News and Reviews

September Seasonality Update

September 03 2014 at 16:54


Now the weather is changing with the seasons and so are our dinner dishes. Perhaps there is a new chill in the air but the availability of a myriad vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, parsnip, kale and carrots at their seasonal best and the arrival of celeriac coming into season means we have some rich flavours to look forward to on our plates

The little-know Celeriac comes into season. It has an enchanting almost Christmas tree-like smell and distinctively rich taste, brimming with flavour. Celeriac was developed from celery and is known as turnip-rooted celery. It is knobbly with a patchy brown and white skin and has a similar but less pronounced flavour than celery. Celeriac is quite beneficial to cell metabolism due to the phospheros content. It can also play a part in the prevention of anaemia and restoration of immunity doe to the copper content. It also contains useful amounts of fibre, Vitamin C and folic acid. It can be eaten raw or cooked.

We are in harvest in Ireland so we have a powerhouse of choice of Irish Organic vegetables including beetroot, broccoli, cabbage carrots, cauliflower, kale, leeks, onions, rhubarb, spinach and swedes and turnips. Plenty of hearty dishes to be made to take us comfortably into autumn. September also sees the main crop of Irish Potatoes come into season – they have a three month run until November so enjoy them at their best now.

Alas in September we lose aubergines, broad beans and shallots and next month we lose rhubarb for a year so stock up now.

All salads and herbs remain in season this month. So we can still whip up some salads if we are blessed with an extended period of good weather.

As for fruit, apples and cooking apples are at their yearly best in September. And indeed we still have strawberries and raspberries at their best. However by the end of the month we lose blueberries and blackberries.

So why not try out a soothing celeriac soup, using some seasonal onion, garlic and potato? Or if you are still craving a zesty salad, grate some up for a fun celeriac salad!

We hope you all enjoy the September bounty. Please do share your favourite autumnal recipes with us.

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Darren
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Spirulina – Our Supergreen of The Week

August 06 2014 at 10:55

How familiar are you with spirulina? It is a blue-green algae and considered to be a supergreen. As well it might! Spirulina has an absolute abundance of health benefits. It’s mineral and nutrient profile is very impressive, containing notable quantities of protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, omega-3 and omega-6.
It is also known to have anti-carcinogenic properties on account of the high antioxidant presence.
Like many other supergreens spirulina is also a wonderful source of chlorophyll. There is an estimated 10 times more chlorophyll in spirulina than in green vegetables per volume. Why do we need chlorophyll? Well, it acts as a blood cleanser, assisting in the formation of haemoglobin as well as red blood cells. Chlorophyll also helps digestion, removes toxins and helps the body to absorb minerals such as calcium.
Protein and amino acids! Great news for all you fitness enthusiasts! 65% of spirulina is compiled of protein and amino acids.
Did you know that spirulina contains more calcium than milk? As well as that it contains more beta-carotene per volume than carrots. The beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A) content combined with the anti-oxidant profile of spirulina means that it works wonders in terms of maintaining healthy and gorgeous skin.
Cataract and macular degeneration prevention are another benefit of the beta-carotene content. Xanthophyll is also present in spirulina which has a similarly beneficial effect as beta-carotene on eye health.
Like other supergreens spirulina can also play a part in lowering bad LDL cholesterol.
Spirulina seems to have antimicrobial properties which means it plays a part in warding off bacterial and viral infections. Furthermore it is known to have antifungal properties, making it a powerful tool for candida sufferers.
Spirulina has also been speculated to play a part in easing certain allergy symptoms such as watering eye, runny nose, sneezing, hives and congestion since it can play a part in supressing the release of histamines.
Well they are but a few of the super powers spirulina possesses. We stock spirulina in both powdered and tablet form. Mix the powder in with your favourite juices or smoothies or sprinkle some over your food. How do you take your spirulina?

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Darren
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Seasonality Update: June & July

June 19 2014 at 17:46


Quick seasonality update June & July: Summer is upon us and with it comes a bounty of luscious fresh veg. and even some fruit too. So whether you’re partial to salads, stir-fries or whatever this summer your veg. baskets are guaranteed to be brimming with wholesome organic goodness!

Coming into season: June sees celery, courgettes, swedes, peas, mangetout, kohl-rabi and carrots arriving in-store. Then July welcomes sweetcorn, parsnips and onions. Fortunately these veggies are likely to reach their nutritional best and stay in season for the duration of the summer.

Nutritional best: Tomatoes, aubergines, mushrooms, broccoli, broad beans, cabbage, scallions, radishes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce (particularly the round and red oakleaf varieties), spinach, rhubarb, shallots, cauliflower, beetroot, new season potatoes and turnips all reach their nutritional peak during these summer months.

Fruits: June sees raspberries bursting back into season while July greets blueberries back in. Strawberries remain at their nutritional best for both months.

Veg. of the month: Courgettes are bursting back into our kitchens with full nutritional force this June. Crunchy and juicy, they come in both yellow and green varieties. Similar to cucumbers their wealth of nutritional benefits are often overlooked. Courgettes (or zucchinis as our friends across the pond call them) are teaming with vitamin C. This means they serve to protect the body from free radicals. The vitamin C content also helps boost the immune system. These fleshy greens are also rich in potassium which helps regulate blood pressure. It has been noted that the vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acid content of courgettes may play a role in aiding the body’s absorption of fat-soluble antioxidants. Most of the fibre in a courgette is found in its rich green skin. This fibre is known for benefiting the normalisation of blood sugar and lowering of insulin levels. Furthermore, fibre is also linked to the lowering of bad cholesterol. Courgettes also contain notable amounts of those sought after B vitamins 1,2 and 6 as well as mineral magnesium and manganese.

Do you have a favourite courgette recipe? Please share them below. We love adding them to our green juices and smoothies as well as simply grilling or roasting them sliced with some light seasoning. For a quick and simple fix why not chop some up and enjoy with your favourite hummus (see our recipe which we posted in March)?

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Darren
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Woo hoo…shop number two!

May 29 2014 at 22:16

Wooo Hoo…shop number two! We are delighted to announce the location of our new flagship store in the heart of Rathgar Village, Orwell Road, Co Dublin. We have a blank canvas with our massive new store and we are so excited. We will be hiring ten additional foodies so please spread the word. We were born at the start of the recession in 2008, we fought hard to continue or mission of good local organic food and now we get to play as the good times, in Ireland, are well and truly back again. Thank you all for unprecedented support over the years

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Darren
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Super News – Super Food

May 09 2014 at 20:12

Super food of the week! Quinoa. We bet you’ve heard of it. Have you? Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) has seen a surge in popularity over the past few years. It’s not difficult at all to see why given the marvellous qualities of this seed. Yes, quinoa IS a seed. This equals fantastic news for any celiacs, folks with gluten intolerances or those simply wanting to cut down on gluten in their diet. Quinoa with its mild nutty flavour and grain-like texture means that it makes a tremendous rice or pasta substitute.
Originally hailing from South America, quinoa was deemed the ‘golden grain’ by the Incas due to the great energy it provides as a complex carbohydrate.
So now let us rattle off a few of the major benefits which have earned it its ‘super food’ label:

• Protein – quinoa has bundles more protein than rice, millet or other grains

• Magnesium, Manganese & Copper – These minerals are also significantly more present in quinoa than other grains.
Magnesium helps relax blood vessels (less migraines for migraine sufferers), supports healthy metabolism and is also linked to blood sugar control, hence lessening the risk of type 2 diabetes. Manganese has antioxidant properties while copper is beneficial to bones and tissue and assists the body’s absorption of iron.

• Iron – A great mineral for blood and brain health!

• Zinc – More minerals! Quinoa also contains s good dose of zinc which is great for cardiovascular health and boosting mood.

• Fibre – Goodbye constipation! Hello happy bowel movements!

• Omegas – While quinoa is very low in fat, any remaining fat is compiled mostly of essential fatty acids, including omega-3. Such fats help you to feel more full for a longer time.

• Riboflavin – Or B2. This vitamin also plays a part in keeping migraines at bay while also benefiting muscle and brain cells. It also supports energy metabolism.

• Low GI – Quinoa score low on the glycaemic index and is a complex carbohydrate – so good news for anyone trying to shed a couple of pounds!

• Amino Acids – All 9 of them! Get them all here, in your bowl of quinoa. Amino acids are essential for bone and muscle repair.
So there are a few benefits. But try some yummy quinoa dishes out for yourself and feel the tremendous perks for yourself. Very versatile, quinoa works fantastically in sweet and savoury dishes alike.

Super food Super news: We currently have the delicious and easy to prepare Alice & Oscar’s quinola on special offer. Buy 2 packs for €5.50 in store or on our online shop.
Are you already a quinoa fiend? Please share your favourite recipes with us?

Also, we are often asked what the differences are between black, red and white quinoa. There is not much difference in terms of nutrition or taste. It’s just nice to have some varied and colourful food!

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Darren
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