Small Batch Ruby Sauerkraut

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I have just finished the last of a delicious jar of sauerkraut which I made at a fermenting workshop. It was run by Christine McFadden who has a very sucessfull cookery school in her 17th century home in  Dorset. Christine, who is also known as the Dorset Foodie, is a very experienced cook and teacher and has written several cookery books over the years. Her teaching is very clear, precise and reliable and she imparts a lot of practical information on a wide variety of cooking techniques. She lives in Littlebredy, one of the most beautiful villages in England. It is situated between Bridport and Dorchester and lies at the head of the Bride valley. As I made my way to her class I found myself driving through a maze of tiny winding roads and was very thankful to have a sat nav, it felt like I was driving back through time. This is pure Thomas Hardy countryside, an unspoilt green and golden landscape of emerald pastures dotted with yellow buttercups and ancient hedges. Read More


Weekday Tarka Dal


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Sometimes I dream of a soft buttery comforting dal, and I remember how many years ago, when my first daughter Lily was born, we moved to a part of London far away from where I had grown up. This was mostly to do with the fact that as young parents it was an area of London where we could afford to buy our first home. Back then it was the ghetto, now it is a very cool and fashionable area!

I found myself alone with a young baby in a strange part of town where I didn’t know anyone. None of my friends had even thought about settling down let alone starting a family. To keep myself busy I would go for long walks pushing the pram hoping to escape the grey and dirty streets of East London. One day I found myself in Ridly Road Market in Dalston, and it was in complete contrast. This was a vibrant and eclectic multi-cultural community selling traditional and exotic fruits and vegetables on old fashioned barrows. I would lose myself for hours wondering around in a visual and sensual rapture inhaling the smells of fresh warm bagels and spices. Read More


Ghee is Golden



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Walking with my Father in the countryside as a young child was always a complete joy, sometimes he would crouch down to my height pick a Buttercup and put it under my chin to see if I liked butter. The glow from the shiny petals would reflect a golden yellow light on my skin which would mean I did! Who doesn’t? Of course as a child, I thought this was pure magic in that wondrous way that children ‘believe’. Like when my Grandmother would make the snapdragons talk in the garden by squeezing their petals together and the many times I would gather rose petals with my sister to make potions, which only worked if you truly ‘believed’ in magic. These were wonderful rituals and traditions which I passed on to my own children when they were growing up. Read More


Wild foraging and a Sea Cabbage Salad

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It’s a bit overcast today which is almost a relief after five days of scorching early summer sun. We are heading home after a blissful half term break in Cornwall. It’s wild and untamed here, giving the children a lot of freedom. They can disappear for hours at a time scrambling over the rocks, exploring  the many grassy paths which lead down to the coves where they mess around skimming stones into the sea.

After our last swim we walk back to the house sandy and salty, foraging as we go for a few leaves of wild cabbage which we have been adding to our daily green juice. We pack up the house and empty the fridge and veg box to make one last meal. It’s is almost the best one! Boiled eggs, steamed asparagus, rye bread, Cornish Yarg cheese and a Wild Sea Cabbage salad. Read More


Making Kefir and a Blueberry Smoothie

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Spring is in the air, the English countryside in East Devon is humming with bird song, the trees are suddenly bright with with electric green leaves unfurling from their sleepy brown branches. Blossom from the apple tree is fluttering down like flowery snow covering the ground like a carpet of petals, making everything feel brand new and fresh. There is nothing which connects me more to the here and now and with such gratitude than when England throws off her winter cloak and blesses us with a sunny day. Read More


Surviving Antibiotics: The Ultimate Prebiotic Salad


imageThere is usually a time in everyones life, however health conscious we are, and with the best will in the world, where we are presented with a compelling reason to take antibiotics. The decision to do this, can be a hard one, especially for those of us whose health is already compromised. It can be upsetting and disheartening when you have spent time and energy building up a healthy microbiome only to take antibiotics and feel like you are going back to square one. Read More


Spring Green Kimchi


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Kimchi  is  a traditional Korean dish made from whatever vegetables are in season with the addition of salt and spices and then fermented. It is so popular in Korea that it is eaten with almost every meal and is very much a part of their cultural and national identity.

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It took me a while to convince my husband that kimchi was going to be the new and healthy  addition to our meals. His meal in particular, because unlike me, he has a passion for chilli jam and Jamaican hot sauce. He was quite skeptical at the thought of something new taking the place of these much loved condiments. He has since become a kimchi convert, which makes me happy, knowing that he is eating something not only extremely tasty but with enormous healing potential to boot.

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The power of Broccoli sprouts 

imageThere is no doubt that sprouted seeds and legumes are really good for you. They are an incredibly nutritious and delicious food that can have an amazing impact on your health. I wanted to concentrate on broccoli sprouts because of all the seeds, these are the king. They are also one of the easiest to sprout, taking only a few days, and are a relatively small chore considering the huge benefits you will get. Even if you don’t have green fingers or a garden this is something which ensures you are getting a fresh raw nutrient dense food. It is also a fun activity to do with children!

These little sprouts are giants when it comes to the nutritional compounds and enzymes they contain. Broccoli sprouts contain a chemical called sulforaphane, which is a powerful anti oxidant and is one of the most potent substances for detoxifying the body. When the sprouts are chewed a compound called glucoraphanin produces sulforaphane which enhances the bodies ability to remove pollutants.  A study by  John Hopkins medical university has shown that broccoli sprouts can detoxify the body of common pollutants such as benzene and acrolein which you will be exposed to in heavily polluted areas such as a the petrol station or being around smokers. Read More


Due dates and dates

IMG_7024As I write this I am waiting for the arrival of my first grandchild. My daughter is only 27 years old but I have been nagging her for years to have a baby. I know this isn’t normal or responsible, but luckily she is! I am on tenter hooks, ready to spring into action and drive to London to be with her for the birth. I’ve been thinking of snacks to take with us, partly for her, to keep her strength up, but also for me. I’ve been told bananas are good, they provide slow release energy, are easy to digest and full of potassium. They are convenient and easy to carry, but I’m a bit nervous they will squish in our bag and no one wants to eat a brown squidgy banana, especially in mid contraction!

I’ve also been hearing pretty amazing things about dates. It seems these succulant jewels are power packed with goodness for pregnant women. A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology concluded that eating 6 dates daily during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy “significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable, but non significant, delivery outcome”  this is one of those incredible moments where old wisdom meets new scientific research. Read More


Forbidden Rice Porridge

imageThe once wild and lawless lands of Cudden Point, where smuggling was a way of life, are situated in the most south western tip of Cornwall. Here lie hidden coves tucked into the edges of the sea and protected by the shelter of  Mounts Bay. This dark and rich landscape, with its secretive history, combined with the treasured black rice of this post, made me think of all the summer holidays I have spent here with my children. The Forbidden black rice of this porridge echoing the colour of the black slate shoreline. Its an exotic and rare ingredient, like smugglers contraband brought in under cover of darkness from far off countries.

IMG_5277Now that my two elder daughters have left home I still meet in this beautiful and mysterious place, with my friend Cathy, her two children, and my son and niece every summer. We spend our time, making memories, and building on customs and traditions that grow as every summer passes. Even at the height of summer it is a demanding and challenging holiday and not one for sissies. A storm can whip up out of nowhere and tear your tent away and even when the sea looks calm, the strong undercurrents in the sea can snatch you out to sea when least expected. The weather can feel quite extreme and dramatic at times, but when the sun is shining and you watch your children gaining confidence as they jump higher off the rocks at each passing year, it is heaven on earth. Read More