The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘food additives’

smoked aubergine and lemon soup

Carbohydrates, which now make up the bulk of most of what we eat, only became a significant part of the human diet after we began practising agriculture some 10-12,000 years ago. Before then, our ancestors would have had a much higher protein and much lower carbohydrate intake than we do. They would also have had much more active (if considerably shorter) lives than us. The one thing they did not […]

Continue Reading →

sourdough multiseed loaf

This month marks Sourdough September, an annual event created by the Real Bread Campaign. Sourdough baking relies on just a few natural ingredients: flour, water, salt, water and yeast. At its heart is the sourdough starter, comprising naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria. It’s easy to make your own starter, just follow my method here. Your sourdough starter can survive with only periodic (in my case once a week) attention, and […]

Continue Reading →

spicy tofu and pea curry

The UK held its most recent general election on 12 December 2019, just seven months ago. In its manifesto, the Conservative Party pledged that in post-Brexit trade talks it “would not compromise” on animal welfare or food standards. That pledge was backed up by statements in the House of Commons. “We will not be importing chlorinated chicken. We will not be importing hormone-treated beef”, we were told just five months […]

Continue Reading →

sourdough bread

Over these strange past few weeks I have returned to bread baking, something I have done episodically for years, but which I am now doing routinely. I create my sourdough loaves and rolls using a sourdough starter, along with flour, salt and water. My bread has no other ingredients. It takes a long time to ferment and prove until it is ready to go into the oven – typically around […]

Continue Reading →

pea and rocket consommé with asparagus

There have been three recent surveys into the impact of what are termed “ultra-processed foods” on human health. I must admit that until quite recently I had not come across this term, having tended to mentally divide foods into two simple groups – “processed” and “not processed”. “Ultra-processed foods”, it transpires, are foods which have incorporated multiple additives, in the form of preservatives, sweeteners, colourants and processing aids, but which […]

Continue Reading →

sesame crusted cabbage and potato cakes

The British Medical Journal recently published a study carried out by the French Sorbonne University and Brazil’s University of Sao Paolo. The study followed a cohort of nearly 105,000 people over a five year period, measuring their consumption of what the researchers called “ultra processed foods” (included in this category are foods such as sugary cereals, ready meals, chicken nuggets, pot noodles, pizza, sliced bread, crisps, biscuits, cakes and sweets). […]

Continue Reading →

vegan blueberry fool

There has been something of a brouhaha in the British media recently over the prospect of chlorinated chicken being imported into the UK from the USA under the terms of a putative post-Brexit trade deal between the two countries. Beyond that particularly unsavoury prospect there are plenty of other reasons to be alarmed about the potential impact on British food standards of a UK-USA trade deal. For example, farmers in […]

Continue Reading →

raspberry vinegar

Two developments which arguably marked the start of modern human civilisation were food cultivation and food storage. It was at this stage that humankind progressed from a hunter-gatherer way of life to one which featured a less nomadic, more ordered regime of planting and growing, and of storing excess food in times of plenty. Countries around the Mediterranean and in the Middle East began using the sun and the wind […]

Continue Reading →

Thai basil and lemongrass ice cream

There is one very big advantage to making your own ice cream: you know exactly what has gone into it, an important consideration given that there are nearly 1,500 registered chemicals than can be used legally in commercial ice cream making. Since making a successful soy-milk based elderflower ice cream a couple of months ago I have been experimenting more and more with natural vegan ice cream flavour combinations, and […]

Continue Reading →