Friday, 24 February 2017

Easy Peasy Pancakes

With Shrove Tuesday coming up on Tuesday 28th February, we were on the hunt for a pain-free way of making some pancakes this year. This super easy pancake recipe means you don't have to weigh anything - just stick it all in a mug and hey presto! Pancake Day is sorted! Try this super easy recipe, which cooks 8 pancakes in 15 minutes.

Ingredients
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 1 cup of self-raising flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Sea salt
Optional:
  • 200g blueberries
  • olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons natural yoghurt
Method 
  1. Crack the egg into a large mixing bowl
  2. Add the flour, milk and a pinch of sea salt
  3. Whisk everything together until you have a smooth batter
  4. Fold through the blueberries (if using).
  5. Put a large frying pan on a medium heat and after a minute or so, add 1/2 tablespoon of oil
  6. Tilt the pan to spread the oil evenly
  7. Add a few ladles of of batter to the pan, leaving enough space between each one so they have room to spread out slightly - each ladleful will make one pancake, so you will need to cook in batches
  8. Cook the pancakes for 1 to 2 minutes, or until little bubbles appear on the surface and the bases are golden, then use a flat spatula to carefully flip them over
  9. When the pancakes are golden on both sides, use a flat spatula to transfer the pancakes to a plate.
  10. Repeat steps 5 to 9 with the remaining batter, adding 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan between batches, if required
  11. Serve the pancakes straight away, topped with a dollop of natural yoghurt, and some extra berries.




Adapted from: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/one-cup-pancakes-with-blueberries/

How do you make your pancakes? Let us know @office_fruit

Friday, 17 February 2017

Desk Organisation

When you work in an office, the place you spend most of your time is at your desk. It can soon get cluttered with those every day things - coffee cups, water bottles, a hundred pens that never seem to be used up. Sometimes we find ourselves drowning under paperwork. For those of us that need some help organising our desk (and keeping it organised!), here are some top tips to ensure you never have to do that last-minute-tidy-up-before-the-boss-comes-to-my-desk again...

Create A Physical Inbox

Although this may seem obvious, having a place to put those papers that you *have* to have on your desk will free up a lot of space. Paper trays will help, and if you have a lot of different types of papers to keep organised, a layered paper tray is perfect.



Bin That Rubbish!

This is another obvious one, but if the nearest bin to you is not immediately next to your desk, you are more likely to use other areas, such as drawers or the desk itself, to store those pesky crisp packets, apple cores and drink bottles. Why not invest in a bin to put next to your desk, or if you are not allowed one, a desk bin may be just what you need! Keeping the rubbish off your desk, and in the bin, will also help the area look and feel clean.



Schedule Regular Cleaning Time

Taking a couple of minutes out of your work day to clean and tidy your desk will save hours in the long term. Choose a time that works for you, either when you first get into work or just before you leave, to quickly remove any empty cups, unnecessary paperwork or rubbish, and give a quick swish round with a cleaning wipe.
 
Keep Pictures, Not Post Its

Post its are a great way of reminding yourself of tasks you need to do, and even passwords, but they can quickly build up.. Instead, try taking a photo of the information on your phone, so you can quickly refer back to them without creating clutter.


Scan Documents

There are some documents which you need to keep copies of (for example tax documents) but you don't need the physical copy. If that's the case, instead of having folders of unnecessary documents, why not scan them into your computer, and keep them in an electronic folder. As long as they are clearly named, you will be able to find them whenever you need to - result!
 
Keep Those Drawers Organised

If you are lucky enough to have drawers under your desk, try keeping them organised with draw dividers. You can buy them, or create your own using plastic containers. Keeping everything separated will help you find what you're looking for so much faster!


What are your favourite desk organisation tips? Share them with us @office_fruit
 

Friday, 10 February 2017

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

 If you've got a significant other to buy for, or you want to make an impression on that special someone who's not quite yours yet, maybe our gift guide will help steal someone's heart!

For her:

Moet & Chandon Basket - £79.99

http://www.fruitfortheoffice.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=129


Personalised Fineapple Mug - £9.99

http://www.prezzybox.com/personalised-fineapple-mug.aspx

Please Bring Prosecco Socks - £14


http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/alphabetinteriors/product/personalised-please-bring-prosecco-socks




Teddy and Fruit Basket - £37.99



For him:

50 Sheds of Grey - £9.99

http://www.menkind.co.uk/50-sheds-of-grey?responseId=8d2e2f21-33cb-4bb3-bd4f-e89c8bb9e35f

Chocolate Game Controller - £4.95




Stormtrooper Decanter - £21.99


Mini Cactus Set - £9.97


What are you buying that special someone for Valentine's Day? Let us know @office_fruit

Friday, 3 February 2017

Our Top 10 Sellers

Being a fruit company, we have access to lots of delicious fruits everyday. But what are our customer's favourite fruits? From the usual to the exotic, we've found out our customers' top 10 favourite fruits:

At number 10: Blueberries 

These little balls of blue goodness are the perfect thing to add to porridge, granola, or just on their own! They are packed full of nutrients but are low in calories, so grab a handful and reap the benefits!

 At numer 9: Kiwi

 Kiwis are small fruits that pack a lot of flavor and plenty of health benefits. Their green flesh is sweet and tangy.

At number 8: Golden Delicious

With a gentle green colour, and a soft inside, these popular apples go like hotcakes!
 
At number 7: Strawberries

Well, come on now, who doesn't like strawberries!? Great all year round as a snack, or as a dessert with cream!
 
At number 6: Braeburn

These firm apples have a rich flavour, a reddy-orange appearence and are large in size. 

At number 5: Granny Smith

With a deeper green colour than golden delicious, and a tangy flavour, these are a favourite for those who like their apples to pack a punch!
 
At number 4: Pears

No matter what variety, our customers love to add pears to their fruit order. 
 
At number 3: Plums

Whether red, black or even yellow, these plums and juicy stone fruits are always a popular pick for our customers.

At number 2: Mandarins

Whether it be a satsuma, a tangerine, a clementine, or a minneola, our customers just cannot get enough of these easy-peelers with the tangy flavour! 
 
At number 1: Banana
We're not surprised that this yellow fruit is our number 1 top seller! A banana is packed with with nutrients such as potassium, and is a great snack for a boost of energy, whether you are going for a run or sitting in the office!



What's your favourite fruit in your fruit box? Let us know @office_fruit!
 

Friday, 27 January 2017

Chinese New Year Recipe - Steamed Fruit Cake

Chinese New Year falls on Saturday 28th January this year, and to celebrate we're going to be making a steamed fruit cake! If you want to make one with us, follow this recipe:

Ingredients 

  • 3 1/4 cups (1 x 400g bag) glutinous rice flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar or 2 slabs (about 5 ounces) Chinese brown candy
  • 7 ounces boiling water
  • 1/2 cup Chinese dates, softened in water, cut in half, pits removed, or 1/2 cup other dried fruit
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray

Method

  1. Prepare the wok steaming.
  2. In a bowl, mix the boiling water and the sugar, stirring to dissolve. (If using the Chinese brown candy, break it into several pieces, so that it will dissolve more easily in the boiling water). Cool. Soak the Chinese dates in hot water for at least 30 minutes to soften. Cut the dates in half and remove the pits. 
  3. Place the glutinous rice flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and stir in the sugar and water mixture. Add the milk and begin shaping the dough. Add 1 tablespoon of water to the dough at a time, until you have a smooth dough with a satiny texture. Incorporate 1/2-3/4 of the Chinese dates, nuts or other dried fruit as you are adding water and working with the dough.
  4. Grease a 7-inch square cake pan with vegetable oil or a non-stick cooking spray.. Place the dough in the cake pan and spread it out to the edges. Decorate with the remaining dates, lightly pushing them into the dough. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
  5. Steam the cake over medium-high to high heat for 45 minutes, or until the edges of the cake pull away from the pan. Remove the cake from the heat and cool. 
  6. Use a knife to loosen the edges, then remove the cake. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate overnight. 
  7. To serve: Cut the cake into quarters, and then into slices 2-3 inches long and 1/4-inch wide. You can serve the case as is, or reheat it in the microwave (10 seconds should do), or re-steam for 4- 5 minutes. You can also pan-fry the cake, dipping the cake slices in an egg wash before frying. Use a small amount of oil so that the cake will not taste oily. Heat the oil on medium-high to high heat, then turn the heat down to medium and brown the cake slices briefly on both sides. 


Have you tried out this recipe? Let us know how you get on @office_fruit

Friday, 20 January 2017

Profile On: Lychee

 As part of our Profile On series (see our latest Profile On blogpost here), this week we take a look at the delicious, sweet and juicy lychee.

What is it?
The exotic lychee fruit is from the soapberry family. The evergreen trees they grow on can reach 100 feet.

What does it look like?
They are red or pale orange fruits with a tough, "bumpy," easily peeled skin resembling large raspberries. Each contains white flesh and a single, large, inedible seed, which makes this fruit a drupe (for the uninitiated, a drupe is a fleshy fruit with thin skin and a central stone containing the seed, e.g. a plum, cherry, almond, or olive.)

Other names?
Sometimes known as "litchi" or a similar spelling variation, it can be pronounced lee-chee.

Where's it from?
It is a tropical fruit tree native to the Guangdong and Fujian provinces of China, and now cultivated in many parts of the world

How do I eat it?
Lychee is typically enjoyed fresh; remove a bit of the skin and then squeeze the aril — the fleshy part around the seed — into your mouth

What does it taste like? 
Lychee is juicy with a distinctive, slightly acidic fragrance and flavor, comparable to grapes.

What are the health benefits?
Eating lychee has many benefits. They contain flavonoids, which are antioxidant compounds known for their role in helping to prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. The nutrients in lychee, including magnesium, copper, iron, vitamin C, manganese and folate, are all required for blood circulation and formation of blood; and they have more than 100% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C in just one cup.



What is your favourite way to eat lychee? Let us know @office_fruit

Friday, 13 January 2017

10 Steps To Adapting "Hygge" Into Your Life

If you haven't already heard, hygge is the new "in" thing, with countless books written about it. But what is it? Pronounced 'hue-ugh', this is the Danish coined phrase that can be translated simply as 'cosiness' in English.

It's a feeling and a lifestyle where the comforts of home are embraced, food is hearty and warm, and friends and family are gathered together. It's accessible, personal yet communal, and totally lacking in pretence. For the Danes, it's almost second nature.

Sounds good. So how do we get some hygge in our life? Here's 10 ways of achieving that perfect hygge in your life:
  1. Go home. Dining out in Denmark is expensive due to a 25 percent value-added tax, so Danes tend to spend more time eating at home. Plus, being at a nightclub or a pretentious restaurant is definitely not hygge. But being cosy and comfortable, most often at your home but perhaps at a softly lit cafe or a quiet nook at a library, definitely is.
  2. Be warm. Think wool socks, sweaters and blankets and textiles in general, such as plush towels, throws or curtains.
  3. Eat cake. And porridge. And fruit compote and open-faced sandwiches and a roast of pork or lamb. Hygge food is comfort food for everyday people. It's not expensive or fancy; it's accessible, soothing and plentiful.
  4. Invite friends. While you can hygge by yourself, being surrounded by friends or family is more in line with the spirit of hygge. So grab a cuddle buddy to snuggle with under that hand-woven blanket or invite guests to your homey feast to be more hyggelig. Playing board games with your company fits the hygge bill, plus you're going to want them on hand for what comes next.
  5. Watch scary TV. Watching scary TV shows or movies can increase hygge as long as it's fictional. (Watching the news is definitely not hygge.) Danes gravitate toward crime dramas or political thrillers.
  6. Ride a bike. Hygge doesn't mean staying indoors, and it doesn't require cold weather. Half of Copenhagen residents commute by bike — following in their footsteps can be very hygge because it fits the bill of slowing down, not being in a rush and taking in what's around you in the moment.
  7. Don't stay late after work. Danes and they value their family and spare time highly. This, coupled with it getting dark around 4pm in the winter, means they love nothing more than finishing work on time and heading home to spend time with their loved ones.
  8. Take lunch at 11am. Given the early morning starts, Danes usually take their lunch break around 11:00 am. It may seem early, but given we start to get hunger pangs around mid-morning, it kind of makes sense to eat a big lunch early on during the day to provide a profitable bout of energy for the afternoon.
  9. Wear black. If you've ever been to Denmark, you'd be mistaken for thinking all of the women are part-time ninjas – such is their predominantly black-coloured wardrobe. The fact that black absorbs heat and the temperature in Denmark can drop to −25 °C, it kind of makes sense that Danes are happy all the time – they're warm
  10. Dress for the weather. Danes abide by Alfred Wainright's phrase 'Der findes intet der hedder dårligt vejr, kun dårligt påklædning!' ('There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing!') If you've ever been caught out in the rain without an umbrella, stepped into a puddle in open-toe sandals or shivered at the slightest turn of the dial on the air conditioning, do as the Danes and dress for the weather. And yes, that does means layers, waterproof coasts and wellington boots in winter.


What do you think of hygge? Let us know your thoughts @office_fruit!

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