Friday, 28 August 2015

The Hottest Ways To Spend the Bank Holiday (August 2015 Edition)

As the August Bank Holiday approaches, and we while consider what to do with our extra day off, we've scoured the 'net to find out the hottest ways to spend this long weekend...

Notting Hill Carnival

If you're in the mood for a street party, look no further than Europe's largest street festival. Over 1 million people are expected to head into West London for this year's festivities.

This Carribean festival takes place from Saturday 29th August, and finishes on Monday 31st August.

The carnival weekend kicks off on the Saturday night with Panorama, a free open-air concert involving a steel band competition at Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park, from 6pm until 10pm.
Sunday at The Notting Hill Carnival is Family Day. It starts off with J’Ouvert, a fun opening with dance, drummers and steel bands from 6am until 9am. The Sunday Parade gets under way at 10am and continues until 8.30pm.
Bank Holiday Monday sees the main parade. In the evening, the floats leave the streets in procession and people continue the festivities at the many Notting Hill Carnival after-parties.

London public transport is the best way to travel to the Notting Hill Carnival. Check out the TFL website for the best ways to get to the carnival.

Camden Fringe

The Camden Fringe is a performing arts festival which takes place in Camden during August.  Shows take place throughout the day and generally last one hour. The Fringe ends on Sunday 29th August, so catch it while you can!

The Camden Fringe was set-up as an alternative to Edinburgh Festival in London, offering performers the chance to try out new material and different ideas in a supportive setting with less time and fewer financial commitments than Edinburgh.
To find out more, visit the Camden Fringe website here.

Beach East

Beach East at Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford, is a free day out for the whole family. Open until Monday 31st August, this urban beach is over 2,200 square metres of sand despoitated at the site, ideal for endless sandcastle competitions and balmy evening walks.  A gigantic paddling pool and funfair rides will entertain the kids, and Pub Tropicana and Coconut Joe's bar will keep the adults suitably refreshed.


Located in the Multi Storey Car Park Former Television Centre in White City, this open air bar space offers a mix of food, art, alcohol and music. Open on weekends, and free to enter, you will find a variety of food stalls such as Crabbieshack and their soft-shell crab burgers, Le Bun's French American menu and Carribbean from White Men Can't Jerk.  Daytimes will feature brunch dishes, a bloody mary bar and day beds; evenings will focus on terrific cocktails, great DJs and – presumably – a pretty hot view of the city.

Storeys is open until Sunday 13th September.

What are your plans for this Bank Holiday weekend? Tweet us @office_fruit to let us know!

Friday, 21 August 2015

Frozen Fruit Treats

When the weather is hot, we tend to reach for ice cream, lollies, and other sugary frozen treats. But, did you know that frozen fruit can be even more satisfying? We've listed our favourite frozen treats, to help cool you down this summer...

1. Frozen Grapes

Did you know that grapes are members of the berry family?  Grapes are super-sweet, but they are packed with health supporting nutrients such as Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B and potassium. Not bad!

For the perfect frozen grape, rinse them off throughly, dry, and put them in the freezer overnight for a good even freeze. Once frozen, they will be crunchy on the outside, while the inside becomes a smooth sortbet surprise (these are our favourite!)

If you have more of a sweet tooth, you may want to try freezing red or black grapes. Green grapes are a popular pick for those who enjoy the sweet and tangy flavor. Whether you are in need of a refreshing snack after a tough workout or craving a cool snack on a hot summer day, frozen grapes won’t dissapoint!

2.Frozen Strawberries

Fresh strawberries are a healthy addition to any diet. The health value of frozen strawberries depends on the type you choose. Unsweetened frozen strawberries provide many of the same nutrients as fresh and their benefits are available year-round; however, sweetened versions can add too much sugar to your diet.

If you do not want to buy ready-frozen strawberries, you can make use of the lovely British strawberries available at this time of year, and freeze overnight for a gorgeous sweet treat.

3. Frozen Raspberries

While raspberries are available all year round, we're lucky to have lovely British raspberrries available at this time of year. The freezing process accentuates their sharp, fresh falvour, and retain their seductive perfume.

They are relatively low in sugar, which is good for anyone who wants to lose weight. Or if not, they are a good alternative to a sugar-laden lolly!

4. Frozen Bananas

Bananas are a great treat for any time of year, and are full of great nutrients like potassium. Frozen bananas become like ice cream, and are a healthy alternative to ice creams. Kids in particular love it!

If you do decide to freeze bananas, we have the following tips:

  •  Choose ripe to slightly overripe bananas. Bananas that have not fully ripened will not ripen correctly if frozen. As soon as a banana has ripened, it can technically be frozen. Freezing a banana just before it becomes overripe or during the beginning stages of being overripe tends to preserve a stronger flavor, though, and is generally preferred.
  • Decide whether or not to peel the banana. A banana can be frozen both in the peel and out. Freezing the banana in the peel takes a little less initial effort, but you should be aware that there are some downsides. Out of the peel, frozen bananas tend to last roughly one month longer than when stored in the peel. Peeling a frozen banana can also be difficult, since you must wait until after the banana thaws and since the banana tends to be extremely mushy afterward.Also note that the skin of an unpeeled frozen banana will turn black when stored in the freezer, but the banana inside is still edible. 
  • Place peeled bananas on a cookie sheet and freeze. To prevent the bananas from sticking together as they freeze, you need to freeze them separately before storing them together. Place the peeled bananas on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper, spacing them apart so that they do not touch. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until the bananas are frozen solid. Note that unpeeled bananas do not need to be frozen separately first.
  • Thaw before peeling bananas. If you kept the peel on, you will need to wait until the banana has thawed some before you can remove it. The process will likely be a bit slimy, but the banana should still be good.
  • Use unpeeled bananas either frozen or thawed. If you are using the banana in something like a smoothie, you might be able to blend it into the smoothie while it is still fully or partially frozen. For use in baked goods, thaw the banana first.

5. Frozen Blueberries

 Blackberries are full of antioxidants, and it may be that frozen blueberries have even more antioxidents than fresh, according to new research from South Dakota State Universtity.

While you may not want to eat these on their own, frozen blueberries are great either smothered in yoghurt (we love greek yoghurt!) or tossed in a smoothie.

Do you have a favourite frozen fruit? Tweet us @office_fruit

The Rise of the Avocado

Over the past few years, avocdos have had a surge of popularity. Now the top pick for breakfasts, lunches, brunches, and even dinners, avocadoes are the fruit that everyone wants.

(By the way they are a fruit - a berry in fact! You can find them on our website here)

The avocado has been aroound for almonst 10,000 years, originating in Mexico. It travelled from North to South America, to Europe and then to the rest of the world. Mexico is still the avococado's major supplier.

The avocado is very versatile - delicious as the main ingredient in guacamole; on toast; in a salad; in a smoothie; as a soup; the possibilities are endless. And with all the health benefits they include (lots of fibre, anti-aging properties, and health facts), we can see why they are so popular. Not to mention that they are delicious!

However, California's drought threatens major suppliers, while in Mexico, several avocado farms are caught in the middle of drug cartel land, meaning that soon we may have an avocado shortage.

Best eat them while you can!

Here are some facts you may not know about the avocado:
  • Avocados got their name from the Spanish explorers. They couldn't pronounce the Aztec word for the fruit, known as ahuacatl, "testicle", because of its shape. The Spanish called it the aguacate, leading to the guacamole we know today. 
  • Their thick skin protects them; it's natural packaging! You can't eat the skin, but it shields the green goodness inside them, making avocados perfect for travel. 
  • Avocados are ripe when they feel heavy for their size, yield to light pressure and are dark in colour. But don't squeeze these delicate babaies too hard. Not ripe? Put in a brown paper bag for 2-4 days, or you can speed up this process by putting a banana or apple in the bag.
  • Avocado trees do not self-pollinate; they need another avocado tree close by to bear fruit. The avocado is an Aztec symbol of love and fertility, and they also grow in pairs on trees.
We love our avocados best on wholemeal toast, with some sea salt. Yum yum!

How do you love to eat your avocados? Let us know @office_fruit

Friday, 7 August 2015

Fruity Quotes #FridayMotivation

It's that time of the week again - it's Friday, and we've got just a few more hours until the weekend. Sometimes, we just need a good quote to perk us up. Have a look at our favourite fruity motivational quotes, to keep you going 'till the weekend:

"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet."
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit."

"A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?
Albert Einstein"

"Breakfast is always the best time for something juicy, sweet and fresh - it just feels like the right way to open the day. There's no right way, though, when it comes to choosing the fruit."
Yotam Ottolenghi

"The fruit of your own hard work is the sweetest."
Deepika Padukone

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."
Brian O'Driscoll

"Did you know there's a difference between being busy and being fruitful? Did you ever stop to think that just being busy - running around in circles all day but not accomplishing anything - is the same as wasting your time? It's frustrating to expend so much energy and time and not have any fruit from your effort!"
Joyce Meyer

Finally, one from the legendary Terry Wogan:
"Time flies like an arrow - but fruit flies like a banana."

Let us know your favourite motivational quotes @office_fruit

Friday, 31 July 2015

Go Nuts for Nuts!

We all love a good piece of fruit. But sometimes, just sometimes, we want something a bit more....nutty. Nuts are excellent snacks, and have all sorts of amazing benefits...

Pistachios for a satisfying snack

If you are really hungry, crack open some pistachios. Not only is it fun to crack the shells, you will also get more pistachios in a 1-ounce serving than any other nut: 49 pistachio kernels versus 23 almonds, 14 walnut halves, or 18 cashews. 

Pine nuts for appetite suppression

These little treats, though high in oil, have been studied for their appetite suppressing qualities. Throw some in a salad or top your pasta with some pesto.

Almonds for weight loss

If weight loss is your goal, try a handful of almonds. WebMD reports that several studies on almonds showed that, even when calorie counts are the same, diets that included almonds seemed to help people shed more pounds. (But we’re not making any promises!)

Walnuts for omega-3s

Walnuts are one of the few non-fish sources of this beneficial nutrient. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that is similar to the one found in salmon and herring. Lightly toasted walnuts are delicious on salads.

Warning: Don't go too nuts.
Nuts, in general, are calorie dense—160-200 calories per ounce—enjoy in moderation!

 Photo Credit: Tatters ❀ via Compfight cc

You can add these nuts (and more!) to your office delivery here 

Are you nuts for nuts? Tweet us about your favourite nuts @office_fruit

Friday, 24 July 2015

Healthy Alternatives To Coffee

Here at Fruit For The Office HQ, we all love a good coffee fix in the morning. However, sometimes we just don't want all that caffeine, and it's always good to have a change.

We have found the best healthy alternatives to coffee, so you can still get your hot drink fix....

Peppermint Tea
A great herbal tea which also helps the digestive process, is naturally caffeine-free and refreshing.
Get peppermint tea for your office here

Chai Tea
Native to India, this soothing beverage is commonly made with rich black tea, milk, and a variety of spices, like cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom. A steaming hot mug of chai tea will help you get over an afternoon hump. An added bonus? Though you're automatically cutting your caffeine intake by drinking chai, the tea’s smooth, creamy flavor tricks your mind into thinking that it’s coffee!

 Lemon and Hot Water
This drink helps flush out toxins from the body, is a great source of Vitamin C, and aids digestion. You could even add a sprig of mint, to double the benefits.
Add some lemons to your office order here

Dandelion Root Coffee 
Supposedly the closest taste you can get to coffee, this unsual herbal tea is often used as a coffee subsitute. The roasted dandelion pieces give it its coffee-look. It also has the benefits of being cleansing for the liver.

Green Tea
This beverage has become known as the healthiest coffee alternative thanks to its high concentration of antioxidants. Green tea does contain caffeine, but a smaller amount than your regular cup of coffee, so you don't end up with the same jittery side effects.
We offer green tea here

Let us know your favourite coffee substitutes at @office_fruit

Friday, 17 July 2015

Staying Safe In The Sun - Our Handy Tips

Even though the British Summertime is not always as hot as we would like (read: never as hot as we would like), when the sun does come out to play, there are things we need to keep in mind to ensure we can enjoy the sun as much as possible.

1. Always use sunscreen
This includes when it's cloudy outside. For the ladies, sometimes our makeup products include SPF, so take a look at those foundation bottles. Anything over SPF 15 is fine.

2. Keep in the shade
During the sun's hottest times (11am to 3pm), we should all avoid the sun as much as possible, by sitting the shade, under canopies, or by wearing hats.

3. Reapply sunscreen if you go for a swim
Although most sunscreens will now claim to be water-resistant or even water-proof, this does not mean you can slack on the re-application.

4. Look after burns
If you do happen to get burnt, treat the pain with some painkillers (ibuprofen or paracetamol work perfectly). Sponge your skin down with some cool water, and stay out of the sun until the redness has gone.

5. Drink that water!
 Keep hydrated, and drink plenty of water while out in the sunshine. Alcohol will dehydrate you, so avoid alcoholic drinks while sitting in the sun.

6. Look out for signs of heat exhaustion
These can include headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, faintness, and dizziness. If you experience these symptoms, or notice anyone else with them, sit in a cool room and drink plenty of water.

7. Enjoy it!
As long as you follow the rules above, you will be able to enjoy the sun this Summer. Here's to a suntan!

Tweet us @office_fruit with your handy tips to keep cool this Summer
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