Organic UK Naturally Different and a NEW Recipe:
Maple, Almond & Pecan Granola with Blueberries
It has been a real pleasure to be part of the Organic UK Naturally Different campaign over the last eight months, and I was delighted when I was asked to be Organic UK’s blogger ambassador as I totally believe in the organic food movement on so many levels. I have also loved the monthly challenge of coming up with thrifty and organic meal plans, that are tasty and easy to cook, and if the comments and feedback is anything to go by, then they have all been HUGELY successful too, which is wonderful. Today’s post is not a goodbye however, it’s just an “au revoir” and I hope to see you next year with more organic news, recipes and lots of new ideas! Today’s post is also a perfect way for me to reflect on what I have learned over the last few months and to share some of my thoughts on the organic campaign, Naturally Different. As my brief was to create meal planners that were thrifty, as well as organic, my priorities were to try to show that organic is not as expensive as most people think; and that with careful planning and by using leftovers, organic produce can be as economical as non-organic produce. And, if there is ONE key thing I have learned over the last eight months, it has been that by making SMALL changes, bigger changes happen……….
…………….I have discovered that by changing my shopping just slightly, I can and have made a difference. Here’s what I mean – before I started working with Organic UK, I DID buy organic produce wherever possible, but it was usually at the local farm shops or when I saw bargains at the supermarkets. Now, I have discovered that by making some very small changes to my shopping list, I can purchase organic ingredients regularly, and these ingredients have been mainly store cupboard ingredients that I use all the time and are always there for daily cooking and baking. You can see what I include as my Top Ten Store Cupboard ingredients here: Organic September: My Top Ten Organic Store Cupboard Ingredients & Meal Plans. So, by buying ONLY organic flour now, I feel that I have made a difference not only for taste, health and the environment, but also to local producers too, as most of my organic baking ingredients are from local organic farms and small businesses. By just making that one small change, that is to only buy organic flour, I have made a difference with not much extra cost to my weekly budget either.
So, the message for me was that small changes make a HUGE difference, and as some people who attended the recent #ThriftyOrganic Twitter party pointed out, organic produce is NOT always more expensive, but it can be cheaper! I think it is all about careful shopping and comparisons with creative menu planning and using every scrap of food, so that leftovers can be magical. So, If we all make just ONE change, we are collectively ALL making a difference, which as been the thrust behind the Organic September campaign. My one change was to buy only organic flour, as I already buy organic sugar, meat and oats, and I have my own chickens, fruit and vegetable garden which helps too. My final thoughts are, that Organic is not just for September, but is for all year around and we can all benefit from being Naturally Different…….choose an ingredient that you use all the time, and switch it to organic; as well as flour, my other regular organic ingredient is for oats, so for today’s au revoir post I would like to share a recipe for Maple, Almond & Pecan Granola with Blueberries – made with organic oats, sugar, dried blueberries, sugar, nuts and rapeseed oil and served with organic milk too, of course!
I hope you have enjoyed my Thrifty and Organic Meal Planner posts, they can all be accessed here: Lavender and Lovage Thrifty and Organic Meal Planners. I would also like to say a BIG thank you to the Organic UK team I have worked with over the last months…….Nicola, Catherine, Paul, Gemma, Charlie and Sandra – it’s been a pleasure working with you all and I look forward to working with you in 2014 if not before! I will leave you with the recipe for my organic granola now, and I’ll see you soon for more new recipes and culinary news……Karen