Posts Tagged ‘local food’

Guest Blog from Kate at Veggiedesserts; Chocolate Courgette Tray Bake

Pudding as well?

Pudding as well?

What a year for courgettes! They seem to all be absolutely enormous and the gardeners and allotment-holders that I speak to seem to be at a loss as to do with them all.

My 1 year old daughter chose to carry a large yellow one around like a dolly, occasionally waving it out of the window or taking a bite, but I’m sure most people have been making soup, stuffing them, making more soup, roasting them and storing excess in the freezer.

By this time of year you may be getting a little tired of them, but don’t consign them to the compost heap just yet – how about putting them into chocolate cake? More dessert recipes with courgettes and other vegetables are at

Kate x

Chocolate Courgette Tray Cake Yields 16

CourgetteChocolateCake 150g raw courgette
225g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
75g unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
85g vegetable oil
200g granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
150ml plain natural yogurt
Powdered icing sugar, to dust

Preheat the oven to 175C and lightly grease a 9” square baking tin.

Grate the raw, unpeeled courgette and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt together in a bowl.

In a large bowl, beat together the oil, sugar and vanilla. Then beat the eggs in, one at a time, followed by the yogurt. Stir in the grated courgette.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to combine.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin for 30 minutes or until the centre springs back slightly when touched.

Allow it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with sieved powdered icing sugar and cut into squares.


Mislabeled meat in Tesco, Jamie’s brisket. Where to buy real meat?

Pressure to cut costs

Pressure to cut costs

Tesco sells dutch pork labelled as British-reared. Horse meat still in the supply chain. Jamie Oliver shows consumers how to save money by buying brisket, then directs them to the supermarket on this website. COME ON, we must switch to shorter, local, supply chains and the local butcher or farmer for meat!

A previous blog on horse meat predicted another food scare due to the long food supply chain and cost cutting. Mislabelled pork will not kill anyone, so not really a scare, but an great example, and I am sure that we have not seen the last of this. Apparently large caterers are still finding traces of horse meat in what they buy and my worry is that the authorities are not that worried about foods, like dutch pork or horse meat that do not harm us.

BigBarn local food map

BigBarn local food map

Or perhaps they are very worried, as they realise very little can be done and the next food scare is going to be bacterial infected meat that pops up everywhere?

So for so many reasons we need to buy locally wherever possible, and help build local, honest, and transparent, food supply chains. Where you can see, or ask, where your food comes from and trust the supplier knowing he sees you as a valuable customer and advocate. And that any lie will soon be found out and reputation ruined. The more we buy the more local production and greater diversity of foods available.

Your friendly local butcher

Your friendly local butcher

As for Jamie, we have already sent lots of emails to his team asking for links to the BigBarn local food map to help more people find the best brisket, the story behind the meat and tips on preparation.

And PLEASE don’t be frightened of your local butcher, they will would be mad to tease you in front of other customers if you don’t know the difference between ribeye and rump, or brisket and topside. You local butcher needs your custom and will look after your needs to try and make you a regular customer.

BigBarn’s view on Free school meals

Government news that kids are going to get free school meals is great for some kids and parents, but please do a proper job, rather than try and score political points!

Mum passing fast food to child from the cemetery next to Rawmarsh school.

Mum passing fast food to child from the cemetery next to Rawmarsh school.

The trouble is that some school meals are terrible, and far too many kids have become too fussy. We need all school meals to be good, and made by enthusiastic, caring, cooks, and need kids to appreciate and enjoy what they are given.

Jamie Oliver has done some brilliant work on this and progress has been made despite the occasional, horrific, and ironic, pictures of parents passing fast food through the school railings from the cemetery.

We need to get kids interested in real food and why we are still shouting about our Crop for the Shop in schools project were attitudes to real food were transformed by the growing, harvesting and cooking fruit and veg. ‘I hate carrots.’ turned in to ‘cor, they’re lovely, can I have another one’?

To see more click on the video link:

So please bring food in to the curriculum with a small allotment in every school, fruit and nut trees surrounding playground and even chickens.

For more on Crop for the Shop in schools click here

Ant from BigBarn on the radio; listen again

The Sausage King Stephen Plume

The Sausage King Stephen Plume

Ant was on the radio last night for the Foodie Fix on Radio Castle with the Sausage King and local food evangelist Stephen Plume. With a mix of great music and animated chat about BigBarn and local food you can listen again here

The programme begins with the BigBarn grace, for those listeners siting down for a family dinner, and moves through why BigBarn started, the early years with superhero Carrot man. And BigBarn’s mission to build a local food industry to divert as much as possible of the £120b spent with supermarkets to food producers, independent retailers and local communities with massive social benefits for all.

The early years; Carrot Man

The early years; Carrot Man

Stephen is a fantastic host drawing out the passion behind BigBarn and why Ant has made the business a Community Interest Company so that the core values of the business must remain in place in the interest of all stakeholders (farmers, consumers, retailers) and not investors or fat cat management.

So enjoy the show, the wonders of modern technology mean you can click on the link and listen while cooking up a feast for the family. Please join the local food industry, you can even register for local update here, tell your friends and CELEBRATE the seasons with fresh local food, not the plastic packed ‘old’ food on the supermarket shelf. A message Ant thought he may have left out!

The more local food we buy direct the more local producers will produce. So increasing the range available, and reducing the price, as economies of scale are reached. Exciting times!

Guest blog from Tim Keates and the Great British Food Cycle

Tim Keates is a fan of BigBarn and used our local food map to find great food and drink producers for his epic journeys:

Tim's food

Tim’s food

The Great British Food Cycle (GBFC) is a light-hearted celebration of local & artisan food within the British Isles.

Simply put, the Great British Food Cycle shines a light on fine foods and food makers to their surrounding communities and the wider British market through the event. We create a daisy chain, designed to pay food forward. Joining one food producer to the next.

No-one is excluded: butcher’s, growers, bakers and box scheme makers. A broad spectrum of producers, who in-turn enlist other interested parties to join the fun, like dinner ladies, chefs, mums & dads, slow food devotees, policy makers & visionaries.
This is the recipe that makes the GBFC an exciting and inspiring journey for anyone who cares what is on their plate.

The way it works is that a food parcel is picked up from the food producer and transported forward to the next artisan producer and a swop is done. Sometimes there is one parcel, sometimes multiple packages, many adventures and experiences are had as the GBFC moves it’s delicious journey, celebrating great British food at its best.

Tim Keates and Betsy the butcher’s bike began in 2009 cycling coast to coast, from Western-Super-Mare to Lowestoft. In 2011 Tim & Betsy ventured from John O’Groats to Land’s End. This year, 2013 will throw a spotlight across Wales.

Having cycled more than 2000 miles and visited more than a 100 producers Tim has been given an amazing opportunity to discover great flavours, wonderful foods & fascinating people. Cycling to them in country, down leafy lanes, rural estates and in cottage industries. Tim continues his journey to becoming an authority on specialist products, emerging trends & flavours.

To find our more click here to visit the website or here to see our local food map.

Seasonal Super Food: Sweet corn

Really fresh sweet corn

Really fresh sweet corn

Every year we promote sweet corn and how important it is to get really fresh corn on the cob with leaves, rather than the ready skinned, 4 day old, plastic packed, supermarket offer.

According to ‘Organic Facts’, corn aids in reducing the risk of digestive issues such as constipation. It provides necessary minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron and copper, and helps alleviate anaemia with its B12 and folic acid content. It also helps you become beautiful! Corn is found in many cosmetic products and can aid in alleviating rashes or irritations of the skin.

So don’t delay use our local food map to find your local farm shop and ask when the corn was picked. You will probably find, like many other products, that it is cheaper than the supermarket, fresher and by buying locally you will be boosting your local economy.

Seasonal Super Food: Courgette

Eat the flowers or fruit

Eat the flowers or fruit

According to Natural-Home Remedies, zucchini is full of nutrients, good for the heart, prevents an enlarged prostate and has anti-inflammatory properties to help with pain. The copper in this fruit also aids in treating arthritis issues. As an added bonus, this fruit can be consumed entirely: the fruit, the plant and the flowers.

So if your courgettes are starting to take over the veggie patch don’t give them away get healthy with a bit of creative cookery! You can fry with garlic, roast, slice for the BBQ, chutney, boil, make in to ratatouille, use in soup, or a stew. And if pleased with you efforts please film your culinary expertise and add your video to our KIS Cookery section.