Organic fruit and veg has outlived being merely yet another food trend and has, instead, engrained itself into the mainstream. This speaks volumes about the health benefits it can provide. Add to that the fact that it is also kinder to the environment and the only question left to answer is how do I go about growing my own?

Healthy Eating and Health Food Trends

We have become somewhat obsessed with the idea of healthy eating. Ever since the government introduced the 5-a-day campaign, back in 1994, we have seen health food trends come and sometimes go – veganism is the current hot gastro topic, for example.

Eating organic fruit and veg, however, seems to have transcended all other health food trends and whether you are vegetarian, vegan or an out and out carnivore, few would dispute the benefits.

The Benefits of Eating Organic Produce

The primary benefits from eating organic fruit and veg are that they contain far higher amounts of antioxidants than regular fruit and veg. A study conducted by Newcastle University in 2014 found that organic fruit and veg contained up to 69% more antioxidants and therefore is much more likely to help prevent diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Organic fruit and veg also tastes better and the reason for this is that they are not treated with pesticides and they don’t contain preservatives.

Better health is not the only reason to consider going organic. Organic farming methods use up less energy, less water and help to enrich soil.

How to Grow Your Own

Whether growing your own organic fruit and veg in pots, a patch in the garden or a polytunnel, the number one rule is to use organic soil and mulch. The second rule that will help you grow healthy and abundant crops is to weed regularly and to keep the soil clean, making sure things like fallen leaves aren’t lying on the surface – doing this will help prevent disease from spreading and leave your plants with all the nutrients they need to flourish.

The way in which you water your crops is also important and done properly will help prevent disease and maintain healthy plants. The best method is to use a water soaker that will deliver moisture straight to the roots of the plants.

Follow these simple guidelines and you be eating your own organic fruit and veg in no time at all.

The BeneFits Of Eating Organic Produce And How To Grow Your Own

Cutting down on coffee is on my agenda as I put my Best Boot Forward to improve my physical health.

My coffee addiction

I was brought up a house where coffee was drunk in copious amounts by my late Mum and I an just the same. I actually have no idea how many mugs of coffee I drink a day. That in itself suggests I am drinking way too much. I drink it when I am bored, in need of comfort and don’t like to get out of bed until the first coffee of the day is delivered by my very obliging husband.

Cutting down on coffee

I am encouraging my children to drink more healthy options than they sometimes so and it is only fair to lead the way a bit by showing change is possible.

I have found an alternative that I actually like thanks to Ricola.

Ricola

They don’t just blend their herbs into drops but also make them into herbal teas that are brilliantly warming and comforting for long, cold and damp days. Let’s fact it – we are getting plenty of those at the moment.

My husband does not like the tea or rather he says there is nothing wrong with it but he is happier to stick with coffee. He does not like change and never makes improvements for the sake of his health so this was no surprise. A girl has to try!

However, I really like the taste and particularly the Goodnight Tea. In fact and I cannot believe I am saying this, I much prefer it to coffee which means I can aim to cut out coffee as the weeks tick by.

Where to by Ricola Herb Teas

Ricola Herb Tea (£5.99, 200g – makes approx. 20 cups) contains our 13 herb blend, with peppermint as the dominant flavour note. It makes a refreshing alternative to regular tea.

Available from Holland & Barrett

Ricola Goodnight Tea (£5.99, 200g – makes approx.. 20 cups) contains a blend of orange blossom, rose, lemon balm, linden blossom, hops, red poppy and lavender, with a hint of honey for a relaxing and comforting evening brew. Available from Holland & Barrett

Do you have any great tips on cutting down on coffee?

Lucy At Home

Post Comment Love
Twin Mummy and Daddy

A chocolate mince pie is a brand new idea for me but I tried it and even the children who normally hate mince pies were begging for me to make another batch.

Chocolate mince pie muffins

This delicious twist on the classic mince pie will have your guests reaching for more

 

Chocolate Mince Pie

 

Makes 10

Prepare 10 minutes

Cook 15 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • 225g plain flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 80g Tate & Lyle caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 130ml whole milk
  • 50g Rachel’s Organic Greek Style Natural Yogurt
  • 30g Country Life Unsalted Butter, melted
  • ½ lemon, zest
  • ½ orange, zest
  • 125g mincemeat
  • 75g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

 

Method:

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6; line a muffin tray with 10 cases. In a bowl, combine the flour, raising agents, salt and sugar. Add the egg, milk, yogurt, melted butter and citrus zests. Gently combine the mixture, taking care not to overmix or the muffins will be tough (a few lumps are fine).

 

2 Add in dollops of the mincemeat, about ½ tsp at a time, so it is broken up into little clumps. Stir in most of the chopped chocolate and gently fold everything together.

 

3 Divide between the muffin cases and top with the remaining chocolate. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Mince Pie Muffins

 

 

 

Shank You Very Much
Cuddle Fairy

Today I am sharing a Campari and gin cocktail with the rather intriguing name of Winter Aviation. It includes gin which I know so many of my readers have as a tipple combined with Campari which my brother-in-law adores and lovely cassis.

Campari and gin cocktail

 

Campari And Gin Cocktail

 

Serves one.

Ingredients

 

  • 40ml Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • Juice of 1 clementine
  • 10ml British Cassis
  • 5ml Campari
  • Cherry to garnish

Method

Shake the ingredients well over ice. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.

Do you have an unusual recipe for a Campari and gin cocktail?

 

Scotch cakes with hot-smoked salmon, crispy sprouts, avocado and egg makes an amazing festive indulgence.

Scotch  Cakes

Cooking shredded brussels until they’re crispy will convert even the wariest of sprout-eaters

Scotch cakes

•Preparation time:10 minutes
•Cooking time:15 minutes
•Total time:25 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

100g self-raising flour
25g caster sugar
½ tsp fine sea salt
40ml whole milk
6 eggs, 2 beaten
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for drizzling
200g Brussels sprouts, outer leaves discarded and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp unsalted butter
1 avocado, halved and sliced
160g hot-smoked salmon, flaked
4 tbsp Greek yogurt
Small handful flat leaf parsley leaves

Method

1. Put the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Whisk in the milk and 2 beaten eggs to make a smooth batter; set aside. Place a large non-stick pan over a high heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Once hot, add the sliced sprouts and stir-fry for 4 minutes, until golden and crispy. Add the garlic and fry for a further 30 seconds, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat, transfer to on a warm plate, season and set aside.

2. Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper and add 1 tsp butter. When it sizzles, add 1 heaped tbsp batter for each scotch cake, making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface and the base is golden, then flip over and fry for another minute until cooked through. Remove and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the rest of the scotch cakes in the remaining butter. You should end up with about 16.

3 Wipe out the pan again, heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil and fry the eggs to your liking. Divide the scotch cakes between 4 warmed plates, top with the eggs, sprouts, avocado, salmon and a spoonful of yogurt. Scatter over the parsley leaves and drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately with a dash of chilli sauce, if liked.

Scotch Cakes With Hot Smoked Salmon