Autumn is the harvest season, a time of great abundance but also a time to go inward and gather together fuel on all levels for the approaching stillness of winter. Everything in nature contracts and moves inward.
To prepare food which reflects the qualities of autumn, we must be aware of this abundant but contracting nature. Heartier flavours and foods with slower cooking and focused preparation supply the greater energy required by the cooler weather. These concentrated foods thicken the blood.
Squash and pumpkin dishes, roasted chestnuts, kumera and purple potatoes are excellent choices for Autumn.
More foods to aid in this contraction include sourdoughs, sauerkraut, olives, pickles, leeks, adzuki beans, umeboshi plums, citrus, vinegars, grapes, apples and Quinces.
Quince used to be more popular than they are today, they are not usually eaten raw so unless you have had something made with quince, you don't know what you are missing! They are in season and have a very short one so make the most of them now. Quince have a high pectin content which is great for jams and pastes.
Quince are a good source of fibre, Vit A, Vit B3, Vit b6, Folate, Vit C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Potassium. They are good antioxidants, anti viral, aid in digestion and healing gastric ulcers, also known to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
Quince Paste is a delicious way to experience them, served with cheese and crackers, the ruby red paste is divine.
1 kg Quinces
¼ cup Water
¼ cup Lemon juice
Core fruit (peeling optional) and cut into 8ths. Put quinces, lemon juice and water in pot and slowly poach covered for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until soft.
Puree the mixture in a food processor. Measure the amount of puree and add the same amount of sugar. Cook uncovered slowly for one hour stirring frequently (it sticks easily). When cooked it will be a lovely rich colour. Pour into little round ramekins (or cups will do) about 1 inch high. Cool and when set sit cups in warm water to release pastes. Wrap in waxed paper and store in the fridge. Serve with cheese and crackers.
Locally Grown Food
Eating local is not only a great way to support our own economy but a great way to ensure good health. The plants that grow in your own environment, i.e. your garden are subjected to the same bacteria, radiation and other elements as you are and have developed defences for this environment, so by eating as local to your home as possible you are using excellent immune enhancing nutrition. Even if you can only grow a few herbs in pots, this will still have a good effect on you. Place an emphasis on locally grown food and see the benefits for yourself.
Health Products Bill
A consultation document to regulate natural products was recently released on the Ministry of Health website in response to the consumers and natural Products industry for a stand alone NZ regulatory model for natural products, rather than an Australian takeover of our current regulatory body, Medsafe. Unfortunately, this document is opposed. They are aiming at making supplements and any natural ingredient that has therapeutic value, illegal without a permit. Anything in therapeutic dose is to be classed as medicine and therefore regulated as a drug. This would push most small businesses under, push up the price of natural products and see the loss of thousands of jobs and products in the industry.
We have until May 17th to oppose this and we need over 5,000 submissions.
As you know, Piko is a low profit charitable trust. This means that each year we donate some of our profits to various organizations and endeavours which we see to be in line with our vision of a happy and healthy world! We'd like to share with you a bit about where some of your money goes... in buying your groceries at Piko you are also helping out in our wider community. It's win win!
In the last year we've donated money to: • Richmond Primary School - for setting up a school garden, composting and worm farms. • The Southern Seed Exchange - to cover the cost of new storage for their seeds. Check them out http://www.seedsavers.org.nz/ • Lincoln Envirotown Trust - community garden project • Christchurch Women's Centre - course costs (they lost ACE funding) • Living Streets • University of Canterbury Eco My Flat competition • Vegetarian Society • Climate Camp • Sri Chinmoy marathon series • Travis Wetlands Trust • Green Party - various events • Wellness & Inspiration radio show • Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School Community Association • Human Rights Film Festival • Walk 2 Work • Papanui Highschool community education program
There are plenty of new products to be seen in the shop, keep your eye out for such items as Zenian coconut oil, Waihi Bush "Flax Power" for men, ACV White and Malt vinegars, Wrights Verjuice (non alcoholic spritzer), EatRight moritz cookies, Aroma Naturals cleaning products, Switch Espresso's Zap blend, beautiful Umeboshi jam, Nature's Gold raw chocolate bars in Bliss and Chilli varieties, Silvereye Olive Oil from just up the road in Waipara, and three new varieties of honey from J.Friend.
In staff news
We are VERY happy to announce the arrival of the newest member of the Piko family... Rebecca's baby girl Rio is here! Congratulations to Rebecca and Doug.