Collective purchasing will save your business money on all areas of consumable supply.

Who you gonna call?

Collective Purchasing – Your one stop shop for all your furniture and Equipment needs.

Our dedicated furniture and equipment department can supply competitive prices for anything from towels and bed linen to care equipment and beds.

Desperately need a new toaster? Can’t handle the heatwave and want a fan? Have a need for a new bed? Or maybe your garden furniture needs an upgrade? Who you going to call? Collective Purchasing!

Our dedicated furniture and equipment department can supply competitive prices for anything from towels and bed linen to care equipment and beds.

Make us your first stop – Whether you know the exact make and model you are after or need greater assistance on what to choose, we will give a no obligation quote on any item.

We work with a number of suppliers to bring you the best quality items for your businesses.

Our prices are competitive with a huge range of available suppliers to choose from.

Find out what else we can offer here.  We can save you money on all your daily consumables including housekeeping. Check out our focus on housekeeping here – Still not sure? Read why you should look into using a buying consortium.

 

Give us a call on 01329 236821 to have a chat and let us know what it is you need!

Get outside more!

Getting outside can make us healthier!

Most of us spend the majority of our time inside, sat under fluorescent lights and staring at computers or televisions. Even when we do go outside we are on our phones.

Yes in the Summer months we do spend more time outside; heading to the beach, having barbeques and doing some gardening. But too much time inside isn’t good for us and getting outside isn’t just about beaches and barbeques. Science shows that spending time in the great outdoors can actually make you healthier.

 

There are many benefits to being outside, which you can find here. 

Here are our top 3;

It has a de-stressing effect

It has been proven that being outdoors has the ability to change the levels of the stress inducing hormone cortisol present in the human body. One study found that students sent into the forest for two nights had lower levels of cortisol than those who spent that time in the city.  Even those working in offices with a window overlooking nature had lower stress levels and higher job satisfaction.

Spending time outside reduces inflammation

Increased levels of inflammation can create many problems for the body. Spending time in nature may be one way to help keep it in check. In one study elderly patients who had been sent on a weeklong trip into the forest showed reduced signs of inflammation as well as some indications that the time spent in the great outdoors had a positive effect on their hypertension.

Spending time outside lowers blood pressure

So if being outside has a de-stressing effect and can help reduce inflammation, it’s no surprise that outdoor time can also lower blood pressure. One intensive study of 280 participants in Japan found that along with lowering the levels of the stress hormone by more than 15 percent, a walk in the forest lowered average pulse by almost 4 percent and blood pressure by just over 2 percent.

The Elderly outside

The studies above talk of spending time in the forest, but we know it can be difficult for some people to even get outside, let alone go for a walk in the forest. Plus the Great British weather often means the chances of getting outside can be limited. So below we have some tips on how you can bring the benefits of the great outdoors to them. Whether it be an elderly person in your care or a family member. These ideas could have a positive effect on their lives.

Sit by an open window

If someone is house bound, try sitting them near an open window. As mentioned above, people who were able to look at nature from a window, had lower levels of cortisol. You could put a bird feeder nearby and they could do a spot of bird watching; all from the comfort of their home. A cosy seating area like below would a perfect spot for de-stressing.

window overlooking outdoors

Smell the roses

Science shows that you really should stop and smell the roses, as the smell of them promotes relaxation. Other flowers, like lavender and jasmine, can also lower anxiety and up your mood. Bring the flowers inside by creating beautiful bouquets of stress busting flowers for the house.

Image result for lavender roses and jasmine

Short walks outdoors

Getting outside doesn’t have to involve a mammoth hike in the forest, it could simply be a walk in the garden, a walk to the local village or even just popping to the post box down the road.  Short walks outside will still have a positive impact on the individual. Even if a wheelchair is needed, the benefits of getting outside are sure to be felt.

Residents outdoors

Grandkids

Everyone loves to think they are young at heart! So why not get the grandkids over to play. You don’t have to play chase or run after them. Seeing the joy of them playing in the garden, whilst you sit and watch is enough to boost the happy endorphins in our body.

 

Do you have any tips on how to make use of the great outdoors at home? Let us know! @collectivePurch

 

What is a buying consortium?

Top reasons we hear from people who think they don’t need us!

I have it all under control!

Doesn’t it make more business sense to focus all your attention on improving and growing your business, rather than wondering if milk from one supplier is cheaper than another? The world is constantly changing and you have to be focused to keep up. Businesses like you can open up a world of opportunities by being exposed to ideas and free help from people on the outside in the form of purchasing consortiums. We have a unique perspective on the markets that you may not have time to devote energy to. We have the relationships with the suppliers and have the time to make sure you are getting the best prices. This is our job after all!

adult, Analogue, break

I am very persuasive so I don’t need any help.

Being a tough negotiator is definitely a benefit. But no matter how tough and persuasive you are, it is difficult to improve your negotiating position if your company isn’t buying enough of a certain product or understands fully what product will work best. By joining us, you have the buying power of millions in all areas of supply. From dairy, grocery and frozen to furniture, care products and housekeeping. You are going to be accessing prices that maybe you could have only dreamed of. We on average save members 15% a year! Think what you could spend that on!

buy, cash, coins

We are a large organisation; we have a huge influence when it comes to our prices.

Yes, large companies can have influence on suppliers. However it really only occurs in the areas where they are buying a lot of products or have a deep understanding of the product they are buying. Someone running a tea shop knows all about tea, cake and all other yummy things. But, do they know where to get the best price for the cleaning products, toilet rolls or even the paper used in the office? This is where we can help. We have a team experienced in a wide range of daily consumables as well as items that may be a one-off purchase. We have access to many suppliers, to make sure you are getting the best prices for all your supplies!

Free stock photo of glass, architecture, rich, high-rise

How difficult can buying be, anyway?

Milk is milk, and paper is paper isn’t it? Nope! All products have different variations. We will never offer a product that is lower quality that you are used to but, we can offer suggestions for alternatives that you may never have thought about. We have over 22 years’ experience in this industry and we are truly experts in getting the best prices for our members. You also have the added benefit of accessing our furniture and equipment department. Microwave broken? Need a fridge? We can source any item you need at great prices.

Man Wearing Black Apron Near Two Silver Metal Cooking Pot

I don’t want to lose control of my spending.

Simple answer? You won’t! You are in complete control of your spending. We just facilitate getting best prices for you! You do the ordering, you control when deliveries are, you are given the choice of suppliers, in fact, the only difference you will notice is more money in your account! We also offer a service to monitor what you are spending on products, branded vs none branded and you can compare it month on month. We can also deal with any service issues on your behalf. As a member, you get given an account manager who you can contact with any problems.

Person Holding Black and Grey Pen

 

Ok so how do I become a member?

Simple, email sales@collectivepurchasing.co.uk or call the office on 01329 236821 and we will tell you how we can help.

Focus on Housekeeping

Find out why Collective Purchasing is the right choice for your housekeeping needs and how we can reduce your costs by 15% to 30%.

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The right supplier and product choice for you

Collective Purchasing have access to and knowledge of hundreds of different housekeeping products through long term relationships with a high number of trusted suppliers.

With Collective Purchasing you:

  • Have access to branded products at a lower cost
  • Can choose from a wide range of quality own brand products
  • Have access to direct purchase deals with manufacturers which seriously reduce prices even further
  • Can buy exceptional brands such as Diversey, Unilever, Ecolab and Proctor and Gamble at a much lower price. All these brands perform well but if you are buying outside of Collective Purchasing you will be paying too much!
  • Will be able to capture your spending on One-Vision – our in-house developed software – meaning you can monitor the number of products purchased throughout the year.
  • Have the ability to monitor your cost in use – The crucial calculation that measures your exact costs.

Products

With so many housekeeping products being purchased there are always savings to be made!

Image result for cleaning products

  • How old are your Dispensers? – More than three years old and you likely need an upgrade. Our wide range not only does a great job but look good too. They are also free on loan subject to contract.
  • Paper products – toilet rolls, kitchen roll and blue roll priced too high can mean you are literally flushing money down the drain. Paper is a high cost for homes, ensuring the right price without lowering quality can help make sure there is less wastage.
  • Laundry – washing machines and dryers are being used hours upon hours in homes every day. There are so many different detergents and auto dosing equipment on the market that there is no reason why every laundry shouldn’t achieve a fresh clean wash, no matter what resident type. We are able to bring you this choice, which otherwise could be limited.
  • Chemicals for multi surfaces, floor, kitchen, bathrooms and so on must have the ability to control infection. We are able to source the best products for your needs at the best price.

Free housekeeping review

Ask us for a free housekeeping review today. We will review your housekeeping costs and provide you with a detailed report recommending how you can improve your cleaning regime, reduce cost and manage your budget more effectively – because let’s be honest, we are all looking at ways to save money, and Collective Purchasing can help!

Image result for how much can you save

Call today on 01329 236821

We look forward to hearing from you!

foodie feb

Hello February!

Image result for hello february free

 

If January is the month to detox, then February is the month to eat!

Januaries highlights were Veganury and Dry January. Whereas in February we have Pancake day, Valentine’s day, Chinese New Year and even British Yorkshire pudding day! Plenty of foodie days to get your teeth into!

Whilst being healthy and not drinking is great, who can turn down a pancake (or three) or a romantic meal for two? Lucky for you we have the perfect ideas for you for this foodie month.

Yorkshire Pudding Day – 3rd February

The first Sunday in February has been given the fond title of British Yorkshire Pudding Day.

The Yorkshire pudding was traditionally made in a large tin, rather than the individual puddings that we are familiar with today. Often it was served before the main meal – which helped to fill hungry mouths so less meat needed to be served – particularly during hard times! The main ingredients for Yorkshire Pudding batter are, Eggs, Milk and Plain Flour; using lard instead of oil usually makes them tastier. They make a perfect accompaniment to everyone’s fave dish – The Sunday Roast!

 

Delicious homemade yorkshire pudding as seen close up and browned at its edges

Want to celebrate Yorkshire pudding day, in a different way? Check out these deliciously different recipes.

Cooking Yorkshire Puddings:
When cooking Yorkshire Puddings there are basically five things you have to remember:
1 – Never, ever, use self-raising flour or any kind of raising agent or baking powder; doing so will achieve flat, soggy puddings.
2 – Make sure the batter is of the right consistency, a little thicker than un-whipped double cream, and as smooth as possible.
3 – Make sure you have about 3mm (1/8 inch) of very hot fat in the bottom of the tin, as the fat begins to smoke, add the batter.
4 – Never, ever, open the oven door for the first 10 minutes of cooking time and after that, only enough to have a peek at what’s happening, if you really have to, the aim is to allow the puddings to rise and go brown without them collapsing.
5 – Enjoy them, with a thick gravy.

 

Valentines

The day of love! Valentines is Wednesday 14th February and what better way to someone’s heart, than through their mouths! Start the day with breakfast in bed, make some classy cocktails, cook a romantic meal for your loved one and get in the mood! Orrrrr skip the romanticness and just eat lots of yummy food and chocolate!

box, celebration, chocolates

Chinese New Year

The Chinese animal zodiac, is a repeating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its reputed attributes. Traditionally these zodiac animals were used to date the years. In order, the 12 animals are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. Each year is associated with a zodiac animal. 2018 is the year of the Dog. Chinese New Year (CNY) or ‘Spring Festival’ is China’s most important festival and holiday. The next CNY falls on Friday, February 4th, 2018. CNY is celebrated by a quarter of the world! Spring Festival is a major holiday in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, and in many of China’s neighbouring countries such as Singapore and South Korea. And it’s celebrated in the world’s many China towns.

appetizer, Asian, asian food

In China, traditions and celebrations vary greatly across the country. In the North, Chinese dumplings are the must-eat food on Chinese New Year’s Eve, but south of the Yangtze River most people eat spring rolls or sticky rice cake.

The New Year’s Eve dinner is called ‘reunion dinner’, and is believed to be the most important meal of the year. Big families of several generations sit around round tables and enjoy the food and time together. Dishes with lucky meanings must be included in the dinner such as fish, dumplings, and spring rolls.

Some Chinese worship their ancestors before the reunion dinner, to show that they are putting their ancestors first.

What to Eat — Top Lucky Foods

Chinese people like eating, and they eat a lot during the Spring Festival. Food for the New Year emphasizes lucky symbolic meanings such as fish, which means ‘surplus’. These foods are served during the 16-day holiday season from the eve of CNY to the Lantern Festival. Click here for the top CNY desserts!

Vegan

Veganism

Veganism is a way of living that seeks to remove all forms of cruelty to animals for food or any other purpose. From accessories and clothing to makeup and bathroom items, animal products and products tested on animals are found in more places than you might expect. However, nowadays there are affordable and easily-sourced alternatives to just about everything. With over 22,000 products and services registered with the Vegan Trademark alone, living a vegan lifestyle has never been easier.

Why Vegan?

For the animals

Preventing the exploitation of animals is not the only reason for choosing this lifestyle, but for many, it remains the key factor in their decision to go vegan and stay vegan. Avoiding animal products is one of the most obvious ways you can take a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation everywhere.

turkey

For your health

More and more people are turning to a vegan diet for the health benefits: increased energy, younger looking skin and eternal youth are just some of the claims from enthusiastic plant eaters. Well, eternal youth might be a bit optimistic, but there are certainly many scientifically proven benefits to vegan living when compared to the average western diet.

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For the environment

From recycling our household rubbish to cycling to work, we’re all aware of ways to live a greener life. One of the most effective things an individual can do to lower their carbon footprint is to avoid all animal products.

Image result for carbon footprint vegan

 

For people

Just like veganism is the sustainable option when it comes to looking after our planet, plant-based living is also a more sustainable way of feeding the human family. A plant-based diet requires only one-third of the land needed to support a meat and dairy diet. Avoiding animal products is not just one of the simplest ways an individual can reduce the strain on food as well as other resources.

Veganuary

Veganuary is a charity inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year. Why not try being vegan for a month whilst discovering a whole new world of taste and flavor. Before you do check out these myths….

So what do vegans eat?

The short answer – lots! – a vegan diet is diverse and includes all kinds of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, beans and pulses – all of which can be prepared in endless combinations that will guarantee you’re never bored. From curry to cake, pasties to pizzas, all your favourite things can be suitable for a vegan diet if they’re made with plant-based ingredients.

Check out these vegan recipes for ideas. We have chosen our two of our favourites from this website with the recipes below!!

Grilled pumpkin and black bean burger

An easy to make burger bursting with flavour.

Ingredients

1 tbsp canola oil

½ c diced red onion

½ c diced red pepper

3 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp ground cumin

1-15 oz can organic black beans

1 tsp kosher salt

2 minced chipotle peppers

¼ c fresh corn

3 tbsp pure pumpkin

1 c vegan Breadcrumbs

½ c chopped Pecan

Method

Dice red onion and red pepper and minced garlic.  Heat canola oil over medium heat then add garlic, onion, red pepper and corn and sauté for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place rinsed and dried black beans in a deep bowl.  Using the back of a fork, mash about half the beans and leave half whole.  Then add pumpkin, sautéed vegetable mixture, chipotle peppers, pecans, bread crumbs and cumin. Mix well until all ingredients are combined to desired consistency. Note, if the mixture is too dry you can add a little more pumpkin.  Using hands, form into four large patties and refrigerate.

Heat the grill to a medium-high heat.  Brush grill with canola oil then place the burgers on the grill.  Cook for approx. 3-5 minutes on each side.

Remove and serve immediately on your favourite vegan roll.  Top with avocado spread, freshly roasted tomato, caramelised onion or your favourite burger toppings. Enjoy!

Tips

Other toppings include watercress, chopped slaw, organic pea shoots, serve with sweet potato fries!

Salt and pepper to taste

Berry muffins

These vegan berry muffins are simply divine! They are sweet and full of fresh berries. Serves 12.

Ingredients

160g hard coconut oil

3/4 cup medjool date paste (make it here)

1 tsp ground vanilla beans

2 flax eggs (2 tbs flaxseed meal + 5 tbs warm water)

1 3/4 cup self-raising flour

2/3 cup soy milk

1 cup mixed berries

Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius and prepare a cupcake tin with 12 medium cupcake wrappers.

In a medium-sized bowl using electric beaters, beat coconut oil until smooth.

Add date paste and beat for 2 minutes or until well combined.

Then add vanilla beans and flax eggs and mix until smooth.

Add flour and soy milk and fold into mixture.

Pour batter into prepared cupcake cases.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Ice if desired, and enjoy!

Want to find out more about the vegan lifestyle? Sign up to the free Vegan Pledge today. There are hundreds of thousands of vegans across the globe.

Tis the season

Tis the season to be jolly….. and creative!

Christmas is a mere two weeks away. Its the time of the year when the decorations come out of the loft; you go shopping for the perfect gift and stress about how little time you have. How about this year, instead of going out into the hustle and bustle of the high street you create your own Christmas craft at home. You could make a unique decoration that you bring out every year or even a one of a kind gift for someone special – whatever you decide, your masterpiece will be a real showstopper!

Not sure what to make? We have compiled the perfect list of ideas. Take the pressure out of Christmas and get crafty with Collective Purchasing! These ideas are great to do together, young or old. So bake (or buy!) some cookies, pop on some Christmas music or a festive film and get your creative juices flowing!

art, artistic, arts and crafts

 

Decorations

Snowflakes

These decorations are simple yet fun to make. Simply paint some lolly sticks and glue them into snowflake shapes and hey presto! Instant chic decor!

awesome 54 Cheap and Creative DIY Christmas Decoration Ideas You Should Try for Your Home

Candy Wreath

With a load of acrylic candy canes, make this mouth-watering wreath to hang on your door. Santa will know just how to find you!

With a load of acrylic candy canes, make this mouth-watering wreath to hang on your door. Santa will know just how to find you! Get the tutorial at At the Picket Fence.

Terracotta Christmas Tree

Clay pots make this Christmas tree decoration easy and fun, especially when topped with a bright red star.

Clay pots make this Christmas tree decoration easy and fun, especially when topped with a bright red star. Get the tutorial at Life is a Lullaby.

 

Gifts

Sock Snowman

Rice, socks and rubber bands are the keys to creating this adorable winter friend.

Rice, socks and rubber bands are the keys to creating this adorable winter friend. Get the tutorial at Ciao Mama.

Reindeer Jar

These cute jars will do all the talking. Start by coating Mason jars in glitter and then transform them into reindeers, snowmen and Santas.

These cute jars will do all the talking. Start by coating Mason jars in glitter and then transform them into reindeers, snowmen and Santas. Get the tutorial at Crazy Little Projects.

Sweet treats

None of these takes your fancy? Move on into the kitchen and give the gift of food! We all know the way to peoples heart is through their stomachs!!

Peanut butter fudge

This homemade fudge recipe makes an easy sweet treat or a stunning edible gift.

Peanut butter fudge

Peppermint Creams

These easy, homemade version of the retro classic make delicious Christmas presents.

Peppermint creams

Chocolate fridge cake

A no-bake cake that’s perfect for making with children. You can also pick and mix the fillings to suit your taste.

Chocolate fridge cake

 

Make sure you send us photos of your creations. If you need any stock in order to create these festive delights don’t forget to give us a call!

Collective Purchasing does Gluten Free

Since the summer we have been working on a gluten free month for collective purchasing. We spoke with many suppliers and brands who supply gluten free products and spoke with coeliac UK to gain some more insight into life without gluten. We were able to gain some great insight into how to cater for those with gluten allergies.

Weekly Vine

October

We opted for the month of October to be our ‘Collective Purchasing Does Gluten Free’ month, and wow what a success. We sent a select few of our members a pack in the post with the opportunity to win a hamper of goodies, all kindly donated. There was also some great information supplied by Coeliac UK and we had some product offers! We ran the campaign on twitter, offering one lucky winner a hamper of goodies from the following;

We had over 430 people enter the competition, and we ended up with so many products, we were able to give a runner up prize. So two very lucky twitter followers won so amazing gluten free products! You want to be in with a chance of winning in the future? Make sure you give us a follow!

Product of the week

Throughout the month of October all our products of the week were focused around gluten free, and whilst these are no longer available, keep an eye out for future product of the weeks on our twitter page!

We just want to thank everyone that was involved; and we look forward to doing more awareness months in the future. If you want to find out more about gluten free, check out this blog we wrote – you guessed it, in October!

 

Gluten Free

Gluten-Free – The facts!

We have all heard of gluten-free diets but did you know 7% of Brits are gluten-free because of allergies or intolerances, compared with 8% who avoid gluten purely for health reasons!

Coeliac, wheat allergy, gluten intolerance – what’s the difference?

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  • Coeliac disease is a serious illness in which the body’s immune system attacks itself when gluten is eaten. This causes damage to the lining of the gut and means that the body cannot properly absorb nutrients from food. Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or intolerance, it is an autoimmune disease.
  • Wheat allergy is a reaction to proteins found in wheat, triggered by the immune system and usually occurs within seconds or minutes of eating.
  • Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity is when symptoms similar to coeliac disease are experienced, but there are no associated antibodies and no damage to the lining of the gut.

Gluten in food

Common Foods That Contain Gluten include Pasta, Noodles, Bread and Pastries, Cereal & Granola and things like stuffing as well as some sauces.

Food shopping

This is by no means an extensive list but is where gluten is commonly found.

Now we know the basics, let’s look at what other, more surprising products contain gluten.

  • Some alcohol
  • Some instant coffee granules
  • Spices
  • Soy sauce
  • Some chewing gum
  • Liquorish

Food Swaps

When looking into food swaps try some of these…

Cereal – Try gluten-free oats or cereal alternatives.

Crisps – although not all contain gluten, try rice cakes or prawn crackers as a safe alternative.

Beer-check the labels, but you can buy gluten-free beer as an alternative. If not stick with wine!

** We recommend checking the labels on everything to ensure **

Check out some of these recipes from a blog we wrote last year!

Cross-contamination

When preparing gluten-free foods, it is important to avoid cross-contact. Cross-contact occurs when foods or ingredients come into contact with gluten, generally through shared utensils or a shared cooking/storage environment. In order for food to be safe for someone with celiac disease, it must not come into contact with food containing gluten.

Places where cross-contact can occur:

Toasters used for both gluten-free and regular bread

Colanders

Cutting boards

Flour Sifters

Deep fried foods cooked in oil shared with breaded products

Shared containers including improperly washed containers

Condiments such as butter, peanut butter, jam, mustard, and mayonnaise can become contaminated when utensils used on gluten-containing food are double-dipped.

Wheat flour can stay airborne for many hours in a bakery (or at home) and contaminate exposed preparation surfaces and utensils or uncovered gluten-free products.

 

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Keep warm these winter months!

Its officially autumn, the nights are drawing in and soon the heaters will be on!

Eating healthy will keep you alert, energised and help protect you from illnesses in the winter months. Keeping a colourful and varied diet is extremely important – try to aim for 5 daily portions of fruit and vegetables.

Photography of Maple Trees

We have found some yummy winter warmer recipes for you to try!

Porridge

Porridge is a fantastic filling and warming start to the day. Once you’ve mastered the basic porridge recipe, get creative and add your favourite toppings. Think fruit, toasted nuts and honey – the options are endless! Check out some of our favourite combos below…

BLACKBERRY AND APPLE PORRIDGE
Stir through coarsely grated apple (core and all) and runny honey, then squash in a handful of blackberries. Top with more fruit and a drizzle of syrup.

Blackberries On Table

BANANA, ALMOND AND CINNAMON PORRIDGE
Stir in a generous pinch of ground cinnamon, some poppy seeds and maple syrup. Top with sliced banana and a handful of toasted almonds.

Bunch of Yellow Banana

APPLE, MAPLE SYRUP AND PECAN PORRIDGE
Stir through coarsely grated apple (core and all) and maple syrup, then top with a handful of toasted pecans and a drizzle more syrup.

Variety of Brown Nuts on Brown Wooden Panel High-angle Photo

Soup

Lunch, dinner or supper; soups make a great meal. Team with some crusty bread and butter and you have the perfect winter warmer to fill up until the next meal!

Click this link for some tasty and healthy soup ideas. Our fave is this creamy mushroom soup!

Creamy mushroom soup

Ingredients

  • 600 g mixed mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • a few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • 1.5 litres organic chicken or vegetable stock
  • 75 ml single cream
  • 6 slices of ciabatta
  • extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Brush the mushrooms clean, then finely slice.
  2. Peel and finely slice the onion, celery and garlic, then pick the parsley, finely chopping the stalks. Pick the thyme leaves.
  3. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion, celery, garlic, parsley stalks, thyme leaves and mushrooms, pop the lid on and cook gently until softened.
  4. Spoon out 4 tablespoons of mushrooms, and keep for later.
  5. Pour the stock into the pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, then whiz with a stick blender until smooth.
  7. Pour in the cream, bring just back to the boil, then turn off the heat.
  8. Toast the ciabatta on a hot griddle pan, then top with most of the reserved mushrooms and drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil.
  9. Spoon the soup into bowls, garnish with the chopped parsley and remaining mushrooms, and serve with the ciabatta crostini on the side.

Stews

Although not always the most attractive dinner, a bowl of warm, hearty stew is always a welcome sight on a cold day. From a classic beef stew with dumplings to a vegetarian hotpot to a quick fish stew, click here to find a recipe for every occasion.

Keep Moving!

Silhouette of 4 Person Walking

Even though it’s harder to get motivated with the shorter days and cold weather, it is still important to stay active in the winter months. If you can, try to get out of the house for a breath of fresh air. If not there are plenty of exercises that can be done indoors from armchair exercises to yoga and even dancing. It is also really important to stay hydrated in the winter as we do in the summer, it is harder and as we get older it is harder to recognise the signs of being dehydrated. A great way to know you are keeping hydrated throughout the day is to fill a large jug with water in the morning and use that throughout the day, add lemon or cucumber to the water for extra flavour.