Friday, 13 July 2018

Are bananas going extinct?

You may have read in the news earlier this month that bananas are in danger of going extinct due to a fungal disease. This isn't the first time this has been a worry - in fact, bananas have already gone extinct in the 1960's. This time, the worry is about the Cavendish banana, which is being threatened by the Panama Disease. We eat 5 million of Cavendish bananas in the UK alone! So what is going on, and what's being done to ensure those delicious curved yellow fruits are going to stay?

What is Panama disease?

It is a fungal disease which attacks the roots of a banana plant. It originated in Panama in the 1950s (hence its name), and is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.ssp. cubense. A particular strain, tropical race 4, is regarded as a threat to Cavendish bananas.

Why is it bad?

It has spread quickly through Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and Central America. If it reaches South America, it could face extinction. It cannot be controlled chemically, making it very hard to halt its spread. Cavendish bananas are genetically identical to one another, which allows Panama disease to rapidly decimate entire harvest yields. Cavendish bananas are the most popular banana, so if these are wiped out it would cause massive problems across the world in terms of banana consumption

What are we doing to save the banana?

Should the threat become realised, plant biologists are looking to the rare Madagascan tree, which grows an unpalatable, wild species of banana that is immune to Panama disease. There are only five of these plants in existence. These plant biologists are rushing to create a hybrid of the two species of banana in the hope of creating an infection-resistant strain.

Should we be worried?

It is important to note that there have been worries about this in the past, and the banana is still strong. There are also other types of banana that can be sold and consumed.

Do you think bananas will become extinct? Let us know your thoughts @office_fruit

Friday, 6 July 2018

What milk alternatives do we have?

For a lot of people that have tea, coffee, cereal, all things that require milk, normal cow's milk just isn't for them. Whether it's for health, or even ethical reasons, nowadays there are so many alternatives to "normal" milk that we can choose exactly what type we would like to drink. Did you know that 65% of the population has trouble digesting lactose, which is the sugar found in milk? That's why having alternatives is so great.

So, what type of milk alternatives do we sell?

Soya milk - sweetened and unsweetened

Soya milk is made by suspending soya bean flour in water, and is fat-free and also cholesterol-free. Our most popular milk alternative, soya milk is well-known and a great option for vegans. It contains no lactose, so is also great for those who are lactose intolerant. It's also a good source of protein and calcium

Almond milk - sweetened and unsweetened

Our latest addition to the milk section is almond milk, and is proving to be popular! It was highly requested, and we can see why! Almond milk is made by grinding almonds in a blender with water, and the liquid then strained with a strainer or cheesecloth. Almond milk has 50% less calories than cow's milk which makes it great for people who are trying to lose weight, or for people who are on a special diet, for example the FODMAP diet. It is lactose-free like soya milk, and is especially rich in Vitamin E which is great for skin, hair and nails!

All products mentioned can be added to your orders here

What's your favourite milk alternative? Let us know @office_fruit!

Friday, 29 June 2018

Profile On: Strawberry

Strawberries are a firm favourite all year round, but they're especially yummy this time of year! Let's find out more about this fan favourite in our next instalment of our Profile On: series...

What is it?
Despite its name, a strawberry is not actually a berry as they do not have seeds inside - they are accessory fruits. They have a delicious sweet fragrance, and are one of the most popular fruits.

What does it look like?
Strawberries have a round top and pointed bottom, they are usually cherry red (although they may have green shoulders). They have small seeds on the skin and usually have green leaves attached to a small stem.

Other names
Garden strawberry

Where's it from?
While the US is the largest producer of strawberries, they are grown in a variety of countries such as Turkey, Spain Egypt, Korea, Mexico, Poland, and the UK! The British strawberries come into season in early May, and the season now lasts 20 weeks, into October.

When is it available?
Strawberries are available all year round as it is grown worldwide.

How do I eat it?
The strawberry is easy to eat! Just cut off the leaves/stem and munch away! Perfect with cream, ice cream, porridge - the possibilities are endless!

What does it taste like?
Strawberries are both sweet and slightly acidic, so when they ripen the sugar content rises from 5% to 6-9%, so riper strawberries are sweeter.

What are the health benefits?
Strawberries are packed with vitamins and fibre, and are high antioxidants. They are sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low calorie. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity, and are a good source of manganese and potassium.

Did you know....strawberries are the first fruit to ripen every Spring?!

Love strawberries? Let us know @office _fruit!

Friday, 22 June 2018

Make your own granola bars!

We love granola, and especially granola bars, as they make great, healthy yet filling snacks. However, sometimes they can be a TEENY bit expensive, so we wanted to know, just how easy is it to make your own? Very easy it turns out! The great thing about making them yourself is that you know exactly what's going into them, so you won't have any hidden nasties!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Level: Easy
Serves: 8

What do you need?

  • 150g Oats
  • 100g butter
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 200g dried mixed fruit
  • 50g pecan nuts
  • 3tbsp sunflower seeds

What do you do?

  1. Put the oven on at 190C. Then line an 18cm baking tray with grease proof paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat (or in the micrwave if you're in a rush!). Then add in the honey.
  3. Add in dried fruit, chopped nuts, seeds and oats. Mix together well.
  4. Pour mixture into the baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

Do you like these homemade granola bars? Let us know @office_fruit!

Friday, 15 June 2018

How to pep up your morning porridge

Porridge is always a popular breakfast as it's so easy and nutritious! But if you have plain porridge every day it can start to get boring. What can you add to make your morning porridge that bit more interesting?

Raspberries & blueberries
Tangy and colourful, either alone or together, the colour of these berries brings your porridge alive!

We love chopping up apples like pink lady, or granny smith, for some added crunch and zing!

Chia seeds
These super foods are full of vitamins and minerals, and also have extra fibre which helps digestion! You won't taste them, but they take your porridge nutritionally to the next level!

Who doesn't like a bit of sweetness in their life? As a natural sugar, a bit of honey in your porridge will give you that boost you need to wake up in the mornings!

Or why not make a combination of both? We especially love honey and granny smith apples!

What do you add to your morning bowl of porridge? Let us know @office_fruit!

Friday, 8 June 2018

How should you sit at your desk?

For those of us who work in an office, you will often be sitting at a desk for most, if not all of your day. While sitting down can be great (lazy, us?), it can also wreak havoc on your body if you don't do it right. Well, how DO you sit at your desk correctly? Our handy guide to desk-appropriate posture will help you out!

  • Make sure you support your back to avoid back pain. The lower back can be easily supported by a correctly adjusted chair, so make sure your chair is easily adjustable so you can change the height, back position and tilt. Your knees should be slightly lower than your hips. 
  • Adjust your chair so you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor. This helps to prevent repetitive strain injuries.
  • Place your feet flat on the floor, or use a footrest if necessary. Crossing your legs can cause posture-related problems.
  • Your screen show be directly in front of you at eye level. The monitor should be about an arm's length away. To get the right level you may need to use a monitor stand. The right level will help prevent any neck strain from having to look too high or low.
  • The keyboard should be in front of you, and should be 4 to 6 inches from the front of the desk to rest your wrists between typing. Your arms should be bent in an L-shape and your elbows by your sides. Some people like to use a wrist rest to keep their wrists straight and at the same level as the keys.
  • Keep your mouse as close to you as possible, including during use. You may find a mouse mat is useful to keep your wrist straight.
  • Keep your frequently used objects close to you so they are easily accessible, to avoid repeatedly stretching or twisting.
  • Take breaks, and don't sit in the same position for too long. Change your posture as often as you can, to give your muscles a chance to relax.

Do you have any tips for posture? Let us know @office_fruit

Friday, 25 May 2018

Beer Cocktails to Pep Up Your Bank Holiday BBQ

The staple of all BBQ's is a nice cold pint of beer. But why not add a couple of twists to get your guests' tastebuds really going?

Raspberry Beer

You need:

  1. 1 can of beer 
  2. 1 shot raspberry rum

Just pour both into a glass and stir!

Snow White 

You need:

  • 3 parts 7up
  • 1 pint Heineken (or another beer of your choice)
Pour into a glass and stir!

Both super simple, but very effective!

What's your favourite beer cocktail? Let us know @office_fruit!

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