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Sugavida Palmyra Tree Blossom

Palmyra Tree Blossom Sugar
I don't have a massive sweet tooth but at this time of the year I am drinking more sugary hot drinks and sweet treats as well as baking lots of brownies, gingerbread and cookies which naturally have quite a lot of sugar in them. Sugar in any form isn't going to be super healthy but in comes Sugavida.

I was kindly sent the *Sugavida Organic Palmayra Tree Blossom Sugar (250g) which is a variation of sugar ethically and sustainably derived from the Palmyra Tree. It's 100% organic and it's suitable for vegans and vegetarians. The organic palmyra blossom sugar is low in fructose, it's diabetic friendly and it is rich in vitamin B12 and also includes B1, B2, B6 and iron which is amazing!

The sugar is quite fine, it's finer than regular granulated sugar and it looks like light brown sugar - it smells/tastes like light brown sugar too. It has a delicious treacle-like flavour which I love and I find it a little less sweet compared to white granulated sugar. It can be used for cooking, baking or stirring into hot drinks which is what I've been doing the most with this sugar but I can't wait to use it in baking too. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

Have you tried the Sugavida Palmyra Tree Blossom sugar? 

Book Review: Paleo - 12 Week To Change Your Life

Book Review: Paleo - 12 Week To Change Your Life
Images from Google
Today's post is slightly different as it's about a cookbook/lifestyle book and I haven't posted a book review for a while on my food blog (oops!). It's also about a dietary change that I've heard a lot about but before I received this book I didn't really know what it was about at all!

I received *Paleo: 12 Weeks To Change Your Life and I've been slowly making my way through it. I first have to say that I'm not a fan of the title, it's seems gimmicky and self help book-like which I'm not a fan of personally. The book is a 12 week paleo diet and fitness plan as well as a recipe book.

A paleo diet/lifestyle basically means that your diet should only include ingredients that would have been available to Palaeolithic peoples; the Palaeolithic period is also known as the old stone age - around 2.5 million years ago so obviously they didn't have modern grains, modern cooking tools or modern ingredients that we have now so it's all about raw, fresh and clean ingredients that out ancient ancestors would have consumed.

The book is really well laid out, explaining what you can and can't eat as part of a paleo lifestyle and to me it isn't really a viable option on the whole as baking is such a relaxing and important part of my routine as it really helps me relax, I love baking for other people and I love eating what I've made myself but with the paleo lifestyle you can't eat yeast, flour, sugars, baking powder etc so it isn't for me when it comes to baking. Dairy products are also restricted which is fine with me as I do go through phases of having not just a vegetarian diet but a vegan diet. However the diet does focus on fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds and healthier, more natural fats which is a large part of my current lifestyle anyway. It's all about using raw, clean ingredients for a healthier and cleaner diet which I'm all for but I obviously don't eat meat or fish.

As with any dietary changes, especially such a big change like becoming a vegetarian, vegan or changing to a paleo lifestyle, I personally think that it is important to make the change gradually rather than eliminating products immediately. I think the diet could be a fantastic way of reducing and eventually eliminating processed foods from your diet if you do eat meat or a lot of processed foods but for me personally, I don't think it's that much of a change as I've been a vegetarian for about 13 years now and I do restrict my dairy intake occasionally too as it does help me to loose weight. It also encourages the reader to eat seasonally which I think would be great for more people to incorporate into their lifestyle/buying habits.

Overall, I like the way the book is written as it's well laid out, explained well and offers good advice (particularly about planning meals ahead etc) but for me personally it isn't much of a change and it' isn't that appropriate but I think if you do rely on processed foods then it could be a fantastic way of eating cleaner and healthier ingredients! There's only one thing I don't like about the book on the whole and that is that it can feel a little bit preachy at times and I don't think the plan would be 100% easy or viable for most individuals, particularly with a family or a very limited budget, in my opinion. Overall rating: ★★★☆☆, 3/5.

Have your read this book? What do you think of the paleo lifestyle? 

Biosnacky by A.Vogel

Biosnacky by A.Vogel
I'm not very handy when it comes to gardening and growing plants because, bugs. Although even when there aren't really any bugs, for example, with succulents, I still manage to kill the plants - yes, I have managed to kill a succulent, they are meant to be plants for dummies...However, I do love to watch the progress of plants growing everyday and I have been able to keep a pepper plant and herbs growing for a couple of months now and they're not dead (go me!).

So when I received the *Biosnacky Three Tier Germinator by A.Vogel (£17.99), I was really excited because I'm basically a grandma and the best thing about it - no soil, so no bugs! The germinator is kind of a mini greenhouse which you can keep at your desk or a windowsill. The one I have is a three tier germinator with a lid. It came with three packets of sprout speeds including a gourmet mix, broccoli sprout seeds and mung bean sprout seeds.
Biosnacky by A.Vogel
My mum has a horticulture qualification so she helped me figure out the not so clear instructions - she said they they could have been a little clearer. Here are my basic instructions: rinse the germinator and rinse the seeds then dispense the seeds onto the tiers of the germinator (this bit can be a little messy). Stack the tiers making sure the red filters are staggered and fill the top tier with water - the water will slowly filter into all three tiers leaving a tiny amount of water in each one.

We couldn't see on the instructions how many seeds you need per tier so we probably overfilled two of the three tiers but hopefully it will be ok! Even after a couple of days the seeds in all three tiers were looking like they were starting to grow and change - there isn't a massive change just yet, I think I read on the website that it takes about 5-6 days.

Overall, even though the instructions weren't the clearest, it was still easy to put together and it's great seeing the little sprout seeds starting to grow and change and I can't wait to cook with them! My only main negative (apart from the instructions) was that the tiers don't click or lock into place which I think would be a great idea as if you want to move it or if you accidentally knock into it as I did just when we finished putting it together, then things can get VERY messy and the seeds and water can go everywhere....I think it would be a unique and interesting gift for foodies and gardeners this christmas! Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

What do you think of this sprout germinator? Are you green fingered or are you an accidental plant killer as I am?