News and Advice from the NGS team

September 2012 Newsletter

Saturday, September 01, 2012

When Ainsley Harriott popped in...

Ainsley Harriott at NGSJust a few weeks ago, top TV chef and food hero Ainsley Harriott came to our store in Cheltenham.   He was filming for a TV series he’s shooting focussing on the ‘Best of British' which will be broadcast later in the year.  He was talking about British mustards and chose to come to our store as we stock such a comprehensive range. 

'Ditch the Dijon and Turn on to Tewksbury!' came the voice spoken through the smile... Ainsley was absolutely lovely and his booming voice and infectious laughter filled the store and lifted the early morning mood considerably.  Naturally we had a couple of pictures with him and then left him to talk about the mustards.  Our 20 strong selection of mustard can be viewed here.

We are pleased to be able to offer you mustards from Kitchen Garden Preserves.  Kitchen Garden make delicious condiments and spreads one small batch at a time less than 20 miles away from our store.  Their Wholegrain Mustard with Garlic & Herbs is one of our hottest selling mustards, very British and very tasty! Barbara of Kitchen Garden was telling us this weekend how the original Tewksbury mustard was just a hand rolled mustard paste ball that had been ground by lead cannonballs and which you would need to reconstitute to taste... whilst appreciating the true origins of the Tewksbury, we are very happy that Barbara & Robin save us the trouble and mess by producing a ready to spoon pot of sensational tasting mustard!

Tracklements offer us delights such as Green Peppercorn, Tarragon or Wholegrain Honey Mustard. We can offer a taste and texture for all tastes so click here for the shopping aisle..

New website on its way...

new websiteWe are hoping that our new website that we have been constructing behind the scenes will be ready to go live at the end of this week.

Whilst we are retaining much of our brand appearance, our on-line customers should notice a number of improvements including an easier search facility and being able to save your 'favourites' to allow speedier shopping of your staples.

Whilst we obviously hope and anticipate that this will be a smooth transition that should be near seamless to our customers, should you encounter any problems at all please don't hesitate to call us on 01242 572323 and we will help guide you through.

Chia Seeds

Chia seedsChia Seeds are an exciting new find to the Western World which we at The Natural Grocery Store now have available in a variety of Brands & sizes which can be seen here.

Chia seeds are a potent energy tonic and the highest source of omega-3 fatty acids next to flax seeds. They are loaded with antioxidants, protein and fibre and were used as an endurance food by Aztec warriors. Like flax, they can be ground and sprinkled onto food but Chia seeds will thicken almost instantly when added to a liquid becoming gelatinous in texture and are used in smoothies, porridges, puddings, juices, and tea.

These tiny Titans of goodness may be eaten raw as a whole seed, providing protein, fats, and fibre.  Ground chia seed is sometimes added to Pinole, a coarse flour made from toasted maize kernels and can be incorporated into bread mixes. Chia seeds placed in water or fruit juice are regularly consumed in Mexico and known as chia fresca.
Chia sprouts are also used in a similar manner as alfalfa sprouts in salads, sandwiches and other dishes. Chia sprouts are sometimes grown on porous clay figurines which has led to the popular U.S. novelty item of the Chia Pet.

In a one-ounce (28g) sample, dried chia seeds contain 9% of the Daily Value for protein (4g), 13% fat (9g) (57% of which is ALA) and 42% dietary fibre (11g), based on a daily intake of 2000 calories. The seeds also contain the essential minerals phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium and sodium in amounts comparable to other edible seeds, such as flax or sesame.

The Vitamin Boom~Super Froo-Tea

super froo teaBalcarras, one of the Secondary Schools in our local area that we have close affiliations with, have for the second year in a row, produced a product via the Young Enterprise Scheme that The Natural Grocery Store have stocked both in store and via our on-line home delivery service. This year in particular though, we delighted to say that not only do WE think their product is 'Super'; so do the judges of the Young Enterprise Initiative who have declared them UK winners of the year 2012 and The Vitamin Boom team picked up honours at the International competition held in Bucharest this July!  The Balcarras Young Enterprise team's product this year is the Super Froo-Tea T-bag and ready to drink bottle of iced tea.

Each T-bag contains baobab which is a fruit grown in the horn of Africa and there are five grams of baobab in each tea bag, which is equal to one of your five a day.                                                                                               The fruit of the baobab tree, known as the African tree of life, contains six times more vitamin C than oranges, six times more potassium than bananas, twice as much Calcium as milk, more Magnesium than Spinach, six times more anti-oxidants than Cranberries & Blueberries and more iron than red meat. It has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.. super!

On its own, baobab tastes very sweet, rather like grapefruit, but the team has also blended it with a couple of grams of rooibos and lemon which gives it an overall citric flavour.

The team are enthusiastic about the tea's health-giving properties and are giving five per cent of their profits back to Practical Action, which is an African-based charity which supports independent farmers in Sudan.

Baobab is an increasingly recognised super fruit and Natural Grocery Store can also offer this fantastic body boost in the forms of Baobab powder or a tablet supplement by Minvita or else our Raw Food Junkies 'Inspiral' may inspire you with their Raw Dehydrated Baobab & Onion Kale Chips... Click here to see our Baobab options.

And lastly...

social mediaHaving just returned from the Speciality Fine Food Fair at Olympia this weekend, I look forward to being able to offer you some very exciting new products with our next newsletter later this month, please keep an eye on our What's New Section which we will keep up to date with any new stock as it arrives.

In addition to this, and as a way of keeping ourselves up to date with both our customers and our suppliers, we have joined both Twitter and Facebook and look forward to you joining us there. On Facebook we are 'The Natural Grocery Store' and on Twitter find us at 'Natgrocerystore'.

We will see you all next time...

Jo & Lewis