Saturday, May 31, 2014

Healthy additions to my store cupboard

I'm always on the lookout for tasty helathy ingredients. Here are some I found this week:

Chicory Cup

A healthy and gluten free alternative to coffee. Most other coffee substitutes on the market seem to contain gluten, usually in the form of barley. This just contains ground chicory root. It doesn't taste quite like coffee but has a similar bitter taste. Probably the nearest thing I have tried. It is possible to buy coffee blends which have chicory added to this is not an entirely strange idea.  

Health benefits: Chicory root has a long standing reputaion as a cleansing medicinal herb. The Ancient Romans used it to help purify the blood and the Ancient Egyptians also consumed the root as a blood cleanser and liver detoxifier.
It aids digestion, and in particular helps with fat digestion by increasing bile production (important for me since I sustained major liver damage in an accident and lost my gall bladder). It boosts the immune system and helps reduce inflammation. It helps regulate blood sugar and aids elimination of toxins. It can also help with constipation. And of course, unlike coffee, can be drunk any time of day with no caffeine to cause insomnia.

I do find I prefer it with coconut milk (my milk substitute of choice) and a little sugar. Now, of course sugar is not the healthiest ingredient, so on to my next find...

Coconut Palm Sugar

An alternative to regular sugar, it looks and can be used like brown sugar, though it has a delightful sweet taste which is hard to describe.  It  performs pretty much exactly like regular sugar in baking etc.

Health benefits: It contains the minerals Iron, Calcium, Zinc and Potassium as well as some antioxidants. It contains inulin which helps regulate blood sugar by slowing down absorption of glucose. Studies, so far, suggest it has a lower GI than regular sugar (less likely to cause blood sugar spikes).

It is performing very well in use so far. I have some recipes to share shortly.

Chamomile and honey tea

OK, not really a new product, I have been drinking chamamile tea on and off for quite a while, but I'm impressed with the huge range of herbal and fruit teas available now. I find the Twinings range to be very tasty and good value. Definitely helpful for relaxing at bedtime.


Finally, one for the supplements box.  Chlorella is a simple algae plant. You can buy it in powdered form to add to smoothies, which I sometimes do. But in between times I like to take a couple of tablets to keep me topped up.

Health benefits: It is rich in vitamin B12, vitamins C and K, and folic acid. Studies have shown it offers protection from, and elimination of, certain environmental pollutents, particularly heavy metals such as mercury. It helps to clear dioxins from the body, a toxin often sadly found in breast milk.


  1. OOoo never heard of chicory before... will go hunting... I drink far to much coffee!!

    1. I used to drink far too much tea. Thanks for stopping by. x

  2. I've tried chicory before and much preferred regular coffee - amazing how the beverages can add up with sugar, milk and coffee though! Great that you've found some healthier alternatives. x

    1. I must admit I do put the kettle on a lot of times per day. Thanks for popping in.

  3. I'm always looking for new healthy ideas that aren't going to be a lot of effort (a mixture of lazy and realistic).
    I'm going to check out if I can find some Chicory this weekend.
    Is Chlorella and Chlorophyll the same thing?
    Kelsey x

    1. Chlorella is an algae and contains a lot of chlorophyll. Chloryophyll is the green stuff in any plant and is very good for us. Hope you find and enjoy the chicory. x