Why we love winter… 0
Well it’s here. Let’s just admit it now - Winter is upon us!
We have now said hello to the crunchy leaves, the cold crisp mornings, the big winter coats and big warm socks. We know it has been here for a while (we are based in Yorkshire after all) but now we are ready to accept it and fully embrace what comes with it.
Christmas is on the horizon (don’t worry, we know it’s too early to be talking about that…just) and there are lots to be happy about.
So, what do we love about Winter? Let us tell you…
Crisp mornings – there is nothing better than grabbing a coffee or herbal tea in a mug to go and making our way out in the crisp mornings. We know it comes with its fair share of rainy miserable ones but those odd mornings where it just feels fresh – starts our day off right!
Feeling “the benefit” – Did anyone else’s mum tell them not to wear their coat indoors as they won’t “feel the benefit” when they go outside? Well we fully know how that feels now. We secretly love the stack of clothes that you sometimes need to put on just to go outside – gloves, hat, scarf, big coat and sometimes boots. Bliss.
Winter Warmer Comfort Food – nothing screams winter at us more than warming comfort food. Our favourite has to be a hot soup with warm bread to mop up the bowl…yum!
Hot bath – ok, we really don’t like those days when it’s freezing, raining (possibly even snowing) and you can feel that winter cold coming on. What makes it all go away is a nice hot bath at the end of the day filled with lots of bubbles.
Lazy Sundays – You almost feel guilty in Summer staying in and having a lazy day but in winter, it just feels right. This is when we indulge in some baking – we learn a new recipe, make a (hopefully) tasty treat as well as allowing the sweet scents fill the house! Win/win if you ask us….
What do you love about winter? Let us know in the comments!
Taking Care of Mum to Be – Our Must Haves 0
When you are pregnant, there are a number of things you have to put up with – constantly being told how big you are getting, being asked if you are having multiple babies (yes really – it happened constantly), being the designated driver to all events, dealing with insane cravings, laughing in hysterics one minute and crying in despair the next, baby brain (yes it’s a real thing!)…. the list goes on.
You may have to just put up with the above and wear it like a badge of honour, there are a number of things you don’t have to put up with. We have put together our “must have” guide to help with the growing pains you will be going through.
This caffeine free drink can usually be enjoyed throughout the whole term of the pregnancy. Look for the ones that include ginger if you are suffering from morning sickness as it is meant to be calming for the stomach. If you are towards the end of your pregnancy and you are trying to “get things started”, look out for raspberry leaf (old wives tale says this helps start things off – no promises unfortunately!).
Your body craves so much at this time, good or bad, but one thing you shouldn’t ignore are nutrients and vitamins. Taking a supplement can help make sure that you and your baby are getting everything that you need. We would recommend speaking to your GP though if you have any concerns!
Tiger Stripes, Baby Love Bites, Mummy Medals…Stretch marks. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them, we all have them somewhere, big or small, and especially after having a baby. What moisturiser can do is alleviate the appearance of them as well as help with some of the other symptoms such as dry skin and cracking. Make sure you take good care of your skin – it is making a lot of room for that little one!
When it’s time, we can’t take away the fact that labour isn’t the most comfortable situation we have ever been in but there are certain techniques that can help improve how you deal with it. Get your partner to give you a massage with oil, sometimes pressure in just the right place can alleviate some of the pain – make sure labour massage oil is at the top of your hospital bag!
Do you think we are missing anything? Been there done that and know a few things that got your through? – let us know in the comments!
A Sparkling Bonfire Night Gluten Free Treat! 0
When you are living with a food intolerance to gluten, you can feel like you miss out on some little treats that you used to enjoy! Around this time of year Parkin will be sorely missed as it just screams bonfire night!
Well fear not! If you are living life Gluten Free, we have found the perfect recipe. We have tried and tested this Parkin (yes, we know, our job is a very difficult one!) but unfortunately, we cannot take credit for this amazing creation. Full details on where to find it are at the bottom of this post!
- 110g Margarine
- 170g Black Treacle
- 80g Golden Syrup
- 110ml Milk
- 140g Gluten Free Self-Raising Flour
- 55g Rice Flour
- 25g Tapioca Flour
- 55g Caster Sugar
- ½ Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
- 2 Teaspoons Mixed Spice
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger (optional)
- 1 ½ Teaspoons Gluten Free Baking Powder
- 2 Medium Eggs, beaten.
- Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Line an 18cm (7 in) square cake tin with parchment.
- Melt the first three ingredients in a saucepan. Add the milk, stir well and allow to cool.
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, so that the spices are well blended with the flours. Add the beaten eggs and the treacle mixture and beat well so you have a very smooth cake mixture. The mixture must be the consistency of very thick cream.
- Pour the mix into the prepared baking pan and smooth out to the edges so that it is nice and even.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake. Transfer to a wire rack and remove the parchment. Cut into squares when cold.
- Freeze now if you are going to or leave to mature in an airtight tin for about three to five days. This cake keeps for about 10 days.
Thank you All Recipes for this treat
Let us know how you get on!
The Best of the Easy Halloween Treats! 0
At this time of year, we are plagued with the usual – trick or treat sweets, hot chocolates and pumpkin spiced lattes!
We are looking for something a bit different but easy to do as time is precious for everyone – whether you are just getting in from work, have little kids to run around after or anything in between.
We have put together our favourite collection of recipes we have come across and where to find the full details (we would love to claim them as our own but this was definitely due to the talent of these individuals!)…
- Monster Avocado Puddings (Dairy Free / Gluten Free / Nut Free)
Something a bit different for the kids and perfect for any little ones (or big ones!) who have allergies to lactose, gluten or nuts.
View Full Recipe Here
- Witch Hat Sandwich Cookies (Gluten Free)
This is one of those dishes that look very fancy and very intricate however it is surprisingly easy. If we are able to do it, so are you!
View Full Recipe Here
- Witch Fingers (Paleo / Vegan / Gluten Free)
This is bound to go down a treat and looks great at a party. It can be made as a Vegan alternative as well.
View Full Recipe Here
- Monster Face Pancakes (Gluten Free)
We have to be honest, the reason we love this so much is because its super easy but also it can be eaten any time of the day – breakfast, lunch or snack… you chose!
View Full Recipe Here
- Banana Ghosts and Tangerine Pumpkins
Possibly the simplest but most refreshing of the list. When Halloween is taken over by sweet treats filled with sugar – this is a great one to get some of that Vitamin C back in the diet!
View Full Recipe Here
Want to have a look at more? We have pinned some of our favourite recipes to our Pinterest Halloween board – You can view this HERE
Let us know what you think and send us your favourite Halloween delights!
The Do's and Don'ts of Clearer Skin 0
Skincare doesn’t need to be so complicated and we have found out that actually just doing the basics can make a drastic difference.
Here, to prove our point, is our basic list of the Do’s and Don’ts of skin care…
- Drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin – your skin is made up of cells which are predominantly made up of water. The more hydrated you are, the healthier they will be (and look!)
- Choose your cleansing products carefully – If you have sensitive skin, make sure you use a product that’s gentle on the skin (For us ladies, we would recommend Green People Ultra-Sensitive Cleanser however for the gentleman we would recommend Bulldog Sensitive Face Wash).
- Eat a balanced diet – When your body receives all the nutrients it needs, everything runs more effectively including your skin. For extra points, try and incorporate more Fatty Fish, Avocados, Walnuts, Sunflower Seeds, Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli and Tomatoes.
- Invest in a good moisturiser – Once you have removed all that daily dirt and make up, make sure you follow up with a good moisturiser. Choose a moisturiser based on type of skin (for dry skin, opt for a more hydrating moisturiser however if you are on the other end of the spectrum get your hands on a lighter one). Men are the biggest culprits for not moisturising, especially after shaving, once again, we would recommend looking in our Bulldog range.
- Take care in all weather conditions – It goes without saying, protect your skin against the sun and make sure you use the right sun protection but in the colder months your skin can take as much damage depending on where you are living. One of the reasons is the cold weather can dry out your skin and make it look dull – anyone else suffer from cracked lips? Make sure you keep a lip balm on you to help keep moisturised.
- Over wash – It sounds strange but if you wash your face too much, you can actually wash away the natural skin oils that you need in order to have that healthy glow (some oils are actually really good for the skin!)
- Sleep in your make up – This is a big no-no which a lot of us are guilty of from time to time. However tired and however tempting, try and clean your skin twice a day and make sure, before you crash in bed, your face is clear so it can breathe.
- Have too much caffeine – Unfortunately that morning coffee is dehydrating you and your skin which can leave it looking dull and dry. Swap your daily coffee for a healthier herbal tea or a decaf alternative. Your skin will thank you for it.
- Use heavily fragranced cleansers – these can dry out and damage even oily skin types. Try and go for a fragrance-free cleanser where possible – leave the nice smells to your perfume!
- Smoke – We are not here to judge but when it comes to your skin, this is one of the biggest reasons for drying it out (as well as adding premature wrinkles). The reason for this is because smoking reduces the blood flow to the skin which can leave it discoloured. Smoking also depletes the body’s Vitamin C which helps repair and protect the skin.
Our Do’s and Don’ts are by no means preaching, we are all guilty of damaging our skin in some way – we live in a modern world. The more we can do to protect the skin we have, the better it is going to look for longer!But remember – don’t be too hard on yourself about it (Stress causes wrinkles...Sorry!)
Top 5 Superfood Soups 0
If you are looking for some health inspiration for your lunch today, look no further than our top 5 list of Superfood Soups to fill you up and feed your body with the nutrients it needs!
Ginger Butternut Carrot Soup
The perfect winter soup for a quick and easy fix of essential nutrients that your body may be missing. Any tummy issues? – the ginger is a natural ingredient that helps settle stomach issues that may be caused by the lingering winter viruses!
Shopping List (Serves 2):
- ½ Butternut Squash (peeled, seeded and chopped into 1-2 inch chunks)
- 1 Cup Baby Carrots
- 2 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
- 1 Cup Almond Milk
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger
- ½ tsp Dried Tarragon
- ½ tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 1/8 tsp Ground Black Pepper
View Full Recipe Here
Red Lentil Soup
Having dinner in a hurry doesn’t mean you should compromise on health. This quick soup is full of proteins (thanks to the lentils) but feels hearty - warming you all the way through!
Shopping List (Serves 4):
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Small White Onion
- 2 Tomatoes (Diced)
- 1 tsp Cajun Spice Blend
- ½ tsp Fennel Seeds
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 4 Cups of Vegetable Broth
- 1 Cup Red Lentils
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 Knob of Ginger (Minced)
- Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- Lemon Juice for Serving
View Full Recipe Here
Carrot Peanut Soup
Eating this flavourful Asian inspired soup will get you your healthy dose of fats from coconuts and peanuts whilst boosting your immunity with the presence of ginger.
Shopping List (Serves 2)
- 2 Medium Carrots (Peeled and Chopped)
- ¼ Cup Peanuts
- 1 Medium Onion Chopped
- 1 Tomato
- 5 Garlic Chopped
- 1 Inch Ginger
- ¼ tsp Pepper Powder
- 2 Tsp Olive Oil
- Salt to Taste
View Full Recipe Here
Vegetable Superfoods Soup
Completely Vegan Friendly and Gluten Free, its light in calories and packed full of nutritious goodness.
Shopping List (Serves 2)
- 4-5 Cups of Water
- 3 Baby Bok Choy
- 3 Ounces Mushrooms (Sliced)
- 3-6 Ounces organic Silken Tofu (Cubed)
- 1 Small Onion (Halved and Sliced)
- 4 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)
- 1 tsp Korean Powdered Pepper (or Red Pepper Flakes)
- Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1 tbsp Mellow White Miso
View Full Recipe Here
Split Pea Soup
Perfect for a simple yet tasty soup to keep you warm as the nights and days get colder. Peas have a high level of protein in them as well as being a great source of Fibre, Vitamin A, Iron, Folate, Thiamine, Vitamin C and Manganese.
Shopping List (Serves 6)
- 6 Cups of Vegetable Broth
- 2 Cups of Dried Green Split Peas
- 1 Medium Onion (Chopped)
- 1 Cup Carrots (Chopped)
- 2 Garlic Cloves (Minced)
- ½ Teaspoon Dried Marjoram
- ½ Teaspoon Dried Basil
- ¼ Teaspoon Ground Cumin
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ¼ Teaspoon Pepper
- 5 Tablespoons Shredded Carrots
- 2 Green Onions
View Full Recipe Here
Why are Superfoods so Super? 0
It’s in our name – we love superfoods! We eat, drink, live and breathe them!
We talk about how great they are, the benefits on your body and how to incorporate them effortlessly in to your diet (it really is that easy!).
With so many to choose from, where do you even start? Let us help you with some of our favourites!
The health benefits related to this little seed can range from reducing blood pressure (due to the fibre) to aiding weight loss by making you feel fuller for longer. It is also rich in iron keeping our red blood cells healthy and magnesium which can alleviate migraines.
Enjoy this little bundle of health in a salad or, if you are looking for something a little more adventurous, try it for breakfast with scrambled eggs and avocado (get some early health points!
It’s not enough that these little berries have no cholesterol in them, the high fibre content also helps to reduce cholesterol in the blood stream (decreasing the risk of heart disease).
On top of that, they are packed to the brim full of vitamins that supports heart health.
We love to eat these berries by themselves however they are also a great addition to a morning smoothie!
We go on about this enough but we love Chia seeds. There is so much that is packed in to these little seeds from the HUGE amount of nutrients to the lack of calories to the high fibre and protein content helping you lose weight.
Indulge on these seeds in so many ways (smoothie, salad, soup...) but our favourite is leaving them to soak overnight in coconut milk and enjoy them the next day!
Claimed to be “the healthiest beverage on the planet”, it is loaded with antioxidants and packed full of nutrients. Not only can that lead to improved brain function but can also lower the risk of cancer.
We tend to enjoy this in its simplest form, as a drink. So, when you have 10 minutes, kick back and relax whilst you enjoy all the rich flavours!
This hugely hydrating fruit is great for a number of reasons which include potentially preventing cancer, improving heart health and lowering muscle inflammation. This is all down to the huge amount of nutrients and plant compounds packed in to this juicy treat!
Another one we like in its simplest form with no fuss but we are a bit partial to a watermelon drink (for when we are on the go!)
If you have any suggestions on how to incorporate our amazing superfoods in to your diet, let us know. We believe eating healthy should be effortless - help us prove that’s true!
What Fairtrade Means to Our Brands 0
We have some pretty amazing brands here at Superfood Market (if we don’t mind saying so ourselves!) and that's not just because of the products they sell but also because of what they give back.
We strive to only work with companies that work towards a similar goal to us by ensuring that their products have not come at the expense of our fellow earthlings and the environment.
We are lucky to work with such a range of companies who go above and beyond this and, to be completely honest, we love to shout about them…
Café Direct are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to giving back to their supply chain. Not only do they pay Fairtrade social premiums but also invest up to 50% of their profits back in to the grower communities of which they buy from (that pledge has translated in to £6m for their farmers).
To ensure that their business is running with this firmly pressed in to its core, out of their 8 board members, 2 of them are producers who have a huge impact on decision-making in the business. This has led to the development of a strictly followed environmental and social strategy which make up a huge chunk of their overall strategy.
Finally, if that wasn’t enough, they cut out all middlemen. Everything is done directly with their growers to ensure that all trade is straight-forward, respectful and fair. (a few of them even own shares in the business as well…)
The whole reason for setting up Karma Cola was to give back. Our planet drinks more than 1 million colas everyday but the farmers don’t see a massive chunk of that (and they are the ones who found it!)
Horrified by this, Karma Cola decided this had to stop and they set up “The Karma Cola Foundation” to make sure that however big their company grew, the people at the beginning of the supply chain would grow as well. Stating that this isn’t aid, this a straightforward trade – the people of Sierra Leone, where they source their amazing ingredients from, are treated independently and aren’t dictated to as to where the money goes. So far, they have chosen to spend the money on providing scholarships for 60 young people, supported 5 primary and secondary school teachers in a community run school (teaching around 270 children), built 2 rice processing centres (to secure food supply), supported an educational HIV/AIDS theatre group and built a guest house to rent out to visitors.
They have managed to do all this and still have an amazing product – we can’t help but feel humbled!
By not just adhering to Fairtrade guidelines but by going above and beyond, they have shown how to really give back to your supply chain. They work alongside the foundation to raise long term finance with European financial institutions. This allows the cooperative to extend its microfinance scheme and allowing farmers access to capital at a reasonable interest rate.
But if that wasn’t enough, they ensure that they give back through-out the supply chain. Every single one of their products is packaged in France by people with learning difficulties.
Not only is the product quality second to none but every single person buying from them can be rest assured that this really is a company that instils a deep sense of inclusion and fairness.
You guys, please keep doing what you are doing!
5 Ways to Use Coconut Oil 0
Coconut oil is one of those products that keeps turning up in our office and we are constantly told how good it is for your hair, how nice it tastes in food and how good it is for the skin.
But really – what can we use it for?
- Moisturising hair mask
Slather this on your hair and leave for a few minutes (or as long as you want), wash out and voila – silky smooth hair!
Perfect if you are like us and suffer a slight bit of damage on your locks from heat and colouring!
- Relieve skin irritation and eczema
A completely natural solution to dermatitis and other skin disorders working as well as (or in some cases better) than some of the leading brands.
- Cooking and Baking
Coconut oil can be used in many recipes and as a substitute for products when following a healthy lifestyle.
Our favourite and easiest is for oil – just make sure you don’t microwave the coconut oil as you will lose all the nutrients that you are swapping it for.
- Improve Oral Health
“oil pulling” (swishing coconut oil around your mouth for 10 minutes) is said to reduce bacteria as much as rinsing with antiseptic mouthwash.
This bacteria is the bacteria that causes dental plague, tooth decay and gum disease.
- Newborn Massage
Other than being completely natural, massaging your Newborn with Coconut oil has been said to promote normal weight gain/growth as well as being extremely relaxing for both parent and baby.
Comment below if you know of any other uses there are for this amazing oil!
Essential Vegan Swaps 0
Whether you are completely new to the Vegan lifestyle, a veteran Vegan or just thinking about making some changes – we realise that it can be difficult especially when you miss some of those old favourites.
We have put together a little list of the top essential “swaps” that can help you keep a guilt free lifestyle without compromise!
- Dairy Milk for Almond Milk / Soya Milk
- Egg (for cooking or baking) for Flaxseeds (or Chia) - read our previous article on how to prepare this!
- Butter (for cooking or baking) for Coconut Oil
- Sour Cream for Silken Tofu
- Scrambled egg for Tofu
- Honey for Agave Syrup
- Cream (for cooking or baking) for Coconut Milk
- Mayonnaise for Mashed Avocado
Do you have any swaps that have helped you keep to the Vegan Lifestyle (or any tips!) let us know in the comments. We are big believers that eating cruelty free shouldn’t be difficult!