CHOCOLATE WITH ALL THE GOODNESS BUT NOT THE CALORIES…

I am a chocoholic and proud to be one. From an early age when away at school all my chocolate in my tuck box would be eaten first then I would do a never-ending amount of jobs for senior girls in order to get some more. I really should have opened a chocolate shop before now. I’ve even been on a chocolate diet ! and ‘no’it did not work but it was rather enjoyable.

However, we all know it’s not good for our waist line nor our teeth but over the years it does get some good press as being good for your heart in the right format and the amount you eat. Chocolate is made from cocoa, which contains polyphenols, which may work as antioxidants that lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and reduce blood pressure. Some experts suggest that eating some chocolate every day can decrease your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Cocoa contains epicatechins and catechins, which are similar to the polyphenols found in green tea; and quercetin, which is found in fruits and vegetables. Dark chocolate has more antioxidants than milk chocolate because certain processing methods remove the polyphenols, which have a bitter flavor.

Dr. Arebi on Net Doctor wrote “Fermentation in the bean and subsequent extraction generates cocoa butter and releases a variety of vitamins and minerals such as potassium and anti-oxidants,” she explains.

“Cocoa beans also contain dopamine, phenylethylamine and serotonin, chemicals with powerful antidepressant properties that also promote wellbeing. In addition, theobromine is another component of the cocoa bean and has caffeine like properties.”

And she says that many more healthy chemicals are released when chocolate is fermented in our intestines by our gut bacteria, citing research that showed the antioxidants released are similar to those found in green tea.

So, where can we buy chocolate that is that bit healthier but tastes as good as ordinary chocolate? Well there are many companies out there with healthier chocolate treats for us in fact far to many for me to write about in one post so instead I am going to write a regular post on it with all the information I have found about each company.

To start off this regular slot my first post is all about a company called The Skinny Food Company, The Skinny Food Co. was founded in May 2018. James Whiting and Wayne Starky (Directors) have previous experience in the food and beverage/health and wellness market and have discovered the need for great, tasty, and healthy products. It is promoted by diabetic family members who avoid so many favorite foods. This brand was born with the release of zero-calorie syrups, healthy, almost zero table sauces, and shortly thereafter.

Some of the products which I cannot wait to try are-

The Chocolate Flavoured Zero Calories Syrup at £3.99

The Prodigy Chunky Chocolate Low Sugar Vegan Chocolate Bars at £1.99

The Skinny High Protein Milk Chocolate Crispies at £1.25

The Double Chocolate 3 calories a cup drink at £2.49

The 92% less sugar Chocolate Spread at £3.99

I don’t need to go any further as I am sure your mouth will be watering by now but I promise I will follow up after I have tried some of these and another post on chocolate for fewer calories.

TWELVE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CHANGE TO ORGANIC FOOD…

If your New Year resolution is to go organic then here are twelve reasons to go for it…..

  1. No ‘nasties’ organic means fewer pesticides
  2. No artificial colouring
  3. No preservatives
  4. Always free range
  5. No use of antibiotics
  6. No GM ingredients
  7. Fully traceable
  8. Good for the planet
  9. Kinder to animals
  10. Value for money
  11. Tastes better
  12. Lasts longer

3 OF THE BEST WI BOOKS FOR WI LADIES…

When my WI Country Woman’s Year 1960 by Shirley Paget book popped through my door I was so excited to open it and even more thrilled when I saw that the cover was a special retro cloth one.

I love anything WI (although not a member) and this book covers it all. From cider-making and hedgerow basketry to public speaking and committee-meeting protocol and of course, not forgetting the jam making.

If you can’t get inspired to have a go at smocking, upholstery repairs, bread making, lampshade, Christmas wreaths, wallpapering, corn dollies, Welsh quilting or crystallized flowers then I will eat my hat. It’s right up my street and I can’t wait to give one of the crafts a go.

Inside the book it says that a great deal has happened to change the lives of women living in the countryside since 1960 when this book was last published, and it is fascinating to note these changes. But we have since lost or forgotten so many rural skills and pleasures. Following the four seasons, here are dozens of different tasks and hobbies re-discovered in this WI Country Woman’s Year: Six decades on, modern readers may no longer wish to live like their countryside sisters of two generations ago, but they will be struck by the happy gusto with which the then-450,000 members of the WI went about enjoying their busy country lives throughout the year.

The WI Country Woman’s Year 1960 by Shirley Paget is available from Amazon and other good book stores at £15.99

The WI Cookbook : The First 100 Years Hardcover by Mary Gwynn, available from Amazon and other good bookshops from £11.22

This beautifully packaged book, curated by food journalist Mary Gwynn, brings together the 100 best loved members’ recipes nationwide. Organised decade by decade, and setting each recipe in its historical and social context, it spans everything from jams and preserves to main courses, puddings and bakes. Nostalgic favourites like Toad in the Hole and Kedgeree feature alongside contemporary hits such as Lamb Pot Roast with Nettle Champ and Italian Lamb with Roasted Sweet Peppers.

Here are recipes created during the war to make the most of limited supplies (like Stuffed Cod Steak and Apple and Fig Roll) and ideas to overcome the challenges of food rationing (like Elderberry and Apple Jelly and Corned Beef Hash) to current day recipes such as Venison Steaks with Quick Bearnaise Sauce and finally the WI’s own signature cake: The Centenary Fruit Cake from North Yorkshire. Fully illustrated from the archives of the WI, alongside beautiful food photography, this gorgeous cookbook will prove a firm favourite with keen cooks of all ages.

The WI Big Book of Baking Hardcover by Liz Herbert available from Amazon and other good book shops.

With over 200 recipes, the Big Book of Baking will guide you effortlessly through all the stages of bread-making as well as giving advice on how to bake the perfect cake. Suitable for beginners and experienced bakers alike, there is something here for everyone: all types of loaves, pastries, rolls and buns; sweet and savoury breads plus yeast, gluten and wheat free options; muffins and cup cakes, sponges and chocolate cakes; suggestions for cake toppings and finishes Tempting treats for every day and delicious ideas for a festive flourish – all the inspiration you need to hone your baking skills and produce impressive results every time.

5 TEAS WITH A BIT OF CBD TO RELAX AND ENJOY…

Why not try a tea infused with a bit of CBD in it. We could all do with a pick up on a wet and dark day.

According to The Brothers Apothecary CBD tea is a great and effective way to boost your mood and manage your stress even if you have no health problems. And, even though there are many ways to take CBD, ingesting it in tea is a natural and healthy way to enjoy the benefits of it. They say it is full of antioxidants and vitamins to support a healthy body while giving you the right nutrients.

The Brothers Apothecary point out *The Apothecary LLC are not doctors and we do not provide medical advice. None of the information on this site, including information in any press release or blog post, constitutes legal or medical advice by us.

CBD Tea UK explain a bit more about CBD tea into two types: hemp tea and water-soluble tea. Some companies also offer sparkling CBD tea, but that’s more of a sweetened beverage than a proper tea. Hemp tea is the closest equivalent to the regular (black and green) and herbal tea millions of people drink every day. It’s made by steeping hemp leaves or other parts of the plant in hot water. Hemp tea has an earthy, bitter flavour that’s somewhat reminiscent of an unflavored full-spectrum CBD oil.

Water-soluble or more accurately “water-dispersible” CBD tea contains CBD powder that’s been processed with nanotechnology to make it easier to mix in water. It can contain either pure CBD (isolate) or whole-plant hemp extract (full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD). Most water-soluble CBD teas also contain regular or herbal tea to give the tea added flavour and benefits.

Hempura CBD Tea (Natural Raspberry) £9.99 from CBD UK
TEA + CBD Infused Tea 7 Bags

This CBD Tea is available from Holland and Barrett and is £5.24

  • 3mg of 100% bioavailable CBD per tea bag
  • Organic blend of tea and CBD. Naturally caffeine free.
  • Naturally apple & baobab flavoured.

Part of a range of vitamin, mineral and CBD infused teas from TEA+. TEA+ CBD delivers 3mg of 100% bioavailable CBD per tea bag. Delivered in an organic caffeine free blend of rooibos, apple & baobab, TEA+ CBD offers a new, refreshing way to consume CBD.

Body & Mind Botanicals have a couple of CBD to choose from. The most efficient & natural way to take CBD to contribute to relieving stress, anxiety, pain and improving sleep and mood. With added Peppermint or natural for a new great flavour and the benefits peppermint provide.

 BioBloom Hemp Tea from 50g of loose hemp flower tea high in CBDa. Produced from organic hemp this product is additive free, rich in flavonoids, terpenes and cannabinoids. Available in a paper bag or in a glass jar for improved storage at £18.90 from Fortheglass.

Buddha Teas UK have an Organic CBD Turmeric & Ginger Infusion which sounds delicious. Used traditionally for thousands of years, earthy turmeric and spicy ginger combine perfectly. Add 5 mg of water-soluble CBD, and the results are a stunning cup of ancient, yet modern delight. Finally, our CBD Turmeric & Ginger Infusion has been tested to reveal zero percent THC Water-Soluble CBD, 18 Bleach Free Tea Bags / Box at £16.99 Frequently paired for consumption, the combination of turmeric and ginger is an obvious winner when seeking a warming, stimulating cuppa. Considered close relatives as far as roots go, in this instance together really is better, which is then topped off with 5 mg of our water-soluble CBD. The pungent, mildly bitter taste of turmeric, when combined with slightly pungent, delightfully sweet ginger, makes an obviously perfect combo.

6 HALLOWEEN INSPIRED TABLE SETTINGS…

With Halloween nearly here and most of us in lockdown it means we can only stay at home to celebrate Halloween. But that doesn’t mean we cannot create our own atmosphere at home so here are some Halloween Themed table settings to inspire you.

Judy1980 50Pcs Harvest Decorations, Artificial Mini Fake Pumpkins Blend maple Leaves Gourd Pine Cones Acorns Set for Thanksgiving Christmas Autumn Fall Halloween Party Home Table Supplies from Amazon
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Halloween light up wine bottles from Etsy
Skull Centrepiece in Country Living Magazine with another 30 to choose from.