Feeling naughty or nice? Check out Daily Brunch with Ocado

Morning! Today’s recipes go from a virtuous salad, packed with fresh, crunchy veg and a juicy dressing – to a rich, darkly tempting chocolate tart. Come over to the dark side…

Crispy Chickpea Salad

Image of the salad

This chickpea salad is a delicious lunch dish or light dinner. Simon deep-fries the chickpeas to add a deliciously crunchy texture, complementing the juicy baby tomatoes and fresh watercress leaves. He marinates the feta cubes in lime juice for an extra zingy flavor that cuts through the rich saltiness of the cheese.

  • Serves 2-4
  • Preparation time: 5 mins + 20 mins for marinating
  • Cooking time: 2-5 mins

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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

An indulgent day for the Daily Brunch crew – today’s recipes

This morning we saw Simon make a deliciously creamy but light Carbonara, followed by a Cheese and Onion Tart – wish I had a slice lined up for lunch! If you’re as much of a dairy fan as I am, you’ll love these recipes below.

Carbonara

Image of the Carbonara recipe

This carbonara is a really quick and easy meal that is perfect for a midweek supper. Simon makes a lighter version of the Italian classic using fresh peas and crème fraîche instead of cream. If you use fresh egg pasta, you can make this filling dish from start to finish in under 10 minutes. Continue reading

Guest post: Postnatal nutrition by Charlotte Watts

In the last of our blogs by Nutritional Therapist Charlotte Watts, we learn what to eat after the birth of your baby. Read on for advice on the nutrients you need and how to get them into your diet, plus lots of handy time-saving tips for busy new mums and dads.

As always, you can find the foods Charlotte recommends in the special parenting aisles she helped to set up. Congratulations on your new baby, and happy eating!

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Cleanse and refresh – food and drink for a feel-good summer

When the sun is out and the mercury is up, it’s even more important that I feel good in my skin. It’s not about guilt-tripping myself, it’s about food that does me good but tastes great too. Food I actually want to eat. So here’s what I reach for.

Image of the products

Coco Face Fresh Coconuts – these are raw and unpasteurised. Just crack one open, stick in a straw and drink the water, then scoop out the flesh. The flavour is naturally sweet with floral and woody notes. i.e. yum.

(Coconuts are a great source of salts and minerals, plus electrolytes that help muscle and brain function, and are good for rehydrating after exercise.)

Here’s how you open one:

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Six ways you should be using honey

Honey is a bit of a wonder product, and with bees under threat, I think we should be singing its praises from the rooftops. So, in time for National Honey Week, here’s how honey will transform everything from your cooking to your beauty regime.

1. Don’t just spread it on toast; use honey in your cooking. Contrast it with tart, spicy or salty ingredients in savoury dishes (goat’s cheese, halloumi, mustard, vinaigrette etc), or use it to add a mellow sweetness to puds. For example:

Goat’s Cheese and Honey Ciabatta with Parma Ham

Recipe for Goat's Cheese and Honey Ciabatta with Parma Ham Continue reading

Dr Hilary Jones on milk intolerance and the a2 solution

You’ll probably recognise Dr Hilary Jones from the sofa of ITV’s Daybreak and Steve Wright’s Radio 2 programme.

As an NHS GP, medical presenter and spokesperson for a2 Milk, we wanted his insight on the importance of milk, lactose intolerance, and the options for those of us who have problems digesting milk. Here’s what he had to say when we caught up with him.

Image of Dr Hilary Jones

A lot of people avoid milk and dairy because they suspect it’s causing them digestive issues. Why is that?

Not all cows milk is the same. There are two different types of protein in milk and cows either produce A1 or A2.  Not surprisingly they are known as A1 cows and A2 cows. The A1 protein digests differently to A2 protein and has been linked to discomfort after drinking milk. This is why some people feel they have issues or an intolerance to milk. a2 Milk is cows’ milk that is naturally rich in the A2 protein and contains none of the A1 protein. Put simply, because a2 Milk does not contain the A1 protein, some people may find a2 Milk easier to digest. Continue reading

Getting to the root of Root Camp

Intrigued about what teenagers can learn from Root Camp? We caught up with Root Camp’s founder, Cassia Kidron, to chat about her motivations, memories and more.

Q Let’s start with an interesting fact about yourself.Image of Cassia Kidron

I was approached by Mossad to be a spy. Most people think I declined…

Q Where did the name ‘Root Camp’ come from?

A My son came up with the idea. There’s the obvious vegetable association, but also the idea of taking root in life, which is so potent for this age group (15 to 21 year-olds).

Also, the rhyme with ‘boot camp’ seemed to fit – muddy teenagers coming back from a rigorous morning in the field, the exertion and camaraderie.

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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

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Read on:

On the sofa with… The Collective Dairy

On the sofa with… Painted Wolf Wines

On the sofa with… Natoora