Daily Breads Blog

Articles written by Daily Bread workers and friends.

Welcome National Baking Week!   14th - 20th  October 2019

DoubleChocoOatCookies300sThere really does seem to be a national day or national week for most foods and diets nowadays. This a great way to support food producers, special diets and show compassion and interest towards various dietary choices and lifestyles, but there are some of course, that may be seem a little ridiculous: World Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day and World Drive-Thru Day, to name a few! However, finding some of your favourites to add to your own family calendar can create quite a lot fun at home.

A new kid on the National Week block, is National Baking Week and this is one that October should embrace. Running during the week 14-20th October, this is a great opportunity to put a little time into cooking something from scratch. Baking has become a national favourite over the past 10 years and it’s a pastime or hobby that just keeps getting stronger.

Baking is social. Firstly, the actual “making” brings a kitchen to life. The smells of various bakes wafting through the house is heart-warming, comforting and creates a heart in a home. Baking is something to be done together and talked over and it brings a “togetherness” to a family or friendship.

Baking of course brings bakes! And this is just as social as the making! Whether you are providing a cake for tea, bread for breakfast or a cookie for a treat, they all bring smiles and a sense of happiness. There is something to be said for knocking on a friend’s or neighbour’s door with a homemade cake, just because they had been having a tough time. This is an act that requires little effort but brings delight and pleasure to many of us.

Growing up with baking is also wonderfully useful and important for the future. Not only do you make memories with children, stirring and laughing over the mess being made, you are also providing the building blocks of cooking. When it so easy to take something from a packet or box, already made, we should all maybe make the effort to endorse the magic of creating something ourselves from raw ingredients. There is something quite fascinating of how measures of flour, sugar, butter and eggs can create something so amazingly tasty!

Ok, maybe you’re not one for cakes and biscuits, but baking doesn’t have to be about the sweet stuff. The raw ingredients that are available to us now can create other bakes. Savoury crackers and breads can be just as much fun and can provide functional food to add to homemade soup, stews and salads. Flapjacks, pie toppings and flat breads can all be savoury, using flavours and spices from different parts of the world and can be easily made.

However, as we all embrace National Baking Week and start buying large quantities of sugar and butter, it is important to add the words “all things in moderation”. Many of us have healthy eating and better food choices at the front of our minds, but baking doesn’t have to be bad for you. There are a wealth of alternative natural sweeteners, dried fruits, seeds, nuts, flours and fats to choose from and when using healthier recipes, you can actually produce bakes that don’t just taste good but are functional too. They can provide energy and essential nutrients to your diet, which can help build a healthier you.

So yes, enjoy National Baking Week! Treats can be enjoyed in moderation, but enjoy the time looking through healthier recipes and learn a little about cooking from scratch. There are so many ingredients available to try, so have a browse and most importantly, have fun, as making memories with loved ones is worth every effort.

 Here are two recipes designed for little hands to make at home. They are low sugar and full of energy and can help towards reducing a sweet tooth in the future.

CheesyStars

Cheesy Stars

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

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National Allotment Week

Rhubarb Crumble CookieNational Allotment Week is upon us and during the week of the 12th-18th August, we should all take a moment to think about this fantastic initiative!

Since the WW2 Grow For Victory campaign, allotments really have become part of many communities, offering many health benefits and providing cost savings for families and this has progressed over the years.

With many of us growing up with warm memories of time spent tending a plot, the National Allotment Week initiative aims to continue to promote, support and provide opportunities for each generation over the years. This year sees the 12th official week and with Open Allotment Days and events going on, it’s worth having a look to see what’s on around you.

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garlicWe’re reaching the end of the season for foraging the mild leaves and flowers from the Wild Garlic but before wondering where to find this pungent taste from next, maybe you planted some autumn garlic last year? These juicy bulbs will be ready to harvest shortly and provide a wealth of health benefits and taste to any diet.

But what makes garlic so popular?

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Morroccan Grain BowlNowadays it is so easy to follow a Vegetarian or Vegan diet that it makes you wonder how on earth anyone managed 15-20 years ago! There are “free-from” shelves, separate menus, clear labelling and a whole host of recipes, advice and tips on how to make this change as easy and nutritious as possible.

With another National Vegetarian Week (13-29th May) here, we should be celebrating how popular abstinence from meat and animal products has become. According to the figures from The Department of Food and Health Standard Agency and their National Diet and Nutrition Survey, between the years of 2010-2012 the amount of both adults and children who began to follow Vegetarian diets, almost tripled!

However, even though there is a huge amount of help available to Vegetarians and Vegans, there are still some areas that you need to watch out for, where animal products quietly lurk.

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Fairtrade HomeWith Fairtrade Fortnight just around the corner, we think it’s a good opportunity to take a moment to celebrate this wonderful initiative and the help it brings to so many lives.

What is Fairtrade?
It’s an ethical approach to enable many workforces in the world to live and work in fair conditions, to work for fair pay, to gain support to continue to produce quality products and to sustain and develop their community and environment around them.

Is it more Expensive?
Not really. Many supermarkets are coming up with their own brand of Fairtrade products now, so the higher priced brands don’t have the monopoly of the market any more. In particular, coffees and teas can be found in many shops with own brand labels, high street coffee shops and fast food establishments are also now proudly flying the Fairtrade emblem from their premises.

Does the money REALLY go direct to the Farmers and Communities?
Absolutely. By the time the product gets to the retailer, the better deal has already been made to the producer and community, the retailer is the one that decides the end selling price according to their own running costs.

Does Fairtrade take away in the incentive for producers to improve quality?
Apparently not. When looking at the list of food and taste awards achieved, there is a high percentage of Fairtrade products out there. It could be argued that communities living good lives based on their farming would produce pride in their work and a desire to maintain quality.

Fairtrade support is so easy to give. Just swop your usual choices for ones with the Fairtrade logos. These can be found on nuts, butters, dried fruits, coffees, teas, chocolate, sugar, rice and grains, gold, cotton, flowers, wine, beauty products, of course, bananas and the list is growing!

So, keep your eyes peeled, look out of the logo and help support communities to develop and work. We all deserve to be treated fairly.

Blackstrap Ginger cookies recipe.

Products we sell that are Fair Trade

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veganLast Veganuary (2018) saw another, even larger crowd of people join the animal free month, and many had their eyes well and truly opened to the growing number of foods, producers and “eating out” options becoming available to Vegans. It’s never been easier to make this change to animal free living and it’s a change that will make a huge impact on both our overall health and environment.

So, this January, have you stopped to wonder the “what if”?

What If I Stopped Consuming All Dairy?
According to The Grocer publication, dairy milk sales fell by £240 million between 2014-2016 in the UK and this sets to continue to decline with 1 in 3 shoppers regularly buying plant-based milks.
Have you tried the gloriously rich and tasty almond, soy, coconut and oat milks out there?
Have you been curious to try vegan cheese alternatives and look at the new dairy free ice creams emerging!
How will your body feel?

What If I Stopped Consuming Meat Products?
The call for vegan and vegetarian food has increased the variety of meat free meals available both in the shops and in eating establishments.
According to the BBC, it is reported that ¼ of midweek meals are already either vegan or vegetarian, so a number of the meat eaters out there are already trying different options in their diets.
Your cupboards and fridge would see an increase in tinned pulses, lentils, fresh fruit and vegetables, all of which are full of fantastic nutrition, protein, anti-oxidants, fibre and they’re very filling.
How will your body feel?

What If I Stopped Buying Non-Vegan Beauty Products?
According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), vegan beauty company launches have more than doubled in the past five years, growing by 175% from July 2013 to June 2018.
As much thought needs to go in to our outside as our inside when we are thinking about Veganuary. Find some beauty products on offer, new product launches, embrace natural concepts and try something new.
How will your skin feel?

What If I Gave My Environment Some Love?
According to the Guardian, an Oxford University study in June 2018 – researching the damage farming does to the planet, found that avoiding meat and dairy is the single, biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth. It is worth noting that animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland!
How will your planet feel?

But, how about a more basic consideration, not requiring statistics, reports or figures. Vegan food can be delicious. The textures, flavours and colours found in plant-based foods are a joy to the eye and superb nourishment your body will thank you for.

After a heavy Christmas of late nights and eating and drinking excessive quantities of “excess”, maybe Veganuary is a good time to sit back and give your body, mind and planet some consideration. To date, over 250,000 people have already signed up to the 31 day pledge in Veganuary and by the end of it, the charity are expecting a further 300,000 to have joined in.

So, think “what if” and visit www.veganuary.com for all the information and inspiration you need.

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Christmas pictureIt’s the run up to Christmas and just as you may be (or maybe not!) getting excited about the festivities, food, time off and having some much-needed time with loved ones, your bin, cupboards and wallet may be groaning already!

Food waste, wrapping, cards and a whole heap of “stuff” that doesn’t get used or needed, is sometimes too unbearable to think about at Christmas and many of us can really feel quite guilty, overindulged and rather sad in the aftermath.

In a time where so many of us are being mindful about our environment, re-using, up-cycling and generally reducing our waste, Christmas comes bumbling along ready to undo a lot of the work we have done. So, how about taking this good practice we are beginning to adhere to and seeing it through the Christmas period? Develop a new system that your bins, wallet and conscience will thank you for.

Preparation Time.
Your freezer and cupboards could already be struggling under the strain of “stuff”, so use the weeks before Christmas to have a proper clear out of food. Make a POINT of not buying new food in and using things up. Rummage in your freezer, make meals from the tins and jars you were saving and make space. Not only will it create an attractive, easy area for leftovers that are unavoidable during the Christmas over-buying onslaught, but it will also save you a bit of cash to put towards presents too.

Packaging
Stop buying anything in unnecessary packaging, especially over Christmas! Buy everything loose where possible, or re-fill. Look for presents that aren’t overly packaged with extravagant bows, plastic decorations and glitter (none of these are recyclable). Be creative with more organic ideas.

Decorations and Presents
Decorate your home with evergreens from the garden, garlands from natural products and stop buying in the shiny stuff that won’t go in the recycling. Use re-usable present bags and don’t buy the paper that can’t be recycled.

Lists and Food
Make yourself a firm list of the food and drinks you need for your Christmas period. Stick to it and don’t overbuy. Have some ingredients ready to be able to create meals from your leftovers so they don’t end up in the bin –

Ideas
Puff Pastry - always good to top a veggie leftover pie.
Curry Paste – can’t say no to a leftover curry!
Tortilla Wraps – to either wrap up leftovers or make a leftover stew and cut them up to make a crunchy topping (or use leftover crisps).
Eggs (if you aren’t vegan) – a Spanish Omelette can soak up a lot of fridge ingredients.
Tinned Tomatoes – a tomato sauce can also soak up a number of leftovers, served with pasta or rice
A selection of herbs and spices to add some new flavours to your leftovers and disguise them!

It is easy to get carried away at Christmas, but it can be avoided with a little bit of planning and mindful shopping. Use your freezer for any items that are needing to be used up, but you just don’t have the time/inclination/space in the stomach to do anything with. Make a pact with yourself that you won’t add to the food waste created over Christmas and be proud of your creative thinking.

Saying all of that, it is still the time to relax a little and think about all the things you are thankful for – so find a balance, love the choices you make and love your Christmas.

Happy Christmas from all of us at Daily Bread!

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Seeded Breakfas tBreadVegan Month is here again and time to take stock…of all the animal free products and news we’ve been enjoying since the last time it was here! What a great feeling to know we are busy enjoying life, the food, products and everyday items around us, comforted by the fact no animal has had to suffer for us to live. It should make you smile and feel at peace.

Each day many more of us are joining this way of living and reassuringly, the ones that aren’t joining in yet, are becoming more aware and mindful over it. Changes recently look at some of the big brand, designer labels producing vegan products, such as wallets, handbags and belts. No longer bragging about the quality of leather but boasting about the great style and lifestyle belonging to this life choice.

How about another change? The Great British Bake Off? They have embraced “Vegan Week” this season and how refreshing to see the Baker Boy himself, Paul Hollywood reluctantly trying these inventive, flavoursome bakes. Nutritional yeast made its debut with its cheesy flavour and pastry made with coconut oil was given the Pru Leith’s seal of approval. Satisfying.

Vegan athletes have been headlining, proving how vegan life is full of health and vitality. Vegan A-list superstars have been shouting about animal welfare and quashing any awful old-fashioned stereotype images of vegans as being all dreadlocks and job free! They can be glamorous, beautiful or just plain normal, proving just how diverse and widespread vegans are.

This last year really has been a big one for vegans and this November maybe we should be celebrating. Data shows a big increase in UK Vegans and this really is down to the continuing statistics, reports, documents, news and influential information that we are open to, that allows us to think. The rise in great quality vegan food and products is drawing more of us in to be mindful of our choices and making us take positive action against the results of animal products.

So, thank you Vegan Month…we take stock and love the choices we make, it really is a piece of dairy free cake.  

Try these recipes below.

Vegan and Gluten Free Breakfast Bread

Fennel and Chickpea stir up

Fennel and Cauliflower Soup

 

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We would like to welcome another Organic Month at The Daily Bread as we enter into September. Many of us took part in last year’s celebration of all things organic, but are we doing enough to understand what “going organic” actually means, to both us and the world we live in?

It may be a fair comment to make that quite a few of us have now accepted the presence of the Organic Shelf in the supermarket. When it was first introduced into mainstream shops in larger quantities (in the late 1990s/early 2000s), we may have initially been rather curious, some may have picked up a few items to inspect for any physical difference, maybe even converted to organic living after careful thinking or perhaps just walked past disappointed with the price and considering it only to be an option for those with high income and disposable cash to burn. Nowadays the organic area is expected to be part of the shop shelves, along with gluten free and dairy free products, but promotion is low key in comparison.

So, Organic Month is a chance to sing about products produced within really worthwhile standards by dedicated producers, a reminder to stop and look at the organic aisle again and a rather good way to educate us all about what buying organic actually means.

Organic produce has really spent the past few years in the shadows of the vegan and wheat free marketing strategies out there, with the move towards sustainable living, managing food intolerances and animal welfare. But hang on, isn’t buying organic produce following some of the same values? If we are busy beavering away with our reasons behind following plant-based diets, shouldn’t we be celebrating all things organic too?

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DBCauliflowerWrap300With the recent hot, barmy weather and the up and coming British Burger Day, maybe it’s time to reflect on how great it is to eat al fresco. The waft of charcoal, onions, and sizzling food, the sound of laughter, music and popping bottle tops in the air from neighbours and gardens in faraway streets. And then...cutting through the chilled-out ambience of the social gathering and family mutterings, there’s the “how do you cook this veggie stuff then?”.

The BBQ is a lot of fun but when you a have a visiting vegan or vegetarian or if you are one yourself, you may feel a little awkward and on the outside at BBQs and al fresco occasions. You may force a smile for the cold pasta salad that has been provided, with a tomato sauce that has been expertly poured from a glass bottle or you may feel a little hard done by with the supply of veggie dips and raw vegetables that languish in the sun, but there are more choices available!

So, here are some facts about our favourite summer, leisure activity to get you well polished on the event. So many of us have such a lot of fun preparing and attending them, maybe it’s worth taking a moment to consider the bigger picture.

• 3 out of 4 households now own a BBQ of some sort.
• We are Europe’s leading BBQ nation, with the German’s coming 2nd to us.
• In 1997, the BBQ market was worth £150million, which is quite a lot. However, in 2017, this was set at being worth just over £7.6billion!
• Gas and charcoal are both as popular as each other when we choose our preferred cooking fuel.
• The “hooded” BBQ is the most popular model of BBQ, followed closely by the “flatbed”.
• Over the past few years, there has been a slight increase of 4% of women “manning” the BBQ.
• On average 33% of us will attend at least 8-9 BBQs this year.
• 5% of us enjoy BBQs all year round.
• The average amount spent on a BBQ meal is £41, which was £19 only 5 years ago.
• There are a bigger assortment of ingredients and more exotic dishes being prepared on the BBQ nowadays, with duck, fish, halloumi and brochettes being consumed by more of us.

So, as a vegetarian or vegan, how can you approach the great British BBQ, when the main choice of food still appears to be sausages, burgers and chicken drummers at most al fresco gatherings?

Here are some fab BBQ tips to help you through the season, whether you eat alternatives yourself or you have visitors that do:
• Make a decision whether you are going to have space to cook vegetarian/vegan foods separately and safely on your BBQ right at the beginning. Use a frying pan or separate grill away from sizzling meat fats or use the oven inside and cook.
• Forget pasta salads, and provide some colourful and tasty kebabs with mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines and onions.
• Pre-pare some red peppers or large mushrooms. Mix some vegan soft cheese with a huge handful of mixed herbs to create a tasty mix and stuff in to half a pepper or the top of a de-stalked mushroom. Bake/BBQ when required.
• Yes, get a pack of halloumi but don’t just cook it – quickly rub some olive oil over it, sprinkle over garlic powder, polenta and some fresh mint, the taste and crunch are lovely!
• Pitta pockets are great for Vegetarians and Vegans. Stuff some pittas with sliced jarred peppers, sundried tomatoes and artichokes, spinach, rocket, sunflower seeds or any fresh vegetables you have. Make ahead and BBQ or bake as required.
• Provide salads that everyone can eat, but make sure there is a protein on them, so these can be used as main event for vegetarians and vegans. Add seeds or nuts, beans or lentils, ready cooked from tins.
• Ok, yes, do make it easy – there are a huge choice of vegetarian burgers and sausages out there now, pre-made and really tasty. Have a look and try them out if you know your prep time is really limited.

With a summer of outside eating and long, hot evenings on the cards, be adventurous. Use fresh fruit to make cocktails, fresh vegetables, spices and herbs, homemade breads, grilled fruits and iced desserts, all fresh and seasonal. Don’t succumb to the usual meats and burgers when there is such a wide choice of ingredients available to us all, they should be celebrated along with the summer and an alternative al fresco living.DBFetaOrzo300

*Try our cauliflower wraps recipe that you can make ahead if you have a gluten free guest – see the recipes
* An alternative vegetarian orzo salad can be found in the recipes to add to your al fresco dining table for everyone.

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Blog articles

  • National Baking Week!

    Welcome National Baking Week!   14th - 20th  October 2019 There really does seem to be a national day or...

  • National Allotment Week

    National Allotment Week is upon us and during the week of the 12th-18th August, we should all take...

  • Garlic Mad

    We’re reaching the end of the season for foraging the mild leaves and flowers from the Wild Garlic...

  • The Places A Vegetarian Should Always Check

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  • Fairtrade Bonanza

    With Fairtrade Fortnight just around the corner, we think it’s a good opportunity to take a moment to...

  • Our Favourite Vegan Month

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  • Christmas Waste

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  • Another Vegan Month To Celebrate

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