The joy of cooking, we feel it, we write about it, and it’s the reason Ineke started Nourish – grow, cook, enjoy. This month we’ve been using the individual words of our brand name as our pillars, or a theme, for each week of November. Our brand name wasn’t the result of a brainstorming session with a big agency, it was created by us, about the things we love. This week we’re looking at why cooking is important to some of our favourite people and trying to find out where it’s enduring appeal comes from.
As a nation we love to cook, perhaps we watch one of the many programmes about cooking, or go out and be cooked for in a restaurant (when we can). We hold dinner parties, we even have programmes about holding dinner parties, and then listen to podcasts about the perfect dinner party guests. But, what does cooking mean to you?
For some it will be a necessity that isn’t enjoyed so much as endured, simply a seeking out of fuel. For many others it will be a way of relieving stress at the end of the day, or an outlet for creativity. It could be a way of getting your kids engaged with what’s on their plates. Or perhaps it’s a hobby that you share with a friend, or loved one, and you create things together. Maybe you learnt to cook at a loved one’s knee and now it’s your link to the past and a way of remembering someone? Perhaps you cook for competition, firing yourself up with the complexity of a Michelin starred dish. Or it could be that it’s just what you do everyday without thinking about it. Whatever reason it is, one thing is sure, it’s something we all do and can share with one another.
Here are just a few of our favourite people’s reactions to the question, ‘what does cooking mean to you?’, we hope you enjoy them and that maybe they inspire you in the kitchen too.
“Spending time in the kitchen is proven to be good for body, mind and soul and also helps families build a positive relationship with food. It’s fun cooking together too, even if it does get a bit messier!”
Pauline Cox – Owner of Sow & Arrow, Author, Nutrition and Health Consultant
A couple of Pauline’s favourite quotes about how she feels about food. We love these and the 2nd one in particular resonates with us at the moment, while we all struggle a little to care for ourselves.
“The fork is mightier than pharma.” “Cooking is an ritual that reinforces the message that you care enough about yourself to eat mindfully.” “Cooking is an art. Bringing together Mother Nature’s colour palette and creating your own Masterpiece.”
‘We get a veg box each week from The Community Farm, just round the corner from us here in the Mendips. Me and my partner love it as it makes us try out new things – and new recipes! Cooking for me is a way of relaxing and taking things slow. As the nights draw in we’re talking more on the soup/stew side; maybe a spiced butternut squash soup, for example. Frank Sinatra is most probably on in the background, and, if it’s a weekend, a bottle of Merlot has been opened and poured!’
‘One of the things I love about cooking is that it’s creative, mixing flavours, colours, textures that go well together on a plate and producing meals that are enjoyable, delicious and nutritious! Cooking allows me to create colourful fun foods that my whole family will enjoy. Knowing that everything is fresh, natural and wholesome.
As a nutritional practitioner as well, I understand the effects of different foods on our health and wellbeing. Which makes it even more important to cook and eat the foods that will help to support every part of our body but that doesn’t mean boring, it means unprocessed, natural, whole foods with lots and lots of colour and flavour.’
‘Cooking makes me think of home. My mum’s warm kitchen, feeding family & friends, making a mess and turning food into new tastes and flavours. Through work, I love cooking with athletes and showing them how fun & easy it can be to find tasty ways to nourish their bodies for health & performance. It’s an essential and very enjoyable life skill and it’s great seeing how much pride they take in what they’ve created.’
Cooking for me is all about the satisfaction of finding or inventing recipes that are not only nutritious but that my family absolutely love and ask for more of. This doesn’t always happen with a 3- and 5-year-old though, but when it does there is nothing better than that feeling! With any time to myself, I will head straight to the kitchen to cook in peace. It’s literally the best thing ever! With either Netflix or just my mind as my friend I can happily get baking or chopping ready for the week ahead, and I get a great sense of accomplishment getting prepared for future meals and snacks!’
‘So what does cooking mean to me? Well if I am honest having started out enjoying cooking when I first got my own home. After many years of cooking for the boys, I had fallen out of love with it which may seem strange for a nutritional therapist! My husband is a very good cook and as at home he cooks most evenings which is lovely. However, over the last year or two I have enjoyed cooking again probably because I can come to it when I feel like it rather than out of necessity. I think the key for me is in the produce, knowing it is organic, hopefully relatively locally grown. With that base you can’t go wrong – in theory! so one of the greatest inspirations and pleasures for me in the kitchen has been the discovery of greener greens veg boxes which are just full of great produce that you can’t help feel inspired.
Life is very hectic owning a shop and I do like to try to find moments to regroup and feel grounded so I find the calming simple process of washing the vegetables , chopping and peeling very restful, using my hands, handling the veg, looking at the colours , cutting a cucumber that smells so fresh and with the true smell of cucumber really helps bring me back into the moment and stops my racing thoughts. With that assurance of good quality produce then I feel whatever I might scramble together, provided I don’t burn it or boil the life out of it, I know it is full of vitamins and minerals. ‘
‘Cooking is a way to relax and unwind, to be creative and to try new things! It’s my creative outlet as well as being my way to show friends and family how much they mean to me. Feeding others brings me so much joy!’
And a great one for right now from Nigella Lawson that really speak to us.
I think we all live in a world that is so fast-paced, it’s threatening and absolutely saturated with change and novelty and insecurity. Therefore, the ritual of cooking and feeding my family and friends, whoever drops in, is what makes me feel that I’m in a universe that is contained.
We’ve spent much of the last few months sowing ideas for growing Nourish. Working out what’s top on our list to do first. It’s now been a month since we ended our crowdfunding campaign and we’re pleased to say it’s all starting to feel like we’re getting there, and we should soon have the funds to start on our plans. As anyone who has been involved in this style of fundraising before will know it takes a while for everything to be finalised, but we can see light at the end of the tunnel now!
Although we can’t give you details on everything on our wish list, we wanted to fill you in on a few things that will make a big impact to us as a business, and ultimately you too!
We’ve struggled on with a slightly temperamental website for a while now. We know it’s not quite as smart, whizzy or speedy as some of the others out there. Thank you for persevering with it when you’ve been buying from us, reading our blogs and using our recipes. We’ll be starting the design process very soon and we can’t wait to show you our shiny new, fast, simple to use site in 2021.
At the heart of everything we do at Nourish is the desire to run a sustainable, eco-friendly business. We already produce our Coconut Bites in home compostable packaging, and we’re now transitioning all of our Coconut Macaroon flavours over to the same. Cacao and Raspberry (and shortly Red Velvet) are already in home recyclable packaging and will change to home compostable too!
New ranges that we have planned will be packaged like these too. Helping us, to help you, limit your household waste.
We have been busily developing new products that we can’t wait to share with you. We can’t share a great deal about these just yet, but we are getting there and YOU will be the first now as soon as everything is in place. One thing we can tell you is that we’ve hugely enjoyed the testing and tasting phase! We know you’re going to love what’s coming!
Teamwork, making the dream work
We will be expanding our team a little to enable us to work harder and faster to get your favourite products out there on the shelves. We’re currently a small but efficient team, but a few more hands-on deck will mean that we can improve a few of our processes and work smarter. We’ll introduce you to the whole team in early 2021. We know you’ll want to meet the faces behind the little nuggets of deliciousness!
The picture above was taken on a Nourish family visit to RHS Wisley. Inspiration for our wonderful Pumpkin loaf recipe! Click on the link here to check out the recipe!
We hope this has given you just a little insight into what we’re sowing and growing at Nourish. If you want to find out more about any aspect of what we’re up to please drop us an email. We’ll be happy to answer.
Our Top 10 feel better moments are for when the world around you is whirling and swirling. If you’re spinning plates and juggling balls all the time it can be really hard to justify much time out of your day just for you. If this sounds like you just ask yourself, can you really not step out of your own way and spend 5 minutes on you in your day?
Making time for ourselves is always important but during a global pandemic, while we’re all feeling a little more pressure and stress anyway, it’s even more so. The time you spend on you today will enable you to spend time on others, on work, on just keeping it together. Make the time now, just pick one thing off the list below and go and do it. Set a timer if you need to, but do it. We guarantee you that you’ll feel better. You might not feel better today but start a habit to do it every day and we guarantee that within a few days you’ll come to love your 5 minutes of your time.
Disclaimer – we can’t guarantee that you won’t love our top ten feel better moments so much that you won’t add to this list and maybe make it 10 minutes in time!
Minutes of meditation
Turn off the computer and the phone and step away from your desk. Sit in a comfy chair and just actively focus on your breath for a few moments. If you can manage it, pop on some white noise, close your eyes and really think about your breath. Little moments of meditation can be very powerful when we’re stressed, don’t be surprised if this makes you a little tearful at first.
Sometimes when we’ve been stuck in the office or the kitchen all day all we really need is to see the sky. Just step outside, take a deep breath and set off around the block. You’ll definitely refocus and work better if you do.
Put the kettle on
Whether you put the kettle on just for you or for you and your housemate/husband/child, just having a cuppa can promote calm. Be in the moment, either sit and have 5 minutes peace, or catch up with each other in the middle of your busy day. We couldn’t suggest strongly enough how well a #macaroonmoment would go down now! Buy your favourite flavour here.
Crafting isn’t for everyone but for those for whom it’s a pleasure there is a lot you can do in 5 minutes. Make a Pom Pom or two, finish a few lines of cross stitch, colour in a picture. Just a little time to focus your mind away from day to day tasks can really rejuvenate you.
Planning makes perfect
Meal Plans are one of the things that we’ve really found have taken the stress out of our weeks. It takes only a few minutes to plan a week’s menu and when everyone is busy it really helps to keep you on track. Read more here about our batch cooking basics for quick simple meals.
Get diggy with it
The garden is almost ready to be put to bed but a little weeding and attention now will help make sure it looks its best during the winter. Why not pop on those wellies and some gloves and spend five just doing a little tidying it? Check out The Five Minute Garden Book for inspiration.
Chill with Chocolate
Boost that serotonin level with a shot of chocolatey, mood improving cacao. Try our rich, clean tasting cacao macaroons or bites for a little boost to brain health and mood.
Surrounded by clutter on your desk, kitchen worktop etc. Get on top of it in 5 minutes and work with a clear head. Clutter can cause us to feel stressed and out of control, once it’s cleared you’ll be surprised how much more effective you can be.
Dance like nobody’s watching
We’ve all got a favourite tune that can get us up and dancing. Pop on your favourite and get up on your feet to move around. Dancing also helps to release those happy hormones, so five minutes on your feet can put a smile on your face for the rest of the day.
Yoga is a go to for our team and usually it would take longer than 5 minutes, but you can still achieve calm in this time. Try Yoga with Adrienne on You Tube for some inspiration and guidance on what you can manage at this time.
Is it possible to bake yourself better? For us at Nourish it is definitely a calming relaxing time out for all of us (maybe not always when the kids are baking alongside us, however!). It’s here, in the kitchen, that we get to bring out our creative sides. We breathe a little deeper and enjoy getting tactile in the kitchen. When we aren’t creating in the Nourish kitchen, it is high up on one of our favourite activities to do at home. The smell of chocolate cake or banana bread is enough to keep us baking week after week!
The last time we blogged about baking we were all in the thick of lockdown and everyone had become bakers overnight. Is this still the case for you, or have you given up with the banana bread and sourdoughs? With such uncertain times still among us, and especially with autumn well and truly having kicked in, we are jumping straight back into our baking havens. Often using it as a way to escape the craziness. At the same time as ensuring our families are fed with nutritious and delicious food that will support their immunity.
Baking as therapy?
Baking is literally a win win for us as the benefits of the act of baking, are just as good as the act of eating! For us its one form of escapism and mindfulness when faced with such uncertain immediate futures. Any activity, such as baking, which takes your whole attention, especially with it being simple and repetitive can have such a calming and meditative effect on our minds and bodies. Baking is can be seen as a therapeutic tool. It has been used as an antidote for some mental health issues. Studies from The British Journal of Occupational Therapy have found that baking “improved concentration, increased coordination and built confidence, leading to an increased feeling of self-esteem“. It also, “provides purpose and meaning, as well as a real and tangible way of filling time“. The act of working through a recipe and then coming up with a delicious bake (especially one you know is going to nourish you from the inside out) at the end of it can be such amazing therapy when faced with feelings of depression and anxiety. Sharing those bakes with friends and family can then be even more rewarding and satisfying.
Kids In The Nourish Kitchen
Ask any young child, ‘would you like to bake a cake with me?’ and I think you would be hard pressed to find one that didn’t jump up to help. The Nourish children are all super keen bakers. Baking is a great way to get children into the kitchen. Learning to understand ingredients and the world of food from an early age is an important skill. It’s where the Nourish story began after all. As a child, Ineke, our Founder, was brought up in a home where cooking from scratch was the norm. Throughout the years she has loved being in her kitchen creating, delicious and nutritious food for her family and friends. Nourish was born while Ineke was searching for snacks for her own family. She wanted to create something that would feel like a treat but would nourish from the inside out. ‘For as long as I remember as a mum, I have cooked alongside my daughter Inge who is now 9. More recently she has been creating food herself as shown in our latest IGTV video series, ‘Kids in the Nourish Kitchen’.
Cook along with us on IGTV
We’ve loved seeing lots of you cooking along with us on these IGTV videos. Making some of our simple faves such as humous, smoothies, oat slices and ice cream. There are lots of recipes you can whip up very quickly and that children can get involved in. Our recipes use nourishing ingredients and all have been taste tested and approved by the Nourish kids! We definitely have proof that getting children making their own food whether chopping or designing the recipe, mixing, or even just pressing the Vitamix ‘on’ button means they are far more likely to try, and even love the end product! We would love to see any of our IGTV recipes that you recreate with your little ones (or big ones). So, please keep sharing these and using the hashtag #kidsinthenourishkitchen.
For more recipes from the Nourish Kitchen including lists of our favourite brands to use when cooking, check out our NEW recipe book Nourishing Treats full of dairy, gluten and refined sugar free crowd pleasers, with easy to follow along recipes.
What do we mean by, creating a nourishing haven at home? With the seasons changing we feel it’s time to review our habits, rituals, and overall lifestyles to be more Autumn friendly. We’re trying not to mourn the summer too much by surrounding ourselves with warmth and light. As the seasons change so does our circadian rhythm. Find out more here, so you may need a little more zzzz time to function efficiently too. Kate D from the team loves the Lumie Lights for helping to drift off and wake up naturally too and keep her in a good sleep rythym.
Creating a nourishing haven at home means making your home somewhere you feel you can slow down, calm down and wind down.
We all have different ways of slowing down and the idea of a slower lifestyle is one that’s become more popular. Especially in the world we currently live in. Taking time to nurture yourself and to do things that actively make you slow down is a great way of nourishing yourself. Hobbies, crafts, reading, or sometimes simply just being in your space.
We also love to embrace the concept of slow cooking as we slide into Autumn and Winter. Cooking ingredients slowly at a lower temperature helps to preserve the nutrients that are often lost when food is cooked at high temperatures. A winner while we’re all trying to up our nutrition game! Try making our colourful antioxidant packed rainbow roasted carrot salad. Or follow Ellerie from the team and get on board with vitamin packed soups like our creamy brassica soup.
Everyone calms in different ways, for some it’s a cuppa and a macaroon or two. For others it’s a walk in a rain with the promise of a warm bath when you get home. We all agree at Nourish that scents can make all the difference and we love a candle on our desks, somehow it just all makes it seem a bit calmer! Try Parkminster for beautifully scented candles, made by hand, just down the road from us. We love Bonfire and Mandarin Spice for Autumn.
Creating a nourishing haven at home while mid building work hasn’t been easy for Kate S from the team. Making just one small space truly calm has been a lifesaver. With a rug for cosy toes, candles for soft light and a blanket or two to keep the chill off, she’s found a way of creating calm in all the havoc.
Kate D from the team brings the inside in to help her be calm and centred. While outside starts to lose its greenery she greens up the inside with houseplants. Houseplants have some pretty stellar abilities when it comes to oxygenating your space and creating a sense of calm, or indeed one of energy! Check out more on what houseplants would suit you at BloomBox.
When you’ve had a busy day and wow, Ineke has had some busy days while we’ve been fundraising, winding down is an essential part of the day. Ineke loves to surround herself and her family with soft lighting, fairy lights to warm up dark corners and cushions to snuggle into on the sofa. Don’t want to hang fairy lights just yet, why not pop a string or two of battery ones into a big vase for an instant pretty corner? These mini star ones from The White Company are gorgeous in a vase or twisted around some willow for a gorgeously simple decoration.
Trying a new wind down technique is sometimes a great way to start a new habit, bored of yoga? Maybe try something new like Qi Gong? Qi Gong is a lovely way to move, breathe better and to centre yourself. Take a look at this beginners YouTube video to learn more.
Of course being a tribe of foodies we couldn’t help but add that one of our absolute favourite ways of winding down and creating our nourishing haven at home is with a cup of something warm and a macaroon, slice or bite!
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