Can a foodie find exciting new ingredients in a health store?

It’s hard to stay upbeat on my current diet to get rid of a candida infection and parasites but being a foodie I’m trying to find the sunshine gourmet food learning opportunity.  I look to many chefs and food writers for inspiration and though the food I cook is light and healthy, I’m certainly way more Nigella than Deliciously Ella. One of my favourite dairy free chocolate cakes is Nigella’s divine velvety mousse –like chocolate olive oil cake.

Here’s my foodie verdict on health food store ingredients I’ve just tried. I’m not going to bore you with the health benefits as no matter what these are if something isn’t a joy to use in cooking and the flavour is dubious, I won’t serve it to anyone else. 

Gluten Free Oats

Oats are gluten-free anyway — so unless you have a diagnosed allergy to gluten don’t fall for spending considerably more. Compare the price of the normal oats here .  Gluten-free oats aren’t handled in an environment with ingredients containing gluten so they are not contaminated –which is a problem for anyone with an allergy. Same taste so no rating.

Artisan Bread Organic   0

I had high hopes for this brand which produces a range of gluten-free loaves including wheat free ones like Quinoa and rice. The size is half a small brick and the weight not far off. These don’t slice easily. I spat out the first mouthful of both versions but given the price couldn’t throw away. Yes the brand has loyal fans –but I doubt any have eaten the divine range of Greek breads.

Nutritional Yeast Flakes  0

These are supposed to taste like cheese — if you like strong cheddar well past it’s sell by date. The flakes look like wood shavings and the texture on the tongue is unpleasant. In theory it’s natural but you can’t pick it off a tree, and it sounds processed for my liking, no matter how healthy it is. Apparently I could use these to make stock but I can’t bring myself to try.

Sprouted Grains   0

I couldn’t get my head round these. Grains (including rice, buckwheat, quinoa) are sprouted but you don’t see a live sprout. The idea is that you don’t cook these but sprinkle on salads.  It’s like adding bird food to your food, which is totally unappetising. I imagine this is what shredded cardboard tastes like and despite theory these are easier to digest, the cardboard seeds linger.

Coconut Aminos Sauce   4

I almost skipped buying this as the health food store one wasn’t far off a tenner for a small bottle. This is billed as a healthy wheat-free alternative to soya sauce that’s superior to tamari (which is wheat-free). Not a taste I like anyway. So this was a major surprise: sweeter and more caramel-y than soya/tamari. One I’ll definitely continue to use for fusion dishes.

Coconut Butter   4

This nut butter is more appealing than sludgy, dense and disappointing almond butter, but it’s solid rather than soft and malleable like peanut butter. It’s a good ingredient to add to smoothies for a thicker texture and a mild flavor that combines well with other ingredients. As soon as I can I’ll be making Nigella’s vegan  Dark and Sumptious Chocolate Cake which has a coconut butter frosting.

Coconut Oil    3

I tried this some time ago and dismissed as one for the Green Bloggers but was ‘prescribed’ a teaspoon a day for its anti-microbial properties which meant having another go. It’s palatable in a smoothie and just about works in Thai curries. But I find olive oil a much more versatile ingredient to cook with, and yes, I admit it, thanks to my Greek heritage nothing beats olive oil.

Nothing beats my beloved olive oil

My next task is to test alternative flours. I’ll report soon 🙂












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