Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Health Food Haul

I picked up a few new items to put into the pantry recently and thought I'd blog about them. Some are things I buy quite regularly and a couple are brand new to me and can't wait to try them out.

Myself and my mum popped into a Supervalu the other day (we were getting our car NCTs done and had a half hour to kill) and just as we were leaving I spotted this for just €1! Organic millet flakes cereal. This would be a brilliant alternative to porridge for those who can't eat gluten (although I have started to see gluten free oats around) but even if you can they'd be a lovely change. You can cook it the exact same way as you would porridge or make lovely granola, muesli or flap jacks with it, even add it into smoothies.

Keeping on the cereal theme, I love adding milled seeds to my breakfast it's a great way of adding extra nutrients to a meal. These lovely milled linseeds (also known as flax seeds), are filled with omega 3 fatty acids which help maintain a healthy brain, heart, joints and immune system. They're also full of fiber and research has shown links to preventing cancers. Most importantly they have a lovely nutty taste and you can pick them up pretty cheap in health food shops and supermarkets.

Aren't noodles delicious? My favourite I think have to be soba noodles. This brand you can find in a few big supermarkets (my local Superquinn stocks them) but you should be able to find them in Asian markets too. These lovely organic ones cook in about 3/4 minutes and are perfect in pretty much any Japanese inspired dish (I'm a little addicted to these with homemade teriyaki at the moment)!

Pastes like this one from Biona Organic are so handy to have on stand-by in the cupboard. When you don't know what to cook for dinner just add some of this to a stock with veg and tofu or with a dash of coconut milk to make delicious soups or sauces. This one has a really great kick of chilli to it and is perfect when you're not up for creating your own thai paste from scratch! I'd say you get 4-6 meals out of one tube, but I guess it depends how strong you want the final dish to come out but it's a great little item to have when you're just not sure what to make.

I know I post about it a lot, but I love making breads!! But of course to do so you need a constant supply of flour, one of my favourite (and easily available) brands of flour is Dove's Farm organic flours, in particular their strong bread flour and their white and wholegrain spelt flours. You do need to shop around and see where the best value is, I've seen the same flour range in price from about the €2.50 mark up to €4.50, and when you always need to buy more it really pays to get the best price. I was recently in Avoca in Monkstown to grab a bit of lunch when I spotted they stocked Dove's Farm Einkorn flour, I'd seen it on their website but couldn't find it in any shops I'd been in to, so of course I had to buy it. It's the earliest form of wheat as we know it and was first cultivated over 20,000 years ago, isn't that amazing?!! I think that's incredible. The flour is yellow in colour and I can't wait to bake a lovely loaf with it.

And last but not least in a MASSIVE bottle of agave syrup. I've normally only seen this sold in small bottles, so it was great to find one twice the size and for a good price. It's a really sweet syrup and has a lovely mild flavour, that you can use as a substitute for sugar or honey in desserts, coffee or for breakfast. I use agave all the time so I'm really happy I've such a huge bottle that will last me ages!

Let me know if you've tried out any of these items or if you have suggestions of what I should pick up next!

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