A is for Almond Flour & Almond Meal
Almond flour and almond meal are popular gluten-free ingredients used in everything from cakes and cookies to meat and vegetable dishes.
Both are made from ground almonds, though almond flour and almond meal have two subtle differences that set them apart.
Almond flour is typically made from blanched almonds which have had the skins removed, and is ground more finely than almond meal, which typically still contains the skins and has a more coarse grind.
Almond flour is particularly rich in vitamin E, a group of fat-soluble compounds that act as antioxidants in your body.
They prevent damage from harmful molecules called free radicals, which accelerate aging and increase your risk of heart disease and cancer
B is for Baking Soda
Baking soda and bicarbonate of soda are the same thing, just with different names.
Baking soda, is a leavening agent used in baking and needs to be mixed with liquid and an acidic ingredient (eg honey, chocolate, lemon, buttermilk) to react and make cakes rise.
Its basically a miracle ingredient, here are some of its many MANY uses:
• Use baking soda to clean your kitchen
• Stop smelly trainers with bicarb
• Soothe a sore throat naturally with baking soda
• Use bicarb to kill weeds in your garden
• Make natural beauty treatments with baking soda
• Bicarb can help keep your carpets clean
• Use baking soda to cure heartburn
• Find relief from insect bites with bicarbonate of soda
• Get your white laundry even whiter using baking soda
• Make a natural mouthwash with bicarb
• Stop dandruff with baking soda
C is for Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica, which is related to Mint.
Don't be fooled by the size — these tiny seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch.
A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains:
Fibre: 11 grams.
Protein: 4 grams.
Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s).
Calcium: 18% of the RDI.
Manganese: 30% of the RDI.
Magnesium: 30% of the RDI.
Phosphorus: 27% of the RDI.
- They also contain a decent amount of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2.
D is for Dates
Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which is grown in many tropical regions of the world. Dates have become quite popular in recent years.
Almost all dates sold in Western countries are dried.
You can tell whether or not dates are dried based on their appearance. A wrinkled skin indicates they are dried, whereas a smooth skin indicates freshness.
Depending on the variety, fresh dates are fairly small in size and range in colour from bright red to bright yellow. Medjool and Deglet Noor dates are the most commonly consumed varieties.
Dates are chewy with a sweet flavour. They are also high in some important nutrients and have a variety of advantages and uses.
With almost 7 grams of fibre in a 100g serving, including dates in your diet is a great way to increase your fibre intake.
Fibre can benefit your digestive health by preventing constipation. It promotes regular bowel movements by contributing to the formation of stool.
E is for bEEEEans
Beans may get a bad rap for making people gassy, but that's no reason to cut them out of your diet. Experts recommend you consume up to 3 cups of legumes a week—because they are so good for your health. And the more you eat, the less likely you are to have tummy trouble.
Beans are high in fibre, which means they help your body feel full, so you don't need to eat as much throughout the day.
Beans contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, so they work double to keep your digestive system running smoothly. The first slows down digestion, which gives you that full feeling, and the second helps prevent constipation.
On top of being high in fibre, most beans also score low on the glycemic index, a ranking of foods based on how they affect blood sugar.
Little Hen stocks a whole bunch of bean varieities; Adzuki Beans, Black Beans, Black Eye Beans, Mung Beans, Soya Beans, Borlotti Beans, Lima Beans, Pinto Beans, Cannellini Beans, Broad Beans to name a few.
F is for Freekeh
Freekeh, sometimes mispelled as "freekah" or "frikeh") is young green wheat that has been toasted and cracked. It's a healthy whole grain food, much like bulgur wheat, wheat berries, and other whole grains.
Why you should eat it
• Fibre, fibre, fibre! The incredibly high fibre content of freekeh has been credited with weightloss (since fibre fills you up and keeps you feeling full), and, if you're not eating a healthy well-balanced diet already, you could probably use more fibre in your diet.
• Whole grains such as freekeh are full of essential nutrients such as selenium, potassium, and magnesium.
• Like quinoa, freekeh makes an excellent source of protein for vegetarian and vegans.
G is for Ginger (dried)
Ginger is a common herb that has a familiar, tangy taste and aroma. It is often dried and powdered and used as a spice in cooking and baking. You can also find dried, candied ginger in some types of sweets. Ginger is known for its affects on stomach ailments such as nausea, morning sickness, colic, gas and diarrhea. For this reason, it is often used as a tonic and added to foods that contain cabbage, cauliflower and other gas-producing ingredients. Keep dried ginger on hand for use in a variety of dishes.
Add dried, powdered ginger to stews, soups, curries, casseroles and other dishes. It is best to add this finely powdered spice ingredient when the dish is almost completed so you don't overcook it and it loses its flavor as a result.
Use dried, sugared ginger pieces in baked or cooked desserts. Cut the ginger into small pieces and combine them with fresh or dried fruit to make stewed fruits, apple crumble, fruit cakes, gingerbread or puddings. You can also use it to spice up homemade pancakes and waffles.
H is for Hemp Seeds
Although hemp seeds come from the Cannabis sativa plant, they do not produce a mind-altering effect. These small, brown seeds are rich in protein, fiber, and healthful fatty acids, including omega-3s and omega-6s. They have antioxidant effects and may reduce symptoms of numerous ailments, improving the health of the heart, skin, and joints.
Hemp seeds are high in protein and are a complete source of protein, meaning that they provide all nine essential amino acids.
Hemp seeds are a great source of essential fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3. The body cannot produce essential fatty acids, and the body must absorb them from the diet. They are crucial for long-term health.
Hemp seeds contain an impressive array of vitamins and minerals and are especially rich in: vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium.
I is for Inca Berries
These little dehydrated parcels of joy punch well about their weight when it comes to health benefits and deliciousness. Get educated, then make sure you get Inca Berries into your diet!
Looks like a dried berry, tastes like a dried berry, but it isn't a berry. Inca Berries are in the deadly nightshade family, so more closely related to a tomato, tomatillo or eggplant.
Inca berries are especially high in protein and fibre—the highest fibre content of all dried fruit in fact. Thanks to their tiny seeds, they are also extremely high in antioxidants, whilst the dehydrated flesh is stacked with vitamin C and potassium.
Granola and porridge additions, wholemeal muffin ingredients, cheese platter accompaniments, roast chicken stuffing, salad garnishes… you name it, the Inca Berry is down with it. In fact you’re better off trying to think of where these super fruits wouldn’t work!
J is for goJi berries
Goji berries are a type of fruit that grows on an evergreen shrub native to China, Mongolia, and the Tibetan Himalayas.
These berries contain all 8 essential amino acids. A single 4 ounce serving provides nearly 10 percent of your daily value for protein. For fruit, this is a surprising amount of protein.
The carbohydrates in goji berries are also complex carbs. This means your blood sugar will raise slowly, reducing your risk of a sugar crash afterwards.
Frequently consumed as a food, goji berries are slightly tart and sweet and can be eaten dried, raw, or cooked. The whole, dried berries have a similar shape and texture as raisins. They can be added to oatmeal, trail mix, salads, and beverages such as tea and smoothies and are also available in juice or powder form.
Goji berries are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including:
vitamin C, fibre, iron, vitamin A, zinc and antioxidants. Goji berries are purported to promote weight loss, sharpen eyesight, lift mood, improve circulation, and slow up the aging process.
K is for fenugreeK
For thousands of years, fenugreek has been used in alternative and Chinese medicine to treat skin conditions and many other diseases.
In more recent years, it has become a common household spice and is used as a thickening agent. It can also be found in products such as soap and shampoo.
Fenugreek seeds and powder are also used in many Indian and Asian recipes for their nutritional profile and slightly sweet, nutty taste.
One of the most common reasons men use fenugreek supplements is to boost testosterone. Some studies have found that it has beneficial effects, including increasing testosterone levels and boosting libido.
The most impressive research on fenugreek has analysed how it affects metabolic conditions such as diabetes. It seems to benefit both type 1 and type 2 diabetics, along with improving general carb tolerance in non-diabetic, healthy individuals.
L is for LSA
LSA stands for linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds. A packet of LSA is a combination of these three pre-mixed seeds, which have been ground down to a fine or coarse form.
LSA is a rich source of protein, which enables it to help keep your blood sugar levels balanced, while also curbing naughty sugar cravings. It contains a healthy does of omega-3 fats to help promote a healthy heart and brain function, and boosts bone and skin health thanks to its many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, E, D and B, calcium, zinc and magnesium. This mighty seed mix also plays a role in helping to cleanse and detox the liver, regulating cholesterol levels, and eliminating unwanted fat from the body.
It is extremely easy to add LSA to your daily meals, and its subtle nutty flavour is definitely tasty, but can go unnoticed, too. Try sprinkling a teaspoon or two onto your breakfast cereal, yoghurt or smoothie, or add it to any bread, cake, muffin or cookie recipe.
M is for Mango (dried)
Naturally sweet and delightfully chewy, dried mango is a delicious tropical treat with no added sugar.
Natural dried Mango Cheeks make a delectable and convenient snack any time and are fantastic lunchbox fillers. Fruit the kids will love, that won’t spoil. Add dried mango, cut into bite size pieces, to trail mixes with nuts and seeds. Great for travelling!
Snip pieces of mango into home-made muesli or toasted granola, or over smoothie bowls. Dried mango is irresistible added to raw food treats, including energy balls and slices. These mango cheeks are also a great ingredient to add to pickles and chutneys when fresh fruit is unavailable, or can be included in stuffing mixes.
To soften before use, soak pre-cut cheeks in warm water for up to 2 hours. Add mango to fruit bread, muffin, cake, biscuit and muesli bar recipes.
N is for Nigella Seeds
Nigella seeds are probably one of the most confused spices. Over the years we’ve heard nigella referred to as onion seeds, black cumin, black caraway and fennel flower, among others.
However you choose to name this spice, what it lacks in aroma — it has just a hint of a savory scent — it makes up for in taste.
Nigella seeds have an oregano-like quality with herbaceous notes, a slight bitterness and a warm, toasted-onion flavor. I like to add them whole to salads, sauces and even soups at the last minute just before serving.
Bread seems to be a cross-cultural use for nigella seeds—aside from naan, it's also used to top flatbreads in Turkey and elsewhere in the Middle East, and in Eastern Europe is sprinkled on Jewish rye bread in place of caraway seeds.
O is for Oats
Oats are a very good source of fibre, especially beta-glucan, and are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Whole oats are the only source of a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, believed to have protective effects against heart disease.
Due to their beneficial health effects, such as lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, oats have gained considerable interest as a health food.
Oats are most commonly rolled or crushed, and can be consumed as oatmeal (porridge), in baked goods, bread, muesli and granola.
Oats do not contain gluten, but they contain a similar type of protein, called avenin. Clinical studies have shown that moderate or even large amounts of pure oats can be tolerated by most celiac disease patients Oats have been shown to enhance the nutritional value of gluten free diets, increasing both mineral and fibre intakes.
P is for Psyllium
Psyllium is a soluble fibre derived from the seeds of Plantago ovata, an herb mainly grown in India.
It's used as a dietary supplement and is usually found in the form of husk, granules, capsules or powder. However, it can also be obtained through fortified breakfast cereals and baked goods.
Psyllium husk is the main active ingredient in Metamucil, a fibre supplement often used to reduce constipation.
Because of its excellent water solubility, psyllium can absorb water and become a thick, viscous compound that resists digestion in the small intestine.
Its resistance to digestion allows it to help regulate high cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar levels. It can also aid weight management and relieve diarrhea and constipation. Moreover, unlike some other potent sources of fibre, psyllium is well tolerated.
Q is for Quinoa
Out of all the superfoods out there, quinoa is one of the few which really lives up to the hype and deserves a place in the pantry.
The pseudo-grain (which is pronounced KEEN-wah) is high in protein, fibre, B-vitamins, magnesium, calcium and vitamin E. It's also naturally gluten-free, making it a great option for those with coeliac disease.
Quinoa is an extremely versatile ingredient and can be used in a variety of savoury and sweet dishes. If you're ever confused about where to use quinoa, simply use it in place of rice.
Remember though, that quinoa isn't just a savoury ingredient -- you can use it as a base for breakfast porridge and add your favourite fruit, nuts and yoghurt on top.
R is for Rice
Rice is a rich source of carbohydrates and therefore, acts as a source of fuel for the body. Rice is made up of long chains of complex carbohydrates that take time to break down.
Thus, carbohydrates present in rice provide a constant supply of energy. Starch present in rice is beneficial for diabetics as it has very low carbohydrate content compared with other foods rich in starch.
Both white and brown rice have their unique nutritional value.
White rice is high in minerals such as calcium and iron; it is also rich in vitamins, such as niacin, vitamin D, thiamine and riboflavin.
Brown rice is a good source of fibre and therefore, improves digestion.
Rice contains very low amount of saturated fats and cholesterol making it a healthful food for heart. It is owing to its high nutritional content that it is used worldwide in various cuisines.
S is for Spelt
Spelt is a variety of grain or cereal that is closely related to wheat, however spelt is packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals and essential organic compounds that other cereals and forms of wheat don’t contain.
The high content of fibre in spelt means that it facilitates healthy digestion in a major way. Dietary fibre helps bulk up the stool and move food through the digestive tract, speeding up the absorption of nutrients and helping reduce conditions like constipation, bloating, cramping, excess gas, diarreah, and more serious gastrointestinal issues like ulcers. Spelt has one of the highest dietary fibre contents of wheat varieties.
Spelt is also noted to aid in the creation of sex hormones, increase circulation, build strong bones, improve the immune system, boost the digestive function, and lower blood sugar and LDL cholesterol levels in the body.
T is for Tapioca
Tapioca is a starch extracted from the cassava root. It is used as a thickening agent in many foods. It can be made into flour (it has a similar texture to cornstarch) andis often times used in gluten-free breads. It can also be made into pearls in varying sizes.
Because tapioca is the extracted starch from the cassava root, it is nearly 100 percent carbohydrate. Trace elements of other nutrients may remain in the tapioca, but tapioca is considered fat- and protein-free.
Traditional uses for tapioca include tapioca pudding, bubble or boba tea, and other candies and desserts. Both tapioca pudding and boba tea are made with pearled tapioca, or small balls of tapioca starch that turn into a chewy, gummy ball when cooked.
U is for Unbleached Flour
Technically, all flours are bleached, but it’s the process by which it happens that sets these two types of flour apart. Bleached flour is treated with chemical agents to speed up aging, while unbleached flour is bleached naturally as it ages. This affects not only the colour and grain of each type of flour but the end result of baked goods.
Unbleached flour is flour that has aged naturally after being milled. It has an off-white colour, which continues to dull as it ages, and a more dense grain than bleached flour. Just because this type of flour hasn’t been bleached doesn’t necessarily mean it hasn’t been treated with other chemicals. All brands are different, so it’s important to read the label to know what you’re buying.
Unbleached flour also takes longer than bleached flour to produce, and because of this, it’s usually more expensive.
Having a denser texture, unbleached flour provides more structure in baked goods, which makes it an ideal base for things like yeast breads, cream puffs, eclairs, and pastries.
V is for Vanilla Pods
How often do you eat orchids? More often than you think, actually. Because vanilla, queen of spices, is actually the product of a tropical orchid.
Beautifully aromatic, packed with flavour and versatile enough to be added to just about any dessert, vanilla has held the coveted title of the world’s most popular spice since it was first introduced to the west in the 16th century.
It's also one of the world's most expensive spices (after saffron)
Why? Because Everything – and that’s everything - must be done by hand
From pollinating to harvesting and a lengthy curing process, every stage of vanilla bean production needs to be completed by hand, making it one of the world's most labour intensive crops.
These days, vanilla pods are sought after for different reasons, with some companies touting them as having anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can be used in acne treatment, as well as antioxidants to help reverse skin damage and aging.
What is good bang for buck however, is that good quality vanilla beans can be stored for up to four years without losing much of their potency, and once the vanilla is scraped out, pods can be stored in jars and used to flavour your sugar.
W is for Wheat Grain
Wheat is the most common cereal grain, which comes from a type of grass. The whole grain kernel of wheat, composed of bran (outer layer), wheat germ, and endosperm (innermost part), is an immense energy source.
Organic Wheat Grain can be sprouted and grown for fresh wheat grass. This wheat is also perfect for grinding, to produce fresh wholegrain all-purpose flour for baking or general cooking recipes. Wheat grain can also be cooked and used as an ingredient in salads, soups, hotpots or puddings.
Our Wheat Grain is Certified Organic and has been produced without the use of synthetic fertiliser or sprays. It is non GMO and has no added preservatives. Wheat Grain has a fresh, slightly nutty flavour and aroma. This versatile grain can be sprouted, made into flour, or cooked in sweet or savoury recipes.
X is for Bathroom & Laundry Bulk
X is the worst LOL
For the purpose of our A-Z, x is for bathroom and laundry bulk.... Because plastic free living isn’t just for your pantry goods!!
Just BYO container and save with Little Hen
Hand & Body Wash
Y is for nutritional Yeast
Nutritional Yeast is the deactivated form of a strain of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the same species as baker’s and brewer’s yeast (deactivated is another word for dead or non-living yeast, that can no longer ferment). For vegans, vegetarians and people with dairy intolerance or other health issues, nutritional yeast is a safe and tasty substitute for cheese in many recipes.
It contains no animal or dairy products, no starch, wheat, corn or soy, has low salt and no artificial colours or flavours. It’s also very low in saturated fat. The other reason nutritional yeast is trending right now is because it’s packed with health-boosting nutrients. Nutritional yeast is high in B vitamins like thiamine, folate, B6 and niacin that are especially useful in helping the body activate its energy reserves, says Chuter. As well as B vitamins, nutritional yeast contains magnesium, copper and manganese and is a good source of dietary fibre.
Z is for Za'tar
While many spices are delicious and beneficial for your overall health by themselves, powerful flavour and health conditions can sometimes be maximized when combined. Za’atar is one of the best examples, and this Middle Eastern mix consists of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt.
There are a number of different varieties, occasionally including marjoram or oregano, rather than thyme.
It is a popular addition to salads, as well as seasonings for meat and vegetables. The flavour, depending on the particular combination, is often described as toasty, tangy, or nutty. You particularly see it with olive oil and bread, and in dips for vegetables.
Za’atar has some truly impressive health benefits, including its ability to improve the immune system, boost skin health, build strong bones, increase circulation, clear out the respiratory tracts, soothe inflammation, boost energy, improve mood, aid memory, and treat chronic diseases.