Cooling but nutritious food ideas to survive the summer heatwave

Cooling but nutritious food ideas to survive the summer heatwave

As the UK takes a deep breath after one of the hottest July heatwaves in memory, it’s worth remembering that there is still plenty of summer still to come. In hot conditions, your body is placed under increasing strain. We all know the importance of hydration, but it’s also vital to keep your nutrition levels up if you want to stay alert and at your best. After all, tempting though it might be to take an afternoon siesta in a shady spot, it’s a luxury few of us can afford, so it is vital to do all we can to avoid that 2PM slump. The problem many of us face is that as well as being energy-sapping, hot weather can also give the appetite a hit. When the mercury hits the 30s, the last thing on most people’s minds is a big plate of food. Here are some tips for keeping nutrition levels up from morning till night. Rough up your smoothie for breakfast When there’s a scorching day ahead, few breakfast options look more tempting than a smoothie. Cool, hydrating, delicious, light and full of vitamins and minerals – what’s not to like? The only downside to a smoothie for breakfast is that you are likely to be feeling hungry again an hour or so later. Here’s a cunning trick from those in the know. Oats are a breakfast staple, but enjoying them doesn’t have to mean diving into a bowl of steaming hot porridge. Try adding some to your smoothie to give it a little more substance and texture. You will find that you stay comfortably full...
Healthy and nutritious oatmeal ideas

Healthy and nutritious oatmeal ideas

If the idea of oats conjures up images of a steaming bowl of porridge to set you up for the day on a winter’s morning, it might not be the first thing on your breakfast list as we head into June. However, perhaps you should think about that again. The nutritional properties of oats make them the perfect ingredient, not just to start the day, but also to give you a boost when you need it most. Oats help you to burn fat and lower cholesterol, while providing your body with essential vitamins and minerals like potassium and folate. Getting your fix of oats doesn’t have to mean chowing down a bowl of porridge on a summer’s morning – although given the vagaries of the British climate that might sometimes be a tempting idea, even in June. But here are some other ways to enjoy oats whatever the weather. Make your own muesli The trouble with pre-packaged muesli is that it tries to cater to all tastes. Inevitably, this means some find it too sweet, while others might object to the raisins or some other ingredient. Making your own could not be simpler. Use rolled oats as your base, and continue from there. Try adding chopped walnuts, banana and cinnamon to give your breakfast natural sweetness and just a hint of spice. Try baking Some people shy away from oats because they don’t like the texture. If this sounds like you, a baked oatmeal product, such as this oat flapjack could be just the thing. The recipe for this one is a closely guarded secret that has taken years...
Winter is coming – are you getting your oats?

Winter is coming – are you getting your oats?

The evenings are drawing in, the paths and roads are full of fallen leaves and the supermarkets are throwing us all into confusion as they reorganise the aisles to make way for the festive range. There’s no avoiding the fact: winter is coming. With it come various changes in our daily routine. Coats and heavier shoes are being pressed back into action, the central heating is back in daily use and that yoghurt and fruit that seemed like the perfect breakfast just a month or so ago is no longer quite so tempting. A steaming bowl of porridge is just the thing to set you up for the day. Those of a certain age will remember the TV ad campaign showing the glowing boy heading off to school with the tagline that described a certain well known brand as “central heating for kids.” Pure advertising spiel? Not exactly. In fact, the slow releasing energy that oats deliver do indeed act as an internal heating system and are precisely what we all need. What’s so great about oats? Oats are rich in beta-glucans, a soluble form of fibre that slows the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. This delayed digestive process damps down the spikes in insulin levels and blood sugar that we so often see with other energy-giving foods. On top of that, oats are a great source of magnesium. This is also important for giving energy, and is key to enzyme function. Magnesium has been proven to reduce the likelihood of strokes and heart attacks, as it relaxes the blood vessels, aids the heart muscle and regulates blood...
Contract manufacturing to give your brand a nutritious competitive edge

Contract manufacturing to give your brand a nutritious competitive edge

Today’s competitive environment is tougher than at any point in history. Across a whole range of markets, there are new entrants joining the fray every week, as the internet age reduces barriers to entry for new business startups. At the same time, consumers are far more knowledgeable about what they want and expect, and they also know that if your business doesn’t meet their expectations, there are plenty of others to choose from. This is particularly the case in businesses operating in the health, nutrition and wellness sector. To stand still is to fall behind as your competitors are constantly devising and delivering new offerings in a bid to increase their market share. Engaging with hearts, minds and stomachs Never underestimate the importance of brand image. At Focused Nutrition we manufacture healthy, wholesome and tasty products for busy, health-conscious consumers. Our contract manufacturing service allows a collaboration that blends our years of experience with your corporate ethos and brand values. Your marketing team is constantly devising ways to connect with the hearts and minds of your target customers. We all know that the way to a man, woman or child’s heart is through the stomach, and adding a delicious range of carefully branded bespoke snacks to your product offering provides the perfect route. The ideal partnership You know your business and your customers better than anyone, so you probably already have a vision of the kind of nutritious snack that would be the perfect fit for your business, whether it is a luxury flapjack that can be enjoyed by those with dietary constraints or a nutritionally-packed protein bar to...

There are few treats as satisfying as the flapjack.

There are few treats as satisfying as the flapjack. Whether you’re eating one with a cup of tea or getting yourself some fuel before exercising, the flapjack’s simplicity certainly doesn’t compromise on its taste. In the US flapjacks date back to the early 17th century, yet they resemble pancakes, with the name originating from the term flap which meant to toss a pancake. Our traditional British tray-bake version is usually made from a few basic ingredients – oats, butter, syrup and sugar and harks back to Shakespeare’s time, with him mentioning them in Pericles, Prince of Tyre in the early 1600s. Despite the debate about the origin and whether a flapjack is a pancake or a lovely tray bake of healthy and filling oats, one thing is for sure, we like to keep our bakery products simple and traditional. Less is of course more. Trying to cut out processed, unhealthy food in our diets whilst keeping energy up and cravings at bay can seem like an impossible task at times, yet really you just need a little pick me up of the right kind to keep you on track. Have a look below for our simple yet healthy flapjack recipe. Healthy Flapjack recipe Ingredients -200g of your choice of mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruits (we like pistachio and apricots) -100g of wholegrain rolled oats -3 tbsp of maple syrup or honey -100g of butter or low fat spread -2 tbsp of peanut butter Method: Preheat your oven to 160C and line and grease a square tin. In a pan over a medium heat melt together the peanut butter,...