Welcome back to my ‘What I Ate’ series. I can’t believe the Summer is over!
September brings us into the start of Autumn and around us in Kent it has definitely started feeling autumnal. My big fluffy jumpers and slippers are already out (I live in an old pub and it gets really chilly in the Autumn & Winter) and although we are yet to light our wood burner we have already stocked up on logs!
What’s in Season in the UK in September?
Every month I try and give you some inspiration for cooking using UK seasonal produce. Cooking with locally grown and seasonal produce will help you save money and provide more nutritious food too. The following are in season this month:
Aubergine, Beetroot, Blackberries, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Courgettes, Chicory, Chillies, Cucumber, Damsons, Garlic, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mangetout, Marrow, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Peas, Peppers, Plums, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Rocket, Runner Beans, Samphire, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Strawberries, Summer Squash, Sweetcorn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Mushrooms.
To make the most of all the lovely seasonal greens I like to make a raw salad with finely chopped kale, spinach and watercress, then grate in raw beetroot, carrot and courgette. Mix everything thoroughly and dress with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, half a crushed garlic clove and some salt and pepper. This makes a wonderful side dish to almost any meat or fish.
I saw the first British Brussels Sprouts in the supermarket the other day and had them steamed with our Sunday roast and they were delicious.
Picking and Cooking Wild Blackberries
There were hundreds of blackberries growing all around our area in Kent at the beginning of the month and we picked and froze a fair few. It’s great to have a stock in the freezer to add to smoothies for an antioxidant boost during the winter.
My favourite way to eat blackberries is in a classic apple and blackberry crumble. Here’s my paleo crumble recipe:
- 60g coconut oil
- 60g butter (if you do not eat butter use all coconut oil)
- 60g coconut flour
- 60g almond flour (ground almonds)
- 50g dried, chopped dates
- Flaked almonds for garnishing (optional)
- 3 bramley apples
- 100-200g blackberries
- juice of 1⁄2 lemon
- 1 tsp honey (optional)
- 2 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 200°C
- Peel the apples, remove their cores, and cut into large chunks – approx. 2” x 2”. Place them in a saucepan, pour over the lemon juice, and mix well to coat. The lemon juice will prevent the fruit from oxidising and turning brown. Add the blackberries.
- Add the honey and water, and bring to a gentle simmer. Allow to gently cook until the apple is just beginning to break up. Remove from the heat and pour into an ovenproof dish to cool.
- Put the chopped dates into a food processor and pulse until the pieces are about 1⁄4 of their original size. Place them in a clean bowl along with all of the other remaining ingredients.
- Work the ingredients together using your fingertips. It can be time consuming but it will come together eventually. If you find that your mixture is a little dry, add a touch more coconut oil or butter. You should be left with a soil-like mixture, loose but beginning to cling together.
- Spread the crumble mix over the cooled fruit and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the crumble has slightly caramelised.
- Sprinkle with flaked almonds.
On the Go Breakfasts
I’ve been back at work this month after the Summer holidays (I teach part time) and as a result I need quick breakfasts I can take with me a couple of times a week when I commute up to London.
My three current favourite breakfasts for on the go are:
- Coconut Chia Pudding – this takes 5 minutes to prepare the night before and is really filling. I simply mix 200ml coconut milk with 3 tbsp. chia seeds, 1 tsp. cinnamon and a drizzle raw honey or maple syrup. Sometimes I add orange, lemon or lime zest instead of cinnamon. I leave this in the fridge overnight. In the morning before I leave for work I mash a banana or grate an apple or pear and add this to the chia pudding but this step is completely optional. I take it with me to work in a jar. You can make this with any liquid such as almond milk etc instead of the coconut milk.
- Rebel Kitchen’s new coconut yogurts (which are delicious) topped with Primrose’s Kitchen Organic Beetroot Seed Sprinkle, fresh blueberries and raw honey or yacon syrup.
- Raw Health Flax Crackers (ingredients: Brown flax seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Garlic, Ground Caraway seeds, Unrefined Sea Salt, Dried Marjoram) with guacamole/smashed avocado and a couple of hard boiled eggs. This breakfast also takes just 5 minutes to throw together, I simply mash an avocado with sea salt and lemon or lime juice then take in a little pot with a few flax crackers to dip into.
New Paleo Products
I was contacted recently by Amy from Hunter & Gather Foods about a new paleo mayonnaise they have recently started producing. It’s made from Avocado Oil, Free Range Egg Yolk, Apple Cider Vinegar and Salt.
What they say about it: “We wanted to ensure that we didn’t compromise on taste or lose that much-loved classic mayo taste in our pursuit of creating a Real Food and Paleo approved Mayonnaise. Using only 100% Avocado Oil, Free Range Egg yolk, Apple Cider Vinegar and a pinch of Salt, we have ensured plenty of goodness is locked in, with absolutely no compromise on taste. In fact, we think it is superior compared to commercially produced Mayonnaise!
It has a rich, homemade like lusciousness with a velvety, smooth texture.
Avocado oil has many benefits* including being High in monounsaturated fats and Vitamin E and is packed full of omega 9 (oleic acid) that made olive oil and the Mediterranean diet famous. Moreover, the highly acclaimed dietary carotenoids (health-promoting antioxidants to you and us!) have been shown to be far more readily absorbed with the addition of avocado oil to a salad or salsa.”
Hunter and Gather are also selling 100% Extra Virgin Avocado Oil.
They sent me a sample of the mayonnaise to try and I loved it! I do love everything avocado 🙂
Cookery Courses and Organic Farming
Earlier this month we ran one of our popular paleo cookery courses. We were delighted that the owners of Jacob’s Ladder Farm & Butchery came on the course and said they found the course “inspiring, informative, interesting and great fun!”
After the course Lucy and I went to visit Jacob’s Ladder on their farm. Jayne and her husband Michael are biodynamic, organic farmers and have a small herd of Sussex cattle and a flock of Romney sheep. Their meat is grass fed and the breeds are native.
Jacob’s Ladder carry out whole carcass butchery, which is rare nowadays. Whole carcass butchery was done in the days when the majority of butchers would walk the fields with the farmer and buy whole animals direct from the farm.
The industry have moved away from this and now most butchers buy prime cuts from wholesalers and the direct link to the farms has been lost. This is slowly changing and once again people are appreciating their butcher and wanting the cuts that have been forgotten and more importantly to know where their meat comes from.
At the moment Jacob’s Ladder supply their wonderful grass-fed meat to Plawhatch Farm in East Sussex but they are working on a website and hope to be selling online to the public at some stage. We’ll keep you posted!
As we enter the colder months my thoughts turn to all the winter coughs and colds that will soon be plaguing everyone. This year I have been getting prepared by making herbal remedies to give the immune system a boost. One I have been meaning to make for the last couple of years is Fire Cider, and I have finally got around to making it this year.
You can find the ‘original’ recipe in Rosemary Gladstar’s book (although of course that certainly wouldn’t have been the original recipe as a version of this has been made for generations).
Here’s how I made mine:
- 2 organic white onions, peeled – about 100g
- 2 whole bulbs of organic garlic, peeled – about 100g
- 100g fresh horseradish root, peeled
- 50g fresh ginger root, peeled
- 50g fresh turmeric root, peeled
- Several sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Several sprigs of fresh thyme
- 500ml organic raw apple cider vinegar
- Place all the ingredients except the apple cider vinegar into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Alternatively you could chop everything by hand.
- Place all the vegetables and herbs into a large sterilised jar (sterilise by washing on a hot dishwasher cycle).
- Cover the vegetables with the cider vinegar.
- Put the lid on the jar and leave for 4-6 weeks.
- After this length of time strain the fire cider to remove the vegetables.
- Store the vinegar in the fridge and drink a shot glass daily.
What is Fire Cider Good For?
Fire Cider is a traditional cold and flu remedy containing anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory herbs and vegetables.
How Should I Take It?
In the winter months you can take a shot glass of this each morning, or you can use it as a substitute for vinegar in salad dressings. If you come down with a cold or the flu you can take this remedy several times a day until you feel better.
I have also made a big batch of elderberry syrup this month. I absolutely love elderberry syrup for it’s immune boosting and anti-viral effects. It’s also a rich source of polyphenols and vitamin C so it’s a great thing to have to hand throughout the winter months.
It’s another home remedy that is really easy to make – all you need is dried elderberries, water and either sugar or raw honey.
- 250g dried elderberries
- 2 litres water
- 1 kg sugar (you can substitute honey but this makes this very expensive)
- Place the dried elderberries and water in a large pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and mash the berries against the sieve with a spoon to extract all of the liquid.
- You should have about 1 litre of elderberry juice left after straining.
- You need to add equal sugar to elderberry juice – so if you have 1000ml juice (1 litre) you add 1000g sugar (1kg). If you only ended up with 500ml of juice you would add 500g sugar. The sugar is what preserves the juice so make sure you add the correct amount.
- Place the strained juice and syrup back into the pan and reheat until it comes to the boil. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.
- Leave to cool and then pour into sterilised bottles. I sterilise my bottles in the dishwasher on a hot cycle. This recipe quantity makes around 6 to 8 x 200ml bottles of syrup. As a family we get through about one bottle per month, so one batch lasts the winter.
If you don’t fancy making your own elderberry syrup, Pukka Herbs sell a pre-made version, although you will find it a lot cheaper to make your own.
I’ve also stocked up on Unbeelievable Health’s Bee Prepared Max Strength Immune Formula. This product contains concentrated extracts of Bee Propolis, Black Elderberry, Olive Leaf, Acerola Cherry and Beta Glucans to boost your immune system throughout the winter months.
FREE Recipe Ebook
We are currently giving away our Paleo Recipes Ebook for free. It contains over 100 paleo, gluten & grain-free recipes.
We have also reduced our 30 Day Paleo Plan to £9 (it usually costs £30) and added an additional 30 days of paleo meal plans, recipes and shopping lists. Click here to take advantage of this offer.
Nutritional Therapy and Free Sessions
This month I finally completed my Nutritional Therapy Diploma! I am soon going to be offering some free sessions to clients so if this is something you might be interested in please contact me by email: email@example.com.
For me to understand what your specific nutrient requirements are, we will undertake a series of software-analysed assessments that evaluate the following:
- Your current health status
- Your antioxidant capacity
- Your possible nutrient deficiencies
I will then create a personalised diet plan and provide weekly support, at the end of each weekly session you will be provided with summary handouts with your achievements, next steps and action points. The plan will include lifestyle as well as nutritional advice.
Health & Wellbeing Event Tunbridge Wells
My sister Lucy and her partner run a family fitness business in Tunbridge Wells called Family Inspired Training. If any one is local to the area, you should check them out. They run run fitness classes with a community and family focus, running Adult FIT and Mini FIT classes side by side so that you can get fit while your kids do too!
On September 22nd & 23rd there was a Health & Wellbeing event in Tunbridge Wells that Lucy & Carl participated in representing FIT & Paleo Britain, again this might be of interest if you are local. Health & Wellbeing Live is a family event exploring all that is available for a healthy lifestyle and will be back for 2018!
Thank you for reading this month’s post and please leave any comments below. Until next month x
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