Easy food swaps you can make for a healthier January …
Whether you have chosen to embrace dry January, Veganuary or even perhaps just ‘weaning myself off the Quality Street-anuary’, attempting to embrace a mildly healthy lifestyle post-Christmas excesses can help us muddle through a dreary month in myriad ways. We needn’t be attempting to discover a newer, more improved version of ourselves, but there’s nothing wrong with optimising what we’ve got. Here are five food businesses that help us do just that.
Leamhain Ice Cream
Craving some hand-crafted vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and palm oil-free ice-cream sandwiches? Did we mention that they taste heavenly, use the freshest locally sourced and most sustainable ingredients wherever possible and come in four flavours including butterscotch blondie, double chocolate brownie, lemon curd meringue, and mint stracciatella? Leamhain owner Conor Sweeny trialled over 250 litres of vegan ice-cream before landing on a recipe that he felt sure mimicked the mouthfeel of dairy ice-cream but with vegan ingredients. The rest, as they say, is culinary history. Visit www.leamhainicecream.com for stockists.
The Hopsack, Rathmines
An oldie but most definitely a goodie, The Hopsack has been leading the crusade for health food awareness since opening their doors in 1979, long before it was so on point. As a child I remember mung bean dal featuring in our house (most likely in January) and The Hopsack was my mother’s first port of call to source the ingredients. These days, the next generation of the Murray family have taken the helm, bringing The Hopsack well and truly into the 21st century with their vast selection of healthy foods. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You will also find eco clothing and household goods and natural, organic skincare. This January, join owner Finn Murray for ‘60 Days of Celery Juice’ (there is lime in it too) and you will be rewarded with your very own digital discount card. www.thehopsack.ie
Harvest Day Vegetable Box Delivery
As we all know, you are halfway to ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ if you take one small step and begin including more fruit and vegetables in your meals. Fergus Halpin from Harvest Day is on a mission to ensure that when you do, you are consuming the very best of Irish produce, while also supporting small, sustainable food producers and putting them back at the heart of the food system. Veg boxes start at €25 and there are lots of optional add-ons including sourdough bread from Sugarloaf Bakery, organic eggs, Abernethy butter (imperative rather than optional), and Wicklow honey. A delivery from Harvest Day is akin to having your very own personalised hamper delivered weekly and who doesn’t love a nice hamper? Especially in January. Side note, the vegetables are all of the highest quality and each delivery comes with recipe cards in case you have reached kitchen burnout. Harvest Day deliver countrywide and when you sign up on their website, you will receive your first two deliveries free of charge. www.harvestday.ie
The Fermentary, Borris, Co Carlow
The Fermentary may be on hiatus until January 21, but it’s never too early to set your reminders. Among many other goodies at The Fermentary you will find organic and vegan pastries, kombucha on tap, and sugar-free granola made with amazake, a koji based ferment which is traditionally found in Japan. Amazake is a rice or porridge based drink and reputedly full of probiotics, digestive enzymes, b vitamins and amino acids which is lauded for its health benefits and sweet flavour making it the perfect addition to your morning granola. www.thefermentary.ie
Harry’s Nut Butter
Nuts are good, we all know that, but Harry’s Nut Butter takes that goodness to another level. Originally starting out as the house nut butter when proprietor Harry Colley was working as a chef at The Fumbally, the demand for his nut butter soon made it clear that he had created something special. Today, Harry’s Nut Butter can be found in a variety of stockists the length and breadth of the country including 3Fe, Brother Hubbard (who incidentally are due to open a new branch in Ranelagh), The Butlers Pantry among many, many others. The range has expanded to comprise of five flavours including original, coco buzz, pure peanut, extra crunchy and hot which is a personal favourite. Each flavour contains a minimum of 80% nuts with the pure peanut flavour containing a whopping 97.5%. All are vegan and vegetarian appropriate and all are delicious. Harry’s Nut Butter is amazing on crunchy toast but that is just the beginning of its wide range of applications and there is a wealth of recipes on the website should you need inspiration. As for me, have spoon, will gorge. You can buy online or find a stockist near you at www.harrysnutbutter.com.
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