Archive for January, 2017

Turmeric, the wonder spice

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

We’re really excited to announce the launch of our new Steenbergs You Tube channel. We’ll be showing short ‘Behind The Products’ clips, as well as longer cooking demonstrations which we hope you’ll enjoy.
We thought we’d start with Turmeric. It’s one of the top 5 store cupboard essentials and is having somewhat of a revival at the moment, with much being made of it’s health benefits as well as the brilliant colour and taste it gives to so many dishes.

416949_10150608745213226_209904074_nturmeric-ground-organic-spiceTurmeric is a rhizome native to southern Asia, that is grown as an annual and looks similar to ginger and galangal. It is sometimes available fresh, but is usually sold ground into powder form, having been boiled and dried. Turmeric powder is bright yellow with a distinct earthy aroma and a pleasing, sharp, bitter, spicy and lingering depth of flavour and is an essential ingredient for Indian and South East Asian cuisine.

Steenbergs stocks 2 different varieties of turmeric: organic turmeric and an organic Fairtrade turmeric which comes from an organic and Fairtrade co-operative in the Kandy region of Sri Lanka. Click here to watch our Behind the Products Video about turmeric. Classic dishes include curries, fish stews and rice dishes and Steenbergs uses it in many of its spice blends including curry powder and chermoula.
turmeric-powder-organic-fairtrade-40g
Jasmine & Melissa Hemsley are big turmeric fans. “A powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, this little pot of gold is a vital ingredient for good health at any time of the year, but in winter we tend to start putting organic turmeric in anything and everything, just to give us an extra boost.” They use it in smoothies, hot drinks and curries to boost their turmeric intake. Take a look at their website for inspiration.

Madeleine Shaw also promotes turmeric in her latest book, READY, STEADY, GLOW! (published by Orion books). Her recipes for warming Turmeric Milk and revitalising Turmeric-tastic juice, are creative ways to add it into your diet.

Sharmini Thomas, local York based Indian cookery tutor, uses turmeric extensively in her Indian cookery, as well as believing in the healing properties of turmeric, citing examples of it as a useful antiseptic. Chicken Tikka Masala typically contains turmeric, as she shows in the delicious recipe she created for Steenbergs. Watch out for the cookery video coming soon….

But what is the scientific evidence for turmeric? Recently Michael Mosley, one of the presenters on the BBC’s Trust Me, I’m a Doctor programme, conducted a test with the help of Professor Widschwendter of University College, London, looking at DNA methylation in cells, using three groups of people: one given a placebo; one given turmeric to take by itself and the final group given turmeric to take with food. Interestingly they saw positive results in the group who were given turmeric to take with food and will be investigating the link further. For more information, visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37408293

Definitely all food for thought…

31 Steenbergs Products Become Halal Certified

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Following a detailed certification and audit process that’s taken several months, we’re pleased that Steenbergs now has 31 products certified as conforming to Halal requirements in accordance with Islamic law.  We’ve been certified by Halal Certification Europe, who are approved by JAKIM (Malaysia) and MUIS (Singapore) as well as other Halal authorities.

The products that conform to Halal are all mixes prepared at Steenbergs and include: Baharat, Garam Masala, Madras Curry Powder, Chana Masala, Harissa, Lebanese 7 Spice and Tagine Spice Mix, as well as Steenbergs English Breakfast Tea and Earl Grey Tea.  For a full list, please contact sales@steenbergs.co.uk.

Individual spices and herbs are not certified as Halal, because they are not processed at Steenbergs’ factories, but at the ingredients’ source.  Over time, we hope to be able to get some of the original suppliers certified as Halal, but that’ll take time.

Steenbergs Extracts and Flower Waters now registered with Vegan Society

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

We’ve successfully registered Steenbergs’ extracts and flower waters with The Vegan Society. This is the start of a process that will see Steenbergs include vegan branding into our bakery range over the next few months.

As part of this, we’ve delisted anything that is not vegan within the range of Steenbergs-branded products. So, for example, all the baking decorations have been delisted, because some included shellac and others carmines, while milky oolong has been removed because it contained milk flavour.

We feel this tidies up what Steenbergs does, so that we can now say Steenbergs’ products are animal-free, vegetarian and vegan. Not all are registered (in fact most aren’t) but we’ll work on it over the next few years.

We’ve still got to review non-Steenbergs products and what we’re doing with them…but that’s for another month.

Update 26/1/2017: Following a review of branded products on www.steenbergs.co.uk, we are delisting the Fish4Ever range of fish and seafood, and the Pukka ghee.  This will mean that by mid-year (when these have sold through) Steenbergs will be a strictly vegan brand across all its activities.

Steenbergs Becomes Kosher Certified

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

We’ve been working during the last few years on upping our game in our certifications.  It’s alright saying that Steenbergs is good at this and that, but quite another thing to prove it.

In 2016, we began working on both halal and kosher certification.  So far, we have completed kosher certification with the London Beth Din (Kosher London Beth Din) – finalised on 16 December and confirmed 3 January 2017.

After an audit visit and lot of paper trails to be proved, this has enabled over 250 products to achieve kosher certification.  At the start, we won’t have any logo showing that our products are kosher certified, but as new labels are printed we will be incorporating the KLBD logo for certified lines.  This will begin with a rebranding of the organic extracts range in the first half of 2017.

Now, we’ve started on halal certification with Halal Certification Europe.  Because of a different methodology , it means that only those products we blend can be certified and so it will be a much, much shorter list.

At Steenbergs, the key theme is that we must be able to demonstrate that we both appreciate and are addressing customer’s differing requirements for Steenbergs herb, spice and tea products.  This is not only about environmental (Organic) and social (Fairtrade; SEDEX), but also about religious and other ethical factors.

We will address vegan and/or vegetarian in the near future, but have slightly put that to the back of the queue because Steenbergs’ products are plant-based and we seek (so far as possible) to ensure no animal products are used in fertilisers.