What Fruit And Veg Shortage?

According to many market research studies, the general populous requires the following attributes when out shopping for food, especially fresh fruit and veg; a broad selection all year round and at a price that is deemed value for money (aka cheap). Now, as the world has evolved in our post modernisation era and as we creep into the digital age this “want” has become easier to achieve from a retailers perspective.

Gone are the masses of independent growers with their non-standardised shape, colour and prices replaced instead with a nice safe supply of perfectly formed identical looking cheap products, happy times hey. So how did they manage it….

Economy of scale is one factor, after all one mega grower only has one set of overheads whereas 100 little growers have an equal number of cost burdens. Also let’s not forget that our mega grower has huge negotiating power when fixing prices of overheads with other businesses, the more money you bring to the table the more the other party will concede to get a slice of the action. On the other hand, when taken to an extreme as is the case today it can become awe-inspiring just have a look at the greenhouses of Almeria in Spain where the “greenhouse” is the size of the Isle of Wight and can be seen from space.

Quick global transportation is another, you can get anything to any corner of the world in 24hours or less nowadays. Just browse your local veg section and see the huge diversity of originating countries involved in helping create that awesome display of colour and freshness. So those items grown in Almeria can be on your local supermarket shelves in a matter of hours.

The cost of the produce being the other pillar of support for this global mega-industry has its consequences too. Sticking with our example of Almeria you will find that no longer does the nostalgic memory of our veggies being nurtured by a friendly, wise old man from the soil as the adverts would have you believe. No, it is more cost effective and indeed essential (if you want fresh tomatoes in winter) to do away with the soil part completely, oh and ditch the old man as he is not efficient enough. Now we need miles and miles of identical rows of plants grown from fertiliser bags and drip fed the exact volume of nutrients at the right time to promote growth. Lob in a computerised system to monitor it and an automated picker and you can ditch the staff, more cost savings.

Finally, you are there with a mountain of produce that has cost the absolute minimum to produce and is due in the UK this afternoon, no problem, just need to do one more thing…

Ditch the “ugly” ones, after all no one wants to eat an ugly lettuce, it must look like the ones on TV or in our cook books, perfect, green, round and the correct size. So the ugly ones don’t get to go to the UK, only the beautiful ones. It has been calculated by many sources that around 1/3rd of all fruit and veg grown gets disposed of because it is not deemed beautiful, think on that for a moment.

So there is a lot a play when you go to your local supermarket and browse the fruit and veg section and it is awesome you can have a green salad in the depths of winter… that is until Mother Nature has a strop as she is oft prone to do. Back to Almeria and we are looking at over a billion pounds worth of produce heading to the skip and a void in your local shelf space.

So members of the UK populous think on these issues when you look at your reduced or even empty veg sections over the coming weeks and wonder if a partial return to the classic scene of our wise old man in the garden growing your seasonal produce wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all…

Morning Fruit Booster Smoothie

A fresh and zingy morning smoothie which will wake you up and help you stay energized for those busy hours to come.

A fresh and zingy morning smoothie which will wake you up and help you stay energized for those busy hours to come.Sometimes it’s really hard to wake up in the morning and once we are up even a cup of coffee can’t always help us to stay awake. Well, next time you have one of those mornings, try my fruit booster morning smoothie. It will definitely help your energy levels peak and it will also provide your body with some much-needed vitamins and microelements.

One thing to remember: quality over quantity! Good quality ingredients are becoming harder to come by. Low-quality food, including fruit and veggies, is cheap but at the same time worthless to our body. I know it might sound like a no brainier to some but always buy organic ingredients… yes, I know they cost more but we are what we eat… I think it is better by any measure to buy less of something and get to truly enjoy its real taste rather than a big plastic-wrapped bag of intensely farmed produce at a knocked down price. That’s not to mention the benefits obtained from eating healthy naturally grown foods. Thus ends the sermon, now what do we need for that pick me up smoothie…

Ingredients:

  • 250ml chilled coconut water
  • 1 banana
  • 1 large red grapefruit
  • 1 orange
  • 1 pear
  • 1 red apple
  • Ice cubes (optional)

A fresh and zingy morning smoothie which will wake you up and help you stay energized for those busy hours to come.Method:

Wash and quarter the apple and pear.

Wash and peel the banana and orange then chop into smaller chunks.

Chop in half and remove all the red flesh from the grapefruit. If you have a sweet grapefruit or you don’t mind an abundance of zinginess you might just peel and chop it. I normally just add the fleshy parts without any of the white pith bits which separate the segments as these can be very bitter.

As for the preparation part of the process simply add the coconut water into your blended, pop all your prepared fruits in and blend for 10-15 seconds on a high speed or until it is visibly smooth.

Serve over ice if you fancy a colder refreshment.

Enjoy!

Morning Fruit Booster Smoothie. A fresh and zingy morning smoothie which will wake you up and help you stay energized for those busy hours to come.

My Top 9 Delicious Dairy Free Homemade Popsicles

My Top 9 Delicious Dairy Free Homemade PopsiclesToday I would like to share with you a selection of delicious, dairy free, healthy, nutritional, tasty and super easy to make popsicles, which will be perfect for the coming hot summer days. They are so good they can literally become life changing whether it becomes the perfect bargaining chip whilst negotiating with difficult kids, a shared moment between lovers as they sit in the garden bathed in the light of a lovely sunset or becoming the best ever dog owner (with the sugar free version) when your hot pooch pounces onto one and licks it all up for the next hour.

Pomegranate & Passion Fruit Muffins

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.Unfortunately for some of my readers this is not a sugar free recipe but I might just try to develop a sugar free version of them as they are truly something special.

To be honest I wasn’t planning on baking such fruit rich muffins but as I had some passion fruits close to their use by time and also I had just returned from a foodie shopping expedition carrying a small carry bag full of pomegranates (lately, this seems to be my “go to” fruit) and Mark was nagging me for some “normal” muffins, I decided to give these flavours a try. And oh boy, am I glad I did because I totally love the final effect. It’s so aromatic and unusual. I think the sensation of the crunchy seeds when biting into them makes them one of the kind.

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.The recipe will make 6 full size muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 150g flour
  • 120ml milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 30g butter; slightly melted
  • 4 passion fruit
  • 1 egg; lightly beaten
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • Giant handful of pomegranate seeds

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200C and line a 6 muffin baking tray with paper or silicone muffin casings.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and sugar.

In a second bowl mix the milk, butter, egg, vanilla essence and passion fruit pulp then gently hand whisk until combined.

Add the wet ingredients mixture to the dry ingredients mix and fold in until just combined. Do not under any circumstances over mix them or the muffins will come out tough.

Add the pomegranate seeds and mix in gentle till evenly distributed. Finally spoon the batter into your earlier prepared muffin cases.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 20-22 minutes. You want them well risen and lovely golden brown on top.

Remove from the oven and move onto a cooling rack.

Let them cool completely before serving (if you can withstand the super intense fruit aroma around the house that is).

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.So, what do you think?

Have you ever had any kind of muffins with crunchy seeds before?