Friday, 17 December 2010

Christmas Opening Times

These are my opening times over the Christmas and New Year period.

Saturday, 18th December 9.30am - 6.30pm (Farmers Market)
Sunday, 19th December 11.00am - 5.00pm
Monday, 20th December 9.30am - 6.30pm
Tuesday, 21st December 9.30am - 6.30pm
Wednesday, 22nd December 9.30am - 6.30pm
Thursday, 23rd December 9.30am - 6.30pm
Friday, 24th December 9.30am - 5.00pm

Closed 25th, 26th and 27th December

Tuesday, 28th December 9.30am - 6.30pm
Wednesday, 29th December 9.30am - 6.30pm
Thursday, 30th December 9.30am - 6.30pm
Friday, 31st December 9.30am - 5.00pm

Closed 1st, 2nd and 3rd January

Tuesday, 4th January open as usual

I hope you all have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Life at Indigo

All right, I know I'm biased, but it's great to be part of a successful independent business. I work in the shop three days a week and the greatest satisfaction I have is getting to know customers and becoming friends with them. Being part of a community is part of being alive.
But just to balance the picture, my biggest dread is having to change the refill boxes on the Ecover Refill 'Station'. Several customers have seen me covered in Fabric Conditioner! Still, nine times out of ten I get it right with help from friendly customers. Introducing the refills was definitely 'a good idea'!
I have a retirement date in mind - not getting any younger - but when it comes, will I actually want to go? It's not for several years so no need to worry yet.

Flax Seed or Linseed?

Flax Seed and Linseed are two different names for the same seed.  I understand that Flax is the US name and Linseed is the English name, however, I have products by both names in store.

Linseed is high in fibre and contains high levels of Alpha-Linolenic Acid more commonly known as Omega 3 essential fatty acid.  It contains lower levels of both Omega 6 and Omega 9 essential fatty acids.

In its whole form Linseed is a small brown seed.  It is also commonly hulled and the hulled version is a golden colour.  As with most seeds and grains the greatest nutritional content is contained in the hull.  The difficulty with this is that the hull is very dense and doesn't breakdown during digestion.  This means that the Linseed can pass straight through without releasing its nutritional content.  This means that if you are unable to grind the Whole Linseed up its better to use the Golden (hulled) Linseed.

For convenience I stock a ground version and two combinations of ground linseed.  One combination also contains ground almonds, brazil nuts, walnut and Co-enzyme Q10.  The other contains ground sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and goji berries as well as ground Linseed.  Both combinations are highly nutritious and are excellent sprinkled on cereals or mixed into juices or smoothies.

In addition, Linseed can be bought as a nutritional supplement, as an oil and also in capsule form.  Two Linseed oil capsules are an essential part of my daily supplement intake.

Friday, 12 November 2010

New Product: Suma Brand Bouillon Powder

Suma have launched their most ambitious product to date.  Suma's Bouillon Powder takes on the virtual monopoly that Marigold Foods have for this iconic product.  Fans of Delia Smith will be particularly familiar Bouillon as this is one of her essential products.

Suma Bouillon is available in a vegetarian and a vegan/reduced salt version, but both versions contain less salt than usual while keeping the flavour and characteristics of this useful and versatile product.  The product contains no preservatives, no artificial colours and no genetically modified material.

For convenience Suma's Bouillon comes with a scoop and in a polypropylene tub that can easily be reused or recycled.  The product has been approved by the Vegetarian Society and the Vegan Society (vegan version).

Suma's Bouillon is in store now and costs £1.15. It is currently on special offer - 150g for the price of 100g. If you're not yet convinced pick up a free sample when you next visit Indigo.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Christmas at Indigo

Christmas at Indigo starts at the beginning of November and this year is no exception. My organic Christmas goodies are now in stock and are displayed by the counter.  My range includes cakes, puddings and mince pies.  There are some seasonal ingredients such as mince pie filling, redcurrant jelly and cranberry sauce.  Furthermore there are many interesting Christmas presents including the Mayan Magic Raw Chocolate Making Kit, and the Whole Nutmegs and Nutmeg Grater.

Indigo is the place to come for gluten free Christmas goodies.  I have gluten free Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding and Mince Pies.  Another favourite is the fair trade chocolate advent calender from Divine.

My extensive range of ethical body-care products provides an excellent choice for Christmas presents as well.  I stock delightful items by Jason, Natural by Nature, Faith in Nature, Weleda, Green People, Yaoh and Rawganics.

Other Christmas present ideas include the ever popular sprouting jars and trays and large range of seeds to sprouts.

Friday, 29 October 2010

New Product: More Pure Essential Oils

Today, I have received delivery of eleven new pure essential oils.  This increases our range of pure essential oils to 30 varieties.

The new oils are:

Basil £6.25
Bergamot £5.99
Black Pepper £6.50
Clary Sage £4.25
Myrrh £9.50
Patchouli £3.99
Pine Needle £4.25
Rosewood £3.99
Taget £5.99
Thyme Wild £5.99
Vetivert £5.99

All are 10ml and are made by Natural By Nature.

Natural By Nature only produces pure essential oils with many organic varieties.  5% of Natural By Nature's turnover of organic oils is donated to BUAV (the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) as part of their commitment to encourage the end cosmetic animal testing worldwide.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Gluten Free: What is Gluten and what are the alternatives?

Gluten is a substance found principally in wheat and to a lesser extent in oats, barley and rye.  When cooked or heated during the process of digestion it becomes sticky.  It is this stickiness that binds bread together.  Unfortunately, some people are unable to digest this sticky substance, resulting in digestive symptoms including bloating and gas.

All other grains are gluten free.  These include amaranth, buckwheat (no, despite the name buckwheat has no connection with wheat), millet, corn, quinoa and rice.  All of these grains and more can be used in exactly the same way as glutenous grains and are available as grains, flaked grains and flours.  They are also ingredients in grain based products marked as gluten free.

People who decide to take gluten out of their diets and those who are advised to for medical reasons often have a difficult time adjusting. This is due to the amount of wheat that is usually consumed in the western diet.  However, a little experimentation with the gluten free grains reveals a whole new range of foods to be enjoyed.  My staff and I are happy to spend time discussing the various possibilities available with customers.

Replacing bread presents a difficulty to most gluten free customers.  Usually gluten free bread is crumbly and hard to eat.  This is due to the absence of gluten.  However, there are many gluten free crackers that hold together and provide an alternative.  I can however,order fresh gluten free bread for collection on a Monday or a Friday for those who would prefer a bread and are willing to give the gluten free bread a go.  Many customers get used to the bread and enjoy it.

For customers who enjoy porridge in the morning there is great range of alternatives.  Any of the flaked grains cooked in the same way produces a similar dish, if slightly thiner.  Again, because of the lack of gluten, these gluten free grains don't stick together in quite the same way.  Particular favourites are brown rice flakes, buckwheat flakes and quinoa flakes.  Try mixing them together.

Some people believe that our reliance on one particular grain and one particular type of that grain (wheat) is responsible for the increase in the intolerance and allergic reactions to it.  If that is the case a diet containing a variety of different grains would be beneficial.  Try incorporating different grains into your diet instead of wheat.  Find out which you like and which you dont.