Archive for the ‘Spices & herbs’ Category

Niki’s Pumpkin and Dark Chocolate Loaf

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Recipe from lovely Niki Bakes in a autumnal homage to Steenbergs Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

Ombre golden-copper leaves, glossy plum chestnuts and cooler nights…it can only mean autumn! But where would we be without our beloved squashes I hear you say? Yes, you can make soup, yes, you can roast them and yes, you can make pumpkin pie but how about a pumpkin loaf slathered in dark chocolate?! You’ll love how easy and quick it is guys and what’s more, its gluten free and dairy free, happy days!

Recipe for Niki's Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Pie spice loaf

Recipe for Niki’s Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Pie spice loaf

All you need is:
Use organic/natural real food ingredients where possible)
Ingredients:
Serves 4-6
For the Pumpkin Loaf:
120g of almond flour
50g of coconut flour
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of  organic pumpkin pie spice
100ml of coconut oil, melted
4 eggs, beaten lightly
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of ground of cinnamon

For the Dark Chocolate Glaze:
100g of dark chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds

Method:
Step 1:
Preheat your oven to gas mark 4/180 degrees and line your loaf tin with greaseproof paper, set aside.
Step 2:
Whisk all your wet ingredients in a bowl.
Step 3:
Slowly sift your almond flour, coconut flour, spices and baking powder and add your wet ingredients.
Step 4:
Mix well and pour into your loaf pan, bake for about 45 -55 minutes.
Step 5:
Allow to cool completely before frosting your loaf tin with your dark chocolate and scattering over your pumpkin seeds. Allow to cool before slicing your loaf and enjoy with a cup of strong earl grey tea…absolutely heavenly!

Happy Baking!

Copywrite – Niki Beh
Recipe Creator and founder of nikibakes

Why organic spices?

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Guest Blog from Niki, founder and developer of Nikibakes.co.uk blog

Niki, founder and recipe developer for Nikibakes.co.uk

Niki, founder and recipe developer for Nikibakes.co.uk

As founder of nikibakes and a general foodie, herbs and spices are at the heart of my dishes, without them my food is simply incomplete.

 

Steenbergs have a range of  over 500 organic spices, salt blends, Fairtrade spices.

Steenbergs have a range of over 500 organic spices, salt blends, Fairtrade spices.

I never really thought about where I buy my spices from until a few years ago. I used to head over to my local supermarket, pick up what I needed and just throw any spices I could find first into my basket. This all changed a few years ago though when I began to become more aware of organic produce. I quickly realised that this doesn’t just extend to fresh produce and that sauces and spices are just as important.

@steenbergsltd is truly an all rounder when it comes to stocking up on herbs and spices. From garlic salt to exotic saffron, the quality of their spices is second to none. I still remember my first encounter with their curry powder. I enjoyed my curry dish so much that I bit my tongue by accident! My excitement clearly got the better of me but it just goes to show, organic really is best.

Happy Baking!

Niki

Founder of nikibakes

Turmeric: How To Make Fresh Turmeric Latte

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Turmeric is a really popular spice for its healthanti-inflammatory and antioxidant – properties and is also regarded as a superfood. It also makes a tasty drink, sometimes called golden latte.

There are an increasing number of ready-made powder mixes on the market, often using dried coconut powder to give turmeric latte its milkiness.  But you don’t need to buy a premade mix, and you can make turmeric latte, or golden latte, yourself.

I find it refreshing, with an earthy and warming taste, and it also looks a lovely light yellow colour.  Here we add a little black pepper which increases the bioavailability of the curcumin in the turmeric, so increasing the healthiness of this turmeric drink.

Recipe for Fresh Turmeric Latte, or Golden Milk

Enough for 2 cups/mugs of Turmeric Latte

Ingredients

500 ml Almond milk (or other dairy-free milk)
0.5 cm Fresh ginger
1 cm Fresh turmeric
Pinch Black pepper – organic
0.5 tsp Cardamom powder, or 2 whole cardamom pods – crushed – organic
0.5 tsp Cinnamon powder (optional) – organic
1 tbsp Coconut sugar or honey

1. Cut 0.5 cm of fresh ginger, then remove the skin. Grate the fresh ginger and put into a small bowl.

2. Cut 1 cm piece of fresh turmeric, then remove the skin. Grate the fresh turmeric and put into a bowl. If you’ve got some rubber gloves, it is sensible to use them as turmeric can stain your fingers!

3. If you have a pestle and mortar, put the grated ginger turmeric into this then pound it down to a mushy pulp. This will increase the potency of the curcumin extracted.

4. Alternatively, put the grated ginger and turmeric plus 100 ml of almond milk into a blender and blitz to a mushy pulp.

5. Into a ramekin or small bowl, measure the cardamom, cinnamon and pepper.

6. Pour 500ml of almond milk (or other dairy-free milk) into a small saucepan.

7. Add the fresh ginger and turmeric. Whisk the almond milk to start infusing the flavours.

8. Add the ground, dry spices. Gently whisk the milk to mix through the dried spices.

9. Gently heat the almond milk, mixing the mixture gently every so often. When the almond milk is just below boiling point, take the pan off the heat.

10. Add 0.5 to 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar or honey to taste.

11.  Whisk gently to melt and mix the sugars in.

12.  Strain through a metal sieve. Pour into two mugs and enjoy.

For a quicker turmeric latte, you can use dry powdered ginger and turmeric.

A bit about Turmeric…

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

Turmeric RootSteenbergs Organic Fairtrade Turmeric comes from an organic and Fairtrade co-operative in the Kandy region of Sri Lanka. Turmeric originates from a root, known as the rhizome, Curcuma longa; it looks similar to ginger and galangal. To create turmeric powder, the turmeric rhizomes are lifted, boiled for one hour to fix the colours, dried for 10-15 days then cleaned (called polishing) before being crushed and ground.

The colour of turmeric comes from its natural curcumin colouration, although it’s commonly a bright yellow, it can also be more orange-yellow and almost brown.  Fairtrade turmeric has a distinct earthy aroma and a pleasing, sharp, bitter, spicy and lingering depth of flavour.

Turmeric has been widely used in Asia and India for centuries in cooking, and also as traditional medicines. Now, we are all beginning to understand its health benefits in a bit more detail.  As turmeric has been used as a traditional medicine, this implies that it may have health benefits, therefore here at Steenbergs we have done some googling and found that Curcumin doesn’t just give turmeric its vibrant yellow colour.

It is also the primary biologically active component of turmeric, as it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Due to this there is high interest in curcumin as a lead molecule in anti-inflammatory drug development strategies, as curcumin has potential to alleviate and prevent multiple disease conditions, such as cancer, Alzheimer disease, heart disease and arthritis.

Over the last 25 years, curcumin has been extensively evaluated for its health promoting properties. Preclinical investigations provide substantial and compelling support for curcumin’s antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory properties; clinical studies are less numerous but are growing in number. For example, a head to head study carried out by W.C. Roberts found that daily ingestion of the turmeric component, curcumin can improve endothelial function just as well as up to one hour of aerobic exercise a day can! However, it was found, to get the best improvement in endothelial function a combination of both daily aerobic exercise and curcumin consumption are needed. Large clinical studies are needed to confirm the benefits of curcumin, current ongoing clinical studies should provide further insights in the future.

A problem with curcumin is that the liver sees it as being toxic, and therefore curcumin gets digested very quickly, giving it a low bioavailability. However, it has been found that when curcumin is consumed with pepper this can increase the bioavailability of curcumin. This is due to peppers active component, piperine. Piperine is an inhibitor of drug metabolism and therefore, prevents the liver breaking down curcumin. This leads to an increase curcumin in the blood, causing increased bioavailability. Therefore, consuming curcumin with pepper may enhance the potential benefits of curcumin.

A great way to try it is in a turmeric latte.

Reference: 

Singletary,K.,(2010) Turmeric: An Overview of Potential Health Benefits. Nutrition Today, 45(5), 216-225.

https://www.jenreviews.com/pepper/ – has a great article on the health benefits of pepper including 15 different pepper recipes

 Nutritional Values for Steenbergs Organic Turmeric Powder:

Values per 100g

Energy- 341kcal; 1449kj

Protein – 8.5g

Carbohydrates- 75.2g

Fat-0.7g

Values per 2.5g

Energy- 9kcal; 36kj

Protein – 0.2g

Carbohydrates- 1.9g

Fat- 0.0g

 Try turmeric now! 

Cinnamon – Can Science Show Differences In Taste Between Cassia And Cinnamon

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

In 2015, we did a study of the coumarin level in cinnamon, cassia and tonka beans.  Following on from that, I decided to get the “active” volatile oils analysed in a few types of cinnamon.  In the past, we have done more general tests and found cinnamon with 40 – 100mg/kg of volatile oils, including: styrene, pinene, benzaldehyde, o-cymene, linalool, linalylanthranilate, capaene, caryaphyllene and g-caryaphyllene.

I was interested in whether you could see a discernible pattern in the spectrum of flavour chemicals that corresponded back to the aromas and tastes that I experienced in the different types of cinnamon when I tested them for quality.

In short, the answer was yes there is a real difference.

Not only are the levels of coumarin much higher in cassia and Indian cinnamon, but the cinnamon aldehyde in cassia is almost double that in true cinnamon.  This is perhaps why cassia seems to have a blunter and more aggressive cinnamon taste that is loved by bakers.

There are clear levels of eugenol in true cinnamon and lower amounts in cassia and Indian cinnamon; this imparts a clove taste to true cinnamon.  In contrast, cassia and Indian cinnamon has a more eucalypt that is refreshingly aromatic.

I also found it interesting that there was limonene in true cinnamon, because I have always felt there was a citrus aroma and taste to true cinnamon.  And true cinnamon has high levels of linalool that has a floral spiciness and the piney woodiness of cymenes.

The science seems to vindicate the description I use in the Steenbergs’ website for cinnamon:

“Cinnamon powder has a complex and fragrant citrus flavour that is full of exotic sweetness.  Cinnamon’s perfumed aroma is unique but has hints of clove, nutmeg and sandalwood.”

Results from Analysis of Volatile Oils in Different Types of Cinnamon

 

Product name Cassia Indian cinnamon True cinnamon True cinnamon
Botanical name Cinnamomum cassia Cinnamomum bejolghota Cinnamomum zeylanicum (C. verum) Cinnamomum zeylanicum (C. verum)
Origin Indonesia India Sri Lanka Madagascar
Units mg/kg mg/kg mg/kg mg/kg
alpha-Terpineol 94 46 56 25
Benzaldehyde 37 59 61 23
Caryophyllene 146 26 292 153
Cinnamon aldehyde 23,775 7,166 13,929 13,391
Coumarin 191 295 <5 Trace
Eucalyptol 39 89 <5 <5
Eugenol 96 <5 330 188
Limonene Trace Trace 5 <5
Linalool 14 Trace 115 35
para-Cymen Trace Trace 33 7

Time for Tea – our monthly chat with someone who cares about tea

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

nikibakesThis month our Time for Tea chat is with Niki Behjousiar, Recipe Creator and founder of nikibakes. Niki has been blogging for over 10 years and has recently collaborated with Steenbergs on 4 special blog posts focusing on key Steenbergs ingredients, which we will share in the coming weeks.

  1. What is your favourite tea to set you up for the day first thing in the morning?

I love a good Persian tea in the morning; it’s so energising and so invigorating. ORGANIC GINGERBREAD CHAI TEA LOOSE LEAF is also a firm favourite of mine to have in the morning from Steenbergs, especially as the mornings are still quite frosty, it warms you up beautifully and gears me up for my morning commute to work, a true blessing for me!

  1. What is your favourite tea to relax you in the afternoon?

As the day progresses I love to switch to herbal teas, I really enjoy a good chamomile in the evenings.

  1. Which Steenbergs tea would you most like to try and why?

I would love to try the ORGANIC CHILLI CHAI TEA LOOSE LEAF as it seems like a unique blend and very warming, I haven’t seen anything like it on the market and I love a bit of chilli in my dishes so why not in a drink too!

  1. What other Steenbergs products do you most enjoy and why?

This is a very tricky question as I love all of the products I’ve had the pleasure to try. I particularly enjoy the happy hippy salt; it’s unique and so soft on the palette, the cardamom pods, the harissa with rose, smoked paprika, chermoula…we could be here for a while.

  1. Who would you most like to have a cup of tea with and why?

I would most like to have a cup of tea with Sophie Steenberg as she is inspirational and so creative with the spice mixes. She is a person I look up to as a food blogger for good quality spices.

About Nikibakes

nikiiinikibakes has been blogging for over 10 years and has a passion for gluten free and dairy free recipes. She’s a Persian chef who loves all things spice and particularly enjoys Asian and South American cuisine. She’s always on the lookout for fresh and delicious flavour combinations and uses our spices daily in her cooking and on her blog.

Website: www.nikibakes.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nikibakes

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/niki_beh?lang=en-gb

LinkedIn:  https://uk.linkedin.com/in/niki-beh-99005ab7

Instagram: @nutritiouslynikibakes

Turmeric, the wonder spice

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

We’re really excited to announce the launch of our new Steenbergs You Tube channel. We’ll be showing short ‘Behind The Products’ clips, as well as longer cooking demonstrations which we hope you’ll enjoy.
We thought we’d start with Turmeric. It’s one of the top 5 store cupboard essentials and is having somewhat of a revival at the moment, with much being made of it’s health benefits as well as the brilliant colour and taste it gives to so many dishes.

416949_10150608745213226_209904074_nturmeric-ground-organic-spiceTurmeric is a rhizome native to southern Asia, that is grown as an annual and looks similar to ginger and galangal. It is sometimes available fresh, but is usually sold ground into powder form, having been boiled and dried. Turmeric powder is bright yellow with a distinct earthy aroma and a pleasing, sharp, bitter, spicy and lingering depth of flavour and is an essential ingredient for Indian and South East Asian cuisine.

Steenbergs stocks 2 different varieties of turmeric: organic turmeric and an organic Fairtrade turmeric which comes from an organic and Fairtrade co-operative in the Kandy region of Sri Lanka. Click here to watch our Behind the Products Video about turmeric. Classic dishes include curries, fish stews and rice dishes and Steenbergs uses it in many of its spice blends including curry powder and chermoula.
turmeric-powder-organic-fairtrade-40g
Jasmine & Melissa Hemsley are big turmeric fans. “A powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, this little pot of gold is a vital ingredient for good health at any time of the year, but in winter we tend to start putting organic turmeric in anything and everything, just to give us an extra boost.” They use it in smoothies, hot drinks and curries to boost their turmeric intake. Take a look at their website for inspiration.

Madeleine Shaw also promotes turmeric in her latest book, READY, STEADY, GLOW! (published by Orion books). Her recipes for warming Turmeric Milk and revitalising Turmeric-tastic juice, are creative ways to add it into your diet.

Sharmini Thomas, local York based Indian cookery tutor, uses turmeric extensively in her Indian cookery, as well as believing in the healing properties of turmeric, citing examples of it as a useful antiseptic. Chicken Tikka Masala typically contains turmeric, as she shows in the delicious recipe she created for Steenbergs. Watch out for the cookery video coming soon….

But what is the scientific evidence for turmeric? Recently Michael Mosley, one of the presenters on the BBC’s Trust Me, I’m a Doctor programme, conducted a test with the help of Professor Widschwendter of University College, London, looking at DNA methylation in cells, using three groups of people: one given a placebo; one given turmeric to take by itself and the final group given turmeric to take with food. Interestingly they saw positive results in the group who were given turmeric to take with food and will be investigating the link further. For more information, visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37408293

Definitely all food for thought…

31 Steenbergs Products Become Halal Certified

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Following a detailed certification and audit process that’s taken several months, we’re pleased that Steenbergs now has 31 products certified as conforming to Halal requirements in accordance with Islamic law.  We’ve been certified by Halal Certification Europe, who are approved by JAKIM (Malaysia) and MUIS (Singapore) as well as other Halal authorities.

The products that conform to Halal are all mixes prepared at Steenbergs and include: Baharat, Garam Masala, Madras Curry Powder, Chana Masala, Harissa, Lebanese 7 Spice and Tagine Spice Mix, as well as Steenbergs English Breakfast Tea and Earl Grey Tea.  For a full list, please contact sales@steenbergs.co.uk.

Individual spices and herbs are not certified as Halal, because they are not processed at Steenbergs’ factories, but at the ingredients’ source.  Over time, we hope to be able to get some of the original suppliers certified as Halal, but that’ll take time.

Steenbergs Extracts and Flower Waters now registered with Vegan Society

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

We’ve successfully registered Steenbergs’ extracts and flower waters with The Vegan Society. This is the start of a process that will see Steenbergs include vegan branding into our bakery range over the next few months.

As part of this, we’ve delisted anything that is not vegan within the range of Steenbergs-branded products. So, for example, all the baking decorations have been delisted, because some included shellac and others carmines, while milky oolong has been removed because it contained milk flavour.

We feel this tidies up what Steenbergs does, so that we can now say Steenbergs’ products are animal-free, vegetarian and vegan. Not all are registered (in fact most aren’t) but we’ll work on it over the next few years.

We’ve still got to review non-Steenbergs products and what we’re doing with them…but that’s for another month.

Update 26/1/2017: Following a review of branded products on www.steenbergs.co.uk, we are delisting the Fish4Ever range of fish and seafood, and the Pukka ghee.  This will mean that by mid-year (when these have sold through) Steenbergs will be a strictly vegan brand across all its activities.

Steenbergs Becomes Kosher Certified

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

We’ve been working during the last few years on upping our game in our certifications.  It’s alright saying that Steenbergs is good at this and that, but quite another thing to prove it.

In 2016, we began working on both halal and kosher certification.  So far, we have completed kosher certification with the London Beth Din (Kosher London Beth Din) – finalised on 16 December and confirmed 3 January 2017.

After an audit visit and lot of paper trails to be proved, this has enabled over 250 products to achieve kosher certification.  At the start, we won’t have any logo showing that our products are kosher certified, but as new labels are printed we will be incorporating the KLBD logo for certified lines.  This will begin with a rebranding of the organic extracts range in the first half of 2017.

Now, we’ve started on halal certification with Halal Certification Europe.  Because of a different methodology , it means that only those products we blend can be certified and so it will be a much, much shorter list.

At Steenbergs, the key theme is that we must be able to demonstrate that we both appreciate and are addressing customer’s differing requirements for Steenbergs herb, spice and tea products.  This is not only about environmental (Organic) and social (Fairtrade; SEDEX), but also about religious and other ethical factors.

We will address vegan and/or vegetarian in the near future, but have slightly put that to the back of the queue because Steenbergs’ products are plant-based and we seek (so far as possible) to ensure no animal products are used in fertilisers.