Not all that bad…

FEBRUARY ALREADY?!! I know..we can’t believe it either!With a new year comes new goals and resolutions and we know there are many, many people out there who are exercising more, eating healthier, drinking more water (or not..we won’t tell). So naturally we thought that we would give you a few fun facts about the health benefits of our flavours.

MATCHA GREEN TEA

Matcha green tea can increase energy and endurance for up to 6 hours (with no coffee crash)

Matcha green tea has been shown to increase metabolism and help the body burn fat nearly four times faster (YEY)

Matcha green tea enhances mood, improves memory, and promotes better concentration.

Matcha green tea is a powerful detoxifier capable of naturally removing heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.

MISO

Because miso is fermented and contains live active cultures, you can think of it as acting similarly on our digestive system as yogurt.

If you’ve been overdoing it on the sugar and dairy over Christmas (i know we have), you can benefit from consuming plenty of miso. It helps cleanse your system and speeds up the tummy’s ability to heal.

Miso has been linked to the prevention of high blood pressure.

Miso helps to activate certain enzymes found in beans and grains that allow you to absorb the available nutrients they provide more easily. These include copper, manganese, B vitamins, vitamin K and phosphorus.

GINGER

Ginger is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Ginger appears to be highly effective against nausea.

Ginger appears to be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain, and may reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness…perfect for you gym bunnies out there!

CHILLI

Chillies carry a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.

Chillies can be useful in relieving and preventing common problems such as headaches, migraines and discomfort caused by sinus problems, allowing a person to relax more easily.

The main chemical found in chillies increases the metabolic rate, which aids in the fat burning process. Studies reveal that eating chillies can raise your metabolic rate by up to 23% for about 3 hour

COCONUT

Coconuts provide an immediate source of energy with fewer calories than other fats.

The healthy fat in coconut slowsdown any rise in blood sugar and helps to reduce those sweet cravings.

Coconuts improve digestion and help to aid and support overall Immune System functions.

Like you need an excuse to eat ice cream anyway..

Cocktails for Christmas

Whether you save these tipples for Christmas day or treat yourself a little early we’re sure you’ll be coming back for more, and more…and more *hic*You all know how much we love a kick of chilli with our chocolate….

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
Pinch of chilli powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
190ml almond milk, unsweetened (can substitute Irish Creme, coffee-flavoured liqueur or milk)
1 tbsp honey
30ml tequila
Cinnamon stick

In a saucepan over low heat add the cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon powder and chilli powder. Toast for a couple of minutes. Using a small whisk or wooden spoon, slowly incorporate the almond milk.
Raise the temperature to medium-high and bring to a slow simmer. Stir in the honey and remove from the heat.
Rim a mug with garnish of your choice (we chose paprika) Pour in tequila. Add hot cocoa mixture. Stir with a cinnamon stick and serve.

Something a little different – Lychee and Rose

50ml Beefeater gin
15ml Lychee liqueur (we use lychee sake hana)
7.5ml Rose syrup
5ml Fresh egg whites
30ml Lychee juice

Shake all of the ingredients together with ice and strain into a martini glass, garnish with a rose petal or lychee fruit for wow factor.

The perfect winter warmer – Hot Buttered Rum

2 parts Bacardi Carta Negra
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
small knob of butter
cinnamon stick to garnish
Freshly grated nutmeg to garnish

Over a low heat, melt the butter in a pan with the sugar and cloves. Turn off the heat and add the Bacardi Carta Negra and stir well. Pour the contents through a sieve into a mug or toddy glass and top with hot water to taste. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and grated nutmeg.

One for Christmas day – Christmas Pudding vodka

Allow a few days prep for this one
Nutmeg shaving
2 Sticks of cinnamon
2 Teaspoons ground mixed spice
1 Lemon
1 Orange
300g Currants
200g Chopped mixed peel
450g Light muscovado sugar
1L Vodka

Warm the spices in a dry pan over a low heat for approximately 10 minutes.
Grate the lemon and orange rind into in a bowl, then squeeze in 2 tablespoons of each juice.
Combine with the rest of the ingredients, including the warmed spices. Mix well, cover and chill for 3 to 4 days, stirring a few times daily, if you can.
To bottle the vodka, line a sieve with muslin and strain. Discard the cinnamon sticks, but reserve the soaked fruits for other uses.
Decant the vodka into clean bottles and seal – this will store for up to one year, and can be served from the freezer or at room temperature.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without it – Mulled Wine

750 ml dry red wine
1 orange, sliced into rounds
60ml cup brandy (optional)
60ml cup honey or sugar
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
optional garnishes: citrus slices (orange, lemon and/or lime), extra cinnamon sticks, extra star anise

Combine all ingredients in a non-aluminum saucepan and bring to a simmer (not a boil – you don’t want to boil the alcohol out!) over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let the wine simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 hours. Strain, and serve warm with your desired garnishes.

How do you like your coffee in the morning?

It’s Monday…the only way to tackle this is with copious amounts of coffee.How do you have your coffee?
Black?
Milky?

Not us, we’ve travelled the globe in search of different ways to get that caffeine kick!

America – Drip Coffee Nothing is more quintessentially American than a cup of Joe. Most mugs are brewed with Arabica coffee beans which contain less caffeine than other varieties, but studies have found that roasting coffee beans when the coffee is brewed actually ups the antioxidant levels. Talk about starting the day off right!

Turkey – Turkish Coffee Novices beware: Turkish coffee doesn’t play around. Served with the fine grounds still in it, this traditional coffee is known as extra dark and strong and is definitely not for the faint of palate. Turkish coffee is boiled instead of brewed so it packs in more heart-healthy nutrients

Greece – Frappe Made with instant coffee, evaporated milk and ice-cold water, a frappé isn’t glam, but it is definitely delicious.

Vietnam – Egg Coffee Egg coffee for breakfast (or dessert)! Made with egg yolk, condensed milk, sugar, and hot coffee, this this tiramisu-like treat is nothing if not rich. But before you feel too guilty, the combo of condensed milk and egg yolk gives this brew a hearty dose of protein.

Germany – Pharisäer Maybe save this one for the weekend ;)…Coffee with rum and whipped cream!…Yes please

Finland – Kaffeost Coffee with an extra shot of…cheese? so…a cheese called juustoleipä is cut into small chunks and placed at the bottom of the cup, and then coffee is poured on top. After you drink the coffee, you eat the cheese with a spoon…Brew Gromit?

Hong Kong – Yuan Yang This famous Hong Kong brew blends coffee with milky black tea for an antioxidant-boosted caffeine buzz.

Spain – Cafe Bombon Made with espresso and half sweetened condensed milk, café bombon doesn’t need any extra sugar (but maybe a trip to the dentist).. In one double shot sized serving, it packs 14 grams on it’s own! Try this Spanish classic with condensed coconut milk to cut the calories.

….i’d look away now if you’re squeamish..

Indonesia – Kopi Luwak – absurdly, this is coffee made from beans that have passed through a civet’s faeces. But, it is known to be very aromatic and flavourful…and very rare!

What is Umami?

Taking its name from the Japanese, umami translates to ‘pleasant savoury taste’, it is made from glutamate (a type of amino acid) and ribonucleotides, which occur naturally in many foods.When humans eat, they use all of their senses:

but it is taste that is the most influential in determining how delicious a food is.

It has been thought that our sense of taste is comprised of four basic, or ‘primary’, tastes, which cannot be replicated by mixing together any of the other primaries:

However, it is now known that there is actually the fifth primary taste: umami

When you combine ingredients containing different umami-giving compounds, they enhance one another so the dish packs more flavour points making them moreish and (almost) addictive.

As the taste of umami itself is subtle and blends well with other tastes to expand and round out flavours, most people don’t recognise umami when they encounter it, but it plays an important role making food taste delicious.

Umami has a mild but lasting aftertaste that is difficult to describe. It induces salivation and stimulates the throat, the roof and the back of the mouth.

It is used in various forms all over the world. In Asia, it is mainly found in beans and grain, fermented seafood-based products, shiitake mushrooms, kombu and dried seafood.

Have you tried our new Chocolate Miso Ice cream? Once you try this moreish delight you won’t be able to stop…trust me! The combination of the rich dark chocolate and the salty miso paste creates a 5th taste sensation called UMAMI…

Funky Food Trends 2016

From fresh takes on bright, healthful fare to exotic Pacific and Asian influences, these are the things that will be dominating the food scene — and your diet — in 2016.Poke

Even if you’ve never personally tried poke, chances are you’ve heard of it. This traditional Hawaiian salad made up of raw fish, seasonings, sauce, fruits, and vegetables has taken the West Coast by storm this year.

Artisan Ice Cream (great news for us eh!)

Vanilla? Boring. Chocolate? Snooze. Although these aren’t going away any time soon, funky twists on the classic creamy dessert are on the rise. Artisan ice cream makers like Ohio’s Jeni’s Ice Creams and New York’s Ample Hills have built devoted fan followings, thanks in no small part to their unique, seasonal flavors. Some creameries are pushing the limit with wild creations that appeal to adventurous eaters and food bloggers alike,
others are redefining what ice cream is altogether. Taiwanese shaved snow cream is an up-and-coming trend and Thai rolled ice cream. Any way you scoop it, funky, fancy, and fantastic flavors are here and ready to dominate the cream scene.

Seaweed

Kale is out, and seaweed is in. After many years of kale dominating the leafy vegetable world, many are calling seaweed the new go-to green. Not only is it environmentally friendly and plentiful, but seaweed is also packed with fiber, antioxidants, iodine, and good fats.
According to the Specialty Food Association’s 2016 Trend Forecast, seaweed is “set to explode thanks to its sustainability angle and umami appeal.”

Ube

There’s a good chance you’ve never tasted, or perhaps even heard of, ube before — but that’s about to change. Filipino cuisine is hot right now, and perhaps its best known and most instantly recognisable ingredient is this vibrant purple yam, which will be found all over in 2016. Look for ube doughnuts, ice cream and cheesecake because these purple sweets are about to begin a rise.

Fermented Everything

The funky, earthy flavors of fermentation will be big this year, as people stock up on artisan pickles and pile kimchi on just about everything, from sandwiches to savory pancakes. In addition to lending dishes a unique, acidic flavor, eating fermented foods hugely benefits the health of your gut. When food is fermented, the sugars and carbohydrates are broken down by healthy bacteria, resulting in a pungent burst of flavor.

Exotic Condiments

Out with the mustard, ketchup, and mayo and in with the spicy, funky sauces of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Spice is the name of the game in food right now, and nothing quite brings the heat as these pepper-packed pastes. And we’re not just talking Sriracha. Korean gochujang (fermented chili paste) is going to be huge in 2016, as well as Indonesian sambal oelek. So if you’re a spice lover, get excited to find these tangy flavours on menus all over.

Alternative Flours

The gluten-free trend continues with the rise of hip flours. Pasta, grains and baked goods are focusing on bases made of beans, lentils and coconut as well as grains like quinoa, millet and amaranth. Bean flours, including chickpea, are becoming increasingly popular among pasta and snack options popping up on supermarket shelves.

Vegetables, Glorified

The power of plants has been trending for several years but 2016 may be their time to truly shine. The National Restaurant Association noted that chefs will be increasing their use of vegetables as a main ingredient with animal proteins moving away from the center of the plate. A number of “on-trend” vegetables will include kohlrabi, kalettes, purslane, broccoflower as well as vibrant vegetables including rainbow carrots, squashes and purple cauliflowers. All vegetables contain an abundance of many vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients as well as helping to boost fibre intake which is lacking in many people’s diets.

Matcha powder

Our favourite antioxidant-rich, powdered green tea originates from Japan and has been popular for some time now. However, the use of this powder is moving away from the teacup and onto the dinner plate as chefs work it into dishes such as dips, breads, porridge, curries and grain-based dishes such as tabbouleh to add a nutritional boost.

Nut milks

These lovely, tasty and dairy-free milk alternatives have been popular for a while and the best ones are made by smaller producers that simply use nuts and water with the addition of natural flavours. This year will see producers using a wider variety of nuts such as Brazils and pistachios as well as adding interesting flavours and ingredients with additional health benefits such as turmeric. I think we will see larger food manufacturers getting in on the act as they appear more readily on supermarket shelves. Fresh nut milks are highly nutritious and rich in protein, fibre, monounsaturated fats, B vitamins, iron and magnesium. It’s also really easy to make your own at home – all you need is a blender, bag of nuts and water. You can add flavour using cocoa powder, vanilla and a little honey.

Yee Kwan Christmas Party

‘Tis the season to get jolly…so we did.We thought it would be rude not to check out the newly renovated Devonshire Cat pub for a quick pre-drink, the atmosphere and their selection of cocktails was great (the gooseberry and elderflower especially).
https://www.facebook.com/devcat/

We had booked our table at Bill’s Restaurant near the Peace Gardens in Sheffield after having a great Christmas with them last year, between us we tried all options on the menu from a traditional turkey roast to juicy steak. The vegetarian nut roast didn’t disappoint either.

Home


After food we thought we’d pay a visit to our friends at Oisoi Oriental Food where we were met with some of the most gorgeous looking cheesecakes and cocktails, the bar staff were great and certainly knew their way around a drinks cabinet.
https://www.facebook.com/OisoiFood/

If you are a Sheffield regular and you haven’t already you NEED to head to Thor’s Tipi in the Peace Gardens, mulled wine and a fire pit..what more do you want to get in the Christmas spirit.

And last but certainly not least we ventured to The Botanist. Im sure we don’t have to tell you about their floral themed drinks menu, each one beautifully garnished with plants and flowers (that counts towards our 5 a day right…?)
http://thebotanist.uk.com

Reasons to drink (and eat) MATCHA

What is matcha you ask?Matcha is 100% natural, organic green tea leaves which have been carefully ground down to form a fine powder.

We like to think of matcha as a sort of superhero amongst teas, as it’s super-concentrated and packed full of the goodness we need to help keep us looking and feeling happy and healthy.

The tea leaves are grown under cover for the last two weeks of cultivation to produce lots of chlorophyll (the bright green good stuff). They are then dried and slowly ground between two granite rocks to a very fine powder. This is then packed immediately in a vacuum-sealed tin, to lock in all the nutrients.

Why should you swap your morning coffee for matcha?

1. Its packed full of antioxidants, it has 125 times more antioxidants than spinach!

2. Increases energy… Samurai, the noble warriors of medieval Japan, drank Matcha Green Tea before going into battle due to the tea’s energizing properties. While all green tea naturally contains caffeine, the energy boost received from Matcha can last up to 6 hours and comes without the usual side effects of caffeine…It’s good, clean energy.

3. Weight loss… Drinking Matcha Green Tea has been shown to increase metabolism and help the body burn fat about four times faster than average. Again, unlike many diet aides currently on the market, Matcha causes no negative side-effects such as increased heart rate and high blood pressure.

4. Detoxifying… Before tea leaves are harvested to be made into Matcha, Camellia sinensis are covered to deprive them of sunlight. This causes an increase in chlorophyll production in the new growth of these plants. The resulting high levels of chlorophyll in Matcha Green Tea not only gives the tea its beautiful vibrant green color but is also a powerful detoxifier capable of naturally removing heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.

5. Brain Power… The L-Theanine in matcha is known to help stimulate alpha brain waves. These waves are known for their ability to help increase focus and concentration. In Japan it’s particularly popular among students who are cramming for exams.

6. High fibre…Matcha green tea leaves contain a high level of easily-absorbable dietary fibre. The benefits of dietary fibre include its ability to ease constipation and stabilize blood sugar levels.

Get up and go…FAR EAST

East Asian food is not only ‘on trend’ at the moment but it is absolutely DELICIOUS!We were getting a little bored of the bog standard cereal, toast and porridge so we began looking into alternative breakfast options with an East Asian twist.

MAD ABOUT MANGO..

For a sweet treat in the morning we love this Chinese sticky rice with fresh mango, all you need is:
300g Glutinous (sushi) Rice
250ml Coconut Milk
3 tbsp Sugar
3 tbsp Coconut Cream
…and some ripe mangoes of course

Soak the sticky rice in cold water for at least 3 hours, Drain and rinse thoroughly, Line a steamer with muslin and place the rice on top. Bring the water in the steamer to the boil and steam the rice over moderate heat for 30 minutes, turning halfway.
Combine the coconut milk and sugar in a small pan and heat gently, stirring all the time, until the sugar has dissolved (Do not boil) and set aside to cool
Peel the mangoes and cut off the two outer cheeks of each fruit, as close to the stones as possible. Discard the stones. Slice each piece of fruit into thin lengthways slices.
Put a mound of rice on a dish and top with the mango mango, pour the coconut cream over and add any garnish of your choice.

P P P P PANCAKES

We know everyone loves pancakes so how about these Japanese Okonomiyaki style pancakes

2 large eggs
177ml buttermilk
50g sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
188g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp vegetable oil

In a blender, add eggs, buttermilk, sugar, vanilla, and salt and blend on the lowest speed for just a few seconds until combined.
Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Continue blending for 15 to 20 seconds or until the batter is completely combined.
Heat a sauté pan over medium-low heat and using a pastry brush, brush the inside of a ring mold with oil. Add remaining oil to the pan and place the ring mold in the center of the pan.
Let heat up for a few minutes and then pour the pancake batter into the mold until it is half full. Be careful to not add too much because the batter will expand and spill over the side.
Cook the pancake for four minutes or until bubbles start to form on the top of the pancake.
Use a spatula to carefully flip the pancake and mold over and continue cooking for an additional three minutes, or until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown and the inside is no longer runny.
Serve stacked with butter and syrup, bacon and maple syrup or blueberries and honey..the pancake possibilities are endless!

COME AROUND WITH CONGEE

Need a bit of substance to bring you round this morning? Congee is the perfect warm and hearty start to a dull winter morning and so easy to make!

185 grams long-grain rice (white or brown)
2L water
6 chicken thighs (bone-in)
1 piece ginger (peeled and sliced into large pieces)
Salt (to taste)
Garnish of your choice

Rinse and drain the rice. Pour the rice into a heavy stock pot and add in the water, ginger and chicken thighs.
Bring the pot to a boil then immediately turn down the heat.
Allow the pot to simmer, covered, for 1-1½ hours, or until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid and has started breaking apart (this will take longer for brown rice)
Remove the chicken thighs into a bowl and allow to cool. When the chicken thighs are cool enough for you to handle, shred the meat and remove the bones.
Add the shredded chicken back into the congee and mix well.
Add salt, if desired.
Serve and garnish as you wish…soy sauce, spring onions, tea stained egg etc.

Campfire Cones

If you haven’t already tried a campfire cone then i urge you to give it a try this Bonfire weekend…Don’t be fooled by the title, you can make this delicious, gooey treat in the oven, grill or campfire.First and foremost you’ll need a regular ice cream cone, we used a waffle cones because of course we have hundreds but feel free to use a cone of your choice.

We then lined the inside of the cone with peanut butter.

Stuff the cone with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips (drool).

Now your cone is full to the brim, wrap in tin foil ready for heating.

As mentioned before you can use an oven, grill or of course a bonfire to heat your cones, unwrap and top with your favourite flavour of ice cream.

TO keep it more festive replace the peanut butter with treacle, toffee or butterscotch.

Tantalisingly Thai

We are constantly picking up flavours and ideas from our travels around the globe…today we’re feeling THAI!We have cooked up two new flavours in our ice cream kitchen.

Thai Tea

Using an authentic red tea powder from Thailand we hand strain the tea and infuse with our ice cream base, we then add lashings of condensed milk to bring out the true taste of Thailand

Thai Coffee

Authentic Cha Ta Mue coffee is dark and chocolatey with