Baobab Fruit Powder & Eden Project Family Ticket Giveaway!

When I was a child, as a treat during grocery trips, my mum used to let me choose a new fruit to try. I was always drawn to the exotic fruit section and it was here that I discovered my love of pomegranate, pineapple and coconut. The one disappointment was the Sharon fruit. Imagine my excitement as a kid to find a fruit named after me! Sadly it turned out to be the blandest fruit I’d ever tasted. It certainly didn’t live up to its name ;)

To this day, I still love seeking out new exotic fruits to try, so when I was invited to sample baobab fruit powder, I was more than delighted to accept. Originating in sub-Saharan Africa, the melon-like fruits grow on the legendary ‘upside down tree’, which is pollinated by bats! It’s widely consumed all over southern Africa as a refreshing juice or health snack. The Kung San bushman of the Kalahari eat it for medicinal purposes, to ward off winter colds, combat fevers, stomach upsets and as a general pick-me-up.

Avenue of Baobab Trees Madagascar

Source

Baobab fruit powder is a 100% natural whole food often referred to as ‘Nature’s Multivitamin’ due to its high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It contains more than 12 minerals and vitamins, but is particularly rich in vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. It is reported to contain more calcium than milk, more iron than steak, six times more potassium than a banana and to have more than 100 times the antioxidant activity of oranges!

Baobab Fruit

Source

The powdery fruit pulp is obtained through a simple process that involves collecting the fruit by hand, cracking open the hard shells, then milling. Flavourwise, it has hints of pineapple and melon.  I love adding it to smoothies (especially our Oaty Pineapple Breakfast Smoothie) for an extra boost of nutritional power. It can also be sprinkled into breakfast cereals, added to yoghurt, used to make jams, sauces and ice creams, and even used in baking. I often add it to my home-made energy bars to give them an extra nutritional boost.

Baobab Fruit

Source

The Eden Project in Cornwall recently launched their own range of baobab fruit powder, which is sustainably harvested and bought from rural harvester groups in Malawi. Money from every sale of baobab goes to PhytoTrade Africa, who help support rural harvesters and producers across southern Africa. 

Baobab Fruit Phyto Trade Africa

Source

The Eden Project sells a variety of baobab fruit products, including fruit powder sachets, pouches and jars, as well as gift bags, chocolate and even hand cream! They are available to purchase online however, if you fancy buying them in person, I have one AMAZING giveaway lined up for you!

Baobab Fruit Powder Pouch

GIVEAWAY TIME!

The Eden Project is kindly offering my readers the chance to win a FREE DAY TICKET to the Eden Project in Cornwall (England) for up to two adults and two children (worth £68!)

Described as the “eighth wonder of the world”, the Eden Project is a global garden which lets people discover plants that have changed the world and plants that could change the future. People can explore the sights, smells and sheer scale of the Rainforest Biome, take a journey through the fragrant Mediterranean Biome and zig-zag their way through the 30 acres of outdoor gardens. There are also world-class art installations, unique sculptures and exciting events to be found across the site.

Panoramic view of the geodesic dome structures of Eden Project

To be in with a chance of winning, simply leave me a comment answering the question featured in the Rafflecopter below. Do make sure you tick the box in the Rafflecopter to register that you have done so!

This giveaway is worldwide, open to all residents aged 18 and over. The closing date is Friday 25th April 2014 at midnight GMT. The winner will be selected at random using Rafflecopter and notified by email. The winner can choose to visit the Eden Project on the day of their choice (there is no expiry date on the ticket!)

If you’re new to Rafflecopter, it’s pretty easy! Simply click on ‘Use Your Email’ and enter a name and your email address (rest assured it won’t be published anywhere). You can also log in using your Facebook account, if you wish. A quick demo of how to use Rafflecopter can be accessed here.

There are a number of additional ways you can enter in order to increase your chances of winning. You will find these listed in the Rafflecopter. All entries will be verified prior to the winner being selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone! xx

 

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Filed under Nutrition, Reviews

Ash from Viva! and his Vegan Muffaletta

 Today I am delighted to share a guest post from Ash, who works for the animal charity Viva! I first came into contact with Ash after eyeing up his Muffaletta on Twitter! I was so wowed by it that I asked if he’d share the recipe, along with an insight into his work at Viva! Wait till you check out that sandwich. Lil’ L & M are going to be so impressed when I make it for them!
Over to Ash….

Hello Good Stuff readers, I’m Ash and I work for Viva! – one of the few animal charities out there who actually tell the ugly truth and are motivated exclusively by improving the quality of life of ALL animals. Have a look at our current campaigns.

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I am lucky that when I’m not doing techy stuff I get to be involved with other things like fundraising and foodie things. For instance some of us made a series of instructional food videos – showing people that vegan cooking is not rocket science. This is part of our initiative to extent the success of Veganuary, and give people a wealth of cooking tips and recipes for a whole month. It’s called the 30 Day Vegan.

30dayveganlogo

Another awesome thing I get to do is co-ordinate supporters’ fundraising challenges. This comes under the heading of Team-Viva!. This year we are building up the number of people taking part in running events – an activity dear to my heart after training my little legs off last year for the Bristol Half Marathon. It’s not just about running though, so if you want to partake in any sponsored activity (cake bake, sponsored silence, world’s largest vegan sausage, for example) please get in touch!

ash run 500

I became acquainted with BitOfTheGoodStuff through Twitter, after being complimented on a particular food post I uploaded one lunchtime. It was for a vegan muffaletta which (as well as having a funny name) is a deliciously impressive, and speedy dish to whip up.

Thank you so much Ash for guest posting today and sharing your awesome recipe

Viva! is an incredible charity and one that is very close to my heart. I’ve been a supporter for many years now and Lil’ L and I actually volunteered at the Incredible Veggie Roadshow when it came to Bath in 2010. We had such a blast handing out leaflets, chatting to people and encouraging people to check out the event. I promise you, no one could resist that Lil’ cutie ;)

Incredible Veggie Roadshow 2010 - 400

The next Incredible Veggie Roadshow is in Gloucester on Saturday 26 April 2014 so, if you’re within the vicinity, do check it out!

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Filed under Guest Post, Lunches & Light Dinners

Stuff I’m Loving Spring 2014

This feature is usually dedicated to new-to-me products but, this time round, I thought I’d throw in one of my old favourites too. We can’t neglect the oldies can we? Let’s kick off with the new…

1.   Meridian Natural Nut Butters
Ever since we first tried these nut butters, the family has been hooked on them. They contain no added sugar or oil yet, in our opinion, they taste far superior to those with added ingredients. Our pantry is stocked with four Meridian butters – peanut, almond, cashew and hazelnut. They all have different tastes and textures, and are delicious in their own way! I’ve been buying 1kg tubs of the peanut butter and need to start doing the same for the almond butter, as we get through it so quick! We spread it on toast and use it for stir fry sauces, dips and dressings. Lil’ L will even eat apple slices less begrudgingly if he can dip them in almond butter ;)

Meridian Nut Butters

2.   Perry Court Farm Apple Crisps
I first came into contact with Perry Court Farm  and their scrummy fruit crisps through The Vegan Kind Subscription Box. There are two apple varieties to choose from – ‘Sweet’ Cox Orange Pippin or ‘Tangy’ Bramley. They’re air dried to retain all the goodness and flavour of the fruit, and the only ingredient they contain is apples! They make a wonderful, healthy snack and a great treat for  lunchboxes.

Perry Court Farm Apple Crisps

3.   Sweet Freedom Choc Shot
I was over the moon to find Choc Shot in February’s The Vegan Kind Box as I’d been wanting to try it for ages! It contains all natural ingredients, is free from cane sugar, has a low glycaemic load (GL) and is suitable for vegans and diabetics. It’s great for drizzling on pancakes, waffles, ice cream and for making milkshakes and hot chocolate. Sadly I reached the end of my bottle today after making Lil’ L and his friend a hot chocolate. Not a single drop was wasted though as I thoroughly scraped out the bottle with a latte spoon. Some of it may have accidentally found its way straight into my mouth ;) Will definitely be adding Choc Shot to future grocery shops.

Choc Shot

4.  Olives et al Egyptian Spiced Dukkah
Dukkah is one of my all-time favourite spice mixes, and I’m really enjoying the Olives et Al Egyptian Spiced Dukkah.  It’s warming and aromatic yet mild, so perfect for those that can’t handle too much heat (like me!)  Lately I’ve been adding it into flat breads and hummus, as well as making lots of batches of Dukkah spiced roasted chick peas. I haven’t actually tried eating it the traditional way yet, which is to dip bread in oil then into a plate of Dukkah. I’m very much looking forward to trying it though!

Olives et al Spiced Dukkah

5.   Marigold Engevita Nutritional Yeast Flakes with B12
And finally, here’s an old favourite. I didn’t realise how hooked I was on nutritional yeast (aka ‘nooch’) until we run out earlier this week and, shock horror, the local health food store was out of stock too! I felt totally lost without it! If you haven’t come across it before, nooch is a nutritionally-rich savoury condiment made of deactivated yeast. It has a cheesy, nutty flavour which makes it a great vegetarian/vegan substitute for parmesan. We love ‘cashew’ parmesan which we make by grinding ¼ cup cashews with 3 TBSP nutritional yeast. I also use nooch for making pestos, tofu ricotta, scrambled tofu and many more dishes. Rather than be caught out again, I’ve bulk ordered from Amazon and it’s already arrived. As of tonight, Italian is back on the menu! :D

Engevita Nutritional Yeast Flakes 300

So those are five products I’m currently loving. How about you? Have you tried any new products lately that you’d recommend?

 

 

I’ve previously received some sample products but, as always, all views expressed are my own. This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon. If you click on it and purchase something, I will receive a small commission which will be used to further develop Bit of the Good Stuff.
Thank you in advance!

 

 

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‘Rise and Shine’ Oaty Pineapple Breakfast Smoothie (Dairy-free)

The British winter was more like a monsoon this year. For over two months it rained pretty much continuously, and often accompanied by gail force winds. It’s been yet another crazy weather season, with January recorded as the wettest winter month since 1767! Thousands of homes experienced terrible flooding, especially on the Somerset levels. While our garden has been completely submerged under water three times since Christmas Eve, fortunately our house is elevated and out of harm’s way.

We’re now coming to the end of March and we’re STILL experiencing rain pretty much every day here in the South West. However, there are breaks and when the sun comes out and the clouds disappear, it’s absolutely glorious! I’d forgotten how wonderful it is to feel the warmth of the sun on your skin!

Japonica March 2014

As the sunny spells are so fleeting, I’m grabbing every opportunity to get out there and make the most of them. The garden is starting to come to life and it’s been a joy to see the Spring flowers popping up. Every where I look, there’s a hive of activity in the garden. The bees, butterflies, ladybirds and toads are all out of hibernation, and the birds are busy pairing up and make nests. This truly is a wonderful time of year! Now if the rain could just go away for a while so I can go jogging without getting wet or having to run with an umbrella, then that really would be the icing on the cake ;)

Primroses March 2014

For today’s recipe, I’d love to share one of Lil’ L and I’s favourite ‘power boosting’ breakfast smoothies. This one contains fresh pineapple, which has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. For slow-release energy, a protein boost and delicious creaminess, we add oats and chia seeds. The chia seeds also give the smoothie an omega-3 boost and have this amazing satiating effect, leaving you feeling full up for hours.

'Rise and Shine' Pinapple Oat Breakfast Smoothie | Bit of the Good Stuff

To ramp up the nutritional factor even more, we add a spoonful of baobab powder. This natural fruit powder boasts some amazing nutritional stats, including 3 times more calcium than milk and 6 times more antioxidants than blueberries!

When the sun peeked out the other day, I grabbed the opportunity to drink my smoothie in the garden. Five minutes of bliss!

'Rise and Shine' Pinapple Oat Breakfast Smoothie

I chose to top mine with a sprinkling of finely chopped goji berries and almonds. No breakfast of mine would be complete without gojis ;)

Products used in this recipe
So far, I’ve made this smoothie with Alpro Almond milk & Soya milk and Rice Dream Rice Milk
Chia Seeds, available from health food stores and online, including Amazon

Baobab Fruit Powder from the Eden Project (gifted to me)
Mornflake Superfast Oats

  'Rise and Shine' Pineapple Oat Breakfast Smoothie

 I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend everyone! xx

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Filed under Breakfast & Elevenses, Healthy Snacking

Top Ten Tips to Declutter

Spring is here at last! And so comes the time for Spring cleaning and de-cluttering. It’s amazing how quickly we can fill our homes, regardless of how small or large they are!

Today, I am absolutely delighted to share a guest post from Catriona Archer  Based in Bath, Catriona offers hand-on practical and creative styling solutions to maximize a home or business space’s full potential. Here are some of her tried and tested de-cluttering tips to help us get going…

#1  Re-purpose / Up-cycle

Our possessions only become clutter when they no longer serve a purpose. This cushion cover was made using a dress that was no longer worn, after decluttering a client’s wardrobe, thereby re-purposing an item that held happy memories.

 

catrionaarcher 500

[Source: catrionaarcher.com]

 

#2  Keep it together!

Always store like-with-like. It’s a sure-fire way of finding what you’re looking for quickly and avoiding buying items twice (because we forgot that we had it already!) It also makes clearing away so much easier.

 

#3  Get creative

Storage needn’t be expensive. A row of jam jars or adapted milk cartons can be just as satisfying to look at and use as something you can buy in the shops.

 

Pencil Storage
[Source: makezine.com/craft]


#4  Get personal!

Give each person in the household a storage basket or a personalised cloth-bag hung near the stairs: Any loose odds and ends belonging to that person can be deposited there. Make it a regular weekly habit for each person to clear it out and put it away!

 

#5  It’s behind you!

The backs of doors are a fantastic way of storing smaller items. When decluttering and styling peoples houses, I often use hanging shoe organisers on the inside of cupboard doors… Useful for small bathrooms, kitchen cleaning products, bedrooms… actually, ANYWHERE in the house can benefit from this! The beauty of it is that it is easily accessable, discreet and leaves surfaces clutter-free. Clear shoe pockets are also available, should you need to store smaller items.

 shoe organisers 400

[Source: catrionaarcher.com]


#6  Maximise your Storage

Does your open and closed storage maximize the space? By simply adjusting the height of our shelves to work exactly at the right height required for the items on them, allows for extra shelves to be added and even more surface-clutter to be removed!


#7  Think Vertically

It’s amazing how much wall space is underused. The trick is to use one wall as the focal point in the room and leave another full wall empty, to give the room breathing space. Here, a simple mesh grid from a building merchants holds everything from pictures to scissors, through paper clips and S-hooks.

 Vertical Storage 500

 [Source: www.stilinspiration.blogspot.se]


#8  Address your Wardrobe

There’s a saying… “We wear 20% of our wardrobes 80% of the time”. We all know that tastes change over time, as does our body shape! The only way of really tackling the wardrobe and drawers is by putting like-with-like together (all jeans, all t-shirts etc.) and get a realistic idea of what you actually have. Setting aside a short, pre-set amount of time with an alarm clock (and a trusted friend if required) is the best way to make a start… I find 1 hour does the trick for the initial session. Remember: You don’t have to do it all in one go!

 

#9  Bulldog clips and Velcro

Is there anything these two bad-boys can’t do? Here is an ingenious way of using bulldog clips to organise office wires. I have also used bulldog clips to hold vinyl record covers as art-work on a living room wall (see my website gallery). Velcro is a great way of keeping items/wires off the floor and maximizing storage space on the side/bottom of a piece of furniture. Most Hardware stores now sell velcro and hooks on a glue-free, removable backing.

 

bulldog clips 500[Source: catrionaarcher.com]

 

#10  Use it, Mend it or Lose it!

A final note… An item that served a purpose in the past becomes clutter when it no longer serves a purpose for your present and future. Mend, re-sell, organise a Swap Shop with friends, advertise it on Free-cycle.org or donate unwanted items to Charity. The satisfaction of a de-cluttered, well organised space is so rewarding and works on so many levels in improving our lives. But letting go of our attachment to certain items and allowing someone else to benefit from it is, I think, the best incentive of all.

Best wishes
 
Catriona x
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Thank you so much Catriona for sharing your tips   I’ll definitely be putting them to good use this weekend!

For full details of Catriona’s services (which start at £95), check out her website. You can also connect with her on Twitter @catrionaarcher.

Are you planning on a Spring clean?
Do you have any of your own ‘tried and tested’ tips?
If so, I’d love to hear them!

Have a great weekend everyone! xx

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