Beat Blue Monday with Propercorn

Falling on the third Monday of the New Year, Blue Monday is officially the saddest day of the year: the excitement from the festivities finally fizzles out and the cold, dark winter gets to us.

As a result, many of us lose motivation, ditch our diets and go back to old habits. Lucy Fry, our Crisps and Snacks buyer, reveals the telling data from ocado.com…

Continue reading

Donate food with Ocado and we’ll match it – find out how

I’m really pleased to announce the launch of our Donate food with Ocado scheme. We know that being able to donate to food banks as you shop is important to you, because you’ve told us so. So here’s how we’re doing it.

With a traditional supermarket, the usual way would be to add an extra item to your trolley, then leave it for collection once you’ve done your shop. But because we’re online and operate from state-of-the-art warehouses, we’re able to do things a little differently. Continue reading

You’re invited to the #MrMenEvian Twitter party

We all know that it’s important to keep kids hydrated, but how do we encourage them to be more excited about drinking water than sugary drinks? We want your ideas.

Along with Evian, we’re sponsoring the BritMums #MrMenEvian Twitter party on 6th November from 1-2pm. Join us to share your tips – you could win one of 10 £25 Ocado vouchers just for joining in. Continue reading

Have a gorgeous glow whatever the weather

Who needs blue skies or expensive holidays to have a beautiful tan? We’re giving away a year’s worth of TanOrganic Certified Organic Self Tan so you can get that gorgeous glow in your own bathroom.

Image of TanOrganic bottles

All you have to do is leave your name and last order number in the comments below.  Continue reading

Round 3: Win £50 in our #AboutMyFood photography competition

Apologies for the delay folks – we can now announce that the winner of Round 2 of our #AboutMyFood Instacomp is @kitsunetsukiki with this beautiful salad!

Image of the winning shot

Anja said “I vote for Kitsunetsukiki and her colourful, herby spring potato salad. I love her creativity – who knew vegan food could be so exciting?!”

And so to Round 3. This time the star ingredient will be citrus, and we can’t wait to see where you take it.

To recap on the rules… Continue reading

Want to go Paleo? Joy Skipper on ‘the caveman diet’

The Paleo diet is all about mimicking the eating habits of our palaeolithic ancestors. Think ‘clean eating’ – lots of fish, grass-fed meat, organic produce etc. Basically, the kind of unprocessed foods you’d get from hunting and gathering.

It’s become incredibly popular, and we’ve noticed our customers buying more and more of these types of foods. So we’ve created a special Paleo aisle to make shopping for ingredients easy – no foraging needed.

Joy Skipper is the nutritionist famous for bringing the Paleo diet – followed by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston and even Freddie Flintoff – to the Great British public.

To help me understand more about the diet and its health benefits, she’s kindly agreed to fill me in. Read on to find out more.

Image of Joy Skipper Continue reading

Guest post: Katherine from Natoora on purple sprouting broccoli

Who said broccoli couldn’t be exciting? When we first tasted the purple sprouting broccoli we get from a small farm in Worcestershire, we were mesmerised by the beautiful appearance – tight, deep-purple florets – and the fantastic, intensely nutty flavour.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

It all comes by virtue of the seeds. The grower specialises in cultivating only purple sprouting broccoli, and dedicates himself to selecting the best seeds for the next year. This enables him to improve the quality of his broccoli year after year.  Although it is hard to believe they can get any better…

A simple way to enjoy them is by tossing them in oil, salt, pepper and fresh herbs and roasting them until crispy. You can make it even better with a topping of slivered almonds, pine nuts, or crumbled cheese, like this recipe, which takes just 30 minutes:

Roasted Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Roasted Purple Spouting Broccoli

For something heartier, turn them into a creamy gratin, topped with delicious crunchy breadcrumbs…

Purple Sprouting Broccoli Gratin

Purple Sprouting Broccoli Gratin

 …or try in a simple pasta with smoky speck and creamy Parmesan:

Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Speck Tagliatelle

Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Speck Tagliatelle

Just make sure those tasty florets are the star of the show!

Katherine, Natoora

Discover more recipe ideas from Natoora, or browse the range. Loving Katherine’s work? Follow Natoora on Twitter, or Facebook.

Guest post: The Dr Perricone 3-Day Diet

Dr Perricone banner

Image of Dr Perricone

I’ve dedicated years of research to studying the effect of inflammation on skin. Did you know that sugar is a major contributing factor to inflammation, and that this in turn has an ageing effect?

My 3-Day Diet is designed to provide your body with anti-inflammatory foods, with the result that, in this short time, you should notice visible improvements in your skin.

In three days, the diet will help aid the elimination of puffiness and blemishes, and even begin to firm and tone.

Here’s how you do it:

At each meal your plate should have three components: a high quality lean protein, a complex carbohydrate, and a healthy fat.

Always eat several bites of your protein first. This will help you feel full faster.

Drink plenty of water in between meals.

Choose wild salmon over farmed, as farmed salmon has different nutrients and tends to be higher in fat.

Drink green tea rather than coffee. If you’re worried about caffeine withdrawal, I suggest black or yerba mate tea.

Salmon recipe image

The key foods in the diet are:

Wild Alaskan Salmon, which must be eaten twice a day for the ideal effects of the DMAE (an antioxident), astaxanthin (an anti-inflammatory) and the essential fatty acids to take effect.

Canteloupe melon – this is very hydrating and full of antioxidants.

Cooked oatmeal – a great source of fibre and low GI carbohydrates.

Nuts and olives – both sources of fatty acids and folic acid.

Working together, these will increase radiance, glow and firmness in your skin.

Melon recipe image

Long-term, I recommend a three-tiered approach, consisting of: my anti-inflammatory diet, targeted nutritional supplements, and my highly efficacious topical treatments.

You will look and feel your very best, with supple skin, increased brain-power and abundant energy.

So, time to get started!

Add all the ingredients for my 3-Day Diet to your Ocado trolley now >

Find out more about the diet at my website >

Oh, and feel free to tweet me any questions @perriconemd using the hashtag #3daydiet

Dr Perricone M.D.

Guest post: Karin Ridgers’ veggie Christmas

Restaurant advisor and Founder of VeggieVision TV, Karin Ridgers, writes on catering for veggies and vegans at Christmas. Read on for lots of great ideas…

Image of Karin Ridgers

So, you have a vegetarian coming for Christmas? Firstly, there is no need to panic. With a little preparation and a chat with your guest before the big day, everything should run smoothly.

Many veggies do love the traditional Christmas dinner, so ask if they would like something completely different or not. Perhaps they would prefer not standing out at the dinner table and would just enjoy everything that everyone else is eating – without the meat!

Maybe as their centrepiece a tasty Chestnut Bourguignonne Pie would go down well, or simply some meat-free alternatives. If it all sounds too much, talk to your guest. They might be able to bring their own turkey substitute, making things much easier.

Image of Chestnut Bourguignonne Pie

 Here are my top Christmas catering tips

  •  Make sure that the veg and roast potatoes are cooked separately from the meat or any animal fat.
  • Gravy can easily be made without meat juices. We always add a spoonful of Vegemite to ours as it tastes great, is vegan, and is bursting with B vitamins.
  •  Check the ingredients of mince pies and Christmas puddings – some will not be veggie or vegan friendly. If you’re making your own, just run the recipe by your guest beforehand so there’s no stress at the dining table.
  • Replacing butter for vegans couldn’t be easier. Tomor is great for cooking with, and there is also Vitalite which I know several people like as it is very buttery.
  • Tofu is super for recipes such as quiches, or simply mashed up and fried with onions and dairy-free cheese for my favourite: Scrambled Eggless.
  • There are many dairy-free milks to choose from, like soya (light/unsweetened/organic/wholebean), coconut milk, various almond, hazlenut, oat, rice, hemp… see what they prefer.

Image of Veggie lunch

No matter why you are exploring meat or dairy-free options, never focus on what you won’t be having, always focus on the abundance of new products that are out there waiting for you to try!

Have a delicious Christmas

Karin Ridgers

For my full, free guide go to veggiechristmas.com or follow me on Twitter @veggievisionTV

 

NB Karin is vegan – all non-vegan links are Ocado’s

On the sofa with… Organic Burst

Ekaterina Igumentseva left her job in the City to set up a company that would make a difference – a company that would combine sustainable development with helping people to feel better in their day-to-day lives.

Today, she’s Founder of Organic Burst supplements. Let’s find out more.

Image of Ekaterina

Ocado: Obviously, sustainability is important to you – what initiatives have you seen that have really impressed?

Ekaterina: Sustainability, for us, goes much further than the usual idea of just sourcing raw materials responsibly.

Sure, this is a big piece of the puzzle and we’ve seen many impressive results on that front. For example, our non-profit partner, PhytoTrade Africa, reports to us of thousands of families are now able to generate a sustainable income due to rising Baobab demand. In Brazil, we know from our local cooperative partners that vast areas of the Amazon are now under strict protection to preserve trees, curbing deforestation and the destruction of biodiversity. These are really fantastic things and you as our customers are all a very real part of it.

But for us it’s about running a sustainable business. Every detail of Organic Burst is designed with the big picture in mind – our prices are affordable, our products are of the highest organic quality, our packaging is fully recyclable, we make the products easy to understand and fun to take.

Image of the Organic Burst range

O: Why do you believe that going organic matters?

E: Because being organic calls for our products to be 100% pure – no fillers, additives, chemicals or controversial ingredients.

For example, high up the Andes Mountains (4,000m above sea level) where our maca comes from, the farmers grow four plant varieties together – this technique strengthens the plants and naturally protects against pests. Our spirulina is grown in pure mineral water without Chilean Nitrate – a controversial fertiliser widely used in algae cultivation however banned by organic standards as an environmental contaminant.

Organic standards also go beyond cultivation methods. They contain guidance on social responsibility, as well as environmental and agricultural principles. For instance in Malawi, where our Baobab powder comes from, the harvesters of organic fruit are paid a premium over and above the standard rate. Trees and the entire ecosystems in the organic certified areas are protected from being chopped down as opposed to those outside the organic reserves. This is crucial for the environment and the lives of the local people.

Always look for the EU Certification mark on the product – it is a guarantee that the product fully adheres to these strict organic standards.

O: How far do you think your personal ethics and beliefs influence the products you create?

E: Our key belief is ‘win/win’ – everyone in the chain must win. This allows us to strive for the best and enables us to deliver superior quality products and service. It’s what motivates us and what allows us to work even seven days a week.

As long as our customers continue to report such fantastic health benefits, and we continue to grow demand together, that helps the local communities we source our materials from. We are achieving ‘win/win’ together.

In terms of ethics, the most important aspects for us are being gentle, honest and proper in every possible way. That is the foundation of Organic Burst.

O: You work with Fair Trade cooperatives and non-profit organisations. What impact is this having?

E: All of our sourcing activities have positive impacts on both people and the environment.

We have reports from PhytoTrade Africa that millions of people have directly benefited from the increase in Baobab demand. Thousands of families were living on only £65 a year!

The best person to tell you about these very real impacts is someone directly affected. Patuma Msyenda, from Maldeco-Mechesi village, Southern Malawi tells us, “I have made enough money from the Baobab business to start a small kiosk in my village. I have also built a house for us to live in and bought a plot of land. I no longer have to depend on anyone else to take care of me or my children – I am a home owner and a businesswoman with big plans! I also sell fish and grow maize to feed my family and help neighbours in need. It is important to be respectful of the Baobabs and help preserve them for the women who come after me.”

O: You obviously do a lot of research into some very unusual ingredients. Tell us about some of the most weird and wonderful ones.

E: In our quest we have definitely come across many weird and wonderful creations of nature – some with amazing properties (watch this space) and some which we wouldn’t want to put you through…

One that particularly gets smiles raised around the OB office is the ‘Poo Fruit’. Somewhat childish of us – agreed!

It’s referred to by many as the Poo Fruit due to its very… umm… ‘special’ smell. There are even strict regulations in some Asian countries forbidding it on public transport and airplanes!

O: If you could sum up Organic Burst in a pop song, which would it be?

E: We want to bring light into peoples lives, so what better song to represent Organic Burst than Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles.

‘Here comes the sun…do do do do…and I say it’s alright…’

O: Good choice! Thanks for your time

Shop for Organic Burst

Read on:

On the sofa with… The Collective Dairy

On the sofa with… Painted Wolf Wines

On the sofa with… Natoora