The Nourishing Larder
The Nourishing Larder, as we transition from Winter to Spring, it’s the perfect time to review our eating/shopping and snacking habits. For most of us the idea of a huge larder stuffed full of wonderful ingredients is a bit of a pipe dream. Does anyone else incessantly pin pictures from Pinterest of beautifully jarred ingredients with gorgeous labels, all lined up like sentries, onto their boards? Whilst we might not all be able to achieve a beautiful larder we can certainly make sure that it’s full of healthy, nutritious ingredients to sustain and fuel us.
With our own commercial kitchen working towards being zero waste we’re applying the same ideas to home too. Refill/Zero Waste stores are a fantastic resource for cutting down on your food packaging. Reuse jars and other containers from home and fill up with dried goods like chickpeas, oats and more.
Most refill stores will also have a selection of products like our own Coconut Bites, that will be packaged in Home Compostable or recyclable packaging. We love our local store in Reigate, Inside Out, for it’s Faith in Nature refill station. This is such a simple way to cut down on plastic packaging. We’re refilling into glass bottles with a pump from We Earth London (they have a 5% off discount code for 1st orders on their site when you sign up to their newsletter).
What does wholefoods mean? Wholefoods refers to foods that are pure and as unprocessed as possible. This covers legumes, fruit, veg, seeds, nuts, grains and more. Whether you cut them, whizz them, bake them, they remain a wholefood that hasn’t been messed about with, other than to mix it with other naturally sourced ingredients. Eating a whole-food diet is sometimes referred to as “clean eating” because you avoid processed foods and focus on healthy, nutritious whole foods. Processed and refined foods contain preservatives, artificial colours, and other chemicals that may be toxic. Eating whole foods means you avoid these unwanted additives and get the full suite of antioxidants, digestive enzymes, and other nutrients in the foods.
During Organic September we’d urge you to make the change, where possible, to organic ingredients. Wholefoods with no nasties added are the fuel that we all need to get through the change in seasons and keep our health on track. Why not try a veggie box from Eversfield Organic or support your own local one? These reflect the wonderful seasonal produce that we have available to us in the UK from our own farms.
All of our own products are based on the principle of eating wholefoods. You won’t find any ingredients that you don’t recognise easily in any of our Macaroons, Bites or Slices.
So what wholefoods might you find in a nutritious larder?
Nuts and seeds.
A handful of nuts or seeds, to sustain energy and provide healthy fats is an easy snack to take on the move with you. Both are a great source of protein and help with that feeling of satiety. We love to add a spoon of ground almond to porridge or to help thicken sauces or soups too. They add a lovely creaminess. A favourite, home from school snack, of our IGTV superstar, Inge, is a pot of nut butter to dip in either veggie sticks or slices of apple. Fancy making your own nut butter, try her very own recipe here.
Seeds are naturally crammed with real goodies like protein, iron, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Which makes them a super nutritious food for a healthy diet. The rich nutrient content of seeds makes them particularly good for those leading an active lifestyle. A scattering of activated seeds takes a humble salad to new heights, especially if you add a hit of chilli powder to them. We love the many flavours of the Boundless Seeds, they really add a punch to any dish. We also add seeds into our baking too, why not try our quick seed bread recipe?
Fruit bowl and veggie drawer.
We love a fruit and veggie box, a surprise every week and always some stalwart favourites in there too! Try Riverford, Abel & Cole, Eversfield (we love the no potatoes box!), Piktfresh. Or perhaps discover a great local one like our local, Surrey based Greener Greens.
The delight of eating seasonally truly comes to life when you get excited about the start of your favourites coming into season. For some it’s the start of the asparagus season, for others it might be plums. Whatever it is there is nothing better than a gorge on your faves once they are readily available.
For those able to tolerate legumes they are an incredible way to add bulk, and fuel, to create a healthy, well balanced meal. Think cannellini beans in a stew, black beans in your chilli or that perennial favourite, chickpea packed hummus. We love to make a big batch of Mexican inspired refried kidney beans. Great at keeping us going when the chill sets in.
Frozen peas and broad beans are also great staples to have at hand that cook quickly and have retained all their natural goodness by being quickly frozen at picking. Cooking a piece of fish? Why not knock up one of Ineke’s favourite side dishes, smashed pea and avocado to serve alongside?
With such a wide choice of wholegrains there is something for everyone. Whether you follow a gluten free diet or not. Choose from grains like oats, quinoa, spelt, brown rice, pearl barley to add some serious fibre to your diet. With many wholegrains packing a nutritious punch they are invaluable and have made different uses from sweet to savoury. Play with these grains in your baking by replacing some of the flour with oats for instance. Or why not add a handful of pearl barley to a soup to create a hearty meal?
Few busy mornings are complete in the Nourish kitchen without a bowl of bircher muesli with warm plant milk. A great slow release of energy throughout the morning will keep the busiest of families fuelled up. We love Primrose Kitchen for their delicious, organic, bircher muesli.
In our lunch boxes you’ll find nutritious wholegrain treats like our fibre packed chocolate puffed cereal slice. Or if you’re after a seriously savoury hit have a go at our lip smacking quinoa and roasted veg salad ?
Spice up your life.
Herbs and spices are the key for taking a bland dish from zero to hero. What would carrot soup be without coriander, or chilli be without paprika? Now is a great time to have a little herb and spice audit. There is nothing worse than thinking you’re adding a fragrant few leaves of tarragon only to find that it’s lost its scent and is out of date.
Fresh herbs can be grown on a windowsill all year long. They provide a welcome spot of colour to some of the more everyday dishes. Tomato soup taken to new heights with a dollop of basil or rocket pesto. Or a jacket potato and hummus can be transformed by a dollop of chimichurri sauce.
We hope we’ve inspired you to audit your cupboards for the new season, and that you’ve enjoyed checking out what’s in the nutritious larder.