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A New Years Revolution


A New Years Revolution

So here at G’NOSH we made a few resolutions, as usual. To improve our French. To try kick boxing. To make a tub of dip last longer than half an hour. We’ve tried to set resolutions that would enrich our experiences instead of zapping us completely. We’re pleased to say we’re succeeding (apart from the French).

Our main and most exciting has been to team up with some more exciting, innovative brands. Brands we admire and that have our obsession for great food and sharing. Brands who could also share what they’d learnt on their journeys.

We’re delighted to say that we’ll be collaborating closely with one of our favourites, unearthed®, this year. Chances are you’ve snacked on their salamis or picked at their prosciutto. We’re like minded communities, inviting you to join us as we discover new foods, new flavours and have some fun along the way.

We’ve got some cracking giveaways, events and of course, new products in the pipeline, including 2 new G’NOSH dips of course.  Stay posted and join our New Years Revolution…

 

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Heart your Heart


So this Valentines Day we are focusing on love of a different kind. Heart love. Keeping a healthy heart is super important, and when better to focus on it than 14th February?

The big dietary factor when eating for heart health is cholesterol. Cholesterol is a type of fat that is found in your blood. Without getting too scientific, you need a little bit to stay healthy, but too much will clog your arteries. Here at G’NOSH we’re always looking for ways to improve our well being, so we’re focusing on the following foods this week to get our hearts in shape.

Oatmeal is full of soluble fibre that helps lower your LDL (the bad kind of cholesterol). Porridge is a classic but what not try soaking oats in yoghurt overnight to aid digestion and topping with almonds, another cholesterol fighting food? We love dipping oatcakes into any G’NOSH dip and topping with mackerel, sardines or smoked salmon, all packed with Omega 3. All these oily fish can help lower blood pressure and help prevent clots.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains a potent mix of antioxidants that decrease levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol. Make sure you choose ‘extra virgin’ as it’s less processed. For the coco – nutters amongst you, coconut oil is another G’NOSH favourite as it’s completely cholesterol free and has a ton of other benefits; it boosts metabolism and has been used in the treatment of diabetes. Use in your cooking in place of other oils for a serious boost.

Greens and beans! Plants are powerhouses of cholesterol fighting goodness. Try Charlottes kale pesto to get a fix of the most fashionable green on the planet, or steam spinach and blend with yoghurt, walnuts and lemon for a cholesterol friendly dip. Beans are a fantastic source of soluble fibre so our Caramelised Onion and Black Bean dip is officially heart friendly. It goes perfectly with anything Mexican, so cook up some fajitas and have a sizzling supper this Valentines Day.

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Spicing it up


Change is in the air. The rush of Januarys, ‘New Year New Me’, is fading. But we’re on a roll here at G’NOSH and we’ve given our Muhummara a bit of a lift. Not a full on makeover, but after feedback from our cherished customers, we decided it was time for a change.

Many of you hadn’t heard of Muhummura before G’NOSH came into your lives. It’s a Syrian dip with walnuts, olive oil, garlic and pomegranate molasses. There are variations across the Middle East, but traditionally it’s served as a dip with bread or as a sauce for kebabs, grilled meats and fish. Much as we loved this traditional recipe, we wanted to pep up our pepper dip and we hope you like it as much as we do.

We’ve removed the breadcrumbs from the recipe, so our gluten free customers can enjoy it. Some sublime barbeque relish has been stirred through, giving it a smoky, spicy kick. Finally, we’ve renamed it ‘Roasted Red Pepper BBQ’ dip.

It’s still got the same multi use occasion that you all love, and it’s still handmade, with absolutely no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. It’s just got a bit more oomph now. And sometimes a name change is a good thing – just look at Google*

*originally named ‘BackRub’. It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it…

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Say Cheese!


We’re cheese lovers here. In all its forms, it has a place in our fridge, and there’s no better time to enjoy it than at Christmas. There’s a time for good old cream cheese, mixed with a chilli sauce (Luchito is our favourite) it makes a cracking dip. At the other end of the spectrum, we love a nutty Gruyere or punchy Stilton. The problem with cheese (dare we say it) is that all too often the last pieces are neglected and forgotten, left in the door of the fridge, abandoned in favour of new flavours and destined only for the mousetraps.

Save your rinds! Parmesan, or any rind of a hard cheese, gives depth and balance to soups and stews. Add to anything whilst it simmers, it will slowly melt and give everything a divine, deeply savoury flavour. Simply remove before serving.

Cheese twists make perfect canapés. Spread a dollop of Dijon mustard onto a sheet of ready rolled puff pastry. Grate over any leftover cheese, even the gnarly, ignored pieces, leaving a 1 inch gap around the edges. Sprinkle with some toasted caraway seeds or cayenne pepper for extra bite. Roll it up and refrigerate. After an hour, slice thinly and cook for 10 minutes in a moderate oven, until cheese is melting and pastry crisp. You could try using some G’NOSH Muhummura in place of the mustard, but omit the spices – unless you have some real chilli lovers coming for supper!

Cheese scones are a delicious way to use up some of those festive leftovers. Follow a basic savoury scone recipe, omitting any sugar and add all your excess cheesy bits. You can throw in herbs too; chives, parsley and tarragon are all delicious. We make mini ones, skewer them onto kebab sticks and serve with soup.

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What to eat in December


That’s right. December. It’s come around so fast we’ve barely got our flip flops off, which hopefully means it’ll be time to put them on again before we know it. In the meantime, we’re embracing the cold, as some fruits and vegetables are at their very best at this time of year. We’ve picked our top 3 and some of the best ways to enjoy them.

Parsnips

Part of the parsley family, a parsnips flavour actually improves when the ground gets frosty. Try them raw in a winter slaw, with shredded cabbage, radishes and carrots. Make a dressing with Dijon mustard, natural yoghurt, a splash of vinegar and plenty of salt and pepper. Finish with parsley for a fresh take on an old favourite.

Another crowd pleaser is a classic curried parsnip soup. Warming and easy to prepare, it’s a staple when the weather gets bleak. Just add curry powder to your vegetables when you are sweating them down. This is a great way to get spices into your diet at this time of year too, they’re crammed with anti oxidants and natural immune boosters to stave off colds.

Nuts

We’re nuts about nuts. A seasonal favourite, chestnuts are a store cupboard staple for the next few weeks. Try them mashed into Hummus like our friends at Cook Vegetarian Magazine for a Christmas twist on this ubiquitous dip.

Walnuts are also in season, and are a key ingredient in a classic Muhummura. Try adding some chopped and toasted to the G’NOSH version for extra crunch!

Clementines

Even just a bowl of these in the kitchen lifts the spirits. We add segments to salads with raw fennel and rocket, and you can use the peel in cocktails and mulled wine. If you’re not mad keen on the flavour, stud with cloves and hang on your Christmas tree.  They’ll smell almost as good as they taste.

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Delicious Autumn


There’s certainly something romantic about autumn. Maple coloured parks, the lingering smell of bonfire ash; cold, dark evenings lit up with twinkling lights. It’s time to dig out the slow cookers, dust off the casserole dish and prepare yourself for the season of simmering, searing, stewing and sharing. But it’s the clear skies and morning mist we love most, a late sunrise and the promise of a hearty cooked breakfast.

We have a lengthy list of first-thing favourites, but sausages sit somewhere near the top. That rib-sticking, finger-licking goodness fuels us through these glorious Autumnal mornings without reaching for a snack (and we are partial to a snack, here at G’NOSH). We serve ours up in a sandwich slathered with our Black Bean Dip for that fibrous blend of beans, roasted peppers, sweet honey and punchy chipotle, bedded on vibrant spinach and stuffed between seeded bloomer bread. Bliss.

For the more green fingered G’NOSHERS, an apple compote or sauce is wonderful with yoghurts, porridge or French toast. Add it to cakes in place of sugar, and flavour with cinnamon, vanilla, cloves and nutmeg for a festive twist. You can even throw it in your sausage sandwich – now that’s a multi usage ingredient! Simply place peeled apple slices in a saucepan with a pinch of sugar and your choice of spices.

We cherish the cheer of sharing good food, and want to shake up a nation floundering over food choices; as a country, were replacing mothers with microwaves, natural fats with emulsifiers, fresh ingredients with faddy inventions and risk leaving behind the feel-good factor of spending time over great food with friends and family. Really, the formula is simple. It’s all about fresh, wholesome food, indulging your taste buds and appeasing your appetite.

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A Gourmet Guy Fawkes


Remember remember the fifth of November…what a great excuse for a firecracker of a party.  We’ve got some scrumptious suggestions for delicious food to enjoy around the bonfire alongside the obligatory sparklers.

Toffee apples and parkin, a sort of gingerbread cake made with oats, both conjure up images of fireworks night, shivering in your boots in awe of the sky. We’re sharing some of our favourite gourmet ways to enjoy the fireworks, so wrap up and tuck in. No need for a soggy burger this year.

Soup is a classic option for standing around in the cold, but why not shake it up and make a thick bean stew with plenty of seasonal vegetables, chick peas, and a generous spoonful of G’NOSH Black Bean dip for extra depth.  Lots of robust herbs like rosemary and sage will give it stacks of flavour, then blend half and leave the rest chunky.

Try our baked bonfire spuds too. Cut large potatoes in half and bake. Once cooked, scoop out the centre and combine with some good melting cheese (we like Gruyere), a little butter and chopped fresh herbs. Mash well and place back in the potato skins. Pop them under the grill until warmed through, wrap in foil and take them outside to enjoy. You could try with sweet potatoes too, combining the flesh with some crumbled feta and sun dried tomatoes. As always, G’NOSH dips are a welcome addition to these; try our Chipotle Hummus with the sweet potato for a smoky kick. Minimal washing up and warm hands too…just don’t forget the spoons!

We all like something sweet to finish off with, so as a nod to the explosions up above, why not try making salted caramel popcorn. Make up some plain popcorn as per the packs instructions. In a pan, mix equal quantities of brown sugar and butter, with a squeeze of golden syrup and a good pinch of salt. Warm though and toss the popcorn in the sugar mixture. Pour onto grease proof paper to cool.

Check out our recipe section for more ideas this Autumn.

Enjoy the fireworks!

 

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Halloween – G’NOSH style


Here at G’NOSH we feel Halloween has crept up on us quicker than it takes to say BOO. What we do love about this pagan celebration is the excuse to use all the beautiful squashes, pumpkins and gourds that are filling the farmers markets, and rustle up some delicious autumnal recipes. We also love a bit of fancy dress, but we’ll save those tips for another day.

One of our favourite ways to use these gorgeous gourds is to scoop out the middle and fill with G’NOSH. Buy a few and arrange with some carrot sticks and red peppers for suitably colourful and mega healthy party food. Sprinkle the dips with pomegranate seeds or black sesame; both of which will add some gothic charm.

We love a classic pumpkin or butternut soup too. This year, try making yours with coconut milk as well as some red chilli, lemongrass and fresh ginger.  This will help fight the flu as well as being packed with good fats and vitamins from the squash. Don’t forget about the seeds either as they’re packed with Vitamin E and zinc, and make a delicious snack. Simply toss with cumin, chilli powder and a little sea salt and roast in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes. This is a great topper for salads, soups and of course, dips!

If trick or treating is on the agenda, why not have some hauntingly healthy sweets for the kids to munch on? Try dipping whole strawberries in white chocolate and decorating with black writing icing to make ghosts. Don’t forget the grown ups this year either; for a poison Dracula would be proud of, try mixing fresh blood orange juice with a splash of Solerno or orange liqueur of your choice. Garnish with liquorice strings for a devilishly delicious Halloween cocktail.  Chin chin!

*

G’NOSH founder Charlotte Knight has been nominated as the Smarta Female Entrepreneur of the Year. If you have a spare 3 seconds, please vote here and spread the Halloween cheer. Huge thank you for sharing.

 

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A Biography of Babaghanoush


Sigh. With its glorious, shiny amaranthine skin, the aubergine is surely one of the most beautiful vegetables around. Except it’s a fruit, which makes us love it even more.

As some of you might have noticed, we’ve a lot of love for these garden eggs, guinea squashes, brinjals, or whatever you want to call them. Aubergines make up our much loved G’NOSH Babaghanoush, and to celebrate this fabulous fruit, we’ve put together a short history to tickle your taste buds.

Aubergines, known as Eggplants in the US, are closely related to tomatoes and potatoes. They are native to India and have been cultivated there for thousands of years. Babaghanoush is certainly older than any of us, that’s for sure.

In 544, an ancient Chinese agricultural paper recorded its findings, which included the aubergine. Finally, England caught up, and in the 16th century these purple fruits were finally celebrated. We have the influential Elizabeth David to thank for the British love of aubergines; it was she who bought them to our attention in the mid twentieth century, bringing exotic Levantine dishes such as ‘spiced eggplant salad’ to the English table.

In Syria and Lebanon, Babaghanoush is commonly served with flatbreads as a dip. The Egyptians, on the other hand, serve it as a salad, with the addition of tomatoes and onions, and sometimes cumin, chilli or pomegranate.  Variations are found in Bulgaria, Israel, Turkey and Romania, with each country putting a different spin on things.

And the names? The Arabic term means ‘father of pestle’, with ‘baba’ meaning father and ‘ghanuj’ meaning stone or pestle, thought to allude to the mashing of the flesh after its been roasted. And Eggplant? Well that’s just because the white varieties look like eggs! So now you know.

However you serve it, and however you make it, it’s clear that Babaghanoush is a favourite with the British. We add caramelised onions to ours, along with masses of fresh herbs and a spoonful of tahini, a smooth sesame seed paste that’s also used in hummus.

G’iddy for Higgidy



Our friends at Higgidy are almost as mad about Babaghanoush as they are about pies.

They go perfectly with a dollop of dip, so here’s a recipe for you to try at home. Their book is available at retailers now, and is already a staple here at G’NOSH HQ!

Higgidy tip

Flatten out some day – old bread with a rolling pin and cut into circles. Place in little tartlet tins and bake for a few minutes. Hey presto – fuss free pastry!

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We. Love. Aubergines.


We love aubergines. Why? Because there’s loads to love about them and we’re going to tell you exactly what.

If you’re a newbie to our lovely G’NOSH gourmet dips, you might not know that our bestselling and award winning Babaghanoush is full of this fascinating ingredient. Our first fun fact for you us that the ‘vegetable’ that frequents your shopping basket every now and then, is in fact a berry! And why do we love this ‘berry’ so much? As well as some amazing health benefits, it’s super versatile and it tastes bloomin’ gorgeous.

The high amount of fibre in aubergines means that it helps those of use who are trying to shift a few pounds because it fills you up. Not only that but fibre helps to fight against colon cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Not sure how to get aubergines into your diet? Take a look at our delicious recipes and learn how to use our Babaghanoush as a not-so-secret ingredient. Our takeaway tip: Babaghanoush is especially great with barbequed lamb or pork – or add it to a chilled mezze plate. Go on treat yourself to a G’NOSH G’NOUSH!

Tweet your thoughts to @gnoshers and share your G’NOSH images on facebook too.

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