthy and nutritious on the go snack!

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BERRIES

Just as raw chocolate is brilliant for upping your antioxidant intake, so are the berry family. They are best when they are completely ripe and in season, however if you buy the frozen kind from any local supermarket, they make for a fantastic ingredient within a morning smoothie, on top of a breakfast bowl or even just on their own. Don't forget to try our Strawberry crisps from the Giving Tree which make amazing toppings for yoghurt, cereal, porridge and so much more! mmm!

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OATS

Oats are a brilliant way of consuming something delicious that will give you an extremely slow release of energy, meaning that it will keep you going for hours. They are so versatile by nature within recipes too, going from being able to be ground into a flour, as the nation’s favourite brekkie, porridge or as a substitute in many baking recipes. They work really well with bananas in smoothies as well, and are guaranteed to keep you going right through until lunch.

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RAW CHOC

Now for people who love a caffeine fix but want it without the sugary additions usually included in coffee shop concoctions, or for those who simply want something a little different, raw chocolate is a brilliant way to have this fix minus the nasties that come in normal chocolate bars. This form of chocolate is extremely high in antioxidants and is a brilliant way of getting your caffeine fix, totally naturally! There are so many different bars on the market that there will undoubtedly be a flavour that will take your fancy.

NUTS

Nuts create much controversy for many due to their high calorie content, however when portion control comes into play, the most important thing to do is know when to eat them, how to eat them and to remember that when food is in its’ rawest form, like nuts generally are, they are full of protein and healthy fats, which are both essential for maintaining our energy levels and giving us a gorgeously envious glow. If having them on their own just isn’t on the agenda though, combining them with dates to create a raw bar, or using them in a flour are all ways of including them in your diet without having to sit down with a bag of almonds.

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