Collagen – will this make me look longer? It possibly will! There does seem to be a trend for all things collagen. I was given some lovely gin, with added collagen, from Collagin for Christmas. I met the makers at a show and sadly they weren’t guaranteeing any health or youth enhancing benefits, but it is a lovely smooth gin. There are also a selection of collagen powders out there which do promise benefits for your skin.
What is it? Collagen is the protein in our bodies, found in our tendons, muscles, bones, blood vessels, digestive system and skin. It gives skin it’s elasticity and strength. We naturally produce less collagen as we get older and then start to see wrinkles appear. The suggestion is, and there are a few studies to back it up, that if we take a collagen supplement it will help with our skin’s elasticity as well as helping with our joints. There are different types of collagen which target specific areas, so you would need to research which one is best for you.
Any recipe suggestions? Add it to your smoothies in the morning or a muffin mix to make it palatable. A bone broth is the most direct way of eating it. This is not a vegan friendly product.
Conclusion: There are a lot of powders out there at the moment offering various solutions to our ailing bodies, I am still of the school of eating and drinking a balanced diet as the best remedy for now.
Valencia – the food capital of the world according to the Food & Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations. What a delight! We (my husband and I, the trip was part of ongoing birthday celebrations) had sunshine, blue skies and enchanting food, in the middle of January, what is not to love!
The wonder of Valenica is that it doesn’t seem to have caught up with the commercialism of the other big Spanish cities. Just 3 Euros for 2 coffees and a pastry. Our favourite was the Pasteleria Ciudadela. for ensaimada, a coiled sweet bread dusted with icing sugar.
We stayed at the Westin. A 15 minute walk to the old town and a 30 minute walk to the Port via the Arts & Science Complex. The Campo de Mestalla football ground is a 2 minute walk. The service throughout the hotel is some of the best we have had. On the bar list was Zeta Beer, a local craft beer, 100% natural, unpasteurised and unfiltered. The Zeta Hell was refreshing with a citrus flavour. We only ate in the El Jardi bar, the food was okay, I suggest you go out. Close by is the Bocadobar , we had the best Iberian ham croquettes of the holiday here (we did a lot of croquette tasting!). The sauteed prawns with wok vegetables are good and the wine list has a good local selection.
The best tapas of the holiday came from Casa Montana, a Valancian institution and well written about. Our favourite tapas were the smoked eel and the cuttlefish and onions, top class. The smell of Vermouth from the casks as you enter is intoxicating and made for a refreshing apertif with ice and lemon.
The City of Arts and Sciences is an architectural sight to behold as well as a great place to visit. With Europe’s biggest aquarium, and a science museum where not touching the exhibits is prohibited!
On food and drink must tries, look out for the Tiger Nut milk or Horchata, a creamy, luxurious, nutty flavoured drink. So named, because of it’s stripey shell, as it isn’t actually a nut, its a legume. Available at most local cafes and in the Central Market. If you want to try it now Rude Health have just bought out a product available in Waitrose. The other must try, is the tomato bread, if it makes me look as good as the glamorous ladies that we saw breakfasting on it each day, I’m in! Take some rustic bread and grill, rub with garlic and tomato, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy!
For any food lover the Central Market is a must do, it has an extensive display of top quality local produce. The saffron price and quality is excellent as it is produced locally, go and see Domingo Lopez at his stall La Panada de las Especias, for a good selection. There are a lot of food tours on offer, we went as part of a paella cooking lesson from Escuelade de Arroces y Paellas, where we learnt the art of Valencia paella. They have a recipe on their website if you’d like to try at home first.
We loved Valencia, its weather, architecture, food and drink, go and visit!
It’s only chocolate, but not as you know it… With the ongoing trend for healthier alternatives, as highlighted in the BBC’s trend picks for 2018 with the continuing growth of veganism and a healthier millennials diet, cacao has found some new friends to mix with.
The upside of this trend is that it has provided a lot more variety for anyone with food intolerance’s, particularly dairy, or who are vegan, who wouldn’t have been able to have chocolate before.
What does it taste like? It depends what the producer is using to replace the dairy element. Push Chocolate combine Colombian chocolate with rice to produce a high protein vegan chocolate button in Mylk, Dark and Orange flavours, the orange flavour has a distinct Terry’s chocolate orange vibe. Goodio Chocolate use “low production temperatures to ensure a rich taste that honours the cacao and its origins” . They are gluten and soy free, have no additives and are suitable for vegans. The coffee version I have been munching on uses cashew nuts to give it a creamy taste.
Where can I buy it? Push Chocolates store is coming soon, sign up on their website for the launch date. Hotel Chocolat have a selection of vegan chocolates, the chilli penguins being my favourite! Goodio can be found at Planet Organic or Revital stores as well as on Amazon.
With the momentous growth in coffee over the last 10 years the tea makers are desperate to keep a piece of the action and are coming up with some wonderful flavoured products and unique serving methods. My favourite flavour on today’s search is Bloody Mary tea bags from Fortnum and Mason, possibly bought on by the delicious Bloody Mary cocktails from Little Devil Spices which I had at the Taste for London festival this weekend. For new serving methods, I got excited about tea and infusions on a recent trip to Siberia where they use cafetieres to press tea with fruits and spices, making for a much fresher taste.
At the Speciality Fine Food Fair I found two suppliers who have moved on from the tea bag. Myteatime, have great teas in flavours to support you through the day, such as Lemon Superboost with lemongrass, goji berries and silver needle white tea and the Revitazest with clementine zest, lemongrass and root ginger. In the Jasmine Pearl Zen, you can see the real flowers. They are all perfume and chemical free and the flavour is a step change difference to a bag.
Tea Rex’s strap line is that it uses 100% RAWR! fruit & root to make their infusions. There are two flavours, lemon, turmeric, lemongrass and ginger and a berry infusion of blackberry, ginger, raspberry, lemon and blueberry. They come as a chilled pouch of loveliness that you can pour into an over the cup filter that is provided, or you can use a cafetiere. They are cold pressed and can be used with either hot or cold water.
Where can I buy it? Myteatime is available on Amazon. You can order a box or sign up to a subscription at the Tea Rex website.