Author: BBB

Urban Tri 17

By BBB

Balance Festival is back!

The Balance Urban Tri returns on 30 September, bringing back London’s most balanced fitness challenge.

500 balance seekers will sweat it out with some of the UK’s top boutique fitness studios and trainers.

Attendees can expect a multi-disciplinary workout consisting of:

1 x 30 min bespoke workout (30 mins)
a RUN
1 x 30 min HIIT session

Plus, when you finish your session, you can take part in a mass yoga session, healthy BBQ, Juices & Refuel Zone, activewear Showcase, DJs, bands and afternoon party vibes.

Click here to book tickets or find out more

You’d be forgiven for assuming that veggie balls would be bland and pointless, but we’ve given them a go and can honestly say that they are delicious.

Heck veggie balls

Heck Foods, the brand behind Heck sausages seems to have understood that the rise of flexitarianism was an opportunity to launch meat free products to the standard that they make their other products.

Whether you opt for the Super Green balls or the Thai Bite balls, we think you will be pleasantly surprised with their flavour and texture. They don’t taste like a meat substitute – they taste like fragrant, well-seasoned vegetables.

The Super Green veggie balls are made with quinoa, spinach, kale and ginger and a serving size (three meatballs) is only 124kcals. There are 9 veggie balls in a pack and the preparation is easy – bung ’em in the oven for about 25 minutes, turning over halfway through.

We tried them on a bed of rocket with linguine, but think they are likely to taste great in a wrap, on a salad, with rice… you get the drift. Whether you are a die hard or fair-weathered vegetarian, these veggie balls are versatile enough for a number of meal ideas.

If you want to give them a go you can get them at Waitrose or via the Heck Foods website

    

Tortilla Vegetarian

Tortilla has always looked out for their vegetarian customers by providing a menu that is easily customisable but in recent months they have joined the Vegetarian Society – the only legally licensed vegetarian trademark registered globally.

If you don’t know who Tortilla are yet, here is a quick overview:

Tortilla started on 2007 after the owners saw a gap in the market for good burritos and tacos. More than just burrito producers, Tortilla take special care to ensure that they operate sustainably. They use grass fed beef and higher welfare chicken and pork, minimise ‘food miles’ by purchasing most of their ingredients from within the UK, prioritising organic food and providing recycling in their restaurants.

Tortilla work hard to keep the customer first by offering healthier options like the lower carb naked burrito and providing nutritional information for their meals so that customers can make informed decisions.

By the time you add free guacamole for vegetarian diners to their list of attributes, it makes it hard to not want to at least give them a try.

For locations click here

For more info visit click here

   

*Guacamole is a additional cost for non-vegetarian customers

 

Mandira Yoghurt Bar 4

Covent Garden is set to be home to London’s first ever fresh yoghurt bar.

Not to be confused with the frozen yoghurt joints that have popped up with force over the past few years, Mandira  yoghurt bar serves fresh yoghurt bowls with a light fruit or vegetable topping, making a healthy snack or a deliciously simple standalone meal.

Although this is a new concept in the UK, in Turkey, “mandıra” are traditional shops selling artisanal dairy products which are found all across the country. The Mediterranean inspiration is evident in menu options like Hummus & Za’atar, Cucumber & Mint, Aubergine & Tomato Puree and the yoghurt bowls will be presented in a classic Mediterranean style with olive oil, pepper and salt.

Mandira Yoghurt Bar 2

There will also be options more suited to a Western palette such as Raspberry & Walnut, Granola & Strawberry and Blueberry & Green Apple.

Mandira Yoghurt Bar 3

Other menu items are also inspired by the Mediterranean such as their homemade, hearty soups and sandwiches served on traditional Turkish simit bread.

What’s more, Mandira uses only the freshest ingredients, including yoghurt sourced from a handful of small farms just outside the capital. Due to open end of April/beginning of May 2017, the Mandira yoghurt bar will be open seven days a week, for eating in or take away. In the meantime you can get your yoghurt fix via Deliveroo.

More info

www.mandiralondon.com

ambience
ambience
Image credit: Shutterstock

We think it’s wonderful that so many restaurants are either featuring healthier products or specialising in healthy niches. However, as the market grows, is simply serving up a quirky latte enough or should more attention be paid to a restaurant’s ambience and environment?

A few months ago we visited a café in West London based on a recommendation from one of our readers. The menu boasted artisan coffees and classic meals made with the best ingredients so we were certain this was going to be a great visit.

Unfortunately, the background music of choice for the day was hip hop and every track was littered with f-bombs and the usual controversial terminology that is synonymous with hip hop music. For us it was nothing short of awkward but looking around no one else seemed bothered by it, so it was bottoms up for us and over the road for a latte from a high street chain who played no music.

Fast forward to the other day when we travelled to a café in East London that also came highly recommended from a reader.

Everything about the place was a win for us: a menu that had low carb options, gluten free options, offered breakfast all day and their interior invited people to chillax with play areas for children and a number of books scattered around for you to flick through. Unfortunately when it came time to pay the bill we noticed that we had been accidentally charged for an extra coffee. No biggie right? Wrong! After flagging the discrepancy at the till, the member of staff who dealt with us said ‘well, I remember making two decaf lattes’. Fair enough (sorta), so we caught the attention of the waitress who served us to ask her to confirm how many coffees she served and she put her hands up in the air defensively and remarked that it had nothing to do with her. The member of staff at the till eventually subtracted the extra coffee from the bill… after going through every single ticket.

It’s understandable that a business would want to watch the pennies, but surely you would believe the customer for the sake of the cost of a coffee, no?

These experiences led us to wonder whether if some of these healthy restaurants are relying on their food to attract the punters and giving little attention to the other factors that make a great dining experience.

Are busy bodies willing to sacrifice good service or pleasant ambience for meals that are tailored to their dietary requirements or do busy bodies want their (gluten-free) cake and want to eat it too? Let us know in the comments below!

Scrambled Eggs on the High Street

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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Myvitamins Chlorella

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 Coffee

Five Reasons to Drink Coffee
Views 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

11 Amazing Benefits of Coffee (#7 Will Surprise You), https://www.healthambition.com/benefits-of-coffee/

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.

Charcoal Bagel 2017 food trend

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!