Natoora Guest Post: Melons of Mantova

When temperatures start to rise, few things are as satisfying and refreshing as a couple of slices of melon. A summer classic, to develop their true taste melons need to ripen under the hot sun. This is why you will never see us stocking them in any other season. Melon Continue reading

Guest post: Young Games Inventor 2014 competition

Your young inventor could win their height in board games with this fantastic competition for under-16s. All they have to do is come up with a fun family game that The Green Board Games Co can make a reality.

Here’s a link to the entry form: http://bit.ly/1j2VyNv ▶

And here’s what the founder of The Green Board Game Co has to say. 

Thinking caps on kids!
ygi-web-graphic-ocado-blog Continue reading

Vegetarian Week Guest Post: Tony from Technology

In November 2013 I decided to eat a more varied selection of vegetarian food. I’m not vegetarian, but for now I only cook vegetarian at home.

If you’re like a lot of people you might think I’d be eating cauliflower cheese every day. You couldn’t be more wrong.

I came up with a routine – every weekend I pick up one of my many cookbooks (I think I have 300) and find 10-15 dishes I want to make the following week. That’s one way to stop your cookery books gathering dust!

I’ve also found a wealth of great recipes online. One particularly tasty dish from Ocado’s Recipe section (filter by Dietary: vegetarian) is Couscous, Sweet Potato and Edamame Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette.

Ocado Recipe Continue reading

Guest Post: Natoora on Radiant Raspberry Rhubarb

With its attractive, vibrant red stalks, raspberry rhubarb is nothing short of mesmerizing. It is certainly some of the most awaited late spring produce here at Natoora.

Image of rhubarb

Image of Natoora Rhubarb

Our raspberry rhubarb comes from Yorkshire. The rhubarb has incredibly fresh, firm and flavoursome stalks – sweeter than common rhubarb and with only the smallest hint of tartness, all combined with a pleasant earthy note.

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Natoora Guest Post: Born to be wild

As the days get warmer and longer, a bounty of wild, foraged produce starts coming into season. Few things say ‘spring’ more than wild leaves and shoots. Their vibrant yet delicate appearance and their fresh, fragrant taste embody it in all its aspects and characteristics. Wild garlic is one such leaf, and its season is keenly awaited every year by chefs and home cooks alike.

Image Continue reading

Guest post: Natoora Marinda tomatoes

For a long time we have been arguing that some of the best tomatoes are grown in the cooler months. Every year, this conviction is reaffirmed as soon as we taste the first ones coming into season in late January. The small, ribbed Marinda tomatoes grown in Sicily are one of these winter and spring varieties, and arguably one of the most interesting tomato varieties currently grown in the world.

Marinda tomatoes

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Star wines from Stellar Winery

We’re all super excited about new wine brand Stellar; an organic South African import that tastes ‘damn good’, in the words of our Wine Buyer!

Want to know more? Just read our Q and A with wine maker Klass Coetzee.

Q What makes Stellar Wines special?Image of Klaas

Many things, but I’ll just mention the top three:

 1.     They’re fully organic, certified to EU standards as well as fair trade certified by IMO Fair for Life, so everyone in the production and distribution chain gets a fair deal.

2.     The grapes are grown in a very special part of South Africa called Namaqualand. It’s a semi-arid region, and the vineyards are planted along the Olifants River, with most of the white grapes being grown close to its mouth. These cool climate vineyards are rapidly gaining a reputation for producing some of South Africa’s finest white wines.

3.     We produce the largest range and volume of wines made without added sulphur anywhere in the wine-producing world. Continue reading

Guest post: Tom Kerridge on Britain’s Next Top Supplier

You’ve only got to Sunday until the deadline for applications to Ocado’s Britain’s Next Top Supplier competition! Tom Kerridge, Michelin-starred chef and one of our judges, told us what he’ll be looking for in the winner and gave some words of wisdom to prepare entrants for the pitch.

Image of Tom Kerridge

Continue reading

Natoora guest post: Pink is my favourite orange

Some truly fantastic pink produce is now in season, bringing a bright note to the grey winter days: pastel-coloured pink radicchio, vibrant forced rhubarb, blushed garlic from Lautrec… The newest entry is perhaps the most interesting: ever heard of pink oranges?

Image of Natoora pink oranges at Ocado

We source them from a citrus grower, Carmelo, with whom we have a long-established relationship. His farm is based in Scordia, near the Sicilian town of Catania – widely known as one of the best citrus growing regions in the world. There the microclimate provided by the volcano of Mount Etna, with warm days and cool nights throughout the whole winter, gives way to some excellent citrus.

Carmelo’s are simply the best we have ever tasted. His family has been growing outstanding citrus fruits for generations, and we started to work with him for the consistent quality he produces, as well as for a common interest in innovation. Pink oranges are his latest, fantastic discovery – one that we fell in love with at first bite.

A cross between a navel orange and a grapefruit, pink oranges combine a lightly acidic kick with a delicious, sweet juiciness and an easy-to-peel unwaxed skin. They are delightful simply juiced, but they also make for a fantastic alternative to more common oranges in most recipes.

Try them in a colourful seasonal salad with thinly sliced fennel and olives…

Image of Pink Oranges and Fennel Salad

Or in a medley of oranges for a new take on the classic marmalade.

Natoora marmalade recipe at Ocado

Of course, they work great in most citrus-based desserts, like a moist and decadent Flourless Orange Almond Cake

Natoora Flourless Orange Almond Cake recipe at Ocado

…or a dense, crumbly Polenta Upside Down Orange Cake.

Image of Natoora Orange Polenta Upside Down Cake recipe at Ocado

Enjoy!

Katherine from Natoora

Guest post: Weaning wisdom from Annabel Karmel

Annabel Karmel, the UK’s number one parenting author and the expert behind a delicious new organic baby purée range, shares her top tips on introducing your baby to solid food.

Ready, set, wean…

Image of Annabel Karmel

The Department of Health recommends that babies should not begin weaning until they are six months old. However, all babies are different, and you may feel your baby is showing signs they are ready for weaning slightly earlier.

If you think that’s the case, speak with a healthcare professional who will be able to advise. However, please note that it’s important not to start your baby on solid foods before 17 weeks as their digestive system has not fully matured.

Introducing first foods

To begin with, the food should be simple, easy to digest, and unlikely to provoke an allergic reaction.

Start with a single ingredient, ideally a fruit or veg. Try root vegetables like carrots, sweet potato and butternut squash; they have a naturally sweet flavour. Mix them with a little breast milk or follow-on formula.

It’s difficult to predict how much a baby will eat, since their appetites and needs will all be different. As a rough guide, your baby will only take one or two teaspoons of purée. Increase the quantity as your baby develops. Babies have a strong sense of appetite, eating when they’re hungry and stopping when they’re not – use this as a gauge.

First vegetables: carrot, parsnip, butternut squash, sweet potato

Try: Annabel’s Lovely Carrot, Apple & Parsnip Organic Baby Purée

First fruits: apple, pear, banana, papaya, avocado, peach

Try: Annabel’s Delicious Banana, Pear & Peach Organic Baby Purée

Introducing new flavours

Once you’ve mastered the art of weaning and your baby has accepted their first tastes, now is the time to get a little more adventurous.

Babies grow more rapidly in their first year than at any other time in their life. Beyond six months they need nutrient-dense foods that provide a good source of iron to boost their diet.

Here are the most important ingredients and how you can use them…

Chicken: Full of protein and so versatile. Combine with vegetables or fruit.

Try: Annabel’s Tasty Chicken & Butternut Squash Purée

Red meat: Iron is important for your baby’s brain development.

Try: Annabel’s Cosy Cottage Pie Purée

Oily Fish: Helps the development of your baby’s brain, nervous system and vision.

Try: Annabel’s Scrumptious Salmon Purée

Fruit: Vitamin C boosts iron absorption, so it’s important to include citrus or berry fruits in your baby’s diet. Start with small quantities and combine with other fruits like apple or pear.

Try: Annabel’s Fruity Apple, Blueberry & Vanilla Purée

Vegetables: Introduce new flavours like peas, broccoli and spinach with my easy organic sauces. Simply add salmon or chicken for the perfect home-cooked meal.

Try: Annabel’s Carrot & Lentil Sauce

In the kitchen

Now you know the ingredients, how to cook them? Try these recipes; they’re all highchair hits…

Trio of Root Veg Purée

Image of Trio of Root Veg Recipe

Baby’s First Fish Pie

Image of Baby's First Fish Pie Recipe at Ocado

Baby’s First Bolognese

Baby's First Bolognese Recipe at Ocado

Have fun trying out new flavours with your little one!

Annabel