For The Love Of (Organic) Coffee

At times, drinking coffee can get a bad rap particularly if too many cups a day are consumed. 

But Jo Woods loves nothing better than to start her day with a cup of rich, aromatic coffee - provided that it's organic, of course!

Jo is famous for her support of all things organically grown and produced, it is also the reason she founded her organic fragrance and beauty range.

Organically grown coffee is free of pesticides and chemical residues, prompting coffee lovers like Jo to say it has a fuller, richer flavour than conventionally grown coffee.

"The antioxidants found in organic coffee beans are a healthy bonus" says Jo.  "But, even a health-boosting cup of organic coffee can be made unhealthy by adding bad ingredients" she says. 

So here are Jo's top tips to enhance your cup of coffee whilst making it even more nutritious:

  • Use paper coffee filters as these capture any potential impurities .
  • Why not add one or two teaspoons of organic, unsweetened cocoa powder to make your cuppa even more delicious? Cocoa in coffee helps to satisfy chocolate cravings, advances antioxidants already present in coffee and reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Spice up your cup of steaming coffee with cinnamon. Over and above tasting fantastic, cinnamon lowers cholesterol and helps regulate blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. Yum! 
  • If you need a sweet taste, use only aspartame-free, natural sweeteners. Sugar, whether white or brown and artificial sweeteners should never make contact with coffee! Stevia is a better option. Jo loves to add a teaspoon of Yucon syrup.
  • Cut out dairy milk and cream as well as artificial coffee creamers which use artificial colours as well as added sugar and sodium - really bad for you!
  • Another no-no are the syrups which are loaded with sugar. Avoid!
  • Coconut oil gets a yes - add a generous teaspoon full for a brain and heart function boost.
  • Try butter coffee which contains small amounts of health boosting MCT. Not too much though, the calorie count is quite high.

Jo's absolute favourite cup of coffee is an organic espresso to which she adds a half-teaspoon of Maca powder which is known to balance hormones and provide an energy boost.

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Top 5 Organic Christmas Gifts

Of course it goes without saying that our absolute fave organic christmas gifts are Amka or Usiku Eau de Toilette, but if you're looking for something else to add to your organic requests for Santa, look no further...

1. Booja Booja Chocolate 

boojabooja chocolates

The guys and gals over at Booja Booja make some seriously delicious chocolate treats; we're huge fans of their Fin De Champagne truffles, in particular. 

It took some serious mental strength to avoid eating all of these delicious morsels before we'd taken the photos (they didn't last long after the final shot was taken, that's for sure.) 

Available at Planet Organic, amongst other stockists. 

http://www.boojabooja.com/

2. Hurraw Lip Balm

For a lip smackingly good moisturising treat, we love Hurraw Lip Balm as a stocking filler Christmas gift. 

Available at Planet Organic, they come in a bunch of different types: Almond, Earl Grey, and Coconut to name but a few. Pucker up! 

http://www.planetorganic.com

3. FAIR Wines and Spirits

FAIR goji

 

As it's the festive season, it would be wrong to not indulge in a little tipple... right?! Check out the guys over at Fair Liqueur; they do their absolute best to ensure only the finest and responsibly sourced ingredients are used. 

We particularly love their Goji Liqueur, rich in antioxidants, and using Goji Berries sourced from organic farms in Uzbekistan. 

http://www.fairspirits.com

4. Organic Hamper Company

Can't make your mind up enough to decide on one gift? Fear not, at the Organic Hamper Company you can get yourself a whole selection. 

We're particularly keen on the All I Want For Christmas hamper, which includes chocolates, tea, coffee, chutneys and jams amongst other organic nibbles. 

http://organichampercompany.com/

5. Chocolate Naive

We know we've already covered the topic of chocolate in this blog post, but you can never have enough. Never, ever. So... Please be introduced to Chocolate Naive, who make beautiful, organic chocolate treats, saying "Just as they were hundreds of years ago, cacao beans are slowly rolled and conched to release their extraordinary bouquet of fruits, nuts and flowers in a delicately finished chocolate bar". 

We're particular fans of Honey, and also the Gourmet Collection; fill your stockings with them, people! 

http://chocolatenaive.com/

 

 

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Recipe: Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

This super quick, indulgent recipe is brought to us by Natasha Corrett... Thanks Natasha! 

Ingredients

  • 100g coconut flour
  • 50g raw cacao powder, plus 1/2 tsp for dusting
  • 500ml hemp rice or almond milk
  • 120g vegan butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 130g agave syrup
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 150°C

Sift the cacao powder and coconut flour into a bowl

Put the milk, vegan butter, syrup, almond butter, eggs and vanilla into a blender and blend for one minute until well blended.

Gently fold the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until combined.

Line the base of a greased springform cake tin with grease proof paper, and pour in the mixture.

Bake for 20-40 minutes, depending on the thickness. Check it after 20 minutes by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, then it is cooked. If you like something a little more gooey then hold your nerve and take it out when there is just a little residue on the skewer. It will continue to set as it cools.

Leave it to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, and then transfer to a serving plate. 

Enjoy! 

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Three of Jo Wood's Favourite Organic Products

Having lived an organic life for the last 20 years, Jo has tried and tested numerous organic food products… Here, she shares with you three of her favourites…

 

  1. Biona Organic Raw Coconut Oil

A staple in Jo’s house, this coconut product is not only a key ingredient in much of Jo’s cooking, it’s also a great skin treatment. Jo notes that “I’m a big fan of natural oil-based products, not only in cooking but as part of my daily beauty regime too… Used in many countries as a beauty essential; just look at all the beautiful Polynesian women who are famed for their lovely shiny long hair and great skin!”.

http://www.ethicalsuperstore.com/products/biona/biona-organic-virgin-coconut-oil-200g/ 

 

  1. Riverford 

“I can’t live without Riverford Organic vegetables; they’re an essential in my house” says Jo. Offering seasonal vegetable boxes, Riverford offer products that are not only organic but also do their bit for food sustainability by reducing waste. Riverford say “We hate food waste here at Riverford, and compared to farmers who supply supermarkets we have very little; selling direct to the customer means that every vegetable already has a home in our veg boxes before it is even planted.”. Big love for Riverford!

https://www.riverford.co.uk/

 

  1. The Wine Butler 

Now... we’re not going to pretend that drinking wine is necessarily the most healthy lifestyle choice, but all things in moderation can be good for you! For this reason, our friends over at The Wine Butler are our heroes; not only do they deliver to your door, but all of their wines are organic. They say “Unlike most supermarket wines, our organic wine hasn’t been made with artificial chemicals or a concoction of additives. So it tastes authentic, pure and of the place it was made”. Just try and hold us back from their wonderful tipples.

https://thewinebutler.co.uk/

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Recipes: Autumn Pumpkin Soup

One of Jo's favourites, this lovely autumnal soup can also be made with butternut squash.

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tbs of coconut oil or butter

500g of cooked, mashed pumpkin

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

750ml hot chicken or vegetable stock

125ml double cream 

Method

Gently brown the onion in the coconut oil or butter. Add the mashed pumpkin, together with the salt, sugar, nutmeg and pepper. Slowly add the chicken or vegetable stock and heat thoroughly, but do not allow to boil. Pour into a tureen and add the cream. Sprinkle with feta and parsley, to serve. 

Enjoy! 

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