The high street breakfast as you know is soon to be a thing of the past.

When you think of breakfast from a high street restaurant chain, you’d be forgiven for thinking of porridge and yoghurt. Although the industry has tried to vary the breakfast menu in recent years, scrambled eggs have never been an option. Although we can’t be certain, it would make sense that some chains may have had doubts about the demand and also the preparation – I mean, eggs are great but not if they are cold and stale.

Two high street chains have decided to challenge the status quo and now have scrambled eggs on the menu.

First up is Starbucks who is definitely taking a big step away from the standard panini, toast and porridge. Their Hot Breakfast Boxes come in two options: Super Scrambled Eggs Tomato and Spinach and Spicy Chorizo, Poached Egg and Potato. Their hot boxes are actually kept in the display case and given to the barista to warm up when you order. So not freshly scrambled but definitely a break from the norm.

Scrambled Eggs - Starbucks

Next up is Vital Ingredient and in keeping with the Vital Ingredient ethos, the scrambled eggs are made right in front of you! You can choose from Old Fashioned Scrambled Egg (Natural, topped with cracked black pepper), Green Eggs Scrambled Egg (Avocado, feta and chilli flakes), Supreme Scrambled Egg (Smoked Salmon and fresh herbs) or Kick Starter Scrambled Egg (Ham hock, grana padano, and cracked black pepper). Vital have also added gluten free protein pancakes and protein smoothies to the menu.

Scrambled Eggs on the High Street

Although Leon isn’t offering scrambled eggs (yet), you’ve always been able to depend on their egg pots. And in addition to their egg pots, they have recently launched a very veggie egg pot with mushrooms, halloumi, beans and eggs – the combination of those flavours are spot on.

Scrambled Eggs on the High Street - Leon

So if you are a carb-conscious busy body who has previously been wary of high street breakfasts you can now head to the high street before 10am with confidence.

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We were given an opportunity to try Myvitamins’ Brown Rice Protein Powder and Chlorella so we jumped on it. The products were launched as part of their new range of vegan proteins and superfoods.

Not too long ago if you were looking for protein powder you would find dozens of whey protein powders but very few vegan protein powders. Thankfully the landscape has changed and it’s easy to get your hands on different kinds of vegan protein.

Myvitamins’ Brown Rice Protein Powder provides 24g of protein per serving making it a suitable protein supplement for vegans. When paired with Pea Protein Powder you have a blend that provides the complete amino acid mix. Although it is unflavoured we found it to have a bit of an aftertaste so preferred it for pancakes and biscuits as opposed to shakes.

Brown Rice Protein Powder Pancakes

We were pleasantly surprised to find that chlorella packed such a nutritional punch and can be incorporated into the daily diet. The powdered algae contains a range of key vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins B12, D and E and iron, calcium and potassium – just a 5g serving of chlorella will give you more than the RDA of Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. It’s also a great source of chlorphyll and is purported to improve gut health. If taken in powder form it can be added to water, juice or your favourite smoothie. If you choose to add to juice or water make sure it gets a good shake and stir.

Myvitamins Chlorella

Other products in the range include vegan protein, soy protein, hemp protein, spirulina, cacao powder, hemp seeds, chia seeds and maca powder.

Find out more at myvitamins.com

Five Reasons to Drink CoffeeViews on coffee are mixed – some say don’t, some say do – but according to Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, coffee is a do – as a matter of fact, he reckons it’s one of the healthiest drinks you can consume. So here are 5 good reasons to drink coffee:

1 Coffee Slows Down the Effects of Ageing

Research undertaken at Stanford University, discovered an inflammatory mechanism in older people that acted as a driver of cardiovascular disease and other noncommunicable diseases.  The team also found that the inflammation levels were lower in people who consumed caffeine, so your daily espresso could be protecting you from certain ailments in later years.

2 People Who drink Coffee Live Longer

Which makes sense given the findings in reason number 1. A review of studies conducted over nearly 50 years and involving nearly one million participants concluded that those who backed as many as 4 cups of coffee a day lowered their mortality by 16 percent!

3 Coffee Can Lower the Risk of Diabetes

In a review of nine studies on coffee and type 2 diabetes, it was found that those who said that drank six or seven cups of coffee a day were 35% less likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who drank less than two cups a day. Experts think it has more to do with the antioxidants and minerals than the caffeine, meaning that your decaf cuppas could be offering the same benefits.

4 Social responsibility

Choose your source well and you could be contributing to any number of socially and ethically responsible causes. According to Fairtrade,  ‘certified coffee producer organisations are guaranteed to receive at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price for their coffee, which aims to cover their costs of production and act as a safety net when market prices fall below a sustainable level’. Because of Fairtrade, farmers in countries like Tanzania, Nicaragua, Paua New Guinea, Colombia and others receive a fair price for their coffee.

5 The smell

Admittedly if you are not a fan this reason may not sway but if you are you’ll know about how the aroma of a full bodies coffee gives you a gentle jolt. Science also backs this up, and early studies indicate that the mere whiff of coffee can reduce the effects of sleep deprivation.

So there you have it, five perfectly valid reasons for indulging in one of life’s small pleasures!

 

Sources

Why This Is The Healthiest Beverage You Can Drink: A Harvard MD Explains, http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-24980/why-this-is-the-healthiest-beverage-you-can-drink-a-harvard-md-explains.html

Coffee Slows Down the Effects of Ageing, http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/35099/20170118/coffee-slows-down-effects-aging.htm

Coffee and Your Health, http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/coffee-new-health-food#1

Fairtrade Foundation, About Coffee, http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/farmers-and-workers/coffee/about-coffee

Coffee’s Aroma Enough to Stir Brain?, http://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20080613/coffees-aroma-stirs-the-brain

Waitrose has launched a new range of healthy foods which have been inspired by the ever increasing trend for nutritious foods that are innovative, trendy and of course good for you. Look out for breakfast salads, sorghum and new vegan products from the popular supermarket.

We know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the new Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine (269 kcals and 281 kcals respectively) breakfast salads are a great source of protein and make a change to the typical ‘busy’ breakfasts of porridge or toast. The breakfast salads contain spinach, red rice, quinoa, egg and dollop of hollandaise.

Waitrose Eggs Benedict Breakfast Salad Waitrose Eggs Florentine Breakfast Salad
Soghum, a grain that is being tipped as the new quinoa can be found in Waitrose’s Vegan Grains and Raw Vegetables Salad which as the name implies ticks a few other health trends too. The low fat salad contains raw shredded butternut squash and beetroot and mixed with a vegan raw carrot and miso dressing.

Waitrose Vegan Grains and Raw VegetablesWaitrose Wholewheat Noodles and Vegetable Stir Fry

According to Simona Cohen-Vida, Product Developer at Waitrose, ‘What healthy eaters consume in the US, British shoppers will usually follow. There’s a movement towards not cutting down or taking things out of your diet. The best way to keep health intentions on track is to add new ingredients to dishes. By adding this variety, mealtimes remain interesting and help you get natural goodness from your food, with the vegetables making it easier to reach your five a day. All of our new range is either ready-made or ready to cook so they’ll save time in the kitchen too’.

In addition to breakfast salads and sorghum, Waitrose have also responded to customer demands by adapting their stir fry meals with runner beans and broccoli cut into noodle shapes to make dishes lower in carbs. They also now sell quinoa fried rice and are the first UK supermarket to sell fresh wholewheat noodles.

Well done, Waitrose, well done.

2017 Food Trends

By BBB

2017 food trends

A New Year wouldn’t be complete without a new food trend to follow. So just to make sure you aren’t caught on the back foot, here are some of the 2017 food trends you should be on the lookout for:

Purple Foods

Purple Broccoli 2017 Food Trend
Image Credit: Bruce S

It looks like purple is the new black. According to Whole Foods, who monitor consumer food behaviour, richly coloured foods are the ones to watch in 2017 so we can expect foods like purple cauliflower, black rice, purple asparagus, and purple corn to start popping up on menus and in supermarkets near you.

Flexitarianism

flexitarianism 2017 food trend
Image credit: Med.com.au

Also known as semi-vegetarianism, this trend sees people reducing their meat intake and even potentially restricting it to certain times such as weekends. Whether or not you see it as vegetarians eating meat occasionally or meat eaters eating more plant based foods, is six of one and half a dozen of the other. What this trend does show is that plant based meals are becoming a priority for many.

Turmeric Lattes

turmeric powder 2017 food trend
Image Credit: Steven Jackson

Turmeric which began to gain some ‘trend traction’ seems likely to remain popular in 2017 so expect turmeric lattes to become more of a staple and less of a trend. Known for its many benefits, turmeric combined with warm milk and the sweetener of your choice may seem ‘unconventional’ but makes for a great hot drink.

Charcoal

Charcoal Bagel 2017 food trend

Yep, the black stuff. Normally reserved for balancing an upset stomach, charcoal is gradually muscling it’s way onto the food scene. Waitrose currently stock some products such as charcoal and sesame biscuits, a charcoal and chia seed-topped bagel and cold pressed charcoal juice. The jury is still out on whether or not this is a useful new trend but it will certainly make for some cool Instagram snaps.

Vegetable Crisps

vegetable crisps 2017 food trends

Alternative crisps look set to be on the rise as well. While a few brands have ventured into the world of kale crisps and root vegetable crisps in recent years, alternative crisps are also likely to become more of a trend in 2017. So look out for your favourite (or least favourite veg) to be served in a handy portable crisp packet.

Ultimately, these trends show that the restaurant industry listens to what we want. According to the results of a recent survey among catering specialists and restaurants about food trends, we should be seeing more gluten free options, healthy alternatives, locally sourced food, vegetarianism and veganism.

If anything, these trends show that we are becoming more and more health conscious which can only be a good thing. So here’s to a healthy (and balanced) 2017!

The Conscious Cake Company Higher Heart Chakra Vanilla & Gold

What do you call a sugar-free, nut-free, wheat-free and gluten free cake? A Conscious Cake!

In addition to being the healthy, these cakes are also a movement for political, social and economic change in the food industry.

These Conscious Cake Company’s artisan cupcakes are not just the healthiest cupcakes money can buy – they are also a movement for political, social and economic change in the food industry and business in the UK and around the world.

Owner Danica Apolline started making healthy cakes for her young son, these cupcakes are organic, vegan, and free from cane sugar, wheat, gluten, nuts and GMOs. Passionate about the science behind blessing food with love, each has a wish for health, happiness and love for everyone who eats one.

The Conscious Cake Company Mini CupcakesYou’ll find flavours such as Root Chakra Chocolate Orange, Higher Heart Chakra Vanilla & Gold and Solar Plexus Chakra Lemon. Mini cupcakes can be purchased in boxes of 12 or 24 or you can opt for a chocolate or chocolate orange cake.

The Conscious Cake Company goes beyond their cakes when looking at how to challenge the status quo – they have also created a business environment free from toxic chemicals used in cleaners and air fresheners, challenged the wage disparity between employees and introduced a Kindness Policy across the business.

If you want to try their cakes for yourself you can order them from Yumbles (free delivery in London).

More info:

www.consciouscakecompany.com

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Turmeric Latte

By BBB

Turmeric Latte

Turmeric lattes (also known as golden mylk, golden milk and turmeric milk) have been a bit of a cult favourite for a little while, but now that the weather is beginning to get cooler, it feels like the right alternative to the mainstream spiced latte.

Often associated with cooking, turmeric is a dried powdered spice whose benefits have been long appreciated in India.  Initially lauded for its anti-inflammatory benefits and impact on cancer risk later studies on the golden spice have indicated its potential for regulating blood sugar balance and improving cognitive and kidney function amongst other things. It’s list of health benefits are lengthy and impressive – it’s a wonder it’s taken the west so long to catch on!

Although traditionally made with cow’s milk, you can make a turmeric latte with your milk of choice. If you aren’t up for making your own at home, here are a few places you can find a turmeric latte in London:

Planet Organic

Various branches

Crussh

Various branches

Tiosk Broadway Market, Hoxton

33 Broadway Market, London E8 4PH

Nama, Notting Hill

110 Talbot Road, London W11 1JR

The Mae Deli

21 Seymour Place, London, W1H 5BH

Parcafé

The Dorchester Hotel, 53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1QA

If you know of other places in London that serve turmeric lattes, please let us know so that we can update the list!

 

Dubbed the hidden gem of the Southbank, The Table Cafe serves their brunch with a side of social responsibility.

Brunch at The Table Café can be as sweet or as savoury as you want it to be. You’ll find brunch staples like eggs benedict and eggs Florentine in addition to specials like the Breakfast Bruschetta (below)- sliced tomatoes & avocado on sourdough toast, two poached eggs & streaky bacon or smoked salmon.

Breakfast Bruschetta Brunch at the Table

If you prefer a sweeter brunch there are classic pancakes and waffles to choose from alongside pancakes and waffles with a twist like the Belle Helene waffle (below) topped with saffron poached pear, mascarpone and hot chocolate sauce.

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Vegans can opt for The Vegan Borough – avocado on toast, steamed spinach, grilled tomatoes, homemade veggie baked beans, herby mushrooms & sweet potato wedges and vegetarians can try The Veggie Borough – organic fried eggs, grilled halloumi, buttered spinach, homemade veggie baked beans, grilled tomato, herby mushrooms & sourdough toast.

If you need a gluten free option try the No-gluten pumpkin and pecan pancake made with buckwheat, corn & gluten-free flour. For the meals that come with bread, just ask for the gluten free substitute.

Although the food at The Table Cafe is worth talking about it is the restaurant’s social responsibility that really sets it apart from the rest. In addition to a commitment to ethical sourcing and the use of quality British ingredients, The Table Café works with homeless charity St Mungo’s meaning that the herbs and vegetables yielded from the initiative are supplied to The Table Café, providing revenue for the charity, and fresh, local produce for the restaurant. The Table Café also has a two star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

So if you are ready to try a brunch with a difference, check out the menu at The Table Café. The taste and quality of the food is unforgettable, but the real attraction is knowing that your patronage benefits a wider community.

For more info visit:

http://www.thetablecafe.com/

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Balance is Best

By BBB

Healthy eating

The term healthy eating is subjective. Despite the term popping up on a range of products, we are all different people with different requirements for a healthy lifestyle.

The landscape for the various nutritional requirements is very broad now: there are people who follow a paleo diet, clean eaters, flexitarians, pescatarians, carb cyclers, intermittent fasters, people who follow a ketogenesis  diet and the list goes on.

So we couldn’t help but chuckle when we saw an article the other day reporting findings from an Ohio State study which showed that ‘during times of stress, a healthy meal of steamed chicken prepared with sunflower oil is as bad for your heart as deep-fried wings’. Based on these findings, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s better to relax and enjoy a few more carbs than get yourself into a tizzy by double checking the calorie count of everything you have planned to eat for the day.

If nothing else the post made us feel even more convinced that the truly healthy approach has to be a balanced approach taking not just physical health into account but mental health also. There is also an argument for considering the impact our choices have on the environment.

We will continue to try and cover as many healthy restaurants and products as we can but we know that what is healthy for one is not healthy for another so bear with us. At the moment we are on the look out out for restaurants that either specifically cater to people with certain dietary requirements, and / or restaurants that make a commitment to prepare meals using only the best ingredients. We ultimately want you to have even more choice when it comes to your personal dietary needs.

So this is just a short post to encourage everyone to strive for balance – ‘cause there’s no point eating a healthy meal that has no benefit because you are stressed.

Kebabs Get a Bad Wrap

By BBB

…and understandably so considering what you’re sometimes met with when you walk into a kebab shop.

Kebabs

How ‘healthy’ your kebab is boils down to two things: your choice of meat and your choice of sauce.

The doner kebab – the preferred option for a lot of post ravers – has a shaky nutrition reputation. According to a BBC report in 2009 ‘Trading Standards officers have found doners with up to 22% fat, and up to 12g of salt – that’s two heaped teaspoons, double the recommended daily intake’.

Shish kebabs are definitely the way to go if you like Mediterranean tucker without the extra fat, sodium and general aggro of trying to figure out what is actually in your meal. If you’re keeping an eye on your fat intake, chicken is the leaner option.

Sauces are where people usually stumble. Chilli sauce and garlic sauce are the typical choices for kebabs, but house sauce, ketchup and burger sauce are alternative options.

If you can handle it, chilli sauce is the way to go. Although recipes vary from shop to shop, chilli sauce is basically a combination of tomatoes, onions, garlic, mint sauce, vinegar and chillies. No fat and all the benefits that come with chillies – vitamin C, vitamin A and capsaicin.

Garlic sauce is a bit more of a wild card –  traditional recipes only list yoghurt, minced garlic and lemon as ingredients. Unless your local kebab shop is prepared to let you read the label on their garlic sauce, it may be best to ask for it on the side or pass on it all together.

Burger sauce, house sauce and ketchup are definite wild cards. Burger and house sauce tend to use salad cream as a base while ketchup is generally loaded with sugar.

Regardless of the meat and/or sauce you choose, you can notch up the healthy factor by piling on the veggies: cabbage, onions, tomato, cucumbers and peppers.

The bottom line – a kebab is only as naughty or nice as you make it.