Cooking with The Groovy Food Company
The Groovy Food Company got in touch with us to share their range of nutritious and ethically sourced food products. The range is made up of organic store cupboard alternatives that are naturally popular amongst health food and clean eating advocates, but also all sorts of bakers, keen cooks, and those with allergies to gluten or dairy. The range includes everything from coconut oils and alternative organic sweeteners, to glazes and dressings. It's no secret that we are not health nuts, but we are ingredient nuts, so we were eager to have a go at cooking with this stuff and give our honest feedback.
Not only do The Groovy Food Company make food products, they also work closely with chef and author Lisa Roukin to invent easy to follow, tasty recipes that showcase their range. We chose two of their newest recipes to trial their Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and the Organic Coconut Sugar: Turkey Burgers with Avocado, Mango Yoghurt and Sweet Potato Fries, and Upside Down Sticky Apple Cake.
We seldom use coconut oil in our cooking, usually reserving it for Thai curries and the occasional stir fry because of the flavour it brings. I know there are supposed to be health benefits to be had from frying with coconut oil rather than other common cooking oils, plus the advantage of a high smoking point, but we often forget about it. The oil was really useful for frying the burgers, because it meant we could crank up the heat without filling the kitchen with a smog. We used our go-to heavy-bottomed frying pan for this, but I'm thinking it would be ideal to use when cooking on our cast iron griddle, which has a tendency to smoke.
The burger recipe itself was really tasty, and dare I say it, probably a lot healthier than some of the other burgers that have been imagined in our kitchen. Our favourite part however, was the sweet potato fries, which were tossed in coconut oil and baked in the oven with just with a pinch of salt for seasoning. We'll be using this method again!
The real taste test was the apple cake. The recipe uses two Groovy Food products as replacements for what are usually the main elements of a traditional cake: coconut oil in place of our beloved butter, and coconut sugar in place of caster sugar. I've baked a few gluten free cakes before, but never dairy free.
The results were surprisingly tasty. It was by no means the best cake I've ever baked or eaten, but the coconut ingredients added an extra dimension to the apple and cinnamon flavour, and the grated apple kept the crumb moist. The caramel seemed a bit odd (texturally) when we first cooked it up in a pan, but came good and silky when baked in the cake. Possibly just a balls-up on our part.
Serve it up with a dollop of crème fraîche and you have yourself a decent autumnal pudding. To keep it dairy free, you could pair it with a coconut-based ice cream.
Both recipes can be found on The Groovy Food website along with lots of others, and their products are available online or from your local supermarket. We're thinking we might try the Tandoori Roast Chicken with Coconut Sambal next.
N.B. We were provided with organic coconut products and suggested recipes by The Groovy Food Company, to test and give honest feedback on. All pictures and opinions are our own.