What's Exciting In Store This Week, Recipe Ideas and Food Revolution Natter…

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Remember the last newsletter with the dismal talk about drought and the state it had our farmers in?
Here we are, a week later with relief, rain abounds in Jozi, the relenting heat has taken a back seat and our souls are experiencing a similar relief to the soil.
This makes me happy. If this continues, farmers woes will lift and we can start looking forward to the greater variety of organic, seasonal produce that summer offers.
We’re already seeing it this week. My delights in-store this week on the organic fresh produce front have without a doubt been the large indigenous cucumbers, an abundance of garlic, garlic chives, green patty pans, the first crop of Summer salad tomatoes, nectarines, beetroot, green peppers, gems, sweet corn and leeks.
The thing with beetroot and summer is that it’s very hard to make a salad with roast beetroot that isn’t silly delicious. Cube beetroot, toss over olive oil and a good balsamic, salt and pepper and roast for 40 minutes – then let it come to room temperature and then there is very little you can’t pair with it to make it gorgeous.
Also the colour the platter makes when you use roast beetroot as a base and then add your green nutrition is bold and inviting. Micro leaves or the ridiculously nutritious sprouts (japanese radish, fenugreek and alfalfa in at the moment) tossed over looks and tastes incredible.
Also anything ‘green onion’ contrasts beautifully with the sweetness of the beetroot so I find that either spring onions and even more so – garlic chives – work well. The small little strikes of green from the chopped chives set against the purple of the beetroot also just looks silly beautiful.
Then add a bold cheese and you’ve one bold, full easy salad done very easily. Sharper cheeses work well against the sweetness of beetroot, saltier cheeses just slam against it and make a party in your mouth so goat’s cheeses are always my favourite pairing also from a texture point of view.
Beetroot is silky smooth and goat’s cheeses are more coarse and again contrast well. I fret when I see a roast beetroot salad that has a smooth silky cheese with it – just doesn’t work in your mouth, too much smooth when contrast is the tone that accentuates the beauty of anything:)
Anyway, that’s beetroot out the way, hope it has inspired you, I’ve just made myself hungry.
Which brings me to the next thing I want to talk about that is causing a stir that I’m currently eating as I write. The Hungry Herbivore Coconut Chips. I’m eating the cheese and onion ones, my firm favourite.
I think this is perhaps the highlight of the year in terms of snacks that deliver such a strong burst of flavor satisfaction. I always choose the cheese & onion ones because I don’t do sugar of any description not even coconut sugar so these, with the ingredients being coconut, nutritional yeast, onion powder, fresh lemon juice, turmeric, paprika and sea salt are my first go to snack if I’m on the run. If you aren’t as nazi with me about sugar and are happy with small amounts of coconut sugar – then the new other flavors are going to delight you – Salted Caramel – coconut, coconut blossom sugar, pure vanilla bean and sea salt – Spicy BBQ – coconut, tamari, raw apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar, chilli powder, sea salt and liquid smoke and then of course the Chocolate one – coconut, raw cacao, coconut sugar, pure vanilla bean and sea salt.
These are of course – way better snack fillers for children’s lunch-boxes than their conventional counterparts. I just wish I had a daughter who didn’t hate coconut but most other kids find these great as a replacement for crisps and the horror those contain, so try them out for lunch-boxes or mid morning or afternoon snacking if need be.
The other thing I’m starting to become quite dependant on and enjoying too much is the Earthshine Flax Crackers.
They are coming silly handy for quick lunches that I can make while I’m still working. The Earthshine flax crackers are made from raw and dehydrated brown and golden flax seeds. Again, they’ve just got the flavour just right like Hungry Herbivore.
We’re a far cry ahead from the days when we had to eat bland rice cakes as a base and that excites me, so much more variety coming on board. They come in great flavors – my favorite is the Red Onion and Chives – no flavoring – they use real red onion and chives and dehydrate it into the cracker. So the ‘flavor’ is real and I’m ridiculously grateful for this because I can have a nutrient dense quick lunch done and dusted easily – it’s becoming a regular thing to just grab a plate – add my favorite Beatrix Mountain Goat’s cheese or Gourmet Greek gouda or Cheddar – sprinkle over a generous handful of the Kazi Farm greens and I’m sorted and my energy is great for the rest of the afternoon. They also have Salted, Garlic and Herb – again real garlic and herbs used to flavor and Meditteranean which includes organic dried tomatoes, dried olives, mixed herbs and Kalahari salt.
If you’re in a desk job – think of getting a tin and just keeping these crackers handy at work. Then you can just take a lunchbox to work with greens and cheese or these also work well with any one of the Jewel & Co charcuterie packs. Such a great and easy lunch idea.
If your kids can handle seeds and flax – again I’m ham strung with my daughter as she hates seeds with a capital H – but to give kids a lunch-box with these crackers and then blocks of their favourite cheese and chunks of the free-range chicken and cocktail tomatoes and chopped up veggies they’re quite good with.
While I’m banging on about Earthshine – they also have an Activated Super Seed pack that is just great for tossing over salads to add nutrition – it’s a mixture of soaked, sprouted and dried organic buckwheat, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and organic tamari. Toss a sprinkling of those over any cooked veg or salad or roast and you’re just packing in more nutrition.
I’m really enjoying how much more we have available, it’s becoming easier and easier to get more readily available good snacks compared to what we had available when I started on this journey 7 years ago now. By the way – these are also gorgeous with Mooberry butter and any one of the Jozi Nut Butters, almond being my favourite.
With the heat being what it has been, my focus on meals is just fresh, light vegetables and either the chicken, pork or lamb from our store. We haven’t had beef for a while – but are getting ready to launch Brennaissance Boran beef in-store next week.
I need to dash off, just wanted to quickly connect with you and talk about ideas I have for what’s in because I’m inspired every time I look at these new things with ideas.
I also love it each and every time – even if it’s happened over a 100 – when I get a new convert to the Gourmet Greek yoghurt and boekenhout honey combination. Just this morning – I was chatting to a new customer in-store who was asking for honey advice and hadn’t tasted boekenhout before. I gave her my favourite idea for it – just whipping through the boekenhout honey with some real vanilla essence through The Gourmet Greek yoghurt and I felt my energy rising all over again.
Just being able to see people taste the beauty of this food afresh reminds me why I’m here.
Next week – we will have the indigenous Boran veldt reared, aged beef in from Brennaissance.
It’s a large story – this farm and I’ll be bringing it in due course and will shout out the moment it is in-store. You will not believe the taste of this, nor the story behind this, it’ll also be the first time you are tasting cattle of this age who have been on veldt for as long as this and matured to just the right flavor. I have quite literally never tasted anything like this, veldt reared beef is one of my particular passions and this is without doubt the best I have ever tasted. I cannot wait to share this with you.
Before I end up now, I spoke in the last newsletter about how excited I am about the new centre manager here and the plans to make this a rewarding centre for you next year.
I was talking to him this morning about plans for this rooftop area we have – and there is much, much to look forward to next year – we will be doing Jozi Real Food street food for you up there – with grass-fed street burgers and similar great things – all with only ingredients from here – I will be proving that street – on the go – food made with the best ingredients can be nutrient dense and incredible. Street food and food trucks are becoming a new passion and interest for me – what if you could buy street food – done beautifully with only ingredients from these farms? We have to do this.
The Jozi Real Food Revolution range of ready made meals featuring these farmers will happen next year too. We’ve had several delays with this but I have just the right woman coming on board to focus on these next year – a lady who I trained in my recipes for home so that’ll be something else I’m looking forward to making real next year.
You can expect food demo’s, street food with a new twist – sustainable, nutrient dense and silly delicious and fun tastings, it’s going to be fantastic.
Right, it’s time for me to duly shut up.
Please pop me a mail if you want any recipe inspiration with our farm produce or repeats of recipes or the best way to work with the CTOrganics Chicken, The Aldersyde Farm Lamb, or the Jewel & Co charcuterie – anything really.
Talking food makes me happy.
I’m over talking food politics for the moment – it’s quite a heavy time with heavy themes surrounding violence, war and division and I think focusing on the simple joys is right for the moment.
And heaven knows our connection to these farmers and this nourishment is sheer and utter joy. It’s the one place things always make sense and we are reminded – that nature is a cycle of connection and nourishment.
Everybody has forgotten this as they justify their rightness and the violence that is attached to needing to be right – but food – connected to farmers who farm in line with nature without harming her – will always re-connect us and remind us of the interconnectedness of it all.
Once you’re in touch with that, you know that you cannot harm one without harming all.
See you in-store,
Thank you for all your support, as always.
Much love, Debbie Logan
Standing for your right to access the best nourishment from South Africa’s most sustainable farms.
Yours in the Jozi Real Food Revolution,
The Organic Natural and Whole Food Emporium
Organic Blog – www.organicblog.co.za
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