Why You Should Start Preserving Food

Food preservation banner

Food preservation may seem like a thing of the past, a method used ‘back in the day’ when fresh produce was scarce in the cooler months, but it certainly has its place in the modern world and we use several methods every day without even thinking about it.

While our ancestors dried food for long journeys or fermented food for better nutritional value, food preservation can be used today to not only keep food for longer but also to reduce waste, save money, and enjoy local and seasonal produce year round.

Common food products such as yogurt, cheese, salami, dried fruits, pickled vegetables, canned beans, frozen peas and even beer use various methods of preservation, however many of these store-bought products have been imported and add up on the shopping bill. You can start using local produce and learn to ferment at home to save money and use fruit and vegetables you may have otherwise thrown away.

The best part about using local seasonal produce is that it’s nutritious and flavoursome, it’s cheaper, it supports our local farmers, and it hasn’t traveled half way around the world to get to you so it’s better for the environment.

Preservation Methods

Humans have been preserving food for thousands of years. Some anthropologists even believe that mankind settled down from nomadic wanderers into farmers to grow barley to make beer in roughly 10,000 BC. Food preservation can be found in every culture on the planet. Our long history of preserving food means that we now have a wide variety of time-tested ways to keep food around longer, many of them very basic.

Maturity vs Ripeness

It’s good to understand the difference between maturity and ripeness when preserving fruits and vegetables. Maturity means the produce will ripen and become ready to eat after you pick it. Ripeness occurs when the colour, flavour, and texture is fully developed.

Here’s a guideline to the best preservation methods based on maturity or ripeness of your produce:

Mature, slightly underripe produce is optimal for canning, pickling, and jamming.
Ripe produce is best for fresh eating, drying, cellaring, and freezing.
Overripe produce (but not decaying or mouldy) is suitable for fermenting.

The most common methods of preserving food at home today are canning, freezing and drying, however there are other ways to preserve food.

Here are some popular methods along with some old-fashioned or ancient techniques:

The food is heated at a specified temperate for a certain length of time (pasteurising) and then vacuum sealed in special glass jars. Canning will work for most foods including fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood.

Special Equipment
You must use special glass jars with two-piece canning lids designed for this purpose.

Fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, nuts, grains, dairy and eggs can be frozen, however foods must be chilled to at least -18 celsius.

Foods that love to be frozen:
– Bread. Just slice it first!
– Soups, stews and stocks.
– Cooked rice. Great to have on hand for egg fried rice.
– Meat & fish – although they will lose some moisture upon thawing.
– Bacon. Great to keep on hand for when there’s an emergency call for pork products.
– Bananas. Great for making banana bread or if you remember to peel them first almost instant ‘ice cream’.
– Berries. If you ever find yourself with a berry glut, freeze them in a single layer on a tray. Then pop them in a freezer bag or container.
– Pastry. I always make more than I need then freeze the rest for later.
– Fresh chilli, horseradish, turmeric & ginger. Great to have on hand.
– Herbs. While they will lose their fresh appearance, the flavour will still be great. Especially good for the woody herbs like rosemary & thyme.

Foods that don’t freeze so well:
– Dairy products – except for butter.
– Whole eggs – because they crack on expanding.
– High moisture fruit & vegetables – like celery or lettuce. When the water expands it damages the vegetable cell walls which turns them to mush when they thaw out.
– Garlic.
– Jam. The pectin which causes the jam to gel breaks down at freezing temperatures.
– Mayonnaise.

Drying is the process of dehydrating foods until there is not enough moisture to support microbial activity. Fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, grains, legumes and nuts can be dried.

Special Equipment
– Oven, or
– Electric dehydrator

Common dried foods:
– Instant coffee
– Evaporated and powdered milk
– Instant noodles
– Oatmeal
– Instant soup
– Sugar
– Dried apricots, banana and apple
– Desiccated coconut
– Dates
– Dried figs, goji berries and raisins
– Nuts
– Sun-dried tomatoes
– Rice
– Jerky
– Pancetta, Salami, Pastrami and Prosciutto

Many foods can be fermented, which means that good bacteria is encouraged to grow to counteract bad bacteria in order to preserve the food. Examples of fermented products are wine (from grapes), sauerkraut (from cabbage), cured sausage, and yogurt (from milk).

Pickled foods can be unsafe if prepared incorrectly, so another method of preservation is often used in conjunction with pickling such as fermenting or canning. Pickling requires the food to be soaked in a solution containing salt (brine), acid (vinegar or lemon juice), or alcohol and can be done with a wide variety of foods.

This old-fashioned method was used in the early twentieth century as an alternative to canning. Dry salting is either a fermenting or pickling technique used for meat, fish, and vegetables, and can produce a favourable taste to canned or frozen food.

This can be a complex method of preservation requiring special technique and know-how. Curing is similar to pickling in that it uses salt, acid, and/or nitrates. It is used specifically for meat and fish.

Smoking can act as a drying agent while also improving flavour and appearance. Smoked meats are less likely to turn rancid or grow mould than unsmoked meats.

Sealing keeps air out which delays spoilage, but does not stop it. It is often used in conjunction with drying or freezing. Vacuum sealing is a relatively inexpensive and simple method of food preservation.

Cellaring can be used for many foods such as vegetables, grains, nuts, fermented foods and dry-cured meats. It is the process of storing foods in a temperature-, humidity-, and light-controlled environment.

Ready to get started?

The start of winter is the perfect time to make large batches of soup and freeze, create ferments like sauerkraut and kimchi, dry or can tomatoes, or dry fruits now going out of season.

Come into TMP Organics for your fresh produce and try your hand at one of the methods of food preservation mentioned in this article. We’d love to see how you go!

Original article: http://www.tmporganicsbutcherandsupermarket.com.au/why-you-should-start-preserving-food.html



Diatomaceous Earth – The next big thing in health and well being?


You may have never heard of Diatomaceous Earth before, even though it’s been a part of the earth’s ecology for millions of years, but based on its remarkable health benefits we think it’s time the word got out. Like kale and goji berries before it, Diatomaceous Earth, or DE, may very well be the next big thing in the wellness industry.

Diatomaceous earth is an all-natural product made from tiny fossilised water plants or algae called diatoms. You’ve probably used DE before and not even realised it. It’s commonly found in pet nutrition products, sprays and products used to kill bugs, water filters, skin care products, toothpastes, foods and beverages such as beer and wine, and even in supplements and medicines.

Wait, I know what you’re thinking- did they just say it’s used to kill bugs and it’s used in food and beverages? Yep!

DE is available in two different grades: food grade (meant to be taken internally by humans) and non-food grade (used in industrial practices). The FDA in the US lists food grade diatomaceous earth as “Generally Recognised as Safe” and it has been used in household, beauty, food and pesticide products since the 1960s.

So how does it work and what is it exactly?

DE usually comes in the form of a white powder comprised of ground up diatoms (fossilised remains of tiny aquatic organisms) and is used to naturally eliminate free radicals, viruses, insects, parasites and other harmful organisms by binding to them and drying them out. It also has the ability to improve bone mineralisation, protect joints and fight the effects of ageing.


Health Benefits

Sure, we’ve all heard about juice cleanses for detoxification, but DE takes detoxing to a whole new level.

Diatomaceous earth helps to eliminate unhealthy bacteria, parasites, fungi, protozoa, endotoxins, pesticides and drug residues, e-coli, heavy metals (including methyl mercury), and protein toxins produced by some intestinal infections from the body. It does this by becoming negatively charged and attracting harmful microbes, free radicals and positively charged waste and helping the body to excrete them safely.

Parasites in the stomach or digestive tract are killed by the sharp edges of the DE. These edges also help to clean the walls of the intestines to remove mucus and mould, allowing the body to absorb more of the nutrients in the foods we eat.

A small amount of DE is absorbed into the blood stream as silica. Silica works similarly to antioxidants found in high-antioxidant foods, fighting free radical damage and detoxifying the blood.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that silica helps eliminate heavy metals such as aluminium from the body. It can also be beneficial to bone and connective tissue and can help prevent osteoporosis.

DE health benefits include:

– Improved digestion and more regular bowel movements

– Better liver and colon functioning

– Improved detoxification and removal of heavy metals

– Stronger immune function and protection from illnesses

– Healthier looking skin, hair and nails

– Stronger bones and protection from fractures or osteoporosis

– Improved joint and ligament health

– Improved energy

Ready to try Diatomaceous Earth for yourself?

Come into TMP Organics and pick up your pack of Fossil Power Diatomaceous Earth or Supercharged Food Heal Your Gut Powder and experience the benefits for yourself.

We’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts.

Heal Your Gut DE

Fossil Power DE

Health Benefits of Manuka Honey


Not all honeys are created equal, and telling the difference can sometimes be tricky. The standard honeys available at conventional supermarkets aren’t always as beneficial for our health as we’d like them to be. They are often highly processed and lacking in important nutrients.

Manuka honey, however, has been shown to have up to 4 times the nutritional content of normal flower honeys, and it is also highly antibacterial.

Honey has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes including topical treatment for wounds and other skin infections, but recent studies have exposed many more amazing health benefits of this unique honey.

Manuka Honey is so effective because of its considerably higher level of enzymes than regular honey. These enzymes create a natural hydrogen peroxide that works as an antibacterial. Hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal (MG), a powerful antibiotic compound, found in Manuka honey create what is referred to as the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF).

The UMF is a global standard in identifying and measuring the antibacterial strength of Manuka. This is necessary as UMF is not found in the nectar of all Manuka flowers, the flower native to New Zealand which is pollinated to create the Manuka honey. Two laboratories in New Zealand carry out independent tests in order to establish the UMF of certain Manuka honeys, that is, to identify the percentage of MG and therefore its concentration of healing properties.

Some honey is sold as Manuka honey but only contains a small amount of MG. It is recommended that you purchase honey that has the UMF trademark on it and the UMF factor. The minimum recognised UMF rating is UMF5, but it’s not considered beneficial unless it carries a UMF10+. You should aim for a UMF rating of at least 10+, however 16+ is ideal for the best medicinal benefits. To be considered Manuka honey, it also has to come from New Zealand.

Here is an explanation of what Manuka honey UMF you should use:
0-4 Non-therapeutic
4-9 Maintenance level with general honey health benefits
10-14 Supports natural healing and bacterial balance
15+ Superior levels of phenols that are highly therapeutic

Top Manuka Honey Benefits


Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach lining and can be caused by bacterial infections. Manuka honey has been shown to be effective against Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria most commonly seen in the highly acidic environment of the stomach. This bacterium is implicated in most cases of stomach ulcers that develop into cancer.

SIBO, Low Stomach Acid, Acid Reflux

Manuka honey is very beneficial in reducing reflux and balancing your digestive system to heal stomach and intestinal imbalances.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Manuka honey has been found to be effective in preventing colonic inflammation. It also helps with the repair of the colon lining damaged due to chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

Acne and Eczema

While there are no clinical trials to support claims that Manuka honey helps treat acne and eczema, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from people applying honey on affected areas and seeing results. This makes sense due to Manuka’s proven antimicrobial and healing properties.

Staph Infections (MRSA)

UK researchers from Cardiff Metropolitan University have recently discovered that Manuka honey down-regulates the most potent genes of the MRSA bacteria. Some scientists have suggested that regular topical use on cuts and infections (especially in hospitals and nursing homes) may keep MRSA at bay naturally.

Burns and Wounds

Manuka honey is excellent at treating cuts and burns due to its rich antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It disinfects the wound, draws out fluid and accelerates the body’s own defence mechanisms. Manuka also acts as pain relief for burn patients.

Dental Health

Inflammation of the gum (gingivitis) and the periodontal disease called pyorrhoea can be prevented or controlled by Manuka honey. Manuka has a high mineral content including calcium, zinc and phosphorous, and several studies have shown that chewing or sucking on a Manuka honey product caused a 35% decrease in plaque and led to a 35% reduction in bleeding sites in people suffering from gingivitis.


Manuka honey can stimulate the body’s cytokine production and kickstart our defence mechanisms to better fight off pathogens and diseases.

Cough Remedy

Honey has traditionally been taken to soothe sore throats and stop coughs because it soothes the lining of the throat and decreases discomfort and irritation. Due to its high antimicrobial actions, Manuka honey is even more effective than regular honey, and it has recently been approved by the National Cancer Institute to be used to heal inflammation in the throat from chemotherapy.


Tonsillitis is a painful inflammation of the tonsils and Manuka honey has been shown to be an effective remedy. It’s recommended that a teaspoon of honey be taken 3-4 times a day to combat the infection and inflammation. It acts by destroying the pathogens and stimulating the body’s own defence system.

Allergies and Sinusitis

Taking Manuka honey on a regular basis can dramatically improve symptoms of allergy sufferers. It also helps those suffering from chronic sinusitis. Some people use Manuka honey in a neti pot to irrigate the sinuses, but intake of high grade (UMF 15+) could be just as effective.

Athlete’s Foot and Ringworm

Two of the most common fungal infections of the skin are athlete’s foot and ringworm. Applying honey to the affected area will relieve the itch and help clear the infection, making Manuka honey an effective treatment.

How to Use Manuka Honey

Cup of tea with lemon and honey

You can add Manuka honey to your favourite herbal tea or to meals, or you can just take it straight. It’s recommended that you take a dose of about 1-2 tablespoons per day for the most benefit.


Some sources claim that people allergic to bees, pollen or other bee-related allergies should use Manuka honey with caution due to possible allergic side effects.

Any kind of honey isn’t suitable for babies under 12 months of age.

TMP Organics has a range of Manuka Honeys in store. Come on in this weekend!

Health Benefits of Turmeric


Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow colour, and it has been used in India and the Middle East for thousands of years. Turmeric was traditionally used in Siddha and Ayurvedic medicine to treat inflammatory conditions, skin diseases, wounds, digestive ailments and liver conditions.

It’s only recently, however, that science has started to shed more light on turmeric’s true medicinal potential.

The focus of many studies has been on curcumin, which is the main active compound in turmeric. Turmeric has so many healing properties that there have been over 6000 peer-reviewed articles published proving the benefits of turmeric, and in particular curcumin.

One of the most comprehensive summaries of turmeric studies to date was published by James A. Duke, PhD. Reviewing around 700 studies looking at turmeric benefits, Duke concluded that turmeric appears to outperform many pharmaceuticals in its effects against several chronic debilitating diseases, and does so with virtually no adverse side effects.

Turmeric is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

Research suggests that turmeric may be helpful in treating chronic inflammation, inflammatory bowel diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, lowering cholesterol counts, protecting the heart, relieving indigestion, improving liver function, preventing Alzheimer’s disease, and even preventing and treating cancer.

Curcumin is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound

The most powerful use for curcumin is in reducing inflammation. One study evaluated several anti-inflammatory compounds and found that aspirin and ibuprofen are the least effective in controlling inflammation while curcumin is among the most effective in the world.

This finding is important because chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic Western disease including heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and various degenerative conditions. Curcumin has the potential to prevent, and even treat, these diseases by keeping inflammation at bay.

Gastrointestinal Treatment

For many people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBS, Crohn’s disease, and Ulcerative Colitis), corticosteroids reduce their pain symptoms but damage the intestinal lining over time, actually making the condition worse. An in-depth analysis on all the studies evaluating curcumin’s ability to mange IBD found that many patients were able to stop taking their prescribed corticosteroids because their condition improved so dramatically by taking curcumin.

Arthritis Management

Most types of arthritis involve inflammation in the joints, and several studies show that curcumin can help reduce this inflammation. A study was conducted on 45 rheumatoid arthritis patients to compare the benefits of curcumin in turmeric to arthritis drugs (diclofenac sodium), that put people at risk of developing leaky gut and heart disease.

Patients treated with curcumin alone showed the highest percentage of improvement in overall scores. Curcumin treatment was found to be safe and did not relate with any adverse events.

Turmeric Increases the Antioxidant Capacity of the Body

Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind ageing and many diseases. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralise free radicals and boost the activity of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.

Curcumin and Heart Disease

Heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death, and while there are many contributing factors to heart disease, curcumin may help reverse many of them.

Curcumin can help improve the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease and involves the inability of the endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors.

Curcumin reduces inflammation and oxidation (as discussed above) which are also linked with heart disease.

One of the reasons heart disease is such a problem in the western world is because people are developing pre-diabetes (excessive blood sugar) at an alarming rate. Also, diabetics and non-diabetics are suffering from oxidative stress which damages the inside of blood vessels. Because of this damage to the arteries, cholesterol begins to build up to patch up the damaged areas which leads to high levels of LDL cholesterol.

One study has found that curcumin is equal or more effective than diabetes medications at reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the treatment of high cholesterol. This is good news as statin drugs like Lipitor are widely known to harm the kidneys and the liver, along with causing other harmful side effects.

Turmeric Can Help Prevent and Treat Cancer

Researchers have been studying curcumin as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment. It can affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level. Studies have also shown that it can reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumours), metastasis (spread of cancer), as well as contributing to the death of cancerous cells in the laboratory and inhibit the growth of tumours in test animals.

Evidence suggests that curcumin may help prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system. In one study of 44 men with lesions on the colon that sometimes turn cancerous, 4 grams of curcumin per day for 30 days reduced the number of lesions by 40%.

Cancer Research UK reports that a number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells.

A 2007 study that combined curcumin with chemotherapy to treat bowel cancer cells in a laboratory showed that the combined treatment killed more cells than the chemotherapy alone.

The American Cancer Society reports similar results- curcumin interferes with cancer development, growth, and spread. It has the ability to reduce tumour size and kills cancer cells.

James A. Duke, PhD, said the effectiveness of curcumin against certain cancers compared favourably with that reported for pharmaceuticals.

Curcumin and the Brain

Many common brain disorders such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease have been linked to decreased levels of a hormone (BDNF) that functions in the brain. Curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF. By doing this, it may be effective in delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and has been linked with inflammation and oxidative damage. It has also been linked with a buildup of protein tangles called Amyloid plaques. Studies show that curcumin reduces inflammation, oxidative damage, and clears these plaques.

Curcumin is also a promising treatment for depression, showing similar improvements in patients as those taking Prozac.

How to Get More Turmeric in Your Diet

All of the above benefits are attributed to curcumin, however some studies have indicated that whole turmeric has more benefits than curcumin in isolation, so keep this in mind when including this powerful spice in your diet.

Add Turmeric to Your Meals

Turmeric can be added to savoury dishes to add flavour and colour as well as health benefits! Add turmeric to curries, meat rubs, marinades, sauces and salad dressings.

Use a Turmeric Supplement

The curcumin content of turmeric is not very high – around 3% by weight – so taking a turmeric extract containing mostly curcumin can help boost effectiveness.

Curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream so it’s also recommended that you consume black pepper with it to enhance absorption.

Drink Turmeric Tea

Also known as Golden Milk, turmeric tea is a great way to consume turmeric daily.

Wellness Mama has a great article on turmeric tea which can be found here along with recipes.









ORIGINAL POST: http://www.tmporganicsbutcherandsupermarket.com.au/health-benefits-of-turmeric.html


What to do with Christmas Leftovers

We can all agree that Christmas Day’s feast is delicious, but that doesn’t mean you have to live it all over again on Boxing Day. Here are some great ideas for sprucing up leftover ham, chicken and turkey to create new and exciting meals the whole family will enjoy.

Ham and Potato Cakes with Rocket Pesto


Source: delicious. – January 2012 , Page 168. Recipe by Jessica Brook & Phoebe Wood.

Get creative with your festive leftovers to make these vibrant ham and potato cakes.

6 Servings


800g desiree potatoes, peeled, chopped
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 egg, lightly beaten
150g leftover Christmas ham, roughly torn
2 tablespoons plain flour
Sunflower oil, to shallow-fry
1 bunch rocket
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
1 preserved lemon quarter, flesh and white pith removed, rind finely chopped

Wild rocket pesto
60g wild rocket
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped chives
Juice of 1 lemon, plus wedges to serve
100ml extra virgin olive oil


Step 1
Place potato in a saucepan of cold, salted water, bring to the boil, then cook over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain and cool.

Step 2
Meanwhile, for the pesto, place rocket, pine nuts, chives and lemon juice in a small food processor and whiz to combine. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream until a coarse pesto. Season and set aside.

Step 3
Transfer the potato to a bowl and roughly mash with a fork or potato masher. Add the mustard, chives and beaten egg. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Fold through the ham. With damp hands, form the potato mixture into 18 even patties, about 2cm thick. Lightly dust in flour.

Step 4
Add 2cm oil to a frypan and place over medium heat. In batches, cook potato cakes for 2 minutes each side or until golden and warmed through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Step 5
Toss the rocket with the pine nuts and preserved lemon rind, then serve with potato cakes, rocket pesto and lemon wedges.

Shredded Turkey Burritos


Source: Super Food Ideas – December 2007 , Page 21. Recipe by Liz Macri.

Makes 12


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeño chillies
2 teaspoons ground coriander
400g can diced tomatoes
420g can red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 3/4 cups shredded cooked turkey (see note)
12 burrito tortillas
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
3/4 cup grated tasty cheese
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves


Step 1
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until soft. Add chillies and ground coriander. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add tomatoes and beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Add turkey. Simmer for 5 minutes or until heated through.

Step 2
Meanwhile, heat tortillas according to packet directions. Place on a flat surface. Spread each tortilla with 2 teaspoons sour cream. Place lettuce, turkey mixture, cheese and coriander leaves along centre of each tortilla. Roll up tightly to enclose filling. Serve.

Fruity Turkey Tagine


Source: Good Food magazine, November 2014

Freshen up Christmas leftovers of turkey, carrots and parsnips with ras el hanout in this sweet and spicy Moroccan stew.

Serves 4-6


1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, thickly sliced
3 carrots, thickly sliced on the diagonal
3 parsnips, thickly sliced on the diagonal
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ras el hanout (common North African spice, available at major supermarkets)
500ml turkey or chicken stock
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
140g mixture of dried apricots and prunes, roughly chopped
300g leftover turkey, cut into chunks
Good drizzle of clear honey
½ small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 tbsp flaked almonds
Couscous, to serve
Greek yogurt, to serve


Step 1
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for 8 mins or until softened. Add the carrots and parsnips, and cook for 8 mins until starting to soften and brown a little. Stir in the garlic and ras el hanout, and cook for a further 30 secs. Tip in the stock, tomatoes, chickpeas, dried fruit and 150ml water. Season, bring to a simmer and cook for 25-30 mins until the vegetables are tender.

Step 2
Add the turkey and simmer for 5 mins to warm through. Stir in the honey, then scatter over the coriander and almonds just before serving with couscous and Greek yogurt.

Jumbo Turkey Samosas


Source: Good Food magazine, December 2014

Use up leftover cooked potatoes and turkey in these spiced filo pastry parcels, then serve with tangy mango chutney.

Serves 4


3 tbsp curry paste (we used korma)
2 tbsp mango chutney, plus extra to serve
2 tbsp natural yogurt from a 150g pot (serve the remainder)
200g leftover cooked potatoes (roasted or boiled are fine), chopped into small chunks
250g cooked turkey or chicken, chopped into small pieces
250g frozen peas
Bunch coriander, chopped, plus a few leaves picked to serve
270g pack filo pastry (6 sheets)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp sesame seeds


Heat oven to 180C.

Step 1
In a large bowl, combine the curry paste, mango chutney and 2 tbsp yogurt, and mix well. Fold in the potatoes, turkey, peas and coriander, then season well.

Step 2
Cut the sheets of filo in half lengthways so you have 12 strips – keep the pastry covered with a tea towel while you work so it doesn’t dry out. Layer up 3 sheets of filo, brushing a little oil between each sheet. Pile a quarter of the filling in the top corner of the pastry in a triangle shape. Fold the pastry over to encase the filling, then keep folding until the parcel is sealed and the filo is used up. Brush the final edge with a little beaten egg to help stick the pastry together. Repeat to make all 4 jumbo samosas.

Step 3
Lay your samosas on a baking sheet and brush each one with more beaten egg, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 35 mins or until the samosas are golden brown and the filling is piping hot. Serve with the remaining yogurt, some mango chutney and coriander leaves.

Get into TMP Organics this week to stock up for Christmas!

View original article here. 

Do You Really Need to Quit Sugar?


Sugar has received a bad rap recently, perpetuated by popular programs such as Sarah Wilson’s “I Quit Sugar”, and documentaries such as “That Sugar Film”. Nutritionists, doctors and the media are all talking about it, so what’s the deal? Is sugar just the latest victim of finger-pointing health nuts, or is it something we should seriously consider cutting from our diets?

The Not-So-Sweet Truth

The World Health Organisation recommends our sugar consumption should only make up five per cent of our total daily calorie intake, which equates to about 25g or six teaspoons per day. The Australian Health Survey found that in 2011-2012, we were consuming an average of 60g of sugar each day, or around 14 teaspoons.

Dr Jimmy Louie, dietician and author, says that for a long time we criticised food manufacturers for producing core foods like bread, yoghurt and breakfast cereal high in added sugar. This study actually shows that up to 90 per cent of our added sugar intake is coming from what should be occasional food or treats such as sugar-sweetened beverages, sweet spreads, cakes, biscuits and pastries.

Sugar-sweetened beverages were revealed as the greatest source of added sugar in the Australian diet.

While “That Sugar Film” exposes the “hidden sugar” in foods we consider mostly healthy (think yogurt, juice, snack bars etc), it turns out the main issue is Aussies choosing to eat plain old junk food such as soft drinks and “treats” we know we shouldn’t be indulging in on a daily basis.   

Dr Louie’s concern is that these high-sugar foods are providing calories, but not nutrition. This is dangerous for our health as sugar is addictive, and while we crave and consume more and more sugar-laden foods, we’re starving our body of important vitamins and minerals.

“Being addicted to sugar is not an emotional eating disorder,” claims Dr Mark Hyman. “It’s a biological disorder driven by hormones and neurotransmitters that fuel sugar and carb cravings, leading to uncontrolled overeating.”

Unfortunately, children and teenagers are most at risk. According to a University of Sydney study, more than three-quarters of children aged 9 to 13-years exceed the daily limit set out by the WHO.

“Never before in human history have we seen “adult onset” or type 2 diabetes in children,” says Dr Hyman. “Kids who haven’t even learned to swallow a pill are now facing giving themselves daily insulin injections”.

Are Artificial Sweeteners the Answer?

Diet drink consumption has increased dramatically, but diet soft drinks and artificial sweeteners are not the answer for cutting down on sugar. Evidence is mounting that these “fake sugars” and sugar substitutes actually lead to weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes.

“Tricking your brain into thinking you are getting something sweet plays tricks on your metabolism,” says Dr Hyman. “Artificial sweeteners disrupt the normal hormonal and neurological signals that control hunger and satiety (feeling full).”

Not All Sugars Are Equal

Before you go throwing out everything sweet in your kitchen, it’s important to understand that not all sugars are created equal.

Even the I Quit Sugar website says that when they refer to sugar, they’re talking about fructose specifically. The site states that while some sugars are safe to eat in moderation, fructose is not, as it passes directly to the liver and promotes fat storage. It is also addictive

“Our bodies are designed to gorge on fructose because it’s such a nifty source of fat- great back in the caveman days, but not so much today,” the website says.

Well respected nutritionist and author, Cyndi O’Meara, explains that sugar has been essential to our survival for eons, and that it’s not the sugar itself that’s the problem, it’s what we’ve done to it. We’ve created man-made simple sugars from wheat and corn, but simple sugars are never found alone in nature. They are always surrounded by other simple sugars, amino acids, fats and vitamins and minerals. White sugar is stripped of all nutrients that sugar cane and sugar beet have during the refinement process.

Cyndi adds dextrose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, maltodextrin and xylitol to the list of sugars to avoid, along with all artificial sweeteners.

To give you an idea of where these sugars are hiding, here are some common high-fructose foods:

– Soft drink

– Fruit juice

– Energy drinks

– Flavoured coffee beverages

– Cereal

– Cakes, pies and pastries

– Ice cream

– Canned and dried fruits

– Jams and jellies

– Condiments, dressings and sauces

Get Sweeter Naturally

Natural sugar has not been processed and includes raw honey, sugar found in fruit and root vegetables, dried fruits (without dextrose, vegetable oil or rice flour added), and stevia leaf (straight from the herb bush). These are the sugars that have other benefits other than just sweetening our food. Other sugars that can be consumed occasionally are organic maple syrup, rapadura sugar, coconut sugar and sugar juice (juice of the sugar cane).

“Sugar has it’s place in the diet,” says Cyndi, “but many people have abused this food. Sugar, obesity and heart disease are definitely linked but it is the abuse of sugar that is the problem as well as the quality of sugar.”

Do You Need to Give Sugar the Flick?

We’re not suggesting that cutting all sugar forever is sustainable or even healthy, but some people do benefit from quitting sugar for a period of time to break the addiction and get into healthier habits.

Dr Mark Hyman has a quiz for finding out whether you should quit sugar for a while. If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, quitting sugar may be your ticket to feeling better and losing weight.

Do you:

– have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes?

– have belly fat or are you overweight?

– crave sugar and carbs?

– have high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol or been told your blood sugar is “a little high”?

– eat when you’re not hungry?

– experience a “food coma” after eating?

– get withdrawal symptoms if you cut down or stop eating sugar or flour?

– experience bloating, gas, reflux, irritable bowel, joint or muscle pain, brain fog, memory or mood problems, sinus or allergy symptoms?

Ready to get started?

You can stick to a few basic rules to help kick the sugar habit:

1. Go Cold Turkey

To truly help your body reset its neurotransmitters and hormones, you should stop eating all forms of sugar, all flour products and all artificial sweeteners for 10 days. These cause cravings and slow metabolism, leading to fat storage. If possible, also cut out all grains. Eat only real, fresh, whole food.

2. Don’t Drink Your Calories

Any form of liquid sugar calories is worse than solid food with sugar or flour. Liquid calories include soft drinks, juices, sports drinks, and sweetened teas or coffees. Sweet beverages send sugar directly to the liver, which is something we want to avoid.

3. Power Up with Protein

Eat protein at every meal, especially breakfast. This is the key to balancing blood sugar and cutting cravings. Eat plenty of nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, chicken and grass-fed meat. A serving size is around the size of your palm.

4. Eat Unlimited Good Carbs

We’re referring to non-starchy vegetables here, and recommend that you eat as much as you like. Non-starchy veggies include greens, the broccoli family (cauliflower, kale, collards etc.), asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, tomatoes, fennel, eggplant, artichoke, capsicum etc. Avoid potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash and beets for 10 days.

5. Fight Sugar with Fat

That’s right, fat is your friend. It makes you feel full, balances your blood sugar and is necessary for fueling your cells. Have good fats at every meal and snack on nuts and seeds.

For our recent article on the benefits of healthy fats, click here (insert link http://www.tmporganicsbutcherandsupermarket.com.au/know-your-fats-myths-debunked.html)

6. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep deprivation drives sugar and carb cravings by affecting your appetite hormones. When we’re tired and need more energy, we tend to reach for the sweet stuff for a quick energy boost. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep while avoiding sugar.

It’s important to remember that once you’ve completed your sugar-free period, eating healthy natural sugars as an occasional treat is okay. People who eat a whole food diet and occasionally indulge are on the right track.

Be sure to drop into our store to stock up on fresh vegetables and delicious organic meat for your sugar-free journey. 

We recommend speaking with a qualified medical professional before participating in any dietary restrictions or programs.







Original article: http://www.tmporganicsbutcherandsupermarket.com.au/do-you-really-need-to-quit-sugar.html

Coffee: Is it good for you or bad for you?


The jury seems out on whether coffee is healthy or harmful.

We’ve seen conflicting information over the years about whether that morning latte is worth it. One minute coffee is able to help prevent some diseases, and the next it’s receiving a roasting (pun intended).

With all this in mind, is there a “right” amount of coffee we should be drinking, or should we be avoiding it altogether? We have the answer, but first let’s look at some of the pros and cons of Australia’s favourite bean.

– Cardiovascular system – despite potentially increasing blood pressure, coffee may lower the risk for coronary disease and protect against heart failure. In cited studies, moderate coffee intake was associated with a lower risk for coronary heart disease as far out as 10 years, and new data suggests that an average of 2 cups a day protects against heart failure.
– Coffee consumption may cut stroke risk by as much as 25%. While coffee’s impact on stroke risk in those with cardiovascular disease is still in question, data presented at the European Meeting on Hypertension 2012 found that 1 to 3 cups a day may protect against ischemic stroke in the general population.
– Weight loss and diabetes – studies have linked coffee consumption with improved glucose metabolism, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and promotion of weight loss in overweight people.
– Cancer – according to recent data moderate to heavy coffee consumption (4-6 cups per day) can reduce the risk for numerous cancers. The benefits are thought to be at least partially due to coffee’s antioxidant and anti-mutagenic properties.
– Dementia and Parkinson’s disease – New research links coffee with long-term effects on cognitive wellbeing including slowing the progression of dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
– Depression – coffee drinkers reportedly have significantly decreased risk of developing depression. A 2011 study suggests that a boost in coffee consumption might also benefit our mental health: women who drank 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day had a 15% decreased risk for depression compared with those who drank less than 1 cup per week. A 20% decreased risk was seen in those who drank 4 cups or more per day.
– Liver disease – coffee has been reported to slow disease progression in alcoholic cirrhosis, hepatitis C and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The liver helps to break down coffee, but coffee might also protect the liver (in some cases).
– Coffee can also be beneficial for dry-eye syndrome, gout and in preventing MRSA infection. Coffee and hot tea consumption were found to be protective against one of the most concerning bugs, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Dr. Mark Hyman also adds to the list of benefits that coffee can help reduce gut permeability or leaky gut, decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes, improve mood and memory, and boost metabolism and sports performance.


Drawbacks and Risks:
– Addictive – Coffee can become highly addictive, altering stress hormones while making you feel simultaneously wired and tired. Withdrawal from coffee can have debilitating side effects.
– Acidic – The acidity of coffee is associated with digestive discomfort, indigestion, heartburn, GERD and dysbiosis (imbalances in gut flora).
– Imbalanced Electrolytes – Elevated urinary excretion minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium have been noted in coffee drinkers. An imbalance in the electrolyte status can lead to serious systemic complications.
– Compromised Liver Function – Constituents in coffee can interfere with normal drug metabolism and detoxification in the liver making it difficult to regulate the normal detoxification process in the liver.
– Lower Absorption of Medication – Another issue to be aware of is that for certain medications that are poorly absorbed to start with, their absorption decreases even further, with coffee making any symptoms worse.

The Verdict

The effects of coffee are largely determined by the person drinking the coffee.

“The way you respond to coffee is often determined by genetics that affect caffeine metabolism,” says Dr Mark Hyman. “For one person, a cup could have them bouncing off the walls, while another person can have a triple espresso at dinner and fall fast asleep easily.”

The bottom line is that coffee is neither good nor bad, as it’s processed differently by everyone.

If you tolerate coffee well, then it seems there’s no reason for you to give it up. There’s plenty of compelling evidence that says that you’re actually doing your body good!

If you experience concerning side effects or suffer from caffeine withdrawal however, coffee probably isn’t for you. Dr Hyman recommends eliminating coffee for a few weeks, especially if you’re addicted and can’t seem to function without coffee, or if you drink multiple cups a day.

“If you need coffee every day to feel motivated or even function, you have a coffee addiction. If you have withdrawal symptoms and headaches from stopping coffee or feel like you can’t live without it, you are biologically addicted to it. There’s also a big chance your stress hormones are out of whack and need resetting.”

How to Quit Coffee

Going cold turkey isn’t necessarily the best approach when quitting coffee. The best way is to cut back slowly, weaning yourself off a cup at a time. Switch from drinking multiple cups a day to just one cup, and eventually to half a cup. You could also try switching to a herbal or green tea.

Drink adequate amounts of water and get plenty of rest during this time. Regular exercise is also good for stabilising energy levels.

Once you’ve gone three weeks without coffee, you can try to add it back into your diet slowly. Pay attention to your energy levels, symptoms such as anxiety or jittery feelings, or changes in digestion.

“If you find you can occasionally tolerate coffee, avoid adding milk and sugar. These two culprits do more damage than the actual coffee,” says Dr Hyman. “Alternately, add fat to your coffee. Once people taste the creamy, frothy goodness of fat blended with coffee, they don’t miss milk at all. You’ve probably heard of Bulletproof® Coffee, which blends MCT oil and a bit of grass-fed butter or ghee with high-quality, organic coffee. This delicious beverage keeps me satiated for hours, cuts cravings and keeps my brain extremely sharp. You can also drink this before exercise for steady energy levels without coffee’s crash.”


Original article from http://www.tmporganicsbutcherandsupermarket.com.au/coffee-is-it-good-or-bad-for-you.html