How Nautical Shower Curtains Enhance the Maritime Experience on the Seas

Shower curtains are an integral part of any bathroom. Having attractive shower curtains will certainly enhance your bath experience. There are a variety of different colours, sizes, shades, designs, types and schemes of shower curtains available in the market today.

You have a wide range to choose from matching your decor. If you are not satisfied with any of them, you could even get your shower curtains customized according to your preference. You can either get this done or even do it yourself if you are a creative person.

There are different themes to choose from. If you are a bright and cheerful person, you could go in for bold colours and designs that will lend a very sunny atmosphere to your bathroom. If you are the sober type, you could go in for earthy colours and designs to suit your taste.

There are many people who love the sea. For that matter there is no one who does not love the beaches and the swim in the seawater. There are others who love to go for rides in sailboats. Many people also have their beach homes by the ocean or homes by the lakes or even a house by the river. It is here, that nautical shower curtains blend with the décor of the homes that may also have a nautical setting.

Nautical shower curtains can also be used in bathrooms on huge sailboats and even on ships. Having nautical shower curtains will certainly enhance the maritime experience on the seas and oceans.

Having nautical shower curtains even if you are far away from the ocean will certainly allow you to dream about the fresh sea breeze blowing across the seas; the warm weather by the beach, smell the salt air too. The nautical shower curtains are made from a variety of heavy-duty fabrics like vinyl that are covered with a number of designs like lighthouses, seashells, small sailboats and waves on the ocean.

By adding nautical shower, curtains to your otherwise drab looking bathroom will make your whole bathroom come alive with colour and design. You can even add a picture of a ship or sailboat to the wall of your bathroom.

Many of the nautical shower curtains contain sea life that is pictured on a colourful background. These nautical shower curtains are a great hit among young kids who love the beaches and sea.

The beacon Point shower curtain is a good example of a nautical shower curtain. In this curtain, the design is that of an ocean or sea view with lighthouses, ships and small boats as patterns on the fabric. These nautical shower curtains will look great in any home close to the ocean or sea.

The Outer banks lighthouse shower curtain is another of the nautical shower curtains which is very graceful and it features the most talked about lighthouse in America called the Outer banks lighthouse. This lighthouse is one of the most talked about, read, painted, photographed and even most admired lighthouse. Having nautical shower curtains in your bathroom will certainly add grace to your home décor.

Foods that Relax the Body

Food is one of the best ways to remedy stress. Read through these simple, easy tips to help relax your body.

Soup is a great thing to eat when you are stressed. It’s warm and soothing and just makes you want to breathe deeply. Chicken soup is great thing to have, especially if you are fighting off a cold. The steam from the soup helps to clear your nasal passages and generally just has a feel-good taste to it.

Warm milk is another good relaxer. Just like soup, it’s perfect for a cold, bitter day. Try making cinnamon milk by adding a sprinkle or two of cinnamon and a bit of honey to spice up a plain cup of milk.

Nuts and seeds are great for relaxation because they are so high in Vitamin E, zinc, and magnesium. Those nutrients help to relax one’s brain when taken in large quantities. Brazil nuts, almonds, and sunflowers are good ones to have on hand. The next time you’re feeling stressed, eat a large handful of a combination of these nuts and seeds to help relax your body.

Chocolate. Milk chocolate, mint flavored, bits of nuts mixed in. Chocolate is one of those delicious foods you can play around with and put your own twist on. Surprisingly enough, chocolate is an excellent stress reliever. And not just any chocolate, dark chocolate. This is because it contains certain amino acids which help put you in a good mood. But be careful not to eat too much, since dark chocolate does contain some sugar and high amounts of chocolate are not good for your body.

Oatmeal is one of those comfort foods. It not only relaxes your body, but it also is great for soothing things like acne, eczema, or rashes. Eating a heaping bowl of oatmeal in the mornings, especially cold, rainy days is sure to boost your mood and your energy.

This last one is one of the most common relaxers and is right up there with soup and warm milk. Tea, and not ice tea, herbal teas. There are amazing arrays of teas for all kinds of bodily functions, menopausal issues, cramps, pregnancy, stress relief, and sleep inducing. Keep a few bags of herbal tea on hand, and reach for it the next time you’re feeling stressed instead of a cup of coffee.

Enjoy these foods along with your new found relaxation! And get new health guide for updated information about natural life style.

Natural Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction

Sometimes called impotence, erectile dysfunction is an extremely common issue for men in general. They estimate that between 15 and 30 million men suffer from ED every year, and for that reason, there are obviously quite a few people looking for the best solution. Every year, more and more are turning to natural remedies for erectile dysfunction, because they are unsatisfied with prescription options such as Viagra and Levitra. They come with too many side effects and the benefits are not enough.

There are obviously quite a few products out there claiming to provide you with natural remedies for erectile dysfunction. Some of them work, and some of them don’t. But frankly speaking, you can find effective natural remedies for erectile dysfunction. Of course, the best known option is a product known as ExtenZe. They say it’s not just a gimmick, but real science, even comparing themselves to the well known Viagra.

ExtenZe has quite a few different ingredients all combined into one 600mg proprietary blend. They claim to use everything from the clinically proven horny goat weed, which works as a powerful natural aphrodisiac and has even been compared in studies to ingredients found in Viagra and Levitra, to the natural testosterone booster known as tribulus terrestis. Horny goat weed is of course the best known one as it has specifically been tested as a natural remedy for mild erectile dysfunction.

The problem with ExtenZe is the fact that they again use that proprietary blend. There’s actually nothing wrong with the ingredients. Quite a few of them are ingredients we would look for in an optimal natural remedy for erectile dysfunction. The problem is that they don’t have the right amounts. They use that small 600mg proprietary blend to account for 19 different ingredients. So you can imagine the tiny amounts.

But if you are looking for a natural remedy for erectile dysfunction, you can take some cues from ExtenZe believe or not. First of all, you can look for horny goat weed. But you can also look for natural testosterone boosters like tribulus terrestis, amino acids such as l-arginine, and energizers/natural stimulants such as Korean ginseng. Many of these ingredients also have a number of different benefits that you might not expect such as high levels of certain vitamins and other essential nutrients. To find the best natural remedies for erectile dysfunction, you have to have all of these things.

So what are the best natural remedies for erectile dysfunction? There is a product known as Orexis. It has all the essential ingredients as well as some other ingredients that help the body along the way. But more importantly, it has the right, clinically proven amounts meant to help you to battle erectile dysfunction and improve your sexual experience in general.

How to Prepare the Healthiest Packed Lunch for your Child

With the availability of information regarding foods and health, there is no reason for a child’s diet to suffer during their school hours. Packed lunches can be a tricky meal to get right as some children may be fussy when it comes to healthy foods.

There are simple ways to ensure that the healthiest packed lunch is prepared for your child. Swapping the white bread with wholemeal bread will be a significant healthy change to any packed lunch sandwiches. Wholemeal bread is high in fibre which helps to regulate the bowels and keep that full feeling for longer. This, in turn, will discourage the need to snack on unhealthy foods in between meals. Eating wholemeal bread has other benefits such as lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.  

If your child refuses to eat wholemeal bread, there are plenty of brands that offer an alternative loaf that is half white bread and half wholemeal bread. Your child may never know the difference.

Many supermarkets and brands offer healthier alternatives to your regular food products. One being a margarine or spread which lowers cholesterol. Similarly to wholemeal bread, these new and improved types of margarines and spreads can reduce the risk of heart attacks by lowering cholesterol in the blood. These products are aimed at lowering the bad cholesterol type which is the “LDL” form of cholesterol. The LDL form of cholesterol is the type which clogs arteries and can lead to serious heart problems.

Opt for a variety of sandwich fillings which can contribute to several or more of your child’s guideline daily amounts (GDA) of vitamins and minerals. A healthy example is cheese for its calcium benefit, tomatoes for its vitamin C benefit and lettuce for its iron benefit. There are many health benefits to practically every type of fruit and vegetable which is why it is important for your child to have a generous variety throughout the day.

Include healthy snacks of fruit and vegetables in your child’s packed lunch such as carrot sticks, apples and grapes. Sweets and chocolate are packed with sugar and provide little to no nutritional benefits so try some alternatives such as raisons which are naturally sweet and tasty.

Encourage your child to drink water throughout the day and provide them with a healthy drink such as fruit juice with their packed lunch. The “not from concentrate” varieties are the healthiest and most natural form of fruit juice. Be aware that some fruit juices have added sugar so it is worth reading labels before purchasing a product.

There are many new and innovative brands which produce healthy and tasty food specifically for children’s snack times. Take some time to look through the different snack products that your local supermarket has to offer and remember, healthy does not have to mean boring.

How to Give an Elegant Touch to any Party Appetizer

Providing an elegant touch to party appetizers provides an excellent way leave guests impressed. Enhancing any dish is simply a matter of creativity. Garnishes, sauces, plate ware, and decorations are successful ways to add some flair and show your creative side.

Garnishes adorn dishes by adding a little extra pizazz. Most times there is no need for elaborate ploys.  Simply adding fruits and vegetables to the mix offers color and personality. For seafood appetizers adding a side of lemon and sprinkling parsley over them is a great choice. Egg rolls serve as a great appetizer choice. They can easily be enhanced by placing them on a bed of lettuce adding chipotle ranch drizzle over them. Sprinkling fresh herbs over dishes adds visual appeal. The secret to garnishes is to offer a contrast without overwhelming the central item on the dish. Using sauces that are vibrant enhances appeal while enhancing flavor.

Decorating serving tables by using cake stands helps appetizers stand out. Fresh fruit and vegetables can serve as a center piece adding contrasting colors to other dishes. Candles and flowers scattered around serving tables is always a nice touch. Themed occasions are a great way to utilize the serving area to highlight the occasion. The table should be easily assessable from all sides to keep the line moving. If hot dishes are served they should be on the ends while cold foods adorn the interior.

Sculpting appetizers into various shapes is great for themed parties. A cheese platter in the shape of a football stadium for the super bowl is sure to be a hit. Vegetable trays are a healthy appetizers choice with many creative ways they can be set highlighting the holiday or theme. Melons and pumpkins can be hollowed at and turned into serving containers. These are great for serving dips. People will remember the occasion and it brings attention to the dips.

Serving scaled down appetizers creates an atmosphere conducive to interactions between guests. The idea of hosting a party is to have a good time and be engaged. Appetizers are great since they offer good food while providing people flexibility to move around and mingle. Bite sized appetizers can provide a gourmet impression. Some good choices are bite sized pepper steaks, sliders, and crab cakes. A mini meal in a glass adds elegance, great flavor, and gets the guests talking about the food. In high scale settings it has become very popular for gourmet chefs to create many unique combinations.

Plate presentation is important to enhancing a food’s appeal. People eat with their eyes first and if it looks great people are more apt to enjoy their food. People often don’t try foods that lack visual appeal. Decorative dishes are a good way to highlight appetizers. It is also important that plates are proportional what is being served. Balance is important if the plates crowded the food looks sloppy. Too much room leaves food looking meager.

Appetizers are extremely versatile and their limit is the imagination of the host. With a little creativity elegance can be added to virtually any appetizer. The key is planning. There are several good appetizer recipes here that are sure to be a hit.

A one Pot Meal to Comfort you on a Cold Winter Day

When Old Jack Frost comes blowing his chill wind down the street, and the winter blahs have got you feeling low, there’s nothing like sitting down to a delicious, hot, homemade meal to lift your spirits.

Here is a recipe for a wonderfully filling one-pot meal which is easy to prepare, inexpensive, and most importantly, delicious! This hearty skillet meal can be made in about 45 minutes on the stove. Makes 4 servings.

Hearty Potato, Cheese and Turkey Sausage Skillet Supper


– 4 medium potatoes

– 1/2 medium yellow onion

– 1 clove garlic

– 5 – 6 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 cup sliced mushrooms

– 14 Oz. fully-cooked turkey kielbasa or turkey sausage

– 2 cups broccoli florets

– 1-1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

– Salt & pepper to taste

– Salsa, sour cream, and/or mayonnaise for topping


Wash the potatoes well, or peel them if you prefer. Cut the potatoes into chunks about 2 inches thick and place them into a heavy 12-inch skillet with deep sides. (TIP: The potatoes will get crisper and browner in a stainless steel or cast iron skillet than they will in a nonstick skillet.) Add enough water to cover the potato chunks, heat to boiling, then reduce heat and boil gently for about 10 – 15 minutes.

While you are waiting for the potatoes to cook, chop the onion, mince the garlic clove, and cut the sausage and mushrooms into 1/8-inch thick slices. Chop the broccoli florets into bite-size pieces.

Check the potatoes. Don’t let them get mushy or they will be too soft to slice. They are ready when you can just push a fork into them easily. When they are done, carefully pour them into a colander, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, and drain well. Remove them from the colander and place them in a single layer on a dish towel or paper towels to dry.

Return the skillet to the stovetop over medium-high heat, and pour about 3 tablespoons of the olive oil into the bottom of the pan. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and sauté just until the onion turns clear, stirring frequently.

While the onion and garlic are cooking, slice the potato chunks into 1/4-inch thick slices. Be careful because they might still be very hot. You may want to use a fork rather than your fingers to hold them while you slice them. Pour another 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil into the pan and add the potato slices and broccoli, spreading them all around in the skillet, making sure they get a good coating of oil.

Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 7 minutes, checking often to prevent scorching.

Sprinkle the sliced sausage and mushrooms over the potato mixture. Use a spatula to turn everything over so that the sausage and mushrooms are now on the bottom. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If needed, drizzle another bit of olive oil over the potatoes, but not too much. If you prefer crunchier potatoes, cook for another 6 to 8 minutes uncovered. If you like them softer, cover the skillet loosely so that steam can escape, and cook for the same amount of time.

To finish it off, stir it all up and sprinkle the grated cheese over the whole thing. Cover and cook until the cheese has melted.

Serve piping hot with sour cream, salsa, or just plain mayonnaise.

This is one of those easy, low-cost meals that sounds so simple but tastes so good, especially on a cold, wet winter day. The next time you want to serve up a big dish of comfort, give it a try!

Dress up your Appetizers

Elegance, when it comes to appetizers, it is all about great tasting appetizers, with  an appealing appearance. It is a visual effect. An ordinary appetizer becomes elegant by the way it is presented. It’s all about the bling.

For example cherry tomatoes stuffed with a cheese filling is a fairly common appetizer. However, you can give a boost by doing a zig-zag cut on the tomato instead of a straight cut and you can add a single parsley leaf to top it off. Now it is more than your great little cherry tomato appetizer.

Deviled eggs are a staple when it comes to appetizers. They can be made with traditional mayonnaise, sour cream and even Greek yogurt. The key to stepping them up to an elegant  egg is again, in the presentation. Use a piping bag with a fluted tip to make the design of the egg yolk fun. The platter on which the eggs are served can be dressed up with lettuce leaves and sprouts.

Spiced nuts are favorite, but do you really want to dig into that dish that everyone has been using? How about some great cupcake holders. You can get them in gold or silver foil. You can even make ones yourself out of paper doilies.

These crab napoleons are elegant, because of the color and presentation. The paprika that is splashed on the top brings color to the pastry and adds that extra touch. It is all about dressing up the appetizer.

Add some unique color to any appetizers. This can be done in a number of ways. You simple add a thin slice of carrot, mango or any colored vegetable or fruit. Don’t be afraid to step away from the tradition recipe and top it off with something unique, Recently a hostess topped an appetizer with a chip of apple peel. It added texture, color and flavor. Brilliant. One chef colored the horseradish red.

The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You have serve all the traditional appetizers you love with a little extra “fluff”. Think color, flavor, appearance and serving method.

Smoked salmon on crackers is an excellent appetizer.  Smoked salmon on a cracker with a dab of cream fraiche and a couple of chives crossed on top is an excellent, elegant appetizer.

If you need ideas to find more elegant appetizers why not visit an expert. Martha Stewart certainly knows how to throw a party. Her website gives simple, clear directions on many elegant appetizers. These mushroom polenta diamonds are an excellent example.

Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zone and be artistic with appetizers.

The best Fruits Found at Farmers Markets in the Spring

Spring brings rebirth, rejuvenation, and refreshing fruits that are missed during winter.  As white and gray landscapes give way to green and blue ones, trees bloom with the vibrant colors of their fruit, vines hang heavy with juicy goodness, and plants thrust their berries up for picking.  This is the time of year fruit salads and desserts are born, when meats are grilled again and sweet fruits are grilled alongside.  Farmers’ markets, in their brilliant colors, offers the glory of fresh, ripe fruit perfect for creating any dish the taste buds can imagine and the nutrition that bodies require.


Apricots should be plump, firm and a uniform golden orange color.  They are a stone fruit that can be stored in the refrigerator for three to five days.  They are rich in natural sugars, vitamins A and C, riboflavin and niacin, as well as being a good source of calcium, potassium and iron.  Additionally, the betacarotene in the apricot helps prevent heart disease.  Apricots are often dried, cooked into pastries or with meats such as lamb, or eaten as jam.  An added benefit of this fruit is its seed, which is a nut and has a high content of the vitamin Laetrile (B17) which has shown in studies to be very effective at preventing cancer and shrinking tumors.


A late spring and summer fruit, fresh cantaloupe can be found at the farmers’ market (depending on your location) around June.  Cantaloupe is most often paired with other melons in a melon salad.  They are rich in vitamins C and A, and like all fruit that is rich in vitamin A, also rich in beta-carotenes and other anti-oxidants.  Cantaloupe is also a good source of potassium and the dietary carotenoid, zeaxanthin, which is thought to protect the eyes from aging and age-related macular degeneration.


Another late spring fruit, cherries have a very short growing season and in some parts of the country, they are the first tree fruit to ripen.  There are two important culivars, the sweet (wild) cherry and the tart (sour) cherry.  Cherries contain anthocyanins which are powerful anti-oxidants and have been found in studies to have anti-inflammatory properties.  They are also high in other anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, the minerals potassium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese, and melatonin which soothes brain neurons alleviating neurosis, insomnia and headaches.


Some grape cultivars peak in June, though the majority are harvested in the summer.  Grapes are called the “queen of the fruit” and are a storehouse of essential nutrients.  They contain an important phytochemical compound, resveratrol, which has been shown to reduce the risk of several cancers, coronary heart disease, Alzheimer’s, degenerative nerve disease, fungal and viral infections.  Grapes also contain a number of anti-oxidants, such as anthocyanins in red grapes and catechins in white/green grapes.  They are a rich source of several minerals, including potassium, iron, copper, and manganese, as well as several vitamins – vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and B-complex vitamins.

Honeydew Melon

Melons are a favorite spring and summer fruit, ripe with the juiciness that refreshes in the heat.  Honeydews should be nearly spherical with a waxy skin and should feel heavy for their size.  This fruit is an excellent source of potassium and vitamin C.  In fact, one serving provides nearly half the vitamin C intake for one day.


It may be a citrus fruit, or not, depending on who you talk to.  The kumquat is about the size of an olive and looks like a citrus fruit, but the peel can be eaten (unlike citrus fruits) and is actually the sweet part of the fruit.  Kumquats are great served in a fruit punch, jam or eaten whole right off the tree.  They have lots of health benefits.  One serving of kumquat can provide 17% of the daily recommended intake of fiber and 73% of vitamin C.  They are rich in betacarotenes, anti-oxidants, the B-complex vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, iron, manganese, calcium and zinc.


The lime is a small green citrus fruit, slightly less tart than a lemon.  Limes are used for a number of cooking methods.  Key Limes, named for the Florida Keys where they are is native, are used in making key lime pie.  Limes can be used in place of salt to season seafood, chicken and pork, and limes are used for flavoring in water, tea, and a number of alcoholic beverages.  Limes are high in dietary fiber, vitamin C, calcium and iron.


The lychee, or litchi, is a tropical fruit with a somewhat hard outer shell.  The inner pulp is the sweet part of the fruit.  Lychees are most often eaten out of the shell.  Several restaurants, bars and chefs, however, have developed drinks and dishes using fresh lychees.  This fruit, like citrus fruit, is very high in vitamin C.  It is also high in B-complex vitamins which help the body metabolize carbohydrates, protein and fat.  Lychee fruit are also a good source of potassium and copper, both essential vitamins for the cardiovascular system.


The mango is one of a new category of fruit called “super fruit”.  It is rich in potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, beta-carotenes, alpha-carotenes and copper.  Recent studies suggest that the anti-oxidant properties of mangoes can protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers.  Vitamin A is essential for good vision and is an anti-oxidant when found in conjunction with beta-carotene and alpha-carotene.  Vitamin C helps protect against infections and harmful oxygen-free radicals.  Vitamin B-6 is required for certain hormone production in the brain and to control homocystiene levels in the blood which may otherwise be harmful.  Mangoes can be eaten raw, in fruit salad, in smoothies and other beverages, or as a relish with a number of meats, especially chicken, pork, and fish.


Oranges could be considered another super fruit.  They contain an impressive amount of vitamins and minerals.  Oranges are high in vitamin C and vitamin, potassium and calcium.  They also contain high levels of dietary fiber, phytochemicals, and anti-oxidants, as well as B-complex vitamins.  Because of their high level of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, oranges are known to be helpful in the reduction of the risk of cancers, heart disease, obesity and chronic diseases like arthritis.  Oranges are often ingested as orange juice, as well as eaten raw, or cooked as seasoning, garnishes or relishes for a variety of meats.


The pineapple fruit is actually many smaller fruits that have fused together around a central core.  It belongs to the bromeliad family. Pineapple pairs very well with ham and is popular during holidays when ham is served.  It also makes an excellent addition to fruit salad, is great in juice, and is often a mixer in alcoholic beverages.  Pineapple is another excellent fruit to add to any diet.  It contains dietary fiber, vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, copper, manganese and potassium.  It has also been shown to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties.


Rhubarb is probably best known for making rhubarb pie.  The stalks of the plant are the part used for cooking as there is not actually a fruit in the traditional sense.  Rhubarb can also be eaten raw with lots of sugar or honey to counterbalance its tartness or cooked into jams and sauces.  Rhubarb is botanically a vegetable but in 1947 a US court classified it as a fruit because of its uses in pies, jams and sauces.  Rhubarb has a high content of vitamn A and dietary fiber.  It has been found to reduce the risk of cancer, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol.


The strawberry has many cultivars that range from very sweet to acidic.  Most varieties purchased at stores or farmers’ markets are the sweet kind that can be used in a number of dishes, though popularly in fruit salad, smoothies, ice cream, and pastries.  Strawberries are a nutrient-rich fruit that contain many essential phyto-chemicals which help fight cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological disease.  They are rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene and other anti-oxidants, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, and several minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, iodine, and potassium.

Spring brings with it a large variety of juicy, delicious fruit to pick up at the farmers’ market.  Fresh fruit, fruit juices, and fruit salad mark the coming of spring and the beginning of longer days, warmer temperatures and summer just behind.  As spring gives way to summer, more fresh fruit will come into season, such as watermelons and blueberries, more wonderful fruit to add a refreshing touch to every meal.

Reasons to Eat Stew in the Winter

People tend to eat different types of food depending on the season. Salads and other cold meals are refreshing in summertime. In the winter months, people look forward to a hot meal in the evenings to warm up after a long day at work. For a number of reasons, stew is a great winter meal. Some of those reasons include the following.

Warm and comforting

The most obvious reason that stew is a great winter meal is simply that it is warm and comforting on a cold winter’€™s night. There is the added benefit that, whether cooked in a slow cooker, on the stove, or in the oven, the house is given extra warmth in the process. Perhaps more importantly, people tend to lack serotonin levels in the cold winter months because of the shorter days, and, as a result, crave more carbohydrates. Root vegetables are packed with carbohydrates and can therefore make you feel instantly better. 

Easy to prepare

After getting in from work on a cold night, the last thing that must people want is to prepare something complicated. A stew is quick to prepare and, even better, it can be cooked in a slow cooker during the day so that it is ready to eat once you get in from work. If there isn’€™t time to prepare the ingredients for a stew before going to work in the morning, they can be quickly put together after work and then left to cook in the oven or on the hob while you do some housework or have a warm bath.

Root vegetables are in season

Although there are a range of stews that you can make, they are particularly comforting when made with root vegetables, which tend to be in season during the winter months and tend to keep longer than other types of vegetables. Potatoes, both sweet and the ordinary version, parsnips, suede, beets, turnips and carrots all go very well in a stew and add a lot of substance to a meal, particularly when paired with dumplings, crusty bread or even rice. You can choose to eat meat or fish stews, or with just vegetables if that suits your palate.


Although there tends to be a lot of emphasis put on the nutritional value of green vegetables, root vegetables can be very nutritious themselves. A serving of sweet potato, for example, provides a daily allowance of Vitamin A, as well as being low in fat. Parsnips contain good amounts of vitamin C and potassium and beets are a good source of manganese and folate. Added to that, most root vegetables are an excellent source of dietary fiber and carbohydrates, which help keep you fuller for longer.

Cook in bulk and freeze

Stews are not only easy to prepare, they also freeze beautifully. If you prepare a large pot of stew each time, you should be able to put at least one portion aside to eat at a later date. Then, on those evenings when you just want something hot in a very short space of time, you can heat it up it and have a ready-made, nutritious meal. Even better, because you can add in whatever food you have available, the taste will be slightly different each time and so you are unlikely to become bored with it.

No matter what your taste, you can almost certainly find a type of stew that you enjoy. Go for something that you find online, or simply make up your own once you have mastered the basics.

Tips for Selling Vegetables at Farmers Markets in the UK

In the UK farmer’s markets are becoming increasingly popular; this is mainly due to the changing economic climate that has led to the loss of many smaller farms. In a report in April 2011it was reported that in England and Wales alone between eight and ten farmers were being forced out of business as dairy, egg and poultry farmers are being forced by big supermarket groups into selling their produce at less than it cost to produce it. Consequently many smaller farmers are turning to farmer’s markets to resolve their financial crisis. However, despite the name, it is not only farmers who sell at farmer’s markets; the markets are also an ideal place for people with large gardens or allotments to sell their excess vegetables.

But just what is a farmer’s market?

A farmer’s market is simply location (often held weekly or monthly) where local farmers and avid gardeners and producers of food made from local ingredients) can sell their produce and products straight to the general public. There are around 450 farmers markets in the UK and they all have to follow certain rules. Firstly everyone must sell their on produce and the stall-holder must be either the person who has grown or produced the products, or be a family member who has been directly involved in the production. Also all produce must be local – ideally grown, reared or created within 30 miles of the market location. Buyers have the right to ask questions about any product that they are considering buying and the stall-holder should be able to answer any questions about the products and production.

There are several tips that need to be followed by anyone who is thinking about selling at a farmer’s market to ensure good sales.

1. Firstly remember to make good use of signs and labels. Always label all produce with the price – customers don’t like to ask the price and may just walk past your stall if no prices are displayed. However good use of signs is not restricted to the price; make signs that tell the customer what the goods weigh, how they can be cooked, where the produce are grown and if they are organic etc. Another good idea is to produce some simple handouts that give a description of your farm, allotment, garden etc, ideas for uses of vegetables and a few recipes for more unusual vegetables.

2. Be realistic with your pricing.

Most customers realise that better food is worth paying more for. Superior, organic or rare produce are certainly worth charging more for. Although the majority of customers who shop at farmer’s markets expect slightly higher prices than the supermarket they still expect value for money. Therefore if you have a glut of a certain vegetable (or have some small or less superior items) give your customers a bargain but make sure to promote these goods in a prime location with large signs.

3. When you have a more unusual vegetable give samples or recipes of how to use them. Customer’s can be very unsure about buying goods they know nothing about. Do also make sure that you have eaten the product yourself so that you are able to answer any question that the customer may ask you.

4. Make sure that you grow plenty of seasonal vegetables and make the most of the gluts that you will have at certain times of the year. In the UK people have become accustomed to being able to buy products all year that are flown in from all around the world; however there is nothing better than eating good local produce that is in season, so make the best use of this produce and promote it well when in season.

5. Make your stall look attractive and restock constantly. Always display your produce in the smallest container that it fits into. As you start the day with a large amount of products start by displaying them in larger boxes, baskets etc, as the stock reduces during the day reduce the size of the container the dwindling stocks fit into.  

6. Make sure that you have plenty of bags available and have them on display for the customer to see, In today’s ecologically aware society you will find that many customers will prefer to have their products but into their own bags or baskets, but you must always have bags available for people who don’t have their own.

7. As well as having a good display and perfect produce the customer likes pleasant and helpful sellers. So be cheerful and helpful, don’t just lounge around but keep active when not selling by picking up any litter and tidying your stall; and always be willing and able to help and advise your customers.

By following these simple rules you will enjoy your selling experience whilst also making a nice little profit on your vegetables.