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10 Easy Ways To Use More Turmeric

10 Easy Ways To Use More Turmeric | Eat Healthy Live Well |
A few months ago, we wrote a blog about adding spice to your life and we talked about the amazing health benefits of spices such as cayenne pepper, cumin, black pepper and turmeric. Because turmeric is pretty much the sultan of spices, we felt we needed to revisit this super food and upon closer inspection, we've given it a life-long position on our spice rack. With its fantastic colour and warm and peppery flavour, it is sure to liven up any dish. Most importantly, it has so many amazing health benefits that we can soak up. It is a powerful antioxidant due to the curcumin contained within it, as well as being as anti-inflammatory as some anti-inflammatory drugs, which is pretty epic. It also aides in brain function and can lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. Need any more reasons to add it into your diet? We definitely don't! The real question here isn't why we should add it to our diets, but how?

Here are a few suggestions on how to use turmeric.
1. Sprinkle it over your scrambled eggs - it might seem an odd thought in the Western World to have spice for breakfast but with its subtle flavour, turmeric can be an awesome start to your day. Studies show that spices can speed up your metabolism, so in the morning when your metabolism has basically been shut down overnight, this is a great way to get it moving and grooving!

2. Blend it into smoothies - this is another way to enjoy a turmeric hit in the morning. Again, it may seem weird to drink a spice at this time of the day, but it is easy to mask the slightly spicy flavour by blending lots of other fruits and vegetables into your smoothie too.

3. Stir it into your rice - plain white rice can look a little, well, plain and white. Excite your senses and give your rice the Midas touch by turning it golden!

4. Homemade kale crisps with turmeric salt - if you are a chronic snacker this will be perfect for you! Take some kale, cut it into small(ish) leaves and bake at a high heat for around 10-15 minutes until the edges start to turn brown. In the meantime, mix some turmeric and pink Himalayan salt in a sandwich bag. Once the kale crisps are ready, add them to the sandwich bag, shake it semi-violently, then enjoy your salty snack curled up on the sofa watching a film - exactly how snacking should be enjoyed!

5. Soup - not just for the soul but for the body as well! Stirring turmeric into a homemade soup or broth will add flavour and will make it even more warming and comforting. Even if you don't have time to make soup from scratch, stirring it into a tin of vegetable soup instantly makes it more dynamic.

6. Turmeric Tea - Stir one teaspoon of turmeric into a cup of boiled water, add some finely grated ginger, a teaspoon of honey and a squeeze of lemon. If you are having this before bed add some cardamom and a pinch of cinnamon for a restful night's sleep.

7. Curries - I love making this thrown together curry when I have lots of veggies in my fridge that need using up. You can pretty much use any vegetables here but the base of the curry is always the same - a spoonful of coconut oil, a fresh chilli or two, a generous knob of fresh grated ginger, a tablespoon of turmeric, a tablespoon of cayenne pepper, a couple of cloves of garlic and a can of coconut milk. Chuck in a diced red onion, an aubergine, a courgette, a sweet potato, some broccoli florets and simmer together until softened, then add a large handful of spinach and allow it to wilt. Serve with a spoonful of quinoa, a generous squeeze of lime and a handful of toasted cashew nuts for a healthy mid-week tea. I always make extra for my next day's lunch too.

8. Golden milk - This is similar to turmeric tea but slightly creamier and more comforting. It's ideal for when you can feel a cold coming on because it soothing and helps to ward off those wintery germs. Take a cup of warm unsweetned almond milk and stir in a teaspoon and a half of turmeric and ginger. These guys are from the same family which is why they are so great together. Stir in a teaspoon of organic ghee, which is form of clarified butter used in South East Asian cooking and medicines. Sweeten it all up with a teaspoon of organic honey. You can drink this whilst it is warm or wait for it to cool down.

9. Roasted root vegetables - give your traditional Sunday roast an Eastern twist. Chop up your roasted veggies as you normally would - I'm thinking carrots, parsnips, and sweet potato. Pop them into a large lunchbox with a glug of olive oil, some salt and pepper and a tablespoon of turmeric. Place the lid on firmly and shake it all about, then transfer to a baking dish. Soak your lunchbox as soon as possible to try and avoid it turning yellow - we should mention, turmeric stains like crazy by the way! Serve your vegetables with roast chicken stuffed with garlic and lemon and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. Sounds weird? Sometimes weird is good.

10. Make your own curry spice mix - this is a good way of putting to use all of those random spices that you bought once for a recipe but aren't sure what to do with them when you have used the small amount the recipe requires. Take 2 tablespoons of toasted cumin seeds, 2 tablespoons of toasted cardamom seeds, 2 tablespoons of toasted coriander seeds, 2 tablespoons of turmeric, 1 tablespoon of mustard powder or mustard seeds and a half a table spoon of cayenne pepper. Store in a grinder for up to six months.

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October: Seasonal Foods

October: Seasonal Foods | Eat Healthy Live Well |
Summer is well and truly behind us but that doesn't mean that the seasonal foods have dried up. One of the major benefits of eating seasonally is the savings you make. When food is produced locally and seasonally you do not have to pay for the cost of artificial growers or importation to this country and, not to mention, you will also support local producers. Everybody wins and those extra pennies you save by buying seasonal foods can be put towards something bigger, like, I don't know, Christmas? (Don't panic - you still have plenty of time before it is upon us, but start planning now - the scrooge buried deep inside everybody will be grateful later). Here is a list of the fruits and veggies that are in season at the moment.

Fruits & Nuts
Apples, Blackberries, Chestnuts, Elderberries, Figs, Hazelnuts, Pears, Sloe, Walnuts.

Artichoke, Beetroot, Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Cabbage, Celeriac, Celery, Fennel, Garlic, Horseradish, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Marrow, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rocket, Runner beans, Shallots, Swede, Sweetcorn, Tomatoes, Truffles, Turnips, Watercress, Wild mushrooms.

Chives, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme.

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Hello October! Here is Healthy Foods Online's monthly roundup of which British foods are in season.

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Thai Spiced Salmon Fishcakes

Thai Spiced Salmon Fishcakes | Eat Healthy Live Well |
1. Drain the salmon and place into a mixing bowl. Add the
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A simple recipe for a healthy dinner - Thai Spiced Salmon Fishcakes

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Oaty Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Oaty Peanut Butter Energy Balls | Eat Healthy Live Well |
1. Gently toast the desiccated coconut in a shallow frying pan. Whilst it is toastin
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Take a look at our recipe for delicious Oaty Peanut Butter Energy Balls

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Common mistakes people make when trying to lose belly fat

Common mistakes people make when trying to lose belly fat | Eat Healthy Live Well |
You’ve been trying for weeks now, but that belly fat just isn’t shifting. So what’s gone wrong?

1. The Wrong Sort of Exercise

Abdominal muscles get to used to exercises and training very quickly, especially if you’re repeating the same movements over and over. So doing 100 crunches a day is simply not the best way to spend your time and effort. Instead, shake things up a bit every few weeks.

Add in some squats, use a stability ball and work the whole abdominal area and all the muscles. Exercising every day might also be the problem. After doing an intense workout, give yourself and your muscles a rest of up to 48 hours. Include some cardio, and do a couple of abdominal sessions each week.

2. Your Diet Is Not Balanced

Exercise and interval training can be a great way to change the shape of your body, but if your diet is unhealthy or unbalanced, you will struggle to shift the weight. Highly processed foods, and those high in sugar (cakes, sweets, biscuits and fast food) store fat around the belly.

Being vegetarian or vegan does not automatically make your diet healthier. Getting a balance is still very important, so careful planning is required to ensure adequate intake of things like iron (think pulses, whole-grains and dark green vegetables) and calcium (dried fruit and milk, or soya/rice/oat milk for vegans). There are also increasing numbers of gluten free foods available on the market.

Green teas are said to help increase the metabolism and are championed by many an A-list celebrity, and that can be an effective way to lose weight. Pukka Tea is one of the market-leading brands and the range includes lots of interesting flavours. There are also fair trade food products that can help.

3. You Rely on Diet Alone

Thinking you can just cut down on your calorie intake without increasing your physical activity is also doomed to failure. You might find that initially weight does come off, and sometimes very quickly, but that weight is most likely coming from muscle. Only the right diet and exercise will help with sustained weight loss and a reduction in fat.

4. You Try to Go It Alone

If you feel like nothing is making a difference, even though you’ve tried everything, it might be time to seek expert help from a fitness trainer or a nutritionist. If you haven’t exercised for a while, it’s always worth consulting your doctor first.

Whilst vitamins & supplements should not be relied on as a substitute for healthy eating, they can help as part of a weight-loss programme. Check out our online range today.
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Simple Chicken and Pesto Pasta Bake

Simple Chicken and Pesto Pasta Bake | Eat Healthy Live Well |
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
2. In a saucepan, cook the pasta according to th
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With Fresher's Week coming up in the next few weeks, we have a new recipe on our blog for a Simple Chicken and Pesto Pasta Bake - perfect for a cheap and easy student meal -

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Money Saving Guide to Eating Gluten Free

Money Saving Guide to Eating Gluten Free | Eat Healthy Live Well |
Any change in diet inevitably causes a bit of pain to your wallet. Adjusting to a no-gluten regime, whether it’s because you’ve been diagnosed as a coeliac or for other health reasons, can involve a particularly costly adjustment to your grocery budget. However, you can save money on your gluten- and wheat-free shopping.

Be Prepared

This is true enough when it comes to everyday grocery shopping but even more so when it comes to foods for celiac sufferers. Plan your meals ahead to avoid food wastage, and keep a good number of gluten- and wheat-free staples in the cupboard.

Many shops, even your local grocery store perhaps, will stock free-from foods, but making a quick shop dash to buy a certain ingredient could cost you dearly. The best way to buy gluten- and wheat-free products for less is to source them online, where you often get something nearer wholesale prices as well as a much wider choice of foods.

A pantry complete with long-lasting ingredients that have been sourced online, such as gluten free pasta, flour, raising agents, oats and cereals, can avoid sudden high grocery costs.

Cook from Scratch and Freeze

This principle applies to all food shopping and preparation, but when you’re talking about gluten free foods, it’s even more of a money saver. Make your own gluten- and wheat-free bread and pizza bases using specialist flour and other ingredients.

Get used to using your freezer, and every time you make a labour-intensive recipe, freeze enough for next time too.

Seek Alternatives

Rather than trying to constantly find the gluten- or wheat-free option, think about using a wholly different food in your cooking. Use quinoa rather than couscous, rice rather than a gluten-free roll as a side, a jacket potato for lunch rather than a gluten free bread sandwich and make biscuits from oats rather than gluten- or wheat-free flour.

Before long you’ll realise that there are plenty of other food options that don’t even need to imitate gluten-based products.

Saving money on a wheat-free diet may feel like walking against the tide at first, but by following these simple tips it can become easier than you think. Learn to cook from scratch, and make good use of your freezer to save both time and money. Shop online and buy in bulk to make impressive savings on free-from foods.
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Read our Money Saving Guide To Eating Gluten Free

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7 Fabulous Foods to Boost Your Brain Power

7 Fabulous Foods to Boost Your Brain Power | Eat Healthy Live Well |
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What we eat affects absolutely everything, from our health, skin, teeth, bones and, very importantly our brain function as well. The foods and drink we eat can have a direct effect on brain function, memory, concentration and, in the long term it can also help to prevent brain related illnesses such as Alzheimer's and dementia. With children heading back to school it is important to wise up on foods that can increase their ability to learn and boost their brain power. Here are some suggestions on what to nourish their growing minds with.

Oily Fish
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines contain Omega-3 which itself contains a fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid - I need a lot more Omega 3 to remember how to spell that so we will call it by its shortened name of DHA. DHA helps nerve cells to communicate and it also helps young brains to develop, so all in all it's pretty important. The government recommends eating at least one portion of oily fish per week, but if you have children who don't like fish, you could try giving them a cod liver oil supplement instead. If you follow a plant-based diet or are vegan, there are plenty of non-animal sources of Omega-3 too.

Leafy Greens
For the plant-based warriors out there, leafy greens such as kale, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy and Brussels sprouts are jam packed with Omega-3, as well as calcium, magnesium and iron, which are also crucial to our health and brain function. Whilst it can admittedly be somewhat hard to convince children to eat green food, (unless it's a green fruit pastille!) try starting off with just one green element and find something that they like before introducing more green. Kale crisps might be a good place to start - especially as they make a great healthy snack for lunchboxes.


All berries are rich in flavonoids, particularly blueberries. We've all heard that they are a superfood, but do you know how super they really are? Research has proven that when taken over a long period of time, flavonoids can help to slow the onset of age-related dementia and Alzheimer's disease. This is because they help to improve blood flow to the brain, which also allows for better cognitive function. British scientists carried out a test to prove the theory that blueberries stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain by giving one group of people a blueberry smoothie in the morning and comparing them to another group of people who had no smoothie. It was discovered that the smoothie drinkers did much better at mental tasks in the afternoon than the others. Dr Jeremy Spencer from Reading University, who ran the experiment said, 'After one hour there was little difference in the attention tests, but after five hours people who didn't have the blueberry smoothie saw their performance fall by 15 to 20 per cent.' This finding suggests that blueberries and other berries that are rich is flavonoids can help to keep the mind fresh for a prolonged period of time. Fresh berries are so delicious and are a perfect snack for packed lunches or after-school snack to offer a much needed boost. If you cannot always get your hands on fresh berries, try having a surplus of mixed dried berries and fruit in your cupboard that you can just grab and go.

Eggs, or more specifically the yolks, contain the B-Vitamin choline which promotes the production of the acetylcholine, a chemical in the brain that is crucial for proper memory function. If you have a child in school, it can be a major rush to get out of the door in the morning so making an egg breakfast probably seems impossible. Instead, try making egg mayonnaise sandwiches for lunchtime or, even easier, keep some hardboiled eggs in the fridge at all times so they can easily be grabbed on the way out of the door. Just keep an eye on which ones are hard boiled and which ones are still raw, or you might end up with a smashed egg at the bottom of a back-pack - not ideal!

Something that is slightly easier in the morning are whole-grain oats. It may sound cliché but breakfast really is the most important part of the day, particularly for children - those who have a well-balanced breakfast show improved memory, creativity and focus. The Association of UK Dieticians says that, 'Breakfast should provide about 20-25% of your daily nutritional requirements.' Using this as a guideline, oats can make the perfect breakfast because not only will they keep little stomachs full until lunch time because they are a slow burning carbohydrate, they also keep brains sharp for hours too. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and glucose is the primary fuel for the brain. In the warmer months, try making some overnight oats and eating them cold in the morning. During the colder months, there is nothing better in the morning than having warm oats in your belly to kick start a cold day. Serve the oats with milk or a milk alternative, a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds which are full of Omega-3 and a handful of berries so you can get all the goodness from those fabulous flavonoids too!

Beans and legumes
Legumes are brimming with the B Vitamin folate which is known to boost brain power by repairing cells and tissues. It also works closely with other vitamins to help make red blood cells and iron work properly in the body, ensuring that enough oxygen is supplied to the brain. Add some lentils to a salad or some soup - they bulk out a meal and can take the place of meat.

It has long been believed that eating nuts can improve mental performance and also on the plus side, they are a healthy alternative to salty and fatty crisps. One of the best nuts to eat for brain health are walnuts because they have a high concentration of DHA - just like oily fish. Just a handful of walnuts can provide almost 100% of the recommended daily allowance of DHA. Scientific studies have also shown that walnuts may help to reduce the onset of Alzheimer's. In the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, there is an article outlining the work of Dr. Abha Chauhan, head of the Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory at the New York State Institute, who found a significant improvement in learning skills, memory, reducing anxiety, and motor development shown in mice fed with a walnut-enriched diet, whereas mice deprived of walnuts suffered a dramatic loss in learning, memory and physical and emotional control. Chauhan said that 'These findings are very promising and help lay the groundwork for future human studies on walnuts and Alzheimer's Disease [...] our study adds to the growing body of research that demonstrates the protective effects of walnuts on cognitive functioning.' One way to get some of this walnutty goodness into your diet aside from eating actual walnuts isn't to eat your body weight in walnut whips (which would be great but not for our health), but to use walnut oil whilst cooking and preparing food. Nuts are quite high in calories though so make sure you monitor how many you or your child are eating. The American Heart Association recommends that an adult eat 1.5oz ( a small handful) of nuts per serving which is no more than about 20 whole, shelled walnuts per week.

Dark chocolate
This will probably be an easy one to sneak into your child's lunchbox. It has long been argued that a lack of magnesium has been linked to anxiety, headaches, depression, insecurity, irritability, restlessness, talkativeness and sulkiness - which is basically a nightmare for any child and their parent to face when they are at school, not to mention their teacher! While it is not necessarily scientifically proven that magnesium can put an end to all of these ailments, studies have shown that it can help. A very good source of magnesium is dark chocolate when it is in its most raw form. Once it has been treated and heated and mixed with milk, unfortunately its nutritional value is depleted somewhat. Whilst all dark chocolate contains some level of magnesium, at Healthy Foods Online, we stock the crème de la crème of dark chocolates - IQ Super Food Chocolate. Their chocolate is stone-ground at low temperatures, keeping it raw and therefore keeping it's nutritional value in-tact. The depth of flavour of their sundried Criollo beans from Peru is enhanced with coconut blossom and combined with fruit flavours such as raspberry and lime. A delicious gluten and dairy free bar of chocolate that will go perfectly with a healthy lunch.

The brain is the most complex organ in our bodies and has developed over thousands of years to function in the way that it does. We really should be amazed by its complexity and look after it! Spruce up yours and your family's diet by eating these foods that are known to improve cognitive ability. But not only for this factor, having a healthy diet can give the brain the best chance at fighting disease and it can also help the emotional state of the brain. There's no denying that when we eat good, we feel good and if the brain is feeling happy, it's likely that the body will feel happy too.
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With children going back to school next week, it's a good idea to think about what is the best food to be feeding them. Read our new blog - 7 Fabulous Foods to Boost Your Brain Power -

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10 Foods That Boost Your Metabolism to Speed Up Weight Loss

If you're looking to lose weight, then you'll be delighted to know that nature provides metabolism boosters in the form of certain foods, ingredients and natural supplements. Here is a look at ten weight-loss boosters which are easy to get hold of and to incorporate into your daily diet.

This warming spice is known for its metabolism-boosting properties, and it makes a wonderful addition to sweet and savoury foods alike. You'll find cinnamon teas, cereals, ground spices and other whole foods online at Healthy Foods Online.

These sweet little fruits are packed with antioxidants which help to deal with free radicals in the body. This helps to avoid oxidative damage that occurs because of exercise, stress or bad diets - and daily life in general.
Green Tea
Green tea is a superb natural metabolism booster thanks to the catechins found in tea leaves. White tea and matcha tea are excellent alternatives. The boosting effect comes from the caffeine within the tea leaves. Check out our great range of Japanese food online and green teas of different flavours.
Enjoy curry blends to naturally boost your metabolism. Curry pastes make it easy to craft your own authentic blend; simply marinade some meat and cook with coconut milk or tomato and plenty of vegetables or pulses.
Chilli contains capsicum, which has a thermogenic effect in the body. By heating the body, your metabolism is raised and you burn calories.
Coffee is one ingredient that tends to be found in all metabolism-boosting formulas and tablets; however, you can enjoy all the thermogenic properties in a cup of freshly ground beans of organic coffee. Try exercising on an empty stomach and after a coffee for a double kick on the calorie-burning front.

This is a highly nutritious food that also has an incredibly high satiety factor, which means they help you to feel fuller for longer. Nuts are also packed with vitamin E and fibre. In short, a handful of nuts will help you to feel full and prevent you from snacking mindlessly on high-calorie foods.

These grains are gluten-free and can help you to reduce your bad cholesterol levels and balance your blood sugar. In addition, they are packed with fibre and a range of vitamins. Low in calories and fat, they swell in your gut to make you feel fuller for longer. Enjoy in raw form or in oatcakes, granola or even milk.

This wonder fish is packed with magnesium, essential fatty acids and B-vitamins. It is hugely nutritious, and the healthy fats keep you feeling fuller for longer. The ultimate salmon is wild Alaskan sockeye, and you only need a couple of portions a week to maintain a healthy EFA profile.

Not strictly a food, water is, however, essential to life. It is also a natural metabolism booster, as it enables every cell in your body to work as it should. Adequate water intake also helps your digestion to work effectively, cleaning out toxins, and makes you feel more energised, encouraging you to be active.
Healthy Foods Online's insight:

Do you ever feel sluggish? Ever feel like you have been eating healthily but not losing any weight? This may be down to your metabolism, some people just don't burn off fat as quickly as others!

Here are 10 foods that can boost your metabolism -

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DIY Ice Lollies

DIY Ice Lollies | Eat Healthy Live Well |
Homemade ice lollies are all the rage right now because they can be both healthier, cheaper and of course, much more fun! When you make them yourselves you know exactly what goes into them, which means you can basically make your healthy smoothie into a nourishing and refreshing ice lolly. If you don't have an ice lolly mould you don't need to worry, you can just use an ice tray for deliciously bite-size frozen goodies. You could even use champagne floats - just pour your mixture into the flute and freeze for an hour before sticking lolly sticks into them and continuing to freeze. Who knew champagne flutes could have more than one use!

Cucumber and Lime
This ice lolly is really hydrating because of the cucumber - perfect for a hot summer's day. Get yourself one large cucumber, peeled and chopped up, a little pinch of salt, a 400g can of coconut milk, juice and zest of 2 limes and 3 tablespoons of maple syrup. Blend them all together in a food processor and freeze in a lolly mould overnight.

Frozen Banana Split
This is more like a frozen fondue, so easy to make and so delicious to just grab and go, especially if you have children. Chop some bananas into chunks and spear them with sticks or cocktail sticks. Using a bowl over a saucepan full of boiling water, melt a bar of milk chocolate. If you would prefer to use dark chocolate this would work well too and would actually be a healthier alternative. Once the chocolate has melted, dip the banana into the chocolate and then roll in chocolate sprinkles. Place on a plate and freeze for 2 hours before grabbing and going. This would also work really well if you rolled it in desiccated coconut after coating in chocolate.

Cocoa Ice Pops
Get ready for your chocolate fix! You will need some unsweetend almond milk, cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons of agave syrup or other sugar substitute and a little splash of vanilla extract. Stir all of the ingredients together and pop into a lolly mould before freezing over night. You could make these into ice cubes by freezing in an ice tray instead and try using them in a vanilla milkshake. Delicious!

Blueberry and Coconut Ice Lollies
These are so fruity and delicious! Just grab a handful of blueberries and chuck them into a blender with a 400g can of coconut milk, a splash of water, a splash of apple juice, a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of honey. Pour into a lolly mould and wait for them to set!

If you find yourself pushed for time or funds and you just want a chilly snack, try putting a punnet of grapes into the freezer. They make for a sweet and interesting snack and are perfect to cool down a glass of juice or fruity wine.

For more ice lolly recipe ideas head over to the BBC Food Website, they look oh so tempting!
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We have a brand new blog post on how to make delicious DIY ice lollies -

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Hosting a Bank Holiday Tea Party

Hosting a Bank Holiday Tea Party | Eat Healthy Live Well |
With the August bank holiday just around the corner, we need to keep in mind that this is the last bank holiday until Christmas. We will gradually descend through the glory of Autumn and into the cold chasms of Winter with no public holidays to numb the anguish of another summer come and gone. So, whilst you stomp through fallen and rotting leaves on the cold, hard ground to clumsily scrape the first frost off of your car windscreen with gloved fingers, we want you to look back at this final bank holiday and know that you made the most of it. Get everyone together for a final blow out before the evenings draw in, the children march back to school and the inevitable whoosh of the radiator greets you when you go home. A perfect way to observe the end of long summer days is to host a garden tea party. Unlike a barbecue, which requires you to cook outside, a garden party can be picked up and brought inside in case the weather doesn't quite live up to expectations - a very British dilemma. So, here are some tips for throwing an exquisitely British bash.

Pick a Theme
Picking a theme means that you can stick to a familiar vein throughout the party on which you can base your choice of decor, games, food and drink. For example, you could have an 80s theme - think hippies, bare feet and Woodstock festival. Or a Hawaiian theme with hula leis garlands and pineapple shaped cups - you probably do need tropical weather to pull this off though. Our favourite idea for a theme has got to be a vintage themed garden party, with Alice in Wonderland-esque teacups and triangle shaped sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Ask your guests to get into the spirit and wear vintage dresses for the ladies and twee suits for the men. You can serve the food on bone china and the cold drinks in crystal cut glasses. If you have children attending, the thought of crystal cut glasses can be a little panic inducing, so try up-cycling some old milk bottles with brightly coloured paper straws instead.

Once you have thought of your theme the food should be easy to get to grips with. The best food for a tea party has got to be finger food and you want to make sure you bring out both the mains and desserts at the same time. That way, as a host, you can sit down and enjoy the company you have invited over without having to get up and down all the time and play at being a waitress. Make sure you fill the table with firm British favourites. Try and think of three to five different sandwich ideas, such as cheese and cucumber, egg mayonnaise and cress, ham and Dijon mustard, tuna and spring onion and cheese and pickle. The possibilities for sandwiches are almost endless and it's easy to carried away, but make sure you leave some room for gluten free sandwiches for any guests who follow a free from diet. Experiment with different gluten free breads to see which ones work best with your fillings. Whilst you could go for obvious other buffet food such as cheese and pineapple on a stick, sausage rolls or cocktail sausages, this may seem a little cliché and you don't want your guests to fill up on processed pork before they have had a chance to try your delicious sandwiches. It is a good idea however, to have small bowls of bits and bobs aside from the sandwiches for people to nibble on, such as vegetable crisps, olives, cheese spirals with a delicious dip, nuts and savoury popcorn such as Joe and Seph's outrageously delicious range of gourmet popcorn.

Desserts are where the fun, imagination and creativity really starts! Having all the food on the table at the same time not only means you can sit still and enjoy yourself, it also allows your guests to follow their own eating pattern instead of adhering to a schedule of courses. However, you should probably place the sandwiches and nibbles on the outside of the table and your cakes and desserts in the middle to encourage your guests to reach for dessert after they have had their fill of sandwiches. It will also give you an easier vantage point for keeping an eye out for any little hands that reach over the sandwiches for a swift grab of a cake that does not belong to them. So, as a centre-piece around which to place all of your other dishes, try a lovely round cake, like our Zesty Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake, then have smaller plates of fairy cakes with butter icing, raspberry muffins, scones with jam (here is a link to our recipe for Gluten Free Scones to make sure everybody is catered for), and Almond and Raisin Flapjack Bites. This list of desserts could quite literally go on and on but then there wouldn't be any room on the table for drinks...

Because it is a bank holiday weekend, we can forgive you for wanting to have a drink. A sparkling wine or prosecco would be the perfect accompaniment, with an alcohol free option such as Schloer for the designated drivers and non-drinkers. Because we are going with a vintage British theme however, you can be really imaginative with tea, because what is more quintessentially British than a cup of tea? Tea with milk and lemon is a must, but you could also try making some refreshing fruity iced teas. Pick a flavour or two of Pukka's delicious range of fruit and herbal teas; we recommend Love Tea and Cool Mint Green Tea for this occasion. A couple of hours before the party is due to begin, brew the teas as you normally would with boiling water, then pour into jugs and chill in the fridge. Serve with ice cubes and some mint leaves or frozen raspberries for a delightfully refreshing tipple. To add to your vintage theme, have a few bottles of Mr Fitzpatrick on the table as well. With flavours such as Dandelion and Burdock, English Elderflower and Bramley Apple and Rhubarb and Rosehip, these drinks will be sure to evoke feelings of nostalgia amongst your guests.
Healthy Foods Online's insight:

With Bank Holiday coming up at the end of August (the last until Christmas - sob), make the most of it by getting everyone together and throwing a party.

Here are some top tips to throw a beautiful and successful garden party

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Breastfeeding with Gluten Intolerance

Breastfeeding with Gluten Intolerance | Eat Healthy Live Well |

We have a new blog post to mark ‪#‎nationalbreastfeedingweek‬ - Breastfeeding with Gluten IntoleranceIf you have gluten intolerance, then you will know that it can create some challenges in your diet without the right gluten free ingredients and foods. If you are breastfeeding, or about to have a baby, you may also be wondering how your intolerance will affect your little one. To coincide with World Breastfeeding Week, we take a look at the issue, and some useful facts.

Firstly, if you - or your baby - has been diagnosed with coeliac disease or a dietary intolerance, then a gluten free diet is important. Always take your doctor's advice and recommendations with regard to your baby's diet at this time and seek medical advice in the first instance. You will find that there is useful support and advice available on this common issue.

Why do this?

Any parent with an upset baby after feeding will know how distressing suspected gluten-intolerance can be. In those individuals with sensitivities, gluten damages the tiny villi which line the intestine. This hampers the body's ability to fully absorb nutrients and can lead to nutritional deficiencies over time. Other symptoms include colic, vomiting, itchy and red eyes, rashes, asthma, ear infections and general failure to thrive.

Many doctors will recommend that a parent keeps a food journal for their baby if they suspect a gluten intolerance, as the condition can be tricky to diagnose.

Breastfeeding with gluten insensitivity

If you have coeliac disease, then there is a heightened risk of your baby having it too. It is a given of course that your diet will need to be gluten free, with the inclusion of wholefoods and specialist products. For many mums with newborn babies, being able to buy gluten free food online from places like Healthy Foods Online is a big help, as it allows more choice and the ability to make better choices in their shopping from the comfort of their home.

Your doctor will give you advice as to signs to watch for, which typically resemble colic after feeding. Remember that breast milk is the perfect milk for babies and nature has designed it to have the essential mix of nutrients and vital antibodies.

However, in addition to immunity, other elements of the food you eat transfer to your breast milk. Simply put, by ensuring that you eat gluten free, you can remove the triggers that may kick off your baby's symptoms and at the same time, you will remove any other possible wheat-derived allergens.

Feeding your gluten intolerant baby

Your doctor or nutritionist will probably suggest an elimination diet for a few weeks to see if the symptoms improve. This can take up to three weeks. Remember that if you are breastfeeding and adhering to a gluten-free diet yourself, your baby will have everything that she or he needs to thrive. If your baby is weaning, then there are plenty of food choices that you can both enjoy. You can include wholefoods, delicious gluten free snacks and specialist coeliac foods in your diet.

Freely enjoy all vegetables, fruit and salads, as well as rice, potatoes, corn, gluten free oats and coconut flour. Nuts, beans and lentils are also good, as are meat, fish, eggs, chicken and dairy products. Don't forget healthy oils and fats such as olive oil and avocado and avoid processed foods as the mainstay of your diet.

Nutrition and breastfeeding

To deal with your nutritional challenges when breastfeeding on a gluten free diet, focus on eating wholefoods in their most natural state. Calcium will come from fish with bones, green vegetables and dairy products. Fibre comes from all wholegrains, fruits and vegetables and iron from meat, eggs, and leafy greens. You can also enjoy specialist coeliac foods and gluten free choices for additional treats and convenience.

Healthy Foods Online's insight:

We have a new blog post to mark ‪#‎nationalbreastfeedingweek‬ - Breastfeeding with Gluten Intolerance

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Gluten Free Aubergine and Mozzarella Lasagne - Cooking Recipes

Gluten Free Aubergine and Mozzarella Lasagne - Cooking Recipes | Eat Healthy Live Well |
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Add a good glug of olive oil to a large saucepan and add the red onion, garlic and
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We have a new recipe on our blog for Gluten Free Aubergine and Mozzarella Lasagne - perfect food for a get together and a healthy alternative to using pasta sheets in a lasagne -

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Pear and Blackberry Crumble with Ginger Spiced Custard

Pear and Blackberry Crumble with Ginger Spiced Custard | Eat Healthy Live Well |
A seasonal and warming dessert - perfect for Autumn
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This morning chill has made us feel very autumnal...and a little bit cold. Dreaming about our Pear and Blackberry Crumble with Ginger Spiced Custard to warm up.

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Who Are The British Food Standards Agency and What do They Do?

Who Are The British Food Standards Agency and What do They Do? | Eat Healthy Live Well |
British Food Fortnight has begun and runs from the 19th September to the 4th October. This fortnight runs in conjunction with the Harvest Festival and is a time to celebrate the British produce that springs up from these green and pleasant lands. Think about the fresh and seasonal produce, the good quality British meat, creamy dairy and the hardworking farmers that help to make such a diverse and ambrosial range of food available. Whilst it is a time to enjoy British food, we must not forget about the journey it has made to make it onto our plates. If you eat organic produce, you will understand about the importance of where and how the food is grown or reared. You can read more about this subject in our recent blog post Organic September: Why You Should Switch to Organic. However, it's not only where and how it's grown that's important. That's where the British Food Standards Agency comes in. The British Food Standards Agency are an independent government department. They carry out scientific research to decipher boundaries, regulations and responsibilities in order to allow consumers to trust in the food that they buy and be safe in the knowledge that their food is what it says it is. Here are just a couple of ways that the British Food Standards agency has influenced the food you eat every day.

E Numbers and Additives in British Food
Any additives or E-numbers must be extensively analysed in order to ascertain what levels are safe for consumption. The Food Standards Agency makes sure that the science carried out on additives is strictly reviewed, the law enforced and any action deemed necessary is taken. They also require food labels to list the additive with either it's name or E number. The E stands for Europe and the number relates to the set of rules of which foods can contain that additive and how much of it you should consume in a day. If you're confused about additives and E numbers, here is a list of what you might come across on a food label and why:

- Sweeteners. Used to sweeten the flavour of a product without the use of sugar.

- Stabilisers, emulsifiers, gelling agents and thickeners. These help to mix or thicken the other ingredients.

- Antioxidants. Anti oxidants are supposed to be good for us to fight signs of ageing and cancer. In food they are added in order to stop food from becoming rancid or changing colour.

- Preservatives. These are added to keep the food fresher for longer.

- Flavour enhancers. These are used to bring out the flavours of the food product.

Allergens in British Food
The British Food Agency helps us to recognise E numbers and consume safe amounts, but many food allergies and intolerances occur in natural ingredients, such as wheat, dairy and nut allergies rather than in artificial chemical ingredients. When it comes to allergies, other than offering helpful advice, The British Food Standards Agency funds research, called the Food Allergy and Intolerance Research Programme in order to better understand intolerances and why they are occurring. They also strengthen food labelling rules so that it is more obvious to consumers and they also help to raise awareness of allergies within the hospitality and catering industry, including cross-contamination. They recognise and promote the dangers of the accidental consumption of a food a consumer is allergic to and the potentially deadly consequences. You can shop for free from foods which have passed FSA standards in our free from section

The British Food Standards Agency has guidelines and procedures every step of the way, from starting up a food business, to packaging and labelling food and to food hygiene rating. If you are going to a restaurant and would like to check the food hygiene rating, which is based on cleanliness, food preparation, contamination, food storage, amongst other factors, you can search for it here. Without most of us even realising it, the FSA is a part of everything we consume every day. It is a crucial element in the British food industry and with allergies evolving, new foods and chemicals constantly being developed and introduced into our food chain and different strains of bacteria circulating the globe, it has never been more prevalent than it is today.
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Ever wondered who makes sure the food you purchase is safe for you? Here is a blog about The British Food Standards Agency and what they do...

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4 Big Reasons why you should shop for Fair Trade Food

4 Big Reasons why you should shop for Fair Trade Food | Eat Healthy Live Well |
For some people, the Fair Trade Food icon may seem like one more stamp food agencies have stuck onto the bottom of a label, but do we really know the impact that this little label can have? There is an abundance of food available in the UK at this time of the year due to the fruitful Autumn harvest. Fruits and vegetables have been ripening all summer long and are now being plucked, picked and dug up and are making their way onto the shelves of supermarkets. Whilst it is a time to celebrate and be grateful for what's in season, it is also a time to reflect on how fortunate we are to have such a wealth of food readily available to us in the developed world. It seems prevalent now more than ever, due to what is happening in the media that we could all get into the habit of sharing. Whilst charities such as Water Aid and Oxfam have portals on their website set up so you can donate money to less fortunate countries, we feel that this ethical mindfulness of the world around us can begin at home, simply by choosing to buy Fair Trade food.

1. Fair Trade Food means FAIR!
When buying Fair Trade food or other Fair Trade products, you can be sure that the pay given to the producer is above minimum wage. Profits remain within the workers' communities rather than going into the hand of a middle man. It can then be invested within the community into schooling, health care, housing and improved living. It is also invested back into their own businesses, creating a sustainable economy.

2. Fair Trade Food means safety
Fair Trade Food farmers and artisans have a voice in their workplace and therefore can control how it is run. This means that their working conditions are safer and healthier. The produce is grown using farming systems that limit the use of harmful chemicals that present dangers for the Farmers' health. In turn, this means the produce is safer for consumption; you'll find that Fair Trade food and Organic Food are intrinsically linked, with GMOs being strictly prohibited.

3. Fair Trade Food is better for the environment
As previously mentioned, Fair Trade farming systems limit the use of harmful chemicals that can be dangerous the farmer, the consumer and the environment. Fair Trade food farmers are actively encouraged to protect their ecosystems. They are educated about the importance of crop rotation and to apply sustainable irrigation that will ultimately save on water. With their better wages they are able to invest back into their businesses to purchase machinery that is more expensive. Better quality machinery does not compromise the environment around their crops, whereas cheap machinery can damage the surrounding ecosystem.

4. Fair Trade Foods means better quality

Because Fair Trade food is grown and harvested in smaller batches and on a smaller scale, rather than being mass produced, it is easier to maintain a level of quality control and attention to detail. Also, because Fair Trade farmers are invested in the entire process, they have a sense of pride in their product that a producer who is detached from their product might not have.

Whilst switching your entire shopping list to only Fair Trade food would be extremely admirable, sometimes it is not always feasible. Instead of focusing on Fair Trade fruits and vegetables, try focusing on seasonal fresh produce that is available right here in the UK. For products such as coffee, sugar, chocolate and tea, which are imported from third-world countries, try swapping them out for a Fair Trade counterpart. You may find that they are a little more expensive than what you are used to, but these are the kinds of products that you don't buy every day. The product is likely to taste better and a few extra pennies can make all the difference for artisan producers on the other side of the world.

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5 Steps You Can Take To Better Heart Health

5 Steps You Can Take To Better Heart Health | Eat Healthy Live Well |
The bad news is that heart disease is a huge killer for both men and women across the world, with around 80,000 deaths in the UK alone per year. Whilst heart disease is widespread, the good news is that there are steps that can be taken which will improve heart health and help to forestall the effects of heart disease. Aside from regular exercise, here are five types of food you should introduce into your diet which will not only boost your heart's health, they will give you more energy and may even help to trim down your waistline.

Fibre is the part of plant foods that your body can't digest or absorb. It is good for the body in many ways because it helps us to digest and pass the foods we eat whilst also feeding our good gut bacteria. Fibre also absorbs and pulls out any excess hormones, cholesterol, fat and toxins from our body, which in turns lowers the risk of diabetes, obesity, some cancers and cardiovascular disease. It also helps you to feel fuller for longer, meaning you can have more control over your appetite and weight.

Where can you find fibre?

1. Beans (and not just of the baked variety).

2. Vegetables - the fresher the better!

3. Nuts - almonds, pecans and walnuts have the most fibre of all of the nuts.

4. Berries.

5. Brown rice - this has a lot more fibre and nutritional value than white rice

6. Popcorn - popcorn is a surprisingly good source of fibre, just be careful of your intake because usually it is mixed with sugar or salt.

7. Whole grains, such as whole wheat bread and whole wheat pasta.

8. Bran cereal.

9. Flaxseed - sprinkle this over smoothies, yoghurts or cereal for an extra way to get a lot of fibre.

10. Chia seeds - Again, try sprinkling these over other dishes for a boost of fibre. When mixed with water they also form a gloopy gel, which can be used to make a healthy dessert or in baking to replace eggs.

Protein is pretty crucial in our diets because it is part of the make-up of every cell in our bodies, including our hearts. It helps to build enzymes, hormones, tissue and is a building block of bones, muscles, skin and blood. Unfortunately, however, our bodies are unable to store protein in the same way that they are able to store fat and carbohydrates, which means we need to keep topping up our protein intake in order to obtain all of the benefits it can give us, as well as curbing hunger and maintaining weight. Protein comes from a range of different sources, such as meat and fish, egg, milk, soy and nut butters, however, it is important to stay away from fatty meats and dairy that is loaded with pesticides.

Where's the best place to get protein?

1. Free range eggs.

2. Fatty fish such as salmon,tuna,mackerel and shellfish.

3. Free range, organic chicken.

4. If you like red meat, try to make sure you eat organic grass-fed beef.

5. Turkey breast.

6. Pork tenderloin and sirloin (not bacon or sausage).

7. Beans and legumes.

Healthy Fats
It may be surprising to see the word 'fat' in this list. For years fat had a bad reputation as being linked to causing heart disease, rather than preventing it. However, studies now show that eating fats from sources such as nuts, seeds, virgin olive oil and seafood can reduce inflammation. They are also critical for brain function because of the omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 that healthy fats contain.

Where can you get good fats from?

1. Nuts and seeds - so simple to keep in your desk drawer, handbag or in your car to snack on whenever you feel a hunger pang.

2. Seafood such as salmon, which also speeds up your metabolism.

3. Olive oil.

4. Coconut oil - try switching your cooking oil for coconut oil. Coconut oil has so many amazing benefits, as well as adding a sweet and nutty flavour to a dish. Find out more about coconut oil's amazing benefits here.

5. Dark chocolate - let's all rejoice! Health experts are advising that we eat more chocolate! The dark kind of course and all in moderation. Dark chocolate contains so many minerals, including magnesium, which is a crucial and basic mineral our bodies need for a healthy immune system, normal muscle and nerve function and, you've guessed it, to keep our hearts beating steadily. On that note, pass me a slab of Green and Black's delicious 85% dark chocolate.

6. Avocado - dubbed a superfood for all of the benefits it has and it is so delicious as well. Try eating one avocado a day, it will fill you up and is great for your skin too.

It's as simple as that, just drink more water. Some health experts suggest drinking half of your body weight in water every day, although this is a bit extreme because you might have other things to do with your day then hang around near a toilet. Drinking eight glasses of water a day is a good start and also try to incorporate herbal tea into your liquid intake. One of the best teas for flushing out toxins is green tea and you can read all about the amazing benefits of green tea here.Peppermint tea is also so delicious and refreshing and perfect for settling your stomach. Chamomile tea before bed is a soothing way to end your day. Smoothies made with fruit, almond milk and chia seeds are also a superb way to hydrate and they are a great alternative to fruit juice, which without the pulp and fibre is basically just like drinking sugary fizzy drinks. Plus, the chia seeds will swell in your belly to hold onto liquid and maintain your hydration, whilst helping to satiate your appetite.

Include more spices
Don't be tempted to add flavour to your food by pouring over more sauce than is necessary, you can add so much flavour by just adding herbs and spices, which have practically no calories at all. Herbs and spices can speed up your metabolism, help to lower inflammation and also help to block arterials plaque growth, which can increase your risk of heart disease. Read more about what benefits spices can have to health in our recent blog post.

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Organic September: Why You Should Switch To Organic

Organic September: Why You Should Switch To Organic | Eat Healthy Live Well |
The Soil Association has launched its annual 'Organic September' campaign. This campaign makes an emphasis on the point that small changes in our habits when buying food can make a big difference to the impact on the environment, animal welfare and the sustainability of food.

Organic Food
Organic food starts with the farming. In order to be labelled as organic, at least 95% of the ingredients must come from organically produced plants and animals and all artificial sweeteners and colourings are prohibited. Organic farmers also avoid using chemical pesticides on their crops, instead utilising insect traps and predator insects to repel insects or selecting disease-resistant varieties of crops that are hardier. Farmers are also prohibited to used GMOs to enhance the growth or yield of the fruit or vegetable and instead employ a method of crop rotation to create a nutrient-rich soil, along with natural fertilization. For farm animals there is a strict free range policy, meaning the animals' quality of life is greatly increased and the meat has not been contaminated by drugs, hormones or antibiotics. The yearly rotation of crops and animals helps to prevent disease naturally.

There are some studies, such as the one led by Professor Carlo Leifert of Newcastle University, which found that 'choosing food according to organic standards can lead to nutritionally desirable antioxidants and reduced exposure to toxic heavy metals.' The team found that due to the substantially higher levels of antioxidants, one portion of organic fruits and vegetables could equate to two portions of the recommended 'five a day', suggesting that eating organically is beneficially healthier. Whilst there is a counter-argument that there is not enough evidence in this experiment to demonstrate a clear difference between organic food and non-organic food, it is easy to feel a little more rest-assured that potentially harmful chemicals are not hidden in the crunchy bite of an organic apple or in the spread of organic peanut butter.

Chemical Cosmetics
Human skin is the largest organ in the body, which is why we need to look after it. It wraps around the entire body to protect it. However, despite its function to protect the body, it absorbs many things that are applied to it, regardless of their chemical make-up. It only takes seconds for our skin to absorb a product into the blood stream - even quicker than it takes for food to be absorbed by our stomachs. Unfortunately, organic cosmetics are not as heavily regulated as organic food and a cosmetic product can be labelled as organic even if it has only 1% of organic ingredients, which is why it is always best to check the label before using. A rule to abide by - if you can't pronounce an ingredient, try and avoid it. It's always a good idea to opt for products that contain natural ingredients, such as Faith in Nature. Many of their products are made with entirely organic materials and all of the ingredients are certified vegan. Therefore nothing is tested on animals and nothing is harmful for the environment. Not to mention, their products smell absolutely divine! You may find that switching to all natural ingredients can decrease levels of acne, dermatitis, allergies and irritations because you are decreasing your exposure to harmful chemicals, just as you are when you opt to eat organically.

Impact on the Environment
Another motivation for many people who choose to eat organic food is due to the impact on the environment. An example of this is when chemical pesticides are sprayed onto crops they are absorbed into the soil and eventually make their way into lakes and streams, causing wildlife to deteriorate. On the flipside, albeit another negative impact, GMOs can also make it into ponds, lakes and streams and causing some plants to grow at an alarming rate, overpowering the delicate balance of wildlife in that ecosphere. Organic farming practices are instead designed to sustain the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality.

The Cost
Some people are reluctant to make a change from a non organic product to an organic product due to the price difference. Some products are more expensive because of the labour intensive farming practices used, but you can count on the fact that you are also paying for the care that organic farmers place on protecting the environment and on animal welfare. It may cost you but it doesn't cost the Earth. In fact, you may be surprised to find that organic food isn't always necessarily more expensive in price. Visiting your local farmers market for locally sourced organic meat may actually be cheaper than purchasing more 'exotic' meat, for example when you purchase Argentinean beef, you also pay for the shipping costs. And the mass of rainforest that has had to be destroyed to house a cattle ranch. You can also avoid shipping costs if you purchase some of the abundance of organic seasonal fruit and vegetables grown right here in the UK. Read our recent blog to find out which fruits and vegetables are in season this September.

In making the move towards organic food, you are able to save the environment, your health and even a little bit of money. Whilst you may feel that it is a daunting task to switch up your regular shopping habits, The Soil Association runs this campaign in order to draw attention to the significance of making one or a few small changes which can make a big difference overall, so when you next shop for food, whether that is in a supermarket or online, try switching at least one product for an organic counterpart. We have a huge selection of organic products which make perfect store cupboard essentials and are a great way to kick start your organic journey. This includes our own range which we have recently launched called Vivebio, which is a selection of fresh tasting oils, vinegars and sauces, with organic ingredients from sunny Spain. Saying that, we suggest you start in the organic chocolate section, that's where we'll be...

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What You Need To Make Sure Your Son or Daughter is Prepared for Fresher's Week.

What You Need To Make Sure Your Son or Daughter is Prepared for Fresher's Week. | Eat Healthy Live Well |
August has come to a showery end here in the UK, making way for September and the onset of Autumn, which means the inevitable return to school and also the start of University. This is a chance for young adults to fly the nest, live in a different city and make a heap of new friends - some they'll meet once at a party and be best friends with for a night, some they'll live with for a year and then never speak to again due to their questionable living habits (more of a housemare than a housemate!) and some who will be bridesmaids or best men at their future wedding. They will also get the life altering chance to find out who they are, where their strengths lie and what they want for their futures.

More immediately, they will experience the highs and lows of living independently, perhaps for the first time. This starts off as an ultimate high due to the infamous Fresher's Week. Titled as a week, Fresher's is typically drawn out anywhere from two weeks to a month - some students even manage to live their entire first year in Fresher's mode! Whilst the magic of Fresher's starts off as an epic blur of fun and new friendships, it gradually plummets into mess, moodiness, an understanding of the importance of house rules and a significant need for some home-cooked food. Unfortunately, this is a rite of passage we must all go through and whilst it is a proud moment to watch your child develop into an adult and learn to cope with some realities, as a parent it doesn't stop you from worrying and wondering how you can help. A good place to start is sending them off with a few necessities to ease them into eventually fending for themselves.

The Icebreaker!
The very first meeting on the very first day of Fresher's is downright awkward. There's no other word to describe it. You are thrust into an intensely small space with strangers from all over the country or even world; there are different accents, different upbringings, different interests and different opinions. All of this however, is the setting for a whole lot of fun and a whole lot of learning, not only of different cultures but also of important life skills. All you really need to get going is an ice breaker. Fresher's is known notoriously for being a week fuelled with alcohol, but instead of creeping to the communal kitchen with a bottle of wine or six pack of beer to introduce yourself, why not take a fun and fruity Monin cocktail syrup set. Sure to jazz up even the cheapest bottle of spirit, these show that you are fun, social and a little more sophisticated!

The Challenge of Cooking!
Cooking up big meals is a brilliant way to bond with new housemates because everyone can get involved. Fajitas are perfect because they are easy to prepare and are a relaxed way of securing everyone around a table and getting to know each other. If your son or daughter has never really cooked before, it's a good idea to start off with a Fajita Kit, such as this one from Discovery Mexican. With that as a starting point, employ the help of a housemate to dice and fry some chicken and peppers and add a few more delicious products from Discovery Mexican, such as jalapeños and some creamy guacamole dip. With not much effort you've got a tasty and filling meal to give you some much needed energy for the night ahead. If Mexican isn't your thing, at Healthy Foods Online we also stock Thai Taste - Easy Pad Thai Meal Kit for more of an Asian themed night. Meal kits are the perfect way to get used to cooking your own meals - a very important life skill!

Another important life skill that everybody needs to master at some point is laundry. Seeing your son or daughter coming home at Christmas with a black sack and thinking you've got lucky with presents , only to come to the realisation it is actually an entire term's worth of dirty washing is not a good feeling. It may be time now to squeeze in a quick crash course on colours versus whites. Make sure they go to Uni with a good supply of laundry liquid, because when it comes down to it they're probably not going to want to spend a whole fiver on washing powder. Not when there's a pub quiz over the road and a student special beer and burger costs a fiver.

Early Starts!
Fresher's Week is not just about the socialising and fun; as new students there is a very small grace period before they are expected to attend inductions, sometimes in the morning - shock, horror! As they have probably had a late night, make sure they have the means to wake up their brains and get moving. It's good to have a stash of coffee, such as Nescafé Café Menu sachets, which do not require milk to be added, or Lyon's Coffee Bags that create delicious creamy coffee without the need for a machine. It's also a good idea to encourage them to squeeze in a quick breakfast by squirreling away products such as Alpen porridge sachets or Belvita biscuits for a wholegrain breakfast on the go!

Staying healthy!
At university, especially during the first month, there is just so much going on. In between going to new lectures and seminars, joining societies, visits to the library, nights out and socialising, sometimes it is easy to forget to eat the right balance of fruits and veggies. To avoid burning the candle at too many ends, make sure they're getting enough vitamins and minerals with daily supplements. Whilst they cannot wholly replace the goodness of a healthy meal, they can help somewhat in maintaining a healthy balance of nutrients.

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If you've got a son or daughter heading off to University in a couple of weeks, it may be a good idea to think about a few essentials you can pack for them.

Read our new blog - What You Need To Make Sure Your Son Or Daughter Is Prepared For Fresher's Week

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September: What's in Season?

September: What's in Season? | Eat Healthy Live Well |
'Season's of mist and mellow fruitfulness' - John Keats

As the year matures and Summer merges into Autumn, the bounty of seasonal produce reaches its peak. There are so many fruits and vegetables dripping off of the trees and crops at this time of year. Make the most of what is on offer and stock up your store cupboards. Why not organise a blackberry picking day? Just grab some cheap labour, i.e. children who like sweet fruit, and head off into the great outdoors. Watch out for purple stained fingernails! Here is a list of what is at its best this month.

Fruits & Nuts
Apple, Blackberries, Chestnuts, Elderberries, Figs, Melon, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Redcurrant, Sloe

Artichoke, Aubergines, Beetroot, Broccoli, Butternut squash, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Courgettes, Cucumber, Fennel, French Beans, Garlic, Horseradish, Kale, Leeks, Marrow, Onions, Pepper, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rocket, Runner beans, Shallots, Spring Onions, Sweetcorn, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Wild mushrooms

Chives, Coriander, Oregano, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme

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Pinch Punch First of the Month!

Read our blog for a round up of which delicious fruits and vegetables are in season in September -

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Brain Boosting Banana, Oat and Blueberry Biscuits

Brain Boosting Banana, Oat and Blueberry Biscuits | Eat Healthy Live Well |
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celcius and grease two baking trays with a knob of butter.
2. Place the
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Check out our new recipe for Brain Boosting Banana, Oat and Blueberry Biscuits - perfect for lunchboxes! -

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Cajun Spiced Bean and Feta Burger

Cajun Spiced Bean and Feta Burger | Eat Healthy Live Well |
1. Heat the oil in a shallow frying pan, add the onion and fry until the onion has started to soften then add the garlic, chilli and cajun
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Recipe of the Week!

Cajun Spiced Bean and Feta Burgers - a delicious and healthy alternative to beef burgers!

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Dairy Free Banana 'Nice' Cream Bowl - Cooking Recipes

Dairy Free Banana 'Nice' Cream Bowl - Cooking Recipes | Eat Healthy Live Well |
1. At least two hours before you wish to make your nice cream, place two thinly sliced bananas in the freezer.
2. In a frying pan, toast your
Healthy Foods Online's insight:

We've made this delicious bowl of Dairy Free Banana 'nice' cream - check out the quick and easy recipe.

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A-Level results celebration party

A-Level results celebration party | Eat Healthy Live Well |
With A level results day in England looming, I'm sure the atmosphere in your house is reaching breaking point if you have an 18 year old son or daughter! This is the end of an era in their young lives that goes some way to determining the path they will take in life. Whether they are heading off to university or bee-lining their way into the world of work, this will call for a celebration! Make sure you are prepared for the big day and an inevitable social gathering with these failsafe tips and tricks for food, drinks and games.

On the menu
If you are having a large group of people round, whether that be family or friends, you're going to need a dish that is big enough to go around. A BBQ is always a winner especially in the summertime. Read our recent blog post for some ideas for vegetarian alternatives to whip up at a BBQ. However, because we can't always rely on the British summer sunshine, it's a good idea to have a back-up plan, such as our recipe for Aubergine and Mozzarella Lasagne. This dish is perfect for making a big batch and its gluten free, just in case anybody with a restricted diet comes around. For dessert, we would recommend cupcakes instead of one big cake; it's easy to make them look impressive with just a little bit of swirly icing, they make a great centrepiece and there's no cutting involved, which can end up with one person getting too much icing and not enough cake and another person getting a teeny tiny slice, which can be a tragedy! Also, have you ever tried eating a slice of cake whilst stood up, holding a drink in one hand and trying to have a conversation? It's almost as hard as a Further maths A-Level. It's much more convenient and not to mention, less messy, to hold a neat little cupcake in your hand.

There's nothing like having a drink to toast a good result and, at 18, it's likely that your son or daughter will have just discovered their beer goggles. To keep them on track and to cater for any underage or non-drinking guests, make sure you have plenty of thirst-quenching and delicious soft drinks on hand as well as alcohol free wine, beers and fruity ciders for the designated drivers.

Do you know what else might be fun? Having a pop up cocktail bar at the party for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. For an alcohol-free tipple, try mixing Monin Apple Sryup with some Bottlegreen Elderflower Cordial, add some ice and top up with tonic water for a refreshing and quintessentially English mocktail...or gin cocktail if you prefer.

Even though your son or daughter might be just about ready to step out into the world on their own, we're sure they're still a big kid inside, so why not organise some fun games that they can play at the party? We're not talking about pass the parcel or sleeping lions, more like giant Jenga using giant wooden bricks and maybe a hard hat. Giant twister is also a fun game - just paint circles directly onto your lawn or patio with spray on chalk and let them get flexible. When it gets dark, take a cardboard kitchen roll and stick it to a board, then get some glow sticks and play glow stick ring toss. You could think of an imaginative and personalised prize, or take the easy route and hand out chocolate because, well, young or old who doesn't like chocolate!
Healthy Foods Online's insight:

With A-Level results day in England coming up next week, here are some tips and ideas on how to host the perfect celebratory bash

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3 Gluten Free Recipes following National Cheesecake Day

3 Gluten Free Recipes following National Cheesecake Day | Eat Healthy Live Well |
It was National Cheesecake Day yesterday - so what better way to kick-start the weekend, than to celebrate by getting into the kitchen and whipping up some delectable desserts. Happily, even if you have a gluten intolerance or are just going gluten-free for health reasons, there are still plenty of recipes that you can enjoy. We sell a broad range of gluten free foods and ingredients, so that you don’t have to miss out on your favourite meals and treats.

Here are three of our favourites, ready to adapt at will, and then enjoy copiously! Don’t be afraid to experiment with these recipes once you’ve got the basics right. Mix up the flavours for your biscuit base and cheesecake topping additions. Chocolate and cherry, or lime and ginger are great variations to try.

Lemon zest creamy cheesecake
This recipe uses gluten free cookie biscuits as a base, in place of traditional digestives. Crush 150g of these cookies into crumbs and mix with 50g of butter. Press the mix into a round dish (around 8cm in diameter) and refrigerate it.

Then, take 300g of full-fat cream cheese and mix in 75g of icing sugar in a mixing bowl. Add in the juice and rind of a lemon and beat the mix until you get a thick consistency. Pour the mix onto your biscuit base and pop back in the fridge for another hour. This is lovely decorated with lemon segments, or why not sprinkle over some grated free from foods chocolate:

As a variation, why not try crumbled stem ginger cookies in the base?

New York Cheesecake

This style of cheesecake is slightly different in that it is baked. However, it still has the delicious biscuity base and a rich cheesecake topping, finished with a delicious sauce. You can find these sauces in our range of free from foods, or make your own by simmering soft fruit, straining it and sweetening it. Enjoy a dollop of Meridian fruit spread.

This recipe is best made the night before for optimum chilling time. Take 300g of crushed cookies or biscuits and mix in 110g of melted butter or a non-dairy alternative. Again, press into your tin and chill. For the topping, mix 800g of cream cheese with the seeds of a vanilla pod, 100ml of double cream, and 100g of castor sugar. Stir in two eggs and the zest of an orange. Pour over the topping and bake at around 170C for up to an hour, checking regularly. Once set, chill. Serve with a blueberry topping, which you can make by simmering a tub of blueberries with sugar, before blitzing in the food processor.

Baked orange cheesecake
This has a slightly different base. Combine 75g almonds and 110g oat cakes, with 100g pitted dates and 3 tbsp of melted butter, in a food processor. Add a pinch of salt and blitz the mix until it sticks together. Press into your tin. Then, beat together 800g of cream cheese with 160g of sugar, 200ml of sour cream, the zest of an orange and a spoon of vanilla essence. Add four eggs slowly, beating each one in carefully to ensure the mix is perfectly combined. Pour the mix over your base and bake in the oven for an hour, until the top is set.
Healthy Foods Online's insight:

Are you obsessed with The Great British Bake Off already? We certainly are, which is why we are joining in with these three gluten free cheesecake recipes

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