April 2015 - Greenwich Pantry Blog
30 Apr

Kombucha is a drink to share

Have you ever been so busy that you’ve made a cup of tea to only then completely forget about it? I have. I’ll make a lovely cup of splosh (my preference is to take it without milk, you’ll later be reassured) and in due course see it sitting there staring at me stone cold. I don’t know about you, but I still drink it. I often take with me to bed a warming (caffeine free, perhaps chamomile) tea, but then suddenly grasped by dreams, fall asleep just as it’s cooled to that perfect slurp ready temperature. Typical. However it’s a pleasant rude awakening despite the gasping thirsties striking in the middle of the night, when there it is my good trusty old pal, cold tea. Now this may horrify some of you, but I can’t deny; I’ve even been known to make a cuppa, a pot even then go out, for the whole day sometimes and on my return gulp it down.

Of course soon after I’d likely follow it with a fresh pot. You could call it a sort of aperitif to my main tea. Then after the main tea comes the after tea, tea. I like Green or Mint, or even Green Mint.

So you see, I like tea. Naturally as it should be prepared, hot mostly and if I remember or stay conscious, take it fresh. For a parched mouth, I couldn’t think of a more refreshing lovelier drink.
So I for one, don’t mind an old tea is my point. However recently I was confronted by Kombucha.

Kombucha, popular in the Far East and Russia is essentially made from my favourite ingredient: Tea.

Fermented. Tea. Whoah there. Yes. Fermented Green Tea. Though, it’s the making of this drink that makes it (a really long process) so special.

Like a German Friendship Bread, it starts with a yeast mix that you have to care for like a newborn baby, keeping it warm and fed with sugars. Then once you’ve made your batch from the yeast mix given to you by someone else, you spawn your own batch and then pass the sci-fi creature-like activated mix on. In Kombucha’s case it thrives on naturally present sugars in the tea which cause the creature of bacteria and yeast to feed itself. If only real babies could.

If you’re not ready for all of this; rearing babies or the hobby of keeping libations like a beekeeper keeps bees, then Kombucha does come ready made in the form of Love Kombucha

It’s considered a super drink with probiotic benefits; improving digestion, balancing gut yeasts and also it apparently helps with your focus and mood elevation. It has also been cited as a powerful cure for hangovers because of the potency of it’s gluconic acid,  the powerful liver detoxifier it contains.

This is good because next to tea, my second favourite drink is whisky.

We’re celebrating sharing at the Greenwich Pantry and will be sampling Kombucha this weekend, come down to the basement cafe area of Greenwich West Community and Arts centre and try it along with lots of other delicious things and share your thoughts on this unique drink. Kombucha Tea from Greenwich Pantry

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25 Apr

Don’t Run on Empty.

I’m always keen to take various measures to try and curb my cake intake, decline wine and swap in salad. So far I’ve tried a Dri-eting, #Gymuary and now it’s London Health Week so I’ve no excuse.

I’ve even got a nifty discount #LHW15 wristband to keep me on the straight and narrow and by that, I mean it’s something other than simply willing my hips to stop expanding. This week I’ve been welcoming all the offers they’ve got with open (albeit always in need of a bit more tone) arms.

London’s Health Week is here to highlight local London companies whose products and services benefit wellness and can easily fit into our lifestyle; Foods you can order now that don’t compromise on taste and nutrition. There’s also a whole host of local activities with trial offers.

Armed with their handy little guide, (which can also be found on www.londonhealthweek.co.uk) it’s filled with offers including a whopping 30% discount  from us at the Greenwich Pantry where you can treat yourself healthy.

In this heaving, busy and beautifully chaotic city it’s easy to make excuses not to be healthy, run on empty calories even, but we’re lucky enough to live in an incredibly diverse city where access to a plethora of different healthy foods are never more than a hop, skip and a jump away. In London we’ve also the most open green space in a metropolitan area in Europe. Right, wheres my jump rope?

At Greenwich Pantry, as a special treat, we’re extending the 30% off-offer to our marvellous little Pop-Up shop which runs from Thursday 30th April until Saturday 1st of May, so you can stock up for the Bank Holiday weekend on items that are deliciously discounted.

Pick up highly effective, packed full of nutrients Aurospirul AV Supergreens Power (£6.26*). Rehydrate with Chi Coconut Water (£1.12*) or impress after-dinner guests with EqualiTea Cassablanca Dream Tea (£5.53*). We’ve bundles of healthy treats too; like the low-fat all about enjoyment, Healthy Pack-a-Snack Bundle containing  Emily Fruit Crisps, Little Miracles Goji Berry, Acai and Cherry White Tea and much more.

Healthy Pack-a-snack-Bundle

Healthy Pack-a-Snack-Bundle

 

Whilst it’s beautifully temperate to take a walk in the Spring sunshine we can also include a bit more exercise in our day, but hey why not make a day of it and pack a picnic? Visit the beautiful Greenwich Park after seeing us at our Pop-Up Shop. The lovely range from Rice DK would be great to take along  for a pretty picnic, too.

Blue Rice DK designs will bowl you over.

Blue Rice DK designs will bowl you over.

Healthy doesn’t have to be hard. Being fit as a fiddle doesn’t have to mean dieting and getting in good kilter doesn’t have to near kill you. Being healthy and happy on the inside and out is wildly different to simply restricting yourself.  I think of GP Lara’s mantra of “balance-balance-balance”.

We can look after our health holistically more than ever before. If you are an active bunny or need nutrition post workout, I like to gnaw on Bounce Almond Energy Balls that banish hunger and fatigue giving you the fuel you need to keep going. I’m thinking of you, super-humans running the London Marathon this Sunday. We’ll be cheering you on as you pass us in Greenwich tomorrow!  The very best of luck to you!

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23 Apr

Gourmet English Food We’re Celebrating on St. Georges Day

By George! Proudly Pack your Pantry with English Products.

 

We may not have had a National Day off, but here’s how I celebrated our National Day. St George the supposed Dragon Slayer was actually half Turkish so I thought I’d try Sun and Seed’s Raw Organic Apricot Kernel Butter and give them a mention. I adore Turkish Food and my new favourite is this sweet Mediterranean Apricot Kernel spread. It’s not a very traditional English breakfast, I know, but smooth this on some toasted brioche and wash it down with a Costa Rican coffee. It’s just splendid. It’s also not half bad on some quick bake pastry topped with fresh fruit for a quick naughty dessert too.

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 23.14.49

Speaking of dragons; entertain the little ones at bath-time with stories of how George slayed a fire breathing monster, how he was a courageous  knight. Or perhaps like me, ponder on how mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen’s hair stays so beautifully braided in every episode. Whether it’s for you or your little ones we’ve got Good Bubble’s Dragon fruit range, I love the gentle fruity British made cleansing bubble bath both nourishing and full of moisturising ingredients that us big kids will enjoy as much as little ones for a delicious smelling tropical plunge at bath-time.

Other notable events today are the birthdays of my Dad and also English icon William Shakespeare. A man after my own heart who wrote for Gromio: What say you to a piece of beef and mustard?

Next time you stock up on essentials on-line from The Greenwich Pantry, what about a little whistle stop tour around England. We’ve English treats a plenty!

From the Yorkshire Dales, I love the the versatility and vitality of Wharfe Valley’s Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil, it’s full of flavour from soaking up summers of England’s resplendent sunshine.

We’ve aIso got mouthwateringly thirst quenching, unmistakably fruity Blueberry and Blackcurrant cordial from Belvoir Fruit Farms. This is made in the stunning Lincolnshire countryside. It’s a grown up sort of squash and my salubrious tip for when cordially invited to, is to add a dash to the bottom of a glass of British Sparking wine for an English version of a Kir Royale.
belvoir-blueberry-and-blackcurrant-cordial-133-p

If we visit our south-west, from Cornwall’s picturesquely rugged coast we have The Cornish Sea Salt Co; Lemon & Thyme is one of GP’s top popular buys for adding a tangy aromatic zing to almost every essential summer dish.

Now the English backbone of many of my dishes, ardent supporters of British produce are the lovely Hodmedod’s Beans. Their dried peas and beans make up a staple part of my pantry as way of making soups and salads so much more satisfyingly substantial. You can’t Diss their magical dried snacking beans for an alternative way of filling up instead of munching on salty crisps between meals either. (P.S They’re actually from Diss!)

hodmedods-whole-dried-kabuki-beans-marrowfat-peas-500g-239-p[ekm]70x70[ekm]

To be a champion at breakfast, the best way to start the day is with what we love; award winning Bonallack’s Great Granola which is hand made in Norfolk. Unlike most granola commercially available it is packed with natural goodness and very little else. They use English apples too.

So whether from North, East, South or West, Greenwich Pantry knows the best provenders to pack your pantry with.

Come and try some of our English favourites at our pop up shop next weekend, starting on the 30th April. We’re also raising money for the Mental Health Activity Trust, get a ticket and get some goodies.We hope to see you then!

 

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09 Apr

Sun’s Out, Buns Out.

Oh how that big shiny yellow ball in the sky gladdens my heart.

Another thing that brings joy to my soul is Jam. Simply good Jam, with a pot of tea. Jam on buns and on finger sandwiches; oh yes it’s time for the timely old tradition of Afternoon Tea.

I’m not talking silver service, stuffy expensive afternoon tea at a hotel with your Aunty Mabel. Although I’m known to have a penchant for dollies once in a while, we should do it more often. At home, alone, at work even or outside; especially when today is as beautiful as today. Go on have Afternoon Tea, al fresco if you can.

Start by putting down that thing you’re doing. Right now and just get your buns out. Spread them with juicy delicious, tangy sweet delightful jam and have a moment. That’s it, just you and your buns.

Well, share this moment if you will, just excuse yourself if in company but try to make a date of it at least once a week.

Brew a decent cuppa, let the caffeine gently perk you up whilst the sugars do the thing that sugars do and you’ll be right as ninepence. Well at least until supper time.

Right now, I’m indulging in Campbell’s Perfect Tea and the delectable honey-like consistency of Granny’s Secret Rosehip Light Jam on a scone or two.

Rosehips are full of vitamin C, Tea is naturally high in antioxidants and sitting in front of the windows wide open bathed in glorious Spring sunshine, I’m getting a much needed dose of vitamin D, too. You could say that taking Afternoon Tea is practically beneficial to your health, well you could.

Time for Tea

Time for Tea

Ahh, that’s more like it. Now, back to the grindstone for now.

Have a Sunny Afternoon.

x

 

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